Learning the A Chord (Guitar Lesson)

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Eve Goldberg

Learning the A Chord

In this lesson, Eve Goldberg introduces the first chord in this series, the A chord. She also shows how this chord can be used to play a simple song.

Taught by Eve Goldberg in Basic Acoustic Guitar seriesLength: 22:54Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
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If you need extra help or explanation of the materials presented in this lesson series, feel free to write in to Eve or one of the other JamPlay instructors. On JamPlay, there are several available methods for communicating with the instructors. You can leave a question or comment directly within the lesson that you are working on. The member community forum is another outlet for posting comments or questions. In this section of the site, other JamPlay members as well as the instructors can help you with a question. You can also send a private message on the forum that only the instructor will see. Or, you can go to an instructors' profile page and send a message. Please keep in mind that JamPlay is not the only job commitment for most of the JamPlay teaching staff. Therefore, it may be a few days before you hear a response. Your patience is always greatly appreciated!

Lesson 2 Overview / Objectives

-Review important introductory information presented in the previous lesson.

-Learn proper playing posture and how the guitar should be held.

-Learn how to play the basic A major chord.

-Develop basic rhythmic skills.

-Strum the A chord in time to create a simplistic guitar accompaniment.

-Play the accompaniment while singing a basic melody line.

Note: For singing instruction refer to the following lesson sets here on JamPlay:

Phase 2 Guitar Performance (taught by Mark Lincoln)
Phase 2 Singing with Guitar (taught by Steve Eulberg)

I. Review Time

In the first lesson, Eve explained some preliminary information that is absolutely essential to playing guitar. In this lesson and the following lessons, Eve will frequently reference the materials from the first lesson as she explains new concepts. Consequently, you must have a firm understanding of the information presented in the first lesson. If necessary, review the following information from lesson one at this time.

1. How the strings are referred to.

A string can be referenced either by its number or by its letter name. The letter name indicates the note produced when the string is played "open" or without any fretting fingers.

2. The parts of the guitar.

Refer to the lesson video and "Lesson Information" section of the previous lesson for detailed information on this topic. For additional information, check out the following lessons.

Mark Brennan - Phase 1, Lesson 1
Jim Deeming - Phase 1, Lesson 5
Mark Lincoln - Phase 1, Lesson 1
David Walliman - Phase 1, Lesson 2
Brian Thomas - Phase 1, Lesson 2
David MacKenzie - Phase 1, Lesson 1
Steve Eulberg - Phase 1, Lesson 1
David Anthony - Phase 1, Lesson 1
Steve Eulberg - Phase 1 Kids Series, Lesson 2

3. How the left hand fingers are labeled.

When reading sheet music in standard notation, do not confuse the string numbers with left hand finger numbers. String numbers are traditionally written inside a circle next to a note head to indicate which string a note should be played on. Left hand finger designations are usually written next to a note head without a circle.

4. How the right hand fingers are labeled.

When playing with a pick, no right hand fingering designations are necessary. Instead, the direction of the picking motion may be listed. A square shape with one side missing indicates a downward picking direction. A pointed, karat-like symbol is used to indicate an upward picking direction.

Right hand fingerings are only referenced when playing fingerstyle guitar. Within a fingerstyle piece, the right hand fingers are either labeled one of two different ways.

A. Right Hand Fingerings in Classical Guitar

Classical guitarists use the first letter of the Spanish name for each finger. Study the fingering designations listed below.

p - pulgar (thumb)
i - indicio (index) In English, this word literally translates into "indication."
m - medio (middle)
a - anular (ring)
c - chiquito (pinky)**

**The pinky is only used when performing flamenco guitar techniques such as the "rasgueado." For an explanation of how the rasgueado technique is performed, please visit the following lessons:

Pamela Goldsmith - Classical Guitar Lesson 6
Danny Voris - Classical Guitar Lesson 6

B. Alternate Method

Many fingerstyle guitar pieces outside of the classical genre may use alternate right hand fingering designations. These fingerings are usually written above or below the staff so as not to confuse them with string numbers or left hand fingerings. The right hand fingers are often labeled as follows:

T- Thumb
1 - Index
2 - Middle
3 - Ring Finger
4 - Pinky Finger

II. Preliminary Words of Advice

1. Experiencing Pain

You will experience pain in the fingertips until you develop calluses. Calluses will begin to develop after about a weeks time if you consistently practice for at least a half hour each day. During the first few weeks, do not skip practicing just because the skin of your fingertips is sore. Instead, fight through this minor discomfort. You will develop callouses much faster if you push through the pain. Consistent daily practice is key to developing calluses and getting over the hurdle of the awkward physical aspect of playing guitar. For most beginners, a half an hour is the ideal amount of daily practice.

Additional practice time can be beneficial, but it is not absolutely essential during the early phases of your guitar training. If you practice for an hour or more each day, break up your practice time into two separate sessions. Breaking up your practice time will ensure that you are as focused as possible while you practice. In addition, the dexterity of your fingers will develop more quickly with shorter, more frequent practice sessions. Practicing in this manner will also minimize the level of soreness in the fingertips.

Other than some slight pain in the fingertips, you shouldn't feel any pain in the finger, wrist, or forearm muscles. Some fatigue will be experienced at first as your fingers become acquainted with playing guitar. However, you should not experience any excessive muscle fatigue, pain, or soreness. Playing guitar involves small muscle groups. Exercising small muscle groups is not like exercising large muscle groups. Pain does NOT equal gain. Rather, pain is a sign of injury or excessive fatigue. If you do experience pain, immediately take a break. Pain typically results from holding the guitar improperly, playing with improper technique, or simply practicing too much.

2. Frustration / Learning a New Physical Skill

-Playing the guitar feels quite awkward at first. Fretting a note properly requires your hands to perform a task that they are not used to performing at this point.

