Essential Techniques 2 (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Essential Techniques 2

Metal lesson 4 brings you some info on hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, bending, and the infamous pinch harmonics.

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Metal with Dennis seriesLength: 45:25Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:41) Intro and Overview This lesson is the second installment of a single lesson dedicated to essential techniques in the metal genre. In this installment you will learn additional legato techniques including hammer-ons, pull-offs, string bends, and pinch harmonics. Dennis provides all of the necessary information and exercises to help you master these essential techniques.
Chapter 2: (11:09) Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Hammer-ons and pull-offs are essential to both rhythm and lead guitar playing. As a result, they must be mastered within both contexts. They are frequently applied to single note lines as well as chordal textures.

Minor Pentatonic Scale (Key of Gm)

If you have already explored many of the other Phase 2 lessons on JamPlay, you are probably already familiar with the minor pentatonic scale. If you have not learned this essential scale yet, Dennis takes a brief moment to review the first and most frequently used pattern of this scale. Frequently, the five patterns of the pentatonic scale are referred to as "boxes." You may hear Dennis or other instructors use this term. Dennis demonstrates the first and most common pattern of the minor pentatonic scale in the key of G minor. This is a very common key for blues and rock and roll.

First, Dennis plays through this pattern in third position. This same pattern can also be played an octave higher at the fifteenth fret. When playing this pattern high up on the fretboard, most guitarists prefer to alter the left-hand fingering. Notice how Dennis only uses fingers 1, 2, and 3. This particular fingering is much more comfortable when navigating small frets high on the fretboard.


A hammer-on is a type of slur that involves two notes. This guitar technique achieves a smooth, connected, legato sound. It receives its name because of the way it looks visually. A lower note is picked. Then, a left-hand finger literally hammers onto a higher note on the same string. The second note is not picked.

Hammer-on / Pull-off Exercise 1


1. The designated left-hand finger literally hammers down onto the string to cause the string to vibrate. You must make the hammering motion quickly and deliberately. Performing this motion too slowly, or without sufficient strength will not cause the second note to vibrate and will result in muting the original picked note.

2. Make sure every note in the exercise is of equal value. Do not cut the first note short!

3. Pull straight down towards the floor when performing a pull-off. Stop the pulling finger on the string below. Playing pull-offs consistently without producing unwanted sympathetic vibration is a skill that will eventually come with practice.
Chapter 3: (05:35) Trills and a Dimebag Inspired Exercise Trills

A trill is a rapid alternating pattern of hammer-ons and pull-offs between two notes. Practicing trills between every possible combination of left-hand fingers is a great way to develop left hand speed and endurance.

Dimebag Inspired Trill Exercise

Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell frequently practiced the trill exercise presented in this lesson prior to each performance. The first measure involves a short trill between finger 1 and finger 2. The first note in the measure is struck. The remaining notes sound as a result of hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Exercise Guidelines

1. Dennis has written this exercise out to the third fret. However, continue this pattern until your first finger is playing at the twelfth fret.

2. Make sure that every single note is equal in volume and length.

3. Speed is not important. Focus on producing a clear tone and keeping the quarter note pulse perfectly even.

4. Always play this exercise with a metronome.

5. This exercise covers many of the finger combinations available when trilling. However, it does not cover all of them. Repeat this exercise using the remaining combinations of left-hand fingers. For example, practice the first eight bars of the exercise with fingers 3 and 4 then with fingers 2 and 3.

6. If your fingers feel tired and cramped, take a break. Come back to this exercise later when your hand muscles are rested.
Chapter 4: (17:15) Bending Thus far, Dennis has discussed two types of techniques that produce a legato sound. These are slides, and slurs (hammer-ons and pull-offs). In this scene, Dennis introduces bending as a third way to achieve a legato sound.

Note: Some of the following information is taken from lesson 7 of Matt Brown’s Phase 2 Rock series. Please refer to this lesson for more string bending information and exercises.

String bending is an essential technique in the blues, country, rock, and metal genres. Bending occurs frequently within riffs, melodies, and solos. The way in which bends are performed is a key component of a player's signature sound.

