Advanced Sweep Picking Applications (Guitar Lesson)

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Kris Norris

Advanced Sweep Picking Applications

Kris covers the right and left hand components of sweep picking separately. Then, he shows you how to synchronize the two. Three string arpeggios and five string arpeggios with hammer-ons are both included in the lesson. Kris includes a short, original etude at the end of the lesson that puts all of these concepts in play.

Taught by Kris Norris in Kris Norris Artist Series seriesLength: 35:40Difficulty: 4.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:38) Introduction Welcome back to Kris Norris' Phase 2 Artist Series! Kris kicks off this lesson with some rapid sweep picking licks. Sweep picking is often to arpeggio shapes to create blazing fast lead lines. In the following scenes, Kris will break down the basic right and left hand components of this technique. He will also explain how sweep picking can be applied to a practical, musical context.

Note: There are five other sweep picking lessons currently available on JamPlay. Check out the lessons listed below for more information on this topic.

Dennis Hodges - Phase 2 Lead Concepts and Technique: Lesson 5
Nick Greathouse - Phase 2 Speed and Technique: Lessons 3, 6, and 8
Matt Brown - Phase 2 Rock: Lesson 8
Chapter 2: (02:46) Right Hand Technique Right Hand Guidelines

1. In order to decrease the amount of friction between the pick and the strings, the picking hand must be slightly tilted from its normal position. When performing a down-sweep, tilt your hand towards the floor so that the thumb is pulled slightly away from the strings. This will prevent the pick from getting stuck on an individual string. When sweeping upwards toward the bass strings, tilt the pick in the opposite direction. The wrist, thumb, and index finger work together when the angle of the pick is adjusted. Watch Kris' right hand in the lesson video for a clear example.

2. Sweep arpeggios must be played with the very tip of the pick only. If too much of the pick makes contact with a string, you run the risk of getting it caught, and the arpeggio will not sound smooth.

3. The pick must gradually "fall" across the strings. In other words, the velocity of the right hand must remain constant as the pick drags across the strings. You must not separate the motion of the pick into individual strokes. Do not momentarily pause on each string!

4. When more than one note occurs on a given string, alternate picking must be used on that individual string. Or, the notes must be sounded by hammer-ons and pulloffs. Then, resume picking in one direction.

5. Keep the right hand as relaxed as possible at all times. Grip the pick just hard enough so that it does not fall out of your hand.

6. Use gravity to your advantage when performing a down sweep. When performing an upward sweep, the picking motion must become more deliberately since gravity is working against you.

Basic Technique Exercise

The first exercise presented in this scene is designed to get you acquainted with the basic right hand component of sweep picking.

A. Practicing the Exercise

Pick through the four highest open strings using all downstrokes. Remember to keep the velocity of the pick constant through the sweeping motion. Do not pause or freeze the right hand after picking each note. Tilt the top of the pick towards the ground when performing a down sweep. After the final downstroke is performed on the first string, reverse the direction of the pick. You must alter the angle of the pick when performing a sweep in an upwards direction. Tilt the pick back towards you when performing an up sweep.

B. Rhythm

It is important to be able to sweep pick in a variety of different rhythms. Sweep arpeggios can be performed in eighth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes, quintuplets, sextuplets, and thirty second notes. Kris has notated this exercise in quarter notes. For additional practice, apply sixteenth notes and eighth notes to the exercise.

C. Exercise Play Along

The rhythm must remain constant throughout a sweep. Each note must receive the exact same rhythmic value as the next. Do not leave a pause between the down sweep and up sweep. Practice this exercise at a very slow tempo to begin with. Then, gradually increase the tempo. Kris demonstrates the exercise in quarter notes with the metronome set to 100 beats per minute. At first, listen to him play the exercise to hear how it should be performed. Then, rewind the listen video and play along with him. Keep in mind that Kris tunes every string down one full step.

Sweep picking is often performed at rapid tempos. Once you can play the exercise flawlessly and comfortably at 100 beats per minute, move the metronome up a few notches. Continue to increase the speed of the metronome as you master the exercise at each individual setting.
Chapter 3: (02:43) Left Hand Technique Left Hand Guidelines

The main reason why guitarists perform sweep arpeggios poorly is because they fail to realize that the left hand component is just as important as the right. Follow these rules to ensure that your arpeggios sound smooth and fluid.

