Now welcoming Yvette Young to the JamPlay platform. Learn more about her unique style and talent, and be sure to Pre-Order her exclusive guitar course.

Discover   Pre-Order

Turnarounds as Lead (Guitar Lesson)


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

Turnarounds as Lead

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 0:00Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (04:52) Turnaround as Lead In the past several lessons, Hawkeye has demonstrated two turnarounds and their subsequent rhythmic variations. These turnarounds were presented in the context of the 12 bar shuffle rhythm pattern. This time around, Hawkeye will demonstrate how the turnaround can be applied to a lead guitar solo.

This is accomplished by playing a series of turnarounds over the entire 12 bar form.

Let's take a moment to review the chord changes in the 12 bar blues form.

Bars1-4: I (E)
Bars 5-6: IV (A)
Bars 7-8: I (E)
Bar 9: V (B)
Bar 10: IV (A)
Bars 11-12: I (E)

To play turnarounds as a lead guitar solo, simply play the turnaround in the key of the chord name. For instance, over the IV chord A, play the turnaround in the key of A. Over the V chord B, play the turnaround in the key of B major.

Thinking Ahead

Improvising any type of solo requires some visualization of upcoming chord changes. Otherwise, it is pretty easy to lose your place in the form. Do not think of the chord that you are currently playing. You are already there. Instead, visualize where the next chord change occurs on the fretboard.

Demonstration

Hawkeye plays through the entire form using the high version of the turnaround. A transcription of this solo can be found in the "Supplemental Content" section.
Chapter 2: (06:14) Practice Playing Turnarounds as Lead Playing a succession of various turnarounds over the entire form requires much practice. The most important thing to focus on is playing strictly in time. Play through the form with the metronome set at a very slow tempo. Then, gradually speed up. You'll want to be able to play this even faster than how Hawkeye demonstrates. Some fast blues songs reach the 150 or 160 beats per minute range.

Remember to add variety. You can mix and match the high and low versions of the turnaround throughout the form. Also, you can play the chords in different sequences as well. Refer to the transcription for some ideas of how this can be accomplished.

All 12 Keys

Just like in previous lessons, remember to practice what Hawkeye has taught you in all 12 keys. Start with E, then maybe work on the other common keys next such as A, G, and C. Hawkeye plays through the form using turnarounds in the key of G to get you started with this process.


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.


superbluessuperblues replied on April 14th, 2015

Hi Hawkeye, some people might be wondering about my previous comment and thinking why i'd still need lessons after 35 yrs of playing? Forgot to mention that i had a traumatic brain injury from car accident 20yrs. ago, therefore i had long and short term memory loss which is not good when playing a song! LOL!! So i just play at home to entertain myself and relax. Have to say I love the turn around as a lead because it was something i've never studied before. I've been playing these turnaround ideas day n night. I can play a shuffle blues for hours and it will never sound boring using all the different turnarounds besides the ones i already have in my bag of tricks. Thank you again! You are a great communicator. Many teachers can play music but many players cannot teach music.

superbluessuperblues replied on April 8th, 2015

Hello Hawkeye, I've been playing for about 35 yrs. Studied Jazz for years. Just want to say that your lessons alone are worth more than my one year subscription to jam play! Very thorough instruction. Thank you so much for sharing your vast knowledge of The Blues with me. Jay Finkle Lancaster, Pa

FlynnedFlynned replied on October 11th, 2014

Hi Hawkeye, this lesson has opened up so many possibilities for me. Thank you. I have a bit of a problem though with timing... I find that when improvising, I get lost with regard to where I am in the blues progression. Are there any tips you could offer that may help? tnx

BhaineBhaine replied on April 5th, 2014

Aged 54, from a musical family, lovely instruments in the cupboard, never had the patience to really learn anything, found jamplay, found Hawkeye, never understood the chord combinations until I started your lessons and now onto turnarounds as lead and feel like I'm really on the way to learning it once and for all. Fantastic. Finally Hawkeye has inspired me

jim21jim21 replied on March 19th, 2014

I'm soaking up your lessons like a sponge! I've played for some time now but never quite nailed the blues. With your help and some of the other teachers on this site I'll play like Lightnin' soon. Retired at 62 and with no time sucking job to bother with I can play and learn all day! Thanks for your help and best wishes from the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania! John C.

