Robert Johnson Style (Guitar Lesson)


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

Robert Johnson Style

Hawkeye Herman teaches more components of Robert Johnson's signature sound. This lesson includes biographical information and a Robert Johnson solo.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 27:38Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (10:26) In the Style of Robert Johnson Like many important musical figures, Robert Johnson died at a very young age. He only recorded 29 songs in his short life span. Johnson died at the age of 28 in 1938. He is known as the king of the Delta Blues style. Blues musicians such as Hawkeye Herman and Eric Clapton have covered his songs. In recent years, Clapton devoted an entire album to Johnson's music. Countless rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recorded his songs as well.

Developing Your Own Style

Johnson was a master of bringing various elements from different blues styles into a unique style of his own. Eventually, as you progress as a blues musician, this is the goal that you should ultimately strive to accomplish. In the beginning of your blues training, you must learn basic blues vocabulary and begin to replicate the styles of the great blues musicians. However, there comes a time when you must begin applying these general ideas and concepts to your own style of blues playing.

"When You Got a Good Friend" Guitar Solo

Out of the 29 songs that Robert Johnson recorded, he only recorded one guitar solo. This solo, from the song "When You Got a Good Friend" provides the listener with an opportunity to isolate Robert's guitar style from his voice. Although he only recorded 29 songs, Johnson performed live constantly. This solo gives a good general idea of how me might have approached other 12 bar blues solos within the context of a live performance.

A. Varying the Turnaround

The solo begins with the turnaround that utilizes the "Texas" A chord shape. If you have not memorized this turnaround, review the previous lesson. Then, return to the current lesson once you have it memorized. This turnaround is played as an introduction to the 12 bar form. Johnson frequently used this turnaround in a number of different ways. He was a master of varying the turnaround. He accomplished this by varying the turnaround in the ways that Hawkeye has demonstrated throughout this series.

B. Less Is More

This solo is a testament to the fact that you do not have to play a million notes in order to play a powerful blues solo. An experienced guitarist knows that the number of notes played is of no importance. What's important is how you play each note. For example, guitarist Buddy Guy has been known to hold a single sustained bend for an entire 12 bars of a solo. Typically, Buddy takes this minimalist approach when following a soloist that has just played a shredding solo with tons of fast licks. The contrast between these two styles of improvisation is striking to say the least.

C. Articulation

When watching Hawkeye's performance of this guitar solo, make a careful note of where all slides, hammer-ons, and palm-muted bass notes occur. These are key components of Johnson's style that you should try to incorporate into your own blues playing.
Chapter 2: (03:55) The IV Chord and More The IV chord in the key of A is D or D7. Frequently, dominant seventh chords are substituted for major triads within a 12 bar blues. The voicing that Robert Johnson used for the D7 chord is a staple of his style. By now, you are already familiar with the "open" D7 chord shape. Essentially, the F# on the high E string (the third of the chord) is moved to the low E string. The third of the chord is now played as the lowest bass note instead of the root. When the third is played as the lowest note in a chord, the chord is played in "first inversion." Inverting the chord requires that you completely adjust the left-hand fingering. A chord chart for this D7 voicing can be found in the "Supplemental Content" section.
Chapter 3: (03:18) Review and More of the Song Practicing the Solo

When first practicing through the solo, break it up into manageable phrases. Also, make sure that you practice at a very slow tempo. Set your metronome at around 65 or 70 beats per minute and work up from there. Begin by practicing the intro turnaround. Then, work on the next four bars. Next, work on the D7 arpeggio. Isolate and drill any problem spots that are especially difficult for you.

New A7 chord

Instead of returning to the "Texas" A or a turnaround based on an A major chord, Robert Johnson opts to play a new voicing for A7 in bar 7. This voicing is based on the shape of the basic E7 chord. The E7 shape is simply transposed five frets up the fretboard to form an A7 chord.
Chapter 4: (03:33) Another New Chord Hawkeye demonstrates a chord in this scene that you may not be familiar with. This new chord, Ao7 is used to embellish the A7 chord that precedes it. Diminished seventh chords can either be used as dominant chords or embellishing chords. When a diminished seventh chord shares a common tone with the chord that precedes it, it functions as an embellishment of the previous chord. Diminished chords function as dominant chords when the tritone interval within the chord structure resolves inward. Typically, a diminished seventh chord will resolve to the tonic triad whose root note is one half step above. In the context of this blues solo, Ao7 functions as an embellishing diminished chord since the chord that precedes it, A7, shares the same root note.

Note: For more information pertaining to diminished chords, check out lessons 45 and 47 from Brad Henecke's Phase 2 Classic Rock Series.

Making the Solo Your Own

When playing through the solo, you don't have to arpeggiate the chords exactly the same way that Hawkeye does. Experiment with different arpeggio rhythms. Also, change up the order in which the strings are plucked in order to add your own personal touch to the solo.
Chapter 5: (06:21) Finishing up and Putting it Together The Last Four Bars

Bar 9 of the form features a basic arpeggiation of an open E7 chord. Then, material from the beginning of the solo is repeated to give the solo a sense of symmetric unity.

Practicing Tips

Follow these guidelines when practicing through the solo:

1. Practice with a metronome to ensure that you are playing perfectly in time. The tempo of this solo is about 95 beats per minute. Start at a much slower tempo and gradually work your way up.

2. Make sure that you experiment with your own arpeggiations of chords.

3. When you feel like you have mastered the solo on your own, play it along with Hawkeye at 02:40.

4. For extra practice, play the basic shuffle pattern over this solo to accompany Hawkeye. You will need to switch to the V7 chord (E7) in bar 12. Remember that the V7 chord is often substituted for tonic in the 12th bar of the blues form to create a stronger resolution back to the top of the form.

5. Insert your own licks and turnaround ideas into the solo in order to make it your own. You may have noticed that Hawkeye plays the solo differently each time. Notice how he adds in some subtle variations the second time he plays through the solo. He plays a lick based on the A major blues scale over the A chord in bars 7-8. Also, notice how he uses the Tampa Red rhythm figure for the D7 chord in bar 10.

Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

Select

Member Comments about this Lesson

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


Charlie xCharlie x replied on January 25th, 2017

That was one big tough lesson! Has taken a good few sessions to learn each part of the music and I'm going to need to work on it quite some more to finesse it. But wow! The struggle has been worth it. I'm getting there! Thanks Hawkeye. No pain no gain, and I really think I have gained something of value here!

hoboguitarhoboguitar replied on September 26th, 2016

As some of the other posters have said, the supplemental isn't deadnuts on. Specifically I had some trouble on bars 7 and 8 with the A7. With the influence of Hawkeye's infectious enthusiasm and inspiration, I worked out my own timing for that section. Even though I have gone ahead in this lesson series to keep my ADHD mind occupied, I always start practice with a revisit to earlier lessons...Today I feel like I finally grasped this lesson (after several weeks), and goddurnit feels lovely! Full power, firing on all cylinders! I think even a stranger listening to me might say "hey, that doesn't sound terrible...". Thanks Hawkeye!

yellowkid1yellowkid1 replied on September 11th, 2016

Having fun with that D7 chord!

kalorenz03kalorenz03 replied on September 2nd, 2016

LOL! Play the blues son!

DMDDMD replied on January 26th, 2016

great lick and lesson but have to admit that you changing how you play it during your examples is confusing at the start. I get it that the Blues is about improvisation but improvisation is based on a level of knowledge and experience that I certainly lack. To start with a more consistent delivery, and a subsequent lesson on how to "play" around would be more helpful. Notwithstanding what a great set up to learn.

yellowkid1yellowkid1 replied on September 18th, 2016

I'm playing it a little different also and I think that is the point. I change the timing, particularly on the opening A chord, every time I play it, the variations are a lot of fun.

DMDDMD replied on January 26th, 2016

should also add that the Tabulature doesn't match the lesson on how Hawkeye plays it. His version sounds way cooler !!

beedeeceebeedeecee replied on January 10th, 2016

I think it was Theodore Roethke who said that the art of teaching is being inspired by the obvious. All that comes forth from your enthusiasm for the art, the sustenance you clearly gain from it, your experience and your gift of explaining it clearly... and five, six years later new students like me continue to benefit. The reason I started this course is that I'm volunteer-teaching a very talented 11-year-old how to play guitar, and he expressed interest in the blues. Aside from teaching a few chords and riffs, I wanted to know and teach more. So I started your course; I just completed lesson 18, a popular lesson for obvious reasons. Funny, now that he knows the few riffs I taught him, he's not that interested in blues for now-- he wants to learn a flamenco-like piece in a video game! But a pretty good fingerstylist myself, I've been sailing along with your course, and enjoying the journey. Thanks so much!

ted smithted smith replied on December 21st, 2015

Just completed Lesson 18, absolutely loved it - everything coming together - thank you Hawkeye!

pgarnerpgarner replied on December 2nd, 2015

This lesson left me grinning. Just so perfect. Fantastic teacher, Hawkeye. I'll be repeating and listening to this one again, but you've broken it down nicely. 5 stars, sir.

wallydogie11wallydogie11 replied on September 5th, 2015

fantastic 10 times more than I knew b 4

rosmiarosmia replied on April 13th, 2015

Great stuff and great job Hawkeye.