1. The left hand must prepare each finger before the string is plucked with the right hand. The left hand finger must fret each note just milliseconds before it is plucked. Otherwise, an unwanted hammer-on sound might be produced.

2. Each string must be muted after it is played by slightly lifting the left hand from the string. Do not let the strings in a sweep arpeggio ring together! If the same finger is to be used to fret the next string, do not lift it up. Instead, "roll" your finger by lightly pulling it down to the next string. Be careful that you don't create unwanted pull-offs when performing finger rolls.

Note: The following information about finger rolls is taken from lesson of Matt Brown's Phase 2 Reading Music and Rhythm Series.

A finger roll must be performed whenever two consecutive notes are played at the same fret but on different strings. The way in which you fret the initial note must change when this technique is applied. When rolling to a lower string, fret the first note more with the fleshy pad of the finger so that the tip can easily roll to the next note. When rolling to a higher string, the opposite approach must be taken. Fret the first note with the very tip of the finger. Then, slightly flatten out the tip joint so that the pad of the finger frets the second note. When performing a roll, the melody must remain smooth and connected. However, both notes should not ring over top of one another.

3. The sweep arpeggio should sound like a series of rapid single notes, not a slowly strummed chord.

Exercise 1

This exercise features a sweep arpeggio performed with a common minor chord voicing. In the lesson video, Kris demonstrates a Bm arpeggio in seventh position. Keep in mind that he tunes his guitar down a full step. As a result, this chord sounds like an Am chord played in standard tuning.

Once you have mastered the basic arpeggio pattern, transpose it to all possible locations on the fretboard.

A. Left Hand

Within this arpeggio shape, the left hand must roll across the third through first strings. Otherwise, the notes on these strings will ring together. Kris demonstrates this finger roll at 01:18 in the lesson video. In order for a sweep to sound effective, the arpeggio must be played in a smooth, legato style. However, none of the notes should ring over top of one another. This produces the effect of a slowly strummed chord.

Note: Check out lesson 5 from Dennis Hodges' Phase 2 Lead Concepts and Techniques lesson for some excellent finger roll exercises.

B. Right Hand

The arpeggio begins with a downward sweeping motion. Remember to keep the velocity of the pick steady when performing a sweep in either direction. Once the first string is reached, the right hand takes a momentary break. The notes on this string are sounded as a result of hammer-ons and pull-offs. After the final pull-off note on the first string, the pick sweeps in a downward motion through the second, third, and fourth strings.
Chapter 4: (04:35) Right and Left Hand Synchronization Exercise 2 Overview

Exercise 2 is designed to improve the synchronization of the left and right hands. Synchronization is key to fast techniques such as sweep picking. If the hands are not perfectly synchronized, many muted or dead notes will occur within a sweep. On the whole, accuracy and speed will drastically be reduced.

Exercise 2 Directions

-The exercise begins in twelfth position. Within this position, each finger plays at a specific fret. Consequently, each left hand finger is used equally. The exercise features a repeating pattern as it ascends up the fretboard. In each position, the notes performed with an upward sweep create a mirror image with the notes utilized in the downwards sweep. Watch carefully at 01:42 as Kris demonstrates the pattern.

-Make sure that the first left hand finger lifts from the fretboard as the next finger prepares to play. This will prevent the arpeggio from sounding muddy. If you are playing with a high gain sound, you also may need to apply some right hand muting to prevent strings from ringing sympathetically. As soon as a note is played, move the right hand palm into position so that it is muting the string that was just struck.

-Use a downward sweep for the first four eighth notes in the measure. Use an upward sweep for the remaining notes.

-Play the exercise in time with a metronome to ensure that the rhythm remains steady. Begin at a relatively slow tempo and gradually increase the speed. Kris begins by playing quarter notes at 100 beats per minute.

