Introduction to Blues (Guitar Lesson)

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Hawkeye Herman

Introduction to Blues

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 19:25Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:09) Musical Introduction Welcome to JamPlay's Phase 2 Blues series! Instructor Michael "Hawkeye" Herman lays down a smooth 12 bar blues in the key of E to get things started.
Chapter 2: (05:00) Series Introduction, History and Poetic Form Hawkeye introduces himself in this scene. Hawkeye began playing the guitar in 1958. He grew up in the era when many of the blues guitarists that are now common household names were still alive. While living in San Francisco's Bay Area, he was fortunate enough to see these musicians perform, learn from them, and play with them as well. With roughly 50 years of experience, Hawkeye will provide you with the information necessary to playing the blues effectively.

For more information about Hawkeye Herman and his work, please visit This website includes performance dates, mp3s, videos, and song lyrics among many other exciting features.

History of the Blues

The Blues is a combination of sacred spiritual music and work songs (sometimes referred to as "field songs"). Blues music sprung from the disenfranchisement of African Americans. It was away to release the anguish of slavery and oppression.

Many of the rhythms common to the blues genre can be traced back to Africa. However, the poetic form of the blues is wholly original. The poetic format of blues phrases is "aab". This includes a line that is sung, then repeated. Finally, a second rhyming line is sung. The two "a" lines create what is referred to as a "call and response." Call and response is an extremely important component of blues music. A very common example of call and response happens in a church service. The leader of the congregation sings "Amen," then the congregation responds. Hawkeye provides yet another great example. "They Call It Stormy Monday," is a blues classic. BB King sings a melodic phrase, then plays the same phrase on guitar. This often involves adding bends and slurs to imitate the voice.

Blues As a Watershed for Other Styles

The influence of blues is very widespread. Without blues, there would be no jazz, country, or rock music. Much of heavy metal music draws upon blues scales and other blues idioms as well.
Chapter 3: (01:42) Blues Formula The most common form in the blues genre is the 12 bar blues. This is a chord progression consisting of 12 bars. This chord progression usually repeats for the entire duration of a song. The 12 bar blues is usually played in 4/4 or 12/8 time.

Chord Changes

The most basic form of the 12 bar blues progression consists of the I, IV, and V chords. If you are unfamiliar with Roman numeral analysis, don't worry! Hawkeye explains it in simple terms. These chords can also be labeled by the way in which they function. Respectively, the I, IV, and V chords are referred to as the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords. In a major or minor key, each chord carries out a specific function. Tonic is often compared to home base. This chord is very stable. The subdominant chord or IV chord tends to lead back to tonic or to the dominant chord. The dominant chord wants to resolve back to tonic or home. Hawkeye applies these concepts to the key of E major. The tonic or home chord is E major. To find the subdominant chord, count up four letters in the musical alphabet including the note E. The subdominant chord is A major. The dominant chord is five letters up from E. Thus, the dominant chord in the key of E is B major.

Note: Often, dominant seventh chords are substituted for major chords in the 12 bar blues progression.
Chapter 4: (11:30) How Blues Works The easiest way to internalize the 12 bar blues pattern is to vocalize it. Like Hawkeye mentions, the blues was a vocal style of music sung in the fields before it became an instrumental style. Slaves had their instruments taken away from them. Drumming was originally a form of communication developed in Africa. This prevented sedition from occurring on the plantation.

Hawkeye plays and sings a 12 bar blues to demonstrate its form. Notice how the first line is repeated. Then, a new, rhyming line completes the form.

Let’s take a look at all of the phrases in this verse:

Phrase 1: Good morning, Blues. Blues, how do you do?
Phrase 2: Good morning, Blues. Blues, how do you do?
Phrase 3: I’m doin' alright. Good morning, how are you?

Each line in the verse spans four measures for a total of 12 measures altogether.

Applying Chords to the Form

After demonstrating the vocal phrases, Hawkeye introduces the chords and where they each occur in the form. As he plays through the form, count how many times he strums each chord. Also, make a careful note of when the chords change. Count the measures in the way that Hawkeye recommends. Count "1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 4, etc." This method of counting will ensure that you will not lose your place in the form.

As you learned in the video, the chord changes for the complete 12 bar form are as follows:

Bars 1-4: Tonic (I)
Bars 5-6: Subdominant (IV)
Bars 7-8: Tonic (I)
Bar 9: Dominant (V)
Bar 10: Subdominant (IV)
Bars 11-12: Tonic (I)

Pay careful attention to how Hawkeye chooses to play an A major chord. He plays this chord by barring the D, G, and B strings with the middle finger.

As Hawkeye advances through this series, he will explain some additions and alterations that are frequently made to this basic form. For example, you can play the E chord in bar 4 as E7. This creates a stronger resolution to the IV chord, A.

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.

Carly21Carly21 replied

Fantastic, I am thrilled with your style of teaching. Thank You

jw56jw56 replied

Hi Hawkeye - wish I could attend the Utah Jazz Fesitval this month and attend your workshop but I can't get away. Anyway - hoping you are scheduled to make some more JamPlay videos - would love to see some more Lightnin Hopkins - or a song cover - but whatever you make will be greatly appreciated. All the best!

jw56jw56 replied

Oops - I meant Utah Blues Festival

SlutbumwalaSlutbumwala replied

Fooled around with the guitar for years eye balling the guitar players in the band. First chapter lesson I stopped listening because you tipped the whole scale in a few measures where all that stuff came together. Even got the hang out of the counting and I actually surprised myself to find what I have been doing is now clarified. Thanks

BootSQBootSQ replied

Is it important to pulsate each chord as it's played?

matt6.31matt6.31 replied

Thank you for this in-depth introduction to the blues! Most of the courses simply cut this information out.

LSCalgaryLSCalgary replied

This is AWESOME!! I am going to thoroughly enjoy these courses!! Thank you JamPlay and Hawkeye Herman!! :)

joecool1joecool1 replied

Please get your act together! I have now been back with you only a week, lesson keep cutting out, it's bad it takes over 1 hour for a 20 minute session get your I T guys to sort it out

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble with lesson playback. Typically lessons buffering is a result of an internet connection that is not quite quick enough to keep up with the live pace of the incoming information. In the lower right hand corner of the video window you should see a button labeled "HD." By clicking this button, you'll see a list of the available quality setting, with your currently selected setting highlighted in white. Try going to a lower quality setting which will make the video easier to stream. If this does not cure your issue, please send us an e-mail to [email protected] and be specific about what is happening when you attempt to view a video. We can do further troubleshooting with you there.

jw56jw56 replied

Hello Hawkeye - I checked your schedule and see that you will be touring in France and Colombia during 2nd half 2017. Have fun and spread the enthusiasm . I have gone through all your lessons over the past years and learned a ton - tks so much - for those new to this site - I recommend you watch Hawkeye play on youtube - for example - there some good videos of Hawkeye last year playing at the summer French blues festival. All the best[email protected] replied

well, that was more than i have ever learned before, the a,a b, thing, and the explanation of tonic, etc, thank you.

joel1974joel1974 replied

Can I play this classes or course with a guitar pick ?

RabidbadgerRabidbadger replied

That counting method was really helpful, thanks.

BrewzerBrewzer replied

Hawkeye, I enjoyed that lesson. Especially into the 4th part.

hdrider57hdrider57 replied

Hi, When I select a chord to print it prints out wrong. The fingerings moves down on the strings.

chirp1963chirp1963 replied

Is this course for beginners or should I do a different course to start with.

drx1drx1 replied

Technology challenged - fricking volume drops off and every other lesson. Jamplay is a joke!

tugmantugman replied

Thank you. It makes sense now. 12 bar just didn't make ant sense the way others have written about it.

drakialgadrakialga replied

the guitar is tuned at standard? im amazed he can do that chords progression, im so confused

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The guitar is in standard tuning. You have control of the video to view any aspect of this lessons, small portion or long, as many times as is necessary in order for you to understand the lesson. Slow down, be patient with yourself, take your time and enjoy the process of learning to play blues music on the guitar. Patient rand slow epetition is key to learning to play the guitar. Thanks for your comment.

bam711711bam711711 replied

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bam711711bam711711 replied

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bam711711bam711711 replied

I watched all of your live sessions yesterday and now I am hooked. Cant wait to get started. Thanks Hawkeye and Jamplay. Great stuff

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for watching the live sessions. I hope you enjoy my lesson series, be sure to take your time and follow the lessons in order to get themost out of the lessons. Enjoy the process. ;-)

34theroad34theroad replied

You said more than once that the 4 chord is the dominate. I'm sure it was just a slip of the tongue.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The IV chordd is the sub-dominant, the V chord is the dominant. Slip of the tongue, sorry.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The IV chordd is the sub-dominant, the V chord is the dominant. Slip of the tongue, sorry.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The IV chordd is the sub-dominant, the V chord is the dominant. Slip of the tongue, sorry.

lucianotrigolucianotrigo replied

Congratulations from Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Your lessons are helping me a lot :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lesson. Please move slowly through them in order for the best results. Todem Bem ;-)

bluespower2015bluespower2015 replied

Hi hawkeye, Glad to be able to learn from you. Could you say something about the guitar you are using and why you use this rather than a 'normal' acoustic? I'm just getting into the blues and love learning about the older guitars too that seem to sound better due to the aged woods. I'd love to look out for one like yours!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I'm playing a 1935 wood-body National brand 'Trojan' model guitar. You can play blues on any guitar, new or old, steel or nylon strings, as long as you like the sounds that it makes. ;-)

brianoakeybrianoakey replied

Great structure, good pace! A wonderful building block!

