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Treble Shuffle (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Treble Shuffle

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 9:22Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (06:53) Blues Shuffle on the Treble Strings At this point in the lesson series, you have already learned how to play the shuffle rhythm on the bass strings in all 12 keys. Hawkeye also taught you several ways to vary this rhythm in order to keep your blues playing exciting. Now, you will learn how to play the basic blues shuffle on the treble strings.

Music Theory

When playing a shuffle pattern, the fifth and sixth scale degrees are played in conjunction with each chord root. Hawkeye explains this theoretical concept in relation to an E major chord. Within this chord structure, the tonic and fifth of the chord are the notes E and B. This chord voicing alternates between the tonic and major sixth of this chord. The tonic and sixth are the notes E and C# respectively. As Hawkeye mentions, the b7 of the chord, D, frequently is added to the shuffle pattern. You learned how to add this chord tone to one of the variations on the shuffle pattern in a past lesson.

Reminders

-Remember that the order of chord voicings (1 and 5, 1 and 6, or 1 and 7) can be varied within the shuffle pattern. You can start on 1 and 7, 1 and 5, or 1 and 6. Then, experiment with the remaining chord order.

-Also, remember to vary the tempo at which you practice the basic shuffle pattern. Blues songs are played at a wide range of tempos. Hawkeye demonstrates a very slow shuffle rhythm at 02:40.

Shuffle on the Treble Strings

Start with a basic open E chord. Along the 2nd string, you have the fifth, sixth, and flat seventh notes available. Once again, these notes are B, C#, and D. By playing these notes against the basic E major chord shape, you have created a shuffle pattern on the treble strings. This shifting melody line must be played with the pinkie finger.

To apply these concepts to the IV and V chords, you must use barre chord shapes for dominant seventh chords. The barre chord shapes for major chords do not work since the pinkie must be free to play the 5, 6, and b7 melody line on the B string.

However, for the IV chord, A, you can use the open A shape. Use fingers 1, 2, and 3 to fret the notes on the fourth, third, and second strings. Then, play the shuffle melody on the high E string instead of the B string. The 5, 6, and b7 in relation to an A major chord are E, F#, and G. These notes can be found at the open, 2nd, and 3rd frets of the high E string.

Moving the shuffle rhythm to the treble strings will provide you with one new exciting way of playing this staple rhythm. Most blues music follows a single harmonic form. For this reason, you must be able to play through the 12 bar blues form using a variety of different rhythm figures.

All 12 Keys

Remember to practice everything that Hawkeye teaches in all twelve keys. The E7 shape can easily be converted into a movable barre chord shape with the root note on the low sixth string. This barre chord shape can be transposed anywhere on the fretboard. Hawkeye has already demonstrated how to use this barre chord shape when playing the treble shuffle with the A7 and B7 chords. Simply transpose this rhythm pattern to the appropriate fretboard location.

If you are struggling with the full dominant seventh barre chord, Hawkeye demonstrates a way of playing the shuffle rhythm an abbreviated form of this chord shape. This example can be found at 06:20 in the lesson video.
Chapter 2: (02:28) Jammin' with the Blues Jamming with other musicians is an extremely beneficial and entertaining way to hone your chops. A key component of jamming with other musicians at home is that you are free to experiment and try new things. If what you try ends up sounding bad, don't worry. After all, there is no audience present to disappoint. If the new idea sounds good, then you have just discovered something new that will potentially take your playing to new heights. The best way to learn is by making mistakes and analyzing them.

For example, if you sit down and jam with someone and they are playing the basic shuffle pattern, what will you do? One option is to improvise a solo with the minor pentatonic or blues scale. If you wish to stick to rhythm at this moment in the jam, you are free to do so. However, you don’t want to play the exact same thing the other guitarist is playing, because he/she is already doing it. Instead, you could play the treble version of the shuffle rhythm to round out the sound. By the same token, if somebody else is playing the shuffle in the treble register, you could play the shuffle pattern on the bass strings.



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.


Chasing-WindChasing-Wind replied on January 20th, 2017

Hey Hawkeye, I don't know how old these lessons are? BUT, they are great and I've learned so much and I'm only on #26. I'm 63 and took up the guitar and joined JP a little over a year ago, after retiring. I'm enjoying the ride.

askenasken replied on December 13th, 2013

Hi Hawkeye. I am 66yrs old, Norwegian (living in Norway). It is fun hearing you say you spent a lot of time with Brownie McGhee. The first blues-record I bought ( back in the late 60.s) was with Brownie McGhee - and Sonny Terry. The first blues-BOOK I bought was Brownie' book. It's a small world. AS for learning to play the blues - I am very happy that you took the time to "make a system" that works fantastic pedagogically. Thanks. Svein I. Ask (asken)

