Timing and Tempo (Guitar Lesson)

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Steve Eulberg

Timing and Tempo

Steve Eulberg delves into the wonderful world of rhythm and time signatures.

Taught by Steve Eulberg in Basic Guitar with Steve Eulberg seriesLength: 29:00Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:18) Lesson Introduction Steve kicks things off with a classic progression in the key of G major.
Chapter 2: (11:19) Timing and Tempo This lesson focuses on timing, tempo, and rhythm. Many members have been requesting more information about these topics. As a result, Steve has decided to provide a full lesson on this topic. For more information regarding this subject, check out lesson 30 from Dave MacKenzie's Phase 1 series. Also, check out Matt Brown and Jim Deeming's Phase 2 lessons pertaining to reading music and rhythms.

Note: If you have any additional questions concerning the information presented in this lesson, write in to the JamPlay teaching staff for extra help.

Rhythm: The Most Important Aspect of Music

Rhythm is the single most important aspect of music. Rhythm is the musical component that makes people want to dance, bob their heads, or start a mosh pit. When practicing any piece of music, rhythm should always be your highest priority. An incorrect note usually slides by unnoticed. On the other hand, unsteady rhythm typically results in a musical train wreck.

Note: the following information regarding the importance of rhythm is taken from lesson 1 of Matt Brown's Reading and Rhythm series.

-Rhythm is the single most important aspect of music. If you can't play something perfectly in time, then you can't play it. As a result, you should spend the majority of your practice time perfecting rhythm. This task can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. The important rule to remember is to practice with a metronome as much as possible. Playing along with recordings is also great practice.

-Rhythmic skills are essential to playing with a group of other musicians. As a guitarist, you can't simply say: "I'll just play along with the drummer. After all, the drummer is responsible for the rhythm." This is a horrible mindset to have. YOU must be responsible for rhythmic perfection at all times. That way, if the drummer is playing incorrectly, you can address the issue as needed.

Universal Language

Musical notation defies almost all language barriers. The same system of notation is used throughout most of the world. This system allows people from completely different cultures to communicate with one another through the art of music.

Many people have the ability to imitate the music that they hear in their head without learning to read music. These people are rare and posses and exceptional gift. However, these people cannot convey what they hear in their heads very easily to other musicians.

Friends Don't Let Friends Use Tablature

Tablature may provide an accurate description of which notes are played in a piece of music. However, it leaves out the rest of the equation. Tablature provides no indication of how rhythm should be played. It also omits important musical features such as phrasing, melodic resolutions, and the style in which a piece should be played. Due to inadequacies of tablature, it is absolutely essential that you begin to read musical notation as early as possible. You will not regret this decision.

Note: the following information regarding the importance of learning how to read sheet music is taken from lesson 1 of Matt Brown's Reading and Rhythm series. This lesson set is part of JamPlay's Phase 2 area of lessons.

-First and foremost, learning to read music will make you a better player. Reading skills will enhance the overall musicality of your playing. Continuing with these lessons will make you sound better. Period. After all, isn't that the goal we're all after?

-If you can't read music, you cannot interpret written music or tablature properly. This is due to a lack of understanding of how notes function with one another from a theoretical standpoint.

-It is impossible to learn music theory and audiation without basic reading skills.

-Musicians that play other instruments don't use tablature. You cannot communicate with these musicians without reading skills.

Time Signatures

At the beginning of a piece, right after the clef symbol and key signature, the time signature is written. Steve teaches the key concepts behind time signatures by providing some very common examples.

4/4 Time

You may have seen this written at the beginning of a piece and not really understood what it meant. The top note indicates how many beats are in each measure. The bottom number indicates which note value will receive the beat. This is where things get confusing for many people. Simply memorize the note value that is indicated by each bottom number.

16: Sixteenth Note
8: Eighth Note
4: Quarter Note
2: Half Note
1: Whole Note

Sometimes 4/4 time is indicated with an upper case letter "C." Before Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in about 1439, it was much easier to write a "C" legibly than writing 4/4. "C" stands for "Common Time." This traditional indication of 4/4 time is still frequently used today.