BpomerBpomer replied on January 13th, 2014

A basic question - can you strum using a regular pick and play these tunes as you are doing?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 13th, 2014

Yes, Bruce, you can use a flatpick. Try it. There's a lot of discussion that has happened here about this ... so ... here are some previous posts from FORUM area for you to looks over: Thumbpick vs. Flat Pick ... the 'debate' goes on ... I have stated my opinion on this numerous times here at jamplay.com ... please keep in mind that this is my own personal preference and opinion, every player must find what works best for them in relationship to their creative goals with/on the guitar ... personal preference and creative choice ... I don't use a flat pick ... ever ... I use a Herco Blue nylon thumbpick ... it's lightweight, and can be adjusted if it's too big or too small for your thumb, just squeeze the 'loop' together if it''s too loose, and slightly bend it open if it's too tight. You can find the pick here; www.elderly.com/accessories/items/PK3.htm and at other online locations (google: Herco blue nylon thumbpick). Do not accept substitutes!!! Please do not buy a plastic thumbpick ... they're too big and 'clunky' and uncomfortable for most folks. I use a thumbpick so that my fingers are free to pick in a fingerpicking style (or use multi-finger arpeggios) whenever I feel like it in a song, and if I want to play single notes I can simply grasp the thumbpick like a flat pick by just bending my index finger and securing the picks stability on my thumb, flatpick style. It takes about four hours of practice playing with a thumbpick before you get used to it being there and feeling natural ... whether you sit and practice it for 4 hours straight, or in smaller increments of time/practice ... it takes a few hours to get used to the pick being on your thumb and for you to learn to not think about it being there ... and feeling odd/uncomfortable, before it eventually feels like a natural extension of your thumb. Once you get past the 'conscious/'unnatural feeling' phase of having a thumbpick on your thumb, its a great tool. Of course, electric guitar players and bluegrass players love their flat picks because they allow for more speed (primarily by using a rapid up/down picking technique) ... but for me, speed is not my goal, I like the variety in my music that a thumbpick allows, to play single notes or fingerpick at will while playing ... but to each his own. It's possible to use a flat pick (held in the standard fashion between your thumb and index fingers) and use your 2nd/3rd/4th fingers to fingerpick ... but it's not that easy to accomplish for most folks ... so, my recommendation is for folks who want to fingerpick the blues (or any type of music) and play single notes (lead), as well, is to use a nylon thumbpick. That's my personal opinion and preference ... whatever works for you is best. I hope you continue to enjoy the process of learning/making/creating music with a thumbpick, a flat pick, or just your bare fingers. Keep pickin' and grinnin' ;-) I've answered this thumb pick question numerous times here at jamplay.com ... I guess you haven't run into those answers yet. National thumbpicks ... suck ... big time ... so do all plastic thumbpicks. In 1970 the great Doc Watson gave me a Herco Blue Nylon thumbpick ... I have been using them ever since. Nylon is much loghter than plastic, eaisier to get used to and play with ... and if it's too tight on your thumb you can open it up a bit ... and if it's too loose on your thumb you can squeeze it tighter together. Accept no substitutes ... find it here .... http://elderly.com/accessories/items/PK3.htm ....or here ... http://www.activemusician.com/item--MC.HE115 or google "Herco blue nylon thumbpick" ... accept NO substitutes ... everyone here at jamplay.com who has asked about and then purchased this item ... has sent me messages/posts of gratitude and amazement. I buy the picks in the bulk amount (50) because whenever I give a guitar workshop at a blues festival most folks complain about their funky/heavy/clunky plastic thumbpick(s) ... and ask me about my choice ... so I tell them what I told y'all here ... and then give each person who wants one a Herco blue nylon thumbpick as a gift. When DOc Watson turned me on to this pick many years ago he said, as a joke ... "You have to loose them, 'cause they don't break." Well, that's pretty true, the nylon thumbpick might show some wear along the string contact edge after 6 months, depending on how much you play your guitar, and it you want you can take a file and smooth out the wear area and continue to use the pick ... or buy a new one ... I used to file them smooth and extend their life ... but no more, I just toss 'em when they get too worn. Thanks again for the kind comments and question. On average, in my opinion, it takes between 4 and 6 hours of playing with any 'new to you' pick to get used to it and have it feel like an extension of your thumb ... my suggestion is to be patient ... how long did it take you to get used to using a flatpick really effectively??? Were you in total control of the flatpick the minute you began using it ... doubtful ;-) ... and remember that a pick ... any pick ... flatpick or thumbpick ... must be manipulated to stroke the strings at the proper slight angle when playing/strumming down and up ... of course, many flatpickers keep the pick at a constant 90 degree angle to the strings ... but with a thumbpick ... because of its relative thickness compared to a thinner flatpick ... needs to have the angle to the strings adjusted 'dynamically' as you play down and up ... or it can get hung up on the strings/dig in too deep ... so try adjusting the angle slightly as you play ... you'll see what I mean if you give it a try. I hope you have good success. Thanks so much for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com ----------------------- Thanks for the question. I use a Herco Blue Nylon Thumbpick all of the time ... acoustic and electric. That's MY choice ... that's what I like ... each player must make such 'gear related' decisions on their own, according to their needs, likes, and the sound they want to achieve on the instrument. Your question regarding the thumbpick is the most frequently asked question I get ... please be aware that there is a forum area here a JamPlay for each of the instructors to discuss general concepts, rather than information on specific lessons. Discussions and my answers/explanations on the choice of picks one uses can be found here: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/4476.htm http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/9284.htm http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/3924.htm http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/9580.htm I will not play with any other thumbpick ... I accept no substitutes for what works for me ... that's my choice ... and if you're interested in trying out this thumbpick, here is a good place to order the Herco Flex Blue Nylon Thumbpick, if you can't find it in your local music store: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/PK3.htm I hope this information is helpful to you. Thanks again for taking the time to ask. Cheers and Best, Hawkeye

