Barre Chords Refresher (Guitar Lesson)

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Hawkeye Herman

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 13:18Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Barre Chords and Finger Independence

Many beginning guitarists struggle with barre chords. Some beginners find them so frustrating that they simply give up on the guitar and quit playing altogether. If you find yourself struggling with the same dilemma, don't worry! EVERYONE struggles with barre chords when first trying to learn them. Like Hawkeye mentions in the lesson video, it usually takes most players several months to a year to master barre chord shapes. However, with patience, practice, and the proper instruction, you will eventually get them down.

The first full or "grande barre" that most students learn is the "E shaped" major barre chord. When this barre chord is played in first position, an F major chord is formed. Most problems that arise when playing the F chord are a result of a lack of flexibility and finger independence. Thus, you must enhance your abilities in these two specific areas in order to master the basic F chord. There are several technical exercises available on JamPlay that help immensely with this process. A few of these exercises are listed below.

Matt Brown - Rock Lesson 1 (The Most Important Exercise Ever)

Matt Brown - Rock Lesson 28 (Kirk Hammett Hammer-on Exercise, Kirk Hammett Reach Development Exercise

Dennis Hodges - Metal Lesson 5

Danny Voris - Classical Lesson 5

In addition to these exercises, there are some technical guidelines that must be followed in order to fret the the "E shaped" barre chord. When first learning this chord, place your third fingers on the fretboard before the barre. Keep your fingers as close to the fret wire as possible. Then, without moving your second and third fingers at all, place the barre down. Keep your first finger parallel to the first fret. Do not angle it. When you place the first finger down, your second and third fingers should not move at all.

Most beginning students encounter the same two problems when learning this chord. The first problem is an issue of finger reach. This problem can be solved by practicing the finger stretch exercise demonstrated in Dennis Hodges' first Phase 2 metal lesson. Second, most students have problems with getting the first and second strings to ring clearly. They have issues with performing a full or "grand" barre across all six strings. This problem usually results from a lack of detailed instruction.

When playing the F chord with a full barre, a few technical issues must be addressed. Similar to the basic F chord, the thumb has by far the most important job when playing an F chord with a full barre. Once again, make sure that the thumb is perpendicular to the middle of the neck. Watch Hawkeye carefully for a demonstration of proper thumb position.

Although the index finger must cover all six strings with the barre, it is not actually used to fret the notes on the fifth, fourth, and third strings. Instead, playing this barre properly requires that the index finger applies the most pressure at two specific points. Since this finger is really only used to fret the sixth, second, and first strings, it must apply the most pressure at these two points on the fretboard. When you feel like you have your fingers (including the thumb) positioned correctly, pick each string individually to ensure that they all ring properly with a clear tone.

Playing with strict "classical" left hand technique will also help you play barre chords. Keep your fingers bent and relaxed at all times. Do not flatten any joints! Even though the thumb is not used to actually fret a string, it is the most important factor when fingering the F chord. Keep the thumb perpendicular to the middle of the neck. Do not angle it sideways or bring it up over the top of the neck.

Practicing Barre Chords

Mastering new chords, especially barre chords, can be a very difficult and frustrating process. For this reason, practice barre chords in very short intervals. Due to the frustrating nature of learning new chords, your focus will dwindle very quickly. Practice a new chord for five or ten minute intervals at a time. Then, practice something totally different for a while that is less frustrating for you. Block the tricky chord out of your mind while doing so. When you return to practicing the chord, you will hopefully have a fresh new perspective and a clear state of mind.

The "A Shaped" Barre Chord

Several other major barre chords can be performed on the guitar. One example is a barre chord based on the shape of the "open" A major chord. The root of this movable voicing is found on the fifth string. When translating this shape into a barre chord, the first finger must fret all of the notes that were once open strings. Consequently, the third finger must barre the remaining notes in the chord.

Many chord diagrams indicate that the first finger frets the fifth and first string with a barre. However, fretting the note on the first string is simply impossible for some people. No matter how long they practice, they still can't fret this note. This has nothing to do with improper technique or hand strength. Some peoples' hands are just not built to fret this note. Laying the barre down with the first finger is the easy part. The difficulty arises when you try to arch the third finger enough to allow the first string to ring properly. Due to this difficulty, many guitarists choose to omit the barre performed by the first finger. Instead, they simply fret the root note on the fifth string and leave out the cumbersome note on the high E string. Or, they choose to finger this chord in a totally different way. Be sure to watch Jim Deeming's Phase 1 lesson pertaining to "A Shaped" chords to learn this particular fingering.

A Few Thoughts on Acoustic and Classical Guitars

Typically, it is much more difficult to play barre chords on a classical or steel string acoustic compared to an electric guitar. This is due to a number of factors. First, electric guitar necks are usually not quite as wide as their classical and acoustic counterparts. As a result, the finger performing the barre has less ground to cover on an electric. Second, acoustic and classical guitars are generally set up with higher action. Action refers to the height of the strings above the fretboard. As a result of higher action, your fingers must press the strings down harder in order to produce a clear tone. Finally, steel string acoustics are generally strung with larger gauge strings than electric guitar. The larger a string is, the harder it is to fret within the context of a barre.

