Basic Chord Progressions (Guitar Lesson)

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David MacKenzie

Basic Chord Progressions

In the second lesson, David covered a few power chords. Now he will move on to triads. You will learn a few progressions involving these new chords.

Taught by David MacKenzie in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 14:15Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:48) Opening Music Are you ready to rock? Get tuned up and ready to play some basic chord progressions.
Chapter 2: (00:30) Lesson Introduction In this lesson, you will learn three basic “open” chords. Chords are described as “open” when they contain one or more open strings. Dave will demonstrate how to play the open A, D, and E chords. These are typically the first chords taught to beginning students. Later in the lesson, Dave will show you how to use these chords in a practical musical context.
Chapter 3: (04:55) E Chord and a Cool Progression Whenever you fret an open chord shape, follow these guidelines:

1. Keep the nails on your left hand as short as possible. Long nails disallow you from fretting any chord properly. Also, you run the risk of scratching your fretboard.
2. Fret the string with the very tip of your finger. Use the padded region next to the nail to fret the string.
3. Keep all joints in the left hand loosely bent. Do not flatten any of your joints.
4. Keep the left-hand wrist bent and arched. If you find that you are muting a string within the chord, arch your wrist outward more.
5. Play each string in the chord individually to ensure that it is ringing with a clear tone.
6. Whenever you fret any note, keep your finger as close to the fretwire as possible. If the placement of a left-hand finger is too far from the fret, the note will probably buzz.
7. Do not place a left-hand finger directly on a fret. This will mute the string.
8. Always play with a guitar strap regardless of whether you are sitting down or standing up. Notice how high the neck of David's guitar is raised. This is the proper height at which the guitar should be held. For more information on this topic, check out Mark Kailana Nelson's Phase 2 lessons.

Dave begins this scene by demonstrating the E chord.

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for a fretboard diagram of the E chord.

Once you have successfully mastered the E chord, you are ready to tackle the dominant seventh form of this chord.

1. Start with the basic open E shape.
2. Then, lift up the third finger so that the D string (4th string) is now ringing open. Be careful not to mute the D string with the second finger. Strum all six strings. This forms an E7 chord. Dominant chords are often described as having a blues sound. How would you describe the sound of an E7 chord?

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for a fretboard diagram of the open E7 chord.

Frequently, unessential notes are omitted from a chord shape. For example, you can omit the high open E and B strings when playing an E7 chord.

E7 Chord Exercise

Note: Open "E Based Chord Exercise" in Supplemental Content for tablature to this exercise.

Start practicing this exercise by learning each individual chord. You already know the first chord, E7. David frets the second chord by using the second finger to fret the note C# on the 4th fret of the fifth string. This large stretch is usually too difficult for beginning guitarists. Instead, use the third finger to fret this note. Fret the note on the third string with the first finger. Be sure to arch your wrist outwards so you do not accidentally mute the open D string.

Use the following fingering for the third chord in the progression:

6th string: open
5th string: 5th fret, third finger
4th string: open
3rd string: 4th fret, first finger
Chapter 4: (4:21) A Chord and a Progression There are numerous different ways to fret an open A chord. David begins this scene by demonstrating the easiest A chord option. This version of the A chord features a barre performed by the first finger across the second fret. A barre occurs when a single finger frets two or more strings along the same fret marker. When a barre spans all six strings, it is referred to as a full barre or grand barre.

If you find this version of the A chord too difficult, try out the second fingering option for the A chord.

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for a fretboard diagram of this particular fingering.

Note: For more open A chord options, check out Lesson 11 from Jim Deeming's Phase 1 series.

Eventually, you will need to master both forms of the A chord. The second version is slightly more common. This shape is used as the foundation for an A7 chord. Here is a string by string breakdown of the open A7 shape.

6th string: not played
5th string: open
4th string: 2nd fret, second finger
3rd string: open
2nd string : 2nd fret, third finger
1st string: open

A7 Exercise

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for tablature to this exercise.

Begin by learning each individual chord shape just like you did in the previous scene.

Use the second and third fingers to fret the second chord. For the third chord, use the same fingering utilized to play A7.

