Goal Setting (Guitar Lesson)

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Jim Deeming

Goal Setting

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

Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 11:00Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (1:22) Intro Music Jim kicks off Lesson 3 with a smokin’ 12 bar blues.
Chapter 2: (9:37) Goal Setting and Playing Guitar No matter what you are trying to achieve in life, setting goals is an absolute necessity. Setting goals gives you focus and direction. You must set some short, midterm, and long term goals – especially if you are a beginner.

A. The Sound of Success
One of the most important components of studying music is listening to it as frequently as possible. In order to become a successful guitarist, you must first learn what success sounds like. The best way to accomplish this goal is to listen to your heroes and begin to emulate them. In addition to listening for enjoyment, set aside time each week for structured listening time. When you listen to the music you love, spend some time analyzing it. What is it about this music that draws you to it?

Note: Jim discusses ear-training skills in lessons to come. He will instruct you how to train your focus on specific aspects of the music.

Jim suggests that beginning guitar students focus on a primary genre. The techniques that you learn in the few months of study can be applied to any genre. Knowledge of basic chords, scales, and finger exercises is necessary to play in any style. However, you should devote some time to learning the style of your choice. Focusing on one genre to begin with will help you structure your practice time. Trying to learn a variety of styles right out of the gate is too difficult to manage for the average student.
B. Short Term Goals
An example of a good short-term goal is what you plan to do this week. Set some preliminary goals at the beginning of the week. How long do you plan to practice each day? What do you need to work on this week? Many of your short-term goals are determined by your midterm goals. It’s hard to focus your practice if you don’t know what you want to achieve.
C. Midterm Goals
Do you want to play a song that is currently above your ability level? Do you want to learn the basics of lead guitar? These are examples of midterm goals. Asking these kinds of questions will help you focus your practice. For example, if you want to improve your improvisation skills, devote extra practice time to learning licks, scales, and techniques such as bending.
D. Long Term Goals
Do you want to play at home for your own personal enjoyment? Do you want to try out for the high school jazz band? Or, do you want to form your own band and write your own songs? These are long term goals. They make several months, years, or even decades to accomplish. Asking these kinds of questions will give you a direction and purpose when practicing. Talk to someone who has accomplished the things you wish to accomplish. What did he/she do in order to achieve this level of success?
Achieving Your Goals

Gaining proficiency on the guitar is a very rewarding experience. With time and patience, anything is possible. Here are some great tips that will help you achieve your goals – whatever they may be.

A. Create a Practice Schedule
The best way to maximize your practice time is to develop a practice schedule. First, you must determine how much time you will devote to practicing each day. To achieve any sort of positive results, you must practice for at least a half hour every day. Each day, your practice time must be organized. Break up your practice time into a few specific areas. As a daily warm-up, practice finger exercises and scales. Then, move on to chords and repertoire that you are currently working on.

Note: Check out Matt Brown’s first Phase 2 Rock lesson for more information about establishing a practice schedule.
B. Playing with a Metronome
The most important aspect of a musical performance is the rhythm. For this reason, you should practice with a metronome as much as possible. Many young guitarist believe that they have a solid internal rhythm. When the metronome comes on however, they struggle hopelessly to play in time. If you can’t play a piece or song in time with a metronome, you can’t play it. Period. Unless you are practicing something that is intended to be played in free time, always practice with a metronome.

In addition, play with other musicians as much as possible. This will greatly improve your rhythmic feel. Playing with other musicians places a higher emphasis on rhythm. If the performers aren’t rhythmically tight, the music is quite painful to listen to. If at all possible, play with musicians that are more advanced than you. In a discussion with Jamplay instructor Matt Brown, legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny imparted the secret to his musical success. “The best way to become a great player is to always be the least talented person in your band. Nothing lights a better fire under your ass.”
C. Have Fun
Learning to play any instrument takes years of hard work. However, music has to be fun. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing it? In addition to your practice schedule, spend time having some fun with the instrument. Spend a day out of the week doodling or simply messing around. When you come back to serious practice, you’ll have a fresh perspective on what you wish to accomplish.

Video Subtitles / Captions

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Basic Guitar
Episode three.

