Interesting Blues Turnaround (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Interesting Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye demonstrates various ways of arpeggiating the blues turnaround from the previous lesson.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 8:08Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:50) Alternate Blues Shuffle In lesson 6, Hawkeye taught you a very common blues turnaround. In this lesson he demonstrates different ways in which this turnaround can be arpeggiated. He also demonstrates how this same turnaround can be played with a variety of different rhythms. Remember that spontaneity is a key component of an effective blues performance. Learning several different ways to play a single turnaround will provide you with a variety of options when improvising in the blues style.

Note: Notation and tablature to these variations on the turnaround can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.
Chapter 2: (06:20) More on the Alternate Blues Shuffle Variation 1

The first variation that Hawkeye demonstrates in this scene features an arpeggiated pattern played in a consistent triplet rhythm.

Variation 2

This variation essentially eliminates the lowest note from the arpeggio pattern used in variation 1.

Variation 3

This time around, Hawkeye plays only the highest note of each chord in a steady quarter note rhythm.

Variation 4

This variation reverses the arpeggio pattern in Variation 1. This variation begins an arpeggio pattern on the third string and continues up to the first string in a triplet rhythm.

Variation 5

Variation 5 eliminates the note played on the high E string in Variation 4.

Additional Variations

Hawkeye continues to demonstrate several more possible ways of playing the same turnaround. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

To practice playing these variations, play the blues shuffle pattern and insert the turnaround in bars 11 and 12. Remember Hawkeye's important rule of visualizing where you are heading next. You must decide which turnaround variation you are going to play before you play it!

Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


galliargalliar replied on April 23rd, 2016

Thanks for these lessons. They have been loads of fun. I have played for years, but never had some fundamental great lessons like yours! I see how much I have missed out by not going back to the basics and getting some good teaching.

FlynnedFlynned replied on October 8th, 2014

Ooops! I got seriously distracted from these lessons by looking at your website. What a brilliant source of information and music. :-)

satuchessatuches replied on January 19th, 2014

Hawkeye, I've been playing guitar for quite a while but just got 'into' blues - the biggest piece of advice I've never gotten before until now is to 'anticipate the move'. Thank you for making that one of the first things you taught me. Seems an old dog can learn new tricks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 20th, 2014

Thanks so much for your kind comments. Much appreciated. Yes, visualization is a most crucial aspect of of gaining skill in almost everything we do. I'm so glad you get the concept and are always 'looking up the road not down at your feet.' May I suggest you view some of the many blues songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... and please be sure to check out/explore my web site for more free guitar lessons and blues history information: http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

devinci12devinci12 replied on July 15th, 2013

Have tried many instructors and have to say I love your stuff. You look like you're having so much fun, that it makes me have fun which results a great learning environment. Only have another 135 lessons to go, so I guess I'll be around for awhile.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 16th, 2013

Thanks so much, Brian. I love playing blues and sharing what I know about the music to others. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lesson Please take your time, progress patiently from one lesson to the next at your own speed in the order the lesson are presented and you'll be amazed at the results. You'll gain a strong foundation in and understanding of blues guitar that will allow you to play, and even improvise, freely ... forever. There are free guitar lessons at my web site: ... http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm... and don't forget to watch some of my blues songs on video so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I'm performing in concert and at festivals, try to play along with me, and even 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas ... http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... I hope you enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing the blues and 'traveling' with me here on the 'blues highway' at JamPlay.com. Thanks again for the kind words.

mikedeversmikedevers replied on January 2nd, 2013

Hawkeye - awesome! How to fall back in love with my guitar...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 2nd, 2013

Thanks for the message, Mike. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... and that you never again 'fall out of love' with your guitar ... ;-)

bobclarkbobclark replied on December 14th, 2012

CRYSTAL CLEAR NOW!! Chord progressions, 12 bar blues, turnarounds, all clear to me now. Blues really is the foundation for all music I listen to. I started Jamplay 3 months ago wanting to be a rock guitar player but, it is now clear to me how important it is to have a foundation of blues music. And, the way to teach makes it perfectly clear!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 14th, 2012

;-) So glad you've realized the importance of blues ... "Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits." Take your time and enjoy the process of learning and expanding your playing ability. I hope the information you gain from these lessons serves you for the rest of your life.

jjmossmanjjmossman replied on June 3rd, 2012

Just want to say, I am trying lessons from a variety of trachers here at JamPlay, but I really enjoy learning from Hawkeye. Your teaching style resonates with me, and the joy on your face as you share your knowledge makes me smile too! Thanks so much for doing this!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 6th, 2012

Thanks so much, James. I reckon you can tell I love doing what I do ;-) ... and I've been Blessed to have learned from the best ... the old guys ... in person many years ago ... Son House, Bukka White, Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGhee, Mance Lipscomb, and on and on ... met them all and learned from them directly ... and I'm passing it all on to you ... watch my videos ... http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH .... so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals. I'm fortunate to have been able to have done no other kind of 'work' other than play and teach blues guitar since 1975 ... patiently follow my lessons in the order they are presented ... don't rush ... progress at your own speed ... and you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music that will allow you to grow and play freely and create/improvise blues music for the rest of your life. I can't help but smile when I share what I love with others. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments.

