Aura Lee (Guitar Lesson)

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Jim Deeming

Aura Lee

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic Civil War era song "Aura Lee."

Taught by Jim Deeming in Fingerstyle Guitar seriesLength: 43:23Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (04:29) Lesson Introduction Aura Lee

"Aura Lee," or "Aura Lea" as it is sometimes spelled, is an American folk song from the Civil War era. The words to the song were written by W. W. Fosdick. George R. Poulton composed the famous melody line. The famous Elvis Presley song "Love Me Tender" utilizes the same melody line.

Learning Fingerstyle Arrangements

A. The Melody

Jim applies the concepts that you have learned in the first five lessons to your first full fingerstyle arrangement.

When learning any new arrangement, the first logical step is to learn the melody. You must be able to perform the melody by itself before adding the bass line and chords. This will yield the highest quality performance in the most efficient manner.

The melody to "Aura Lee" is quite simple. All melody notes are played within the first position pattern of the C major scale. Only the three treble strings are utilized in the melody line. The rhythm of the melody is also very simplistic. The entire melody consists of quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. No syncopation occurs. If you are unfamiliar with this tune, watch and listen as Jim performs it at 02:48 in the lesson video.

Note: Tablature and notation to the melody line can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

B. Chord Progression

Note: Fretboard diagrams to all of the chords discussed in this lesson can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

The progression features some chords that are not typically used in the key of C major. You are probably used to harmonizing a melody with the I, IV, and V(7) chords. The IV chord, F, isn't even used in this song. Instead, the vi chord in the key of C major, Am, is used. Some additional secondary dominant chords are used as well. For example, D major functions as dominant to the V chord, G. E major is dominant to the vi chord, Am. A circle of fifths progression is applied in measures 9-12. These measures begin with a tonic C major chord. On beat 3, an A7 chord is played. This chord functions as dominant to the D chord in the next measure. As mentioned earlier, D functions as dominant to G. As expected the G chord resolves to the tonic C chord in the final measure of the song.

Note: For more information about circle of fifths progressions and secondary dominant chords, please refer to Lesson 16 of Steve Eulberg's Phase 1 Series.
Chapter 2: (22:42) Breaking Down the Song After you have mastered the melody and chord progression by themselves, the next logical step is to play the melody in conjunction with the appropriate chord shape. This will force you to accommodate the melody line within the fingering of each chord. At this point, do not worry about adding an alternating bass line to the arrangement. Jim breaks down the bass line later in the lesson.

A. Verse Section

Measure 1

Look at the first measure of the musical score provided under the "Supplemental Content" tab. The melody is harmonized with a tonic C chord in this measure. While the melody is played, the second and third fingers remain planted on the fourth and fifth strings respectively. Typically, the first finger frets the note C at the 1st fret of the second string within an "open" C chord. However, the first finger must lift up from this fret accommodate the open B note that occurs on beat three. It then returns to the 1st fret to play the C note on beat 4.

Measure 2

The melody is harmonized with a D chord in this measure. Within the context of this chord, no fingers need to be lifted to play the melody line. The thumb is used to fret the third of the chord F# at the 2nd fret of the sixth string. Since the first string is not used in the melody, it is not necessary to fret this string with the second finger. Fretting this note is simply a waste of left hand energy. When playing complex fingerstyle arrangements, remember to keep all technical aspects as simple as possible. This concept will become even more important as you progress to pieces that are more challenging from a technical perspective.

If you are not yet comfortable with using the thumb to fret bass notes, try the fingering for D/F# listed below.

6th string: 1st finger, 2nd fret
5th string: open
4th string: open
3rd string: 2nd finger, 2nd fret
2nd string: pinkie finger, third fret
1st string: omitted

Measure 3

The harmony changes to a G major chord in measure 3. Once again, no melody notes occur on the first string. As a result, it is not necessary to plant the pinkie finger on the first string. Simply fret the sixth and fifth strings with the third and second fingers respectively. On beat one, the first finger must fret the second string to play the C note that occurs in the melody. The second finger must also release from the fifth string to play the A note on beat three.

Measure 4

A tonic C chord concludes the progression in the first four measures. No left hand alterations need to be made to this chord when playing the melody line.

Repeat Signs

A closed repeat sign occurs at the end of the verse section. An open or beginning repeat sign is not indicated in the score. When no open repeat sign appears in a score, it is assumed that the piece repeats from the beginning of the song. Once the end of measure four is reached, return to the beginning of the song and play the verse again.

Metronome Practice

Practice these four measures along with a metronome to ensure that you are changing chords in time. Begin at a slow tempo such as 60-70 beats per minute. Then, gradually work your way up to 120 beats per minute.

