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The Right Guitar (Guitar Lesson)


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Jessica Baron

The Right Guitar

Jessica takes some time to talk about finding the right guitar for you. She explores different sizes and talks about the correct and most comfortable sitting position.

Taught by Jessica Baron in Basic Guitar with Jessica Baron seriesLength: 10:03Difficulty: 0.0 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


scannon120scannon120 replied on March 17th, 2016

Just want to say thanks. I finally got a guitar that fits. I'm kinda of small woman and had a dreadknot but switched to a Seagull CW Folk guitar. This is my second Seagull guitar. They make beautiful instruments. IT FITS....Yea

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on October 14th, 2015

I must say large acoustics can be very challenging. My 000 is smaller but not too small and is much more fun to play and never causes me discomfort. Also, be cautious of heavy guitars!!!!

mouser9169mouser9169 replied on May 10th, 2014

All the talk about scale length but very little about body style: folk, dreadnought, O, OO, concert - those all fit your body differently and that's got to be at least as important as scale length.

mouser9169mouser9169 replied on May 10th, 2014

All the talk about scale length but very little about body style: folk, dreadnought, O, OO, concert - those all fit your body differently and that's got to be at least as important as scale length.

jackphotocajackphotoca replied on September 17th, 2013

After watching this video I am confident that my guitar is a good size for me and is quite comfortable to play. This is just fortunate accident since your size and fit information was new to me. Now, if only my fingers would work better. Great series so far. I am enjoying how you've structured this introduction to playing.

KaraisokeKaraisoke replied on July 11th, 2013

I know that the guitar I am currently using is WAY to big for me. It's full sized and I am child sized. Ha. My Aunt said something about possibly having a Baby Gibson for me. I hope it doesn't need a lot of work. My Grandfather's regular playing guitar is just way too big. (I'm 4'11" with the hands and arms of an average 10 year old.)

baddibaddi replied on May 30th, 2013

lov it!!!!

rainyhrainyh replied on June 15th, 2012

What was the name of that "other" manufacturer of the Parlor sized guitars... Gaudin? Godin? Godan?? Didn't quite catch it, but I do know Martin.

johnlindseyjohnlindsey replied on December 7th, 2011

I was given one of those "attic" guitars when I was about 9 years old. The strings must have been 1/2" off the fretboard. Now I understand why it was in the attic. No one could play it.

RubymaeRubymae replied on October 7th, 2011

I didnt realize ipad doesnt support the video chat--otherwise i would be online right now joining you all from my counseling office.

RubymaeRubymae replied on October 7th, 2011

Is there a concert size guitar you recommend? I am looking at the Taylor GC3 or GC4. I have shoulder problems and find the dreadnaught body too big yet parlor size doesnt quite have the sound I am looking for.

naisnais replied on August 29th, 2011

Hi, what's the brand name of the half size guitar in this vid.? (the one for children)

jboothjbooth replied on August 8th, 2011

My guitar is a bit too large for me also, but I'm not really in a place to be switching guitars around now :(

Jessica.BaronJessica.Baron replied on August 21st, 2011

Hi, there! I just added a long description to the person with the Gibson hummingbird below whose guitar also feels a little bigger than is comfy. Wanna scroll down there, read it, and try that approach? Hope it helps. Jess

Jessica.BaronJessica.Baron replied on August 21st, 2011

Hi, Friend. If finances are causing you to stick to your current guitar. please let me know and I can suggest a few strategies for solving that problem (no I do not have a treasure map or a money tree, just some resources to share). A big guitar can really make playing harder if you need something more huggable, so if I can help you problem solve, please do not hesitate to ask, okay? Warmly, Jess

AllTubeAmpAllTubeAmp replied on August 7th, 2011

.....I just bought a Gibson Hummingbird.....yeah, the thing is kind of a challenge to get around.....wish I had seen this a couple of weeks ago!

Jessica.BaronJessica.Baron replied on August 21st, 2011

One thing you might try is using a foot stool under your foot on the fingering side of your body. This will give you the opportunity to play your guitar at an angle- you can lower the lower bout between your strumming side knee and your fingering side thigh. Bring the head of the guitar up around your fingering side shoulder. Your strumming side foot should be flat on the floor. The result is that you can get your strumming elbow in a comfy position, your strumming hand over the mouth of the guitar, and your wrist on your fingering hand at a comfortable straight position beneath the neck. Wanna try and see if this helps?? Best wishes, Jess

guitardriverguitardriver replied on August 7th, 2011

Until now, I harbored the notion that a what made a guitar a "dreadnaught" was the shape of the body having that classic bell shape as opposed to the auditorium guitars. That is to say I was unaware that it had anything to do with it's size.