tstevens_21tstevens_21 replied on December 11th, 2013

Hi Hawkeye - thanks for this great lesson. Can you suggest any songs ?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 12th, 2013

Thanks for the kinds comments and for your question, Edward. Much appreciated. There are hundreds upon hundreds of great blues songs that you can apply the information in this lesson to. I suggest you view/listen to some of the many popular standard blues songs of the late great Jimmy Reed on youtube for starters: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jimmy+Reed ... also, I suggest you view some of the many songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks gain for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

cloonstercloonster replied on November 14th, 2013

Hawkeye, I just started this week with jamplay and I'm glad I stumbled onto your website first. you have a very nice way of teaching the blues/guitar. I made it up to lesson 11 and I'm looking forward to moving onto the other lessons. Your a very good teacher! keep it up.

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

Thanks so much, James. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and patiently progress from one lesson to the next at your own speed. Be sure to look at the free guitar lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... and please do watch some of the blues songs on video, so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... and if you're interested in blues history, there are many articles I've written about the subject here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

flandermflanderm replied on August 12th, 2013

Hi hawkeye, in lesson 11, scene 2, at 5:50 when you are playing the turn around in the base in the C part, are you holding down the little E string when you pluck it or are you leaving it open. Or can it be done either way? In other words, when you are playing base turnarounds in G do you hold down the little E string when you pluck it or do you leave it open? It looks like you leave it open but in the supplemental transcription it says to hold it down.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 12th, 2013

Thanks for the questions, Mark I playing the high E string open, it's okay because E is the 6th of the key of G and will sound okay. In general, when i doubt ... just play and see if what you're doing sounds 'right' or 'good' to your ear ... if it sounds good, keep it, if not don't do it. It will vary from key to key. This is blues, and there are few 'rules' ... just the freedom to play what you like and you think sounds good ... that's how 'discoveries' are made. Nothing 'bad' will happen, you won't get 'injured' if you play a wrong/dissonant note when practicing ... that's how we learn, through our mistakes, not by doing things 'right' the first time ;-) I remember my mistakes better than my 'good discoveries' ... because I tell myself, well, that didn't sound right, and when I'm playing in this specific key I'll never go to THAT note and hang out again. :-) Thanks for enjoying these lessons, for your question(s), comments, and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. th

flandermflanderm replied on April 8th, 2013

Thanx Hawkeye, I know that you are playing the E Chord but how are you actually plucking it. From what I can tell you are playing the full e-chord then the little e string and then the g string. Is that correct. The supplemental material on it is inaccurate at that particular place.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 10th, 2013

When play the E chord at the point you asked me about I'm playing the G (third) string (fretted with my index finger at the first fret as in the E chord)) with my thumb, then the open high E string with my index finger, followed by my playing the D (4th string) fretted at the 2nd fret (out of the E chord and plucked with my thumb. The three notes being played are: G# on the third string, E note on the open 1st string, and then the E note on the 4th (D) string. I hope this answers your question. :-) Thanks for your patience with the delay in my response, as I'm currently on tour in S. California and have limited access to the Internet while on tour. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

flandermflanderm replied on March 22nd, 2013

Hi Hawkey, at 3 minutes and 53 seconds in scene 1 of lesson eleven, I cannot tell how you are playing the e-chord toward the end of the turnaround.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 22nd, 2013

Hi Mark, Thanks for enjoying these lessons and for your question. I'm playing a simple/basic first position E chord at the point in question. Are you aware that there are complete music notations and tablature for each and every lesson in the 'Supplemental Content" area located directly under each lesson? I suggest you look at the 'Supplemental Content' for more complete 'graphic' information about this lesson, and any lesson about which you may have a problem or issue. I hope that answers your question and that you continue to enjoy these lessons.

dhyanashadhyanasha replied on December 22nd, 2012

Hi Hawkeye, this is fun, I didn?t know I wanted to learn the blues, but your enthusiasm convinsed me, now I can;t wait to pick up my guitar. Thankyou so much and marry christmas