Notice how David picks each string using downstrokes in this exercise. When a chord is broken up into its individual notes, an arpeggio is formed.

Note: This chord progression is reminiscent of a riff from Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker. Open the Supplemental Content tab for tablature to this riff.

Chapter 5: (03:48) D Chord and a Progression The two lowest strings are not played when playing an open D chord. Be careful to skip over these two strings when strumming a D chord. This may take a lot of practice.

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for a chord diagram of the open D chord.

The most common difficulty beginners have with D is getting the first string to ring properly. Remember to arch your wrist outwards more if you are having this problem.

Use the following fingering for the second chord, G/D:

4th string: open
3rd string: 4th fret, third finger
2nd string: 3rd fret, 1st finger
1st string: 3rd fret, 2nd finger

Use the following fingering for the third chord, D7(no 3rd):

4th string: open
3rd string: 5th fret, third finger
2nd string: 3rd fret, 1st finger
1st string: 5th fret, pinky finger

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.

guloguloguyguloguloguy replied

Wow!!! Those simple chord progressions are interesting, and sound great!!

kelvinjohnsonkelvinjohnson replied

The video is breaking up I cant watch it sorry[email protected] replied

How do you know what the sequence is?[email protected] replied

What makes a chord a 7 chord? Or why do we call it so?

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

or the progressions are: E7 C# G7 A7 Bm7 C7 D Em7 F7 Picking/strumming exercises are good- right* hands tend to be weak. (*for righties)

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

Yes, this guy is on the money; lessons from university professors from the age of 15 left me bewildered on how to play the giutar. Self taught 10 years ago and looking to review from the ground up lead me to Dave Mac's lesson. He's teaching how to play! What a concept. Hey, i'm not against learning- I'm a doctor. But too much Bull-Donkey music learning prevents people for playing giutar. These lessons are the soloution. Rock on!!!

lespstratlespstrat replied

Also I can't find Ami7 either in "Heart Breaker" in chord Library

lespstratlespstrat replied

That Practice sheet reminds me of the song Pusher from Easy Rider.

lespstratlespstrat replied

Hi Dave, I can't find the D/A that you use in Heart Breaker in the chord library. It comes up in the chord namer. I'd like to add it it to my sheet.

k_vishalk_vishal replied

Thanks a lot Dave ! Your chord progressions are helping me progress ! ;-)

grundel70grundel70 replied

Argh...I can't get this lesson. I mean, I see what exactly you are doing and teaching, but I fear I may have a physcial limitation to this. No matter how I position my fingers, I ALWAYS mute the 4th string. The chord I play sounds awful :) Its like my fingertips are too fat to just fret the 2nd and 4th string. whenever I play the 3rd, with the fatness of my 1st finger, or the fatness of my middle/ring finger somehow hits that string, mutes it, and the chord shreeks its deathly wail...usually bringing my dog to see what horrible thing is making that noise. If only the strings were just a milimeter further apart...:( In any event, Dave, you are incredible in your teaching abilities and your muscial prowess. Rock on...

quitequickquitequick replied

fwiw - I had the same problem with my 3rd finger muting the 4th string - I tried moving the neck of the guitar up and the body down - I get less of a twist on my right hand and it make it easier to use the tip of my 3rd finger. I'm not out of the woods yet - but that helped me a lot...

quitequickquitequick replied

should be left hand, not right

moonchildmoonchild replied

try placing your hand in the proper position, then strum each string by itself and make sure they sound clearly. if you hear muting or buzzing, try rolling the tips of your fingers on the strings till you hear the right sound. dont give up. you will definitely get it!! hope that helps

jotero8951jotero8951 replied

Look my friend all it takes is patients and time. you will eventually develop the memory for the positionin. Another thing is to go very slow at first. don't rush and you will get it as I did. It took me about a good two weeks. Jose

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

make sure your wrist is in its proper position too. this can make fretting difficult too, causing fingers to mute strings. your thumb should be behind the neck. try that. just keep after it. you'll get it.