Bending Direction

The direction in which the string should be bent (towards the floor or towards the ceiling) is dependent upon which string you are playing. Generally, the bass strings should be pulled downward, and the treble strings should be pushed upward. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of room on the neck. There are some exceptions to this rule however. Due to the fingering of certain musical lines, there are some instances when it is easiest to pull the G string downwards. You might also find the need to push the D string upwards.

Regardless of whether you bend up towards the ceiling or down towards the floor, this is the one time when you're allowed to bring the thumb up and over the fretboard. The strong thumb is needed for leverage and control when bending.

Set-Up Tips for Comfortable Bending

The way in which your guitar is set up will have a profound impact on string bending. A guitar's set-up most typically refers to the gauge of strings used, the tuning (standard tuning, down a half step, etc.), and the action (height of strings above the frets).

Most rock players prefer to play with lighter strings (usually 9 or 10 gauge) because they are easier to bend. The tone of smaller gauge strings is also more appropriate for this style. When it comes to blues and country however, most professionals prefer a heavier gauge set (usually 11's or higher). Heavier strings are more effective for producing a biting "twangy" sound.

The disadvantage to playing with heavy gauge strings is that they are much more difficult to bend. I recommend starting with a lower gauge string and gradually working your way up to a larger set. Also, it should be taken into consideration that some people simply have smaller, weaker hands than others. If bending the strings causes any discomfort or unnecessary fatigue, it’s definitely a good idea to switch to a smaller set. Many players in the 80's injured their hands as a result of bending large strings. Stevie Ray Vaughn popularized using very large strings (13 gauge) to create his signature tone. What people didn't realize was that Stevie had absolutely massive hands and tuned his guitar down a half step.

Note: If you decide to change to a new string gauge, a new set-up must be performed. Some intonation, action, and minor truss rod adjustment may be necessary. Have this work done by a reliable professional.

Proper Technique for Bending

As a rule, it is always important to play with good classical technique. Solid left-hand technique is contingent upon several factors. First, the thumb must be perpendicular to the neck, resting approximately halfway up it. The rest of the left-hand fingers must be perpendicular to the fingerboard. They must be arched and bent at each individual finger joint.

Left-hand technique for bending is the only exception to this rule. In the context of the bend, it is highly beneficial to allow the thumb to come up over the neck. This enables you to have better leverage on the string. Using classical technique, you are relying solely on the strength of your fretting fingers to perform the bend. By bringing the thumb over the neck, you are combining its strength with your fretting fingers.

Types of Bends

There are a few different ways to perform a string bend. They are described below.

Pre-bend: The string is bent up to pitch, then the note is plucked.

Bend and Release: The string is plucked and bent simultaneously. Once the specified pitch is reached, the fretting hand returns the string to its normal position.

Gradual Bend: The string is plucked then gradually bent to pitch over the course of a specified note duration.

Bend on the Beat: The string is plucked and bent simultaneously.
Chapter 5: (10:05) Pinch Harmonics Pinch harmonics create the crazy squealing sound heard in many metal riffs and solos. Pinch harmonics are occasionally referred to as pick harmonics, since they are generated by the technique of the picking hand. Some metal classics that make frequent use of pinch harmonics are Pantera's "Cemetary Gates" and Metallica's "Sad But True." Kirk Hammet produces some mean pinch harmonic sounds in the brief, second solo of this song. Also, if you listen to Zach Wylde play for about thirty seconds, you are bound to hear some great pinch harmonics.

Background on Harmonics

There are several different types of harmonics. To learn every type of harmonic possible on the guitar, visit David Anthony's Tips and Tricks series of lessons. Natural harmonics are achieved by lightly resting a left hand finger over a "node point" that divides the length of the string into specific integers. For example, the12th fret harmonic divides the string perfectly in half. The harmonic located at the seventh fret divides string in thirds. The primary node points are located at the fifth, seventh, twelfth, seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-fourth frets. Natural harmonics can also be produced at other fret locations, but these harmonics are not quite so loud and easy to produce. Typically, you must play with distortion to get these harmonics to sustain nicely. "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots uses these harmonics in the verse section.

