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Scales and Keys (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Scales and Keys

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 21:18Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:42) Lesson Introduction In this lesson, Hawkeye will demonstrate how to transpose the minor pentatonic scale and the minor blues scale to the remaining 11 keys. You must have these scales memorized in the key of E before proceeding to the remaining scenes in this lesson. Hawkeye reviews these scales and their proper left-hand fingerings in this scene.
Chapter 2: (04:04) Changing the Key Hawkeye demonstrates how to transpose the minor pentatonic and the minor blues scale to the key of G. The first step in this process is locating the lowest root note in the scale. At this point in the series, you should have the note names memorized across the entire 6th string. The note "G" is located at the third fret of this string.

When the minor pentatonic scale is played in the key of G, the scale pattern no longer involves any open strings. Consequently, the left-hand fingering must be adjusted. The first finger will now fret all of the notes that were once open strings. The pinkie now plays the notes that were played by the third finger. Finally, the third finger frets the notes that were fretted by the second finger. Watch Hawkeye carefully as he plays through the first box of the minor pentatonic scale in this key.

Note: Tablature to the minor pentatonic scale and the minor blues scale in all 12 keys can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.
Chapter 3: (06:57) Index Finger as a Guide When playing through this pattern of the minor pentatonic scale, do not leave the index finger planted in a full barre across all six strings. Instead, only use the index finger when it is needed. Keep it at as close to the fretboard as possible. This will ensure that the index finger is ready to play when it is called upon. Don't fret a note until just milliseconds before picking the note wit h the right hand. Holding down a barre will quickly wear out your first finger. The key to proper technique is applying minimum effort for maximum effect.

G Minor Blues Scale

First, practice the minor pentatonic scale in the key of G minor. When you feel comfortable with playing this scale in G, begin to practice the minor blues scale in the same key. The b5 blue notes are now played at the 6th fret of the G string and the 4th fret of the A string. Db is the b5 blue note in this key. The note Gb, played at the 4th fret of the D string can also be used as a passing tone in blues improvisation.

Jimmy Page Lick

Hawkeye demonstrates one of Jimmy Page's favorite minor pentatonic licks. This lick is the final lick in the "Stairway to Heaven" solo. It is played in 17th position in the key of A minor in the context of this song. Hawkeye ties this lick to this lesson by demonstrating it in the key of Gm. This lick requires that you barre the 1st and 2nd strings with the first finger. The lick is played in a steady sextuplet rhythm.

Note: Tablature and notation to this lick in the keys of A minor and G minor can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.
Chapter 4: (08:17) Different Keys To transpose this pentatonic pattern to other keys, simply slide the same pattern up the fretboard. For example, transpose this scale to the key of A. Find the root note on the sixth string. Then, play the same pattern in fifth position.

Hawkeye also demonstrates how the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales can be transposed to the key of C minor. Listen as he improvises a solo using these box patterns.

At this point, begin practicing the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales in all 12 keys. Remember how a new octave begins at the 12th fret. You can play the same patterns for E minor that you learned two lessons ago one octave higher by playing these patterns in 12th position.


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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


Charlie xCharlie x replied on February 15th, 2017

Another great lesson. I love it when it all comes together so beautifully. I really feel I'm making progress! Thanks!

timidoggytimidoggy replied on January 10th, 2017

Mr. Hawkeye does it again ,, teaching so simply way. Thanks master.

captain1956captain1956 replied on January 22nd, 2016

Hawkeye My eyes have been opened my ears too, I get everything you say. My guitar is now an instrument not an ornament. Thank you so much your lessons are mind blowing.

ancienttunesancienttunes replied on January 18th, 2015

Enter your comment here.

ancienttunesancienttunes replied on January 18th, 2015

I love your lessons, Hawkeye! The Ron L's question has confused me though. If the song is in the key of G, then do I use the G blues scale? Or the E blues scale? I have been assuming I would use the G blues scale. also, the G blues scale is the same thing as the G minor pentatonic scale, right? Thanks for your patience. Scott