2/4 Time

Remember that the top number indicates how many beats are in a measure. The bottom number 4 indicates that the quarter note receives the beat. Consequently, this time signature features 2 quarter notes in each measure. Or, the sum of the rhythmic values written within each measure must add up to a total of two quarter notes. Many songs that are written in 2/4 can also be written in 4/4. This is due to the fact that four is equally divisible by two. Usually, pieces in which the chords change every two beats at quick tempos are written in 2/4. Most marches are written in 2/4 time.


This signature indicates that there are three quarter notes in each measure. This signature can be a little bit tricky because there is an odd number of beats per measure. The waltz is an example of a common rhythm played in 3/4 time. Refer back to the intro music that Steve played. This music is played in 3/4 time. In a waltz rhythm, the first beat of each measure is accented. This gives the rhythm a steady "oom pah pah" sound.

2/2 and Cut Time

These time signatures are written differently, but played the same way. In cut time, each note receives half of its written value. For example, a quarter note receives the value of an eighth note. An eighth note receives the value of a sixteenth note and so on.

Duple Meters, Triple Meters, and Irregular Meters

A duple meter is a time signature in which the number of beats per measure is divisible by two. This includes simple meters such as 2/4 and 4/4 as well as compound meters such as 6/8 and 12/8.

Note: Compound meters are explained later in this lesson.

A triple meter is a time signature in which the number of beats per measure is divisible by three. Some common examples are 3/4 and 9/8 time.

Irregular meters are time signatures in which the number of beats per measure is a prime number. Some common examples are 5/4 and 7/4.
Chapter 3: (05:29) Duple Meter Correction

Note: Steve says that if the quarter note pulse can be divided into two eighth notes, then the meter is a duple meter. This definition applies to "simple meters," not duple meters. Not all simple meters are duple meters. A duple meter divides the entire measure into two equal parts. As a result, 3/4 is not a duple meter. 3/4 is the most common example of a triple meter.

Counting Eighth Notes

Steve explains the way in which eighth notes are typically counted in 4/4 time. Count "1+2+3+4+" for a measure in 4/4 that is solely comprised of eighth notes. The numeral in this counting pattern is referred to as the "downbeat." The "+" symbol indicates the "upbeat."

Steve's Marker Board

Take a look at Steve's marker board. A still image of his marker board can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab. He has indicated where accents typically occur within a measure of each time signature. For example, in 4/4 time, beats 1 and 3 typically receive a slight accent. However, when playing in the swing style, the back beats (beats 2 and 4) receive the metric stress. In the case of 3/4, the first beat in each measure is stressed.
Chapter 4: (07:00) Compound Meter 12/8 and 6/8

Compound meters are time signatures in which eighth notes are placed in groupings of three. Some common examples are 6/8, 12/8, and 9/8. The jig (often spelled gigue or giga) is played in 6/8 or 12/8. A slight accent is placed on the first eighth note in each beat. 6/8 is not the same as 3/4 due to the way in which the eighth notes are grouped. This alters where the accents occur in the measure.

Since eighth notes are placed in groups of threes in these types of meters, compound meters have a steady triplet feel. This rhythm is usually played steadily by the drummer on the hi-hat or ride cymbal in the context of a band.


This rhythm shows up very frequently in Celtic music. Three distinct pulses occur in each measure. Each pulse consists of three eighth notes. The slip jig is one example related to a particular kind of dance. The three eighth notes that occur at the end of a measure tend to pull you into the next measure. Since there is an odd number of beats, this signature has a lot of forward movement.
Chapter 5: (04:47) Triplets "Triplet" literally means three in the place of two. Triplets are used in duple meters to designate note groupings of three. There are several types of triplets that you will encounter as you advance as a musician. Eighth note triplets are by far the most common. Three eighth note triplets equal one quarter note. Quarter note triplets are also quite common. Three quarter note triplets equal one half note or two regular quarter notes. Sixteenth note triplets are quite common as well. Three of them equal an eighth note or two sixteenth notes. These groupings are sometimes referred to as "sextuplets." Half note triplets are quite rare. Three half note triplets equal a single whole note.