Regardless of what type of guitar you are playing, the action gets higher as you move further up the fretboard. As a result, certain barre chord such as the E shaped barre chord become much more difficult to fret once you reach roughly about the ninth fret. The eleventh fret is roughly the highest position in which this chord shape can be played. Also, your fingers run out of room as the frets get smaller. These are just a few reasons why it is important to learn a variety of barre chord shapes at different locations on the fretboard.

Barre chords also become more challenging as you move closer to the nut. This is due to the fact that the left hand must stretch further from a horizontal standpoint. As you first begin to tackle the "E shaped" barre chord, begin around the 5th or 6th fret. Once you have mastered barre chords in this general location, work your way towards the two opposite extremes of the fretboard. For example, work on barre chords at the 4th and 6th frets after mastering barre chords at the 5th fret. Then, work on chords at the 3rd and 7th frets.

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.

Cmyers46Cmyers46 replied

Found your "Its All Blues to Me" mp3 and its fantastic!! I've learned so much from you. Thanks for teaching. Char

Cmyers46Cmyers46 replied

I'm learning a lot from you. Thank you for teaching the blues!

vincentfamvincentfam replied

Thanks Hawkeye for the lessons and the "confidence."

jamesedmondsjamesedmonds replied

Enter your comment here.

jamesedmondsjamesedmonds replied

Hello Hawkeye, Its been three years and I'm slowly working through your amazing lessons. I have one question. What lesson number was it where you described basic theory relating to finding keys. You mentioned moving forward 6 steps. I remember you detailed how it blows people away when you open the door. Apologize for being vague but I need to review that lesson many times. Thanks James

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, barre chords take patience and perseverance. Also, sitting upright/erect, in a chair without arms or a stool is imporatant. Keep your elbows out and away from the sides of your body. These posture recommendations will increase your 'reach' and ability to accomplish barre chords. ;-) Don't try to practice barre chords, or the guitar in general, when curled up on a couch or sitting in a chair with arms.

kd44kd44 replied

Barre chords are hard at first.. Just endeavor to perservere... Be mindful of how to play them.. And whatever happens don't stop playing and prgressing, the more you practice, the easier they get then all the sudden, BAM! you get it

kennfordkennford replied

Hi Hawkeye, I've been playing guitar for more than 40 years and I still find bags of new things/styles/licks, etc to play. Here's a question that I have never found an answer to. If you play an E shape barre chord up the neck you have: F, F sharp, G, A flat, A, B flat, B, C, D flat, D, E flat, F. I understand enharmonics but if someone asked me to play an A sharp or G flat I reckon I'd just stare at them and blink my eyes a few times before it dawned on me that what they want is an B flat or F sharp. I have never found any sort of rule for this and just assumed that it was just the way it is. Is there any set rule on naming barre chords when either sharp or flat. Great lessons, I'm learning loads and usually back to playing 5-6 hours a day. And loving it! Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The easiest way to answer your question about the naming of a chord is that a chord is named in relationship to the key being played. If a tune is in the key of G the IV chord ('fa' chord) is C, if a song is in the key of G# the IV ('fa') chord is C# ... if a song is in the key of Ab the IV chord is named Db ... this is the most basic building block of understanding scales and reading music. A chord is named after the note in the (major) scale in a specific key. The II chord (re) in the key of G# is A#m ... in the key of Ab the II (re) chord is called Bbm. If this is not clear to your, may I suggest re brush up on the notes of the major scale in all 12 keys: ... or here: ... or here: ... ... ... Thanks again for your question.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I hope this information is helpful to you in some way, Ken. It is quite possible that I did not understand your question(s) ... if so, I apologize for for the misunderstanding(s) on my part. I'm so glad that you're continuing to expand your 'blues horizons' via these lessons, and enjoying the process of learning/practicing/creating the music we love.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the questions, Ken. I'll try to answer the, although your example is not clear to me. "I understand enharmonics but if someone asked me to play an A sharp or G flat I reckon I'd just stare at them and blink my eyes a few times before it dawned on me that what they want is an B flat or F sharp. " I don't have a clue what you mean by that statement. Using an E/F shaped barre chord at the fourth fret creates a G#/Ab chord. If that's what somebody wants, that's what you give them. I don't understand what you mean by giving them B flat or F sharp chord if they ask for a G sharp or an A flat. ????????? Please explain ... or not ... I'm confused enough. What I told you is what you need to know ... please, read on ... So ... the 2nd part of your question, if I understand your question ;-) ... the answer is as follows: ... a chord is usually referred to/'named' in music theory according to the KEY in which the song is placed ... for example, if a song/tune is in the key of F we refer to its IV chord as the Bb, no as an A# ... in the key of G#, the IV chord is referred to as C#, not Db. If a song is in C#, its IV chord would be named F#, not Gb. If a song tune is notated as being in the key of Ab, then we call its IV chord the Db, not C#. If a song is in the key of BB, its IV chord is called Eb, not D#. Etc., according to the KEY a song is placed in is how we decide' to name the other chords in that KEY. So, my answer to your question has little to do with advanced enharmonic theory, it has to do with a basic rules/building block on how to read music ... that applies to any instrument, not just the guitar. The study and understanding/knowledge of enharmonics is good stuff ;-). Glad you know something about enharmonincs. For now, please put enharmonics aside and teach yourself the basics of understanding and applying the proper names to chords according to the KEY a song is in. Here ya go, look over (and memorize) this chord chart and answer the rest of your question regarding the naming of chords on your own so that you 'get it' in any key: ...,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.44442042,d.cGE&fp=da355f8711e785fc&biw=1083&bih=680& ... Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied

Done Sir. Been around for some time now. Thank you!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Gracias muchisimas, Guillermo, por tu mensaje amable. Espero que usted continua a gozar este lecciones. Por favor, mira a mis videos/cantos represntaciones aqui ... ... toca conmigo y usa ('roba') mis ideas en la guitarra ;-). Otra vez, gracias por sus palabras amables. Que le vaya bien, compadre.

