Video: Exclusive Interview with Tommy Emmanuel

Acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is often asked why he tours so much.

His response?

“I’m trying to get good at this. This is what you do. You work at it! How else are you gonna get any good?”

While Emmanuel’s mastery of the acoustic guitar can certainly be attributed to his years of touring, it’s also clear that he has a natural ability for the instrument like few others possess.

After all, Chet Atkins honored Emmanuel with the title of “Certified Guitar Player,” a rare distinction shared by only four other people in the world.

With a professional career spanning five decades, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide, in addition to two GRAMMY nominations.

But it’s his live show where Emmanuel shines brightest. Playing close to 300 concerts a year for the last seven years, his performances are known for their humor, performance, passion, and infectious joy.

Below, AN editor Laura B. Whitmore sits down with Tommy Emmanuel to discuss touring, guitar, Chet Atkins, his technique, and much more. Visit to find out more.

Part 1: Touring, background, Chet Atkins

Part 2: Gear, playing technique

Part 3: Tommy answers your questions!

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.