Intro to the Blues Shuffle (Guitar Lesson)


What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Hawkeye Herman

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.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 18:12Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (09:17) The Blues Shuffle The shuffle rhythm is one of the most commonly used rhythm figures in the blues genre. A shuffle is a rhythmic motif in which the duration of the first note in a pair of notes is longer than the second. A swing or shuffle rhythm is the rhythm produced by playing repeated pairs of notes in this manner.

Usually a shuffle rhythm is indicated at the top of a musical score. This indication tells the musician that pairs of eighth notes should be "swung." Thus, a pair of eighth notes should be played as a quarter note triplet followed by an eighth note triplet. In a jazz lead sheet, this swing, shuffled eighth note feel is always implied unless noted otherwise. Often a portion will be labeled "straight eighths" if the shuffle rhythm is to be suspended momentarily.

"Good Morning, Blues" with the Blues Shuffle

In this series, Hawkeye has used the song "Good Morning, Blues" as a musical example when demonstrating new topics. In previous lessons, you learned how to play this 12 bar blues tune with various strumming rhythms such as the "boom chick-a". This rhythm consists of an eighth followed by two sixteenths. You also learned about the melody to this tune and how it is phrased. This time around, Hawkeye demonstrates how the blues shuffle can be applied to this blues classic. The shuffle rhythm can be used as an accompaniment figure to most 12 bar blues melodies.

Playing the Shuffle Rhythm

The shuffle evolved from rhythm patterns played in the left-hand by boogie-woogie piano players. Imitating this basic rhythm figure on the guitar is quite simple. The first chord in a 12 bar blues progression in the key of E is the tonic chord, E. Instead of playing a full E major chord, start with a basic, open E5 power chord voicing. Play the low E string open. Play this note in conjunction with the note B at the 2nd fret of the A string. This chord figure alternates with a chord voicing that implies an E6 chord. The E6 chord consists of the low, open E string played in conjunction with the note C# on the 4th fret of the A string. The third finger frets this note. When switching between these two chord figures, it is not necessary to leave the first finger planted at the second fret. Holding the first finger down for the duration of the measure may result in unnecessary fatigue.

Note: Standard Notation and Tablature to the shuffle pattern in the key of E major can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

To play the shuffle rhythm over the IV chord (A), simply shift this chord shape down to the A and D strings respectively.

Switching Between Chords

Before you dive into playing these chords in the context of a 12 bar blues form, practice each of the individual chord changes. Make sure the rhythm remains constant and even through all of the chord changes. Always practice with a metronome! Start with the metronome set to a very slow tempo. Once you can play through the changes perfectly in time at this tempo, begin to increase the tempo one metronome setting at a time. Also, as an exercise, practice switching chords after every bar. This will enable you to drill the chord changes in a more efficient manner. Eventually, you will need to change chords this quickly as Hawkeye introduces slightly more complicated versions of the blues shuffle.
Chapter 2: (08:59) More Blues Shuffle Playing the B Chord

In order to play the V chord (B), a different left-hand fingering must be applied. A B5 power chord can be played by fretting the note B with the first finger at the 2nd fret of the A string. Then fret the note F# at the 4th fret of the D string. To reach the major sixth interval above the root, the pinkie finger must stretch up to the 6th fret of the D string. Stretching the pinkie up to the sixth fret poses problems for some beginners, especially those with small hands. Practice finger dexterity and stretch exercises such as those found in Dennis' Metal series to improve your reach. Then, return to this chord. Chances are that you’ll find it slightly easier. Leave the first and third fingers planted throughout this measure.

This same figure can be played higher on the neck if you find this stretch unmanageable. Watch Hawkeye for a demonstration of how to play this same chord in seventh position.

Practice with the B Chord

Now, practice switching back and forth between this chord and the other two chord shapes in the 12 bar blues progression.

Once you have mastered the individual chord changes, practice playing through the entire 12 bar blues form. Practice both versions listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab. Practice this rhythm at a very wide range of tempos. Finally, when you feel ready, try playing the shuffle pattern along with Hawkeye.

Palm-Muting

Frequently, the blues shuffle is played with light palm muting. To perform this technique, lightly rest the heel of the palm just to the left of the bridge. The term "palm-muting" can be quite misleading. The strings are not actually muted. Rather, the right-hand palm muffles the strings to create a deeper, more "punchy" sound. Listen to Halkeye as he palm-mutes. Then, imitate the sound that he produces. Be careful not to slide your palm too far from the bridge. This will result in a completely muted, dead sound.

Shuffle Pattern with Singing

Hawkeye sings "Good Morning, Blues" along with the shuffle rhythm. Compare this version to the versions in previous lessons. What affect does the shuffle pattern have on the overall arrangement and sound of the song?

The Shuffle Rhythm and Rock and Roll

If you speed the shuffle up and play with straight eighth notes, you have the rhythms of early rock and roll rhythms played by guitarists such as Chuck Berry. "Johnie B. Goode" is a classic example of how this rhythm can be applied to a distinctly rock rhythm texture. "The House is Rockin'" performed by Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble provides another similar example. Hopefully, you are beginning to see many of the similarities between rock and roll and the blues.

Final Thoughts

In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman has demonstrated the most basic version of the blues shuffle. In future lessons, Hawkeye will introduce many variations that can be made to this basic pattern. Learning these additional shuffle methods will add much needed variety and sophistication to your blues rhythm playing.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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


RoscoRocksOnRoscoRocksOn replied on July 12th, 2017

Hey Hawkeye, I just read through all the comments on this most excellent lesson, and roughly 75% of your students are having great difficulty in stretching the pinky 4 frets from the index finger. I've found it's much, much easier to fret these particular chord formations if I use only my index finger, middle finger, and pinky (not the ring finger, which is the typical manner). I only do this when playing the standard 2-string Blues shuffle patterns, not when playing the full 6-string barre chords. This small change has made a huge difference for me and made shuffle playing so much more enjoyable and less tiring. Any thoughts? Am I cheating? Thnx -- Rosco PS Go Iowa State Cyclones!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 26th, 2017

Thanks so much for your comments. If it works for you, great. You're not 'cheating' ... if it works for you & doesn't hinder your ability to change chordal positions, go for it. The 'rules' of guitar playing can be 'bent' to facilitate ease of fingering chord positions. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons ... I hope you continue to learn from, and enjoy, these lessons. (Go Hawkeyes!

RoscoRocksOnRoscoRocksOn replied on July 12th, 2017

Hey Hawkeye, I just read through all the comments on this most excellent lesson, and roughly 75% of your students are having great difficulty in stretching the pinky 4 frets from the index finger. I've found it's much, much easier to fret these particular chord formations if I use only my index finger, middle finger, and pinky (not the ring finger, which is the typical manner). I only do this when playing the standard 2-string Blues shuffle patterns, not when playing the full 6-string barre chords. This small change has made a huge difference for me and made shuffle playing so much more enjoyable and less tiring. Any thoughts? Am I cheating? Thnx -- Rosco PS Go Iowa State Cyclones!!

jpittssrjpittssr replied on January 3rd, 2017

These barre chords are one thing that has stopped me from getting the sound I want. I am committed to practice the A7B chords until they become as natural as G,C and D.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 4th, 2017

I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons and are committted to improving your barre chord skills. Here's my advice on practicing/ playing barre chords: 1.) Sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair with no arms. (Do NOT sit on a couch or easy-chair in a slouched body position.) 2.) Do NOT pull the elbow of your fretting hand/arm in toward your body/against your side. Get the elbow of your fretting hand/arm out and away from your body, not tucked in to your side. Keeping your elbow out/away from your side will increase the reach of your fingers on the fingerboard and facilitate your ability to create barre chords. Again ... Never practice the guitar with your body curled up around the guitar/sitting/lounging on a couch or easy chair. Sit upright with both feet on the floor, and keep the elbow of your fretting arm/hand out/away from your side, not tucked in close to your body. Make these concepts habits of practice ... and good guitar practice/playing ergonomics. I hope this information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons.

badshotbadshot replied on October 18th, 2016

Hawkeye, you spend a nice amount of time explaining the open chords but very briefly touch on the Barr chords. For example you go to the seventh fret but don't explain how that works. Now I need to stop the lesson to figure out what you just did.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 21st, 2017

Well, I'm sorry, but ... These lessons are in the Phase Two/Intermediate lesson area/section ... not the Phase One/Beginner area. I suggest you look for barre chord instructional lessons in the Phase One lesson area for complete & graphic instruction on barre chords. It is assumed that the student is familiar with barre chords in the intermediate/Phase Two lessons. To make barre chords one shoud sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair without arms, not on a sofa/couch/easy chair curled up around the guitar. The elbow of the fretting hand should not be tucked into one's side, but kept about 4 inches or more out and away from one's body/side, in order to allow the fingers strretch as needed to reach the fingering of hte chords. I hope his information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please visit my web site, where you'll find. FREE guitar lessons on the "Guitar Lessons" page at: www.hawkeyeherman.com

mpiechowiczmpiechowicz replied on July 18th, 2016

#HELP! There is no way on God's great earth my finger is little stretching that far. This is what I've been dreading - my little finger curls the opposite way to which it needs to to get the B7...............what can I do? I've tried holding it down but it literally won't even go that far when I stretch it with the other hand :(

SafairbairnSafairbairn replied on July 24th, 2017

I have the same problem is there a fix??

