Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Why I Play “The Hunt” – a Song by Tommy Emmanuel


At the time of this writing, I am uploading a video of myself performing a tune by Tommy Emmanuel called “The Hunt”.

It is a fast, fiery piece and it is his signature piece (one of them).

Why would I even attempt to play this and post it to YouTube – where people can easily see him destroy me, guitaristically? 🙂

Well, this piece really energized me when I first heard it and turned me onto the idea of being a man onstage with just a guitar and “electrifying” the audience. I must say, before seeing Tommy I thought that solo guitar had to be either like Joe Pass or classical (both of which I love), but neither of which has the frothing-at-the-mouth energy I wanted as part of my own solo playing.

I was unaware that this kind of playing was available to me in a blues / rock / acoustic/ steel string idiom. If you have not heard the piece it’s kind of like southern-rock-meets-flamenco.

I have been shedding (practicing) this piece for about a year. And while I am my own artist, have my own thing to say, and urge others to find their own voice – it is great to learn from masters, and take on new challenges by emulating what they do. Part of what I am excited about is where these musical ideas will take me once I have digested them.

The reasons that I practice this piece are many.

1) Tommy is like the “Michael Jordan” of guitar – and as far as I am concerned I am responsible to pay attention to what he’s doing and push myself to be as good as he is. Of course my “artistic voice” will and should manifest differently than his – but if he can do a 360 slam dunk, well I gotta work on mine!

2) This forces me be “out there” spiritually and grab people at a show, to get the high energy going in my playing. I tend to be too introspective (see my previous post).

3) I have had to learn new techniques, and am still working on them. The hardest for me is the alternating D bass in octaves with a flatpick while I play thirds with my m&a fingers on my right hand. My picking has been pretty fast for years.

4) One has to throw away proper left hand classical technique to play this piece: if you are playing with proper “hand” position you can’t do the pull offs and get the chords quick enough. As well, you can’t play the scales without the pull offs or else they don’t sound right – i.e. it ain’t all alternate picking!

5) I am hoping that it will get me to actually “think” differently. Actually, it has.

So there you have it. I will continue shedding this piece for a while still. Tommy plays stuff by Chet Atkins & Jerry Reed, so it’s the same thing for me.

This is my “tip of the hat” to a modern day master of the guitar – Tommy Emanuel.


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

2 thoughts on “Why I Play “The Hunt” – a Song by Tommy Emmanuel

  1. I am proud to be one of the people who introduced you to Tommy Emmanuel and I am even prouder to see you absolutely kicking ass playing his music. And TE is the first person to admit – “I stole everything I play…”, so you are just passing-along the “family tradition” by using his style to augment your own!

    I had no idea of your “street cred” or your musical history when I first started communicating with you, and I have since checked out your bio, etc… and I must say that I was very surprised that someone with your credentials can be so humble about playing his music and changing his style… once again, you are just like TE — who is probably the most talented/humble person I have ever met in my life!

    You really MUST attend a “Tommyfest” event…. I am going to try to go to the one in Kentucky in February — he does a lot of one-on-one training with people like you and me… well, people like YOU anyway…. he would LAUGH at me! 🙂
    (And before you think I am just being silly…The last time I saw Tommy, he saw my old beat-up 45 year old guitar and picked it up like he was going to play it. Then he looked at me and got that impish grin on his face and said, (I quote), “…naaaahhhh, Mate…. I would have to have a TETNUS SHOT to play that thing!” So he has ALREADY laughed at me… or at least my old “Willie Nelson style” guitar. 😀

    Keep the faith, brother… your music is sounding absolutely fantastic. My opinion is not one of a “trained musician”, but I live near the local Paducah, Kentucky trainyards and I like music…is that close enough? That way, with me you get more of a “heartland” opinion, one you won’t get on the East or West coasts! 🙂

    Peace and good health to you and yours, my friend.

    Chuck Thompson a.k.a. bigdood (keeper of the YouTube AVA)

  2. Wow, this is very very good….
    One of the few who dares to try it…
    Incredebly difficult to play I think.
    Cheers from Holland !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s