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Transistion Strums (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Transistion Strums

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

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 26:12Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (08:20) Review and Technique Review and Warm-up
Before moving on with the lesson, please review and practice the following:
- Warm-up the hands.
- Stretch the wrists.
- Play the major and minor open chords.
- Warm up your strumming muscles by relaxing the wrists and letting the pick flow over the strings.
- Play the E major chord in the "new" way and play the type 1 barre chords.
- Play the A major chord in the "new" way and play the type 2 barre chords.
- Practice the "slanting A'" technique.
- Practice the type 1 minor barre chords.
- Practice the type 2 minor barre chords.
- Play all of the type 1 mini-barre chords.
- Play all of the type 2 mini-barre chords.
Ready? Excellent!

We've been discussing techniques for the last two weeks and will continue to do so over the next few. I realize that I am throwing a great deal of material at you in a short span of time, so please take your time! If you are finding that some of this is overwhelming, then slow down, take a deep breath (or two), and come back to it. As I mentioned at the beginning of lesson 15, some of you may need to work harder on mastering your chords before getting into the technical portions of my series. Don't feel left out or beat up on yourself about it! Everybody struggles at times when learning an instrument, and I am no exception.

Transition Strums
Transition strums can be defined as a strum or strums that serve to fill in a gap between strums, often serving the purpose of keeping time in the song and providing a smoother transition between strums. A transition strum can be as simple as an upstroke (up) or a snap strum (downup). Transition strums often occur every other strum and can help to provide variation within the song. They also can be strums that bridge one chord to another. Watch me in the video for more insight into this technique.
Chapter 2: (06:39) Liquid Chords Liquid Chords
As mentioned in the previous lesson, liquid chords can be defined as those which can be altered in mid-strum in many different ways. Liquid chords can change by adding notes, subtracting notes (or both), adding harmonics, changing positions, playing scales within the chord, picking or finger picking or both, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless. The concept of the liquid chord is an important one in guitar in lieu of the fact that it brings to light the liquid and flexible nature of music. Chords can be changed, stripped down, played in different ways and then restored and played in their original positions in the end. Here is an example of this facet. Here is a C major chord:

C Major
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

Strum this chord in the familiar down downup down or "down down-up down" pattern. Now, add your pinky finger to the B-string on the third fret so the C chord now looks like this:

Cadd9
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

You've now changed your C chord to a Cad 9 chord while maintaining the same strum. Now, while continuing to strum down downup down remove your pinky finger from the B string and play the chord with just two fingers. The new chord looks like this:

Cmaj7
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

Watch the video to see how I do this. As mentioned previously, the concept of liquid chords can also be applied to changing the fretboard position of chordsr. Here is a simple A major chord:

A Major
E_0_
B_2_
G_2_
D_2_
A_0_
E_x_

Play this chord with the strum down down downup down or "down down down-up down." Now think back to a barre chord version of the A chord on the fifth fret. That chord looks like this:

A Major (5th Fret Barre)
E_5_
B_5_
G_6_
D_7_
A_7_
E_5_

Play the open A chord first and then strum the A barre chord listed above. This is another example of using the liquid chord technique. You are simply changing the voicing of the chord that you are playing and providing a slight variation in your sound.

Now watch this!

This is another A chord that we haven't looked at yet:

A Major
E_0_
B_10_
G_9_
D_11_
A_0_
E_x__

This is an A major chord played on the 9th fret and yet another voicing of the A chord. All three of these A chords can be played consecutively using the "down down-up down" strum or all of them within one strum pattern. Again, watch me in the video for more insight into this technique.
Chapter 3: (09:11) Liquid Chords and Scales Liquid Chords and Scales
Liquid chords with scales-this is perhaps one of the most difficult techniques and requires a more in-depth knowledge of scales and how to use them with chords. While playing chords, notes can be interpolated between the chords that link everything together and provide smooth transitions. This technique is commonly used in classical guitar and often takes many many years to master.

Once again I want to emphasize that some of these techniques are more difficult than others and require years of patience and practice. I want to give you the full benefit of my experience but please take your time and go back and review previous lessons when you need to.
Chapter 4: (01:25) Final Thoughts Remember, these techniques are not easy and will take time and effort to perfect. Before moving on with the next lesson, make sure you understand the concepts of transition strums and liquid chords.

