Let's Play (Guitar Lesson)

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Jim Deeming

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.

Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 20:10Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:32) Intro Music Jim gets things started with some intro music in the key of D. In this lesson, you will learn how to play this basic intro tune. Through teaching this song, Jim will train you on the basics of playing with other guitarists. Get tuned up and ready for another great Phase 1 lesson!
Chapter 2: (05:31) Let's Play It's very important to play with other musicians as often as possible regardless of your ability level. This will help enforce the rhythmic clarity and musicality of your playing. Chances are, you'll notice some flaws in your rhythm that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Playing with other musicians will help iron out these discrepancies.

Jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny preaches that the best way to improve your musical abilities is to be the least talented member in your band. Playing with more talented musicians forces and inspires you to become a better player yourself.

At about 1:30 Jim performs the intro music once again this time at a much slower tempo. Watch him perform this tune several times until you have the sound of the melody in your head.

Within the context of most guitar duets, one guitarist provides the rhythmic accompaniment while the other plays the melody. Often in the course of a duet, these roles will reverse. In this lesson, you will perform the role of rhythmic accompaniment while Jim plays the melody. The melody line is the focal point of any musical arrangement. For this reason, some basic guidelines must be observed when supporting a melody with any sort of rhythmic accompaniment.

1. The rhythm part is ALWAYS subordinate to the melody line. Therefore, the accompaniment should NEVER be louder than the melody.
2. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it. Just keep going. Everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing to focus on when supporting a melody line is rhythm. For example, if you strike a wrong note in a chord, do not let it faze you. Keep chugging away at a constant rhythmic pule. If the time feel is lost, the music falls apart.

The tune discussed in this lesson is played in the key of D major. Review the primary triads (I, IV, and V chords) for this key.

I chord = D
IV chord = G
V chord = A

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for diagrams of these chords.

The rhythm accompaniment consists of four measures. Once you reach the end of the progression, repeat back to the beginning. Here is a measure by measure breakdown of the chords:

Measure 1: D
Measure 2: G
Measure 3: A
Measure 4: D

To spice up the accompaniment, play the bass root note of the chord on beats 1 and 3. On beats 2 and 4, use a downstrum to strum the remaining strings in the chord.

Note: Open "Key of D Tab" in "Supplemental Content" for tablature to the rhythm accompaniment.

Before you attempt to play along with Jim, practice this chord progression repeatedly until you have mastered it. Always practice with a metronome! Start the metronome at a very slow tempo. Around 60 beats per minute is a good place to start. Every note you play should line up perfectly with the click of the metronome. Once you have mastered the progression at this tempo, move the metronome up one notch. Repeat this process until you have reached 90 beats per minute. This is close to the tempo at which Jim performs the tune.

At about 3:15 into this scene, he gives you an opportunity to practice the progression while he plays the melody. At about 4:30 Jim performs the tune at an allegro (fast) tempo. The metronome marking for this particular tempo is around 150 beats per minute. If you are just beginning to get acquainted with performing chord changes, this tempo will be way too fast for you at this point in time.
Chapter 3: (04:56) The Keys of G and A In this scene, Jim transposes the song into two other keys for additional practice. "Transpose" simply means to shift to another key. The tune is first transposed to the key of G major. Review the primary triads (I, IV, and V chords) for this key.

I chord = G
IV chord = C
V chord = D

The rhythm accompaniment follows the same pattern when played in the keys of G and A. Beats 1 and 3 feature the bass root note of the chord. On beats 2 and 4, strum the remaining strings in the chord. Repeat the same process you followed in the previous scene to learn the rhythm progression in the key of G. Remember to practice along with your metronome! When you are ready, play the rhythm while Jim plays the melody at about 1:20. At 1:45, he plays the progression at a much quicker tempo.

Note: Open the Supplemental Content tab for tablature to this progression in the key of G.

