Memorial Savings Event Ends in

Memorial Savings Event with sub-Netflix prices and 2020 Guitarist Toolkits. Unlock all artists, courses and platform features. Apply Your Coupon

The C Major Scale - 1st Position (Guitar Lesson)

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Mark Brennan

The C Major Scale - 1st Position

It's time to learn your first scale - the C major scale in first position. Mark also explains how the major scale is constructed.

Taught by Mark Brennan in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 21:31Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:03) Lesson Intro Mark begins lesson 7 by playing through the C major scale in first position. He then proceeds to improvise some melody lines within this scale position.

Lesson Objectives

-Learn how the natural notes from the previous lesson are used to form the C major scale.

-Explore the theoretical concepts pertaining to the major scale and its construction.

-Apply the C major scale pattern to some practical musical exercises.
Chapter 2: (03:56) Construction of the Major Scale As you advance as a guitarist, you will learn numerous scales. Around fifty scales are covered in the JamPlay Scale Library. However, the major scale is the most commonly used scale in Western music. The vast majority of melodies and chord progressions are derived from this scale. For this reason, it is the first scale that Mark will explore in this lesson series.

Pattern of Whole and Half Steps

The feature that separates a scale from all other scales is its distinct pattern of whole steps and half steps. A half step is the distance between any two notes in the chromatic scale or any two adjacent frets on the guitar. A whole step is equal to two half steps or two frets on the guitar. The distance between each pair of notes within a scale is measured in these intervals. When this measurement system is applied to the major scale, the following pattern results: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

The C major scale is spelled as follows: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. It is easiest to remember where the half steps occur within the scale, since there are fewer of them. The half steps occur between E and F as well as B and C.

All major scales follow the same pattern of whole steps and half steps. As a result, you can spell any major scale if you know the starting pitch and this pattern.
Chapter 3: (03:24) The C Major Scale in 1st Position Note: Before you continue with this scene, you must have the locations of all the natural notes in first position memorized. Review these note locations at this time if necessary.

Playing the C Major Scale

As you first begin to practice scales, it is always a good idea to begin each scale with the root note. The root note is the note that names the scale. In this case, the root of a C major scale is the note C. From the root note, ascend all the way up to the highest note within the pattern. This note is A, located at the 5th fret of the first string. Then, descend down to the lowest note available in the pattern ( the open sixth string). Finally, ascend the pattern back up to the root note that you started with. Starting and ending scales on the root note creates a definite sense of finality.

Once you have memorized the C major scale, play it in time with a metronome. Make sure that all of the notes sound smooth and connected. Watch Mark in the lesson video for a clear performance example.
Chapter 4: () The C Major Scale in Thirds The Importance of Scales

Scales are the building blocks of all music. Important music theory concepts such as chord relationships and melodic construction are all derived from scales. Scales are the basis for all melodies, chord progressions, and guitar solos.

Playing C Major in Thirds

Open the document entitled "C Major in First Position" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab. The scale exercise discussed in this scene begins in measure 19 immediately after the double bar line.

This exercise begins with the root note. The second note of the scale is skipped. Instead, the third note of the scale is played. Then, the exercise returns to the second note. This sequential pattern continues throughout the remainder of the exercise. Playing a scale in such a fashion will increase your overall awareness of where notes specific notes are located within the pattern.

As usual, practice this exercise with a metronome. Set the metronome to a moderately slow tempo such as 70 beats per minute. Then, play through the exercise in a steady half note rhythm. It's perfectly acceptable to set the metronome to a slower tempo if necessary. Speed is of no concern at this point. Focus on playing clearly, accurately, and in time.
Chapter 5: (04:11) Time to Improvise Once you have memorized a scale, it is important to exercise your own creativity with it. Begin to create your own basic melodies using notes from the C major scale in first position. Do not be intimidated by this process! Feel free to explore any available possibilities within the scale. Try to develop simple, tuneful phrases at first. Experiment with various melodic leaps to discover what sounds pleasing to your ears. Mark provides a demonstration of this creative exercise at 00:46 in the lesson video.
Chapter 6: (01:19) Lesson Wrap-up Lesson Recap

Over the next few weeks, continue to practice the exercises presented in this lesson. Make sure that you understand the whole and half step construction of the major scale. If you find this music theory information, feel free to write in to Mark for some additional help.

Also, do not neglect exercises demonstrated in previous lessons. Continue to practice the right hand accuracy exercises as a part of your daily warm-up routine.

Preview of Next Lesson

In the following lesson, Mark will demonstrate how to play your first two chords. He will explain how these chords are constructed and how to accurately change from one chord to the next.

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.

TPellegrTPellegr replied

Really interesting to look at the scale on one string first. Thank you for including that! The fact that you can play that same "whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half" pattern from any note on the fretboard and achieve that note's major scale is insane! Look forward to being able to apply all of this. Thank you for the great lessons, Mark!

DarkMagik666DarkMagik666 replied

Thank you so much, Mark, great lesson. Much to practice to reach such level of improvisation.

fuzzboomfuzzboom replied

Mark; you keep saying thanks at the end of just about every lesson. I figure it's time I (we) said thank you.

