Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

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


About Adam’s Past:

Adam Rafferty started playing the guitar at age 6 and has been a professional guitarist based in New York City since the age of 16. He has played several jazz festivals and club performances in the U.S. and Europe with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bennie Wallace, Mike Longo (Dizzy Gillespie’s pianist) and led his own trio on several European tours.

In adition to releasing 4 CD’s on the CAP record label as a leader, he has taught guitar clinics at the National Guitar Summer Workshop, private workshops in the U.S. and Europe, and has authored several guitar books on jazz guitar theory and technique.

His new DVD “How to Solo over II-V-I” changes is now available from his website

About Adams Present:

Adam’s inner life and inner vision have always been important and he sees his music as a way to communicate with other people and commune with the SELF, GOD) or whatever one would call the indescribable).

He believes that the inner life and the outer life are inextricably linked, and has watched in amazement as the Law of Attraction has delivered to him everything he’s ever asked for.

At the time of this writing, Adam is exploring new directions in his music and embracing exciting changes and opportunities, which stem from his ever new shifts in perception.


23 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there Adam from down under in Australia ( birthplace of your friend and mine, Mr. Emmanuel, as I’m sure you would know)

    Do you ever tour Australia…?

    I love your stuff, how can I purchase CDs from you online!?

    Do you produce tabs of your stuff, or does that breach copyright laws etc.?

    Thanks in advance, Dan

    PS, I have only just started reading your ‘spiritual/philosophical’ writings but already I am hooked!! Keep up the great site!


    • Hey Adam,

      first of all big fan, love your sound and your style.

      but i have a quick question for you, can you make a tab for your “celebration” cover available, my sister is getting married and wants me to play that song as they walk out of the church for her.

      if you could even just let me know what tuning you use and then maybe the basic chords i could figure out my own voicings and picking patterns,



  2. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks.
    I had found your video of you doing Billie Jean on youtube about a year back and was taken in by how great the song played.
    Lately I have been watching your videos a way of finding new and beautiful music to listen to. Although you play other peoples songs you seem to make every note of theirs your own. Your playing not only leeks style but oozes every ounce of feeling possible, so thank you Mr. Rafferty for being awesome!

  3. Adam,

    ….. for connecting with the web of life through your music and thoughts I offer my sincere thanks.

    The expression of your energetic presence is powerfully empowering. I am reminded of a quote by Marianne Williamson (used by N. Mandela) ‘… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    I have been listening to your clips over the last month. Fantastic! You have a strong soulful connection that resonates with the human spirit. I just discovered your blog and find your perceptions fascinating -they connect with many of my own.

    Best wishes on your journey. I hope Raff comes to visit us in Ireland along the way. 🙂

  4. hey dude, just caught your stuff on a friends facebook account. “Rock With You”. Brilliant stuff, mate. when you in Minneapolis? hit me back.

  5. Visited your blog site and didn’t see any stipulations about e-mailing you through the same, so I hope this gets noticed. You do incredible work!…have you done or are you planning to do a cover version of the “Sultans Of Swing” (by Dire Straits), it’s such a sweet melody. Btw, I’m emailing this from Nassau, New Providence in the Bahamas.

    I know you travel internationally, so I’ll attempt to see if we can work out a small performance in The Bahamas (here in Nassau) to benefit The Cancer Society of The Bahamas.

    I’ll wait for your reply,

    Thanks much…

  6. Hi Adam,

    I recently signed up for your newsletter and I received the first copy of it on my desktop computer . Then the computer temporarily crashed for a couple of days . When I logged on again, 10 days of emails were missing and yours was included in that batch. Would you kindly resend the email which includes that sheet music for a Christmas song? Thank you.

    BTW, you are a very talented guitarist and I would love to see you perform in person if you ever get to the Los Angeles area.I have been playing classical acoustic guitar for many years ( on and off) and now that I am retired I am also beginning to play popular tunes in the fingerpicking style. Your rendition of “Billy Jean” , et. al. on Youtube is fantastic. Vitamin E Blues is a lot of fun .
    Take care and have a very healthy and Happy New Year.

    Your fan,

    Michael Sherman

  7. came across your music on youtube and I’m going to order your Stevie Wonder cd. I ‘ve been playing about 40 years and have 9 blues and jazz cds out which have charted on smooth jazz radio. But , I’m a blues guitar player and exploring finger style acoustic. if you get a chance check my website and some of my music, anyway , thanks Richy Kicklighter

  8. I would like to arrange for a private lesson for my son, Josh Kennedy who attended Berklee in Boston last year…if you ever get to Vegas…!

    He posted a video of your lesson on Stevie Wonder…”You can feel it all over…..” Do you ever get to Vegas?

    Your guitar playing is amazing!

