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Basic Guitar Checkup (Guitar Lesson)


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Jim Deeming

Basic Guitar Checkup

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

Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 4:18Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (4:28) Basic Guitar Check Up and Future It is very important to occasionally pause from the routine of practicing and reflect on your guitar playing. Once every month or so, take inventory of your skills as a guitarist and musician. Jim takes this opportunity to impart some words of wisdom regarding your journey as a guitarist.

Setting Goals

In lesson 3, Jim stressed the importance of setting goals. No matter what you are trying to achieve in life, setting goals is an absolute necessity. Here is a quick review of the materials presented in lesson 3:

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.

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.

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.

Contact Teachers

JamPlay is an interactive website! Feel free to ask questions of all the JamPlay instructors. Post questions on the forum or under the "Comments" tab of each lesson. You can also send an email directly to a JamPlay instructor. Be sure that you phrase your question clearly. Be as specific as possible. Often members submit questions that can be rather confusing. So, do your best to help us help you!

It is very helpful to the instructors when members send them feedback. Let them know how you are improving or what you are currently struggling with. This will enable the instructors to design the best lesson plans possible.

Have Fun

"Our goal here is to play music, not to do drills." Although technical exercises are absolutely essential to gaining facility on the guitar, they do not constitute music. It is necessary to devote a large portion of your practice time to technique. However, it is equally important that you spend some stress-free, fun time with the instrument. Set aside a few hours of your practice time each week for pure pleasure. Forget about scales and theory and just play. Becoming a skilled musician requires a lot of hard work. However, if playing the guitar ceases to be fun and inspiring, what is the point of doing it?

Your level of enjoyment while playing will carry over to the audience as well. If you are having fun, they are more likely to enjoy hearing you. The reverse idea is also true. Nobody wants to see a performer that isn't enjoying what he/she is doing.

Listening

One of the most important components of studying music is listening to it as frequently as possible. In addition to listening to old favorites, make a habit of looking for new and exciting music. This will provide you with a fresh perspective and approach to the guitar.

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. This will provide you with a source of comparison when learning new techniques. 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?

Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

Each month, take an objective look at all your strengths and weakness. This will help you organize your practice time. Practice your weaknesses. Practicing material that you have already mastered achieves nothing other than satisfying your own ego.

Transitioning to Phase 2 Fingerstyle Lessons

If you have mastered the concepts presented in the first twelve Phase 1 lessons, you are ready to begin Jim's Phase 2 Fingerstyle series. However, you should not abandon your Phase 1 lessons. Many of Jim's Phase 2 lessons will reference topics discussed only in Phase 1 lessons. For example, techniques that are essential to all styles of guitar playing will be presented in Phase 1 lessons. Typically, fingerstyle specific techniques will appear only in Phase 2 lessons.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


makinmusicmakinmusic replied on March 11th, 2017

I have a really old guitar which I bought about 20 years ago. It has done a lot of sitting in its case. For a while I took lessons and got quite good.. then I had kids and all "me time" went out the window. I'm now re-starting and although I have forgotten everything I once knew, I'm finding it easier to pick up the chords the second time around. I love your style of teaching - very relaxed and showing different options for chords and the relationship between them. Thanks so much. :)

ChucktaffeChucktaffe replied on February 15th, 2017

Just completed Lesson 12 with Jim and am loving it, thank you!

Dinger73Dinger73 replied on January 11th, 2017

Same here has below I'm having trouble with barre chords too, my barre finger just bends inwards when trying to reach over with other fingers on the string.

Rtubbs1939Rtubbs1939 replied on May 6th, 2016

Jim, I'm really having difficulty with Barre chords because of a prior broken wrist and lots of arthritis. What shortcuts can I take to compensate for the problem?

bridge1benbridge1ben replied on April 29th, 2015

Hi Jim, I started learning to play after I retired as a hobby and enjoy it a lot. I have read some books and have learn some chords, can play melody notes and would really like to be able to play chord melody. I have picked up new ways and shortcuts to play chords from your videos and am looking forward to the next lesson. Thanks for your thoughtful instructions you are doing a great job.