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 23rd, 2012

Thanks so much for the message and kind words, Nina. Very much appreciated. I'm most pleased to know that you're enjoying these lessons, are 'hooked' on blues ("Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits.") ... and that you are having fun, more than ever. learning and playing the guitar. I hope you take some time to watch some of my music videos so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... tr to play along with me .. ;-) .... http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... follow my lessons in the order they are presented, don't rush, please progress at your own speed from one lesson to the next, and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues guitar that will serve you the rest of your life ... not just in blues music, but in other styles of music, as well. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. Wishing you a most Happy Holiday Season and all the best in 2013. Cheers, Hawkeye

dhyanashadhyanasha replied on December 22nd, 2012

Hi Hawkeye, this is fun, I didn?t know I wanted to learn the blues, but your enthusiasm convinsed me, now I can;t wait to pick up my guitar. Thankyou so much and marry christmas

johnroejohnroe replied on October 15th, 2012

Hi Hawkeye, Loving the lessons especially how you break it up simply but don't pin us down to exact notes before moving on. Do you ever tour this side of the pond? Upto Blues festival would love to see you I'm sure.

kd44kd44 replied on July 29th, 2012

Hey Hawk......Just wanted to tell ya I'm enjoying the lessons, even the parts that are so hard for me. But I'm getting it pretty easily.. Sometimes it just takes longer than other techniques. So I just slow down the metronome and drive on. It reminds me of what the Great football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Practice does not make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect." I believe that quote can be applied not only to football but also to the guitar and anything else in life. :-) Thanks for being here for all of us. :-)

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

Ken, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Vince Lombardi was right ;-) ... follow these lesson s in the order they are presented ... patiently progressing at your own speed from one lesson to the next and you'll build a string foundation and understanding of the music that will allow you to 'speak' blues on the guitar freely and creatively for the rest of your life. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of these lessons ...t hose who 'cherry pick'/skip around within the lesson series will certainly learn a lot ... but not as much nor as thoroughly as those who take it step by step. Blues is a 'language.' One wouldn't study a language by skipping around and only learning/studying the the lessons/words/ that appeal to the student. To be fluent in a language you build incrementally by patiently following the lessons in the order they are presented ... and as a result, one becomes fluent in the language, and has a strong understanding/background for/on the grammar/syntax/vocabulary of the language. Those who 'skip around' in a language (or music class) will learn some useful words and phrases here and there ... (or in blues, some useful licks/riffs here and there) but will not be able to play freely and creatively. Don't forget to watch some of my live in concert videos so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concerts and at festival ... try to play along with me ... and try to 'lift' (steal ;-) some of my musical ideas/riffs/licks ... http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH .... Again, thanks so much for the message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

marcyf64marcyf64 replied on July 21st, 2011

hey hawkeye - i am loving your lessons! i have been playing now for about five years but never felt i had an organized methodology for learning until i discovered jamplay and your lessons about 3 weeks ago. my guestion for you is, how strong do i have to be on the material of a lesson before moving on to the next lesson? i want to own the stuff but it could take weeks to do that and i am yearning to move forward. what do you recommend?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 22nd, 2011

Hi Marcy. Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of these lessons. PLease follow them in the order they are presented and progress at your own speed and you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues that will allow you to play freely and improvise as you wish. Blues music is like a 'language,' and should be approached like studying a language ... that being the case, you wouldn't move on/progress to the next lesson in a language course until you con 'pronounce' all the words and understand the grammar of the current lesson. So it is with blues, moving on to the next lesson without fully understanding and accomplishing the current lesson would mean that you are not really 'owning' the material ... and without owning the material, you will have gaps/holes in your knowledge and understanding of the language and ability to 'speak' at will/as you wish. YOU know when you 'get it' or you don't 'get it' ... when you 'get it' and can do it, you move on. I receive so many questions about the 'time element' in studying the guitar ... like studying/practicing/playing the guitar is a race to some (imaginary) finish line ... there is no 'race' and there is no 'finish line.' Learning/practicing/playing the guitar is a life's work ... it's a journey ... and should be a happy journey from day to day ... like Life. "It's a long and winding road that has no end." I've been playing the guitar for 50 years and I'm still learning ... BB King has been playing the guitar for over 70 years and he freely admits that he's still learning. ;-) There's no rush, there's no race, and there's no 'finish line' ... you must progress at your own speed, and only you know when you are ready for the next lesson. So, please 'exhale' ... be patient with yourself ... be in the 'now' and don't think about the future ... enjoy the process of learning and your current 'location' in the journey ... and don't worry about the time element. We all learn at our own pace. You know best when you totally understand and can accomplish what's contained in a lesson, and that's the time to move on to the next lesson in the 'journey.' Thanks so much for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. I hope you continue to enjoy the 'journey.' :-)

goodbar ukgoodbar uk replied on May 4th, 2012

WOW Hawkeye, I soo get that, to me you are up there with Aristotle, well, coming down to earth now, Aristotle of the the Guitar. In other words, if Aristotle was a Blues Guitar Player, he'd be Michael Hawkeye Hermon for sure!! :ol)

