Bass Blues Shuffle (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Bass Blues Shuffle

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 10:49Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:29) Bass Blues Shuffle In the last lesson 2 lessons, Hawkeye demonstrated a few different ways to play a blues shuffle rhythm. He taught you how to break up this pattern into single notes. You also learned how to incorporate the b7 of each chord into the shuffle pattern. These small details add much needed variety to a relatively simple rhythm figure.

This time around, Hawkeye introduces a bass line that is typically played on bass or piano. However, this bass line can be used just as effectively as a rhythm guitar part if no bass player is present in your blues ensemble. Learning bass lines will help you immensely with playing lead, as these two areas of study are both based on playing lines built on chord tones.

Hawkeye demonstrates this bass line in the key of E. Do not simply memorize the location of these notes on the fretboard! You must understand why he has chosen to play each note that he plays. The first two notes in the bass line are the tonic and third of the chord. The third note is the fifth of the chord. The next note is a non chord tone. This note (the major 6th), a note from the major pentatonic scale, is frequently added to blues bass lines. This bass line can be played as a rhythm part, part of a solo line, or part of a call and response figure between another member of the group.
Chapter 2: (03:09) Rock Shuffle and More If this bass line is played without a swing feel, it is transformed into a very common rockabilly bass line. However, keep in mind that a "swing" rhythm is NOT determined by the long-short eighth note rhythm figure. Swing is created by placing an emphasis on beats two and four. For example you can play all quarter notes such as in a walking bass line or the Freddie Green rhythm and still swing. The Freddie Green rhythm is a very common accompaniment figure used in the jazz genre. For more information about this rhythm, please visit Matt Brown's Phase 2 jazz series.

Transposition

Transposing these patterns to new keys is a relatively easy process. Simply start on the appropriate root note and play the appropriate fretboard pattern over each chord.

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.


bradleythatcherbradleythatcher replied on April 28th, 2016

sorry I meant B, but I figured it out!

bradleythatcherbradleythatcher replied on April 27th, 2016

Hey hawkeye, in the 2nd shuffle you do near the end in the key of G, you start with G, go to A, back to G.. now the next note you play is a C# for your 5th degree, isn't it supposed to be a D? I just didn't know how you got to those strings. It sounds right and likely is right, I'd just like to know why that becomes your D thanks

jimkissingerjimkissinger replied on February 28th, 2015

Hawkeye, love my lessons with you. Tempo question, using a metronome or drum kit what is the tempo? 60? You're an inspirational teacher.

jimmyzriffjimmyzriff replied on November 22nd, 2014

Hey Hawkeye, the combination of your teaching skills, vocal cadence and passion for the blues make you a delight to watch. I have a question and maybe I'm over-thinking, but should there be any consideration payed to my (right-handed) left-hand fretting position? For instance, is there a benefit either way with aligning your index to the first or second fret as a home base? I see that in the key of E, you align your index finger to the second fret. Is this simply a matter of comfort or is it by design?

hamilton231hamilton231 replied on April 22nd, 2013

Hi Hawkeye, I'm really enjoying your lessons. I'm having trouble keeping time with the shuffle patterns. I'm using a metronome and I lose a half to full beat on a twelve bar blues progression. Can you offer any advice on keeping time? Thanks Bryan

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

Thanks for the kind comments and for enjoying these lessons, Bryan. Keeping solid rhythm/time/tempo is crucial to ALL genres of music. If EVERYONE on the the planet had a innate good sense of rhythm ... then just about everyone could be a musician ;-) ... this is not the case ... keeping solid rhythm is the most basic aspect of making music. There is no 'magic cure' for your inability to keep a solid shuffle rhythm ... the only thing you can do is practice ... and practice ... and practice ... and NEVER lose patience with yourself. You may not realize it, but you improve, incrementally, sometimes in big 'leaps' and sometimes in tiny steps each time you pick up and practice the guitar. You're doing the right thing, using a metronome and practicing/practicing/practicing. It took me, at age 15, months of daily practicing before I could play a solid shuffle rhythm ... and it then took me many more months before I could sing while playing a solid shuffle rhythm. Don't lose faith in yourself ... you CAN develop a good sense of time/tempo ... but only by practicing and not losing patience with ourself. If it were easy ... there would be no need for professional musicians, everyone would be playing musical instruments ... ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

snowdadsnowdad replied on December 27th, 2010

Hawkeye, I've been playing for 3 years. I've been on Jamplay just over 2 years. I jump around on the lessons a lot, not sticking with any particular genre or instructor very long. I got started on your phase 2 lesson set for blues recently and I am extremely impressed. Everything flows so well. I can tell you put a lot of thought into how you teach. I'm now on the 14th lesson and methodically working through, looking forward to each new lesson. I love the blues and the way you teach it. I have already had so many "AHA" moments, as someone stated above, while taking you lessons. You also make it a lot of fun. I wish I had started your series a long time ago. Thanks so much! Gary

