The Rolling E Blues (Guitar Lesson)

Guitar Lesson
Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Eric Madis

The Rolling E Blues

Eric Madis introduces his Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime lesson series. After the introduction, he starts things off with a bang by teaching "The Rolling E Blues".

Taught by Eric Madis in Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime seriesLength: 14:13Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

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.

zumacraigzumacraig replied

Amazing course and amazing teacher! I'm new to all the subgenres of blues. How does Fahey's primitive guitar fit into this? He was obviously an acoustic blues player, to some extent. But he is never really described as one. Wondering if you had any input. ;-)

barcajambarcajam replied

Great leasson thanks

Carly21Carly21 replied

Great course and I really like your style of teaching. Sure glad you said months, maybe years for me

FrancizFranciz replied

I enjoyed this lesson, thank you. I am not looking forward to the F chord that my come where one bends the thumb over the neck - my hand is too small for that. The common D chord with the F# in the bass I have been playing with my index finger. I wonder if this thumb bending over the fretboard is part of this style of fingerpicking. I have found ways around it but it is of course less flowing. Am I alone with this problem?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Franciz, Regarding the use of the thumb; yes, you are correct that it is part of this "ethnic style" of fingerpicking. The use of the thumb is common, but it is only necessary in some instances. If you can build the chord differently (which you often can), then you should, if it works better for you. In some cases, there is no way around using the thumb. But again, that is probably a minority of the instances. And yes, both the traditional blues/ragtime players and guitarists like Merle Travis and Chet Atkins used the thumb a lot in their chord voicings. But they, like I, would tell you to do it the way that works best for you. Take care!

ElectroShadow37ElectroShadow37 replied

The old school blues artform (delta/ragtime/piedmont or whatever we choose to call it) appears to be a dying form of music. What I mean by that is few people I meet know what these music styles are. This makes it extremely hard to find jammers of similar interest, robust curricular content or even teachers with the knowledge to help someone learn these techniques. Its great to finally find a course dedicated to the teaching and promotion of this kind of music. Its been a real grind for me trying to learn with zero tutelage so I cannot express enough joy to see these lessons and read the number of comments coming in here of people who are interested. Perhaps not such a dying art form after all! Thank you for lessons I am certainly looking forward to see how you develop the rolling E blues format!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey ES, Thank you for your comments! You are correct! There are fewer people who play this style as time goes by, for two reasons: (1) it's not easy! and (2) it is not as funky and "down and dirty" as the delta or even the Texas styles, with the monotonic bass. They are cool, but I am with you, brother. Nothing rocks like the Piedmont style and, as far as I am concerned, it was taken to a higher level in the hands of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. So many people now mistakenly think, when they hear Piedmont blues, that they are listening to more country, hillbilly music. That is why artists like Roy Bookbinder quit trying to market themselves as blues players and started pushing more of a country, folk, hillbilly blues image. It was a way of remaining relevant and finding the audience.

HoodieheroHoodiehero replied

Im really enjoying the tutorial. You peaked my interest into fingerstyle blues, thank you.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Hoodie!

charlie8charlie8 replied

just finished the first and have enjoyed it very much. Nice style of teaching. I went to Berklee College of Music a log time ago. Have been out of the music business for many years. I am now retired and want to learn a competely different style of playing than what I learned in the 60's rock era.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for your comment and kind words, Charlie. My son went to Berklee also, graduated in 2014. Yes, it is nice to play a style that completely independent and rocks all by itself, in which you are basically the bassist and guitarist at the same time.

pbaehrpbaehr replied

Eric, you are a terrific teacher with a wonderful manner. So glad that I have started this series. Thank you.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you so much! Glad that you did this!

martintrinimartintrini replied

love your style of teaching

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


CanyonHikerCanyonHiker replied

Just the stuff I'm looking for, thanks a bunch Eric!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, Canyon Hiker!

daveyboydaveyboy replied

Have been playing for quite a few years on and off. Am now suffering from RSI and find it hard to hold a pick. For this reason I thought I'd try some finger style and am really enjoying it. Finding the lessons very clear and easy to follow.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I am honored that I can be a part of your ability to progress and find a path, despite some set-backs. I understand completely and I really hope this series has worked well for you.

