Mike Dawes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mike Dawes
Mike Dawes - Hamburger Gitarrenfestival 2018 17.jpg
Mike Dawes at the Hamburger Gitarrenfestival, 2018
Background information
Born (1989-07-21) July 21, 1989 (age 30)
Guildford, Surrey, England
GenresInstrumental rock
  • Musician
  • Guitar teacher
InstrumentsAcoustic guitar
Years active2012–present
LabelsCandyRat Records Qten Records
Associated acts

Mike Dawes is an English fingerstyle guitar player known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on the guitar.


Dawes experimented with keyboards before picking up his first electric guitar at age twelve.[1] He switched to steel-string acoustic guitar in 2008.[2]

From late 2008 to late 2011, Dawes performed instrumental concerts at venues and festivals throughout the United Kingdom both solo, and with a concert harp player. During this time, he performed alongside musicians including Seth Lakeman, Tommy Emmanuel, and Newton Faulkner.[3] In 2009, he released an independent EP titled Reflections, as well as gaining features on two discs in the AGF (Acoustic Guitar Forum) franchise.[4]

In 2012, Dawes signed with Wisconsin-based CandyRat Records.[5] He released a technically virtuosic arrangement of "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye on 19 June.[5] MSN News and Reddit featured him on the front page of their websites. Gotye (Walter De Backer) himself publicly praised the arrangement: "It's a really beautiful piece of music. It's wonderfully arranged. It's just a fantastic piece of music. I also like the instrumental interpretation because it gives a different perspective on the musical arrangement. It's not about how somebody's voice transmits the story of the relationship."[6]

Dawes' next release was another Candyrat single, this time dual-released with an independent collaborative remix featuring Helsinki-based guitarist Petteri Sariola and Adam 'Nolly' Getgood from the US band Periphery.[7] Ten per cent of the proceeds of all independent releases went to FAB Projects, a Kenyan charity providing food, aid, and building projects[8] in the region.[8][9] His What Just Happened? world tour visited over 30 countries on five continents, including performances on the Great Wall of China and the Troubadour in Los Angeles, as well as the first fingerstyle guitar concert in Lebanon's history.

2016 saw Dawes become the first acoustic artist signed by DiMarzio,[10] sharing a roster with the likes of John Petrucci, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani, as he co-designed the Black Angel magnetic soundhole pickup with Larry Dimarzio and Nick Benjamin.[11] He began a monthly video and print column with Guitar World in the US and taught as a special guest mentor on season 2 of Sky TV's Guitar Star.[12][13]

ERA, his second album, was released independently on Dawes' own QTEN Records imprint (King Records in Japan + C&L Music in South Korea) in September 2017.[14] The lead single, a one-man cover of Metallica's "One", gained around 40 million hits in its first fortnight online through Metal Hammer, Viral Thread, and Dawes' own YouTube channel.[15] The single also gained the attention of the progressive metal community worldwide, a fanbase often present at Dawes' concerts. He was also featured on AMC's Better Call Saul playing percussion and additional guitar on "Cold Feet", a song created in a session with Fink.[16]

The 2018 Moody Blues Cruise saw Dawes share the stage with Cathy Richardson of Jefferson Starship while opening for the Orchestra featuring members of ELO.[17][better source needed]

In addition to playing as a solo artist, Mike also plays guitar in the synth-pop group Nik Mystery, together with Spencer Sotelo (Periphery) and Jukka Backlund.

Influences and gear[edit]

Dawes is heavily influenced by folk, pop, and rock music as well as other fingerstyle players such as Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan,[7] and Eric Roche. In 2017, he performed with Andreas Cuntz and Nick Benjamin guitars.[18]He owns and performs with #100 and #138 Benjamin guitars.[19] He also uses Ernie Ball strings,[20] DiMarzio pickups,[10] G7th capos,[21] finger extensions,[22] and the Tonewood Amp device.


