Delta Blues Turnaround (Guitar Lesson)

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Hawkeye Herman

Delta Blues Turnaround

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 10:45Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (06:25) Delta Blues / Robert Johnson Style Lick Hawkeye begins this lesson with a brief review of the turnaround that you have already learned. He demonstrates this turnaround in the key of E major. Remember that this turnaround can be varied and played as a lead guitar part over the entire 12 bar blues progression. In this lesson, you will learn a brand new turnaround in the key of A. This turnaround is played in the Delta blues style. Robert Johnson and other famous Delta blues players used this turnaround in countless blues songs.

The "Open" A Chord Hawkeye Style

Hawkeye plays the "open" A chord in an unusual way. He uses his middle finger to barre all of the fretted notes. Traditionally, most guitarists fret this chord with the first, second, and third fingers. He chooses to fret the A chord in this manner due to the size of his fingers. Many guitarists with very big hands find this chord quite difficult due to the fact that you have to place three fingers within the space of a single fret.

The "Texas" A chord

If you have been following along with Jim Deeming's Phase 1 and Phase 2 lessons, you may have already learned some different ways of playing the basic A chord. Hawkeye demonstrates one of such variations on the basic A chord in this scene. The open A string remains unchanged in this voicing. Then, the first finger frets the 2nd fret notes on the D, G, and B strings. The pinkie finger reaches up to the fifth fret of the high E string to fret the note A. This added high note profoundly changes the overall sound of the chord. In this case, the tonic note of the chord and the key (if playing in the key of A) is heard last as a high melody note. Hawkeye calls this the "Texas" A chord, because of the wide-open space between the pinkie and first finger.

Common Ways of Playing A7

Hawkeye demonstrates the traditional way of playing A7 that most people learn as beginners. However, there are several interesting ways to play this chord. Similar to the "Texas" A chord, you can barre the D, G, and B strings at the second fret with the first finger. Then, use the third finger to fret the note G at the 3rd fret of the high E string. This added b7 note (G) transforms the "Texas" A shape into a movable voicing of A7. In the blues genre, it is quite common to switch between the "Texas" A and this version of the A7 chord. Also, the G# note at the fourth fret can be used as a passing tone between the A and G notes in these chords. When played as a passing tone, this note must be placed on a weak beat.

Moving the "Texas" A

This chord shape can be transposed to any area of the fretboard as long as the low root note of the chord (open A string) is omitted. For example, Hawkeye demonstrates how to use this chord shape for a C chord played in fifth position. Since this shape is transposable, it can be used to play an entire 12 bar blues progression in any key. At about 5:10, watch how Hawkeye applies this chord shape and its related dominant seventh form to a 12 bar blues in the key of A major.
Chapter 2: (04:20) Changing the Key The "Texas" A shape played in conjunction with the A7 shape you just learned in the previous scene can be used to play an entire 12 bar blues progression. At the beginning of this scene, watch as Hawkeye applies these chord shapes to a 12 bar blues exercise in the key of A.

Note: Tablature and Notation to this exercise can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Exercise Variation

This same exercise can also be played fingerstyle by using the thumb to pluck the lowest note of each chord. The index finger brushes upwards to pluck the high E and B strings of each chord. Otherwise, play the exercise exactly the same as demonstrated earlier in the scene. This variation omits the G string from each chord. As a result, the root note of each chord is no longer doubled. This may or may not create a desirable effect depending on the context of the 12 bar blues in which you are playing.

Mixing and Matching Shuffle Components

You can use the elements you have learned in this lesson in conjunction with the basic shuffle pattern. For example, Hawkeye demonstrates this technique in the key of G. He plays the basic shuffle pattern from the earliest lessons in this series for the tonic chord, G. Then, for the IV, and V chords, he utilizes the shape of the "Texas" A chords to play barre chord voicings of C and D.

Transposition to the Key of C

To provide you with an example of how easily the "Texas" A shape can be transposed, Hawkeye uses this shape to play a full 12 bar blues in the key of C. Use the hand trick from earlier lessons to determine the I, IV, and V chords in this key. Respectively, these chords are C, F, and G(7). This example can be found at about 02:40 in the lesson video.