Pedro909Pedro909 replied

I tried other teachers with thumb picks, don't cut it with me , I prefer your style of blues Eric , just nailed E & A chords , will practice this for a couple of days then move onto B chord .been playing 70s ,80s pop & rock with a pic for a few years ,now right time to cut it as a finger picker.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That is great news, Pedro! I agree, I worked with fingerpicks many years ago and they are fine, but for most blues/ragtime players, they don't work as well as bare fingers.

RomaroRomaro replied

This is just exactly the guitar style I wanted to learn and very much looking forward to completing these lessons. I love the way you break it down into chunks and build on that. For this finger style is it best to keep your nails on the plucking hand short or more like classical nails about level with the end of your finger for more attack. What guitar are you using for this series? Greetings from England.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you very much for your kind words. I am using a Webber mini-jumbo made by David Webber of North Vancouver, BC Canada. I have owned five of his guitars. I own a different now, very similar to that one, but with a pick guard and narrower neck.

strings2strings2 replied

Eric. I am aproching my 78 years and just started lesson 1 of your fingerstyle blues and ragtime. I intend to complete all of your 46 lessons before I get too old. You teaching is of a professional top level easy to follow, very clear and the camera work is excellent. The best I found on JamPlay. Your teaching is adding to my happiness in life. Talk to you again down the road.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Wow, what a compliment! I am honored to be a part of your continual growth and education. I hope to see you on Live Chat sometime.

zuhlsmann1zuhlsmann1 replied

I enjoy the teaching style Eric brings.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


rarebird0rarebird0 replied

There ought to be a law against internet instructors using guitars with no fret markers visible to the learner. Instant turn off. I so want to learn rag time blues and will stick through this lesson, but dang. It just makes it harder for us out of sheer absence of mind on the issue. Been through this before. It matters. No offense.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Sorry about that, Rarebird! Yes, I agree.....I probably should have marked those somehow prior to the series. It does make it a bit challenging. And I now have another one of David Webber's guitars. If I ever do a series with one of those again, I will temporarily mark the frets at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th at least.

orangeloverorangelover replied

So glad to learn I can play this style with only index and middle finger; my ring finger got really stressed trying to learn this style from another teacher. And I've noticed that many early blues players used no more than 2 fingers. Thanks.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for that great feedback. You are absolutely right. Some only used 2 fingers (thumb and forefinger), but those people were blessed anomalies! Merle Travis, Rev. Gary Davis, etc. The rest of us mortals use 3 fingers.

dollerdoller replied

I am interested to know what songs you recommend to use the Rolling E Blues that are taught here. I really like the lessons and they are very helpful. I just can't figure out which songs would be the best to use it on. Just interested in your opinion. Thanks.

Pedro909Pedro909 replied

On first lesson "rolling blues e" already nailed E & A .So easy to follow you Eric ,I'll practice this for a few days then move into b chord

jimmyjoe01jimmyjoe01 replied

I'm having trouble making that stretched out A chord. I can make the span but it's hard to press down hard enough on the fret board. Right now I'm using a capo(3), in order to play the frets that are closer together. I hope this chord gets easier.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

See me on Jam Chat on Mondays. I'll help you!

SlangleySlangley replied

Hi Eric, I know this was a few years ago, but I am having exactly the same problem. There is no way I can hook my thumb and stretch to the pinky on the 5th fret, I am having to use more a classical position of my thumb and I am struggling to pinch hard enough to sound the barre. Is this about fret distance on my guitar? I am working hard on grip strength, stretch etc just really struggling with this chord.

taylorminitaylormini replied

Just found your lessons. Love them Thanks

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

skaterstuskaterstu replied

Just rejoined JamPlay and seen these new Eric lessons... very excited!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

zeppelin007zeppelin007 replied

I love this music, sounds like i am in a band with all the picking going on but just me and my guitar fantastic Eric thank you

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, and yes, that is the basic idea! Try to sound like at least two players!

