Lightnin' Hopkins Style (Guitar Lesson)

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Hawkeye Herman

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.
He will review the 12 bar blues, turnarounds, blues scale, keys and more. Understanding how many of these techniques can be combined will open up infinite musical possibilities.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 16:36Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:18) Lesson Introduction and Review Hawkeye begins this lesson by reviewing all of the topics that he has covered thus far in the Blues Guitar series. He will tie all of these concepts together within the context of a 12 bar blues exercise played in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Throughout this series, Hawkeye Herman has discussed the following topics:

A. 12 Bar Blues Harmonic Form

Bars 1-4: I chord
Bars 5-6: IV chord
Bars 7-8: I chord
Bar 9: V chord
Bar 10: IV chord
Bars 11-12 I chord

Note: The V chord is frequently substituted for tonic in bar 12 to create stronger resolution back to the beginning of the form.

B. The Magical Hand Trick

By counting up on your fingers, you can determine the I, IV, and V chords in any major or minor key.

C. The Poetic Form of the Blues

The lyrics to most blues songs follow an aab phrase structure. Hawkeye demonstrated this concept in early lessons by singing the song "Good Morning Blues."

A Phrase: Good morning blues, blues how do you do?
A Phrase: (Same phrase repeats.)
B Phrase: I'm doin' alright. Good morning, how are you?

Within this form, each phrase lasts for four bars of a 12 bar blues.

D. Strumming Rhythms Used in Blues Music

In lesson 3, Hawkeye demonstrated several different strumming rhythms that can be applied to a 12 bar blues progression. Review the strumming rhythms from this lesson if necessary.

E. The Blues Shuffle

Towards the beginning of this series, you learned the most basic form of the blues shuffle pattern. In subsequent lessons, Hawkeye taught you a number of variations on this basic pattern. These slight alterations will add much needed variety to your blues rhythm playing.

F. Turnarounds

So far, you have learned two prevalent turnarounds. The first turnaround utilizes the basic chord shape of the "open" D7 chord. This turnaround was first demonstrated in the key of E and later transposed to the remaining 11 keys. The second turnaround is based on the "Texas" A shape. This turnaround is played in the Delta blues style. Throughout the series, Hawkeye demonstrate several ways to play these turnarounds. The rhythm and arpeggio pattern of all turnarounds can be altered to create interesting new sounds. Also, you learned how the turnaround in E can be shifted from the treble strings to the bass strings.

G. Basic Walking Bass Line

In lesson 14, you learned a basic walking bass line. This common left-hand piano pattern is derived from the major pentatonic scale.

H. The Minor Pentatonic Scale

Hawkeye has shown you the most common pattern of the minor pentatonic scales. He also demonstrated how this fretboard pattern can be transposed to all 12 keys.

I. The Minor Blues Scale

By adding a b5 blues note to the minor pentatonic scale, the minor blues scale is formed. When improvising with this scale, the natural seventh scale degree is frequently played as a passing tone between the root and b7 of the scale.

Lightnin' Hopkins

In the current lesson, Hawkeye ties all of the aforementioned topics in a 12 bar blues exercise. This exercise is played in the style of blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins. Similar to Robert Johnson, Lightnin' was an expert at synthesizing various blues styles within a single blues solo.

Listen closely as Hawkeye plays through this solo. In the following scene, he will break it down into its individual components.
Chapter 2: (04:47) Lightnin' Hopkins Style Hawkeye chooses to play a turnaround as an introduction to the 12 bar form. Remember that turnarounds can be used as very effective introductions. They can also be tagged on to the end of the form to create effective outros.

Then, a turnaround in E is played at the beginning of the form. Instead of playing this turnaround for the full duration of the I chord (four measures), Hawkeye chooses to substitute a lick from the E minor pentatonic scale in bar 4. Frequently, lead guitar licks are used as transitions from one chord in the form to the next. They break up the monotony of constant chord strumming.

Over the IV chord in bars 5 and 6, a slight variation on the basic shuffle pattern is utilized. The second time through the form, Hawkeye opts to play a walking bass over the IV chord in bars 5 and 6.

The same turnaround utilized at the beginning of the form is once again played over the tonic chord in bars 7 and 8.


Any of these techniques can be inserted appropriately anywhere in the form. The key is to visualize what’s coming next and think about what you are going to play before you play it.
Chapter 3: (04:30) The Last Four Bars Bar 9 of the blues form features the V or V7 chord. In the key of E, this chord is B7. Hawkeye chooses to play a simple arpeggio on the "open" B7 chord voicing. He uses a chromatic neighbor tone to approach this chord. This note is the b5 blue note from the minor blues scale.

Over the A7 chord in bar 10, Hawkeye slides into the common A7 chord shape from a half step below. He then picks the b7 of the chord, G.

In bar 10, he approaches the third of the E chord by hammering on from the open G string. He then closes out the form with the signature turnaround lick.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.[email protected] replied

Just playing he’s not teaching us anything[email protected] replied

He’s not teaching us how to do anything he’s just playing and talking

neardowellneardowell replied

Amazing Hawkeye! This is a treasure trove. Thanks!!!

boswellboswell replied

Now, THAT was a lesson in blues! Thanks so much, Hawkeye!!

small lotsmall lot replied

Hawkeye,so grateful for JamPlay and your teachings. I have been doing Chris Liepes series of rut busting and setting goals etc in playing. I was reaching in so many directions,Jazz,rock,blues etc series of JamPlay,learning music from our Wednesday night jam and a Thursday night jam. Though I was learning a lot ,I wasn’t learning thoroughly.Chris tought goal setting which brought me to your series. I am at lesson 25 and man did that ever bring it together. Love that I have the ability to shuffle and boogie along in my living room for hours and have fun, not to mention that my playing has really improved with my jam buddies. I am looking forward to continueing your series to the end .Loving your lessons ,thanks.

