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Matteo Carcassi (Guitar Lesson)

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Steve Eulberg

Matteo Carcassi

In this lesson, Steve teaches you how to play a beautiful piece by Matteo Carcassi. He has chosen Op. 60 (No. 1) in order to demonstrate essential right hand techniques.

Taught by Steve Eulberg in Fingerstyle Guitar seriesLength: 42:00Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:41) Introduction Music Steve welcomes you back to another great lesson with "Exercise 1" from Matteo Carcassi's famous classical guitar method book. In this lesson, Steve introduces some concepts and exercises taken from The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method. If you are interested in studying classical guitar, we highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book.
Chapter 2: (05:48) Fingerstyle Guitar: Matteo Carcassi Carcassi Biography

Matteo Carcassi, the famous Italian guitarist and composer, was born in 1792 in Florence, Italy. He began his musical training as a pianist. However, he began to study the guitar as well at a young age. Carcassi decided to move to Germany in 1810 to pursue a career in music. He soon gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist and guitarist. While in Germany, Carcassi met French guitarist Antoine Meissonier, who published most of his pieces.

In 1820, Carcassi decided to move to Paris. He continued to tour Europe for the next two decades, but spent the majority of his time in Paris. Carcassi quit performing public concerts in 1840. He died in Paris, France on January 16, 1853.

The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method

One of Carcassi's most important contributions is his method book for the guitar (op. 59). This book remains a fixed standard among classical guitar educators across the globe. Along with the Aguado, Giulliani, and Sor method books, the Carcassi Method is a key component of many undergraduate classical guitar programs.

Review of Fingerstyle Concepts

The right hand thumb, index, middle, and third fingers are used to perform the vast majority of classical guitar music. The pinky is only included to perform flamenco techniques such as the rasgueado.

Note the abbreviations used for each right hand finger in a classical guitar score.

Thumb: P
Index: I
Middle: M
Third Finger: A
Pinky: C

For now, the P finger will only be used to pluck notes on the three bass strings. The I finger is used to pluck notes on the G string. M plucks the B string, and A plucks the high E string. Once you move beyond beginner classical guitar pieces, these basic guidelines pretty much go out the window. For now though, adhere strictly to these guidelines.

Right Hand Technique

There are two stroke different techniques utilized in classical guitar. These two techniques are referred to as free strokes and rest strokes. All of the material in this lesson should be performed with free strokes. Rest strokes will most likely be covered in a later Phase 2 Fingerstyle Lesson.

Free Stroke

Follow these rules when performing a free stroke:

1. All movement should originate from the knuckle joint. Do not pluck from the middle joint of each finger!

2. The finger should pass through the string all the way into the palm of the hand. This produces the loudest, clearest possible tone.
3. Keep the tips of your right hand fingers relaxed. This will help with overall speed and control.

4. The wrist should be kept straight. Bending the wrist disallows the tendons from working properly. This can lead to aggravation of the tendons and permanent injury.

5. DO NOT rest your pinky on the pickguard! It is impossible to play the vast majority of classical music with this faulty technique.


Since each finger is designated to a certain string(s), planting should be applied to all musical examples presented in this lesson. Rest the appropriate finger on the string that it is designated to pluck. This way, your fingers will be ready when you need to strike a specific string. The following information is taken from Scott Tenant's book Pumping Nylon. The Alfred Publishing Company publishes this book.

“Planting simply involves preparing, or placing, a fingertip on a string accurately enough to execute a stroke. It also helps to briefly stop the vibration of a string between notes just enough to control the tone. Slapping the finger down onto a vibrating string causes a slapping sound, and, more often than not, the nail alone makes careless string contact creating a sizzling effect. By planting we control where we land and minimize any unpleasant noises.

Planting Exercise

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content tab" for tablature to this exercise.

Steve demonstrates two basic exercises that will get you acquainted with full planting. Keep in mind that the first exercise is not designed to sound like a beautiful piece of music. It is simply a technical exercise aimed at gaining control of your right hand.

Chapter 3: (06:08) Begin Learning the Piece Exercise 1

Steve demonstrates how to play the first exercise from Carcassi's guitar method in this lesson.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content tab" for tablature to this exercise.