-Also, practice in eighth notes and sixteenth notes at this same tempo. If this tempo is too fast for you, feel free to begin at a slower tempo. Focus on precision and accuracy. Speed will come in time with repetitious practice.
Chapter 5: (06:27) 3 String Minor Arpeggio In this scene, Kris demonstrates a movable, one octave arpeggio pattern played on the three treble strings. He uses this shape to play a sweep arpeggio based on a Dm chord in second inversion. When a chord or arpeggio is played in second inversion, the fifth of the chord (A) is played as the lowest note.

Right Hand

The right hand performs a down sweep in triplets through the first three notes. Then, an upwards sweeping motion begins. Notice how a pull off is used when two notes are played on the same string. It is much easier to play the exercise at high speeds using a pull-off. Otherwise, alternate picking must be applied when multiple notes are played on the same string. This drastically slows the right hand down.

Left Hand

Kris frets the note on the third string with the first finger. He frets the second string note with the second finger. Then, the first finger must jump down to play the first string. Many players find this fingering to be most comfortable. Other players prefer to use an alternate fingering. The alternate fingering listed below eliminates the string jump performed by the first finger.

3rd String Note: 2nd Finger
2nd String Note: 3rd Finger
1st String Note: 1st Finger

As the exercise continues, the highest note within the pattern changes. A different note from the D minor scale is used each time the arpeggio pattern is repeated. Either the third or pinky finger is used to fret the highest note in the pattern. Use finger three for stretches of four or fewer frets between the first and third finger. Use the pinky finger to perform larger stretches.

Changing Arpeggios

In measure seventeen, a new arpeggio shape is introduced. A second inversion C major arpeggio is used in this measure. A Bb arpeggio enters in measure 19. The same shape is used for an A major arpeggio in measures 21-22. As the chords change, a note from the D natural minor scale is still played as the highest melody note within each arpeggio pattern.

Exercise 3

As Kris demonstrates at 04:26, you don't have to pick the final note played on the second string. Instead of picking this note with an upstroke, sound the note by hammering-on from nowhere. It is much easier to perform this arpeggio rapidly using this fingering. In addition to the hammer-on from nowhere, a hammer-on / pull-off figure is played with all three notes on the first string. Listen as Kris tries to perform the exercise in sextuplets at 130 beats per minute using this method. Then, listen to Kris play the exercise using the the first right hand pattern. As you can tell, he has a much easier time using this new method when playing at a high tempo.

Note: This trick is much more effective when a high gain sound is employed. When playing with a clean sound, the hammer-on from nowhere must be performed with more force to sound the note clearly.
Chapter 6: (03:50) 5 String Arpeggio w/ Hammer-on Exercise Based on Five Strings

By using five strings, it is possible to play sweep arpeggios that spans two full octaves. This exercise begins with a two octave D minor arpeggio played in second inversion. As the exercise progresses, two octave versions of the chords from the previous exercise are used as well. Similar to the exercises discussed in the last scene, the highest note of the arpeggio figure changes to various notes within the Dm scale to create an interesting melodic texture.

Left Hand

Begin the arpeggio with the index finger on the fifth string. Then, perform a hammer-on with the pinky finger. Fret the note on the fourth string with the second finger. The fingering for the upper octave in the arpeggio is played the same as demonstrated in the previous scene.

Right Hand

The right hand performs a down sweep in triplets through the first six notes. Then, an upwards sweeping motion begins. Notice how a hammer-on or pull-off is used when two notes are played on the same string.


Practice the exercise in quarter notes at first. Then, work on eighths, triplets, sixteenths, and sextuplets at the same tempo. Continue to increase the speed of the metronome as you become comfortable with each setting.
Chapter 7: (07:17) Connecting Arpeggio Shapes Connecting 3 String Shapes

This exercise features a string of Em arpeggios played in various inversions. The exercise begins with the second inversion arpeggio patterns that Kris demonstrated in the previous 2 scenes. On beat three, a root position arpeggio is used. "Root position" means that the root note is played as the lowest note. On the down beat of the next measure, the first inversion arpeggio shape is used. First inversion occurs when the third of the chord is played as the lowest note. The exercise concludes with the second inversion played two octaves higher.

A grace note is added to the down sweep of each arpeggio. Grace notes are not counted. They are played as rapidly as possible without altering the rhythm of the full sized notes. Slide from the last note of the previous arpeggio into the first note of the new arpeggio. Watch Kris in the lesson video at 01:51 for a clear demonstration of how this exercise should be performed.


