Learning Your First Open Chords (Guitar Lesson)

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Lisa Pursell

Learning Your First Open Chords

Lisa jumps right into your first "open" chords. She demonstrates how to play these chords in detail, so you can begin playing some simple progressions on your own.

Taught by Lisa Pursell in Basic Electric with Lisa seriesLength: 15:48Difficulty: 0.5 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

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

bobbyndallasbobbyndallas replied

you are getting way ahead of your beginner students. And you don't seem to give any reason why or explain

BrowniePlaysBrowniePlays replied

what! I just started guitar and she is speeding , I have not even heard mayor or minor and now she says sus.

BigJoe23BigJoe23 replied

yeah there needs to be a teacher who stars with music mechanics first. They all start off just as guitar lessons like the player already knows everything else about music. At least there should be supplemental videos for those who are not that advanced. I agree its like speeding for a complete newbie

PhilthoPhiltho replied

Cut my nails, filed them down after. Much easier.

GuitarsrollGuitarsroll replied

practice practice

GremsongsGremsongs replied


GuitarsrollGuitarsroll replied

by switching legs made a big difference for me

frankwrightfrankwright replied

Lisa , Not sure if you answer comments but here goes. I was following you on the basic open chords..however you rushed/jumped into sis chords and that became a stretch ! you talked about the root note but did not really explain that. you strummed up and down the neck playing the d chord but way too fast too follow. it sounded good but no way could i play that. so my question is did i somehow jump over the beginner section or will there be a big connection of all you are showing, teaching and playing ? or is there a better spot for a beginner ? Thanks...bty I'm in my 7 day trial so you are the make or break between Jamplay and Guitar tricks

destinybdestinyb replied

I really don't get any thing

AJ3AJ3 replied

I totally agree. When your tying to learn just the basic first chords and the intructor just throws. In sus chords and how they work and don't explain its frustrating. Slow down!!!!!!

mohan519mohan519 replied

for the D chord, the audio says "first finger on second string third fret"..but isn't it the first finger on third string second fret(as the video shows) ?

6bird46bird4 replied

yes it is the first finger on third string second fret as the video shows

thescanadathescanada replied

What BPM should we aim for before moving on? 60? 72? 90?

leefspoonerleefspooner replied

Hi printout for supplemental chords boxs are wrong

3200763232007632 replied

I've been working with Em and G chords hard to keep pinky under control, but the changing is starting to work.

silentnoisesilentnoise replied

went through this yesterday and felt awkward. Came home after a rough monday and had a blast just playing around with those chords. I took the changes with the d chord and tried it with the em chord. Fun! Thanks

iroeniroen replied

Practicing Em, G and transitions. Yeh - the fingers do hurt a lot ;) I use computer a lot for my work, but the skin on the fingers is not used to anything like that.

sd62189sd62189 replied

I'm learning to play the chord but it takes a lot of practice moving from one chord to the next. The playability of my guitar is not the best but when I do find the right strings and guitar for my small hands I'll be lightening all over the fretboard!

dan52dan52 replied

Hi Lisa. Just wanted to say I really like your style of play and I look forward to learning more from you. You look like it's all you can do to hold yourself back. Like at race horse at the starting gate lol. I really hope we see more of you actually playing.

bam711711bam711711 replied

Great Job thanks

Jed531Jed531 replied

Hi Lisa, Really liking your style. never had a lesson in my life before, although as the saying goes, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". Didn't like the 'difficult' G chord at first, after many years of self taught bad habits, but am using it and the muscle memory is working on it. Have a few chords under my belt already, as well as styles, songs and licks, but just learned about D su2 / sus4, am very happy to be learning from you!

stratrat8758stratrat8758 replied

Lisa, I really like the way you have shown the cord progressions and how to tie everything together with very little movement. Thanks...

dorkmandorkman replied

Hi Lisa - I just started your course tonight. I'm just coming off 2 years of private instruction with 2 different teachers, each for1 year . I didn't feel that I was getting anywhere They would give me a lesson out of a book and tell me to come back the following week for the 1/2 hr lesson. In lesson 3 I've already learned 3 new chords. My question is that I understand that the 4th tone makes a sus4 chord but I just can't seem to figure out how a sus2 is made. What is the 2 signify? In your explanation you said that a sus is the 4th tone. Again, what makes a 2sus?