B. Chorus Section

Measure 5

The melody is quite simple in this measure. An open E note is struck three times while an "open" C major chord shape is held.

Measure 6

In most beginner arrangements of "Aura Lee," the melody is harmonized by a C chord in measure 6. To make the arrangement more interesting, Jim chooses to substitute an E major chord. No left hand adjustments need to be made when playing the melody in the context of this chord. The melody segment in this measure is identical to the previous measure.

Measure 7

An Am chord occurs in this measure. Fret this chord as you normally would. Use the pinkie finger to play the D notes at the 3rd fret of the second string.

Measure 8

An open E note is held for a whole note within the context of a C major chord. Consequently, no left hand adjustments are necessary.

Measure 9

An A7 chord harmonizes the melody. Fret this chord with the second and third fingers. This fingering is most conducive to playing the melody, harmony, and bass line simultaneously. An F note occurs in the melody on the first beat of the measure. Fret this note with the first finger. When F is added to an A7 chord, an A7 augmented or A7+ chord is formed. The "+" symbol indicates that the fifth of the chord is raised by a half step.

Measure 10

This measure is identical to measure 2 in the verse section. Once again, no modification of the chord fingering is needed when incorporating the melody line.

Measure 11

Begin this measure by fretting the notes on the bass strings with the second and third fingers. The first finger must be used to play a C melody note on the second string. Fret the D note on beat four with the pinkie finger. Do not fret any notes on the first string! Conservation of energy is a key component to proper left hand and right hand technique.

Measure 12

The song concludes with a tonic C note. A C chord is strummed in conjunction with this note to give the song a definite sense of finality.

Metronome Practice

Practice through this portion of the song along with a metronome. Begin with a tempo similar to what Jim demonstrates at 06:26 in the lesson video. This tempo is roughly 50 beats per minute - just under half the speed of the final goal tempo.

Adding the Bass Line

Before you attempt to play the bass line and melody simultaneously, practice the bass line within each chord shape. Practice through the entire progression once you have mastered the bass pattern for each individual chord. Play the bass line with some light palm muting. This will bring the melody line to the foreground of the arrangement once it is added back in.

Note: For additional information concerning palm muting, check out Lesson 18 from Jim's Phase 1 series.

The alternating bass line is comprised of a three string pattern. In the previous lesson, a two string pattern was applied to "Leader of the Band." A three string pattern is often used in conjunction with a very simple melody to increase the overall interest level of the arrangement. Since the rhythm of the melody is straightforward, a three string pattern is ideal for this arrangement.

Bass Line with a C Chord

When playing a C chord, remember to alternate the third finger between the fifth and sixth strings. Or, it is possible to re-finger the C chord. Fret the root note with the pinkie finger. Then, fret the fifth of the chord (G) with the third finger. Although you do not need to play a melody note with the pinkie in this song, you will need to in countless other fingerstyle arrangements down the road. Consequently, it is better to develop former technique as soon as possible.

Bass Line with a D/F# Chord

Notice how the root note is not used as the first note within the bass line for D/F#. This exception to the alternating bass rule is quite common when chords are played in first inversion.

Bass Line in Measure 3

Notice how the 6, 4, 5, 4 alternating bass pattern must be broken in measure 3. This is due to how the melody line is fingered fingered. Instead, Jim chooses to play a two string alternating bass line between the sixth and fourth strings.

Playing the Melody and Bass Line

Once you can successfully play through the entire bass line, incorporate the melody back into the arrangement. If you have each individual component memorized, this step will be much easier. If necessary, break up each measure into small, repeatable exercises. Jim demonstrates this practice technique with the first measure of the song. Difficult pieces become easier to master when broken up into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Focus on measures that are more difficult for you. The second measure may be difficult due to the bass note being fretted by the thumb. Measure 3 might also seem challenging due to the large leap that the second finger must make between the fifth and third string.

Metronome Practice

Play the melody and bass line together at a slow tempo with a metronome. However, do not play too slowly. Fingerstyle arrangements that involve a great deal of mental and physical coordination become even more difficult at extremely slow tempos. Begin with your metronome set at around 55-60 beats per minute and work up from there. Emphasizing the first beat of each measure will help keep you on track while practicing the arrangement. However, you do not want to emphasize the first beat when performing the song.

Play Along

Practice the verse section along with Jim at 20:52 in the lesson video. Remember the repeat sign!
Chapter 3: (14:43) The Chorus Use the same process outlined for the verse section as you practice the chorus. Break up the arrangement into small, manageable sections. For example, work on the first measure of the chorus by itself (measure 5). Then, work on the following measure. Next, work on stringing these measures together. Switching between these two measures may seem awkward, since the bass pattern changes.