grundel70grundel70 replied

er...typo in there...the open stringin the middle I mute...i think that is the third...i think I said 4th bad...

omgwruomgwru replied

i'm muting the third string as well constantly.

astrocreepastrocreep replied

Be sure you are using the tips of your fingers and not the pad of your fingers.

juliancbyrdjuliancbyrd replied

what are the names for those chords? didn't see if you told us that.

lespstratlespstrat replied

I have the same question. I'd like to know the names of the chords we are progressing to also.

mikecampeymikecampey replied

Hi Dave, clearly only on Lesson three and I have just started the process of learning the Guitar. My question to you is, with some of the pregressive moves from these chords I often found that one finger may vibrate off another string when played. I wouldnt say I have fat fingers either? Any help for keeping my finger out of the way of these open strings? Thanks, great lessons too!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

sometimes it is like pointing your fingers down at a place on a map, or pointing where somewhere on paper where a person needs to sign their name. arch of the fingers enough to clear the strings. try it fairly slow at first so you can catch yourself, and analyze what you need to change or adjust.

mikecampeymikecampey replied

thanks, appreciated

jboothjbooth replied

I would guess your issues is more then angle of the wrist then the slide of the fingers. You want to make sure your wrist is a bit arched and your fingers are coming over the strings and bending at the joints, instead of laying in a more flat way across them. Hope that makes sense, it's hard to describe that via text!

gibstratgibstrat replied

thx again dave , that was great

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

u r most welcome!

peezakpeezak replied

Thanks for the lesson Dave. Can you tell us what the other chords are in each progression? I think that will help me see how the other chords are put together as well (not just the first one in each progression). Thanks!

francricfrancric replied

Hi, nice lesson. I wanted to know what are the names of the other notes in the progression. The chord exercise says E7 based, A7 based and D major based. So are they all E7s, A7's and D majors or do they have different chord names?

ace barkerace barker replied

Great lesson Dave! I have a question about the fingering for the 3rd chord in the D progression. It is easier for me to fret it with my pinkie on the 1st string but I don't want to start developing bad habits. Is this fingering ok or should I just learn it the other way?

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

if it is more comfortable for you and gets the job done. i say no problem. everyone deals with these issues, and sometimes you make those kind of adjustments.

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied

Cool lesson Dave. I've turned this lesson into a regular practice for me using all three progressions going immediately from one to another. They sound great. I do it a couple of times with a simple strumming pattern then I switch to finger picking. I'm trying to get used to using a pick as well, but that's going to take be a bit of practice. Thanks again!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

glad your doing well ed!!! keep that up man!!! awesome job!!

f14birdyf14birdy replied

I hate to sound completely inept, but a lot of the terminology your using is going right over my head. Also I'm not so much having an issue of seeing where the positionings are, but seeing and knowing how to execute the transitions are two different things. Could I get a suggestion as to where I can learn to do this.

tikinhokuntikinhokun replied

wow, I just loved this lesson. easy progressions that sounds good. Rather than that kinda boring exercices that you just have to decorate the notes you play, oh yeah, I'm seeing that I finally spent money on something productive :D

ruyjbcruyjbc replied

David like how you teach. Heartbreaker" Excerpt is down up strum and BPM 212,5-7 is that a slide.Is possible show us.

guitarfailureguitarfailure replied

Dave, I have to hand it to you. i've tried who knows how many online tutorials, books, learning packs. And it doesn't even hope to compare with how helpful these lessons are, i'm onto lesson 3 and i've already learned so much. Especially about Chord structures, looking forward to the following lessons :)

sryan14610sryan14610 replied

Hello David, I am really enjoying your lessons so far! I want to practice Heartbreaker, and although I recognize the son, I am not hearing how to do the chorde progressions we worked on. Can you tell me which part of the song is the tab! Any help would be appreciated.

sryan14610sryan14610 replied

Oops 'song' not son in previous comment

mfly2mfly2 replied

Ok just about shook the rust off using these-I found a decent classic song that goes great with the A7 progression.Just have an ear for that.Its a Supertramp song called Give A Little Bit.I play to that so at least your jammin a song.Hope you don't mind me chiming in!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

not at all. your right those chords are used in that song too. good ear!!!