burford0714burford0714 replied on February 15th, 2015

Jim I'm having problem with my playing when I get my thumb going and I start with my fingers my thumb stops if I start with my finger going then start my thumb my finger stops help

jmbeshearsjmbeshears replied on January 26th, 2015

Jim,after trying to learn to play myself for over 50 years, I want you to know that I have learned more from your instruction in about 6 weeks than I have in the previous 50 years combined. I have a brother(now deceased) who started playing Chet Atkins style in the 60's,and that's when I fell in love with it. He always tried to teach me but I just couldn't stick with it. Along with you're excellent teaching style, you keep it interesting and challenging. I honestly say that at the age of 66, I am finally making some real progress in my playing. Thank you so very much and keep up the great work. Your new friend, Jim beshears

georgebanketasgeorgebanketas replied on December 24th, 2014

Jim, Thank you for all the time you have put into these videos. The way you break down chords and playing is just the way I was looking for. I have the foot tapping down with the metronome. The counting out loud while playing is still a work in progress. The 'F' barre chord is just about there but I am buzzing on the 'A' string with the ring finger on fret 3. I am trying to figure out a new way to fret that chord in the first position. I have been practicing switching the ring and pinky finger. So basically when I fret the 'F' barre in the first position it looks like a reverse 'A' shape. This way my 'F' chord sounds nice with no clunkers. Thank you again Jim for these awesome lessons.

ttailelettailele replied on December 4th, 2014

I have completed lesson 12 with you. I am still struggling in getting the chords on the guitar switching from one to another, I have the bar F chord almost down, but this new A bar chord is a real problem. I will just keep practicing at it. I am sure I will need to take 2 more weeks and go over the lessons again before I go on to #13. Thanks for the lessons it is fun, well at least when I get the chords to sound correct.

janfjanf replied on March 9th, 2013

wooo hoooo! I get to work on PHASE 2!!!!!

bboytbboyt replied on February 8th, 2013

Where do i find good practice music to fit your lessons

coyflytecoyflyte replied on November 19th, 2012

While I appreciate your suggestion that I find a guitar player to emulate, I simply cannot pick any one. Maybe it's wrong, but I need to develope my own style. That doesn't mean I won't stop looking as spend a lot of time on youtube as well. Also, I am simultaniously going through Aaron Shearer's Classic Guitar Technique as want and need to learn more about reading and playing music. Your first hand knowledge and personalization is invaluable but the written instruction gets into detail you simply cannot on video. Enjoy the webcast when I have time to sit in. Keep up the good work! Hope to hear you play live some day...

cj1229cj1229 replied on July 7th, 2012

Jim, in response to your comments about communicating; I am so enjoying the lessons and I work consistently on getting better. The bar chords are killer though, just can't seem to get them and maintain "any kind of rhythm." Especially the 'A' but I appreciate the way you teach, it makes things accessible. Even when they are hard to do. I hope to develop as a country blues style of play. I have been visiting Eric Madis a little and then coming back to your lessons. As far as a style or artist that impresses me, I really like Eric Bibb a lot. Your playing is mind-blowing as well. Your fingers do things that are hard to even imagine. You are a blessing. Thank you.

airsurferairsurfer replied on March 26th, 2012

Jim I too am an old geezer and I have enjoyed the lessons thus far..am learning a lot but I find that I need a lot of practice and reviewing your lessons as I go..you have a good approach to teching and I look forward to the future lessons as wll. I do want to learm finger style and I know i have a long road ahead of me..keep up the good work.

maggiekajmaggiekaj replied on March 13th, 2012

Hi Jim love the lessons and your explanations thanks a lot.Am on an old guitar my friend gave me which has high action I think??? seems The strings are very far from the frets. It is not a cut away so even at the 1oth fret I cant get a decent sound. Is this because my fingers are not strong enough or is it the guitar? is it a big job to get things fixed. I cant afford a new guitar just yet and would like to learn the basics on this one if its possible.

vidiavidia replied on October 26th, 2011

vidia Jim Love the lessons . I have owned a guitar for 15 years,but have never found a set of lessons on line or a private teacher who had a set program ,(how to play the guitar step by step) teachers just went from topic to topic with no plan. This doesn't work for me. I like your step by step approach. I am having a real problem with the A bar shape moving down the neck of the guitar(lesson 11) You explan its tougher closer to the nut , I in fact find it harder as you progress down the neck , frets get to small to stack 3 fingers in one fret ie fret #9,10,11,12 etc etc .Any suggestions ?? Unlike you I have the problem of small hands. I have no idea how you can do it with those big mitts. Thanks Again I look forward to hearing from you

BigTRSBigTRS replied on September 25th, 2011

ooos, I put this in the wrong place first time. I too am really enjoying your lessons Jim. I'm a 62 year old beginner, and yes I have followed you this far. Although I think I'll have to revisit lesson 10. Lot of info there. My goal is to learn to strum & fingerpick. (can't sing worth a lick so if I every want anyone to listem to me play, I'd better be able to carry a few notes) The style I'd like to learn is Travis picking in the Linday Buckingham style. i.e. never going back again. If I can play that some day, I will have arrive. Thanks again......on to 13.

guavajamguavajam replied on August 30th, 2011

Aloha Jim, I'm enjoying your lessons. I have been playing the guitar finger picking style for a while now, but have resolved to learn to use the thumbpick. It's been challenging so far, but I'm not going to stop any time soon. Thanks!!