Rich1165Rich1165 replied on March 11th, 2015

This was the most enjoyable lesson that I sat through. I am having a ball learning old time blues from Hawkeye. He is so expressive and he constantly reminds me with his demeanor that I should be having fun and I am. What a great teacher. Thanks!

drmorezdrmorez replied on February 9th, 2015

Anyone can teach, but to be able to learn from that teacher is another thing. You definitely know how to do that Hawkeye. I've learned more from you in a couple days than I have from other teachers over the years! Your enthusiasm is contagious too! Makes me wanna play and learn more. Now my fingers hurt...lol

dougholderdougholder replied on January 15th, 2015

KILLER lesson Hawkeye!!! You are a great communicator and your enthusiasm is infectious. Loving every minute and getting it down.

whitewatersailorwhitewatersailor replied on March 31st, 2014

Hey Hawkeye, love the lessons. I'm becoming inspired by everything you have taught thus far, and hope to be able to create my own style based off of Robert Johnson, buddy guy, and others. My question is about the A7th chord too. If you move it down to the seventh fret area, would you get a B chord as well? Thanks!

undi1992undi1992 replied on March 16th, 2014

I have a question about this Ao7 chord. Its structure is the following: A (I), Gb (VI), C (minorIII), Eb (dimV) , A (I). So, why is it called Ao7 when I see no 7th? I see a 6th instead.

martin.baylymartin.bayly replied on February 1st, 2014

Hey Hawkeye - wow - this is a popular lesson and half way through it I can see why. Really enjoying your lesson series, particularly the way they are building on each other. I've been playing guitar off and on for many years and never really got anywhere. In years gone past I've tried learning some reasonably complicated acoustic blues solos from books without really understanding why I was playing what I was trying to play. When I first looked at the tab for this lesson, my first thought was "Hmm - that looks complicated!", but now I am going through the videos and I see that really it's just all the stuff we've been working on in previous lessons put together in new, interesting ways. It's still challenging but I am starting to understand why the different parts of the solo work together in the way they do rather than just being some random arrangement of notes played at different locations on the fretboard. So thanks for opening my eyes ... I'm in for the long haul... cheers

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 1st, 2014

Thanks so much for your kind comments and question, Martin. Much appreciated. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel in knowing that my lessons have had a real impact on your understanding the 'language' of blues guitar and your ability to improve your skills. May I suggest you view some of the many blues songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... and please be sure to check out/explore my web site for more free guitar lessons and blues history information: http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com. If you'd like to see me perform and/or present workshops 'live an in=person' in your area, like at the Vancouver Folk Festival, (thefestival.bc.ca) ... please take a moment to go to the web site for the event(s) and send an email to the production team requesting/referring that I perform and teach at their event. In the case of the Vancouver Folk Festival: Linda Tanaka/Artistic Director email: [email protected] ph: 604.602.9798 ext. 202 Believe me, it's much more effective if a member of the 'ticket buying' public make such a request than if I send them an application like so many other hundreds of fine performers who 'stand in line' for possible booking consideration. All you have to do is tell them how you know about me (generally,they all know me by name ;-), why you'd like to see me perform and/or teach at their event, and refer them to my web site for more information (www.hawkeyeherman.com). If you do this, there's a much better chance that I might get booked for the event(s) ... and perhaps we'll meet face-to-face in Vancouver someday. ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your most righteous positive comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. May you enjoy expanding your skills and playing blues guitar .... forever.

martin.baylymartin.bayly replied on February 1st, 2014

Hey Hawkeye - email to Linda at the Van Folk Festival sent! Would be fantastic so see you play/teach in person - fingers crossed.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 1st, 2014

Thanks so much for your rapid action, Martin. I really appreciate it. Perhaps I'll see you in Vancouver sooner than later. I not that far from Vancouver ... I live in S. Oregon, in the Cascade/Siskiyou Mtns. for the past 10 years for peace and quiet when I'm not touring. I previously lived and toured out of the San Francisco area for 32 years, having lived there since 1968. Please do let me know if you get a response from Linda at the VFF ... and I'll do the same. Again, thanks so much! Cheers and Best, Hawkeye

fer01fer01 replied on September 4th, 2013

Hawkeye, last night I was able to crack this blues and I couldn´t sleep afterwards, so excited I was! Thank you so much for your lessons, I started in lesson 1 a few weeks ago and now I am ready for lesson 19!Thanks a lot and best regards from Madrid.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 4th, 2013

Hola, Fernando. Muchas gracias por su mensaje y palabras amables. Te lo agradezco mucho. Lo hace bien a mi corazón saber que usted está siguiendo pacientemente mis lecciones en el orden en que se presentan y que está teniendo éxito en la comprensión de la música blues y mejorar sus habilidades en la guitarra. Hay más lecciones de guitarra gratis en mi sitio web, aquí: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... Por favor, asegúrese de ver algunas de mis muchas canciones de blues en el vídeo aquí: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... tratar de tocar la guitarra junto a mí, y tratar de "robar" mis ideas. ;-) He visitado España, un país precioso, y he actuado en Barcelona, ??pero no he realizado en Madrid. Espero poder visitar Madrid algún día. Mi música se reproduce a veces en la radio en España por mi amigo Vicente Zumel en su popular programa de radio "La Hora del Blues". (www.lahoradelblues.com). No dude en ponerse en contacto con Vicente y hacer una petición de que jugó una canción de blues Hawkeye en su programa de radio. Pido disculpas por mi pobre español, mi vocabulario es grande, pero mi gramática es malo. ;-). Espero que nos encontremos en Madrid algún día. Gracias de nuevo por su mensaje y su entusiasmo por la música blues. Espero que continue para disfrutar de estas lecciones, y 'viajar' conmigo en la 'carretera de blues' aquí en Jamplay. Que le vaya bien, compadre.

bungalowbillbungalowbill replied on June 11th, 2013

Hey Hawkeye I'm really enjoying your lessons. I love the blues. My ears are getting a good workout but I'm stuck on this here. In lesson 18 after you slide from the 7th to the 8th fret you play the 5th string bass note a few beats and then start the turnaround and you keep playing that bass note sometimes. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out when to play the bass during the turnaround. I know it's played 3 times and then the turnaround starts but after that I'm lost on when it's being played.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 11th, 2013

Thanks for the message and for enjoying these lessons, Mike. Before I try to understand your 'problem' with words, please look at the supplemental content under the lesson where you will find a complete musical and tablature transcription of the Robert Johnson solo. If this doesn't solve your problem, then you'll need to tell me where in the video ___minutes___seconds that you're referring to. Thanks again for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

bungalowbillbungalowbill replied on June 12th, 2013

Thanks Hawkeye. The transcription was right on. I can't say enough about the thoroughness of your lessons. I'm 66 years old and I wish I'd known about your teaching 6 years ago when I first bought a guitar. I've learned more in the short time I've followed your lessons than in the last 6 years.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 13th, 2013

Great! I'm so glad the music/tablature transcription in the 'Supplemental Content' area solved your problem. It's very difficult to explain in words only what one is doing on the guitar ... ;-) Well, I'm a couple of years older than you and I admire your 'courage' and enthusiasm in picking up the guitar as a 'senior citizen' ... if you love music and/or the guitar, spending your 'retirement years' keeping your brain, hands and fingers 'working' by learning, practicing, and playing the guitar will keep you 'loose and young.' I'm most gratified to know that these lessons are serving you well, and that you're enjoying 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway. here at JamPlay.com. Take your time and enjoy the ride .... there's no rush toward achievement, this is not a race to an imaginary finish line ... the joy is in the journey ... day by day ... I hope you continue to learn and enjoy playing the guitar ... forever.

kennfordkennford replied on March 19th, 2013

Hawkeye, Thanks! This lesson as well as all of the lessons are like a toolbox of chords, little riffs and turnarounds that lead me into hundreds if not thousands of different directions. Sort of mix and match everything I learn and go off in my own direction. wonderful!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 19th, 2013

You're most welcome, Ken. Blues is a 'language' ... and all of these licks/riffs/ideas/turnarounds, etc. are part of the 'blues vocabulary' that are meant to be learned and then creatively mixed/matched to increase your ability to communicate/express oneself as an INDIVIDUAL ... always broadening one's ability to express oneself in a creative manner. ;-) Robert Johnson learned much of his 'blues vocabulary' from others, both from recordings and from live performers ... and he became expert at adapting what he learned from others in order to express himself in his own unique manner. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

pup1pup1 replied on March 10th, 2013

Hawkeye. This is fantastic. The way your lessons lead up to this makes playing this easy becauee now I know what the different parts are based on. In the past I'd try to learn a solo like this but after a week of not playing it I'd forget it because I was just memorizing notes. I still can't play this solo exact but I can get through it by improvising with what you've taught to date. You've made learning fun not a task. The other thing that makes me want to play is that I can see that you're having fun teaching this stuff. It's contagious. THank you

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

Bill, you're most welcome. I've been playing and teaching the guitar for well over 50 years ... the blues has been very good to me. I learned from the best of the old iconic blues players directly, sitting at their feet ... I love playing and teaching the guitar, and I love practicing, as well ... I'm so glad that you're getting the concepts and skills 'down' for yourself and that you recognize that I'm doing what I LOVE ... and that this is not 'classical' music that you must memorize ... it's about learning blues 'language' skills and being able to create and improvise music on your own, expressing yourself ... blues is more about CREATION ... than it is about 're-creation' ;-). I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

drszekidrszeki replied on March 6th, 2013

hi. i am from turkey taking your blues lessons as a blues fan and enjoying it so much. i have a 33 years of guitar playing experience and could'n learn blues because of lack of interest and document in my country. you are a very very excellent teacher. i wanted to conragulate you as a musician and i am very proud to be your student. i wish you a long good life cause i believe you deserve it. thank god i found you... and thanks to you that i fell in love with my guitar again...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 6th, 2013

Thanks so much for your message and kind words about my lessons, and for your good wishes., Salih. Very much appreciated. I was in Turkey two years ago, to Kusadasi, and I enjoyed my time in Turkey very much. Turkey is a very beautiful country, the people are friendly, and your nation is very rich in agricultural products ... and with excellent food. I have students here at JamPlay.com from all over the world, from Beijing to Beirut, Brussels, Brisbane, Boston ... all over the globe ... I'm so glad to know that I have students in Turkey, as well. ;-) Please be sure to watch some of my videos at youtube.com, here: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... so that you can see how I use the blues guitar techniques that I teach here at JamPlay.com when I perform in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs on the guitar. You can also sample my music here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/blues_shop.htm ... and here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/mp3.htm ... Thanks again for your kind message. I hope you continue to enjoy my lessons ... and perhaps/I hope I'll see you someday in Turkey ;-)

drszekidrszeki replied on March 11th, 2013

thanks for everything. I will be very pleased if you and your wife be my guest in my country and meet my family. if you come again I'll be waiting for your call:)))

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 11th, 2013

You are most welcome, Salih. I hope my wife and I am fortunate to visit Turkey again in the future, and that we have the opportunity to meet you and your family. Your kind offer is very much appreciated. ;-)

kedeedeekedeedee replied on February 21st, 2013

Hawkeye, I am so happy I found your lessons. This is the reason I wanted to learn to play the guitar. You are a fantastic teacher, and the lessons are perfect for a guy like me (36 yrs old, and playing the guitar for a whole 2 months now). THANK YOU!

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

Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying my lessons, Kevin. I've given a lot of thought and planning as tot he order and content of these lessons. Please follow the lessons in the order they are presented, please do not move on to the next lesson until you can do what is in the current lessons ... don't 'cherry pick'/skip around, or you'll pay the price of having a lot of information that you don't really understand how to use ... be patient with yourself ... this is not a 'race to a finish line' ... there is no 'race and there is no 'finish line' ... follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music that will allow you to play and improvise freely for the rest of your life. 'Cherry pick' the lessons and you'll have a very limited blues vocabulary. Please be sure to watch some of my many blues songs on video, here: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... so you can see how I use the techniques I teach at JamPlay when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me ... and 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas. Thanks again for the the message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

rkm62rkm62 replied on February 7th, 2013

oooo, forgot about this one. see, going through your series twice is a must. fantastic hawk.

