6 Lessons I learned from Tommy Emmanuel takes into account all the years I’ve followed, listened, talked to, and kept in touch with the fantastic artist.
I mean, truly, Tommy Emmanuel is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve heard. You know what’s even cooler? He’s an incredibly nice, kind, and dedicated artist.
That’s why this episode is dedicated to Tommy Emmanuel and the 6 lessons he has taught me over the years. With his new album, “Best of Tommy Songs,” coming out this month — and with his birthday right around the corner — I thought what better time to do this episode than right now!
In addition to talking about the 6 lessons, I’ll share with you my 5 favorite Tommy Emmanuel songs — and there’s some deep cuts in there! I’ll also take a moment to review a piece of gear that Tommy uses on almost every live show he plays!
As always, you can catch Acoustic Tuesday at 10 am every Tuesday in these four places:
- Acoustic Life YouTube channel
- We Play Every Day Facebook Community
- Get show notes emailed directly to your inbox.
- Listen to audio-only below or in iTunes
Watch the full interview with Tommy Emmanuel and Me – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ
- Think like a band – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ?t=297
- Make a big sound – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ?t=396
- Don’t half-ass – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ?t=629
- Play for the people – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ?t=935
- Do what works for you – https://youtu.be/MbuSsrGy5qQ?t=1235
My Favoite Songs
https://tommyemmanuel.com/ – Check out Tommy’s new album “The Best of Tommysongs”
https://amzn.to/2Wxrm3F – Buy Tommy Emmanuel’s Endless Road album
- Endless Road – https://youtu.be/bBrrbwTRRZo
- Tall Fiddler – https://youtu.be/nW9rmaGaaG4
- The Man With The Green Thumb – https://youtu.be/SwU-VSZfG3Y
- Angelina – https://youtu.be/XWS1IRF_IFA
- Mona Lisa – https://youtu.be/KGldPPyzZ74
The AER TE Compact 60
http://aer-the-acoustic-people.de/en/products/acoustic-line/ – Check out AER amps online
https://youtu.be/Qg3qMPg1XaU – Learn more about Tommy Emmanuel’s signature AER amp
Where can I get Tommy’s cd ? Let me know as I am a fan as well and always enjoyed his style and warm friendly personality when he plays.
Amazon carries a few
Tony, I have a lot of Tommy’s music. My favorite is Tommy Emmanual Christmas Memories and All I want for Christmas. It was difficult, as they all are great, but I felt warm and involved reviewing these albums.
I hope you all know that Mona Lisa is an old standard, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston and made famous by Nat King Cole. TE’s arrangement is beautiful though.
That’s what makes it a classic. It can be arranged almost infinitely and is often covered over decades and decades.
It’s like a rich mine of gold that can always reveal a new vein of gold if you look for it.
BTW are you the same Art A that lived in Rogers Park? If so, I went to Circle with you. If you’d like you can contact me, love to hear from you.
Park Ridge, Ill
Loved your show about Tommy Emmanuel. He is amazing and seems so down to earth and genuine – as are you! I do have a question – what is your opinion of Zager guitars? Specifically, what is your choice between the model 80 and the model 900 series? The 80 has cedar top coupled with rosewood back and sides while the 900 series has spruce top with rosewood back and sides. Both use Fishman electronics – and you can get the Fishman Aura as an option. Thoughts???? Thanks!!!
I recently bought a model 80, I wanted a humming bird but figured this guitar was a better place to start back into playing. Dennis sr and Dennis jr were very helpful……….for me it was a great choice, great sound, great action, also have the Fishman /aura option………..Geo.
Hi Tony, Wow! What great show, Tommy Emmanuel is the best. I was reminded of the first time I heard of him. Several years ago, listening to WGN Radio (yes, I am from the Chicago area) Steven King and Jonnie Putnam had the night slot. Steven was beside himself telling his audience about “..this guy, you’re not gonna believe what you hear!” He played the Beatles Day Tripper/Lady Madonna medley. I remember thinking, NO WAY! There are at least two guys playing! But when you see him play (not live yet for me) he just blows your mind apart. Thanks again for a great program. GGU!