Practice with quarter notes at slow tempo at first. Then, explore other rhythms and higher tempo ranges.

Connecting 5 String Shapes

The first measure of this exercise begins with a two octave Em minor arpeggio played in second inversion. A root position Em arpeggio occurs in the next measure. Then, a second inversion Bm arpeggio is played followed by a root position Bm arpeggio in the next measure. Remember to use hammer-ons and pull-offs when two notes are played on the same string. Some finger rolls must also be applied when two consecutive notes are played at the same fret on different strings. Watch as Kris demonstrates the full exercise at 03:22

Metronome Tips for Increasing Speed

Guitarist John Petrucci advocates a specific procedure to adjusting the metronome during a practice session. John's metronome method will enable you to push your speed boundaries to new limits in the most efficient manner.

Find the tempo at which you begin to struggle with the exercise. Then, move the metronome down several notches. Gradually work your way back up to the problem tempo. Instead of practicing the previous problem tempo, set the metronome a few notches higher. Try your best to play through the exercise at this tempo. It will most likely be a total struggle. However, when you return to the initial problem tempo, you will find that the exercise is much more comfortable to play.
Chapter 8: (06:58) Indiana Jones Arpeggio In this scene, Kris demonstrates a new sweeping exercise that he has been working on lately. All of the difficult components of sweeping are emphasized in the exercise. Finger rolls, rapid changes in direction, and hammer-ons occurring in the middle of the arpeggio pattern are all present.

Kris calls the arpeggio shapes in this exercise "Indiana Jones" arpeggios. These arpeggios shapes are reminiscent of a melody that occurs in the Indiana Jones movies. E major arpeggios are played for the first two measures. Bb arpeggios are played in the last two measures. Kris usually practices the exercise along with a backing track consisting of the E5, B5, Bb5/F, and F5 chords. A transcription to the backing track can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Due to the complexity of this exercise, break it down into small components. Work on two beats at a time. Take a short couple seconds of rest before you begin to work on the next two beat segment. Begin practicing segments at a very slow tempo. Then, string the entire exercise together at a slow tempo. Once you feel comfortable with the whole exercise at this tempo, gradually increase the tempo by a notch at a time.
Chapter 9: (00:27) Wrap Up With this lesson and the other sweeping lessons on the website, you have plenty of material to keep you busy for a long time. For extra practice, begin to play some songs that involve sweep picking. Check out the music of Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert for some excellent sweeping examples. Also, try to learn some of the solos that Kris has recorded. Finally, apply sweep picking to your own solos and exercises.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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

godin0124godin0124 replied

Does anyone else find having the instructors guitar tuned down a half step make this much more difficult to learn?

supaflysupafly replied

that "indiana jones" chord progression reminds me of the music that plays in the 8th world in super mario bros 3 lol.

matlundmatlund replied

This is badass! thanks

clarke1966clarke1966 replied

Another great lesson Kris. Thanks!

alecalec replied

you are a beast!!250!?how do you get that fast!?great lesson thanks

dylanyzewyndylanyzewyn replied

Bad ass sweep!!!

jweaks48jweaks48 replied

great lesson, that 1234 sweep was from J. Petrucci's Rock Discipline right Chris?

burningidburningid replied

still confused on how to get the strings to stop ringing any advice?

illucid1982illucid1982 replied

I JUST got my account today mainly because you're on here and quite possibly my favorite guitarist. Lots of great material. Much appreicated Kris! Thanks a million!

kris.norriskris.norris replied

Thank YOU!!!

marco covnotmarco covnot replied

Did you use your third finger at all when sweeping that?

marco covnotmarco covnot replied

The five strings pattern with the hammer on.

gontarekgontarek replied

Great lesson, helped me get better use of my pratice time. Any chance at showing us some Jeff Loomis stuff? Miles of Machines? Thanks

kris.norriskris.norris replied

I;ve gone over a few loomis things in my live Q&A's

darkhanddarkhand replied

Although this is far past my level of guitar playing, it's great to watch you play Kris. Keep on rocking!

tmantman replied

nice lesson really helped i was definitally have trouble with my sweeps

adris8adris8 replied

Nice lesson Kris. Btw I saw you on the ESP LTD 2009 product catalog hehe!

dewguitardewguitar replied

hey Kris: just checked out your sweep picking lesson and found it to be REAL helpful. Thanks - good lesson. Dana

hgnativehgnative replied

i need to learn this there's a part on steve vai's tender surrender that has some fast sweep picking and im stuck... great lesson.

