Moving the Turnaround (Guitar Lesson)

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Hawkeye Herman

Moving the Turnaround

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 5:57Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (05:57) Moving the Turnaround In the previous lesson, Hawkeye demonstrated numerous different ways of arpeggiating the famous blues turnaround. This time around, you'll learn how to transpose this turnaround to any key. He first demonstrates this process in the key of G Major. In the last lesson, you learned that the first chord in the turnaround was the tonic chord, E7. Since, we are in the key of G now, the turnaround will begin with a G7 chord. Count up in half steps from the location of the E7 chord shape. The G7 chord will be played in sixth position. Your fingers will fret the notes D, F, and B. Then, simply slide this chord down chromatically in half steps.

Playing the Turnaround as an Introduction

Turnaround licks are often used as effective introductions to blues tunes. Frequently, the guitarist will play a turnaround lick before the whole band kicks in.

Practice in All 12 Keys

To be an effective blues player, you must be able to play in all 12 keys. Practice playing the turnaround progression around the circle of fifths. Remember to vary the rhythm and arpeggio pattern so your playing doesn't become too predictable.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

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

atxvivionatxvivion replied

What's the little run / what are the notes in order to get to the 7? Like at 2:20? Love this series, thank you!

kalorenz03kalorenz03 replied

Thanks Hawkeye. After first learning a turnaround in E, I was wondering how this would work in other keys. So clear now!

danonwheelsdanonwheels replied

Man Hawkeye this is so cool

blind dog taylorblind dog taylor replied

okay the fix is to select the best video quality not the least good. works fine now.

blind dog taylorblind dog taylor replied

file is corrupted. video is unsynced from audio. unusable.

rosstuckerrosstucker replied

Hawkeye? if you were playing a blues in the Key of C - Root on the 5th string (first finger on 3rd fret, 5th string and third finger on 5th fret, 4th string....when you go to do the 'turn around' would you just up to the 11th fret (top 3 strings) for the turn around? there something 'closer' that would be better? I hope you can help. Thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your question, Ross. You can create the turnaround in the key of C by making a simple first position D7 chord on the top/high three strings, now move that chord shape up the neck so that you index finger is at the 11th fret of the 2nd string and fingers two and three are at the 12th fret of the 1st and 3rd strings. Play that chord shape on the top three strings in that position, then the same chord shape down 1/2 step (1 fret down), the index finger now at the 11th fret and fingers 2 and 3 at the 10th fret, now down another 1/2 step (1 fret down) so that the index finger is at the 9th fret and the fingers 2 and 3 are at the 10th fret, and now resolve this by playing a 'partial' of a barred C chord (E or F shaped barre chord) at the 8th fret ... index finger will now be fretting strings 1 and 2 at the 8th fret and finger 2 is playing at the 9th fret, which consists of the first/top three strings of an F-shaped barre chord at the 8th fret, a barred C chord. Another way to play the turnaround in the key of C that is closer in position to the C chord you described is to pick (simultaneously or individually) the 2nd and 4th strings at the 5th fret (I use my 2nd and 3rd fingers for this), then play the 2nd and 4th strings at the 4th fret, play the 2nd and 4th strings at the 3rd fret, and now resolve with a simple/basic first position C chord, or the version of the C chord that you described. Also, if you wish, while playing strings 2 and 4 in this turnaround shape you can add the open top high E string (1st string) alternately in between notes from the 2nd and 3rd string throughout the series of movement down the neck using your index finger to pick the high string while your 2nd and 3rd fingers are fretting strings 2 and 4. I hope this is helpful to you. It is VERY difficult to describe guitar playing techniques with text/words. ;-) May I suggest you view some of the many blues songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): ... and please be sure to check out/explore my web site for more free guitar lessons and blues history information: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your question and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

probbinsprobbins replied

Hello there Mr Hawkeye. Firstly much like everyone here, I am loving your lessons and actually able to follow them as there have as yet been no sudden jumps in skill level. That and can actually replicate the sound and feel you are teaching, albeit much slower but getting there. My question is surrounding the theory regarding the turn around dominat 7 chord be it E7 G7 A7 etc. I can follow the process and understand that the system works as you move from E7 at first position up the neck in tonal increments, but the question is why does it work, as I can see that each 7 chord has a triad of the notes from its first position relative which is I guess how it work but how come it works is probably what I am asking and can the theory behind this be transposed to all chords? Again thanks for the time you have put into this series. Paul