Once you have sufficiently mastered the chord progression in G, repeat the same process with the key of A major. Here are the primary triads in this key:

I chord = A
IV chord = D
V chord = E

To simultaneously play the melody and chords in this key, Jim must use some alternate shapes of these chords. Notice how he plays the A chord by barring his first finger across the second fret. Alternate chord shapes are discussed in greater detail in later lessons.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for tablature to the rhythm progression in the key of A.
Chapter 4: (09:08) Adding Some Flavor Jim demonstrates how to spice up the rhythm pattern by adding one simple upstrum. In the previous scenes, beats 2 and 4 featured a downstrum. In the new pattern, beat 2 remains unchanged. However, an upstrum is added to beat 4. Now, this final beat is comprised of two eighth notes. On the first eighth note, play a downstrum of the chord. On the second eighth note (the “and” beat of 4) strum the chord in an upward direction. Listen to Jim carefully to get a feel for this new rhythm.

Practice the rhythm as slowly as possible to begin with. Strive for accuracy and clarity instead of speed. Isolate the strumming pattern with each chord before you put the whole progression together. Make sure that you are only strumming the appropriate strings when performing an upstrum. All of the strumming motion should come from the wrist, not the forearm.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for tablature to this new rhythm in the key of D major.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Listen as instructor Jim Deeming plays a tune.

Scene 2

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Hi, I'm Jim Deeming.
Instructor for JamPlay.com.

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Welcome to the next lesson in beginning guitar one, this is lesson nine and the title is "Let's Play."

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One of the things that I really think helps, particularly new students is to early on get use to the idea of playing with another musician,

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with another instrument and it helps reinforce staying on time, staying with somebody.

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This will push you to probably new levels on your chord transitions that we've been working on so far.

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So what I've done is, literally this morning, messed around with and came up with a melody

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that uses the three chords that we've talked about up until this point.

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The One, Four and Five chord and we can do this in any of the three keys that we now know.

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The key of D, the key of G and the key of A.

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So what I'd like to do is introduce you to this song and let you start thinking about what it's supposed to sound like.

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I hope the melody line sticks in your head just enough to where you can follow it

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and perhaps most importantly anticipate chord changes as they're coming up.

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What this is going to have you do, if you remember when we talked about 4/4 time, four beats for each measure.

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This song has four beats on each of your four chords and just like you heard me play on the intro the song sounds like this.

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Now what you will be doing while I play the melody line is...

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One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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We're going to do two versions of this now in the key of D.
We'll do a slow one so that you can get use to the transitions.

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Then I'll pick up the pace a little bit and then you can loop that one through and play it with me a little bit faster if the chords feel comfortable for you.

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So let's get ready to go, we're going to start on the D.

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Four beats on each one and for now maybe what you want to start with is what I just did which is the bass note, strum.

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So, One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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Do that pattern two times and you'll stay right with me.

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Let's give it a try.
One, Two. Ready go.

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How'd you do?

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Remember now we're going…
That pattern on each of our four chords.

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When we get to the beginning though we repeat the D twice.

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So we go, four beats here, four beats here, four beats here on the A, four beats on the D and that completes one half of it and then we start again.

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So in the middle there's actually eight beats on that D chord.

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So that get's you used to thinking about chord transitions on time in the middle of a song.

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Let's do it again.
One, Two. Ready go.

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Maybe you'd like to try it a little faster, we can do that to.
This song get's a little fun when we give it some tempo.

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One, Two. Ready go.

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Here's what your part sounds like.

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Ok give that a try.
Start with the slow version until you're ok with the transitions.

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Then try a few laps through the faster version.

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What we're going to do after this is we're going to play it in a different key and give you some practice on some different transitions.

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Hit the pause and rewind button and come back when you're ready to go to the next key.

Scene 3

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Ok, I hope you're getting along with the new JamPlay song.

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Now we're going to play it in the key of G and just a review these are all chords you now know.

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The G becomes your one chord.

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C is your four chord.

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D is now the five chord.

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So that's our circle of chords.

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One, Four, Five, One.

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The JamPlay song in this key sounds like this…

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So while I'm doing that, you're playing the chords.

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One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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One, Two, Three, Four.
One, Two, Three, Four.

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And that repeats again just like before only with different chords this time.

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Alright, let's setup and do the slow practice version.
Try it with me if you can.

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One, Two, Ready.

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Ok, now we'll do it a little bit faster.

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We're going to do the JamPlay song in the key of A now.

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Playing in the key of A now.

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Now what you're probably seeing looks a little different to you maybe than the traditional way or the way you've seen me show you these chords before.

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I have to do that in order to keep the melody going for you.