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on July 25th, 2017

The information posted above by Hawkeye is a great start. Although it would be nice to just be able to say "Yes there's a fix" and be able to give you instructions on doing so, it's really a matter of finding out how your body functions with the guitar and make the necessary changes to things like posture as well as focusing practice time on those limitations to overcome them. Most issues with things like stretching, or thinking the fretboard is too large or too small has more to do with asking your hands and fingers to do things they aren't accustomed to, rather than a biological issue that prevents it from occurring. One excersize you might try is some multi-fret stretching excersizes where you practice those stretches. If you need to, move up the fretboard a bit where the fret distances are smaller and drill those stretches until it becomes easy, then move up the fretboard where the spacing is increased. Do that until you can make those stretches everywhere on the fretboard.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 21st, 2017

Well, I'm sorry but ...These lessons are in the Phase Two/Intermediate lesson area/section ... not the Phase One/Beginner area. I suggest you look for barre chord instructional lessons in the Phase One lesson area for complete & graphic instruction on barre chords. It is assumed that the student is familiar with barre chords in the intermediate/Phase Two lessons. To make barre chords one shoud sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair without arms, not on a sofa/couch/easy chair curled up around the guitar. The elbow of the fretting hand should not be tucked into one's side, but kept about 4 inches or more out and away from one's body/side, in order to allow the fingers strretch as needed to reach the fingering of hte chords. I hope his information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please visit my web site, where you'll find. FREE guitar lessons on the "Guitar Lessons" page at: www.hawkeyeherman.com

Gary KGary K replied on July 9th, 2016

loving your lessons Hawkeye, brings me back to the joy I felt so many years ago. The simplicity of the groove. The early Stones etc. Thank you.

BrewzerBrewzer replied on February 25th, 2016

I need to sharpen up on the barre chords.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 21st, 2017

I suggest you look for barre chord instructional lessons in the Phase One lesson area for complete & graphic instruction on barre chords. It is assumed that the student is familiar with barre chords in the intermediate/Phase Two lessons. To make barre chords one shoud sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair without arms, not on a sofa/couch/easy chair curled up around the guitar. The elbow of the fretting hand should not be tucked into one's side, but kept about 4 inches or more out and away from one's body/side, in order to allow the fingers strretch as needed to reach the fingering of hte chords. I hope his information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please visit my web site, where you'll find. FREE guitar lessons on the "Guitar Lessons" page at: www.hawkeyeherman.com

Andrew HustonAndrew Huston replied on January 19th, 2015

Hawkeye, you said to mute. How do you do this? This wasn't covered in the beginner lessons I took with Jamplay.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 21st, 2017

Muting is done by lightly resting the outside edge/heel of the palm on the strings just iin front of the bridge to 'dampen' the strings and keep them from ringing out. These lessons are in the Phase Two/Intermediate lesson area/section ... not the Phase One/Beginner area. I suggest you look for barre chord instructional lessons in the Phase One lesson area for complete & graphic instruction on barre chords. It is assumed that the student is familiar with barre chords in the intermediate/Phase Two lessons. To make barre chords one shoud sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair without arms, not on a sofa/couch/easy chair curled up around the guitar. The elbow of the fretting hand should not be tucked into one's side, but kept about 4 inches or more out and away from one's body/side, in order to allow the fingers strretch as needed to reach the fingering of hte chords. I hope his information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please visit my web site, where you'll find. FREE guitar lessons on the "Guitar Lessons" page at: www.hawkeyeherman.com

Andrew HustonAndrew Huston replied on January 19th, 2015

I don't know those bar chords. Could you put those in the supplemental or direct me to a lesson where they are.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 21st, 2017

Sorry, but I'm not familiar with the many hundreds of hours of lessons offered in the Beginner/Phase One area ... you'll have to skim through tha area and look for lessons regardiing the creation of barre chrods. These lessons are in the Phase Two/Intermediate lesson area/section ... not the Phase One/Beginner area. I suggest you look for barre chord instructional lessons in the Phase One lesson area for complete & graphic instruction on barre chords. It is assumed that the student is familiar with barre chords in the intermediate/Phase Two lessons. To make barre chords one shoud sit upright with both feet on the floor in a chair without arms, not on a sofa/couch/easy chair curled up around the guitar. The elbow of the fretting hand should not be tucked into one's side, but kept about 4 inches or more out and away from one's body/side, in order to allow the fingers strretch as needed to reach the fingering of hte chords. I hope his information is helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please visit my web site, where you'll find. FREE guitar lessons on the "Guitar Lessons" page at: www.hawkeyeherman.com

FlynnedFlynned replied on October 6th, 2014

Wow, a light switched on for me tonight. I've been playing for a few years and until I saw this lesson, I never thought of rocking between fingers for the shuffle... I always kept everything fretted, no wonder my hand was getting tired. Thanks. :-)

jackphotocajackphotoca replied on September 18th, 2014

I'm loving these lessons. Comments seem to be from a year or more ago, so I guess I'm not in time. The train may have left the station, but know that I'm chugging along behind.

chirusachinchirusachin replied on November 14th, 2013

hello sir.. greetings.. really enjoying your lessons and learning a lot... i ve got a doubt.. is it only the rhythm which decides the genre of the music.. i mean whether it is rock or blues????

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 14th, 2013

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons Chiru. Blues music can be defined by the rhythm, the chord format, and/or the lyrical style. I suggest you check out the following for the answer(s) to your question. Understanding Blues Music/Blues Music and Poetic Forms http://hawkeyeherman.com/media/guitar-lesson01.mp3 Blues History: http://hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/blues_history.pdf What is the blues? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

parnold45parnold45 replied on September 30th, 2013

Hawkeye. 1st of all - I simply love this lesson set. I am very committed to learning the blues and I have promised myself that I am not going to give up. Here is where I am 'stuck', I can play barre chords pretty well but I cannot for the life of me make the A and B positions (5 and 9th fret) match up with the tab in the supplemental lessons at all. This is hindering my practice a lot! I am okay on the upper A and E positions, but man the rest of it is really confusing me. I can make the shapes okay, but I am unsure what string I am supposed to be playing. I have tried watching this lesson several times but still can't seem to get it. Appreciate any help you can provide. BTW I agree with many of the comments about the way you so obviously love what you do - it really shows through and is infectious - keep it up!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 30th, 2013

Thanks so much for your kind words about these lessons and for your question, Patrick.I looked at the supplemental material supplied with this lesson and it all looks very accurate and well done to me. (I sincerely thank 'Fearless Matt' of JamPlay admin. for his diligence in creating all of the supplemental material.) You should be playing this shuffle rhythm on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, as notated in the tablature. This 'reach' to the higher fret on each string is done with the pinky/little finger. It is not necessary to hold down/fret the entire barre chord ... you can choose to only hold down/fret the bottom three strings, as needed. When playing,please be sure to sit up straight/erect in a chair without arms and make sure that the elbow fretting hand/arm is not tucked in to your side, but your elbow is held out / away from you side, as this 'open' position of the elbow/arm is more comfortable and allows one to stretch the fingers up the neck more easily. Please look at the free guitar lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... also please watch some of the blues songs I've posted at youtube so that you can see how I use many of the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... try to play along with me (it's good practice ;-) and try to 'steal' my musical/guitar ideas/ licks/ riff ... and if you're interested in background information on blues music, please don't forget about the articles I've writing on blues history and the many iconic blues musicians whom I met and learned from directly: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... Please take the time to follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next ... don't rush, this is not a 'race' and there is no 'finish line' ...'crawl before you walk, and walk before you run' ... it's all about building a strong understanding for and foundation in blues music, and I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lesson ... patience and repetition are key to learning to play the guitar. Thanks again for your comments and question. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

john hewlettjohn hewlett replied on September 23rd, 2013

Hello Hawkeye - just a note to say thanks and how much I'm enjoying your lessons. Could I please ask a question about your beautiful National guitar? I have a Recording King resonator which has heavy strings on it for playing with a slide - the top E is a "16". This makes it quite hard to play barres or fingerstyle. do you use such heavy strings on the National? Many thanks. John

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 23rd, 2013

Greetings, John. Thanks so much for the message, kind words about my lessons, and for your questions about my National resonator guitar and string gauges. My wood-body National is a 1935 'Trojan' model. I've had t for about 25 years, and the neck has been re-carved so as not to be so baseball bat-like, thinner in mass, the fingerboard/fretboard was replaced with ebony, and I had special custom abalone position markers inlaid on the fingerboard that represent the suits in a deck of cards: heart, club, diamond, and spade. I use the guitar, most often, to play slide. I generally use open D or open G tuning. Most slide guitar players use medium or heavy gauge strings for a clearer sound and less fret buzz if you push too hard on the strings with the slide. I use light gauge 80/20 bronze strings (.12-.54), because I have a light touch with the slide that usually doesn't make for fret buzzing sounds, and also because I sometimes use the guitar to play in standard tuning without the slide, and the light gauge strings allow me to do so with less effort/strength/pressure on the strings when I'm playing with my fingers, with no slide. In my opinion, one can play slide guitar on any guitar, even a nylon string guitar, if one develops a sensitive touch. It is not necessary, in my opinion to have a resonator guitar to play slide, nor is it necessary to have medium or heavy gauge strings on the guitar to play slide. It's a matter of developing a sensitive touch that will allow one to get a clear tone and no fret buzzes with light gauge strings when employing a slide, and ease of playing and fretting notes/chords when playing 'standard' guitar without the slide. Please keep in mind that that is my personal opinion. Also, medium and heavy gauge strings put a lot of tension on the neck and top of the guitar, and that more extreme tension can be detrimental to the 'life' of the instrument. I hope this answers your question. If I were you, I'd buy a set of light gauge strings and see the effect and results for yourself. To each his own. ;-) I hope you take the time to look over the free guitar lessons that are on my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... also, some of the many articles I've written for music magazines and for music history books on blues history and the many iconic blues performers I met and learned from directly: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... and please do check out some of the many blues songs on video that I've posted at youtube ... to see how I use many of the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me (it's good practice ;-), and try to 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... Thanks so much for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and continue to improve your blues guitar skills, forever ... regardless of the string gauge you select/favor for your instrument. ;-) Cheers, Hawkeye H. www.hawkeyeherman.com

john hewlettjohn hewlett replied on September 24th, 2013

Thanks Hawkeye, that's much appreciated. I was beginning to despair with the resonator (it's a metal tricone) as I love the sound when I play it fingerstyle or just strumming but, with my tiny hands, I was really struggling to play it. I've been looking for a blues tutor for ages but they are a bit thin on the ground here in Wales!! Your lessons on Jamplay have hit exactly the right spot for me and I can play them over and over again until I "get it" - for a 61year old slow learner that's brilliant! I'd love to see you play live, do you ever get over to the UK? Thanks again John

john hewlettjohn hewlett replied on September 24th, 2013

Thanks Hawkeye, that's much appreciated. I was beginning to despair with the resonator (it's a metal tricone) as I love the sound when I play it fingerstyle or just strumming but, with my tiny hands, I was really struggling to play it. I've been looking for a blues tutor for ages but they are a bit thin on the ground here in Wales!! Your lessons on Jamplay have hit exactly the right spot for me and I can play them over and over again until I "get it" - for a 61year old slow learner that's brilliant! I'd love to see you play live, do you ever get over to the UK? Thanks again John