joshuadojoshuado replied

I'm sure Hawkeye is long gond from this site, but I am really enjoying this stuff. Played solo acoustic for years, never moving beyond the limitations of rhythm guitar. I have grown more in the last few months than I have in the last twenty years. Thanks bro.

jampworkjampwork replied

I concur with everyone here who shout the FANTASTIC style of Hawkeye. I too took lessons, and I have never learned so well as with Hawkeye. He is def the reason to sign up with Jamplay!!!!!

costeffcosteff replied

Hawkeye: Hello from Australia. I find your teaching method to be very helpful. I have been on JamPlay for 3 years now and have been through many lesson series. I particularly find your teaching methods as well as that of Eric Madis to be very easy to learn. I have seen a lot of repetition between you and Eric but it is very beneficial to my memorisation to do it that way. What I really like about this lesson in particular is that you bring together all the licks of Lightnin' so I can see how it works as a 12 bar blues tune not just licks.

ThunderphrogThunderphrog replied

this is great, Hawkeye. My ears tell me that you are not always fretting the high E when you are playing the turnaround with that "D7" chord pattern. It works because the open note is an E. Can you confirm?

brusbrus replied

Great lesson Hawkeye!!! Its a super combo with all of the stuff we've been learning. The thing is that there are so many possibilities for doing the "same" blues that I got nervous because want to use them all. Thats the greatness of blues and playing it the way you feel it at the time you are playing it. Just for you to know: I'm gonna do this exercise trying to make my own version of "Love in Vain" mixing all things and styles and try to make it my style if lucky enough. Thanks for the inspiration.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and for letting me know that you've been 'inspired' to express yourself creatively on the guitar, Brus. Please keep in mind that blues guitar is truly a LANGUAGE to itself and consists of a huge 'vocabulary' of recognizable and interchangeable 'words'/licks/rifffs. Just as in speaking any language, one may have a very broad and gigantic vocabulary, but one can only speak one word and one phrase at a time. One must creatively choose from one's gigantic vocabulary how one wishes to express a particular feeling at any particular moment. You might say "Hi!", in greeting to one person, and choose the next moment to say "Hello!" to the next person. Blues is a LANGUAGE, and my lessons consist of my explaining the 'grammar' (music), vocabulary (scales/notes/licks/riffs), and usage (how to choose and create music from your ever-growing blues vocabulary). In language, you can't say EVERYTHING at once. And in blues, it's the same, you can't say everything at once ... you create music by selecting from your 'vocabulary' and spontaneously interchange and use words with, hopefully, taste and skill. I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

rkm62rkm62 replied

Game changer! Thanks hawk. Adding a little A harp playing is fun with this.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Lightinin' Hopkins style of playing is great fun to listen to and perform. I suggest you watch him on video at you tube: ... and read about him here: .... and here: ... and here's a free guitar lessons on Lightnin' here: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and find even more 'game changers' within this lesson series.

drcotlardrcotlar replied

Hawkey, First of all, I want to add to the many other comments you receive regarding your teaching style. I have taken guitar lessons for more years than I would be willing to admit to anyone listening to me and your method is outstanding. You along are worth the price of Jam Play. One suggestion that may or maynot be already presented here. Sometimes there are differences in what your video teaches and what is in the accompanying music that can be printed out and I do realize and you do mention that you do change things up a bit. I think you know what I refer to, so I do not need to point out a specific example. For those of us that rely a lot on the printable music, it might be benefical if would might point out how what you show on the video is not shown the same in the music.

roger72roger72 replied

Hawkeye, I'm at lesson 25, after teaching myself for nearly eight years following retirement. Yes that 72 in my title is my age. I want to let you know that I have learned more from your lessons than in all those years. Your teaching style is wonderful and I'm so excited about the lessons to come. keep up the wonderful work.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words, Roger. Very much appreciated. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the content and order of my lesson series ... If you follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next at your own speed, (don't rush), you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music that will allow you to play/improvise/create freely on the guitar for the rest of your life. Please be sure to watch some of my videos on ... ... 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 try to 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas ... also, do check out the free guitar lessons at my web site ... ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that my lessons are serving you well. ;-)

eddieiguana1eddieiguana1 replied

Bloody great lesson but you do need the tabs corresponding to make life easy, I'm crawling not ready to walk yet.Thanks to you I soon will . Maybe even doing some light jogging in a few months!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

David, I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons. Thanks so much for you kind comments. The tablature for this lesson, as with the tablature for all of my lessons, is located in the 'supplemental content' folder under each lesson. DId you know there are free guitar lessons at my web site: ... and specifically on Lightnin' Hopkins style of guitar: ... to see how I use the techniques I teach at when I'm performing in concerts and festivals go here: ... try to play along with me and 'lift' (steal ;-) my licks/riffs/ ideas. Follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, and you will gain a strong foundation and understanding that will allow you to play blues guitar, in time, freely and improvise as you wish. Also, Lightnin' Hopkins is one of the many iconic blues artists that I met and learned from personally ... you can read about my encounter with Lightnin' here: ... Again, thanks for the message. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for your kind comments, Stephen. Very much appreciated. Matt, the 'notation expert,' does an excellent job of transcribing what I teach into tablature and musical notation. I don't envy his job ... he does his best, without consulting me. I can't thank him enough for what he does and has to 'put up with' in terms of turning visual/vieo material into 'precise' hard copy. Of course, not all of the 'supplemental material' available is exactly/precisely as depicted in each lesson. Also ... its blues ... ;-) ...please allow some latitude. Did you know that you can go to my web site for more free guitar lessons and 'exact' tab/music, here: ... and in the case of this lesson on Lightnin' Hopkins, scroll down to the "In the Style Of Lightnin' Hopkins and download the .pdf file ... and you'll have a another interesting 'opinion' of how I think Lightnin's style is played. Also, please view some of my many videos so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here and when I'm performing in concert and at festivals ... try to play along with me ... and 'steal' my licks/riffs/ideas: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at

