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Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons playing bluegrass on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period-piece Mississippi river steamboat plying the inland waterways, with his group the Steamboat Ramblers. (More)

Orville's Contributions to JamPlay.com

Orville Johnson has 127 videos at JamPlay, with 21 beginner lessons, 81 intermediate lessons, 10 song lessons and 15 entertainment videos. Use the tabs below to learn more.

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as well as all lessons from our roster of instructors.

Beginner Acoustic with Orville

Discover the essentials with Orville Johnson by learning some of the most popular topics and techniques in beginner guitar.

Lesson 1

Overcoming Beginner...

Orville talks about some challenges you will likely face as a beginner and offers some...

Length: 13:05
Lesson 2

Flatpick and Strumming

Orville talks about flatpicks, how to hold them, and how to strum with them.

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Lesson 3

Fingerpicking and Patterns

Orville Johnson introduces some basic fingerpicking patterns.

Length: 6:58
Lesson 4

Metronome and Practicing

Orville Johnson explains why it is important to practice with a metronome. He also covers...

Length: 21:35
Lesson 5

Practical Theory Part...

Orville dives into part 1 of his beginners' guide to practical theory. In this lesson,...

Length: 17:30
Lesson 6

Practical Theory Part...

Orville Johnson takes a look at scales in part 2 of his practical theory mini-series.

Length: 18:40
Lesson 7

Practical Theory Part...

Orville Johnson jumps into part 3 of his practical theory mini-series. This lesson is...

Length: 21:08
Lesson 8

Practical Theory Pt....

It's now time to tap back into the practical music theory portion of this series. Continuing...

Length: 19:50
Lesson 9

Basic Blues Shuffle

Orville Johnson demonstrates a basic blues shuffle. This incredibly easy rhythm piece...

Length: 12:38
Lesson 10

Connecting Chords with...

Orville Johnson demonstrates how simple chord progressions can be spruced up with bass...

Length: 12:04
Lesson 11

Voice Leading

Orville Johnson talks about the concept of voice leading. This concept will help you...

Length: 10:20
Lesson 12

Major Chords

Orville Johnson teaches the basic major chords in this lesson. He also explains the best...

Length: 19:23
Lesson 13

Note Values

Orville Johnson jumps into some light theory with a lesson on note values.

Length: 7:51
Lesson 14

The CAGED System

Orville Johnson takes a beginner's look at the CAGED system.

Length: 8:14
Lesson 15

Open D Tuning

Orville Johnson introduces open D tuning and encourages exploration of its possibilities....

Length: 24:04
Lesson 16

Open G Tuning

This time, Orville Johnson introduces open G tuning. This tuning is great for a broad...

Length: 21:28
Lesson 17

Beginner Fingerstyle...

This lesson is perfect for the beginner looking to develop dexterity and independence...

Length: 26:00
Lesson 18

How Does a Capo Work?

This lesson presents any beginner with the information needed to understand how a capo...

Length: 22:07
Lesson 19

Beginner Lead Techniques

Orville introduces basic techniques that can be used to play lead guitar. This lesson...

Length: 22:14
Lesson 20

Orville's Guide to Practicing

Orville dispenses a lifetime of accrued wisdom on the subject of practicing and learning....

Length: 16:38
Lesson 21

Creating New Chords

This lesson is all about creating different types of chords. This does steer the lesson...

Length: 23:05