-Learning anything new on guitar such as a new chord can be very frustrating at first. Do not obsessively practice this one skill for long periods of time. This is not the most efficient use of your time. In addition, you are more likely to become frustrated and give up. Practice a new chord in small intervals of time. When you begin to feel frustrated or discouraged, move on to something else. When you feel relaxed and focused again, return to practicing the new chord.

III. Proper Playing Posture

1. Legs

The legs are the foundation of the body and proper posture. Any structure requires a solid foundation. Always follow the following guidelines regarding proper leg positioning.

-Keep the feet about shoulder width apart if not slightly wider.

-The groin area and feet should form an isosceles triangle (two equal sides). The ancient Egyptians understood that the triangle is the strongest geometric shape. Consequently, you must position the base of your body in this formation.

-Sit on the edge of a flat chair, stool, or bench. The hamstring muscles should not make contact with the surface of the chair. Most couches and beds are not ideal sitting surfaces for playing guitar. They are often too soft or too high or low from the ground.

2. The Shoulders and Back

The spine must remain straight and relaxed at all times. Stretch your spine towards the ceiling without arching your back. While doing so, do not allow your shoulders to slouch in a forward direction. The shoulders must remain relaxed and loose at all times. Do not shrug them at all. Your arms should feel like they are hanging effortlessly from your body. Do not lift your right shoulder to bring your right hand closer to the strings.

3. The Abdominal Muscles and Lower Back

The abdominal and lower back muscles support the upper structure of the body. You must find a position where the spine remains straight while utilizing the minimum amount of effort from these lower muscle groups. Using the minimum amount of effort is of paramount importance to proper guitar technique.

4. Where's Your Strap?!?!?

Unless you are playing classical guitar, you always want to wear a strap regardless of whether you are sitting or standing. Without a strap, the guitar just sits in your lap. For almost all guitarists, the guitar is way too low in this position. A properly adjusted strap ensures maximum finger reach and comfort. Make a note of how Eve and other JamPlay instructors have their straps adjusted. Always follow their example.

IV. Proper Playing Technique

1. Left Hand Guidelines

-Don't bend the strings or press them down with too much pressure. Otherwise the string will sound sharp and out of tune.

-Keep the left hand in a natural, relaxed position at all times. Do not squeeze the neck!

-Fret a note as close to the fretwire as possible. This requires the least amount of left hand energy. Also, the note sounds slightly flat if it is fretted too far away from the desired fret.

-Keep the thumb perpendicular to the neck. Do not curl the thumb or bring it up over the top of the neck. Also, Do not turn the thumb so that it runs parallel to the back of the neck. This greatly limits the range of motion of each finger. The thumb should be positioned directly behind the first and second fingers regardless of what you may be playing.

-Keep all left hand joints slightly bent. Do not flatten any of the knuckles.

-Keep the left hand fingernails as short as possible.

-Fret the strings with the very tips of the fingers. Arching the wrist outwards will help accomplish this goal. Utilizing this technique will prevent you from bumping any of the adjacent strings. Making contact with adjacent strings will prevent them from ringing clearly.

-Keep the wrist slightly bent.

-Keep the palm parallel to the bottom of the neck. Do not tilt the wrist from side to side. This will limit the range of motion for each of the fingers.

2. Right Hand Guidelines

-Keep the wrist as relaxed as possible at all times. The wrist must rotate slightly as the thumb strums through the strings. Otherwise, if the wrist is too rigid, the thumb will get hung up on one of the strings. Consequently, your tone will sound harsh and unnatural.

-Strum only the desired strings within a chord.

-Strum over the back of the soundhole or in between the humbuckers if you play an electric guitar. Blocking the soundhole with the right hand results in a quieter, weaker tone. If you have an electric guitar with three pickups, strum directly over the middle pickup. If you find that you are smacking the pickup with the fingers or the pick, strum just behind the middle pickup (towards the bridge).

Note: If you are unsure about which type of pickups your guitar has, read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickup_(music_technology)

-For now, strum chords with the fleshy pad of the thumb. This produces a softer, darker tone compared to playing with a pick. Strumming with the nail produces a brighter tone that is sort of a middle ground between strumming with the pad of the thumb and strumming with a pick. Some guitarists like to utilize both techniques in order to have a wider tonal palette to choose from. If you use the nail, make sure it is shaped properly. The quality and shape of the thumbnail greatly affects your tone. An improperly shaped thumbnail also has a tendency to get hung up on one of the strings when strumming.

Watch Scene 5 for a demonstration of how to properly strum with the thumb.

Note: Eve discusses how to play with a pick in future lessons.

V. Playing Chords

1. What Is a Chord?

A chord is defined as any three distinct pitches that are played simultaneously. Within a chord, a certain pitch may be doubled in another range. For example the A chord that is discussed in this lesson contains two A notes and 2 E notes. A note containing three and only three distinct pitches is referred to as a "triad." There are a few types of triads: major, minor, augmented, and diminished. Eve limits her discussion to major chords in the first several lessons of the series.

2. Chord Shapes

One of the advantages of the guitar is that scales and chords can be moved to new keys and different areas of the fretboard by sliding simple fretboard shapes around. For example, you will eventually learn how the shape for the A chord discussed in this lesson can be moved to different areas of the fretboard to form other major chords.

3. Chord Terminology

The words grip, voicing, or shape are commonly used terms that refer to the visual shape of the chord when it is fingered on the fretboard.

Guitarists frequently refer to basic chords as "open" chords to differentiate them from chord voicings that are played higher up on the fretboard. You may also hear them referred to as "first position" chords. This just means that the left hand frets these chords in close proximity to the first fret.

4. Chord Abbreviation Reference Guide

Am - "A minor"
A7 - "A dominant seventh"
A - "A major"

5. The "Open" A Major Chord

A major is one of the most commonly used guitar chords in all styles. Keep in mind that this is not the easiest chord to play on guitar. However, it is still relatively easy to play in the grand scheme of guitar chords. Since the A chord is relatively easy and so incredibly common, most teachers teach this chord first. Practicing this chord also addresses some fundamental guitar mechanics that must be mastered in order to play a wide variety of other chords.