elfamilia08elfamilia08 replied

Lesson #3, D cord. Lisa, where does the 1st finger actually go? You say its the 2nd string 2nd frat. But in the video, your finger is on the 3rd string, 2nd frat? Could you please clarify,

elfamilia08elfamilia08 replied

With the G cord, its more manageable to play and transition back to the E minor. If I use my 1st finger, 5th string 2nd frat. 2nd finger, 6th string, 3rd frat and my 3rd finger, 1st string, 3rd frat. But that's just me.

palipali replied

G is such a hard chord to start with for me. My pinky does not want to do this. I'll have to work at it.

rpenarpena replied

After taking guitar lessons for 12 years as a youngster and coming back at it now. I find your lesson path to be extremely helpful and rekindling those old good habits I learned when I was younger. Thanks! and I cant wait to move on to your next vid :).

dogdazephotodogdazephoto replied

I picked up a guitar for the first time in my life at age 45 & despite the fact that my husband & daughter are accomplished musicians & I have been a professional music photographer for a decade...I can't do this lesson at all! It seems so fast and complicated. I can't grasp it at all. I feel like quitting :(

AdamfanAdamfan replied

I hope you didn't give up , I'll be 59 and I picked up the guitar as I was pretty good playing rock band and wanted to do more to show my kids you can always learn something new , am having a hard time getting my pinky to work , but I keep at it as I know it will come around , stick with it and you'll get the hang of it

writenoobwritenoob replied

I'm just picking up the guitar, after a 25 year hiatus. So far, after running through the first few lessons of most of the electric courses, I'm really liking Lisa's style. I, too, have found my fingers to be much bigger and less flexible than at age 20 (A life as a carpenter will do that, I guess), and am having trouble navigating the neck of my lovely new Tele Thinline. These cord lessons may be more necessary than I first thought, if only to get my left hand back into some kind of shape. Anyway, just thought I'd say 'Hi, Everyone!', and introduce myself.

lightstamplightstamp replied

This chat is kinda like leaving a comment on Facebook for Peter Frampton cept Peter responds to some of his. Wish Lisa would.

mabulokmabulok replied

Yeh, kinda figured that out too! But then when you think about it, she would be required to go into every lesson, check every message, and then respond. Not too sure I'd do it if it were me...What they really need is one page where everyone can discuss. Then she can answer everyone in one place and not 50? different discussion boards.

thescanadathescanada replied

Theres no reason they couldnt have a "generic" fill in teacher do that.

mouser9169mouser9169 replied

Or they could have a tool for instructors to just see new comments for their lessons, kind of like how pretty much every forum lets you view new posts from the last time you visited.

aferrari37aferrari37 replied

Great start! Really enjoy her teaching style

gregtrngregtrn replied

I see that Lisa does a C with the 4th finger on the high E and with the high E open. Is there a major difference or can the chord be played either way?

RemekRemek replied

From what I have read, the C Major chord is played on strings 2-5 only when there is no finger on the G note of string 1. When you add the G note on string 1, you play strings 1-5. Additionally, it may be played with another finger on the G on string 6 and playing strings 2-6. Seeing a pattern? I am, just havent cracked the code yet.

pkalushpkalush replied

Hello everybody...I just joined. I've been playing for the last 20 years (self taught) and looking to get better so I thought I would start from the beginning and hopefully learn to break some bad habits. Lisa...you are amazing! I do need help though. I've always had a problem with my open position G major chord. My problem is with my ring finger. It always mutes the 5th string (b note). I have tried and tried and have not been able to remedy this unless I hold the G chord where you hold the 6th string (3rd fret...g note...root) with my middle finger, 5th string (2nd fret...b note) with my index finger, 4th string open (d note), 3rd string open (g note), 2nd string with my ring finger (d note...3rd fret), and 1st string (g note...3rd fret) with pinky. The chord sounds great but will this cause problems when we get to the bass runs?

mandiekaymandiekay replied

Reading some of these posts is very helpful. I want to make sure I get this though... so on Em to G switch can I use finger 1&2 & then switch to 1,2,&3 for G? I have very short little fingers & it seems I haven't got the muscle yet to hold the last string down or to even make the reach on G.