This etude features a repeated arpeggio pattern in the right hand. Begin by fretting an open C chord. P and M pinch together to pluck the notes on the D and B strings. Then a pedal tone is played by the I finger on the open G string. A pedal tone occurs when a single note is repeated against an overall changing harmony. In this case, the note G is repeated as a pedal while the chord progression changes from C to G7.

Steve has written out the appropriate arpeggiation of the C chord on his marker board. Repeat the figure on his board 8 times before moving to the next chord. Then, the chord progression switches to a G chord. Lift all of your fingers from the fretboard when playing this version of a G chord. This particular voicing involves only the open D, G, and B strings. Repeat this open string arpeggio 8 times.

Next, the chord progression moves to a voicing that you may not be familiar with. This chord is G7 in third inversion. This means that you are playing a G7 chord with the 7th of the chord in the bass. Use the fingering listed below to fret this chord:

4th string: 3rd fret, third finger
3rd string: open
2nd string: 3rd fret, fourth finger
Chapter 4: (08:17) More of the Matteo Carcassi Piece There is another way to finger the G7 chord that you learned in the previous scene. If you are having difficulties with the first version, see if the second version feels more comfortable. However, you will need to master the first fingering of this chord to play numerous beginner pieces in the classical guitar repertoire. Switching from a C chord to the second version also adds an obnoxious string squeak to your tone.

Here is the appropriate fingering for the second G7 option:

4th string: 3rd fret, second finger
3rd string: open
2nd string: 3rd fret, third finger

Steve has broken this piece up into three separate sections. In the previous scene, you learned the first section. He teaches the second portion in this scene. The chords remain the same in this section, but they are played differently. For example, this section begins with the tonic C chord. This time around, you are plucking the A string with P and the high E string with A. The drone or pedal note remains unchanged.

Note: Open "Second Part" under the Supplemental Content tab for the arpeggio patterns played in this section.

Remember that speed is only a means to a musical end. Focus on playing cleanly and musical. Also, make sure that you pluck each individual note using the proper right hand techniques listed above. This will ensure that each note rings with a powerful tone.
Chapter 5: (08:47) The Next Section Note: Steve does not actually teach the next section in this scene. It is presented in the following scene.

Steve begins this scene by connecting each of the chords in the previous section. He repeats the arpeggio pattern for each chord several times. This is for practice purposes only. You do not repeat the arpeggio pattern this many times in the context of the actual piece.

Throughout this scene, play along with Steve to ensure that you are maintaining a steady rhythmic pulse.

Musicality Issues

When playing any piece of music, you want to highlight the melody line. This requires that you pluck melody notes with a louder tone in comparison to the supporting harmony. In this piece, the melody note is always found on the highest string of each arpeggio pattern. Also, make sure that the drone or pedal note is buried lower in the overall mix. This requires special attention since open string notes naturally sound louder than their fretted counterparts.
Chapter 6: (05:30) Second Half of the Tune This portion of the piece adds some new chords to the harmony of the piece. However, the G pedal tone still remains constant.

Right Hand Fingering

Steve applies the following right hand guidelines to this section of the piece:
For now, the P finger will only be used to pluck notes on the three bass strings. The I finger is used to pluck notes on the G string. M plucks the B string, and A plucks the high E string.

However, this section is much easier to play if you use a more appropriate fingering. Throughout this entire section, use P for the pedal tone on the G string. Then, use I and M to pluck the B and E strings. Compare this fingering with the fingering Steve uses. You will find this fingering much more comfortable.
Chapter 7: (07:11) Finishing Up Steve gives you an opportunity play the remaining portion of the piece along with him in this scene. If you can play each individual section along with Steve, you are now ready to perform the entire piece as one cohesive unit.

Note: Open “Third Part (Board)” for tablature to each individual arpeggio pattern in this section.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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

cerrig1cerrig1 replied

really enjoying your teaching thanks Steve; I think I may be having a renaissance in my enthusiasm for guitar - at the age of 74! Been on a plateau for years - dull place to be and now I'm on the move again.


Nice piece and easy to play, but, in looking for the complete score, I found it does not match Op 60 no. 1 in my Carcassi book. Not even close allowing for simplification. What is this piece?

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

One thing to keep in mind with score books, specific to music of this vintage is that a lot of it is open to interpretation. The music has been transcribed and re-transcribed through the centuries between it's inception and now. As a result, you will often see variations in print and interpretation of the piece. As an example, the real book is often thought of as the definitive jazz collection, however if you review different versions of even the real book, you will find different interpretations of the same piece, from even the same publication. This is commonly true of any transcription, but especially so when one has been passed down the centuries.