Jessica.BaronJessica.Baron replied on August 21st, 2011

You were right, just missing a little piece of the story. And a dreadnaught cutaway is that bell shape with a scoop taken out at the upper bout under the fretboard so you can play way up high!

nash24nash24 replied on August 7th, 2011

I bought a Martin D-28 and sold it a while back. It was best for me to size down and I'm more comfortable.

Jessica.BaronJessica.Baron replied on August 21st, 2011

Happy for you!!

lexzbuddylexzbuddy replied on August 5th, 2011

Jesus that DN HUGE for you. LOL

Basic Guitar with Jessica Baron

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Jessica Baron, founder of Guitars in the Classroom, brings her very own unique series to JamPlay. In this highly interactive, easy to follow set, Jessica invites students of all ages to journey through fun, song-based instruction taught in ways she feels we best learn.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Gentle Guitar in G

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

Length: 6:48 Difficulty: 0.0 FREE
Lesson 2

Breathing & Visualizing

Jessica takes a moment to share a breathing technique. Then, she asks you to envision who you want to be as a musician.

Length: 5:30 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Finding Rhythm

In this lesson, Jessica starts talking about the first building block of making music: rhythm. Using yourself as a drum, you will feel the beat and find the rhythm within yourself.

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Rhythm & Your Guitar

In the first part of this lesson, Jessica takes some time to explain all the parts of your guitar in detail. She then flips it upside-down and makes a bongo out of it! Grab your guitar and enjoy drumming...

Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

The Right Guitar

Jessica takes some time to talk about finding the right guitar for you. She explores different sizes and talks about the correct and most comfortable sitting position.

Length: 10:03 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Why G Guitar?

Jessica Baron discusses "Gentle G Guitar" and explains why it is such a great learning method for beginners.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Tuning to Open G

In this lesson, Jessica Baron explains how to tune your guitar to open G with or without an electronic tuner.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Guitar Stringing Part 1: Steel String

In this lesson, Jessica Baron shows how to string a steel string guitar.

Length: 11:34 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Guitar Stringing Part 2: Classical

In part 2 of Jessica Baron's restringing lessons, you will learn how to string your classical guitar, which is a little different from a steel string.

Length: 9:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Ear Training & Singing in Tune

Jessica Baron delights in sharing a fun lesson that is all about ear training and singing in tune.

Length: 21:24 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Vocal Warm-up Part 1

Jessica Baron shares some fun and effective vocal exercises to get you warmed up before singing. This is very important for those of you who would like to sing while playing.

Length: 14:15 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Vocal Warm-up Part 2

Jessica Baron shares part 2 of her vocal warm-up lessons with some fun new exercises to prepare you for singing.

Length: 16:07 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Strumming

In lesson 13, Jessica Baron introduces you to strumming technique.

Length: 15:03 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Your First Chord

Jessica Baron introduces your first easy chord, Gsus4.

Length: 2:47 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

All About Chords

Jessica Baron talks about patterns and chord charts. She also provides more exercises for the C note you learned in the previous lesson.

Length: 19:57 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Simple D

Jessica Baron introduces a new chord she calls the "Simple D" and provides a song exercise for practice.

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

The Old Chisholm Trail

Jessica Baron teaches techniques in the context of "The Old Chisholm Trail." Learn about the pluck-down strum, practice changing from "Open G "to "Simple D," and learn about capos.

Length: 29:51 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Simple C

Jessica introduces the "Simple C" chord and incorporates it into two fun songs, "Camptown Races" and "The Green Grass Grows All Around."

Length: 21:33 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Fun Strums

Jessica takes some time to show you a variety of different strums to use in your playing. She teaches the song "I'll Fly Away" to demonstrate the different feel of each strum.

Length: 19:37 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Two Finger C Major

Jessica Baron teaches the C major chord using only 2 fingers and provides some fun song exercises for practice.

Length: 9:21 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Your First Minor Chord

Jessica Baron introduces your first minor chord! Learn the beautiful E minor chord and play along to "This Little Light of Mine."

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

The Earth Is Our Mother

In this lesson, Jessica Baron provides some good, fun practice using a traditional Native American chant called "The Earth Is Our Mother."

Length: 6:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

3/4 Time

Jessica Baron explains time signatures with a focus on 3/4 time. She uses fun and interactive song exercises for practice.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

I'm On My Way

Jessica Baron teaches one final song in open G tuning called "I'm on My Way" before moving on to standard tuning.