ryan1956ryan1956 replied on July 3rd, 2012

hey hawkeye..... my teacher says to shout out to you and ask you a question. you ever hear from magic Mike Kramer?? My teacher says he knows you. He is Jeff Andrews from Davenport, IA. JUst passing this along as a told him I am learning the blues shuffle from you and in person here in Glenwood Springs, CO.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 4th, 2012

Thanks for the message. Sya, "Hey!" to your instructor, Jeff, for me. "Magic" Mike Cramer (I gave him his nickname when he was 12 years old) was a student and protege of mine from the time he was 9 yars old until he went away to college. Here's a photo of the two of us when he was 12 years old: http://hawkeyeherman.com/photo_gallery/MichaelHawkeyeHermanPhotoG/MagicMike_Hawkeye_91.html ... I haven't heard from him in years, but I know he's married, has kids, and plays guitar and trombone and teaches music, I believe on the college level, somewhere in Minnesota. I'm very proud of how he 'turned out' ... a fine professional musician in both blues and jazz, a respected teacher, fine gentleman, husband, and father. Thanks for asking.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 4th, 2012

... and it so happens that I'm in the Davenport, IA area right now, as I respond to your message, having just performed at the annual Miss. Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, IA ... this was my 22nd time performing at the 28 year old event. It was a great weekend of blues last weekend: http://www.mvbs.org/fest

patisevpatisev replied on April 29th, 2012

Even thougb I am just at the beginning of your program, I finally feel I found someone who can show me what blues playing is all about! Thank you very much! I have a doubt: how do you pick the chord position for the turnaround? Is there a form that always works, just like the shuffle? All the best!

patisevpatisev replied on April 29th, 2012

hahahaha OK... I just saw it is in the next lesson!! Thanks!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 30th, 2012

Hi Patricia. Thanks so much for your comments. I've been teaching guitar for over 45 years and I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lesson. Please take your time and patiently progress at your own speed from one lesson to the next in the order they are presented, and you will gain a string understanding and foundation in blues guitar that will allow you to play freely and creatively/improve ... for the rest of your life. take your time, don't rush, and if you have a question, be sure to ask. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

kirelkirel replied on February 21st, 2012

Well ... this was definitely the best lesson so far! I'd say there are endless ways to play the turnaround. Looking forward to the next lessons!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 21st, 2012

Thanks, Eric. Glad you enjoyed the lesson ... I hope you enjoy the next 135 lessons just as much. Yes, the possibilities within the turnaround are infinite ... that's why I refer to the turnaround as a Rubik's Cube ... it's fun and can be highly entertaining and original to create your own turnarounds. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

laurentlaurent replied on January 11th, 2012

Very very useful, I enjoy a lot this lesson, I entertain a lot. thanks very much man

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 11th, 2012

You are most welcome. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Tom.MTom.M replied on January 1st, 2012

This guy is awesome, He is like the Bob Ross of guitar, so happy to be doing what he loves and that is the Blues

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 1st, 2012

Greetings, Tom. Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying my lessons. I truly appreciate being compared to Bob Ross, ''the happy painter"/"joy of painting guy. I've been very fortunate to have 'worked' as a musician/guitarist/composer/songwriter/instructor/recording & performing artist exclusively since 1975. Not a day goes that I don't feel grateful and humbled by the fact that I've been able to do something I love to make my way through life for all these years. Regardless of one's ''career'/occupation,' if one is fortunate to do something for a living that one really loves/enjoys ... well, 'work' doesn't seem like 'work' ... it's an act of ... love ;-) I simply try to convey/teach useful technical information about the music as well as a positive attitude about practicing, patience, repetition, and Life, in general. Be it ... 'the joy of painting' ... the joy of blues guitar ... the joy is in the journey ... not reaching a the destination/'finish line.' If you get a chance, please watch some of my videos so you can see how I use the techniques (and attitude;-) that I teach here at JamPlay when I'm performing in concert venues and at festivals. Try to play along with me ... and try to steal my licks/riffs/ideas: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... there are free guitar lessons at my web site: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... and there are many articles that I've written about blues history and the iconic old blues performers that I met and learned from over the years: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... Again, thanks so much for the kind words and positive comparison to Bob Ross. ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

coolukiecoolukie replied on October 8th, 2011

wow hawkeye ! ive only been on this site a couple of days ,, am i glad i found you . I was getting bogged down teaching myself . You have lifted my spirit to keep going, You seem a really nice guy and funny too.. thanks for the inspiration good man luv david.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 8th, 2011

Thanks for the message and kind words, David. Very much appreciated. I have given a great deal of thought and planning to the order and content of these lessons. If you follow these lessons in the order they are presented, progressing at your own speed, being patient and thorough in the step-by-step process that I present, ou will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music/guitar and be eventually be able to play freely and creatively as you desire. Please be sure to check out the many videos I have posted on youtube.com ... so taht you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JAmPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals ... try to play along with me ... and 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... also, you will find more guitar lessons (free) at my web site (HawkeyeHerman.com), as well as interesting original articles I've written about blues history and the many iconic blues artists that I met and learned from. Again, thanks so much for the kind words. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

tjazzstjazzs replied on July 26th, 2011

Love these lessons so far, Im a music teacher in public schools, mostly taught band but now teaching elementary music and starting learning guitar to help out there. i've always loved the blues and jazz, im a trumpet player...but its great to be able to play all the parts on guitar!:) Thanks Hawkeye!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 26th, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind comments, Stephen. Very much appreciated. Are you aware that I have taken my "Blues In The Schools" programs into over 500 schools (all levels, from elementary to college levels) in the last 31 years, in 29 states, 8 foreign countries and to over 1/2 million students. Please check out: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/blues_in_the_schools.htm ... and be sure to click on the video and audio links at the top of the page. Thanks again. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

medic 215medic 215 replied on June 15th, 2011

You have a great teaching style really appreciate your energy and passion for the blues learning a lot thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 16th, 2011

You're most welcome. Take your time with these lessons and enjoy the process of learning, practicing, and playing blues guitar. It's a pleasure to have you with me as we 'travel' on the 'blues highway' here at jamplay.com.