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

Rob, Thanks for continuing to 'mine' the depths of my lessons for 'gems' you may have missed the first time around. ;-)

zeppelin007zeppelin007 replied on October 9th, 2012

Hi Hawkeye Wow you made my day thank you and i will do your steps,I can play your robert johnson and i ended it with a D7 slide to the 5 fret sounds good.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 9th, 2012

I'm happy to know that you're making progress, Roy. Be patient with yourself ... don't rush ... there is no 'end' to the learning process and the satisfaction of learning the guitar ... the joy is in the journey. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

zeppelin007zeppelin007 replied on September 24th, 2012

Fantastic teacher because of hawkeye i will be part of jamplay for a long time awesome hawkeye and good morning blues.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 24th, 2012

Thanks for the kind words about these lessons, Roy. Very much appreciated. I've given a lot of thought and planning/consideration as to the content and order of these lessons. If you follow these lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, not rushing through nor moving on until you can accomplish what is in the current lesson, you will gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music and blues guitar playing that will allow you to play/create/improvise freely on the guitar and serve you for the rest of your life. If you can 'force yourself' to not sip around... cherry pick' through these lessons, you will be far, far better off. Blues is a 'language' ... one would not study a language by skipping around in the lessons and only learning what appeals to them at the time ... the result would be the ability to speak some words in that language, but not really be able to speak and understand the language fluently in all situations... so it is with blues music/language. I'm only telling you this because you're 'new' here at JamPlay.com ... and I know that there is a strong tendency for folks to 'cherry pick' through these lessons. ;-) Try not to do that ... all of these lessons 'dovetail' into the next lesson, so skipping lessons is not a good idea. This in not an accusation toward you ... just a warning to a 'new' member that it is wise to resist the tendency to skip around within this lesson series. Again, thanks so much for the kind message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... (in the order they are presented). ;-)

kirelkirel replied on March 8th, 2012

Thank you Hawkeye, this was another great lesson! You are a great teacher and your enthusiasm amazing! I believe I will crawl a little while on that lesson, before I will walk into Lesson 19! Have a great day!

pedlpedl replied on February 29th, 2012

I alsos get more and more impressed how much small modifications do to the whole sound and I feel thats what makes the great musicians that they do this small modifications that we amateurs don`t get...so it is great that someone teaches us.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 29th, 2012

JUst as the smallest alteration of a brush stroke can change a picture/painting ... or the addition of one drop of another color paint to a current color paint can change the main color and the entire painting ... so it follows that the slightest variation/alteration on the strings can change the music. ;-) I hope you continue to explore and enjoy these lessons and the possibilities on the guitar.

pedlpedl replied on February 29th, 2012

Dear Hawkeye, as so many others I love this session and I have worked with it several times properly, I also listen to Your Katrina on youtube. I wonder, is it possible to do some homework, record it and send it to you in order to get feedback? I guess You are a busy man, so I understand if you don`t have the time. the fees we pay are very small as well. Actually I have played this spcial D cord before, but I have never used it or listened to it that way..so i think it is great. Best wishes, Peter

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 29th, 2012

Peter, thanks for the comments and question(s) and for enjoying these lessons. Uhhhhh, there are 9,000 + students here at JamPlay.com ... you cannot expect me/us instructors to be 'grading' your homework that you might send to us in our 'spare' time ... what you can do is videp yourself using your home camera ... any camera does video these days ... even cell phones ... and you can place the video on youtube.com, or some other online video location ... and then get back to me and send me the URL, and I'll watch the video and tell you what you're doing right or wrong ... even with this suggestion ... there are limitations to my/our ability to do this ... imagine having to view thousands, or even hundreds of videos that students post asking for help advice ... that is/would be above and beyond the call of 'duty' for the minimal fee that subscribers pay each month. Still, you can give it a try. Cheers, Hawkeye

pedlpedl replied on March 1st, 2012

thank You Hawkeye for Your reply. Of course I understand that You have very much to do and I am very happy for Your reply and the contact You give. So if You can comment on a video, that would be great. I`ll try that, when I feel I have a song that is ready to show. Many regards from a rainy fjord, Peter

gharringtongharrington replied on December 28th, 2011

Crawling up here boss. On lesson 160. That 's right. Lesson 18 a 2nd time after the 1st 142. I'm feeling Robert J better and better. Michael I'm entering 2012 with great confidence. You have a gift. I have a feel for RJ and LH each time I practice. Oh what a chord indeed! I'm late starting but if I can play at my nursing home or my hospice for a little while, I will remember Michael Hawkeye Herman made me do it.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 29th, 2011

Hi, Gary, and thanks for the comments, kind words, and update on you progress. I'll gladly take the 'blame' for 'making you' play the blues. ;-) Don't forget to watch some of my blues videos so that you can see how I use the techniques that I teach here at JamPlay.com, including Robert Johnson's style of playing, when I'm performing in concert and at festivals. Try to play along with me ... and 'steal' my lick/riffs/ideas. I hope you continue to enjoy freely/creating playing blues guitar far beyond 2012 ;-) Thanks again for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway.'

kryaxis1kryaxis1 replied on November 9th, 2011

This lesson is sooooooooooooooooooooooo fun!!!! Thanks Hawkeye

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 9th, 2011

You're most welcome. ;-) Sounds good and is fun to play on your Epi Les Paul, eh? I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

mstewart85mstewart85 replied on August 2nd, 2011

At the 'Death Has No Mercy' lesson, you suggested I go back and do your blues series. Excellent advice and now I'm getting through this wonderful tune. I'm stoked. I feel like I've reached a higher level. Thank You Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 5th, 2011

Hi, MIchael. I'm glad you took my advice. Phase Three is for advanced players ... you need a strong background and basic foundation in blues music in order to take those lessons ;-). I'm so glad you're enjoying my lessons and that you're progressing more and more. That's what I'm here for ... and I hope you enjoy learning/practicing/playing blues guitar ... forever. Thanks again for your kind message.

antholoafantholoaf replied on July 19th, 2011

You must be an awesome grandpa.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 19th, 2011

;-) Thanks so much, Anthony. I do love kids, but my wife and I have no children. We've been married for 42 years, and we have many nieces and nephews. Also, since I've been going into schools and presenting my Blues In The Schools programs for over 31 years in over 500 schools (all levels, from elementary to college levels) in 29 states and 8 foreign countries to over 1/2 million students ... I guess you could say I spend more time with young people than most grandparents. You can learn more about this at web site: www.HawkeyeHerman.com ... just 'click' on the "Blues In The Schools" navigation bar ... or check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QACNBlPYKEw ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

birdie399birdie399 replied on July 5th, 2011

A positive experience just watching, then having a go! You really come over as sincere, you mean what you say, you inspire. Thanks for all the vids.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 5th, 2011

Thanks so much, Nick. If you watch some of my videos you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals, try to play along with me, and 'steal' some of my licks/riffs: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

aboznyabozny replied on May 8th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye, I have a question. In the first part of the lesson at about 5:40min you start with the song. First the texas A turnround, then you go into the E7, plucking (it appears to me) the high e then the b and the low it at the same time, then... but I am wonding why we have to finger the E7 chord at all, since all the strings here are open anyway. right?

aboznyabozny replied on May 8th, 2011

oops i meant: (the high e then the b and the low E at the same time)

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

Thanks for the question. Have you looked at the music and tablature transcription of this solo/lesson under 'supplemental content'? I hold onto the E7 chord to make sure that if the other strings/not being picked/played do ring sympathetically they will be in tune. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

aboznyabozny replied on May 9th, 2011

Oh, that makes sense.

frankbfrankb replied on May 3rd, 2011

Wow, This lesson is the Purest Form of the Truth and now I know why I pick up my guitar everyday and play. Thanks Hawkeye!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 3rd, 2011

Frank, please be sure to watch some of the many videos I have posted at youtube.com ... you'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing ... try to play along with me ... and even 'steal' some of my licks/riffs: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 3rd, 2011

You're most welcome, Frank. Thanks so much for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. I hope you continue to enjoy my lessons ... and play the guitar everyday ;-)

bill235bill235 replied on April 9th, 2011

Not that you aren't live....sorry

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 10th, 2011

Noooo problem. ;-) I understand what you meant. Again, thanks so much.

bill235bill235 replied on April 9th, 2011

I've learned more from this lesson than than I've gotten from other live instructors. In three days of work I'm playing the blues.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 10th, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind comments, Bill. Very much appreciated. Please follow my lessons in the order they are presented ... take your time ... there's no rush ... progress at your own speed ... and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music. Be sure to view my many videos at youtube to see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals ... just go to my web site ... HawkeyeHerman.com, and click on "Videos" ... and try to play along with me ... and even 'steal' some of my licks/riffs/ideas. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

spfoley45spfoley45 replied on March 30th, 2011

Quick question about the first e7 chord played after the opening Texas a. I thought the first 4 measures would be played in the key of A so How come an e chord is thrown in there? It sounds good but I thought all 4 measures would be in A.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 30th, 2011

Thanks for the question about the E7 chord ... but you're going to have to give me the precise location in the video of where this happens, in which of the five scenes that make up this lesson, and at what point in minutes and seconds. Thanks again.

spfoley45spfoley45 replied on March 30th, 2011

Thanks for the response. At scene 1 at 5:07 you go from the Texas A intro to the e7 chord, then proceed into the key of A turnaround. I'm just slightly confused as I thought the chord progression would have to be A D A E.D according to I Iv V we learned earlier and it seems this e7 chord is a bit early.

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

Yes, you are certainly confused. I have isolated the turnaround and I'm showing just how to play the turnaround at that point in the song ... the turnaround makes up the last two measure of a 12-bar blues ... the chords for the entire 12-bar blues song are A/D/A/E/D/A ... there's usually a V chord (E), in this case) at the end of the 12th bar of the song ... at the end of the turnaround. If you don't understand this ... you need to look more closely at the lessons on how 12-bar blues are constructed. How about this ... forget your question and just follow my instructions as I've given them ... ;-) ... you'll eventually see, after playing the entire 12-bars solo that I'm speaking about. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

mercykmercyk replied on March 27th, 2011

Mr Hawkeye! Just today subscribed this site, returning playing blues after 5-6 years, first things first nailed down this lovely solo. Great teaching, cheers from Turkey.