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

Greetings Svein, Thanks so much for the message and kind comments. I'm glad you're enjoying these lessons and my style of teaching. Yes, Brownie McGhee was a mentor to me back in the late 1960s & early 1970s, as he lived only about a mile away from me in Oakland, CA, and I spent a good deal learning from him, and playing with him, at his home. Brownie had a great influence on my style of playing and approach to the music. I'm forever grateful to him for taking the time to 'bring me along' in blues music. You'll find many Hawkeye versions of blues songs on video here: http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... try to play along with me as you watch the videos ... it's good practice, and you can see how I use the blues guitar techniques I teach here at JamPlay.com when I'm performing in concert and at festivals. Also, if you're interested in blues history and background stories on the many iconic blues musicians I met and learned from over the years, you might enjoy reading some of the articles I've written: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm .... I was in Notodden/Norway to perform in concert just one year ago, in Oct. of 2013. I enjoyed my time in Norway very much and I hope to return ... someday. Thanks again for taking the time to let me know that you're enjoying these lessons ... and of your longtime knowledge and enjoyment of the music of Brownie McGhee. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

askenasken replied on December 14th, 2013

I live on the coast just south of Notodden and the festival is well known. And .... I am following your lessons and enjoying it av lot. Thanks for your long answer. asken

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

Yes, I performed in Notodden for the festival organization and also a concert in Kongsberg in Oct. of last year. I hope to return to Norway sometime in the the future. So, perhaps we'll meet in-person someday ;-) and we can jam on some blues guitar.

askenasken replied on December 14th, 2013

I would love that. If you are coming to Norway, let me know. In the meantime I'll work on your lessons. Best wishes.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 15th, 2013

Svein, I'll let you know if/when I'm to be in Norway. Until then ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

mstewart85mstewart85 replied on August 25th, 2011

As usual, another great lesson. "Guitar Gramma" mentioned she has arthritus in her fingers. I've had the same for at least 20 years, but after 1 1/2 years playing the guitar, the pain is gone. You are right, guitar playing (at least for me) is excellent therapy.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 25th, 2011

Thanks for the kind comment about this lesson. I'm glad to hear that playing the guitar has been good therapy for your arthritis, Michael. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons ... and that playing the guitar continues to be therapeutic for your arthritis. :-)

pasangpasang replied on April 7th, 2011

Great lessons,hawkeye...I wasnt much into blues before i saw your lessons...all I can say is thanks...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on April 7th, 2011

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. I've given a lot of thought and planning into the content and order of these lessons ... I hope you'll follow these lessons in the order they are presented ... takie you time, move/progress at your own speed ... and you'll develop a strong foundation in and understaning for blues music. Thanks again. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

rkm62rkm62 replied on February 20th, 2011

i have learned more here with hawkeye through 26 lessons then i did in one year and hundreds of bucks. i'm telling everyone i know to come here to jamplay. wow. amazing results. i started doing things on the acoustic but moved over to a fender strat with a fender blues junior amp. much better! thanks hawk! rob.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 21st, 2011

Thanks so much for your kind words and for enjoying these lessons, Rob. I'm glad you're having good results and making progress. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. ;-)

guitar grammaguitar gramma replied on February 2nd, 2011

Hi Hawkeye, I have to tell you I am having so much fun with your lessons! This one really opened my eyes, I love all the variations you give us. I have some arthritis in my fretting hand which sometimes gives me grief....now I am seeing I can make changes to make it a little easier on these old fingers! Thanks so much, you keep me moving along this blues highway!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 7th, 2011

Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you're progressing nicely via my lessons. I really appreciate it. I have arthritis in my fingers, too, and the guitar is excellent therapy ... take your time, don't overdue it/hurt yourself, be patient with yourself ... and I truly hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. ;-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 16th, 2010

I have a little confession to make here Hawkeye, i still cant do the shuffle in the key of E when it comes to that darn V chord (B) and reach up to the 6th fret with my pinky!! Still practising it though, making some ground, but i think it'll be the death of me lol!! Now this lesson kinda lets me off the hook, so to speak, by letting me do the shuffle beat on the treble strings in the B chord on the 7th fret, and that is easy, so at least i can still continue to play the blues without being stuck forever on your first group of lessons. OB

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

Have you tried to play the B7 and A chords, for a shuffle rhythm, using the barred E/F chord at the 7th (B) and 5th (A) frets ... maybe the reach will be easier for you if you use the E/F type barre chord than the A shaped barre chord. Also, in either barred chord shape, it's only necessary to hold down the low strings with pressure from your index and second fingers (then your pinky) ... not all six strings. I don't apply much, if any, pressure to strings that I'm not going to play ... regardless of the chord shape ... barre or otherwise. It's a waste of energy ... to hold down strings with solid pressure that you're not going to pick notes on. Good luck with improving your shuffle abilities. Cheers for your patience.