A. Demonstration / Breakdown

Eve provides a demonstration of how the A chord is played at 01:58 Scene 2. Imitate Eve's left hand technique. Notice how her wrist is arched out and away from the guitar. Her nails are very short. All of the left hand fingers are bent and relaxed. She's playing on the tips of her fingers to allow the strings to ring properly. All finger joints are bent and relaxed.

B. Left Hand Fingerings

6th String - Not Strummed
5th String - Played Open
4th String - 2nd Fret, 1st Finger
3rd String - 2nd Fret 2nd Finger
2nd String - 2nd Fret, 3rd Finger

Memorize this fingering and the visual shape that the fingers form when they are placed on the fretboard in this manner.

Note: There are multiple ways to fret the A chord. These alternate fingerings and their various advantages are discussed in later lessons. For additional information on this topic, refer to lesson 11 from Jim Deeming's Phase 1 lesson series.

C. Troubleshooting / Tips

-When playing any chord, always follow the left hand guidelines listed above.

-You will not be able to fret the notes on the 3rd and 4th strings directly next to the fretwire when playing an A chord. Fret the note on the 2nd string directly behind the fretwire. Fret the notes on the 3rd and 4th strings as close to the fret as possible. This will require that you scrunch your fingers together as much as possible. Eve demonstrates what NOT to do at 04:25 in Scene 2. Notice how her fingers are slightly spread apart instead of tightly scrunched together right next to the 2nd fret. You may also need to tilt the left wrist towards the headstock in order to scrunch the first and second fingers closer to the 2nd fret. Eve demonstrates this at 05:12.

-Arch the wrist outwards away from the guitar. This will bend your fingers at a steeper angle and provides the necessary room to allow the strings to vibrate.

-Play each string individually to ensure that it is vibrating with a quality tone. If a string is muted, buzzing, or just simply doesn't sound good, monitor your technique and assess the problem. Is your fretting finger supplying enough pressure? Is it too far away from the fret? Are your fingers arched sufficiently to clear the strings? Take your hand off the guitar to let it relax. Then, adjust your technique and check each string once again.

D. Thumb Positioning

One of the most important left hand fingers is not even used to fret a note. Your ability to play chords and intermediate to advanced techniques such as string bending is largely dependent upon the left hand thumb. Many classical guitarists will argue that it is never acceptable to bring the thumb up and over the top of the neck under any circumstance. Unfortunately, most of these classical players have not spent a significant amount of time playing an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar with steel strings. It is the general consensus among electric guitar teachers and steel string acoustic players that it is appropriate to let the thumb extend slightly beyond the top of the fretboard in certain situations. The height of the thumb above the fretboard will change slightly to accommodate the fingering of certain chords. This is perfectly acceptable. However, you don't want to press the thumb against the extremely lower portion of the neck or bring it completely over the top of the fretboard. For most of the time, the pad of the thumb should press just slightly above the rounded curve of the back of the neck. Keep in mind that everyone's hands are slightly different. This will also affect the most comfortable positioning of the thumb.

Regardless of the height of the thumb, always keep the thumb straight. If you have a hitchhiker thumb, you're thumb will naturally bend backward with the contour of the neck. This is perfectly acceptable. However, you must make sure that you do not bend the tip joint excessively. Many chords require a strong amount of leverage applied by the thumb on the back of the neck. Excessive bending of the thumb limits the amount of energy applied to the back of the neck.

E. Finger Independence

For most beginners, learning how to fret a chord can be a long, tiring process. This is due simply to a lack of finger dexterity. The length required to master a chord can be shortened by practicing some basic technical exercises. These exercises will strengthen the fingers, get them better acquainted with the mechanics of fretting a note, and increase muscle memory. In turn, these skills will help you play a new, challenging chord in less time.

F. Wrist and Elbow Position

The wrist must arch outwards away from the fretboard to provide enough room for the fingers to clear the strings. However, be careful not to arch the wrist outwards too much. An excessive arch limits the amount of pressure that the left hand fingers can apply to a string. Also, arching the wrist too much can be painful and eventually lead to injury.

Do not turn the elbow outwards or inwards with the shoulder muscle. This will limit the range of movement of the fingers.

VI. Practice Time

Spend a significant time practicing the A chord until you attempt to play "Swing Low." For most of you, it will take at least days to a week or maybe even longer for you to feel comfortable with fretting the A chord and strumming it with the thumb.

Remember to take a break from the A chord if you are starting to feel frustrated. Practice something else, and return to the A chord with a fresh mental perspective.

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"

A very basic arrangement of this song can be played with just the A chord that you learned in this lesson. Make sure that you have perfected the guitar component of the song before you begin to sing along with it. Play along with Eve in the lesson video to make sure that your rhythm remains steady at all times. Each strum with the thumb should line up perfectly with Eve's.

Note: Standard notation and tablature to Eve's basic arrangement of the song can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

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.

bluesmombluesmom replied

how long does it take till my fingers get rough and stop hurting?

przcoolhprzcoolh replied

great!! Thank you!!

classicalDreamerclassicalDreamer replied

Why do I need to figure out by ear as a beginner where the words and strumming pan out? Isn't that what written music for? Doesn't it assume knowledge of the song and some musical ear experience. Sorry, this was bad form.

WithoutguitarWithoutguitar replied

Oh thanks! I have found my answer to what I should do next. I am 89years and live with my son who has an abandoned regular guitar. Because I am mostly sitting in a recliner daily he selected a piccolo guitar for me and it arrives tomorrow. Because it has A courds and not the E standard I will have difficulty I need to find comparison charts. But meanwhile I am going to learn all about guitars! Thanks hon!