auntievanauntievan replied

Lisa, I too am an older beginner. My big problem is strumming up and down (especially up) while keeping hold of the pick. Is there a certain pick or "glue" lol, that may help? Oh...and you are a terrific teacher!

palipali replied

You can buy picks with grip on them. I like Snarling Dogs Brain Picks. The black ones (medium thickness) are right for me. The picks are textured where you hold them, a bit rough-- "cat tongue" grip is what reviews call it.

phildy6phildy6 replied

Try Gorilla Snot, it's around $10.

auntievanauntievan replied

Lisa, I too am an older beginner. My big problem is strumming up and down (especially up) while keeping hold of the pick. Is there a certain pick or "glue" lol, that may help? Oh...and you are a terrific teacher!

lstelielstelie replied

Hello, Same comment as off_road_racer "I admit I am a beginner, and that I am an older beginner, having said that, your style of teaching suits me to a TEE! I have been more comfortable learning then any other instructor so far. THANKS!" And I would add that your way of speaking is very easy to understand (english is not my mother language) so really thanks and congratulations.

benjascsbenjascs replied

HI, great lessons. im very concern on the meaning of the tabs. I want to follow and understand the tablature. I would like to know if we are learning to read the tabs too. Im trying to relate the exercises to the videos.

friendlfriendl replied

On the scene 3 D chord lesson, the supplemental say with adding up-strums 2 down, 1 up, 1 down, 1 up. Is that correct as in the video? I can see 1 down 1 up 1 down 1 up 1 down? Or am I missing something?

tanm444tanm444 replied

what's the different between c chord which using pinkey or not using it. is it same chord? or call differently like ffad9

slowedhandjohnslowedhandjohn replied

Using the D shape in a progression. Thats a tough strum. How do you count that out. It's a bit syncapated. I like it and almost got it. My wife is a music major and she's a bit stumped. She said I had the quarter notes right. My count is 1e, &, 2, e, &e, 3, e, &, 4, e, &. The other difficult matter is getting to the next shape in time. Great lesions. I'm getting the rythum more from feel than the counting. I like your picking suttelties.

ryanmonaryanmona replied

my guitar sounds nothing like that.... what the heck

bigfrobigfro replied

hey, lisa. i've just started playing guitar but I never seem to be able to tune my guitar right. I have an electric plug-in tuner and it seems to be working fine, but when I go to play some of the chords that you presented here, I always come out with it sounding bad. It never seems to match the same sound that you are playing, so its kinda discouraging. I dont know which is wrong though, the way that I am playing, or my tuner, or my guitar. If it has to do with the amp, then which knobs should I turn to which level? I'm really stumped now, and It'd be great to get some professional imput on it. thanks in advance!

hilda2guitarshilda2guitars replied

Lisa, great teacher! Even though All Jamplay teachers are good, I have internalized her finger moving advise, and I am able to change chords faster, thanks! It feels so good when one sees that one is making progress. :-)

mohonkermohonker replied

Fingers are sore and numb. That doesn't seem possible but it is. Damn you G chord.

swole47swole47 replied

great so far! can't wait to learn the cgf9 progression

nazarethnazareth replied

Nice lesson. Trying too correct some very old learned mistakes. This fingering for G makes things very quick indeed. Thank You Lisa!

sryan14610sryan14610 replied

Wow. The first teacher I have had who explained the theory of a suspended chord. THANK YOU! I thought it was too complicated because it isnt usually taught at this level... But it's not.

off_road_raceroff_road_racer replied

Okay so... I admit I am a beginner, and that I am an older beginner, having said that, your style of teaching suits me to a TEE! I have been more comfortable learning then any other instructor so far. THANKS!

ethelbellethelbell replied

Well....I'm getting it but my finger tips are so sore. Guess I'm overdoing it or need thinner strings. Might go to the guitar store for some new strings. LIsa,,,your way of teaching makes sense to me. I am really enjoying your lessons.

ethelbellethelbell replied

Thank you Lisa. I'm getting it. Love the way you teach! Sure is helping me to change chords faster and making learning fun!

