Rock-guitar solos are most commonly associated with the electric guitar, but one of the earliest examples, if not the first—Arthur Smith’s 1945 recording of his signature tune “Guitar Boogie” (a.k.a. “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”)—was recorded on a steel-string. This 12-bar blues, alternating between piano-inspired boogie-woogie patterns and nimble single-note lines, set the template for rock ’n’ roll and for the guitar as a hot soloing instrument.

Certified Guitar Player Tommy Emmanuel has recorded “Guitar Boogie” several times and made it a staple of his set list. Check out this remarkable performance and watch as Emmanuel cuts loose on a shiny Gibson J-45, with chorus after chorus of cool ideas.


The text above is excerpted from Adam Perlmutter’s analysis of “Guitar Boogie,” which originally appeared in Acoustic Guitar’March 2018 issue. For the full text of the article, performance notes, and music notation and tablature, head to the Acoustic Guitar Store and pick up a copy.