Kris Norris Artist Series

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Kris Norris kicks off the Artist Series with a wide array of ideas and lessons; from changing strings on a floyd rose, to advanced sweeping / legato techniques and soloing applications.

Changing Strings - Floyd Rose StyleLesson 1

Changing Strings - Floyd Rose Style

Kris Norris demonstrates how to install new strings on a guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose tremolo system.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Warm-up Exercises with KrisLesson 2

Warm-up Exercises with Kris

Kris Norris shows you his favorite warm-up exercises. These exercises will prepare you to play the guitar from a physical and mental standpoint.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Scalar Exercises: Left and Right Hand SynchronizationLesson 3

Scalar Exercises: Left and Right Hand Synchronization

Kris covers chromatic and scale pattern exercises. Also, he explains some variations on these exercise and provides you with the knowledge to create your own variations. Now you don't have any excuse...

Length: 20:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Scalar Exercises: LegatoLesson 4

Scalar Exercises: Legato

Kris shows you the in's and out's of legato playing. These examples will benefit beginners and and advanced players alike. The patterns Kris uses in this lesson are based on the examples shown in "Scalar...

Length: 11:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chuggin' n Skippin'Lesson 5

Chuggin' n Skippin'

Kris covers right hand techniques such as palm muting, tremolo, palm muted string skipping, and upstroke accents.

Length: 13:26 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Advanced Sweep Picking ApplicationsLesson 6

Advanced Sweep Picking Applications

Kris covers the right and left hand components of sweep picking separately. Then, he shows you how to synchronize the two. Three string arpeggios and five string arpeggios with hammer-ons are both included...

Length: 35:40 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Remaining Foolish: Arpeggios & Scalar LinesLesson 7

Remaining Foolish: Arpeggios & Scalar Lines

Kris presents excerpts from his song "Remaining Foolish" from Icons of the Illogical. He explains the arpeggio patterns used in various parts of the song and also talks about alternate picked arpeggios....

Length: 17:40 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Sweep Exercises Based on Canon in DLesson 8

Sweep Exercises Based on Canon in D

Kris uses Pachelbel's "Canon In D" as a way to practice arpeggio sweeps. He shows how to sweep and alternate pick arpeggios.

Length: 10:08 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Counterpoint: A Shift In NormalcyLesson 9

Counterpoint: A Shift In Normalcy

This lesson is about the concept of counterpoint and harmony. Kris explores contrapuntal examples from his song "A Shift In Normalcy" off of his solo record Icons of the Illogical.

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
A Closer Look At Pick ThicknessLesson 10

A Closer Look At Pick Thickness

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the differences in pick thickness.

Length: 32:24 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Satriani Inspired TappingLesson 11

Satriani Inspired Tapping

Kris Norris explains how to play a Joe Satriani inspired tapping etude.

Length: 11:13 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Extending Your Musical Reach With 8 String GuitarsLesson 12

Extending Your Musical Reach With 8 String Guitars

Kris Norris takes a look at 8 string guitars and their possibilities. He demonstrates the versatility of an 8 string with jazz and metal applications. Kris also performs a short improv jam at the end.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Neoclassical InspirationsLesson 13

Neoclassical Inspirations

Kris teaches neoclassical examples from three of his favorite guitar players.

Length: 29:17 Difficulty: 5.0 Members Only
Rock & Metal Chicken Pickin'Lesson 14

Rock & Metal Chicken Pickin'

Kris displays some adventurous ways to use chicken pickin' in a rock and metal environment.

Length: 15:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Exotic Embellishments In The Style Of Marty FriedmanLesson 15

Exotic Embellishments In The Style Of Marty Friedman

Kris teaches arpeggio examples that use notes outside of a scale. He also demonstrates an example using the Chinese scale.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Connecting Scale PatternsLesson 16

Connecting Scale Patterns

Kris shows you how to connect the patterns of a G major scale together.