Dazzz2466Dazzz2466 replied

One extra thing that I would like to have are a few exercises to widen my finger spread. The lessons are excellent and I am back to being keen to learn. Thankyou. Darren

clm123clm123 replied

Thanks for taking time to explain scale construction as in whole step and half step on the fret board.[email protected] replied

God I get seasick watching him rock back and forth on the stool. Is there some reason he can't sit still?

rogerfunkrogerfunk replied

your a excellent teacher Mark .I like the way you keep telling us to watch our right and left hand movements at all times. I`m finally starting to hear music from my lizzy

RabbitboyRabbitboy replied

Thanks Mark, great lesson![email protected] replied

Thank you so much for your understanding about the guitar. The cord of C is awesome

deloresdowling62deloresdowling62 replied

Thank you so much. Enjoyed the lesson tremendously. Look forward to continuing with you.

deloresdowling62deloresdowling62 replied

Thank you so much. Enjoyed the lesson tremendously. Look forward to continuing with you.

coltongreganticoltongreganti replied

For some reason there is no audio for most of your lessons for me. What can I do about that?

wheezerwheezer replied

I had this problem using Firefox, but not other browsers.

Phil \m/Phil \m/ replied

your lessons are really helpful.....are you playing only the A on the 5th fret of the high E string?

BrutalityBrutality replied

I try to soak up as much as I can and the lesson is great, but when you use terminology please put notes in the supplemental with the definition. "Octive, Tonic, ect"

Neko7Neko7 replied

I just wanted to comment that this lesson was really the one that kicked off experimentation for me. Really nicely put together.

namuhnamuh replied

Mark are you aware that in Scene 2 at about 3:00 performing the C Major scale up a single string you say at the last three notes of the scale: '.... whole step to A, whole step to B and half step to F...'? Not the C scale I know... lol

PRSleftyPRSlefty replied

I'm glad someone post a comment because this also confused me, when I heard F and not C.

JakMakJakMak replied

Mark, Why is this scale called the C Major scale? Why not the D A or F major scale??? Thanks, enjoy your lessons.

JakMakJakMak replied

Aha....figured it out with some additional reading. Called the C scale because it starts and ends with C in the first position with a scale consisting of 8 notes....was confused due the emphasis in the lesson on all the natural notes in the first position.

lrrmartinezlrrmartinez replied

your doing great mark even if I don't understand this lesson at all.

timpenntimpenn replied

Excellent lesson, thanks.

robz64robz64 replied

Hello Mark, I'm new to jamplay and decided to take lesson from you, I believe I made the right decision. Im confused about one thing in Lesson 7, Scene 3 at marker/time 1:27. You say the words"take it to A? What are you referring too? Please explain. Thank you, Rob

robz64robz64 replied

Hi again Mark, I'm looking for my Floydian pleasure in phase 3, cant find it. Id like to learn "Dogs" and and "Time" Thx, Rob

omieloomielo replied

Hi Mark, Oliver here. I've just joined Jam Play few days ago. Your lessons are awesome ! I have a minor remark. The notes are Do (C), Re (D), Mi (E), Fa (F) Sol (G), La (A), Si (B) and back to the octave Do (C) The note Ti that you sing does not exist :-)

theroostercruzertheroostercruzer replied

Um...there's is no Si only Te (or however you want to spell it.)

homiefudhomiefud replied

You should probably go watch Sound of Music again...

gregwgregw replied

Where does the thirds part on the tab start? 5th measure? I not finding that, sorry!

gregwgregw replied

I found it! haha! Sorry, didn't read far enough!

skye4skye4 replied

Yes this is good Mark the more I review the more I understand. I'm getting it like never before soon I'LL be as good as some of you ;-)

willtcwilltc replied

Hey there, Scene 2 isn't playable. Its not loading for me.

jimgriffinjimgriffin replied

mark, what are the circled numbers under the tab?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

the circled numbers are the left hand fingerings.....1 is index, 2 middle, etc.

kustom420kustom420 replied

Hey Mark whats a good song by Pink Floyd that uses the C major scale?

kustom420kustom420 replied

Hey Mark is wwhwwwh is that major scale work for any root note ? A,B,C etc...

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Yes....try doing this formula on one string up the neck starting on any root note. Start low on the neck. It's easy to visualize the Major scale this way.

neavesieneavesie replied

Taking a while to learn the 3rds. Maybe if I learn the actual notes it will help a lot, That seems too be my biggest challenge. But over all this is really fantastic for a beginner. I have learn t more up to this lesson than I have om my own for many years. One thing I would like to point out, quite a few times I am not sure what finger you have on what fret. I know it may be a bit hard for you to animate your fingers for training but it would help people like me a bit. Cheers.

haddershadders replied

Fingering is easy, we're in first position, so each finger has it's own fret apart from the pinky drifting to fret 5 on the high E.

rustyh1rustyh1 replied

Another great lesson!

aaces upaaces up replied

Sorry maybe this is silly. But from what I understand the C Major scale is comprised of ALL the Natural notes ? and we are learning to play it at this point from first position only ? If I was improvising with natural notes up and down the neck am I still play C major scale ? Im a little confused why its called C major ? is that because all the natural notes are in the "key" so confused.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Ryan.....think of the natural notes as the white keys of the piano sharps of flats (black keys). And these notes are all the way up the fretboard. As you learn new positions up the neck you learn where these natural notes are. Try learning the natural notes all the way up the 6E and 5A strings to the 12th fret. At this point they will repeat again up an octave. The scale is a major scale mostly because you have an interval of a Major third from the root note the the third scale note. This is also the reason that the chord built off the root note, in this case C, is a Cmajor chord.

aaces upaaces up replied

Thank you Mark , I appreciate the response. I'm starting to put this theory stuff together as it just kind of clicks eventually. Thanks again.