BadguitarplayerBadguitarplayer replied

You have a great teaching style. I would say your almost to good to be teaching here, I guess we are all the richer that you are however.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Erik, thanks so much. I'm fortunate to do what I love and I hope my the information and enthusiasm I share with you serves you forever. Please do visit my web site,, and you'll find free guitar lessons, articles I've written on blues histtory and the iconic blues masters I met an learned from directly, an the 'videos' link take you to my many blues music youtube videoss where you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing ...try to play along witth me, its good practice, and try to 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons, and than YOU for 'traveling' with me on the 'bliues highway' here at

jw56jw56 replied

Hello Hawkeye- I note that you have not made a post since May - I hope you are okay (and just really busy). I keep watching your lessons over and over again as I always learn or relearn something new and I just really enjoy them. I hope that Jamplay offers you the chance to make more. You are the best!. I am a real fan.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the kind words, JW. I've been music touring off/on since May through Sept., keeping busy playing and teaching whever there is a calling for me. In late Aug. filmed 20 hours of new lessons for JamPlay, and those lessons should start appearing online here within the next few months, allowing time for editing and creation of supplemental material by the superb JamPlay staff. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons, and the lessons soon to come. Thanks again.

will2002will2002 replied

Hello once again Hawkeye! Hope all is well with you, and the family....... I worked through your Blues course here on JamPlay last Fall and Winter and enjoyed the teaching soooooo much, I'm gonna do it ALL over again. :) Along with your blues lessons, I will also be studying the Eric Madis Electric Blues course at the same time. I intend so stay right here on these two courses for EVER HOW LONG IT TAKES to become a decent blues player. Soooooo, I expect this means you will have to put up with me for several years, at least I hope for several more years???? :). Hope you can stand it! :) Thanks for your work here on JamPlay . Will

skankinpickleskankinpickle replied

Can you use a flat pick in these lesson?

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

academically, I am interested in music origins. the slide guitar seemed familiar to me; then i thought- the dulcimer! This, however is a German instrument from Appalachia. The delta was French, a little research found this: The épinette has been attested as early as the 18th century in the Val-d'Ajol and Plombières-les-Bains regions of southern Vosges, whence comes its name. The earlier origins of the épinette des Vosges remain unknown, though some believe the instrument was introduced by the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War. It is, however, also possible that it is descended from the medieval psaltery. An épinette des Vosges in the museum of Soyotte Types of epinette and geographical areas Instruments of this family, formerly widespread throughout Europe, are now primarily found in Norway (the langeleik), Iceland (the langspil), Flanders (the hummel), Hungary, as well as France. A parallel instrument, the Appalachian dulcimer is found in rural mountain areas of the Eastern United States. The Val-d'Ajol épinette This instrument is first attested in accounts dated 1730. The primitive version with four strings evolved into a five-string model. The Val-d'Ajol épinette is of small size, between 50 and 60 cm, in the form of a parallelogram with a wide base. The frets, originally numbering fourteen, increased to seventeen in the 19th century. The fretting is diatonic, tuned to open C major. It is fretted with the fingers of the left hand, or alternately with a small piece of smooth wood. The right hand strums with the thumb, a goose quill, or a pick. So it seems that the blues were invented by the French by way of 16th century Swedes!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

The earliest blues was 'invented' by African American culture as a musical and poetic format and was performed vocally, a capella, wihout instruments. The musical instrument, the guitar, became an instrument of the blues later, after the banjo, which was based on African gourd stirng intruments. Your treatise on the origins of the guitar is interesting, but has nothing to do with the 'invention' of the blues as a musical or poetic format. 'The guitar came after the blues.'

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

And this explains why the Swedes are so good at math-core heavy metal (the viking barbarian thing helps too) and why Rock and roll sounds more like Lars Eric Larsen (Swedish composer) than the blues.

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

Oh yes, and not to mention they Spanish influence. They were in the Delta before the French. Spanish guitar; now that's some Rock and Roll.

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

Thought about it; sorry for insulting your art- I was wrong.

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

I played the boat oar to beatles songs in 65' (I like Stratocasters now), bought a whole lot of music and listened radio since I was the age of five. Played drums and now guitar for 10 years (I ain't that good) But I do think there is more Beethoven and Correlli in Rock than there is Blues; I beg to differ with the experts. Music is fun, lighthearted, sometimes sad; ego and attitude are bad. Learned more guitar in my bedroom than with professors. Knowlage is not bad; but if teaching is the goal, a different approch is needed- at least for me. To think that several guys playing Blues made modern Rock and Country seems very untrue. No offence but this is art- I do get to have my opinions.

the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied

Sorry, I'm too often the antagonist. Country music did not originate from the blues; it originated from Bluegrass, gospel, western swing, angelo-celtic and irish music. And....12 bar blues is as interesting as watching paint dry.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Upcoming 3-week tour in Alaska. I'm calling this tour "Bush Plane Blues" (details to follow soon ;-): 2/12/14 Blues in the schools – honoring Black history month • Blues comes to Homer By Christina Whiting Homer Tribune 2/12/14 Photo provided Michael “Hawkeye” Herman performing at the King Biscuit Festival - Helena, AR For the past 36 years, Michael “Hawkeye” Herman has taught Blues in the Schools programs to more than half a million students in more than 500 schools. He’s visited learning establishments from elementary to college level, in 30 states and 10 foreign nations. “All popular music has its roots in the blues,” Hawkeye said. “From rock to pop — and even to country music.” Lesson plans apply blues music to fields of study including African American studies, English, art, math, science, American history and music. The goal of the program is to teach students the history and importance of the music. “The Blues shares the truth about life and is the depository for African American history,” he said. “If you want to know what they were wearing, thinking, driving or eating at any time up until the late 20th century, listen to a blues song.” Beginning Feb. 17, and for the next two and a half weeks, Hawkeye will teach students in 11 different schools in the communities of Homer, Seldovia, Nanwalek and Port Graham. Jack Oudiz, a Homer Council on the Arts board member, was involved in BITS in Sacramento and was instrumental in bringing the program to Homer. “To be passionate about black music is to love the music and be involved with learning about the political and social issues of African Americans, civil rights and social justice,” he said. “Hawkeye was one of the original guys to start this program. His format is engaging and gathers students’ interest in learning history.” Hawkeye tailors his lesson plans specifically to each class after consulting with teachers. At Homer Middle School, Hawkeye will use blues music to teach lyrics and poetry. At Fireweed, the students will study music as it is applied through the science of rhythm and wavelengths. In Nanwalek and Port Graham, students will learn to play a harmonica. Hawkeye was introduced to blues music as a youth. “One night, I was listening to the radio station and I heard the group Howlin’ Wolf singing ‘Killing Floor,’” he said. “The next thing I knew, I was dancing around my room in the dark’ I danced myself into a sweat, and when the song ended, I fell back on the bed exhausted.” Hawkeye spent the next eight months saving money from his paper route to buy his first guitar. He was soon writing songs and performing. The nickname Hawkeye comes from his being born and raised in Iowa, the Hawkeye state. “I was told that to plumb the depths of my career as a musician, I had to have a nickname,” he said. “Other musicians were giving me names I didn’t like, so I had to come up with one pretty quickly before any of theirs stuck.” Hawkeye said he has never felt any resistance from African Americans toward him as a white man playing and singing blues music. “Nobody ever told me that, because I’m white, I couldn’t do this,” he said. “In fact, they’d tell me somebody has to carry the torch and if I was the one willing to pick up the torch, well then, ‘just put your fingers here.’” Hawkeye said he knows he’s done his job when he impacts even just one student. “I have a train song called “Rock it to Chicago,” about rock island railroad in Chicago,” he said. “One time, I was in a classroom and there was a 10-year-old student with multiple sclerosis curled up in his wheelchair. As I played my music, I noted how still he was and I wondered if he was ‘getting it’.” At the end of the class, the teacher handed Hawkeye a picture the student had drawn. It was a picture of a railroad train, drawn in up and slanted strokes, the only way this student could draw. “That picture could have been an album cover,” Hawkeye said. “It vibrated right off the page.” Another time, Hawkeye was told that every teacher in the school had tried to get through to an 11-year-old second-grader named Tyler. “The teacher showed me a picture Tyler drew during my class,” Hawkeye said. “The first page was a drawing of a dead tree and in illegible writing that the teacher translated were the words, ‘I was a dead tree.’ The other page was a drawing of flowers and the sun and the words, ‘your music makes me come alive. You are a fantastic musician and I want to be like you.” That moment shook me to my core and is what teaching is all about.” Blues in the Schools is a national program, administered through local blues societies and arts organizations. HCOA hopes the program is a success and will be the first of many they coordinate. Hawkeye will perform at HCOA on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. as a fundraiser for the BITS program. Tickets are $5 for youth, $10 for members, and $15 general admission, and can be purchased at HCOA, The Homer Bookstore or at HCOA’s Blues in the School Program is made possible this year thanks to funding provided by Alaska State Council on the Arts and Rasmuson Foundation, Conoco Phillips, Charlotte Martin Foundation, The Homer Foundation, Ocean Shores Motel, Boss Hoggz Restaurant and Jack and Debbie Oudiz. “Blues music has an amazing historical story,” said HCOA Director Gail Edgerly. “We’re excited to offer Blues in the Schools in these communities for the very first time.” ============ There are a few minor errors in the article that came out today, my trains song is called "Rocket To Chicago" (not 'rock it to Chicago'), as all the Rock Island RR passenger trains were called "Rocket(s)", as Chicago Rocket, Golden State Rocket, Peoria Rocket, Tri-(later Quad) City Rocket, etc., and here's the song as filmed in '94 at the San Francisco Folk Festival:

Mighty MouseMighty Mouse replied

Hawkeye, Thank you for sharing that information. Making life brighter through music is what it's all about. Your website, your JamPlay lessons, and your gracious replies to student comments promote music and life. While I am sorry to discover there are trolls here in JamPlay, I am delighted to see how you turned it into a teaching moment and not a fight. You didn't let someone's joy in being an "antagonist" ruin your (or my own) joy of music and play. I appreciate what you do as a musician and as a teacher. Thanks, M. Mouse.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

