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Rock and Slide Guitar (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

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.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Blues Guitar with Hawkeye seriesLength: 15:55Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (04:23) Open D and Slide with Rock Music Welcome back to the Phase 2 Blues Series with Hawkeye Herman! In this lesson, Hawkeye continues his discussion of slide guitar and open D tuning. All lesson examples are played in open D. Make sure your guitar is tuned perfectly to open D before continuing with the lesson. A review of this tuning is provided below.

6th String: D

5th String: A

4th String: D

3rd String: F

2nd String: A

1st String: D

Blues Influence in Rock and Roll

Many slide guitar techniques that were originally played by blues musicians are often borrowed and used in the rock music. Bands such as the Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by early blues musicians. They cite Muddy Waters as one of their biggest inspirations.

The Rolling Stones song "No Expectations from the Beggars Banquet album can be performed with some of the blues slide guitar elements that Hawkeye has discussed in the past few lessons. The chord progression implies the D Mixolydian tonality. It consists of the I, IV and VII chords in this tonality. Respectfully, these chords are D, G, and C. The bVII chord is the chord that gives the progression its characteristic Mixolydian sound. In the key of D major, the vii chord is a C# diminished triad. The seventh scale degree is flatted in Mixolydian, which results in a diatonic C major chord. Watch as Hawkeye demonstrates the progression with the appropriate voicings at 01:06. At 02:30, he performs the song with vocals.

Note: The original lyrics to this song can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Barre Chords in Open Tunings

In open tunings, a major barre chord can be performed by playing a barre across all six strings at a single fret. Remember that you can use the second finger as a clamp when performing these barre chords. Support the barre performed by the first finger by reinforcing it with the second finger.

Practice Time

At this point, pause the lesson video and practice the song on your own with a metronome. When you feel ready, return to the lesson video and play along with Hawkeye at 03:00.

Note: Tablature and standard notation to all musical examples presented in the lesson can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.
Chapter 2: (04:34) Adding the Slide Make sure that you check out the original Rolling Stones recording of the song from Beggars Banquet. What differences do you notice between their version and the way that Hawkeye demonstrates it in the lesson. What impact do these differences have on the overall sound of each version? Click here to listen to the original recording.

The Stones arrangement features several guitar tracks. The two most important parts are the acoustic rhythm guitar and the lead slide guitar. Notice how the slide guitar part slides into each chord slowly from several frets below. This is a staple technique of slower blues and rock tunes.

To incorporate some of these original elements into his version of the song, Hawkeye slides into each chord fretted chord with the slide. Make sure that you produce a clean sound with the slide. You should hear no buzzing notes or notes that fret out. Also, make sure that each chord is played in tune. Keep the slide parallel to the fret. Play directly over the fret. Also, make sure that you are not thrown off by the parallax view of the fretboard.

Optional D Major Voicing

In between verses, a D chord played at the 12th fret can be substituted for the typical "open" D chord. Playing this chord at the 12th fret enables you to play the chord with the slide.

Watch at 02:43 as Hawkeye performs the song with all of the new slide elements added.
Chapter 3: (06:58) Playing the Song and Final Thoughts "No Expectations" is excellent practice for working on slide technique with chords. Remember that the slide can be very effective in rhythm guitar parts as well as guitar solos and melodies. Make sure that the slide is not making contact with the wood of the fretboard or the frets. String buzz can be eliminate by muting the strings with the left hand fingers behind the slide. Lightly rest these fingers across the strings behind the slight to mute any sympathetic vibrations that are produced.

Additional Slides

In addition to sliding into each of the chords, you can slide out downwards. For example, try sliding down from the C chord at the 10th fret to the G chord played at the 5th fret.

Adding Variety

Instead of strumming the progression, it can be arpeggiated with a pick or the fingers. Hawkeye provides an example of this idea at 01:13. Experiment with various techniques to create your own unique versions of "No Expectations."

You can also play abbreviated versions of the chords. Play any combination of strings within each of the barre chord voicings. For example, you could play power chord voicings on the low three strings. Or, you could play high triadic voicings on the top three strings. Experiment with various combinations. Make a mental note of how each variations affects the overall sound of the song.

By adding in all of these variations, you can construct an effective guitar solo between sung verses. When playing a solo, you can also add vibrato to each of the chords played with the slide.