KathyTaylorKathyTaylor replied

Never knew about turning your hand to fit the fret. Now my A string on a G note rings clear. Thanks Eve!

Puskar200Puskar200 replied

Thanks a bunch for this great lessons

marco49marco49 replied

shame no diagram of the A chord but otherwise great lesson

NappersNappers replied

Thank you Eve. I have been struggling on how to get the notes of the chord to ring out properly. With your instruction in this lesson I no longer have this problem.

RichPalmRichPalm replied

It would seem much more useful if the chord designations were printed above the notation furnished in the .jpg unless it is meant to be that way so you can puzzle them out for yourself.

trjf99trjf99 replied

Eve, I just retired and now wanting to learn the guitar now that I have all the time... Truly a beginner, but I think with your help I might not get discouraged and give up. Thanks for being a part of the this new beginning.

benzie22benzie22 replied

It appears that the finger placement for the A chord in the video lesson is different from the A chord diagram in the supplemental content??????? Which one is correct??

FortyOne10FortyOne10 replied

I've learned the A chord both ways. They way shown in the supplemental content makes it easier to transition to the chords D and E because the first finger stays on the 3rd string. I hope that makes sense. :-)

FortyOne10FortyOne10 replied

I've learned the A chord both ways- the way it's pictured in the supplemental content was a little trickier for me to learn, but it makes it easier to transition to the chords D and E because the 1st finger stays on the same fret. I hope that makes sense. :-)

FortyOne10FortyOne10 replied

Hahaha! I meant to say string, but it won't let me delete this- sorry!!

karolkakarolka replied

Thank you for a great lesson. I look forward to continuing your series.

oldman1944oldman1944 replied

I must be missing something. The tab shows 0,0,1,2 for e chord, E chord would be o,o,1,2,2.

toddbustoddbus replied

Eve, You have real gift of making something difficult into an easy exercise.. I am actually now playing my first song--and its a church song and I am a minister. This is great! I look forward to future lessons!

zertndozertndo replied

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

artem alexander getmanovartem alexander getmanov replied

OMG!!!!!! Thank you very much!!! Your lessons are the best on this website. I really like your step-by-step system. Learning new chords and applying those on the song weve been through only with one chord! Thank you!

crazyxmusiccrazyxmusic replied

I am enjoying every second of this course.Miss Goldberg is outstanding.

crazyxmusiccrazyxmusic replied

Well,Miss Goldberg is a very good teacher,very charming and enjoys what she is doing.I took some lessons last year but his course is special and I am ready to succeed.

rickygrickyg replied

Hi eve been playing for years and decided to take your lessons and go through the whole prossess again and am finding it very rewarding as I stopped the folk side about 15 years ago so good to relearn and learn new stuff. Thanks for your kind teaching :)

shahidshahid replied

Eve, i am 33 and am just starting to learn! I am starting at a very very basic level, just bought my new Guitar. I found your lessons very simple and easy to follow and have decided to stick to your lessons for phase one. I have one question for you. I find it easier to strum with a pick than with fingers. Now you are using the fingers. Is it okay if i follow your lessons using a pick?

cxm413cxm413 replied

Hi Eve! My daughter is 11 and is just learning to play. She had a couple of live lessons, none of which proved to be very useful. So she just learned the A chord from your series. She is getting a buzzing when she plays the 4th string. Is that because she is not squished enough or not pressing hard enough? Also, she is hitting the 1st string somewhere, I am sure that will come with practice though. Any suggestions for her? Thanks for a great lesson by the way!

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi there, I think I talk in this lesson about how to deal with buzzing strings. Most people have trouble when they first play the A chord, especially with the 4th string, because the finger ends up being very far behind the fret. Your daughter will need to do what I call "wiggling and squishing" with her fingers -- playing around with how to get her fingers as close as possible behind the fret. I'm pretty sure I demonstrate this clearly in the lesson. As for the 1st string, it sounds like one or more of her fingers is touching the 1st string. She will want to work on bending her fingers more so that they come down more perpendicular to the neck, with a nice curve, so that there is space and her fingers aren't touching any strings they shouldn't be touching. I'm pretty sure I talk about this in the lesson as well. Good luck!

ifonifon replied

angle not angel

ifonifon replied

Your lessons are very easy to follow. Thank you. However, it would be "great" if the camera was set so that the student could see the instructions from the same angel as playing them. For a right-handed player, this video is not only a mirror image but it is also flipped horizontally opposite of what the student is doing. Because the brain is compensating for all this, it takes longer to learn the subject at hand.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi ifon, Actually the lessons they are taping now have exactly the angle you are talking about. Unfortunately they weren't set up to do that in the beginning, but now they are. It would take too much time and money to re-do the lessons that are already done, but I think you will find if you get toward the end of this series that the lessons do have that angle.

BuffyLOLBuffyLOL replied

Hi Eve, love your way of teaching. You are so calm when teaching, so it makes easier to follow and understand you. Thank you for the lesson. Sad I can´t see you live. I am sleeping when you are live.

chammannchammann replied

One little hint: you could mention early on that the low E string isn't played in the A chord. Good lesson all around, though!

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks for the hint -- too late now, but I appreciate you pointing that out. It's actually not a huge problem if you play the low E string because the E note is part of the A chord. Which is why I didn't think to point it out.

cvassellcvassell replied

Excellent teaching Eve. I appreciate the way you break everything down. My fingers are killing me, but I'll take your suggestion on 15min sessions. Like all new things, this is harder than I thought. I’m looking forward to a year from today!

kikibananakikibanana replied

Yay!!!! Thank you, Eve. You are a fantastic teacher. :) Yes, my fingers are sore :)

solargmansolargman replied

Hi Eve, I love you method of teaching! I had a question on the chord chart in the supplemental material. It shows the finger positions as 2, 1, 3 on the D,G,B strings. Do the 2,1,3 represent the actual fingers? If so wouldn't the numbering be 1,2,3 like your fingers? Thank you for your response and look forward to more lessons.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

There are many different ways of making the A chord, so they might have the chord chart with a different version of the fingering. I actually talk about that in one of the next lessons.

hdsimonihdsimoni replied

Hi. Great lesson -- so much fun and sooo great to play a song so soon! :-) It would be great if your suplemental content could include you singing the entire song, so I could practice along with you... not knowing the song/melody, it is much easier to sing with you and would give a more interesting longer practice with the chord... please?