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

Weclome, FAHRETTIN. Thanks so much for your message and for enjoying these lessons. Very much appreciated. I hope you'll follow the lessons in the order they are presented, as I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the content of each lesson and the order they are presented ... if you follow these lessons in the order they are presented you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music that will, I hope, serve you for the rest of your life. Thanks again for the kind message and for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. By the way, I was in Kusadasi/Turkey last November. Turkey is a lovely country and the people are very friendly. ;-)

spfoley45spfoley45 replied on March 22nd, 2011

This is a great lesson, and very fun to play. I even find myself changing things up from the way it is being taught. Hawkeye - do you ever get to the Maryland area to play live.

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

Thanks so much for your comments, Steve. Much appreciated. One of the primary tenants of my teaching is to encourage my students to experiment and 'change' things as they learn and play. That's what the blues is about ... learning the musical 'language' of the blues so that you can freely express yourself at will. I get to tour and go many places all over the North/South America and Europe, but I have not been to Maryland to perform. I'd love to come to your area ... if there is a blues festival/festivals in your town or area, feel free to contact the producers via email and refer them to me ... for both performance and workshops. One of the best ways for event producers to figure out whom to book for their event(s) is by referrals from 'fans' who know what they want to see/hear. Again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for 'expanding' on what I teach. ;-)

nash24nash24 replied on March 6th, 2011

Thanks for opening up an entire world for me. I purchased Robert Johnson's cd and wow, that was great. A piece if history.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 6th, 2011

You're most welcome, Tonya. Welcome to 'my world' and 'your world' of blues music. ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy blues music and these lessons. ;-)

rcausrcaus replied on January 28th, 2011

Hawkeye, I continously go back to your lessons andit's simply more enjoyable each time I do so . At Scene 4 00.10m ; what a fantastic chord ( rhythm and bluesy style) for the D7 and E7 chords. Can you guide me in which lesson you taught a similar style in A7 and B7(other than the turnaround). Else may be you can give me a hint on how to apply this concept on those chords. In the meantime, I will keep practising as it's lifetime experience . Thanking you Regards Rama

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

Thanks for the kind comments, Rama. Much appreciated. I'm sorry, but I'm unsure about precisely where you are talking about the chords in this lesson .... scene 4 ... at .10 seconds in??? Sorry, I'm not with you ... please give me the scene number and the range of the time, from ___, to ___ ... In general, to answer your question and give you direction ... that everything on the guitar, chords and scales, is moveable up and down the neck ... there's a lesson in this series somewhere about that ... take it to heart ... and start moving things up and down the neck ... and see what happens. Again, thanks for taking the time to let me know that you're enjoying these lessons ... over and over again. ;-)

rcausrcaus replied on January 28th, 2011

Hawkeye, it is in a couple of scene and at Scene 5 bet. 1.30 m to 2.24 m is where you explained the E to D. Guess what ? I also know saw where you teach it in more details for all the chords in "Lesson 30 Blues accompaniment " starting at Scene 1 0.25m. I will practice those too. Hawkeye, this shows how much we are passionate about your invaluable lessons. Thanking you Rama

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 29th, 2011

Rama, I'm so glad you found the answer to your question within my lessons series, in this case, #30. I apologize for my not being able to tell you in which of my other lessons I refer to/explain this particular chord/finger/sequence you asked about ... I've been teaching and presenting workshops for so many years that when I videotape lessons for JamPlay.com I use very limited notes. I have just one piece of paper that has a list of ideas I want to cover in my lessons over the usually three days of taping/filming of my lessons. Under any lesson title or heading, I make up the actual content of each lesson spontaneously, all based on my experience having taught blues guitar, and it just flows out of me when we're filming these lessons ... I have no notes ... and I don't have time to watch all of my lessons that are posted here ... as a matter of fact, I've watched very few of my lessons here at JamPlay.com ... so when you refer to/ask me about a specific example/technique I might be using in a given lesson ... I'd have to watch the specific part of that lesson to know what you're referring to. I hope you understand ;-) ... I'm most gratified to know that you're passionate enough about these lessons ... to search and find the answer to your question elsewhere within the many hours of lessons of mine posted here at JamPlay.com. Again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

edtbjonedtbjon replied on January 15th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye and thanks for this lesson. You did comment on, and corrected the fact that the only RJ solo is in the song "Kindhearted woman" (and not "When you got a good friend") around chrismas 2008, but wouldn't it be a good idea to correct that in the lesson info too?!? Apart from that a very good and inspirational lesson about a solo in the style of Robert Johnson. Thank you for your good and very positive lessons, which are probably the best there is for acoustic blues guitar.

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

Thanks so much for your comments and for enjoying these lessons, Bjorn. Very much appreciated. I appreciate your request taht we 'correct' the mistake I made regarding the only recorded Robert Johnson guitar solo being in his song, "Kindhearted Woman Blues." Yes, I did correct this mistake later on ... but really, it's ot very easy or possible for me to correct the lessons itself ... I live on the West Coast ... the lessons are videotaped at the JamPlay.com tech. HQ in Colorado ... I fly to Colorado to film lessons two or three times per year ... sometimes we have to 'live with' our mistakes ... as in this case ... it would not be very easy for us to amend/edit the lesson(s) that are already posted. I understand your concern ... and I do appreciate your suggestion ... but amending/adding/editing material to a lesson is not so easy ... so, I'm sorry to say, my mistake will have to stand as it is ... and I hope that my students understand this, and find my 'correction' in later lessons. Again, thanks so much for your kind words and enthusiasm for my lessons. I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. ;-)

tles72tles72 replied on December 13th, 2010

I can't thank you enough for your great lessons hawkeye! I'm an 18 year old kid fresh out of high school and ever since I picked up the old six string and started playing the blues I haven't been able to put it down

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 13th, 2010

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons, Thomas. Very much appreciated. Be patient, follow my lessons in the order they are presented, use the video controls to stop/replay anything you don't quite understand as many times as necessary until you 'get it' ... and I believe and hope you'll gain a strong foundation in understanding and playing blues guitar that will serve you for a lifetime. I have performed very near where you live ... three times at the blues festival in Grafton, WI ... please read the article I wrote about Grafton here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/14_EmbracingTheLegacy_Pt.2.pdf .... and look at photos #10 through #16 here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/gallery7.htm ... perhaps I'll be in Grafton to perform at their blues festival again ... you can send them a message and request that I retturn to perfomr and give guitar workshops ... here: http://www.graftonblues.org/paramountbluesfestival ... thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

RprevsterRprevster replied on October 25th, 2010

A look at the comments and it looks like it's all been said. I simply can't tell you how valuable these lessons are. You have truly found your second calling as an instructor. I am learning everything I can and progressing surprisingly fast if I do say so myself. I'm "pickin up what yer puttin down".... Hats off to you Hawkeye!! Thank You !

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

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. "Second calling" ... :-) ... well, I've been playing blues guitar of almost 50 years, performing for over 40 years, and teaching all the while ... I can't imagine playing blues sguitar and NOTsharing what I know about it with others who are interested in learning ... I've taught blues history and music in over 500 schools in 28 states and in 8 foreign countries over the last 35 years ... to over 1/2 million students ... I'm now on tour in Colorado, where I just completed doing two concerts, teaching a guitar workshop at music school in Denver, and I gave blues hsitory and msuic instruction in 17 (!!!) schools in five days (!!!) this past week. I am now spenmding two and a ahlf days videotaping more JamPlay.com lessons here in COlorado. I get home on Thursday night, and on Sunday I fly to France where I'll teach in three schools, perform four conerts in the PAris area, and present my annual two-day master class/semainr for French teachers and musicians on how to create effective in-school blues programs ... follwed by my touring to Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey ... I'll be doing this performance and teaching/instructional work in Europe for over three weeks ... I get home on Nov. 23rd ... so if there's a lag' in my answering of questions/comments here at JamPlay.com, you'll know why ... I'm not going to be spending time online while I'm overseas. Yes, from the time I began playing blues guitar, and was taught directly by many icons of the blues: Son House (Robert Johnson's mentor), BUkka WHite (BB King's cousin and mentor), LIghtnin' HOpkins, Brownie McGhee, Furry Lewis, Mance Lipscomb, John Jackson, Charles Brown, and many other at whose feet I sat at and learned from ... just as they 'passed the blues torch' to me ... so it is natural for me to 'pass the blues torch' on to you ... and I hope you do the same. That's how traditional music is kept alive and vibrant ... by freely passing on whast you know to others, and letting them learn the tradition, and add their own personal touches. I'm so glad you're enjoying these lessons. I hope your continue to enjoy them ... and perhaps you read some of the articles that I've written about blues history and the blues mentors I've learned from over the years in the 'articles' area here at JamPlay.com ... and at my website on the 'original articles' page: http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com ... again, thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. :-)

dannycdannyc replied on September 12th, 2010

In addition to finally learning and more importantly appreciating the blues, I find myself looking forward to every lesson. In this crazy world, music keeps us sane. My thanks to Hawkeye and jamplay for making my love for guitar really come to life. At 57, that is truly a wondrous thing, and my kids are impressed with my steady improvement..that in itself is a miracle!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 13th, 2010

Daniel, thanks so much for your kind comments and for 'coming home' to the blues. I'm so glad to know that you're interest in the guitar has been rekindled and that you're getting great 'mileage' out of your guitar ... for a change :-). I hope you travel the 'blues highway' forever more. Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

drreesedrreese replied on September 9th, 2010

your enthusiasm is contagious, I'm hooked

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

Thanks so much for your kind comment, David. I really appreciate it. I heard a lot of great blues and boogie music that came over the late night radio airwaves from Shreveport to my little two transistor radio far up the Mississippi River to my home area in Iowa/Illinois back in the 1950s ... and great country music from the Louisiana Hayride, too ... ;-) ... so glad your been bitten by the 'blues bug.' I'm enthusiastic ... because I love playing the blues and I really enjoy spreading/sharing the 'word'/information about the music. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for taking the time to let me know that you're 'with me' on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. ;-)

bmassaerbmassaer replied on August 21st, 2010

Hawkeye, I just sold my soul to the devil... and you are the manager of this transaction! Thank you so much...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 21st, 2010

May you enjoy learning and playing the 'devil's music' ... forever. ;-)

tiffanychengtiffanycheng replied on June 4th, 2010

I love how you can get really creative playing Blues. Thanks for this great lesson, I've never seen another person who's so enthusiastic :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 4th, 2010

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. Blues music is a release ... not a sad music ... it's a creative release through the lyrics and music (guitar) of telling your present circumstances in life, good or bad. Life changes from minute to minute ... playing blues music allows you to freely 'keep up' with those life changes by expressing your past, present, and future, hopes and fears ... and releasing it all into the Universe in a healing, good time, artistic, creative, spontaneous process. How could anyone not be enthusiastic about that? :-) Thanks again for your message and for ... getting it. :-)

melodiemelodie replied on May 3rd, 2010

Hi Hawkey, you together with Jim Deaming got me restarted after a long period of lazyness. I'am a similar case same as Gilles from Paris, played even rhythm in a few bands. this helps a lot now - no need of counting bars. Now with 66 it seems I got a final breakthrough! Thanks a lot, your manner of teaching really is inspiring! Got to stop now because of my summer absence but certainly will be back in October. Please check your website, it doesn'open.

