Scott Nygaard


“a phenomenally talented stylist”–Downbeat

Scott Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original guitarists in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene. His solos, a seamless amalgam of bluegrass, folk, and jazz influences, shift easily from breathtaking virtuosity to soulful melodic musings and his accompaniment is always intriguing, supportive, and propulsive. Initially influenced by Doc Watson, Clarence White, and Django Reinhardt and Riley Puckett, Scott spentmany years wandering the sea of American music that includes bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, old-time, western swing and rock and roll, and has since expanded his musical world to include traditional Swedish and Irish music.

“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 has performed and/or recorded with such acoustic music stars as Joan Baez, Chris Thile, Darol Anger, Jerry Douglas, Laurie Lewis, Anonymous 4,  Matt Flinner, Bill Evans, Sharon Gilchrist, and many others, receiving numerous Grammy nominations for his stellar sidemanship. He was the 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.

“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

Scott has released two solo albums on Rounder Records, 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. 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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