Craig Dobbins Interview

by Stephen Rekas

Editor, Mel Bay's Guitar Sessions


Who or what events inspired you to play the guitar? Was music a part of your household when growing up?

How old were you when you began to play? Do you feel that your starting age is a critical factor in playing your style?

Please describe your formal music training.


What styles interested you when you first began to play? How do those preferences influence your current music?


Teachers sought or method books used? Other influential artists?

Do you play any other instruments? Any particular advantage or disadvantage to being a multi-instrumentalist?

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in a recording or tour?

What musical avenues/projects do you wish to explore in the future?

What keeps you interested in the music business?

Have you ever had to weather a creative dry spell in your playing or composition? How did you overcome it?

Which of your albums would you recommend to someone buying one of your recordings for the first time.

Career high/low?

How has your family affected your music?

Apart from music, what are your interests?


Do you teach or act as a musical mentor?

Have you produced any instructional materials - books, videos? Planning to write or produce any?

What sort of practice routine would you recommend for the beginning, intermediate or advanced player? Describe your own practice routine.

Any particular teaching/learning techniques, such as maintaining a log of practice time?

Opinion of tab vs. notation.

What do you do to keep your repertoire fresh-sounding?

What are the key elements of your technique/style?

Any favorite alternate or open tunings?

Do you use thumb or fingerpicks?


Preferred guitar, strings, recording mic? Product endorsements? Anything on

your wish list as far as equipment or instruments?

Have you given any thought to playing an instrument with more than 6 strings?


Professional management or self-management?

Your experience with record companies.

Upcoming performance dates, tours?

Tips on touring, performance etiquette or artist/venue manager relations.

What was the extent of your professional association and friendship with Chet Atkins?

Muriel Anderson talks about being asked to catch Chet's pet rooster "Hotshot" to treat him for mites. You are too big to get into the chicken house but do you have any similarly humorous anecdotes regarding Chet?

What are the benefits of learning to be a proficient transcriber?

Do you use any specialized tools like TransKriber or a tape deck that can slow down a recording? Do you then write in pencil or do you work directly to a notation program? Any tips for the novice transcriber?

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