mike fmike f replied

Hawkeye, I am on lesson 25 and just must stop for a minute and thank you for your brilliant teaching style and with such enthusiasm. You are a great inspiration - thanks.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words about these lessons, Mike. Very much appreciated. As I've stated so many times before as 'study procedural advice' ... If you follow my series of lessons in the order they are presented, progressing patiently at your own speed, you will gain a strong understanding for and foundation in blues guitar ... and eventually be able to play freely/improvise at will. I hope you continue to enjoy 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at Thanks again for taking the time to let me know you're having a good time and learning all the while. ;-)

schroncejschroncej replied

Thanks Hawkeye, for lessons that are easy to understand. You spell it out and make it fun to play.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind comments, John. Very much appreciated. If you follow my series of lessons in the order they are presented, progressing patiently at your own speed, you will gain a strong understanding for and foundation in blues guitar ... and eventually be able to play freely/improvise at will. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again.

janishongjanishong replied

Hello! Now I am learning this lesson, and I saw the video many times but I still couldn't figure out how to use my right hand to play the triplet when playing the turnaround. Can you tell me which lesson can I see or how I do the triplet? Thank you.

janishongjanishong replied

Sorry, It's around 5:49-5:55.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Sorry for the delay in my response Janis ... I've been on tour in the Midwest for the past two weeks. A triplet is three tied 1/8th notes which equal one beat ... dah-dah-dah = 1 beat ... I play the bass note on the 1, 2, 3, 4 ... at the same time I'm lightly plucking up on the first three/treble/high strings ... play the bass note with only the first beat of each of the four beats in a measure ... I hope this makes sense ;-) ... Use the video controls to repeat/replay any small moment or section of a lesson that you don't understand ... until you 'get it.' Don't rush ... this isn't a race to some imaginary finish line ... this is an art form and a 'language' ... progress at your own speed ... I hope this is helpful to you ... and that you have success and continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

I'm sorry you're having trouble, Janis ... but these lessons are meant to be followed in order, beginning at lesson #1, and progressing at your own speed through each lesson, one at a time, so as to build a strong understanding and foundation in bluews music ... it is not a good idea to skip ANY lessons ... blues music is a 'language' ... when one takes/studies a language one does not skip lessons/'cherry pick' lessons ... leaving holes/gaps in one's knowledge/grammar/vocabulary/understaning of that language ... so it is with blues music ... ;-) ... also, I apologize, but I don't know in which ,of my many lessons the information you request is posted. I tripplet is rhythmically - dah-dah-dah ... three 1/8th notes that equal one best. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

janishongjanishong replied

Thanks for your reply. I've seen all the previous videos and maybe I just forgot something important. May I specify the place I don't understand? It's in this lesson 25, around 5:03-5:10 where you did a demo of this style. I watch the right hand, but I can't catch the rhythm of it. Maybe I should try more. Thanks!

rcausrcaus replied

Hi Hawkeye, I would like to practice a song of Lightnin' Hopkins within the style you teach us in the above lesson. I went to youtube and found that each of his song is quite different , that's what makes him an excellent bluesman. Rock me go and Baby Pls don't go are somewhat different from above. But , I notice " "Going Down Slow" is closely link to your lesson 25. Which song would you recommend us to practice the above lesson. Ultimately one day, I would also love to practice most of his song. But that's a challenge for a couple of years from now. Thank you very much Regards rcaus

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons, Rama. Did you know that there are free lessons at my web site, here: ... and specifically in Lightnin’ Hopkins style, here: ... I suggest you look over the .pdf file ... it will help guide you through Lightnin’s style , and is a good practice guide for his overall approach to his guitar style... you might also enjoy this story about Lightnin’ Hopkins: ... his version of the song "Going Down Slow" is a good one to practice ;-) ... and I’m so glad that you’re not trying to rush through all of this ... and that you realize that we progress a bit at a time, sometimes in leaps and bounds, and sometimes in small increments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

rcausrcaus replied

Dear Hawkeye, I should have told you that I love singing and that's the reason. I am also adapting the above technique and sings " Good Morning Blues". Probably, that would be easier for me at this stage. Thank you Rama

chrissie hollandchrissie holland replied

Wow! What a great lesson this is. I have learned more from you in a couple of weeks than I have in a year. My method of registering what you have taught me is to go through the lesson with you on my guitar a few times, then spend a couple of hours or more practicing. That way it sticks in my brain for the next day. I make certain to attend your lessons every day - sometimes for an hour and sometimes maybe three hours, and sometimes just fifteen minutes. All the good guitarist I've known have become good because they put the hours in. There's no quick way around it - it's repetition.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Everything comes from repetition ... every time you pick up the guitar, whether for five minutes or for an hour, you improve, sometimes in small increments, and sometimes in huge leaps ... there's no substitute for doing 'reps' on the guitar ... just like language ... the more you repeat new vocabulary and phrases the more familiar you become with the language. Keep up the good work ... I like you personal method of study and discipline ... exercise patience and progress at your own speed ... and I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks so much for your comments.

chrissie hollandchrissie holland replied

Ha, ha. I didn't mean 'with you on my guitar' literally! Sorry for the slip of grammar rules.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

:-) Thanks for the clarification ;-)

tenchu11tenchu11 replied

Love your recap lessons. Whenever I start feeling a little dull on my playing i got back and start doing these. Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

You're most welcome, Javier. I'm happy that you're enjoying these lessons, and that you review certain aspects in which you might need 'refreshing.' Thanks so much for your kind comments.