EXCELLENT TIMING ... THIS ... from today's (2/12/14) newspaper, as I prepare to take my blues and roots music educational/history program to communities in Alaska for 3 weeks, funded by grants afforded to Alaska state arts council:

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for taking the time to reveal your opinion. What are your credentials as an expert in the field the history of American music and roots music? Please share them with us, my friend. I have been teaching this information for over 36 years, as well as writing about it by contributing to books and magazine articles on the subject. My library is filled with books that support my instruction. Country music predates bluegrass and Western Swing, blues predates country music, gospel and work songs came together to create blues .. .and blues is the roots for the rest ... Bill Monroe and Bob Wills attest to this in more locations that I can list, including their biographies. Monroe's 1st gig at age 12 was backing a Black blues man ... and he named his music BLUEgrass for a reason he has shared in print and video ... Hank Williams learned blues 12-bar blues from a Black blues singer in Mobile named Teetot, and many of his songs are 12-bar blues (Move It On Over, Mind Your Own Business) Jimmie Rodgers, "The Father of Country Music" wrote hundreds of 12 bar blues songs, most of which were hits, and he learned to play the guitar and sing 12-bar blues songs from African Americans working on the M&O RR when he was employed as a brakeman on the M&O. Bob Wills recorded more 12-bar blues format songs than just about any other Western Swing artist. Your misinformation and lack of historical background is astounding and so overwhelming that. I have taught this material in over 500 schools, from elem. to the college level, in 30 states and 10 foreign nations to over 1/2 millions students of all ages in the past 36 years including at Stanford Univ.,/Univ. Colo./ Colo. St./Univ. of Iowa, etc., and many other college level locations, and all of the other music history professors never once took issue with this information, THEY are the ones who brought me to their colleges to teach this information, and they all support my statements. I have a huge reading list at my web site that you might take advantage in order to learn the accepted facts and the truth: ... your opinion about 12-bar blues being boring was not shared by and almost endless list of performers from Jimmie Rodgers all the way up to Willie Nelson and beyond. Even so, you are free to not inform yourself of the nature and legacy of American Roots music ... and maintain your opinion. ;-) Cheers and Best, HH

duhpranksterduhprankster replied

VISUALIZE!... all of a sudden I put two chords together without stopping. That one tip helped me immensely. Great lesson!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad to help you become a true guitar player ... you've got to visualize where you're going in all aspects of life ... dancing, tying your shoes, driving your car (you don't look over the hood at the road right in front of the bumper, you look up the road where you're going) ... almost all physical tasks and sports are accomplished by visualization. The fact that most guitar instructors never speak of visualization blows my mind ... especially since you can't play anything coherent on the guitar, chords or lead/melody, without visualizing ... 'looking up the road instead of at the front bumper' ;-) Remember to always be thinking ahead, not thinking about where you are presently, but the next step, where you're going. I hope the concept and practice in visualization serves you well in learning the guitar ... ad in many aspects of life. Thanks so much for your comments and for enjoying these lessons. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

samuelparksamuelpark replied

Hawkeye, I'm really enjoying your blues lessons, they help so much, they're very well-thought out and I've been learning alot from your lesson. Would you be able to recommend some albums or artists to listen to in order to get more familiar with blues music in both the acoustic and electric genre? Its like I kind of know what the blues sounds like, but I feel like I don't really know what blues music is, so I want to really dive into the blues, but I don't know where to start. Can you help me out Hawkeye?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Greetings Samuel. Thanks so much for joining me in 'traveling' on the 'blues highway' at JamPlay. I hope you enjoy these lessons. There are so many superb blues artists that my recommending only a few is difficult. You can find the music of all of the following blues musicians on youtube: acoustic; Robert Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Lonnie Johnson, Brownie McGee, Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Rory Block, Hawkeye Herman (, Doug McCloud, Blind Blake, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, Mississippi Fred McDowell ... electric/urban blues; Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, BB King, Albert King, Freddy King, Duke Robillard, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Little Walter, Bonnie Raitt ... just to name a few. Just go to youtube and put in the name of each of the artists I've listed and start listening, enjoying, and 'educating' yourself about this wonderful music that is the watershed of all our popular music today, and that I and so many others love and love to share. "Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits." You can read about the history of the music here: ... Thanks again for your message.

lathrisklathrisk replied

Good list, but don't forget ol' John Lee Hooker!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Of course, the list could be a lot longer, Jared. I knew John Lee Hooker, and my very first true real blues gig was in 1972, when I opened for John Lee Hooker in concert (he played solo, and so did I) at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA. A most auspicious beginning for my career in blues music. ;-) Can't forget John Lee Hooker.

samuelparksamuelpark replied

Thanks so much Hawkeye! This will really help

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

You're most welcome. Enjoy the blues! ;-)

girljamzgirljamz replied

I finished phase I, been playing for 30 years self taught and bored. BUT wow lesson I, i wanted to cry. At 60 yrs old there is no age in playing and learning. Steve Eulberg filled in the gaps w/ theory. Now learning blues will be a blast. Looking forward to learn, practice slow and steady. Thank you

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the message, Jane. I have given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lessons series. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, and you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and guitar skills that will serve you for the rest of your life. You'll find some articles I've written about blues history, specific performers, and my memoirs of some of the iconic blues artists Iearned from here: ... and more free guitar lessons here: ... and if you watch some of my videos you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I' performing at festivals and in concert, try to play along with me and even 'steal' my riffs/licks/ideas: ... take your time, progress through these lessons at your own speed, and enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing blues guitar. ;-)

rkm62rkm62 replied

ok hawk, call me crazy but i finished this whole set. every single lesson. yes, im a better guitar player for it. in fact, i couldn't play much at all. my friends are freaking out a bit and cant figure out how a 50 year old guy all of the sudden is playing the blues so well. and by well, i mean slow and steady. the thing is i tried to move on to other teachers here and im not having much progress. they just dont explain the way you do. so i'm going to start over again. im going to do every single lesson again. it took me a year last time but i dont care. why not? i think its the right move. there is just so much to learn here and i have not mastered it so why not? thanks, rob

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

<< slow and steady>> ... That's the 'ticket', Rob. thanks o much for your kind message. It's very gratifying for me to know that you (and your friends) are amazed at your new found' ability to play blues guitar. ;-). The admin. has been promising to schedule me to videotape more lessons ... for the Phase Two and Phase Three areas ... I have much more lessons and information to share with my students ... I hope there will be more lessons posted from me online at JamPlay in the coming year Also, as a valued 'customer'/student, if you get impatient waiting for new lessons from me, send the JamPlay admin. folks a kind request for more Hawkeye lessons ... it might help to 'grease the wheels' in getting more of my lessons up online. Again, thanks so much for your kind message. I believe the depth of your understanding and skills will grow further by your going through my lessons series again. ;-) Enjoy the process.

mschafftmschafft replied

Excellent teaching. Great vibes there !

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your kind comments, Manuel. Much appreciated. Please follow my lessons in the order they are presented, progressing at your own speed from one lesson to the next, and you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and blues guitar that will serve you for the rest of your life ... and have fun along the way ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... and my 'good vibes.' ;-)

x29ax29a replied

Visualizing ahead is a great tip. Thanks! Didn't think of that in the context of guitar. But it's pretty obvious - once mentioned.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thaks for the message. glad you 'get it' regarding visualization. Visualization is an important aspect of learning anything that has to do with 'muscle memory' ... teaching your muscles to respond to preconceived ideas/movements in your brain ... whether for dance, shooting free-throws, bowling, archery, threading a needle, playing guitar, or any physical activity ... visualization/muscle memory ... 'thinking/planning ahead' is crucial to learning any physical skill. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... and always visualize ahead as you learn/practice/play the guitar. ;-)

leeweberleeweber replied

By far the best overall breakdown of the blues I have ran into on the net. It doesn't hurt that your a fellow Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words, Lee ... and welcome to I have given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lessons series. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, and you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and guitar skills that will serve you for the rest of your life. You'll find some articles I've written about blues history, specific performers, and my memoirs of some of the iconic blues artists Iearned from here: ... and more free guitar lessons here: ... and if you watch some of my videos you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I' performing at festivals and in concert, try to play along with me and even 'steal' my riffs/licks/ideas: ... Yes, I was born in Davenport, IA and I went to college in Iowa City (I left Iowa City in 1968 for the life of a bluesman on the West Coast)... I'm a true Hawkeye ... I have a sister who is a longtime prof. at UI, and I visit her in Iowa City each year/summer ... as I've played at the blues festival in Davenport in July more than 20 times ... I gave a blues guitar workshop at the event this past year. Thanks again for your kind message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

kathyleejkathyleej replied

Just tok my first lesson with you. It was exciting. Looking forward to learning more blues at a easy pace. Thank you for what you do. I know sometimes you may feel unappreciated.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and kind words, Kathylee. Very much appreciated. Welcome to I have given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lessons series. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, and you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and guitar skills that will serve you for the rest of your life. You'll find some articles I've written about blues history, specific performers, and my memoirs of some of the iconic blues artists Iearned from here: ... and more free guitar lessons here: ... and if you watch some of my videos you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I' performing at festivals and in concert, try to play along with me and even 'steal' my riffs/licks/ideas: ... Take your time ... be patient with yourself ... progress at your own speed ... enjoy the process of learning, practicing, and playing the blues. Again, thanks so much for your kind message.

leeweberleeweber replied

Love the article on playing like you feel it. I wish I would have had the Internet, and articles like that 15 years ago. I bought a guitar in college and had a similar attitude as the student you described in that article. I tried to learn songs note for note with no real understanding of music or why I was doing what I was doing. It becomes tiresome and discouraging and pretty much caused me to put the guitar away after about a year of playing. I finally picked it back up a couple years ago and told myself I was going to try doing things the right way, learn the history, theory, and the basic frameworks of the types of music I enjoy and then create my own. Pretty much just like you put it the article. I have since been sucked into the blues vortex and can't get enough. I'll keep an eye out for you int these parts.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad you enjoyed the article ... and agree with my opinion(s) ;-) Yes, please do keep a hawk-eye out for me ... I hope to see ya in the Heartland sometime in the future.

