Using the Memphis Blues (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

Using the Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how the Memphis blues licks taught in the previous lesson can be used over various chords.

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 5:52Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:54) Lesson Introduction Intro Licks

Eric begins this lesson by combining some of the licks from the previous lessons. Practice combining these licks in the context of your own solos. Don't be afraid to experiment! You never know what you might come up with.

In the last lesson, Eric demonstrates some double stop licks played in the Memphis blues style. These licks can be played over a tonic E chord chord within a 12 bar blues progression. Review and memorize these licks at this time if necessary. In the current lesson, he explains how these licks can be transposed and played over the IV and V chords in the key of E.
Chapter 2: (01:36) Using the Memphis Lead Over Other Chords The entire pattern taught in the last lesson (Descending #1 + Descending #2) can be transposed to any key. For example, sliding the pattern up to 17th position transposes the lick to A Mixolydian. By descending through the same pattern, the entire lick now implies an A7 sound. Remember that the Mixolydian mode is an excellent choice when playing over dominant seventh chords. The appropriate Mixolydian mode shares the same root note as the chord.

Watch as Eric demonstrates the full lick in A at 00:30.

Descending #1 in A

When the full lick is broken up into two parts, Descending # 1 can be played an octave lower. Eric demonstrates this idea at 01:15. Acoustic players will not be able to perform the lick in the higher octave.
Chapter 3: (03:20) Playing the A and B Using Memphis Lead Descending Lick #2 in A

When transposed to A, Descending Lick #2 begins with a double stop played at the 9th fret. Remember that Lick #2 can also be played backwards as an ascending pattern.

Descending Lick #1 in B

Similar to the full lick in A major, acoustic players will not be able to play the full lick in the key of B. The full lick must be broken up into two parts. Descending Lick #1 can then be played an octave lower. In the key of B, Descending #1 begins with a double stop played at the 7th and 8th frets.

Descending Lick #2 in B

In the key of B major, descending lick 2 begins with a double stop played in 11th position. Eric demonstrates descending at 02:03. It can be played ascending as well (02:23).

Preview of Next Lesson

Eric explains how to create an effective 12 bar blues solo by using the licks taught in this lesson and lesson 6. Hawkeye Herman has taught a similar lesson in his blues series. Check out lesson 11 from Hawkeye's Phase 2 Blues set for more information on this topic.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Oh hi.
Eric Madis from JamPlay here again.

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Good to see you and you may recall in the last lesson that we were working on Memphis lead scales.

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We actually had taken the entire Memphis lead scale and broken it up into groups of four.

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Descending number one.

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Descending number two.

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And ascending.

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Today I am actually going to teach you to actually use them over a twelve bar blues.

Scene 2

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Before we do that what I'd like to mention is what I've shown you so far is for the chord E seventh.

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Now when you use these dyad scales, when you use these little dyads over other chords, you have to make changes in these so you can play them

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for instance, in A seventh or a B seventh if you're playing the three chord blues in E.

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For example if we were to play from A we could actually come up here, way up here to A

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and play the exact same thing in the same order that we did in E.

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However, in most cases a lot of you aren't going to be playing electric guitar you're going to be playing acoustics

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and you may not want to come all the way up here to the seventeenth fret first.

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You may want to start at the fifth fret and this is where the groups of four really comes in handy

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because if we look at the A Memphis scale we could actually start here on the fifth fret instead of the seventeenth.

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So in other words, instead of coming down here we can see that we can play descending number one in A there.

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We could do the same thing on the fifth fret.

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In other words, we're going fifth, third, second and open.

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Now that'll give us our descending number one in A.

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So let's try that one a second.

Scene 3

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Ok, now let's look at descending number two in A.

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So let's start here on the ninth fret and come down to the ninth, eighth, seventh

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and then play the major chord or the major dyad on the fifth fret.
So it's ninth, eighth, seventh and fifth, sixth.

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Now this is going to be descending number two as you probably recognized in A.

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So now instead of playing it like we did in E where we have the whole thing all in one line, we have to break the groups of four up

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because now we're in A so like I said we can either play here from the seventeenth fret or we can play from the fifth.

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Let's go from the fifth.

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Ok so, so far we have descending number one
and descending number two.

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You may recall that descending number two may be played backwards to make an ascending.

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So those are our three groups of four in the key of A seventh.

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Now what about the B seventh because certainly in most of these shuffles we're going to have a five chord or a B seventh chord.

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So let's come down from the seventh fret using the descending number one.

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Ok, so playing the same thing here from the seventh and eighth frets respectively, down two frets down to the fourth fret and second.

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So again, we have seventh and eighth, fifth and sixth, fourth and second.