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This is an A, doing a little half bar here and that's because I need to get these notes

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and then here comes the D chord but the melody line goes underneath that D chord so I'm having to lift it.

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So it's looks a little funny to you but it's still a D chord.

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There's a little bit of a head-start on the fingerstyle lessons that are coming for you.

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That's one of the reasons that I'm pushing you so much to learn chord shapes and learn a few different fingerings of them is for this exact reason.

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You can be in a key and have a melody that needs to go around, in this case the A chord.

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All I'm doing, I'm thinking in terms of the same chord shapes and the One, Four, Five chords you're playing with me but what I'm having to do

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is add the melody line around it and keep something going on the bottom to keep our rhythm and chords going.

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In the meantime, you're chording with me right?

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Ok, let's do it a little bit faster, strum this.

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Alright, once again our goal here is to get some practice on your right hand, staying smooth and on rhythm

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and then work with the left hand on getting transitions in between these chords.

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We're going to be using these chords a lot down the road.

Scene 4

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Ok, now let's spice things up a little bit by changing what we're doing on the right hand.

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We'll slow down again, remember a while back when we talked about a playing a bass note and then a strum.

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That's what we're repeating but you may also remember a while back, lesson seven I believe when I showed you how to do an upstroke.

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Let's do it that way. One, two and three, four.
One, two and three, four.

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That also works with the JamPlay song.

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If I play a song this way, let me switch picks here for you.

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You're going to be going this way.

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It does work if you've timed it out right.
One, two, three, four and One, two, three, four and…

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Now what this is going to do as you can see, switching back and forth it will give you good practice on accuracy and transitions.

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Hitting that…

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And by way of review on the upstroke you want to remember that our goal is definitely to hit our root note correctly and a full strum on the first one.

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That sets it up.

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On the upstroke one though we slough a little bit, we come up and we don't necessarily hit all the strings and it's still ok.

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Remember we're going…

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What's typically happening you're at least hitting the first two, probably three but you're also letting up and almost kind of picking out a little bit.

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And lifting off.
It may help you to just practice this.

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You could do the JamPlay song that way to.
One, two and three, four…

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Or one, two, three, four…

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Ok, so at that tempo let's do two different patterns.
One, two, three, four and one, two, three, four and…

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Then this one…

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Alright here's a little note about making transitions, your right hand is helping your left hand get a transition done

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and what I mean by that is let's look at one of these in slow motion.

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Just play the bass note, down strum.
While we're doing the upstroke we can actually be moving.

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It's ok sometimes if you're not real loud about it you can get away with lifting that left hand and starting moving to the next chord.

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You'll want to slow down and experiment with what works, both right hand a left hand need to cooperate here to get a transition done.

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Now also if you watch my left hand during that transition and listen to what my right hand has done.

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You'll hear that very often times I'm hitting the root note of a chord before I've fully fretted it.

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That's probably the best thing you can get down to help improve your speed.

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Look at this, if we go D note, strum, our next one is going to be a G.
I got to be there no matter what else happens, on time.

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No matter what else happens and while I'm picking that one these other two can land.

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Now what's next?

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The A and that's an easy one I don't have to fret anything to get the right bass note I have that much time to get those lined up and in there.

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If you experiment with that at a lower speed I think you'll find that there are some things you can do to get those transitions smoothed out

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and one of them is hitting the bass note even before you've fretted it, obviously it has to be on time

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but if you know that in advance this doesn't have to be just a snap shot fast transition over here, you have a little bit of time where your right hand is

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covering for you by playing a bass.

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Watch the lag between when I play a bass note and when I actually fret the rest of the chord.

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Playing a one beat like this might help you see that.

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Also not thrashing around a lot here helps you build speed also.

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One thing that some beginning students tend to do is after they've completed one chord and they've got to go somewhere else

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it's like they've got to reboot the computer down here and start over again and the fingers will wing way off of the neck.

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That won't do anything except slow you down and it also hurts your accuracy so when we've talked about looking for minimal movement down here,

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when we've plotted, ok from this chord where is everybody going?

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These two guys are roughly in the shape they need to be, you've got to drop down to the G.

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That works pretty good unless after this chord I'm just completely letting go.
Then I'm starting over again to build the chord.

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Lift your fingers up off of the strings only a minimal amount and start moving smoothly to each next chord.