Extra practice time may need to be devoted to measure 9. The melody is quite active. Also, the chords change twice in this measure.

Adding Additional Harmony Notes

Measures 5-8 feature some additional notes played with the bass line and melody. All of these extra notes are part of the chord played in these measures. These additional notes can be added when the melody is played on the high E string. In measure 5, the index, middle, and ring fingers pluck the third, second, and first strings respectively. Play slightly harder with the ring finger since it is plucking the melody notes. Fewer harmony notes are played along with the A minor chord in measure seven since melody is predominantly played on the second string.

Bass Runs

A scalar bass run can be applied to beats two and three of measure 3 to create a smooth transition between G and the tonic note of the C chord in the next measure. Play open A on beat 3. On beat 4, play B at the second fret of the fifth string. Fret the B bass note on beat 4 with the first finger. This will eliminate the awkward leap that the second finger must make between the bass line and the melody.

Also, A scalar bass line can be added as in introduction before the melody comes in. Jim demonstrates this line at 13:29 in the lesson video. Walk up the C major scale from a G note back up to C. Start this line on beat two of the bass pattern.
Chapter 4: (01:26) Finishing up the Song Jim demonstrates the introduction bass line within the context of the arrangement. This same bass line can also be added to measure 4.

Preview of Upcoming Lessons

In future lessons, Jim will continue to explain the process of arranging simple melodies for fingerstyle guitar. Melodies and chord progressions will become more difficult as Jim advances through the series. Along the way, additional techniques will be added to your arsenal such as new bass runs and lead fills.

Video Subtitles / Captions


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.

LavonjohnLavonjohn replied

Excellent Instruction - Thanks

DunatotatosDunatotatos replied

That's my first milestone. Just leaving a comment, so future me remembers where I come from.

aezpegasusaezpegasus replied

I do hope to learn this so I can play it for Mom! She will love it.

prourkeprourke replied

Excellent lesson Jim. I like the additional base runs that you have added. It would be great if they were in the supplemental lesson materials.

stevenvlstevenvl replied

Same here as with all the rest of your future guitar life, get it by ear - DON'T stick to the tab for too long. (My problem on the piano...)

GravelRoadGravelRoad replied

I really like your teaching approach Jim. I have been doing exactly what you described by memorizing note combinations one beat at a time. This alternating bass method has really helped me. Thx

aezpegasusaezpegasus replied

Same here.

BeginnerguyBeginnerguy replied

Great lesson, I liked the way you show the melody inside the chords.

tone-88tone-88 replied

Jim you're a great teacher. You explain things clearly and give good advice on getting through the material. Much appreciated.

SandmanV2SandmanV2 replied

While learning this I couldn't help but think how much it sounds like Love Me Tender. Those were lyrics going through my head as I was learning.

Rich1165Rich1165 replied

I know this class was done a couple of years ago but I am writing in hopes that Jim still looks over these comments at times. I love the way you teach. Finger picking is real hard for me and it took me several weeks to get through this session and the one before. But your teaching methods makes me think that I can do it and eventually I can. Having a great time. Thanks Kim.

Rich1165Rich1165 replied

Enter your comment here.

walt777walt777 replied

Walt777 I absolutely love your method of teaching finger style guitar. You are one of the best teacher I have encountered in over 50 years of playing the guitar.

Taras4himTaras4him replied

my fingers wont be friends with my mind

mare12mare12 replied

where do i go to ask Jim a question?

tonigreertonigreer replied

are we going somewhere with this?

berniewberniew replied

Nice clear instructions. Plenty of simple demos. Sense of humor. I'm enjoying these lessons a lot. Is that a new (Martin?) guitar Jim has there?

desgtrdesgtr replied

Hi, can anyone tell me where to print off the misic tablature that Jim speaks of the lessons?

berniewberniew replied

Select the "Supplemental Content" tab. Tick the item you want to print. Click the button marked "View/Print Selected Items". A new browser window should open containing the selected item. From the browser menu-bar, select: File> Print etc..

hilaryhilary replied

By the time I got to this lesson, I was finally beginning to feel like I wasn't ALL thumbs. Now that I'm here, I can't seem to get even ONE of my 12 thumbs to work on auto pilot! :) I'm beginning to think there are some people (me) not coordinated enough to play this stuff. Good thing I'm too stubborn to give up!