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Hi Hawkeye. Another good lesson. Am 'sort of" getting barre chords and this will help a lot. Another trouble spot is bending notes. Maybe you could add a lesson specifically on that, too? That would help a lot. Cheers.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hey, did you ever hear the late John Weston, from Brinkley, Ark., perform in Little Rock years ago? He was a good friend of mine, and a fine songwriter, harmonica player, and guitarist. I miss his music and his friendship.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Much appreciated. I'll keep your suggestion in mind regarding a future lesson on bending notes. Keep working on the barre chord ... it's worth the effort ... you might not think so, but you improve, incrementally, every time you practice. So keep up the good work. Thanks again.

graphitegalgraphitegal replied

Hi Herman. I am a complete beginner to guitar and have been following Steve's lessons. But with Barre chords when the chord shape shows that the low e, b and E strings are covered, does this mean that your index finger should only be across those strings? i.e. not touching the a, d and g strings. Thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

... also, if you're a complete beginner ... I think it would be wise to learn all of the basic guitar chords in first position ... be able to make each chord (C/D/E/F/G/A/Am/Dm/Em/C7/D7/E7/F7/G7/A7/B7) ... and be able to change chords easily ... without looking at a chord chart ... before you attempt to play barre chords. Barre chords should be learned after you've memorized and can accomplish playing all of the simplest chords. It is very unwise and self-defeating to attempt barre chords before you have the basics down. This is lesson #82 ... not lesson #1 ... have you worked your way through the previous 81 lesson in my series? If not, I suggest you start at the beginning of this series of lessons ... barre chords are not introduced early on in my series of lessons ... for the reasons I previously stated. I hope you'll take my advice ... and not put 'advanced pressure' on yourself as 'total beginner.' You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run ... I've been playing the guitar for 50 years, and I didn't attempt to play barre chords until I knew, by heart, all of the simplest first position chords and I could change between them all without making any mistakes ... I began working on bare chords after about 3 years of learning guitar (I was 13 years old when I started learning/playing guitar, and about 16 when I first attempted barre chords) ... some folks learn faster than others ... regardless ... in my humble opinion, you need to back off and learn the true basics ... before you jump into barre chords. Again, I hope you'll take my advice ... and be a patient 'total beginner.' :-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the question. Sorry, but I have never viewed Steve's lessons ... I've got plenty to do right here ... Have you asked Steve about this or for a clarification? At any rate I don't know what shape barre chord you are referencing. Are you referring to an E/F shaped barre chord or a first position A shaped barre chord ... Perhaps some graphic illustrations might help: Please read the following; .... ... I hope this helps you out. (BTW, my last name in Herman ... not my first name ... most folks call me Hawkeye, or Michael ... or not :-) Thanks again and, Cheers in 2010.

stevedoffstevedoff replied

I picked up a guitar many years ago. Never never never could play a barre chord. Gave up many times. Sometimes more than once a day. After about 5 years A new friend played my guitar and said the strings were very heavy. I changed to thinner strings and was able to play barre chords very easy. All the practice with heavy strings I guess helped. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I also found pushing my index finger up against the fret closed the crease on my second joint. Your lessons are great and thank you for teaching online.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your comments and for enjoying these lessons, Steve. Very much appreciated. Glad you're 'on board' with the barre chords ... there are many roads to the same goal. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

gsturngsturn replied

Great lesson. My Barre Chords are starting to show improvement thanks to your tips.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I'm happy to hear that you're barre chords are improving as a result of these lessons/tips. I hope you continue to improve and that you enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing the blues.

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied

hey think you did a great job,and just love your enthusiasum.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and kind words, David. I've been playing guitar since 1958, teaching guitar for over 40 years, and I've been employed as a musician/performer/instructor, exclusive of any other kind of work, since 1974 ... I have good reason to my show my 'enthusiasm' ... I love playing and teaching blues guitar. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. There's much more to come. Thanks again.

rickc001rickc001 replied

I have been working on barre chords for about a month with very little success. After this lesson I saw an instant improvment. The thumb tip and mostly the elbow tip really helped. Thanks so much

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and report on your recent 'success' with barre chords as a result of this lesson. Keep the tips I shared with you in mind ... don't let your elbow get tight against your body , and don't let it wave too extremely out to the side ... find the happy medium that works for you ... and fidget with your index finger until you can securely put pressure on all of the strings equally. I'm so glad that you're making progress. Keep it up. The more you practice, with 'good habits,' the easier it gets.