Ray_UKRay_UK replied on April 29th, 2011

This lesson is just great! It opens up so many possibilities with the variations. I tried as you did in the video taking my third finger off the first string for alternate strums, doing 2 strums per position. It is incredible how much difference it makes to the 'mood' of the piece if you start each '2 strum' with your finger off, compared to if you start each '2 strum' with your finger on! Just that simple variation makes a completely different sound & 'feel' Thanks Hawkeye - Ray

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 29th, 2011

Thanks for the comments, Ray. The slightest 'adjustment' / change to any chord can have an astounding effect ... live 'dangerously' ... be experimental ... nothing bad will happen to you ;-) ... you just learn more about what sounds good and what sound better ... or not so good ... the potential for 'discovery' is great, and fun, if you're willing to ... try. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again.

ryanj34ryanj34 replied on February 9th, 2011

great explaination Hawkeye, I'm really getting it.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 9th, 2011

Thanks for the message, John. Much appreciated. I'm glad you're 'getting it' and that this lesson and my explanation served you well. Please don't forget to watch my many music videos here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... if you take the time to watch some of these videos you'll see how I spontaneously use many of the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again! ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 22nd, 2010

I'm back.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 22nd, 2010

Welcome back. What took so long? ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 22nd, 2010

I know this doesn't have anything to do with the lesson but if you have or if you ever start any type of foundation for our children and schooling musical instruments I will be more than glad to support it any way I can.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 22nd, 2010

Thanks for the kind offer. Very much appreciated. My in-school "Blues In THe Schools" programs are mostly supported by local and regional blues societies. If there's a blues society in your area, I suggest you join the organization and encourage them to get involved in bringing blues music to students of all ages. Thanks again for your kind offer and interest in informing and nurturing young people about the impact and importance of blues music. "Blues is the roots. Everything else is the fruits." - Willie Dixon

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 22nd, 2010

THANKS FOR THE LINK FOR THAT PICK.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 22nd, 2010

You're most welcome. I've posted the link for the Herco thumbpick in a number of locations where you have asked questions .... as well as in the post/forum "Thumbpick vs. Flatpick" which I posted some time ago. I hope you continue to enjoy theses lessons and the process of learning and playing the blues.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 22nd, 2010

IT WORKS I JUST AM SO STUCK ON FLAT PICK FOR SO LONG. THE SALESMAN IN THE PAWNSHOP I HAD A JAM SESSION WITH TODAY HE PLAYS WITH HIS FINGERS WITHOUT ANY PICK AT ALL. I WATCHED YOUR VIDEOS @youtube AND I SEE WHERE YOU ALSO PLAYED WITHOUT A PICK ALL FINGERS. MY BROTHER PLAYS BASS WITH HIS FINGERS BUT I HAVE TO USE A HEAVY BASS PICK FOR MINE. I WANNA CHANGE THAT BECAUSE FUNK BASS PLAYS A BIG PART IN BLUES. JOHNNY B.GAYTON AND BOOTSY COLLINS WHO IS MY VERY CLOSE NEIGHBOR WHO I SUPPORT 100% .ANY HOW I'M GETTING MY GUITAR READY AND HERE WE GO. I'M USING MY TELECASTER, ALL MY OTHER GUITARS ARE TUNED IN A WIDE OPEN D. GOTTA GET THIS TELE IN TUNE HERE.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 22nd, 2010

Thanks for viewing my video at youtube.com. I use a Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick at ALL times ... and I use my bare fingers along with the thumbpick. When I play electric guitar, I still use the Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick. I hope you have some success in fingerpicking. ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

GOT A DUNLOP THUMB PICK

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 21st, 2010

Well, I hope it works for you ... but a Dunlop thumbick is not a Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick, as I recommend ... good luck. :-) http://www.elderly.com/accessories/names/herco-flex-52-blue-nylon-thumbpick--PK3.htm

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

UNFORTUNATELY I DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO GET ME AN ACOUSTIC ALSO BUT THAT'S OK I HAVE ELECTRIC. ATLEAST I KNOW MY DAUGHTER WILL HAVE A CHANCE.I GOTTA GET TUNED UP HERE. I'M OUT A TUNE.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

I'M HAVING FUN DOING THIS.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

YES SIR I'M BACK ENDED UP IN A JAM SESSION IN THE PAWN SHOP WITH THE SALES MAN EARLIER TODAY WITH A NICE LITTLE AUDIENCE .