The Ron LThe Ron L replied on January 9th, 2015

First off - thank you for the great lessons. I am working through them and feel like I am advancing. I do have a bit of trouble stretching my pinky as far as you can - over three frets - so I try to work around this when I can. I have a question about scales - on the jamming tracks, which I like to use - they often list both a minor pentatonic and a major pent. in the same key as acceptable to play over a major chord in that key - say G for instance. Shouldn't you be playing an E minor pent. and G major pent. over a G major chord progression - 1,4,5.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 9th, 2015

Sorry, but I have nothing to do with the creation administration, and 'recommendations' of jamming tracks. I stand by my previous response, ;-), that to play in a major key, one can use the blues (pentatonic) scale at the relativ 6th, Em in the key of G, Am in the key of C, etc. ... and await, along with you, an explanation/clarification from the admin. here at jamplay. Thanks so much for your patience. I hope you'll visit my web sitre for free guitar lessons, articles on blues history and the iconic blues masters I met and learned from, and links to my many songs/videos at youtube.com ... to play along with: www.hawkeyeherman.com ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

The Ron LThe Ron L replied on January 9th, 2015

Thank you for your help. And, yes I will visit your web site and continue to work on the lessons you have on Jamplay.

spoilerospoilero replied on June 22nd, 2014

Thank you mr Hawkeye, you open me a big door into my mind. Your 3 0 - 3 0 - 2 0 - 2 0 - 2 0 - 3 0 is amazing, so simple and so easy to do once you know how to do. thanks again mr Hawkeye, you are a great teacher

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 9th, 2015

Thanks so much for the kind words, Massimo. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. I hope you'll visit my web sitre for free guitar lessons, articles on blues history and the iconic blues masters I met and learned from, and links to my many songs/videos at youtube.com ... to play along with: www.hawkeyeherman.com ... Thanks again for your messagr. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

prauchprauch replied on August 16th, 2013

Hi Hawkeye, I'm still working my way through your lessons; taking some time to really get comfortable with the Robert Johnson lead. Question on playing the blues scale in other keys: In advance of this lesson, I spent a chunk of time playing the scale in different keys, but did it using my pinkie finger. While still not as strong as the ring finger, I find incorporating the pinkie to be a bit easier, especially up on the 6th string. Realize I need to be flexible to incorporate sliding up or down a fret when incorporating the blues notes, but wanted your thoughts on whether using the pinkie is a good practice.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 16th, 2013

Thanks for your question. What we want for an ultimate result is for the music to sound good, for the notes to ring clearly. What fingers you choose to fret the notes in the scale, beyond my recommendations in these lessons, is up to you. Whatever makes you comfortable, doesn't stress your hand/fingers too much, and gives good results. I have relatively big and long fingers, so most of my playing of the pentatonic blues scale up and down the neck is done with my first three fingers, only employing the pinkie to play the shuffle rhythm and selectively here and there, at will. This is not 'classical' music, it's blues, and blues is a kind of 'folk music.' There are no real 'rules' (like in classical guitar) about 'correct' fingering of scales. What is 'correct,' in my opinion, is what gives you the best results toward your goals and the strengthening of muscle memory through repetition. Check out the recent thread I started in the forum area about practicing. http://forums.jamplay.com/showthread.php?14559-Cherry-picking-lessons-serendipitous-study-habits-amp-the-concept-of-discipline ... I'm so glad you're patiently and incrementally working your way through my lessons. Thanks again for your thoughtful question. I hope your continue to enjoy these lessons.

arsenalarsenal replied on June 13th, 2013

I just want to say thank-you Hawkeye for all of the time and effort you've put forth on your videos. I've learned a lot! :D

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

Muchas gracias, Jorge. Es para mí un placer y un honor compartir mi pasión por la guitarra y la música con usted. Gracias por sus amables palabras y por viajar conmigo en la 'camino de blues' aquí en JamPlay.com. Espero que siga disfrutando de estas lecciones y que la información que reciba de mí sirve bien para el resto de su vida. Y por favor, perdona mis pobres esfuerzos en commuinating a usted en español. ;-) Anadale con el blues!

arsenalarsenal replied on June 18th, 2013

Whoa! Habla espanol muy bien, lo entendi perfectamente :) y muchas gracias! Me sirven bastantes sus videos!

