Songwriting

Showing 1 to 25 of 57 articles.


Phil and Dave image

2015 Grammy Nominations Unveiled


The 2015 Grammy nominations have been announced, and there are a number of Acoustic Guitar favorites on the list. Here are the nominations in the American Roots Music categories:


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Songwriting.

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Guitar Workshop Plus Announces U.S. Sessions


Guitar Workshop Plus, recipient of a 2014 Acoustic Guitar Player's Choice Award for Instruction, has announced its first-ever U.S.-based workshop for 2015. GWP has chosen San Diego as its newest location, and the inaugural San Diego workshop will be held on June 21-26, 2015 at the campus of California State University, San Marcos.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Guitar Care. Jazz. Rock. Songwriting. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Beginner. Early Intermediate. Intermediate.

Listen to the January Issue of 'Acoustic Guitar'


This week we offer some of the musical highlights from the January issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.


Video. Sessions. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Folk. Jazz. Rock. Songwriting.

Yusuf album cover

ALBUM REVIEW: Yusuf, Tell 'Em I'm Gone


Singer-songwriter Yusuf releases the best album Cat Stevens could never make.


Sessions. Blues. Fingerstyle. Folk. Recording. Rock. Songwriting.

EXCLUSIVE: Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band Premiere New Song, "Sorrow's Shine"


Listen to a brand new song from Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band's upcoming album Take it Like a Man.


Video. Sessions. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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Wayfaring Stranger No More: In less than five years, pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has become a household name


When the lights go down and a lone silhouette appears onstage under four towering LED screens inside the gargantuan SAP Center in San Jose, California, the place erupts into deafening screams. Ed Sheeran, who walked away from the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles the week before with a Moon Man statue for Best Male Video, launches into the sweet sorrow of “I’m a Mess,” from his new album, X, and nearly every one of the 8,000 mostly young, mostly female fans mouths the words, as if they, too, have suffered the relationship turmoil the song describes.


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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Dark Star: Forty years after his death, the songs of Nick Drake—flush with melancholy and mystique—continue to inspire guitarists


Nick Drake died in the dark. Not just in the literal shadow of nighttime—although he did apparently pass away before dawn on November 25, 1974 from an overdose of antidepressants—but also at a moment when the reclusive British singer-songwriter could have no way of gleaning the influence he would exert on generations of guitarists and songwriters.


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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NYC’s Third Annual Guitar Mash Set for November 16


Acoustic-guitar luminaries from across the musical spectrum will be performing at the third annual Guitar Mash benefit show, to be held at New York’s City Winery on November 16. David Bromberg, Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge, Valerie June, and Chilean folk-rock wizard Nano Stern are among the top-notch musicians scheduled to appear.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Jazz. Songwriting. Technique and Theory.

LWK cover image

ALBUM REVIEW: Luke Winslow-King, Everlasting Arms


Don’t let Luke Winslow-King’s clean-cut looks fool you. Hidden inside his preppy, Clark Kent exterior is the soul of a New Orleans bluesman.


News. Blues. Folk. Jazz. Songwriting.

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O Sister: Alynda Lee Segarra reimagines roots music in Hurray for the Riff Raff


Alynda Lee Segarra was a high schooler in New York City when she first heard Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Emmylou Harris, and Alison Krauss in the 2000 blockbuster, O Brother, Where Art Thou? At that point, Segarra, like so many others her age, became part of the O Brother generation—one of the young musicians whose exposure to American roots music through the film would help to energize the latest folk revival.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

Paul Craft image

Paul Craft, Humorous Nashville Songwriter, Dies at 76


Paul Craft, the Nashville songwriter behind such hits as “Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life),” died Oct. 18. He was 76 years old.


News. Country. Rock. Songwriting.

Damien Rice cover image

ALBUM REVIEW: Damien Rice, My Favourite Faded Fantasy


In the eight years since Damien Rice released his second album, 9, a cottage industry of sensitive, Starbucks-approved indie singer-songwriters emerged and then exploded into the teen-pop mainstream with the arrival of Rice-acolyte Ed Sheeran, who graces this issue’s cover. You can almost imagine Rice hovering in the wings with a furrowed brow, sullenly wringing his hands, thinking, “Please, please, relieve me of this writer’s block.”


