Ed Sheeran isn’t just a fingerpicker or a strummer – his ‘guitar orchestra’ approach sells out stadiums. Here’s how he does it

Ed Sheeran
(Image credit: Simone Joyner/Getty Images))

To some, Ed Sheeran is merely a pop star who wields a small-sized acoustic guitar. However, dig into Sheeran’s playing and you’ll discover a creative artist who works in an array of tunings and creates complex layered parts through his sophisticated use of a looper pedal

What’s more, Sheeran has dug deep into the world of fingerstyle and percussive guitar, spending time studying with altered tuning and percussive wizard Preston Reed when Sheeran was just a teenager. 

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Stuart Ryan

Stuart Ryan is best known for his acoustic guitar playing, from Celtic fingerpicking and traditional folk to modern percussive phrasing and fresh interpretations of popular pieces. He has released several solo albums, written pieces for UK examination boards and created nine tutorial books ranging from acoustic guitar arrangements to Americana styles.