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

Por nada, compadre. Estudié español durante cuatro años en la escuela secundaria hace muchos años, y he visitado México muchas veces para las vacaciones, y para España para realizar y enseñar, también. Mi vocabulario es enorme, pero mi gramática no es tan bueno. ;-) Espero que siga disfrutando de mis lecciones. Va a encontrar clases de guitarra gratis en mi sitio web: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... y por favor asegúrese de ver videos en youtube para que usted cansee cómo utilizo las técnicas que enseño aquí en JamPlay.com cuando estoy realizando en concierto y festivales: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... Que le vaya bien,

brusbrus replied on January 1st, 2014

Sigo con pasión tus lecciones Hawkeye, y ahora veo que hablas español muy bien!!! Saludos de este fan desde España. Muchas gracias por la dedicación y amor que le pones a la enseñanza del maravilloso Blues.

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

Brus, gracias por sus mensajes, saludos y palabras amables. Estoy feliz de saber que usted está disfrutando con entusiasmo mis lecciones y que, tal vez, también ha contratado mi pasión por la música blues. ;-) He estado en España, Barcelona, ??hace unos años. Mi buen amigo, deejay Vicente "Harmonica" Zumel a veces toca música de mis CDs en su popular programa de radio La Hora del Blues (www.lahoradelblues.com). Si usted está en el área de Barcelona se puede escuchar a su excelente programa de blues en la radio, y tal vez el programa también está disponible 'streaming' en línea. De cualquier manera, le animo a escuchar su programa de radio y le animo a él y el saludo de correo electrónico enviar, saludar de Hawkeye, y tal vez solicite para él jugar algo de mi música en La Hora del Blues. ;-) Gracias de nuevo por tu mensaje. Espero que siga disfrutando de estas clases de guitarra.

brusbrus replied on January 3rd, 2014

I'm in Madrid, but I sure will visit his webpage and ask him for one of your songs. I've been watching all the videos on your webpage and they are awesome!!! Hope you keep uploading videos. Cheers.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 3rd, 2014

Gracias muchisimas, Brus. Anadale con blues guitarra! I hope we meet in Madrid someday. ;-) Saludos.

gholstgholst replied on April 16th, 2013

Awesome lesson set. I finally "got it".

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 17th, 2013

Congratulations, Greg. Glad you've 'caught on.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

greenjungle68greenjungle68 replied on April 27th, 2012

Thank you for opening the doors to this fantastic new world of the blues! I REALLY love your lessons. I am learning so much. Really greatfull!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 27th, 2012

Thanks so much for the kind comments about my lessons, Marcia. Much appreciated. If you patiently follow my lesson in the order they are presented, progressing form one lesson to the next at your own speed, you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music that will allow you to play and /improvise/create music freely for the rest of your life. Also, please be sure to watch some of my music videos at youtube.com so that you can see how I use the techniques that I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH .... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again.

jimijetjimijet replied on December 30th, 2011

thanks hawkeye, ive been playing for a while and can play some songs but the fretboard was always a mystery to me never understood keys or how to transcribe from one to another i never realized it was so easy. my goal is to do every one of your lessons

greenjungle68greenjungle68 replied on April 27th, 2012

Your lessons are fantastic! I am really discovering a whole new world and i love it! I can not thank you enough for opening this doors for me! marcia denny

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 27th, 2012

Thanks so much, Marcia. I've given a lot of thought an d planning as tot he order and content of each lesson ... so please follow my lessons patiently in the order they are presented ... and you'll be happily 'traveling' along with me, and many others, on the 'blues highway' of music joy and satisfaction ... for the rest of your life. ;-)

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

You're most welcome, James. I'm happy to hear that this lesson has been beneficial to you, and I hope the my entire series of lessons serves you well ... forever. FI believe that if you follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next at your own speed you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and blues guitar that will allow you to play and create/improvise blues freely. Don't forget to watch some of my many blues music videos so that you can see how use the techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... try to play along with me and 'steal' some of my riffs/licks/ideas. Also, since you are a Lightnin' Hopkins fan, you may be aware that I met and learned from Lightnin' ... you'll find an article I wrote about it here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/Lightnin-Hopkins-BluesLife.pdf ... and another here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/tale_feathers.pdf ... and more articles I've written on blues history and the many iconic blues performers I met and learned from here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... Thanks again for your comments ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

thyzelthyzel replied on October 3rd, 2011

although i knew a lot of this already , i love your teaching. im having so much fun with this.