charbacharba replied

Is it possible practice the chords as played by Lisa without being able to read music as shown in the lesson exercises as it hard remember how it was played

bmriderbmrider replied

Be real good to have some sort of backing track to play along too when practicing the lessons. I find that helps keep my rythem going better.

cailariscailaris replied

She makes a mistake with the D chord, she says the first finger goes on the 2nd string 3rd fret, when it is, 3rd string 2nd fret

bmriderbmrider replied

Yes I thought that too. I treid for a while to finger as she described but whey no way can fingers bend that way. :-)

jdmorrowjdmorrow replied

my printer will only print the first page of tlesson 3

scorpio1024scorpio1024 replied

My printer does the same thing.

flatulentoneflatulentone replied

I am unable to do the G-chord in the middle, ring, and pinky form due to the fact that I broke my pinky about 5 years ago and it never healed properly. I can practice the Em -> G exercise the way that you are teaching if I don't strum the high E string. Is this ok or should I just play the easier form of the G chord.

flightmedicflightmedic replied

nice lisa u have a wonderfull way of teaching

flightmedicflightmedic replied

nice lesson lisa you a wonderfull way of teaching,

leckeymaloneleckeymalone replied

What I've learnt from Lisa in 1 hour (Lesson 3) I haven't yet learnt in 6 weeks of face to face guitar lessons with a teacher. Loving Jam Play!!

dumbmickdumbmick replied

Great lessons. Thanks. Can you mention some songs that use the G C F9 chording? Thanks, Tom

steedvlxsteedvlx replied

Lisa... Thanks! I have been terrorized by the GMaj > Em > CMaj > D7 progression (speed) for weeks now. One watch of the First Open Chords video solved that problem. Now that I have practiced fingering the GMaj "your" way, it all flows together much easier. I know that I will learn different reasons to play it with the "old" shape. But, I wish I had learned it this way to start with...could've saved weeks of frustration.... Thanks again!

jscott30jscott30 replied

I cant do the G chord help!!! Fingers at the ends thicker......I keep muting either the fifth or sixth string

jscott30jscott30 replied

Holy this is tough...Eminor all good can even transfer partly to the G but my pinky is not working right..having a hard time getting a sound

jscott30jscott30 replied

Practiced with another instructor..well he was chording all wrong so Im going to try this instructor

bookemdannobookemdanno replied

Whats the deal with callusses...any good excercise for pinky independence and strength??????????????i am new too Jamplay...i also am having a hard time for the g chord the way lisa shows..right now i cant seem to get my pinky to the high e string..any suggestionsssss????Thank you.

jnc51jnc51 replied

Another Great lesson Lisa. Not just the standard open chords. I like how you explain changing chords by using the least amount of movement. I also like your emphesis on placing fingers just behind the fret bar and not just the fret; it isn't really explained like that in others' lessons but should be stressed to all very beginner guitarists as it buzzes the notes if the finger isn't placed right.

scalesscales replied

I'm enjoying the lesson so far. The things you say "You might want to practice that for a day" I have to practice for a week! I am having fun teaching my klutzy left hand new tricks.

davidsholemdavidsholem replied

Nice Instructional techniques, Lisa! Love it!

budhaulerbudhauler replied

try playing the g chord by using your first finger on the A string second finger on the low E and your third finger on the high E see how that works for you.Good luck the more you practice the better chance you have of being able to play a chord.

lucretialucretia replied

Thanks, I can play it like that. But, will I ever be able to play it the way shown in the video?

perry2perry2 replied

G can be fingered two ways. This one is better for the key of C, but it's harder to control because the 3rd and 4th fingers share a common tendon.

lucretialucretia replied

Hi, When trying the Em, my third finfer won't go easily over to the 6th string without deadening the 5th. Also, when adding the little finger to the 1st string, I just hold that down, if I do manage to get my third finger to not touch the 5th. Are some people just not able to play specific chords? Thanks, Luke.

