Chords and Strumming (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Lincoln

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 17:33Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:22) Welcome Back and Review Please review the following materials before moving on:
Remember the names of the strings.
Remember the names of the fingers.
Stretch your arms, hands, and wrists.
Take a deep breath and relax!
Memorizing the string and finger names is absolutely critical. Warming up can also help your guitar experience be more relaxed and comfortable.
Chapter 2: (06:18) The Open Chords

Here are the "open" major chords in tablature form:

A major

As indicated in the previous lesson, the "0’s" indicate "open" strings or strings that do not get held down.

B Major

This chord is formed by placing the first finger on the high E-string on the second fret, the pinky on the B-string on the fourth fret, the third on the G-string on the fourth fret, and the second finger on the D-string on the fourth fret. This chord is usually not played in this format, but is usually played as a bar chord. Since we have not covered bar chords at this point, I thought I'd demonstrate the chord with an alternate fingering. Be aware that EVERY chord can be formed several different ways across the length of the fretboard. This is just one form of the B major chord.

C Major

This chord is formed by placing the first finger on the B-string at the first fret, the middle finger on the D-string at the second fret, and the third finger on the A-string at the third fret.

D Major

This chord is played by placing the first finger on the G-string at the second fret, the middle finger on the high E-string at the second fret, and the third or ring finger on the B-string third fret.

E Major

This chord is constructed by placing the first finger on the G-string first fret, the second or middle finger on the A-string second fret, and the third finger on the D-string second fret.


This chord is played by placing the first finger on the B-string first fret, the middle finger on the G-string second fret, and the third finger on the D-string third fret. I'm using the major 7 version of this chord since the F major chord requires you to barre the two highest strings.

G Major

This chord is played by placing the middle finger on the A-string second fret, the third finger on the low E-string third fret, and the pinky finger on the high E-string at the third fret.

Keep in mind that this is just one possible way to fret the G major chord. Alternate fingerings for this chord will be discussed in future lessons. One fingering may be more practical than another within the context of a chord progression. So, learn to be flexible!

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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

pgoupil60pgoupil60 replied

I would love to learn from this series but I cannot get by the fact that he says Okay in almost every sentence. It is very distracting.

jservant1198jservant1198 replied

I am assuming that I should learn and memorize all of the open cords before moving on correct? Thanks

jcs57playjcs57play replied

My fingers are fat and therefore I tend to hit other strings making for a sour sound. Mark is helping me work hard on getting that sweet sound.

dirk.heimanndirk.heimann replied

The way your are explaining the things and how you are motivating me to learn is great

socalrockrsocalrockr replied

Great teacher.After burning through Steve,Jim,and Jessica's lessons in a week and a half,I have found my home.From an intermediate player just gettin' back into it after being off for a year.Us rock,blues cats gotta' stick together.LOL.

dyeriandyerian replied

Mark, Im having a hard time getting my fingers to stretch between the 2nd fret and the fourth fret. What kind of finger stretching exercises can i do to help with this problem?

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied

Hi, I'm not Mark but I do know of a way to gradually adjust your fingers to a wider stretch. You need to start up higher on the neck. Play the exact thing you are trying to play but just move it up to where the frets are closer together. Then just move the exercise down 1 fret at a time until it gets uncomfortable. Stop. Then move it back up. Repeat this slowly over days and weeks. Make sure you don't rush and hurt yourself. Over time your hand will adjust. You can also hop on JamChat almost anytime, turn your webcam on or type your question in, and the teacher can explain this process on video. Hope that helps!

bam711711bam711711 replied

Great job Mark. Thanks for going slow.

rrhirtlerrrhirtler replied

Hi Mark, my name is Ralph and I have a question about the tuning on your guitar. The pitch of your strings and chords sound slightly higher than on my guitars. I've checked the tuning of both my nylon and steel-string guitars using an Android app, a Boss chromatic tuner and a web-based tuning fork and all agree my tuning is correct. Are you using a slightly different tuning? Thanks in advance for your reply.

zertndozertndo replied

Please forgive me, but I've added the suggestion below to almost every teacher since I don't know who sees what or if the teachers share thoughts. I really believe in the suggestion.

zertndozertndo replied

Just a small suggestion that I think will help everyone taking lessons. Wouldn't it would be better if you showed the left hand view from the perspective of the guitar player and not the student. That way the student can match the fingering on the fret board and strings more accurately. No offense intended, but Steve Eulberg's fingers are pretty big and hard to see from the students perspective, which string and fret he is actually playing. I believe this should be applied to all lessons from all teachers.

boodrewboodrew replied

just started the lessons and am looking forward to all 51 thanks Mark!

ladycarolladycarol replied

My arm "goes to sleep" after playing awhile, but I don't want to stop playing? Is there a way to avoid this?

ladycarolladycarol replied

What are your thoughts on thumb picks?

magpie04magpie04 replied

I see that this lesson and others have a file in the exercises that can only be opened using Guitar Pro. What advantage do I gain by using Guitar Pro rather than just the .pdf file?

hobieguyhobieguy replied

I love his grasp of the English language as he explains things in such a fluid manner. He doesn't stumble ie: as if he's not sure what's coming next. My only contention is that he covers too many things at one time and a basic beginner would have to take a while to cover each chapter of his course. An example is here, he covers the B, C, E, F and G chords. A lot to grasp for a beginner. Otherwise, I Love his teaching methods and the manner in which he explains things.

