John Knowles (guitarist)

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For other uses, see John Knowles (disambiguation).

John Knowles is an American acoustic guitarist. He is one of five Certified Guitar Players (the other four being Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, Steve Wariner, and Jerry Reed), a lighthearted title given out by Atkins to his friends.[1]


Knowles first learned music through the accordion. Later, he picked up the ukelele and started transposing from the accordion's keyboard to the fretboard. The musical skills he developed at a young age allowed him to learn guitar in high school. Discovering that the guitar was not well respected in the music community, Knowles worked for and received a Ph.D. in physics from Texas Christian University, while playing guitar on the side.[2]


  • In 1996 he was dubbed a CGP (Certified Guitar Player) by his friend Chet Atkins
  • 2004 inducted into the National Thumb Picker's Hall of Fame
  • He has won a Grammy and two Emmy nominations


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