andreau007andreau007 replied

So the C major scale is just all the notes in the natural positon, as learned in the last lesson? You just applied a name to it? Thank you so much for helping me learn, you're a great teacher!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Yes...the natural notes (no sharps or flats, as in the white keys of the piano) are the notes that are in the key of C Major. Last lesson we learned these notes in the first position, and in this lesson they are presented as the C Major scale.

andreau007andreau007 replied

Also, sorry, but I don't understand the octaves in the first half step and everything. I understand why there's half steps, just not the octaves.

cyborgrabbitcyborgrabbit replied

So the C major scale uses only natural notes, so there's not much here that we didn't already learn in the last lesson except now we know what a scale is. I guess that's important. So when playing the C major scale are you always suppose to begin with the C note? I think for many begins one of the most difficult things, well for me at least, was understanding the importance of scales and chords. But now I feel like I'm starting to get it.

Elemeno PElemeno P replied

Mark just a quick Thanks! on putting together great lessons. I believe I've found a good "parking" space to nurse all the lessons so far. Just a quick question....What is a good bpm on the Metronome to achieve on the scales to move on to the next lesson (in a more or less fashion)? I know I'm going to be on perma-practice mode, I just wanted to know what a comfortable number to hit for. Thanks again!

tbo1961tbo1961 replied

Hey Mark, First and foremost I must say that you are a very thorough yet somewhat sneaky at the same time (a Master) of how you approach your steps from lesson to lesson. As I am very new to playing guitar (2 weeks) I was very unsure of where Lesson #3,4,5 and 6 were taking me. I have been basically been working as far forward without forgetting the basics from previous lessons. However when I had a look at lesson 7, became intimidated left the lesson. Had a good sleep went back the next day and this is where the MUD turned to Crystal clear water. Just the way you laid out all the previous steps of your lessons lets a student actually see all the theory behind what you are teaching. So to wrap all this rambling up You are Very Good (Master Mark) and I promise to follow your every step that you teach in every lesson. Huge Cu-do's to you. My question is: I have been working on several lessons kinda constantly working on 3 to 4 lessons at a time is this productive or counter productive? It's been working for me thus far. just to explain why I do this is because it actually lets me see the direction i am headed and gives me incentive to carry on Not give up because I actually see and hear lots of progress. So I guess I just basically answered my own Question didn't I. Best regards Master From Daniel-son wax on wax off hehehe. It's also nice to see a more relaxed and humorous (Mark) as the lessons progress Rock On... \\m//

typeohavoktypeohavok replied

This might help in the C Major Scales in thirds, look at the tabulature and write down all the notes on a piece of paper and play looking at the notes you wrote instead of just use the tab as crutch. A good way to remember your notes.

gibsongirl5311gibsongirl5311 replied

Mark, I started guitar when I was 7 years old and played for 7 years and its been a while since i've picked up my guitar. I'm starting fresh again and now i can't remember why i stopped playing! So I just wanted to say thank you and youre an awesome teacher!

parksieparksie replied

Hi Mark, I have just started your course yesterday (sunday in Sydney) and I am really enjoying the fact that I am now learning the guitar as opposed to just playing chords and songs. I have been playing since I was a kid but didn't really take the time to actually have tuition. I have been playing the C major scale for years but it was only tonight that I really got the bug to learn many of the other scales that are no doubt heading my way. Your a great teacher. Thanks a lot for your time and energy. Glenn Sydney Australia

aleko2000aleko2000 replied

why do you need a scale? and i did not really understand this lesson

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Learn "Over The Rainbow" in lesson 6.....

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Alek.......a scale is a tool to build melodies and chords off of. With the C Major scale, you can learn and invent melodies in the Key of C.......learn a simple melody, or better yet, invent (write) a melody of your own, and see if you can put chords in the key of C to accompany the melody....that's basically what it's all about....Hope this makes sense.....Mark B.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Thanks daughter just finished a semester of school in to ya soon..Mark

JoRenaeJoRenae replied

Your lessons on here have kept me interested in learning guitar. My rocker hubby and I thank you. :)

emmanuelstarchildemmanuelstarchild replied

The C scale in thirds has been giving me fits all week. But after patience and daily practice I finally am able to set the metronome to 80 and play in eighth notes. Major accomplishment for me, just thought I would share. Thanks for the great lessons, Mark. :-)

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Great job Karl! Keep at it....patience and perserverance.

shredmeistershredmeister replied

Mark, thanks so much for explaining this in such detail. My brain isn't the fastest when it comes to music theory, and your explanations helped a lot! Best of all, while playing around with the C-major scale, I discovered one of my favorite songs (Harvester Of Sorrow) is in that scale, and could play it only by listening to the notes instead of looking at the tab. Thanks again!

jhenriksenjhenriksen replied

Mark, some things just cry out for a comment and your teaching style is it. It's the best I've ever had. You start slowly and build while explaining all the way. I'll follow everything you put up on Jamplay. Thanks so very much.

dsreed22dsreed22 replied

Hey Mark. Maybe a dumb question but which B is the correct one to pick (if it matters). The open B string or the G string 4th frett? It took me a few minutes to figure out I was playing them both and throwing off my scale. LOL

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

for this lesson, use the open second string B.

namrahphilnamrahphil replied

so just getting this straight.... the first position is the first four frets of every string?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Yes, you are correct. A position goes all the way across the neck (on every string). The position number is the fret which your first finger is on.