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

Thanks so much for the kind words about my guitar lessons. Very much appreciated. Enjoy the process of reviewing things you already know ... and 'new' information and techniques that I hope will serve you well. Yoo'r4e welcome to watch the many Hawkeye videos posted at youtube.com ... try to play along with me ... and 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... Again, thanks so much.

geojoseph1geojoseph1 replied on September 9th, 2011

Thank you so much for this lesson Hawkeye. I've been dying to play lead, and after a year and a half of playing, I can finally play lead on any scale. Thank you so much. Thanks for the amazing lessons.

chgojkchgojk replied on June 20th, 2011

Hawkeye, I'm 63 and recently picked up the guitar after a 50 year break. I come from Chicago and have always loved the blues so jumped directly to your lessons after taking the basics course. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy your lessons and how helpful they are. For the first time I actually think I understand this stuff! In you lesson on Blues Scale and Keyes you use fingers one and three as you move up the neck, but the supplemental materials typically show using fingers one and four after you move up from the open e-position. Is this something that is just up to the student as to comfort or does it matter? Thanks much and keep up great lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 20th, 2011

Thanks so much for the message and kind words about my lessons, Jason. Much appreciated. I have big hands and long fingers ... I do use my pinky to fret notes in the blues scale sometimes ... but generally not ... this has to do with ease and convenience for me ... I suggest you do what seems most comfortable and easiest for you. If you can force yourself to use your pinky, great, it's good to use all of your fingers for fretting if you can. But after all, it's blues music, not 'classical' music ... and the techniques used are about making music, not necessarily what's 'proper' in other kinds of guitar music. Please note: Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, don't skip around amongst these lessons( if you can help it), and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues guitar that will soon allow you to play/create/improvise on your own. Skip around in these lessons and you'll learn a lot ... but there will be big holes/gaps in your knowledge and understanding of 'blues guitar language.' Blues guitar is a language, and you wouldn't try to learn a 'foreign' language by 'cherry picking' lessons ;-) ... if you know what I mean. Be patient, use the video controls to repeat whatever you don't understand as many times as necessary, and progress at your own speed. Enjoy the process of learning and repetition. PLease be sure to look at my many videos to 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 even 'steal' some of my licks/riffs: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... and be sure to check out the free guitar lessons at my web site, here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm Thanks again for your message and kind words. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

roger51roger51 replied on March 5th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye, I really appreciate your lessons and your teaching style. You make each concept build upon another you makes it very easy to remember. I also appreciate how you review some of the previous lesson before you go into the next one. Your teaching style enables me to understand how the blues "works" and I can quickly apply it to my playing. I really know and understand the music and I am not just memorizing things. I know a few blues songs and they sound so much better now. I am having a blast!! Please keep it coming and please don't change a thing. Thanks a lot!!

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

Thanks so much, Roger. I really appreciate your kind comments about these lessons and my teaching style. I've had a life long passion for blues music and sharing it with others. I'm glad you've caught the 'blues bug.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. There's plenty more to come. ;-)

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied on February 18th, 2010

Hi Hawkeye, I've been playing these scales for a few months and i have got in the habit of picking the route note out on the 6th string with my Thumb. Is there any disadvantage to this? I can do it with my fingers but i find i can play a lot faster using my thumb on the 6th string, it makes it easy for me to complete the scale with out using the pinkie. Jase

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 18th, 2010

Jase, Thanks for your comment/question and for enjoying these lessons This isn't 'classical' guitar ... this is blues guitar ... use your toes, if it works for you :-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 16th, 2010

