Jack Tuttle
Performer - Instructor
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I teach at Gryphon. They are good guys and will treat you right.

Recommended Guitar Albums

Guitar solos were not a regular part of bluegrass during the first couple of decades. Although Don Reno had recorded some bluegrass guitar solos in the 50's, it was in the early 60's guitar players like Doc Watson, Norman Blake and Clarence White were beginning to find an audience for flatpicking fiddle tunes. If you're looking for guitar solos in the context of bluegrass vocals, go to the Recommended Bluegrass page. Best choices would be the band albums by Ricky Skaggs, the Lonesome River Band, Tony Rice, David Grisman, Alison Krauss and J.D. Crowe. Here are some of my favorite guitar-centric albums.

Doc Watson: Foundation: Doc Watson Guitar Instrumental Collection, 1964-1998 Although not strictly speaking a bluegrass guitarist, Doc was one of the first to flatpick fiddle tunes on the guitar and bluegrass guitar players were heavily influenced by his versions. This compilation album features many of his classics.

Norman Blake: Whiskey Before Breakfast Norman was another of the earliest players of fiddle tunes on the guitar and he developed a richer, less linear style than Doc - one that works well for self accompanying. Recorded in 1976, Whiskey Before Breakfast features a number of the fiddle tune standards that made him one of most influential of the early flatpickers.

Clarence White: Kentucky Colonels, Appalachian Swing Clarence changed the face of bluegrass guitar in the 1960's both as a lead and as a rhythm player. The album shows why he became the model for virtually all that followed. Complicated approach to playing melodies, syncopated rhythms and excellent tone all are in abundance here. Unfortunately he was killed in a tragic accident in 1973, so his stellar bluegrass recordings are scarce.

Tony Rice: The man who followed in Clarence's footsteps really made lead guitar part of mainstream bluegrass. Heavily influenced by Clarence's ideas, Tony has become the most influential bluegrass guitarist ever. With numerous high quality albums it's hard to narrow things down, but eponymously titled Tony Rice as well as Manzanita are two of his landmark albums on Rounder.

David Grier: The son of a well-known banjo player, David is one of first of the new generation of bluegrass guitarists who have managed to escape from the shadow of Tony Rice. I've Got the House to Myself showcases Grier as a solo guitarist, playing many fiddle classics and taking them to far reaching places, all without the benefit of any backup musicians. Pretty impressive.

Scott Nygaard No Hurry: Not strickly a bluegrass guitarist, Scott is one of the most impressive all-around guitarists going. Although he may not burn at the level of a David Grier or Bryan Sutton, he has one of the most sophisticated melodic senses you'll hear from a guitarist, probably reflecting his knowledge of jazz and other influences. He knows his way around the entire neck and has more ideas than you'll get from most guitarists.

Bryan Sutton: When Bryan joined Ricky Skaggs' band in the late 90's, he appeared to have come out of nowhere to become the hottest bluegrass guitar player of all. Playing at speeds never before attempted, his solos on Skaggs' Bluegrass Rules and Walls of Time are quite remarkable. His album simply called Bluegrass Guitar is considerably mellower but has lots of well played tunes.


Updated October 17, 2007