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

Thanks for the message and kind words about my lessons, Ruedi. Much appreciated. My web site is working fine ... http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com .... no problems ... you should check again. There are free guitar lessons on my web site, and much more. You can watch me use the techniques I tech here at jamplay by going here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos .... thanks again. See ya in Oct., I hope.

melodiemelodie replied on May 5th, 2010

Thanks - both URL's work perfectly now. I'll certainly be back, but during summer I got bad internet acces, working as yacht skipper in Corsica and trekking guide in the Swiss alps. check here: www.sailandtrail.ch Pity you are not on tour in Switzerland later in the year. France is just a bit too far...

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

Thanks for the comments. I'm glad the links are working for you 'now' ... I have not experienced any problems with my web site or the links, nor have I been informed by anyone else that there is/was a 'problem.' I may be performing at the Sierre Blues Festival in the future ... and perhaps the Lucerne Blues Festival. If you'd klike to see me at either/both of these events ... it would be wise for you to contact them and request that I perform and give guitar workshops there. You can find both events online. I do hope to be in Switzerland in the future. Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

gillesgilles replied on April 8th, 2010

Hello Hawkeye. I usually never post comments but I'll do it this time because I want to thank you for the heart you put in your lessons - and jamplay for making so much available. I am a 51 years old French writer living in Paris and I was offered a good guitar for my 5Oth birthday a year ago. had been fooling around with a guitar since my teens, even written and recorded a few original songs - with very good musicians, but I never got to do it seriously. At 5O I decided it was high time and so I have been practicing a lot for a year and making real progress. I have learned a lot from Jamplay, and your lessons which I recently took are really useful and soulful. I take them in order, just finished lesson 18, still have to practice the solo but it is definitely coming. I'll go on studying methodically with you through Jamplay, thank you, just thought you'd enjoy knowing you have a student in Paris !

gillesgilles replied on April 10th, 2010

Hello Hawkeye, thank you so much for your reply. Great to learn you'll be in Paris. I am definitely going to check the websites this week end and if I have no professionnal commitment on that date, which I hope not, I'll definitely go to Mantes to see you in Concert. I hope to have made a lot of progress with your lessons by november. Your teaching just prompted me to buy the complete recordings of Robert Johnson, whom, I realized, I only knew indirectly ,through Eric Clapton in particular. Man, what a moving and powerful experience those recordings give ! I live downtown Paris, I suppose you have many friends over here, but please feel free to let me know when you spend time in the city and I'll certainly be pleased to buy you a drink or show you around if you wish, apart from going to the gig. One of my two daughters actually lives near Mantes, she may come along. So, I'll check the sites you mention, meanwhile take care and keep communicating the soulful and deep message of blues guitar in your heartfelt way.

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

I usually stay in Paris for a couple of days before and after my work in Mantes. Sometimes I rent an apartment in the Bastille area, and sometimes I stay in the Latin Qtr. at Hotel Le Grand Ecoles. How long I stay in Paris depends on what other gigs/performances I have elsewhere in Europe. I won't know my schedule for my being in Pairs in November until late July ... you can always check the 'tour schedule' page at my web site ... www.HawkeyeHerman.com ... I hope to see you in Mantes or Paris, or both :-)

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

gilles, Thanks so much for your kind comments and for taking the time to write. Very much appreciated. I will be in Paris in November, on my way to perform and teach, for the 4th year, at the Festival Blues sur Seine in Mantes la Jolie (www.blues-sur-seine.com). Besides performing in concert and in schools in the Mantes area, I will be presenting a 2-day seminar workshop for musicians and teachers on how to teach blues history and music and how to create their own in-school blues educational curriculum. The seminar is held at Castel La Roche Guyon, on the Seine River, please look at these photos I iusually spend a couple of days in Paris, maybe I'll see you there ... or you can check out the Blues sir Seine website after Aug. 1st to see the scheduling of performers and the seminar. The Blues sur Seine Festival is two weeks long, presenting many blues performers from all over the world over that two week period. Perhaps you might be able to take the 40 minute ride out to Mantes la Jolie from Paris to see me in concert. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that you're enjoying these lessons and that you appreciate my passion for the music and sharing that passion with others.

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

The photos I refer you to are here: www.hawkeyeherman.com/gallery8.htm www.hawkeyeherman.com/gallery6.htm

langtreelangtree replied on March 10th, 2010

Hawkeye, Your lessons are incredibly helpful and inspiring. I'm a beginner, taking private lessons and watching your online lessons whenever I can. I just wish I had more time to take advantage of what's available in your set and others on Jamplay!

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

Thanks for your kind message and for enjoying my lessons. The great thing about online lessons is you don't need an appointment, you can watch/learn for as long/short a time as you wish with no time limitations, the price (!), you can make me and every other instructor say the same thing and repeat the same thing a million times if necessary until you get it ... you can be in bed at 2 AM and not be able to fall asleep, and get up and take guitar lessons until you're 'ready' for bed ... there's no substitute the benefits of a 'live' guitar instructor ... but there is also no substitutes for the price and convenience of online lessons ... especially for a very busy person with little 'free time.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... at your convenience ... we're always 'here' waiting for you to take advantage of our lessons. Thanks again for enjoying these lessons as your time allows.

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied on February 20th, 2010

Here's my attempt after a day's practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf5CADGJ8dU As Hawkeye would say "Walk before you run" I just cant seem to help run though! I'll keep practicing.

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

Jason, Thanks for the message. It's good to see and hear that you've been practicing. Keep up the good work. At this point, I have only one suggestion; you need to work on your sense of rhythm. There is no blues without solid rhythm. Watch your video, without holding your guitar at all, and see if you can tap your foot along with what you're watching. Your rhythm is not yet solid. All the single notes, fancy licks, and turnarounds don't become music unless the rhythm is solid and steady. I cannot tap my foot with what you're doing, there are dropped beats and missed beats, and also in your shuffle rhythm, you're not playing 12 bars, for example, in the very first part of your first verse on the shuffle rhythm you played only three measures on the A chord (instead of 4 measures), and then you changed to the D chord. You're doing this irregular non-12-bars most of the time. There are hesitations in between your licks/riff where you drop the time. This is a definite 'no-no' in any kind of music, not just blues. Without a solid rhythm as a basis, there is no music, it just becomes notes that are irregularly strung together. I hope you understand that you must tap your foot and keep time while you play, and everyone who listens to you should be able to tap their foot, or clap their hands, or snap their fingers in time with what you are along on the guitar. You definitely need to slow down and play the music on the beats ... you're playing too fast and you're not able, at this time, to play the notes and make the changes in tempo. The only way to accomplish this is by playing slower, at a speed where your foot tapping and the notes on the guitar are together, and very solid and there is absolutely no hesitation between the beats. Also, since the format of your shuffle rhythm is irregular, I suggest you go back to the shuffle rhythm lessons and practice and play along with me. Why not go to my videos, find the Robert Johnson songs, and try to play along with me, just playing the shuffle rhythm for practice. Here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos You've come a long way on the guitar in a very short time, and I'm proud of what you've been able to accomplish. Keep it up ;-) but you must keep in mind that music is built on a background of solid tempo/rhythm, first and foremost, and not on playing single notes and pretty chord positions. Hang in there and keep practicing, but SLOW DOWN and pay attention to keeping solid tempo, with no hesitations at all in between the beats, and make sure you're playing 12-bar blues, not 11-bar blues, or 13 bar blues. Thanks so much for posting the video. I hope you take my comments in the positive manner that they are intended. You've done very well in a short period of time, and I think you can do even better. :-)

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied on February 21st, 2010

Thanks Hawkeye, I know exactly what your saying. This is why i called myself Tunelessblues. I am rhythmless and i hope it will come one day. i will practice with your early rhythm lessons until i get it down. i walk my dog counting 1234, 2234 etc. i try and tap my foot while playing and then i come to a difficult bit and i loose time cause i'm trying to play something more difficult. If i practice hard enough do you think the rhythm will come to me? Or is it time to call it a day?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 21st, 2010

Jason. I'm glad you took my critique in the positive manner it was offered. All you need to do is practice. It will come, you just need to be patient with yourself. When I was beginning on the guitar it took me almost 3 months before I could play a shuffle rhythm solidly and sing at the same time. What you don't see when you hear/see accomplished/experienced players like Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or anyone, including me, is the many hours/days/weeks/monts/years we spend practicing ... you assume that we just picked up the guitar and could magically do whatever we want immediately. This is not the case. How many times do you think an athlete, like a figure skater or high jumper does the same 'routine' over and over and over again, in practice ... then they go out in front of the public and astound them with their ability to do a triple jump or high jump over 7 ft. ... the same is true for all things you wish to learn ... do you reallay care how long it takes to get it right? Most golfers slice and hook the ball for their entire lives, they'll never be Tiger Woods, but they keep 'playing' golf because they enjoy it. If you love the guitar and blues music it's NEVER "time to call it a day." This is a life's work ... I'm miles and miles ahead of you on the guitar ... and you'll never 'catch up' with me because I'm not done learning, and I never will be ... do you know and understand that a "Master," in reality, is a great student. If you think you've mastered something, you've shut down to new information and have stopped learning. It's a long and winding road that has no end ... Call it a day? Hardly, call it a life's work. Calling it a day simply means that you have lost patience with yourself and/or you are simply no longer interested in learning. The great world recognized cello 'master' Pablo Casals lived to be 97, and he stated late in life that he kept his cello on a stand in his bedroom so that when he woke up in the morning the first thing he saw was his cello, and that made him get his ancient, tired, and feeble body out of bed each morning because he knew he had so much more to learn. Every time you pick up your instrument you improve, you may not think so, but whether you make huge leaps on your instrument, or the smallest of increments ... you're improving each time you hold and practice/play the instrument. You can never practice enough and you can never learn enough ... if you put boundaries on either of those two concepts ... you are standing in the way of your own progress. People enjoy painting pictures even though they'll never achieve to the level of respect and visibility of Picasso or DaVinci ... but they still paint their own pictures, don't they? Do this because it brings you joy and peace of mind ... if golfers quit because they can't play golf like Tiger Woods ... hardly anyone would be playing golf ... and there would be no huge golf industry reaping millions of dollars selling clubs, balls, and golf gear to the public. The same is true of the music/guitar industry ... 99% of the people who buy/own guitars will never ever play like Clapton or Segovia ... does that mean they should 'call it a day" and give up on the guitar? Please learn to enjoy the process of learning without putting time constraints on your progress ... and you'll be able to 'exhale'/relax and achieve much more than you ever imagined ... and your life will be filled with the wonder of blues music rather than frustration due to self imposed limitations and time constraints ;-)