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks for the feedback. In later lessons I sing more of the songs that I'm teaching. In the meantime, there are many recordings of this song -- look it up on YouTube!

arosenthalarosenthal replied

Hi Eve - Thanks. I think this is just what I have been looking for. I have been using one of the other guitar websites and while I learned a few things there I have been stuck. When they got to cords I was completely lost. Question - I printed out the music sheet for Swing Low. It doesn't look like A cords. It looks like just individual notes. Is that right? -alan

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

It is music notation, which might be confusing if you have never used music notation.

kwh80199kwh80199 replied

eve whats your guitar steel or nylon what brand

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

My guitar was made by William (Grit) Laskin, a world famous guitar maker. You can find more about him at http://www.williamlaskin.com

jarls1jarls1 replied

You are such a natural teacher. You are so enjoyable to learn from. Thanks for making this easy.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

My pleasure, glad you are enjoying the lessons.

dddeoliveiradddeoliveira replied

Really liked the class. I was trying to find the lyrics. Here they are: SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Lead: Swing low, sweet chariot Chorus: Coming for to carry me home Lead: Swing low, sweet chariot Chorus: Coming for to carry me home Lead: If you get there before I do Chorus: Coming for to carry me home Lead: Tell all my friends, I’m coming too Chorus: Coming for to carry me home My suggestion is: add the lyrics words on the video or if you think this may be distracting then provide a link to a pdf file with the lyrics to print and read while singing. Nice lesson. Thanks

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi dd, the lyrics are in the supplemental content included with the lesson. Just click on the "supplemental content" and then click on the file called "Swing Low Lyrics." Voila!

fernando gfernando g replied

Great lesson Eve. Sing Low is easy to play and sing to for those of us that can't walk and chew gum. I played it a few times with different strumming patterns, getting ahead of myself here but you can sing this song even when playing it fast.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

great to hear that you are having fun with the song. It can absolutely be played faster, so go crazy!

chuck bradychuck brady replied

This is alot better than others thanks

tadpole17tadpole17 replied

Why are the chord diagrams wrong in your supplemental materials? The D chord is diagrammed as an A. Later lessons also show different chord diagrams than the ones you're using in the video.

tadpole17tadpole17 replied

Okay, it got fixed -program glitch, I hear.

benjaminfirthbenjaminfirth replied

My fingers seem to big to play the A cord. even when I stist a squish. Any advice?

benjaminfirthbenjaminfirth replied

Thats twist and squish

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi Ben, It will definitely get easier. There are people with very large fingers who are great guitar players, so just know that it is possible. In one of the next few lessons I introduce another fingering for the A chord that might be easier for you, so you might want check that out. Make sure you are bending that last joint in your fingers, which will help your fingers come down on the neck perpendicularly, and will also put you more on the tips of your fingers, which should assist in the wiggle and squish department. Good luck, and don't give up!

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

oops, I should have said Benjamin...

ljwelch2010ljwelch2010 replied

I have the same problem. Question I have is, is it considered bad practice to use the first finger on the third string, the second finger on the fourth string, and third finger on the second string? What I'm finding with this is that it also easier to transition to open E and open D. But, I don't want develop bad habits either.

puredrumfurypuredrumfury replied

As my screen name indicates, I'm really a drummer (20+ years and still giggin like crazy!). But I couldn't stand just watching my buddies play guitar anymore and I finally broke down and bought my first accoustic. I took 8 live lessons, and in one night with Eve I feel like I have learned more than I did in two months and after spending around $160! The approach is great and I feel much more comfortable when I don't have to keep looking at the clock to get out of the way of the next student. I'll be here lots. Just wanted to say thanks to Eve and to JamPlay.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi Puredrum, welcome to JamPlay, and glad to hear you are enjoying the lessons.

just learningjust learning replied

To Eve: Love the lessons. I just finished the A chord -- not too difficult which is really nice when just getting started. Question: I THOUGHT I noticed you starting the strum for Swing Low on the E string sometimes and on the A string at other times -- my eyes aren't what they used to be so perhaps I'm mistaken. I tried alternating the strum myself between the two strings and thought it had a nice feel [sound]. Is this allowable and how do I know which string to start the strum on? Being the A chord, would it not be better to strum starting on the A string? Thanks for all of your patience and great demos! To mlapia who is turning 40: I'm 57 and just learning -- so by the time you reach my age, you'll be a ripe old pro. :-) -bill-

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Hi Just Learning, I'm glad you are enjoying the lessons (and sorry for taking so long to answer your question - I've been away!). Because we are doing a very simple strum on the beat, in this case it's probably not a big deal whether you start the strum on the A string or the E string. Both notes are part of the chord, so they will both sound good. When we get into more complicated strums, which string you start with will become more important. But for now, I would say, don't worry about it!

adidapreanadidaprean replied

WOW I just completed the first Chord lesson and I had alot of Fun! I don't like the song that much but it works for getting rhythm down and coordinating the hands and mouth thingy lol Needless to say I am going to be jammin this one for a few thanks for the lesson. :)

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Congrats Adidaprean, I'm glad you feel like you are getting it. Keep jammin'!

mlapiamlapia replied

This was very fun, thank you. I'm 3 weeks from my 40th birthday and I'm very exicted to have stumbled upon you.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Awesome, mlapia -- it's never too late to learn.

aagfraagfr replied

You have a good voice, and I have been on a lot of practice, but I learn more from you on one hour than 1 year on practice

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks Aagfr!

mazzystarlettemazzystarlette replied

Great lesson! I haven't thought about thumb placement much. Thanks for the tip.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks Mazzy! I hope it helps!

boresko8boresko8 replied

I am really a beginner. thanks, I make progress every day and enjoy learning. Your lessons are encouraging.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Glad you are making progress, boresko! Let me know if you have any questions...

mlc2074mlc2074 replied

Really like the whole "learn songs as you go" approach. Very helpful and a good way to build a beginner's confidence.