Final Thoughts

Everything Hawkeye teaches in this Phase 2 series can be transposed to all 12 keys. After mastering each exercise in the key demonstrated in the lesson video, transpose each exercise to all 12 keys. This process will drastically improve your overall knowledge of the fretboard.

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.

alexander2alexander2 replied

Hiya Hawkeye Your lessons and approach are just what I've been needing. It's as though I've been let out after a long stretch behind bars (no pun intended!) and allowed to run around. You've just freed everything up by explaining how it all fits together and that 'doing your own thing' is cool. Great job. Thank you for lifting the shades from my eyes after all these years (I'm on the wrong side of young!). I'm looking forward to hanging on in there with you and learning some more. Thanks again. Alex

prauchprauch replied

Hi Hawkeye, I've been playing cassually for 30 years and joined Jamplay to fill in the gaps and ultimately get better. I used a disciplined approach to go through Steve's beginner course and I'm doing the same with your blues course. Its been very rewarding building my knowledge and somewhat uncomfortable working to extend my reach over five or six frets, especially with the barre. Repietition and drills make it happen. I've got no real question for you at this point, but I'm hammering away running through each lesson a few times before moving forward, and always, always working to review what you've already run through. Thanks for building a comprehensive lesson plan and executing it well. You're clearly not 'mailing it in' and love what you do. Pete

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your kind comments in regard to my lessons and your improved skills on the guitar as a result of your diligent study, Pete. Much appreciated. I think it's obvious that I love what I do, and I hope my enthusiasm and the information I've shared with you continues to serve you for the rest of your life. I have many more lessson planned for, in both the Phase Two and Phase Three areas ... it's just a matter of the administrators finding the time to schedule the taping of those lessons ... I've been waiting to extend my lesson series for over 2 years! Perhaps a message to the admin folks might hasten that process. I hope you've watched some of the many song/videos I have posted at youtube .... ... please watch these videos to see how I use the skills I teach in my lessons when I'm performing in concert and at festivals ... try to play along with me, try to 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas ;-) In terms of the 'process' and how to go about progressing on the guitar, here's a wonderful/useful quote from the great jazz guitar player Howard Roberts: "The tempo to execute something on the guitar is the speed at which you can do it perfectly, even if that tempo is one notch above a dead stop. That way, instead of trying to do something, you ARE doing something." As you gain accuracy, you can increase that tempo, until you get to the 'final'/'goal' tempo of the material/song/scale/riff/lick. Again, thanks so much for your message and for enjoying these lessons.

rkm62rkm62 replied

hawk, im the only one here? going around for the second time as i said before. amazing the difference this time around. im not just learning im actually now playing with you as well. this is really going well for me, thanks hawk, rob.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Rob, You're not the 'Lone Ranger' ... ;-) ... many of my JamPlay students are 'wise enough' to go through my lesson series a 2nd (and even a 3rd time) ... they let me know they are doing so via posted comments, like yours, and personal messages/emails. I'm so glad you are continuing to find/ gems' within my lesson series. Thanks so much for letting me know.

rosanellarosanella replied

I had first jumped to lesson 100something and watched Hawkeye saying 'yes, skim through, jump around but.....' and the 'but' made me think of going back a few lessons I had not yet coverd (blush, blush). I really enjoyed this one which got me to explore A & C blues sequences in different places on the fretboard. Cute lesson :) Cheers!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for taking the time to post your kind comments. Very much appreciated. As I've said in so many posts and in my lessons .... I've given a great deal of thought and planning as to the content and order of these lessons ... if you follow the lessons from the beginning in the order they are presented, taking your time, not rushing, being patient with yourself and only moving on when you can accomplish shat is being presented in the current lesson ... you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music that will serve your for the rest of your life and 'free you' to be creative in the blues music genre. If you skip around/'cherry' pick' amongst these lessons, (which I do not encourage), you'll still learn a lot, but there will be holes/gaps in your blues 'foundation'/understanding. Blues music is an art form and a language ... when folks skip around within these lessons it is much like taking any art or language course, or any course of study, and skipping around for information ... instead of following the 'program' ... you do learn things .... but what you learn is disjointed and not cohesive and only gives you a smattering of knowledge and understanding. One wouldn't be wise to try to paint the 'Mona Lisa" without first studying color, contrast, brush technique ... one wouldn't be wise to study the conversational aspects of a language without first studying some vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar of a language ... so it is with music ... and so it is with music. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and that the information you might gain serves you for the rest of your life. ;-) Thanks again for your kind message.