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Instructor: Jim Deeming

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Hi. I'm Jim Deeming instructor for JamPlay.com.

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I want to talk to you a little bit today about goal setting.

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This is especially important when you are a new student.

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I firmly believe you will make better use of your practice time and you will for farther if you have a clear understanding of what success is.

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That might be a particular guitar player you want to emulate.
That might be a particular genre or style you just want to master.

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In any case even if you are at the very beginning level.
The very beginning of your guitar instruction.

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I want to encourage you to spend a lot of time listening to other guitar players and try to dial in on a main area of emphasis to begin with.

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Of course to do that you might also want to keep in mind where you want to end up playing someday.

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If you're just going to end up playing for yourself for self enjoyment and your own relaxation that's one thing.

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If you intend to play in a band someday or at church in a sing along kind of environment or maybe you want to play solo finger style guitar.

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The better your vision is of where you want to go. The better use you will make of your practice time and study time.

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It's amazing the resources that are available to us right now with the advent of YouTube and subscription music download like Rhapsody

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where you can find an endless amount of music to listen to and just immerse yourself in.

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I want to encourage you to not only do that but as you listen to it try to get your mind and your minds eye around what you think

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that guitar playing is doing to achieve a particular sound.

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One of the upcoming lessons I am going to be doing is I'm going to be focusing on ear training

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and we will talks about some tricks you can use to decode what you hear another guitar player doing.

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Even now without those tools in your pocket focus on what the guitar's doing,

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maybe what the right hand might be doing to get a certain rhythm or groove.

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Can you tell if they are playing or fretting down low on the neck of the guitar or is it stuff way up high.

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Your mind and your ear can learn to decipher stuff like that and it will enhance the speed that you make progress

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and then it will help you find your own style down the road.

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I want to just encourage you to try to have fun with your lessons but also there are some basics that we all have to do.

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It is worth taking the time to learn to play well.

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It's good.

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It's absolutely important every once and a while to just sit down and play with your guitar and just have fun and entertain yourself

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or entertain someone watching you but do set aside some structured and focused time to just work on the basics.

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There is a really well known guitar teacher and performer and I've watched a lot of his material.

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His name is Buster B. Jones.

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He is probably one of the top finger style guitar players and specifically in the area of emulating Jerry Reed style playing.

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Buster has a philosophy that you should never practice that you should just always play the guitar and that it should always be fun.

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I'm almost there with that idea but I think that's a fine philosophy for an intermediate to advanced player

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but when you are starting out you need the bottom bricks in the pyramid to be in the right place.

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The more that you do well now the less problems that you'll be solving later on down the road.

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So when I'm talking about basics.

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I am talking about things like learning your chord shapes, working on changing between those chord shapes and getting that down.

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Invest in a metronome.

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A metronome is almost like a swear word amongst most beginning guitar students.

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Really beginning students of any music style.

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We all know that all metronomes slow down.

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The reason people say that is because when you start playing with a metronome you start finding out that you have a tendency to change your

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own tempo and a metronome is like a loud speaker that sheds a light on that problem.

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Maybe that's annoying for a while.

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Again, you are arranging bottom bricks in the pyramid to be in the right place by teaching your ear to get used to

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a rhythm and learn it and predict it and be able to stay with it.

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Obviously you won't always play with a metronome but I encourage students to set aside a portion of their time to work on basics like that.

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Absent a metronome.
Make it a lifelong habit to tap your foot.

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If you are ever privileged to go to a guitar workshop by the likes of Tommy Emmanuel

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and he is an avid student of the master Chet Atkins who also said the same thing.

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The single most important thing a guitar player can do is tap their foot.

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What that does it does not only audibly conditions your ear to rhythm but it actually makes it a physical experience.

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You feel it when you tap your foot.

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Playing on rhythm and playing on time makes magnitudes of difference in how enjoyable you are to listen to and it'll be more enjoyable for yourself.

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We don't all have that tendency naturally.

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Some of us think we're on rhythm and think we're on time but then when you play with somebody else a lot of times problems get exposed

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that you didn't know you had.

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Work on those early, take the time, make the effort, work on rhythm, get a metronome, tap your foot.