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied on February 22nd, 2010

Thanks Hawkeye! No i dont ever want to call it a day, one reason i like the guitar is because it is an instrument that will never be mastered in one's lifetime, always new possibilties and stuff to learn. However my technical progress is coming faster than my rhythmic ability and it would be better the other way round really. I read somewhere that they say your left hand is what you learn and your right hand is who you are! I am rhythmless at the moment. but if it will come in time with practice i will play forever! Thanks Jase

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 22nd, 2010

Jase, you may not believe it, but everyone has a sense rhythm. Some folks have a better sense of rhythm than others, but everyone has a sense of rhythm, otherwise you could not walk down the street. When we walk, we unconsciously use our sense of rhythm to get us walking at a particular sustained pace, be it slow, medium, or fast. You don't see most folks walking down the street in a irregular rhythm pattern, taking a few steps fast, then slow, then fast, we walk in rhythm. Yes, we can increase or slow our pace at will, but we're usually aware that we're doing so. Pay attention to the rhythm(s) at which you walk ... and then try to 'translate' that same sense of rhythm to your music/guitar paying. Tap you foot steadily while you play, as if you're walking. If you can't play a particular aspect of what you're' trying to learn in time with your foot-tapping, then you're 'walking too fast,' and you need to slow down to a tempo at which the rhythm and the notes come together to create music. Music is organized sound, and the first step to creating organized sound is to keep a solid rhythm. Playing a million notes without rhythm is not music, but playing just a few notes with a solid tempo is music. Practice. If you can walk, you have rhythm ... so start being aware of it and place the rhythm/tempo ahead of your other interests on the guitar ... we all need to work/practice more on our weaknesses, than our strengths. ;-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 11th, 2010

Absolutely amazing Hawkeye!! I've got the mechanics of this song now and just need to fiddle with a few bits and pieces, you truly are a master musician and instructor!! One thing i saw you do that's not on the tableture is on the 6th bar, just before you go to the D7 chord, you play the 1st and second string on the 5th fret and 6th fret third string to play the A chord, then you move it down, keeping the same shape, to the 3rd fret position and a sneaky G chord arpeggio to go nicely to the D7, caught you Hawkeye!! Great stuff, fantastic new chords you are a star!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 12th, 2010

Thanks for enjoying the lesson. The move I make with an abbreviated A chord on the first three strings that then goes down to the third fret to become a G chord may not be in the tablature/supplemental material, but it's a nice little 'twist' that is, like the rest of this lessen, taken directly from the playing of Robert Johnson. It's good to learn how to understand and use these same techniques in any key. You caught me using another great Robert Johnson 'idea' ... which you must understand, he did not necessarily 'invent' ... he may have 'lifted' it from somebody else and adapted it for his own purposes. That's the beauty of the blues ... you can quickly learn to be creative ... and personal creativity is encouraged in blues guitar playing.

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 12th, 2010

It really does add the little extra to the piece, i'm practising it in other keys also, i'm gonna keep a close eye on the iittle bits and bobs you add into your playing, sometimes i cant always see them, but i can hear the notes. Incidently, i did listen to the Robert Johnson recording of him playing "When you've got a good friend", and it's amazing. Thanks again Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 13th, 2010

PLease be sure to watch the many Hawkeye videos that are on you tube: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos these videos will allow you to see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay when I'm performing in concert and at festivals.

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 10th, 2010

I'm a little confused as to how the metronome works, what do the numbers from 1-24 represent (on the jamplay metronome) and what settings would be best to first practise playing this solo and to finally play it at full tempo. Many thanks in advance.

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

I don't know. I only videotape guitar lessons for jamplay.com. I don't know how the supplemental stuff/software works or is maintained. Perhaps, you should ask the admin. folks to explain it to you. Why not try hitting the buttons and seeing what happens? As far as speed goes for this lesson ... don't go slower than 10 m.p.h. and don't go faster than 110m.p.h. :-) Just start slow, at a tempo that you can accomplish it at, and then build up your speed as you improve. If you can't do the exercise, obviously you're playing too fast. That's the rule/case with learning any/all guitar techniques. Try not to think about things too much, just relax and play/practice.

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 11th, 2010

I must contact the admin crew. Cheers

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 9th, 2010

What a phenominally good lesson!! This really is a crowd stopper. I just wanted to ask you Hawkeye, i heard quite some years back that when robert johnson first came on the scene that he wasn't all that good and he disappeared for a good while and when he did return, people were spellbound. Yeah, there was the rumour that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads, of course the latter isn't true, but is what i've said about his first appearances true?

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

In short, here's your history lesson; Robert Johnson, as a young man in his late teens and early 20s aspired to play like musicians Son House and Charley Patton, Willie Brown, etc. who were famous bluesmen in the Miss. Delta area where Robert was born and raised. He played the harmonica okay, passably, but not great, and wanted to play the guitar. When the older musicians would take a break during gigs at local juke joints/bars/clubs Johnson would pick up one of their guitars and try to play. The older guys chastised and teased him and told him he couldn't make any good sounds on the guitar and to stick to the harmonica. "Besides, we don't want you breakin' any of our guitar stings!" Robert went to Arkansas for almost a year, he 'disappeared' from the local Clarksdale, MS area scene for awhile. He lived with his girlfriend in Arkansas and listened to all of the popular acoustic (all acoustic in those days) blues guitar players' 78rpm recordings, like Lonnie Johnson, Skip James, Son House, Charley Patton, Bllnd Blake, Kokomo Arnold, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others. He practiced and played along with these records. Many of Johnson's later 'original' songs are directly taken from the songs of the guys he listened to and 'lifted' from. Johnson was an excellent musician, and you could say he was the first 'rock and roller' because he was pretty much the first to do what guitar players have been able to do every since ... lock themselves away in a room and listen to and copy riffs/songs from recordings. In Johnson's case, he learned music on records, which he adapted for his own use, from regions that were outside of his native Miss. Delta; from the Eastern Seaboard, and Texas, Louisiana, etc. So his ability/technique on the guitar was, as a result, much broader than the somewhat more limited techniques and styles being played exclusively in the Delta by older musicians like House, Patton, etc. After all, those older guys weren't buying and listening to records, they were MAKING the records. So they didn't listen to music, blues music, from outside their own regional area. When Johnson returned to the Delta from Arkansas a year later he astounded all of the old blues guys with his ability on the guitar and his techniques that transcended the local styles of playing. One of the old guys may have said, not so much serious, but in jest and wonder, "The only way he could have learned to play the guitar like that in such a short period of time is to have sold his soul to the Devil." A myth was born. White blues/folk journalists sometimes took this story literally ... and this fed the myth even more. In truth, Robert Johnson was an extraordinary musician who was the first blues guy to greatly transform the music by using the media (recordings and the radio) to learn how to play in styles beyond his own region, and then amalgamate those many styles into one compelling style that is forever Robert Johnson. To say that he gained his abilities on the guitar by selling his soul to the devil is an insult to his genius and to the hard work that he put into listening and learning to play. Even a genius has to practice. That's the story from the research I have done and from where I stand as a lover of his music. ;-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 10th, 2010

Wow, that was a pretty comprehensive history into robert johnson. Just to think we now have video to watch a learn from Hawkeye on how to play, it must have taken some talent and practise of RJ to listen to old records and try to work out what the muscians were doing! Thanks for that, do you know where are can get access to RJ and some of the other greats from that period?

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

All of the artists' (music/CDs) I mentioned are easily available online. Simply google their name with the word 'music after the name. There are many outlets online for blues music of all kinds, including amazon.com. Your problem is going to be where/what to start buying. :-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 11th, 2010

Thanks Hawkeye

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied on January 12th, 2010

Brilliant! If I can get this down, this is a party stopper! Give me a couple of days...Thanks Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 12th, 2010

Thanks for the kind comments, Jayson. You can do it! ... take your time, don't rush, play it slow ... and enjoy the process ... and the music. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

raudsarwraudsarw replied on January 10th, 2010

You are absolutely amazing. I can't get enough of this, blues is so fun to play, so exciting. Thank you, you've completely turned me on to blues, and I'm discovering wonderful new ways to improve my own music.

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

Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'm so glad you're now a 'blues person.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Please be sure to watch my videos at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos You'll see how I use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing at festivals and in concert. Thanks again!

goodoldBRgoodoldBR replied on October 27th, 2009

Hey Hawkeye, thanks for this incredible lesson. I have a question, and I know you went over this before, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. What kind of thumb pick do you recommend using? I have never used one before and want to get one soon. Thanks, Bob.

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

Go here and I think this will answer your question: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4476 Thanks!

prdonnellyprdonnelly replied on October 28th, 2009

Hawkeye, As everyone else I have been really enjoying your lessons - however I have one issue - I have never felt comfortable using a thumb pick and have been using a flat pick - sometime it makes me skip by some turn around variations that require 2 different strings to be hit at the same time - my question is can Robert Johnson be played while using a flat pick or am I fooling myself to even try ???? I hate to go back and re-learn everything with a thumb pick.