Counting and Playing Triplets

Any word containing three syllables can be used to count triplets. Chocolate, strawberry, apricot, and coconut are a few common examples. Many musicians prefer to use alternate counting devices such as "1 and ah" or Tri-pl-let." Regardless of the counting method you use, triplets must be played perfectly even. All of the notes under the triplet bracket receive the exact same value.


The tempo of a piece is often specified as the number of beats that occur within the span of a minute. Usually the tempo is indicated by "quarter note=a specific number of beats." Italian terms are used to specify the tempo at which a piece should be played.

Prestissimo — extremely fast (200 and above bpm)
Vivacissimamente — adverb of vivacissimo, "very quickly and lively"
Vivacissimo — very fast and lively
Presto — very fast (168–200 bpm)
Allegrissimo — very fast
Vivo — lively and fast
Vivace — lively and fast (≈140 bpm)
Allegro — fast and bright or "march tempo" (120–168 bpm)
Allegro moderato — moderately quick (112–124 bpm)
Allegretto — moderately fast (but less so than allegro)
Allegretto grazioso — moderately fast and gracefully
Moderato — moderately (108–120 bpm)
Moderato espressivo — moderately with expression
Andantino — alternatively faster or slower than andante
Andante — at a walking pace (76–108 bpm)
Tranquillamente — adverb of tranquillo, "tranquilly"
Tranquillo — tranquil
Adagietto — rather slow (70–80 bpm)
Adagio — slow and stately (literally, "at ease") (66–76 bpm)
Grave — slow and solemn
Lento — very slow (40–60 bpm)
Larghetto — rather broadly (60–66 bpm)
Largo — very slow (40–60 bpm), like lento
Larghissimo — very very slow (20 bpm and below)

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.

jmoortgatjmoortgat replied

im still having trouble keeping the best or listening and figuring out the beat.... Any suggestions?

LSCalgaryLSCalgary replied

Great lesson Steve!! :)

james greenjames green replied

Important stuff, very helpful. Good teacher! Thanx.

annemaried316annemaried316 replied

I feel like this guy forgot more about music than I'll ever know. Really helpful video.

john103141john103141 replied

This has been a very helpful lesson for me.

nicoleyu23nicoleyu23 replied

Enter your comment here.

likebeastlikebeast replied

hu steve, love your lessons. I dont understand something about length of notes. i thought quarter notes had an inherent tempo to it, (around 1/second)and 8th notes were half of that time=faster. how could you have an 8th note song slower than quarter note? thx!

danael175danael175 replied

hi steve , i'm new at learning guitar and i would like to know how long it take to get fast with the finger and learning the chord thank you

sgbythebaysgbythebay replied

Steve, You are a Master!

gimangiman replied

Nice lesson, reminds me to go buy or download an app for a good one. In the past as well as now I was a choir member and accompanied with the guitar, now if I want to learn any bluegrass or pure instrumentals will need more of your teaching. Looks I will need to learn to sight read music. I know that my son, who conned his way through piano lessons, but is now an opera singer laboriously types the scores into a program on his Mac and by the time he has finished that, he is "off book". But he fears the sight reading parts of auditions especially if in French. Glad we don't have to do this course in multiple languages--haha

adriftadrift replied

Great lesson. Really answered some questions about time signatures that have been bothering me for years. Another great lesson.

lisismelisisme replied

This was a helpful lesson, and I thought you did a good job explaining. I like your teaching style. Thanks!

htfdehtfde replied

Well, when you say 2/4 is rarely seen I'd have to disagree, although it usually makes more sense in a band context. With a 4/4 a bass player or a drummer has more space to work on a pattern, a 2/4 leaves much less space. So you can go boom--chack--boom-boom--chack in a 4/4 but NOT in a 2/4. A 2/4 is used mainly to get a straight drive from drum and bass to speed the sound up without changing tempo. 4/4 to 2/4 changes occur quite often in music, take Metallica as an example. Just listen to drums and bass and you see where the switch is. :)

boonejlboonejl replied

Lesson #15. What the @!*&%^[email protected]&#[email protected]^&$%#@ are you talking about. If I watched this more than one time I would have to go beat my head against a steel beam.

steveeulbergsteveeulberg replied

I hear your frustration. Can you tell me what DOES make sense from this lesson? Then we can approach what doesn't make sense.