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.


gannable1gannable1 replied on November 22nd, 2015

now i see why you were telling us to practice going from the bar chord to the open chord, its really pretty i guess i'll to begin practicing that

lenshawlenshaw replied on June 17th, 2015

Enjoying the lesson. How come there have been no comments since Oct 2013?

sircornflakessircornflakes replied on October 25th, 2013

Great lesson

2hands6strings2hands6strings replied on July 17th, 2013

Awesome lesson Mark, I've heard this stuff on so many different tracks, and thanks to you I'm beginning to understand how its done..Hopefully more of these liquid chords to come...cheers...

mhandlymhandly replied on May 3rd, 2013

all the technique and tools are great, but after 17 lessons, it would be nice to have something to work on. Maybe a simple "Happy Birthday To You", improved and enhanced lesson by lesson. Otherwise, it is a lot of theory in the air.

ktrockktrock replied on August 18th, 2013

There's plenty to do here. I've been trying to play some of the stuff Mark demonstrates in the lesson. This is really good; and I play electric guitar!

maggiekajmaggiekaj replied on January 7th, 2013

love your lessons. any tips on reach as I just cant get my fingers to stretch over 4 frets yet. exercises/ thanks

shnydershnyder replied on June 25th, 2012

MAN YOU'RE THE BEST! What song do the chords come from? :P You made us really curious now Mark!

ElaineHElaineH replied on October 16th, 2011

Wow, Mark, thanks! No one has ever taught these things to me, so I am filling in so many holes! It's great!

nitenewsmannitenewsman replied on September 21st, 2011

Hi Mark, this is cool stuff and you do a great job. I'm having trouble, playing the scale off the liquid A chord, getting my pinky to the fifth fret. My fingers go every which way when I try to spread them like that. Advice?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on October 6th, 2011

Hey Newsman! Stretching the tendons in between the fingers can be really helpful for that issue and using your strum hand to gently stretch between the fingers of the chord hand is a great way to do that:) ML

dstorey615dstorey615 replied on July 31st, 2011

ahh its so annoying my first finger doesnt have the strength to hold down the stings so i get muting all the time

jnc51jnc51 replied on July 3rd, 2011

I came back to review this one; there was a lot of information and I had definitely missed some. glad I reviewed

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 18th, 2011

Hey Jeff, yes I think going back over some of these can be very beneficial...good to hear from you! ML

fromflamesfromflames replied on April 5th, 2011

Love the mistake at approx. 3:28 in scene 1 - "That usually is an indication that you need to press her... press harder on to the fretboard" Nice lesson man!

zlavogbzlavogb replied on March 22nd, 2011

Incredible lesson! This has renewed my excitement for continuing to practice playing. Mark, you thank you so much for choosing to teach this lesson. These concepts are what I think will bring my playing up a notch.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 24th, 2011

Thanks so much for the fantastic feedback Z it's always nice to hear! Mark

schnex82schnex82 replied on February 2nd, 2011

I think I'm doing pretty good so far, right now I'm struggling with my middle finger, which keeps straighten up when i have to stretch to reach some fret with my pinky. It's not only bad for my playing, but also impolite to the audience. :) When I concentrate on it I am able to keep the finger bent, but as soon as I have my mind set on smth different i fall back into this bad habit. I'm really trying hard to get rid of that. So i can really underline that you have to be solid on your chords and should work on little things that are maybe not so important for you, but you will struggle a lot mmore in the future because you didn't pay attention or didn't think it's so important in the moment. Alex

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 4th, 2011

Hey Alex, yes I understand the middle finger issues and frankly, don't worry too much about the audience they'll understand lol Mark

jujumujujumu replied on January 18th, 2011

Is there a guide to reading the strumming patterns on the practice sheets and is it possible to find out which part of the practice sheets correspond to which parts of the video. Love the info about liquid chords!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on January 28th, 2011

Hey Juju, the supplemental content that's posted is the only material that is available at this point but...you can always get on to my live chats (if you can) and ask me more specific questions if you need to. ML

raajraaj replied on August 20th, 2010

HI, In the Excerise 2 we have /chords A5, Aadd9 & A6. Where do I find these chords?

davidk132davidk132 replied on June 21st, 2010

Mark excellent lesson!! Speaking of liquid chords, drink a glass of water before you tape the lesson so you don't have to clear your throat so much. It's hard to perform when one is coughing up a hairball...

beeho15beeho15 replied on June 20th, 2010

A wonderful teacher and thank you

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied on May 10th, 2010

Many thanks Mark for an enlightening lesson. This is my second time through your 'beginner' series because I felt I had missed something, and this lesson was it.5 months later and everything has clicked into place after watching this again. Regards, Jayson

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on May 10th, 2010

Hey Jason thanx and great to hear that you're picking up more on the second time around. Thanks for the awesome feedback! Mark

praetorianpraetorian replied on March 10th, 2010

Mark, thanks for your amazing lesson. It seems though, that page three of your lesson plan is missing.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on March 15th, 2010

I'll have this corrected by tomorrow afternoon (3/16). Sorry about this and thanks for hanging tight!

mattbrownmattbrown replied on March 17th, 2010

It's fixed now. Sorry for the delay!

jboothjbooth replied on March 12th, 2010

Forwarded to our tab guy, thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 13th, 2010

You're the best Jeff Booth!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 12th, 2010