Length: 15:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: Basic Scale Theory PrimerLesson 17

Mastering Modes: Basic Scale Theory Primer

This is the first lesson in the "Mastering Modes" mini series. Here Kris explains the fundamentals of scale basics.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: IonianLesson 18

Mastering Modes: Ionian

In this lesson, Kris explains the history behind the modes and then explains the Ionian mode.

Length: 9:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: DorianLesson 19

Mastering Modes: Dorian

In this lesson, Kris covers the Dorian mode, which is the second mode of the major scale.

Length: 13:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: PhrygianLesson 20

Mastering Modes: Phrygian

Kris explains the basics of the Phrygian mode, which is a minor sounding mode of the major scale.

Length: 7:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: LydianLesson 21

Mastering Modes: Lydian

In this installment of the "Mastering Modes" mini-series, Kris covers the Lydian mode. This is the fourth mode of the major scale.

Length: 9:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: MixolydianLesson 22

Mastering Modes: Mixolydian

Kris explains the basics of the Mixolydian mode, which is a major sounding mode of the major scale.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mastering Modes: AeolianLesson 23

Mastering Modes: Aeolian

Kris explains Aeolian, which is the 6th mode of the major scale. This is also known as the natural minor scale.

Length: 7:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Mastering Modes: LocrianLesson 24

Mastering Modes: Locrian

Kris covers the Locrian mode, which is the 7th mode of the major scale.

Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Song Workshop ExperimentLesson 25

Song Workshop Experiment

Aaron Miller sits down with Kris in the JamPlay studio to discuss songwriting techniques.

Length: 78:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Song Workshop Experiment - FinaleLesson 26

Song Workshop Experiment - Finale

Kris Norris and Aaron Miller are back to finish up what they started. Get ready for more songwriting, playing tips, and inside information. Enjoy

Length: 32:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Picking Practice With Drum RudimentsLesson 27

Picking Practice With Drum Rudiments

Kris shows how some drum rudiments can be used to make exercises for your right hand.

Length: 18:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sliding ArpeggiosLesson 28

Sliding Arpeggios

Kris teaches how to use sliding techniques with arpeggios. He uses an example in the Lydian mode and also plays over a backing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Left Hand Finger IndependenceLesson 29

Left Hand Finger Independence

Kris teaches exercises focused on getting the left hand fingers to be more independent.

Length: 26:19 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Building Triad ArpeggiosLesson 30

Building Triad Arpeggios

Kris explains root triad arpeggios and their first and second inversions.

Length: 25:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Practicing Triad Arpeggios ChromaticallyLesson 31

Practicing Triad Arpeggios Chromatically

This lesson focuses on sweep picking major, minor, and diminished triad arpeggios chromatically.

Length: 16:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Re-voicing Progressions with InversionsLesson 32

Re-voicing Progressions with Inversions

Kris shows you how inversions can be used to create smooth voice leading within a progression.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Dual Tonality PentatonicsLesson 33

Dual Tonality Pentatonics

Kris shows how to combine pentatonic scales from different keys to form new and interesting sounds.

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Betcha Can't Scale ThisLesson 34

Betcha Can't Scale This

Kris shows you how to learn scales vertically and horizontally on the fretboard.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Neapolitan ChordLesson 35

The Neapolitan Chord

Named after the "Neapolitan School" from the 18th century and not ice cream, this chord is a major chord built on the lowered 2nd scale degree.

Length: 7:13 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Diatonic Chords In G MajorLesson 36

Diatonic Chords In G Major

Kris shows the diatonic chords of G Major.

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Diatonic 7th ArpeggiosLesson 37

Diatonic 7th Arpeggios

Kris teaches you how to play diatonic 7th arpeggios and their inversions in the key of G major.

Length: 15:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tapping 7th ArpeggiosLesson 38

Tapping 7th Arpeggios

Kris shows you how to play seventh arpeggios with tapping, legato, and string skipping.

Length: 7:45 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Popular Chord ProgressionsLesson 39

Popular Chord Progressions

Kris shows some common major and minor chord progressions.