jkrivisjkrivis replied

just reviewed this lesson after learning it a year lesson ever! great to check back on progress with Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for 'checking back' and for the kind comments, Jeff. Much appreciated. I hope all of my lessons contain information that serves you well for ... ever. ;-) Enjoy learning and playing the blues ... as you please. Thanks again.

nash24nash24 replied

This is great. I can't believe how much I'm learning. I like how you stress not to be so strict about playing. I love to play just how I'm feeling day to day. Thank you!!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Much appreciated. So glad you're enjoying these lessons. This is the blues, not the 'army' ... this is music ... this is an art form about self expression. I'm giving you the 'paints' so that you can express yourself ... I'm not telling you what to paint ... or what to play ... I'm showing you how to express your own feelings ... not mine ... or anyone else's ... if you love the blues, play them as you feel. :-) Thanks so much for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at

rcausrcaus replied

Great lesson. The challenge for me is to keep the beat on the metronome first on a slower tempo. At Scene 5.43 min, the very first two measures turnaround in E and B7 , you said that it is not included in the 12 bars. I believe this is because otherwise it will turnout to be 14 bars. Hence , is it fair to say that for practice purposes if I practice the cycle of 14 bars repeatedly ( with no stop) then I should not play the introduction each time. Because this will mess up the cycle of 12 bars. I wish myself courage and patience as it will take me months of practice to perfect this all-in-one lesson. Thank you very much Regards rcaus

rcausrcaus replied

Correction " ... cycle of 12 bars repeatedly ( with no stop)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Yes, it's a 12-bar blues cycle. I met and studied with/at the feet of Lightnin' Hopkins, and I can tell you that Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the greatest at improvising blues guitar and making up blues lyrics on the spot of the top of his head ... and that he was 'notorious' for extended the blues for beyond 12-bard, at will. There's a famous story about a well known rock guitarist who was backing Lightnin' on a gig and Lightinin' played a verse with 14 bars (measures) and when the rocker immediately said something to Lightnin' about it mid-song Lightnin' replied, "Lightnin' changes when he feels like it!" End of discussion. ;-) Yes, "standard blues" has 12-bars/measures, but the freedom to express oneself in more or less bars/measures is part of the individual creativity/expression of the blues." Thanks so much for your comments and for enjoying these lessons. Lightnin' said to me, and sometimes to himself while singing/playing ... "Take your time." So I advise you, "take your time" ... and enjoy the process. :-)

ozblokeozbloke replied

Oh Mr Herman, it's amazing how all the lessons i've learnt and practised finally come to fruition in a wonderful style, i haven't heard of Lightnin Hopkins before, but i'm gonna check out his records. I had learnt the guitar quite a few years back so the first lessons up to the Robert Johnson solo came quite easily for me, but the RJ lesson held me in my tracks for a week, but i've got it sounding great (at least to me and the wife). Now with this lesson and the scales, it's mind blowing the endless possibilities to practice. Many thanks Hawkeye. OB

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for continuing to enjoy these lessons. Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the major post-war 'acoustic/country' blues artists ... you should get familiar with him. Like many other blues 'icon's I mention in the course of these lessons, I knew and learned directly from Sam 'Lightnin'' Hopkins. You can read about it here: and you can read many interesting/informative/entertaining (I hope) articles I've written here: Did you know that there are interesting articles posted right here at Thanks so much for your kind words and enthusiasm.

ozblokeozbloke replied

I checked out and found on you tube lightnin hopkins singing "Goin down slow', he's incredible, oh my goodness!!!! Does he play most of his songs in the key of E? I dont think for the life of me that i'll ever be able to work out exactly what he does, is there any chance in the not so distant future where you could do a lesson on how to play one of his songs...pleeeeeease Hawkeye? Thanks again for the wonderful lesson '25', i see clearly after hearing him play the things you've taught in this lesson too, first class. OB

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

There will be more information on Lightnin' Hopkins' style in the future. Lightnin' generally plays in the keys of E and A. You should continue to watch Lightnin's videos on youtube. There's nothing like watching a real master at work.

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied

Lightning is my favorite blues man and now i'm beginning to play in his style. thanks to you Hawkeye! I'm still having difficulty in keeping time to the 12 bars, i hope it will come in time, but i dont think even Lightning kept to it strictly, but i know i gotta learn to do it properly so i can play with others. Thanks Man! If you are in the UK in November then check this fest out! 12-14 november 2010 "" Email: [email protected] (Contact name: Nick) I've never been but it maybe worth checking out. Tuneless

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the message and kind words, Jason. Much appreciated. Please look at my response above to 'ozbloke' for more information on Lightnin' Hopkins, whom I learned from directly in person, and whom I've written about. Hey, I thought Leroy Car & Scrapper Blackwell were your favorites ;-). Has Lightinin Hopkins bumped them out of your first place position? I appreciate your sending me the Carlisle BLues Festival contact information ... but in truth, even though I'll be sure to contact them ... it would be more helpful and productive if you sent them a message and referred them to me in your own 'glowing' words. I don't 'sell' myself ... it makes a much greater impact on festival/concert producers if fans contact them and recommend their favorite artists or artists they'd like to see at festivals in their region. I may be a the Dundee Blues Festival in Scotland in late July, negotiations are ongoing ... and I'll be in France in November for the Blues sur Seine Festival for sure ... if/when you contact NIck at the Carlisle Blues Fest to refer them to me it would be a good idea to let them know that I'll be at Blues sur Seine Festival in France (for the 4th time) in November ... it increases the likelihood of my being booked if the Carlisle Blues Fest is aware that I'll already be in Europe at the time of their event (and they don't have to assume the cost of my travel across the pond ;-) Yes, Lightnin' did sometimes play his blues very 'freely' and play more or less than 12 bars in songs, as the mood moved him. For our purposes, as you stated, it's important for you to be able to play the standard 12-bar blues format so that you can jam with others more readily. Irregular chord changes and formats are okay for Lightnin' ... but not recommended for our purposes of jamming and communicating with others via blues music. Thanks again ... I hope you'll take a moment to dash off a message to Nick at the Carlisle Blues Fest, let him know about me, and that you would be more likely to attend the event (for the first time) if I was performing and presenting a workshop(s):-) Again, thanks so much.