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 24th, 2013

Glad to help, John. I hope that lighter gauge strings works for you and allows you to more fully enjoy your resonator guitar. I have toured in Europe 6 times, but not in the UK. I'd love to perform in Wales or anywhere in the UK, it just hasn't happened yet. I will suggest that if there is a blues festival in Wales, that it would be most helpful to me for you to look online for any blues festivals in your area and by using their online contact information, send the festival(s) a very brief email message requesting they book Hawkeye for performance(s) and workshop(s) ... and referring them to me and my web site by simply give them my web site address (www. hawkeyeherman.com). It is much more effective if a local potential 'ticket buyer' requests a particular artist perform/teach at an event than my contacting the event first and trying to 'sell' them on booking me. So, if you know of any local events in Wales, or nearby in the UK, a brief email referring them to me might be helpful, and much appreciated by me. Who knows? ... the result might be our meeting in-person in Wales. Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

wizard1325wizard1325 replied on July 28th, 2013

thats just way to hard of a sretch

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 1st, 2013

Are you sitting in a chair without arms? Is your back erect and the elbow of your fretting arm away from your body and not tucked into your side? You need to practice, practice, practice. If this was impossible there wouldn't be thousands of people playing blues music and utilizing the most common blues rhythm as taught in this lesson. There are no comments that this is 'too hard' to do (with practice) from any of the other hundreds of folks taking these lessons. Is playing the guitar supposed to easy? Is being in the USAF easy? ;-) Thanks so much for your service to our nation. Very much appreciated. Please adjust your body and arm and hand position and remember that things that are worthwhile don't necessarily come easy. I hope you eno these lessons.

bobclarkbobclark replied on December 13th, 2012

Hi Hawkeye, thanks so much for lessons. I have been a member for about three months and a beginner, although i'm 58 :/. I finally got playing in a key on your second lesson! It cleared things up immediately for me. I couldn't understand the I, IV, V thing and you made it so simple to understand! Thanks again!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 13th, 2012

Thanks for the message, Bob. I'm glad to know that these lessons are helpful to you. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lesson. If you patiently follow my lessons in the order they are presented, don't rush, progress at your own speed from one lesson to the next, you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of the blues that will allow you to play blues guitar freely, creatively, and improvise as you wish. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Be sure to look over the free guitar lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... also the original articles I've written on blues history and the many iconic blues artists that I learned from: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... and please do watch some of my blues songs on video at youtube so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals. ... and try to play along with me ... :-) Thanks again for the kind message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

maedimaedi replied on December 2nd, 2012

Hi, Hawkeye, I had not really heard much blues music, up until your lessons. The only song I had really heard before was Billy Holiday singing Ain't nobodys business. I find myself being drawn in by the story and the soulful feel of the music. I'm really new at learning (sadly late in life) how to play the guitar. I'm still a ways away from being able to start on phase two. But I find when my fingers get too sore to play anymore, I will watch your lessons, just to hear the music. I'm eagerly looking forward to be able to start the blues section of phase two with you as the instructor. I really like your laid back style, and especially enjoyed your explanation in one of your lessons about cord progression. Thanks for bringing me the blues.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 3rd, 2012

Thanks for the kind comments, Maedith. Much appreciated. If, over the years, you've been listening to, country, folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock, soul, and pop music you've been hearing lots of blues music ... you just didn't know it at the time ... "Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits." Once you're able to get into my lessons and Phase Two you'll see what I mean. ;-) Thanks again for the message. I hope you enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

billfreshbillfresh replied on November 30th, 2012

hawkeye, hi there. newer player here and pretty new to jamplay. like your lessons and your style. here's my problem with playing these shuffles. how, how, how do you keep from hitting the 6th string when you go to play the 4th and 5th? i have been playing for a year now and i still struggle with starting my strum at the 5th string on chords that do not require the 6th be played. i even dampen it slightly when possible...say touch it lightly with my 3rd finger while i play a c chord. but doing these shuffles i inevitably end up banging the wrong string and it ruins the progression. any thoughts?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 1st, 2012

Greetings, Bill. Thanks for the message, for enjoying these lessons, and for your question. It seems to me that you're telling me that you are not accurate in hitting the strings, that you hit the 6th string when it is not necessary ... that is a lack of accuracy and control. How? How? How? .... You need to practice ... practice .... practice ... and pay closer attention to your accuracy ... you're telling me that you're hitting the wrong string ... well, don't do that ... there is no magic solution to your problem other than practice ... and attention to accuracy ... don't tell me about how long you've been trying this ... time is not an element in learning to play the guitar ... time is something that YOU create because you're frustrated with yourself and you want to succeed quicker at this skill ... well, there's no short-cut or 'magic' to this ... and you have to relax and stop thinking about how long it's taking you to learn this skill ... but rather take joy in the learning process and not put limits on how long it might take you to learn something/anything ... learning the guitar is a life-long process that is a never-ending road of information and practice ... the joy is in the journey day by day ... there is no 'end of the line' to learning guitar skills ... you may think that you've practiced this skill a great deal ... but obviously, you have not focused and practiced enough to overcome your current inability ... each of us learns in our own time and at our own speed/pace ... you cannot rush the process ... so, please stop placing time limits on the learning process and just keep practicing ... you will eventually be able to train your picking to be more accurate ... only by focusing on your goal(s) and practicing. Sorry, but there is no 'magic' involved ... please try to relax and enjoy the process of learning ... as well as playing ... and eliminate the concept of 'time' when it comes to your personal ability to acquire skills and achieve accuracy and strong muscle memory. After all, you have the rest of your entire life to learn how to play the guitar;-) I've been playing the guitar for over 50 years and there are many skills on the instrument that I have not yet achieved ... and I may never achieve ... we learn all learn in increments ... sometimes in huge leaps, and sometimes in almost undetectable baby steps ... but we learn by relaxing, clearing our mind of external pressures (like the concept of 'time'), and by enjoying the repetitive process of practice. Exhale, realize that you are improving each time you pick up the guitar ... this is not a 'race to a finish line' ... there is no 'race' and there is no 'finish line' ... blues music is an art form and a language ... exhale, cut yourself some more 'slack' ... and enjoy the process, whether learning happens in small increments or big leaps ... 'time spent' is not an element for concern ... you ARE progressing ... whether you realize it or not ... and I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

billfreshbillfresh replied on December 2nd, 2012

thanks for the reply. the time i have been playing was just for your information so you knew a little background. as far as practicing on my accuracy on hitting the correct strings. i realize, practice, practice, practice makes perfect. can you think of any jamplay lessons that offer exercises specifically for working on this skill? by any instructor? also, does it matter really, if i practice your lessons for the blues on an electric? it seems you use acoustic pretty much for everything. last thing, my wife really liked when i was practicing the triplets turnarounds. thanks for the feedback. i don't get discouraged by all this. just wish i had more time to practice and when i do find time i wish i WOULD practice. i find myself wanting to just play things i am comfortable with. probably not the only one who does that huh? thanks again for the reply and keep up the good work. blues or bust.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 3rd, 2012

Sorry, Bill, I'm not familiar with the lessons/content of the other instructors here at JamPlay.com ... I have enough to keep me busy just keeping up with my own lesson series ... so I can't tell you if there are any other instructors/lessons that cover the accuracy issue you asked about ... like I stated in my previous message, PRACTICE is how accuracy is gained ... the exercise for gaining accuracy is in following a particular lesson, like this one, and repeating it until you can do it ... that IS the exercise. Each lesson is an exercise in accuracy. It doesn't matter if you use and electric or acoustic guitar when taking my lessons. I use an acoustic guitar in these lessons because that's what I like to use/play ... I could just as easily have taught all of these lessons using an electric guitar ... the choice s up to you ... it's all about learning/understanding/playing blues basics ... the basics are the same regardless of using an electric or acoustic guitar. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

brutcherspbrutchersp replied on December 21st, 2012

Hawkeye, One thing you said in an earlier lesson was very helpful to me: don't try to play faster than you're able to. When I want to learn a new technique, I slow WAY down and focus on accuracy. I'm still working on avoiding that sixth string, too. I have to play slowly and concentrate on exactly where my pick is going. After a week, I'll try playing a little faster. If my pick still lands right, I'll practice at that speed for a while and when I'm comfortable, crank up the speed a bit more. If I start hitting six again, I'll back off the speed. Eventually, I'll be able to play as fast as I want - muscle memory will ensure my pick goes where it's supposed to. As you said, there's no shortcut to guitar skill. Thanks for the excellent lessons! I'm really enjoying them.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 21st, 2012

Thanks for not trying to play faster than you're able, Bill ;-) We're talking about 'muscle memory' here ... learning to play the guitar is about absorbing information into your brain and then transferring that information to your fingers ... it's about teaching your fingers what your brain is conceptualizing ... like so many activities folks want to learn ... dancing, skiing, skating, fly-fishing, whatever ... you learn to dance by first slowly learning the steps in order, once you have the sequence of steps slowly, you try to build up your skill and speed .., THEN, you can add music ... we're teaching our fingers to dance on the guitar fingerboard ... folks who try to play guitar material that is 'new' to them at tempo are setting themselves up for a lot of frustration. ;-) As the saying goes, 'Take it slow, but take it.' I'm glad that you've heeded my advice are are not rushing through these lessons, nor rushing the process of gaining 'muscle memory' on the guitar by not trying to play 'at tempo' during the early learning stages. Thanks again for your kind comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. I hope you continue to enjoy these lesson in the New Year. Happy Holidays and all the best in 2013. Cheers, Hawkeye

bluesthum1bluesthum1 replied on October 10th, 2012

Great lesson Hawkeye. I knew the Blues shuffle before but after watching this lesson i understand the full concept and progression of the shuffle. Good stuff!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2012