justvinnyjustvinny replied

Hey Hawkeye - I'm very impressed with the diligence you have exercised in these lessons. I am going to be hitting your open G lessons heavily but I am enjoying going through all of them. I have glanced at some blues lessons online and most of the time younger folks are just showing off scales. I think the underlying cultural and social issues you are discussing are essential to understanding the music. I am also very attuned to the gospel influences of the music because in these traditional churches, you found incredible charisma and communication. And all these great blues performers had great on stage charisma and gave great performances even if they did 350 one night stands a year. And even within the limitations of a single style and a few chords, this music is a great and enduring communicator of human emotions and conditions. I really respect the effort you are making in presenting this material in a much more important context than learning some riffs.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the message and kind words, Vince. Very much appreciated. I believe that 'social context' and history are important aspect of understanding music(s). You'll find some articles I've written abut blues history, specific performers, and my memoirs of some of the iconic blues artists Iearned from here: ... and more free guitar lessons here: ... and if you watch some of my videos you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I' performing at festivals and in concert, try to play along with me and even 'steal' my riffs/licks/ideas: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

jw56jw56 replied

Hawkeye - you are the best of all the online teachers I've seen. I have watched many of your lessons several times and am making good progress. Thank you so much - Jeffrey

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much, Jeffrey. I hope you'll follow these lessons patiently in the order they are presented, progressing from one lesson to the next at your own speed. Be sure to check out the free guitar lessons at my web site ... ... and watch the videos here ... ... to see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concert and at festivals ... try to play along with me ;-) ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thaks for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

andreabarbieriandreabarbieri replied

Hi Hawkeye, I'm Andreas from Italy. I just started to follow your lessons, and I hope I'll improve my guitar technique...and also my blues knowledge. Thanks for your great lessons. Ciao.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message, Andres. Welcome to I have given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lessons series. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, nd you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and guitar skills that will serve you for the rest of your life. Visit my web site ... ... and you will find more free guitar lessons ... and videos at I will be in Europe on tour for the 5th time in the last six years. I will be in Sierre and Geneva, in Switzerland, and in Versailles to perform and teach ... ... and also in Norway. I'm sorry to say that I will not be in Italy this time. I was in Florenza, Roma, Venezia,and Napoli in 2010. I hope to return to Italy sometime in the future. I hope you take your time and enjoy these guitar lessons. Perhaps someday we shall meet in Italia. Ciao for now, Hawkeye

chantalouchantalou replied

I am french and I am learning your lesson from France. My english is not so good and I don'ti understand every thig. Anyway, I follow your fingers and .... it's work ! I am so happy. I thank you so much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Un Grand Merci for your message. YOu are not alone, I have other students in France. I have been to France every year to perform and teach for the past five years. This year I will be in Paris, Versailles, Lyon, and Toulouse. Please look at: ... and you will see that I will be in France in October. Perhaps I will see you in France in October??? I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Cheers and Best Wishes, Hawkeye

lapinemikelapinemike replied

Nice job Hawkeye!! Easy to understand, and very informative lessons!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

As I hope you will find all of my lessons. Thanks so much.

mikea3mikea3 replied

Hey Hawkeye - Just wanted to let you know you're my first choice for Phase 2 lessons. I took 3 complete courses from 3 different teachers in the phase one lessons because I wanted to get a feel for some differing styles and perspectives. I may even go back and do some more phase one lessons later, but right now I'm up for some more challenge so I'm really looking forward to your series of lessons after watching your introductory first lesson. I have noticed in your comments and discussion area, along with the three instructors I have completed so far, there are lots of comments on the first several lessons and then by the time you get down to the last few lessons there are just a few people checking in. I hope that is more of an indication of them not commenting on every lesson as opposed to dropping out somewhere along the way. I'm not a big commenter my self but will be checking in from time to time along the way and fully plan to complete all these lessons. Like everything else we do, it's commitment, dedication and practice, practice, practice. I know you're going to make me a better guitar player as the other three instructors already have and I just want to thank you up front for all the time and effort you have put into these lessons and that you are willing to share your knowledge and skills with us. Jamplay is such a good deal! Where else could you get this level of instruction when ever, and as long as you want it. Well - I'm ready, so time to stretch those hands and fingers and get going. See you down the road ...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your comments, Mike. Much appreciated. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and contenet of each lesson ... please follow my lessons in the order they are presented, progressing form one lesson to the next at your own speed, and you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and blues guitar that, I believe and hope, will serve you for the rest of your life. Thanks for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

esteducaesteduca replied

Ehya there! I was playing guitar, and blues occasionally 20 years ago.. then I got married and guess: I stop playing.. dunno why! Now I feel I must come back and I still got the blues, at least in my soul. My fingers, after 20 years don't agreed with me, but is just matter of time. I subscribed here and opened my wallet after seeing your sample lesson about Mr. Robert J's licks in open D, and I am so glad of that. By the way, I have another woman now and she ask me to play something for her.. do you want to guess what I am gonna play her? A blues song of course! Greetings from Italy!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Ciao, and welcome. I hope you take your time and follow these lessons patiently in the order they are presented progressing at your own speed ... and that you have a 'forever' of blues music/guitar playing and enjoyment ahead of you.

hemantsachdevhemantsachdev replied

Absolutely Amazing. Another passanger on the Hawkeye train!!! I was afraid of starting the Phase II lessons and when I was ready I was going to start with the Blues. So glad I am starting with you. The journey has begun and I will be taking it one step at a time like you suggested. The smile on your face while you are teaching the lesson clearly says that you are enjoying yourself. My wife says I am a different person when I am singing and playing music. I know music is food for your soul just as much as it is for mine. Thanks Hawkeye. I will be checking out your website as well.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much, Hemant. Be sure to watch my videos at: ... and visit my web site. Play on!!! I hope you continue to enjoy singing/playing blues guitar ... forever. ;-)

hemantsachdevhemantsachdev replied

Absolutely Amazing. Another passanger on the Hawkeye train!!! I was afraid of starting the Phase II lessons and when I was ready I was going to start with the Blues. So glad I am starting with you. The journey has begun and I will be taking it one step at a time like you suggested. The smile on your face while you are teaching the lesson clearly says that you are enjoying yourself. My wife says I am a different person when I am singing and playing music. I know music is food for your soul just as much as it is for mine. Thanks Hawkeye. I will be checking out your website as well.

BlueDjangoBlueDjango replied

Goodness me! Just when I was beginning to think my plate was full, I found something else to add on to it... will I be biting off more than I can chew if I start this series as well? lol. Regardless... excellent stuff!! I think I have another favorite guitarist/hero to add to the list.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Samantha, and welcome to my blues guitar lesson series. Please follow the lessons in the order they are presented, try not to 'cherry pick'/skip around amongst my lessons, as I've given a great deal of thought and planning as to the oder and content of each lesson. Take your time, don't rush, this is not a 'race' to a finish line, it's an art form and a life's work ;-) ... progress from one lesson to the next at your own speed, and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music, and you'll be able to eventually play freely and improvise as you wish. Be sure to watch some of my music videos at so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me, and even 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas: ... also, you'll find free guitar lessons and lots of blues historical information at my web site: ... and you'll find my music/MP3 downloads here: ... I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me (and my many other students) on the 'blues highway' here at ;-) Thanks so much for your kind message. Welcome aboard.

BlueDjangoBlueDjango replied

I've been doing as you suggested, Hawkeye, and I appreciate the advise much. Fingerpickin' a slow 12 bars sounds so sweet, I could do it for the next forever.. no rush in my bones at all.. for once! I'm listening to Robert Johnson as I type this, with a brand new soul now that I understand a touch of what his guitar is trying to say. Thanks for all your devotion.. this is something I've really been missing out on.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Samantha. So glad you've found your soul in the blues and the joy of learning/playing/exploring blues guitar. I've been playing blues guitar for over 50 years and I still get a huge amount of pleasure, satisfaction, and gratification from playing a simple blues shuffle rhythm that I learned so many years ago. I hope the same holds true for your years from now. ;-)

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Hi Hawkeye. What advice might you have for people thinking about forming their own blues bands?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Patrick, I have posted your question and my answer in the forum area under the Hawkeye forum posts, here:

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Cool. Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the question. ONe of the hardest things to agree on when forming a band, believe it or not, is agreeing on a name. You'd be surprised how difficult it can be to get everyone to agree on the name for a band ... harder than naming a child ;-) because more people are involved. As far as general aspect to keep in mind and be aware of when forming a band ... This question has been covered quite thoroughly via online resources and I think all of the 'details' are covered quite well here with excellent advice: ttp:// In the future, you might consider posting such general questions in the forum area, here: ... ... so that others can more easily access the information and share their comments. This 'comments/questions'' area is for questions about each specific lesson ;-) Thanks so much. I hope the information I've posted is helpful.