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A side note to that maybe it's too soon now if you are just learning about where the parts of the guitar are

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and how to make it make noise, it's too soon for this.

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Just as soon as you have some basic chords down, have a basic idea of how to strum this thing

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take every opportunity you can to play with someone else.

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Play with someone who can sing a song while you play.

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Play with somebody else who can play chords while you play melody.

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By design when you are required to be with someone else it will force you to think about your rhythm and think musically.

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That's a healthy thing.

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That's another lesson set that I plan on doing is where I will actually trade off with you.

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I'll be playing a single melody and you can play the chords.

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We'll do it together.

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Now you'll be chording and I'll be playing the melody.

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What that will do whether you are playing melody or playing the chords it's going to reinforce that idea of being on time

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so that you can be with somebody else without running them into the ground.

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I want to encourage you while you are working on techniques to also focus on working on an actual song.

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That helps keep it interesting.

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As I said technique is important but also sounds are important.

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Some of this should be music and you're going to find out that a few of the mechanics we have to work on may not be terribly musical

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as necessary as they are.

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So strive as you are practicing to keep a balance between working on basics and on keeping it fun.

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One final comment about practicing.

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You know when you're in this environment with JamPlay you've got video.

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The nice thing is you can watch a stretch, you can stop it, and back up and go over something again and that's great.

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I want to encourage you to learn to play well and get the details down.

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Look over your own shoulder and question whether or not you are being too much of a perfectionist.

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There is a time and a place for that but you can carry it too far especially early.

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I will try in my videos to make a point in the video if this stretch we did just now is very critical and you need to stop the tape and go over it.

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Other times we'll cover quite a bit of material and then you can work on it on your own.

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It's probably not helpful to over focus on a detail to the point to where you get frustrated.

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Again, there has got to be a balance between trying really hard and being really frustrated.

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They are not the same and you can get a balance.

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I want to thank you again for watching the videos.

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I hope these thoughts have been constructive and helpful for you and most of all my biggest goal is that the guitar becomes your best friend

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and that it's a lifelong enjoyment for you to play.

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Thank you.


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

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

bluesmombluesmom replied

This is an amazing lesson!

Colvin1Colvin1 replied

I've watched goal setting 3x already. No way it should show that I've only watched 53% of it. And dang. If a video should get interrupted and you have to g o back to it.

RalphCordellRalphCordell replied

I found it best to set a goal for each practice session. For example, today I will practice a certain set of chord changes using a metronome at X bpm until I can do it perfectly X times in a row. I try to start with 1-2 measures before and after a problem area - no sense in playing something I can already play.

CalciferCalcifer replied

that's true, discipline is a virtue. the harder section, the slower the practice.

BramirBramir replied

HI Jim, l'm like many others here and picking up the guitar after a 30 year hiatus. Basics seemed like a good place to start, and lose some ingrained bad habits. Thanks,

JPSeniorJPSenior replied

Jim, I just went through Lesson 3. Goal Setting and the lesson indicates I am only 54% complete. Is this an issue with the lesson?

T-BoneUT-BoneU replied

Looks like a software glitch. One solution is to just select the progress tab located to the right of the goal setting video above, select the "manual tracking" radio button, then click to the right of the lesson progress bar, which will enable you to show your progress at 100% complete.

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hi JPSenior! It sounds like you may have been signed out during your lesson which can stop your lesson tracking even though the play back continues. The early signout issue has been corrected, so if you replay the lesson all the way through to 100% it should update correctly :)

FretMeNotFretMeNot replied

I have the same problem. I called JamPlay and the were unable to correct it at their enc.

MaarsMaars replied

Hi Jim I have a hard time tapping my foot Is it really important?

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hello Maars! I sometimes have a hard time tapping my foot depending on the BPM or time signature too. Tapping your foot may not be as important if you have a good "internal" metronome, but it can help keep you on-time and kind of drive the song forward, so it really boils down to preference. Just like when you are first learning your basic chords, foot tapping while playing is difficult at first, but eventually it does get easier and then when the muscle memory takes over you will be able to separate the motion of your foot from the motion of your guitar playing :)

flymasterflymaster replied

I Jim my name is Paul . I notice when you where talking a bout taping your foot in time you progress your timing .was that to make sure that I as a student was paying attention or was it unintentional when you did that?