Length: 27:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Quick Connect EMG Active PickupsLesson 40

Quick Connect EMG Active Pickups

Kris installs these new EMG pickups into his guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Workshop With ChodypthLesson 41

Workshop With Chodypth

Kris Norris sat down with Chodypth, aka Cody, and this video is the result of a day of jamming and practicing.

Length: 77:35 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Kris Norris

About Kris Norris View Full Biography Mr. Kris Norris was born August, 31 1978 in Canton, Ohio. He began playing around the age of 14. Early on the self-taught guitarist took an interest in metal and began playing in a local Virginia metal band. Kris' early influences were rooted in Swedish metal, bands include In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and Edge of Sanity. Norwegian Black metal also played a part in Kris' interest including early Mayhem, Emperor, and Ulver. Kris started Disinterment with future Darkest Hour bandmate Ryan Parrish. Disinterment lasted over 6 years and developed a local following in the Virginia metal by being some of the first players to incorporate Swedish metal and 3 guitar players.

College Days
When Kris was 17 he attended Virgina Commonwealth University School of Music (VCU). He studied Music composition and focused on film with world renowned composer Dika Newlin. Kris also studied classical guitar with John Patykula, prize student of Jesus Silva who was the prize student of Andre Segovia. Kris left the University after 6 years of studies. After college, he began his teaching career instructing private students and giving lessons at Mars Music. Kris' teaching career would eventually be put on hold to join Darkest Hour.

Darkest Hour Days
Kris' first album with Darkest Hour ,Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation, the 2005 release was recorded at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordstrom. Ironically, the same studio facilitated many of Kris' influences 10 years prior.

Darkest Hour's next release, Undoing Ruin allowed Kris to stretch his wings and show what he could truly do on the instrument with the addition of several solos. The record was produced by Canadian metal mastermind Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Steve Vai). Townsend was a big part of pushing Kris to his own musical potential on Undoing Ruin and even more so on the follow up record, Deliver Us.

Deliver Us was released in 2007 and debuted at 110 on the Billboard Chart. This would be the last Darkest Hour record with Kris as a member. The album like its predecessor was also produced by Devin Townsend, who was able to take a bigger hand in its production. Devin pushed Kris to experiment with his own playing and to hone in on his strongest abilities.

Kris' career with Darkest Hour spanned 6 years, 23 countries, 4 continents, countless tours, 3 albums, near 200,000 album sales, and many lifelong friendships made along the way. With the birth of his son in 2008, Kris felt he needed to take his career closer to home while still focusing on music and guitar. In order for Darkest Hour to devote 100% to their music and touring, Kris came to the decision to amicably part ways with the band.

His Future:
As of early 2009, Kris has full sponsorships from ESP, EMG, Peavey, DigiTech, InTune, and Morley. Currently, Kris is producing and mixing aspiring metal acts while also working for Final Symphony Studios out of Charlottesville, Virgina. Kris also edits records for James Murphy (Testament, Obituary, Death) at Safehouse Productions. Kris has released his first solo record through Magna Carta Records, entitled Icons Of The Illogical. His solo effort was recorded at Karma Productions with Cory Smoot (GWAR) and features vocals from Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe.

Kris is excited to be an addition to the JamPlay Instructor Roster. Lending his metal chops and thorough education to his lessons make him a valuable teacher. Kris is excited to be making lessons for JamPlay and just as stoked to learn new things from our other instructors. Check it out and stay Metal.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

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Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

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Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Phil discusses inspiration, where it's found and how you can take almost anything around you and use it to inspire your own...

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Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

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Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

JamPlay is proud to introduce jazz guitarist Peter Einhorn. In this lesson series, Peter will discuss and demonstrate a way...

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Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

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Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

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Glen Drover Glen Drover

Lesson 25 from Glen presents a detailed exercise that firmly builds up fret hand dexterity for both speed and accuracy.

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Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

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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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Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

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Jeffery Marshall Jeffery Marshall

Welcome to Inside and Out with Jeff Marshall! In this lesson series, Jeff takes a bottom up approach to fret board proficiency....

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

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Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

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Larry Cook Larry Cook

In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...

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Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

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

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

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
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 127 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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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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