ldenteldente replied

The music touches people, and so do you. Kind of like a balm for the soul. And once you have you will always have it Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your comments, Larry. Very much appreciated. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

schievjeschievje replied

awesome thank you hawkeye. That little hint about visualizing the next chord is actually also really good, i ll keep that in mind!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the positive comments, Alexander. Visualization is EXTREMELY important in successfully changing from chord to chord ... and is used in the training of most all activities and sports that demand muscle memory. Don't think about where you are, think about where you're going ... see the chord in your mind's eye before you make the move to it ... and you will make transitions from chord to chord much smoother. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

darksidedarkside replied

Loving your series, especially the Robert Johnson lesson. Also, your little stories from your past about some of the artist you've played with. Love it...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks, Nicolas. I was fortunate to have met and learned from many iconic blues musicians over the years; Son House, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Jackson, Charles Brown , and many more. If you're interested, there are article that I've written about these encounters with the older generation of blues artists, as well as on blues history at my web site, here: ... thanks again for enjoying these lessons. ;-)

darksidedarkside replied

Hi Hawkeye, I'm so glad to have clicked onto your teaching series. I can't tell a lie I've jumped ahead a little, and I especially liked the Robert Johnson, but now I will be starting the series from the first, and go thru it systematically, love it!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words about my lessons, Nicolas. Very much appreciated. Yes, please follow the lessons in the order presented and you'll gain a strong foundation in blues music ... skip around and you'll still learn a lot ... but there will be holes/gaps in your 'foundation'and understanding of blues guitar. Blues is a 'language' ... one wouldn't study a language by 'cherry picking' the lessons ;-) Be sure to watch my videos so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing at festivals and in concert: ... try to play along with me ... and 'steal' some of my riffs/licks. Be patient and progress at your own speed ... take your time and learn each lesson thoroughly before moving on, and you'll soon find yourself playing the blues, even improvising, as you please. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

hereforhawkeyehereforhawkeye replied

hi i am so happy to have found your lessons!! i love the blues and sing all the time now i want to learn to play as i sing :) i am trying my best but my guitar doesnt sound like yours and my finger tips are sore...feels like it will take ages to learn but i do love it!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi, Sarah. Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. Please be patient with yourself ... don't rush ... there's no 'race to the finish line' in learning to play blues guitar, it a lifelong activity (like watercolor painting, or any other art form ;-) ... just take it one step at a time .... progress at your own speed ... use the video controls to stop/replay whatever you don't get the first time around ... follow my lessons in the order they are presented ... and as your fingers get stronger and you develop some protective skin/callous material on the end of your fingers (after the initial pain of playing passes) ... it gets much easier to play the guitar. Some folks don't ever get past the early pain of using your fingertips in such an unorthodox/unusual manner, and they give up ... before they've even begun ... because they thought it would be easy to play the guitar ... it is easy to play the guitar ... but you have to develop some finger strength and some callous on your fingertips in order for you to really get going with learning even more 'muscle memory/chords, etc. Just be patient, progress at your own speed ... remember that every time you practice you improve ... it may not seem like it, but it's true ... sometimes we learn in 'big leaps' of ability and information, and sometimes its in very small steps ... but each step, big or small, contributes to the journey. Be sure to trim the fingernails on your fretting hand so that they don't protrude beyond the tip of your finger ... long fingernails prevent one from pressing firmly on the string ;-) Also, if you watch my many music video on you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concert and at festivals: ... I hope to see you in the UK ... someday ... I do tour in Europe each year for the past five years, but I've not toured in the UK ... yet ... it seems that there are quite a few folks taking these lessons in the UK ... 'Hawkeye's UK underground' ;-) ... and they're sending emails to blues festivals/producers/bookers in their local areas of the UK referring/recommending that I perform there. I hope it happens. IN the meantime, thanks for being here at I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

hereforhawkeyehereforhawkeye replied

wow i can't believe you read my message haha!!! so happy this morning when i practice 'good morning blues' i will play better i know it :) :) i am going to see bb king at the apollo but i am not aware of many blues gigs however if you ever come to town i will be there no question. thank you it must be amazing to bring so much joy to so many people xx

hereforhawkeyehereforhawkeye replied

ps i have watched all your you tube stuff that is what led me to this site x

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for viewing the videos, Sarah. Have a great time at the BB King show. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

aguillen2011aguillen2011 replied

Hawkeye - I have a question regarding the I, IV, V chord structure. In lesson 1, scene 3 you refer to these as follows: I - tonic, IV - subdominant, V - dominant In lesson 1, scene 4 you then refer to this same progression as follows: I - tonic, IV - dominant, V - subdominant Could you please clarify which is correct? Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for catching my error ... sorry for the confusion ... sometimes I do talk without thinking ... especially when we videotape these lesson early in the morning ... ;-) ... this is correct: I - tonic, IV - subdominant, V - dominant. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

blinkyblinky replied

Peeked at your lessons during my free trial, and now, almost at the end of my beginners lessons, although I could spend more time there, I am eager to follow your lessons as far as I can go. You are the inspiration that lead me to sign up as a subscriber. My goal is to one day play along with some of my old Champion Jack Dupree lp's. Good old fashion barrel house blues. Got my Herco blue strapped on and away we go!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message, Roger. Much appreciated.. FOllow my lessons in the order they are presented ... don't rush ... be patient with yourself ... progress at your own speed and enjoy the learning process. There are more free guitar lessons at my web site ... ... and be sure to watyc some of my many music performance videos so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing ... ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. You should be able to play along with Champion Jack sooner than you might have though. Thanks again for the kind words.

apodestaapodesta replied

Hawkeye, I couldn't wait to finish my phase one lessons before starting your Blues lessons. You've really given me the Blues bug and it's great. I've enjoyed this first lesson and am looking forward to carrying on with you. Great to have met you and in years to come I might be able to say to my grandkids that I was taught by the great Michael Hawkeye Herman :-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the message and for your patience and diligence in completing Phase One lessons before starting with me at Phase Two. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented ... take your time, be patient with yourself ... use the video controls to repeat as many times a necessary any segment that you don't 'get'/understand on the first viewing ... don't rush, enjoy the process ... and progress from lesson to lesson at your own speed ... like I always say, "You must learn to crawl before you walk, and learn to walk before you run." ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. If you have a problem, just let me know. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at ... and that the information I share with you serves you ... forever.

driftingbluesdriftingblues replied

crawl before you walk. walk before you run. Run before you fly. Thank you Sir.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

You're most welcome, Don. You've definitely got the 'message.' By the way, did you know that your screen name 'driftingblues' is the title of one of the biggest blues hits of all times, written and recorded by the great blues pianist Charles Brown, who was a good friend, mentor of mine, and with whom I toured and recorded ... including a version of his hit song, "Drifting Blues," on my very first album ... you can hear part our piano and guitar duet from the album here: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied

Hawkeye, this is so cool! I just started the series and your teaching style is so easy to understand. I'm going to go slow and take my time and have fun with this. Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind comments. So glad you're traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at Follow my lessons in the order they are presented ... take your time, be patient with yourself, progress at your own speed ... if you don't understand something on the first viewing, use the video controls to replay any segment, short or long, as many times as you need to until you 'get it.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again! :-)

adrian_g_dumitriuadrian_g_dumitriu replied

Thanks a lot for your lesson. I am 40 years old and I used to play guitar when I was a teenager. I have a long break (for almost 20 years in playing) and now I’ve decided to start again. Your lessons are impressive and very useful. The fact that your not just teaching guitar but also blues history and also music theory is another impressive and positive surprise. I regret that 25 years ago when I took guitar lessons for 4 years I didn’t had a teacher like you. Anyway better later than never ! Once again thanks for the lessons. Best regards Adrian (Bucharest,Romania)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging comments, Adrian. Very much appreciated. Yes ... "Better late than never!" ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. ;-)

richard23richard23 replied

thanks for your lessons Hawkeye....I'm almost 50 and have been learning for abt 2 years and really enjoying my guitar....just wish I had started learning 40 years ago. I like blues and folk mostly and have been chopping and changing around in working out how best to learn. Having done your early lessons and read some of your comments I'm decided to take my time and follow your lesson in proper sequence. I'm also doing private lessons each 2 weeks. Do you have any thoughts abt doing private lessons and learning through jamplay. Also, is it ok to use just my thumb and fingers without a thumbpick thanks again... Richard (Sydney, Australia)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your kind comments and questions, Richard. I'm happy to have you traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at, and that you understand the values in follwoing my lessons in the order they are presented, being patient with yourself, and progressing from lessons to lesson at your own speed. I have played guitar for over 50 years, and taught for over 40 years ... there are advantages to 'live'/in-person guitar lessons and advantages to online video lessons. Both can serve you well. A 'live' instructor can correct issues/bad habits a student might have with fingering/playing the instrument, as well as spontaneously give necessary/requested information, answer questions, etc. Online video lessons allow you control how much information you want to absorb at a time ... and also allow you to use the video controls to have any short or long segment of a lesson repeated as many times a necessary. With online video lessons you can take guitar lessons any time you want for as long as you want .... with a 'live' instructor, you have to make an appointment, meet with the person, and for a limited amount of time. SOme folks thing/feel that online guitar lessons are impersonal and far less interactive. I'm not going to open a debate on this subject ... There are advantages and disadvantages to both manner of learing/teaching. I suggest you take advantage of both options ... and over time, decide what works best for you. The same holds true for using a flatpick, a thumbpick, or just your fingers and no pick. It's a matter of personal choice. If you're most comfortable with playing the guitar and the sound you get on the guitar with your 'plain thumb and fingers' ... then I encourage you to proceed with what satisfies you and makes you happy. I've been asked about the choices in this matter many time ... and I suggest you read a post/thread in the forum area that I placed some time ago that address the issues/choices of using/not using picks, here ... understand that this includes the choice of not using any type of pick at all: ... Again, thanks so much for your kind words and for enjoying these lessons.

richard23richard23 replied

thanks again Hawkeye....really appreciate your response....Richard

chesterkelseychesterkelsey replied

Hi Hawkeye,I started your lesson series in August 09 I think you were up to about 50 lessons then.I had just started playing guitar again after a break of about 20 years.When i watched your introduction I thought I would never be able to do anything like that but after nearly a year and a half of practising,sometimes up to 3 or 4 hours a day I can pretty much play along.This was after following your lessons methodically and not moving on too fast.This is not to say that I havent been learning other stuff as well just to say what can be achieved with a bit of application.I have had a couple of breaks from Jamplay to spend some time learning some songs (Beatles.James Taylor,Neil Young)but now you have a whole load more lessons have come back to the beginning to start the journey again.Looking forward to it.Thanks again.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your comments, Michael I really appreciate your kind words, interest, and enthusiasm for the blues and my lesson series. I'm so glad you realize that it's best to progress at your own speed, don't rush the learning process, and follow these lessons in the order they are presented. I hope the information and skills you gain here will serve you the rest of your life ... and that you'll encourage others to listen to, appreciate, and even play the blues. That's how traditions are kept alive, by passing the 'torch' to others. Again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for taking the time to post your kind message. There will be many more Hawkeye blues guitar lessons to come ... and I hope you continue to enjoy traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at

greenboogiegreenboogie replied

Thank you Mike.I hope you don't mind me calling you Mike. These are very good lessons.I am determined not to give up this time.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