Once again, you make what seems to be an impossiblity on the guitar, possible, fantastic lesson Hawkeye. These last couple of weeks playing along with you has been amazing, i've learnt so much, it has really inspired me to greater things, and my life just seems more fulfilled, keep up the good work. OB

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 16th, 2010

Thanks, OB. Very much appreciated. The guitar is a faithful friend who is always just sitting around waiting for you to share good times together. Keep up the good work. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

gumtreegurugumtreeguru replied on January 28th, 2010

hawkeye, I,m 69 years old and new at the guitar. I,ve enjoyed your lessons very much and appreciate your taking the ntime. But, but lesson 23 is painful fro me to watch. moving the e scale to g using a bar and then working magic with your 3rd and 4th finger did not translate to my guitar. using your wife's number system, if the first finger is uded on every string on the third fret then 1 can be added to ypur wif's system and 3-0 3-0 2-0 2-0 2-0 3-0 becomes 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-1 3-1 4-1 the first finger always playing the third fret in the g scale or the fourth fret in the g sharp scale eliminating the need for a bar and allowing the fingers to be played in the normal way. I'm sure you,ve thought of this before so if it looks like junk and smells like junk, throw it in the basket

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

Thanks for the message ... I'm not sure if this is a question or a comment ... you need to continue on with these lessons in the order they are presented ... and the concept will be made clearer to you as you progress ... eventually you don't hold down all six strings ... your index fingers 'floats' over the third fret (in the key of G), or 4th fret in the key of G#/Ab ... in the beginning you hold down all six strings for easy reference ... as you get better ... you don't have to do so. Yes, I've thought of all of this, and it's included in these lessons. I'm glad you seem to have figured it out for yourself ... but be patient and follow the lesson plans ... I've been playing and teaching the guitar for over 50 years ... and the order and content of these lesson have been given a great deal of thought. I appreciate your input. I hope you continue to enjoy my blues guitar lessons ;-)

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on October 23rd, 2009

i/ve been playing for 30 yrs though i knw what u taught , i would have know it alot better if would have been my teacher way back when,also i got a little i was not sure about thanx

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

David, Thanks so much. I'm generally not 'happy' unless everyone understands the concepts that I teach ... so I try to be clear and thorough and use many examples. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Again, thanks so much for traveling 'the blues highway' with me here at jamplay.com.

herironyaicaherironyaica replied on April 28th, 2009

perfect explanation in all lessons Hawkeye, I've never enjoyed a lesson so much and you've opened the doors of blues for me, thanks a lot!

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

herironyaica, Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. There's much more to come. I hope you stick with the 'program' and continue to enjoy and learn from these lessons as much as I enjoy presenting them. I have given a great deal of thought and planning as to the content and order of these lessons ... follow the program and you'll gain a strong foundation in the blues ... skip around and you'll still learn a lot, but there will be 'holes' in your blues foundation. Again, thanks so much. I hope you continue to enjoy traveling on the 'blues highway' here at jamplay.com ;-)

jackie134jackie134 replied on April 25th, 2009

Oh Hawkeye! Music to my ears!!!!! This is just great. No worry about maintaining barre chords!!!! Actually, I am beginning to have sufficient strength to play a barre chord if I have to, but this lesson is so confident building!!!! Thanks so, so much. My steel-silk strings are really twanging! sunny weather in London at the moment. Cheers! Jackie

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

jackie134, Great! Thanks so much for your message. If you have problems/questions/issues let me know. I'm so glad you're guitar is twanging the blues ... more and more ... and that you're enjoying the process and these lessons. Cheers and Best Wishes.

mrsunroommrsunroom replied on February 25th, 2009

Hawkeye, Thanks so much for putting these lessons together for us. I've learned more fresh stuff in the last week than I did the last two years. And check this out. My son, 9 yrs old, who has had no interest in guitar saw me taking your lessons and said he liked the way your guitar sounds. Well, thanks to you we now have our next blues virtuoso coming up! And he is progressing remarkably well. He loves these scales...go figure. So you have done in a few weeks what I couldn't get him to do in his lifetime. Thank you for bringing music into his life. Bob

