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Learning A Licks (Guitar Lesson)


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Eric Madis

Learning A Licks

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

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 12:16Difficulty: 1.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Scene 1

00:00.000 --> 00:21.721
Oh hi.
Eric Madis here from JamPlay.com.

00:21.721 --> 00:30.754
Last time we worked on Memphis lead exercises so that we could play over an entire twelve bar blues shuffle in the key of E.

00:30.754 --> 00:41.388
We actually put together a solo utilizing those different chord changes and playing over the separate chords individually.

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In this lesson I'm going to show you more licks for the chord of A.

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Now it is true that you can play a lot of the licks that I've shown you in E

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and play them over the E, the A and the B chords if you have accompaniment.

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However, if you don't have accompaniment the licks in themselves only define the E chord.

01:06.766 --> 01:14.266
So you wouldn't be able to just, if you were playing by yourself, play those licks over the A chord or over the B chord

01:14.266 --> 01:19.096
and still define the chord changes as you would need to.

01:19.096 --> 01:29.820
So what I like to try to do is show people ideas that emphasize certain chord changes so that if their playing by themselves or even if they're playing

01:29.820 --> 01:39.665
in a group, especially in a small group, that when they play their lick it helps define the chord changes that they're playing over at that time.

01:39.665 --> 01:45.606
So we're going to do a couple different licks in A that I think you'll really like.


Scene 2

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Here's a traditional lick that I call Lightning Hopkins four chord lick.

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What we do is we use our index finger and our second finger

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and we bring them up to the fifth and sixth frets respectively, of the second and third strings.

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They look like this.

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Now as you may notice this is actually kind of like an A chord.

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If I were to put a barred chord in there you could see that those two chords are contained.

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If I were to just play an A chord here, like an F chord brought up to the fifth fret, that we have an A chord there.

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This little triad right here this is an A triad.

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So when we play the second and third strings we actually have the fifth and third is what we call of the A major triad.

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So we start off with those two notes and it's always nice to slide into them from the fret below.

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As opposed to, and that way we get that nice, sliding, bluesy sound.

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Ok. Then we use the ring finger, second finger and index finger on the first string there of the seventh, sixth and fifth frets.

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Ok. Then we use little finger, ring finger and index finger on the second string.

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For the eighth, seventh and fifth frets.
So in other words again, those two strings.

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Then we're going to put the first, second, third fingers down on the second string on the fifth, sixth and seventh frets

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and we're just going to do a little half step bend there.

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By that I mean just barely bend.
So in other words, it's not a big bend but it's just a…

01:57.873 --> 02:05.252
In other words if you were just sliding it would be up one fret down.

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It doesn't take much work but you've still got to turn that wrist like we've done in the past.

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Ok. So let's look at that whole lick again.
We've got…

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One more time for you slide into fifth and sixth frets.
First string.

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Second string.

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Half step bend.

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And then finish this on this E note, that's the second string, fifth fret with the index finger.

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Why don't you try that one.


Scene 3

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Ok. So let's look at that lick one more time.

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Ok. This is a real traditional lick and really helps define the four chord.

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That doesn't mean it wouldn't work over E.
If I was playing E…

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It can work over that particular chord but it's much better over A where it helps define that chord change.

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Ok. Now the next lick we're going to do is what I call the A seventh dyad sequence.

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Ok. So what we're going to do is, we're going to play an A seventh chord down here at the bottom of the fret board on the second fret.

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We're going to be fretting the fourth string and the second string on the second fret.

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Now you may do this with your index and second fingers or second and third fingers

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and that depends on the size of your fingers and the width of your neck on the guitar.

01:00.087 --> 01:06.684
So let's just, let's try this where we are going to pick fourth, second and fourth again.

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This is 12/8 time, a triplet so one, two, three.

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Ok. Now we're going to come up to the third and fourth frets of the second and fourth strings, respectively.

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Ok. Now we're going to be on the fifth fret on both the second and fourth strings and back down to the last lick or the third and fourth frets.

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So that gives us four figures.

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So now as you can see we have four of these triplets and they fit perfectly over one, two, three, four beats.