echochickechochick replied

Hilary,,, iam following in ur footsteps (or i shud say thumbsteps) but its starting to get easier! waht is really helping is watching the lesson over and over cuz each time i see sumthing i missed the time b'for :)

mike omike o replied

I'm having trouble printing out the music for Aura Lee. I always lose the last measure on each line. Any ideas?

hilaryhilary replied

"Fit to page" in your printer setup dialog box should help...

patsendpatsend replied

très bonne méthode, very good method, thanks Jim

gilbert714gilbert714 replied

Jim this is a very thorough lesson and I finally figured that I did not spend enough time on each lesson and perfecting them near 100% . I am getting it now as it seems . Thanks for all your help and patience

coribillcoribill replied

Excellent process. I needed that. It will be a big help. Thumb is on auto-pilot until about measure 3 so far. Thanks.

wb_munchausenwb_munchausen replied

Funny I first heard this tune as Aura Lee, only when I got married my wife thought Elvis wrote this tune. It took me a long time to convince her that Elvis lifted the tune from Aura Lee

joseefjoseef replied

All I can say is..... I love!!!!

sbuddysbuddy replied

thanks for the good lesson, Jim. a little surprised you didn't also mention Love me Tender as the tune that sounded like aura lee. I guess that would be more in keeping for us older folks.

syoung148syoung148 replied

Hi Jim. This is great for me. The new fingering for the D/F# chord is new to me but very useful. I wish I'd learned it 20 years ago. Also the Am measure is a bit of a pickle for some reason but it is coming. It is fun to jazz this up a bit with some sycopation. I'm enjoying your class. Thanks

benloganbenlogan replied

Thanks for these lessons, Jim. I'm enjoying the challenge of learning a new playing style. Now if only my kids will let me practice! You're a super teacher. Very patient. :)

restrummerrestrummer replied

Im not able to use the thumb over for the D/F#. But I'm thinking I should be able to figure out a work around. I usually use my index figure to hit the F#.

aezpegasusaezpegasus replied

Same here.

mikewoodmikewood replied

Jim, great lesson, great instructor. I am on a trial membership and you have made me decide to subscribe, Thanks a lot.

doccnageldoccnagel replied

The most helpful suggestion you made in this lesson, for me, was to play the chords and add the other notes as grace notes or incidentals. I spent ten minutes doing exactly what you gently parodied, and plodded through the tabs, but then played the lesson through and realized how much easier and more fluid it is. I needed to hear that very thing at that very moment.

mrmanleymrmanley replied

This is a really wonderful lesson and a beautiful song to boot. You are a very talented teacher, Jim. I never thought I'd understand fingerstyle -- too many notes, as the Emperor in "Amadeus" said. And yet the way you break it down makes it so dead-simple that even a low-watt bulb like me can pick it up. I'm glad you decided to teach on JamPlay; you have a gift for it.

jaymosley79jaymosley79 replied

hey Jim. I played this song for my mom, and she kicked me in the nuts.. Thanks.

jessehjesseh replied

Jim very very very good lesson, best ever

dash rendardash rendar replied

Great lesson again. Thanks Jim. My fingers are tougher than Batfink's wings now.

wilmotwilmot replied

Jim I echo what all have said except for a couple of folks that want a perfect world. You are the greatest. Thanks

yogamanyogaman replied

Nice lesson Jim. I almost got it down. I love your lessons.

southbasesouthbase replied

Sweet lesson Jim.

kenmasmankenmasman replied

Great lesson Jim. I hope you get the opportunity to have more lessons in the future, with the back ground included such as you did on Aura Lee. Your one of the best teachers I've run across on the internet. And hope JamPlay appreciates you as much as I do.

jimbojimbo replied

Great lesson Jim.My 5 year old daughter is playing this on piano for her school and i've been trying to learn it on guitar to play along with her at home,this helped a lot.

billyb440billyb440 replied

ok my first suggestion........ does anyone listen to these lessons totally? You people have to get a music stand for those papers. The noise of rustling paper and crinkling paper when I am trying to listen to notes......... sounds absolutely terrible.

jboothjbooth replied

Oh don't worry, nobody is allowed to hold papers anymore. It's amazing how clearly the sound came through, it wasn't even remotely noticeable in person.

cdawsoncdawson replied

We have 1 of our locations equipped with new gear such as that, and will soon have them for each studio. I agree it was a bit of a distraction, so we'll address it accordingly. Thanks for the feedback.

SylviaSylvia replied

Aura Lee is very old, Elvis used the tune for the song Love Me Tender.

greenogreeno replied

Good lesson, Jim. I think that including the thought process invoved in learning a new song is very helpful. Looking forward to more of these type lessons. BTW, is that how Elvis learned Love Me Tender?