gtzantoniogtzantonio replied

I also think it is a little fast paced, since I'm a beginner, but let's remember it is a video, we can pause, practice and continue, or even come back another day after some practice, so it's better if it is fast paced for me.

lakuchmak17lakuchmak17 replied

really having trouble hitting the right strings duuring the strumming pattern. Any suggestions mark?

abhishekmad7abhishekmad7 replied

what do u mean by major or minor or major 7?

fizurpfizurp replied

Hey Mark.. have always tried to avoid the A chord, or just use the finger 1 method for all three strings. I don't have big hands or fingers, in fact, really small, but I always seem to buzz the d string or mute the b string when trying to fret the chord using fingers 1, 2, and 3. Any suggestions or am is it just about hitting that sweet spot?

zertndozertndo replied

I use fingers 2, 3, 4. I feel it's better be for me. At this stage of the game, I actually barre it with one finger, either the index finger or middle finger. With practice, you will get the right bend in one of those fingers.

pothed74pothed74 replied

Hi, I'm a noob and I find it actually easier to fret both the B and G string on 3 fret using my ring finger only rather than using my middle and ring finger on each of those strings. Is it an acceptable teqnique to fret 2 strings that are beside each other using a single finger on a chord? I hope I'm clear with what I'm trying to ask. :)

pothed74pothed74 replied

Sorry, BTW this is about the B chord specifically.

pothed74pothed74 replied

Sorry, BTW this is about the B chord specifically.

pothed74pothed74 replied

Sorry, BTW this is about the B chord specifically.

mattksbs07mattksbs07 replied

OK. A Chord jokes aside. No matter what the angle of my and or wrist as well as how tightly I squeeze my fingers together, I am not yet able to get a clean A chord. Anyone who has suggestions are very greatly appreciated.

jra123jra123 replied

trying using ony your first and second finger, if yout fingers are wide enough you can use youre 3nd finger to cover 2nd and 3rd strings at the same time.

mattksbs07mattksbs07 replied

Really enjoying your course Mark. Just not yet sure who's winning, me or the A chord. Lots of fingers, little space...

sjanowskisjanowski replied

Hi Mark, I'm having issues with my D Chord. I can do the A chord fine, but once I do the D, the high E string sounds muffled? It seems my ring finger is touching it somehow, but no matter how I twist, I can't seem to get it right. What do you suggest? Thank you!-Susie

michaelshawnc87michaelshawnc87 replied

Mark, when I play any of the major cords they dont really sound that great and some of the strings are muted. Is that something that just gets easier when your fingers get used to the pain?

Rich1165Rich1165 replied

As you practice and you develop calluses, you will be able to arch your hand so your fingers touch the strings at the very tips. This stops the fat part of your finger tips from touching the string below.

overwatch301overwatch301 replied

I am having the same problem anybody have an answer?

dallas28dallas28 replied

If strings are muted that's not a result of your fingers not pushing hard enough or not being strong enough. Try changing your grip on the guitar for different chords so that its comfortable and the fingers on the strings are only touching those that they are supposed to touch.

nevilleanevillea replied

Hi Mark, thanks for the great lessons so far, I am really enjoying it. Can you please show how to hold the pick? I tend to get it stuck, especially on the up strum. Thanks, Neville

samy101samy101 replied

hey mark, why is the b chord an open chord, since you only hit the high E, the b and the G chords??

renp777renp777 replied

Mark. Love your lessons and your pace. I am having trouble strumming. My main concern is I am struggling with strumming up, For some reason, I cannot get it right. I can only do it slowly and when I try to strum up it hits the strings roughly. I cannot fathom how guitarists strum up and down so quickly. I just cant do it. I've even tried strumming further away from the strings but I still have trouble. Another concern is that my fingertips are big and I am having trouble with the chords because one of my fingers always hits another string and distorts or mutes the sound. an example of this is the open D chord....i cannot make it sound clean because my fingertips always hits the E fingertips give me trouble and i cant come out clean

larsmohrnielsenlarsmohrnielsen replied

Please tell how Y count this strum pattern is it 1,2 and,3 (3/4) or?

larsmohrnielsenlarsmohrnielsen replied

Think I´v got it it´s: 1, 2^ ,(3), 4 with 3 a silent strum?

joshuamcdjoshuamcd replied

Mark really enjoying learning guitar through your videos. Working on lesson 3, having a little trouble with down, down up down, down strumming but I figure if I continue to practice all week I will be able to get it down.

gregtrngregtrn replied

Hey Mark, I haven't been been playing very long but one question seems to bring a variety of answers. The thumb of my left hand, where should it be while playing? I've read and heard it should be on the back of the neck, but I generally see it wrapped over the top when most people play. Any suggestions would be great!!