Thanks for your response.

DebbieMDebbieM replied

Thank you, this was a great lesson! So simple, but sounds so beautiful ... and it is achievable for beginner like myself which feels so rewarding.

imonarimonar replied


dr.buzzdr.buzz replied

Enter your comment here.

dr.buzzdr.buzz replied

I've been having problems with the videos lessons taking forever to download and once they do the audio is on/off over the course of the lesson. Also, the past few weeks I haven't been able to use Safari to connect to jamplay.com, but have been forced to use Firefox, instead. I hadn't run into any of these problems the past year plus. Any ideas?

poppygopoppygo replied

videos are breaking up.not what i paid for

dr.buzzdr.buzz replied

I'm having lots of problems with the videos downloading. It seems they take forever and then once it starts the audio portion is hit and miss as well. Tried changing from high quality to medium quality but it didn't seem to help much either. I also had to use Firefox as Safari stopped being able to connect to jamplay the past couple weeks now. Hadn't had the problem previously the past year or so. Anybody know what's up?

tmorenotmoreno replied

Good stuff. Thank you Steve.

patwiesnerpatwiesner replied

Clear instruction, interesting story about Carassi and very helpful to me as a learner.

leonirleonir replied

Hello Steve, really enjoying your lessons, but I cannot open fifth and sixth lesson, I get an error message, could it be fixed asap..? Because I really want to move forward with this :) Regards Alex

rickyj59rickyj59 replied

Hi Steve, Your lesson 7 finishing up is giving me an error message so I can't view it..I sent this problem to tech support weeks ago but they havent't fixed it. I tried all the remedies they gave me, clear cache try antoher browser, etc but noting works. I mainly need to no what the repeating sequences are as I can see the correct notes to pley in lesson 7 from the supplemental materials. Thanks for the great piece by he way I'm also learning house of the rising sun and I love your version Crosby Stills song as well.

rickyj59rickyj59 replied

Disregard I moved the quality from high to medium and that fixed the problem

layollayol replied

Thanks fir the great job Steve. It is a very enjoyable piece to play. Doug

sja876sja876 replied

I love learning from you Steve!!! THank You : )

blueguitar24blueguitar24 replied

nice lesson steve i enjoyed it a lot

patsendpatsend replied

thanks a lot Steve, great job! You're born to be a teacher at jamplay;.;

joanegjoaneg replied

Steve What book did you get this exercise/song from. I have The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method and I can't seem to find it in this one.

jackie134jackie134 replied

Hi, it is in the Mel Bay presents "The complete Carcassi guitar methoad, Exercise 1 Andantino page 17. Well the first two parts are. I have just invested in a copy of the book as well as continuing to play other classical tunes. Hope you are progressing well too! Best wishes from London UK

andrergsanchezandrergsanchez replied

I don't have a physical copy of any of his books, but a tab I downloaded for it elsewhere had it as Studybook I - 02 Andantino.

coolguitaristcoolguitarist replied

great lesson steve . Very good

cannibalcorpse524cannibalcorpse524 replied

thank you very much for the lesson steve.

ceyeber62ceyeber62 replied

Steven, great lesson. I enjoy the way you get you points across. It helps a lot! The piece is not No 1. Opus 60 though, it is Andantino in C, according to my music book (The Classical Guitar Collection, Volume 1).

ceyeber62ceyeber62 replied

My apologies: it's Steve, of course.

jackie134jackie134 replied

Steve, thanks for a wonderful lesson and a beautiful piece which is a joy to play. I really appreciateed the way you linked theory of chords to playing fingerpicking style. You are so right, by playing for tone and slowly and getting it right, once this is achieved then the speed automatically comes. Well it has with me and I feel this is the first time since returning to guitar that I am really playing a piece at speed and with panache! Thanks so much. I am still working on the swinging porch tune in lesson 1 and am determined to master it!!!

steveeulbergsteveeulberg replied

Hi fallenang31, I suppose AA-B-A is more accurate. Thanks for your careful attention. Steve

fallenang3lfallenang3l replied

wouldn't it be "A-A-B-A-A-B" if you put it as a ryme scheme? your A_B_C seams a litte bit confusing at least to me. ;)

Fingerstyle Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle guitar is the classic art of playing the guitar solely with the fingers. Fingerstyle playing opens up a whole new realm of possibilities on the guitar.

Starting FingerstyleLesson 1

Starting Fingerstyle

Steve introduces you to the world of fingerstyle guitar by teaching a few exercises and an orignal tune called "Porch Swingin'."

Length: 38:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Matteo CarcassiLesson 2

Matteo Carcassi

Steve Eulberg teaches you to play Op. 60 (No. 1) composed by Matteo Carcassi.

Length: 42:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
House of the Rising SunLesson 3

House of the Rising Sun

Steve teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "House of the Rising Sun" by Animals.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Freight TrainLesson 4

Freight Train

Steve covers some of the fingerstyle techniques created by Elizabeth, or "Libbis" Cotten.

Length: 24:00 Difficulty: 3.5 FREE
Planxton's Farewell Part 1Lesson 5

Planxton's Farewell Part 1

Steve Eulberg teaches you how to play his original piece "Planxton's Farewell." This is part 1 of a 2 part lesson.

Length: 34:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Planxton's Farewell Part 2Lesson 6

Planxton's Farewell Part 2

This is part 2 of the fingerstyle song "Planxton's Farewell." In this lesson Steve teaches you the second half of this beautiful tune.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 7

Drop D Tuning

Steve discusses drop D tuning and how it is used. He also teaches an original song in this tuning called "Neither Lion Nor Lamb."

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Porch Swingin' Part 2Lesson 8

Porch Swingin' Part 2

Steve Eulberg teaches the second half of his beautiful fingerstyle piece, "Porch Swingin'."

Length: 30:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Five Foot Two (fingerstyle)Lesson 9

Five Foot Two (fingerstyle)

Steve teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic song "Five Foot Two."

Length: 29:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Operator IntroductionLesson 10

Operator Introduction

In this lesson Steve shows how to play the introduction of the classic Jim Croce song, "Operator," in a fingerstyle fashion.

Length: 22:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Operator VerseLesson 11

Operator Verse

Steve returns to the beautiful Jim Croce song, "Operator," in this fingerstyle guitar lesson. This time around he demonstrates the verse.

Length: 12:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Operator ChorusLesson 12

Operator Chorus

Steve finishes up the Jim Croche song, "Operator." He covers the chorus and brings the entire song together.

Length: 9:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Alternating BassLesson 13

Alternating Bass

Steve uses the classic childrens song, "Paw Paw Patch" to demonstrate how an alternating bass line can be played within a fingerstyle arrangement.

Length: 15:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
We Wanted a KingLesson 14

We Wanted a King

Steve Eulberg teaches a beautiful fingerstyle arrangement of his original song, "We Wanted a King."

Length: 36:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Building the ThumbLesson 15

Building the Thumb

Steve Eulberg guides you through a series of exercises meant to improve the dexterity and independence of the thumb.

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Mixing Up the FingersLesson 16

Mixing Up the Fingers

Steve Eulberg mixes up the fingers to create a dynamic fingerstyle exercise.

Length: 12:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
ChopsticksLesson 17


Steve Eulberg explains how to play the classic song "Chopsticks" using fingerstyle technique.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Advanced ChopsticksLesson 18

Advanced Chopsticks

In this lesson, Steve Eulberg teaches an advanced version of "Chopsticks."

Length: 8:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 1Lesson 19

Ode To Joy Part 1

Welcome to the first lesson in a 3 part series on the song "Ode To Joy". Steve has arranged a very unique fingerstyle lesson that starts from square one. This 3 part series can really help any beginner...

Length: 10:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 2Lesson 20

Ode To Joy Part 2

In the midst of this three part lesson series, Steve continues his "Ode To Joy" song lesson by introducing a parallel movement. This will demonstrate a "skip a string" technique with the picking hand and...

Length: 7:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ode To Joy Part 3Lesson 21

Ode To Joy Part 3

In his final lesson in the three part series of the song "Ode To Joy", Steve adds a few more additional fingerstyle techniques to the mix. By adding a harmony and a D string drone note, this will complete...

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #1Lesson 22

Thumb Builder #1

In direct response to a common issue seen in his live Q&A, Steve crafted the following group of 9 lessons devoted to "thumb building". Learn all 6 variations of the exercise Steve teaches and practice...

