“Basically, I climb up telegraph poles late at night, tear down the cabling with my bare hands and use that to string my guitar!”: Jon Gomm on how he's using wild tunings, giant strings, and lessons from Jeff Beck's whammy work to redefine the acoustic

Jon Gomm
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

As one of the most innovative fingerstylists on the planet, Jon Gomm knows a thing or two about how to elevate the humble acoustic guitar to extraordinary heights. From beautiful tapestries of natural harmonics to frenzied eight-finger tapping and brain-boggling feats of multitasking, there’s no doubt about it: he’s got the magic touch. 

But it can be tricky to know where to begin if you want to move your playing on from open-tuned strum patterns and fingerpicking to a more progressive acoustic style. As Gomm says: “Experimentation is the key. What’s great about modern fingerstyle is that it really means: ‘Pick up an acoustic guitar and do whatever techniques you want, in whatever genre you like.’” Gomm has made an art of doing just that for the last two decades. 

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.