Artificial Harmonics

Artificial or harp harmonics are used frequently in classical guitar music. The third finger on the right hand plucks the string while the first finger on the right hand rests on one of the string's node points. Watch Dennis closely as he demonstrates a few artificial harmonics. These harmonics are slightly easier to produce on classical or acoustic guitars strung with phosphor-bronze. Once again, check out the Tips and Tricks series for more information regarding artificial harmonics.

Pinch Harmonics (Pick Harmonics)

A. Guitar / Amp Tips

1. Playing with tons of gain will help your pinch harmonics sing out clearly. However, if you can get them to sing nicely with a clean tone, they will sound great with distortion too.

2. Some pickups are better at producing harmonics than others. Humbuckers generate better harmonics than single coils. Active humbuckers seem to produce harmonics with the greatest ease. Regardless of which pickups are loaded in your guitar, pull the pickups as close to the strings as possible. Remember that the neck pickup is always louder than the bridge pickup, so you'll need to set it a little bit lower.

B. Proper Technique

Take any fretted note to start with. Dennis chooses the note C at the fifth fret of the G string. Watch his picking hand carefully as he plucks several C notes normally. Then watch as he alters his technique to play pinch harmonics at the same fret location. To play a pinch harmonic, the string must slice into a string at a sharper angle. Flexing the thumb inwards at the knuckle joint produces this angle. Typically, this is a bad habit that weakens the tone. Dennis discussed this idea in a previous lesson. However, this technique is absolutely necessary when playing pinch harmonics. After the pick passes through the string, the thumb rubs the edge of the string as the hand is following through. The contact that the thumb makes with the string produces the pinch harmonic. The string literally gets pinched between the pick and flesh of the thumb.

Pitch Alteration

Changing the location of the pick along the string changes the pitch of the harmonic. This is because you are changing the length of the string by picking at various node points. This is something that you should spend a lot of time experimenting with. You must be able to recognize which pitch is being produced by the harmonic? Does it work well in conjunction with the fundamental, plucked pitch? Any pinch harmonic produced will sound good, but some sound better than others. Listen to how the great players use pinch harmonics. Then, try your best to imitate them. Zakk Wylde and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons are masters of controlling pinch harmonics. Billy has been known to play with the ridged edge of a quarter to achieve a grinding pinch harmonic sound.

String Size

Pinch harmonics are much easier to produce on the lower strings. You really have to experiment and play with your amp settings and hand position/pick angle to get them to sing out on the B and E strings.
Chapter 6: (00:33) Outro and Next Lesson Preview Dennis has covered enough information in the last two lessons to keep you practicing for a month. Review both of these lessons often if necessary. Incorporate these exercises into your daily warm-up routine. In the following lesson, he continues with more technical exercises. The next lesson is dedicated entirely to left-hand development. You will learn new exercises designed to build left-hand speed, accuracy, endurance, and flexibility. These exercises will also help you synchronize your left hand with your right hand. Technical exercises will be supplemented with enjoyable metal riffs composed by Mr. Hodges himself.

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.

pilotbearpilotbear replied

Sorry David your delivery on these lessons is boring me to tears! Maybe you should just act like you like it!

pilotbearpilotbear replied

Is it just me or does this guy seem bored and unprepared for these lessons? He could get through the content twice as fast if he just talked in complete sentences...

mecharoachmecharoach replied

OH SWEET BABY JESUS!! I can do pinch harmonics! 8 (that's eight) EIGHT YEARS I've been trying to do that.....thank you mighty Dennis Hodges!! I owe you a beer.

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

YES!! Congrats on your new skill! I remember figuring out pinch's a whole new world now! The power of the pinch compels you! Happy Jamming!

mrdoug1mrdoug1 replied

FWIW I am finding that if I use the side of my pic and not the tip it's really consistent. Rotate pick hand down to change pick attack. Never have been able to do this before this lesson, worth the cost for this alone! replied

You say don't be a hero. But what about a guitar hero?