RemekRemek replied

Patience and practice. She told you in the video you will get better over time. Just keep practicing. I am re-learning this stuff, and I can tell you it took months to get to the point of not muting other strings, but eventually you will get to the point that even the pinky can do what you want it do just by wishing it.

lucretialucretia replied

I mean't the G chord, not Em.

perry2perry2 replied

Aaack! I have too many fingers! :) Em-to-G involves sliding the 2nd finger slightly downward while simultaneously hunting for E/3f with my 1st finger and e/3f with my 4th finger. Too many moving parts... Processor overload... Blue Screen of Death. Okay, reboot. Try fat-fingering Em - 2nd finger on E/3f and A/3f. No slide. *Roll* 2nd finger off A/3f. Extra mental bandwidth now available for placing E/3f and A/3f. Someday, I may try not fat-fingering Em, but it's my crutch for now.

perry2perry2 replied

I have fat fingers, too. Steve Eulberg teaches beginner chords on acoustic guitar - they're the same as electric. :) He has some good advice. Build "muscle memory". Accuracy first, then speed.

robabrobab replied

That D chord progression sounds like John Lennon "Woman". Great lesson.

everythingisonethingeverythingisonething replied

I can't do the C chord. :( My fingers don't stretch that far. What do I do??? And what was the easy way to play G

RemekRemek replied

you might want to think about an undersized guitar if they really dont stretch that far. On the other hand, most people can reach it with practice, so dont give up too quick!

warpspasmwarpspasm replied

Okay.... Lesson 3 is my favorite lesson from any instructor so far. I love playing the variations on the D chord. I actually felt like a guitarist. A crappy guitarist, but a guitarist nonetheless. :)

budhaulerbudhauler replied


Basic Electric with Lisa

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Lisa will guide you through the basics of electric guitar with a rock and blues flair in this series.

Introduction to SeriesLesson 1

Introduction to Series

JamPlay is proud to welcome Lisa Pursell to the teaching roster! Lisa introduces herself and her rock / blues background in this lesson. She also explains how she will bring a new perspective to our Beginner...

Length: 12:37 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The Basics of Electric GuitarLesson 2

The Basics of Electric Guitar

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives into string directions, tuning, holding the guitar, and right hand position....

Length: 19:39 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Learning Your First Open ChordsLesson 3

Learning Your First Open Chords

Lisa jumps right into your first "open" chords. She demonstrates how to play these chords in detail, so you can begin playing some simple progressions on your own.

Length: 15:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Chords and Bass RunsLesson 4

Chords and Bass Runs

Lisa continues her lesson series with more basic chord shapes. In addition, she introduces bass runs that help tie these chords together and add a level of sophistication to your playing. Combining these...

Length: 11:45 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
More Chords and Bass RunsLesson 5

More Chords and Bass Runs

Lisa picks up right where she left off in her last lesson. Here she demonstrates some additional bass walk downs that can be used to intensify your guitar playing.

Length: 5:37 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Hybrid PickingLesson 6

Hybrid Picking

Lisa shifts her focus to the right hand in this lesson. Here she introduces a picking style known as hybrid picking. This technique requires you to use the pick and pluck the strings with your fingers...

Length: 7:08 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
TriadsLesson 7


Lisa explains triads in this lesson. Simplistic and unique, yet powerful and bold, these little guys will allow you to explore some fresh new sounds on your guitar.

Length: 6:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Travis PickingLesson 8

Travis Picking

Developed by Merle Travis, Lisa explains this hybrid style picking technique in detail. Travis picking, which involves playing an alternating bass line, is a common form of picking within country and fingerstyle...

Length: 8:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Triads and FingerstyleLesson 9

Triads and Fingerstyle

Lisa introduces some new picking techniques that can be applied to the triads you have learned. She demonstrates how these triads can be embellished with melodic ideas to create an overall more creative...

Length: 18:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Blues ShuffleLesson 10

The Blues Shuffle

Lisa introduces the blues shuffle. You will learn several chordal variations on this classic rhythmic pattern.

Length: 14:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
I, IV, and V Chords in Different KeysLesson 11

I, IV, and V Chords in Different Keys

Lisa introduces the I, IV, and V chords. She explains how these chords can be found in any key by counting up the musical alphabet.

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sweet Rock GrooveLesson 12

Sweet Rock Groove

Lisa compiles the information from the last couple of lessons into a nice rock groove. This is a great way to take what she has previously taught and turn it into a nice melody for you to jam around with....

