David Grier

Last updated
David Grier
Washington, D.C.
Genres Bluegrass, acoustic
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active1981–present
Associated acts Psychograss, Helen Highwater, Phillips, Grier & Flinner

David Grier is an American acoustic guitarist. He is considered to be one of the premier flatpicking guitarists in the world. His crosspicking, unique phrasing, and his ability to create multiple variations on a theme are hallmarks of his playing style. [1]



Early history

Grier was born in Washington D.C. in 1961. His family moved to Nashville when he was 3, and began playing guitar at age 6. [2] Grier's father Lamar was a banjo player in Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's band for a number of years. [3]

Roland White was a major musical influence on the young Grier, and helped him learn to play. Grier's guitar playing is also heavily influenced by that of Clarence White, Roland's brother.

When he was 20 years old, Grier joined the Virginia band Full Time. [2] During the 1980s, he performed with Country Gazette and Doug Dillard, and then began to record his own albums beginning with Freewheeling in 1988. [4]


Grier performs solo and as a member of the group Psychograss, founded by Darol Anger and Mike Marshall. [5]

Helen Highwater

In 2015, bluegrass supergroup Helen Highwater, consisting of Grier, Shad Cobb (fiddle), Missy Raines (bass), and Mike Compton (mandolin), released one self-titled EP. [6]

Music instruction

Grier worked with Matt Flinner, Darol Anger, Tony Trischka, and Todd Phillips to prepare the All Star Bluegrass Jam Along instruction books and CDs for Homespun Music Instruction. [7]

Musical instruments

Grier owns his father's 1955 Martin D-18. The D-18 was his main guitar for a number of years but is now "retired." He also played a Nashville Guitar Company dreadnought, built by renowned luthier Marty Lanham in Nashville, TN, the guitar was sold in 2009 with the music store Elderly Instruments. His current principal guitar is a Martin D-28 built in 1946. [2]


Grier was named "Guitar Player of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association three times [3] (1992, 1993 and 1995).

Grier was recognized by Acoustic Guitar magazine as one of the top ten influential artists of the 1990s. [4]


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  1. Troy Grady. "The David Grier Interview is here". Cracking The Code. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 "David Grier Interview". Chief Noda. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Lankford, Ronnie. "David Grier: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  4. 1 2 Bogdanov, Vladimir (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music (1 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  5. Harris, Craig. "Psychograss: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  6. Lawless, John (June 17, 2015). "Helen Highwater to Roe Entertainment". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  7. "Homespun Instructor: David Grier". Homespun. Retrieved July 3, 2017.