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

Thanks so much for the message and for enjoying my blues guitar lessons. I have been asked this question many times by my students here at jamplay.com ... I just filmed many hours of new lessons for jamplay.com, and included is a lesson on thumbpick vs. flatpick ... until that lesson is posted, you'll find the answer here in the Hawkeye forum posts: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4476 You can play with a flatpick ... but it's going to hinder you a bit in terms of being able to fingerpick some of the material in my lessons. If you're already able to use a flatpick along with your fingers ... great. If not, I suggest you read the 'thread'/link listed above and decide for yourself. Please be sure to check out the free guitar lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... and to see how I use the material I teach here when I'm performing, watch some of the videos posted here:__http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos If there are any other issues/questions/problems you need help with don't hesitate to ask. Thanks again. Cheers and Happy Blues Picking, Hawkeye

soud94soud94 replied on August 11th, 2009

Thank you Hawkeye for your incredible lessons that truely serve as a great introduction and tasteful guide to blues music. And to show you how far reaching your influence is, im going to introduce myself ;].My name is Soud AL-Rashed and i am a 14 year old Kuwaiti citizen how is in a state of deep gratitude and pride for being introduced to the blues under the tutelage of Michael HAWKEYE Herman!! :>

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 14th, 2009

Soud, Hi Salahm Alekem. Thanks you so much for introducing yourself and for your kind comments. I truly appreciate your taking the time to do so. You can watch how I use the blues guitar techniques I teach here at jamplay.com when I'm performing by watching the many videos of me posted here: www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos and you can get even more information and free guitar lessons from me here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm Again, thanks so much for your kind message nd for enjoying these lessons. You'll be playing the blues and having fun in a very short time if you stick with it and take these lessons in the order they are presented, and don't move on until you understand and can accomplish what is in each lesson.

erbolerbol replied on August 9th, 2009

Sorry- it came out twice. It just emphasizes my tribute!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 14th, 2009

Thanks so much, Ernie. It's good to know that I'm doing my job. "Blues is the roots, everything is the fruits." Blue music gave us/influenced country/western, jazz, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music ... I hope you'll consider learning how to play blues ... as you'll find blues form songs in almost all other genres of popular music ... from Bob Dylan to the Stones, the Beatles, Bill Munroe, U2, the Police, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and on and and and on ... almost all genres of music in the USA were influenced by blues music ... learn to play the blues and you'll have a handle on much of what guitarists are doing in other styles of music. Again, thanks so much for your kind comments.

erbolerbol replied on August 9th, 2009

Hawkeye- this was quite a lesson! I have no intension of being a blues guitarist - I just want to know how it`s being done and you fully have showed it to me. You`re a teacher!

erbolerbol replied on August 9th, 2009

Hawkeye- this was quite a lesson! I have not the intension of being a blues guatrist, I just want to know how it`s being done and you show it to me in a brilliant way. You`re a teacher! Ernie from Norway

dash rendardash rendar replied on June 28th, 2009

"Why do I never get tired of this... Yes, because I'm easily amused." - Hawkeye. Classic line! Great lesson. :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 28th, 2009

dash, Yes, I've always been easily amused by music, but blues hits us 'where we live' ... the rhythms and the songs are contagious and tell about real life ... and blues music is the watershed of all other popular musics ... I can play many styles on the guitar ... but blues is closest to my heart ... and I never tire of playing a shuffle rhythm ... so, yeas "I'm easily amused." Thanks for the comment and for 'getting it.' ;-)

kasrakasra replied on June 11th, 2009

mic, you are teaching me music, i cant believe it. thank you!

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

kasra, :-) I believe it! Thanks for discovering your previously unknown abilities. I hope you continue to learn and enjoy these lessons.

kasrakasra replied on June 9th, 2009

why the second part is not working ? :((((

kasrakasra replied on June 9th, 2009

oh, now i does, sorry sorry :P

tbegrowtbegrow replied on June 4th, 2009

me too andylipscomb! Blues is great I have come from a very heavy back ground in Metal and I just can't get enough of the blues there's nothin like it! I've got the blues.

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

Welcome to the 'blues highway' ... it's a journey of a lifetime ... that has no end. ;-)

andylipscombandylipscomb replied on April 13th, 2009

Hawkeye, I feel like you kind of pulled a rabbit out of the hat with this lesson. A bunch of simple techniques come together in a sophisticated sound. I went through the first 17 lessons fairly quickly because I had some familiarity with the material, but I've never done anything that sounded to me like the "real thing." This lesson slowed me down quite a bit, but I'm getting it, and it's definitely the "real thing." Thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 13th, 2009

andylipscomb, Thanks so much for the message. I play/perform/record 'real' blues ... and that's what I teach. I met and learned from Son House (one of Robert Johnson's 'idols'), BUkka White, Futty Lewis, Mance Lispcomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, and many other old blues guys ... they taught me well ... I hope I do the same for you. And you can read lots of articles I've writtein about those experiences and the advice I gained here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm and you can take some free guitar lessons from me here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm and don't forget to watch me use many of the techniques (including what's in this lesson) that I teach here when I'm performing: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH Thanks again for your kind message and for enjoying these lessons. This is only lessons 18 ... there are about 50 more lessons for you to get under your belt ... don't skip around ... follow the plan, please ... and you'll be be amazing yourself at what you can accomplish in playing blues guitar by using these lessons as a guide. I play and teach real blues ... and how to express YOURSELF within the idiom. Enjoy!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 13th, 2009

My key board skills are noton par with my fret board skills ... BUkka White, Futty Lewis, ...should read Bukka White and Furry Lewis.

reniehrenieh replied on March 31st, 2009

I've only recently joined jamplay and just love it so far. Hawkeye, you're a genious teacher. Learned heaps in the few days I've been at it. Thanks mate. One thing though! 15 Minutes or maybe a bit more????? Yeah right. Pipe dream for me. But I just love it so I'll plod on.

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

renieh, Thanks for the message and kind words about these lessons. So glad you're enjoying learning ;-) ... the 'blues highway' is a long and winding one and has no end ... take it one step at a time ... there's no rush ... we all learn at our own speed ... if you can enjoy doing the repetitions ... you'll see progress ... be patient with yourself ... keep practicing ... I'm glad you're having a good time playing the guitar ... don't ruin things by placing too much 'time element' related pressure on yourself. It took Robert Johnson his whole short life to get himself to play like this, and you want to do it in ... much less time. This is a life path ... not a race ... so enjoy the process. Thanks again for your message. Very much appreciated.

jackie134jackie134 replied on March 12th, 2009

this is a real challenge! Please can you clarify Hawkeye: The opening turnaround intro. Is it necessary to play as a barre chord? As the third finger of the left hand is moving down the 4th string why is is necessary to hold down the chord as a barre chord at the second fret? Thanks Jackie

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 12th, 2009

jackie134, Good question, very observant ... I do it 'cause I have long fingers and it's easy for me ... for you, not so easy, so it's not necessary ... you need to keep your pinky on the fifth fret of the high E string (1st string) ... as you make the descending run on the 4th string with your third and second fingers ... you don't 'need' to hold down the notes at the second fret, but if you can you can allow them to ring 'sympathetically' to the notes you are playing ... for a fuller sound ... if you only play the notes on the 1st and 4th string ... it will work fine and still sound great. Have fun!

jackie134jackie134 replied on March 21st, 2009

Thanks Hawkeye! I now have got the hang of this and really am enjoying it, playing it in my own way, based on your and Robert Johnson solo structure. It is really fun and I feel and I am pulling it together and with some more practice it will be really smooth and coherent and just right for me! I'll keep practicing. Thanks again Jackie134. like many of the others below, I never thought i would be able to do it!!! Well there we go .........

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on March 22nd, 2009

jackie134, That's great news! Heartiest congratulations on the strides forward you've. Excellent! Be sure to watch me play in this style, including the solo(s) ... for some playing hints/ideas here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Sfd-aDzag and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5yHCsZ4zaA Did you know that my "Katrina, Oh Katrina (Hurricane Blues)", which is done in this RObert Johnson/Delta blues style was featured on your very own Sat. evening BBC-Today news radio Ch.4 shortly after Hurricane Katrina? I'm told that the song was aired to over 7 million listeners. Check this out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/reports/misc/blues_20050916.shtml Again, great job with your progression with these lessons. I hope you continue to enjoy the process and the music. ;-)

cbw2003cbw2003 replied on February 18th, 2009

Hawkeye, this 12 bar by Robert Johnson has been a blast to learn! Every lesson that you had previously taught has kind of culminated into this lesson. I am having a great time w/ these lessons. Thanks again!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 18th, 2009

cbw2003, Thanks so much for your kind message. I have given a great deal of thought and planning as to the content, length, and order of these lessons ... I'm glad you realize the importance of sticking with 'the program' ... and not skipping around amongst these lessons. It is my goal to give everyone a strong foundation in the blues ... so that eventually you can just sit around and play blues at will, as you feel it, jam with others, and understand and keep expanding your blues guitar 'vocabulary' by listening to the greats that preceded us, and being able to learn from them by ear. By following the lesson plan I have presented, and not jumping around amongst the lessons, you will possess a strong blues foundation that wil serve you for the rest of your life. If you skip around and only sample lessons here and their ,,, you can still lear4n a lot ... but there will be 'holes' in your blues foundation. I'm so glad you ... 'get it' ... and see how everything I gave you previously in my lessons leads us to this point ... and will continue to do so ... beyond this lesson. Again, thanks so much for traveling the 'blues highway' with me here at jamplay.com ;-)

currannicurranni replied on February 1st, 2009

you know, this doesnt seem all that much after a while the 1st time i heard it i freaked and said OMG I M NEVER GOING TO GET IT. but after 3 datys of sticking at it, i m nearly there, just slight off on timing and it ll be nice.. really cool.. and a great confidence booster for any one else having trouble with this.. if you visualise and keep at it, you ll get there eventually.

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

curranni, Glad you're catching on to this ... and I appreciate your reminding others to visualize ahead ... don't think about where you are/what you are playing ... always be thinking about the next chord/move/riff you're supposed to play ... thinking ahead at all times. If you want the sound to be smooth and in tempo from one beat to the next ... use visualization. ;-)

currannicurranni replied on February 2nd, 2009

exactly.. haha.. i find aswell after repeating it for hours straight last night start to finish without getting bored, i found some things i like to do aswell... i m now looking forward to a redfaced arguement with my classical piano player friend about the blues when he hears this lick, but it sounds cool as the breeze, and onto the next lesson many thanks hawkeye

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 2nd, 2009

:-) Glad you're enjoying the blues sounds your guitar is making. There's much more to come.

currannicurranni replied on January 30th, 2009

when i manage to learn this i m going putting up the video.. i m at this 2 months and i m already learning robert johnson, what a pleasure

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

Pretty good for only two month into the lessons. But remember, you have the rest of your life to keep improving. There is no end to this journey. ;-)

currannicurranni replied on January 30th, 2009

absolutely no reason for me to rush.. my friend is playing six years & says he hasnt seen someone progress so fast, but i fell like i ve been playing all my life... haha i m really pleased how well i m doing, and i make sure to let myself know, but i konw i have ALOT of work to do.. i got the 1st 8 bars slowly done.. and now i ve been listening to johnson & woody guthrie all night.. thanks for putting me in the mood haha

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

It's good to listen to as much blues as possible, all kinds. You will recognize techniques/sounds that I teach you hear at jamplay.com, and see how these are adapted by individuals to make their own personal musical/blues expressions. THere are many such greats on youtube.com ... watch Woody Guthrie on youtube.com ... and Lightnin' Hokins, and Brownie McGhee, and Big Bill Broonzy, Son House, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Mississippi Fred McDowell, BB King, Freddy King, Albert King, Albert Collins, etc. ... (even ... Hawkeye :-) ... never stop listening and learning from others. Have fun in the process.

currannicurranni replied on January 30th, 2009

haha i m so used to learning from seeing and hearing, by ear and sight since the age of 12 i cant figure it out on the tab but when i see you doing it, it al comes quickly.. i think i d get on well with the ol blues guys in the ol southern states haha who needs sheet music when ya got the blues :P

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

So glad it all comes quickly to you ... even without tab. You can always find more of my tab/music/blues lessons here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm including how to read/use tablature. Have fun.

dancrawforddancrawford replied on January 17th, 2009

Wow, Hawkeye, i just watched the clip of " When you've got a good friend" on Youtube. Awesome!! Great so see what you can do with that RJ solo phrase that you are teaching us. How about the solo chords that YOU play in YOUR solo? What are they??