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Standard Tuning

Jessica Baron introduces standard tuning in this lesson! Be ready to tune your guitar and learn "You've Got to Move" for practice.

Length: 19:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

A Minor

Jessica Baron introduces the A minor chord in standard tuning and invites you to play along to the fun song "Drunken Sailor."

Length: 9:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

A Major

Jessica Baron introduces the A major chord in standard tuning. Practice it with the catchy song "A Tisket, A Tasket."

Length: 11:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

D Major

Jessica Baron teaches the D major chord and "Down By The Riverside" for practice.

Length: 14:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Over the River and Through the Woods

Jessica Baron is excited to provide more practice changing from D to A7 with the fun song, "Over the River and Through the Woods."

Length: 8:29 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

The Crawdad Song

Jessica Baron teaches a new chord, B7, with "The Crawdad Song" for practice.

Length: 7:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

G Major

Jessica Baron helps you play the full G major chord by using the song, "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Full C Major

Jessica Baron is excited to finally teach the full C major chord with the bluesy song "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" for practice.

Length: 16:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Composing Part 1

Jessica Baron takes all the knowledge you've learned throughout her series and helps you express yourself through your own compositions.

Length: 8:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Composing Part 2

Jessica Baron continues her discussion on composition with a songwriting exercise. In addition, she also takes a closer look at finger picking with one last picking pattern.

Length: 11:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Yoga for Guitar Players

In this unique lesson, Jessica presents some fantastic tips on how to prep your mind and body to be fully relaxed and ready to play and learn guitar. She provides breathing and self awareness tips as well...

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Guitar Yoga - 90 Second Prep Routine

This lesson is essentially a compressed version of Jessica's 35th lesson, but presented in a way that will allow you to prep yourself using "Yoga for Guitar Players" within about 90 seconds.

Length: 4:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Proper Fret Hand Positioning

Proper positioning of the fret hand is key to developing correct technique and playing clean and clear chords. Jessica explains how the angle at which the guitar neck is positioned affects left hand technique.

Length: 6:07 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Understanding Chords: Finding the Notes

Jessica starts a mini series on understanding chords by explaining how and where to find the notes needed to build a certain chord.

Length: 14:35 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Understanding Chords: Where's the Root Note?

Jessica continues her "Understanding Chords" mini series by explaining how to find the root note within commonly used chord shapes.

Length: 15:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Understanding Chords: What Is Voicing?

This lesson will link all the past lesson content into one by helping you understand how to find alternate voicings of chords on the guitar neck.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Nashville Number System

Using the song "Down by the River to Pray," Jessica explains what the Nashville Number System is and how it is used to quickly learn a new song.

Length: 13:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

All About 7th Chords

What are 7th chords? How and where can they be used? Jessica answers these questions and demonstrates some popular 7th chord shapes.

Length: 10:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Mole in the Ground

Using the song "Mole in the Ground," Jessica applies the Nashville number system and demonstrates how to create new, unique lyrics that compliment your chord progression.

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Choosing Accent Chords

Utilizing Major 7th chords and a song called "The Ashgrove", Jessica will demonstrate some great tips on how to chose the right accent chord to spice up your playing.

Length: 13:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Adding a Sus 4

Jessica will demonstrate how to add a Sus 4 to a chord to change its tone. This can be used to spice up and get creative with standard chord positions.

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

To Pick or Not to Pick?

Jessica discusses the difference in tone between playing with the pick and playing with the fingers.

Length: 21:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Bass Runs with No Pick

Jessica now presents the option of adding bass runs while utilizing the fingers to pluck and strum the strings.

Length: 11:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Tricky Chord Changes - F Chord

Jessica taps into a mini-series that demonstrates how to navigate tricky chord changes. This first lesson focuses on the F chord.

Length: 7:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Tricky Chord Changes - Partial Barre F

Time to learn the tough partial barre F chord! Jessica covers many of the basics needed to help train your fingers for the shapes needed to complete partial barre chords.

Length: 11:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 50

Tricky Chord Changes - B Minor Chord

Jessica continues to demonstrate tricky chord changes by moving on to the B minor chord.

Length: 11:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Power Chords

Power chords can be utilized up and down the entire fretboard. They achieve full bodied chord voicings that are neither major nor minor. Jessica demonstrates a few of the positions in which power chords...

Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

Full Neck Movement with One Chord Shape

Jessica demonstrates how easy it is to play a full I, IV, V song by only moving the familiar E major chord shape up and down the fretboard.