BigTRSBigTRS replied on September 25th, 2011

I too am really enjoying your lessons Jim. I'm a 62 year old beginner, and yes I have followed you this far. Although I think I'll have to revisit lesson 10. Lot of info there. My goal is to learn to strum & fingerpick. (can't sing worth a lick so if I every want anyone to listem to me play, I'd better be able to carry a few notes) The style I'd like to learn is Travis picking in the Linday Buckingham style. i.e. never going back again. If I can play that some day, I will have arrive. Thanks again......on to 13.

roger8289roger8289 replied on May 26th, 2011

hi Jim, picking is fun Ive really tried to stay lesson by lesson in phase one but im inpatient and knock out a few rhythm tunes to break the lesson.

cmarhas12cmarhas12 replied on February 5th, 2011

Jim, your lesson series is great. I have learned a lot. I am going slow due to time contraints, but it has been great!

markinnewparismarkinnewparis replied on January 10th, 2011

hi Jim, Just started yesterday and i have played on and off for several years. but i want to start playing more often. I have went through all you material up to here, and i am comfortable in saying that i know and can change well between the chords you have covered. So my question is are you telling me in this video that i should start on phase 2 at this point? By the way i have always flat picked, and i am really looking forward to fingure picking.

constable415constable415 replied on June 16th, 2010

Jim thanks for helping with my problem of the d chord on the electric guitar due to the smaller neck. You were right I was pressing too hard.

bill_wcnbill_wcn replied on March 24th, 2010

Hi Jim, I started Jamplay about two months ago and have now arrive at this lesson (12) after going through each lesson two or three times. I can go through all the CAGE keys, but still have to go slow (about 1 foot tap per second) The biggest problem I'm having is trying to use the thumb pick (instead of flat pick) - especially for up strokes. I guess I need to start forcing myself to use the thumb pick, since I really want to learn the finger style. I only have one thumb pick, and I'm wondering if there are variations - other than thumb size. Thanks for the great lessons. Bill Newland

nessanessa replied on March 25th, 2010

I'm sure Jim will chime in also, but meanwhile I recommend taking a look at this lesson by Hawkeye. The whole lesson is basically about thumbpicks - recommendations for brands and tips on how to wear them: http://www.jamplay.com/members/guitar/phase2/hawkeye-herman-38/lesson87.html

gvanausdlegvanausdle replied on January 11th, 2010

Hi, I have sped thrugh to this point in 2 days as I have been playing for year, though I havent had hardly any lessons. It is great to finally learn some basics though like how to properly string a guitar. So I am going thru every lesson no matter what.

fuzzy32086fuzzy32086 replied on October 20th, 2009

Hi Jim. I've been playing for a while now and I've always loved Eric Clapton. Mainly the song 'Tears In Heaven'. After finding your lessons I'm striving to become a fingerstyle guitarist. Maybe I'll be as good as you eventually, LOL jk. I got to the point where all i was doing was learning how to play lead stuff for the songs i listen to. But I know any other musicians in my area with my taste in music. Everyone wants to play the popular band stuff. I just wanna jam and enjoy what I play. Anyway I dont know if this is the place for this but, if i could make one suggestion to you it would be to plug in a few simple songs that we should learn. I know you teach songs in the lets play lessons but i was thinking maybe you could point us in a direction of some songs that we could attempt to learn on our own. I love the lessons, there great.

erickson39erickson39 replied on July 5th, 2009

Hey Jim. I'll try and keep this short. I have really been trying to play since about 1979 or so. I wish I would have tried lessons and found JAMPLAY then. I would probably be on stage or somthin now. But, I didn't, so now I am trying to break a couple of bad habbits, but I will perservere. The first guitar player that caught my attention was Arlo Guthrie. I have since found mysefl always drawn to picking rather than stumming, although I appreciate both. Can't wait to learn more. One question...not really that important unless y'all are tracking my progress...can't get my prgress rpt to update. Thanks for the excellent instruction so far.