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Now the thing about this is you can probably notice,

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this lick can stand on it's own like if you're playing by yourself, this lick can actually hold up on it's own.

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This isn't the kind of lick where you just go…
Where there's no real rhythm to it.

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This has got a…

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You can actually feel the shuffle rhythm in this lick and that's one of the reasons why I like this.

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This is one of those licks that you can play on it's own and on your own without any accompaniment and make the music full all by yourself.

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So, again, you know, we had two licks in this lesson.

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The Lightning's four chord lick.
And the A seventh dyad sequence lick.

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And these are two great licks in A.


Scene 4

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Let me show you how you can use these things.

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Let's say we start off using the little seventh chord arpeggio to start off.

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Now let's say I'm come up to the country blues lick.

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Now it's time for the four chord lick, ok.

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Let's go through again if that's not apparent to you, so say we start over with one.

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One, two, three, four. Two, two, three, four. Three, three, four.
Four.

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Now it's time for the fifth measure or the A.

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So let's go to..

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and let's do that twice.

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Ok and let's see.

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Ok, B.
A.

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Ok, so as you can see, what I'm starting to do is actually construct a solo for you and I'm going to do that in the next lesson for you.

01:25.305 --> 01:28.161
So don't worry about getting that down right now.

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Let's just look at the example that I was using of playing this.

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Lightning's four chord lick and how it fell into line perfectly with the A chord change at that point.

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So we had two different licks we could use.

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The A seventh sequence and also the lightning's four chord lick but we also have another one

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that of course you know from previous lessons and that is we have the Memphis lead dyads and actually we have three of them.

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We have descending number one.

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Ascending.

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Then descending number two.

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So essentially you have five licks now specific to A.

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So in other words if I'm playing a sequence in E and I'm playing a twelve bar blues in E like for instance the shuffle I did.

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Let's say I start off with the seventh chord arpeggios and the double wham.

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I can go to…

02:49.601 --> 03:04.053
See I could've used that A seventh or I could've gone…

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The four chord lick or I could've used any of the Memphis leads at that spot.

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So what we actually have now is, we actually have vocabulary that we can use to play specifically over the A seventh chord.

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Now this isn't always necessary if you have accompaniment.

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However, even if you do have accompaniment if you could play more specific to the chord change you'll have a lot more ideas for soloing,

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a lot more ideas for improvisation than if you rely on always playing in the key of one or E licks to play over all three chords.

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That'll be our goal actually.

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To get you so that you're always aware of the chord changes that you're playing over and that you can play either to the key of the one

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or the key of the tonic, in this case being E or whether you want to play specifically to the chord that you're playing over.

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By having those options you have many different strategies that you can follow in your soloing and the more strategies, the more options the better

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because then the process of creativity that takes place in your mind has a greater chance of being able to express itself individually.

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So when we get together next time

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we're going to start working on putting together all of the licks that we've learned in the past into a twelve bar blues.

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This is Eric Madis at JamPlay.com.
See you next time.





Supplemental Learning Material

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


skaterstuskaterstu replied on April 19th, 2016

A few years ago I was too inexperienced to really understand these lessons and how they fit in, maybe I didn't listen well enough too. However after working on Eric's fingerstyle and ragtime lessons, they are making much more sense, which is adding to a real burning desire to master these licks and create more! Thx Eric!

nate_thegreatnate_thegreat replied on May 8th, 2014

Mistake in the supp content. Bend on the M6 note in the Lightnin IV chord lick should be a half step instead of a whole step

craigh214craigh214 replied on March 30th, 2014

Great lessong :). Can I ask what happened to the lesson notes?

krobinson5krobinson5 replied on September 23rd, 2011

Great solo. It makes me feel like a real guitar player.

selfrobselfrob replied on August 15th, 2011

Eric, these lessons are great. I like the way you teach in a way that you can play the blues by yourself rather in a band setting.

isiahlauisiahlau replied on May 4th, 2011

Why lick #1 can be played on A chord, I am confused...what scale is it?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 16th, 2011