Length: 16:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #2Lesson 23

Thumb Builder #2

The second installment of Steve's Thumb Builder lessons continues to build your finger and thumb coordination with multiple pattern variations.

Length: 8:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #3Lesson 24

Thumb Builder #3

Join Steve for the third installment in his Thumb Builder lessons. Keep pressing on and you should be finding that the mechanical movements are becoming more and more natural.

Length: 10:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #4Lesson 25

Thumb Builder #4

It's time to challenge yourself by adding more fingers to the mix! Instead of just responding to the thumb with one finger, you'll be using different fingers on different strings.

Length: 8:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #5Lesson 26

Thumb Builder #5

Things are getting a little more complicated and a little more challenging as Steve marches through some more thumb building exercises. Keep up the hard work and practice!

Length: 6:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #6Lesson 27

Thumb Builder #6

Steve continues to build up muscle memory and coordination. In these exercises, the thumb is gonna start jumping around along with the fingers.

Length: 9:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #7Lesson 28

Thumb Builder #7

Part 7 of Thumb Building Bootcamp! Good job for making it this far! Things keep getting more challenging, but you should definitely be noticing a marked improvement in your finger-thumb coordination...

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Thumb Builder #8Lesson 29

Thumb Builder #8

Steve introduces a handful of new patterns to keep on building up that thumb.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Builder #9Lesson 30

Thumb Builder #9

Good work! You've made it to the final installment of thumb builder exercises. Learn some of the patterns that Steve commonly uses in his own playing.

Length: 6:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Walkin' Down the TrailLesson 31

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Sometimes we hear the word exercise and it just sounds like work... That probably won't be the case when you listen to the exercise Steve teaches in this lesson. It will take some work, but you'll walk...

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Frere Jacque FugueLesson 32

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In this lesson, Steve takes the familiar Frere Jacque and teaches how to play it in a round on the guitar.

Length: 6:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Michael, Row Your Boat AshoreLesson 33

Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore

Turn this classic folk tune into a beautiful fingerstyle arrangement.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Steve Eulberg

About Steve Eulberg View Full Biography An Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Steve Eulberg weaves mountain and hammered dulcimers with a variety of unusual instruments to create thought-provoking, smile-inducing, toe-tapping acoustic experiences.

He has sung and composed for religious communities, union halls, picket lines, inter-faith retreats, mountain-top youth camps, as well as the more familiar venues: clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, festivals, charity benefits and showcase concerts.

Born and raised in the German-heritage town of Pemberville, Ohio, Steve was exposed to a variety of music in his home. Early piano lessons were followed by trumpet in school band, and he became self-taught on ukelele and guitar and harmonica. Mandolin was added at Capital University where, while majoring in History, he studied Ear Training, Voice and took Arranging lessons from the Conservatory of Music.

While at college, he first heard hammered and mountain dulcimers, building his first mountain dulcimer just before his final year. Seminary training took him the west side of Denver where he built his first hammered dulcimer. With these instruments, he was able to give voice to the Scottish, English and Irish traditions to which he is also heir.

Following marriage in 1985 to Connie Winter-Eulberg he settled in Kansas City, Missouri. There he worked cross-culturally in a church of African-Americans, Latinos and European Americans, with music being a primary organizing tool. He moved with his family in 1997 to be nestled beside the Rocky Mountains in Fort Coillins, Colorado.

Founder of Owl Mountain Music, Inc. he teaches and performs extensively in Colorado and Wyoming with tours across the US and the UK. He delights in introducing the “sweet music” of dulcimers to people in diverse settings and in addition to his own recordings, has included dulcimers in a variety of session work for other musicians.

In 2000 he was commissioned to create a choral composition featuring dulcimers for the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins. It was recorded in the same year (BEGINNINGS). He is currently at work on a commissioned symphony that will feature hammered dulcimer and Australian didjeridu.

Eulberg passionately believes that music crosses cultural and language barriers because music builds community. Influenced by a variety of ethnic styles, his music weaves vital lyric with rap, rock, folk, gospel and blues. Audiences of all ages respond well to his presentation and to his warm sense of humor.

Steve is a member of Local 1000 (AFM), The Folk Alliance, BMI and BWAAG (Better World Artists and Activist's Guild).

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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


"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.

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