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

TO SAY IT LOUD I WAS ABLE TO COME BACK, BUT I'M GONNA HAVE TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK AND HEAD DOWN TO THE PAWN SHOP AND MEET SO SANTA CLAUSE CAN BRING MY 7 YR OLD DAUGHTER A BEGINNERS ACOUSTIC GUITAR . I SHALL RETURN. I HAVE A MONTH TO BE IN AND OUT OF HERE NOW, SO I WILL BE BACK.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 21st, 2010

Welcome back! I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 21st, 2010

AM BACK AND ACTIVATED.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

Am here.

caliban4caliban4 replied on September 10th, 2010

Hawkeye, I already commented in another of your lessons, but I gotta hand it to you. I had been looking all over for quite some time on the net for a clear, reasoned and practical approach to turnarounds. I had listened to a lot of blues harmonica and always envied that ability to make the music interesting at the end of the 12 bars but I couldn't quite figure out how to get that I/ I/V approach to sound right on the last two bars of the 12 bar blues. This lesson stripped away that veil. Thanks for another great lesson.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 11th, 2010

caliban4, Thaks for the comments. Much appreciated ... it's most gratifying for me to know that I've 'opened some doors of perception' for you in regard to the blues. 'Demystifying' blues music and its history for others is the torch I bear ... and I hope to pass on to others. So glad you 'get it' ... and now understand how to use these many of these techniques to create your own blues music and play freely ... if you love the blues, play them as you please. Thanks again for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com

anthony1516anthony1516 replied on August 4th, 2010

hey can you use this turn around in any key?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 6th, 2010

By moving it up or down the neck and keeping all of the relative positions the same. Please stick with the lesson plan and don't get ahead of me ... all will be revealed to you in time. ;-) I wouldn't lie to you.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 6th, 2010

Also ... since you're a beginner ... I appreciate your question ... and you should be aware that everything played on the guitar is movable up and down the neck to any key ... so, please take your time, be patient ... and the 'whys and wherefores' of this will be revealed to you in the course of these lessons. Thanks so much.

qwikqwik replied on February 27th, 2010

I normally use a regular pic and can put a little funkie strum up or down. I've been trying the thumb pick like you use but I'm having a little trouble keeping it on, on the up strokes. I'm thinking it's something as simple as improper fit. I like your teaching style, Thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 27th, 2010

Thanks for enjoying my lessons. Re: The Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick that I use:There's a post in the forum area about it here, and comments from JamPlay students who are now using the pick, here: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4476 ... and a complete lesson on the use of the pick, and comments from students here:c http://www.jamplay.com/members/guitar/phase2/hawkeye-herman-38/lesson87.html IF you're having trouble on the upstroke it's because you aren't slightly changing the angle of the pick so that it points toward the floor just a wee bit on the up stroke. Thanks again for your comments and for enjoying these lessons.

rockingchicagorockingchicago replied on October 27th, 2009

"hawkeye" you make it sooo simple to understand...

mrousemrouse replied on May 15th, 2009

Hey Hawkeye..I'm taking Quantum leaps and it's great to review and go over stuff. Questiion in Lesson 6, you play a chord between the 10th A and the D7th turnaaround sequence, Is that an E chord, and is the first beat of the turnaround measure. Many thanks from Vancouver Canada!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 16th, 2009

mrouse, Thanks so much for the kind comments. Much appreciated. I hope you continue to make great progress. In regard to your question in lesson #6, you have to tell me exactly where your question/issue is in the lesson, minutes/seconds, so I can see what you're talking you're talking about. Thanks.

easternaeasterna replied on March 17th, 2009

Some thoughts- Play the A shuffle in the first position and instead of moving up to the 7th fret to play a B how about playing it as a barre chord on the second fret with a 5th string root- you don't even have to play the whole bar- index finger on the B-second string, ring finger on the F# on the third string and pinky on the G# on the fourth string. That makes the move back to the A fairly easy. I don't know if this is cheating but it works well. Also, I like playing the turnaround using index, middle and ring fingers- but then I usually pick with index and middle when I play acoustic blues [a while back I took private lessons and my instructor started me out with some simple classical exercises and pieces that required the use of all fingers- I found it to be very helpful.] I'd be curious about Hawkeye's view of these comments.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 18th, 2009

easterna, You can play the shuffle rhythm using the barred 'A' chord, of course ... you can use many barred chords to play the shuffle rhythm ... I give the example of using the barred A chord for a B chord shuffle in one of these lessons ... but because these are primarily lessons for beginner to intermediate players ... I chose to show the shuffle using the barred E/F chord primarily, as it's easier to play up the neck ... for economy of movement, using both the barred E and barred A chord are good to use. You can learn a lot from a classical guitar instructor about fingering of notes/chords/positions ... but you won't learn how to 'boogie' and play a solid blues rhythm from most classical guitar instructors. ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons, regardless of the choice of barre chords you use to play a shuffle.

easternaeasterna replied on March 17th, 2009

I wanted to correct my post- my error probably caused some confusion-The note B in the shuffle for the B chord is played on the 5th [A]string. The F# and G# are both played on the 4th [D] string. My apologies to all.

whitebomberwhitebomber replied on March 16th, 2009

Hawkeye, great stuff as usual. Working my way through the blues! I'm struggling with going from the A to the turnaround. Going from B to A as you are doing and trying to get the same strumming that you are doing as you then flow through to E real quick, then to the turnaround. I'm ok with the turnarounds, and enjoy improvising, it's just getting there that's a struggle! Any tips would be appreciated!