esanjayrajesanjayraj replied

Can u pls explain difference between Fmaj and Fmaj7

justindtjustindt replied

I don't get the think about the UK

exxoexxo replied

Hello Mark I am 36 and have tried 3 times now to pick up a guitar and learn something. My 9yr old son has informed me that he wants to learn how to play guitar so here is for lucky #3 and my sons first time your pace at teaching is great for him and you are easy to understand. We are on your 3rd lesson and it is not as hard as I remember not sure if it is the teaching or my just remembering. My son is soaking it all up and learning quite well. Because I have Fat Fingers for an "A" i cant get all my fingers on the sec fret. What i have started to do is have finger one on the "D" string 2nd Fret and Finger 2 on "G" and "B" string 2nd Fret. I can get a clean a chord this way but I am wondering if this is going to cause me problems later. Thank you for your help and response. Learning Via JamPlay is better then any other way I have tried in the past So I would like to thank you and everyone at JamPlay for there help and the site making Guitar something anyone can learn if they want too.

exxoexxo replied

Hello Mark I am 36 and have tried 3 times now to pick up a guitar and learn something. My 9yr old son has informed me that he wants to learn how to play guitar so here is for lucky #3 and my sons first time your pace at teaching is great for him and you are easy to understand. We are on your 3rd lesson and it is not as hard as I remember not sure if it is the teaching or my just remembering. My son is soaking it all up and learning quite well. Because I have Fat Fingers for an "A" i cant get all my fingers on the sec fret. What i have started to do is have finger one on the "D" string 2nd Fret and Finger 2 on "G" and "B" string 2nd Fret. I can get a clean a chord this way but I am wondering if this is going to cause me problems later. Thank you for your help and response. Learning Via JamPlay is better then any other way I have tried in the past So I would like to thank you and everyone at JamPlay for there help and the site making Guitar something anyone can learn if they want too.

truman910truman910 replied

It is a real challange for me to fit all my fingers in the one fret for the A chord is it OK to bar the A?

link6009link6009 replied

This lesson is very interesting. It seems easy enough...two chords, (A and D), but in fact, these chords are so painful to play, that I'm wondering if the reason they were chosen is so that you can get past the pain in the fingers! It has been a couple days now, and I'm finally starting to get past the pain...also, my fingers are finally getting used to these positions.

cjefferson135cjefferson135 replied

How do i know which strings to strum in the chords?

benjascsbenjascs replied

Whenever you see a X on a string , you dont play that one.

regy1178regy1178 replied

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regy1178regy1178 replied

Enter your comment here.

tngenetngene replied

Hey Mark, I am brand new and overseas in Japan so I bought a guitar from a shop here. I think it holds a tune well but further down the neck, near the body, the strings really get high from the neck like a jump of 2 mm or so. After your last lesson and playing chords today i am worried this may make further lessons hard to learn. If the Guitar holds tune will this be a problem? Also it is a Yamaha with electric pickup and built in tuner...Does that effect how it is strung? Plus having trouble getting the G with the 2nd-4th fingers...I deaden some strings and can not transition to D from A at all....advice on how to stretch or arch better? Thanks, Gene

tngenetngene replied

Sorry from A to D is the hard transition but both need real work Please advise on how to improve flexibility and finger arch.

cutawaycutaway replied

Mark would you advise practicing the a to c chord with the d d u d strum for a solid week before moving on to the next lesson?

cutawaycutaway replied

i mean the a to d chord sorry I'm new to this. lol

cutawaycutaway replied

Enter your comment here.

cutawaycutaway replied

Mark would you advise playing the a chord to c chord for a week, with the d d u d strum before moving on?

danorundanorun replied

Hey Mark, I am a beginner and I bought my guitar last weekend before having heard of JamPlay, and sitting through my first lesson. Does the pain in my fingers eventually go away (i.e. I have a six steel string acoustic guitar)?

mbidusmbidus replied

Hey Mark...I'm a relatively new member and a month or so ago listened to your lesson on getting your singing voice ready...unexpected but really useful lesson. i don't see it on your lesson list anymore; is it still accessible; if not, it should be!!! I am trying to teach my 11 year old daughter the guitar and i think singing will help motivate...thanks

delettagdelettag replied

Hey there Mark, love your teaching style. I'm a pro singer and just decided to resume guitar lessons after many years away from it. My question? I have short fingers, and really struggle with some of the fingering. Can you recommend and/or point me in the direction of some exercises to help stretch my hands? Maybe this is in a later lesson (just finishing Phase I). Thanks for your help.

sic47666sic47666 replied

Oh, and my name is Chris

sic47666sic47666 replied

Hi Mark, I have have a Schecter Hellraiser C-1 and a Fender acoustic. I was wondering if it's fine to continue lessons on electric while also learning on acoustic. I want to learn both, but I'm not sure if it will interfere with my learning. Should I learn one at a time or practice an hour per day on each?

ronycronyc replied

Hi Mark, I'm a spanking new member. I had about 10 paid lesson probably 5 years ago, and was able to learn Wish You Were Here and Dead Flowers. it's probably been at two years since I picked up the guitar to practice and a lot has gotten away from me. I just got through your third lesson and it is all starting to come back to me. I just want to comment that I've always had problems with the strumming. I liked that you said the down up is basically one motion. had my former teach told me that, I think it would have save me a lot of agonizing over the timing and how it is strummed. I can't thank you enough! Ronyc

roberto potokroberto potok replied

Hi Mark, I also have some experience, but this lesson is where it gets important for me. I've muddled along as a self-taught player just learning songs from books. Fine, except there's no structure to my learning and ability and there are basic techniques you miss by trying like this. Already found this in lesson 3!! I found this site by accident, looking up 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbit' tabs ( by Jefferson Airplane, for the younger people out there ) I somehow got redirected to this site and signed up for a month's trial. Really believe this will suit me; I do practice a lot, but have been tending to practice the same stuff - that way you don't really improve - you end up in a rut.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Robert...just for the record, yes we all get in ruts and hit plateaus in our playing. It often takes pushing a little harder and practicing more in order to move past that spot to the next level. And yes, Jamplay is an amazing tool to help move forward. Great hearing from you:) Mark