51panrider51panrider replied

Mark, Thank you for yor great teaching stly. I have learned a lot already but, I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between the C major scale in the 1st position and the natural position. From what i am getting from the lessons so far is any scale is basically the same with the name of the scal being the root note but the order of the notes stays the same with the natural 1/2 steps between B and C as well as F and and G. Is this correct? thanks in advance.

51panrider51panrider replied

Sorry, I meant to say I can't tell the difference between the C major Scale and the Natural notes in the 1st position....

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Ooops.....did it again...half steps are B to C, and E to F...sorry.

51panrider51panrider replied

Another screw up on my part.....natural 1/2 step btween B and C and E and F, not F and G.

dr50376272dr50376272 replied

one string requires you to go only up 4 notes right?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

If you go up four half steps, starting at 1st fret, the next half step up would be the note of the next open string the fifth fret on the low E, is the same pitch as the open 5(A). The exception is the 3(G): the fourth fret is B, same as 2(B). Hope this answers your question.

dr50376272dr50376272 replied

one more question, how do you get the notes for the 6th string? how do you know theyre in the c major scale?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Check out lesson 3 and learn the notes on the low 6E string. All the natural notes and contained in the C Major scale. The root C, is on the 8th fret. You can begin building the scale from the the eighth fret C.

dr50376272dr50376272 replied

is there an error at 03:08? you go from b to f? shouldnt it be b to c?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Yes. That was my bad.,,I meant to say C. Thanks for the heads-up

sgassersgasser replied

Mark is awesome and the reason I signed up - but it looks like he is not longer with Jamplay? :(

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

No...I'm still on the site...check out my Phase 3 lesson, "Bad Moon Rising"....recently posted......Mark B.

spratekspratek replied

I must to say that the improvisation with C major scale is till now the most funny exercise in phase one. I am really glad that I have started to play guitar with jamplay, because I have professional leading step by step and fun together. Thank you Mark ,]

drapeupdrapeup replied

Great way to teach

drguitardrguitar replied

Finest web site in the universe. After decades of trying to do it on my own, I broke down and got an EJ Stratocaster and joined the site. I am extremely glad I chose this series to start out. Thanks Mark. I'm on my way to mastering the fretboard.

rogervigusrogervigus replied

Mark, Thanks for teaching so thoroughly and at a really easy pace to follow! I tried playing guitar as a kid but the lessons I took were not fun and I really wasn't shown much so I stopped playing. You really make this fun! I recently inherited my Grandfathers 61 Gretsch and i want to carry on the tradition so here I am! I am having some troubles following this lesson. The tab given does not show the notes you are hitting lower on the fretboard(or am I wrong) Should I be using the fretboard diagram from the tab lesson to figure out the scale here? Any help is greatly appreciated as I am a beginner and have no real background in music at all

rogervigusrogervigus replied

never mind! I see it is in the first position and you were just showing the whole construction!

isiahlauisiahlau replied

Thx Mark but I found a very hard time to name the frets, especially those on D, G and B strings. For E and A strings its easier because of the experience of playing power chords. I need a better methodology... what do you suggest?

melvmatmelvmat replied

Excelent playing Mark! very good lesson.

tlofstromtlofstrom replied

Mark, I'm really admiring the smoothness of your playing. As someone who aspires to acquire that same characteristic in his own playing, who would you recommend I listen to for inspiration? Of course David Gilmour is one, but I was wondering about any others that you are particularly impressed with. Thanks! Really enjoying your lessons!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Thanks Tim....I've always loved the playing of Steve Howe, Alex Lifeson back in my prog rock days. With the acoustic, I've always admire James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Glen Frey (Eagles). Lately I'm really diggin John Mayer's playing. Dave Mathews is incredible. Recently I watched a Steve Vai video with the guys in my band, and was totally floored. It's truly amazing what he does with an electric guitar......lot's of great players out there to emulate, that's for sure.

dljohns1dljohns1 replied

Hey Mark Why can,t on the supplemental charts next to the numbers , you guys put the note that number represents. I believe that would help us rookies learn what each number means faster . Just a thought . Thanks Dennis

scottyzscottyz replied

Just wanted to compliment your style of teaching , very easy to learn . At the oldies but goodies age of 62 and played around at playing for many many years thought it was time to learn the right way from someone who knows what there doing . Keep up the great work and to Jamplay great site for guitar players ( seasoned or not). Catch ya later

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the lessons..Stayed tuned for more great stuff....Mark B.

nightstalker3609nightstalker3609 replied

i am very confused, as in I understand the scale, till you go to the next octave, you play string 2 fret 1, or C i guess, then u play string 2 fret 3, wich is D right? but you call it F in the video. It confuses me cause I don't understand were you get F, and it don't follow the scale C D E F G A B C

nightstalker3609nightstalker3609 replied

ok, I think I figured it out, It goes C D E F G A B C (Octive) C D E.... and so on right? And in the video you don't say F you say A, wich still is out of order. I can play the scale, not fast but I can play it, the third on the other hand I have to look at the tabs lol

nolannutnolannut replied

the printed scale below your lesson on the c scale does not show the notes you are talking about for the c scale in tab can you put this on for those of us that are still a little fuzzy on this

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

The supplemental content for this lesson has both standard notation and tablature.....chek out my lesson on reading tab along with my rhythmic notation lesson....Mark B.

brandon_lozano92brandon_lozano92 replied

does it matter what fingers you use going down the scale?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

In first position, the general "rule of thumb" would be to use the index on the first fret, use your middle on the second fret, ring finger on the third, pinky on the fourth and to stretch to the fifthe fret.