MaryjudeMaryjude replied

Hi Jim I have this on my iPad and I have done the goal setting twice now but it say I've only completed 54% of the lesson on my progress. So what am I missing?

Larryf@65[email protected] replied

hey, Jim. Just want to introduce myself as the couch potato guitar guy that's been playing the same song for last thirty years. Would like to break some bad habits, learn some more finger picking, the slide and be able to play well with others. Larry

Ian LeighIan Leigh replied

Hi, really looking forward to starting my lifelong dream of learning guitar :) ...just a little thing here, lessons 2 and 3 seem to be the same? Is that deliberate or just a glitch

johnmorris4johnmorris4 replied

I noticed that as well. I also have the iPad app and in it there is only the intro and the goal setting lesson

karolkakarolka replied

Thank you for the helpful suggestions.

DermDerm replied

The written lesson notes cover goal setting and are very useful. The video content barely touched upon Goal Setting and seemed unstructured although it had its value. To be credible I think the written content needs to support the video and vice versa.

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied

Understood! I see what you mean with this lesson and I'm passing it on to Jim to see if he can film an update to this lesson.

juscajusca replied

i hope yall are able to get an update.

walt777walt777 replied

Hi Jim, Thank you for your method of teaching guitar. I have been I have been playing guitar in church and for my own pleasure since 1961. Chet Atkins was my first hero and his book was my first guitar lesson. Looking forward to taking my guitar playing to another level through your training

DermDerm replied

The written lesson notes cover goal setting and are very useful. The video content barely touched upon Goal Setting and seemed unstructured although it had its value. To be credible I think the written content needs to support the video and vice versa.

CvillemaniaCvillemania replied

Not that this is a bad lesson it should not be called GOAL SETTING. In the beginning Jim gave an example oF GOAL SETTING,after that it was a different lesson.

cure4hungercure4hunger replied

Hi Jim, I'm a very beginner and my end goal is to play flamenco. I am wondering which begginer style is best to learn. I would really appreciate it if you can aid me in this matter. thanks

davidbickleydavidbickley replied

Now all I want to do is learn how to play what you did at the end of this lesson. Great stuff.

tifosotifoso replied

Tune is Windy and Warm. One of Doc Watson's best.

unshownpathunshownpath replied

You should make a supplemental notes of a basic structure for time scheduling and short term- long term goals just like a basic standard to go by like your schedule for example

jgerrettiejgerrettie replied

Jim, just retired and am starting to fullfill a lifelong dream to learn the guitar. Looking forward to these lessons and this course.

jeannenoeljeannenoel replied

Hi Jim, I just started my membership w/ JamPlay and was able to check out two of the Live Chat Rooms today/tonight. You were and are very impressive. I've jumped into your Lesson Track and starting at the beginning as suggested. I've played since 66 being content with my self taught rhythm style for my own pleasure. Five years ago decided to play the drums and was involved in a community concert band and some ensemble work. I'm not sure why but it has led me right back to my guitar with a desire really learn how to play it. I wasn't aware that fingerstyle is a style and now that I do that is what I want. So lead on. I will also attempt to join in on as many chat/video opportunities you have scheduled that my schedule permits - tonight's would have been a tragedy to miss. Thank you for answering my question on harmonics.

Don.SDon.S replied

Hi Jim, I recently retired and find myself going back to review and dedicate myself to some of the lessons I didn't get serious about for guitar lessons. One of the things for goal setting I recently started is a warm up session each day before I begin. For the warm up session I am doing the following: Wrist flexes Thumb and finger stretches Fretboard runs up and down starting using the 5th fret as my "home" position. Chord changes, for C A G E D Name the notes on the strings After that I'm working on at least a part of a song, and / or noodling around. I know you've probably been over this a thousand times before, and I thought I would just run my idea of a warmup by you. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

robbiesharprobbiesharp replied

what is the thing on your gutiar

bombadilbombadil replied

Thanks Jim, I'm really enjoying my very first lessons with you at Jam Play. What was that bit of guitar playing at the end of this 3rd lesson called? It was really nice. Hope being a leftie playing a left-hand guitar won't hold me back learning fingerpicking watching these videos? Thanks again Jim. All the best.

