“The range of music I’ve had to play in the last year is so vast”: How Sophie Giuliani went from ballet dancer to Olivia Rodrigo’s guitarist – and what she learned from John Mayer

Sophie Giuliani
(Image credit: Nicole Ditt © 2024 Dittphoto)

Australian-born and Los Angeles-based Sophie Giuliani is a 23-year-old session guitarist of high order, having played with Olivia Rodrigo, Empress Of and Mayer Hawthorne among others, and she recently took to the Coachella stage with R&B pop artist Thuy. 

She is also a popular online guitar tutor (check out her Pickup Music masterclass). But her route to guitar playing took some surprising turns.

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Glenn Kimpton

Glenn Kimpton is a freelance writer based in the west of England. His interest in English folk music came through players like Chris Wood and Martin Carthy, who also steered him towards alternate guitar tunings. From there, the solo acoustic instrumental genre, sometimes called American Primitive, became more important, with guitarists like Jack Rose, Glenn Jones and Robbie Basho eventually giving way to more contemporary players like William Tyler and Nick Jonah Davis. Most recently, Glenn has focused on a more improvised and experimental side to solo acoustic playing, both through his writing and his own music, with players like Bill Orcutt and Tashi Dorji being particularly significant.