Scott Nygaard


“a phenomenally talented stylist”–Downbeat

Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Nygaard has been one of the most inventive and original guitarists in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene for more than 30 years. A member of Tim O’Brien’s band the O’Boys for six years in the 1990s and a co-founder of Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, Scott was the main guitarist on three recordings that have proven to be extremely influential on the contemporary acoustic music scene: Chris Thile’s Leading Off, Tim O’Brien’s Red on Blonde, and Jerry Douglas’s Slide Rule.

“Nygaard’s flatpicking is so fluid and clever the crowd keeps squinting at his hands, checking to make sure there are only two.”–Oakland Tribune

Scott was the guitarist with Tim O’Brien’s band, the O’Boys, from 1992 to 1997, and he has performed and/or recorded with Chris Thile, Brittany Haas, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Joan Baez, Laurie Lewis, Sharon Gilchrist, Joe K. Walsh, John Reischman, Matt Flinner, Anonymous 4, and many others, receiving numerous Grammy nominations for his stellar sidemanship.

“As adept at creating magnetic rhythms as he is knocking off stunning solos, Nygaard is possibly the best acoustic guitarist to come along in bluegrass music since Tony Rice.”—Edmonton (Alberta) Journal

Rounder Records released his first two solo albums in the ‘90s, the second of which, Dreamer’s Waltz, an intriguing mix of original and traditional tunes, was nominated for an Indie award by the Association for Independent Music. His most recent recording is Flown South, which finds Scott exploring his roots in contemporary jazz. He has released and produced/co-produced albums with the groups Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly, Roger Tallroth and Scott Nygaard, the Websters and Scott Nygaard, and the Harmonic Tone Revealers in the last decade.

“Scott is one of the absolute cutting-edge players in today’s acoustic music scene.”–Flatpicking Guitar

Former editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, Scott has written hundreds of articles on music, musicians, guitars, and guitarists for Acoustic Guitar, Strings, Play Guitar!, and Guitar World Acoustic; authored two instruction books, Bluegrass Guitar Essentials and Fiddle Tunes and Folk Songs for Beginning Guitar (both String Letter Publishing/Hal Leonard); produced an instructional video, Bluegrass Lead Guitar (Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop), and taught at music workshops from Fairbanks to Finland.

He recently co-founded Peghead Nation, an online roots music instruction site, with subscription based courses in mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, guitar, and ukulele. In addition to being Peghead Nation’s editor and education guru, Scott also teaches four courses: Flatpicking Guitar, Intermediate Flatpicking Guitar, Roots and Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar, and Weekly Guitar Workout.

3 responses to “About

  1. Scott … Congratulations on the new recording with John and Sharon. Beautiful tune selection and flawless performances by all of you. In my humble opinion, it will rank among the top acoustic recordings of all time. Just a gorgeous piece of work. Thanks for all the music and your work with Peghead Nation, Mike Froke

  2. Hi Mike, Glad you’re enjoying the video. That’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll propose it to one of the instructional video moguls.

  3. I am in the midst (texan for middle ) of your Bluegrass Lead Guitar DVD. I really like your aproach to the lead. I have been playing the banjo for many years, and seriously studying the guitar for the past several. I am really interested in material that moves me beyond the first few positions. After going through the songs in the dvd, I feel like I am starting to understand a little more of what is going on.
    Perhaps someday you would consider this type of material. It is lacking in the comumity.
    thanks so much

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