Thanks for the message, Chad. I'm glad you found this lesson helpful to you. If you patiently follow my lessons in the order they are presented, don't rush, progress at your own speed from one lesson to the next, you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of the blues that will allow you to play blues guitar freely, creatively, and improvise as you wish. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

wizard1325wizard1325 replied on October 10th, 2012

OMG Love your lesson's but its sad to say My fingers do not reach no where close to the frets on both supplemental guides...even the alternate guide. I dont have short hands but i have no flexibility at all. I cant even do that star trek vulcan sign =0(. What do I do I read all you comments and they were all very hopefully but when I went and tried it I am a fret short to that note E5 to A9 59XXXX

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2012

If you can't make the 'stretch,' I suggest you use a capo to play the shuffle up the neck ... as the frets are closer together and easier to 'reach' as you go higher on the neck. Put the capo on the 3rd fret and give it a try ... and do exactly as I illustrate in the lesson ... it should be easier for you. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

tenaciousfleatenaciousflea replied on September 14th, 2012

great lessons, hawkeye! can you suggest some other good shuffle tunes that we can use this same stuff on (i've just been playing good morning blues). also, i never really sing in E and am not that familiar with the scale, either. what note does good morning blues start on? i'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the melody. thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 14th, 2012

Thanks for the kind comments, Joel. I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons. Gosh, it seems that almost 50%+ of all blues tunes use the shuffle rhythm ... that's why I show you how to do it so early in this lesson series ... because it's the most common blues rhythm/accompaniment there is ... all songs by Jimmy Reed (Bright Lights Big City, Baby What You Want Me To Do, etc.), Sweet Home Chicago, Before You Accuse Me, and on and on and on and on ... you need to start listening to lots of blues music and you'll see what I mean ... the shuffle is the most prominent rhythm in blues music. The song 'Good Morning Blues" stars on the E note. If you want to play the song in a different key and you don't know how to move the shuffle rhythm up the neck using barre chords ... well ... use a capo to find a better key for your voice. Put the capo on any fret and just proceed to do the exact same thing I show you in this lesson in 'first position' in E. Be patient with yourself ... and have fun. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

tarocattarocat replied on September 1st, 2012

Uh ohhhhh. I got a big problem with this lesson, Hawkeye man...I'm INFECTED!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 4th, 2012

The blues shuffle rhythm is the main reason I got heavy into the blues as a teenager many, many years ago. I achieved great satisfaction by learning to play the blues shuffle rhythm solidly, and after all these years, I still enjoy playing songs with that rhythm, and it's variations ... and of course, it's the blues shuffle rhythm that gave us ... led to the innovation of .. rock and roll. I never tire of playing the blues shuffle rhythm. I hope the same holds true for you. ;-)

aluchialuchi replied on December 27th, 2011

Hello Hawkeye, I am enjoying your lessons so much. I have two questions here in this shuffle lesson: 1- Barring chords on the fifth and sixth string, you play them with index barring all 6 strings. I tend to barre only the top five strings (A shape barre) with index while muting the 6 with the tip of my index. Now, does the way you play it make it easier for some reason? should we follow the way you barre? 2- Also, reaching for the 6th note with a barre with the pinky is a long stretch. I fret the 5th note with the middle finger (instead of the ring finger), and reach the 6th note with the pinky. That move is a lot easier. Again, what do you think? should I keep practicing the way you finger those chords? Thanks again, and I apologise if the questions seemed to be silly innature. Aluchi

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 27th, 2011

Greetings, Al. I barre using my index finger. I don’t mute the 6th string with the tip of my finger ... I want/need the note that is on the 6th string to sound clearly and be a part of the chord. You should make a barre chord the proper way, as it is shown in chord diagrams. Look in the ‘supplemental content’ folder under this lesson and click on the secon A and B chrods and you’ll see how a barre chord is supposed to me made. Be sure to check the ‘supplemental content’ folder that accompanies each lesson for print-outs and information on the chords and notes played in each lesson. Please try doing things the way they are exeplified in the ‘supplemental content’ pages. If you cannot, then yiou must resort to your own methods/means.

aluchialuchi replied on December 27th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye, may be I was not clear in my questions. You only responded to one part though, and didn't answer the second question! (about the fingering for reaching the 6th note when barring). @8:31 in the second scene of lesson 4, you were playing the B barre at the second fret with the index covering all 6 strings. So I asked if this way is easier than barring covering only the top 5 strings and mute the low E. Thanks again

aluchialuchi replied on December 27th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye, may be I was not clear in my questions. You only responded to one part though, and didn't answer the second question! (about the fingering for reaching the 6th note when barring). @8:31 in the second scene of lesson 4, you were playing the B barre with the index covering all 6 strings. So I asked if this way is easier than barring covering only the top 5 strings and mute the low E. Thanks again

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 28th, 2011

Please look at this information: http://www.guitarchordsmagic.com/basic-guitar-chords/guitar-bar-chords-2.html ... in order to play the shuffle rhythm using the B barre chord you need to hold down the 5th string at the second fret and the 4th string at the 4th fret, and then reaching to the 6th fret on the 4th string with your pinky. I play with me index finger across all 6th strings and mute the 6th string ... if it's easier for you to only fret the top 5 strings with your index finger, then do it that way. Cheers, Hawkeye

Lilac LionLilac Lion replied on September 11th, 2011

Thanks Hawkeye. Really liked the lesson and feel like I'm getting somewhere. I also remember "old" radio in the late 60s. I grew up in Indiana/Illinois and getting all those stations from all those places late at night just made the world seem so magical. Look how far we've come!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 11th, 2011

Well, you're not as ancient as I am ;-) ... but I'm sure the radio played an important part in your early musical listening and tastes ... as well as provide you a sense of 'magic' about/for far off places. ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

smokestack jacksmokestack jack replied on August 13th, 2011

Hawkeye yur lessons are killer my man!! I love the blues and the way you teach, your enthusiasm and mastery of the genre, is second to none. Tthankyou!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 14th, 2011

Thanks so much, Jack. Much appreciated. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented and I believe you'll gain a strong foundation in and understanding of blues guitar that will allow you to play and create/improvise freely. There are free lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... and you can see how I use the techniques I teach when I'm performing by watching any/all of the videos here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... try to play along with me, and steal some of my licks/riffs ;-). I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. Thanks again for taking the time to let me know you're enjoying these lessons.

jmrazekjmrazek replied on June 26th, 2011

"I'm going to count to 4 and turn this into rock and roll," haha! Hawkeye, you're the man!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 27th, 2011

Thanks, Josh. It ain't no joke ... 'The blues had a baby and they called it rock 'n' roll.' :-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

joeyglide08joeyglide08 replied on June 8th, 2011

Hawkeye you the man, and I loves me some Chuck Berry, glad you through him in the lesson.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 8th, 2011

Thanks so much, Joseph. Chuck Berry was, of course, very influential ... definitely a 'father of rock 'n' roll via songwriting and guitar playing and wonderful recordings. I hope you'll follow these lessons in the order they are presented (don't skip around ;-), and over time, with practice/repetition and patience, you'll be playing the blues freely on your own ... including Chuck Berry licks ... by gaining strong understanding and foundation in blues music ... one step/lesson at a time. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

stevedoffstevedoff replied on April 25th, 2011

Hawkeye, I am having trouble with transition from the B cord to the A or the A cord to the E where you have that little up strum when changing cords. You have never addressed this move in your lessons that I can find. I worked on the timing of this for a long time and I think I got it ,but the move seems so simple. If you could explain this move I would be greatly thankful. I have studied alot of your lessons and like them very much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 25th, 2011

Thanks for enjoying these lessons, and for your question, Steve. Can you please tell me at what section of the lesson you are having a problem by telling me where in the lesson this happens ... please give me the exact minutes/seconds ... from ___min ___ secs. to ___ min. ___ secs. ... and I'll try to answer your question. Thanks for your patience.

stevedoffstevedoff replied on April 26th, 2011

Thanks for your reply. I first saw this move at 1:53 going from A to E, then at 1:58 going from E to B, at 2:01 going from B to A, and at 2:03 from A to E. It is the full strum when you change cords. It looks very simple to do but I cant figure out the timing. I have checked alot of your other lessons thinking you will explain this move in another lesson but I have not found it . You may think it is too simple to explain. You do play different from the supplemental content. I really like the sound but I cannot get the steps. I do not play by ear very well. If I saw it written down I could see what is going on. I have worked on this for a long time. So long I dont want to tell you. I hope I have explained this well enough. I have picked up on all of your other lessons at least knowing what to do. It must be a mental block that I cant get it. Thanks for your help.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 26th, 2011

Steve, thanks so much for taking the time to isolate the 'issue' you're having a problem with ... I have not addressed this aspect of my playing ... sorry ... it's just second nature to me to include the upstroke that you're seeing hearing ... it's happening on the 'and' of the 4 beat ... in the shuffle rhythm we're counting: /one, and/two, and/ three, and/four, and/ ... or: dah-dah/dah-dah/dah-dah/dah-dah ... so, instead of playing the 'and of the 4 beat as a downstroke, just play a brushing upstroke in that same 'and of the beat spot. I hope this make sense to you and that you succeed, with practice ;-0, in accomplishing this technique. If you just can't get it, then just play the 'and' of the 4th beat as a downstroke ... and let this feeling/slight modification come to you more naturally at a later time ... and don't get so hung up in copying exactly what I do ... ;-) ... in other words, don't let this little variation stop you from progressing with these lessons. I hope you continue to travel with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