Late 2017 saw Dawes named as the 'Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World Right Now' by MusicRadar and Total Guitar's end-of-year poll. This title was awarded again in 2018.[23][24]


with Nik Mystery[edit]

  • When EP (2018)


Studio albums[edit]

  • What Just Happened? (2013)
  • Era (2017)


  • Reflections (2009)


  • "Somebody That I Used To Know" (Gotye cover) (2012)
  • "The Impossible" (2012)
  • "The Impossible 2.0" (feat. Petteri Sariola and Adam "Nolly" Getgood) (2014)

Other appearances[edit]

  • "The Impossible" Acoustic Guitar 2 (2008)
  • "Clocks" Acoustic Guitar Forum 3 Compilation (2010)
  • "Scotch Pancake" Acoustic Guitar Forum 4 Compilation (2010)
  • "Melancholia" Yetzer Hara (Flux Conduct, 2017)
  • "Boogie Slam" Acoustic Guitar 5 (2019)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • FSNBC (Fink – R'coup'd) April 2017: Dawes performs additional acoustic guitar.
  • Yetzerhara (John Browne's Flux Conduct) January 2017: Dawes performs acoustic guitar on the song "Melancholia".
  • Live in Clearwater DVD/Blu-ray (Justin Hayward – Eagle Rock Records/PBS) September 2016: Dawes performs electric and acoustic guitars.[25]
  • The Story Behind Nights in White Satin DVD/Blu-ray (Justin Hayward – Eagle Rock Records/PBS) February 2015: Dawes performs acoustic guitar.[25]
  • Spirits Live in Atlanta DVD/Blu-ray (Justin Hayward – Eagle Rock Records/PBS) August 2014: Dawes performs electric and acoustic guitar as well as clips of original music. "Spirits...Live" entered the US Billboard charts at #2.
  • Phantom Shadow (Machinae Supremacy – Spinefarm/UMG) August 2014: Dawes performs acoustic guitar in the track 'Europa'.


Dawes has produced numerous tuition aids for guitarists looking to learn his style of playing. These include four iOS tuition apps for Apple devices, regular workshops, guitar TABs, and magazine columns for Acoustic magazine and Guitar World.[26]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-01-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Mike Dawes: Candyrat's acoustic archer!". www.truthinshredding.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ Acoustic Magazine Issue 70
  4. ^ "Acoustic Gallery - Home". acousticgallery.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Home - CandyRat Records". candyrat.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-01-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b "HugeDomains.com - Nwoag.com is for sale (Nwoag)". nwoag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b "FAB Projects - Home - Charity for Food, Aid, Building, and Water Projects, Kenya". fabprojects.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ "MIKE DAWES Reveals 'Scarlet' Periphery Cover Video As Charity Single – Circuit Sweet". circuitsweet.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b "DiMarzio - DiMarzio.com". dimarzio.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Mike Dawes". facebook.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Guitar World". Guitar World. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  13. ^ Telecom, Manx. "Sky Arts Guitar Star mentor to lead Masterclass for Island's guitarists at GuitarFest 2016 - Isle of Man News - Manx.net". www.manx.net. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Home - QTEN RECORDS". QTEN RECORDS. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Mike Dawes plays all of Metallica's parts for One on one guitar". teamrock.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Mike on Better Call Saul (thanks to Fink) - Mike Dawes". mikedawes.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Moody Blues Cruise". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Mike Dawes Plays This". playsthis.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Benjamin Guitars: Acoustic Guitars Handmade by Luthier Nick Benjamin". www.benjaminguitars.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Electric Guitar Strings, Acoustic Guitar Strings, Bass Strings, and Guitar Accessories". Ernie Ball. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  21. ^ http://g7th.com/
  22. ^ https://www.thecostumer.com/p-24486-finger-extenders.aspx
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ "The 16 best acoustic guitarists in the world right now". musicradar.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Justin Hayward - Official Site". Justin Hayward. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Tuition - Mike Dawes". mikedawes.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2018.

External links[edit]