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Now that would be descending number one in B.

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We can do descending number two in B by coming down from the eleventh fret.

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So we come up to the eleventh fret, come down one fret at a time and stop here at the seventh and eighth frets, B.

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So that's descending number two in B.

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And we can ascend up.

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That will give us our ascending in B.

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So we can see in B it's the same thing that it is in A and in E.

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So let's look at the three different groups of four in B.

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We have descending number one.

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Descending number two.

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And ascending.

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Now we're going to take a short break and after you've had a chance to look at those three different sets of ascending and descending licks

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we're going to put these together in a lead exercise for a twelve bar E shuffle.

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Thanks this is Eric and I'll see you in the next lesson.


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

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

mpiechowiczmpiechowicz replied

My favourite and I think most inspired use of the 'Memphis dyads' is 'Buckets of Rain - Bob Dylan' - I love Dylan's adaption of blues music, particularly acoustically. Would love some Bob Dylan inspired lessons.............p.s. - Eric has such a great way of teaching i've learnt more from him than anyone else about blues guitar. Thanks Eric.

RomaroRomaro replied

I love the lessons but having now done basic acoustic and basic electric I find it frustrating at the lack of complete songs to play using the material in the lessons...

theenglishtheenglish replied

Eric, I love your camera style! This is the first lesson where I noticed that you are using the licks you've taught in your lessons. I have played basic guitar for twenty years--strumming basic chords. Last year I bought my first electric guitar, and after only seven lessons with you (and getting some ideas from Kenny's first two lessons) I actually feel like I am playing music and not just backing up for somebody else. (I also like lesson 68--I skipped ahead)

roger stacyroger stacy replied

For having no given talent... I'm having a blast!

hunter1984hunter1984 replied

*looks up at the camera*... Oh, hi!

aze0117aze0117 replied

Hi Eric, great lesson!! It really help a lot. I just wondering if we can have a qiuck way to find the decending 2 directly?

aze0117aze0117 replied

I think I can answer the question by myself. When I practising, I just found I can use a simple way to find the descending 2 freg. I called it ' +4 princle' , for example, the descending 2 for A, firstly can find the A freg in 1 string, its 5th freg, so +4 the freg for descending2 for A is nine. The same for B, firstly B is 7 freg in 1st string, +4 its 11, which is the freg for decending 2 for B. Let me know if it is right way Eric and hope can help you guys. Rock on!!

blinkyblinky replied

Hey you put a smile on my face. Lessons are easy enough for me and I feel like I accomplished something. Well done.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Blinky!

GlenBGlenB replied

These lessons are terrific. I'm having a ball with them. Thanks so much to Eric.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for the kind comments. It is you who we need to thank for your interest, love of music and support! Good luck with this. - Eric

aleshaalesha replied

Hey, it' something wrong with scene 2 - there is no video!

jboothjbooth replied

I just double checked scene 2 on all quality settings and there were no issues. You may want to close your browser out, come back and try again and let me know if it helps. If not try switching from server 1 to server 2, or the opposite if you are already on server 1.

mkorsmomkorsmo replied

I'm sorry, did we startle you? You seemed surprised to see us. Anyhow... I'm really digging these lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I don't remember now.....perhaps you did! It's always weird watching oneself or hearing oneself in a recording. I try my best to avoid watching myself in that context and rarely look in a mirror!

CarolLBCarolLB replied

Great, can't wait to put it to use in the next lesson.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, I hope you find these useful!

Electric Blues with Eric

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.

Basic Blues ShuffleLesson 1

Basic Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Eric introduces himself and his Phase 2 lesson series. He also teaches a basic blues shuffle in the style of Jimmy Reed.

Length: 17:35 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Licks by Lightnin' HopkinsLesson 2

Licks by Lightnin' Hopkins

Eric teaches a few popular Lightnin' Hopkins licks. These licks can be played over the blues shuffle from the previous lesson.

Length: 11:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
More Lightnin' LicksLesson 3

More Lightnin' Licks

Eric covers a few more essential licks in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Length: 7:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
John Lee Hooker LicksLesson 4

John Lee Hooker Licks

Eric teaches a few licks inspired by the great John Lee Hooker.

Length: 7:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Country Blues LickLesson 5

Country Blues Lick

Eric Madis explains a country blues lick he calls the "Country Blues Double Wham."

Length: 6:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Memphis Blues LeadLesson 6

Memphis Blues Lead

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Using the Memphis BluesLesson 7

Using the Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how the Memphis blues licks taught in the previous lesson can be used over various chords.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
12 Bar Memphis BluesLesson 8

12 Bar Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how to construct a full 12 bar blues solo by using the Memphis blues licks he taught in previous lessons.