jerryratpackjerryratpack replied

I think the discussion of the Thumb is important, however, would it be possible to show this on Video and add to this lesson. New people may be confused. Also, I think a 4th tip would be to angle the Index finger sometimes helps avoid that "crease" where the string is not being fully depressed because the index finger has two major creases behind the joints and causes a buzz or mutes it.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

IMHO ... once one finds the index finger position (pressure and angle) for making a barre chord that works for them ... one must make that index finger position a part of their 'playing memory' ... so that when you go to grab a barre chord, you quickly/automatically/habitually (through practice/repetition) place your index finger down at the angle and with the pressure that is needed for your particular finger shape/length/mass ... also, the gauge of strings being used and the width of the neck of guitars can vary ... all of these things must be 'considered' and adjusted for when making barre chords.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Jerry. Much appreciated. This lesson will have to stand as is ... studios are in Colorado, and I'm on the West Coast ... I go to film lessons in Colo. a few times per year. Perhaps I'll bring up the issue of thumb placement in a future lesson. As for the index finger, I think I've stated a number of times when discussing barre chords that you must 'fidget' and adjust your index finger placement until you clearly hear all the notes ... whether placing your index finger straight across the neck behind the fret, or at a slight angle .. each of us has a different shape, length, and mass to our fingers, so the 'how to' placement of the index finger for making a barre chord will vary from one person to the next. If each of the strings don't sound clearly, usually the problem is the amount of pressure being applies to the index finger that is creating the barre is too light, or the index finger (or another finger in the barre chord being attempted) is not contacting all the strings evenly due placement (straight across or at an angle) ... and each of us must 'fidget' with the pressure on the index finger and the placement of the index finger ... until one succeeds in getting each of the strings to sound clearly. Again, thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied

I have the slimmest fingers ever, but I practised the barre chords alot for some time and now I can play them without any pain

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message, for enjoying these lessons ... and for hanging in there with your barre chord efforts. Great! The guitar is made for the human hand ... it may not seem like it sometimes, but it's true. :-) Keep up the good work.

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.

Introduction to BluesLesson 1

Introduction to Blues

Hawkeye Herman introduces the blues. He explains the 12 bar blues chords and the poetic format that blues lyrics typically follow.

Length: 19:25 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Understanding Blues ChordsLesson 2

Understanding Blues Chords

Hawkeye explains how the I, IV, and V chords are used in a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Blues RhythmLesson 3

Blues Rhythm

Hawkeye demonstrates common strumming patterns used in blues music. He also explains how country music evolved from the blues.

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Intro to the Blues ShuffleLesson 4

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

The shuffle is one of the most common rhythms used in blues music. Hawkeye introduces the most basic shuffle rhythm pattern.

Length: 18:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
More Blues ShuffleLesson 5

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

Length: 13:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Blues TurnaroundLesson 6

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

Length: 7:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Interesting Blues TurnaroundLesson 7

Interesting Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye demonstrates various ways of arpeggiating the blues turnaround from the previous lesson.

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Moving the TurnaroundLesson 8

Moving the Turnaround

Hawkeye explains how the turnaround from the previous lesson can be transposed to all 12 keys.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnaround in the BassLesson 9

Turnaround in the Bass

Hawkeye explains how the blues turnaround can be played on the bass strings.

Length: 11:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnaround PracticeLesson 10

Turnaround Practice

Hawkeye provides some tips regarding how to integrate turnarounds into the context of the 12 bar blues form.

Length: 3:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnarounds as LeadLesson 11

Turnarounds as Lead

In this lesson Hawkeye will explain how you can use turnarounds as a way to play basic lead.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Subtle ChangesLesson 12

Subtle Changes

Hawkeye demonstrates how subtle changes made to the blues shuffle can have a profound impact on the overall sound of the 12 bar form.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues Shuffle VariationsLesson 13

Blues Shuffle Variations

Hawkeye demonstrates more blues shuffle variations. He discusses playing individual notes and palm muting.

Length: 7:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Bass Blues ShuffleLesson 14

Bass Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a bass version of the blues shuffle that mimics a common left-hand piano pattern.

Length: 10:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnaround ExerciseLesson 15

Turnaround Exercise

Hawkeye presents an exercise that will enable you to play a turnaround over the blues form in all twelve keys.

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Delta Blues TurnaroundLesson 16

Delta Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a Delta blues turnaround in the key of A. This turnaround is played in the style of Robert Johnson.

Length: 10:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Delta Blues Turnaround #2Lesson 17

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

Hawkeye Herman teaches a new Delta blues turnaround. This lick was inspired by Robert Johnson.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Robert Johnson StyleLesson 18

Robert Johnson Style

Hawkeye Herman teaches more components of Robert Johnson's signature sound.

Length: 27:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Movable ChordsLesson 19

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Movable Chord ReviewLesson 20

Movable Chord Review

Hawkeye reviews movable chords in this lesson. He explains how these chord voicings can be used in a practical blues context.

Length: 5:41 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Basic Blues ScaleLesson 21

Basic Blues Scale

Hawkeye Herman introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson, the most commonly used scale in blues lead guitar.

Length: 23:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Passing NotesLesson 22

Passing Notes

Hawkeye builds on the pentatonic scale. He introduces "blue" notes, which transform the pentatonic scale into the minor blues scale.

Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Scales and KeysLesson 23

Scales and Keys

Hawkeye explains how to transpose the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales to different keys.

Length: 21:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finding the KeyLesson 24

Finding the Key

Hawkeye Herman explains how to determine the key of a blues song. This information is essential if you wish to play lead over a song.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lightnin' Hopkins StyleLesson 25

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

In this lesson, Hawkeye will bring together much of what he has taught in this lesson series and apply it to the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Treble ShuffleLesson 26

Treble Shuffle

Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle on the treble strings.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Great River RoadLesson 27

The Great River Road

Hawkeye Herman teaches you how to play his original song, "The Great River Road," in this phenomenal lesson.

Length: 16:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mississippi John Hurt StyleLesson 28

Mississippi John Hurt Style

Hawkeye covers the guitar style of Mississippi John Hurt. This style makes heavy use of alternating bass lines.

Length: 14:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Piano BluesLesson 29

Piano Blues

Hawkeye teaches an original piece called "Piano Blues." He teaches this song to further demonstrate the alternating bass line.

Length: 13:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues AccompanimentLesson 30

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

Length: 10:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Stop-Time BluesLesson 31

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

Length: 17:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sweet Home ChicagoLesson 32

Sweet Home Chicago

Hawkeye Herman explains how to play Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago."

Length: 16:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Eight Bar BluesLesson 33

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

Length: 22:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
8 Bar Blues Key TranspositionLesson 34

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

Hawkeye takes the 8 bar blues material from the last lesson and explains how to transpose it to different keys.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Classic 8 Bar BluesLesson 35

Classic 8 Bar Blues

Hawkeye teaches a classic 8 bar blues tune in the style of Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy.

Length: 25:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Playing Multiple NotesLesson 36

Playing Multiple Notes

In this lesson Hawkeye revisits the blues/pentatonic scale and talks about playing multiple notes at the same time.

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Classic End TagLesson 37

Classic End Tag

Hawkeye Herman teaches a classic blues song ending. He also explains how it can be played in different keys.

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Basic Blues SlideLesson 38

Basic Blues Slide

Hawkeye Herman covers the basics of slide technique and provides exercises to demonstrate them.

Length: 25:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Slide Guitar and Open D TuningLesson 39

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

Hawkeye Herman introduces open D tuning. He explains how to play a 12 bar blues progression with a slide in this tuning.

Length: 14:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ramblin' On My MindLesson 40

Ramblin' On My Mind

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates the classic Robert Johnson song, "Ramblin' On My Mind" in open D tuning.

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Shuffle in Open DLesson 41

Blues Shuffle in Open D

Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle in open D tuning.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Open D Harmony ShuffleLesson 42

Open D Harmony Shuffle

Hawkeye teaches the "harmony" version of the shuffle in open D tuning.

Length: 5:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Open D TurnaroundLesson 43

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open D Slide LicksLesson 44

Open D Slide Licks

Hawkeye Herman teaches some open D slide guitar licks. These licks are inspired by the song "Ramblin' On My Mind" by Robert Johnson.

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Pentatonic Scale in Open DLesson 45

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

Hawkeye Herman explains how to play the D minor pentatonic scale in Open D tuning.

Length: 4:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ramblin' On My MindLesson 46

Ramblin' On My Mind

Hawkeye challenges you to play "Ramblin' On My Mind" using the techniques from the past couple of lessons.

Length: 4:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rock and Slide GuitarLesson 47

Rock and Slide Guitar

Hawkeye shows that open D tuning and slide guitar are not exclusive to the blues. He provides an exercise that demonstrates how this tuning can be used in rock music.

Length: 15:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D Tuning ChordsLesson 48

D Tuning Chords

Hawkeye returns to the world of open D tuning. He introduces various chord voicings and explains how they can be used in the blues.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
You Got To MoveLesson 49

You Got To Move

In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a classic blues song by Mississippi Fred McDowell - "You Got To Move".

Length: 9:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
You Got to Move MelodyLesson 50

You Got to Move Melody

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates how to play the melody of "You Got to Move" with a slide.

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Slide Guitar and Blues LicksLesson 51

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

Hawkeye Herman talks about playing and creating blues licks with the slide.

Length: 9:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Elmore James StyleLesson 52

Elmore James Style

Hawkeye Herman breaks down important aspects of Elmore James' style.

Length: 23:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Licks and RiffsLesson 53

Blues Licks and Riffs

Hawkeye teaches some versatile blues licks and riffs that can be used in open D tuning.

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open G TuningLesson 54

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
G Tuning ChordsLesson 55

G Tuning Chords

Hawkeye gives a brief overview of chords and how they are played in open G tuning.

Length: 6:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Blues Scale in Open G TuningLesson 56

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

Hawkeye gives a brief rundown of how the blues / minor pentatonic scale can be played in open G tuning.

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
G Tuning AccompanimentLesson 57

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Improvising in G TuningLesson 58

Improvising in G Tuning

Improvisation using the minor pentatonic / blues scale is discussed in open G tuning. Hawkeye also touches on Robert Johnson's song, "Walkin' Blues."