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied

Thanks Hawkeye, I will do as you suggest! Leroy Carr & scrapper blackwell is just what i'm listening too recently, Scrapper has that same original cool sounding lick in most of his songs, which i just gotta learn. Lightning will always be the best Bluesman imo, I can play Goin, down slow, Pull a party, Baby please dont go etc from learning the songs, but you through your lessons have given me the ability to play in his style with my own expression, which beats any songs to be learnt. Cause i sure do have the Blues! Thanks Jase

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Jase, Thanks for your comments. I play some Scrapper Blackwell style guitar, and somewhere in my lessons there's a reference to one of his instrumental tunes called "E Blues" ... in which I teach some of his style. I hope you'll be sure to read the article I wrote about learning directly from Lightnin' Hopkins: ... there are lots of articles I've written about my learning directly from the 'old blues masters' here: I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and expand your ability to express yourself and your own sense of the blues.

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied

Thanks Hawkeye. I'll keep my eyes and ears open. I'll check out your European dates in November too. Best Wishes.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks, Jayson. Much appreciated. We have quite a few students here at from the UK ... I'd love to play in the UK, and meet you, other students. Let me know if you have any local blues festival 'leads' for me, and I'll do the follow up. Thanks again.

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied

I'm in southern England; United Kingdom, Hawkeye! A bit too far to come for a gig I expect! Best Wishes.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Please check out me tour schedule page and you'll see that the UK hardly constitiutes 'too far' for me to go for a gig: my 2010 tour schedule will be up soon ... and yes, I'll be in Europe for a month in November of 2010 ... so, if you have any leads for concert or festival gigs in the southern UK ... let them know about me, please ... and let me know about them ... Thanks!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hardly too far for me ... I travel all over N. & S. America and Europe to perform at festivals and in concert ... this past May I performed in Colombia/South America at a blues festival, here's the concert hall I performed in, it was 'sold out' with 1,500 blues fans: ...and I perform in Europe for the month of November almost every year. I teach an annual 2-day seminar for musicians and teachers at Castle La Roche Guyon on the Seine River about 40 miles from Paris, check this out: sponsored by the Blues sur Seine Festival ... I may be in the UK ... it's definitely not too far for me to travel :-)

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied

Wow! This lesson and the Robert Johnson Style lesson has blown me away...everything has fallen into place, and I'm only on lesson 25 ! I can't thank you enough Hawkeye. If I lived in Colorado I'd buy you a beer!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

.... oops, I thought you meant that you live in Colorado ... I reckon you don't ... and neither do I ... the lessons emanate from Colorado ... but many of the instructors live elsewhere around North America. We fly to Colorado to videotape our lessons as needed. Where are you? ... I tour all over ... maybe I'll be in your area in the year ahead?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the kind comments. Much appreciated. Follow the lessons as they are laid out here, move at your own pace .... don't rush ... learn the techniques in each lesson thoroughly before advancing to the next lesson ... and I think you'll be surprised at your rate of 'growth' and abilities in playing blues guitar. I don't live in Colorado (I'm on the West Coast) ... I do perform in Colorado and I go there to videotape the lessons for in Greeley, CO a few times per year. I'll be on the 'front range' in late October, and possibly earlier in the year ... thanks for the offer of a beer ... much appreciated ... maybe I'll be able to take you up on your offer sometime in the future. Again, thanks for enjoying my lessons. ;-)

fishzebrafishzebra replied

Thanks you are a great blues teacher, your secret is how you teach gradually and pull it all together.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your message and kind words. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run ... and enjoy the process. Thanks again.

tony greavestony greaves replied

Hawkeye, I love the way that you teach, I'm Crawling but I'm loving it. Keep up the great work There is nothing like looking at a teacher that loves doing what they are doing. Happy Daze Tony

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the kind comments, Tony. Much appreciated. Be patient with yourself ... every time you pick up the guitar you improve ... it may not seem like it, but it's true ... yes, crawl before you walk, walk before you run ... don't put pressure/stress on yourself to learn fast ... enjoy the process, this is an art, not a competition :-) ... take your time ... playing the blues is a 'life's work' ... I've been playing for 50 years and I'm still learning. You can watch me use the techniques I teach here when I'm performing live here: Thanks again.

richard kraftrichard kraft replied

Hey Hawkeye Feel like I just went to the crossroads Every couple days my wife says to me 'that was great when did you learn that" I just tell her that I was playing with Hawkeye today I am just thinking differently when I play. Old songs are transforming and coming to life In lesson 25 when you play the ascending scale I hear more notes I hear 3 -0, 0-3-0,0-2-0,0-2-0-2-0-2,0 I checked the tab, played it, just doesnt sound right can you help? maybe it is just me

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Richard, the blues scale I'm teaching here is the pentatonic minor scale (I/bIII/IV/V/bVII) ... descending from the high E string: 3-0/3-0/2-0/2-0/2-0/3-0 ... ascending from the low e string: 0-3/0-2/0-2/0-2/0-3/0-3 .... other than that, I don't understand your question. Sorry, what tab are you referring to? Look here for a graphic example:

richard kraftrichard kraft replied

I was looking at the lesson on Lightning Hopkins style and the descending scale that you use in the song. the tab I was referring to was the tab for that song but I still hear the other notes