tenchu11tenchu11 replied

This lesson made my head explode! Just thinking of the possibility! Its amazing changes the whole playing field just no more shuffles and turn arounds. The Texas chords add alot to my blues improve

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message, Javier. I'm glad your vision/understanding of the blues has been elevated to a 'bigger picture.' Please stick with the lessons plan ... if you follow the lessons in the order they are presented you should experience even more 'head exploding' moments. I hope so. Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

rcausrcaus replied

Dear Hawkeye, I've been practising a lot for the A7 and paused the video so many times , however I felt that I am not doing it correctly as my thumb and wrist aches a lot after not even 3 minutes. The sounds came fine and on the D7 and E7 it's much easier. I felt it's to do with the positioning of my thumb and wrist, please advise. Regards rcaus

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for enjoying these lessons and for your question. It's almost impossible for me to 'correct' your hand position without my visually seeing what you are doing. All I can do is suggst that yousit up straight when playing the guitar, do not curl your body round the instrument, get the left elbow (of your fingering hand) away from your body not tucked into your ribs/side, and adjust your wrist down a bit more toward the floor so that the reach of your fingers is extended ... but do not tuck your elbow into your side/ribs ... I thing that your lack of 'reach' is due to the angle of your wrist. Try these adjustments ... and enjoy the process ... take your time ... be patient, make minor adjustments to your fretting hand /elbow/wrist position. I hope this is of some help and that you continue to enjoy these lessons. Playing the guitar is not a 'race to some finish line' ... playing the guitar is a lifelong passion of incremental improvement. :-) Again, thanks so much for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at

smeggersmegger replied

Thanks Hawkeye. Your lessons are fantastic. You have a real entusiasm for the guitar and its infectious. I will just keep plugging away and maybe someday I will be half as good as you are. Thank so muck Hawkeye from Dean (my real name) downunder in NZ

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Dean (Oz bloke ;-). Thanks so much for the message and kind words about my blues guitar lessons. I believe (and hope) if you follow these lessons in the order presented you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues guitar that will keep you improving, playing, and enjoying the blues ... forever. Take your time, don't rush, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process of learning. There's no rush ... this isn't a 'race to a finish line' ... this should be an enjoyable pastime and journey that brings you fulfillment and happiness on a daily basis. My enthusiasm is based in my love of the guitar and the blues ... I'm glad you've 'caught the blues bug." Perhaps you know about the great gal blues guitarist from 'down under' named Fiona Boyes? Fiona is a good friend and we've performed at many festivals and events together in North America ... here's a photo of the two of us performing together ... ... sorry to say I've never met (yet) the great Aussie guitarist Tommy Emmanuel ... but I do know his music and admire his superb abilities/skills on the guitar. Again, thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons.

grung3isdeadgrung3isdead replied

I really have to say ive been getting alot better at improvision since ive started these blues lessons. you really have a way of helping me understand my fretboard like no one else ive been taught by. thank you Hawkeye! now back to the blues!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for the kind words, Mark. Very much appreciated. I hope you continue to explore and enjoy blues guitar ... forever.

stevecstevec replied

Thank you so much for giving me the information for a free week of JamPlay at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. I'm sold!! This is a great stuff and you are a great instructor who really seems to have the patience to make sure we learn it correctly. I've played guitar for 40 years but I still started at the very beginning of your lesson plan to make sure I was building a proper foundation. I enjoy seeing you everytime you are in town and hope you come back "home" soon for another performance.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

stevec, Thanks for the message and kind words. Very much appreciated. I love playing and teaching blues, and I hope that comes through in each and every lesson. So glad you have the good sense to follow my lesson plan as presented, in order to build your strong foundation and understanding of blues music, with no holes/gaps in your understanding/knowledge/abilities. I think you'll find that you'll be playing and creating blues music on your own with great satisfaction if you stick with the lesson plan and content as it's presented here. I don't know when I'll be back in the Quad Cities, but I hope to see you the next time I'm in the area to perform. In the meantime, you can watch me perform on over 20 video songs at: so that you can see/learn how I use the material I teach here at when I'm performing. Also, there are free guitar lessons at my web site here Thanks for checking out I don't think you'll find a better deal or better guitar instructors than those here on the team. Again, thanks so much for your messaage and kind workds

blizzardblizzard replied

Wow, I finally got here , I been working my way up to this Robert Johnson turn around lesson, wanted to sneak peek it , but I held off