petefoxpetefox replied

*didn't know who wrote or played W&W until later...doh!

petefoxpetefox replied

Hi Jim, Like the person who posted most recently, I am coming back to playing after many years of not playing. I started out learning classical in the late 80s, and so have a bit of knowledge, but have to get back to the basics for strength and agility on the fret board, not to mention relearning fingerstyle picking, arpeggios, etc. Anyway, all college taught was classical, but since I was not a music student, my instructor made a deal with me -- learn the class lessons, and each week he would teach me some fingerstyle guitar, like the tune you played at the end there, Windy and Warm :) I never got really good at playing that one, but could play it a little (but not, I'm sure, in the right time...so a metronome will probably help there too). I guess like a lot of folks, I want to run before I can crawl, but I know what you mean about taking the time to learn correctly, or you will have to unlearn bad habits later. Oh and my interest is also in Chet Atkins, and now Tommy Emmanuel, but probably my favorite guitarist is Mark Knopfler. I guess I became a fan of Chet Atkins after hearing my brother's disc Neck and Neck, when that came out years ago. Ever since then, if not before -- well it was before, I guess, as I started learning Windy and Warm way back then, but didn't Chet Atkins played it, or at the time, I was like, who? D'oh!

stuy91stuy91 replied

Hi Jim, really love the style you play. I started playing nearly 20 years ago but it all went to pot when I started getting lessons with a teacher who wanted to watch children's TV while I just played scales up and down the neck. I was awesome at pentatonics...but who isn't? My main influences were Slash and Satch. I've just decided to get serious about guitar again, and really love this style, seen Edgar Cruz doing Bohemian Rhapsody and would love to play that one day but I guess I got to get used to moving fingers the other way on the guitar. I decided to look at beginner lessons to pick up what I can, and some of the wisdom I've heard on the two lessons I've listened to is brilliant, so sensible and simple, yet it's stuff I never really got told to do before, which is why I ended up such a one dimensional player. Plus this style really suits me cause I love listening to rock/metal but when you're just playing the solos on your own or to a record (which they were when I last seriously learned) it's not the same, you feel like an amputated limb I guess. With you're style it's the whole body and a whole lot of soul too. Look forward to learning again with you!

journeyousgloryjourneyousglory replied

Hey Jim, I like the way you teach. Thanks.

saltysalty replied

Jim, I had a few Chet albums back in the 60s. On song I really loved was "April In Portugal". Do you know this piece? I loved your interview with Tommy Emmanuel. I have been playing for 44 years, and I think Tommy is right up there with Chet, and you.

dbandidbandi replied

Jim, I have always loved Atkins/Reed style of playing although never followed through with lessons, primarily due to every instructor - in my opinion - had issues I could not deal with. IN truth, I did not want to take the time to learn the basics. I am looking forward to going through your lessons -beginning with the basics. 3 years ago I purchased a George Washburn - Festival series guitar. Model #EA30BE/TB SER # 9160063 from a work colleague. Maybe someday we can jam! Dan

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Hey Dan! Don't tell anybody, but I have issues too. They just do a good job of editing the worst of them out of the videos... :D

estabanestaban replied

Great stuff, I look forward to learning from you and like the way you teach. This lesson blows away the strange guy on the ebay dvd i have..he was very irritating. what a great web site also...i like the personal notes section too for each lesson as well as this discussion area. On to lesson 4 with me.

stjoelstjoel replied

Hi Jim, I appreciate your teachings. I have a mental block that I was hoping you could offer me some advice. I Have a limited mobility in my pinky finger. I get discouraged on notes, bends, and the like that require the use of the pinky. I don't feel I will ever have the mobility like you have. Any advice -- can a guy play with only three fingers. Thanks again!

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

stjoel, I understand what you are saying - as a general rule I would say my pinkie is the least nimble of the Four Fretters. It doesn't help that the pinkie bears the largest burden of fretting melody notes around various chord shapes. I would set your sights a little higher than just settling for only three fingers, but be patient and give yourself time to develop the strength, flexibility and accuracy that only comes with practice.

zeedrvrzeedrvr replied

Jim, Looks like this is going to be a winner.Chat with you later.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

lol!! yeah i am surprised i cant walk at all without running into something! and yes, brian setzer!!! wow, what an awesome player!!! i love his stuff as well, and his style. great energy, and feeling!!!

