Beginner Acoustic with Orville

For Beginners Guitar Course from Orville Johnson

Discover the essentials with Orville Johnson by learning some of the most popular topics and techniques in beginner guitar.

21 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.

Multi-Camera

Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

91% Appoval

460 of 481 of our members have given this their approval.

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Included

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Full Course Breakdown

Orville Johnson teaches key topics for beginner guitarists in this information-packed lesson series.

1

Overcoming Beginner Challenges

Orville talks about some challenges you will likely face as a beginner and offers some advice that will help you overcome them.

13:05 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

2

Flatpick and Strumming

Orville talks about flatpicks, how to hold them, and how to strum with them.

13:29 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson
3

Fingerpicking and Patterns

Orville Johnson introduces some basic fingerpicking patterns.

6:58 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

4

Metronome and Practicing

Orville Johnson explains why it is important to practice with a metronome. He also covers some practice strategies that will help minimize your frustration.

21:35 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

5

Practical Theory Part 1: Intervals

Orville dives into part 1 of his beginners' guide to practical theory. In this lesson, you will learn the basics of intervals.

17:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

6

Practical Theory Part 2: Scales

Orville Johnson takes a look at scales in part 2 of his practical theory mini-series.

18:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

7

Practical Theory Part 3: Chords and Construction

Orville Johnson jumps into part 3 of his practical theory mini-series. This lesson is about chords and their construction.

21:08 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

8

Practical Theory Pt. 4: Modes

It's now time to tap back into the practical music theory portion of this series. Continuing on with part 4, Orville now discusses what modes are and how they are really just scales with Greek names.

19:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

9

Basic Blues Shuffle

Orville Johnson demonstrates a basic blues shuffle. This incredibly easy rhythm piece will have you sounding like a blues great in no time!

12:38 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

10

Connecting Chords with Bass Runs

Orville Johnson demonstrates how simple chord progressions can be spruced up with bass runs. The classic song "Oh! Susanna" is used as an example.

12:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

11

Voice Leading

Orville Johnson talks about the concept of voice leading. This concept will help you play chord progressions that flow better and sound more harmonious.

10:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

12

Major Chords

Orville Johnson teaches the basic major chords in this lesson. He also explains the best way to change from chord to chord, a challenge for many beginners.

19:23 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

13

Note Values

Orville Johnson jumps into some light theory with a lesson on note values.

7:51 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

14

The CAGED System

Orville Johnson takes a beginner's look at the CAGED system.

8:14 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

15

Open D Tuning

Orville Johnson introduces open D tuning and encourages exploration of its possibilities. This tuning is great for a broad range of playing styles.

24:04 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

16

Open G Tuning

This time, Orville Johnson introduces open G tuning. This tuning is great for a broad range of playing styles and sounds pretty without even fingering a chord.

21:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

17

Beginner Fingerstyle Techniques

This lesson is perfect for the beginner looking to develop dexterity and independence in the right hand fingers. Orville guides you step by step through basic rhythm concepts and fingerstyle exercises.

26:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

18

How Does a Capo Work?

This lesson presents any beginner with the information needed to understand how a capo works. This tool enables you to change the key of a song without learning any new chord voicings.

22:07 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

19

Beginner Lead Techniques

Orville introduces basic techniques that can be used to play lead guitar. This lesson includes a primer on hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends and harmonics.

22:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

20

Orville's Guide to Practicing

Orville dispenses a lifetime of accrued wisdom on the subject of practicing and learning. This lesson is only 16 minutes long, and it will not only change how you learn the guitar, but can also be applied to all facets of your life.

16:38 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

21

Creating New Chords

This lesson is all about creating different types of chords. This does steer the lesson towards music theory, but the information is invaluable and infinitely applicable.

23:05 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Seattle, Washington
  • Playing since 1970
  • 128 lessons at JamPlay
Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons playing bluegrass on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period-piece Mississippi river steamboat plying the inland waterways, with his group the Steamboat Ramblers.

Orville moved to Seattle, Washington in 1978, where he was a founding member of the much-loved and well-remembered folk/rock group, the Dynamic Logs. Other musical associates include Laura Love, Ranch Romance, File' Gumbo Zydeco Band, Scott Law, and the Twirling Mickeys. Johnson, known for his dobro and slide guitar stylings and vocal acrobatics, has played on over 100 albums. He has appeared on Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion, Jay Leno's Tonight Show and was featured in the 1997 film Georgia with Mare Winningham. His musical expertise can also be heard on the Microsoft CD-ROMs, Musical Instruments of the World and the Complete Encyclopedia of Baseball. He teaches as well at the International Guitar Seminar, Pt. Townsend Country Blues Week and Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.