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

blizzard, Welcome to the ... Delta blues ... take your time and enjoy the process. Don't rush ... what I'm teaching you here you will be using for the rest of your life ... so, learn it well, and enjoy the process.

jackie134jackie134 replied

Thanks so much Hawkeye. this is the best ever! I could actually get the hang of this! I will need to practice of course but it sounds so good on my new twangy guitar and at long last I am playing barre chords that work!!! going over four strings is something I can cope with - this lesson has really got my heart beating and I am determined to master it. Thanks again!!!!! Jackie

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

jackie134, ;-) ... Thanks so much. It does my heart good to hear such postive progress from you. I knew you could do it. "Yes, we can!" You will be capable of playing blues songs in any key you wish ... someday. Hang in there with these lessons ... I'm so glad you are following the 'program' and not skipping/jumping around ... you can do that and learn ... but if you follow the lessons as presented you will be challenged and learn in a logical manner, building a strong foundation as we go. Have even more fun ... as we move along the 'blues highway.' Again, thanks so much for the comment.

currannicurranni replied

now thats a painful stretch the 1st time... ha

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

curranni, Keep the elbow of your fretting hand/arm out ad away from your body and your writs and hand arched so as to allow your fingertips more access to the sings/fingerboard. Practice and this will eventaually get easier.

sspicersspicer replied

Hawkeye, I just discovered this site and your someone who has been playing the blues for 10 years I have to say: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I went through lessons 1-16 this weekend, and already you've given my playing new dimension and tonality. I've been pretty burned out for a few years now, but this series has opened my ears once again...I can't wait 'till next weekend and the next 16 lessons! cheers, sean

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

sspricer, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. Please be sure to follow the lessons in the order they are presented :-) ... I'm building a strong foundation in blues for you ... and if you skip around, you'll have weak points in your 'foundation.' There are free guitar lessons here: you might read this article and you might find other interesting reading here and to actually watch me use these techniques in performance look here; I hope you continue to enjoy our journey together on my 'blues highway' of guitar lessons. If you have questions/problems, let me know. Again, thanks for joining us bluesers here at ;-)

dancrawforddancrawford replied

Hawkeye- You are the best! I am loving your lessons and will continue with you as long as you keep posting!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

dancrawford, Thanks so much. There's much more to come, and I'm very pleased and gratified to know that you're enjoying the lessons and will continue to travel the 'blues highway' with me. Be sure to visit my web site for lots of supplemental information ... and the many HAakeye videos at Again, thanks so much.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

dgarland, Thanks so much. Keep practicing ... the folks have plenty more of my guitar lessons in the 'can' ready for posting ... including slide guitar in standard tuning and open D tuning ... and I hope they post more of 'em soon. I'll be filming about 15 to 20 more hours of guitar lessons for y'all in Sept. ... slide guitar in G tuning ... also urban blues rhythms and lead guitar, and classic blues songs/arrangements by many icons of the blues in both acoustic/country blues and contemporary urban blues. So, please hang in there with me.

brynwebbrynweb replied

You've just persuaded me to take out an annual subscription. All these great lessons are exactly what I want. My relationship with my girlfriend is likely to suffer, but sacrifices are a necessary evil.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

brynweb, Thanks for the comment. Go for it! Life is what happens while one makes other plans. Enjoy the process. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

navas, Thanks so much. There's much more to come. Please do hang in there with me ... and enjoy the process of learning the blues and lovin' it.

navasnavas replied

Thats great news to hear you are ready to post more and more lessons. I'm really enjoying what you teach and the way you teach and hope I can go far with it following your lessons. Thanks a lot for your efforts.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

kathy, Great! Thanks for the message. Be patient with yourself. Remember to visualize ahead ... don't think about what you're playing, think about and visualize where you're going next. Take your time. Playing slow, at a speed that allows you to succeed ... playing slowly is still music. Eventually you'll catch on to the fact that the visual/physical relationships between the turnaround positions are the same, regardless of the key being played. Have fun! :-)

kathykathy replied

Another great lesson indeed. Some of the positions are challenging for me but what a blast learning/practicing moving the music up the neck. Hanging in there....

dgarlanddgarland replied

Another great lesson!

