Chet Atkins

Birth Name Chester Burton Atkins
Born June 20, 1924
Died June 30, 2001 (aged 77)
Genres Country, country rock, rock, folk, rockabilly
Instruments Guitar, violin, vocals, banjo, ukulele
Associated Acts The Country All-Stars, Arthur Fiedler, Les Paul, Jerry Reed, Hank Snow,
Merle Travis, The Carter Sisters, Mark Knopfler, Jim Carney

Chester Burton Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001), known as “Mr. Guitar” and “The Country Gentleman”, was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter, and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, Bob Ferguson, and others, created the country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music’s appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily known as a guitarist. He also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele.

Video Playlist
1/3 videos
Fingerstyle Guitar Midley
Fingerstyle Guitar Midley
Yakety Axe Live (1991)
Yakety Axe Live (1991)
The Entertainer
The Entertainer

Atkins’s signature picking style was inspired by Merle Travis. Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, Les Paul, and, later, Jerry Reed. His distinctive picking style and musicianship brought him, admirers, inside and outside the country scene, both in the United States and abroad. Atkins spent most of his career at RCA Victor and produced records for the Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Perry Como, Floyd Cramer, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, and many others.

Rolling Stone credited Atkins with inventing the “pop wise ‘Nashville sound’ that rescued country music from a commercial slump,” and ranked him number 21 on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time.”  Among many other honors, Atkins received 14 Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received nine Country Music Association awards for Instrumentalist of the Year. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. George Harrison was also inspired by Chet Atkins; Early Beatles songs such as “All My Loving” show the influence.

How to Play Guitar Like Chet Atkins

Complete Chet Atkins Guitar Lessons

Tommy Emmanuel is probably one of the finest finger style guitar players and teachers in the world. In fact Chet named him a certified “Finger Style Guitar Player. Check out Tommys courses on truefire they are well worth the money. Fingerstyle Milestones is certainly great course if you are at an intermediate level.

Top 3 Chet Atkins Recordings

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The Best of Chet Atkins

A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Styles and Techniques of the Father of Country Guitar. Learn the trademark riffs and licks behind one of the most influential recording artists of all time and one of the founders of the Nashville sound. This book features analysis and lessons for 12 Atkins hits along with access to online audio featuring full demos.