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Greetings, Paul. Thanks so much for the kind words about my lessons. In regard to your question, I feel that rather than trying to explain in words/text the theory behind the ability for one to move the turnaround according to the key you wish to play the turnaround in, it would be far better for me to remind you of the most important 'big picture' concept about playing the guitar: that EVERYTHING that you can play on the guitar is movable ... just as a simple first position E chord can be moved up one fret and creating a barre chord by putting your index finger across all of the frets and then making a E shaped chord it now become a F chord, at the next fret an F# chord, at the third fret a G chord, etc. ... so it is with every chord and every lick, every scale, every turnaround, every scale, EVERYTHING on the guitar is movable if you keep the same relative positions as you move up or down the fingerboard. That's how the guitar works!!! Please accept that 'big picture' concept and work with it and don't worry about the music theory for now, just do it, experiment and move anything you know up/down the fingerboard and learn the positions so that you can play them in any key. Let the theory aspect go for now, and accept what I'm trying to teach you and 'worry' about trying to explain why it works ... the theory behind it, until later. Why should music theory explanations stand between you and the activity of learning skills on the guitar ... for now. The music theory will come later ... one doesn't need to know how/why an internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car ... and in truth, most of the famous and iconic blues players past and present could care less about music theory ... learn the basics, accept that everything you learn can be moved up/down the fingerboard by keeping all of the positions relative to each other as you do so, and enjoy the process ... 'drive the car' ... and worry about how/why the engine functions/details of music theory for later. For now, I'm teaching you how to play the blues in any key ... as you progress incrementally and patiently through my lesson series, crawl, then walk, then run ... the theoretical aspects will be explained to you. ;-) I hope you can accept this advice, and enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing the blues and resist intellectualizing about it. Please accept the process, improve your physical skills along the way, and feel the music move you up and down the 'blues highway' with the joy and gratification that it was meant to provide. ;-)

r1k1ukr1k1uk replied

Hi Hawkeye just just wanted to stop at this point in your course to say thankyou for your wonderfull instruction. I really enjoy your lessons, love the way you break every thing down so even I can understand it and the genuine enthusiasm you have for the blues form has rubbed off on me.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

You're most welcome, Richard. I appreciate your kind comments about my lessons. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lessons. Please do continue to patiently progress from one lesson to the next, at your own speed. ;-) I'm glad you find my enthusiasm for blues music contagious. I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

rsbabsonrsbabson replied

What is the fingering for the abbreviated G chord you played at the end of the turnaround?

rsbabsonrsbabson replied

nevermind I found the question that I asked a few threads down

simondosimondo replied

Hi Hawkeye, Forgive my ignorance but I cant figure out the turnaround in the open 'a' key, dosnt seem to work using the d shape up to the 8th and 9th frets Cheers Simon

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Simon, I also suggest you take the time to click on and read the "about this lesson" tab, as well as the 'supplemental content.' Look at the first entry ... "Blues in G" ... all you have to do to make this entire exercise in the key of A is to move everything in the "Glues in G" tablature up two frets (one full step, from G to A) ... also look at measures 11 and 12 in the "Blues in G" exercise ... it'st he turnaround in the key of G ... move everything up two frets (one full step) and you have the turnaround in the key of A. All this information, combined with the video (I thought a single picture was supposed to be worth a thousand words ...! ;-) ... With all of the material available to you on this lesson via video, explanation in words, and complete tablature, I think you should be able to figure this out and have success in playing the turnaround in any key. Good luck with the learning/practicing/playing process and thanks for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message/question, Simon. If 'it doesn't work' by following my instructions ... you're doing something wrong ... ;-). I don't know what you mean by ... " in the open 'a' key" ... what is 'open a' ? ... do you mean first position A chord at the 2nd fret? ... are you not aware that this turnaround is based on a first position E chord ... so if you want to play the turnaround in the key of A you would start with a first position D7 shaped chord (on the first three strings. the three highest/thinnest strings) at the 9th fret (with the index finger is on the second string of the 8th fret and the 2nd finger at the 9th fret of the third string and the 3rd finger at the 9th fret of the first string) ... now play that D7 shaped chord a the 9th fret , then at the 8th fret, then at the 7th ... then you resolve with a barred A chord at the 5th fret (shaped like a first position e or F chord). Sorry, but I don't know what you mean by "in the open 'a' key" ... if this doesn't work for you, you need to watch this lesson over and over again until you do 'get it' ... because it DOES work if you understand the process of moving the first position D7 chord up the neck and do what instruct. I think my instructions in this lesson are quite clear ... so I suggest you watch this lesson multiple times until you find your error in comprehension. That's the best I can do for ya. Thanks again for your question and for enjoying these lessons.

