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Tim Sparks


Tim Sparks is an award-winning guitarist whose blending of musical styles has won him extensive praise from all corners of the music world. Guitar Player Magazine has called his music "Fresh, exotic, and totally cool.", Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls it "rich and sensuous", and guitarist Leo Kottke simply says "He's really one of the best musicians I know." From the early traditional country blues and gospel music he learned in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Jazz, Be Bop, classical and world music from his varied career across the U. S. and Europe, Tim has thrilled and inspired audiences and musicians world-wide.




Acoustic Guitar Magazine "Blues in Dropped D Lesson"

All About Jazz New York review of Little Princess

Allmusic review of Little Princess

Guitar Player Magazine interview


Buy books and individual transcriptions

Free transcriptions


Roots, Rags & Blues DVD instruction video

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.






Awards & Activities


Little Princess

Sidewalk Blues

At the Rebbe's Table



One String Leads to Another

Guitar Bazaar

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Suite Tim's acclaimed recording of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite has been reissued for it's 20th anniversary. The CD is now available for $12 and also available in combination with a PDF file of the transcription and tab for the special price of $20.

Buy now: MaraHaley Music

New CD coming soon...

Three Russian masters of  20th century composition

With funding from the Minnesota Legacy Fund and the Lakes Region Arts Council, I've  been working on an exciting new project creating arrangements for solo guitar of various works by Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, three Russian masters of 20th century composition. It is my hope that these transcriptions will be of value to Classical, Jazz and Fingerstyle Guitarists.

Click here for tabs, sample videos and more info.

Recent videos

I'll Fly Away
Buy the tab for "I'll Fly Away"
Buy the CD Sidewalk Blues

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
Buy the tab for The Nutcracker Suite
Buy the CD The Nutcracker Suite

Blue Bayou
Free tab for "Blue Bayou"

More videos:

New DVD Release
Tim Sparks also brought along a priceless gift for we students of guitar -- a veritable Sistine Chapel of fingerstyle instruction; Post-Modern Fingerstyle Blues, which features enough insight and fretboard wisdom to sustain a lifetime of study.

Sparks cleverly utilizes eight fingerstyle masterpieces as a framework for presenting his curriculum. In the end you will add your own version of these eight tunes to your playlist. The real educational firepower of Post-Modern Fingerstyle Blues are the key learnings found within the series of breakdowns for each of the eight tunes. It's there that Sparks demonstrates a wide variety of mesmerizing techniques, mind-blowing voicings, innovative fingerings, creative harmony, elegant performance nuances and so much more.

Buy now: MaraHaley Music | TrueFire

TrueFire Tim has recently been selected as one of TrueFire's 100+ Gifted Guitarists You Should Know.

There's no shortage of Top Guitarist lists that purport to represent the "best" or "greatest" guitarists in the land. You'd likely agree that there's really no such thing as a "best" guitarist, nor is there any way to quantify such a list. At best, the lists only represent the most popular and/or commercially successful guitarists and are not necessarily based on talent or musical achievement. More disappointing, they're always packed with the usual suspects.

A year ago, TrueFire set out to compile a list of players that clearly deserve wider recognition because of their extraordinary talent and musical prowess. Thanks to the input, nominations and consensus of the TrueFire community, which is comprised of thousands of players from hundreds of countries, Tim was nominated and confirmed.

Latest Releases

The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker & Balkan Dreams Suite

"An exhilarating, odd-meter minefield inspired by Near Eastern music. An important recording from a gifted composer, arranger and performer." - Guitar Player Magazine

Buy now: MaraHaley Music

Little Princess
Little Princess

"Little Princess is not only a unique look at Brandwein's legacy but a major addition to the world music canon." - Elliott Simon, All About Jazz - New York

Buy now: MaraHaley Music | Tzadik | iTunes

Sidewalk Blues
Sidewalk Blues

"A must have for fans of Tim Sparks and for anyone who loves fingerstyle guitar playing" - Chip O'Brien, Minor 7th

Buy now: MaraHaley Music | CD-Baby | iTunes


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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Sparks
Last updated 4/14/13




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