cj1229cj1229 replied

Eric, you are a wonderful guitarist and I am so impressed and grateful for this series of lessons. I came to appreciate this type of music late in life, but I feel that I'll be able to play a little bit at least. Thank you for making a dream come true.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and kind words!

clint352clint352 replied

Hi Eric, I just started on JamPlay and found your stuff on ragtime. it's great ! I have to ask if you have ever had anyone not plant there pinky and still played with just the two fingersand the thumb ? I learned how to finger pick with all four and my thumb.I'm having a hard time planting my pinky and keeping it planted. Should I keep trying to keep it planted ?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

It really comes down to how you hold the guitar. If you put the guitar between your legs and shift the neck up a bit (almost like a classical guitarist), then you may not have to plant the little finger. I have seen exceptions, but generally planting the pinky helps to maintain a solid and steady bassline, because the arm is not fighting the force of gravity so much.

GlenBGlenB replied

Thanks so much Eric. Question though: what string gauge would you normally use to play this style? Sounds like a fairly light set you are using. Wonderful stuff - thank you so much for sharing your skills and knowledge. Glen

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yeah, I usually use a bluegrass gauge set (mediums on the bottom and lights on the top) or a light gauge set, depending on my mood and/or on which guitar I am playing fingerstyle.

raymondorockraymondorock replied

Hey Eric. I just finished Randall Williams series and haven't really found the right followup series for me until I've found yours. Randall's finger style doesn't really break step away what your would do if you were strumming in terms of hand rhythm. which make it easier for me coming from strumming. I can see yours are similar if I imagine all the thumb is down ward stroke (same timing if I were strumming), and the finger pull is mostly equivalent to up stroke. But I only worked that out after I realized that this is a shuffle beat..(i.e is 1 and 2, and 3, and 4, and 1..not the standard straight 12341234 pattern) Am I right there? So the only thing I will add is to perhaps put in a bit teaching on the timing and some tips for us to keep our fingering in time. I always struggle with that. I am excited about starting this series!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

You're right about a shuffle beat underlying that rolling E blues. Thanks for tuning in and for your kind words.

peinutzpeinutz replied

nice to see your lessons back! love fingerstyle blues!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

tschab01tschab01 replied

I was wondering why you use 2 fingers for plucking versus 3. Is it just a preference or is there a technical reason? I see different instructors using 2 or 3. Should I learn both methods?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

The 3-finger style is a great way to learn. There are artists who use 4, but very few of those people play the ragtime/blues style, which requires a consistent, rhythmically-strong bass. I have taught hundreds of students this style and I have never known anyone who uses the ring (3rd) finger who was successful at the style. However, I knew a great guitarist back in Chicago in the 70s who used that finger and made it work without losing the bass. Two of the greatest, Merle Travis and Reverend Gary Davis, just used thumb and index finger and were amazing. My feeling is this: if a student wants to use a four finger approach, then I let him/her do it. However, I have never seen one of them progress past the basics. On the other hand, I have seen quite a number of those using the 3-finger approach excel at the style. I am in no position to say what will be right for you. Try it however you want, and if it does not work for you, you may have to reconsider your strategy. In any case, I look forward to hearing about your great progress. Thanks for writing!

dconti0621dconti0621 replied

Excellent lesson, great teaching style, and you can't beat the material. Please keep them coming.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I appreciate that!

alien_xalien_x replied

Eric, you did it again !!! Another outstanding series on jamplay. Already lovin' it. Can't wait for more! Thanks for all your great work. Wolf

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Wow, thanks a lot!

sjburnssjburns replied

This is just what I joined jamplay for! Great music, Eric. This is going to be fun.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks very much! Glad to be of service.

edtbjonedtbjon replied

Yes!!! I've been missing new acoustic blues lessons for quite some time. Some 40+ lessons sounds great too. Just a few more to be in the same league as HawkEye. :) I'm really looking forward to it.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That's great, and thanks for tuning into these.