mfly2mfly2 replied

Thanks!If I happen to run across any more on different lessons that are easy to play(basic chords and something to do with the lesson ) for the newer folks playing I'll toss em out there.For now I'm learning basics all over again and well, stuff I never learned for being self taught.So when I feel I've conquered a lesson to the point I can do it fast and without thinking about it.I'll move on to the next.I kinda wish this place was available 20 years ago.hehe

mfly2mfly2 replied

I haven't played in a long time and was self taught by ear and a few tab books.So when I did these chord progressions a bell rung in my head.Dave ,would the A7 progression be related in anyway to the song by White Lion called Wait?Sounds damn close even though tab online says different.I just have to remove the 3 rd finger on the A7 then add the pinky on the 0403 so its 0405.I suppose it can be played that way as well.

ssomervillessomerville replied

Dave, In the progression of A7 and E7, are the progessions still called an A7 or E7 chord or do they have another name? Also what does the 7 stand for?

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

oops! forgot to answer the "whats the 7 mean?" the 7 stands for the seventh note in a normal scale. if you play lets say a Amajor chord, then break it down as a scale, it will be the seventh note, or degree of the scale. definitely go to any instructor here who has taught something on scales and check it out. i think also the teaching tools section has the scales there in diagram form so you can practise that way too. hope that helps?

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

the first chord of the progressions are what i use to tell you where to start so you know basically what key your in for those. i think actually you would call the other chords A/bmin7 like that and so on as you go up. the A/ meaning you still are using the 5th string(the A string) as a bass note while doing the other chord shapes. almost thinking i need to do a lesson on this to drive the point home. hope this kinda makes sense?

pmarzitellipmarzitelli replied

You really have to take this particular lesson apart and go really slow. It will come. Instead of strumming each tap, I pick each string at a time. It forces you go to slow and changes aren't that bad when you go that way.

tonehoundtonehound replied

I may have misunderstood, but I think you have a typo. If not, please enlighten me. But, in Scene 3, the chord you slide up to is listed as: 6th string: open 5th string: 5th fret, third finger 4th string: open 3rd string: 4th fret, first finger But shouldn't it be: 6th string: open 5th string: 4th fret, third finger 4th string: open 3rd string: 2nd fret, first finger Thanks! Great lesson so far!

tonehoundtonehound replied

I think i figured it out!

ozzystarrozzystarr replied

i also have been messing with the guitar 4 several years. took weekly lessons, too expensive!!! tryed self taught, not a good ideal,takes too long. found this site was already pluckin a couple tunes in a day or two. stopped for a while been off work bcause of a back injury, witch made playing very uncomfortable. feeling better so i am starting over from the beginning.... never hurts to veiw the lessons several times, it makes more sense,and you start to pick things up more.... its like " OH THATS HOW HE DID THAT!!!! NOW I GOT IT!!!" great work dave and i plan on studying each one of your lessons until i can mimmick your playing. thanx for being a helpful, skillful ,and cool azz brother.... YOU ROCK MY BROTHER, KEEP EM COMMIN... RESPECT,BRIAN S.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

thanks so much!! i am humbled by your comments, and very pleased you are getting somewhere with my lessons! keep after it and you'l continue to grow and learn!!! best of success to you!!!

klomtklomt replied

First i want to say i really like your teaching style and the way you get us beginners playing something right away even if it is just cords. I'm having a terrible time with my fat fingers muting strings they shouldn't, perhaps when they callous more that will improve, so until then i will keep after it. Great job!!!

deadlystandeadlystan replied

The A chord progression is very cool. Great lesson :)

pinoyboy2829pinoyboy2829 replied

i keep muting the third string too, hmm i wonder why. my thumb is behind the fretboard, i guess its my short fingers =(

markokmarkok replied

Great lesson Dave!