Length: 6:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Barre ChordsLesson 13

Barre Chords

Lisa Pursell is back in lesson 13 with barre chords. She explains how to play various forms of the major, minor, and dominant seventh barre shapes. A discussion of economy of movement and why it is important...

Length: 12:25 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Syncopated RhythmLesson 14

Syncopated Rhythm

Lisa breaks explains how the left can be used to mute the strings within a funky, syncopated groove. She provides a few practical exercises that will help you become acquainted with this technique.

Length: 5:05 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Reggae RhythmLesson 15

Reggae Rhythm

Lisa demonstrates a short and juicy lesson on reggae strumming patterns. Most reggae patterns are played in 4/4 time with a strong emphasis on each of the upbeats.

Length: 3:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Syncopated Rhythm RevisitedLesson 16

Syncopated Rhythm Revisited

In Lisa's 16th lesson of her Beginner Electric Series, she reopens the topic of syncopated rhythms.

Length: 5:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Single String TechniqueLesson 17

Single String Technique

Lisa covers some warm-up exercises that are beneficial for both the left and right hands.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Slide TechniqueLesson 18

Slide Technique

Lisa presents a small lesson on the slide technique. This technique can be used with scale patterns to help create a more expressive and personal sound.

Length: 8:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Pull-off TechniqueLesson 19

Pull-off Technique

Lisa teaches a classic rock lick that combines the pull-off technique with a pedal tone.

Length: 4:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Hammer-on TechniqueLesson 20

Hammer-on Technique

Lisa covers the hammer-on technique. This technique is essential for all guitarists to master.

Length: 2:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Some Blues / Jazz ChordsLesson 21

Some Blues / Jazz Chords

Lisa simplifies and breaks down some chords commonly used in the blues and jazz genres.

Length: 8:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
6th IntervalsLesson 22

6th Intervals

An interval is the musical distance between two different pitches. Here Lisa covers the 6th interval and some practical ways that it can be used.

Length: 8:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
3rd IntervalsLesson 23

3rd Intervals

Lisa continues to explore important intervals used in music. Here she explains diatonic third intervals and where they are located on the guitar. She also provides a musical excerpt that will allow you...

Length: 7:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tool Box TipsLesson 24

Tool Box Tips

Lisa introduces some techniques that will help you improvise effectively within the major pentatonic scale. Techniques include triplet sequences, hammer-ons, pull-offs, double stops, position shifts, and...

Length: 23:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Minor Blues ScaleLesson 25

Minor Blues Scale

Lisa introduces the minor blues scale. This scale, which adds the b5 degree to the minor pentatonic scale, is one of the most commonly used scales in almost all styles of music.

Length: 13:40 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Texas Style Shuffle RhythmLesson 26

Texas Style Shuffle Rhythm

Taking things back to the SRV sound, Lisa demonstrates this Texas style rhythmic shuffle. She breaks this pattern down by demonstrating its bass line and the muting techniques required to play it.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
E7(#9) ChordLesson 27

E7(#9) Chord

Lisa takes a quick moment to cover this unique chord. Some dub E7(#9) as the "Classic Hendrix Chord." However you see it, this colorful sound is an essential addition to your guitar toolbox.

Length: 2:29 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
5 Scale PositionsLesson 28

5 Scale Positions

Lisa demonstrates the 5 scale positions of the major and minor pentatonic scales. Each position can be used alone or in combination with the other patterns to create many different scale runs. Make sure...

Length: 20:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Faster Chord ChangesLesson 29

Faster Chord Changes

Lisa will cover a metronome technique that will help develop faster chord changes.

Length: 3:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Organizing a Practice SessionLesson 30

Organizing a Practice Session

Lisa provides some great tips on how to set up and organize a practice session that will maximize progress.

Length: 6:28 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Beginner Music TheoryLesson 31

Beginner Music Theory

Lisa dives into some beginner music theory and discusses how to use a mnemonic system to remember note locations.

Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Understanding Minor ChordsLesson 32

Understanding Minor Chords

Lisa takes a look at how to build minor chords. She explains the crucial difference between major and minor chords.

Length: 3:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Barre Chord ConceptsLesson 33

Barre Chord Concepts

Lisa explains some important theory information pertaining barre chords.