donfdonf replied on September 23rd, 2008

hawkeye, you play events? ever get to shreveport? Would love to see you play in person. Thanks for the excellent instruction. I'm hangin in there workin on it.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 30th, 2008

donf, I performed in blues bars/pubs/clubs all over the USA/Canada/Europe for over 25 years of touring ... nowadays, for the past ten years, I only perform at festival and concert venues around the globe (and in-school programs). I haven't been to Shreveport (been to New Orleans and Baton Rouge to perform in the past) ... I'd love to come there to perform ... let your local blues festival/society know about my music ... and maybe I'll get a chance to perform in your area in the future. Thanks so much for the message and for hangin' in there with me.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 4th, 2008

willyabrub, Thanks for the kind comment and question. The blues is alive when you play it like you feel it ... in other words, experiment with things every time you play a song. You don't have to be a genius to be creative. Express yourself. Only you can be ... you. Freddy King was a blues giant, no doubt. You can find free guitar lessons/transcription of Freddy King and other blues greats that you should be aware of at my web site here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm The lessons are in the styles of various blues icons/names that you should be aware of ... that's a good place to start. If you want more recommends after checking out my web site 'guitar lessons' page, just let me know. Thanks again for your interest and enthusiasm.

willyabrupwillyabrup replied on September 4th, 2008

Hey Hawkeye - I'm back with ya and still lovin it! I appreciate the emphasis on experimentation - just a small change can make it all sound so different. BTW - I've recently 'discovered' Freddie King - what a blues guitarist - I can see where SRV got some of his inspiration! Can you recommend some lesser known old time blues guitarists I can check out? Thanks again.....

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 27th, 2008

There's a "Hawkeye Live in Concert" DVD you might enjoy ... You can see/hear many of the songs on the DVD for free on youtube.com at; http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH Check 'em out ... you can see/hear my blues ... in action.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 24th, 2008

Thanks so much. I like/need the feedback and input. Experiment with the stock turnarounds ... lifting the finger on the top (1st) string is a cool variation ... try lifting up (and putting down) other fingers and see what happens. Have fun with the process. I have faith in ya ... just keep playing and enjoying the blues.

mclend1mclend1 replied on July 24th, 2008

I like that idea of lifting the chord fretting finger on the 1st (e) string for the turnaround progression to add some extra flavour there, great ideas as usual. Enjoying the series very much. I sound like a groupie heh, but I think it's important to give feedback on how the lessons help. All the best, Matt.

ronin808ronin808 replied on July 23rd, 2008

nice turn aroond, gotta make it work. have faith in me man!!

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Blues

Hawkeye Herman introduces the blues. He explains the 12 bar blues chords and the poetic format that blues lyrics typically follow.

Length: 19:25 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Understanding Blues Chords

Hawkeye explains how the I, IV, and V chords are used in a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Blues Rhythm

Hawkeye demonstrates common strumming patterns used in blues music. He also explains how country music evolved from the blues.

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

The shuffle is one of the most common rhythms used in blues music. Hawkeye introduces the most basic shuffle rhythm pattern.

Length: 18:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

Length: 13:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

Length: 7:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Interesting Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye demonstrates various ways of arpeggiating the blues turnaround from the previous lesson.

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Moving the Turnaround

Hawkeye explains how the turnaround from the previous lesson can be transposed to all 12 keys.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Turnaround in the Bass

Hawkeye explains how the blues turnaround can be played on the bass strings.

Length: 11:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Turnaround Practice

Hawkeye provides some tips regarding how to integrate turnarounds into the context of the 12 bar blues form.

Length: 3:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Turnarounds as Lead

In this lesson Hawkeye will explain how you can use turnarounds as a way to play basic lead.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Subtle Changes

Hawkeye demonstrates how subtle changes made to the blues shuffle can have a profound impact on the overall sound of the 12 bar form.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Blues Shuffle Variations

Hawkeye demonstrates more blues shuffle variations. He discusses playing individual notes and palm muting.

Length: 7:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Bass Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a bass version of the blues shuffle that mimics a common left-hand piano pattern.

Length: 10:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Turnaround Exercise

Hawkeye presents an exercise that will enable you to play a turnaround over the blues form in all twelve keys.

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Delta Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a Delta blues turnaround in the key of A. This turnaround is played in the style of Robert Johnson.

Length: 10:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

Hawkeye Herman teaches a new Delta blues turnaround. This lick was inspired by Robert Johnson.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Robert Johnson Style

Hawkeye Herman teaches more components of Robert Johnson's signature sound.

Length: 27:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Movable Chord Review

Hawkeye reviews movable chords in this lesson. He explains how these chord voicings can be used in a practical blues context.

Length: 5:41 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Basic Blues Scale

Hawkeye Herman introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson, the most commonly used scale in blues lead guitar.

Length: 23:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Passing Notes

Hawkeye builds on the pentatonic scale. He introduces "blue" notes, which transform the pentatonic scale into the minor blues scale.

Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Scales and Keys

Hawkeye explains how to transpose the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales to different keys.

Length: 21:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Finding the Key

Hawkeye Herman explains how to determine the key of a blues song. This information is essential if you wish to play lead over a song.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

In this lesson, Hawkeye will bring together much of what he has taught in this lesson series and apply it to the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Treble Shuffle

Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle on the treble strings.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

The Great River Road

Hawkeye Herman teaches you how to play his original song, "The Great River Road," in this phenomenal lesson.

Length: 16:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Mississippi John Hurt Style

Hawkeye covers the guitar style of Mississippi John Hurt. This style makes heavy use of alternating bass lines.