Length: 7:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Applying the Memphis BluesLesson 9

Applying the Memphis Blues

In this lesson, Eric applies the Memphis Blues Lead to a practical blues context.

Length: 4:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Learning A LicksLesson 10

Learning A Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches two licks that can be used over an A chord.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
IC BluesLesson 11

IC Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a type of blues shuffle that he calls the "IC Blues."

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Simple Blues LeadLesson 12

Simple Blues Lead

In this lesson, Eric talks about playing blues lead using licks you already know.

Length: 8:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Play Like T-Bone WalkerLesson 13

Play Like T-Bone Walker

Eric Madis begins to explain T-Bone Walker's style of playing the blues.

Length: 7:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
T-Bone Walker LickLesson 14

T-Bone Walker Lick

Eric Madis teaches a classic T-Bone Walker lick and talks about several different variations you can play.

Length: 10:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Exploring T-Bone Walker LicksLesson 15

Exploring T-Bone Walker Licks

Eric Madis introduces several new T-Bone Walker licks and explains the ways they can be used.

Length: 10:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
T-Bone Walker Licks ContinuedLesson 16

T-Bone Walker Licks Continued

Eric continues his exploration of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
T-Bone Walker Licks Wrap-UpLesson 17

T-Bone Walker Licks Wrap-Up

Eric wraps up his overview of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques in this lesson. You will be applying what you've learned in the next lesson, so be sure to practice.

Length: 10:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Swing Blues in ALesson 18

Swing Blues in A

Eric teaches a swing blues progression. He teaches the progression in the key of A and explains how licks from previous lessons can be played over it.

Length: 14:17 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Stormy Monday BluesLesson 19

Stormy Monday Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches the blues progression to "Stormy Monday Blues." This progression is played in the style of T-Bone Walker and Earl "Fatha" Hines.

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Stormy Monday Blues IntroductionLesson 20

Stormy Monday Blues Introduction

In this lesson, Eric returns to the world of "Stormy Monday Blues" to teach an amazing introduction segment.

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Transition LicksLesson 21

Transition Licks

Eric Madis teaches a series of licks that can be used to transition from one pentatonic pattern to another.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Second Position LicksLesson 22

Second Position Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis demonstrates popular blues licks within the second pattern of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Thrill is GoneLesson 23

The Thrill is Gone

In this lesson Eric talks about one of the classic blues tunes, "The Thrill is Gone," by B.B. King.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Third Position PlayingLesson 24

Third Position Playing

In this lesson, Eric Madis introduces the third pattern of the minor pentatonic scale. This pattern is used frequently by the likes of B.B. King.

Length: 11:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Using Third PositionLesson 25

Using Third Position

Eric Madis once again talks about third position and how it can be used. He also introduces a slew of new licks.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Fourth PositionLesson 26

The Fourth Position

In this lesson Eric Madis talks about the fourth position of blues playing.

Length: 10:04 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Playing StrategyLesson 27

Playing Strategy

In this lesson Eric talks about "strategies" to use while playing and improvising.

Length: 7:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Alternative Blues ShuffleLesson 28

Alternative Blues Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces the alternative blues shuffle, which is particularly useful on guitars featuring humbucker pickups.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Freddie King Style LicksLesson 29

Freddie King Style Licks

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches licks in the style of Freddie King.

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Aeolian ModeLesson 30

Aeolian Mode

In this lesson Eric talks about the differences between the minor blues and the "dominant" blues. He also introduces the modes, beginning with the Aeolian mode.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Locrian ModeLesson 31

Locrian Mode

In this lesson Eric Madis introduces the Locrian mode and talks about how it can be used in blues.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Dorian ModeLesson 32

Dorian Mode

Eric continues his series on modes. This time he covers the Dorian mode and its relation to the blues.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modes & Minor Key BluesLesson 33

Modes & Minor Key Blues

Eric continues his discussion on modes in relation to the minor key blues.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Minor 7th ArpeggiosLesson 34

Minor 7th Arpeggios

Eric Madis teaches a handful of minor 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Dominant 7th ArpeggiosLesson 35

Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric demonstrates dominant 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Applying Dominant 7th ArpeggiosLesson 36

Applying Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric discusses dominant seventh arpeggios and how they can be used in blues licks.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Diminished 7th ArpeggiosLesson 37

Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Eric talks all about diminished 7th arpeggios and gives five exercises to practice.

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Applying Diminished 7th ArpeggiosLesson 38

Applying Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Learn how the diminished 7th arpeggios from the previous lesson can be applied to the blues.