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Richard, Sorry, but I don't have a clue what you're referring to ... in terms of 'hearing other notes.' The tablature speaks for itself ... it is what it is ... the tablature is in Lightnin' Hopkins's style ... and the notes in the tablature are what we're looking at in this lesson. I don't know what you are 'hearing' that's not there. Sorry, you'll have to explain your question to me either by telling me what notes on what strings you 'hear' that are not being played ... or by using music theory to explain your question. I'm stumped in terms of knowing what you're referring to. As is stated before, from high to low, descending, in the key of E, the pentatonic minor scale is ... beginning on the high E string: /3-0/3-0/2-0/2-0/2-0/3-0/ ... there are passing notes that can be played in between these scale notes ... but that comes in later lessons ... perhaps you're jumping ahead to concepts that are still ahead of you in this lesson series.

richard kraftrichard kraft replied

Hey Hawkeye I took a few days to practice the run as you wrote it everything worked out fine, I missed the fact that the first 3 notes in the run were a triplet and that notes 4, 5, 6 were a triplet also Sounds good now Thanks again

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad to help and that thinkgs 'worded out," Richard. I hope you keep on playin' the blues and enjoyin' these lessons.

kasrakasra replied

mike, you are a person who occupies many moments of my daily life, thank you for ur lessons. i am actually learning the music. once first i watched ur Robert Johnson lesson. ,i thought i could never play it but only after only 2-4 weeks i have mastered it and can play simultaneous versions of it. i am blessed! now a question regarding the minor scale and applying it to play solos. well, navigating (dancing) through the 4 to 5 frets from high to low E gives only 2 octaves within the scale... i have discovered the possible right way of traveling from down to up of the neck (sliding from a note within the scale to the upcoming note and taking it from there) but im not sure about its correctness is there going to be a lesson on how to plau a solo which consists a travel from down neck to the very up of it ? i have tons of nice melodic ideas and if i get this answer i can make tons of amazing things. cheers Kasra from montreal (p.s: the ending of this years jazz fest in here was amazing, there were tons of soloing with a lap steel guitar (how can i get lessons on that in the future?))

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

kasra, Thanks so much for your kind message. I'm very gratified by the fact that you are not only enjoying these lessons, but that you're happily surprised at how quickly you are learning. Your enjoying the sounds/music your guitar is making and always trying to learn more is my goal. IF you want to see how to 'span the neck' with the blues scale, vist the free guitar lessons at my web site especially this lesson Yes, there is a lesson coming up that covers this. I hope someday to perform at the Montreal Jazz/Blues Festival, and do a guitar workshop there. They know about me ... so if you put in a 'request' ... maybe I'll be up your way in the future. Again, thanks so much for your message and for realizing that ... you CAN play the blues ... and you CAN create your own personal music on the guitar.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

the links did not appear in my precious message ... here they are agin ... I hope they show up: my the guitar lessons page at my web site is ... and how to span the neck

stephenmkirk1stephenmkirk1 replied

hi Hawkeye - i've been 'practising' guitar for 40 years but have made more progress with you in the last few months than ever before - many thanks stephen (london)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

stephen, Thanks so much. I do appreciate your kind words. I hope you're following the order of the lessons and not skipping around :-) ... I've played/performed and taught blues guitar for over 40 years ... and I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of these lessons ... in order for you to gain a strong foundation in blues so that you can eventually play/create blues music at will. Skip around in these lessons, and you'll still learn a lot, but there will be holes/gaps in your blues foundation/understanding. ALso, there are 20 free lessons at my web site here: and you can watch me perform in concert and see how I use the material I teach when I'[m performing here: Again, thanks so much for enjoying these blues guitar lessons. I hope you'll continue to learn and expand your blues guitar abilities ... forever.

stephenmkirk1stephenmkirk1 replied

fear not I have been going through in a methodical manner - despite temptations to the contrary! i look forward to finishing the course and looking at the additional material in due course. best wishes, stephen

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

stephen, Great, glad you're sticking with the 'program.' By the way ... there is no 'finish' to this course ... playing blues music is a lifelong learning/creating effort ... there is no end/finish to my lessons here at ... learning about blues guitar is ... forever ... for everyone ... including me. If you think you've 'finished' learning about any art form ... you've shut down to learning ... all artists ('masters,' especially) never have enough information about what they love ... this isn't a video game that you can 'master' ... this is a life's work ... "it's a long and winding road that has no end." I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and the endless journey on 'the blues highway.'

sandeepsandeep replied

Great Lesson! Amazing instructor!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

sandeep, Namaste. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons. I hope you continue to learn from and enjoy these lessons. There's much more to come. Again, thanks for the kind comments.

currannicurranni replied

well after my bad week of hell i m back on track with my lessons this is great, i enjoyed it.. i was tinkering anyway with putting some things together and now i have evenmore tools to do so.. oh i watched ur online interview on blues for schools yesterday and i like the idea.. if some did that for irish music over here it d hbe great

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

curranni, Glad you're back on track ... with something you can 'count' on ... the blues ... and these lessons, I hope. You can take these licks and add notes, subtract notes, combine notes from other licks, and be endlessly creative and amuse yourself, as well. Thanks for watching the blues education video. It's beginning to grow and have some impact here in the USA. It all starts with one person ... you could be that person in Ireland ... think about it ... get good at the history and the music, keep your sense of humor and humility, and educate your own future, children, to the value of their artistic culture. It's fun ad gratifying work. ;-)

currannicurranni replied

if my band dream never works out i think it ll be great idea.. yeah on the robert johnson theres loads of things i do that u havent done on the videos at least.. and on this i m just starting to vary it. like on the a7s at the end, i do the a7 u do on this 1st and then sometimes i might jump to the 5th fret and do the a7 there and it sounds great esp if u slide from the 4th fret and pick it out.. i was already experimenting so this just helped me think about it more.. oh jus so u know the father i spoke of before of mine passed away last week,,the day he did iwas actually going to bring my guitar and play rthe robert johnson piece for him,..would have been nice so now i ll always remember that piece as the one i didnt play for him, he wouldhave liked it.. many thanks anyway this stuff is great.. ;) niall