LightninLightnin replied

Thank you. Finally a fingerstyle blues lesson where they explain what they are doing with all of there fingers. Please keep them coming with songs that people want to play.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks! Yes, a lot of times we are crediting the originators and not mentioning the songs, but all of these lessons are built upon the classic tunes of the originators.

victory1victory1 replied

great lesson, will there be tabs

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, and yes, I need to send my info into Jamplay to make it easier for them to get that up sooner than later.

jboothjbooth replied

Yes sir :) With Guitar Pro and PDF files to boot!

BluesplayerBluesplayer replied

Great lesson Eric! Looking forward to all in the series.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

ziggyzuzuziggyzuzu replied

Your the man Eric, this is going to be a fun series. Incorporate a little Delta slide maybe?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you! Well, you will have to go to my slide lesson series for that!

townmorontownmoron replied

Wow, I joined hoping some ragtime would show up on here, I love it! Thanks jamplay!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Cool, thanks for being here!

chachochacho replied

I like it, keep it coming..............

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


blinkyblinky replied

Wow, thank you Eric and thank you jamplay, hope this turns into a 50 lessons series. Really hope the sup content has gpx files. I have just started your slide lessons last week Eric, just love your teaching style. Fantastic camera work and the sound quality is superb, can understand everything you say and have a great clear view of what you are doing. Perfect setup, well done and looking forward to more.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks a lot, Blinky! Good to have you dropping into the Monday live session also. Nice to know who you are now....

jboothjbooth replied

Yep, these will feature guitar pro files when they are completed.

jboothjbooth replied

Also there are (roughly) ~40 lessons in this series :)

apatrick51apatrick51 replied

REALLY looking forward to this series, just what I've been looking for. Great start.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Good to hear! I was hoping that this would connect with people looking for that Piedmont, Delta and Ragtime guitar.

brianhbrianh replied

Really looking forward to this series, thanks!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

foxboyfoxboy replied

Ha! And just stepped into the first pothole: I learned "The Great River Road" lesson from Hawkeye (lesson #27 there), and he pinches the G string and the low E string *before* the hammer-on to G#. Since it's so similar, there's something to un-learn and learn it anew the other way to get it right. Jepp, this is pain, and it's fun! However, Hawkeye's version is great, too.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yeah, it is all good. The big thing is to find what helps you to accomplish your goals (what is in your head). We are just speeding up the process, that's all.

mike4370mike4370 replied

Hey Eric great to see you back! this is gonna be a great series.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


foxboyfoxboy replied

"good to see you again" - you couldn't have said it any better :)

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, bro!

SodaPopSodaPop replied


Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

SodaPop....good to see you in here!

raelzraelz replied

Great stuff!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Eric Madis covers a uniquely American style of music, the Blues. In this series he tackles the subject from the acoustic fingerstyle perspective and even throws in a bit of ragtime for good measure.

The Rolling E BluesLesson 1

The Rolling E Blues

Eric Madis introduces his Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime lesson series. After the introduction, he starts things off with a bang by teaching "The Rolling E Blues".

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Rolling E Blues Phase 2Lesson 2

The Rolling E Blues Phase 2

Eric Madis expands on "The Rolling E Blues," which he taught in the last lesson. This time around he adds information to make the arrangement more complex.

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Monotonic BassLesson 3

Monotonic Bass

Eric Madis introduces the concept of monotonic bass lines and gives an excellent exercise for practicing the technique.

Length: 7:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Rolling E Blues Phase 3Lesson 4

The Rolling E Blues Phase 3

Eric Madis returns to the wonderful world of "The Rolling E Blues" and demonstrates how the arrangement can be made a bit more complex.

Length: 6:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Rolling E Blues Phase 4Lesson 5

The Rolling E Blues Phase 4

Eric Madis returns to "The Rolling E Blues" and teaches an even more complex variation.

Length: 5:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Robert Johnson Style BluesLesson 6

Robert Johnson Style Blues

In this lesson Eric teaches a Robert Johnson style blues.

Length: 9:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2Lesson 7

Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2

Eric Madis returns with the second part of his lesson on the Robert Johnson style blues.

Length: 10:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont StyleLesson 8

Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont Style

In this lesson, Eric Madis talks about the Piedmont blues and the musical stylings of Blind Willie McTell.