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That might not be a bad drill for you to try, it's not going to sound terribly musical to you but just watch your left hand

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and watch those chord pictures as they flow together, how smooth can you make that happen?

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The smoother it is and the less lifting that you do the faster your transitions and that's what you want smooth, clean, well executed chords.

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Then your right hand can do the group.

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While you're doing that for me I can play the lead.
There we go.

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Let's do it again.

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Ok, hopefully that's giving you something to work on and maybe have a little bit of fun playing with that song with me.

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Again make good use of your rewind button, get those down, take your time and have fun with it. Thank You.


Member Comments about this Lesson

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

Colvin1Colvin1 replied

Over 20 times on slow version. Train wreck

Colvin1Colvin1 replied

Holding steady with my winning ways as far as being able to actually play with a other player. I'm good right up to that very first chord change. I'm new to jam play but not to guitar. I've piddled with it off and on for about 5 years. Lost interest before when I saw that actually playing with another is pretty much not gonna happen.

JonathanWalkerJonathanWalker replied

great lesson I leaned a lot from this

TinCanAlleyTinCanAlley replied

Loving this Jim! Brilliant!

1960paul1960paul replied

I feel like smashing my guitar against the wall I just can't reach the A chord its so frustrating

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hey 1960paul! I would suggest getting comfortable playing one string at the time. Start with your index finger and only play that one string. When you are able to play that note cleanly by itself, move to your middle finger and do the same thing. Then move to your ring / 3rd finger and repeat. Once you have all the notes clean by themselves, play the notes with your 1st and 2nd fingers at the same time. Then play the notes with your 2nd and 3rd fingers at the same time. Then you should be able to play all 3 notes at the same time and have a beautiful sounding A chord. Don't let it bring you down. Learning how to play the guitar is not always easy, however, once you are able to play that A chord it will be such a sweet reward! I know you can do it! I hope that helps!

RCBassmanRCBassman replied

great lesson going to work this a little to get it down. thanks Jim great so far.

JohnMosesJohnMoses replied

Jim, I am definitely not a beginner, but I thought it a good place to start and you are awesomely thorough anticipating students difficulties before they get to them. I am taking this course because I wanted to route out bad habits and make sure I was up to snuff to take the fingerstyle course. Awesome work. Keep it up.

pitbull1779pitbull1779 replied

I'm good with all my transitions except G to C. I've tried the fingering that Jim teaches, but I have problems with the reach between the first and sixth strings. I was also taught a 4 finger version of the G which includes fretting the 2nd string, as well as the first and sixth, on the third fret. (The 5th string is down on the second fret, as usual.) This fingering makes transitioning to a D chord A LOT easier, but I guess complicates the C/G transition. I certainly understand the value of being able to use a variety of fingerings for chords, but as a beginner, I feel like I'm doing well to nail the ones I've learned. It can be very discouraging, especially when Jim thinks he's playing slow and it's all I can do to keep up with that! Heavy sigh!

dezignitdezignit replied

Hi Jim, just finished lesson 9 and the simplicity of your key explanation blew me away. Loving every minute of your teaching! Cheers

makinmusicmakinmusic replied

I have a question about the finger placement for G. Is it ok to use index/middle/pinkie as I find that much more comfortable or is it best to stick to middle/ring/pinkie for switching between different chords later?

ScSmithScSmith replied

Like it.

packer31packer31 replied

In addition the tabulation does not show up strokes and down strokes.

packer31packer31 replied

I'm working on Lesson 9. Why doesn't the tabulation in the Supplemental section show where the 1/8 notes as syncopation appear? That would really help.

58Rich58Rich replied

Great Jim ,I kept up with you on slow version of D,G,A.