You're most welcome. Glad you're enjoying the lessons. (I prefer to be called Michael or Hawkeye ... most folks call me Hawkeye ... except for my wife and immediate family members who call me Michael. Whatever is fine ... ;-) Thanks again.

rosanellarosanella replied

Hello Everyone, Just to introduce myself as I've just joined JamPlay to improve my guitar playing and become more confident at jam sessions, open mics and during rehearsals. I'm singer/sonwriter mostly self-taught since age 14--I'm 21+ now... ;). I play rhythm on 12 strings Acoustic or Fender Strat. I'm enjoying the lesson with its historical introduction and feel.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Welcome, Rosanella. Thanks for introducing yourself. It's good to have you with us here at I hope you'll follow these lessons in the order they are presented., take your time, move forward at your own pace, don't rush, be patient, use the video controls to repeat what you don't quite understand ... and I think you'll find that you'll be playing blues and improving you skills much sooner than you might have expected. I do hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

blakeyspostblakeyspost replied

'Thank goodness'. People told me that I'd reach various brick walls as I progressed with guitar. I was at one such 'wall' when I found this website. Listening to your lessons and enjoying your style has helped me to enjoy the guitar once again. The wife might disagree, but singing along is great fun also !!! Cheers Hawkeye

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words. I hope you follow these lessons in the order they are presented ... and you'll find that I anticipate the 'brick walls' that might hinder your progress ... and that they are transformed from 'brick walls' ... to small hurdles ;-) ... which these lesssons help you overcome. Please continue to Sing Out!!! The blues is about overcoming life's 'brick walls' ... and lifting your spirit in song is an important part of the process. :-)

mfishermfisher replied

Enjoyed your classes and workshops at the American River Music Camp. Now I got the Blues once again and have decided to start the lesson set from the beginning, this time with a thumb pick.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Mike. Thanks so much for the message. So glad you enjoyed my blues guitar lessons at the American River Acoustic Music Camp. I had a great time at camp, too. ;-) It was a pleasure having you in the class. As long as you're going to switch to a thumbpick for blues guitar playing... Please note ... don't buy just ANY thumbpick ... if you would have told me at camp, I would have given you one of mine ... I buy them by the 100s (so many folks ask me about them at my 'live' blues guitar workshops that I give them away to those who inquire) ... the Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick is the only one I use ... please be sure to go to these posts to read more about why I use a thumbpick, and why I only use the Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick: I'm happy to have you back with me here on the 'blues highway' at I hope you continue to enjoy the lessons ... and that I'll see you next year at camp. Cheers and Best Wishes, Hawkeye

mdatkinsonmdatkinson replied

Hi Hawkeye Thanks for putting so much effort into the structure of the course. It is a pleasure to listen to you play and you have a gift for teaching. Some of the courses I have done in the past have just been a stage for the teacher to perform! You explain the principles very well (simply) and I guess this comes from your own background of learning by watching and emulating the early blues players who themselves learnt to play in the same manner. I am convinced that Jamplay is the next best thing. Can you recommend any Blues Magazines ( I have seen the book list on your website) that have a similar structure to your course, i.e a bit of history, bio, playing skills, recommended listening etc? Once again, thanks Mississippi Mark

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Mark, Thanks so much enjoying these lessons and for your kind comments. Much appreciated. My top recommendations for blues magazines: Living Blues magazine and Blues Revue and Acoustic Guitar mag I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

deathmaniacdeathmaniac replied

Who has got the blues? ME of course

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for saying so ;-) In my humble opinion we all get the blues sometime ... it's a blessing to be able to 'play out' your blues on the guitar. I hope you enjoy this entire lessons series.

scpilgrimscpilgrim replied

Thanks for the lesson. Think I'll stick with this series! One question . . . why is the V chord a B7 and not just a B?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the comments and question. The V chord in blues is usually played as a 7th chord, so it would be V7, technically. You can play a B chord/V chord or a B7/V7 chord ... they both work ... the V7 sound betters to my ears and 'leans' a bit more toward resolving on the I (e) chord. I hope you continue to enjoy this lessons series.

tiffanychengtiffanycheng replied

Thanks for the lesson~it's going to be an interesting series! :D

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message. I hope you enjoy the entire series. There are many lessons posted, and many more to come. I hope you have the patience to follow the lessons in the order they are posted ... for the best results. If you have any problems or questions feel free to ask. Welcome to ... I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling with me on the blues highway' here at Thanks again for your message.

sendbahtsendbaht replied

Hello Hawkeye, I found a thump pick in a store here in Northren Thailand. A plastic thump pick better then nothing. So, going to start the lessons over just to get use to it. I was missing out trying to play without a thump pick. I do not want to miss a thing you teach. Hope all your world tours are doing well.

blueguitar24blueguitar24 replied

Sweet I was born in Iowa City. My dad went to that school but moved us to Phoenix when I was 4!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

My sister lives in Iowa City, and I usually visit there once a year. It's a nice town. So if you were born in Iowa City ... technically ... you're a "Hawkeye" ... too! Go Hawks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Greetings Don. Glad you found a thumbpick in Northern Thailand. You're right, a plastic one is better than nothing. However, the Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick is the best and easiest to use. Some of my students 'overseas' (in Asia and Europe) have purchased the Herco thumbpick via mail order from: I hope you can get used to using the new 'appendage' to your thumb. It takes about 4 or 5 hours of playing with it for it to eventually feel like a 'normal' extension of your thumb. Thanks for the message and for continuing to enjoy these lessons.

dcbanks927dcbanks927 replied

Hey Mr. Herman. This is a great beginning lesson. I think an A7 sound really cool on the 10th measure. My question is: It's hard enough for me to play much less count and sing. Are you counting in your head as you sing? I'm either playing and singing or palying and counting. Thanks Dave

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Dave, Thanks for your kind comments and your question. I've been playing the guitar for over 50 years. In the early years I used to count measure while I played, but for the last forty years I don't count at all ... as a result of practice and repetition I 'feel' the chord changes. I don't have to count measures at all ... regardless of the number of measure in a song, my body knows when the chord changes are supposed to happen. This allows me to totally focus on singing and playing at the same time without having to 'count' measures. This can only happen for you if you count measures while you sing and play. I cover this, and how to count measures while singing/playing in a future lesson in this series, so please be patient with yourself and follow these lessons in the order they are presented. Eventually you'll be able to 'feel' where the chord changes happen in 12 bar blues ... which is a great place to start and applies to other types/styles/genres of music. Thanks again for your kind comment and question. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

blueguitar24blueguitar24 replied

hawkeye like IOWA Hawkeyes?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, that's correct. I was born in Davenport, Iowa and I attended the Univ. of Iowa. I'm a "Hawkeye" through and through. I took the blues moinker/nickname "Hawkeye" in 1975 to always remind me of my roots in the Heartland. I left Iowa in 1968 to pursue my life as a professional blues musician on the West Coast. I took the nickname "Hawkeye" in 1975. I do return to Iowa and the Midwest to perform at festivals and in concert usually once a year, amongst my other travels all over North America, South America, and in Europe.You can read my full bio. here:

revtonyrevtony replied

Great job and well explained.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the kind comment. Welcome aboard.

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Hi Hawkeye. Any chance of a future lesson on Piedmont blues? Blind Boy Fuller style maybe? Would be very cool.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and suggestion. Yes, there is a chance that I might teach some Piedmont blues here at I'm always open to suggestions. But you must understand that I only tape new lessons in bulk a couple of times a year, so it will be months before anything appears here ... I live on the West Coast and the lesson are taped in Colorado. In the meantime, why not check out the lessons Ihave here on Blind Bloy Fuller, Blind Blake, and Blind Willie Mctell ( Also, I recommend you view some of Mary Flower's video guitar lessons here at She's an excellent Piedmont blues stylist and teacher. Thaks again for your interest and suggestion.