I had the greatest dumb luck 10 years or so flipping through TV channels looking for something that interested me. I stumbled across PBS channel 12 and being a frustrated guitar player myself there he was Tommy Emmanuel. I stopped there and checked out his show……..I was blown away by his talent and ability, from then on he was one of my favorites, incredible talent
PS after a 40 some year hiatus I joined TAC. I hope to do a little finger picking / playing for my own enjoyment!!
Right in that PS boat with you. Enjoy!
I play everyday. Retired in December of last year. Whenever I am not motivated to play (which is rare), all I have to do is pop on one of Tommy’s performances and after that I can’t wait to play. I also have to say that you’re weekly youtube videos also help very much to keep motivated. It is nice to know so many other people out there share the same interest as me.
I finger pick with a thumb pick (Chet/Tommy style). But also to keep motivated I am starting down the path of learning some bluegrass flatpicking (slowly learning!). So, that gives me some variety.
Thanks for all your great work!
Good show, Tony! Just a reminder: when drinking Colorado Kyle’s coffee: “always trust your cape”!! ( Incindentally, thanx for introducing us to that song – it has become one of our favorites!)
Watching today’s Acoustic Life show reminded me of another place to view and understand Mr. Emmanuels talent. He did a Tedx talk back in 2014, you can watch on YouTube (link: a9awl7xxylv1cl37aqu2w6uil) Great show Tony thanks. I think Classical Gas is an excellent example of his talent.
Right now, I’m sooooo digging “The Wide Ocean” from the “Best of Tommy Songs”! It’s so beautiful and inspiring. I hope to see Tommy in NYC this fall. And thank you Tony for a great show today!!!
Wow Tommy Emmanuel is awesome, inspirational and a wonderful treat. I could hardly finish your broadcast before dashing to grab my guitar and play. I also plan to get Tommy’s album Endless Road. Thanks!!!
Your show dedicated to Tommy Emmanuel, as good as it is, evoked memories of one of the most disappointing events in my guitar life. A long time Tommy idol worshiper, I was thrilled to discover that Tommy was scheduled to preform at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville on March 4th. The planets were aligning because I was planning a trip to Knoxville to visit my daughter. So, with tickets for great seats and thumb pick for Tommy to autograph in my pocket I drove from Tampa to Knoxville on the 3rd. On arrival to Knoxville, on literally the eve of the Covid-19 shut down and Tommy’s last live performance, a cold that I picked up in New Orleans the weekend before knocked me down and made it too risky to attend the show. I am still devastated!
Regarding Tommy’s music, as great as it is to listen to, watching Tommy perform and how he embodies the music is the true magic. You made a comment that it is impossible to listen to a Tommy song with out tapping your foot. Watch Tommy, he taps his entire being!
Thanks for the opportunity to vent. Hopefully, when the world returns to some new sense of normalcy, I’ll be able to check off a Tommy Emmanuel live concert from my bucket list.
I would like to say that I really enjoyed listening to Tommy Emmanual play today. I had not heard him before and I know he is your idol…so, I think now he is also my idol, with the exception of you, of course. I think you do a heck of a job! I heard one of his songs while viewing the web page advertising his guitar amplifier (which I love). The song is “Rachel’s Lullaby”. I especially liked it. So, I vote for that as my favorite.
If Tommy Emmanuel actually exists, then Rick of Rick & Morty also does. No one can play that well just as no one can come up with all those impossibly advanced scientific gadgets.
Have you ever seen him play live, he has no tricks more or less that any other guitarist, he is just that good.