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Barre Chords in a Blues ProgressionLesson 34

Barre Chords in a Blues Progression

Lisa breaks explains how to find the appropriate barre chords within a I-IV-V blues progression.

Length: 5:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Octave ShapesLesson 35

Octave Shapes

Lisa takes a quick look at how octave shapes are created and where they can be found.

Length: 3:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Improvising with IntervalsLesson 36

Improvising with Intervals

Lisa demonstrates some ideas on how to improvise using intervals. She begins with the perfect fourth interval for this lesson.

Length: 3:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
5th and 6th IntervalsLesson 37

5th and 6th Intervals

Lisa continues her last lesson by explaining how 5th and 6th intervals are frequently used in melodic lines.

Length: 10:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Major ScaleLesson 38

Major Scale

Lisa dives into the major scale and demonstrates a commonly used pattern.

Length: 8:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Major Scale - G ShapeLesson 39

Major Scale - G Shape

Lisa explains how to play the C major scale using the 'G' shape from the CAGED system.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Syncopated RhythmLesson 40

Syncopated Rhythm

In this lesson, Lisa demonstrates how syncopated rhythms work and the different ways they can be applied within a 16th note or triplet-based rhythm.

Length: 11:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chords and PatternsLesson 41

Chords and Patterns

Lisa explains how chord shapes and scale patterns relate to one another.

Length: 8:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Major TriadsLesson 42

Major Triads

Moving all the way up the neck of the guitar, Lisa demonstrates major triads and explains the fundamentals of how they are built.

Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor TriadsLesson 43

Minor Triads

Lisa now goes on an in depth adventure into minor triads.

Length: 12:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor ArpeggiosLesson 44

Minor Arpeggios

In this quick lesson, Lisa touches on some minor arpeggio ideas.

Length: 3:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Scale ApplicationLesson 45

Scale Application

Lisa demonstrates how to use different scales to create new ways of building both solos and rhythmic styling. She utilizes a backing track to help make her point.

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Single and Double String SlidesLesson 46

Single and Double String Slides

Welcome to the 46th lesson in Lisa Pursell's Beginner Electric series! This lesson covers many creative ideas as well as the techniques behind single and double string slides. Enjoy!

Length: 9:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Pull-off TechniqueLesson 47

Pull-off Technique

Lisa demonstrates a few practical examples of the pull-off technique.

Length: 10:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Adding the Blue NoteLesson 48

Adding the Blue Note

Lisa takes a dive into the minor blues scale as a whole. She demonstrates where you can find what are called "blue notes" within pentatonic scale patterns.

Length: 14:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Understanding VibratoLesson 49

Understanding Vibrato

Vibrato is a fantastic and simple technique to understand. This lesson offers different ideas on how you can apply some vibrato to your playing.

Length: 5:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sweep Picking TechniqueLesson 50

Sweep Picking Technique

This lesson provides an in depth look at both downward and upward sweep picking techniques.

Length: 8:26 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Shell VoicingsLesson 51

Shell Voicings

Want to play a lighter voicing of a full chord? This technique is called "shells" and Lisa demonstrates several common shell voicings in this lesson.

Length: 17:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Turnaround IdeasLesson 52

Blues Turnaround Ideas

Need some ideas to bring resolution to a unique blues progression? Let Lisa inspire you with some blues turnaround ideas. She demonstrates different keys and applies some hammer-on and pull-off techniques...

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Harmonizing the Major ScaleLesson 53

Harmonizing the Major Scale

Lisa explains how to harmonize the major scale with diatonic triads.

Length: 19:40 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
8 Bar BluesLesson 54

8 Bar Blues

Lisa lays down an improvised 8 bar blues solo with the help of a backing track. Then, she discusses how she created her lead lines.

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Harmonizing with Diatonic TriadsLesson 55

Harmonizing with Diatonic Triads

Lisa continues to demonstrate ways to harmonize notes utilizing diatonic triads. She provides some tips on how to improvise with these triads as well.

Length: 22:48 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Connecting Patterns Via SequencingLesson 56

Connecting Patterns Via Sequencing

Lisa demonstrates ways to connect patterns using melodic sequences. She moves up and down the neck and provides some ideas that will help you make your own sequencing connections.