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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The Original Outlaw: Billy Joe Shaver Isn't Running From His Turbulent Past


It’s not enough that Billy Joe Shaver sawed off parts of three fingers, broke his back, underwent a quadruple bypass, and had a steel plate put into his neck. It’s not enough that he buried his wife, son, and mother in the span of a single year, or that he finished a performance after having a heart attack onstage, or that he shot a man in the face outside a bar in Waco. Now 75, he’s never stopped writing songs, and he says he never will.


News. Country. Folk. Songwriting.

Blueridge image

Blueridge’s New BR-65KCE Offers Vintage Details


Whether playing a handful of fancy chords or a few single-note runs, Blueridge’s new BR-65KCE feels uncommonly responsive for an imported, mid-priced guitar, and the balance among the bass, middle, and treble regions is impressive. Perhaps owing to its koa build, the guitar has a warm and lovely voice, the notes ringing true and clear up and down the fretboard.


News. Bluegrass. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Songwriting.

damien rice live still new

LIVE REVIEW: After an eight-year absence, singer-songwriter Damien Rice returns to the spotlight inside a gigantic San Francisco synagogue


A majestic synagogue in San Francisco exploded into prolonged applause just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when Damien Rice, hair all shorn off again, trusty Lowden acoustic slung over his shoulder, stepped to the alter and began strumming the chords to “Eskimo Friends”—with no amplification whatsoever.


News. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

Richard Hoover Santa Cruz Guitars

Santa Cruz Guitar Co., and the Birth of the Boutique


In late May, the acoustic-blues and folk singer Otis Taylor was hanging out at Immersive Studios in Boulder, Colorado, working on some new songs, when he ran into Bill Nershi, the guitarist for String Cheese Incident. The two got to talking about their instruments.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Guitar Care. Rock. Songwriting.

Hurray for the Riff Raff Launches Anti-Violence Indiegogo Campaign


Hurray For the Riff Raff is hoping to light a spark for “The Body Electric,” a new song at the center of a fundraising drive to raise awareness for organizations dedicated to curbing violent crime and advocating for marginalized communities.


Video. News. Blues. Country. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

Suzanne Vega, Ithaca, NY

LIVE REVIEW: Suzanne Vega performs an expansive but intimate set in Ithaca, New York


At its core, Vega’s style is intimate, and the small theater atmosphere in Ithaca was ideal for it.


Sessions. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

ron jackson still

AG Contributors Release New Albums, Kickstarter Campaign


It’s been an embarrassment of musical riches for Acoustic Guitar recently, as three different AG contributors have recorded three very different acoustic-based album projects.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Fingerstyle. Folk. Jazz. Recording. Rock. Songwriting.

from the home office doe guitar

From the Home Office: Vintage Guitars, a Punk Icon, and a New Editor


When punk icon John Doe, a pioneer of what’s known today as alt-country and indie-folk, came into Acoustic Guitar's studio for a taping of our video series AG Sessions, we hit him with a little surprise.


News. Country. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

EXCLUSIVE: Richard Thompson Premieres New Recording of 'From Galway to Graceland'


On Richard Thompson's forthcoming album, Acoustic Classics, the legendary songwriter and guitarist strips down 14 of his classic tunes to acoustic guitar and vocals, including "From Galway to Graceland," which he is premiering at AcousticGuitar.com. 


Video. News. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

Billy Joe Shaver is 'Long in the Tooth,' But Not Short on Words


Bill Joe Shaver is one aging outlaw who’s not staying in hiding—the septuagenarian singer-songwriter has a new album on the way, and a lot on his mind.


Video. News. Country. Folk. Songwriting.

EXCLUSIVE: Rod Picott Premieres Video for "You're Not Missing Anything"


Americana songwriter Rod Picott premieres the video for "You're Not Missing Anything" at Acoustic Guitar. 


Video. News. Country. Rock. Songwriting.

SWBG_BluesRockChanges_cover

Play like the Allman Brothers and Neil Young with Flatted III, VI, and VII Chords


In this example we'll look at a song that uses the I, IV, and V, but we'll try substituting the bVII for the V to give the progression a different feel.


Video. Lessons. Blues. Rock. Songwriting.

SWBG_FreeWriting_Cover

Songwriting Tip: Write First, Think Later


Acoustic Guitar Editor at Large Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers says don't filter yourself when beginning to write a song.


Advice. Songwriting. Beginner.

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