marvin goldbloommarvin goldbloom replied

In the Key of G, your notation says that the last chord is a D7, is it not a G7?

marvin goldbloommarvin goldbloom replied

Sorry, looked at it again, all good!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Marvin, I don't do the notation ... there's a genius named Matt who does it all ... if you find he's made a mistake you need to contact admin ... not me ... thanks for enjoying these lessons.

george the 3edgeorge the 3ed replied

Hawkeye this is a great lesson series so far. Can not wait to continue. Can you please explain to me the riff you play at the end of the turn around. Say in g for example . I have purchased a lot of books as study aids over the years, but your lessons really take the mystery out of all of the stuff I have read about, tonic ,sub domminet etc. thanks

george the 3edgeorge the 3ed replied

Thanks Hawkeye viewing the tab did it for me !

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

My pleasure to advise you. I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind comments, George. Much appreciated. Please tell me where in the lesson you're inquiring about ... which scene # ... and the ___ min. ___ secs. it occurs. Watch my many videos at youtube so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I perform in concerts and at festivals ... and try to play along with me ... ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

George, it occurs to me that you must not be aware that everything I do in these lessons is notated in guitar tablature and in musical notation in the 'supplemental content folder' ... for this lesson, and for every lesson. There should be little or no need for further explanation of anything ... Matt, our fearless JamPlay musical/tab notation guy has done it all of you ... so, just click on the 'supplemental content folder' under each lesson for 'further explanation that you can view and even print out fr future reference. That's why is the best and most popular online guitar instructional web site ... they take care of and anticipate almost every issue that might arise in the process of teaching the guitar ... for both the student and the instructor. We're both lucky to be here at Of course, if you still have problems/questions/issues ... feel free to leave me a comment or question. Cheers and happy blues guitar playing, Hawkeye

mikes jam playmikes jam play replied

Hey Hawkeye, I've just recently found jamplay and you. I have learned alot to this point, but still can't reach the barre cord shuffle. Anyway, my question is when playing the G trunaround How are you playing the abreviated G and what is the fingering for the rest of the turnaround? Thx

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I'm simply playing the first (top/high) three strings of a barred G chord ... my index is playing strings one and two at the third fret and my second finger is playing the 4th fret of the 3rd string.

laurentlaurent replied

Hello Hawkeye, When you play the turnaround you say " I play D7 D" E7 " and when I look at these chords I realise you don t play the first note. I explain for example the E7 is E G" B D and you play G" B D. Is it to sound more blues ? thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, an added 7th note is a nice bluesy sound.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

If you play a normal C7 and move it up one fret (do not play the 1st and 6th strings, only play strings 2/3/4/5) and it's a C#7, move it to the 3rd fret (do not play the 1st and 6th strings, only play strings 2/3/4/5) and it becomes a D7 chord ... EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING, chords, scales, licks, riffs, turnarounds, EVERYTHING on the guitar is movable ip and down the neck ... just like the simple D7 chord shape we are using to create a turnaround. Please be patient and follow these lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing at your own speed from one lesson to the next ... and the answer to many of your questions will be revealed ... in time. :-) Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

laurentlaurent replied

Anyway at this point I need to have a break because I ve got some problems with barre chords, my hand is not very big and I have to strech all my fingers to play some of them. I think one or two weeks. See you later in other lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