kryaxis1kryaxis1 replied

great. now i want chocolates, coconuts, strawberries, and apricots.

billheiblbillheibl replied

This one I've had a lot of trouble with. Will have to repeat it as I move along I think. For me it would be helpful Steve if you could slow down when you demonstrate, especially on the pulse. Thanks. I am really enjoying these lessons.

thatguyatpartiesthatguyatparties replied

"Understand the world is a messy place." Amen sir; Amen. lol.

stewjistewji replied

Steve: Great lessons. On your time signature explanation, I was always taught the best way to remember what they meant was the top number was the number of beats in a bar and the bottom was the number of beats a whole note got. That might help some to understand. I am on a 7-day free trial and will be back for membership. You are an excellent instructor and motivator. Thanks.

gis38gis38 replied

correct on the top note i.e., number of beats in a bar, but a better way to say the bottom number is - waht kind ofnote gets a beat. Thus 3/4 would be - three beats to the bar and each beat is a 1/4 note.

michaelessery87michaelessery87 replied

Fantastic explanation Steve, I am new to Jamplay, and thoroughly enjoying your lessons. I have studied a few theory books on rhythm, and there wasnt anything necessarily new in this lesson, but they way which you explained it summed up nearly everything I have read. I wish I had discovered Jam Play sooner!

jet3rryjet3rry replied

Thanks, Steve! The musical examples you played to illustrate the time patterns really helped!

mrdemonmrdemon replied

Scene 5 - Triplets is dead! Please reupload it :)

kennyha619kennyha619 replied

Awesome lesson, thanks Mr. Eulberg.

accesspchaccesspch replied

Steve I have a question about sharps and flats in a key. I have a book that talks about the order of sharps and flats. I can't make that work for me. I understand that so many sharps or flats make a certain key and as I understand things that is what I need to memorize. Is there an order to this madness(just kidding) . I have not played in a long time and I am trying to come back and do it correctly.... Thanks in advance. accesspch

htfdehtfde replied

Actually there *is* an order, although this is not really the right lesson to post this question in my opinion. :) In a classic major scale the place where you go for half notes are fixed. For a major scale that is from 3rd to 4th note and from 7th to 8th. So in C you get the change from E -> F and B -> C. If you'd start, however, with, say, a G you'd run into a little problem because if you take the G scale (wrongly) you'd go G A B C D E F G ... now let's make sure that there is a full note difference (two half notes) between all steps BUT for the 3-4 and 7-8 switch. G - A ok, 2 half notes, A to B, ok, two half notes, B - C, ok only a half note as required ... if you continue checking everything works out fine BUT for the steps from 6 to 7 and 7 to 8. From E- F it should be two half tones (but is only one) and from 7 -8 we'd need another half step but get two half notes. If, however, we use F# instead of F we satisfy both demands. A double half tone step from 6 to 7 and a half tone step from 7 to 8. Therefore in the key of G you do not use a F but a F#. And you can now do this for all the other keys too. :) Hope this did help some.

piranhamanxxxpiranhamanxxx replied

Going back to my drumming days, we used to count out triplets 1-trip-let, 2-trip-let, 3-trip-let etc etc. You still get to count with the 3 syllables but it helped remind me where i was in the measure at the same time

kacy04kacy04 replied

Very good lesson, Steve. I have studied piano for 9 years and the basics of timing and tempo have never been explained as well by any of my teachers. Even though I don't really need this, to me it is an excellant way to introduce it to beginners. Keep up the good work.

soonersooner replied

I will quite simply need to watch this lesson many more times over again to gain an understanding of it...for some reason no matter how much I read about it or even when I watch Steve demonstrate things the whole music theory thing escapes me right now...but I'll get it. Just got to hang in there...:)

jsottosantojsottosanto replied

Steve, great lesson. I really appreciate the music theory parts in all of you lessons so keep them up. I understand that TAB notation only tells you the chords/notes to play but TAB doesn't give you any more information about the music than that. One thing I don't quite understand though is how standard music notation conveys the strumming pattern of the song. Can you explain how to interpret stumming patterns from standard music notation.