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Rony thanks for all of the great insight and feedback and welcome to the site, great to have you aboard! Mark

rahu14rahu14 replied

Hey Mark, I'm having a hard time holding the pick in the correct positions while strumming... I'm not sure which way the pick should be pointing to when going down or coming up. If there's any lesson, which talks about the way to hold the pick while strumming, please guide me to that. Or if you have any tip, please share. Thanks Rahul

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Rahul how are you? It depends on what you're intending to do on the guitar: strum, pick notes, lead breaks etc etc. Strumming, from my experience, is best don with the thumb aligned along the curved edge of the pick using a long side of the pick tom strum rather than the tip. Also, softer pucks tend to work better for strumming, harder for picking notes....just a couple of quick tips for you:) Good luck, Mark

daynadayna replied

Hey Mark, This site is amazing and your teaching is fantastic! I stumbled upon this site while trying to supplement my learning. The lessons I was paying for in person were not giving me all the answer in how to play properly. I signed up with you just from the sample teaching on line. I learned more about strumming in two minutes from you than in 4 weeks from a live instructor. Thanks you so much for sharing your talent for teaching and guitar playing.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

You're more than welcome Dayna and I'm glad I can be so helpful to you:) see you in the chats! Mark

ElaineHElaineH replied

I have been playing for pretty long, but I really missed some of the basics of guitar, and that left me with some holes in my playing. I am going back to watching the basics here on JamPlay, and really trying to fill in the holes! I found JamPlay and REALLY like it. Thanks!

rednvillrednvill replied

I am a first timer actually found this website when I baught my capo. My father has been playing guitar for 42 years and I always wished I could just pick it up but found out years ago that Its not that easy. I love this website and I really like your lesson. Having a hard time holding the pick and strumming but I will keep practicing. Thanx for all your help. This site rocks! Peace Love and Happiness

bulrichbulrich replied

Hi, I think Mark is right about choosing ones favorite pick. I started with Harley Benton and just could not keep holding it in the right position. Now I changed to the Dunlop pick and find it much easier. Cheers Uli

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Uli good to hear from you:) ML

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Amanda! I wish you all the best on your journey into the world of guitar and by the way...welcome to the site! Take care, Mark

briluvsmusikbriluvsmusik replied

Hey Mark ! Just wanted to let you know that I am new on guitar (Just a week) Haha and I'm happy that you jumped right into teaching us chords!! This opened a pathway for me to learn songs right away by memorizing the chord fingerings. Just wanted to say thank you and I think you are doing an excellent job :D

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Bril! Thanks so much for the great feedback and I'm glad things are working for you here on Jamplay! Mark

lionriderlionrider replied

I'm loving your lesson set. Can't wait to jam some more with ya on tuesday nights!!! You ought to teach more on a Whiff of Kansas. lol

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Rob! Thanks so much for the praise and to you as well, you make the chats more fun and educational for everybody including me! See you soon buddy, ML

lionriderlionrider replied

P.S. is AWESOME!!!!!! Glad you are a part of it cause you bring a lot of life to it!!!!

asvareasvare replied

Hi Mark, I just recently joined Jamplay and so far really like your lesson style. I took leesons for about 8 weeks and decided they were breaking the bank and find this method much more relaxing. OK now to my question, a few people have mentioned to me about the "action" in my strings, that I can get the strings adjusted so that they are closer to the frets so I dont have to depress them as much? Is that correct or am I confused? And what are your thoughts on this. I tend to get a vibration sound even when I depress the strings as hard as I can. Your thoughts

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Asvare how are you? Yes, the action describes the distance between the strings and the fretboard and this distance should be uniform all the way up the neck. But...if it's too high then the strings will be hard to hold down and too low there may be buzzing. So, it's important to make sure that the neck is adjusted properly and this is often best done by a qualified person like a luthier or tech guy in a music shop. Buzzing and vibration can also be caused by not holding down strings hard enough so there are really numerous reasons why this may be happening to you. Good luck with this:) Mark

matyherbymatyherby replied

Hey Mark, just signed up and I'm really enjoying taking your lessons. I'd like to ask you how do you hold the pick? ie Is it held firm or loose between your finger tips?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Mat how are you? I usually hold the pick with the side of the pick exposed to the strings and grasped as lightly as possible. There's definitely a balance there where too firm a grip creates a rough sound and too light and it falls into the sound hole! Play around with it until you find the right balance for you. Good luck, Mark

pipespipes replied

hey Mark, just joined jam play after playing the guitar some years ago ( badly) just sort of realised that i wished i hadnt given up so easily. but listening/watching your structured lessons has given me a new lease of life and the basics seem to be coming back to me in a whole new light. cheers pipes