Length: 12:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
You Don't Love MeLesson 39

You Don't Love Me

Eric teaches the catchy blues song "You Don't Love Me."

Length: 14:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Freddie King VariationLesson 40

Freddie King Variation

Eric teaches Freddie King variations on T-Bone Walker licks.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lick ExerciseLesson 41

Lick Exercise

Eric provides an exercise that uses previously learned licks from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th patterns of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Introduction to ModesLesson 42

Introduction to Modes

Eric starts you off on the right foot with an introduction to modes.

Length: 28:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mode ApplicationLesson 43

Mode Application

In this lesson, Eric explains some common blues applications for the modes of the major scale.

Length: 12:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mode Application ContinuedLesson 44

Mode Application Continued

Eric Madis continues his discussion on mode application concepts.

Length: 18:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Major Pentatonic Scale IdeasLesson 45

Major Pentatonic Scale Ideas

Eric Madis discusses major pentatonic scale ideas.

Length: 6:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Lick IdeasLesson 46

More Lick Ideas

Eric shares some more great lick ideas that you can incorporate into your playing.

Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ending LicksLesson 47

Ending Licks

Eric shares ideas on ending licks, turnarounds, and tags in this lesson.

Length: 12:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fill-in LicksLesson 48

Fill-in Licks

Eric Madis teaches some great filler licks for your bag of tricks.

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bass LinesLesson 49

Bass Lines

Eric Madis talks about some common blues bass lines that will spice up your playing.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Ending LicksLesson 50

More Ending Licks

Eric Madis teaches some classic ending licks.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Swing BluesLesson 51

Swing Blues

Eric Madis introduces the swing style of the 12 bar blues.

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Classic Minor BluesLesson 52

Classic Minor Blues

Eric Madis introduces the basics of the classic minor blues and talks about how this progression can be spiced up using simple blues techniques.

Length: 18:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
A Minor Blues in 8/8 TimeLesson 53

A Minor Blues in 8/8 Time

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a popular blues progression in 8/8 time. This rhythmic feel gives the progression a funkier or more rock-like feel than the traditional blues.

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Descending Minor BluesLesson 54

Descending Minor Blues

Eric teaches a classic blues progression he calls the "Descending Minor Blues."

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modern Block Chord Minor Key BluesLesson 55

Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues

Eric Madis teaches an interesting minor blues progression he calls the "Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues."

Length: 7:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Detroit Chicago Funky BluesLesson 56

Detroit Chicago Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches an amazing blues progression he calls "The Detroit Chicago Funky Blues."

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jimmy Nolen's Funky GrooveLesson 57

Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove

Eric Madis moves on and teaches an astonishing blues progression he dubs "Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove."

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Bump ShuffleLesson 58

The Bump Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces a blues style called "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Bump Shuffle #2Lesson 59

The Bump Shuffle #2

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches a second way to play the classic blues progression "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 4:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chicago Bass GrooveLesson 60

Chicago Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches a bass oriented blues progression entitled the "Chicago Bass Groove."

Length: 6:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues Bass GrooveLesson 61

Blues Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches another powerful bass groove he has extracted from the world of blues.

Length: 3:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Bass Groove #3Lesson 62

Blues Bass Groove #3

Eric Madis teaches another useful bass groove for blues guitar.

Length: 5:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Bass Groove #4Lesson 63

Blues Bass Groove #4

Eric Madis teaches another valuable blues bass groove.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Wolf's GrooveLesson 64

Wolf's Groove

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a blues bass groove inspired by Howlin' Wolf.

Length: 4:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Minor Progression Major ChordsLesson 65

Minor Progression Major Chords

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a valuable blues chord progression that he calls "Minor Progression Major Chords."

Length: 11:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sliding Ninth GrooveLesson 66

Sliding Ninth Groove

Eric enthusiastically presents a new chord progression he calls the "Sliding Ninth Groove."

Length: 5:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tribute Blues ShuffleLesson 67

Tribute Blues Shuffle

Eric pays tribute to Memphis Slim and Jimmy Reed in something he likes to call the "Tribute Blues Shuffle."

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chicago Style Funky BluesLesson 68

Chicago Style Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches a blues chord progression inspired by the Chicago style of blues playing. This progression has a funky rhythmic feel.

Length: 9:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Eric Madis

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

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Steve Stevens Steve Stevens

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

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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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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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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving...

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

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

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Yvette Young Yvette Young

In this lesson, Yvette breaks down a staccato tapping riff from her song, Shibuya.

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

So how does Andy Wood pick so quickly and with such precision? Level up your speed and accuracy with Andy's near-flawless...

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Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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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 127 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
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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Mike H.

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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


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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 Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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