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

Thanks for the 'confession.' For complete dispensation of your 'sin' ... please say ten "All hail to the shuffle rhythm!" ... and keep practicing. :-)

ozblokeozbloke replied on February 17th, 2010

I think its ten hail marys and an our father lol. I'll keep plugging away, it's all about practise. OB

rockingchicagorockingchicago replied on November 4th, 2009

ive stepped in dog pies more than cowpies before jaja

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

Porque no hay vacas en Waukegan, solamente perros grandes y gatos malos. Cuidado en las calles del la ribera del Norte, amigo.

sendbahtsendbaht replied on October 27th, 2009

Hello Hawleye, what cord please is it that you play at the end of the G shuffle? I believe you play 3 bar Gs then something to end the song on the 9th and 10th fret. Thanks pal.....

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

Thanks so much for the question. Please replay the lesson and let me know exactly where in the lesson this is by telling me at what point in the lesson it is in minutes and seconds ... and I'll try to answer your question.

sendbahtsendbaht replied on November 4th, 2009

Thanks Hawkeye, I'm trying not to step in any cow pies.:) OK, Scene 1 the very end 06:52/3

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 4th, 2009

It's a G9 chord. Go here to see it, it's the last (6th) chord on the page: http://www.guitarconsultant.com/chords-g9.html Don't step in any cowpies :-) ... but then in India, you're used to dodging cowpies. Namaste.

currannicurranni replied on February 19th, 2009

these chord shuffles are fantastic for the lesson before

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on February 20th, 2009

curranni, Thanks glad you like these variations. See if you can come up with some of your own. Have fun.

gerndtgerndt replied on February 18th, 2009

hawkeye, i like very much your mix between harder and easier lessons. i found this lesson an easy one to accomplish. gives me the feeling, i am advancing. maybe it's only an illusion... ;-)

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

gerndt, Thanks for your comment. I try to make the lessons fun, entertaining, informative, and a bit challenging. What might seem easy to you may be hard for somebody else, and what may be hard/difficult for you may be easy to somebody else ... so I try to keep the lessons fun and just challenging enough that with some practice you can accomplish what I teach. You're not dreaming or delusional ... you're actually getting better on the guitar ;-) Please continue to enjoy these lessons.

cfreyercfreyer replied on January 21st, 2009

Hey Hawkeye. I'm having a hard time playing the E-A-B progression at the 6:30 mark in the video because my hand isn't built like yours. My fingers are longer and I have a hard time curling my pinkey up on the B string and moving it fluently. Is this something that will come with time? Anything I can do to ease my playing? Thanks very much for the great lessons. I really enjoy your teaching.

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

cfreyer, Thanks for the message. I have long fingers and big hands ... but if f your fingers are longer than mine ... you should have no trouble doing this ... you need to practice ... for hours ... for days ... not minutes ... keep your left elbow away from your body, get your left hand more forward and curved around the neck, make your fingers stand up straighter ... and watch what I'm doing and follow my positions carefully ... this exercise of playing a shuffle rhythm on the treble strings is way easier than playing a shuffle rhythm in the bass strings and having to stretch your pinky for two or three frets. This is a long and winding road that has no end ... I've been playing the guitar for 50 years (!) ... it shouldn't take you 50 years to accomplish this ... but at the same time, expecting to be able to play like me in only a few minutes or a few hours ... is somewhat unrealistic, don't you think? Every time you pick up the guitar to practice you get better ... so ... pick up the guitar as often as possible and don't move on to another lesson until you get it right ... if you skip around, there will be 'holes' in your blues foundation. Please be patient with yourself ... take it slow ... if you can't do it slow ... you won't be able to do it fast ... so crawl, then walk, then run. Enjoy the process. This is not about being frustrated ... this is a challenge about self fulfillment. Patience, my friend ... I've been doing this stuff almost my entire life ... if you ever think that you're a master ... of ... anything (other than video games) ... you ain't. There's always more to learn. Enjoy the learning process ... and one day you'll look back at this question you've posed for me ... and chuckle. ;-)

ronin808ronin808 replied on September 22nd, 2008

there is no sound on this vid guys

ronin808ronin808 replied on September 22nd, 2008

ooops!! it was on my end sorry

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.


Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

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Justin Roth Justin Roth

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

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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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David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

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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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Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

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

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Calum Graham Calum Graham

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

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

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Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

Do you want to play more musical sounding solos? Do you want to play solos with more emotion behind them? Maybe you're the...

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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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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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Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

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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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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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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

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

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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Allen Van Wert Allen Van Wert

Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity. This is a short lesson but the exercises here can...

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Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

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