tommy12tommy12 replied

Hi Mark...You are my teacher from now on. I'm from Holland and I decided to take online guitarlessons and Jamplay is the best. I bought some books but it didn't work out. I'm a studied Keyboarder and played in bands for years but I want to write and arrange my own stuff that's why I did Berklee Songwriting and now Jamplay. You are like me into Rock. Your lessons are great! See you later!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Tommy thanks so much for the great feedback and welcome to the site! Mark

endzietendziet replied

Cool lesson i never thought about down down up down just down up down up lol. and you taught me how to play a B maj, and an Fmaj7. Thanks!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Your welcome Endz I'm glad you're getting into this stuff! Mark

jeepchick0534jeepchick0534 replied

A new player may be confused about how your version of an open B chord is considered open. Only the top 3 strings are played while each one is fretted? No open string are played as the D string is not played or muted.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

I understand what you're saying and you make a good point but...because that B chord is the closest B to the open frets and because it's not a Barre B chord, it's considered by many players as the open B chord.

jeepchick0534jeepchick0534 replied

I see. Thanks.

ratman12345ratman12345 replied

Mark u are a very great teacher.Yea im only on my 3rd lesson but im practicing i dont get very much time with it because im deployed but the way u teach makes it easy to come back to and understand whats going thank

ratman12345ratman12345 replied

Thank you

hastern1hastern1 replied

Mark, I really enjoy your lessons. I have taken up the guitar last Nov at the age of 64 years young You had comment that should we practice from 30 mins to an hour each day we should in time get it!! ( yes, no guarantees). Can you suggest how to use this time as it relates to a practice session? What is should consist of . Is it productive to do break up a practice session into 2 or 3 sessions during the day to make up that hour (if one has the time). Thanks, Harry

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hello Harry nice to hear from you! Have you looked at any of the articles contained on the site? I have one in there entitled "Taking Half and Whole Steps to success" which contains some of the info that you're looking for, I think. Let me know what you think after you read that, ok? Mark

hastern1hastern1 replied

Hi Mark, Very good article. Kind of put things in proper prospective for me. Yes, reasonable goals, balance in learning and spontaneity are all very important points. As well as patience (my issue)... Thanks, Harry

andy floydandy floyd replied

Mark, im abit confused why the Fmaj7 chord and not just the F chord like the others,only learning 2 weeks so might daft question.This is a superb learning website.

swoopes23us1swoopes23us1 replied

Hi, I am having trouble switching between chords..... Any advice or tips???

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Swoopes, as I told Chepita Lopez...These problems should go away as you continue to play the guitar and develop finger strength as well as mastery of the open chords. Also, as you continue to watch my lesson series I will be discussing the concept of "finger glue" which is the idea that certain shapes will be similar from chord to chord, and the more you can keep portions of your fingers the same as you change chords, the easier the changes will become for you. Keep watching the lessons and practicing and this will become easier for you. Does that make sense? Mark

chepitolopezchepitolopez replied

Hello Mark, I have a problem trying to switch chords, my fingers don't respond as fast as I want. Also it seems that my pinky is not strong enough to make pressure on the fret and it makes my G chord sounds horrible. Is there anything I can do to fix these two problems I am having??

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Chepita! These problems should go away as you continue to play the guitar and develop finger strength as well as mastery of the open chords. Also, as you continue to watch my lesson series I will be discussing the concept of "finger glue" which is the idea that certain shapes will be similar from chord to chord, and the more you can keep portions of your fingers the same as you change chords, the easier the changes will become for you. Keep watching and practicing and this will become easier for you. Good luck, Mark

infanti2006infanti2006 replied

Hi. Mark i am a new student ,i like the guitar and that is why i decided to join jam play.i like your style of teaching the guitar ,i do not know to much about the guitarbut i like it,and i want to learn it .Well keep on doing a good job Gabe

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Gabe thanks for the kind words and welcome to the site my friend! Have fun, Mark

infanti2006infanti2006 replied

Hi Mark I am a new student.

jessy12jessy12 replied

hey mark im really confused what the letters of the botttom of the chord chart mean-for example the A chord chart chart has the letters A,E,A,C#,and E rather then E,A,D,G,B,E

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Jessy, those are the notes of the chord i.e. the notes of each string when you'reholding down (fretting) the strings...does that make sense? Mark

hodgehodge replied

Mark, I'm new to the show and want to say you are a great help with your instruction. Visited the live chat and the information or topic is way over my head. Is there ever a time the chat room is set up for "newbies" with a basic Q & A? David

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Hodges how are you? There are no specific chats for newbies although the beginnings of mine to the middle are usually fair game to anybody. I try to make it accessible even to the beginning player. Thanks for ther feedback though and I'll keep that in mind. Mark

lj8576lj8576 replied

Hi Mark Great lesson. My question is on the tabalature is string 1 the Hi E. I guess I am finding it hard to wrap my head around that it seems backwards.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Yes LJ string #1 is high E and many people struggle with that but...the best way to think about it is low is bottom, high is on top, know what I mean? Mark

