Today we’re talking with Brad Davis, a guitar icon in the world of country and bluegrass music. As you’ll hear on this episode, Brad has had an amazing career. As a go-to stage and session player in Nashville he’s played on Grammy-winning albums and worked with artists like Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Earl Scruggs, Emmy Lou Harris and Johnny Cash. He’s also an artist in his own right, recording critically-acclaimed albums under his own name and writing songs that have been recorded by well-known artists like Tim McGraw and Billy Bob Thornton.

With that resumé you might be expecting a lot of swagger and pride – but Brad is one of the most down-to-earth and humble musicians we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We found that really inspiring.

This episode is a bit longer than most because there was just so much to learn from Brad. We talk about how he got started and what it took to rise rapidly through the ranks and perform with some of the biggest names in the world. How he was forging his own path from the beginning and how to do that without getting lost and stalling out like so many who try to go their own way do.

He also shared a lot of killer insights for the guitarists in our audience, like
• How and why his “double down up” guitar technique can be like adding a second language alongside the traditional “down up” technique. Don’t miss the videos we’ll have in the shownotes to see this in action!
• How he’s able to hone in on exactly the right region of the strings for his right hand to bring out the best sound on any guitar.
• Which of your two hands is the most important to train on technique – and even as a busy recording artist and record producer he’s still doing this 15 minutes every day himself.

The conversation is quite a blend of guitar specifics and deep insights on career and collaboration in music – so if you’re not a guitarist yourself please don’t be put off – and in fact if you pay attention, a lot of Brad’s comments about guitar can be highly instructive for any musician.

Oh, and don’t miss Brad revealing the embarrassing nickname he earned around Nashville – and why!

Listen to the episode:

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Musical U interviews guitar icon Brad Davis on his incredible career as a session player and songwriter, and how he created his signature guitar techniques.