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hi Hawkeye, I just wanted to take the time and repeat what I have said before that I personally have learned more about ,not only,Blues but many other things about palying the Guitar. I think this is one of the Best Instructional Videos,not that the rest aren't good,as theyare,on Jamplay or anywhere else for that matter.And as you say go slow and Practice! I can't thank you enough.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your kind words, Dennis. Very much appreciated. In my opinion, understanding the history/background of blues music is almost as important as learning how to play the music. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Again, thanks so much.

jnc51jnc51 replied

Hey Hawkeye, saw you at the IBC in Memphis. sorry you were busy, didn't get a chance to chat. I had a great time; my Brother-in-laws band was in the Challenge. I got into the Blues and started your first lesson on Jamplay. Good beginning lesson; gets you right into it.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message. Sorry I didn't get to meet you in Memphis at the blues challenge ... this was my 9th year as judge. Follow the lessons as they are presented here and you'll be playing blues guitar sooner than you think. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons,

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Hi, Hawkeye, Just wanted to let you know that thanks to your lessons The Polishers rocked the house in their debut last night before about 350 people at an important work-related New Year party in Beijing. We did a countrified version of Good Morning Blues with yours truly playing rhythm on an electric acoustic Fender, an Australian playing lead on an electric Yamaha and a German woman on tambourine. We were extremely nervous at first despite much practice because none of us had ever played live before. That nervousness faded quickly, though, when we noticed the Chinese waitresses unexpectedly dancing and digging the blues as they worked during our sound check. That confidence carried over to the show and the crowd got up and into the music as we played and then gave us a standing O at the end. The experience was so surreally cool, I can't properly explain. cheers!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

That's fantastic. Congratulations on your first gig! You've made me very happy ... the blues is truly "international' ... you've proved the point ... :-) ... this is just the beginning ... keep it up ... and enjoy the process.

jacques6068jacques6068 replied

Hi Hawkeye! Brilliant intro! I believe the name of the song is The Great River Road. Do you teach that song in one of your later lessons here on jamplay? I would love to learn it!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind message. I do teach how to play my original instrumental fingerpicking blues instrumental "The Great River Road" here at Just follow the lesson plans from lesson #1 and you'll be 'prepared' for it. You can watch me perform the entire tune in concert here: Again, thanks so much for the kind words. I hope you continue to enjoy my lessons here at

mazzystarlettemazzystarlette replied

Good morning blues, how do you do? E E E, E7 A A E E B7 E. That was fun.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi. Thanks for the comment. If each of the letters that you placed signifies one measure ... you only have ten measures and we're doing 12 bar (measure) blues ... so, it would be: E/E/E/E7/A/A/E/E/B7/A/E/E/ ... or you can explore this further here: Thanks again for the message. :-)

rockingchicagorockingchicago replied

now thats what i was looking for ""hawkeye"" cant wait to see all ur videos... and learn all your knowledge of the blues... you gave me the kick that i needed to keep going.... thx

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much. There's a lot more to come ... I just recently filmed many more hours of lessons for I hope you continue to enjoy traveling with me on the 'blues highway.'

revgtrrevgtr replied

Hi Hawkeye. I enjoyed the first lesson very much, but I have a question. Can I apply what is taught in this course to the electric guitar? You use a lot of fingerpicking and I'm wondering if I can use hybrid picking (with flatpick) or if I could use a thumbpick with my electric? I'm not sure if this style would work with heavier electric strings. Or should I put my telecaster aside and invest in an acoustic for your course?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

revgtr, Thanks for enjoying lesson #1 and for your your kind comments and question. You don't need to buy an acoustic guitar, you can use your telecaster. You can use a flatpick if you want. I've been asked this many times, so I posted a bit of an explanation here: I hope this helps with your decision. Thanks again.

jiddz1992jiddz1992 replied

enjoying the lessons and learning your blues :) but your a mean man for that barre chord :D!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

jiddz1992, Thanks for the comments and for enjoying these lessons. Very much appreciated. Take your time, don't pressure yourself, be patient ... this is a life's work ... you're not expected to be able to do any of this overnight ... believe it or not, you get better every time you pick up the guitar ... so don't look for instant gratification, look for enjoying the process of learning and getting better in increments ... like the rest of us ;-) You're gonna need a few barre chords ... so pick up the guitar and work on getting rid of those buzzing/muted strings when you're trying to make a barre chord ... make the tiny adjustments that are needed to get your fingers in the right position ... and take your time ... it's a long and winding road that has no end ... not a video game that you can 'master' in a few days ... ;-) ... don't 'barre the door' to your future in playing blues guitar by being intimidated by the barre chord or by your guitar. You CAN do it. The guitar is one of the best friends you'll ever have, if you look at it as your creative pal rather than instrument that you must 'struggle' with . Have fun learning ... follow the lessons in the order they are presented, and you'll be enjoyably playing blues guitar sooner than you might think. Thanks again for being here.

pandkyonpandkyon replied

"Good Morning Blues.. How are you?"... I can't get it out of my head :) I can tell you are passionate about what you do. I enjoyed the history lesson and I've made it through the first 3 lessons but I'm holding back because I want to master the basics. I look forward to the next lesson. Thanks

franrfranr replied

Same here! I caught myself this morning waking up humming good morning blues myself. Your passion for the blues is contagious. Looking forward spending time together on your continued lessons. Thank you.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

franr, Thanks for the messasge and kind words. Since you're just beginning with these lessons, let me advise you to stick with the program/order of the lessons. You can jump/skip around and learn a lot, but I've been playing the guitar and teaching for 50 years, and I've given a lot of thought to the order and contenet of each lesson. I want to give you a staong foundation/understanding in blues music so that you can play/creat on your own effectively. Skip around in these lessons, and you'll still learn a lot, but there will be 'holes/gaps' in your blues foundation. Later on in these lessons, when it comes to open tunings and playing slide guitar, you might decide this is not for you, an individual option ... but for now, please stick with the program ... and enjoy the process. Again, thanks so much for your kind message.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

pandkyon, Thanks so much. You ain't seen nothin' yet ... I love what I do and I love sharing the music ... this is just the beginning for you ... you've got the right idea; take it slow, don't move on until you can accomplish what is taught in each lesson, and try to stick with the order of these lessons ... if you skip around you'll still learn a lot, but if you stick with the 'program' you'll gain a thorough/comprehensive understanding of the blues, and you'll be able to eventually use your own creativity in playing blues on the guitar. Thanks again.

mixojammixojam replied

Great lesson! So enthusiastic you are. Loved this lesson a lot. Thanks!

ednortednort replied

I really like Hawkeye's style and personality, except in this lesson he makes no mention of which strings to pluck with your strumming hand.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks fopr the comment. Proceed with the lesson plan/order, and your questions will be answered.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

mixojam, Glad you enjoyed lesson #1 so much. I hope you enjoy the next 65+ lessons just as much. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated.

jmcbride4126jmcbride4126 replied

I'm enjoying your lessons! What is the name of the thumb pick you use and where can I find them?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Look in the a Hawkeye forum posts ... there´s a complete thread árticle´I wrote about the choice of thumbpicks ... because so many folks have asked about this and I´ve answered the question so many times ... I place a long description there for everyone. Thanks for asking.

rjoossrjooss replied

Hawkeye: great first lesson. Question: how can you play with a thumbpick but no other fingerpicks? The nails on your fingers don't look long either. Doesn't that affect your sound? Of course, it sounds great. I've just never seen it done that way.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

rjooss, Thanks for the kind comment and question. I've never used picks on my fingers, just the blue Herco Flex Nylon thumbpick. Most blues fingerpickers don't wear picks on their fingers ... this is not classical guitar, you don't need long fingernails to play blues guitar ... most guitarists who play fingerpicking acoustic guitar ... in any genre ... don't use fingerpicks ... we use the calloused tips of our fingers to pick the notes. I could never play with picks on the end of my fingers ... I don't like the feel on my fingers nor the metalic sound it creates. Fingerpicks ...? Nope, and I don't know very many people who use them, either. If you use them ... fine. I don't, nor do I recommend them ... but, it's a matter of individual taste ... so if you like using them ... great. I hope you keep enjoying these lessons ;-)

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied

Hiya Hawkeye, great lessons you have. Have gotten tired of the Chinese house bands here playing "Hotel California" and bad Beatles songs, so am going to try and bring a bit of the blues to Beijing.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

nycbeijinger, Thanks for the message and kind comments. This is just the beginning for you ... if you're enjoying this lesson, you'll surely enjoy the entire series ... and you'll be playing the 'Beijing Blues' with no problems very soon. So glad to have you 'aboard' our journey on the 'blues highway. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please remeber, you can watch me perform in concert many of the styles I teach here at and there are free guitar lessons at my web site here: Again, thanks for your kind message.

the brodthe brod replied


kevinacekevinace replied

This was a temporary problem and is now fixed.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

It has to be your computer ... do you see any other folks registering this complaint? I'm not a techie ... I don't run this site ... I just teach ... maybe one of the tech. folks can help you. Cheers.

the brodthe brod replied

sorry hawkeye i am anew member my first lesson love your blues the brod

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Nooooooooo problemo. Welcome! I hope you enjoy the journey with me, and the rest of us 'bluesers,' on the "blues highway" here at

currannicurranni replied

hawkeye you do a nice turnaround in this intro, could i ask wat it is? its in the first minute of the video

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

currnni, Somebody else asked me about that turnaround ... and I explained it in words in a posted response. See if you can find it by looking through the forum posts and comments. Sorry, I don't remember where it is ... but I did write it out in text for somebody ... and i don'thave time to do it again, right now ... because I'm on concert tout. Let me know if you find it ... or don't ... and maybe I can helpyou out with this when I have more time. Thanks!

currannicurranni replied

i ll let u know many thanks & for the word of encouragement..

tgibbytgibby replied

Hi Hawkeye, I just found you on this site an what a great find! I a drummer looking to expand my musical experience and play the blues guitar. I have seen you every year at the Grafton Paramount Blues Fest. ( thanks for supporting our young festival) I am really looking forward to working through your blues lessons. Tom

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Tom, Thanks for the message. Good to see you here. PLease be sure to stick with the program .. I've given a lot of planning and thought to the order and content of these lessons ... if you skip around, you won't get a strong foundation in blues music ... please stick with the order of these lessons ... and I believe you'll be leaving positive comments about these lessons like the many others you see posted here. I've enjoyed being in Grafton and helping get the Paramount Blues Fest going the past three years ... I'm afraid I won't be there this year, as they have some budget problems ... maybe next year. Again, thanks ... enjoy these lessons.

currannicurranni replied

i m currently half way through the lessons and i said i d go back and listen to this intro haha, and now it doesnt look as scary as i thought before.. crazy haha

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

curranni, Well, a bit intimidating, maybe ... but scary? I hope not ;-)

currannicurranni replied

ok i ll say that it looked hard haha

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

curranni, Thanks! Much appreciated ;-)

jbrady03jbrady03 replied

Hawkeye, thanks for the introduction to blues and thanks for the big smile on my face after jumping into the 12 bar blues. im looking forward to my blues lessons with you

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

JBRADY03, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. As you can see from the other posted comments from my students ... we're having fun learning and playing the blues. Please try to stick with the 'program' order of these lessons ... and you'll be surprised how soon you'll be playing the blues quite well. Watch each lesson as many times as it takes for you to 'get it' before you move on. Don't rush, take your time and enjoy the process. thanks again for your kind comments.

