Sweet Home Chicago (Guitar Lesson)


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

Sweet Home Chicago

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

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 16:17Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:40) Sweet Home Chicago Robert Johnson Style Review of the "Texas" A Chord

Hawkeye begins this lesson with a review of what he refers to as the "Texas" A chord. This chord features a barre at the 2nd fret performed by the first finger. The first finger barres the fourth, third, and second strings at this fret location. Then, the pinkie finger frets the high root note at the 5th fret of the E string. It is quite common to alternate between this chord voicing and the A7 voicing that Hawkeye demonstrates at 01:15 within the context of a 12 bar blues progression. Remember that both of these chords are transposable to all 12 keys when the open 5th string is omitted from the chord shape. To play Hawkeye's arrangement of "Sweet Home Chicago," you will need to transpose these chords to the key of E major.

A6 Chord

Hawkeye demonstrates a brand new chord as well. By barring the fourth, third, second, and first strings at the 2nd fret, an A6 chord is formed. This chord is comprised of the following notes: A, C#, E, and F#. F# is the major sixth above the root note, A.

Sweet Home Chicago

In this lesson, Hawkeye applies these chord shapes to the classic Robert Johnson song "Sweet Home Chicago." He has decided to teach this song in the key of E major. The original Robert Johnson recording of the song is played in F# major. Consequently, you must transpose everything Hawkeye teaches you in this lesson up one whole step if you wish to play along with the recording.
Chapter 2: (07:50) Playing the Song The First Four Bars

Hawkeye's arrangement of this song features a brand new rhythm figure played over the first four bars of the 12 bar form. The first measure begins by alternating back and forth between an E7 and an E major triad for one measure. These chords can either be strummed in triplets, or you can apply a fingerpicking pattern that involves the low E string. This is followed by a measure of the basic shuffle pattern on an E chord. Then, these two bars are repeated.

The rhythm of the first measure is played in eighth note triplets. Triplets occur very frequently in all styles of music. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you learn to play them in perfect time. When playing triplet rhythms count "trip-pl-let, trip-pl-let, trip-pl-let, trip-pl-let," to keep the rhythm steady. Or, you can also count "1+ah, 2+ah, 3+ah, 4+ah."

New Turnaround

At the end of the 12 bar form, Hawkeye introduces a new turnaround lick. This turnaround is a variation on the basic turnaround that you have already learned. The notes within this turnaround can either be played simultaneously in triplets or arpeggiated in triplets.

Practice Time

Pause the lesson video and practice what you have learned so far. Once you have a firm grasp on this material and can play it along with a metronome, return to the lesson video. You have an opportunity to play through 12 bars of "Sweet Home Chicago" along with Hawkeye at 07:13.
Chapter 3: (05:45) Making it Different Adding a Lick

You don't necessarily have to play the shuffle pattern on the A chord in bar 10 of the form. Instead, you can play the double stop lick from the E minor pentatonic scale that Hawkeye taught you in the previous lesson. Robert Johnson used this lick several times in his recording of "Sweet Home Chicago."

Adding the Vocal Melody

Hawkeye demonstrates how this version of the 12 bar blues works as an accompaniment figure to a vocal line. Listen as he sings and plays through the first verse of "Sweet Home Chicago" at 02:52. Now this arrangement is really starting to sound like the Delta blues style!


Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

Select

Member Comments about this Lesson

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


pgarnerpgarner replied on March 14th, 2016

Bravo! Putting it all together!!

Paul labbePaul labbe replied on March 12th, 2015

Thanks Hawkeye. I have been goof 'n around with shuffles for years, but you have shone me a few new tricks. Even taught me a new way to count.

rkm62rkm62 replied on August 13th, 2013

Still hanging with the hawk. The man!!! Thanks again for being such a great teacher of the Blues.

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

Thank YOU for the comments and for hanging with me. Much appreciated. You might be interested in a thread I started in the forum area "Help with Lessons" ... http://forums.jamplay.com/showthread.php?14559-Cherry-picking-lessons-serendipitous-study-habits-amp-the-concept-of-discipline ... check it out if you get a chance.(Just thought you might be interested.) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and 'hangin' with me here at JamPlay.com.

jzornickjzornick replied on June 4th, 2013

Hawkeye - Isn't this the lick from I Believe I'll Dust My Broom? Love your enthusiasm for the blues. It keeps me plowing through!