Length: 7:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open G Shuffle RhythmLesson 59

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman talks about playing the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He also shows some basic turnarounds.

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open G Shuffle VariationsLesson 60

Open G Shuffle Variations

Hawkeye reviews the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He demonstrates shuffle variations as well as a few licks, turnarounds, and other tidbits.

Length: 15:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Robert Johnson LicksLesson 61

Robert Johnson Licks

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

Length: 14:40 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
G Tuning and the CapoLesson 62

G Tuning and the Capo

Hawkeye introduces the capo and explains how it can be used. This lesson is still in the context of G tuning.

Length: 10:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Come On In My KitchenLesson 63

Come On In My Kitchen

Hawkeye Herman showcases the power of slide guitar by demonstrating the classic Robert Johnson song, "Come On In My Kitchen."

Length: 6:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Skip James StyleLesson 64

Skip James Style

Hawkeye Herman gives a brief rundown of Skip James' blues guitar style. This lesson also focuses on playing in open tunings without a slide.

Length: 19:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Open D to Open GLesson 65

Open D to Open G

Hawkeye demonstrates how to take a song from open D tuning and play it in open G. He uses the song "No Expectations" by the Rolling Stones as an example.

Length: 10:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 66

Drop D Tuning

Hawkeye shows you the wonders of drop D tuning and teaches his rendition of "Big Road Blues."

Length: 30:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Statesboro BluesLesson 67

Statesboro Blues

Hawkeye goes over the fantastic song "Statesboro Blues" by Blind Willie McTell in Drop D tuning.

Length: 27:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blind Lemon JeffersonLesson 68

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Hawkeye discusses some history behind the great blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson. He covers the song "Matchbox Blues" to provide an example of his style.

Length: 19:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor BluesLesson 69

Minor Blues

Hawkeye explains the chord changes used in a minor blues progression.

Length: 12:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The CapoLesson 70

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

Length: 22:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Song EndingsLesson 71

Song Endings

By user request, Hawkeye shares ideas on how to end songs in this lesson.

Length: 21:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Stop Time BluesLesson 72

Stop Time Blues

In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman returns to the wonderful world of stop-time blues. He teaches a few more ways to play in this glorious style.

Length: 17:53 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Eight Bar BluesLesson 73

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye talks about the eight bar blues and uses some classic blues songs as examples.

Length: 26:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues MamboLesson 74

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Movable EndingsLesson 75

Movable Endings

Hawkeye explains how all the endings you've learned up to this point can be transposed to any key.

Length: 31:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Movable Blues ScaleLesson 76

Movable Blues Scale

Hawkeye talks about transposing the minor pentatonic scale to various keys.

Length: 16:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues Scale LeadLesson 77

Blues Scale Lead

Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can be used to play lead in any song.

Length: 30:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Spanning the NeckLesson 78

Spanning the Neck

Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can span the neck in any key.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
The Blues Had a BabyLesson 79

The Blues Had a Baby

Hawkeye talks about the background of rock 'n roll and how it is connected to blues.

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Fun LicksLesson 80

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Spanning the Neck ContinuedLesson 81

Spanning the Neck Continued

Hawkeye brings more blues wisdom to you in this lesson about spanning the neck.

Length: 18:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Barre Chords RefresherLesson 82

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord RelationshipsLesson 83

Chord Relationships

Hawkeye discusses how the visual shapes of chords relate to one another on the fretboard.

Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chord Relationships ContinuedLesson 84

Chord Relationships Continued

Hawkeye explains how to find the I, IV, and V chords in all 12 major keys.

Length: 8:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Shuffle Rhythm ReviewLesson 85

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

Length: 16:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Key of A IdeaLesson 86

Key of A Idea

Hawkeye shares an idea in the key of A that you can apply to your blues playing.

Length: 18:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Thumbpick Vs. FlatpickLesson 87

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick: A most common question asked among guitarists is discussed in this lesson.

Length: 15:13 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Capo IdeasLesson 88

Capo Ideas

Hawkeye shares his ideas on the capo and explains why he thinks it is important for every guitarist to own one.

Length: 18:34 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Everything is MovableLesson 89

Everything is Movable

Hawkeye reiterates that everything is movable on the guitar and provides some fresh new ideas.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Bass Notes in TrebleLesson 90

Bass Notes in Treble

Hawkeye explains how to add variety to the shuffle pattern by transferring the bass notes to the treble register and by adding palm muting. He also explains how you can create your own shuffle variations.

Length: 21:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Treble ShuffleLesson 91

Treble Shuffle

Hawkeye provides more amazing tips and tricks on moving your shuffle rhythm to the treble for a unique sound.

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Creating SolosLesson 92

Creating Solos

Hawkeye revisits the techniques learned in the last few lessons and explains how to tie tie them together to create solos.

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Transposing SongsLesson 93

Transposing Songs

Hawkeye provides some great tips for transposing any song you want to learn to a different key.

Length: 17:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
History of BluesLesson 94

History of Blues

This exciting lesson dives into some of the earliest history of blues music and how it has shaped popular music today.

Length: 13:52 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Blues is the RootsLesson 95

Blues is the Roots

Hawkeye Herman explains why "blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits."