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 26th, 2009

Bob, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. It's most gratifying for me to hear that you're enjoying these lessons and are progresing much faster than you ever expected. of course, the fact that your son is now traveling with us on the 'blues highway' is great news. I've presented my "Blues In The Schools" programs for 31 years, in over 500 schools (al level, from elem. to college), in 22 states in five countries, for over 1/2 million students ... and i can tell you this ... kids love the boogie/blues on the guitar. They can't resist it. It makes their whole body respond/move. Please do me a favor … call your son to the computer and let him watch these two short videos with you … of me and the chool kids experiencing the blues. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BnzZHR5O9M&feature=channel_page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QACNBlPYKEw&feature=channel_page You can see /hear even more about my in-school blues educational programs here: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/blues_in_the_schools.htm Again, thanks so much.

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

romsquiz, Thanks so much for the comment. Very much appreciated. I love the blues, and it is most gratifying for me to teach/share what I know with others. I hope you'll enjoy the entire series of lessons I present here. There's much more to come. Thanks again.

romsquizromsquiz replied on October 3rd, 2008

here here flyrer Ive played guitar for 20 years, and I've never enjoyed a lesson so much. Thank you Hawkeye for getting back to basics and making "Sence"!!! I wish I'd seen u all those years ago

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 3rd, 2008

flyrer, Thanks for taking the time to comment in such a positive manner. Very much appreciated. skaterstu, Thaks so much for your comments, as well. I have understand your 'issue' with my 'repetitive' style of teaching ... but as a teacher yourself, I know you're aware that we must create a strong foundation of understanding in order to progress to 'higher' levels on information. I'm not happy with 50% or 65% of folks understanding the blues ... I want 100% ... everyone to be on the same page and understand the basics. I'm not happy unless I achieve this goal.I have a sister who is the head of the student teaching for all departments/curriculum at a major Midwestern university, and she has helped me develop my teaching skills over many years. A good teacher is one who has many ways of explaining the same concept, so as to make lessons more inclusive ... getting through to every student ... not being happy to get through to just the majority of students. Basics need so be driven home ... and if repetition helps do so ... in order to build a strong understanding and foundation on which to build future learning ... then I repeat those basics at every chance I get. Thanks for understanding and accepting where I'm coming from, and for letting me know that my 'style' has rekindled your interest in learning more about the guitar ... and blues guitar. Very much appreciated.

louis aveslouis aves replied on September 4th, 2008

Hawkeye Ive got the shuffle under my fingers,Ive got this lesson under my fingers, I understand 12 bar blues progressions -my problem is fuseing them together! Ive put together a few solo runs and tried to play them over a blues backing track(in E) but have no idea where to start or finish.Do I have to play certain notes when the chords change (ie root notes,tonics etc) or can I play anything I like, as long as its in the key of E ? At the moment the backing track does its thing and I do mine and any coming together is purely by chance !! HELP !! Thanks Hawkeye.

skaterstuskaterstu replied on September 2nd, 2008

I agree. I hit a wall about 6 weeks ago after doing loads of beginner exercises everyday for 4 hours... this past 6 weeks practicing guitar has become somewhat of a chore until I found Hawkeye's lessons. At first, I have to admit I found his style a little repetitive (I am a teacher myself), but after a few lessons really found that it is a great style of teaching. So, thanks Hawkeye... your lessons are great, really got me back and enthusiastic after getting a little burnt out.

flyrerflyrer replied on September 2nd, 2008

I feel bad, have been taking your lesson and very much enjoying them, but have not left a comment. Well here it is AWSOME lessons thanks Hawkeye.

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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



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
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

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
Danny Voris Danny Voris

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

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Don Ross Don Ross

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

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Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

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Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Welcome to the Phil Keaggy Master Course! In this series introduction, Phil shows and tells us what we can expect from this...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Kris Norris Kris Norris

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

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David Wallimann David Wallimann

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

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Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

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

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Dennis Hodges Dennis Hodges

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord...

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

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

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Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

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

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Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

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

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Mark Brennan Mark Brennan

Mark Brennan teaches this classic rock song by Jethro Tull. Released on the album of the same name in 1971, this song features...

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Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

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

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Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 87 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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

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


Greg J.

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

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


Bill

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

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



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