You spoke of Byron Berline who owned the Fiddle shop in Oklahoma. You said he was an award winning performer; he was the fiddler in Bill Monroe’s band at one time. Actually, I met him. My wife and I were researching my Father in Laws family who Homesteaded near Guthrie Oklahoma; where Byron’s shop is. I went into his shop, full of fiddles. I asked if they sold guitars and they took me to the back of the store. they had guitars, mandolins, ukuleles etc…
I pulled a Martin off the wall; a Made in Mexico Martin, but it sounded good. Byron came in the back of the store and asked if I’d like to play a good Martin; of course I did! He brought out a 1937 D-18! Had a crack on the top and a slight hole. I strummed the guitar and immediately knew it was the best sounding guitar I’ve ever held. I asked if I could play a song; he said sure. I played “Gotta Travel On” a Bill Monroe song(did I tell you Byron played fiddle in Bill Monroe’s band at one time?) As soon as I started he ran and got a fiddle and played along with me; I’m an OK guitar strummer/rhythm player, but I can sing pretty good. He was very impressed and we both enjoyed taking turns playing breaks back and forth. He told me that Bill would have enjoyed my version. He offered to sell me the guitar; $7500, too rich for my blood but now that I look back, I should have pulled the trigger. His shop has since burned down and I’m sure the guitar is lost. What a fantastic sounding guitar! I own a Martin 2009 D-28, which I love but that 1937 D-18 was a once in a lifetime sound.
Great episode! I learned a lot about Tommy E. and I absolutely love hearing any artist talk about their approach and creative process. I watched the full interview you did with him as well. He seems to combine a deep joy and extreme professionalism in his craft. Truly a master!
Hi Tony you should see if you can get an interview with Andy Allen of Maton guitars Custom shop .This guy just oozes pasion for what he does . Perhaps a zoom conference ? Thanks for all the great info you provide for us guitar geeks
About 10 years ago, I had the privilege of driving Tommy E. around Grass Valley (CA) Fairgrounds for the weekend. He was
a monster guitar player, but such a gentleman. He “thanked” me each stop…. By the way, he is known to change strings on
each guitar before “each” show… when he is playing two sets in one night…. he changes strings on all guitars between sets.
Tom B….. Chico, Ca.
I’ve never heard of Tommy Emmanuel before and all I can say is wow! I will be ordering his CD. Thanks
Hea Tony, I love it! I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE TOMMY 3 times in a small venue called the Paladium in Tampa. Each show was better than the last. What a amazing musician and man. Had the people in the palm of his hand. The first time i saw him, at the first intermission i went to take a leak and just could not go. I was numb. Thanx Tony
I’m late to the TE party, but better late than never. His song Lewis & Clark came across my Acoustic Alchemy Pandora station. I ran to my computer to find out who was doing this amazing thing I was hearing. I made a post-it note but didn’t explore Tommy until about three months ago. Of course, I’m now obsessed. I have a second-row ticket to see him in August, already rescheduled from an April date. I’m praying Covid-19 won’t force this date to be cancelled, but I fear it’s not looking good. A thousand thank-yous for doing this Acoustic Tuesday on Tommy Emmanuel. I’m new to TAC, and am equally obsessed with the format, and hoping to overcome my shyness and join in all the fun. This is a terrific thing you’re doing, Tony.
JohnnyB here…newish to the TAC family…and enjoying everything about it…thank you! When I think of Tommy Emmanuel, the most vivid image that pops into my mind is the amazing extended solo 12 Bar Blues performance captured on video at an informal outdoor venue and available on YouTube. In addition to the totally incredible one-of-a-kind guitar mastery…the appealing thing about this performance, for me anyway, is his casualness, total coolness, humor and obvious love of performing regardless of the venue. When I introduce friends to Tommy…this is You Tube video is where I start.
Thanks for devoting this Acoustic Tuesday to him.
one of my tommy albums is up from down under I bought it after I saw him supporting eric Clapton in the late eighties I’d seen once or twice a few years earlier with his brother phil but that night he was really hot
I went to a Tommy concert (many concerts actually even going back to the 70’s playing with his brother Phil (another great guitarist ) in their Band called GoldRush) anyway at the end of that concert I bought a Tee shirt (Tommy showed up well after the concert had finished) Tommy said hello would you like me to sign your shirt, he signed it with “Tommy CGP” (look it up if you dont know what CGP means) I was wrapped, but I now I can’t wear the shirt, because I dont want the signature to be washed away. So I will mount it on my wall. Tommy and I actually had a good five minute conversation. He is great player and YES he is a kind guy and just a very nice bloke and a brilliant Aussie.