floorshakerfloorshaker replied

Hi Steve. Just wanted to let you know that `Understand that sometimes the world is a messy place' made me laugh out loud! Great when you are getting bogged down with music theory. Made me lighten up and realise that playing music is the key not necessarily understanding or communicating. Surely you also communicate by playing? Keep up the great lessons. Chris

rumble dollrumble doll replied

Thanks Steve. This was really, really helpful! It's all well & good reading this theory from books but it is much, much more helpful when someone talks you through it & uses little examples like Steve does (ie. the chocolate, coconut example). Also, each time Steve explains something new he gives a little example on the guitar & that is a huge help. It makes you think of songs you know that are in that timing/tempo & you'd never really given any consideration to it before. Even if some of this is beyond my capabilities & understanding at the moment this has still been extremely helpful & I will more than likely refer back to the lesson & hopefully get some of those 'Aha!' moments too.

rauschrausch replied

Thanks Steve for a very informative lesson. This information will help me to better understand rock and the blues as I listen and learn to play it. Nice job.

jamcatjamcat replied

Greatl lesson Steve. You have given me a handy tool to use when I begin reading notation.

toolfan88toolfan88 replied

i dont think so as long as you know the beat/tempo. what drum pattens do you use? im looking for a nice drum pattern website

itsmekeuhitsmekeuh replied

I have this Digitech RP250 that has a integrated drum machine/metronome. I use it to practice speed and lefthand/righthand coordination. I found I was toally inaccurate when I used a metronome at , let s say 100 BPM and playing 16th notes just chromatic runs over four frets ( you know 1234 1234 1234 1234 ) So what I did was doubling the tempo to 200 BPM and playing the same thing, but in 8th notes since I then had a better feeling that I was placing each note correctly

itsmekeuhitsmekeuh replied

I use drum patterns instead of a metronome or clicktrack, simply because it s more enjoyable, less annoying. Is there any disadvantage in this?

toolfan88toolfan88 replied

good lesson. i agree with greeno that there should be more lessons on timing and tempo. an old teacher i had told me the most importat part of playing was playing with a metronome

greenogreeno replied

Good lesson, Steve. I think many jamplay members, myself included, would benefit from more instruction and discussion on timing and tempo. Good job.

Basic Guitar with Steve Eulberg

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Phase 1 Acoustic Lessons with Steve Eulberg is a great place to begin your journey as a guitarist. With over 30 years of playing experience, Steve appreciates the importance of beginning your guitar training the correct way - no bad habits! These lessons are not just for acoustic players. Electric guitarists will receive the same benefits from this lesson series.

The Absolute BasicsLesson 1

The Absolute Basics

You will learn the parts of the guitar and how they function. Steve also discusses the importance of technique.

Length: 45:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Your First ChordsLesson 2

Your First Chords

Three simple chords will literally enable you to play millions of songs. In this lesson, you will learn the primary chords for the key of G.

Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Strumming TechniqueLesson 3

Strumming Technique

Now that Steve has taught some chords, he will go over the proper methods of strumming and right hand technique.

Length: 42:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
All About ChordsLesson 4

All About Chords

This lesson is all about the various aspects of chords.

Length: 39:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord TheoryLesson 5

Chord Theory

Steve explains how basic triads are formed in this lesson. He also explains the relationship between scales and chords.

Length: 40:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Intro to FingerpickingLesson 6

Intro to Fingerpicking

Steve Eulberg introduces you to the wonderful world of fingerpicking.

Length: 51:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Bringing it TogetherLesson 7

Bringing it Together

Steve starts to weave the strings of the past lessons together.

Length: 47:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chords, Keys and RelationshipsLesson 8

Chords, Keys and Relationships

This episode delves further in the realm of chords, scales, keys and the relationships between them. You will also learn some new chords.

Length: 34:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Barre ChordsLesson 9

Barre Chords

This lesson covers power chords and barre chords. You will learn how these chords are formed and how to apply them.

Length: 38:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tools for GuitarLesson 10

Tools for Guitar

Steve explains how basic tools such as the metronome, capo, and picks aid your guitar playing. Enjoy!

