Is Mike Dawes the greatest acoustic guitarist right now?
Every now and then I come across a guitarist that leaves me feeling totally inadequate and wondering why I continue to play guitar. I am sure you know the feeling! They are the sort of person who picks up a guitar and plays stuff that shouldn’t be possible. It is almost as if the guitar is a part of their body. By all accounts we should hate them for being that good but we just can’t because what they play is so amazing. Well for me Mike Dawes fits into that elite group of guitarists. What he does with an acoustic guitar is truly phenomenal and yes I am truly jealous that I can’t do what he does.
For those that don’t know who is Mike Dawes?
Mike Dawes first came to the attention of the guitar playing world back in 2012 when he released a unique and technically impressive version of “Somebody That I Used to Know”. The video of his performance went viral and gained Dawes international acclaim. From that point he has gone onto to release two studio albums, co-design, with Dimarzio, a pickup for acoustic guitars and be voted the best acoustic guitarist in the world right now in the Music Radar and Guitar World end of year poll. Not bad really!
How did he get so good?
Dawes first started playing guitar at the tender age of 12 when he switched from playing keyboards. Well keyboards loss is our gain! He initially played electric guitar but switched to acoustic in 2008 and has stuck with the humble acoustic ever since. He is a fingerstyle instrumentalist and builds his sound by layering blocks of guitar music to create a complex arrangement. It sounds simple, and Mike Dawes really does make it look easy but what he does is far from easy but it sounds truly amazing.
Mike Dawes has honed his talent by relentlessly touring. Between 2008 and 2011 he performed instrumental concerts throughout the UK. For some of the concerts he performed with a harpist but the majority of the gigs were solo appearances, but he also played with a harpist. With solo gigs you really have no where to hide, it is just you and the audience, so you have to be good and let’s face it he is not too shabby on the guitar.
In terms of influences Mike Dawes draws from an eclectic range of musical styles. From folk to pop, rock to heavy metal there is no musical genre that he won’t call on to create his sound. For example his cover of Metallica’s “One” gained over 40 million hits in its first fortnight and shows that he is not afraid to take on a challenge.
You can get a feel for his technique in this great video below shot at the Wells Cathedral Music School. The video gives a great insight into how Dawes goes about structuring a composition and also shows he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
For those who have not seen it his classic rendition of “One” by Metallica is well worth a watch.
To find out more about Mike Dawes check out his website or if you want to learn how to play like Mike then check out the JamPlay site where he has created an exclusive course that demonstrates all of his techniques. Quote the unique codes below to gain a discount at the checkout!!!!
1BA1E2 – 25% off First Month 33C6CE – 10% off All Memberships
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