Practice Time

Practice these new additions by yourself along with a metronome. Then, return to the lesson video and play them along with Hawkeye at 04:36. Chances are that you will play different variations from Hawkeye at different times. This is expected and perfectly acceptable. The overall performance will still sound good.

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.


AdamQAdamQ replied on February 8th, 2017

Amazing lesson even my wife loved it and she normally tells me to shut up!

rkm62rkm62 replied on August 20th, 2013

Thank hawk. Having a blast going through your series for the second time.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 20th, 2013

Thanks so much. I hope you gain even more knowledge and skill via your second journey through these lessons. Enjoy the process.

tunelessbluestunelessblues replied on January 17th, 2012

Really enjoyed this Thanks Hawkeye! My attempt can be seen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=godm1purN_M&context=C3b38a6eADOEgsToPDskITRIZylN8lN_iB87C_4eF2 Its so hard to slide to the correct position when trying to sing.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 18th, 2012

Nice work, Jason. You have to practice this patiently ... tireless repetition is what makes a good guitar player/singer ... you have to get what you're doig on the guitar down so well ... muscle memory ... that you can then focus on the singing ... because your guitar accompaniment is almost on 'auto-pilot' ... the col thing is that if you love the song ... you don't mind repeating it over and over and over again ... because you're improving how you play it incrementally every time you pick up the guitar. Enjoy the process ... and theses lessons. ;-) Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and skills with us.

kristaankristaan replied on November 2nd, 2011

say 1m 23 in the 3rd scene. You slide and then play the chord. Just wondering if you are playing the chord with the slide. Do you press down with the slide? Hover over it? Or play it with the ring finger? Thanks man, great lessons

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on November 2nd, 2011

KRISTAAN, I'm using the slide at the fifth fret .... just as I'm using the slide throughout the song to play all of the positions ... I'm using in the basic slide technique that I teach in my previous/earlier basic slide guitar lessons. If you've skipped over those lessons, you need to go back and learn the basics of slide guitar ... I think it's pretty clear in the video that I'm not using my fingers to fret any of the strings ... I'm using the slide ... and if you're asking me about my 'pressing down' with the slide ... you need to refresh yourself on the basic slide lessons that are posted because I'm not doing anything in this song that I haven't previously covered/explained in previous basic slide lessons in terms of slide technique. Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

kristaankristaan replied on November 2nd, 2011

and at 4m 46...

kristaankristaan replied on October 31st, 2011

Awesome lesson. So when you slide to the 5th with the slide, do you then press down and play the G chord with the slide or your ring finger? Can't really see from the video.

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

Kristaan, You'll have to tell me where in the lesson you're talking about ... at what point ___ minutes, ___ seconds does what you're asking me about occur.

philipgeorgephilipgeorge replied on May 3rd, 2011

Hawkeye: I just took up guitar at the age of 47, six months ago, intending to focus on rock. I opened up your lessons and got hooked, so thanks. It's great stuff. I am now busy buying blues albums as a result. One quick question - I am having difficulty getting the strumming pattern right on No Expectations. Any guidance would be helpful.

philipgeorgephilipgeorge replied on May 4th, 2011

Very good. And thanks for the quick response.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 4th, 2011

My pleasure to help you out when I can. Take your time and enjoy the learning and playing process.

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

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

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

Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. To get the strum pattern for this song ... simply watch the video over and over again and use the video controls to stop the video and replay/view any portion of any length that is troublesome to you, a million times if necessary, until you catch on. All I can say is that repetition in viewing the technique and in practicing it yourself over and over is how these things are learned. Are you aware theat there is complete notation of what I'm doing in the 'supplemental material' directly under the video lesson ... called 'exercise #2.' be sure to check it out. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for realizing that, IMHO, blues is the best place to start if you want to play rock and roll. ;-)

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on July 17th, 2010

I better start checking my Spelling.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 17th, 2010

Me too ... it's not so much my spelling ... it's my keyboard 'skills' that suffer. ;-)

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied on July 17th, 2010

Hawk! I haven't worked with the drop "D" tuneing much so I tought I would give it a try. I took my old seconed guitar and tuned it to drop "D' so I could move to it in a hurry wnd have it on hand. This is a great lesson for getting the touch. As usual youe lessons have been great.It's more fun when you have soemthing to sing with! Dennis(canyonvilkle)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 17th, 2010