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Thanks for the kind words about the lessons guys. David, yes I have "Neck and Neck", the album Chet did with Mark Knopfler. One of the reasons I think it's an important album is because Chet was often wrongly stereotyped to be a one-dimensional guitarist - usually country, all though a lot of his albums get filed in the jazz bin at the local record store. Truth is, he could sit in with anybody he wanted and hold his own, yet be completely himself. It's an eye-opener for die-hard classic rock guitar fans to find out that a lot of their guitar heros credit Chet Atkins as one of their early influences - Knopfler being one. (Chet had equally high praise for Knopfler too, btw) Another is Brian Setzer - I heard a radio interview with him in Chicago where he not only named Chet as an influence, he broke down exactly where he was using some Chet licks in one of his hotrod rockabilly songs. One little well known story is this - the Rolling Stones asked to hook up with Chet when they were coming to do a show in Nashville. In the process of setting up that meeting, the Stones asked Chet if he would be willing to do an unannounced walk-on appearance during their concert. He agreed, but unfortunately underestimated his strength due to the progress of the cancer he'd been fighting. He was ultimately unable to make the appearance but again, it's an example of some giants in genres never associated with Chet that considered him one of the head masters. I agree, and always will. And don't worry about getting all those fingers moving in the right direction. We'll break that all down when I get the phase two fingerstyle lessons going. The thumb can be a rebellious digit, but once you get it on autopilot, it's no harder than walking and chewing gum... ...well wait. I'm clumsy. Maybe that's a bad analogy...

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

jim, really enjoying your first lessons, and do i love the fingerstyle. loved trying to play chet atkins stuff when i was younger, but could'nt wrap my mind around the techniques!!! my strum/pick hand stinks when it comes to fingerstyle. hopefully if i ever find some time i hope you'll be able to shed some light on all dat stuff!!!! i can fake "dust in the wind" thats about it!! lol!! btw, do you have the cd with chet atkins and mark knofler from dire straits? very awesome to hear the two trade licks!!! welcome aboard!!! your a great addition!!!

mav67mav67 replied

Hey Jim, Good lesson. You said everything that I expected to hear and more. I have been waiting patiently for your lessons and just wanted to say you have [B]not[/B] come up wanting my friend. Looking forward to what comes next, good luck, and well done.

unixbrounixbro replied

Jim, Awesome lesson and thoughts. You had to have been in my truck today. I drive a trash truck and everyday we get helpers from a "labor pool". One of the guys I normally have help me is an avid guitar player. He is thinking about opening up a studio and teaching people. Well we got talking about that because he among other people has tried to give me lessons. And here's what I find from instructors: They all want to teach you what you think you should know. To expand on what I mean is ... I paid a guy upfront for 5 lessons about a month ago. Before signing up for these lessons he and I discussed what I would like to learn. My suggestion was for him to teach me basic chords and to keep it fun by splitting the lesson time with half mechanics and half learning a song. After we agreed on this and after he discussed with me that I wanted to learn country and folk songs (we picked 5 songs) he started the lessons. Long story short the lessons he taught me on mechanics were excellent, the song part of the lesson hours (60 dollars an hour times 5) was classical songs of which I had no interest but he insisted before the 5th lesson was done I would understand. 5 lessons and 300 bucks later I still don't understand. I was taken back when you said have fun with the lessons as I have been searching for someone to teach fun and mechanics as well as some theory. Looking forward to seeing more of your lessons between all the instructors I have viewed videos of so far I am enjoying my membership to this site. Keep up the great work. unixbro

Basic Guitar with Jim

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle master Jim Deeming teaches you the basics of guitar playing. With over 30 years of experience teaching and playing, Jim will definitely start you in the right direction. This is a great series for beginners and guitarists looking to refresh their knowledge.