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

curranni, My sincere condolences and sympathies on the passing of your dad. Sorry you never got to play the Robert Johnson tune for him ... but I'm sure he appreciated how far you progressed on the guitar in such a short time. There is no separation between loving spirits. Your dad is always with you ... so it's fine if you play the song and think of him ... he's always listening. ;-)

gerndtgerndt replied

hawkeye, this is one more great lesson of yours!! pulling it all together in one song is a good idea. i got a good feeling for the individual techniques you showed us, but i still struggle with keeping the rhythm and the exact timing for the chord changes with all those triplets... ;-) anyway, thanks again! uli

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

gerndt, Thanks so much for your kind comments. So glad you're enjoying these lessons and learning at the same time. Pulling it all together in one song is more than a good idea ... it's how the blues is taught and should be learned and played ... the goal is to play blues music ... not snippets of music ... practice the snippets, and lesson by lesson, and then I show you how to use them in a song. Keep practicing your rhythm and chords ... there's no blues music without rhythm ;-) ... if you're having trouble it's usually because you're trying to play too fast, blues sounds good slow, too, ya know? ... and also, you absolutely must stop thinking about what you are playing and think ahead of what you are playing by one step ... if you don't visualize the next chord change in advance/see the next chord in your mind's eye, you'll probably not make the cord change on time. VISUALIZATOIN, is the key to accomplishing pulling it all together. Be patient, play slower, and visualize one step ahead of where you're at on the neck ... and it will all come together as music ... if you practice ... and I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and the process. Thanks again.

paul spaul s replied

Hi Hawkeye. All your lessons have made me so much better. By the way, the next time I'm at the music store, what CD('s) of Lightnin' do you reccommend me to get? Thanks. Paul.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

paul s., Thanks for the kind comments. So glad you're enjoying the lessons and improving. I have no particular favorite album/CD by Lightnin' to recommend to you above another .. they're all good ... but you might check out the Best Of Lightnin' Hopkins on Arhoolie Thanks again for traveling the blues highway with me here at

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hi Hawkeye, I'am so satisfied with your teaching method that I have decided to keep my subscriptionm with Jam Play in Tact,not that the othere Instructors aren't good and they are. I really like the ability to go back and refresh what you taught earlier. Doing #25 now for the second time. I highly endorse your CD "It's All Blues to me" as I can see how much of this comes together. Thanks Again, Dennis Douglas

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Dennis, Thanks so much. Repetition is where it's at ... and a student being able to return to and re-watch my lessons (as much as they desire) is truly a great benefit of sites like So glad you like the latest Hawkeye CD, "It's All Blues To Me" ... all of my CDs/music/guitar stylings are based in the concepts I teach here at I hope these guitar lessons continue to serve you and others for a long time to come. Thanks again.

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hawkeye, I had ask you if you knew of a web site that would play background Chords while I prtacticed Lead.I had this site before and lost it,BUT now I have found it. For your info it is Jamstudio. com I'am still enjoying every lesson and have learned more from you than Ver good Guitar Players I used to hang with. I have,as you mentioned realized that The "Blues" is a personal Thing. I now can play turn-arounds and Scales and have adjusted these to what sounds good to me and my own expression.I know you are going to be appearing in Oregon where I live,but I just can't make it. Thanks Again, Dennis Douglas

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

dallendouglas, Thanks for enjoying these guitar lessons. I'm glad you're expanding your blues abilities. I appreciate the information about Jamstudio. com. I co-founded the Rogue Valley Blues Fest in Ashland, OR about 9 years ago and I have performed at the event a number of times. I no longer produce the event, but I MC the concerts and I give a guitar workshop. The event is the weekend of 1/16-18. Sorry you can't make it. I rarely perform in S. Oregon. Thanks for ordering the CD, I hope you enjoy the music.

mykster454mykster454 replied

Great stuff Hawkeye! Great lessons!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

mykster454. Thanks so much. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons as much as I enjoy sharing what I know about the blues with you. Cheers and keep onpickin' and grinnin'.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

tom8595, Thanks so much for enjoying my blues guitar lessons and for taking the time to leave me a comment. I enjoy teaching just as much as I enjoy performing ... I think you can tell. There are many more of my blues guitar lessons to come, so please do stick with me ... we have a lot more blues to explore ... including slide guitar and lead playing. Thanks again for enjoying the process of learning how to play the blues.

tom8595tom8595 replied

I love this guy! A very good instructor. He makes it so simple to follow. Keep up the great work. It is appreciated.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

rjooss, Thanks for the comment. I appreciate Matt's efforts in putting up supplemental content ...and if you want more content, go to my web site ... ... and click on the 'guitar lessons' navigation bar on the left side of the page. There are over 20 .pdf/tab/music files of guitar lessons that you can download and/or print ... for free! ... including a complete transcription of how to play in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins ... and much more. Please hang in there with me ... there are many, many more blues guitar lessons to come.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

indischgelb, Thanks so much. By repeating the basics/fundamentals that preceded this lesson we will be able to better understand many styles of iconic blues artists like Lightnin' Hopkins (who I knew and learned from personally), and many others like him. So please keep practicing the basics; the 12-bar blues form, shuffle rhythms, lead scale, turnarounds, etc. ... and you'll be well on your way to being able to express yourself through blues guitar. Much more to come!

rjoossrjooss replied

I wish there was some supplemental content. That's usually the strenght of Jam Play lessons.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I'm working on it...I'll have it up in the next couple of days.

indischgelbindischgelb replied

Another fantastic lesson. I love how it all comes together.

