Hawkeye's Favorite Licks (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 22:35Difficulty: 3.0 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


kd44kd44 replied on July 27th, 2014

Hey Hawk, like the comments on following the lessons and the whole enjoying the process... You might also want to mention at the beginning everything is hard to play, it takes a lot of concentration and work to to accomplish these lessons, but as you progress through these lessons, you begin to pick up what is being taught much quicker and much easier. Great Lessons, Hawk, I appreciate you very much..

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 3rd, 2014

Ken, Thanks so much for taking the time to share your comments and input. Very much appreciated. I'll be soon filming more lessons for JamPlay.com, and will be sure to utilize the advice you have shared with us. Playing what is being taught slowly, crawl before 'Crawl before you walk, walk before you run," which I repeat over and over throughout my lessons, is my way of saying that students must have patience with themselves, and that by slowing everything down that is being taught, not trying to play 'at tempo' in the beginning, is how one progresses best. Also, repetition is where it's at in order to develop the muscle memory necessary to accomplish any physical activity, like learning to play the guitar. It doesn't matter how slow you must play and how many time you must repeat something in order to progress. Those who don't have the focus and patience with themselves to play all new material slowly and repeatedly are setting themselves up for a much more difficult learning experience than those who focus, slow things down in order to accurately get it right, and be willing to repeat the 'exercise' as many times as necessary are those that have the highest degree of success. Thanks again for your comments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... and please be sure to look for new lessons from me in the Phase Three area in the months ahead. ;-)

greekbloodgreekblood replied on January 16th, 2014

YOUR LESSONS ARE GREAT!!!!!!!!THANKS!!!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 16th, 2014

Thanks so much for your kind comments regarding these lessons, Marcelo. Much appreciated. May I suggest you view some of the many blues songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... and please be sure to check out/explore my web site for more free guitar lessons and blues history information: http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

valliconvallicon replied on November 27th, 2010

Hawkeye, i notice that in the scene 1 part of this lesson you use all down strokes to pick the notes, even when going faster. Is this personal preference or do you do it for a reason? When I've taken lessons I was taught to use up and down alternating stokes. Old habits die hard. As always, love you lessons and your passion for the blues. Val

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 27th, 2010

Val, Thanks for the question and for enjoying these lessons. You're quite observant and have pointed out something that I have failed to mention in this lesson series about playing blues lead guitar ... and that is in regard to down picking only. Yes, I downwpick almost exclusively when playing blues guitar ... if you want a clear and expressive ... and somewhat staccato 'authentic blues' sound/toneds on the acoustic or electric guitar ... you downpick most of the time ... watch videos of early acoustic players and many of the classic early elec. blues players and you'll otice that they don't uppick much at all ... the up/down pickin technique is ... well ... white ... and is used a lot in bluegrass, country, rockabilly, and rock guitar is is used based on smoothly getting speed/a lot of notes our of the instrument ... blues is not about speed and 'smoothness' ... 'authentic' blues is about using dynamics in playing the strings with primarily downstrokes ... varying the attack on the strings and bending notes ... this creates a sound that can help distinguish one player from another, in my opinion ... modern blues/rock and rock/blues uses the speed aspect of up/down picking ... to squeeze out more notes ... (in my opinion) ... and as a result, in many cases, sacrifices a distinctive tone and attack for more 'cascades' of notes. I prefer using almost all downstrokes when playing acoustic or electric guitar ... when I play other styles of guitar I frequently employ the up/down techniques. Thanks for the excellent question ... I will be sure to mention this aspect of blues guitar in one of my upcoming lessons. Don't get me wrong, Buddy Guy and BB King are both 'authentic' bluesmen and they use up/down picking, but very selectively, more 'selectively' than somebody like Walter Trout or Joe Bonamasa ... this up/down picking choice is, in my mind, what separates 'deeper' blues from blues/rock and rock/blues. ;-) ... if you know what I mean.

ozblokeozbloke replied on July 30th, 2010

As always H, you exlain things so well, and make what looks difficult to play so much fun. I know i disappeared on jamplay for a while, i had to go back to london for a couple of months, but am back and getting into the blues with you again, oooooh how i've missed it!! OB

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 6th, 2010

ozbloke, Good to have you back at jamplay.com. I hope your trip to London was smooth and enjoyable. Now, get back to playing the blues ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 8th, 2010