dewin32dewin32 replied

Great lesson, it's nice to explore some different chords rather than the usual straight E,A and D major chords. I've just been practicing the chord progressions on my acoustic and i'm beginning to sound like Jimmy Page already LOL. I think these chord progressions would sound fantastic on a twelve string (must treat myself to one one day) oh by the way I always practice everything on my acoustic guitar first, that way I cant cover up my mistakes with distortion and if I can play it well on an acoustic it's a piece of cake on my electric.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

thats actually a good thing to do. play it on acoustic first, then as you feel pretty good with it, switch over to electric. good thinking there!!! glad your enjoying the lessons! onward, and upward! rock on!!!!!!

sbartonsbarton replied

Cool, so the D Major progression is the most difficult for me but I'm getting there. I like the contrast between you and Mark's lessons/style. Thanks.

music is lifemusic is life replied

Dave THank you i love playing guitar and ur way of teaching it makes me understand it more i wanted to ask u something if i stay on jamplay will i learn more that with a regular teacher?

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

well, i am not really being biased here when i say, i think you will learn more here than with a personal teacher. you have access to the site 24/7, anytime you want. plus you can go thru any lesson with any teacher. its like having several teachers with different styles at your fingertips to teach you something. that is not to say you could'nt have a personal teacher as well, and get benefit from it as well. i have been playing over 30 years, and i only wish this site had existed when i started! who knows where i would have gotten early on in my musical life!

music is lifemusic is life replied

could u explain this lesson more to me im lost on it

music is lifemusic is life replied

Dave i had a hard time with this lesson i dont get progrssion and how to use them or what they are called are thay all called e chords?

darrenkadarrenka replied

Dave, awesome lesson and series. Concerning the progressions, does the actual chord name change when you move the position? So if I was playing a song with a typical G,C,D chord progression could I just play these progressions over several bars of the same root chord? So if the D chord was played over 4 bars I could play a progression to go along with melody changes?? I hope I am making sense. Again, thanks for the series!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

thank you for the compliments very much! if i understand your question, the answer is yes. even with a G,C,D chord progression, if you were to just have a root note of either the G, or D, for example played by a bass player, or you picked that note independantly within the progression, it would'nt sound bad. i cant think of any tunes off the top of my head that do that, but i know there are several that use that to great effect! hope that makes sense. lol!

omran2omran2 replied

Hey Dave, first I'd like say thanks for the outstanding lessons! I have a question regarding posture and holding the guitar. In your lessons you mention " Always play with a guitar strap regardless of whether you are sitting down or standing up. Notice how high the neck of David's guitar is raised. This is the proper height at which the guitar should be held." You play with the neck raised pretty high and I was wondering if this is a matter of preference. It sounds pretty darn important and after reviewing some of the other phase one instructors, I noticed they don't really cover holding the guitar in this much detail.

whitebuffalowhitebuffalo replied

I really found all your lessons up to this point beneficial Dave. I was able to rid myself years of bad habits, heeding you advice. One of them was to simply relax and enjoy my instrument during the learning process. Once again, THANKS!

whitebuffalowhitebuffalo replied


duayneduayne replied

Awesome lesson Dave on progression. Thanks

salsero1salsero1 replied

Dave, the tuning sounds off. What is your guitar tuned into? I can't get the sound of mine to match yours!!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

i was accidently tuned down a 1/2 step on this one i think. i apoligise. me and jeff were looking to re-film this eventually. sorry for the inconvience. best thing to do is just get the shapes down. they still will work in normal tuning. just does'nt match to the video.

bumurpbumurp replied

How's it going David.Yeah with me started playing a few months ago basically getting books reading them knowing the chords,etc.I joined this site not long ago and I like your teaching,it gives me a good guide of direction that i need to go into.I love heavy metal rock and a big kiss fan here also.Keep rockin and take care.

deron finchderon finch replied

i have been playing since jan . started off with a great instructor, he went to his cabin for the summer. so i joined so i would not lose anything while he was gone. he was blown away when i started up again. i cant really jam so to speak , but i can play a lot more. im sticken with both dave can you do some tesla and pluged in alice n chains on phase 3 ROCK ON!!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

thanks for the comments man! i will look into the tesla! great band! alice in chains too.