Introduction LessonLesson 1

Introduction Lesson

In this short lesson, Jim Deeming will introduce himself and talk about his upcoming lessons.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Choosing a GuitarLesson 2

Choosing a Guitar

Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Goal SettingLesson 3

Goal Setting

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

Length: 11:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Changing the StringsLesson 4

Changing the Strings

Jim Deeming walks you through the process of changing your strings. He gives some excellent tips on this important process.

Length: 41:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Meet Your New GuitarLesson 5

Meet Your New Guitar

Jim introduces proper playing technique. Then, he explains how to play your first chord.

Length: 52:24 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Learning More ChordsLesson 6

Learning More Chords

Jim teaches you the 3 primary chords in G major. He also explains how chords relate to specific keys. A great lesson!

Length: 39:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Right Hand RevisitedLesson 7

Right Hand Revisited

Jim discusses a plethora of right hand techniques that are essential to guitar playing.

Length: 35:19 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
New Chords and KeysLesson 8

New Chords and Keys

This lesson provides additional information about chords and keys.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Let's PlayLesson 9

Let's Play

This lesson is all about playing. Jim will start you off playing a song. You will have the opportunity to play along with him.

Length: 20:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Alternating Bass and ChordsLesson 10

Alternating Bass and Chords

Jim teaches you a few more commonly used chords. Then, he discusses a technique known as the alternating bass line.

Length: 40:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape ChordsLesson 11

A Shape Chords

Jim covers all possible fingering options pertaining to the basic open A chord shape.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Basic Guitar CheckupLesson 12

Basic Guitar Checkup

Jim talks about the future of his Phase 1 guitar series and where to go from here.

Length: 4:18 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Notes, Scales and TheoryLesson 13

Notes, Scales and Theory

Jim delves into basic music theory. He starts from square one in this lesson.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord FiestaLesson 14

Chord Fiesta

Jim Deeming invites you to a veritable chord fiesta. He demonstrates common dominant and minor chord shapes.

Length: 43:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Movable ChordsLesson 15

Movable Chords

This lesson is all about movable chords. Learn the importance of barre chords and other movable shapes.

Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Proper PracticingLesson 16

Proper Practicing

Jim Deeming explains how to create a productive practice routine. Make sure you aren't wasting needless time!

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Pinky AnchorLesson 17

The Pinky Anchor

Many guitarists use their pinky as an anchor. Jim explains the pros and cons of this technique.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Palm MutingLesson 18

Palm Muting

Jim discusses an important technique--palm muting. He explains how palm muting is used by flatpickers and fingerstyle players.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Reading TablatureLesson 19

Reading Tablature

Jim Deeming covers the basics of reading guitar tablature. Knowledge of tablature will help with JamPlay lessons as well as learning your favorite songs.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Tuning ExtravaganzaLesson 20

Tuning Extravaganza

Jim explains various tuning methods. He provides useful tips and tricks that will ensure that your guitar is sounding its best.

Length: 31:45 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Let's Play: Lesson 21

Let's Play: "Red River Valley"

Jim is back with another "let's play" style lesson. He teaches the classic song "Red River Valley" and encourages you to play along.

Length: 52:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 22

Drop D Tuning

Jim Deeming introduces drop D tuning. Drop D is a popular alternate tuning used in many styles of music including rock, fingerstyle and blues.

Length: 25:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Let's Play: Lesson 23

Let's Play: "Wayfaring Stranger"

Jim Deeming breaks down the song sections to the classic tune "Wayfaring Stranger".

Length: 29:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
More On Drop DLesson 24

More On Drop D

Jim Deeming takes another, more focused look at drop D tuning.

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Your Friend, the MetronomeLesson 25

Your Friend, the Metronome

Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.

Length: 24:02 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Jim Deeming

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes JamPlay.com is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

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

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Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

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Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

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Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

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Maneli Jamal Maneli Jamal

Tapping is a great tool that can be used to create the sound of two guitars without ever having to pluck a note! The tricky...

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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.

James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

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Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

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Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving...

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Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.

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Brent Mason Brent Mason

Learn Nashville style country guitar from one of the most recorded guitarists in history. Check out rhythm grooves, solos,...

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

So how does Andy Wood pick so quickly and with such precision? Level up your speed and accuracy with Andy's near-flawless...

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David Wallimann David Wallimann

This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.

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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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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.

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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.

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