Suni began playing guitar in 1956 . In 1960 he gave his first performance at a talent show - there were about 300 in the audience. He began to create the fingerpicking style and in 1961 he was one of the first 12 string solo artists. WYSO radio had Suni McGrath play his fingerpicked solo 12 string on radio at Antioch College where he became friends with Ian Buchanan and others at “the Bakery” . In 1962 In Detroit, he was asked by Detroit Folklore Society to give his first concert on his 12 string Gibson.