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
The Style of Hank WilliamsLesson 96

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

Length: 17:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Style of Jimmie RodgersLesson 97

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

Length: 12:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Boom-Chicka StrumLesson 98

Boom-Chicka Strum

Hawkeye demonstrates the "boom-chicka" strum and explains various ways you can incorporate it into your playing.

Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Fun RunsLesson 99

Fun Runs

Hawkeye Herman explains how to spice up your rhythm playing by incorporating bass runs between chord changes.

Length: 16:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Review & PracticeLesson 100

Review & Practice

Hawkeye Herman celebrates lesson 100 with a short but sweet review of what you've learned in the past couple of lessons.

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Song MedleyLesson 101

Song Medley

Hawkeye Herman demonstrates rhythmic concepts from earlier lessons by playing a fun medley.

Length: 13:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Hawkeye's Favorite LicksLesson 102

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

Length: 22:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
More Fun LicksLesson 103

More Fun Licks

Hawkeye teaches more fun licks to add to your blues bag of tricks.

Length: 31:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Licks Up the NeckLesson 104

More Licks Up the Neck

Hawkeye Herman is back with some more classic blues licks that span the length of the fretboard.

Length: 26:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bass LicksLesson 105

Bass Licks

Hawkeye explains the importance of playing licks over the entire neck of the guitar.

Length: 21:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock Me LickLesson 106

Rock Me Lick

Hawkeye Herman shares a lick that is commonly known as the "Rock Me Baby" Lick. He explains how this lick can be incorporated into a performance of this classic B.B. King song.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnaround PositionsLesson 107

Turnaround Positions

Hawkeye discusses how ideas derived from turnarounds can be incorporated into blues solos.

Length: 8:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Instrumental ThemesLesson 108

Instrumental Themes

Hawkeye Herman talks about instrumental themes and how you can add lead fills to them.

Length: 18:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Instrumental Themes ContinuedLesson 109

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ninth ChordsLesson 110

Ninth Chords

Hawkeye Herman explains how dominant 9th chords are formed and how they can be used in blues music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Ninth Chords ContinuedLesson 111

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

Length: 26:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Eight Bar BluesLesson 112

More Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye Herman shares more eight bar blues knowledge in this fun and information-packed lesson.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Using a TunerLesson 113

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Introducing the CapoLesson 114

Introducing the Capo

In the 114th installment of his Blues Series, Hawkeye introduces the capo. He demonstrates how this valuable tool allows you to transpose chord voicings to various keys.

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Forming Barre ChordsLesson 115

Forming Barre Chords

Having trouble getting those fingers to form barre chords? In lesson #115 of his Blues Series, Hawkeye covers some tips and techniques to help with these problematic chord shapes. Any beginner can master...

Length: 10:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
4 Up, 5 Down Applied ConceptLesson 116

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

Hawkeye explains why the adjacent strings on the guitar are tuned in perfect fourths and how this relates to left hand fingering.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Relative Chord ShapesLesson 117

Relative Chord Shapes

Hawkeye continues where he left off in lesson 116 and explains how the tuning of the guitar relates to commonly used chord shapes.

Length: 16:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Transposing Notes / Changing the KeyLesson 118

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

Hawkeye Herman reviews important transposition concepts. Here he demonstrates how to change the key of a song so that it is appropriate for your vocal range.

Length: 20:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
All About Finger PickingLesson 119

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

Length: 20:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Bo Diddley BeatLesson 120

Bo Diddley Beat

Hawkeye provides a history lesson on Bo Diddley. He also demonstrates how to play the classic "Bo Diddley Beat." This rhythmic pattern appears in countless blues and rock songs.

Length: 20:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thematic Bass LinesLesson 121

Thematic Bass Lines

Hawkeye teaches some blues bass lines that can be applied to the twelve bar blues form.

Length: 19:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bass Lines ContinuedLesson 122

Bass Lines Continued

Hawkeye continues on from his 121st lesson with more examples of blues bass lines for guitar.

Length: 7:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lead Bass IdeasLesson 123

Lead Bass Ideas

Hawkeye dives into some lead bass ideas. He demonstrates how a classic Eric Clapton riff can be used over the twelve bar blues form in any key.

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Willie's BounceLesson 124

Willie's Bounce

Hawkeye teaches the bass line riff to his song "Willie's Bounce."

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Finger Picking Part 2Lesson 125

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Texas ALesson 126

The Texas A

Hawkeye Herman teaches a version of the A chord that he calls "The Texas A."

Length: 13:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rdLesson 127

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

Hawkeye breaks down the blues scale and demonstrates how to appropriately add the major 3rd.

Length: 26:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Double StopsLesson 128

Double Stops

As demonstrated in previous lessons, Hawkeye opens up the world of double stops. Hawkeye teaches some classic Chuck Berry licks to demonstrate how double stops can be used effectively.

Length: 11:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Scrapper BlackwellLesson 129

Scrapper Blackwell

Hawkeye introduces the guitar stye of Scrapper Blackwell. He uses the song Scrapper called "E Blues" as a starting point.

Length: 20:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Influence of Blind Lemon JeffersonLesson 130

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

History flows deep in blues music. Hawkeye discusses the influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson. This lesson is one for the history books.