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

Thanks so much for the kind comments about these lessons, Gary. Very much appreciated. Yes, I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of my lesson series here at JamPlay.com. If you follow my lessons in the order they are presented, and move forward in a patient manner at your own learning speed, you will gain a strong understanding and foundation in the blues that will serve you, I believe/hope, for the rest of your life. If you skip around/'cherry pick' amongst the lesson series you'll still learn a lot, but there will be gaps/holes in your 'blues foundation.' So, I hope you'll keep doing the preferred (by me) manner of following the lessons i the order they are presented, and not moving on to the next lesson until you really 'get' what the current lesson is about. Use the video controls to your maximum benefit by replaying any small or large portion of information that you don't get on first viewing ... until you 'get it'. Be patient with yourself ... don't rush ... this is not a race to a finish line ... this is the blues ... an art form that can/will allow you to be creative in expressing yourself ... always expanding your abilities and skills as you progress on the endless highway of personal creativity. Take your time and enjoy the process(es) of learning, practicing, playing and creating. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that these lessons are serving you well. I hope they continue to do so. ;-)

rockingchicagorockingchicago replied on October 29th, 2009

hawkeye what key is your voice on....usually

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

Good question. The keys I sing in are determined by how comfortable my voice is ... not by anything else ... blues music is about telling a story ... and you should tell 'your story' in a key where your voice is not strained either too high or too low ... if you learn the guitar part in a certain key, and then try to sing is and it's uncomfortable for your voice too high or low for you, then you need to change the key, transpose the song to another key, or use a capo. I perform and record songs in all keys, E, F, Bb, Ab, G, C, D, Am, Dm. A ... I sing the blues in whatever key that particular song best suits my voice ... just because I may learn a Robert Johnson song in the key of G doesn't mean that when I sing it I'll keep it in the key of G ... after all Robert Johnson sang songs in the keys, from song to song, that best suited his voice ... so as not too strain his voice too high or too low, but in a key that was comfortable and most evocative for that particular song ... and so, that's what most of us professional blues performers do ... regardless of the key that the 'original' song was written in, or another musician sings it in ... we adjust the key to fit our own voice ... where it's most comfortable for us to hit all the notes and deliver all the dynamics of a tune. So, the answer is, I sing songs where they are most comfortable for me. This one is in Bb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugn0iN7RVLM This one is in C: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjCnAXEKxMU this one is in A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Sfd-aDzag and this one is in D: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEgsxokgZ-I and this one is in G: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-g1MAHczyg So, you can see, it depends on what's most comfortable for my voice. Thanks for asking :-)

sandeepsandeep replied on May 16th, 2009

Dear Hawkeye, I am certainly enjoying your blues lessons. However, I was wondering if it would be better to use a thumbpick or a regular pick. I have always played with a regular pick and am curious to start with thumb pick as well. In the turnaround excercises, it seems like improvising with a thumbpick would be better.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 16th, 2009

Sandeep, I have answered this question numerous times here at jamplay.com ... here's my opinion ... 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. 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!!! Do not buy a plastic thumbpick ... they're too 'clunky' and uncomfortable. I use a nylon thumbpick so that my fingers are free to pick in a fingerpicking style 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 not thinking about it being there ... and feeling odd/uncomfortable. Once you get past that phase, its a great tool. Of course, electric guitar players and bluegrass players love their flat picks because they allow for more speed ... but for me, speed is not my goal, I like the variety in my music that a thumbpick allows ... to each his own. Thanks again for the question.

hprabhahprabha replied on January 29th, 2009

Dear Hawkeye, Thank you very much for your lessons. Each of your lessons brings that "AHA" feeling to me. We are very fortunate to have you teach blues. My 3 year old kid wants me to play all the stuff I am learning from you, and I am so happy to find a fan for my music in her, with your help. Thanks again. You are the BEST!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 29th, 2009

hprabha, Thanks so much for your kind kind comments. I'm pleased that you (and your 3 year old) are enjoying these lessons. I hope you continue to learn and enjoy playing blues guitar. You can watch me perform here (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH) ... and you can watch me with children here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QACNBlPYKEw) and here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BnzZHR5O9M&feature=channel_page) Thanks again!