NicaNica replied

Im really new at this Mark and sure hope my tablitature is correct here - so is it possible to play a Cm as follows? 001013 (D# on D string, C on B string G on e string just in case I screwed the tab up ) I dont see this configuration anywhere in jamplay tools. Is there a good reason not to play Cm this way?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Nica how are you? Yes, you're right, that is another form of Cm and no, there's no reason why you couldn't play it like that. Keep in mind though that's it's always good to be able to play chords in various different forms and positions including the Cm you're playing and the x355433 form which is probably the most common form. The more forms you know, the better player you will be down the road! Mark

davetehslavedavetehslave replied

Mark, I noticed you haven't commented here in a while, but I can understand that. I'm a new guitar player (as in I've only played and owned a guitar for 3 days). My calluses are finally taking form but I am having problems with one note in particular. The A chord. Although I'm of an average build, my fingers are fat I guess due to my field of work (machinist/super), and I am having one heck of a time with crunching all three fingers into one fret without not being able to press hard enough while not muting or ringing other strings. Advice? TIA

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Dave how are you? If you have big hands/fingers you can always play the open A chord simply by using the one-finger technique and using your first or third finger to play all three strings. Try it and let me know how it works for you! Mark

davetehslavedavetehslave replied

Yeah, I've already tried that but the meat under the second digit touches the 1st E string. I still kinda blame a high action or shotty strings, though. I'll figure something out.

davetehslavedavetehslave replied

I've also assumed that the action on my guitar may be a bit high, but instead of going outright with having a luthier lower it, I've decided to buy some light Ernie Ball Earthwoods. The first fret takes phenomenal pressure just in order to sound a chord out... and I have very strong hands. This shouldn't be. So, hopefully this will help alleviate some of the pressure needed to sound out the A chord, so my fingers don't have so much girth thereby muting other strings. We shall see. But any other input would be great.

rv3sprv3sp replied

Dude, your G chord alternative is rad!!!! So much easier.

ghostchanterghostchanter replied

Hi mark. May sound silly but if I said I was struggling getting my fingers around the chords because my fingers are too short. They are nothing abnormal but I was wondering am I doing something commonly done wrong? or am I simple at a major disadvantage due to my short fingers lol :(

ryanhansenryanhansen replied

mark im confused about your D chord it looks like your going 000232

djdarrindjdarrin replied

Hi Mark, newbie here to both guitar and jam play. question for you on this lesson - you mention homework in the video, give us the two chords and the strumming rhythm, but then this information can't be found anywhere in the lesson plan. After a couple days away, i will either forget the rhythm (DDUDD repeat?). Any idea where this is stored so I don't have to keep looking it up (i know, very newbie question!)

sercalsercal replied

E:Elephants A:And D:Dogs G:Grow B:Bigger E:Eventually - My way of remembering strings :)

rahb89rahb89 replied

Hi Mark! I just have to say that comming from the uk i did start to laugh but what you said made perfect sense, thanks for the little tip wich i will now never forget!

guitar_daveguitar_dave replied

Hey Mark, I'm having trouble keeping ahold of my pick when I get into continuious strumming and chord progressions. Any tips? Thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Dave! Ummmm, let's far as later Q and A's the only late night one that I'm doing right now is tonight, Monday night at 9 mountain time. I'm usually busy at night either practicing or gigging so it's tougher for me to do more at night. As far as your picking issues, a lot of times it just takes making some slight adjustments either with how you're holding the pick or with the type of pick you're playing with. Other than that I'm not sure how to assess your problem without actually seeing what you're doing. Mark

guitar_daveguitar_dave replied

I'm going to try to always get on your Monday sessions for sure. I'm going to get a few more picks, maybe try the one you talk about in your lessons and see if that helps. Thanks Mark, see you in the web sessions!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Dave what's up? Many players, me included, use picks that have raised bumps or serrations on the surface which makes them, a lot easier to hold onto even while sweating. Check it out! Mark

guitar_daveguitar_dave replied

Thanks for the response Mark. Everything is good, just enjoying your lessons. I wish you would do more later (pacific coast time) WebCam lessons. Anyways, my pick has what the music store called a "cats tongue" so it actually has the raised bumps. I'm thinking it's more of a grip thing? Any advice as far as that goes? Thanks Mark, I appreciate it.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Rah and all is said in fun, just so you know that! Great to have you aboard with us at Jamplay! Mark

guitar_daveguitar_dave replied

Hey mark, great lesson, ton of stuff to work on which is great. Just a question on the A major chord, instead of playing it with your 1, 2 and 3 fingers, I learned to play it with my 2, 3, and 4 fingers. Is that okay to do, or will that hinder me in changing chords in the future? Thanks again!!

joseefjoseef replied

just wanted to mention that you make no mention of which strings to strum for the chords...hope you mention it later, cause newbies wont understand the X part of the chord.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Josee how are you? Thanks for the great feedback and for the record, "X" always indicates a note that should be muted or just not played at all. "O" means 'open' of course so hopefully that should help fill in any informational gaps in the lesson. Thanx! Mark

fionarowfionarow replied

Yes, I was wondering about that too. Thanks!

joseefjoseef replied

Hi Mark, just watched your lesson, i'm glad to see you dont waste any time getting us playing....7 chords and a strumming pattern right off the bat, that's great, you make us feel like we can play right away...