cspearmancspearman replied

Mark, I am new at guitar, and old dog (64) trying to learn new tricks. I love your lessons. You're a gifted teacher. I've been developing computer software for many years. JamPlay is the best example I know that uses many different modern technologies with elegance: it is a tremendously useful example of best practices, not only in music but in software design and execution. I just want to encourage you and the developers of JamPlay. Tremendous job!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Thanks Jon....the folks at Jamplay do a great job on the website, and I'm proud to be a part of it.....Mark B.

clementeclemente replied

Thanks a lot Mark. I think this is really the best pace and content for beginners. Lots of useful information and exercises.

xrockettexxrockettex replied

I'm confused.. On scene 3 what note do we start off with?

xrockettexxrockettex replied

Never mind.. I'm confused on the whole Scene 3...

jammaster12345jammaster12345 replied

I'm understanding the scale as the two c's and everything in between is that right?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

The C is the "tonic" note, or the first note of the C Major scale. D is the second note, E is the third, and so on. When you return to C, You're back at the tonic, or first note again, only an octave (eight notes) higher.

lordzeagerlordzeager replied

One thing that helps me a lot, is the following formula for any major scale: whole whole half whole whole whole half C D E F G A B C As long as we have these interval respected, it's a major scale. According to which key is played, you might add sharp or flat.

cclove25cclove25 replied

im really confused with this lesson. i dont understand what the scale is

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

A scale is simply a series of notes with a particular arangement of whole steps and half steps. Check out scene two again. Hopeflully this concept will sink in.....let me know if this clears up your confusion....Mark B.

willfoglewillfogle replied

Thanks Mark. Good lesson. Here's what I don't get. Why are their only half steps from B to C and E to F? Seems like our lives would be a lot easier if music was set up with only whole steps. Also, what do a high E and a low E have in common that say a high E and low D do not? I'm struggling with the significance of octaves. Thanks. Will

michael rescoemichael rescoe replied

I really appreciate your style. I do think it very helpful to say the note names out loud while you are fingering them and I see for the first time how a song is created out of scales. The light goes on. Very excited about your delivery and the content. Mike

laurolmlaurolm replied

also visualize it this way, for example, you start playing the natural scale on C, then as you star GOING thRu the notes, meaning C,D, E,F,G,A,B, " C ". you already completed ALL the circle and you ended up again on C right, but it is a higher pitch C, also known as an Octave....because the notes are onlly 7 (C,D,E,F,G,A,B) AND THE EIGHT ONE ITS " C "AGAIN, THE SAME NOTE YOU STARTED WITH, hope this helps.....

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey William...these are hard concepts to grasp. E to F, and B to C are what we call the "natural" half steps. On a piano keyboard, there is no black key between these two pair of notes. In a major scale, there are half steps between the 3rd and 4th notes, and the 7th and 8th (octave) notes. In C major, these are E to F, and B to C. After working with a major scale, you begin to recognize it by ear, and you can hear where these half steps occur in the scale. Hope this helps. If you think of a note as a "frequency" or beats per second, then a note which is twice that frequency is an octave (or eight notes) higher. A note which is half the frequency is an octave lower.

eduartboudewijneduartboudewijn replied

Thanks a lot Mark. I was looking for something like this for a long time, this will help really a lot.

laurolmlaurolm replied

Hi Mark!, are w going to learn the other positions of the natural scale over the fretboard, or just this first????.....

lostpiclostpic replied

Mark, I have enjoyed your lessons and have found them to answer many questions that I have had over the years. They have also helped me to correct some habits that have hindered my learning ability. In lesson 7 in the natural notes supplemental items under the Natural Notes in First Position. I have noticed that under the tab lines there are sometimes circles with numbers around them. What does this indicate. Also I noticed that the first note of this tablature is in a square. Does this have any significance or is it maybe a misprint.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

The circled numbers indicate left hand fingering....the square is the cursor for the Gutar Pro program and has no significance...Mark B.

enzeru2k5enzeru2k5 replied

Hey Mark, Adrian here. Having a really hard time grasping the concept of thirds in the fourth scene of this lesson. Right after I think I was beginning to understand the musical alphabet along the neck of the guitar, I ran into this lesson and the whole "thirds" thing threw me off. What do you mean by thirds? I can read the tabs in the supp. content all day but I won't understand what the concept of playing in "thirds" is. Think you could clarify that a bit? Thanks!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Adrian....a third is a musical interval (the distance between two notes). They can be played together (harmonic interval), or in sequence, as in a melody (melodic Interval). A third would be two note names apart. So C to E is a third, D to F, E to G, F to A, and so on. Some of these are two whole steps apart (a major third), and some are a whole step plus a half (minor third). In this lesson I break down the C major scale in thirds. Starting on C you go to E, so you've skipped one note making it a melodoc third. Then we go back to the D and proceed to F. This pattern continues, and then decends in a similar fashion.....hope this clears things up for you. Mark B.

enzeru2k5enzeru2k5 replied

Hey Mark, that REALLY clears things up. Thanks for replying really fast too!

mulchmulch replied

Hi Mark Love your lessons Do you think you could post Love Story(taylor swift) as a song on Level 3???

apeman01apeman01 replied

Hi Mark...As one of your older students(56), I am really enjoying the start with the basics lessons. I am re-learning some fundamentals that I had forgotten and dropping a few bad habits picked up along the way. I haven't checked yet, but do you do any of the song lessons featured on Jamplay? I love to here you break down a Pink Floyd tune...Rich V.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Rich....check out Phase 3...I've taught Time, Wish You Were Here, Dogs....for your Floydian pleasure.