Thanks so much, Brandon. Very much appreciated. I'm so glad you understand the 'challenge.' I'm going to use your kind/message/comments to expound on an idea that might be very helpful to other jamplay.com students. I find it fascinating that folks will try to play like/copy/imitate BB King, Clapton, SRV, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, etc/whoever., all of the great blues guitarists who have been playing and perfecting their crafts/skills/art for many, many years ... and folks who have been only playing a very short time try to imitate what those 'master's are up to on the guitar in the early stages of their playing/earning/experience ... without putting in the time to learn the basics and the simple foundations of the music from where all those 'master' are getting their ideas. Why is it the people who own guitars try to take on such advanced' challenges' when they don't know the basics of 'blues language'? Imagine if people studying other art forms, like painting, tried to tackle the challenge of painting the Mona Lisa, a masterpiece, in the early stages of their study ... before they've even learned how to mix and match the 8, or so, basic colors. One must have the patience to build a strong foundation in the skills/craft/'language' of the blues on the guitar in order to get one's playing up to the standard of it being ... art. In this lesson series I teach my students the basics, hopefully not to skip over lessons, follow the flow of information as it is presented, and at the same time learn to express oneself creatively, even artistically, in the beginning stages, and throughout the series of lessons. I've been playing the guitar for 50 years, so has Page and Clapton, and BB King has been playing the guitar for over 70 years ... and all of us are still learning more about the guitar and ourselves everyday. Just as DaVinci had years of training and experience in the art of painting before he painted the Mona Lisa ... so it is that BB King has had 70 years of guitar playing/learning that cannot be denied ... nor imitated ... until one has done the 'homework' that BB has done ... that doesn't mean necessarily playing for 70 years ... it means having the patience to put in the time to understand the basics of the blues ... thoroughly ... top to bottom, back to front ... chords, chord changes, blues scales covering the entire neck of the instrument, and developed a solid sense of rhythm ... and taste and economy in phrasing. So ... don't try to paint the Mona Lisa, or play like Buddy Guy ... unless you've either put in the time to know the basics very well ... on unless you just want to frustrate yourself ... at the expense of really having a good time while learning to progress ... at your own speed. The journey should be fun ... I can play a blues guitar solo using just four notes ... or I can use the entire fingerboard ... one shouldn't put obstructions in the path of one's progress by taking on 'challenges' that are based in information (and time) that one has not yet experience/understood. Being able to play a few Buddy Guy licks on the guitar, and not much else, is like knowing a few 'fancy' words in French ... but not being able to speak or understand the language, read it, or carry on a conversation. Everyone learns in their own time. Thanks to you for taking the time to let me know ... 'you get it.'

guitarritguitarrit replied on June 28th, 2010

I am a new users to this site and I just want to say, wow that was a great explanation. This should be posted in an earlier lesson. I have to admit I am a huge classic rock/blues fan. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, BB King, Freddie King, Hendrix, etc etc are all my idols, and of course everytime I pick up a guitar I would try quite poorly to emulate them. However while searching through the blues section of this site I found your series of lessons which really seem to teach the "roots" of blues. I learned about Robert Johnson and other pioneers of the genre, and realized how much this style has influenced so many kinds of music over the last 50+ years. Your in-depth lessons from the ground up of real blues music doesn't aim to just teach people their favorite Eric Clapton song, but actually teach people to be blues guitarists, which is incredible, thanks a lot for these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 28th, 2010

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. I have been playing blues guitar for 50 years and teaching for 40 years and I've given a lot of thought to the order and content of these lessons. I've made many 'mistakes' along the way in my early study of blues guitar, and my goal is to help folks not make those same mistakes by giving them a strong foundation in the blues before they tackle 'master works.' I accept the fact that some folks just can't force themselves to follow the order of these lessons, and they skip around in this lesson series 'cherry picking' / taking bits and pieces here and there, lacking patience in learning the basics ... never establishing a strong understanding for what they are doing ... and as a result they learn some blues licks/riffs ... but they have no idea how to really make/play blues music ... like learning a few words in a foreign language to impress their friends but they're not able to put together a complete sentence or carry on a simple conversation. My lessons are about making blues music and the influence/impact of blues music on most other styles of music, not how to play individual 'hot licks' that are meaningless without the ability to understand the foundations blues music and how to use the 'blues vocabulary' to make your own musically creative statements freely. I'm so glad you 'get it.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments.

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on June 8th, 2010

Hawkeye. You continue to make the lessons fun. And it shows as you are "HAVING FUN" It's fun after going through your lesson set to go back over this some old and some new. But now it's easier to play,and I can see where to use it. Thanks, Dennis,Canyonville

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 8th, 2010

Thanks, Dennis. So glad you're enjoying the lessons ... and are even 'backtracking'/refreshing yourself on previous lessons/information. I try to avoid doing things that aren't fun ... so, it follows, I play guitar for a living/profession ... and fun is written all over my face whenever I hold the guitar ... which is most of the time. Thanks again for continuing to enjoy these lessons and for taking the time to leave me the kind comments.

tajiktajik replied on June 7th, 2010

Hawkeye, I love you man. I've been listening to a lot of buddy guy and trying to pull some complicated junk (to me anyhow) on my strat, and then I see your lesson and pull out my acoustic and your first lick, just pulling off on the second fret, gets the blues boiling so much. Love it. Simple, but great, and therein lies the challenge, thanks for sharing these licks! CHeers.

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.



Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 5

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

Length: 13:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

Length: 7:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 18

Robert Johnson Style

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

Length: 27:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 26

Treble Shuffle

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

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 30

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

Length: 10:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

Length: 17:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Sweet Home Chicago

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

Length: 16:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

Length: 22:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 43

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 52

Elmore James Style

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

Length: 23:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 54

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 57

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 69

Minor Blues

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

Length: 12:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 70

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

Length: 22:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 74

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 76

Movable Blues Scale

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

Length: 16:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 80

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 82

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 85

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

Length: 16:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 96

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

Length: 17:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 97

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

Length: 12:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 101

Song Medley

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

Length: 13:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 102

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

Length: 22:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 107

Turnaround Positions

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

Length: 8:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 109

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 111

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

Length: 26:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 113

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 119

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

Length: 20:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 124

Willie's Bounce

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

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 125

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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

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.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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


Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

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Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

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

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Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

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

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

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Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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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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Allen Van Wert Allen Van Wert

Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity. This is a short lesson but the exercises here can...

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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...

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Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

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

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Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

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Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

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Rex Brown Rex Brown

Dive into the playing of Rex Brown. As the bass player for Pantera, Down, and Kill Devil Hill, Brown's real world experience...

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Daniel Gilbert Daniel Gilbert

Known around the world for his inspirational approach to guitar instruction, Musician's Institute veteran Daniel Gilbert...

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Will Ripley Will Ripley

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs...

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