“I flirted with a more professional-looking ’board on the Periphery tour… but went back to the cracked, Velcro-covered piece of plywood I made with my dad”: It may not be flashy, but Mike Dawes’ acoustic rig is truly mind-bending

Mike Dawes
(Image credit: Olly Curtis/Future)

Playing acoustic guitar has come a long way since singer-songwriters perched themselves in front of a microphone on stage, hoping their manual dexterity and fingerpicking finesse would reach the audience via the sound engineer and an often inadequate PA system. These days, the world’s concert halls are no place for the technophobe, either, as the instrument and its peripheral gear have become far more sophisticated.   

But very few players have embraced this brave new dawn more readily than Mike Dawes. Not only is he an undoubted acoustic guitar virtuoso, he also tours with a thoroughly space-age setup that stuns audiences worldwide.

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.