Length: 19:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues in ALesson 57

Blues in A

Lisa takes a quick look at how to add the "blue note" into the A minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 6:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Full Neck HarmonizationLesson 58

Full Neck Harmonization

This in depth lesson explains how to harmonize the major scale while utilizing the entire neck of the guitar.

Length: 51:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The F#m7(b5) ChordLesson 59

The F#m7(b5) Chord

Lisa demonstrates the F#m7(b5) chord and the different places it can be played on the neck.

Length: 3:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
ExtensionsLesson 60


Lisa will use the C Major Add 9 chord shape to help demonstrate how extensions can be used to spice up an arpeggio.

Length: 3:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Passing TonesLesson 61

Passing Tones

Utilizing some of the scale work from previous lessons, Lisa touches on the topic of passing tones and demonstrates some examples accompanied by a backing track.

Length: 8:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Creating a SoloLesson 62

Creating a Solo

Developing a simple and tasteful solo can be difficult. However, when you understand how chords and scales relate to one another, developing a solo becomes a simpler process. Lisa provides examples and...

Length: 28:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chord Progression TheoryLesson 63

Chord Progression Theory

This very quick lesson explains the theory behind the chord progression used in the last lesson.

Length: 2:57 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
A Major Pattern 4 Sequencing IdeasLesson 64

A Major Pattern 4 Sequencing Ideas

Want to learn some fresh sequencing ideas in A major? Lisa provides two ideas that can be applied to a new solo or melody.

Length: 13:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Using a MetronomeLesson 65

Using a Metronome

Lisa provides some insight on how to successfully utilize a metronome during a practice session.

Length: 3:51 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Rhythmic Chord PlayingLesson 66

Rhythmic Chord Playing

Lisa discusses some creative ideas on how to apply 9th chords to your rhythm playing.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Creative Double Stop IdeasLesson 67

Creative Double Stop Ideas

Welcome to Lisa's 67th lesson! Here she provides some creative double stop ideas that can be applied to many different keys.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Swing Blues in CLesson 68

Swing Blues in C

Lisa demonstrates a swing blues intro lick in the key of C.

Length: 3:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lisa Pursell

About Lisa Pursell View Full Biography Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Lisa started playing local venues as a teenager in and around Atlanta as a guitarist for hire. At the same time, she began teaching guitar privately and playing locally on recording sessions. In this still-early stage of her career, she was soon teaching at local music stores. After attending a local college and studying classical guitar, she began teaching at the Atlanta Institute of Music.

In 1992 she moved to Hollywood, CA. to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology (a.k.a. Musician's Institute). Graduating in 1993 as "Outstanding Student of the Year," she was invited to become part of the faculty at GIT, which she excelled at for the next three and a half years.

In 1996 she moved to Nashville, TN. There, she was hired as the lead guitarist for Nashville based band Mustang Sally, which at one point included future Grammy winner Gretchen Wilson as the lead singer. She played an exhaustive tour schedule of 150-300 dates a year, while perfecting her technique. Soon the band was opening for artists such as George Jones, Patty Loveless, Montgomery Gentry, Chuck Mangione, LeAnn Womack and many others.

In 2003, she recorded an instrumental CD which included one original track co-written with bass player Jerry Peek (Steve Morse Band), along with two covers of two of her many favorite guitarists. To further hone her musical skills, she then concentrated on songwriting, the results of which will be included as both vocal and instrumental pieces on her next project.

Today Lisa resides in Nashville, TN. Currently an educator, author, singer/songwriter/guitarist, she plans to release her original CD soon. Her music theory workbook, entitled "THINKING IN THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC" written for vocalists and musicians who are interested in learning music theory without the requirement of reading music, is currently available.

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Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

Fingerstyle guitar is a broad term that can incorporate percussive elements of playing as well as Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed...

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

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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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Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

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Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

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

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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

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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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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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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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Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would be slide guitar. The long rich history...

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

So how does Andy Wood pick so quickly and with such precision? Level up your speed and accuracy with Andy's near-flawless...

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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Steve McKinley Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley talks about evaluating your bass and keeping it in top shape. He covers neck relief, adjusting the truss rod,...

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

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

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Larry Cook Larry Cook

In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...

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