jackie134jackie134 replied on January 24th, 2009

Hi hawkeye Still really enjoying these lessons so muxh so, i have now invested in a new guitar for blues playing which has steel silk strings and sounds quite twangy and a can play barre chords more easily than on my spanish classical guitar with nylon strings. . I also got the thumb pick you suggested and it is really comfortable except for one thing that I hope you can help with. I am plucking the separate strings alright but often the curved end of the pick get causght in a string. How can I recify that? I have tried squeezing it into my thumb more but that doesn't help. Is it that my thumb is too wide or narrow? I could play without a pick (as I also play classical guitar but I want to learn blues technique with a pick as it sounds better on my new guitar. thanks for such an enjoyable time best wishes from London UK Jackie

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 25th, 2009

jackie134, Greetings to you m'dear.good to hear from you. Thanks so much for your kind comments and question. How are you enjoying your retirement? New guitar ... eh? I say, you must be enjoying your retirement ;-) Good for you! Yes, silk/steel strings are easier on the fretting hand and if you like the sound, all the better. I'm glad you were able to get the thumb pick I recommend ... it is less 'clunky' than a plastic thumbpick. The issue with your thumbpick is not uncommon I'm afraid, whether using a nylon or a plastic thumbpick ... with the pick off your thumb, squeeze the loop into tself to close the thumb opening a bit ... which I think you've tried ... also be sure that when you have the pick on your thumb that the pick is pushed onto your thumb all the way past the cuticle onto your thumb ... the edge of the pick should where the base of your cuticle is ... the pick should not be on your cuticle at all, but just past the base of it. One last tip/option, try rotating your hand clockwise just a bit (turning your pinky just a smidgen toward the floor) when playing, this physical adjustment, if you can get used to it, should get the inside pick edge that is hooked around your thumb more out of the way of the strings. I hope this is helpful to you. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm ... and for the satisfaction your kind comments bring me. Very much appreciated. Enjoy your retirement and your new guitar in health, peace, and happiness always. ;-)

pbrad74pbrad74 replied on October 10th, 2008

Just so you know, the link is broken for - Walking Bass Line (Eighth Notes). I am getting a real kick out of these lesson series on blues. I never really had an interest in blues until now. I have actually downloaded some Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly songs onto my ipod. I am loving it. I have also checked out a book about the history and roots of the blues. You're teaching style is excellent. Thanks go to you for the new found appreciation and enjoyment of the blues. Thanks Hawkeye!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2008

pbrad74, I truly appreciate your kind comments and new found appreciation of the blues. The blues is the watershed of American popular music ... if you want to learn to play, create, improvise in other popular musical genres ... learning blues music can be very beneficial and expanding. My most recent CD is entitled "It's All Blues To Me" ... http://hawkeyeherman.com/blues_shop.htm ... because every type of music I play seems to have a 'bluesy' feel. I'm really happy to learn that you've loaded some blues on your ipod ... as John Lee Hooker once sang in his song "Boogie Chillun" ... "the boogie is in him, and it has to come out!" I hope you continue to enjoy playing and listening to the blues (forever), as well as hangin' with me for more blues guitar lessons. Thanks again for the kind message.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 19th, 2008

hajue, Thanks so much for your kind comments and new found appreciation for the blues. I'm so glad you've enjoyed both the technical aspects of learning/playing blues guitar, as well as the bits of blues history I toss in now and then. There are many more lessons yet to be posted ... so keep coming back and checking ... and I will be recording many more hours of lessons for jamplay.com in early September. Also, you can view my live performances at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH ... and you can take some free guitar lessons here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... Thanks again for the message, and please do check back often for more newly posted Hawkeye blues guitar lessons.

hajuehajue replied on August 17th, 2008

Dear Hawkeye, Thank you very much indeed for these outstanding blues lessons. I did the whole series now. Before I started, I had very poor skills on blues. Blues has always been a kind of a secret to me. But it has been very interesting and funny to learn turnarounds as a way to play lead and amazing to see blues shuffle variations and improvisation. I never saw this in such a comprehensive way before. You can also feel the excitement and the enthusiasm with which you perform the Blues. Fantastic. Together with your informative introduction I gained a real feeling for blues music. I guess I am now a fan of blues music. Thanks again. Take care. Hajue

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.


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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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

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Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

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

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

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

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Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

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

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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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Don Ross Don Ross

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

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

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David Wallimann David Wallimann

This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.

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Alex Scott Alex Scott

Find out what this series is all about.

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James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

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Paul Musso Paul Musso

JamPlay is proud to welcome senior professor and Coordinator of Guitar Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver,...

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.

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Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

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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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Brent Mason Brent Mason

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

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

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

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Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens shows some of his go-to licks and ideas while improvising over a backing track he made.

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