Eight Songs cover used by permission.

Stropes Editions, Ltd. is the authorized publisher of transcriptions of Leo's music. Highly accurate, these transcriptions are done to Leo's standards and inspection. The transcriptions are presented in both standard notation and guitar tablature. (tabs)
    John Stropes tells me that he and Leo confer on what should be released, but LK has the final say in the decision. They plan a schedule of release dates. I have seen the video tapes John works from so you can be sure that you are getting a transcription as if LK was sitting there showing you how to play the tune.
    John also does work on music from other fingerstyle guitarists, most notably the late Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi and Billy McLaughlin.

Acoustic Guitar Magazine:

  • November/December 1992 - "Driver" excerpt
  • Fingerstyle Guitar Masterpieces CD and Songbook (1999) - "3/4 North"


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Equipment LK uses (or has used) and endorsed. I don't believe he does any endorsements anymore except for the
Taylor LKSM guitars and the Acousta-glide slide. General information on amplifying acoustic guitars can be found here on Museweb's site.


  • February 1999: Leo currently has 12 strings on his 12. He may have experimented in the past with removing 4th octave D string but he's using 12 strings at the moment. He has a D'Addario 6 string medium set as the basic tonic strings then fills in others as required. As such, he's using a much lighter set than in the past. A ".52 or .54" on the bottom versus the heavier .56 or heavier. And because of the lighter strings, he's tuning the 12 to D versus down to C or C# like he did on his older recordings.
        In February he had .10s on the top and said they were "too thin" and planned to put .11s on. The other specific guages he had on the guitar to surround the D'Addario 6 string medium set is a pretty light set up.
        The action on his 12 is low.
        On his LKSM 6 he's using John Pearse medium strings. And the action on his 6 is fairly high. The 6 has higher action than the 12 but that in turn helps for the Open C slide work he's currently playing in concert on the 6, ie. "Standing in My Shoes", "Hear the Wind Howl", etc.
    - Submitted by a source reporting their conversation with Leo.
  • Equipment list on MuseWeb from "Words and Music" Acoustic Guitar Nov/Dec 1992.
  • Acoustic Guitar Magazine - What They Play
  • Leo played and endorsed Bozo guitars in the 70's.
  • LK often plays Olson Guitars.
  • Taylor's Leo Kottke Signature Model 12-string page.
  • Taylor's Leo Kottke Signature Model 6-string page.
  • Leo uses or has used Sunrise, Baggs, and Fishman pickups. Sunrise only makes a limited number of pickups per year so you need to order ahead of time.
  • In this 1995 excerpt from Taylor Guitars' Wood and Steel newsletter. LK talks about strings and pickups. NOTE it is not current.
  • LK uses the AcoustaGlide Slide which may be purchased at Stropes Editions. He also helped design this slide.


From Musician  interview in 1994:
Leo Kottke owns 30-odd guitars (including a '50s vintage Telecaster he likes to plug in occasionally), but "If I only had two seconds I'd grab what I'm using onstage, my Olsen six-string and my Taylor (Kottke model) 12-string." He favors GHS strings for both, "white bronze" for the 12-string.


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