Mike Dawes Master Course

Start your fingerstyle foray under the tutelage of a world-class player. Mike Dawes teaches you to go from a fingerstyle newbie to playing some of his most advanced compositions. 40 lessons to both inspire and challenge any guitarist, exclusively from JamPlay.

View Free Lesson View Mike's Bio

This course applies to all skill levels.. from the beginner player starting to discover modern fingerstyle techniques, to the seasoned veteran looking to add more dynamic and versatility to their craft. Mike will begin by building the foundation needed to tackle his hypnotic style, then challenge you with song excerpts, exercises and more.

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Introduction to the Course

Mike Dawes introduces you to his inspirational course. He talks about what you will learn, and what you need to know. Buckle up and get ready for the ride.

Length: 3:53 Difficulty: 0.5 Free Sample Lesson
Lesson 2

Mike Dawes Gear

From fingernails to pickups, take a close look at the gear that helps Mike create his unique, beautiful sound.

Length: 7:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 3

Travis Picking Technique

Time for a technique overview! Mike walks through the basics of Travis picking to set a good foundation for what's to come.

Length: 10:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 4

Travis Picking Part 2

Mike demonstrates travis picking over the 12-bar blues, a perfect context to get your fingers wrapped around this technique.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 5

Travis Picking Licks

Learn a lead accompaniment inspired by the late Jerry Reed. This travis picked lick works great over the 12-bar blues.

Length: 6:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 6

Travis Picking Combined

Taking the parts learned in the last two lessons, Mike demonstrates them separately, then we overlay them to hear what they sound like together.

Length: 3:55 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 7

DADGAD: Scales and Control

DADGAD offers a great stepping stone out of standard tuning. Mike introduces scales and warm-ups to familiarize yourself

Length: 10:48 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 8

DADGAD: Right Hand Control

Now that we are comfortable with scales in our left hand, Mike introduces right hand exercises that will increase strength and control.

Length: 8:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 9

DADGAD: Movable Shapes

When you changed into DADGAD, it probably felt like you lost your chord shapes. Mike eases you into the change by teaching shapes for this tuning.

Length: 11:22 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 10

DADGAD: Favorite Chords

Continuing with movable shapes, Mike introduces some of his favorite chord shapes that have proven useful in his own songwriting.

Length: 5:36 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 11

Getting Creative

So far, we've taken a very technical and theoretical approach to DADGAD. Let's start making music. Mike teaches a beautiful, celtic composition.

Length: 7:37 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 12

Getting Creative:

Extracting a section from "Somewhere Home", Mike puts DADGAD tuning to good use. Beware: this song utilizes hammer-ons, trills, and modulates.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 13


Mike starts into some more advanced techniques, starting with harmonics. These tools are sure to make your playing rise above the fray.

Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 14

Harmonics with Chords

Learning to blend harmonics into chords and melodies is next level! Mike teaches an exercise that introduces harmonics into a chord environment.

Length: 8:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 15

Introduction to Tapping

Tapping is an useful technique to extend melodies beyond basic fingerpicking. Mike introduces the concept and introduces an exercise.

Length: 7:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 16

Lap Tapping

Find out how an accident led to Mike discovering a whole new approach to tapping. Lap tapping is an effective to know your fretboard even better.

Length: 7:26 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 17

Lap Tapping Part 2

As Mike continues his exploration into horizontal tapping, he breaks down the first section of his song, Still, for a practical study of this technique.

Length: 7:35 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 18

Lap Tapping Licks

Mike introduces a new, untitled lap tapping riff. We're still hanging out in E minor, but this riff will help increase speed and precision with your tapping.

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

Acoustic Tapping Harmonies

Time to put your guitar back in the upright position. Mike starts to delve into some more advanced tapping techniques, including harmonization and percussion.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 20

Advanced Acoustic Workout

In this "ridiculously, hectic" exercise, Mike takes some familiar shapes and turns them into a beautiful, challenging workout for anyone brave enough to join him.

Length: 8:36 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 21

Introduction to Percussion

You would never hit your guitar? Well, Mike will convince you otherwise. He introduces his "grid" system which offers a foundation to add percussion.

Length: 13:06 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 22

The Percussion Grid

As introduced in the previous lesson, Mike expands on the percussion grid and teaches how to create a snare like sound on your guitar.

Length: 10:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 23

Drum Kit Emulation

If you've ever seen a drum kit, there's more than just a kick and snare. We are going to start recreating other sounds found in the world of percussion.

Length: 6:24 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 24

Adding the Band

Now that we've got a handle on drums, it's time to add guitar! We introduce the fretting hand, both as a percussive element and for adding chords.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 25

Percussion: Overload

Mike takes a percussive groove from his song, Overload, and breaks it down. This riff takes the grid system and introduces a simple bass line.

Length: 7:05 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 26

Percussive Riff - Maybe Someday

Mike takes a riff from "Maybe Someday" a song from his first album, "What Just Happened" and breaks it down for us. This riff has a celtic waltz feel and involves subtle percussion.

Length: 5:51 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 27

New Song - The Old Room

World Premiere of this hauntingly beautiful song, "The Old Room". In this lesson, Mike does a complete playthrough, then breaks down the first verse.

Length: 16:41 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 28

The Old Room - The Chorus

The chorus of The Old Room opens up into a majestic section with lush, full chords, harmonics, and accented single note runs. Sounds difficult, but it's an achievable challenge!

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 29

The Old Room - Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Variations

Now Mike takes a look at some slight but cool variations in the second verse and second chorus of The Old Room.

Length: 9:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 30

The Old Room - Interlude A and B

Relying heavily on a mix of harmonics, fingerpicking, pull-off's, hammer-on's and percussion, this will be a technical challenge, but it is well worth the effort.

Length: 13:27 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 31

The Old Room - Interlude C

Interlude C of The Old Room features 3 sub-sections that build off of one another. Starting with a melodic phrase, Mike then adds a little percussion, then adds a lot of percussion. A nice build as we head towards the Outro of the song!

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 32

The Old Room - Outro

Mike closes out the song with this open, free-time outro with dark harmonic tones and heavy reverb. If you don't feel the emotion, check your pulse!

Length: 6:05 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 33

Boogie Shred - Song Lesson

Building off of what we've learned, Mike is going to break down his song Boogie Shred, section by section, in unparalleled detail. In this first lesson, Mike does a complete playthrough, then shows us the chorus and the main riff.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 34

Boogie Shred - The Verse

The verse of Boogie Shred is built upon a bass pattern with some simple percussion. From there is escalates, but getting the foundation is key!

Length: 11:34 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 35

Boogie Shred - The Pre-Chorus

We'll take a look at the pre-chorus of Boogie Shred.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 36

Boogie Shred - Chorus and Verse Variations

In this lesson, Mike teaches us some cool variations on the verse and chorus of Boogie Shred.

Length: 4:41 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 37

Boogie Shred - Pre-Chorus 2 and Variations

Now it's time to take a look at some variations in the pre-chorus the second time it comes around.

Length: 7:17 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 38

Boogie Shred - The Bridge

It sounds crazy, but Mike breaks down the hectic bridge of Boogie Shred and shows that it is actually possible to play!

Length: 8:11 Difficulty: 4.5 Member Only
Lesson 39

Boogie Shred - The Outro

For the final piece of Boogie Shred, we look at the outro, which is a variation of the chorus. Mike then congratulates us on a job well done as he wraps up the entire series.

Length: 5:05 Difficulty: 4.0 Member Only
Lesson 40

Bonus Interview

Mike shares stories and advice from his own experience as a career musician.

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Get Access