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks mlc, hope your guitar playing is going well!

leefoxleefox replied

can't see Scene 3.. just audio =/

nessanessa replied

Please download and Install Flash 10 here: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Eve.GoldbergEve.Goldberg replied

Thanks guys! binggeli, I think you should start that band! I love it!

bingbing replied

Great lesson! I really appreciate the focus on singing with the guitar -- not something that I've seen very much about in the other beginner lessons. More Goldberg lessons, please! (I think my first band might be called "Wiggle and Squish"...)

CarolLBCarolLB replied

Thanks Eve. I'm between a beginner & intermediate level. I already know how to play an A Chord, but still found some useful little tidbits from you. Looking forward to more lessons from you. Again, thanks!

Basic Acoustic Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The acoustic guitar is one of the most beloved instruments in the world. Eve Goldberg will guide you on your guitar playing journey.

Introduction to the GuitarLesson 1

Introduction to the Guitar

In this lesson, Eve Goldberg introduces the acoustic guitar. She talks about the parts of the guitar, the string names, and tuning.

Length: 27:16 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Learning the A ChordLesson 2

Learning the A Chord

In this lesson, Eve Goldberg introduces the first chord in this series, the A chord. She also shows how this chord can be used to play a simple song.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The E ChordLesson 3

The E Chord

Eve Goldberg introduces the E chord. She explains how it is played and provides some exercises designed to improve your chord changing abilities.

Length: 21:54 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Swing Low with 2 ChordsLesson 4

Swing Low with 2 Chords

Eve Goldberg returns to the song "Swing Low" and talks about playing it with two chords instead of one.

Length: 16:20 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Boom-Chuck StrumLesson 5

Boom-Chuck Strum

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

Length: 15:56 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Boom-Chuck and Swing LowLesson 6

Boom-Chuck and Swing Low

Eve Goldberg teaches how the boom-chuck strum can be applied to the song "Swing Low".

Length: 8:16 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
The D ChordLesson 7

The D Chord

In this lesson, Eve introduces the D chord. You will also learn how to switch from the D chord to the A chord while applying the boom-chuck strum.

Length: 16:59 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Little BirdyLesson 8

Little Birdy

Eve teaches the song "Little Birdy," which is a great tune to practice changing from the D chord to the A chord with your boom-chuck strum.

Length: 23:54 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue EyesLesson 9

I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes

You will learn the The Carter Family song "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" in this lesson.

Length: 32:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Songs and CaposLesson 10

Songs and Capos

Eve talks about 3 chord songs and demonstrates a few as an example. She also introduces the capo.

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Capo and KeysLesson 11

Capo and Keys

Eve continues her discussion on capos. She explains how to find a key by using a piano keyboard drawing.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
FlatpicksLesson 12


Eve introduces the flatpick. She explains the proper way to hold it and strum.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
A to D Bass RunLesson 13

A to D Bass Run

Eve shows you how to to compliment your boom-chuck strum by adding an A to D bass run.

Length: 14:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
E to A Bass RunLesson 14

E to A Bass Run

In this lesson, Eve furthers your knowledge of bass runs by teaching the E to A bass run.

Length: 22:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Review and PracticeLesson 15

Review and Practice

Eve continues her discussion of bass runs and also covers some great practicing techniques.

Length: 22:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The G ChordLesson 16

The G Chord

Eve introduces the G chord and practices changing to and from other chords you have learned. This is important for the next song you will learn.

Length: 14:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Gold Watch and ChainLesson 17

Gold Watch and Chain

Eve teaches the song "Gold Watch and Chain" using the G chord you learned in the last lesson.

Length: 19:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Boom-Chucka StrumLesson 18

Boom-Chucka Strum

Eve shows you how to add a little spice to your standard boom-chuck strum in this lesson.

Length: 10:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Boom-a-Chucka StrumLesson 19

Boom-a-Chucka Strum

You've learned the Boom-Chuck strum. You've learned the Boom-Chucka strum. Now you will learn the Boom-a-Chucka strum. Have fun!

Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Incorporating the A to D Bass RunLesson 20

Incorporating the A to D Bass Run

Eve shows how to incorporate the A to D bass run into the song "Gold Watch and Chain."

Length: 18:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D to A Bass RunLesson 21

D to A Bass Run

Get ready for a new run! Eve teaches the D to A bass run in this lesson.

Length: 30:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D to G Bass RunLesson 22

D to G Bass Run

Learn how to add even more flavor to "Gold Watch and Chain" by including a bass run from D to G.

Length: 20:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
G to D Bass RunLesson 23

G to D Bass Run

Learn the G to D bass run and incorporate it into the song "Gold Watch and Chain."

Length: 29:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Putting It TogetherLesson 24

Putting It Together

Eve encourages you to take all of the tools you've learned thus far and apply them to the song "Gold Watch and Chain."

Length: 16:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Hobo's LullabyLesson 25

Hobo's Lullaby

Eve introduces a new song called "Hobo's Lullaby."

Length: 15:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Hobo's Lullaby FingerpickingLesson 26

Hobo's Lullaby Fingerpicking

Eve introduces fingerpicking in this lesson by using the song "Hobo's Lullaby" as an example.

Length: 24:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Adding Bass Runs: D to GLesson 27

Adding Bass Runs: D to G

Eve adds a D to G bass run into the song "Hobo's Lullaby."