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

John, very close ... there is a similarity ;-). If you want to learn Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" ... go here to the free guitar lessons at my web site: http://hawkeyeherman.com/photo_gallery/MichaelHawkeyeHermanPhotoG/JessieMaeHemphill.html .... for lots of free lessons ... and specifically "Dust My Broom" in open D tuning here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/pdf/lessons/ElmoreJames1.pdf .... Thanks so much for 'traveling' with me on the 'bluues highway' at JamPlay.com, I hope you continue to enjoy and be inspired by my lessons.

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

Sorry, I I pasted a wrong URL for the FREE guitar lessons at my web site. Here is the correct URL (I hope;-) ... http://hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm ... enjoy. And if you'd like to know more about the background history and personalities who gave us this music, you can read some of my original articles here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm ... Thanks again for sticking with my 'blues program' ... I'm glad it's 'paying off' for you. Enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing the blues ... forever. ;-)

northerndancernortherndancer replied on February 3rd, 2011

Hawkeye, another wonderful lesson ... it's great to see you smiling as you teach -- you do a fantastic job. I teach creative writing ... so from one teacher to another, thank you very much; it's obvious you've put a lot of thought into these lessons ... just one question re Sweet Home Chicago: do these 12 bars you've taught in this lesson continue through the entire song or is there a bridge/chorus variation anywhere in the song -- hope that makes sense. Have a great day!!!

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

Thanks so much for the kind words about my lessons and teaching style, Frank. Very much appreciated, especially from a fellow teacher. I love what I do, I get to teach and perform blues guitar ... why not smile, and besides, a good time is contagious ... (so is a bad time ;-) ... I always have a good time when I'm doing what I love/playing/teaching/performing blues guitar. There is no 'bridge' in this song ... it's 12 bars all the way through ... although in some versions of this song some performers/players like to play a shuffle back-up for the chorus ("c'mon, baby don't you want to go..."), and then play 'stop-time on the other verses ("One and one is two, two and two is four..." etc.) ... if you don't know what I'm referring to, please look at my lesson #31 ... http://www.jamplay.com/members/guitar/phase2/hawkeye-herman-38/lesson31.html ... for clarification. I hope this is helpful to you. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that these lessons are serving you well. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

eames28eames28 replied on January 18th, 2011

As always, a great lesson. In 1935 a great educator said learning only takes place when you build on a concept that you already know. And that's what you do.....by just adding a varation to what you already taught me I can learn to play such an incredile moving song without having to memorize it. Cheers, Rob

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 18th, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm so glad you realize that I've given a lot of thought and consideration as to he order and content of each these lessons. We keep building on what we learn ... like slowly expanding one's vocabulary when learning a foreign language. The more expansive one's vocabulary, the more options one has in self expression. Thanks so much for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. ;-)

fgannfgann replied on September 27th, 2009

Great lesson - but was I right whilst watching that you did not stick to the 12-bar format 4 of 1 - 2 of 4 etc. but in the first 4-bars you switched between the 1 and the 4th chord.

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

Thanks so much for the kind comment and question/observation. This is still a 12 bar blues ... just count the measures and you'll see ... it is very common to play the IV chord on the second measure of 12 bar blues ... like this: I/IV/I/I/IV/IV/I/I/V/IV/I/I. I appreciate your observation and question ... sorry I failed to mention this in the course of the lesson. Thanks for traveling with me on the 'blues highway' here at jamplay.com.

fgannfgann replied on September 29th, 2009

Thanks a lot for answering - your lessons are really so well done.

kasrakasra replied on September 9th, 2009

hello again Hawkey, this has been in my mind for while now. Well, shuffle rhythm is the on going rhythm for most of the lessons now. What are other type of rhythms in blues music and how we can make them? thank you