Length: 22:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Humming and StrummingLesson 131

Humming and Strumming

Hawkeye opens up some ideas on how to "plan ahead" in your playing. Similar to riding a bike, you need to look forward to see where your going. Humming what you want to play allows you to anticipate the...

Length: 18:49 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Katrina, Oh KatrinaLesson 132

Katrina, Oh Katrina

Inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Hawkeye was commissioned by the BBC to write a song about Katrina. Hawkeye demonstrates this song and recalls his thought process in writing this song.

Length: 29:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
All About the Hammer-onLesson 133

All About the Hammer-on

Hawkeye demonstrates how a hammer-on can be used to open up doors in your playing. Hawkeye shows you how to achieve this technique and use it successfully in your playing.

Length: 24:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Pull-offLesson 134

The Pull-off

Hawkeye covers the pull-off, best friend of the hammer on. This technique is used to achieve the same goal as the hammer-on, yet with a completely different finger movement.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs TogetherLesson 135

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

Hawkeye combines lessons 133 and 134 and demonstrates some examples of how to utilize the hammer-on and pull-off techniques together to enhance your overall blues guitar skills.

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
The Quick ChangeLesson 136

The Quick Change

The 12 bar form is a staple in the world of blues music. However, there are plenty of different ways to arrange it. This lesson covers what is commonly called "The Quick Change."

Length: 15:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Starting on the IV ChordLesson 137

Starting on the IV Chord

Hawkeye demonstrates how to change up a traditional 12 bar blues progression by starting on the IV chord.

Length: 16:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Talking BluesLesson 138

The Talking Blues

Hawkeye demonstrates yet another form of blues known as the "Talking Blues." This style is indicative of its name. It features a talking vocal style played over a I, IV, V chord progression.

Length: 24:43 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Utilizing 9th ChordsLesson 139

Utilizing 9th Chords

Need a slightly different voicing to spice up your playing? 9th chords will give your blues playing a colorful, urban sound.

Length: 24:53 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Minor Tuning, Major SoundLesson 140

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

Hawkeye breaks out his slide and demonstrates how chord progressions in major keys can be played in open minor tunings.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Style of Elmore JamesLesson 141

Style of Elmore James

Hawkeye offers up some tricks and techniques that Elmore James utilized in his style of playing.

Length: 25:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Style of Son HouseLesson 142

Style of Son House

In lesson 142, Hawkeye dives into the style of Son House. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms often played with a slide.

Length: 14:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Hawkeye Herman

About Hawkeye Herman View Full Biography ""One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators."
Cascade Blues Association

"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of traditional acoustic blues."
Living Blues Magazine

" ...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar."
Los Angeles Times

"The only thing better than hearing this live album is seeing Hawkeye Herman in the flesh. Whether adding his own spin to blues classics or offering his own songs, Herman is a one-man history of blues, noteworthy guitar player and inimitable communicator. Miss him at your peril."
Blues Access

With over 40 years of performing experience, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman personifies the range of possibilities in blues and folk music. His dynamic blues guitar playing and vocal abilities have won him a faithful following and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs and educational workshops throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His original music has been included in video dramas and documentaries and in four hit theatrical productions.

In 2000, Hawkeye was awarded Philadelphia's Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre for best original music in a theatrical production. "Everyday Living," Hawkeye's first nationally released album from 1987, now reissued on CD, features the late blues giants Charles Brown and "Cool Papa" Sadler, and established the demand for his now long-standing festival and concert touring. His latest CDs and DVD, "Blues Alive!" (CD), "It's All Blues To Me" (CD), and "Hawkeye Live In Concert" (DVD) have been greeted with rave reviews. Hawkeye's journalistic efforts have been published in numerous national and regional blues and music-related periodicals.

In 1998 he was the recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping The Blues Alive" award for achievement in education. He served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation for six years. Hawkeye was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of fame in 2004. In September of 2005, Hawkeye composed, at the request of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), "Katrina, Oh Katrina (Hurricane Blues)," detailing the hurricane disaster on the Gulf Coast. The song was aired to over 7 million listeners on the popular "BBC Today" program. He is the cofounder of the Rogue Valley Blues Festival, Ashland, OR.

This musician has definitely carved out a spot for himself in the contemporary acoustic blues/folk field, and has earned a reputation as one of the most accomplished artists in the genre, and audiences throughout the US/Canada/Europe have come to know and appreciate Hawkeye's talent, dedication, and captivating performances.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

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Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

In this lesson, Mary Flower introduces herself and her playing style. She also discusses essential blues listening.

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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.

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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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...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Michael Palmisano Michael Palmisano

Michael kicks off his course and explains what to expect from the course, as well as who this course is designed for.

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JD McGibney JD McGibney

Now that we’ve set ourselves up to be in a soloing mindset, let’s break down an actual solo. For this exercise we are...

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Andy Whitehead Andy Whitehead

Join Andy as he takes a look at the style of one of the most influential guitarists of all time: Eddie Van Halen. In the...

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.

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Danny Morris Danny Morris

Hone in on your right hand and focus on getting in the groove. You'll only play one note during this lesson, but it'll be...

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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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Glen Drover Glen Drover

Lesson 25 from Glen presents a detailed exercise that firmly builds up fret hand dexterity for both speed and accuracy.

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Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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