Skip to main content

John Butler on acoustic grooves

John Butler has an unusual setup, he uses an eleven string guitar (a 12-string with the octave third string removed), which he uses a variety of tunings on. For this lesson he was tuned to C G C G C E. 'I didn't like it at first, 'cos it seemed like there were too many Cs and Gs, but now I really like it'.

He is a dedicated fingerpicker, but has had to resort to using false acrylic nails as twelve strings 'eat up' his natural nails.

Live John uses a custom pedalboard which he uses for distorted tones as well as his custom wah-slide solos (all still on his acoustic!)

John's philosophy on playing is a relatively simple one, 'I like to think about what I call the circle of rhythm'. The idea is to take a simple pattern of notes and keep a groove rolling, while moving the pattern around the neck.

You can learn John's licks by following our free tab.

If you want more John Butler video then check out our other video lesson on Modern Acoustic Guitar.

For more information visit the official John Butler website.

MusicRadar is the number 1 website for music makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, djs or producers...

  • GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high- quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts.
  • TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars.
  • STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the actual craft of music making that no other music website can.