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 9th, 2009

kasra, Thanks for the message. Have you perfected the shuffle rhythm? Please be patient. Much more will be revealed to you in time over the course of these lessons ... I truly appreciate your NOT jumping ahead or skipping around in these lessons ... your curiosity and enthusiasm will be rewarded in the lessons ahead ... please understand that I cannot be expected to also give lessons in this 'comments' area ... suffice to say that I have been playing blues guitar for 50 years and teaching for 40 years and I've given a lot of thought as to the order and content of each of these jamplay.com lessons. Please trust me and work within the lessons as they are presented here. Keep in mind that even if you get to lesson #78 ... what seems to be the 'last lesson' ... I will be filming many more hours of blues guitar lessons for jamlay.com in late October, and other rhythms will also be explored in that 'new' series of lessons. There are other blues rhythms ... they lay ahead ... but for now, can you play the shuffle rhythm with no 'dead' notes ... and can you play it smoothly from beginning to end in any key? Do you want to sing as well as play? ... If so, can you sing and play the shuffle rhythm at the same time, making all the changes smoothly with no hesitations ... in every key? Okay ... start practicing ... and get it down well. And just to peak your curiosity ... look at this Hawkeye blues guitar lesson from my current series of lessons that was posted by jamplay.com on youtube.com ... this is not a shuffle rhythm, but does demand that you play a shuffle rhythm as an aspect of this 'new' (to you) blues rhythm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVtnMeVpN1w

kasrakasra replied on September 9th, 2009

thank you for your prompt reply Hawkeye. ill execute ur instructions word by word and piece by piece. thank you for all this amazing lessons and effort :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on September 9th, 2009

kasra, Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. You're on the right track. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and the growth of your abilities on the guitar.

ricardoflynnricardoflynn replied on August 16th, 2009

Not sure how to phrase this, but I'll try my best! Now, you're playing and singing this in the key of E right? When Robert Johnson sings this, is he singing in a 'high' E? I mean, it sounds like he's playing in the same key as you, but singing much higher. I'm confused. Also, I've seen videos on youtube of guys playing this in the key of E, but singing like they're minus something important :D

guitarsenninguitarsennin replied on May 10th, 2013

Yeah Robert Johnson has definitely got a pretty high voice. It actually sounds a bit similar to how a slide sounds to me. I'm not sure if it's just me but every time I hear him sing, the way his voice hits a note just below pitch, and then rises up to pitch and then does a really fast vibrato really reminds me of how a slide sounds. Or maybe slide players ended up mimicking Robert Johnson?

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

Thanks for your comments. The concept of playing blues guitar with a slide is based on making the guitar emulate/'mimic' the human voice ... using a glissando (slide) to go from note to note without employing the use of the frets (like a human vocal glissando, 'hitting' all the notes that are in between the frets on a guitar) ... and the 'shimmer' of the slide over one sting or many emulates the vibrato. IMHO, effective and experienced slide guitar players use the slide to 'mimic'/emulate the human voice ... their own particular human voice ... IMHO, the voice is not used to emulate/'mimic' the sound of the slide ... whether it's Robert Johnson playing slide and singing, or any slide blues guitar singer/player. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 16th, 2009

Yes, I'm in the key of E. I can sing in three or four octaves in about any key ... that means in the key of E. I can sing from very low to very high and still be in the key of E. Some opera singers can sing in six octaves. I like to sing in the keys of E and G because it's most comfortable for me and I have the widest range of choice where to sing the song. Look up the word 'octave' in the dictionary, if you don't understand. Thanks for noticing. You should, perhaps, view my performance videos here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos

eandy5000eandy5000 replied on July 18th, 2009

I have a question about the lick you showed on the 7th and 8th fret. If I am moving it around to other keys do I play it over the I, IV or V chord? I love this set of lessons. I have played more guitar in the last month than I have played in the last 5 years. I especially love how you teach the concept and how to apply it more generally. Thanks Andy

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 19th, 2009

Andy, Thanks for enjoying these lessons and for you question. Please don't be afraid to experiment. Rather than answering your question directly, I'm going to tell you to try it and get back to me with what you think ... did it work, or not? Experimenting is good ear training ... you get to hear first-hand if it's working or not ... and you also get to find out that 'nothing bad' happens as a result of experimenting ... making 'mistakes' is a good form of learning ... we learn more from our mistakes than from doing something correctly on the first try. So, play 12 bars of blues and move the turnaround over all the changes ... and you tell me if you think it 'works,' or not. Please get back to me with your opinion, and what you learned.