BrutalityBrutality replied

What kind of amp are you using that distortion is sick. I cant seem to get the heavy distortion that im looking for without a radio static kind of fuzz overlapping with it that just isnt very pleasant. You have a clean thick distortion.

sethitussethitus replied

lol and I think there should be a cough count to show how many times you've coughed in each video \m/ \m/

sethitussethitus replied


jaybaileyjaybailey replied

I don't think you went over tremolo picking in any of your lessons I need to learn to tremolo pick for some songs

ghangsterghangster replied

Great lesson on pinch harmonics. Maybe it would be useful to explain the theory behind it. Why do pinch harmonics work.

rockgod1rockgod1 replied

I just wanted to say thank you for the pinch harmonics lesson this is literally what I have been looking for since day 1 of wanting to play guitar and about a year later I stumble on to your lesson and was really a eureka thing for me. I had always assumed the squeal noise was a whammy bar effect or a delay or some other effect pedal then I saw your lesson and was like ah ha! That's it! I got the technique down pretty much right away great lesson thanks man!

wiggedywiggedy replied

Is something wrong with scene 4 bending, it doesn't play to the end.

gageshaffergageshaffer replied

a good exersize would be to use all 4 fingers in the pull of exersize 2.

akatsukiakatsuki replied

lol within 5 minutes I could do a basic pinch harmonic on that lesson... on the high ebg strings... the thicker strings actually posed more of a challenge for me and took a little bit longer but now I can do them; just gotta practice some more!

jodyzupancicjodyzupancic replied

dimebag = drugs. haha.

kalabajabakalabajaba replied

true.very true my friend.

brandonl15brandonl15 replied

need help with pinch harmonics!!!!!!!!

markwillgreenmarkwillgreen replied

Hey, I'm no expert, but I found the best technique for me was about 10% "plucking", 90% "pecking" at the string, and moving your hand away quickly, kinda like your hand is a chicken eating the string. Took about 2 minutes for me to get it like this. Start on 6th string at 7th fret and keep trying till you get it, then move around. It also helped me to stick my thumb on my picking hand, out a tiny bit more than usual.

anthunderanthunder replied

I can't do pinch harmonics =(

hereticsound666hereticsound666 replied

dude got the pinch harmonics down in like 5 min i figured out a special way to hold the pick message me for how i did it.

jasmeetjasmeet replied


sd0453sd0453 replied

Great lesson especially on harmonics. Does the type of pick used (thin v. thick) effect the ease of the harmonics?

jasmeetjasmeet replied

thinner pick helps alot better than medium

shreddenshredden replied

dang i cant get the hammer on for e!!!

greedygreedy replied

Am glad that one of the main reasons i needed some actual instruction was covered in this lesson. I can't Pinch for squat. getting better though, and I like the way you explained the technique. as a self taught player, its hard to find a good explaination for free on the web =). next..i hope you end up covering Sweep Picking (worse at that than the pinches )

gromlomgromlom replied

Lol it wasn't free But its still a good lesson. Ive been playing for a year when Christmas hits. I can play a lot of Metallica riffs and a little bit of symphony of destruction thanks to the big man dennis :P Thanks to Dennis i can play what i already know a lot better since i know how to do what im suppose to which harmonics. Dennis your the man make your self a special brownie and enjoy it :D

selkyselky replied

Great lesson :D, realy need to nail these pinch harmonics, they sound freaking awesome :D

sonicboi222sonicboi222 replied

im not getting pinch harmonics...its hard...and i dont get wut dennis is saying...:(

sheldon_31sheldon_31 replied

can you do a pinch harmonic with your electric guitar not plugged into an amp i havent watched the lesson yet just wondering????

chrosominopchrosominop replied

You're asking if you can hear pinch harmonics without an amp? It's easier to get them to sound with an amp and distortion, but I can get a few of them to sound without an amp...

dangerdavedangerdave replied

Make sure you're pick is a bit to the side and pluck the string in a downward motion. Try watching the video again if this isn't clear.

