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Fingerstyle Guitar Journal

Fingerstyle Guitar Journal was born out of my experience as a musician and author but also from writing freelance articles for Fingerstyle Guitar magazine as requested by the original founder, John Schroder. I was recommended in 2000 by him to take over as the new editor upon the sale of the magazine. In time I gained the confidence of the new owner and remained in that position for a decade. During that time I not only got to know many legends of the guitar but gained many new friends and contacts. The magazine met its demise after it was sold for a second time. When this happened I lost my job and a lot of money that was owed to me. The readers lost a great guitar magazine and subscriber’s refunds were never issued.  I received many phone calls and emails from people that mistakenly thought I owned the magazine requesting those refunds. Sadly, I was in the same position as they were.

Eventually I decided to give it a go again with Fingerstyle Guitar Journal, this time not only as the editor but owner. I’m now in my fourth year and remain devoted to bringing my audience the best in fingerstyle guitar music.

About Me

I began playing the guitar at the age of ten when my father gave me a Gretsch acoustic guitar for my birthday. My father James Russell Piburn was a professional musician who gave me my first lessons. By the age of fourteen, I was playing in his band. I went on to study classical guitar with Douglas Niedt at the age of seventeen, which led to studying with Christopher Parkening at the University of Montana at nineteen and again in my early twenties. Growing up in Kansas City, I was also inspired and influenced by the jazz musicians in the area. This influence led to my study with John Elliott, who was a legendary teacher and pianist on the KC jazz scene. John’s teaching had a significant impact on me. I feel so fortunate to have studied with him.

Over the years I’ve written many books published by Mel Bay and Hal Leonard publishing.

  • Mel Bays Complete Book Of Fiddle Tunes For Acoustic Guitar (1995)

  • Mel Bay Presents - French Music For Guitar (1999)

  • Fingerstyle Guitar Gig Book (2002)

  • Fingerstyle Guitar Standards (2006)

  • Fingerstyle Love Songs (2008)

  • Groovy Guitar (2010)

  • Bill Piburn Plays Antonio Carlos Jobim (2014)

  • Disney Songs For Fingerstyle Guitar (2018)

Beginning in 2001, I took over as the editor of Fingerstyle Guitar magazine and remained in that position for ten years. I began Fingerstyle Guitar Journal in the fall of 2015.

“Bill Piburn is one of the best players, arrangers, and teachers I have known.”
- Chet Atkins

“A well-rounded musician as well as a very accomplished guitar player.”
Johnny Smith

“Bill, you are a wonderful musician. I enjoy your playing so very much.”
Martin Taylor

“Bill Piburn arrangements are creative and very musical. He draws on a wide range of musical styles and influences to keep the player and listener surprised and engaged. The music is personal, whimsical, and colorful with lots of interesting counterpoint and unique harmonies. It is apparent when you meet him that the guitar is his passion. We’ve had great conversations about the guitar and life, and I am proud to have him as a friend.”
Earl Klugh

“Bill, your arrangements are thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent. They are subtle yet intricate. You have some tasty moves I might rip off!”
John Etheridge

“Bill Piburn is one of the most experienced and sophisticated arrangers for solo guitar I know. His knowledge of harmony, voice leading, and style is immense, and his ability to apply these things guitaristically in his arrangements is truly impressive”
- Dr. Stanley Yates, Chair of the Guitar Department, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee

“Bill writes so well that each piece can be considered a private study in arranging for guitar”
- Pete Huttlinger

“Thanks, Bill, for the inspiration and lesson on reharmonization and line motion. Thanks also for helping us find ‘the lost chord’… and ‘the lost chord’ and ‘the lost chord’…”
- John Pell, Coordinator of Guitar Studies, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee