Playing in the Key of A (Guitar Lesson)

Lesson
Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Mary Flower

Playing in the Key of A

In this lesson, Mary plays in the key of A major in drop D tuning.

Taught by Mary Flower in Fingerstyle Blues seriesLength: 8:36Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Loading



Supplemental Learning Material

Select

Comments

Member Comments about this Lesson

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


Petehunt123Petehunt123 replied

not enough explanation at this early stage!!

mpiechowiczmpiechowicz replied

I agree with a few others here, I would love to see this broken down and explained better as I love this music but as it's new to me to try and play it I need explaining better. Thanks.

rosmiarosmia replied

Mary, please take some time and break down that intro for us. The intro is very important. Or is the intro perhaps somewhere else in your lessons?

raynobleraynoble replied

Print option does not work on supplementary content

bobbyovedbobbyoved replied

I have a question about the first part of Hard DAy Blues. Mary says she is going to start on the 5 chord and does a few notes and a chord which she does not break down and explain. It's the very beginning part of the tune, and its not in the tab. Does anyone know enough about what she is doing at the very beggining to be able to break it down and explain it step by step??

bobbyovedbobbyoved replied

Enter your comment here.

scott sscott s replied

Great song...does anyone know if Mary details the intro she uses in the play through somewhere?

stabilostabilo replied

mary is a great teacher. i have been a strummer for most of my life so i m goin try hard at finger picking.just awsome.love the blues.

nash24nash24 replied

Another great lesson!

tony1489tony1489 replied

What type of fingerpicks (brass) is she using?

acousticnookacousticnook replied

I think they're Dunlop Propics. I've never used fingerpicks before. I like using them except that they numb my fingers a little. I'm going to grow my nails again and play that way. I have pretty strong nails, we'll see how it sounds as I move forward with this.

den9355den9355 replied

Great lessons!!! Keep them coming.

skaterstuskaterstu replied

More Mary, Great! I am addicted to Mazza's lessons!

rayza4drayza4d replied

enjoying your lesson sets very much. Even experimented by raising that 2 string up to a C from B. I can still get that slight bend by reaching up over the top of the nut and it makes that looong D with the F# way easier.(only needs two fingers now) I've struggled a bit with the main A riff. I think it's because of the syncopation but i'll get it.

kathykathy replied

I'm working on that really nice-sounding but wide D7 chord everytime I practice Hard Day with my small left hand, but I admit I go through the song at least once using a different D7 fingering that doesn't sound completely awful so thought I would share in case others are struggling w/it, too: 6th and 1st strings are open, first finger/2nd string/third fret . . . second finger/4th string/4th fret...third finger/5th string/5th fret....pinky/3rd string/5th fret. It's a C7 shape moved up a whole step, basically. There are three D notes are in it AND Mary's favorite F#. ;)

indischgelbindischgelb replied

I really like your style and your lessons come just at the right moment for me. I hope there are gonna be lots more!

jamciclonjamciclon replied

I can see that all supplemental material is written in Guitar Pro. Is there any chance to get the .gp5 file... I ´d love to practice reading and timing that way. THANKS!

kathykathy replied

Don't know if the Lesson 1 Exercise is malfunctioning or just not up yet? Exercise 2 opens up fine. I am thrilled that Mary's sharing her knowledge and blues style here. For me, it feels like Christmas has come early. ;D

cdawsoncdawson replied

Just updated the supplemental, mainly, page 1. Should be working now.

skaterstuskaterstu replied

Wow, Mary is an awsome guitarist... I am falling in love!! Just watched the tutorial in its entirety and I love it, especially the solo-style blues she plays. Is Mary gonna be a permanent member of JamPlay churning out these lessons regularly? This style is really really cool, and I cannot wait to be playing this.

gone workingone workin replied

I've avoided alternate tunings until I get regular tuning down. But this sounds so awesome I'll have to now take that side trip and see where it goes. Jumbling chords about-- must be a joke or two about that.

Fingerstyle Blues

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.



Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

In this lesson, Mary Flower introduces herself and her playing style. She also discusses essential blues listening.

Length: 11:14 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Blues in Drop DLesson 2

Blues in Drop D

In this lesson, Mary Flower talks about playing the blues in drop D tuning. She teaches two amazing song examples to get you started.

Length: 21:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Playing in the Key of ALesson 3

Playing in the Key of A

In this lesson, Mary plays in the key of A major in drop D tuning.

Length: 8:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Eight Bar BluesLesson 4

Eight Bar Blues

In this lesson, Mary Flower talks about the eight bar blues. She demonstrates it in a couple different keys.

Length: 14:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
8 Bar Blues ProgressionsLesson 5

8 Bar Blues Progressions

Mary Flower shows several songs that demonstrate the 8 bar blues.

Length: 11:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
How Long and Statesboro BluesLesson 6

How Long and Statesboro Blues

Mary Flower demonstrates two classic songs that feature an 8 bar blues structure. The songs are "How Long" and "Statesboro Blues."

Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sounding Like a PianoLesson 7

Sounding Like a Piano

Mary Flower discusses various blues guitar techniques that can give your guitar a wonderful piano sound.

Length: 13:41 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Twelve Bar BluesLesson 8

Twelve Bar Blues

Mary uses the songs "CC Rider" and "When I Lost My Baby" as examples in her discussion of the 12 bar blues.

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues DuetLesson 9

Blues Duet

In this lesson, you will learn a blues duet that you can play with someone else. Or, you can record yourself playing one part and play the second part over it.

Length: 16:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues in the Key of ELesson 10

Blues in the Key of E

Mary is back with another lesson filled with tips on playing the blues in the key of E.

Length: 6:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Midnight Hour BluesLesson 11

Midnight Hour Blues

Mary talks about the song "Midnight Hour Blues" and gives some great tips on how to play this beautiful tune.

Length: 9:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Movable Chord in the Key of ELesson 12

Movable Chord in the Key of E

Mary Flower dives into more blues in the key of E by teaching a movable chord.

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Arranging SongsLesson 13

Arranging Songs

Mary talks a little bit about arranging songs and uses the song "John Henry" as an example.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Spike Driver BluesLesson 14

Spike Driver Blues

Mary teaches and discusses the history behind Mississippi John Hurt's song "Spike Driver Blues."

Length: 15:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Diminished ChordsLesson 15

Diminished Chords

Mary talks about diminished chords and looks at various different shapes. You will learn the song "Walking Across the Country" as an example.

Length: 16:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Buck RagLesson 16

Buck Rag

Mary teaches the classic song "Rag Time" by Rev. Gary Davis in this fun Blues lesson.

Length: 23:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mississippi BluesLesson 17

Mississippi Blues

Mary teaches a song called "Mississippi Blues" by Willie Brown.

Length: 32:03 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Saturday Night RubLesson 18

Saturday Night Rub

Mary Flower teaches the fun and catchy song "Saturday Night Rub" by Big Bill Broonzy.

Length: 25:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Key of FLesson 19

Key of F

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

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 3.0 FREE
South Carolina RagLesson 20

South Carolina Rag

Mary teaches the song "South Carolina Rag" by Willie Walker.

Length: 12:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Open D TuningLesson 21

Open D Tuning

Mary Flower talks about the advantages of open D tuning.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Boogie Woogie DanceLesson 22

Boogie Woogie Dance

Mary Flower shares her interpretation of a classic blues slide tune called "Boogie Woogie Dance."

Length: 16:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Alabama BoundLesson 23

Alabama Bound

Mary Flower shares some thoughts on the bass notes found within the song "Alabama Bound" in this lesson.

Length: 6:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues in ALesson 24

Blues in A

Mary Flower talks about improvising a blues in A.

Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sugar BabeLesson 25

Sugar Babe

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Sugar Babe," a Mance Lipscomb tune.

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Michigan WaterLesson 26

Michigan Water

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Michigan Water," a Jelly Roll Morton tune.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bye Bye Baby BluesLesson 27

Bye Bye Baby Blues

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Bye Bye Baby Blues" by Little Hat Jones.

Length: 12:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Just a Closer Walk with TheeLesson 28

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Mary Flower shares her rendition of the spiritual song "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" in this lesson.

Length: 10:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
River of JoyLesson 29

River of Joy

Mary Flower shares an original song called "River of Joy."

Length: 16:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open D Tuning Song ExerciseLesson 30

Open D Tuning Song Exercise

Mary Flower shares a song played in open D tuning that features alternating bass and syncopation.

Length: 12:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
M & O BluesLesson 31

M & O Blues

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "M & O Blues," a Willie Brown song.

Length: 15:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Colored AristocracyLesson 32

Colored Aristocracy

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of the song "Colored Aristocracy."

Length: 13:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Turkey in the StrawLesson 33

Turkey in the Straw

Mary Flower shares her modern rendition of "Turkey in the Straw."

Length: 10:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Trouble in MindLesson 34

Trouble in Mind

Mary Flower shares her rendition of the catchy blues tune "Trouble in Mind."

Length: 8:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Crow JaneLesson 35

Crow Jane

Mary Flower demonstrates Carl Martin's arrangement of the song "Crow Jane."

Length: 15:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Oh Babe It Ain't No LieLesson 36

Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of the song "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" by Elizabeth Cotten.

Length: 11:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Mary Flower

About Mary Flower View Full Biography Working in both the intricately syncopated Piedmont fingerpicking style and her own deeply bluesy lap-slide guitar, Mary has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for her springwater-clear vocals and mastery of multiple guitar styles as well as her own compositions. Though she can create prewar blues and ragtime with the best of them, Mary draws on traditional, contemporary and original material to create something new: a sound uniquely her own that remains true to the timeless power of the blues.

Flower's elegant, funky and inventive playing on vintage guitars makes her one of a mere handful of women guitarists admired for their instrumental prowess. In 2000 and 2003 respectively, Mary placed in the top three at the National Fingerpicking Championship. Her career as an internationally known performer and teacher has spanned more than three decades.

A recent transplant to the Northwest, Mary cut her teeth on the Colorado music scene where she played with the likes of Katy Moffatt, Pat Donohue, the Mother Folkers and more. Mary took a detour in the 80s to raise a family, all the time woodshedding and performing locally.

Mary's CD Bywater Dance, recorded pre-Katrina in New Orleans for Yellow Dog Records, has garnered widespread acclaim. An award-winning player with seven solo cds and 5 instructional DVDs to her credit, Flower is in demand for festivals, concerts and guitar workshops on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Unassuming blues heroine Mary Flower proves one again that she's one of the nation's premier fingerstyle blues guitarists-- her technique is exceptional throughout, and in the end, serves the highest purpose, the music--unfailingly sweet, hot and sassy--every track on this album has something about it that will give you the shivers... This is one of the most satisfying albums of the year."
  - All Music Guide to Blues

"Her crisp, fluid fingerpicking sounds deceptively effortless, with flawlessly executed syncopation, the hallmark of a bouncing, upbeat Piedmont style. From casual listeners to devoted blues fans, Flower's music is accessible to everyone"
  - Blues Review

"With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in twelve tunes bred of back porches, parlors, street corners, juke joints and country churches...one of the best blues based singer songwriters working today."
  - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Mary is one of those rare artists who manages to create a tincture of the aged authentic with the freshly original."
  - Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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


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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

Fingerstyle guitar is a broad term that can incorporate percussive elements of playing as well as Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed...

Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

Free LessonSeries Details
Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

JamPlay is proud to introduce jazz guitarist Peter Einhorn. In this lesson series, Peter will discuss and demonstrate a way...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Welcome to the Phil Keaggy Master Course! In this series introduction, Phil shows and tells us what we can expect from this...

Free LessonSeries Details
Don Ross Don Ross

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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


Jeffery Marshall Jeffery Marshall

Welcome to Inside and Out with Jeff Marshall! In this lesson series, Jeff takes a bottom up approach to fret board proficiency....

Free LessonSeries Details
Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
David Ellefson David Ellefson

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Danny Morris Danny Morris

Hone in on your right hand and focus on getting in the groove. You'll only play one note during this lesson, but it'll be...

Free LessonSeries Details
Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

Free LessonSeries Details
David Wallimann David Wallimann

This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.

Free LessonSeries Details
Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

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

Free LessonSeries Details
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.

Free LessonSeries Details
Sarah Longfield Sarah Longfield

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 518009 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

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

Live Lessons

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

Interactive Community

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

Chord Library

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

Scale Library

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

Custom Chord Sheets

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

Backing Tracks

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

Interactive Games

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

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

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

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

Series
Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 123 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

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

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


Greg J.

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

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


Bill

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

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



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!
Signup