Length: 19:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Adding Bass Runs: A to DLesson 28

Adding Bass Runs: A to D

Eve adds the bass run from A to D into the song "Hobo's Lullaby."

Length: 16:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Adding Bass Runs: G to ALesson 29

Adding Bass Runs: G to A

Eve adds the bass run from G to A into the song "Hobo's Lullaby."

Length: 19:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The D DoodadLesson 30

The D Doodad

Eve Goldberg finishes up her lessons on "Hobo's Lullaby" by adding one final technique: The D Doodad.

Length: 30:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Careless Love IntroductionLesson 31

Careless Love Introduction

Eve Goldberg continues her beginner series with another amazing song called "Careless Love."

Length: 12:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord StructureLesson 32

Chord Structure

Eve Goldberg continues her discussion on "Careless Love" with a lesson about the pattern and chord changes of the song.

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
G Chord Fingerpicking PatternLesson 33

G Chord Fingerpicking Pattern

Eve Goldberg takes a look at the G chord fingerpicking pattern for the song "Careless Love."

Length: 14:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
D Chord Fingerpicking PatternLesson 34

D Chord Fingerpicking Pattern

Eve Goldberg continues "Careless Love" with a lesson about the fingerpicking pattern for the D chord.

Length: 16:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
C Chord Fingerpicking PatternLesson 35

C Chord Fingerpicking Pattern

Eve teaches a Travis style picking pattern for the C chord. She also explains how to make the change from the C to the G pattern.

Length: 10:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Careless Love Wrap-UpLesson 36

Careless Love Wrap-Up

Eve wraps up "Careless Love" with a lesson about putting the whole song together.

Length: 16:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad IntroductionLesson 37

Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad Introduction

Eve Goldberg introduces a new song called "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad."

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Part 2: Chord StructureLesson 38

Part 2: Chord Structure

Eve Goldberg reviews the chord structure for the song "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad."

Length: 13:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Part 3: Hammer-on IntroductionLesson 39

Part 3: Hammer-on Introduction

Eve Goldberg returns to "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" with a lesson all about the hammer-on.

Length: 9:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Part 4: C Chord Hammer-onLesson 40

Part 4: C Chord Hammer-on

Eve Goldberg continues her discussion of the hammer-on. She explains how a hammer-on can be used within a C major chord and the importance of timing.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Part 5: G Chord Hammer-onLesson 41

Part 5: G Chord Hammer-on

Eve adds the G chord hammer-on to the song "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad."

Length: 15:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Part 6: Bass RunsLesson 42

Part 6: Bass Runs

Eve gives a quick review of what you have learned so far in "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad." Then, she dives into some bass runs that can be added to the chord progression.

Length: 13:54 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Part 7: G to C Bass RunLesson 43

Part 7: G to C Bass Run

Eve plays the G to C run in the song "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad." Then, she breaks it down for practice.

Length: 16:42 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Part 8: C to G Bass RunLesson 44

Part 8: C to G Bass Run

Eve taught the G to C bass run in the last lesson. In this lesson, she teaches you how to go from C back to G.

Length: 16:42 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Part 9: G to Em TransitionLesson 45

Part 9: G to Em Transition

Eve Goldberg covers a transitional chord between G and Em that functions like a bass run.

Length: 16:42 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Part 10: All TogetherLesson 46

Part 10: All Together

Eve Goldberg wraps up "Goin' Down this Road Feelin' Bad" with a lesson that combines all the techniques you have learned in the song.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Stewball IntroductionLesson 47

Stewball Introduction

Eve Goldberg introduces a new song called "Stewball" in this lesson. Get started with a little history and some basic concepts.

Length: 10:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Stewball Part 2: Chord StructureLesson 48

Stewball Part 2: Chord Structure

Eve Goldberg talks about the chord structure for the song "Stewball" in this lesson.

Length: 11:48 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Stewball Part 3: Strum VariationsLesson 49

Stewball Part 3: Strum Variations

Eve Goldberg wraps up the song "Stewball" with some strum pattern variations.

Length: 15:08 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Drunken Sailor Part 1Lesson 50

Drunken Sailor Part 1

Eve Goldberg returns to JamPlay with another exciting addition to her beginner series! Here you will take a look at "Drunken Sailor". Eve builds on this song in lessons to come.

Length: 16:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Drunken Sailor Part 2Lesson 51

Drunken Sailor Part 2

Eve Goldberg returns to the song "Drunken Sailor" with some great tips on strumming patterns and more.

Length: 21:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Drunken Sailor Part 3Lesson 52

Drunken Sailor Part 3

Eve Goldberg finishes up "Drunken Sailor" with some new strumming exercises.

Length: 13:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Haul Away Joe Part 1Lesson 53

Haul Away Joe Part 1

Eve Goldberg dives into "Haul Away Joe," another fun sea shanty.

Length: 25:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Haul Away Joe Part 2Lesson 54

Haul Away Joe Part 2

Eve Goldberg takes another look at "Haul Away Joe" with a brand new strumming pattern.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The John B. SailsLesson 55

The John B. Sails

Eve Goldberg starts on a new folk song called "The John B. Sails". This particular song was later made famous by The Beach Boys under the title of "Sloop John B".

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The John B. Sails Part 2Lesson 56

The John B. Sails Part 2

Eve Goldberg continues with "The John B. Sails". This time she introduces a brand new strumming pattern.

Length: 17:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The John B. Sails Part 3Lesson 57

The John B. Sails Part 3

Eve Goldberg finishes up "The John B. Sails" lessons with a couple of brand new chords and a new strum.

Length: 24:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Practical Theory Part 1Lesson 58

Practical Theory Part 1

Eve Goldberg dives into some basic, practical theory to expand your knowledge of the guitar. In this lesson, she talks about the I-IV-V progression and explains the circle of fifths.

