The 5 Most Famous Acoustic Guitar Players of the Last Few Decades

The humble yet beautiful acoustic guitar is one of the most iconic sounds of any musical instrument, and certainly, one that can produce a wide array of sounds, and can compliment any style of music that is being played; whether this is a rock song, jazz, or classical music, the instrument is incredibly versatile.

The hollow body of the acoustic guitar serves to amplify the strings’ vibrations when strummed and plucked, producing a deep sound that resonates with the listeners’ feelings.

Whether you are considering learning to play the acoustic guitar yourself or have been playing for several years, continue reading to learn of the five most famous acoustic guitar players of the last few decades.

Paul Simon

First and foremost, not only a fabulous singer and songwriter with a seemingly never-ending list of accolades and awards but Paul Simon is also recognized as one of the most incredible masters of the acoustic guitar.

Writing his first song for the acoustic guitar at the tender age of thirteen and often partnering with his old school friend Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon is still considered underrated by many professional guitar players due to his instrument mastery.

Kaki King

Kaki King is one of the most innovative female acoustic players of the modern day.

Kaki King has received, amongst a plethora of other awards, a nomination for a Golden Globe for her substantial contribution to the movie ‘Into the Wild’ with Sean Penn. He has even produced her own theater show, ‘The Neck is a Bridge to the Body’, which combines visual arts with acoustic guitar playing.

Tommy Emmanuel

Australian-born acoustic guitarist showcases a myriad of Master Grade acoustic guitars to produce one of the most iconic sounds of the acoustic world.

Most well-known for his solo virtuoso concerts, many people throughout the country and worldwide consider him the greatest acoustic guitar player of them all. He regularly tours with sell-out shows across the US and internationally.

Alex de Grassi

When it comes to the most complex, unique, and truly breathtaking compositions on the instrument, American Alex de Grassi does tick every box.

Nominated for a grammy, Alex de Grassi mixes a wide variety of tonal and complicated rhythmic dynamics to produce an acoustic sound that appears so much greater than the sum of its parts. The reputable Acoustic Guitar Magazine even named him one of the ‘greatest steel string guitar players of the last decade’.

Richard Smith

Finally, the English virtuoso, Richard Smith, is the fifth most incredible acoustic guitar player to entertain and influence music fans across various musical genres.

Richard Smith was lucky enough to play onstage with the iconic Chet Akins when he was only eleven years old. He was incredibly impressed with his skills in emulating Chet’s complex arrangements.

Chet Atkins said of Richard Smith in an interview that Richard Smith is ‘the most amazing guy’ he knows on the guitar and that ‘he can play everything I know, but better’.

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