Length: 14:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Piano Blues

Hawkeye teaches an original piece called "Piano Blues." He teaches this song to further demonstrate the alternating bass line.

Length: 13:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

Length: 10:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

Length: 17:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Sweet Home Chicago

Hawkeye Herman explains how to play Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago."

Length: 16:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

Length: 22:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

Hawkeye takes the 8 bar blues material from the last lesson and explains how to transpose it to different keys.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Classic 8 Bar Blues

Hawkeye teaches a classic 8 bar blues tune in the style of Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy.

Length: 25:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Playing Multiple Notes

In this lesson Hawkeye revisits the blues/pentatonic scale and talks about playing multiple notes at the same time.

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Classic End Tag

Hawkeye Herman teaches a classic blues song ending. He also explains how it can be played in different keys.

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Basic Blues Slide

Hawkeye Herman covers the basics of slide technique and provides exercises to demonstrate them.

Length: 25:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

Hawkeye Herman introduces open D tuning. He explains how to play a 12 bar blues progression with a slide in this tuning.

Length: 14:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Ramblin' On My Mind

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates the classic Robert Johnson song, "Ramblin' On My Mind" in open D tuning.

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 41

Blues Shuffle in Open D

Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle in open D tuning.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Open D Harmony Shuffle

Hawkeye teaches the "harmony" version of the shuffle in open D tuning.

Length: 5:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 43

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Open D Slide Licks

Hawkeye Herman teaches some open D slide guitar licks. These licks are inspired by the song "Ramblin' On My Mind" by Robert Johnson.

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

Hawkeye Herman explains how to play the D minor pentatonic scale in Open D tuning.

Length: 4:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Ramblin' On My Mind

Hawkeye challenges you to play "Ramblin' On My Mind" using the techniques from the past couple of lessons.

Length: 4:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 47

Rock and Slide Guitar

Hawkeye shows that open D tuning and slide guitar are not exclusive to the blues. He provides an exercise that demonstrates how this tuning can be used in rock music.

Length: 15:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

D Tuning Chords

Hawkeye returns to the world of open D tuning. He introduces various chord voicings and explains how they can be used in the blues.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 49

You Got To Move

In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a classic blues song by Mississippi Fred McDowell - "You Got To Move".

Length: 9:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

You Got to Move Melody

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates how to play the melody of "You Got to Move" with a slide.

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

Hawkeye Herman talks about playing and creating blues licks with the slide.

Length: 9:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 52

Elmore James Style

Hawkeye Herman breaks down important aspects of Elmore James' style.

Length: 23:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 53

Blues Licks and Riffs

Hawkeye teaches some versatile blues licks and riffs that can be used in open D tuning.

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 54

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 55

G Tuning Chords

Hawkeye gives a brief overview of chords and how they are played in open G tuning.

Length: 6:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 56

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

Hawkeye gives a brief rundown of how the blues / minor pentatonic scale can be played in open G tuning.

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 57

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 58

Improvising in G Tuning

Improvisation using the minor pentatonic / blues scale is discussed in open G tuning. Hawkeye also touches on Robert Johnson's song, "Walkin' Blues."

Length: 7:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 59

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman talks about playing the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He also shows some basic turnarounds.

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 60

Open G Shuffle Variations

Hawkeye reviews the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He demonstrates shuffle variations as well as a few licks, turnarounds, and other tidbits.

Length: 15:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 61

Robert Johnson Licks

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

Length: 14:40 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 62

G Tuning and the Capo

Hawkeye introduces the capo and explains how it can be used. This lesson is still in the context of G tuning.

Length: 10:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 63

Come On In My Kitchen

Hawkeye Herman showcases the power of slide guitar by demonstrating the classic Robert Johnson song, "Come On In My Kitchen."

Length: 6:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 64

Skip James Style

Hawkeye Herman gives a brief rundown of Skip James' blues guitar style. This lesson also focuses on playing in open tunings without a slide.

Length: 19:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 65

Open D to Open G

Hawkeye demonstrates how to take a song from open D tuning and play it in open G. He uses the song "No Expectations" by the Rolling Stones as an example.

Length: 10:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 66

Drop D Tuning

Hawkeye shows you the wonders of drop D tuning and teaches his rendition of "Big Road Blues."

Length: 30:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 67

Statesboro Blues

Hawkeye goes over the fantastic song "Statesboro Blues" by Blind Willie McTell in Drop D tuning.

Length: 27:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 68

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Hawkeye discusses some history behind the great blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson. He covers the song "Matchbox Blues" to provide an example of his style.

Length: 19:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 69

Minor Blues

Hawkeye explains the chord changes used in a minor blues progression.

Length: 12:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 70

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

Length: 22:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 71

Song Endings

By user request, Hawkeye shares ideas on how to end songs in this lesson.

Length: 21:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 72

Stop Time Blues

In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman returns to the wonderful world of stop-time blues. He teaches a few more ways to play in this glorious style.

Length: 17:53 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 73

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye talks about the eight bar blues and uses some classic blues songs as examples.

Length: 26:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 74

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 75

Movable Endings

Hawkeye explains how all the endings you've learned up to this point can be transposed to any key.

Length: 31:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 76

Movable Blues Scale

Hawkeye talks about transposing the minor pentatonic scale to various keys.

Length: 16:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 77

Blues Scale Lead

Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can be used to play lead in any song.