miles977miles977 replied

Awesome lesson! i feel really confident now!

felipefelipe replied

Mark, good lesson!!, I have a question about the wwhwwwh step, is this step used in one string or we can skip from string to string in order to follow it?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Felipe...great to hear from you. When you play a major scale up the fretboard on one string, it's easy to "vsiualize" the contruction, and to get a feel for how the whole steps and half steps fall. Plus this helps you to learn the notes along that string. You can do this on any string, too. Just take the root (tonic) note on any string (start low on the fretboard), and play the scale WWHWWWH. Now it's best to learn these scales in one position, as in the C Mjaor scale in 1st position presented in this lesson. You can see how easy and smooth it is to play a scale like the way, I love the pictures on your profile page...beautiful! Talk to ya soon....Mark B.

cmp1969cmp1969 replied

I am having a hard time understanding the concept of thirds. In the exercise, ( if I am correct) you were skipping notes. You started out in c went to e then d then f. Can you explain it better? Thanks Chris

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hi Christian...sorry i didn't get right back to you on this. You were correct that we are skipping notes. A Third is an interval, or a distance between two notes. A third is a note two letter names above, or below another note. So C to E is a third, D to F is a third, and so on. The way I present the third in this lesson is what we call a melodic third, where the two notes are played one after the other. If you play the two together, it is called a harmonic third. Try playing the C and E together, and you can hear what a harmonic third sounds like. It is important for a student to train the ear to be able to recognize the different intervals, either melodically, or harmonically. This is all part of music theory, and ear training.

rcardwellrcardwell replied

Wow! Mark this is a whole new world! I am enjoying myself tremendously. If I knew that playing lead would be this fun, I would have left the bass a long - long time ago. But, I got to give credit where credit is due. It was all in the delivery. the way it is presented, by a gifted teacher, and that you are, Thanks... For anyone who reads this lst it be known that Mark Brennan is an awesome teacher. Jamplay rocks... Bob

reachreach replied

Greetings Mark, I learned the scales using a Mel Bay book and they are different from those in your lesson. Is there a difference & does it matter? - Reach

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hi Michael....The C Major in first position in this lesson is the same material presented in the Mel Bay method, book 1. Of course, C Major appears all the way up the neck in different positions with different fingerings, which the student learns along the way. You probably learned it in a different with a different fingering, buts it's still the same've just opened up more available areas of the neck to play it, with more range of notes too.

reachreach replied

Mark, Thanks - I like the options. Reach

robertvoltarobertvolta replied

Mark...I just wrapped up the ninth leason and I am a lot more comfortable playing single notes and chords. This was great stuff and I enjoyed your approach to teaching...very effective. I practice daily at this point and was wondering if you are posting any more leasons. Thanks again man!! Hope to see more of your stuff soon.

tsu_1101tsu_1101 replied

Hi Mark, got a good question for you. I was wondering if in scales we can play any notes randomly while improvising? I think no. So it lead me to ask you, while improvising do we have to repect the wwhwwwh step thing? thank you

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hi Eric...good question. What you need to respect is the chord of the moment which you are playing over. You need to be aware of the chord and hopefully the notes of the chord to make a good choice of notes. With a C chord the notes C,E,G will work. For the F chord, the notes F,A,C will work. When playing over a progression in C major, you really aren't going to play too many bad notes with the C major scale, or C major Pentatonic (the 1, 2 ,3, 5, 6 of the Major scale). But not all notes will the F note over a C chord, unless used in a short duration as a passing note...Try jamming over a C major progression, and let your ear be your guide.

ronjriethronjrieth replied

Mark, A quick thank you. I have gone through many of the lessons on Jamplay...all good...and I learned something from each. You have communicated well with me and have given me some basics ..hand position...etc that will help ne past some flat spots in my learning...I will have to relearn some things I have been doing incorrectly. Practice is great but practicing bad habits is counter productive. Keep up the good work and I look forward to more. Ron Rieth, formerly from Avon Lake..

bazzabazza replied

Mark, I'm, as you guys put it, an absolute beginner. I purchased my guitar a number of years ago and started lessons with a long haired "English Chap" who was a great guitar player but a hopeless teacher. Where he lost me was at the 'scales' phase. He never did explain to me WHY they exist and HOW they help me play. All I want to do initially is to learn a couple of songs (that others will recoginise) and maintain my enthusiasm. I certainly intend to continue learning as much as I can however it would be great to be able to have something to show for the hours of practice. Perhaps you can give me a brief outline as to why I spend hours practicing the scales and maybe suggest a couple of tunes that I can work on to "give me hope". Barry

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Barry...sorry it took a while to get back to you on this. Learning scales on a guitar is important, because they are the material that melodies are written with, and for improvisation, or "jamming". So as you learn scales, you should be playing simple melodies, so that the scales aren't just execises, but now they become real music. So I would try to learn to play simple, recognizable tunes, like "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" so you can have the enjoyment of playing music. There are a lot of beginner lesson books (Mel Bay, Hal Leonard, etc.) which have many easy single note melodies that you can learn. There are also lesson series on Jamplay where teachers teach simple stuff Then, try learning a simple pentatonic (try E minor pentatonic) and start to get a feel for playing the blues, it's nto too hard, and a lot of fun. Try writing your own melodies with the scales you've learned. Nothin like getting the creative juices flowing. Hope this helps. Let me know....stay in touch. Mark B.