felipefelipe replied

David, I have a suggestion for videos, ii have seen your videos from lesson 1 to 3 and David Anthony and Brian Thomas, the camera is in front of your left hand, if you move the camera with some angle from right side we can see perfectly your fingers of left hand on fretted strings.... and the other side, if you move and make a zoom on rigth hand, and move the camera with some angel from left side we will see perfectly your rigth hand playin the strings.... I´m begginer playing guitar and it´s hard to see your fingers of left hand with the camera in front of the left hand, of course I check suplemetal information, and repeat videos to see it........ LESSONS ARE GREAT!!!!... only move the angles of cameras and make a zoom on right hand... and it will be perfect....

flatulentoneflatulentone replied

I am having the same problem as tsala. Any time that I encounter a chord with an open string between 2 fretted (fingered) strings I can't get clear on both sides. I have only be at this for a week and I am practicing a couple of hours per day but this problem is still a thorn to advancement. BTW I used to have nails on my left hand and have them down to the nub now. It may take a while for them to properly toughen to finer string poking instruments. :) Thanks for the lessons Dave.

knapper32927knapper32927 replied

Hey - you know what I'm new, but I can tell you that with practice, it will come. I used to have that trouble but.. just after a while, it started getting clearer and clearer, and I have THICK fingers lol. Just practice. What helped me was always practicing those tough chords a while, then playing the easier ones to help with my ego hehe

rickcullisonrickcullison replied

I thought I would teach myself to play guitar. Started over a year ago. Already learned more in a week on this site. Theese chord progressions are a little tricky for me, I think because i have never seen the progression but theese r great lessons and it hurts my pride to start from the beginning after haveing played for a year but my last teacher was a fool. lol

knapper32927knapper32927 replied

I'm the same.. I had books and learned chords and played along.. but I was so stuck! And really didn't know anything. I can play a bunch of songs on acoustic, but could never jam 'cuz I didn't have those skills. The way this place teaches.. I'm already jammin.. I've learned more in one night here than I did in six months on my own! lol

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

Dude, dont feel bad. Even the best players have to go back to the basics and practise, and keep up with their skills. i know i have to! i wish you the best of success in your playing!!! Rock On!!!!!

gabegabe replied

David, don't know what happened but yesterday this lesson was running at a lower tone, today, it seems to be on tone in standard tuning. I know I haven't retuned so all I can guess is the media player must have been running slow and now it's OK.. probably a prob on my PC. Keep up the good work man. GG

gabegabe replied

Are you tuned down 1/2 step or one step on ths lesson? I have a locking nut & FR and it's a pain in the A to retune from standard tuning. Great lessons so far though. GG

benmanning123benmanning123 replied

Hey! iv just signed up for this course/ site what every you would call it and alredy i have master the second and third lesson im loving how u go through it 3 or 4 times it realy helps you to get it and practice while u tell us repetitvly! Peace out n keep ona with the rocking!

jmurrayjmurray replied

Hey Dave! What is your guitar tuned into this lesson? Because mine sounds totally off...

tsalatsala replied

I have trouble getting my fingers to play a clean note whenever I have to hold the 2nd part of the e7 progression. The open middle string buzzes because my finger touches it sometimes. Are there any exercises that can help with this type of problem. It only happens when I have to stretch over and skip a fret. Thanks!!

vancampdanvancampdan replied

The TAB info in the Supplemental Content for the E progressions are off by one string... the TAB shows the Second and Fourth strings, should be the Third and Fifth.

vancampdanvancampdan replied

Strike that.... dee dee dee moment........ nevermind... it's fine

coullycoully replied

Marcus from Australia.Love the guitar mate!!!!Your playing is fantastic.Question for of my all time fav bands is Queens ryche.My fave song is Silent Lucidity.I just cant get the finger picking.Do you know of the song?Is it possible to do with a pick and is it something that could be done as a song lesson.Only been playing for about 4 months but only a few hours a week because of work but this is my ultimate goal..I can do a few cords but a bit slow on the changes so far..Keep rockin and thankyou!!!!!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

yeah, its a birthday present from my wife! is she not the greatest!!! she remembered from 1-2 years ago that i was wanting one! played it live recently witht the band! man did it play and sound great!! i love it! and just keep it up, you will be proficient! glad you like the lesson! please let me know if there is any questions playing wise i can answer for you on video! i'd be pleased to do so.

millaTKmillaTK replied

Nice, cool guitar!!! It just looks awesome!!! :rockout: besides that, nice lesson, thank you! Those progressions almost make me sound proficient... hihihi:D

Basic Electric Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In his Phase 1 series, David MacKenzie will walk you through the basics of rock guitar.

