Doyle Dykes – Fingerstyle Guitar Music Master
Doyle Dykes is unequivocally one of today’s brightest shining stars within the arena of fingerstyle acoustic guitar! In an era where indulgent, new age droning has become passé, Dykes has breathed new life into the form of contemporary acoustic fingerstyle guitar music – merging flamenco fire, sparkling harmonics, virtuosic tremolos, molten hot single note runs, and southern alternating bass notes into a form of all too rare steel string ascendancy! But he is not just another in your face technician. His compositions overflow with aggressive originality and his solo guitar arrangements of standard hymns are enough to convert even the most jaded listener! In a nutshell, Doyle draws deeply from his well of spiritual and musical influences and pours out fresh music that both transfixes our ears and captivates our hearts.
But Doyle Dykes’ ride to relative stardom has not been overnight. Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Dykes was surrounded by a musical family. Receiving his first guitar in his early teens, he immediately went to work extricating licks from his favorite recordings by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. Though he flirted with the singer/songwriter mode of expression, Dykes felt the strongest resonance when playing unaccompanied fingerstyle acoustic guitar. In his mid-teens, he added the banjo to his repertoire and peppered his already formidable guitar playing with banjo techniques – engrafting frailing and rapid fire chromatic single note runs. He ultimately joined and toured with a gospel group called The Crusaders, then took a job touring with The Stamps – Elvis Presley’s former backup band.
Disenchanted with some of the backstage antics and life on the road Doyle returned home to Jacksonville, got a day job, and married Rita his high school sweetheart.Though Dykes settled into a nine to five routine, Providence was lurking around the corner setting off a chain reaction of ripe opportunities. “Hee Haw” senior statesman Grandpa Jones was performing at a festival near Doyle’s hometown and invited him to audition. Dykes lost no time in trying out for Grandpa’s band and was subsequently hired. This was Doyle’s link to the Grand Ole Opry where he later shared the stage with many of his long time heroes including Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Feeling restless, Doyle Dykes felt his church roots beckoning. With the blessing of Grandpa Jones, he left to begin his own ministry as a pastor in Jacksonville – simultaneously playing occasional tour dates. He soon realized that his instrumental fingerstyle acoustic guitar music was reaching people so he dedicated himself to ministering solely through his six string acoustic – playing stunning solo renditions of such hymns as “Amazing Grace” and “The Lord’s Prayer”. However, Dykes soon became frustrated again as he found preaching to the choir too confining. He sought to minister, yet desired a larger audience. One night, while pouring his heart out in prayer, Doyle told God that he wanted to be a musician, not a preacher/evangelist. “I felt a presence in the room,” Dykes recounts, “and a very warm feeling came over me that let me know this was going to happen.”
‘Happen’ is indeed a good word to describe what has been going on in Doyle Dykes’ life since that momentous day! Offers have been pouring in, not the least of which have been a record deal with Windham Hill Records and an endorsement with Taylor Guitars. Through his experience, Dykes says he has learned the value of being specific in prayer – realizing that for God to take our prayers seriously, we need to take them seriously. Fortunately for aspiring guitarists, Doyle has released several fingerstyle acoustic guitar tab books and instructional DVD courses that teach his solo guitar pieces and the techniques he uses to play them.
Peabody Conservatory trained guitarist Steven Herron helps people succeed at becoming better guitar players. His company ChordMelody.com features an enormous, unique selection of acoustic guitar tab as well as guitar books and instructional DVDs by Doyle Dykes himself.
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