Length: 30:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 78

Spanning the Neck

Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can span the neck in any key.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 79

The Blues Had a Baby

Hawkeye talks about the background of rock 'n roll and how it is connected to blues.

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 80

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 81

Spanning the Neck Continued

Hawkeye brings more blues wisdom to you in this lesson about spanning the neck.

Length: 18:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 82

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 83

Chord Relationships

Hawkeye discusses how the visual shapes of chords relate to one another on the fretboard.

Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 84

Chord Relationships Continued

Hawkeye explains how to find the I, IV, and V chords in all 12 major keys.

Length: 8:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 85

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

Length: 16:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 86

Key of A Idea

Hawkeye shares an idea in the key of A that you can apply to your blues playing.

Length: 18:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 87

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick: A most common question asked among guitarists is discussed in this lesson.

Length: 15:13 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 88

Capo Ideas

Hawkeye shares his ideas on the capo and explains why he thinks it is important for every guitarist to own one.

Length: 18:34 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 89

Everything is Movable

Hawkeye reiterates that everything is movable on the guitar and provides some fresh new ideas.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 90

Bass Notes in Treble

Hawkeye explains how to add variety to the shuffle pattern by transferring the bass notes to the treble register and by adding palm muting. He also explains how you can create your own shuffle variations.

Length: 21:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 91

Treble Shuffle

Hawkeye provides more amazing tips and tricks on moving your shuffle rhythm to the treble for a unique sound.

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 92

Creating Solos

Hawkeye revisits the techniques learned in the last few lessons and explains how to tie tie them together to create solos.

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 93

Transposing Songs

Hawkeye provides some great tips for transposing any song you want to learn to a different key.

Length: 17:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 94

History of Blues

This exciting lesson dives into some of the earliest history of blues music and how it has shaped popular music today.

Length: 13:52 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 95

Blues is the Roots

Hawkeye Herman explains why "blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits."

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 96

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

Length: 17:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 97

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

Length: 12:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 98

Boom-Chicka Strum

Hawkeye demonstrates the "boom-chicka" strum and explains various ways you can incorporate it into your playing.

Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 99

Fun Runs

Hawkeye Herman explains how to spice up your rhythm playing by incorporating bass runs between chord changes.

Length: 16:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 100

Review & Practice

Hawkeye Herman celebrates lesson 100 with a short but sweet review of what you've learned in the past couple of lessons.

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 101

Song Medley

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates rhythmic concepts from earlier lessons by playing a fun medley.

Length: 13:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 102

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

Length: 22:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 103

More Fun Licks

Hawkeye teaches more fun licks to add to your blues bag of tricks.

Length: 31:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 104

More Licks Up the Neck

Hawkeye Herman is back with some more classic blues licks that span the length of the fretboard.

Length: 26:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 105

Bass Licks

Hawkeye explains the importance of playing licks over the entire neck of the guitar.

Length: 21:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 106

Rock Me Lick

Hawkeye Herman shares a lick that is commonly known as the "Rock Me Baby" Lick. He explains how this lick can be incorporated into a performance of this classic B.B. King song.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 107

Turnaround Positions

Hawkeye discusses how ideas derived from turnarounds can be incorporated into blues solos.

Length: 8:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 108

Instrumental Themes

Hawkeye Herman talks about instrumental themes and how you can add lead fills to them.

Length: 18:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 109

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 110

Ninth Chords

Hawkeye Herman explains how dominant 9th chords are formed and how they can be used in blues music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 111

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

Length: 26:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 112

More Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye Herman shares more eight bar blues knowledge in this fun and information-packed lesson.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 113

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 114

Introducing the Capo

In the 114th installment of his Blues Series, Hawkeye introduces the capo. He demonstrates how this valuable tool allows you to transpose chord voicings to various keys.

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 115

Forming Barre Chords

Having trouble getting those fingers to form barre chords? In lesson #115 of his Blues Series, Hawkeye covers some tips and techniques to help with these problematic chord shapes. Any beginner can master...

Length: 10:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 116

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

Hawkeye explains why the adjacent strings on the guitar are tuned in perfect fourths and how this relates to left hand fingering.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 117

Relative Chord Shapes

Hawkeye continues where he left off in lesson 116 and explains how the tuning of the guitar relates to commonly used chord shapes.

Length: 16:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 118

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

Hawkeye Herman reviews important transposition concepts. Here he demonstrates how to change the key of a song so that it is appropriate for your vocal range.

Length: 20:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 119

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

Length: 20:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 120

Bo Diddley Beat

Hawkeye provides a history lesson on Bo Diddley. He also demonstrates how to play the classic "Bo Diddley Beat." This rhythmic pattern appears in countless blues and rock songs.

Length: 20:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 121

Thematic Bass Lines

Hawkeye teaches some blues bass lines that can be applied to the twelve bar blues form.

Length: 19:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 122

Bass Lines Continued

Hawkeye continues on from his 121st lesson with more examples of blues bass lines for guitar.

Length: 7:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 123

Lead Bass Ideas

Hawkeye dives into some lead bass ideas. He demonstrates how a classic Eric Clapton riff can be used over the twelve bar blues form in any key.

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 124

Willie's Bounce

Hawkeye teaches the bass line riff to his song "Willie's Bounce."

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 125

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 126

The Texas A

Hawkeye Herman teaches a version of the A chord that he calls "The Texas A."

