Acoustic Uprising – Fingerstyle film

In Fingerstyle the acoustic guitar is an orchestra unto itself. In the hands of a skilled player the acoustic mimics a whole band – the bass, the rhythm, the chord melody… it’s all there under the fingers. In fact, Tommy Emmanuel says, ‘ With the acoustic I am the band!

The Acoustic Uprising documentary will be  released on December 11. It documents the explosion of Fingerstyle, its popularity and  momentum: we now have a scene crowded with brilliant players and even record labels devoted to Fingerstyle such as Peter Finger’s Acoustic Music Records in Germany and the splendidly dubbed Candyrat Records in North America. However, Fingerstyle has been around for some time; Blind Blake did astounding work in the 1920s, producing sparkling tunes such as West Coast Blues, Wabash Rag and Diddie WA Diddie. Rev Gary Davies, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Boy Fuller et al… they all played Fingerstyle. Later, in Britain in the early 60s players such as John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and Davey Graham ( inventer of DADGAD tuning) came to the fore.

The incomparable Michael Hedges became the torchbearer for Fingerstyle in the 70s and 80s (watch his awesome Aerial Boundaries in the video below, complete with incense burning on the headstock!). Hedges inspired a slew of great players whose fires had been lit by his awesome, beautiful and groundbreaking approach to Fingerstyle. Among those are Tommy Emmanuel, Kaki King, Newton Faulkner, Sungha Jung and Andy Mckee who appear in the Acoustic Uprising documentary. The movie sheds light on how the unique fingerpicking percussive acoustic guitar style has developed and evolved over the years. It spotlights artists such as Michael Hedges who developed the style and those who continue to push it’s boundaries further and further.

Acoustic Uprising is ‘the story of a community coming together to fund a film around a shared passion. To tell their story and to celebrate the guitar lifestyle.’ The filmmakers travelled to 10 countries and interviewed hundreds of performers, fans and academics. It took three years to put together and the result is an absorbing narrative about Fingerstyle and its ever widening cohort of devotees.

If you want to stay informed about the release of Acoustic Uprising, visit

Michael Hedges – Aerial Boundaries