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hawkeye, About 3.49 into Scene two on "Blues Introduction" you play a little intro by BB King. Can you tell me the preceeding Chord and fingering. It was hard to make out on my monitor. Thanks, Dennis Douglas

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

DD, The chord is a simple A7 barre chord at the fifth fret. You can learn more here about BB's style: in this tablature example the first chord C7 ... is at the 8th fret ... same chord shape as the A7 I'm playing here in this lesson.

jsashjsash replied

This is for those just starting out. Trust me, stick with these lessons IN ORDER and he WILL teach you something about the blues. The first couple lessons seem rather mundane.. the damn blues shuffle again... but like the masterful teacher Hawkeye is, he's just easing you into a greater understanding of the blues form and its possibilities. Again, if you stick with these lessons start to finish you won't ever consider selling your soul in order to play like Robert Johnson.... Hawkeye will have taught you how. Come to think of it, Hawkeye may be the devil himself the sly way he gets you to play the blues but in the end you get to keep your soul. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

jsash, Thanks so much. I do appreciate your passing on your thoughts on my lessons to the rest of the gang. Of course, you're right ... I have played the blues for 50 years and been teaching guitar for 40 years ... and I have given a lot of thought as to the content of each lesson, the length of each lesson, and the order in which they are given ... if one follows the 'program' in the lesson order presented ... there will be much fewer gaps in one's understanding of the blues ... if one skips around when taking these lessons one will still learn a lot ... but one will miss some important foundation/building blocks that are necessary to be a more 'complete' blues guitarist. Learning the shuffle rhythm must be included ... it's a crucial blues rhythm ... if one already knows how to play a shuffle through all the 12 bar chord changes in every key ... then you can skip the shuffle lesson and move on to the next lesson. Be aware that these lessons are 'built'/structured like building blocks ... with a strong foundation first ... then adding information to 'sweeten' one's playing and understanding and blues 'vocabulary' as we progress from one lesson to the next. Well, I've been called a lot worse ... than the 'devil' ... ;-) ... but you are also correct ... I will teach y'all the blues ... and you get to keep your Soul. thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

brucembrucem replied

Enjoying your lessons! Question; in one of your lessons (which I can't find again) you mention the type of thumbpick you use. What kind and where can you buy them? All I can find are thick plastic; I'm looking for a thinner one, like .60 mm..??

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

brucem, Thanks for the kind comments. Sorry for the delayed response, but I've been touring/performing in Europe from 11/10 to 12/4. The pick I recommend is the HERCO FLEX 52 BLUE NYLON THUMBPICK ... which can be found art accept no substitutes!!! This pick is light, durable, and because it's nylon, can be opened up/loosened if it's too tight, or squeezed/tightened if it's too loose. I was given one of these picks by the great Doc Watson about 25 years ago, and I have been using them ever since. Try it and you'll never use a plastic thumbpick again. Happy bluesin'.

sandrocafesandrocafe replied

thanks great lessons

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

sandrocafe, You're most welcome ... sorry for the delayed response ... as I've been touring in Europe from 11/10 to 12/3. There's much more to come. Thanks again.

loslierloslier replied

Hawkeye, thank you.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

loslier, Thanks to you for the kind comment. Take your time with these lessons. You'll be surprised how fast you'll learn if you don't skip around and follow the lessons in order ... try not to move ahead until you understand and can accomplish what is being taught in a given lesson. Enjoy the process and don't pressure yourself to move fast or play fast. There's no rush. I want you to have a strong foundation in the basics of blues ... that you'll be able to build on for the rest of your life. Enjoy!

guitarfoolguitarfool replied

Hey Hawkeye, I'm a self taught guitar player, I was stuck, so I decided to try lessons. Just the first lesson taught me so much, after the lesson I could put together a pretty cool little song, looking forward to the rest of the lessons, thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

guitarfool, Thanks so much for the kind comment. If you follow these incremental lessons, in the order they are presented ... you should be able to accomplish a great deal on the guitar. I hope you'll hang in there with me. Thanks again.

mkesnermkesner replied

Hello Hawkeye, What size strings do you use on your National? Thanks!

mkesnermkesner replied

Thank you.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

mkesner, I use D'Arco light gauge bronze stings (.12 - .52). I could use medium gauge strings for a 'bigger' sound and for less 'buzzing' when using the slide ... but I like the feel of light gauge strings, and I feel that the lighter gauge is less stressful on the neck of my old 1934 Natioanl 'Trojan' resonator guitar.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

duaneellison, Thanks for the message. So glad you GET IT! Counting measures in a piece of music via the method I show in this lesson (1,2,3,4 - 2,2,3,4 - 3,2,3,4 - 4,2,3,, etc.) is crucial to not getting 'lost' in the chords/form ... useful in all type of music ... so you know where you are at all times. I'm happy to have helped you make this ... breakthrough. Again, thanks so much for letting me know that these lessons are having an impact on your ability to understand the music and play the guitar.

everbladeseverblades replied

do u have to play fingerstyle?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Please watch more lessons .. I show how to play much more blues than just fingerstyle.Enjoy the process.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

There's a "Hawkeye Live in Concert" DVD you might enjoy ... You can see/hear many of the songs on the DVD for free on at; Check 'em out ... you can see/hear my blues ... in action.

wthrill911wthrill911 replied

Great lessons!!! MORE BLUES!!!!

duaneellisonduaneellison replied

sweet!!! That was perfect... NOW I understand why people always saw while I need to learn that darn B7 chord. Now I get it... Also - for some STUPID reason that (1,2,3,4) (2,2,3,4) (3,2,3,4) NEVER dawned on me before. I would try to play another with other things and get lost sometimes. Thanks for the duh moment! :) Much appreciated!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks martin and mrigaki. Much appreciated. There's more to come

martinmartin replied

Great Lessons and such a nice guy. Welcome to Jamplay.

mrigakimrigaki replied

Thanks and welcome!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks to you all for your enthusiasm and kind comments. There are lots more lessons ahead ... scales, licks, turnarounds, rhythms, and complete songs ... as well as some slide guitar ... just down the road a piece ... so take it slow ... but take it ... and remember to always visualize where you're going ... not where you've been or where you are now. Think ahead .. by visualizing the next chord position ... if you drop the time when changing chors it's because you're playing faster than you should ... or you're not visualizing the next chord before playing it. Yes, I did mis-call the four (IV) chord as the dominant chord ... the four chord is the sub-dominant ... the V (five) chord is the dominant. (A little test to see if you were really paying attention) :-)

Rob SRob S replied

Thank you Hawk Eye! You are just what the Doctor ordered! Thank you for your instruction. Rob

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Excellent lesson! Very thorough! Welcome to JamPlay, Hawkeye!

mysticmanmysticman replied

Thank you, Thank you, the wait is over. The Blues are here YA! Thanks Hawkeye............

gameboigameboi replied

I've always wanted to play some blues. Thanks for the great lesson!

timmlktimmlk replied

Very, very nice. Enjoyed all of it. Nice with the background history, and a very nice lesson on the 12 bars. Lokking forward to many more blues lessons from you.

niandraniandra replied

uuhm...isn't the fith chord the dominat and the fourth the subdominat? or am i wrong????

jboothjbooth replied

Yes, I believe he mis-spoke at one point, but you are right the 5th is the dominant.

mingofallsmingofalls replied

Thats sweet Hawk.... nice New Orleans sound! JamOn

SylviaSylvia replied

:D nothing is better than the blues. :D

aikidojoeaikidojoe replied

Fantastic !! Glad to hear your resonator play...I've got one of them you can teach me how to make her sing a little bit sweeter.

dfrye4dfrye4 replied

I love this guy. His personality made me smile and laugh as I watched.

ronin808ronin808 replied

Good Morning Hawkeye!!! I am so glad to see you!!!! Thank you andI look forward to learning more from you. Very Informative articles in the article section too. YAY!!!! The Blues are here to stay!!!!

mclend1mclend1 replied

That was a fascinating insight into the origins of the blues, and its structure, and counting like that definitely helps keep you on track and defines the form in your head. I really enjoyed the lesson, and its clearly laid out, concise nature. Thank you, Hawkeye, and welcome to Jamplay. Looking forward to many more lessons from you, great stuff.

dsilvestredsilvestre replied

Welcome to JamPlay! Great Lesson to begin the series and I am will be eagerly awaiting the next lessons because I really want to learn the blue... Thank You Mr. Hawkeye! By the way, love the strap...

mav67mav67 replied

Welcome to JamPlay Hawkeye. The blues have finally come to town, and we are very worthy. Given enough time and your instruction, we will prove it.

kevinacekevinace replied


nessanessa replied

Yay! JamPlay's got the Blues! Thank you, Hawkeye, for this wonderful lesson series.

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.

Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

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Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

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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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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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Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

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

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Maneli Jamal Maneli Jamal

The acoustic guitar is basically a big wooden box, so it makes sense that it sounds pretty good as a drum! Learning how...

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Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

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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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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Phil discusses inspiration, where it's found and how you can take almost anything around you and use it to inspire your own...

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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.

James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

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Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

Do you want to play more musical sounding solos? Do you want to play solos with more emotion behind them? Maybe you're the...

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DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

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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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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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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

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Yvette Young Yvette Young

Now that you're right hand is more limber and controlled, it's time to work on the left hand. This left hand exercise will...

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

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Aaron Marshall Aaron Marshall

JamPlay welcomes instrumental guitarist Aaron Marshall for a comprehensive master course. In this first lesson Aaron discusses...

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Horace Bray Horace Bray

Horace provides a short etude on how to practice connecting the different shapes of the G Major open triads. This helps you...

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Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

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