Length: 13:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 127

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

Hawkeye breaks down the blues scale and demonstrates how to appropriately add the major 3rd.

Length: 26:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 128

Double Stops

As demonstrated in previous lessons, Hawkeye opens up the world of double stops. Hawkeye teaches some classic Chuck Berry licks to demonstrate how double stops can be used effectively.

Length: 11:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 129

Scrapper Blackwell

Hawkeye introduces the guitar stye of Scrapper Blackwell. He uses the song Scrapper called "E Blues" as a starting point.

Length: 20:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 130

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

History flows deep in blues music. Hawkeye discusses the influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson. This lesson is one for the history books.

Length: 22:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 131

Humming and Strumming

Hawkeye opens up some ideas on how to "plan ahead" in your playing. Similar to riding a bike, you need to look forward to see where your going. Humming what you want to play allows you to anticipate the...

Length: 18:49 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 132

Katrina, Oh Katrina

Inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Hawkeye was commissioned by the BBC to write a song about Katrina. Hawkeye demonstrates this song and recalls his thought process in writing this song.

Length: 29:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 133

All About the Hammer-on

Hawkeye demonstrates how a hammer-on can be used to open up doors in your playing. Hawkeye shows you how to achieve this technique and use it successfully in your playing.

Length: 24:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 134

The Pull-off

Hawkeye covers the pull-off, best friend of the hammer on. This technique is used to achieve the same goal as the hammer-on, yet with a completely different finger movement.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 135

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

Hawkeye combines lessons 133 and 134 and demonstrates some examples of how to utilize the hammer-on and pull-off techniques together to enhance your overall blues guitar skills.

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 136

The Quick Change

The 12 bar form is a staple in the world of blues music. However, there are plenty of different ways to arrange it. This lesson covers what is commonly called "The Quick Change."

Length: 15:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 137

Starting on the IV Chord

Hawkeye demonstrates how to change up a traditional 12 bar blues progression by starting on the IV chord.

Length: 16:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 138

The Talking Blues

Hawkeye demonstrates yet another form of blues known as the "Talking Blues." This style is indicative of its name. It features a talking vocal style played over a I, IV, V chord progression.

Length: 24:43 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 139

Utilizing 9th Chords

Need a slightly different voicing to spice up your playing? 9th chords will give your blues playing a colorful, urban sound.

Length: 24:53 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 140

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

Hawkeye breaks out his slide and demonstrates how chord progressions in major keys can be played in open minor tunings.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 141

Style of Elmore James

Hawkeye offers up some tricks and techniques that Elmore James utilized in his style of playing.

Length: 25:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 142

Style of Son House

In lesson 142, Hawkeye dives into the style of Son House. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms often played with a slide.

Length: 14:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only

About Hawkeye Herman View Full Biography ""One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators."
Cascade Blues Association

"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of traditional acoustic blues."
Living Blues Magazine

" ...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar."
Los Angeles Times

"The only thing better than hearing this live album is seeing Hawkeye Herman in the flesh. Whether adding his own spin to blues classics or offering his own songs, Herman is a one-man history of blues, noteworthy guitar player and inimitable communicator. Miss him at your peril."
Blues Access

With over 40 years of performing experience, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman personifies the range of possibilities in blues and folk music. His dynamic blues guitar playing and vocal abilities have won him a faithful following and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs and educational workshops throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His original music has been included in video dramas and documentaries and in four hit theatrical productions.

In 2000, Hawkeye was awarded Philadelphia's Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre for best original music in a theatrical production. "Everyday Living," Hawkeye's first nationally released album from 1987, now reissued on CD, features the late blues giants Charles Brown and "Cool Papa" Sadler, and established the demand for his now long-standing festival and concert touring. His latest CDs and DVD, "Blues Alive!" (CD), "It's All Blues To Me" (CD), and "Hawkeye Live In Concert" (DVD) have been greeted with rave reviews. Hawkeye's journalistic efforts have been published in numerous national and regional blues and music-related periodicals.

In 1998 he was the recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping The Blues Alive" award for achievement in education. He served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation for six years. Hawkeye was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of fame in 2004. In September of 2005, Hawkeye composed, at the request of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), "Katrina, Oh Katrina (Hurricane Blues)," detailing the hurricane disaster on the Gulf Coast. The song was aired to over 7 million listeners on the popular "BBC Today" program. He is the cofounder of the Rogue Valley Blues Festival, Ashland, OR.

This musician has definitely carved out a spot for himself in the contemporary acoustic blues/folk field, and has earned a reputation as one of the most accomplished artists in the genre, and audiences throughout the US/Canada/Europe have come to know and appreciate Hawkeye's talent, dedication, and captivating performances.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.


Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.


Alex Scott Alex Scott

Find out what this series is all about.

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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Ian Argys Ian Argys

Lesson 6 is all about the major mode. As with the other lessons you'll be taking a look at the individual notes on the strings...

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

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Rex Brown Rex Brown

Dive into the playing of Rex Brown. As the bass player for Pantera, Down, and Kill Devil Hill, Brown's real world experience...

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Dennis Hodges Dennis Hodges

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord...

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Steve McKinley Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley talks about evaluating your bass and keeping it in top shape. He covers neck relief, adjusting the truss rod,...

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Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

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Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
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Number of Instructors 82 1 – 3 1 Zillions
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New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
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Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


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I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



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