Blues Guitar with Hawkeye

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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

Introduction to BluesLesson 1

Introduction to Blues

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

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

Understanding Blues Chords

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

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

Blues Rhythm

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

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

Intro to the Blues Shuffle

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

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

More Blues Shuffle

Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.

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

The Blues Turnaround

Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.

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

Interesting Blues Turnaround

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

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

Moving the Turnaround

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

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

Turnaround in the Bass

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

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

Turnaround Practice

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

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

Turnarounds as Lead

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

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

Subtle Changes

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

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

Blues Shuffle Variations

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

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

Bass Blues Shuffle

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

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

Turnaround Exercise

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround

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

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

Delta Blues Turnaround #2

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

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

Robert Johnson Style

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

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

Movable Chords

Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.

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

Movable Chord Review

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

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

Basic Blues Scale

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

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

Passing Notes

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

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

Scales and Keys

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

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

Finding the Key

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

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

Lightnin' Hopkins Style

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

The Great River Road

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

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

Mississippi John Hurt Style

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

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

Piano Blues

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

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

Blues Accompaniment

Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.

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

Stop-Time Blues

Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.

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

Sweet Home Chicago

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.

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

8 Bar Blues Key Transposition

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

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

Classic 8 Bar Blues

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

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

Playing Multiple Notes

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

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

Classic End Tag

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

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

Basic Blues Slide

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

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

Slide Guitar and Open D Tuning

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Blues Shuffle in Open D

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

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

Open D Harmony Shuffle

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

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

Open D Turnaround

Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.

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

Open D Slide Licks

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

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

Pentatonic Scale in Open D

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

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

Ramblin' On My Mind

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

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

Rock and Slide Guitar

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

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

D Tuning Chords

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

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

You Got To Move

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

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

You Got to Move Melody

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

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

Slide Guitar and Blues Licks

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

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

Elmore James Style

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

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

Blues Licks and Riffs

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

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

Open G Tuning

Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.

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

G Tuning Chords

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

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

Blues Scale in Open G Tuning

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

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

G Tuning Accompaniment

Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.

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

Improvising in G Tuning

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

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

Open G Shuffle Rhythm

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

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

Open G Shuffle Variations

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

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

Robert Johnson Licks

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

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

G Tuning and the Capo

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

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

Come On In My Kitchen

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

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

Skip James Style

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

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

Open D to Open G

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

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

Drop D Tuning

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

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

Statesboro Blues

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

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

Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Minor Blues

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

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

The Capo

Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.

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

Song Endings

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

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

Stop Time Blues

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

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

Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Blues Mambo

Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.

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

Movable Endings

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

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

Movable Blues Scale

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

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

Blues Scale Lead

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

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

Spanning the Neck

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

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

The Blues Had a Baby

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

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

Fun Licks

This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.

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

Spanning the Neck Continued

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

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

Barre Chords Refresher

Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.

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

Chord Relationships

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

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

Chord Relationships Continued

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

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

Shuffle Rhythm Review

Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.

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

Key of A Idea

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

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

Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick

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

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

Capo Ideas

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

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

Everything is Movable

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

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

Bass Notes in Treble

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

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

Treble Shuffle

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

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

Creating Solos

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

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

Transposing Songs

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

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

History of Blues

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

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

Blues is the Roots

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

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

The Style of Hank Williams

Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.

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

The Style of Jimmie Rodgers

Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.

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

Boom-Chicka Strum

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

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

Fun Runs

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

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

Review & Practice

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

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

Song Medley

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

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

Hawkeye's Favorite Licks

Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.

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

More Fun Licks

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

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

More Licks Up the Neck

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

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

Bass Licks

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

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

Rock Me Lick

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

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

Turnaround Positions

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

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

Instrumental Themes

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

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

Instrumental Themes Continued

Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.

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

Ninth Chords

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

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

Ninth Chords Continued

Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.

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

More Eight Bar Blues

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

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

Using a Tuner

Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.

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

Introducing the Capo

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

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

Forming Barre Chords

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

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

4 Up, 5 Down Applied Concept

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

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

Relative Chord Shapes

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

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

Transposing Notes / Changing the Key

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

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

All About Finger Picking

Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.

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

Bo Diddley Beat

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

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

Thematic Bass Lines

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

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

Bass Lines Continued

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

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

Lead Bass Ideas

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

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

Willie's Bounce

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

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

Finger Picking Part 2

Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.

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

The Texas A

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

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

Blues Scale: Adding the Major 3rd

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

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

Double Stops

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

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

Scrapper Blackwell

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

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

Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson

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

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

Humming and Strumming

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

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

Katrina, Oh Katrina

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

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

All About the Hammer-on

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

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

The Pull-off

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

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

Using Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Together

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

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

The Quick Change

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

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

Starting on the IV Chord

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

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

The Talking Blues

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

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

Utilizing 9th Chords

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

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

Minor Tuning, Major Sound

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

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

Style of Elmore James

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

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

Style of Son House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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

Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

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

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Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

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

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

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Maneli Jamal Maneli Jamal

Tapping is a great tool that can be used to create the sound of two guitars without ever having to pluck a note! The tricky...

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Freebo Freebo

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

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

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Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Phil discusses inspiration, where it's found and how you can take almost anything around you and use it to inspire your own...

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Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Alex Scott Alex Scott

Find out what this series is all about.

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Michael Palmisano Michael Palmisano

Michael kicks off his course and explains what to expect from the course, as well as who this course is designed for.

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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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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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Andre Nieri Andre Nieri

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

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John DeServio John DeServio

JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.

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Dan Sugarman Dan Sugarman

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

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

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Rex Brown Rex Brown

Dive into the playing of Rex Brown. As the bass player for Pantera, Down, and Kill Devil Hill, Brown's real world experience...

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

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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.

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