Orville released 4 recordings in the 1990's: The World According to Orville (1990) Blueprint for the Blues (1998) Slide & Joy (1999) an all-instrumental dobro tour de force and Kings of Mongrel Folk (1997) with Mark Graham. He also appeared on 4 discs with the File' Gumbo Zydeco Band and produced Whose World Is This (1997) for Jim Page and Inner Life (1999) for Mark Graham. In the 21st century, he has released Freehand, a new Kings of Mongrel Folk disc, Still Goin' Strong, and been featured in the soundtracks of PBS' Frontier House and the Peter Fonda flick The Wooly Boys as well as the compilation cd Legends of the Incredible Lap Steel Guitar.
Reviews & Feedback 91/100 with 481 ratings
QJam

Mr. Johnson is very patience. He goes into just enough detail to help a beginner understand the importance of what you are learning.

chendricksmusic

A great understandable basic explanation of the CAGED system!!!

cmfdkf

All of the above

hickh

All of the above!

barrytx

All of the above. Great

Iceprincess

All of the above. Love his lessons!

jswr450

all three. awesome.

catguy

Also easy to understand and it is just what I needed :)))

stewardt

althought you are the first teacher I'm chekking on the beginners section . I really like the way you teach .. so great, I am defenitly gonne sit these out . You are so calm , it kinda grows on me and helps me to concentrate .

walls57

been playing for many years on my own... love orvilles course.. filling in a lot of holes...

KrakenWolf187

Instantly noticed decreased back pain and better posture from Changing the placement of the guitar when seated.

alex_k

Easy to understand AND a nice teacher :-)

martin1234

easy to understand takes his time teaching good review of the material.

drtomdz13

Encourages a "you can do this" attitude and does suggest ways to work around common scenarios that might lead to self-disappointments; nice how the lessons have "didactic" as well a practice phase.

mishmac2000

Very interesting ideas. I like it.

ScottSarty

Good explanation of how to find the notes to use for the base run. Very helpful and adds to playing without adding a ton of complexity. Great way to sound more accomplished.

johnice

good lesson on runs

Travelchick

Good little strumming routine. I think I can use that in different situations. Thank you

Heinz

Great explanation of chord changes

50Stepper

great instructor.

ailes

Great lesson. Well presented; logical, reasonable, effective teaching.

Chickenfingers

Great straightforward lesson easy to understand. Much appreciation sir!

gmh

Great teacher, easy to understand, I like the way he presents the lessons.

longlense

Very clear. Easy to follow. Want to see what other courses he teaches.

lodo

Great teacher. Perfect pace, clear instruction

sophi3

great teaching, CAGED system can look complicated but this lesson reinforced my knowledge.

Mattguitarmurphyman

Great underpinning of technique with invaluable usable theory. Also Orvile is fantastic in conveying fairly abstract ideas. More Orville please

PeterSouthey

Really helpful, thanks

michaelknoy

His explanations were very understandable!

EddyB

I believe i will be able to progress in my learning.

tryingnow

I feel like I'm finally getting this

oyvihus

I liked the teacher, he was easy to understand, and to learn som new fingerpicking patterns is just what I needed. Jamplay is great :-)

MTMals

I'm kind of an instructor surfer. Have taken a lot of lessons on JamPlay in search of the niche that I want to go back to and work on with intensity. This lesson, the walking base, I want to add to my tool bag. Mike (2 years strumming)

Crow1

Interesting, already learned a better way with practicing chromatic scales from this very first lesson as well as "warming up the fingers / hand. Thank you Sir Orville.

KeithSmith

Very well explained and demonstrated. This will give something to work on for some time. I appreciate learning new styles.

Cautious

Like it says above: I like the teacher, easy to understand and a lesson that starts to make good things happen. Looking forward to what's coming up in the future.

Hoosierkid

Like the teacher. He reminds me of Burl Ives. lol

Graciehall

lovely

H.P. Gremlin

Mr Johnson' approach made me feel very comfortable and all of the above apply. I have been looking for someone who.s lesson plans make sense to me from an order standpoint. I believe today I have found my first instructor i can commit to taking

Delgadillo

Music theory has always been scary to me. So much so, that I was afraid to even really try to understand it. I just recently joined JP and have been checking out some cool lessons on things I thought would be cool for me to learn. I somehow got

guloguloguy

That's a bit much to follow! I'll have to replay this a few times to get it all, but that is making sense, and It's nice to learn these things! = A Good demo. [I think that some of that chord theory might be better explained on the board, us

kiroba

Orville has way with 'teaching' that makes things clear and easily understood. He's been very helpful to me as a complete beginner. Thanks Orville !

Vladbob

Orville is a pimp.

RobinGullstrand

Orville is a very good teacher! Thanks!