Linni85Linni85 replied

I can hear Jim's voice for the lets play section but I cannot see him (I can only see black). This does certainly add to the challenge -jet I would really appreciate being able to see his hands and fingers!

solsticestringssolsticestrings replied

Chord transitions, chord transitions - going to have this tattooed to my forehead! As the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run, and I have to have these transitions in both mind and muscle memory first. Great lesson. Thanks!

fferrarafferrara replied

Jim, love the style and method you're teaching.

reoringoreoringo replied

I think I will next use the metronome along with the supplementary sheet music. That should help quite a bit with the chord changes. Slow first till I am comfortable with it, then speed up a bit.. etc etc,, I think

reoringoreoringo replied

Having a blast here! Man I like your style of teaching!!! For real!!!

aggrantaggrant replied

Hi Jim, any chance you could provide the fingerpicking patterns for the melody you play. Really nice

dwiarpdwiarp replied

What a great lesson.. although i am still stumbling along.. too fast for me. i seem to forget everything once i try to go faster.. Should i push myself even though i miss some cords??

dwiarpdwiarp replied

jim hasnt replyed since 2008 ????????

madazammadazam replied

Probably the forum is the best place.

dwiarpdwiarp replied

i look at the responses but jim doesnt seem to be involved anymore.... how old are these lessons.

dwiarpdwiarp replied

me too where is jim when you need to have help........... never a response to our questions...

anilsutaranilsutar replied

hi Jim why did you add melody notes while teaching? i am getting lost because my sound lot different then you.

rkettlerkettle replied

That was fun.

zentazenta replied

I get it now A is 2,3and4 fingers.

zentazenta replied

Hi Jim I sometimes go to play the A with 2and3 fingers ,is this wrong? Im really enjoying your lessons ,thank you.

radiodomeradiodome replied

I think I'll come back to this lesson every now and then. It's a great measuring stick to gauge my improvement. After pushing ahead through a few more lessons, I came back to this one and I could tell the difference by how well I can now keep up with you! Thank you for a great lesson.

tarocattarocat replied

This lesson a bit too fast for me too. My fingers just don't make the G chord shape or transitions to the G that quickly. I like this lesson though if I can pull it off eventually.

gesnipesgesnipes replied

Way too fast, way too soon. Otherwise it would be a good lesson.

2xcowboy2xcowboy replied

Jim thanks. I knew I had some bad habits with timing. I needed to go back to basics.

2xcowboy2xcowboy replied

Jim thanks I have some bad habits. I knew this. I needed to get back to the basics.

joelhunnicuttjoelhunnicutt replied

felt like I was making progress on chord transitions until I started this lesson. I got frustrated really quickly. I am going to get a metronome today and work on the transitions for a few days before attempting the lesson. I think the transitions have to me much better before I can make any real progress

joelhunnicuttjoelhunnicutt replied

After several days of practice with a metronome, I was able to follow along fairly well in the key of A. Now a few more days for the other keys and the right hand technique. This is turning into a 2 week lesson, but I sense that this lesson is an important foundation for everything else that we will do

shecutessshecutess replied

Teaher Deeming I think you are forgetting that i am a beginner... :(

qwertydonqwertydon replied

Is there a way to create a loop so that we can play a segment over and over and over without having to stop and mess with the mouse?

qwertydonqwertydon replied

Yes, there is. Simply use the "A" and "B" tabs to create a beginning and end point, and the program will loop automatically until you press either tab again.

peacepilgrimpeacepilgrim replied

could you please teach this fingerpicking song to us maybe in the phase 2 fingerpicking section? i love this tune that you wrote and would love to learn it but it is just too fast for me to catch on to by looking at it.

aussie twangaussie twang replied

i see exercises for this lesson but no tabs for the song itself...

jarls1jarls1 replied

I may actually master the darn thumb pick thanks to this lesson. Thank you so very much. I've been playing for three years and am trying to incorporate a thumb pick which is like trying to teach a cat to swim.

mr_philmr_phil replied

Jim, really enjoying the lessons. Your method dovetails with my ability to understand and apply. Thank you!

ORV9271ORV9271 replied


tlemketlemke replied

JAMPLAY SUGGESTION: How about adding a tab next to "Metronome" for "Tuner" so we can tune up before each lesson... (quicker than going to all the other links for finding the tuner)

reyesjareyesja replied

Fingerpicking to this song?

reyesjareyesja replied

Where can we find the tabs for this lesson. I love the fingerpicking.

joseefjoseef replied

I still feel this is too fast for me....I had too many breaks in practice due to Eczema so i'm struggling with transitions speed still...I'm working on it though, but fingers are still very sensitive....so must build up callouses again...arghhh

joseefjoseef replied

I'll have to practice practice practice for this one...eczema on my fingers makes me have to take a lot of breaks from practice...my fingers get raw for months at a time...i'm back now though....so callouses not formed yet...hopefully I won't have to stop again.