Rob (Sydney, Australia)
Oh man, Tommy has to be #1 on my guitar heroes list. I discovered Tommy a number of years back and the first song that I remember him playing was the Australian tune “Waltzing Matilda”. It left such an impression on me that I pain-stakingly learned to play it myself (can’t do Tommy justice though). I also own “Endless Road” and my favorite song is his rendition of the Chet Atkins tune called “I Still Can’t Say Goodbye” about a boy missing his Dad years after he passed. There are a couple of YouTube videos of Tommy explaining how Chet wanted him (Tommy) to continue the legacy of that song after Chet’s gone because “people need to hear this song”. I agree. I learned it myself and performed it during open mic for Father’s Day at ALF 2019. It’s such a great song!
I love Tommy Emmanuel and have been blessed to see him perform several times. Thank you for sharing your lessons learned from him as they are awesome.
I never listen to any thing Tommy play and not been spell bound. Two favorites come to mind: blues in the key of E and Michelle. Both will leave your jaw dropped :)!
Tommy’s the man! Got to see Tommy at the Sunset Center in Carmel. After the show he took the time to sign autographs and chat. The guy has no hot shot attitude at all. Be Kind works !
I have a little problem with title of Tommy’s new album, ‘Tommysongs’. Don’t get me wrong, I just love his playing and he comes across as a really nice guy. Back to the album. I’ve googled and checked several dictionaries about the meaning of the word ‘song’. Almost without exception they define a song as a poem or lyric to be sung. It has words! If I didn’t know who Tommy was or what he does and I picked up his album in a record shop I’d expect there to be ‘songs’ on it, actual singing! I think the title is a little misleading and would have been far better titled ‘Tommytunes’. I have no doubt though that if I had expected songs I wouldn’t have been disappointed with what IS on it.
There are so many Tommy Emmanuel songs to love, but the one song that knocked my socks off, only because it was unexpected. The song is “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” I’m not sure why, but I just never put this song with Tommy.
Just saw #142 very beautiful.you are right,Tommy emanual is a fantastic guitar player,yes he is.i loved the 3amps very cool.thank you👍💡🎸😁
Went to Australia in 2002. Arrived at Kingsford-Smith Airport and had to wait 6 hours before our onward flight to Wagga-Wagga. I bought an Australian edition of Acoustic Guitar Player and they were featuring Tommy Emanuel. I read the piece through quite a few times and made sure I had a look on YouTube when I returned to U.K. I was totally amazed at what I heard and see him do with Mason Williams’ Classical Gas and many other songs. As you would say, ” I was really pumped. Great show , Keep up the good work.
For a future show, have a look at Stan Rogers. A great voice and guitar style. Lost to us now but a legacy that lives on.
Went to the Mona Lisa with rundown of what he did in his version. It was fantastic! I told my brother about it and he loved Amazing Grace.
Must have albums are:
The very best of Tommy Emmanuel
and these are his early work that are out of this world with a mix of acoustic and electric
1979 From Out of Nowhere (Trafalgar)
1987 Up from Down Under (Artful Balance)
1990 Dare to Be Different (Mega)
1991 Determination (Mega)
1993 The Journey (Columbia)
1994 Terra Firma with Phil Emmanuel (Columbia)
1995 Classical Gas (Columbia)
1996 Can’t Get Enough (a.k.a. Midnight Drive) (Columbia)
loved the vid…tommy is probably my fav also…tony is also fastly becoming one of my fav instructors out there…no, i haven’t signed up with him yet, but i am…i’ve been playing quite a while…i would consider myself an intermediate player, but i’m literally stuck creatively…have been for years…i’ve yet to throw the baby out with the bathwater…not sure what it will take, i feel it’s still in me…just gotta tap it…maybe tony can help me with it…