Ray_UKRay_UK replied on April 1st, 2011

I love this lesson! Just got my barre chords down in the last couple of months so it adds practice for them too. The B is a bit of a stretch but not quite so bad at the 7th fret... and stretching is good practice too anyway :) Thanks Hawkeye!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 1st, 2011

Thank you for the kind comments. I'm happy to know that you're enjoying these lessons and progressing to your satisfaction at your own speed. Practice those barre chords ...:-) ... they become easier as you practice, exercise, and stretch those muscles. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

alan1956alan1956 replied on January 19th, 2011

A Shuffle a Day Keeps the Doctors Away... alan

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 24th, 2011

Can I quote you on that. ;-)

alan1956alan1956 replied on March 26th, 2011

Absolutely...100 %...Yes...I'd be honoured Hawkeye :)

joe_culljoe_cull replied on March 23rd, 2011

The B chord is impssible

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 24th, 2011

Here are the B chord inks that did not appear in my post, for some reason ... http://www.jamplay.com/guitar-chords/b-major-guitar-chord.html ... and ... http://www.instantguitarist.com/guitar-chords/b-chord-guitar

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 24th, 2011

"Impossible" ... possibly because it's new to you and you're running out of patience with yourself? Is there a race to the finish line in creating a B chord? ... no ... there's no race ... you practice this until you get it. Here's the B chord: ... and here ...Barre chords are almost like the cheats way to play any chord on the guitar without having to remember all those different fingerings in the open position. The hard part however is getting used to using your index finger to press down on all the strings… forming a bar… Trust me, once you learn to make barre chords using the first position E and A chords shapes ... you will have opened up a whole field of guitar playing you never knew existed. Practice, and enjoy the process of learning and improving ... incrementally ... everyone who plays the guitar was/is faced with learning this chord. ;-) Thanks for being here at JamPlay.com.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

I don't no where your at now but i can't even find my plastic thumb pick now. I have 10 minutes left here.so i'm going back to the turnarounds where i'm at now.I finally got back in order here but when i get upgrade I'll be able to go in and out all i want and the lessons will be here.I can't beat this deal because we all know that the guy who gives lessons in person in the back of the music store charges $100.00 for 5 hrs and that is high.That's why those guys don't get the business.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 20th, 2010

You can't beat JamPlay.com for the price, variety of high quality instructors, many styles being taught, and convenience. ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

I'm back there wasn't a thumb pick to be found @musician's friend.com which really surprises me. Unless i overlooked all i found was flat picks.Any how grandpa_erik sent a really nice christmas card in my e-mail. Ok i guess maybe i'll find one somewere.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 20th, 2010

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/PK3.htm

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

I finally got in order here.I gotta check mail and stuff. Boy they made puzzle out of myspace.I hate going there anymore. I check my mail and update and i get out of there.It's too disorganized for me but i'll be back . I gotta check e-mail and stuff and why i'm out there i'm gonna take a quick look on musician's friend.com an c if they got dat thumb pick.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 20th, 2010

I don't really have time to respond at the various social networking sites, just responding here at JAmPlay.com and via my web site (www.HawkeyeHerman.com) takes up my time .... so please do not message me at myspace.com or at reverbnation.com. Thanks!

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

As a matter a fact how much is it? I haven't checked the price yet .I wanna set up so i can come here any time want . I'm sure it would be alot less than buying dvds .

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 20th, 2010

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/PK3.htm

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

yah your right you can tell i already have gaps thats why ive been going back .I jumped up to places where i actually have been on my own but the gaps are were i need to fill in .Sorry about that i just know there isn't much time.I was gonna actually jump up farther and look at the tabliture because this is my last trial day but i don't wanna jump the gun.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 19th, 2010

I love this it tells me what these chords are that i have been basically playing by the sound of my ears.This is great.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 19th, 2010

Please stick with the 'program' of following these lessons in the order they are presented and many pieces of the 'blues puzzle' will fall into place for you ... I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lesson ... if you follow these lessons in the order they are presented you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues guitar ... with few holes/gaps in your knowledge ... skip around amongst these lessons and you'll still learn a lot ... but there will be gaps in your knowledge/foundation. I hope you continue to travel with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

chrissie hollandchrissie holland replied on December 9th, 2010

Hi there! I wasn't really in the mood to learn today and was just plodding around the site. Then I came across you and watched for a while. Your teaching method and your happy, smiling face cheered me up so much. So now I've been sitting here for hours with my guitar and having a great time. I love that 'shuffle' but couldn't do it because my finger would never reach that fourth fret. Now you've shown me how to play it further up, I got it. Yippee. Bedtime now here in the UK but I'll certainly be back with you tomorrow.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 10th, 2010

Thanks for the comments and kind words, Chrissie. Very much appreciated. I enjoy what I do ... I think that's obvious ... ;-) ... and I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of these lessons. Follow the lessons in the order they are presented, be patient with yourself, use the video controls to repeat anything you don't understand as many times as necessary until you 'get it' ... and you'll gain an understanding/strong foundation in blues guitar that will serve you for a lifetime. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for taking the time to leave me your kind words.

adjohns3adjohns3 replied on November 4th, 2010

Hawkeye: your love of this is infectious...great job of your personality coming thru in your lessons. Kinda hard for us beginners to keep up with you and 12 bar blues lessons when you use barre chords without taking much to show us what or how that is done. I can do it, but none of what you seem to be doing is in tabs or music...is it? Look forward to more of your good stuff.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 23rd, 2010

Thanks for enjoying these lessons. Can you tell that I love what I do? :-) This is Phase Two (Intermediate) ... I do teach some info about barre chords in this series ... but if you need help with barre chords you should 'refresh' that information in the Phase One area ... however, if you're patient and stick with my lessons here in the order they are presented ... you'll be progressing very quickly ... much quicker than you might expect ... just remember ... crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Thanks again for your kind comments and for enjoying theses lessons. Shuffle on!

caliban4caliban4 replied on September 8th, 2010

Excellent teacher and excellent content. If your entire lesson set were on sale, it would cost hundreds of dollars. What I particularly like is the smooth easy progression of the lessons from one to the next. Great foundation and grounding in the blues.

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

Thanks so much for your kind comments, Graham. Very much appreciated. Yes, the amount of material that is in my lessons here at JamPlay.com would fill about twenty + DVDs that are 2-hours in length each ... at the average cost of one 2 hour DVD lesson of $20 per disc, the entire collection of my lessons here at JamPlay.com would cost upwards of $400 for the entire set ... and more lessons are on the way. I have given a great deal of thought and plannig to the order and content of this lessons series, and I most gratified to know that you recognize the fact that these lessons should be taken one at a time in the order presented. Of course, you can jump around and skip lessons if you wish and still learn a lot about playing blues guitar. But if you want a thorough understanding and a strong foundation in blues guitar, stick with the lessons in the order they are presented. Be patient ... there's no rush ... this is not a 'blues race to the finish line' ... there is no 'race' and there is no 'finish line.' This is an expressive art form, not a race. We all learn at our own speed. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and the process of practicing and improving ... at your own speed. Again, thanks so much.

MonetMonet replied on April 6th, 2010

Oh, My Gawd, I have found my heart in this. I have completed the introduction series with Steve, and have started here with your lessons, Hawkeye. I have been taking lessons for a year and a half with an excellent studio musician, learning a lot of theory, etc. BUT BLUES ARE WHERE MY HEART IS.... You are a fabulous teacher, and I was thrilled to hear that for many , visual instruction is the best. I am one of those!!! Sure looking forward to this.....Thankyou again.

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

Thanks so much for your kind comments. "The blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits." I'm so glad you've 'found yourself' in the blues. I hope you'll follow these lessons in the order they are presented. Be patient with yourself, don't rush or 'pressure' yourself move on before you're ready. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and the process of learning/practicing/playing ... forever. :-). Again, thanks so much for the kind words.

beeho15beeho15 replied on March 26th, 2010

Your an excellent teacher. thank you

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 26th, 2010

Thanks so much for the kind comment and for enjoying these lessons. Stick with the 'program' as presented here, be patient with yourself, practice along with me using the video controls, and on your own, and you'll be playing the blues for sooner than you might expect. Again, thanks so much.

edmarsh57edmarsh57 replied on February 10th, 2010

Hawkeye--thank a lot. I have been working diligently on this lesson--it's great and how to play up the neck is starting to fall into place for me. I'm stoked on the blues now and your lessons are great!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 10th, 2010

The forum/posts have a lot of information, and be sure to note that there's more than just one page of them, there's a lot of information, and it's always growing: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=31

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 10th, 2010

Thaks, Ed. This is just the beginning. I predict you're going to learn a lot traveling with me on the 'blues highway.' Be sure to look in the form/posts area here at jamplay,com under my name ... there's a lot of supplemental information about my thumbpick choice, techniques, history, and questions/threads that others have started in the quest for more blues information. Thanks again. Keep shuffling. Pretty soon you'll be learning how to play blues lead guitar all over the neck. You may not think so now, but believe me, stick with the program as presented, and you're going to have some blues guitar skills that you'll build on and (I hope) you'll cherish forever.

busterwantstofishbusterwantstofish replied on October 6th, 2009

Hey Hawkeye! Like so many others that have posted, I'm really struggling with the reach from the 2nd to the 6th fret (B chord) and currently the barred alternate versions are just as difficult and just as painful. I've read through the comments and a couple of folks have mentioned hand size and you replied that you had pretty big hands (I think I read somewhere that Hendrix had huge hands, too). That got me to thinking: Is there any kind of standard that would be considered an advantage regarding hand size and guitar playing? I'm pretty tall so I would think I would have big hands but MAN it hurts to span four frets! Just curious really--let me know if some ideal does in fact exist among music physiologists, ha ha. Oh,yeah--and I've never posted on Jamplay before so I just want to say that I really like your relaxed, conversational teaching style. It makes going through the lessons a lot more enjoyable when it seems like the instructor is having fun, too. Also, very cool that you met and learned from so many blues icons. Jamplay has proved to be an incredible value and I'm glad you're involved. Given that you have like 75 lessons or so available and I'm currently stuck on Lesson 4 (!!!) I probably have at least a lifetime worth of material left to cover. As Colette said, "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm," right?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 7th, 2009

Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments and questions. I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons … very much appreciated. As far as playing barre chords and the shuffle … have you tried the barred E/F shaped chord at the seventh fret for the B chord? This might be easier. Here's my advice/opinion to everyone who might wonder about these issues about barre chords, the 'pinky reach' up four frets, and the shuffle rhythm up the neck … The guitar is not your enemy … The guitar is your friend … I don't know if there's a 'perfect size' hand' for playing the guitar … there are a number of neck lengths, ya know? … what I do know is that the guitar was made to be played by HUMAN HANDS … your 'friend' the guitar sits in the corner and waits for you endlessly … for you to pick it up and spend just a few minutes with it … my wife is my best friend for almost 40 years … but she does not sit in a corner and wait for me to give her attention … while you're doing other things in your life, your guitar sits in the corner and waits … your not going to have a better friend than that … pick up the guitar and start making adjustments to the arc of your fretting hand and getting your elbow out and away from you side … and work on it … little by little, don't 'hurt' yourself ... don't look at the clock, look at the neck of the guitar :-) and enjoy the process, regardless of how long it takes to get it right … please don't judge yourself by how long it takes you to learn something … just practice and enjoy what you're doing, don't make it a stressful experience … play the blues the best you can, and you'll get better … that's what ‘guitar players’ do … they practice … and practice … until they get it right … they don't kick themselves about having to repeat something a million times to get it 'right' nor complain about having small hands relative to some famous player who didn't pick up the guitar in the first place because people said to them "You should play the guitar, you've got big hands!" … they played/play because they were destined/wanted to play, regardless of their relative finger length to other humans … if a person has got smaller hands than Dolly Parton (and even with small hands and very long fingernails she can make barre chords) or the great classical player Leona Boyd … or the excellent Latina player/performer Charro (she's and excellent guitar player all over the neck) … all three of these lovely women are very small in stature, in some cases, barely 5ft. tall, and somehow they've managed to learn to sit and patiently adjust their arm/elbow, arc of their fretting hand, and placement of their fingers in order to make barre chords and to stretch their pinky four frets above where their index is … this is not a 'sexist' opinion … it applies to men, too … Willie Nelson is a little guy with fairly small hands, he does fine playing a shuffle rhythm up the neck, and so do hundreds of thousands of other male pickers with 'small hands' … the 'magic' is in the practice and willingness to fidget with ones fingers and arm until you can do it … even if it takes the rest of your life … that's what guitar players do … and it's much cheaper than hitting expensive golf balls into the water for the rest of your life … regardless of your progress. Again, thanks so much for enjoying my lessons here at jamplay.com. It took me a year, when I was a teenager, to get the barre chords down so they wouldn't buzz, and playing a blues shuffle up the neck took almost another year … I was on my own with just a few books … no teacher, no input … no Internet … just me a my best friend the guitar … struggling to make music together regardless of the bumps in the road and time that passed … relax and enjoy correcting yourself until you get it … it's worth it … I think you know why I'm so enthusiastic and upbeat in my lessons … I play the guitar to have fun … playing, teaching, and learning … I get to spend a lot of quality time with my wife and my 'other best friend.' Keep working on it, don’t be discouraged ... YOU CAN DO IT ... I hope you coninue to enjoy these lessons with me here at jamplay.com and and learning and enjoying playing blues guitar.

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 3rd, 2010

I was just about to talk about chapter 4 and getting that Bchord when i found that you hawkeye have already given a great answer for it. I find this difficult too dong the B note, and on the 7th fret too. Its funny, i first learned guitar back in 1995 and although i learnt the open chords afterjust a few months, it did tale me a further year to master barre chords, practicing 4-5 hours a day and i didn't think i'd ever get it, but i did. Funny thing now is, i haven't plcked up my guitar for 5 years, and although the open chords came back to me quickly, i'm now in the same position with the barre chords again, funny how things work out!! Yes i feel disheartened cos i cannot let myself go past chapter 4 until i'm able to do that B chord, and your words to that other user were so inspiring.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 3rd, 2010

Thanks for your comments ... and for understanding the need to ... slow down ... crawl before you walk ... and walk before you run ... don't put pressure on yourself so much that you aren't enjoying where you're at ... you'll get it ... be patient with yourself. And, yes, I appreciate your recognizing that my posted comments/response are there for everyone to share and learn from. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons. :-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 3rd, 2009

I recently filmed many hours of new lessons at jamplay.com ... and I included a lesson on the 'stretch' with the pinky. Please keep an eye out for it.

shortman9998shortman9998 replied on October 7th, 2009

what i do is take my first finger and put it on the 2nd fret A string and my third finger on the d string and with my fourth finger i hammer on to the 6th fret...i have really small hands and it helps

rockingchicagorockingchicago replied on October 27th, 2009

hey hawkeye i got really into the rythm.... its infectious just how u said it

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 3rd, 2009

Would I lie to you? Certainly not about blues music. :-) Rock on!

tobenourtobenour replied on August 27th, 2009

Great lesson, lots of fun. We are probably the same age and I am just picking up the guitar - love the blues (not working so it fits). Between Arthritis and tendonitis no mater what I try my hand can not stretch between the barred 5th and the 7th and 9th. Could it be that I using a classic guitar? Any suggestions? I've tried the stretching, but I have had carpal tunnel surgery on it. Maybe I should give up the blues. Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 27th, 2009

By the way, James. It might be quite helpful and encouraging for you to read the comments made by others about this lesson. You're not the "Lone Ranger" ... this is a very basic challenge that you can accomplish ... and will feed your guitar playing forever.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 27th, 2009

Hi, James. Thanks for the message and for enjoying these lessons. I've got about 7 years on ya ... I'm an even older f*rt than you:-) The classical guitar with nylon strings should be easier to play/fret than a steel string guitar, like I use, not harder ... steel strings are much harder to press down on than nylon strings ... don't expect to be able to do this stretch right away ... how many weeks and hours do you think it took me to be able to learn/do this in 1958, at age 13? ... on a really crummy steel string guitar with the strings about 1" off the fingerboard ... it was hard, and it hurt ;-). but I hung in there and eventually got it because I love the sound and the blues ... (and I eventually got a better guitar) ... you need to get the elbow of your fretting hand/arm out and away from your body, not in close, and adjust your fretting hand/fingers so that your hand is more above the fingerboard so that you can make the stretch. Having your elbow close to your body is a hinderance to playing the guitar. You can do this. Just be patient with yourself. Also, this is very good therapy for your carpal tunnel issues. Take your time, crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Enjoy the process of learning and progressing without placing time limits on how fast you learn. This is not a competition, this is an an art form ... don't make yourself feel limited. And by the way, blues music is not depressing :-(, blues music is about the true facts of life, good/bad/happy/sad and freeing yourself from 'worldly concerns' by lifting your spirit though music. I hope this information is helpful to you and that you hang in there and don't demand instant gratification just because I make it look easy. After all, I've been playing the guitar since you were about 7 years old. :-) This is not difficult, it just takes patience and a willingness to put in the time necessary to train your brain what to tell your fingers where to go, and for your fingers to 'get the message' and cooperate/respond ... and the rewards ... when you get it right ... last a lifetime. Hang in there. Please do let me know how the adjustments I've recommended work for you ... or not. Thanks again for being here at jamplay.com.

blaster55blaster55 replied on August 23rd, 2009

Great lesson, Hawkeye! Workong hard on the blues shuffle, and getting that stretch down. Man, I now can see that you really use and extend muscles that you never realize you use. i can really feel it in my left wrist, but every day I practice it gets more comfortable.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 24th, 2009

David, Thanks for the message. Yep, ya gotta practice and stretch and train those muscles, just like in any 'sport.' ... it gets easier the more you do it ... and more fun, too. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

fgannfgann replied on August 19th, 2009

Hello Hawkeye - I have been playing guitar for years and am told I am a pretty good guitarist - mainly jazz. You are a great teacher as I am wanting to get back to blues, as next year I want to busk in France (I live in Switzerland) on my holidays. One thing which is confusing to me is when you play in the key of E you play an E dominant 7th as the tonic ie without a major 7th note. It sounds great. Is it ok to play a dominant 7th as a tonic. You are a great teacher I just love your enthusiasm.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 19th, 2009

Fred, Thaks so much for enjoying these lessons and my style of teaching. I love blues guitar, I guess you can tell, and I enjoy sharing what I know with others. Yes, you can play dom. seventh chords ... you said what I'm doing sounds good to your ear ... so then it's good ... since there are only two kinds of music ... good and bad ... I play dom. seventh chords a lot in blues music throughout ... with all three chords ... whenever I feel like it ... if it sound good ... I do it. If you watch my video performances here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos you'll see me use many techniques I teach here at jamplay,.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals. I may be in Europe again next year ... possibly at festivals in in Sierre or Paris. Keep an eye out for me. Again, thanks for enjoying these lessons.

ricardoflynnricardoflynn replied on July 23rd, 2009

Hello Hawkeye! I've just started this blues journey with you and nailed your previous lessons in two days. This is the first point where I've had any difficulty, and you can probably guess what I'm going to say.... I can't reach that B chord on the shuffle. I have no problem going from E to A. So, here's my question: the only way I'm going to be able to do it (I have very small hands) is by playing the barre chords. I'm a lot slower changing between E and barre A but I'm sure the speed will come with practice. Will the fact that I can't make this stretch cause me problems later in the course? Or will I always be able to get round this lack of reach using barre chords? Thanks very much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 23rd, 2009

ricardoflynn, Thanks for the comments and for enjoying these lessons. Everything comes with practice. You're going to have to learn to make that stretch eventually if you want to 'get around' on the guitar. Millions of guitar players have 'small hands' ... Leona Boyd (classical) and Dolly Parton have smaller hands than yours I bet, and they can make all the barre chords. Also, as I've stated previously (this question is asked frequently) ... you need to get the elbow of your fretting hand out and away from your body, not pulled in next to your waist, and bring your fretting hand more up and over the fingerboard to get more distance when playing barre chords, and in general. I hope this helps. Keep trying, do what you can, and you'll get better. If you avoid difficulties you won't 'defeat' them. :-) A big part of practicing is working on what you can't do, not focusing/working on what you can do. Like high jumpers in track/field; set the bar at the height you'd like to reach, not at a height you can easily jump. Most of all, enjoy the process.