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 18th, 2009

dancrawford, Well, thanks so much. I do appreciate your kind words about my rendition of Robert Johnson's "When You've GOt A Good Friend" on youtube.com. If you study this lesson, #18, carefully, you should be able to find the variations that I'm using in my video/live version ... it's much the same as in this lesson, including all the chords ... learn to play as I am playing in this lesson, then watch the youtube.com video again and try to play along. There a minor variations in my choice of notes, but the chords are pretty much the same. The trick in blues is to learn how to play a chord/riff, and then create a variation in the notes by playing the same chord/rifr choosing to pick out different notes in the chord each time around. Check it out! Have fun! And thanks again.

cylonguitarcylonguitar replied on January 10th, 2009

is it just me? or the second measure sounds different from the way he plays in the lesson? i am confused.

cylonguitarcylonguitar replied on January 10th, 2009

ya its definitely different or i can't figure out the rhythm. ahh so frustrated.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 10th, 2009

cylonguitar, Please let me know what are you confused about. Be specific, please ... look at the time notation in the left-hand corner so I can view the 'problem' areas and clarify it for you ... if there are two locations that seem different, let me know where each of those begin, on the clock, and I'll see if I can clear this up for you. (Do you know that musicians like Robert Johnson ... and myself ... rarely play the same thing twice ... truly ... if you listened to Robert Johnson's music you will see that his versions of the same song, from take #1 to take #2 are similar, but not exactly the same ... we use variations freely to express the way we feel from moment to moment ... even if a song was recorded three times on the same day, within minutes of each other ... there will be differences in the way we may execute or slightly change little things ... according to how we feel at that moment. Blues songs are not 'carved in stone' and played the exactly the same each time ... however, the overall concepts might remain the same ... the intricacies of licks and turnarounds and rhythm figures vary ... every time we play. This is not classical music ... this is living/breathing live blues ... and life would be really boring for a blues musician if he/she had to play every song exactly the same every time. ;-) Please note what I say in this lesson beginning at 9:35 ... about this aspect of duplication/replication of notes/rhythms/licks/turnarounds. Cheers, Hawkeye

cylonguitarcylonguitar replied on January 11th, 2009

ahhh i understand. Thank you Hawkeye!!! You are a great instructor. ya i learned to get into blues mood and started imrpovising and then it sounded good!

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

cylonguitar, And thanks to you for your comments and for enjoying these lessons.

dancrawforddancrawford replied on December 30th, 2008

Hey Hawkeye, I just listened to some of the samples on your site. The RJ solo that we are working on is the same melody that you play in " When you got a good friend ".

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 30th, 2008

dancrawford, Thanks for the message. Yes, you're correct, it's the same melody/solo ... much of Robert Johnson's music that is played in standard tuning uses the same 'bag' of rhythms/licks/turnarounds ... all with slight variations from song to song. You should watch me perform the song "Kindhearted Woman Blues" here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Sfd-aDzag&feature=channel_page and it should help you with the solo/melody and other aspects of Johnson's style of playing the guitar. That's what 'style' is about ... creating a broad 'vocabulary' of blues rhythms/licks/turnarounds that one calls upon frequently as a foundation for ones style, and then building on that foundation by making variations in the notes to express yourself ... and to create 'new' ideas. Have fun learning 'style' ... and eventually create your own style from the many aspects of blues that I share with you here. In blues music, and any art form, replication of the work of a master is not the end goal ... it's part of the learning process .. understanding how/why a 'master' uses certain techniques ... and then building on those ideas toward the main goal in blues music ... self expression. Please read this when you get a chance http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/11_Play-It-Like-You-Feel-It.pdf Thanks again for being observant and for continuing to enjoy the blues process.

soxxssoxxs replied on December 29th, 2008

Yes, great lessons, I never had this much fun learning a new genre. I've even started to listen to Robert Johnson and other blues artists, like yourself. You're a great teacher Hawkeye, and I will keep "riding the blues highway" with you for sure. Thank you! Jonathan

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 30th, 2008

soxxs/Jonathan, Thanks for your kind comments. It's most gratifying for me to know that you're having fun ... while learning ... the blues ... enjoying the process. I encourage you to listen to as much varied blues music as you can ... to appreciate and understand that a wide range of great music can be based on/in the 12 bar blues concept. You will take these blues with you to other genres of music ... that's the point ... "Blues is the roots and everything else is the fruits." (Willie Dixon) You might check out my videos at http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH ... and pick up a few bluesy riffs/licks. My goal as a teacher is to show/illustrate traditional blues techniques and to encourage every one of my students to learn those building blocks of the blues so that they can go beyond replicating the music of others, but actually freely express themselves as a unique being through music. It's a long and winding road that has no end ... and happiness is in the journey, not is a far off destination. Again, thanks so much your comments and for 'picking up the torch' of the blues ... I hope it helps to light your journey through Life.

dancrawforddancrawford replied on December 27th, 2008

Hi Hawkeye - Your lesson set is fantastic! I really feel like I am getting somewhere and cannot wait to work my way through the rest. Is this solo from "Kind hearted woman Blues"?

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

dancrawford, Thanks for the kind comments. Please be sure to follow the lessons in order ... I took a lot of time in planning out the order and depth of each lesson, building a strong foundation/background as we go, each lesson is a foundation blues 'building block' lesson, so please try not to skip around. Out of the 29 recorded songs by Robert Johnson, he only included a guitar solo on one song, and you're right, it's "Kindhearted Woman Blues." You can find/samples of my versions of Johnson's music here http://hawkeyeherman.com/blues_shop.htm ... and be sure to watch some of the related song/videos here at http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH ... watch closely and you should pick up some of the techniques. Again, thanks so much your comments and for traveling the 'blues highway' with me here at jamplay.com Take your time and enjoy the process.

al wal w replied on October 6th, 2008

Hawkeye, Thankyou so much. your way of teaching has brought back some of the enjoyment of playing the guitar. I tend to get really technical and tense when trying to play. I forgot that this is supposed to be fun (thats why I want to play) duh:). after going through a brief scan of your lessons I found myself having fun and actually playing better not mention playing stuff I didnt know that I could play. thanks again and I'm off to subscribe to jam play.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 7th, 2008

al w, Thanks so much for your comments. Relax and enjoy the process of learning the blues. Yes, it should be fun! Please don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to learn 'quickly' ... enjoy each and every 'new' sound/technique that I teach you. Repetition is where it's at. After all, the advantage of jamplay.com is that I'm here whenever you want/need to repeat a previous lesson or expand into new material and lessons. I try not to get too technical with music theory ... after all, Lightnin', Bukka, Mance, Furry, Son House, Brownie McGhee, etc., all the guys who taught me, didn't use much 'theory' ... they just said to me, "Watch me. Put your fingers here, and do this." Music theory sis good to know for understanding how music works and how to communicate more completely with other musicians ... but learning music theory and technical aspects of music ... should not stand in the way of your playing the blues. Enjoy the journey! Thanks again for hangin' with me here at jamplay.com.

visknoviskno replied on October 3rd, 2008

Hawkeye, you are such a great teacher!! I have been crawling and walking through my lessons, and now I’m on my feet again, a little shaken, with Robert Johnson himself. It is almost unbelievable. It is fantastic for me living in Norway, learning music from a great blues musician as you. I do really appreciate your enthusiasm and the way you teach us people to play this fantastic music. Thank you so very much. Vidar

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 5th, 2008

viskno, Thanks so much for your kind message. I'm so glad you're enjoying these lessons and the music in general. There's much more to come. I hope you'll stay with me. Again, thanks so much.

romsquizromsquiz replied on October 4th, 2008

aaah....found it...in the comments!!!! oops

romsquizromsquiz replied on October 4th, 2008

hi Hawkeye, just wondered what is the song that this solo is from....thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 26th, 2008

aquiguillermo, Thanks so much. That's what I want to hear. Keep your guitar handy and have fun practicing. You improve every time you play the guitar ... it might not seem like it ... but it's true. Please hang in there with me 'cause there's much more to come.

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied on August 28th, 2008

All right. Thanks.

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied on August 26th, 2008

Gee! I´m really enjoying this stuff Hawkeye !!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 25th, 2008

Thanks to you all. There are many more lessons yet to come ... on slide guitar in standard tuning, and open D and open G tunings, as well as blues lead guitar. There will also be more lessons like this one, teaching the basic concepts in the playing styles of many famous blues icons. Hang in there with me.

indischgelbindischgelb replied on August 24th, 2008

Great lesson from a great teacher. I really hope this is going to be a long series.

nessanessa replied on August 25th, 2008

Oh, it certainly will be! We have many lessons still waiting to be edited, and Mr. Hawkeye is coming back out to film lots more very soon! We won't be running out of wonderful Blues material for you guys for many days to come. :)

hgnativehgnative replied on August 24th, 2008

i learned about robert johnson from the movie crossroads.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 23rd, 2008

artl, Thanks so much for the kind comment. I love sharing the mechanics and the soul of the blues with folks. I never tire of hearing, playing, or teaching the aspects of the music that are brought together by a master like Robert Johnson. Listen to him, and other masters of the music and you'll see how similar derivative rhythms and musical phrases can be learned and manipulated a million different interesting ways to make a personal statement. There will be more such lessons, where we'll look at/decipher/apply the works/styles of blues masters in order to broaden our abilities to express ourselves through the music in a spontaneous way. That's the blues tradition. That's why my enthusiasm is ... boundless. Thanks again for the kind words.

artlartl replied on August 22nd, 2008

Hawkey! You are fantastic! I love this lesson and your enthusiasm, it is infectious. Got me loving the blues. Thanks so much for sharing with us! Art.

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.


Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

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

Free LessonSeries Details
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.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

Free LessonSeries Details
David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo Freebo

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Nick Greathouse Nick Greathouse

Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kris Norris Kris Norris

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

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

Free LessonSeries Details
David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

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

Free LessonSeries Details
John March John March

Take a new look at the fretboard and learn where to find a voicing that works. There are techniques that simplify the fretboard...

Free LessonSeries Details
Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 478711 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 83 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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

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


Greg J.

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

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


Bill

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

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



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!