LGM Podcast Ep 4: Tommy Emmanuel on Classical Guitar

Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of spending some time with legendary guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. In this interview, Tommy shares his love of classical guitar and some of the players that influenced him.

Sergio: You have mentioned in other interviews that you took some interest in classical guitar in the past.

Tommy: The first classical guitar player that I heard was Julian Bream. He is still my favourite guitarist, as much as I do love John Williams playing Bach and the great Segovia. Segovia has always touched me deeply, not just with his ideas and discipline, but the sheer tone. His tone was unequalled, it was such a beautiful sound.

I was so thrilled that they released the box set of Segovia back in the early 90s. The fourth CD is Segovia talking, and that was my favourite thing. I used to put that CD on and just have him talking when I was doing housework or cooking in the kitchen and I’d have Segovia telling me his life story.

Sergio: What was your first experience with the classical guitar?

Tommy: A young lady Lorraine Silk, who was a good classical player, was the first classical player that I saw up close. We became instant friends and I saw how good she was. I saw what it took for her to play all these pieces including Villa-Lobos, a lot of the South American music, and Mozart. I got her to show me the proper fingerings (of these pieces) because I had tried to work some of this out (by ear) and was putting my thumb over the top (incorrectly) and she showed me the correct fingerings. That was in about 1976. I will always be thankful to her for turning me on that stuff. She made me lots of tapes of other classical players including Laurindo Almeida and Baden Powell, I listened to everybody on the journey through the early years….

Listen to this interview and all episodes of the LGM Podcast with a Latin Guitar Masters membership.

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