Length: 9:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 53

Accents in Blues Music

A lot of the techniques Jessica shows in this lesson can be applied within any genre of music. However, she demonstrates hammer-on and pull-off techniques and how they are applied within blues.

Length: 33:53 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 54

Fingerstyle Folk Blues

Jessica now dives into fingerstyle techniques, specifically Travis picking.

Length: 14:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 55

Basic 3 Finger Picking

Jessica now works on picking hand techniques. She starts with the basics of using 3 fingers to create arpeggio patterns.

Length: 11:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 56

Quick Chord Changes

Still working within finger picking techniques, Jessica now demonstrates how to navigate more chord changes while still keeping a steady picking rhythm.

Length: 13:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 57

6/8 Fingerpicking

Continuing along with fingerpicking techniques, Jessica now adds the unique time signature of 6/8 into the picking rhythm. This requires adding extra finger strokes. Jessica demonstrates how to make this...

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 58

6/8 Picking Part 2

Jessica continues her 6/8 fingerpicking techniques by adding yet another step in the full picking progression. However, she will still utilizes the same song from the previous lesson.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 59

Travis Picking

Demonstrating yet another widely popular fingerstyle picking technique called Travis Picking, Jessica breaks down this technique and applies it to a very catchy song that is easy to play.

Length: 13:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 60

Song Arrangement

It's time to apply the techniques that have been taught so far to understanding and creating a song arrangement. In this lesson, Jessica discusses how to create a song beginning and ending.

Length: 17:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 61

Find Your Voice

Jessica presents a lesson with tips and techniques on how to find the ideal key for your voice when performing a song. From discovering your lowest note to opening a new world in higher octaves, Jessica...

Length: 35:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 62

Creativity within Song Arrangement

It's now time to learn some creative tips on how to spice up how songs are arranged. Jessica gives pointers on both singing and playing along the lines of improvisation and tempo alternations.

Length: 24:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 63

Travis Picking Applications

Still within the topic of song arrangement, Jessica now delves into Travis picking and how it can be applied in a creative manner to compliment other techniques that Jessica has already taught.

Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 64

Time to Write a Song

Jessica creates a song in front of your eyes. She guides you through the steps from starting with a catchy riff or progression to developing a full song idea.

Length: 9:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 65

Develop Lyrics Using Chord Colors

Jessica lays out a great tutorial on how to listen to chords and the emotions they evoke. This technique can easily help transform an atmosphere or mood into a full song with lyrics.

Length: 8:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 66

Composition: Musical Contour

Jessica demonstrates how you can combine the discovery of writing a song with chords and the playfulness of creating possible lyrics over those chords. Let your mind run free with this subject!

Length: 17:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Jessica Baron View Full Biography

Jessica believes in making your introduction to the guitar easy and pain-free. She is a developmental educator who understands how positive early experiences can motivate us to keep learning. Jessica Baron founded and serves as Executive Director for Guitars in the Classroom, an organization that brings music making to education by integrating singing, strumming and songwriting with learning throughout the school day and across the curriculum. Jessica created the first developmental guitar instruction method and she has written six groundbreaking books in the field of music and guitar education. She believes that we are each unique musical and creative beings with individual pathways we can choose to discover and follow if we are given instruction in the ways we best learn. This vision informs and fuels her dedication to service through teaching.

Jess spent several years in California teaching music in public and private schools; she also worked for a long time as both a human development educator (at Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences) and as a private educational therapist treating children and teens with learning disabilities. These experiences, combined with Masters level training in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University helped her develop an approach to teaching music that creates access to musicality through people’s dominant learning styles while helping them strengthen the others. This, combined with her philosophy that musical learning can be fun and stress free, define her work as an author, teacher, and non-profit leader.

In addition to her years teaching in the classroom and counseling young people, Jess co-authored the highly successful MusicMakers curriculum for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as the International House of Blues Foundation’s Make an Impression guitar program. Her best-selling guitar method, SmartStart Guitar as well as her parenting book, YOUR MUSICAL CHILD: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps (Hal Leonard, 2004) are soon to be followed by The Green Songbook & CD from Alfred Music Publishing. This compilation of music for living lightly on the Earth is now available at www.greensongbook.com.

Jess lives in Encinitas with her teen-age son, Elias, their three birds, two lizards, and one ridiculously adorable dog named Homer. You might have known Jess by her published and formerly married name, Jessica Baron Turner, a last name she went by during her marriage to Eli’s dad, luthier, Rick Turner. These days she goes by Jessica Anne Baron. Jess is also an incidental songwriter, an enthusiastic gardener, a vegetarian, and lover of literature.

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