Length: 12:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont Style Part 2Lesson 9

Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont Style Part 2

Eric Madis returns with the second part of his lesson on the Piedmont style and Blind Willie McTell. This time around he makes the arrangement a bit more complex.

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Improvisation OpportunityLesson 10

Improvisation Opportunity

Eric Madis demonstrates some opportunities for improvisation within the Blind Willie McTell/Piedmont style arrangement he taught in previous lessons.

Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Memphis DiadsLesson 11

The Memphis Diads

Eric Madis introduces a series of diad patterns he calls "The Memphis Diads" and shows how they can be used as chord substitutions.

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Idea ApplicationLesson 12

Idea Application

This time around, Eric takes the ideas from the past few lessons and ties them together effectively within a blues progression.

Length: 8:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Style of Mississippi John HurtLesson 13

The Style of Mississippi John Hurt

In this lesson, Eric Madis begins teaching the style of Mississippi John Hurt. He talks about the signature syncopation technique Mississippi John Hurt used and discusses playing with the G chord.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Style of Mississippi John Hurt Part 2Lesson 14

The Style of Mississippi John Hurt Part 2

Eric Madis takes the ideas taught in the last lesson and expands upon them. He talks about taking these ideas and playing melodies similar to what Mississippi John Hurt would have played.

Length: 9:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Robert Johnson ThemeLesson 15

Robert Johnson Theme

Eric Madis begins teaching a common theme in the style of Robert Johnson. This theme will span several lessons. This time, Eric teaches a signature turnaround that gives the theme its flair.

Length: 5:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2Lesson 16

Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2

Eric Madis continues with the Robert Johnson theme. This time, he finishes up the first variation of this 12 bar blues arrangement.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Robert Johnson Theme Part 3Lesson 17

Robert Johnson Theme Part 3

In this lesson, Eric teaches a brilliant variation to the Robert Johnson theme taught in the last lesson.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Robert Johnson Theme ImprovisationLesson 18

Robert Johnson Theme Improvisation

In this lesson Eric talks about improvising using the Robert Johnson theme he has been teaching in the past few lessons.

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Rolling E Blues Phase 5Lesson 19

The Rolling E Blues Phase 5

Eric Madis takes knowledge he has taught in past lessons and applies it to an update of "The Rolling E Blues" that features exciting improvisational variations.

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The 7th and 9th ChordsLesson 20

The 7th and 9th Chords

In this lesson, Eric Madis talks about using the 7th and 9th chords in blues progressions. He uses "The Rolling E Blues" to demonstrate these chord options.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Big Bill and the ReverendLesson 21

Big Bill and the Reverend

Eric teaches a Piedmont blues number inspired by Big Bill Broonzy and the Reverend Gary Davis.

Length: 14:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Big Bill and the Reverend Part 2Lesson 22

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 2

In this lesson, Eric Madis returns to a piece he calls "Big Bill and the Reverend". This time around, he teaches ways you can embellish the song to make it more interesting.

Length: 9:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Big Bill and the Reverend Part 3Lesson 23

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 3

In this lesson, Eric returns to the tune "Big Bill and the Reverend" and talks about D chord substitutions.

Length: 12:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Big Bill and the Reverend Part 4Lesson 24

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 4

In this lesson, Eric shows several interesting improvisational techniques you can use with the E chord and shows how they can be applied to "Big Bill and the Reverend".

Length: 11:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Baby Please Don't GoLesson 25

Baby Please Don't Go

Eric Madis teaches a traditional blues tune entitled "Baby Please Don't Go".

Length: 9:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Baby Please Don't Go Part 2Lesson 26

Baby Please Don't Go Part 2

In this lesson Eric discusses variations that can be used when playing "Baby Please Don't Go".

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
RJ's LamentLesson 27

RJ's Lament

Eric Madis will have you sounding like Robert Johnson in no time with this amazing blues progression entitled "RJ's Lament".

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
RJ's Lament Part 2Lesson 28

RJ's Lament Part 2

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches a version of "RJ's Lament" that contains Robert Johnson's signature musical flair.