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

Thanks so much for the 'Aristotle' comment, Richard. Much appreciated. All I'm asking of my students is that they look on learing to play blues guitar as a 'language' ... just as one would not expect to learn a language by opening a language instruction book and randomly selecting lessons that catch one's eye or 'appeal' to them ... the way you learn a language is via an organized approach to vocabulary and grammar/syntax and proceeding from a beginner position on, in a step-by-step manner, building on the previous lesson. So it is with blues guitar ... those that patiently follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing at their own rate from one lesson to the next will gain a strong background/foundation and understanding of the 'blues guitar language' that will allow them to play/create/improvise freely for the rest of their lives. Those who insist on 'cherry picking'/selectively viewing these lessons at random ... will learn something, to be sure ... just as you might learn a little something from skipping around/'cherry picking' lessons in a language instruction book, but will not end up being fluent in the language because of no solid foundation/understanding ... and patience with the learning process ... I've given a great deal of thought and planning as to the order and content of each of my lessons ... and by patiently following my lessons in the order they are presented, progressing from one lesson to the next at your own pace ... you will become 'fluent' in blues guitar. If one impatiently 'cherry picks' through my lessons one will still learn a great deal, but the information gained is selective and hardly lends itself to one being 'fluent' in expressing oneself on the instrument. I'm no 'Aristotle' ... I'm just a bluesman who wants to share what he knows with others so that they too can 'speak' the language of blues guitar fluently ... for the rest of their lives. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your comments and support. ;-) (BTW: As a James Herriot/James Alfred Wight/"All Creatures Great And Small" fan ... I'd love to visit West Yorkshire ... someday ... I perform/tour in Europe in Oct./Nov. each year for about a month for the past 6 years performing at festivals, concerts, and giving guitar workshops ... but I have not been to the UK other than to change flights and see a bit of London. ;-)

marcyf64marcyf64 replied on July 22nd, 2011

thanks hawkeye - will try to practice what you preach and enjoy the journey

jimmylojimmylo replied on May 30th, 2011

Lesson 11 the turnaround leads. Any possibility you can post a streaming rhythm we can practice with or maybe even a downloadable mp3 file in a few different keys?

marcyf64marcyf64 replied on July 22nd, 2011

thanks hawkeye- i got what you are saying and will try to practice what you preach!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 31st, 2011

Thanks for the question. Sorry, but I tour heavily in the spring/sumer/fall and I don't have the time to do as you kindly ask. Besides, I would prefer that you just play along with your favorite blues recordings ... if you don't know how to find what key the recordings/songs are in ... see my lesson on' finding the key.' You'll learn a lot more and quicker if you listen to and play along with great blues records/artists ... using classic blues tunes as your 'backing tracks' ... than if you sit and struggle with just you and a backing track. HAve fun in the process. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

dloe48dloe48 replied on April 7th, 2011

SWEET! These are the sounds I've been wondering how some of my favorite artists make! Thanks dude! I'm definitely gonna go through all of your lessons!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 7th, 2011

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. I've given a lot of thought and planning into the content and order of these lessons ... I hope you'll follow these lessons in the order they are presented ... please take you time, move/progress at your own speed ... and you'll develop a strong foundation in and understaning for blues music. Thanks again. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

harrymacharrymac replied on April 2nd, 2011

Hawkeye, I've been focused on fingerstyle for a while now and just last week decided to give your blues lessons a look. Your energy and passion is infectious. Before I knew it I'd been through your first 16 lessons. This one brought a lot of it together for me so I just wanted to say so well done and thanks. I'm really enjoying improvising for the first time!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 2nd, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying these lessons, Harry. Very much appreciated. I truly love the blues and have a deep passion and enthusiasm for sharing what I know with others. I hope you continue to enjoy my lessons and expanding your blues improvisation skills. Again, thanks so much.

samthudiumsamthudium replied on March 14th, 2011

To be honest I actually thought that I knew how to play the blues... I wasn't sure if I should join a site like this but I came across it and was bored so I thought I'll give it a shot... Started watching these blues videos and I gotta say over the last 4 hours I have improved incredibly... Hawkeye you are an amazing teacher!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 15th, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind words about these lessons, Sam. Much appreciated. Be sure to check out the free guitar lessons on my web site, here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... and please watch some of my music performance videos so you can see how I use some of the guitar techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again!! ;-)

derekmetzgerderekmetzger replied on February 1st, 2011

Hey Hawkeye, great lesson! Just wondering if you are playing a different fingering of the cords A and B7 when you are playing the turnaround as lead. I have noticed your 1st finger on the 5th fret but not barred. Thanks for the help.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 7th, 2011

Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated. You'll have to tell me in which scene and the exact place (minutes/seconds) in which I'm doing whatever it is that you're asking me about ... I play totally spontaneously ... I don't do the same thing each time I play a song ... that's the blues :-) ... so please be more specific, and perhaps I can answer your question. Thanks again. ;-)

rosanellarosanella replied on December 28th, 2010

I've always avoided turn arounds beause I've never been quite sure what chords to use and where on the fretboard. So I'm having a good dose of lessons on turn arounds and it feels a lot less frightening after Hawkeyes' lessons. In fact, they're more fun that I had thought. Cheers! :)

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

Thanks for your comments, Rosanella. Much appreciated. Turnarounds are a major aspect of blues music ... avoiding turnarounds would be like avoiding an entire color in a painter's palette, or avoiding words that end in 'ing' or 'tion' in English ... :-) ... one would still be able to paint and/or speak ... but there would be considerable limitations in one's ability to do so. I'm so glad these lessons have brought you to understanding the value 'fearless' blues music adventuring. I hope you continue to enjoy traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. Thanks again! ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 24th, 2010

THESE LESSONS ARE VERY EDUCATIONAL TO ME ,UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE A LEARNING DISABILITY, SO A PERSON WHO CAN CATCH ON AND REMEMBER WHAT IT IS THEY'RE DOING SHOUL BE THANKFUL.THAT IS THE REASON WHY I HAVE PLAYED BY EAR SO MUCH,BECAUSE I CAN REMEMBER WHERE TO MAKE THE CHORDS AND TO THINK ABOUT WHERE I'M GOING NEXT BY FEEL, SOUND AND WHAT FRET I AM TO LAND ON , BUT I HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING IF IT WAS AN A# OR AN E MINOR, SO A PERSON SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR LEARNING ABILITIES .

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 24th, 2010

HOW COULD ANYBODY SAY YOU LOST THEM? BECAUSE IF THEY GO UP ON YOUTUBE AND WATCH THESE GUYS ON THERE FREE SHORT TERM LESSONS THEY'RE ONLY GONNA GIVE A SHORT BREIF TERM SHOW OF SEE THIS IS HOW YOU DO THIS AND THIS IS HOW YOU DO THAT?I'M SORRY BUT THAT COMMENT I SAW THAT SOME ONE LEFT , I JUST AM NOT AGREEING WITH, BECAUSE MICHEAL HAWKEYE HERMAN TELLS YOU WHERE YOUR AT. HALF OF THOSE GUYS UP THERE DON'T , BECAUSE THEY'RE PLAYING MOSTLY BY EAR LIKE I HAVE OFF AND ON FOR 42 YRS.THEY WILL ONLY TELL YOU CERTAIN THINGS AND LEAVE GAPS .

tebbotebbo replied on December 14th, 2010

Hi Hawkeye great lessons. I haven't picked up my guitar in a long time and felt compelled to play the blues. Damn my fingers hurt, but its well worth it! I keep watching the same segment over and over so I can see the fingering properly, but its well worth it, one problem I am having is my barre chords seeing where your fingering is quite difficult, but hopefully I will get it in time. Keep up the good work, many thanks from the UK!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 15th, 2010

Greetings, Kristopher. Thanks so much for the kind comments. Please take your time, be patient, enjoy the process of learning. Please follow these lessons in the order they are presented and progress at your own speed ... yes, use the video controls to repeat/replay whatever your don't quite understand until you 'get it.' Because of the many comments I've had regarding difficulty if creating barre chords for 'beginners' ... we have posted a later lesson, #115, on how to focus on making a 'better' barre chord ... I normally would not recommend that one jump ahead in this lessons series, but in your specific case, I think you should look at lesson #115, and then resume the lessons back here at #11 forward. Again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

adjohns3adjohns3 replied on November 4th, 2010

Started STRONGLY...by the time you were lessons 10-11-12, you lost me! Too much, WAY too fast with no reference to teaching material (tab?)

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

Thanks for the comments. I'm sorry you feel that way. Look at the comments by others about this lesson, and ALL of my lessons. It is extremely rare, almost non-existent that a student comments that they don't get what I'm teaching ... unless they have not taken the time to go through an entire series on introductory guitar in the Phase One area. This is Phase Two ... if you're 'lost' ... you're in over your head ... you need to be more patient with yourself and thoroughly go through an entire series of Phase One lessons ... not jump into the 'deep end' of the pool. You MUST be more patient with yourself ... you must crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Please exhale and take the time to allow yourself to succeed by backing up into shallower 'water' ... or by using the video control to stop and replay what I'm teaching in small increments ... and by watching the same segment a million times if necessary ... that's the advantage of online video guitar lessons ... you can make the instructor repeat something over and over and over and over and over ... from 10 seconds worth to ten minutes worth ... until you get it. Take advantage of the system ... and relax and enjoy the process of learning ... not pressuring yourself to learn quickly ... this isn't a race to some finish line ... this is a life's work. Happiness is in the journey. Matt creates the tabs/supplemental material for JamPlay.com and he does a great job ... if it ain't in the tabs/supplemental material here ... then it's covered in Phase One, and there's no reason to put it here in Phase Two. Please ... relax and take your time ... and always look at the comments of other students under each lesson ... in order to gauge where you are. Thanks so much for being a part of it all.

mlee62mlee62 replied on September 9th, 2010

great lesson hawkeye! Been messing around with the blues for a few years and never really got it...if you know what I mean. I must say there is something about your teaching that makes me get it!!! Thank you so much..I am enjoying the guitar again.