slimjimslimjim replied on May 31st, 2009

Hi Jim - Thanks for the lessons. Slow and steady wins the race. I am starting over with guitar after a 7 year absence. I write a lot and i am bringing my guitar skills up to my writing abilities to actually write songs using keys and chords that match! My goal is to get to Wells,BC this summer for a 4 day Fingerstyle class with Ken Hamm. Wish me luck!

floorshakerfloorshaker replied on November 3rd, 2008

Hi Jim. This lesson has made me realise that if you don't interact with your instructor then you are not making the most of Jamplay. Because of this I have gone back to Steve Eulberg's Phase I and left feedback for him. I am now going through your Phase I and find it really different. Steve has tried to cover all options and his teaching style makes you feel really comfortable. Your style is so different that I find it more of a `work' lesson. I don't mean that as a bad thing as I think some days you are in that kind of mood and want to buckle down and get on with learning the guitar. Thanks for the great lessons. I am enjoying them immensely, especially the way you always give us a glimpse of what might be possible a little further down the line. This is a great encouragement to get on with your practising. Just one question. I have left a few comments on the message board, here in the comments section of the lessons and on the Q&A. Which one are you yourself more likely to look at and reply to? You obviously have a limited amount of time and I don't want to waste my and your time by asking questions that you might not even have the time to read. Best wishes. Chris

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied on November 12th, 2008

For me personally, I prefer q&a stuff to be in the forums. Thanks!

pnakpnak replied on March 20th, 2008

Last year I learned to read notation and that was the only way I could play was easy melodies. (I like country so a lot of songs fit). This year is dedicated to rhythm guitar playing. Learning chords and different rhythms to play along with cds or jams but I like where you are going and maybe that the next goal. BTW can you or someone tell me how to use the jam tracks part of the site. If I'm practicing Key of G chords I look for a jam track in key of G or ?????

jboothjbooth replied on April 21st, 2008

The JamTracks are really more for playing lead over. So if the JamTrack is in the key of E, play some sort of E scale such as E pentatonic. They aren't really meant to strum along too, though you definitely could.

twokidstwokids replied on April 21st, 2008

Jim - I've been playing for 2 years, teaching myself until now. In doing so, I'm afraid I've picked up a few bad habits... I remember you cautioning us about pressing too hard on the strings and consequently flattening our finger tips. Is there any way to remedy this? If I don't press hard at this point, I cannot get a good sound, yet if I do, it makes the problem worse. My calluses are also getting caught on the strings. Some one showed me how to "get out of" having to make a full barre chord by just playing the top 4 strings. MISTAKE!! That is especially a problem now for my Bm. I somehow reversed my pinky and ring fingers on the G & D strings. I can't keep that finger formation and attempt a full barre. I dread the answer to this one... practice, practice, practice, right? I've enjoyed your different strumming patterns, alternating base, etc. That's definitely an area I need help with. My only problem is I can't find any good songs to practice to. I can't see how it all applies to the songs I already know. I'm eager to start your finger style lessons. One question though: Is it better to have longer nails to hit the strings w/ (right hand) or should I trim them so my fingers hit the strings directly?

jboothjbooth replied on April 21st, 2008

I'm not a fingerstyle expert, but getting them to a length where you actually get a bit of contact with both your nail and the tip of your finger can give you a really amazing sound :)

ryanj34ryanj34 replied on March 16th, 2008

Jim, I have been enjoying your lessons and your teaching styles. Thanks, john

greenogreeno replied on December 7th, 2007

Jim, Even though I'm one of the older geezers around and have been playing since Christ was in short pants, I'm getting a lot out of your lessons. I've gotten a good review of chord structure and am realy looking forward to the fingerstyle lessons. As for goals, I am impressed with your style of teaching as well as your style of play. That's where I wanna go! Keep up the good work.

tburtti1tburtti1 replied on December 6th, 2007

Jim, I think you do a great job, keep the lessons coming.

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.



Lesson 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
Lesson 2

Choosing a Guitar

Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 8

New Chords and Keys

This lesson provides additional information about chords and keys.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
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
Lesson 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
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
Lesson 24

More On Drop D

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

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 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

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.

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


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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David Isaacs David Isaacs

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

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

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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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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.

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Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

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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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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

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

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Steve McKinley Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley talks about evaluating your bass and keeping it in top shape. He covers neck relief, adjusting the truss rod,...

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Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

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

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Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

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Kris Norris Kris Norris

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

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

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Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.

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Daniel Gilbert Daniel Gilbert

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

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Allen Van Wert Allen Van Wert

Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity. This is a short lesson but the exercises here can...

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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

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Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 82 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
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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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


Bill

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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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