About the GuitarLesson 1

About the Guitar

David discusses the parts of the guitar. He also gives you some basic techniques to get you started.

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Power ChordsLesson 2

Power Chords

In this lesson, David introduces basic power chords. Great fun for beginners!

Length: 10:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Basic Chord ProgressionsLesson 3

Basic Chord Progressions

David introduces some basic chords and chord progressions.

Length: 14:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Notes, Chords and ArpeggiosLesson 4

Notes, Chords and Arpeggios

David provides a brief explanation of what notes, chords, power chords, and arpeggios are.

Length: 8:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Speed and CoordinationLesson 5

Speed and Coordination

This lesson is all about increasing your speed and coordination. David demonstrates basic picking exercises.

Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Chord ExercisesLesson 6

Chord Exercises

David MacKenzie presents a mysterious sounding chord exercise. This exerices is designed to improve right hand technique.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Practice and DisciplineLesson 7

Practice and Discipline

In this short lesson David talks about practice, discipline, and how you should apply yourself when learning and mastering the guitar.

Length: 6:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Double StopsLesson 8

Double Stops

Double stops can bring new life to your rhythm and lead playing. David provides a short tutorial on what double stops are and how they can be used.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Major ChordsLesson 9

The Major Chords

David covers the basic major chord shapes. Every guitarist must learn these basic chords.

Length: 18:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Minor ChordsLesson 10

The Minor Chords

David MacKenzie walks you through the basic minor chords. Expand your knowledge of chords with this fun-filled lesson.

Length: 8:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major ScalesLesson 11

Major Scales

Major scales are an essential component of all styles of music. They can also be used as a great way to orient yourself with the fretboard.

Length: 32:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major Scale JamLesson 12

Major Scale Jam

David MacKenzie explains how to practice the major scales along with a fun backing track.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Minor ScalesLesson 13

The Minor Scales

David MacKenzie proceeds to an in-depth discussion of the minor scales.

Length: 15:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Minor Scale JamLesson 14

Minor Scale Jam

David MacKenzie shows you how to play the natural minor scale over a rockin' JamTrack.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
One String ExerciseLesson 15

One String Exercise

David demonstrates an excellent one-string exercise in this lesson. This exercise will improve your dexterity and knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 16:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Hammer-Ons and Pull-OffsLesson 16

Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are techniques that enable you to play with a smooth, legato feel.

Length: 8:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Basic BendsLesson 17

Basic Bends

David MacKenzie gives a crash course on bending in this lesson. Bends can add a lot of soul to your playing.

Length: 16:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Cool Rock LicksLesson 18

Cool Rock Licks

David MacKenzie teaches two rock licks inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Hammer-On ExerciseLesson 19

Hammer-On Exercise

David returns to the world of hammer-ons with a fun new exercise. This lesson includes a JamTrack.

Length: 13:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Return to Pull-OffsLesson 20

Return to Pull-Offs

David returns to the world of pull-offs with a new exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Practicing BendsLesson 21

Practicing Bends

David MacKenzie returns to bending technique in this lesson. This lesson features a backing track that is designed for bending practice.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Basic VibratoLesson 22

Basic Vibrato

Integrating vibrato into your guitar playing is a great way to add emotion and soul. David MacKenzie explains the basics of vibrato in this lesson.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Pentatonic ScaleLesson 23

Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the pentatonic scale.

Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Minor Pentatonic ScaleLesson 24

Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson.

Length: 4:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Full Major ScaleLesson 25

Full Major Scale

David MacKenzie explains a two octave pattern of the major scale.