tyleryoungbloodtyleryoungblood replied

Hey Mark, thanks for the inspiration. I watched your free lesson and decided to sign up. I purchased my guitar a year ago and I've only fiddled with it so far (learned the intro to a Nirvana song that I loved from when I was a teenager ... and that was about it). My wife is tired of hearing that song every time I pick up the guitar, so I figured it was about time to take another look at JamPlay. When I first came across this site a year ago I remember that I didn't really connect with any of the instructors. Nothing about their free lessons "spoke" to me. When I looked again tonight I saw your free lesson and felt a bit inspired, and so I signed up. I've gone through all 7 lessons (I still need to practice a lot, but I've got the gist of everything so far). However, I'm having trouble figuring out where the next set of lessons are located. Have you recorded them yet? I see a lot of other basic lessons, but none of them are by you. Just wondering where to find the next lessons (or when to expect them if they aren't posted yet). Thanks for providing the extra nudge I needed to sign up and get started. My wife will be so excited that I've learned something new, even if it is only "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hi Tyler....and welcome to Jamplay! I have just filmed 4 new lessons and they will be up on the sight very soon, so sty tuned and keep practicing....Mark B.

pdbutler54pdbutler54 replied

Good Lessons, been over 20 since i picked up a guitar. feels a little strange, I am 58 years old and it seems like i am starting over. Good lessons Mark, and thanks. I am doing the supplementals, pulled my old Stratacaster out of moth balls. Looking forward to your next lessons, and thanks--Paul

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hi Paul....I'm glad you decided to get your Strat out and play again. I'm sure you'll find it a gratifying experience. Try to play regularly (hopefully every day), and be patient. I have more lessons to come in the real near future, so stay tuned, and I hope to talk to you soon....Mark B.

danorockdanorock replied

Mark - I am learning a lot from your lessons....great job! I had to sign up after I reviewed your Black Crows Song - Love it!!!! Rock on!

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Daniel...welcome to the site. Glad you enjoy the lessons. There's more to come real soon......Mark B.

selfrobselfrob replied

Do you have any recommendations or exercises to get your fingers to stretch out on the fretboard? My pinkie finger doesn't want to cooperate very well.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Robbin...sorry I didn't get back to you quicker on this. Take a look at my lesson on left hand technique. I talk about getting the wrist around under the neck and keeping the plane of your palm almost parallel to the side of the neck..this gets your pinky out over the fretboard and in good position, without reaching or straining...hope this helps.

selfrobselfrob replied

Looking forward to your next lessons.

sammysammy replied

mark my supplemental content did not have info on c maj in 3rds sheet music is something missing or just on mine or the 1/8th info. thank you sammy

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Sammy....the supplemental content does have the C major in thirds....starts on bar 19

exactbr3ndanexactbr3ndan replied

I am pretty much enjoy to follow your lesson. cool job and well done. hopefully can see your next lesson very soon. Just want to know how many phase 1 lessons left? Colin

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied

Hey Colin....I'm not sure how many lessons I will do in this series. Right now it's kinda open ended. I plan to get into chords next, and then later I'll get into power chords and pentatonic scales. Lots of good stuff to come....Mark B.

ricky54326ricky54326 replied

i'm sure you did do that on purpose :P good job mark i like your series and am using it to learn, so hopefully i'll finally actually "get" the chords from following your lessons.

Basic Electric Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Mark's Phase 1 series will take you through the basics of playing electric guitar.

Series Intro - Guitar Parts and TuningLesson 1

Series Intro - Guitar Parts and Tuning

Mark introduces his Phase 1 series and covers some fundamental electric guitar basics.

Length: 30:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
AmplificationLesson 2


Mark provides a detailed overview of amplification. This lesson has some great info for any electric player.

Length: 33:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Using Tablature and Learning the FretboardLesson 3

Using Tablature and Learning the Fretboard

Before we start rocking, Mark goes over some tools and training necessary to every beginning guitarist.

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Right Hand TechniqueLesson 4

Right Hand Technique

It's time to get some sound out of your guitar. Mark begins with picking hand technique.

Length: 31:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Left Hand TechniqueLesson 5

Left Hand Technique

Mark explains proper left hand technique from the ground up.

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Natural Notes in the 1st PositionLesson 6

Natural Notes in the 1st Position

Mark teaches you all of the natural notes played in first position. He uses two classic melodies to supplement this information.

Length: 25:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The C Major Scale - 1st PositionLesson 7

The C Major Scale - 1st Position

It's time to learn your first scale - the C major scale in first position. Mark also explains how the major scale is constructed.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chords in C major - Part 1Lesson 8

Chords in C major - Part 1

Mark covers 7 basic chords in the key of C major.

Length: 35:14 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Chords in C major - Part 2Lesson 9

Chords in C major - Part 2

Mark expands on chords in C major by showing full forms of the chords you learned in Part 1. He also teaches you the chord progression to a familiar tune.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Power Chord PrimerLesson 10

Power Chord Primer

It's time to start making some noise by using power chords and palm muting. Mark gives you the framework to start rocking with the 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 36:43 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Open Position Minor PentatonicLesson 11

Open Position Minor Pentatonic

Take your knowledge of the notes in the first position and start jamming on a simple pentatonic riff.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Blues Scale Basics with Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and VibratoLesson 12

Blues Scale Basics with Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Vibrato

Let's build on lesson 11 with an extended discussion of the pentatonic scale. For lesson 12, we'll simply add one note to the minor pentatonic scale to give us the famous minor blues scale. We'll also...