In regard to making barre chords ... Make sure you are sitting in an upright chair without arms ... and keep your elbow of your fretting hand/arm away from your the side of your body ... bring your elbow out and away from the side of your body ... this should increase your ability to stretch/reach barre chords. I hope this helps.

laurentlaurent replied

Ok thanks I see what you mean.

laurentlaurent replied

Sorry an other question. At the end of the turnaround in the key of G I think you play a D7 chord, is it ? It s looks like the shape of a C7 chord. It s a new chord for me. is it possible to do this on all the fretboard with the C7 shape ?

taijuandotaijuando replied

what is that last chord in the turnaround before the double bar in the supplemental content.... it doesn't sound right when I play it

BlueDjangoBlueDjango replied

This might be an opportunity to point something out. In measures 2 and 14 of the TAB, there's a tiny mistake. The G note on the Low E string, should actually be a C note on the A string. I had a bit of trouble making it sound right, until I realized it was the same chromatic walk we used in E. The one that hits the B7, I mean.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the info. Matt, our fearless and patient notation person does a great job ... I'm sure he'll get around to correcting the mistake ... if he reads this ... or you can send a reminder about it to the admin./contact folks to inform Matt, and the correction will be made ... eventually. I really appreciate Matt's, work ... in the over 140 lessons I have posted such mistakes are very rare. He does a superb job ... and I assure you, I could never do it myself, nor do I have the time. Thanks again. ;-)

thesnowdogthesnowdog replied

Reminder sent to the support folks.

taijuandotaijuando replied

figured it do you remove a comment?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message ,Juan. Glad you figured out the answer to your question. I don't know how to remove (or edit) a comment ... I guess it's not possible. Oh well, glad you were able to figure out the answer to your question. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

marcyf64marcyf64 replied

love you hawkeye - i wish i saw this lesson five years ago - this is the holy grail on a topic that had me mystified for years!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi, Marcy. Thanks so much for the kind words about this lesson. If you patiently follow my lessons in the order they are presented, with no 'cherry picking' of lessons ;-), progressing at your own speed, you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music that will allow you to play blues guitar freely and improvise as you wish. Please be sure to watch my many music videos so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concert and at festivals, try to play along with me, and even 'steal' some of my licks/riffs: .... also, there are free blues guitar lessons at my web site: ... Thanks again for the kind comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

piggygstrangpiggygstrang replied

when you bar the shuffle chords, do you play the whole chord or are you just playing the first 2 strings?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Greetings, Javier. Thanks for the question. When barring chords to play the shuffle rhythm I finger the entire chord but only put true pressure on the strings that are being played. In this case the 5th and sixth strings. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

mrousemrouse replied

Hi Hawkeye...In lesson 8 on the G turn around, after the triplets and G chord... I'm not sure about the fingering on the dominant D7th (the same as you explained the B7th on the open E chord) don't seem to be using the bar chord... thanks! Michael

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I'm playing a first position C7 chord at the third fret (index finger at the third fret) ... and this turns a C7 chord ... up one full step (two frets) into a D7 chord. EVERYTHING on the guitar is movable up and down the neck. I hope that answer your question. Thanks for asking.

mtbluesmtblues replied

Great lessons! Quick question relating to everything being movable. The D7 chord includes the D open, which is the root. When you move up the neck and only strum the 1st three strings you are missing the root for all suceeding 7th chords. Is it still considered a chord without it's root? I noticed that the chord charts do not include this shape moved up unless it includes an added bass note (slash chord).