Dennis, Glad you like dropped-D tuning. It's a nice variation, and since you onlly tune one string (the low E string down to D) it can be done quickly on one guitar ... you really don't 'need' to have a separate guitar tuned to dropped to :-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. THanks so much.

patsendpatsend replied on January 23rd, 2010

Why not, it would be great to meet you in France and have a session. In novembre 10 I'll be advanced in playing guitar. thanks hawkeye and thanks so much Jamplay.com

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

I hope to see you in France in November ... be sure to check my web sites 'tour schedule' page for more information: http://hawkeyeherman.com/tour_schedule.htm be aware that you should check back every now and then, as dates are being added throughout the year ... I may be in Scotland and Switzerland, as well this year ... so please check my tour schedule page every now and then for new performance dates. ;-)

patsendpatsend replied on January 17th, 2010

it's so simple when you teach it. I am so glad to learn how to play a littel bit like a Rolling stone! Thanks so much

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 17th, 2010

Un grand merci. I hope to see you in France at Blues sur Seine (www.blues-sur-seine.com) Festival in Mantes La Jolie in Nov. of 2010. Besides performing in concert, I give a two-day blues workshop at the Castel La Roche Guyon. (http://hawkeyeherman.com/photo_gallery/Gallery8/02.htm) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

floorshakerfloorshaker replied on November 20th, 2009

Hi Hawkeye. This is great. Using the same techniques to play `Little Red Rooster'. Brilliant fun. Thanks. Chris

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

Greetings Chris, Thanks so much for the message, for enjoying these lessons, and for putting these techniques to good use. I hope you continue to travel with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com

steve666steve666 replied on August 6th, 2009

I'm really enjoying your lessons , I having trouble getting video on second part of lesson intro works but when it normally refreshes it goes to black screen.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on August 6th, 2009

steve666, Glad you're enjoying the lessons. Sorry about the tech. difficulties/issues you're having with this lesson ... but I don't have a thing to do with that ... if you're having a tech. problem you need to contact the jamplay.com web site admin. to find out what's going on. Hope you can get it straightened out. Thanks again.

AntonAnton replied on February 18th, 2009

Dear Hawkeye..... How long i have waited for new lessons from you... Seems like eternity. I was away in Dominican Republic for 15 days and when i came back i see a whole 9 new lessons from you. I am so happy.... I mean really happy. As far as i can feel it, i'm starting to like Open-D slide guitar more and more. Seems like it a wonderful different instrument that i found out for myself. I really wish i could sing.... I had a lot of fun during this lesson. Even before you said "Mix it up a little" i was already playing along in different strumming and picking single notes in between and we sounded good together. :) You are the man Hawkeye!!

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

Anton, Welcome back> I hope you had a good trip. Now, you're behind on the guitar lessons ;-) ... but take your time catching up ... the lessons will always be here. Uf you like D tuning, you have much to look forward to, as we will be studying G tuning next. Enjoy!

karozakaroza replied on February 4th, 2009

cool guitar

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

karoza, Thanks. It's a 1964 Martin 0-18. It has a wonderful balanced sound which is great for recording. I'm using it in this lesson and those that follow to show my students here at jamplay.com that you don't have to play an old resonator guitar like the guitar I used in all the previous lessons (my 1934 wood-body National 'Trojan' model) to play blues and/or slide guitar. This small bodied 'parlor' guitar sounds great playing blues. Thanks for your comment on it.

kevin57kevin57 replied on February 4th, 2009

Hi Hawkeye I am 57 and been practicing and playing since I was 12 years old. I love guitar and enjoy guitar sites on the net. Even though I have been playing so long I have watched and enjoyed your lessons here on jamplay. I agree with what you say to go over and over and over it. Keep up the great work. I am in Australia but now we can all learn all over the world with jamplay

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

Greetings Kevin57, Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. Do you know my Aussie blues pickin' buddy Fiona Boyes? Here's a photo of us pickin' some blues together on the '05 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/photo_gallery/HawkeyeHermanGallery2/24.html And if you want some more blues guitar information (free) please check out: http://www.hawkeyeherman.com/guitar-lessons.htm Thanks again for enjoying these lessons. I hope you continue to travel with me on the 'blues highway' here at jamplay.com

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.


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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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

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

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Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

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Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

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Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

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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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Kris Norris Kris Norris

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

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Brent Mason Brent Mason

Learn Nashville style country guitar from one of the most recorded guitarists in history. Check out rhythm grooves, solos,...

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

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Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

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

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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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