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

please be more specific

raoelraoel replied

can a key be in minor too?the pentatonic is in Gm,im really confused now(i understood there were only 12 keys)

greedygreedy replied

WOOOOOT can pinch about 7 out of 10 attempts now anywhere on the fretboard...i have to attack the string with a slightly more off kilter pick hand grip though than shown in the lesson, but it works!

bluesy8593bluesy8593 replied

dude i dont get how the pinchharmonics work i cant figure it out>> Any tips???

guitarfreak7guitarfreak7 replied

learning the hammer-ons and trills

chase_1995chase_1995 replied

I all together cant pinch to the high e string any tips??

swacswac replied

if you could just explain it a bit more to me id really appreciate it

swacswac replied

i dont really understand what dennis is saying about the harmonics i find it really hars

alexjustdoitalexjustdoit replied

So 1 question, whenever I get the harmonic sound, I should pull my thumb away immediately so I don't kill it?

ihasbenihasben replied

Yes. Its almost like you have to get the harmonic while your thumb is on its way off if that makes sense. Dont dig into it, you almost just need to glance it already in a movement away from the string or past it.

ihasbenihasben replied

I can get the sound of the harmonic a bit, i think it just is going to take some more practice, is any one string better to use to get the sound than others?

alexjustdoitalexjustdoit replied

I think it depends on the fret too. I could never get a harmonic on the 3rd fret (my fav) on the high E. It's easiest for me on the low E string.

xxfigure8xxxxfigure8xx replied

yo dennis im getting pinch harmonics perfect on every string but low E and A are they're any techniques that differ for lower notes

vaultremixvaultremix replied

Yeah i cant get hem on low e and a either, its quite annoying

tangohuntertangohunter replied

game time folks

mathewking8851mathewking8851 replied

i dont get what dennis is saying can you explain how to do pinch harmonics more ?

dangerdavedangerdave replied

Great lesson Dennis. I finally get how guitar works a lot better after only 4 of these lessons. For the pinch harmonics, it would be sick to learn how to incorporate them in a song while maintaining the songs natural flow.

alboboi14alboboi14 replied

Help me with my bends :( When I push up, more find is kind of getting caught under higher strings.

niavlys77niavlys77 replied

when you can get pinch harmonics on an acoustic, that's when you KNOW you're good at them lol. awesome lessons Dennis! I can get pinch harmonics on my acoustic (since it's the only guitar I have ATM) and it's all thanks to you.

mclovinmclovin replied

when i do the pull offs on the way back up to E i always touch the string belowe, is that bad? because when you use this techniquelater on is it really important that you don't touch the other strings? in that case i'll need a liposuction on my fingers XP

alex8829alex8829 replied

pinch harmonic lesson is still messed up. doesn't play all the way through.

jboothjbooth replied

Change quality settings. The file for the setting you are watching is corrupted, we are working on getting it fixed but in the meantime changing quality will allow you to view the rest of the scene. If the higher quality setting is harder for your internet connection to stream what you can do is start it playing, hit pause and then let the video continue to load while it is paused. You can then unpause it to play the video without hitches in playback.

cheesebombcheesebomb replied

Great lesson. Sonic, not that I'm an expert (:D) but rotate your pick when playing so that the string is exposed to a little bit of your thumb when you attack it. Rock on Dennis \m/

hgnativehgnative replied

its alllll gooood must have been my mothers computer was house sitting last night it works fine now

hgnativehgnative replied

pinch harmonics lesson dont play all the way for me

kevinacekevinace replied

Which scene? And which playback quality are you on?

cookjcookj replied

really good lesson dennis. alot of work ahead of me now. thanx for the lesson mon....

jboothjbooth replied

Good job Dennis! All these lessons are really making me want to get my electric back from the person I lent it too. Deeming is going to be outraged I'm getting drawn back to the electric ;)

thomasdthomasd replied

during the bend exercises, I come across a problem: when I push up, for example the B string, the G string will touch my tip of my nail and, sometimes, snap below the nail; and to quote the lesson: 'that's not a very ideal sound'

rblgeniusrblgenius replied

"thats not a very ideal sound" i loled at that

toolfan88toolfan88 replied

more!!!!! cant wait to get some theory and reallybe rocking!

rblgeniusrblgenius replied

I second that. :)

Metal with Dennis

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Get ready to rock in this metal lesson series with Dennis Hodges. From 80's Metal to modern Dennis loves it all.