Length: 27:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Playing Lead and ScalesLesson 11

Playing Lead and Scales

This lesson gets you into the basics of playing melodies on the guitar. Playing melodies and solos is often referred to as "lead guitar."

Length: 45:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Hand StretchesLesson 12

Hand Stretches

Steve demonstrates some great stretches for the hands, wrists and upper arms.

Length: 8:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Different GuitarsLesson 13

Different Guitars

Steve discusses the difference between the steel string acoustic, classical, and 12 string guitars.

Length: 12:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Changing Guitar StringsLesson 14

Changing Guitar Strings

This lesson is all about changing guitar strings. This process can be very frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. Learn some great tips from Steve.

Length: 37:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Timing and TempoLesson 15

Timing and Tempo

Steve Eulberg delves into the wonderful world of rhythm and time signatures.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Circle of FifthsLesson 16

Circle of Fifths

Steve Eulberg introduces the Circle of Fifths. He demonstrates a song that features a Circle of Fifths progression.

Length: 15:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Clearing Up ConfusionLesson 17

Clearing Up Confusion

In this lesson Steve attempts to clear up some confusion with previous lessons. He will talk about reading tablature, note names, chord names and more.

Length: 15:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Review and Moving OnLesson 18

Review and Moving On

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Completing LessonsLesson 19

Completing Lessons

Steve answers the popular question, "When should I move on to the next lesson?" by sharing his personal goals and some important advice.

Length: 6:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Steve Eulberg

About Steve Eulberg View Full Biography An Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Steve Eulberg weaves mountain and hammered dulcimers with a variety of unusual instruments to create thought-provoking, smile-inducing, toe-tapping acoustic experiences.

He has sung and composed for religious communities, union halls, picket lines, inter-faith retreats, mountain-top youth camps, as well as the more familiar venues: clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, festivals, charity benefits and showcase concerts.

Born and raised in the German-heritage town of Pemberville, Ohio, Steve was exposed to a variety of music in his home. Early piano lessons were followed by trumpet in school band, and he became self-taught on ukelele and guitar and harmonica. Mandolin was added at Capital University where, while majoring in History, he studied Ear Training, Voice and took Arranging lessons from the Conservatory of Music.

While at college, he first heard hammered and mountain dulcimers, building his first mountain dulcimer just before his final year. Seminary training took him the west side of Denver where he built his first hammered dulcimer. With these instruments, he was able to give voice to the Scottish, English and Irish traditions to which he is also heir.

Following marriage in 1985 to Connie Winter-Eulberg he settled in Kansas City, Missouri. There he worked cross-culturally in a church of African-Americans, Latinos and European Americans, with music being a primary organizing tool. He moved with his family in 1997 to be nestled beside the Rocky Mountains in Fort Coillins, Colorado.

Founder of Owl Mountain Music, Inc. he teaches and performs extensively in Colorado and Wyoming with tours across the US and the UK. He delights in introducing the “sweet music” of dulcimers to people in diverse settings and in addition to his own recordings, has included dulcimers in a variety of session work for other musicians.

In 2000 he was commissioned to create a choral composition featuring dulcimers for the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins. It was recorded in the same year (BEGINNINGS). He is currently at work on a commissioned symphony that will feature hammered dulcimer and Australian didjeridu.

Eulberg passionately believes that music crosses cultural and language barriers because music builds community. Influenced by a variety of ethnic styles, his music weaves vital lyric with rap, rock, folk, gospel and blues. Audiences of all ages respond well to his presentation and to his warm sense of humor.

Steve is a member of Local 1000 (AFM), The Folk Alliance, BMI and BWAAG (Better World Artists and Activist's Guild).

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

Free LessonSeries Details
Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

Free LessonSeries Details
David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Yvette Young Yvette Young

In this lesson, Yvette breaks down a staccato tapping riff from her song, Shibuya.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Daniel Gilbert Daniel Gilbert

Known around the world for his inspirational approach to guitar instruction, Musician's Institute veteran Daniel Gilbert...

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

Free LessonSeries Details
DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

Free LessonSeries Details
Will Ripley Will Ripley

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs...

Free LessonSeries Details
David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

Free LessonSeries Details
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....

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 517563 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.

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
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

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


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

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.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!