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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

Introduction to BluesLesson 1

Introduction to Blues

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

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

Understanding Blues Chords

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

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

Blues Rhythm

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

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

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

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

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

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

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

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

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

Interesting Blues Turnaround

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

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

Moving the Turnaround

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

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

Turnaround in the Bass

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

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

Turnaround Practice

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

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

Turnarounds as Lead

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

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

Subtle Changes

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

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

Blues Shuffle Variations

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

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

Bass Blues Shuffle

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

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

Turnaround Exercise

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

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

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

Robert Johnson Style

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

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

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

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

Movable Chord Review

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

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

Basic Blues Scale

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

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

Passing Notes

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

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

Scales and Keys

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

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

Finding the Key

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

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

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

The Great River Road

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

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

Mississippi John Hurt Style

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

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

Piano Blues

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

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

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

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

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

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

Sweet Home Chicago

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

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

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

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

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

Classic 8 Bar Blues

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

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

Playing Multiple Notes

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

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

Classic End Tag

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

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

Basic Blues Slide

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

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

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Blues Shuffle in Open D

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

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

Open D Harmony Shuffle

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

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

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

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

Open D Slide Licks

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

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

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Rock and Slide Guitar

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

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

D Tuning Chords

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

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

You Got To Move

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

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

You Got to Move Melody

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

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

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

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

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

Elmore James Style

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

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

Blues Licks and Riffs

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

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

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

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

G Tuning Chords

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

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

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

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

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

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

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

Improvising in G Tuning

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

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

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

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

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

Open G Shuffle Variations

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

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

Robert Johnson Licks

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

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

G Tuning and the Capo

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

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

Come On In My Kitchen

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

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

Skip James Style

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

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

Open D to Open G

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

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

Drop D Tuning

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

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

Statesboro Blues

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

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

Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Minor Blues

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

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

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

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

Song Endings

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

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

Stop Time Blues

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

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

Movable Endings

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

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

Movable Blues Scale

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

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

Blues Scale Lead

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

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

Spanning the Neck

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

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

The Blues Had a Baby

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

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

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

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

Spanning the Neck Continued

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

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

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

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

Chord Relationships

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

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

Chord Relationships Continued

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

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

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

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

Key of A Idea

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

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

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

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

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

Capo Ideas

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

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

Everything is Movable

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

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

Bass Notes in Treble

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

Creating Solos

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

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

Transposing Songs

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

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

History of Blues

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

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

Blues is the Roots

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

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

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

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

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

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

Boom-Chicka Strum

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

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

Fun Runs

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

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

Review & Practice

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

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

Song Medley

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

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

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

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

More Fun Licks

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

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

More Licks Up the Neck

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

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

Bass Licks

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

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

Rock Me Lick

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

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

Turnaround Positions

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

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

Instrumental Themes

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

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

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

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

Ninth Chords

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

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

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

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

More Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

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

Introducing the Capo

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

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

Forming Barre Chords

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

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

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

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

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

Relative Chord Shapes

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

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

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

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

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

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

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

Bo Diddley Beat

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

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

Thematic Bass Lines

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

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

Bass Lines Continued

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

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

Lead Bass Ideas

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

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

Willie's Bounce

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

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

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

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

The Texas A

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

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

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

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

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

Double Stops

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

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

Scrapper Blackwell

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

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

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Humming and Strumming

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

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

Katrina, Oh Katrina

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

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

All About the Hammer-on

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

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

The Pull-off

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

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

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

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

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

The Quick Change

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

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

Starting on the IV Chord

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

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

The Talking Blues

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

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

Utilizing 9th Chords

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

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

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

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

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

Style of Elmore James

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

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

Style of Son House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

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Amber Russell Amber Russell

Playing fingerstyle requires the ability to play different techniques at the same time. This of course, is not always an...

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Justin Roth Justin Roth

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

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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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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

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

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Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

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Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

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

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

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John Shannon John Shannon

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

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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...

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James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

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Andre Nieri Andre Nieri

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

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Kris Norris Kris Norris

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

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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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.

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