ricardoflynnricardoflynn replied on July 23rd, 2009

Thanks for the quick reply! I can make the stretch on the 'alternate B', but your saying I'll need to be able to master the first B in the shuffle too? I'm in the UK & it's bedtime now - but I can't wait to get up tomorrow and practice some more!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 23rd, 2009

Yes, you should practice both barred B chord positions. Get that elbow out and away form you body away from your waist and raise up your fretting hand/fingers a bit to give yourself more clearance/room/stretch. Don't be impatient with yourself ... this is a life's work ... not instant gratification. I've been playing the guitar for 50 years ... and I still practice and I am always learning 'new' things and trying to increase my abilities. "It's a long and winding road that has no end." Enjoy the process, have fun, and always try to expand your abilities.

leftyplayerleftyplayer replied on June 5th, 2009

Thanks, Hawkeye. I'm enjoying the lessons, though with this last one, I have to take it veeery slowly, as my poor short stubby fingers are having a heck of time learning to stretch far enough (esp. that pinky). I'll keep working on it!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 5th, 2009

Don't give up! You have the rest of your life to enjoy this. ;-)

rangelyderekrangelyderek replied on April 10th, 2009

The Blues Shuffle Is Infectious!!!! Right On! Right On!!

steph78telesteph78tele replied on May 4th, 2009

you really are a great teacher hawkeye, you gotta love another blues enthusiast, thanks! its been a long time for me since i've heard someone else mention those guitar hero's names. thanks! sure did make me smile.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 4th, 2009

steph78tele Here are the links that did not appear in my previous response ... for some unknown reason at my web site hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm and here at jamplay www.jamplay.com/members/articles

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 4th, 2009

STEPH78TELE, Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and your kind comments. I met and learned directly from Son House, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Brownie McGhee, John Jackson, and many others ... I owe them all a great debt for teaching me and giving me a life skill ... how could I not mention them? You can read about my encounters with the old blues guys/gals here or here at jamplay.com in the 'articles' area here This is just the beginning for you ... there's much more to come. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Again, thanks so much.

steph78telesteph78tele replied on May 10th, 2009

wow im veeeery jelous! how blessed are you my friend! blues and those guys certainly do get in your blood hey. fury lewis is incredible i must dig out my cd. will deffinately check out your site i love readind those stories. happy days

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 11th, 2009

steph78tele, Yes, I was blessed to have met and learned from many of the old bluesers ... read articles about it here, or more at my web site here... www. hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm and there are free guitar lessons here... www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm and watch how I use the blues guitar techniques that I teach here at jamplay.com when I'm performing here www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH ... and I get to meet and perform at festivals on the 'bill' with most of my contemporaries, as well, Rory Block, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Eric Bibb, Chris Thomas King, Fiona Boyes, Corey Harris, Guy Davis, etc. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 11th, 2009

rangelyderek, :-) Well, that's just this is just the beginning of the fun. Try to follow the lesson plan as presented and you'll be blues grooving for the rest of your life. There's much more to come.

fretboardnewbfretboardnewb replied on April 1st, 2009

having a blast with these lessons thanks hawkeye.it seems like you realy enjoy doing these videos and that makes them even more fun,and i like the bit of blues history to.learning timming chord progressions in a fun way cant say enough thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 1st, 2009

fretboardnewb, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. So glad you're enjoying these lessons. There's much more to come ... I hope you'll continue to journey with me on the 'blues highway' here at jamplay.com Again, thanks for your kind words.

whitebomberwhitebomber replied on February 23rd, 2009

Hawkeye, just have to say the nylon Herco thumbpick keeps amazing me. Performing these blues shuffles is so much easier with this thumbpick then with a standard pick. I always have trouble with the pick sliding around between my fingers and would constantly be trying to reposition it while playing. I've also used the thumbpick to try some regular songs, I'd always flatpicked and while it takes a slight adjustment of the hand, it works great there too. Concerning the lesson, I've never enjoyed playing this pattern as much as I do now, due mostly to your enthusiam and the Herco thumbpick : ) Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 23rd, 2009

whitebomber, So glad you're enjoying these lessons ... and the nylon thumbpick ... much better for a variety of blues picking. I hope you'll continue to travel with me here on the 'blues highway' at jamplay.com. Thanks again.

klomb01klomb01 replied on January 30th, 2009

I played Sax for around seven years as a kid, I wish my instructor could have explained transposing and rythm changes as easily as you. I'm playing right along with you in the shuffle. Awesome lessons it re-sparked my blues and jazz interests!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 30th, 2009

klomb01, Thanks so much for the kind comments. Much appreciated. So glad you've 'got it' regarding transposing keys, etc. I am not happy unless every one of my students folks understands whatever I'm teaching ... so you can see I take it slow and have many ways of explaining the same concept. Some teachers have just one way of teaching a particular concept, and if you 'get it,' great, if not, too bad. I want the entire world to understand and appreciate the influence of blues on popular musics ... not just my guitar students. I've takend my Blues In THe Schools program into over 500 schools (all levels) in 22 states and 5 foreign countries over the past 30+ years ... to over 1/2 million students (check out: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/blues_in_the_schools.htm) ... and I'm still working on getting to the ... rest of the planet. :-) Thanks again for traveling the 'blues highway' with me here at jamplay.com, and for rekindling your interest in blues/jazz. There's much more to come. Please take your time and enjoy the process.

birchybirchy replied on December 17th, 2008

Hawkeye, I was going really well with these blues lessons until I hit the 9th measure of the basic shuffle in lesson 4. I can only just make the stretch between the 2nd fret A string with my index finger and the 6th fret D string with my pinky. I can only do it by stopping and straining. My hands aren't that small. Watching the video of you playing, it looks pretty easy, have you got massive hands? or will my reach get better with practice and stretching exercises? Please advise. Great lessons, I love blues guitar. Merry Christmas. (birchy)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 17th, 2008

birchy, Thanks for the comment and question. Glad you're enjoying the lessons. In regard to your question, did you look at the 'alternative' tablature page in the 'supplemental information' area of the lesson? Try the 'alternative' shuffle, that should help. Also, be sure that the elbow of your fretting hand (left) is not flying around in space far away from your body ... your left elbow should be below the neck of the guitar, almost pointing at the floor ... not hugging your body, but in front of your body with the elbow pointing downward. If your elbow is 'out to the side' it makes your fingers task of stretching between the frets more difficult. Also, yes, stop and practice the fingering when you have difficulty ... this is part of 'muscle memory' ... you need to get used to the stretch, and your fingers need to be 'taught' to memorize where they must go. Practice ... play slowly ... things will improve. Please don't give up ... this is too much fun to let a little initial 'pain' and difficulty discourage you ;-) ... And by the way, yes, I do have large hands with long a spider-leg like fingers ... which is advantageous. However, you gotta work with what you got, so practice the stretch and keep your elbow away from and in front of your body, and pointing downward. I hope you continue to enjoy the lessons. Thanks again!

cameroncameron replied on November 13th, 2008

Hi Hawkeye, Thanks so much for these lessons. I've been learning the guitar for 2 years now, with the blues on and off, but have had trouble finding a good solid blues teacher/resource to take me from the ground up. I'd learn bits and pieces but never the full story - for instance I can play the blues scale in 5 positions (not well mind you!) but until 2 days ago I couldn't play you a simple 12 bar progression! But just watching your first two lessons has made it all fall into place - you have a real knack for explaining it simply, but not glossing over the details. So thanks for helping me with this, and I'll continue to work through your lessons. Cameron

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 4th, 2008

cameron, You're most welcome ... sorry for the delayed response ... as I've been touring in Europe from 11/10 to 12/3. Your kind words are most encouraging ... I love sharing the blues with others, never tire of the process, and hope you will stick with it for the rest of your life! There's much more to come. Thanks again.

floorshakerfloorshaker replied on November 2nd, 2008

Hi Hawkeye. Just wanted you to know that I LOVE your lessons. I have just moved up from phase I and was worried that these genre lessons might take a quantum leap forward that I might struggle with, but you break things down so clearly that I can't wait for the next one. Also, your love of the music shows in your face and the background you go into is great for people like me who will never get a chance to go to America. Rock on Hawkeye and I will do my best to keep up. Chris

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 3rd, 2008

floorshaker, Thanks so much for your kind comments about my blues guitar lessons. So glad you've been able to accomplish moving from phase one lessons into phase two. There are many more of my lessons to be posted here. You can watch me perform many blues songs here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH Maybe I'll be in your corner of the world to perform someday ... I'll be performing in France for two weeks in November. Someday, maybe I'll be performing at a blues festival in your home area. I hope so. Again, thanks so much.

dasmith1004dasmith1004 replied on October 15th, 2008

Hawkeye, I am learning to play the blues after being an avid listener for years. I played guitar with my grandparents back when i was very young and wanted to pick it up again. I picked up a copy of Acoustic Guitar magazine, saw the jamplay trial and thought i would check it out. your lessons caught my eye and I am enjoying them very much. After just one day "with" you i am already making "music", albeit simple. But at least it is a tune. At 48 i wondered what i could accomplish. the progress i made with your lessons really have me excited. Andy Smith

