Al Di Meola: “Les Paul would get on his knees to get an up-close look at my hands and say, 'Do that again – I don’t understand how you just played that!'”

Al Di Meola playing a Gibson Les Paul
(Image credit: Roberta Parkin/Getty Images)

For many aspiring guitarists, Al Di Meola epitomizes the pinnacle of six-string ability, with a virtuosic style celebrated for – among other things – its complex chordal foundations, speed-infused guitar solos and fretboard intensity.

It comes as no surprise, then, that casual fans of Di Meola’s work aren’t the only group of people to put his approach to playing atop a pedestal of what many would consider to be peak fingerboard performance: Di Meola has also wowed countless pros.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.

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