Length: 11:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Full Minor ScaleLesson 26

Full Minor Scale

David MacKenzie introduces a two octave natural minor scale pattern.

Length: 12:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Full Major Pentatonic ScaleLesson 27

Full Major Pentatonic Scale

David teaches a two octave pattern of the major pentatonic scale.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Full Minor Pentatonic ScaleLesson 28

Full Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie teaches a two octave version of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Cool LickLesson 29

Cool Lick

David MacKenzie teaches several licks based on common arpeggio patterns. This lesson also includes a backing track to jam with.

Length: 20:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm BasicsLesson 30

Rhythm Basics

David MacKenzie introduces some important rhythm basics in this lesson. This lesson also includes a backing track exercise.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Power Chord VariationsLesson 31

Power Chord Variations

David MacKenzie explains various power chord voicings. By simply moving a finger or two, new power chords can be formed.

Length: 18:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Cool Lick ExerciseLesson 32

Cool Lick Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces some new amazing licks.

Length: 29:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tapping ExerciseLesson 33

Tapping Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Tapping Exercise #2Lesson 34

Tapping Exercise #2

David MacKenzie teaches another amazing tapping exercise.

Length: 13:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tapping #3:  Adding Open StringsLesson 35

Tapping #3: Adding Open Strings

The third tapping lesson elaborates on the previous lesson by adding open strings.

Length: 12:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tapping #4:  Diminished Lick Lesson 36

Tapping #4: Diminished Lick

The fourth lesson in Dave's tapping series deals with a monster diminished lick.

Length: 11:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tapping #5Lesson 37

Tapping #5

In lesson five of his tapping mini-series, DMac provides backing tracks that you can tap over.

Length: 8:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Tremolo TechniqueLesson 38

Tremolo Technique

In lesson 38, DMac demonstrates some tremolo techniques to add to your repertoire.

Length: 13:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tapping #6Lesson 39

Tapping #6

DMac returns to his tapping instruction with more advanced techniques.

Length: 19:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chord StructuresLesson 40

Chord Structures

In lesson 40, DMac teaches you how to play various D chords all the way up the neck.

Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
OctavesLesson 41


In lesson 41, David discusses the octave and its uses while playing.

Length: 17:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie

About David MacKenzie View Full Biography Dave MacKenzie has been playing guitar for 30 of his 45 years on this earth. Starting back when he was 14 years old, Dave picked up the guitar and started to learn from his oldest brother, who had played some guitar as well. Dave was hooked, and couldn't learn fast enough! Everything from the Beatles, Chicago, Ted Nugent, The Eagles, you name it, Dave was trying to play it.

Then as with a lot of players out there, Eddie Van Halen came along and changed the way guitar was played! Dave has been influenced by anyone he has heard play guitar, literally! Always keeping an open mind and a humbleness about him has helped him to keep learning new things on, and about the guitar.

Dave has mostly played in top 40 rock, country, and pop bands. He is most recently playing guitar and keyboards in a 80's metal band called Open Fire. They have opened for Warrant, Firehouse, Winger, and LA Guns within the 3 and a half years they have been together, and are now jumping into original music.

Dave believes you should have internal motivation, and passion to play guitar, and most definitely, it should be fun!

As with his playing, Dave will find new ways to show you how to get the most out of your time learning guitar!

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

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Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

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

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Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

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Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

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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.

Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

JamPlay introduces Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp! In this first segment, Guthrie talks a little about his influences,...

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

How do you sequence arpeggio shapes and create a more angular sound to your country playing? Andy Wood explains how he was...

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.

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Horace Bray Horace Bray

Horace provides a short etude on how to practice connecting the different shapes of the G Major open triads. This helps you...

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Daniel Gilbert Daniel Gilbert

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

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Yvette Young Yvette Young

Now that you're right hand is more limber and controlled, it's time to work on the left hand. This left hand exercise will...

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Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

Do you want to play more musical sounding solos? Do you want to play solos with more emotion behind them? Maybe you're the...

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Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

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Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

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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.

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Number of Instructors 128 1 – 3 1 Zillions
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Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
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Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
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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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