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 17th, 2008

Andy, Thanks so much for your kind comment and positive experience. Very much appreciated. It's never too late to learn ... anything! The enjoyment that comes from learning and making/creating your own music is immeasurable. It is most gratifying for me to know that you have embarked on a 'new' path in life ... and that this new path will bring great satisfaction ... for as long as you choose to pursue it. "It's a long a nd winding road that has no end." I've ben playing the guitar for 50 years, and I'm still/always 'hungry' to learn/know more. You know when you're on to a good thing for your Self ... when you never tire of learning and practicing. Hang in there with me ... there's much more to come. Again, thanks so much for your comments and for traveling the blues highyway with me here at jamplay.com

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 12th, 2008

fsaroufim, Thanks so much for the comment. So glad you're enjoying the lessons. The blues is/are 'universal' ... it's hot and humid in Lebanon, isn't it? ... just like Mississippi ;-) ... and singing about our hopes of improving our situation(s) is an important aspect of LIFE ... so hang in there with me ... and play the blues as you feel 'em ... even in the Middle East! Thanks again.

fsaroufimfsaroufim replied on September 11th, 2008

Hawkeye im from Beirut, Lebanon (non contextual place for Blues music ) .. i enjoy your lessons so much ... though it aint the mississipi here haaa!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 9th, 2008

freddyb, Thanks so much for the kind comments. There's much more to come. Also, there are free guitar lessons at my web site: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm Keep pickin' and grinnin' ... and enjoy your progress.

freddybfreddyb replied on August 9th, 2008

great stuff I can't tell you how mush I've spent on lessons on the internet and havn't been able to play a good lick . Where the hell have ya'll been for the past three months .I live in the muddy water state for the past year and all you here is good blues down on B street shure got my mouth watering Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 31st, 2008

dickieboy, Yes, you could call the shuffle a 'riff' ... as opposed to a 'lick' ('lick' seems to refer to a hot/fast series of notes). I consider the shuffle to be a standard rhythm figure ... and you can 'riff' on the basic shuffle rhythm by changing/adding/detracting notes spontaneously as you play ... but if you 'riff' too extensively it becomes a guitar lead rather than a rhythm figure. Generally speaking, a good (solid) rhythm figure, like the shuffle, maintains it's character throughout a piece of music ... it's what helps give a piece of music its identity/recognition factor ... like the bass line ... or drum rhythm. Riff on ... but keep the difference between solid rhythm and lead in mind.

dickieboydickieboy replied on July 29th, 2008

Hawkeye, is the Blues Shuffle, basically a riff ? By the way...you are AWESOME !!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 27th, 2008

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 youtube.com at; http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH Check 'em out ... you can see/hear my blues ... in action.

raleblancraleblanc replied on July 22nd, 2008

Excellent instruction. Lessons are outstanding.

cheesebombcheesebomb replied on July 22nd, 2008

Good morning blues, blues how do you do?

cheesebombcheesebomb replied on July 22nd, 2008

I'm doing alright, good morning, how are you?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 22nd, 2008

Thanks so much for the comments. It's my goal to have you all playing ... along with me ... I encourage your participation ... not just your observing the lessons ... I try to repeat the main concepts for each lesson a number of times ... so that those concepts stick with you ... when you leave the session. Please do play along! Thanks again! More to come ... how to play blues leads, turnarounds, chords, and even some slide guitar. So, please hang in there with me.

mclend1mclend1 replied on July 21st, 2008

Hawkeye, I do enjoy the 'thoroughness' that you put into each lesson, by that I mean that you repeat sections long enough for us to play along with you, and that definitely helps build the sense that makes it seem more than just a video lesson. It becomes a mini jam session, and I find that even the sense of playing with someone else is one of the most valuable aspects of learning guitar in any genre. Thanks for the opportunity. Keep Shuffling!

evilhedgehogevilhedgehog replied on July 21st, 2008

awesome!

ronin808ronin808 replied on July 21st, 2008

Nice little Shuffle there, still working on the transition to barre chords but I like it.

jboothjbooth replied on July 21st, 2008

The next lesson which should be posted tomorrow also deals with the shuffle :)

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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



Lesson 1

Introduction to Blues

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

Length: 19:25 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Understanding Blues Chords

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

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Blues Rhythm

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

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

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

Length: 18:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

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

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

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

Interesting Blues Turnaround

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

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Moving the Turnaround

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

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Turnaround in the Bass

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

Length: 11:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Turnaround Practice

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

Length: 3:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Turnarounds as Lead

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

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Subtle Changes

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

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Blues Shuffle Variations

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

Length: 7:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Bass Blues Shuffle

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

Length: 10:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Turnaround Exercise

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

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Delta Blues Turnaround

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

Length: 10:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

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

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Robert Johnson Style

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

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

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Movable Chord Review

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

Length: 5:41 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Basic Blues Scale

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

Length: 23:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Passing Notes

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

Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Scales and Keys

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

Length: 21:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Finding the Key

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

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

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

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Treble Shuffle

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

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

The Great River Road

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

Length: 16:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Mississippi John Hurt Style

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

Length: 14:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Piano Blues

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

Length: 13:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

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

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

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

Sweet Home Chicago

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

Length: 22:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

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

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Classic 8 Bar Blues

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

Length: 25:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Playing Multiple Notes

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

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Classic End Tag

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

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Basic Blues Slide

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

Length: 25:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

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

Length: 14:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 41

Blues Shuffle in Open D

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

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Open D Harmony Shuffle

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

Length: 5:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 43

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Open D Slide Licks

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

Length: 8:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

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

Length: 4:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

Length: 4:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 47

Rock and Slide Guitar

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

Length: 15:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

D Tuning Chords

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

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 49

You Got To Move

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

Length: 9:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

You Got to Move Melody

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

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

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

Length: 9:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 52

Elmore James Style

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

Length: 23:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 53

Blues Licks and Riffs

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

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 54

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 55

G Tuning Chords

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

Length: 6:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 56

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

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

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 57

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 58

Improvising in G Tuning

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

Length: 7:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 59

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

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

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 60

Open G Shuffle Variations

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

Length: 15:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 61

Robert Johnson Licks

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

Length: 14:40 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 62

G Tuning and the Capo

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

Length: 10:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 63

Come On In My Kitchen

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

Length: 6:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 64

Skip James Style

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

Length: 19:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 65

Open D to Open G

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

Length: 10:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 66

Drop D Tuning

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

Length: 30:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 67

Statesboro Blues

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

Length: 27:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 68

Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

Length: 19:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 69

Minor Blues

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

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

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

Length: 22:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 71

Song Endings

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

Length: 21:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 72

Stop Time Blues

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

Length: 17:53 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 73

Eight Bar Blues

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

Length: 26:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 74

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

Length: 16:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 75

Movable Endings

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

Length: 31:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 76

Movable Blues Scale

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

Length: 16:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 77

Blues Scale Lead

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

Length: 30:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 78

Spanning the Neck

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

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 79

The Blues Had a Baby

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

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 80

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 81

Spanning the Neck Continued

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

Length: 18:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 82

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 83

Chord Relationships

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

Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 84

Chord Relationships Continued

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

Length: 8:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 85

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

Length: 16:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 86

Key of A Idea

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

Length: 18:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 87

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

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

Length: 15:13 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 88

Capo Ideas

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

Length: 18:34 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 89

Everything is Movable

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

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 90

Bass Notes in Treble

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

Length: 21:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 91

Treble Shuffle

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

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 92

Creating Solos

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

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 93

Transposing Songs

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

Length: 17:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 94

History of Blues

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

Length: 13:52 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 95

Blues is the Roots

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

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 96

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

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

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

Length: 12:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 98

Boom-Chicka Strum

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

Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 99

Fun Runs

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

Length: 16:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 100

Review & Practice

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

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 101

Song Medley

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

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

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

Length: 22:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 103

More Fun Licks

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

Length: 31:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 104

More Licks Up the Neck

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

Length: 26:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 105

Bass Licks

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

Length: 21:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 106

Rock Me Lick

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

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 107

Turnaround Positions

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

Length: 8:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 108

Instrumental Themes

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

Length: 18:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 109

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 110

Ninth Chords

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

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 111

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

Length: 26:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 112

More Eight Bar Blues

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

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 113

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 114

Introducing the Capo

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

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 115

Forming Barre Chords

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

Length: 10:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 116

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

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

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 117

Relative Chord Shapes

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

Length: 16:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 118

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

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

Length: 20:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 119

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

Length: 20:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 120

Bo Diddley Beat

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

Length: 20:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 121

Thematic Bass Lines

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

Length: 19:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 122

Bass Lines Continued

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

Length: 7:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 123

Lead Bass Ideas

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

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 124

Willie's Bounce

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

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

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 126

The Texas A

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

Length: 13:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 127

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

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

Length: 26:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 128

Double Stops

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

Length: 11:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 129

Scrapper Blackwell

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

Length: 20:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 130

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

Length: 22:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 131

Humming and Strumming

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

Length: 18:49 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 132

Katrina, Oh Katrina

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

Length: 29:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 133

All About the Hammer-on

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

Length: 24:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 134

The Pull-off

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

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 135

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

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

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 136

The Quick Change

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

Length: 15:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 137

Starting on the IV Chord

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

Length: 16:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 138

The Talking Blues

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

Length: 24:43 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 139

Utilizing 9th Chords

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

Length: 24:53 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 140

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

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

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 141

Style of Elmore James

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

Length: 25:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 142

Style of Son House

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

Length: 14:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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


Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

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

Free LessonSeries Details
David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

Free LessonSeries Details
Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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.

Free LessonSeries Details
David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

Joel Kosche talks about creating and composing a guitar solo. He uses his original song "Sunrise" as an example.

Free LessonSeries Details
Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

Free LessonSeries Details
Brent Mason Brent Mason

Learn Nashville style country guitar from one of the most recorded guitarists in history. Check out rhythm grooves, solos,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Kris Norris Kris Norris

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...

Free LessonSeries Details
John DeServio John DeServio

JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

JamPlay introduces Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp! In this first segment, Guthrie talks a little about his influences,...

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 480548 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 86 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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

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


Greg J.

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

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


Bill

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

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



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!