Series Introduction (Guitar Lesson)

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Series Introduction

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense, yet seemingly effortless, playing style of a true legend in our time. Learn the mental discipline and get the physical training necessary to take your playing to the next level!

Taught by Bumblefoot in Bumblefoot's Artist Series seriesLength: 4:21Difficulty: 0.5 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Hi everybody!
I am Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.

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Welcome to my lessons here at

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The unique thing about this series is that it not only gets into the physical aspects of playing but it really gets into the mental aspects

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and things where you're exercising your mind.

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You have to remember that music doesn't start at your hands, it ends there.

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It starts here, it starts here, it starts everywhere else and it ends at your hands

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and it leaves your body through your hands so I like to exercise where the music starts from.

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So we talk a lot about mental multitasking.

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Dividing your brain so you have a few things going on at once that you're focusing on different things at the same time.

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So how do you play two different scale patterns at the same time?
Starts here.

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Let's say you want to play two different rhythms or two different divisions of a beat, five against three.

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How do you do that?
Starts here. We're going to work on that.

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So once we have exercised your mind we still have to exercise your hands

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and we'll get into a lot of tapping, a lot of sweeping, a lot of the more advanced, physical techniques on the neck.

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So before you dive into this there's a few things you should be comfortable with.

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You should know scale patterns, you should have some pretty good hand technique as far as hammer-ons, pull-offs,

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bending, sliding, tapping, things like that.

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If you're not that great at it this series may help you get a lot better at it.

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It's something that you should have at least beginning comfort with in order to take this stuff on.

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Theory wise you should know scales, you should know arpeggio's, you should know your way around the neck,

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you should know where to find the notes around the neck.

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That will definitely help a lot because we're going to be referencing things and so that you know what I'm talking about.

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You need to know that stuff.

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So keep in mind while you're taking my lessons that you can be doing all this flashy stuff and all these crazy techniques and all this very shreddy

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stuff but what matters most is pocket and groove and where you place the notes and your phrasing and your dynamics and all of that.

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That's what's most important.

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How you make each note speak the voice that you give it, the inflections that you give it

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and that's really the priority when you're playing that you should think about.

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Playing fast, playing slow, doesn't matter it's having that as part of your playing is what really counts.

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Thank you for checking out my series.
I hope you enjoy it.

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

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

thomasross20thomasross20 replied on June 29th, 2015

Yet another amazing musician giving us lessons - loving this Artist series. Ron is a legend!

krisreesekrisreese replied on April 6th, 2014

Excellent lessons. I vaguely knew who Bumblefoot was when I saw he had lessons on here. The little I knew gave me the impression that he was sort of an odd duck, but I decided to give his lessons a chance. These are some of the best lessons I have ever watched. I highly recommend them to everyone. If I ever see any DVD lessons available by him, I will buy them without question.

sammy44sammy44 replied on January 11th, 2014

I saw the opening of this lesson and I was floored...I am a beginner with heavy fingers and slow reaction time. I am still in awe of the technique. I am now back to phase one with Chris Leipe.

mikehabadamikehabada replied on January 4th, 2014

So awsome!!!

Mighty.MikeMighty.Mike replied on January 1st, 2014

This guy has a very comforting voice. He obviously loves teaching and it shows. Impressive bio as well. For some reason I never heard of him til now even tho I am a huge fan of the many groups hes been involved in. Even as a beginner I look forward to this!

dmerchdmerch replied on December 31st, 2013

Give us more! Great topic and delivery. Thanks, Ron.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on December 31st, 2013

lots more on the way, including full songs! stay tuned!! :)

JustOldBobJustOldBob replied on December 30th, 2013

I have been getting kinda bored with myself lately.But this is something I know I really need and look forward to this series.Thanks Ron.

doogaldoogal replied on December 23rd, 2013

What an incredible pickup for the site! Every time I see a video of Ron Thal, I'm super impressed with his intelligence and the ease of his explanations. This should be a great series that I'll no doubt have to watch several times :).

buzzeddbuzzedd replied on December 22nd, 2013

Ron Thal, very cool. This guy rips.

tangohuntertangohunter replied on December 21st, 2013

Self censoring...

adamhrockadamhrock replied on December 21st, 2013

holy moly

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied on December 21st, 2013


SodaPopSodaPop replied on December 20th, 2013

hmmm this guy is new to me!

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on December 20th, 2013

You can bet I'll be taking these lessons!! :)

Bumblefoot's Artist Series

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Unconventional... Diabolical... Just plain crazy! Learn a fresh, quirky and MUSICAL approach to extreme guitar playing!

Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense, yet seemingly effortless, playing style of a true legend in our time. Learn...

Length: 4:21 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

The Drummer Is King!

Of all the crazy antics and skills you'll learn in this series, learning your place in the rhythm section may be the most important and arguably the most difficult! Learn the importance of playing behind...

Length: 19:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Focus on the Rhythm

Now try taking the concepts learned in the last lesson and apply them to chords and strumming. The physical differences between playing chords and single notes provide an interesting challenge when staying...

Length: 13:58 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Do You Have an Accent?

Make sure you're thinking and playing behind the beat...Check! Now Bumblefoot makes sure you are thinking about each note and each beat you play. Just like the spoken word, good guitar playing is punctuated....

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Why...Yes I Do!

Now that you've practiced playing with accents at a basic level, learn this blazing sequence in C major and put your chops to the test!

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Sweeping Sensation

Done much sweep picking? Whether you are experienced in this technique or brand new, this exercise will dramatically improve your coordination and hand synchronization while sweeping. This isn't your average...

Length: 7:48 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Sweep it under the Rug

Take the same ascending drill from the last lesson, move it around a bit more, and reverse it. It's even harder going down! Take it slow!

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Sweep Up More Stuff!

Slackers beware! Bumblefoot introduces another picking variation and connects the ascending and descending sweeping patterns for one mind and finger boggling exercise. Whatever you do, DON'T CHEAT! Practice...

Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 5.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Mental Multitasking

A seasoned guitar player can have multiple active channels going in his mind at once. That's what helps the masters play a rhythm and a melody line at the same time. That's what makes singing complex melodies...

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Huh? Two Scales at Once?

Put mental multitasking to work with your hands. Practice playing a simple C major scale, but play it in a round. Start it, and then while continuing to play it in sequence, start it again!

Length: 4:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

One Step Ahead of Your Hands!

Sharpen your mind like a samurai sword with this exercise! While playing one note, think and speak the next note you will play. Practice this to a metronome with different note values...EEK!

Length: 12:17 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Does Your Left Know What Your Right Is Doing?

Here's one more brain tearing exercise! Practice playing different rhythmic groupings with each hand at the same time. Then, try to talk while you're doing it! Make these mental multitasking lessons part...

Length: 7:01 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

What Do You Have on Tap?

Get a brief tutorial on proper tapping technique. Then, it's off to Bumbleland! Dive into 2 finger right hand tapping phrases, string skipping, and more!

Length: 10:06 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

I'll Take Two of What She's Having!

Take 2 hand and 2 right hand finger tapping to the next level. Don't forget rhythm! Rhythm is still important when notes are flying by!

Length: 6:36 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Now Let's Go Tap Dancing

Take the last two crazy lessons on tapping, and make them a bit more musical. As with the sweeps, DON'T CHEAT! Make sure your playing is clean and calculated at whatever speed you are playing.

Length: 14:56 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Be a Bit Abnormal

With this lesson, Bumblefoot delivers the first of a handful of ways to take what you may already be comfortable with and add some quirkiness. This segment focuses on changing the harmony in the major...

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Blues it Up!

Bumblefoot alters the major scale a little further and roasts it over a simple blues shuffle. Dive in and see what's cookin'!

Length: 5:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Note Before the Note

Do you like the pentatonic scale? Are you maybe a little tired of being limited by it? If so, this lesson is for you! Learn a VERY simple way to spice it up!

Length: 6:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Read Between the Frets

Join Bumblefoot for another great way to disguise and spruce up your standard pentatonic ideas!

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

I'm All In!

Before...Between...Now you can add a note after each note played on each string in your pentatonic scale. Practice all three options over the track and work on adding some other embellishments such as...

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Bumblefoot View Full Biography "Making music has a greater purpose - anything I can do to help others, I try to do."

-Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal

I love spicy food - working on recipes for my own line of hot sauces. Been upping my tolerance - currently at 7,100,000 Scoville Units (that's 3x stronger than commercial-grade pepper spray weapon) If anyone asks me about Scoville Units, I'll bore them for a half-hour talking about capsaicin molecules, habaneros and heat measurements.

One time in Japan, I stayed up 43 hours straight doing gigs, interviews, instructional videos and going to clubs.

I take oral hygiene and fire safety seriously.

As a kid, I'd lay the guitar on the ground and play Bach pieces with two hands and one foot. Been a while since I tried that.

When I can, I like to do home improvement stuff - mostly drywall and electrical, some simple plumbing. Last thing I did at my house was install recessed lights in the ceiling going to a dimmer, and put in a new bathroom sink and faucet.

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