Fingerstyle Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle guitar allows you to play the bass, harmony, and melody of a song all within the context of a single guitar part.

Intro to FingerstyleLesson 1

Intro to Fingerstyle

This lesson serves as an introduction for Fingerstyle Guitar with Jim Deeming. Come on in and get started!

Length: 24:32 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Basic FingerstyleLesson 2

Basic Fingerstyle

Jim demonstrates a basic fingerstyle exercise that you can use with any of the chords you know.

Length: 16:05 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
More Picking PatternsLesson 3

More Picking Patterns

Jim expands on lesson 2 and teaches several different picking patterns. He also covers the basics of muting.

Length: 14:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Using SyncopationLesson 4

Using Syncopation

Jim Deeming explains how to integrate basic syncopation into your rhythm playing.

Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Picking Melody NotesLesson 5

Picking Melody Notes

This lesson is all about picking melody notes. Fingerstyle guitar really gets interesting when you combine bass, harmony, and melody.

Length: 33:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Aura LeeLesson 6

Aura Lee

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic Civil War era song "Aura Lee."

Length: 43:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chet Atkins StyleLesson 7

Chet Atkins Style

Jim explains key components of Chet Atkins' guitar style.

Length: 18:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
3/4 Time and a SongLesson 8

3/4 Time and a Song

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "Bicycle Built for Two." He uses this piece as an example of 3/4 or waltz timing.

Length: 37:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Two Songs at OnceLesson 9

Two Songs at Once

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "Yankee Doodle" and "Dixie." Both songs are played simultaneously!

Length: 30:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open G TuningLesson 10

Open G Tuning

Jim Deeming teaches the basics of open G tuning. He also teaches a song entitled "Spanish Fandango" to show how the tuning can be used.

Length: 39:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Carter Family StyleLesson 11

Carter Family Style

Jim Deeming introduces a playing style called "Carter Family Style." The technique is also referred to as "Frailing" or "Clawhammer" style.

Length: 13:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
DADGAD TuningLesson 12


Jim Deeming teaches the many wonders of DADGAD tuning.

Length: 32:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Thumb Independence Lesson 13

Thumb Independence

Jim Deeming tackles the topic of thumb independence.

Length: 31:51 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
The JamPlay SongLesson 14

The JamPlay Song

Jim Deeming teaches a more advanced version of the aptly named "JamPlay Song."

Length: 7:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Wayfaring StrangerLesson 15

The Wayfaring Stranger

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic song "The Wayfaring Stranger."

Length: 31:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Official Thumbpick GuideLesson 16

The Official Thumbpick Guide

Jim Deeming answers one of the most common fingerstyle questions, "which thumbpick should I use?"

Length: 13:03 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Fingernail GuideLesson 17

Fingernail Guide

Jim Deeming presents his thoughts on how to properly grow and groom your fingernails.

Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
The EntertainerLesson 18

The Entertainer

Jim Deeming teaches a fingerstyle arrangement of "The Entertainer," a classic piano song ported over to the guitar.

Length: 20:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Arranging Fingerstyle SongsLesson 19

Arranging Fingerstyle Songs

Jim Deeming teaches the skills necessary to transform any song into a solo fingerstyle masterpiece.

Length: 37:04 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 2Lesson 20

Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 2

Jim talks more about arranging fingerstyle songs. This time around he discusses harmonization and chord inversions.

Length: 13:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 3Lesson 21

Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 3

Jim Deeming demonstrates alternate ways to play the CAGED chords that can be very useful when playing melody and accompaniment simultaneously.

Length: 30:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 4Lesson 22

Arranging Fingerstyle Songs Pt. 4

In this lesson Jim Deeming talks about a simple way to add harmony notes to the melody section of fingerstyle songs. This technique is quite simple and can add a whole new dimension to your playing.

Length: 5:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jim Deeming

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Erik Mongrain Erik Mongrain

Erik expounds on the many possibilities of open tunings and the new harmonics that you can use in them. He explains what...

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

Free LessonSeries Details
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.

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
Amber Russell Amber Russell

Playing fingerstyle requires the ability to play different techniques at the same time. This of course, is not always an...

Free LessonSeries Details
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.

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

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

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

Free LessonSeries Details
James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

Free LessonSeries Details
Monte Pittman Monte Pittman

The hungarian minor scale can be viewed as a modification of the harmonic minor scale. It has a very exotic sound, and is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Will Ripley Will Ripley

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs...

Free LessonSeries Details
John DeServio John DeServio

JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 505024 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.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 125 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
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


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

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!