benrod78benrod78 replied

great lesson

bahranibahrani replied

Hey Mark, I just started your series. I am not a new player but you are really helping me shed some bad practices. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Thanks again and Rock on. Rami

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Rami welcome and glad I can help in any way! Great to hear from you! Mark

dmpetrie8dmpetrie8 replied

Mark, just started your series and love your approach. Having trouble with the A Chord and getting the 1,2,3 fingers on the 2nd fret and making the note sound crisp. Any hints on cramming all the fingers in there. Thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi DM and nice to hear from you! Many people who are struggling with cramming all of their fingers into that little fret attempt to play the A chord simply with one finger, either the first or the third. Using the third or ring finger can also be a good preperation to play bar chords as well. Good luck my friend! Mark

Michael RamseyMichael Ramsey replied

Mark, great lessons btw..I was wondering if you had a stretching exercise so those of us with smaller, not so limber fingers to reach the stretchy chords. I seem to struggle somewhat with C, G, B..Thanks in advance

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Michael! A great way to stretch the hands is to warm them gradually (maybe with a heating pad or blanket) and then stretch them gradually making sure that you don't make any hard core abrupt types of stretching motions. Stretching is best done slowly and after the hands are warmed up. Hope that helps and good luck! Mark

kevinpickellkevinpickell replied

Hey Mark, you look like Ben Stiller. Anyway, enjoying the lessons, and you are a good teacher.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Kevin thanks for the compliment (I think) and I'm glad you're enjoying the site. Take it easy! Mark

darw1ncdarw1nc replied

I've been practicing for about 6 months and still had a problem memorizing the cords names. You have really help me to get them down. look forward to you live show

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Dar great to hear from you! Thanks for the feedback as well it's always good to hear that the lessons are helping. Rock on my friend! Mark

hectorhector replied

when looking at the tab you provide , sometimes the strum pattern will start with v ---- or maybe a down symbol and then ---- What does this mean?

raucpraucp replied

Hey Mark, I'm noticing, when strumming, I keep hitting the strings that aren't apart of the chord (ex. in the D chord 5th and 6th string and A chord the 6th string). Any suggestions? Thanks, Chris

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Chris nice to hear from you. The best way to control which strings you hit when strumming is by strum hand placement. If you position your hand at or near the strings you are planning on strumming and then have some awareness of how you are strumming (in other words, controlled and even strums from the wrist) that should help you to hit the strings that you intend to strum. If you have a chance and the time in your schedule, stop into the live chat that I do every Mon thru Fri and I can elaborate a little more. Thanx for writing! Mark

paul2020pkpaul2020pk replied

Just so I'm clear I have the A, D, G chords down no problem, some new chords were just introduced - do I need to get them too at this point or am I just concentrating on the DDUD strum with the 3 chords? Thanks

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

That's really up to you Paul but I would always look into challenge yourself so...if you're feeling like you've mastered those three chords I would definitely start working on three more and use the strums you've been using. Then try all of those chords with a new strum. Use the stuff you're comfortable with as a warm up, then try stuff that's challenging for you. Make sense? Mark

jstevens1973jstevens1973 replied

When you strum UP on a chord, do you strum only the strings that you strummed on the down strum? I find that hard to do. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this easier? Thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi JSTEVENS! The answer to your question is no. I often only strum a few of the strings on the way back up but it really does depend on the strum pattern. If you are doing a "smaller" type of strum pattern only involving three or four strings then I might just strum the aame ones on the way back up but it really does depend on the particular strum pattern and on the strings that I am employing at the time. My best advice to you is though, just relax and don't worry about how many strings you are strumming on the up-stroke but rather upon making the strings you are strumming sound good. Good luck my friend! Mark

Donald_RoseDonald_Rose replied

Thanks Mark for the advice about relaxing and making it sound good. I get so wrapped up sometimes on the fine points that I forget to have fun with it.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Donald nice to hear from you. Yes, it seems that we all get so wrapped up in what we're doing that we forget that this is something that we're supposed to be enjoying, right? I think we probably all need a reminder sometimes to "enjoy" the ride as it were, rather than just the end product. Thanks! Mark

jstevens1973jstevens1973 replied

Thanks for the will make life a little easier. I am truly enjoying your lessons...starting to feel more comfortable with the chords. Keep up the great work!

Donald_RoseDonald_Rose replied

I believe the timing is 3/4 for the D,DU,D. The DU does seem to be out of time with a consistant 3/4 beat. Is this what is called syncapation and the last Down strum is actually an eight beat? Thanks for any comments to this. Don

bridgeynzbridgeynz replied

I really enjoyed this lesson, I have been through the others but found Marks one more for me. For someone my age trying to learn something new, I really got this lesson and felt I was doing something constructive when practicising. Thanks from NZ!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Bridgey I'm glad you are enjoying my series. Take care, Mark

dalcorndalcorn replied

so many of these lessons kind of assume 4/4 time. the pattern mark is playing is in 3/4 time. He's doing down, down/up, down. If you're not keeping time it could sound like down, down, down/up but that's only because you've lost track of where the "one" is.