Length: 8:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Mississippi John Hurt TributeLesson 29

Mississippi John Hurt Tribute

In this lesson, Eric teaches a 16 bar blues progression that honors blues musician Mississippi John Hurt.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Mississippi John Hurt Tribute Part 2Lesson 30

Mississippi John Hurt Tribute Part 2

In the second part of his "Mississippi John Hurt Tribute," Eric Madis teaches several interesting variations on this 16 bar progression.

Length: 9:41 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Americana RagLesson 31

The Americana Rag

Eric Madis teaches a traditional blues and ragtime theme he likes to call "The Americana Rag".

Length: 9:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Americana Rag Part 2Lesson 32

The Americana Rag Part 2

Eric Madis returns to "The Americana Rag". He teaches the melody portion of the song and how to add it into the basic arrangement taught in lesson 31.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Walking Bass LinesLesson 33

Walking Bass Lines

Eric Madis teaches the concept of walking bass lines within a new blues chord progression.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Glory, Glory, HallelujahLesson 34

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

Eric starts teaching his blues/ragtime rendition of the classic song "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah". This version he teaches is in G6 tuning. He explains this tuning and the first section of the song.

Length: 12:26 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 2Lesson 35

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 2

Eric Madis returns to this song and teaches the second part of the melody.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 3Lesson 36

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 3

In this lesson, Eric teaches another melody that can be used with this song. This time the melody features a bit of Hawaiian slack key flair.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 4Lesson 37

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 4

In this lesson, Eric teaches a version of this tune that is inspired by Mississippi John Hurt. Mixing this variation in with the others will have you sounding like a blues god in no time!

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 5Lesson 38

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 5

Eric Madis teaches you how to incorporate some Memphis lead ideas into the arrangement of "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" that he has been teaching.

Length: 6:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 6Lesson 39

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 6

Eric teaches another way to play this song that includes arpeggio techniques often employed by Chet Atkins.

Length: 5:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 7Lesson 40

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 7

Eric Madis teaches what he calls the "Blind Blake and Merle Travis" section of the song. Basically this is a version of the song taught in their styles.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 8Lesson 41

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 8

In the final lesson on this song, Eric teaches the ending and then demonstrates the entire song using all of the different arrangements from previous lessons. These may have seemed like small and easy...

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Maple Leaf RagLesson 42

Maple Leaf Rag

Eric Madis teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic ragtime tune "Maple Leaf Rag". He begins with this simple introduction arrangement and moves on to teach more difficult portions in later lessons.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Maple Leaf Rag Part 2Lesson 43

Maple Leaf Rag Part 2

In the second part of his series on "Maple Leaf Rag," Eric teaches a basic version of the melody for the A section of the song.

Length: 6:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Maple Leaf Rag Part 3Lesson 44

Maple Leaf Rag Part 3

Eric Madis teaches the next major portion of the melody for "Maple Leaf Rag". This melody is a bit more difficult to play, but the sound is worth it.

Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Maple Leaf Rag Part 4Lesson 45

Maple Leaf Rag Part 4

In this lesson, Eric teaches the third part of the melody to "Maple Leaf Rag". When combined with the intro, these three parts form a nearly complete arrangement of this classic ragtime tune.

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Maple Leaf Rag Part 5Lesson 46

Maple Leaf Rag Part 5

Eric wraps up his rendition of "Maple Leaf Rag" by teaching the ending segment of the song. Afterwards, he puts the entire song together and talks about performing it.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Eric Madis

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

Free LessonSeries Details
Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

Free LessonSeries Details
Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Maneli Jamal Maneli Jamal

Tapping is a great tool that can be used to create the sound of two guitars without ever having to pluck a note! The tricky...

Free LessonSeries Details
Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

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,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Sarah Longfield Sarah Longfield

Free LessonSeries Details
David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

Free LessonSeries Details
David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mark Brennan Mark Brennan

Mark Brennan teaches this classic rock song by Jethro Tull. Released on the album of the same name in 1971, this song features...

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...

Free LessonSeries Details
Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

Free LessonSeries Details
Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Rafael Moreira Rafael Moreira

Playing your scales and improvising horizontally on one string is a great way to visualize the scale degrees, and also a...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 517415 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.

Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 127 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

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


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!