Hey Praetorian how goes it my friend? Just fyi, if you see anything missing or think it's missing send a note to [email protected] and let them know. They're better equipped to handle problems like that and can take care of it quickly. Thanks fro letting me know though! Mark

jmfraserjmfraser replied on January 30th, 2010

This a tough, but really, strong and helpful lesson. Just shows me how much more I really need to practice, but the really cool thing is I'm learning more and more with every lesson (which I keep repeating over and over). By the way, Mark: Is the famous song rif you reference in the lesson, Eleanor Rigby?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 2nd, 2010

Hey Jm how are you? Thanks for the great feedback and for the record, I can't remember what the reference is on that lick since I filmed this lesson about a year and a half ago! Mark

mansukmansuk replied on November 21st, 2009

it is very nice lesson which opens up new ways to play, thanks... but i have a problem on printing the tab. when i print with portait, it got cut on side. when i print with landscape it got cut bottom... I wonder how to print out the exercise tab....

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on November 23rd, 2009

Hello Mansuk how are you? You might want to direct that question to [email protected], I am unfortunatly ignorant about such things. Sorry! Mark

axeman2kaxeman2k replied on October 28th, 2009

Mark, very nice lesson and explanation...It was a clicking moment or me...

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on November 3rd, 2009

Thanx for the great feedback Axe, I live for those "lightbulb" moments! Mark

felipefelipe replied on September 6th, 2009

I was on server 2, and changed to server 3, now scene 3 is ok, thank you

felipefelipe replied on September 6th, 2009

there is not video on scene 3, there is only sound without video. Scenes 1, 2 and 4 are ok.

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied on August 25th, 2009

Finally something that comes naturally to me. I've been doing transition strums all along because it sounds better to my ear. Didn't know there was a name for it. Thanks!

atan88atan88 replied on August 16th, 2009

Great lesson Mark! I just have a quick question, so during the transition strum, i am basically playing all the strings open on the upstroke as I move to the next chord? Thanks!

guitarplayerbqgguitarplayerbqg replied on April 26th, 2009

Mark, you play an A chord played by barring using your first finger. Is it possible to not cover the high E using this technique? Alternatively are you just not strumming the high E?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 26th, 2009

Hey Guitar player thanks for writing...in response to your question: using the third finger to bar the open-A chord is a great way to build finger strength so that you will also be able to play the Type 2 bar chords, or the A-shaped bars. So, yes, you should eventually be able to play those types of chords including the A without hitting the high E string. Most people struggle with this and one of the ways to mediate the problem is by pushing your chord hand forward so that your ring finger (3rd finger) is forced to make better contact with the fretboard while at the same time "arching" and missing the high E. Good luck and keep at it, you'll get it! Mark

wilkersonwilkerson replied on April 14th, 2009

You just don't no how munch that I have learned by taking your lesson set .Thank you .your a great teacher keep up the awesome work.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 16th, 2009

Hey Wilkerson, I'm glad you're getting the most out of the lesson set and thanks for the great feedback. Take care, Mark

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 15th, 2009

Thanks for the positive feedback Wilk I appreciate it! Mark

evilhedgehogevilhedgehog replied on February 21st, 2009

excellent excellent lesson! i'm still going though it multiple times to get the full bits and pieces down, but i love the direction this is going in!!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 23rd, 2009

Hedge good to hear from you! Glad you're getting into the lessons and I'll "see" you on line in the Q and A. Take care and rock on bra! Mark

donbdonb replied on January 21st, 2009

Eleanor Rigby, right?

ryanj34ryanj34 replied on January 1st, 2009

This lesson has really been pushing me and I love it. I had to repeat it multiple times to get it to sink in and it is really worth it. Great job!

meganmegan replied on December 15th, 2008

I love this lesson. So what branch of classical music would feature this technique most often? Flamenco? How to go about learning it in depth?

beehobeeho replied on December 13th, 2008

You are a wonderful teacher and I hope to meet you someday.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on December 14th, 2008

Thanks Beeho, that's always nice to hear! Mark

nmoundnmound replied on November 2nd, 2008

Great lesson Mark!!!

tedted3tedted3 replied on November 2nd, 2008

I really enjoyed that lesson. How about putting that lick you did at the end of the third scene on the Jamplay lick library? That was awesome Mark!

mattbrownmattbrown replied on November 1st, 2008

Very cool!

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.



Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

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

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 18

Harmonic Technique

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

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

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

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

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

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
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
Lesson 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
Lesson 33

Sliding

Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 35

A Minor Progression

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

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Chord Transistions

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

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 45

Diversifying

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
Lesson 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
Lesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

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

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
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
Lesson 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

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.

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

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

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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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Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

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Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

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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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Brent Mason Brent Mason

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

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Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

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

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Nick Kellie Nick Kellie

Nick explains how to use scales and modes effectively when soloing over a chord progression.

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

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

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DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

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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

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 88 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.

"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


Bill

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



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