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Generally speaking, it is not necessary to move the root on the 4th string when moving the D7 chord up/down the neck. It is 'suggested' by the sound of the chord. If you're moving a first position D chord, the second string is the root note. Enjoy the process. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

For clarification ... just don't play the 4th string when moving the D7 chord up/down the neck ... play only on the first three strings ... the root note is suggested. ;-)

hsarlanhsarlan replied

I enjoy Hawkeye lessons. They are great! I really learn playing this thing. More you improve your playing more fun it is. Believe me. Practicing the G-progression in the supplement but find it difficult with 120 bmp in turnaround (triplets). Haldun.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the kind comments. So glad you enjoy these lessons. The 'G exercise' in the supplemental material is a good one ... and should be played and 'mastered' in all keys ... practice/repetition is 'where it's at.' I hope you continue to enjoy the process of learning blues guitar and these lessons.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied

I am working on picking out the strings in da turnaround.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Me too.

dannycdannyc replied

I am in review, Hawkeye. Now that I have been practicing a lot, it is all starting to come together. Second time around in detail is a good thing! I got up to lesson 25, and now going back to the beginning again. Love your lessons!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how you're doing and that you're enjoying these lessons, Danny. Very much appreciated. I'm so glad that you're so thorough and diligent in taking these lessons in the order they are presented. I've given the content and order of these lessons a great deal of thought/planning ... and the fact that you're 'sticking with the program' and realizing success is very gratifying to me. You're wise to 'take a break' after lesson #25 and going back to refresh yourself regarding the 'building blocks of blues playing. This is how a 'strong foundation' in blues music (and any subject) is achieved. It's my hope that these lessons and the information contained in each and every lesson will serve you for the rest of your life. Thanks again for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at ... and for enjoying the journey. ;-)

strat9strat9 replied

Hawkeye: My question from lesson 7 is being answered in lesson 8. Sorry about that!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

If you follow my lessons in the oreder they are p[resented you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music. I've given a lot of thought as to the order and content of these lessons ... I've been playiong blues for 50 years, and teaching blues for over 40 years ... after so long teaching the blues to so many people, I can anticipate your questrions, and include the anticipated questions and information in my lessons. Hang in there with me and follow the lesson plan, and you'll be enjoying playing blues music and improving ... forever ... I hope. If a question does arise regarding something I fail to explain fully or cover, please be sure to let me know. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

mrousemrouse replied

Hey Hawkeye, I took your suggestion and started looking around Jam Play ..allot happening! I'm just getting used to this on-line stuff! I wanted to go back to do phase 1 and wondering (who) what you suggest in regards to the thumb pickiing style that you do...Thank you always, Michael ....

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, there's a lot happening here at I'm glad you checked out the 'forums' area ... as many questions that students ask are covered there, as well as general interesting information from both instructors and students. Sorry, I'm not familiar with the contents of any of the instructors in the Phase One area, so I can't refer you to a specific instructor for what you're looking for. Why not just take the time to 'audit' a few of the instructors' lessons there and pick what you like. I have my hands full with my own lesson series, Im happy to say :-)

mike13mike13 replied

Hi. I'm having a great time with the lessons. I'm trying to figure out the fingering of the E chord (or E7 chord) you go to at the end when you do the turnaround in A, including the single note you pluck between the final small A chord and that E. Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Mike, Thanks so much for the comment and question. I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons. You need to tell me the exact place in the lesson, what minute and seconds (00:00 through 00:00,?) in order for me to answer your question. Stop the video and at the point where you're in doubt, mark down the min./secs/ location, and then also mark the spot where your 'problem' ends. Please do this, so there is no doubt for me where your having the problem. Thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

mike13mike13 replied

Hi Hawkeye. Thanks. You start the walkdown to A at 4:35 and finish at 4:49. My question was the chord you went to after the A is played. I think I've figured it out since I posted my question. Is it the E7, using the C7 shape but moved up to the 7th fret? If that's right, my other question still though is what notes do you play between the A chord and that E7 to restart the 12 bars over again? For example, when you first showed how to do this turnaround in E you played the notes A (open 5th string), then the A# and B notes on the 5th string before playing the B7 five chord. Do you play the same notes on that 5th string but from the A position (or whatever key you're playing in)? For A that would be notes D, D#, and E? And then strum the E7 at the 7th fret? I'm hoping this is right, which would mean I'm actually figuring this out. But if not, please set me straight. Thanks very much. Mike

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, it's a C7 moved up to the fifth fret (index finger at fifth fret), which makes it an E7. Yes, you've figured out how to play the notes in between the I and the V chord (after the turnaround) as well (now you can do it in any key, right? :-) ... you're doing great. Keep it up! Thanks again for the questions and comments.