kjetilklkjetilkl replied on January 21st, 2009

Hi HawkEye! just wanted to thank you for these great lessons. You are the best instructor so far, and you make it fun to wsatch and learn. And you instruct all the tiny details as well :-) You're a great teacher and bluesplayer that gives great inspiration to a newbie guitar player from Norway as me :-) The only thing I miss by now is: In supplemental content it would be great to have text's to the songs and examples in the different lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 21st, 2009

KJETILKL, Thanks so much. I'm really glad you're enjoying these lessons. You can get some free guitar lessons from me here http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm and you can watch me perform here http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH I do not generally supply the supplemental information for jamplay.com. You can find lyrics by using www,google.com and searching, for example, "Rambling On My Mind lyrics" ... you can do this for the lyrics to almost any song, not just blues. Thanks again for enjoying the lessons. ;-)

rob_smithrob_smith replied on January 7th, 2009

Hawkeye, this lesson set is the best. I'm amazed that 12 bars of shuffle and a couple of turn-arounds can be such fun. My feet are permanently tapping and I can't stop humming the shuffle rhythm. Thank You

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 7th, 2009

rob smith, Thanks for the kind comments. The blues is the watershed of popular music ... 12 bar blues/shuffle rhythms influenced rock, jazz, bluegrass, country, etc. "Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits!" - Willie Dixon ... I'm so glad you're enjoying these lessons ... and I do hope you are building a strong foundation and understanding of blues music ... so that you can apply what you learn to other genres of music. Again, thanks for your kind comments.

ElrohirElrohir replied on October 22nd, 2008

Best gift from my daughter was a guitar stand so that I kept my guitar out instead of in a case. I started picking it up and playing all the time.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 22nd, 2008

elrohir, Yes! Your daughter came through with a great gift for you. Now you can pick up your guitar as the mood moves you, even for a few minutes ... it's true ... every time you hold and play the guitar you improve ... and an added benefit is that if you really enjoy the process of learning/practicing/playing ... it relieves stress. ;-) Thank your daughter for me, too.

titorangeltitorangel replied on October 11th, 2008

Hawkeye, I would like you to know you are by far the easiest and best instructor on the Blues, I love your teaching style, the way you throw in Blues history and the way you break it down. It has really opened the door for me, and made it easier and alot funner, I look forward to waking up in the morning and learning a lesson with Hawkey Herman. thank you so much Mr. Rangel

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2008

titorangel, Thanks so much for your kind comments. I can't imagine teaching blues music without including important and interesting aspects of blues history. The present ... is built on the past. I think you can tell that I enjoy the history as much as the music. Thanks again for looking forward to each 'new' lesson. There's much more to come.

indischgelbindischgelb replied on October 11th, 2008

nice lesson!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2008

Thanks! We have a long blues road to travel together ... I hope you continue to enjoy the journey.

niandraniandra replied on October 9th, 2008

love your lessons sooooooo much. Thanks a lot.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2008

niandra, Thanks so much for the kind comment. I hope you continue to enjoy the lessons. There's much more to come.

ronin808ronin808 replied on October 9th, 2008

Hey hey........ Dont you want to go.... back to that same ole place.....sweet home chicago. a blues brothers classic and then some. I'm lovin it

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2008

ronin808, Well, yes, the Blues Brothers did a version of the song, ;-) but please be sure to listen to older version(s) by Magic Sam and by Robert Johnson. Thanks for your comment, interest and enthusiasm.

psarms876psarms876 replied on October 9th, 2008

Hawkeye, have no fears, your lessons have my guitar always out of the case when I am home :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2008

psarms876, Thanks for the comment ... and for keeping your guitar handy ... repetition is where it's at ... play slow in the beginning, then pick up speed. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Enjoy the process

wthrill911wthrill911 replied on October 9th, 2008

thanks hawkeye keep them coming!!!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 10th, 2008

wthrill911, There's plenty more to come. Thanks for the comment.

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.


Danny Voris Danny Voris

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

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

Free LessonSeries Details
David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Daniel Gilbert Daniel Gilbert

Known around the world for his inspirational approach to guitar instruction, Musician's Institute veteran Daniel Gilbert...

Free LessonSeries Details
James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Glen Drover Glen Drover

Lesson 25 from Glen presents a detailed exercise that firmly builds up fret hand dexterity for both speed and accuracy.

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Kris Norris Kris Norris

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 470454 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 82 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

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

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


Greg J.

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

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


Bill

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

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



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!