millaTKmillaTK replied

hmmm... not really it seems to me... I think it's really 4/4 and mark is doing exactly asd he says: 1 - 2 & - - 3 - D D U D if you repeat it it's D-DU--D-D-DU--D So you really get to play D 3 times in a row, but the 1 is on the 2nd. maybe what you miss is that he doesn't play anything on the 3d beat. my 2c

bigdadbigdad replied

dalcorn is right, the timing of the piece is in 3/4 time and the strum patter is 1 2& &(of the 3)

jnc51jnc51 replied

I enjoyed the lesson, in fact what helps me is to watch it several times; I seem to get things that I missed the first time. In my practice, it helps me to play a song that I'm familiar with and enjoy to progress better. Since this was about Major chords and strumming I found that Hey Joe; a Hendrix song uses major chords in an easy version. C-G-D-A-E. This pattern is repeated throughout the song. Once I got the chord changes down clean at a slow speed, I played along with Jimi on a CD. Fun way to practice. I also do the assignment that Mark gives to start off with. There are a lot of songs out there that use only these major chords that Mark taught; the power of the internet! Jam Play is definetly a great way to learn because you can choose the instructor and replay it when needed.

springer 93springer 93 replied

mark, in the lesson you mention that the strum pattern is down down up down but when you actually do it seems that you are doing 3 downs and then the up. I guess I should practice both ways.

ricardobricardob replied

Signed up yesterday and this has already helped me a bit with the down-up strumming. I'm still missing some strings on the way up or hitting some of them too hard, but now I get what I'm doing wrong. I think I push my hand towards the body of the guitar on the way up just a bit by default. Great lesson. Gotta go practice, practice...

felipefelipe replied

Mark, in lesson 9 with David Mackenzie, B chord is different Mark David E x x A x x D x fourth fret, second finger G fourth fret, third finger fourth fret, third finger B fourth fret, second finger fourth fret, fourth finger e second fret, first finger second fret, first finger are both B major chord?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Felipe, I'm a little confused about where you're putting your fingers on the neck precisely but yes, there is more than one way to play a B major chord. Do you notice that the two chords sound the same (or very similar)? Then likely as not they are both B chords. Listen to what you're playing and then decide if indeed they are the same chord and remember: there are a number of ways to play each chord. Keep on rockin'! Mark

jst0ddardjst0ddard replied

I noticed that too and decided it probably didn't matter that much and did just as you suggested. Practiced both ways.

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.

Guitar BasicsLesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Tuning, Gear, and ChordsLesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Chords and StrummingLesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Minor Chords and MoreLesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Expanding ChordsLesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Strumming ExercisesLesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Music Theory and Barre ChordsLesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
E Shape Barre ChordsLesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape Barre ChordsLesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Barre ChordsLesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Minor Shape Barre ChordsLesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mini Barre ChordLesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape Mini BarreLesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Mini Barre ChordsLesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Guitar TechniqueLesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Guitar DynamicsLesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Transistion StrumsLesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Harmonic TechniqueLesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Expanding Liquid ChordsLesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Spicing up ChordsLesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chord FingeringLesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Precision StrummingLesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D to D in Six StepsLesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Voicings and ConstructionLesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Quantitative and Qualitative ChangesLesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Quantitative and Qualitative ReviewLesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm and GuitarLesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Expanded Rhythm ExerciseLesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Hand StructureLesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Cadd9 and Dsus2Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger Glue and Flexibility Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Reviewing Chord ChangesLesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
SlidingLesson 33


Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Keeping Time While PlayingLesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Minor ProgressionLesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Chord TransistionsLesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Transistions RevisitedLesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Playing Individual NotesLesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rocking OutLesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Slash ChordsLesson 40

Slash Chords

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

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Strumming from the WristLesson 41

Strumming from the Wrist

In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Raising the BarreLesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Building on Your Chord KnowledgeLesson 43

Building on Your Chord Knowledge

In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Experiment With PlayingLesson 44

Experiment With Playing

Lesson 44 is all about trying new things. Mark discusses experimenting with your playing in order to take it to the next level.

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
DiversifyingLesson 45


In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Shaping the HandsLesson 46

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Precision StrummingLesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Shine Like the SunLesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Changing Chords : Accuracy and SpeedLesson 49

Changing Chords : Accuracy and Speed

Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings Lesson 50

Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Understanding Liquified ChordsLesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mark Lincoln

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

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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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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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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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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Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

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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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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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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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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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John Shannon John Shannon

Meet John Shannon and his approach to rhythm guitar. John discusses why he put this lesson series together and what his...

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Will Ripley Will Ripley

Will is back with another classic sounding riff! This riff is a great exercise that gets you using your fingers on more than...

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Danny Morris Danny Morris

Hone in on your right hand and focus on getting in the groove. You'll only play one note during this lesson, but it'll be...

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

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Mark Brennan Mark Brennan

Mark Brennan teaches this classic rock song by Jethro Tull. Released on the album of the same name in 1971, this song features...

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

Free LessonSeries Details
Tom Appleman Tom Appleman

Tom Appleman takes a look at a blues in E with a focus on the Chicago blues style. The bass line for Chicago blues is very...

Free LessonSeries Details
Stuart Ziff Stuart Ziff

Stuart delves into all the different aspects of how R&B guitar has had an impact within reggae music.

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 521273 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
Get Started

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


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

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 Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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