    Dr. Nancy Fallon


  10. I posted a link with some of your videos here:

    This is a forum with about 45,000 guitar playing members. You might wish to stop in and comment. I love your playing and I bet a lot of folks on the forum will too!
    Truefire is a company that offers some wonderful courses but the forums are open to all folks who play and teach (and even sell) guitar music.

  11. I really enjoy your music but the “Law of Attraction” really? There is no such law. I would propose that you got to be where you are because of work, determination, immersion, opportunity, rather than magic. People need to take credit for their skills not shrug it off as undefined. I think young guitarists reading this site need to see that it takes perseverance, character, patience, work, to play as well as you do. And even then, there are no guarantees.

    You are a fantastic musician. I am willing to bet that you worked very hard for it. I have to say I was disappointed to read those three words from someone so skilled. You are in a unique position. It is a real responsibility.

    • Well, it depends what you think the Law of Attraction is. Every effect pre – supposes a cause…and yes there is hard work. But if all you rely on is your concious mind, sometimes that’s not enough.

      Sometimes “loving” something – like a song for exampl, can bring you closer to playing it, more quickly than what we think of as work.

      If you are thinking about buying a volkswagen – what do you see on the highway…volkswagens! Do you know why that is? Your “reticular activation system” weeds out the bits of information that are relevant to you.

      Better put – when you want something, there is a “cognitive dissonance”….your mind says you have it, but your outer world shows you don’t – for now. The subconcious mind can work 24 /7 on getting you what you want.

      For me, it’s been a new life of recording, performing with Tommy Emmanuel, and re-inventing my playing from the ground up…all due to one thing…vision.

      So don’t get turned off by the LOA words. Maybe people are slinging it around a lot these days. The “work” of which you speak has to serve the vision, imagination and invention which is first sparked in the minds eye.

      • What you speak of, passion, cognitive dissonance, these are mainstream concepts that most anyone can relate to. And I am saying that it takes more than your conscious mind….it takes action.

        Cognitive dissonance can work both ways too. It may be the reason that I find something to criticize about you in lieu of the fact that I cannot play like you ;).

        Which leads to what I wonder about sometimes. Everyone experiences passion. It is a rare individual that is able to singularly focus on that passion to a high level of achievement. I wonder what makes that person able to focus so well, while others may have the passion but get distracted and bogged down in other things which is most of us. Now that would be interesting information.

        Thanks for your response. I appreciate your willingness to discuss and sorry to take so long to come back. I shall pollute your blog no more.

        Keep doing what you are doing.

  12. One, I always smile when I listen to you play. Hopefully your “vision” will lead you to Elizabethtown, Kentucky on stage with Tommy Emmanuel. Maybe I can smile out loud.

    Two, you are the only one I’ve heard outside the field of education that refers to brain research. Reticular activation and cognitive dissonance aren’t words you generally hear in conversation. I told a graduate professor my definition of cognitive dissonance was when you put your principles aside and do the right thing.

    Three, “Follow your bliss” because it is working fine!

    Thanks for the joy!

  13. It is maybe more about what you focus on becomes magnified in your world and vision. If we think one positive thought, others that are like that thought will come and offer themselves to us. Isn’t it more like a tuning into a certain frequency, a tuning into a tune/melody/song/note that brings you and your desire to fulfillment on a wave, you just need to find the wave and stay on it long enough. Meaning that we all have a destiny and once we find it, passion will ensure that we stay focused and motivated and also the vision that just doesn’t go away because nothing else will ever make you happy.
    Isn’t that the secret of a successful person, they are so single minded and convinced that nothing else will make them happy, they just have to keep doing what their passion is. On the other hand, many people try many different things throughout their lives and that may make it difficult to achieve something in one field, but maybe that is not their focus then. Maybe the focus is more on, Hey I do what I feel right now is my most exiting activity to do, and whenever I feel I am not getting the excitement out of that activity, I will simply stop and do something else.
    Who governs when the excitement and passion leaves and attaches itself to something else? Who knows..maybe God does. I like your style, Adam! I am a singer songwriter myself and I really admire you and what you do! I am learning and being inspired by you! Thanks, you are a beacon of light and inspiration!

  14. Hi,
    I’m a girl from Holland and I saw your cover from Sir Duke on youtube. I play saxophone and a little bit guitar. I find this song hard to play on saxophone, but on guitar it must be so hard! I really like your version of it!
    Greets from Holland 😉 (hope you understood my English)

  15. Hey Adam – Great to see that your’e still cookin’. I met you at the National guitar Workshop/Summit about ’05 and recall the experience well. You played great then, and I’m sure you’re growing still. Just ordered the Stevie Wonder DVD — Overjoyed is a fave of mine. I do occasional restaurant gigs and it will be another arow in the quiver I’ sure. All the best!

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