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

Thanks for the kind comments, Mike. Very much appreciated. I'm happy to that these lessons have had an impact on your understanding,interest, and blues playing. That's my goal, to make you want to play ... the blues ... and keep your guitar handy ... not in the closet, in the case, or on the wall ... but always at hand ... a good friend you can count on for music and so much more. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and be sure to follow them in the order they are presented. It's my pleasure and honor to be able to share my passion for the blues/music with you. Thanks again.

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on January 25th, 2010

Hawkeye,Watching and doing your lessons is like watching an Old Movie,You always see somthing New each time.I can't tell anyone enough how important it is to revisit your Excellent Presentation of "The Blues"

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 31st, 2010

Thanks so much, Dennis. I really appreciate your kind comments. "Review" is an important aspect of learning ... and thanks for sharing the 'concept' with others. That's just part of the 'beauty' of jamplay.com ... you have all access ... and can review as needed ... any time. :-)

revgtrrevgtr replied on November 1st, 2009

Hi Hawkeye. Is there a standard convention for which fingers to use when fingerpicking? I find myself using my thumpick and middle finger in unison when picking two strings simultaneously and using my litte finger to hit the high E and my third finger to hit the B. I want to be consistent in the way I do this until it becomes second-nature, but I would like to know if there is a "correct" technique for this.

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

NOthing is 'carved in stone' when it comes to the blues. DO what works for you ... if what you're doing doesn't allow you to accomplish what I'm teaching, then maybe think about using your index finger more ... the index finger is 'stronger' and I use it more than the other fingers ... but that's just me. If the music you're making sounds good to you ... then stick with your 'style' of picking. Have fun ... all the time. ;-)

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied on October 23rd, 2009

Hi Hawkeye, I get the idea of the turnarounds on the bass and treble strings and playing them in different keys. But I do not understand how to keep count, particularly when alternating between bass and treble, in order to know when to go from the 1 chord to the IV to the V. Awaiting your usual moment of clarity.

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

Greetings and thanks for the message. SOrry, I didn't quite understand your question ... and did the best I could. Hope you're watching closely and 'getting it.' YOu can view many articles about the great blues musicians I've met and learned from over the years at my web site www.HawkeyeHerman.com, just click on 'original aricles.' Glad you liked the Tale Feathers article ... I'ver seen Lonnie Brooks perform many times and have performed at the same blues festivals with us both on the 'bill.' He's still alive, but not very active these days ... his son, Ronnie Baker Brooks, is doing a great job of carrying on the family 'blues tradition.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Cheers, Hawkeye

nycbeijingernycbeijinger replied on October 23rd, 2009

Thanks, Hawkeye. That was not exactly what I was trying to figure out but will watch your lesson until I get it. By the way, your "Tale Feathers" stories about the old-time bluesmen are very interesting. That must have been quite an experience to sit with Sam Chatmon. I fell for the blues at the first Chicago Blues Festival in the late 70s when a guy named Lonnie Brooks played on a small stage and just knocked us out.

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

Thanks for the question and for enjoying these lessons ... in one of my lessons I explain how to count ... measures ... like this ... 1/2/3/4, 2/2/3/4, 3/2/3/4, 4/2/3/4, 5/2/3/4, etc. ... don't count measures like this 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4, etc., or you'll lose your place and not know what measure you're on. That's the best I can do to answer your question as I understand it. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. I'm filming many more lessons next week, and they should be posted in the weeks/months ahead. Thanks again.

mrousemrouse replied on June 23rd, 2009

hey hawkeye enjoying bui having a little problem as I am not using the thumb pick. I tried it but it just felt odd on my thumb like I was loosing circulation, couldn't shake that feeling...so I am using the traditional pick beteen my thumb and finger. As i get deeper into the lessons I find it more difficult to emulate your moves as they are based on the thumb pick..any suggestions? thanks, Michael