nylonstringnylonstring replied

hi Jim. in lesson 9.how the right hand picking patten. thanks.you are great teacher.

peterfittonpeterfitton replied

The metrenome advice really has improved my transistions and trying to play perfectly with the metrenome becomes adictive after a whiile. Tough lesson but it has definetly resulted in a big leap in my playing.

doreenhdoreenh replied

I also like the lesson, but I cant see what is happening in the strum, is it pinching all the strings or strumming ? I wish I could see the melody notes also.

fuzzy32086fuzzy32086 replied

Oh and i really appreciate the way u teach the lets play lesson. Makes it feel like your actually here helpin me along as i learn to play these songs.

fuzzy32086fuzzy32086 replied

Hi Jim. I've had actually been playin for almost a year trying various online lessons and stuff. This lesson addressed a problem ive had for a while. I always asked in forums and such for a teacher to address ways to improve transitions and your the first person who has actually made it make since to me. Thanks.

mhm12mhm12 replied

hi Jim i am an oud player i started last week to try the guitar i did learn allot i really enjoyed and under stand some of the trick thanks i’ll keep up

slimjimslimjim replied

Hi Jim, I'm really enjoying the lessons but I am getting confused on A7 vs. A Major . . . which goes with which key? Key of D is A7 I think and and Key of A is A Major. Thx!

mclovinmclovin replied

do you rekomend to do the g with your pinky, ring and longfinger for finger style? or is it alright if you do it with the point finger

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

I recommend learning both. Then use whichever one is most suitable for the situation. By default I use the pinkie-version most, but neither is right or wrong.

dalcorndalcorn replied

I've done a bunch of other lessons and keep coming back to this one. It's really challenging and rewarding. I agree I'd like to see more like this.

jboothjbooth replied

There's another one on the way :)

malcmalc replied

very good lesson learning to play with someone else can be hard thanks for the lesson jim

dloydloy replied

What happened to just using a pick? Now we have to learn how to finger the strings? Too much!

daniivanovdaniivanov replied

If you could post the tab for the JamPlay song. The one from the intro.

ferrari79ferrari79 replied

Like I said before, I've been play for quite a while... But I haven't taken the time to "learn" the guitar properly. What I'm have trouble with, is correcting my bad habits that I've developed over the years. Like playing the D chord using my index finger as a bar. Or playing my G with my index and middle finger on the low notes. Or just plain cheating and playing a sloppy A chord with a single index bar. All of those are slowing my transitions. And just not letting my chords ring as clean as they could. I have some work to do!!!

SylviaSylvia replied

Jim: This is one of my favorite lessons. Could you please do more like this one? :o) S

jujumujujumu replied

I love getting away from the drills and actually playing something. At the moment I'm stumbling along with the right hand but am having trouble consistently hitting the base note. Great lesson 1

gjdbgjdb replied

Hi Jim thanks for this great lesson. Got me frustrated a couple of times but after a few hours, when i was finally able to do these chord transitions flawless, wow that felt good! Really felt like my chord transitions (for these chords) have improved an incredible lot. thx again!

burford0714burford0714 replied

I would like to see the fingering of the picking.

nguyenhuy2610nguyenhuy2610 replied

I like this lession, but it seems so fast with right hand, so i can't catch up

flocop1974flocop1974 replied

Jim this was another great lesson! I'm learning a lot about timing, and I think I'll be spending a while on this one.

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 FREE
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.

Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

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

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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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Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

Free LessonSeries Details
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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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

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

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Randall Williams Randall Williams

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

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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

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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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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Andre Nieri Andre Nieri

Born in 1986 and hailing from Brazil, Andre showed musical inclination at an early age. Influenced by native Brazilian Jazz...

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

Free LessonSeries Details
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.

Free LessonSeries Details
David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens shows some of his go-to licks and ideas while improvising over a backing track he made.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

Free LessonSeries Details
David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

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

Free LessonSeries Details
JD McGibney JD McGibney

Now that we’ve set ourselves up to be in a soloing mindset, let’s break down an actual solo. For this exercise we are...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 521348 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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

Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 128 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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Mike H.

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

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


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I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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