Length: 13:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Practical Theory Part 2Lesson 59

Practical Theory Part 2

Eve Goldberg continues her practical theory discussion, this time with an emphasis on minor chords and how they fit in.

Length: 13:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Frankie and Johnny Part 1Lesson 60

Frankie and Johnny Part 1

In lesson 60 of her basic guitar series, Eve Goldberg offers up another traditional song to add to your repertoire. In part one, you'll learn the basic patterns for Frankie and Johnny. You'll also be introduced...

Length: 24:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Frankie and Johnny Part 2:  Adding Bass RunsLesson 61

Frankie and Johnny Part 2: Adding Bass Runs

Now that you've learned the basic chords and structure of the song Frankie and Johnny, it's time to start adding some extra bits. In lesson 61 Eve will walk you through adding bass runs between chord...

Length: 29:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Frankie and Johnny Part 3:  Finger StyleLesson 62

Frankie and Johnny Part 3: Finger Style

As we are adding more complexity to this tune, it's a good time to look at how it's played using the fingerstyle technique. As with the other lessons on this song, Eve will start you off with a basic...

Length: 18:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Frankie and Johnny Part 4:  VariationsLesson 63

Frankie and Johnny Part 4: Variations

You've learned all of "Frankie and Johnny" at this point. Now it's time to put all of the techniques together and create a varied and flowing arrangement.

Length: 24:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Don't Let Your Deal Go DownLesson 64

Don't Let Your Deal Go Down

In lesson 64 of her basic guitar series, Eve provides a look at another traditional tune. You'll start off with the basic song, and then progress by adding additional skills and challenges.

Length: 18:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Don't Let Your Deal Go Down:  Advanced StrummingLesson 65

Don't Let Your Deal Go Down: Advanced Strumming

It's time to take a closer look at spicing up the song "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down." In this lesson, Eve introduces more strumming options, including several that haven't been discussed previously.

Length: 15:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Don't Let Your Deal Go Down: Bass RunsLesson 66

Don't Let Your Deal Go Down: Bass Runs

In lesson 66 of her basic guitar series, Eve demonstrates the bass runs that will work over the song "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down".

Length: 24:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Water is WideLesson 67

The Water is Wide

To finalize her beginner series, Eve offers up the song "The Water is Wide." This will be a good start on the song that you can use to transition to her fingerstyle series.

Length: 30:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Eve Goldberg

About Eve Goldberg View Full Biography Imagine a kitchen party where Mother Maybelle Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Mississippi John Hurt, Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Patsy Cline show up, and you begin to get a sense of what it feels like inside songwriter Eve Goldberg's head. Never one to restrict herself to one genre of music, Eve has performed her trademark mixture of folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz in venues ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC since 1990.

Eve was born in the Boston area but has called Toronto, Ontario home since 1981. As a child, she was dragged to folk concerts by the likes of The Weavers, Doc Watson, Arlo Guthrie, the Watersons, and countless others. Eventually it sank in, and as a teenager she began to devour all kinds of contemporary and traditional roots music. She began performing in 1990, and hasn't looked back since. Along the way she's earned the respect of legendary musicians like Peggy Seeger, Geoff Muldaur, and Penny Lang.

Her watercolour voice and solid guitar style has become a favourite at festivals, folk clubs, and concert series across Canada and the US. With an equal passion for traditional music, and for the art of songwriting and interpretation, Eve's performances are intimate and relaxed, moving effortlessly from folk classics to original gems, all wrapped up in her clear, pure voice and dynamic guitar playing. She has released two albums to widespread acclaim -- 1998's "Ever Brightening Day" released on her own Sweet Patootie Music label, and 2003's "Crossing the Water," released by The Borealis Recording Company. Her instrumental tune "Watermelon Sorbet" was used for years as the opening theme to the popular CBC national radio show "Richardson's Roundup."

Her latest album "A Kinder Season" was released in September 2007 on Borealis Records (US Release: Jan 9, 2007). Recorded in the months after her mother's death, the album is a remarkable personal testament to the joy and hope that lurks somewhere beyond the heartache, and the sweetness that can be found even in the bitterest seasons of life. Produced by Ken Whiteley, "A Kinder Season" features twelve new originals that firmly establish Eve as a compelling and thoughtful writer whose songs draw honey from the rock of human experience. As legendary blues musician Geoff Muldaur put it, "As far as I'm concerned, Eve Goldberg is on the verge of riches. Big name folks would want to get hold of this stuff."

In January 2008, Eve released "The Streets of Burma," a song inspired by the peaceful demonstrations of monks and nuns in Burma in September 2007. Since then, Amnesty International Canada has used the song as part of its campaign to free U Gambira, one of the monks arrested following his participation in the protests. Visitors to www.amnesty.ca/streetsofburma/ can listen to a preview of the song, find out more about the situation in Burma, sign an e-postcard to help free U Gambira, and if they want, download the song in exchange for a donation to Amnesty International Canada.

"A pure and pleasing voice and a performance style that know no bounds."
  - Greg Quill, Toronto Star

"...one of the most promising young singers in the Canadian folk scene"
  -  Alistair Brown, Greenman Review

"Wow! Ever Brightening Day is one of the best albums I've heard this year!"
  -  Back Porch Music Distribution

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Don Ross Don Ross

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

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Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

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Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

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

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Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

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Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

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Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

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Amber Russell Amber Russell

Now we look at more harmonics, using a section of Amber's song - 'Love vs. Logic'

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Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

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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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

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

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Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.

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Irene Ketikidi Irene Ketikidi

Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques...

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David Wallimann David Wallimann

This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

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Monte Pittman Monte Pittman

The hungarian minor scale can be viewed as a modification of the harmonic minor scale. It has a very exotic sound, and is...

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Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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Ian Argys Ian Argys

Lesson 6 is all about the major mode. As with the other lessons you'll be taking a look at the individual notes on the strings...

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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.

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Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

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


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