jadibujadibu replied

Hi. Thanks for your fantastic class. I have a question. Can I play the turnaround in the strings 2,3 and 4? thank you very much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

jadibu, Yes, but don't get ahead of yourself. Please stick with the program, and learn the material in the order presented. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the content and order of these lessons ... in order for you to build a strong foundation and understanding of blues os that you can freely play and create the music on your own, eventually. Everything on the guitar is movable up and down the neck and from from strings to strings. Skip around in theses lessons and you'll still learn a lot ... but there will be gaps/holes in your 'blues foundation.' Be patient with yourself. Don't worry about it now ... you're not ready for that information until more groundwork is created in your abilities and understanding of the instrument and the blues. Thanks for the question. Enjoy the process.

mrousemrouse replied

Goin' great....loving's growing om me..but wondering what the world record longest time to learn a G7th is...think I'm in the running

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

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

dash rendardash rendar replied

I've just been watching some of your material on YouTube. I'm really enjoying it... and feeling quite mellow now. :) I'll be looking forward to learning your Great River Road later in the lesson set.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

dqsh rendar, Thanks so much for watching the Hawkeye performance videos and for your kind comments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Again, thanks so much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

dancrawford, Awww right! You've definitley got the blues, my friend. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and getting some 'mileage' out of your guitar. There are many, many more lessons to come ... try to view them in order, as the lessons are contributing to your understanding of the music and building a strong foundation so that you can play the blues ... as you feel. Please don't skip around ... follow the order of the lessons, and you'll be improving all along the way ... and hopefully, enjoying your new found ... talent and interest. Your enthusiasm and kind message are greatly appreciated. Hang in there with me. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. This lesson series is not about me ... it's about you learning to understand, play, and enjoy the blues.

dancrawforddancrawford replied

Hawkeye- What is the last part of the turnaround in G where you walk it back up after walking it down the abbreviated G chord? Shown at 3:34 in Scene 1? You also play the same variation in different keys later in the lesson. Can you tab that or explain the fingering??

dancrawforddancrawford replied

Sorry, that was at 2:22

dancrawforddancrawford replied

Actually, I figured it out. Shaped like a C7 but moved up to the 3rd fret, right?

dancrawforddancrawford replied

Hawkeye, you are a fantastic teacher and I am really enjoying this lesson set! Thank-you Jam Play for bringing the blues to this site. I am having so much fun playing right now, I can't believe it! Looking forward to more! Dan

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

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

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

louis aves, Thanks for coming back to I hope you continue to learn and enjoy the blues. There are many more lessons to be posted, so please hang in there with me ... and the rest of us blues lovers.

louis aveslouis aves replied

I left Jamplay a few months ago because none of the instrutors really touched the blues which was (is!) my reason for learning how to play even at this late stage in life-64.Iam so glad I came back and discovered not only the blues gentre had been added but also the guy teaching it made it sound both easy and fun !! THANKS HAWKEYE -YOURE THE MAN !!!!!

duaneellisonduaneellison replied

You know, I really appreciate your approach to teaching this. Even the stuff that you go over and over is REALLY helpful to show how to do things differently and how it all works together. And the examples about finding the stuff down the neck is really great! I think the family is starting to get sick of the 12-bar-blues but it is pretty darn cool to have something I can do from start to finish. I look forward to the lessons and keep them coming! You're also a hoot to watch! duane...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

ronin808, Hang in there ... take it slow ... but take it ... :-) ... I'm very thorough when it comes to teaching blues guitar ... if you have questions about anything that I don't cover within a particular lesson ... be sure to ask here at the comments page, or by email. Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm.

ronin808ronin808 replied

Alright you answered my question about tunarounds in different parts of the neck. Thank You Hawkeye!!!

