Master the guitar style of 8 folk-rock legends, from John Martyn to Jimmy Page

John Martyn
(Image credit: Brian Cooke/Getty)

The British folk scene of the 1960s and 70s is sometimes maligned, but dig in and you’ll find some of the most creative and awe-inspiring guitar playing of those decades. For sure the musicianship and guitar abilities uncover hard-hitting riffs, odd-time signatures, ornate single-line playing, altered tunings and deft fingerpicking. 

In this feature we’ll explore the styles of the folk masters, each of whom had their own distinctive approach to the instrument. There’s the consummate folk master Martin Carthy who was intimately connected to the British folk heritage of centuries gone by – a heritage he updated through his work with Steeleye Span. 

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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.