Length: 36:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Movable Power ChordsLesson 13

Movable Power Chords

Mark explains how to finger power chords and how they can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. He also shows an exercise that will help you remember the name of each power chord.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Rhythmic Notation Part 1Lesson 14

Rhythmic Notation Part 1

Mark Brennan explains rhythmic notation, tempos, time signatures, note values, and more in this lesson.

Length: 32:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Key of G MajorLesson 15

The Key of G Major

Mark explores the key of G major in this lesson. He covers the first position pattern of the scale and explains how it can be harmonized in thirds.

Length: 33:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chords of G MajorLesson 16

Chords of G Major

Mark teaches the basic chords of G major as well as some other exercises to get you acquainted with this key.

Length: 34:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Key of D MajorLesson 17

The Key of D Major

Mark explains the basics of D major.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Chords in D MajorLesson 18

Chords in D Major

Mark takes you through the chords of D major and explains some new ones that you haven't encountered yet.

Length: 35:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
More Movable Power Chords & the Circle of FifthsLesson 19

More Movable Power Chords & the Circle of Fifths

Mark continues his discussion of power chords. This time around, he explains the circle of 5ths and demonstrates some power chord progressions that illustrate this concept.

Length: 33:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Movable Minor Pentatonic ScaleLesson 20

The Movable Minor Pentatonic Scale

Mark teaches the 1st box of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 32:31 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
The Minor Blues Scale Transposed to ALesson 21

The Minor Blues Scale Transposed to A

Mark explains how you can transpose the pentatonic pattern covered in lesson 20 to the key of A minor. He also shows the "lower extension box" and "home plate box."

Length: 26:09 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Blues Boogie ShuffleLesson 22

Blues Boogie Shuffle

Mark teaches the difference between straight eighth notes and the shuffle feel.

Length: 42:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Amplification Part TwoLesson 23

Amplification Part Two

In response to member requests, Mark added another amplification lesson to his growing phase 1 series. In this lesson, he compares 3 classes of amps from entry level models all the way to a Mesa Mark V.

Length: 40:45 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Introduction To ImprovisationLesson 24

Introduction To Improvisation

In this lesson, Mark teaches some blues licks that can be used when improvising over a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 24:01 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Key of A MinorLesson 25

The Key of A Minor

Mark covers the key of A minor.

Length: 29:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Two Movable Major Chord FormsLesson 26

Two Movable Major Chord Forms

Mark teaches two movable major chord forms and gives many examples of how to practice playing them.

Length: 26:10 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
I-IV-V Progression RevisitedLesson 27

I-IV-V Progression Revisited

Mark Brennan shows you how to apply the chord forms learned in lesson 26 to a I-IV-V progression.

Length: 21:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Movable Dominant 7th Chord FormsLesson 28

Movable Dominant 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan continues his teachings on movable chord forms. In this lesson he shows the dominant 7th chords and how to use them in a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Movable Minor and Minor 7th Chord FormsLesson 29

Movable Minor and Minor 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan teaches these minor chord forms and how they are movable up and down the fretboard. He also shows how to use these chords in common progressions.

Length: 21:29 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Mark Brennan

About Mark Brennan View Full Biography Mark Brennan, born August 12th, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, began playing guitar at the age of 10. His first influences were from the Ventures and the British Invasion, especially the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Shortly afterwards he was playing in rock bands with his brother on drums, developing his ear by learning songs straight from records. Playing in a band became a passion.

In high school, he grew to love acoustic and classical guitar. He spent time playing acoustic music, influenced by The Eagles, CSN, Dan Folgelberg, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, etc. In the 70's, he headed a very popular Cleveland band, The Brennan-Cosma Band, which played a variety of acoustic and rock music, along with originals. He also took up classicalguitar, and began developing his fingerstyle technique.

Mark is a graduate of Cleveland State University (1980), with a Bachelor of Music in Classical guitar performance. He also studied Music Composition, and took many Music Education classes. After graduation, he began his private teaching career, teaching electric, acoustic, and classical guitar, along with music theory. He taught in various studios and guitar shops throughout his career, and currently has a private practice at his home in Fairview Park, Ohio.

In the 80's Mark took an affection to Progressive rock. With his band Polyphony, he was influenced by the music of Yes, Genesis, Kansas, ELP, Styx, along with a set of prog rock originals.

Currently, Mark is in the regionally successful Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here. The band performs faithful renderings of the Floyd classics spanning their entire catalog, along with a strong visual stage show. Here, Mark displays his command of the David Gilmour style.

Mark is excited to be part of's fine roster of teachers. He's looking forward to extending his 35 years of performing and teaching experience to the JamPlay members. His philosophy is about developing a passion for guitar and being the best musician you can be; being true to yourself and developing a personal style, and truly expressing your heart through your music.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Justin Roth Justin Roth

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Amber Russell Amber Russell

Playing fingerstyle requires the ability to play different techniques at the same time. This of course, is not always an...

Free LessonSeries Details
Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

Free LessonSeries Details
Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Welcome to the Phil Keaggy Master Course! In this series introduction, Phil shows and tells us what we can expect from this...

Free LessonSeries Details
Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Sarah Longfield Sarah Longfield

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Allen Van Wert Allen Van Wert

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Braun Khan Braun Khan

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

Free LessonSeries Details
Alex Scott Alex Scott

Find out what this series is all about.

Free LessonSeries Details
David Ellefson David Ellefson

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

Free LessonSeries Details
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....

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Greathouse Nick Greathouse

Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 512073 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 126 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.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!