Because when the A is being playing, it is important to understand that it is really A7 (or a variation of A7, depending on the notes played before or after). Either way, the tonality is going from E7 (a key in itself, related to A major) to A7 (a key in itself, related to D major and with one note difference between the scales). So, if you were relating this to scales, you would play the E mixolydian mode (which is based on the V of A major) on the E7/E chord, and you would play an A mixolydian (the V chord of the key of D major) on the A7. That is why it is important to realize that, which exception of the blues scales (5 note, 6 note, 8 note, 9 note, etc), you must think of each dominant chord as requiring its own tonality, although it is in reality only one note different from the two other chords (of a basic 3 chord blues). Let me know it that does not make sense to you. Good luck.

thefirepriestthefirepriest replied on January 11th, 2011

I came over here from Dennis' metal lessons to satisfy my curiosity and have got this far in a few hours. Just learned the first piece from this session and improvised over it a bit. Thank you very much for the great lessons, will definitely be coming back to this series!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 16th, 2011

My son is a good metal player also (goes to Berklee College of Music) and he is now really getting into the blues to add more color to all the cool modes and scales he already uses.....So welcome aboard!

mikejhughesmikejhughes replied on December 22nd, 2010

Eric - this is great its all coming together nicely - finally blues is starting to feel more joined up for me - well done!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 16th, 2011

Thanks, Mike!

davidinladavidinla replied on July 16th, 2010

Nice concept building! I like the way you snuck into building a twelve bar solo.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on October 18th, 2010

Thanks, David! - Eric

seasonedcitizenseasonedcitizen replied on January 18th, 2010

Eric, I'am 59 I've taken guitar up again, its been a long time since I've played. I've always like the blues now is my chance to fufill my long time passion. Great lessons, you make it a pleasure to learn. Keep em coming, thanks Bob.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on February 5th, 2010

Thank you, Bob! Good luck and best regards, Eric

john2213john2213 replied on October 6th, 2009

amazing lessons! nice tone.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on December 20th, 2009

Hey John, Thanks! The tone gets better after we get a few bugs worked out. -- Eric

jdavissimojdavissimo replied on June 11th, 2009

Any idea when they're going to post more of your lessons. It's been a while . . .

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on July 27th, 2009

Hi Jon, There should be more really soon! Thanks, Eric

indischgelbindischgelb replied on June 15th, 2009

I hope you keep posting new lessons soon, I really enjoy this series.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on July 27th, 2009

Thanks, Philipp! There are many new lessons on their way that have already been recorded. Take care, Eric

gizmo18gizmo18 replied on May 14th, 2009

great lesson. look forward to many more from you

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 22nd, 2009

Thanks, my friend.

kenwill64kenwill64 replied on May 17th, 2009

Eric your lessons are excellent. I just started playing in Jan 09 at the age of 45. I love the blues and between you and Hawkeye I may actually become a guitar player! :) Thanks so much I really enjoy your lessons and work over them repeatedly. Please keep them coming.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 15th, 2009

Thanks, Richard.

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.



Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 27

Playing Strategy

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

Length: 7:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 34

Minor 7th Arpeggios

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

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric demonstrates dominant 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 40

Freddie King Variation

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

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 44

Mode Application Continued

Eric Madis continues his discussion on mode application concepts.

Length: 18:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Major Pentatonic Scale Ideas

Eric Madis discusses major pentatonic scale ideas.

Length: 6:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 47

Ending Licks

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

Length: 12:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

Fill-in Licks

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

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 50

More Ending Licks

Eric Madis teaches some classic ending licks.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Swing Blues

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

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 54

Descending Minor Blues

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

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 58

The Bump Shuffle

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

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 62

Blues Bass Groove #3

Eric Madis teaches another useful bass groove for blues guitar.

Length: 5:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 63

Blues Bass Groove #4

Eric Madis teaches another valuable blues bass groove.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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

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.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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


Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

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

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

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

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

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

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

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

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Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

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Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

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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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Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

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

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Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

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

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


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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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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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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Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...

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David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

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Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

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Paul Musso Paul Musso

JamPlay is proud to welcome senior professor and Coordinator of Guitar Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver,...

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.

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