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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

Introduction to BluesLesson 1

Introduction to Blues

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

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

Understanding Blues Chords

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

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

Blues Rhythm

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

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

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

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

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

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

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

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

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

Interesting Blues Turnaround

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

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

Moving the Turnaround

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

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

Turnaround in the Bass

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

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

Turnaround Practice

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

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

Turnarounds as Lead

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

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

Subtle Changes

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

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

Blues Shuffle Variations

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

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

Bass Blues Shuffle

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

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

Turnaround Exercise

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

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

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

Robert Johnson Style

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

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

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

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

Movable Chord Review

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

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

Basic Blues Scale

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

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

Passing Notes

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

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

Scales and Keys

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

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

Finding the Key

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

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

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

The Great River Road

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

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

Mississippi John Hurt Style

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

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

Piano Blues

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

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

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

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

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

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

Sweet Home Chicago

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

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

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

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

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

Classic 8 Bar Blues

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

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

Playing Multiple Notes

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

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

Classic End Tag

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

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

Basic Blues Slide

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

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

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Blues Shuffle in Open D

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

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

Open D Harmony Shuffle

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

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

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

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

Open D Slide Licks

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

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

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Rock and Slide Guitar

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

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

D Tuning Chords

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

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

You Got To Move

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

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

You Got to Move Melody

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

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

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

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

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

Elmore James Style

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

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

Blues Licks and Riffs

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

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

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

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

G Tuning Chords

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

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

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

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

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

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

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

Improvising in G Tuning

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

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

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

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

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

Open G Shuffle Variations

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

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

Robert Johnson Licks

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

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

G Tuning and the Capo

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

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

Come On In My Kitchen

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

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

Skip James Style

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

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

Open D to Open G

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

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

Drop D Tuning

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

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

Statesboro Blues

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

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

Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Minor Blues

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

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

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

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

Song Endings

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

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

Stop Time Blues

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

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

Movable Endings

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

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

Movable Blues Scale

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

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

Blues Scale Lead

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

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

Spanning the Neck

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

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

The Blues Had a Baby

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

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

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

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

Spanning the Neck Continued

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

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

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

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

Chord Relationships

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

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

Chord Relationships Continued

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

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

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

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

Key of A Idea

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

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

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

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

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

Capo Ideas

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

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

Everything is Movable

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

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

Bass Notes in Treble

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

Creating Solos

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

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

Transposing Songs

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

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

History of Blues

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

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

Blues is the Roots

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

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

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

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

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

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

Boom-Chicka Strum

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

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

Fun Runs

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

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

Review & Practice

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

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

Song Medley

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

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

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

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

More Fun Licks

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

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

More Licks Up the Neck

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

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

Bass Licks

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

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

Rock Me Lick

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

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

Turnaround Positions

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

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

Instrumental Themes

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

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

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

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

Ninth Chords

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

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

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

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

More Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

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

Introducing the Capo

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

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

Forming Barre Chords

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

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

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

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

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

Relative Chord Shapes

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

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

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

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

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

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

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

Bo Diddley Beat

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

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

Thematic Bass Lines

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

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

Bass Lines Continued

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

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

Lead Bass Ideas

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

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

Willie's Bounce

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

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

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

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

The Texas A

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

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

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

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

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

Double Stops

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

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

Scrapper Blackwell

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

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

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Humming and Strumming

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

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

Katrina, Oh Katrina

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

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

All About the Hammer-on

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

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

The Pull-off

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

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

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

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

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

The Quick Change

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

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

Starting on the IV Chord

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

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

The Talking Blues

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

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

Utilizing 9th Chords

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

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

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

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

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

Style of Elmore James

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

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

Style of Son House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Freebo Freebo

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

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Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

Fingerstyle guitar is a broad term that can incorporate percussive elements of playing as well as Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed...

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Kaki King Kaki King

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

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Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

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Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

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...

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Nick Kellie Nick Kellie

Nick explains how to use scales and modes effectively when soloing over a chord progression.

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Jeff Gunn Jeff Gunn

Now that we have explored the various distances needed to sound artificial harmonics, will learn how to move between artificial...

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

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

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Horace Bray Horace Bray

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

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Andre Nieri Andre Nieri

Born in 1986 and hailing from Brazil, Andre showed musical inclination at an early age. Influenced by native Brazilian Jazz...

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John Shannon John Shannon

Meet John Shannon and his approach to rhythm guitar. John discusses why he put this lesson series together and what his...

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Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

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

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Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

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

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