Gordon Giltrap: “All the best stuff comes when you’re not thinking about it. It just flows: you start off with a one-bar idea and then build up on that”

Gordon Giltrap
(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

One of Britain’s most gifted fingerstyle guitarists, Gordon Giltrap took inspiration from the heavyweights of the ’60s folk scene, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, before embarking on his own recording career in 1968. 

Self-taught, Giltrap’s lyrical acoustic style has a joyous, universal quality that arguably even his heroes lacked and a distinctiveness that owed in part to Giltrap being a self-professed “ignoramus” when it came to standard guitar technique. After becoming a regular on the BBC’s flagship serious music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, crossover hits such as Heartsong from his 1977 album, The Perilous Journey, followed, making Giltrap a household name – to his bemusement. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.