Basics of MetalLesson 1

Basics of Metal

Dennis covers important guitar basics such as note names and technical exercises.

Length: 33:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Power Chords and RhythmLesson 2

Power Chords and Rhythm

Dennis introduces power chords and basic rhythm concepts. Both subjects are very important to the metal genre.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Essential Techniques 1Lesson 3

Essential Techniques 1

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord slides.

Length: 36:52 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Essential Techniques 2Lesson 4

Essential Techniques 2

Metal lesson 4 brings you some info on hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, bending, and the infamous pinch harmonics.

Length: 45:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Left Hand OverloadLesson 5

Left Hand Overload

Dennis delivers left hand techniques and exercises, with topics including spider walking / riffing, octaves, stretching and 4 practice riffs.

Length: 62:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rhythm and TimingLesson 6

Rhythm and Timing

While using a metronome, Dennis covers essential techniques and exercises to obtain great rhythm and timing.

Length: 35:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

"Metal Poisoning"

Written just for JamPlay and his Metal series, this song will allow you to put all your techniques to use in a musical manner.

Length: 28:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Time Signatures Part 1Lesson 8

Time Signatures Part 1

In this lesson Dennis teaches the following common time signatures: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8. Dennis explains each signature and provides a short example for illustration.

Length: 33:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Time Signatures Part 2Lesson 9

Time Signatures Part 2

This time around Dennis explains odd time signatures. Similar to Part 1, he uses a musical example to illustrate each new signature.

Length: 45:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm Pt. 2Lesson 10

Rhythm Pt. 2

Dennis continues his metal series with part two of his look at rhythm and timing.

Length: 56:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Right Hand OverloadLesson 11

Right Hand Overload

This lesson is the long lost sibling to "Left Hand Overload."

Length: 52:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Dennis Hodges

About Dennis Hodges View Full Biography For better or worse, Dennis Hodges cannot stop playing music, and (he hopes) will never stop playing music.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Dennis had a tremendous passion for drawing. He couldn't stop copying moves from bands he saw on MTV, though, and it didn't help that his parents filled the house with Santana, Stevie Ray, and Allman Bros. (on real records, no less!) so it wasn't long till he got his first guitar. It was junk. Within a few weeks his parents traded in a poor acoustic for a less junky 3/4-size electric.

Dennis started lessons right away at the age of 8. He still remembers hating it for awhile, and not taking it seriously until he was 12. He is thankful his parents forced him to practice early on and kept paying for lessons, even though rational thinking should have stopped them after a year.

Around this time drawing became less important, and guitar consumed all his attention. After 6 years of lessons he parted ways with his teacher and, after trying out two others with no results, decided to continue alone. His nerdistic tendencies paid off, as he put in hours working on picking and left hand exercises and learned as many Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett solos as he could.

Luckily, there were playing opportunities at school talent shows and church. Dennis was playing bass at his church when he was 13, helping to hone his performance skills in a group setting.

In high school, Dennis joined the marching band on sousaphone for all 4 years. It was as awesome as you could expect. He was also fortunate enough to be in several different metal bands, still play at church, and get the incredible opportunity to play guitar for many local community theaters. This kept his sight-reading in shape and gave him an appreciation for different styles of music (and paid pretty well, from a high schooler's perspective).

In 2001, Dennis came to Bexley, Ohio to study guitar at Capital University with Stan Smith. His studies emphasized jazz and classical guitar. Here his metal past merged with a deeper understanding of the instrument and music in general, and the basis for most of his teaching style was set in motion.

Dennis now plays guitar for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church every Sunday, for St. Christopher in Grandview, Ohio, with the youth group, and also plays for touring Broadway shows that stop in Columbus. Occasionally, he plays weddings and private parties, and he is starting a new cover band with some friends, called Dr. Awkward. He is blessed to have his understanding and supportive wife Kate, and is glad to be at JamPlay!

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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.

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