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

Thanks for the message. Well, you're not the 'Lone Ranger' when it comes to getting used to using a thumbpick ... it takes at least 4 hours of use to get the hang of it ... if you don't have the patience to put in 4 hours of sporadic playing with a thumbpick ... then you ... sorry, you won't get it. Also, the type of thumb pick is important ... very important ... you need to read the entire post I have posted here: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4476 This post covers all your questions and issues ... including your 'strangulation' issues ... especially if you're using a plastic clunky/big thumbpick as sold in most music stores. Please read the post I refer to ... and please don't assume that instant gratification is an aspect of playing the guitar ... all aspects take time and patience ... ;-) ... I've dealt with this question many, many times here at jamplay.com ... the use of a clunky plastic thumbpick and the lack of patience are the key problems you face ... get a Herco Blue Nylon Thumbpick ... adjust its thumbhole to suit your size ... and patiently put in about 4 hours of work ... and you'll get it, it will feel like an extension of your thumb, not a piece of weirdness on the end of your thumb. Cheers and thanks for enjoying these lessons, Hawkeye

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

michael, If you just can't sacrifice the time it takes to get used to a thumbpick (using the recommended Herco Blue nylon adjustable, or any other thumbpick), then you'll have to try to hold your flatpick in a way that allows you to also pick with your 2nd and 3rd fingers (and sometimes pinky) when you want/need to 'fingerpick' ... many electric guitar pickers do this ... some acoustic players, too. Also, you can try playing the guitar with no pick(s) at all, just your bare thumb and fingers, and achieve a very nice mellow sound (you'll also acquire thick calluses on your thumb and fingertips, as a result ;-)

dneubertdneubert replied on June 2nd, 2009

Great lesson... I love the way you inspire creativity and individualism in playing. Your passion comes through. a quality in all great teachers...thanks Hawkeye!

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

dneubert, Thanks so much. Stick with the program ... try not to go on to the next lesson until you can accomplish this, and try not to jump/skip around in the lesson plans. I'm giving you a strong foundation in blues so that you can create and express yourself. If you skip around in the lessons you'll still learn a lot, but there will be holes/gaps in your foundation/understanding of the blues. So stick with the program, be patient with yourself, move on when you know you're ready for the next lesson ... there's plenty more to come. ENJOY THE PROCESS ;-) Thanks again!

dneubertdneubert replied on June 4th, 2009

Good advice...Thanks

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

That's what I'm here for. :-) Much obliged.

cylonguitarcylonguitar replied on January 7th, 2009

I LOVE it when he calls himself in third person!!! hahah i love this guy!

genesisgenesis replied on March 8th, 2009

yeah he has a good teaching style. very laid back. i like DJ's lessons too though, cuz i use an electric guitar, but i think hawkeye has a better lesson design.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 9th, 2009

genisis, Thanks! I aplay electric guitar at times, but my purpose here at jamplay.com is to teach acoustic/country blues ... hence the acoustic guitar(s) ... of course, anything I teach/play on the acoustic guitar can be adapted for the electric guitar. Enjoy the lessons.

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

cylonguitar. Well ... Hawkeye says, "Thanks!" ;-)

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on December 28th, 2008

Hawkeye.I have been doing Jam Play and learning alot but not having as much fun as with you. I may be making more out of this than necessary,but I can't see the fingeringf for the base turnaround. I have a Dystrophy but can play most Chrods well,but have troble with Bar Chords because of my Hnads. Again, Finegring for base Chrod. Thank You,Dennis vu

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 28th, 2008

dallendouglas, Thanks for your comment and question. Ii'm sorry about the difficulty you're having ... in regard to the fingering ... please look at the "supplemental Information" folder that is just below the video lesson and above the 'comments' area. You should find your answer there. If not, please let me know. Have fun in the process of learning, regardless of how 'accomplished' you are ... this is about having fun ... like riding a bicycle ... can you enjoy riding a bicycle without out being a Tour d'France champion? A big part of enjoying the process is to relax, don't put a lot of pressure on yourself ... beath while you play ... and try to accept having to do repeated exercises in order to get things 'right' ... every time you pick up the guitar you improve ... I hope you'll continue with me on the 'blues highway.'

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

mclend1, Thanks for the kind words. I love the sound of the acoustic guitar and I love blues music. I never tire of exploring the possibilities and freedom of expression (and amusement) that the instrument and the music provide. I hope you'll stick around for more exploration (and amusement.) Thanks again.

mclend1mclend1 replied on July 30th, 2008

Just a great lesson, Hawkeye, as always. You obviously just love playing these turnarounds "on the fly", it's written all over your face, if that's not enjoyment of the blues, I don't know what is. I haven't commented on some of your recent lessons as I'm pretty much in 'catch up" with the wealth of info you've recorded recently, but I will over time. Just to let you know here, it's all appreciated and this one was my favourite so far. Keep up the good work!

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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



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.


Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

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
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo Freebo

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

Free LessonSeries Details
Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

Free LessonSeries Details
Tom Appleman Tom Appleman

Tom Appleman takes a look at a blues in E with a focus on the Chicago blues style. The bass line for Chicago blues is very...

Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Glen Drover Glen Drover

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

Free LessonSeries Details
Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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




Join over 485534 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 87 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!