Time Signatures Part 2 (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

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.

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Metal with Dennis seriesLength: 45:07Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:29) Introduction Welcome back to the Phase 2 Metal Series with Dennis Hodges! In the last lesson, Dennis explored some of the more common time signatures used in metal. Now he's back in lesson 9 with a new lesson on time signatures. This time around Dennis covers less common meters. Similar to the last lesson, Dennis provides sample riffs to practice in each time signature.

Every meter taught in this lesson features an odd number of beats per measure. In addition, they cannot be divided into equal groups of 2 or 3. Such meters are called irregular meters. Irregular meters are time signatures in which the number of beats per measure is a prime number. 5/4, 5/8, 7/4, and 7/8 are some of the most frequently used irregular meters.
Chapter 2: (08:15) 5/4 Time Signature Note: Open "Time Signatures #2" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

A Few Thoughts on Time Signatures

Although the time signatures used in this lesson are used less frequently, they are no more challenging to play when provided with the proper instruction. As long as you understand what is happening from a conceptual standpoint, it should not be significantly more challenging to play in these meters once you have grown accustomed to them. Simply stated, you must now learn to count up to some new numbers.


5/4 is a quarter note based time signature. The quarter note receives the beat. There are a total of five beats per measure.

Heavy bands such as Tool have been known to exploit 5/4 time to great effect. Fan favorites such as "The Patient," "The Grudge," and "Vicarious" all feature riffs in 5/4 time. Refer to lesson of Brad Henecke's Phase 2 Classic Rock Series for tablature to these riffs as well as more information on 5/4 time.

5/4 Rhythm Exercise

This exercise features a quarter note rhythm played in the first measure. The second measure is played in steady eighth notes. Count the beat out loud as you play. To further internalize the pulse, tap your foot to the beat of the metronome. Watch at 00:35 as Dennis breaks down the rhythm and the counting of the exercise. Make sure you understand this meter before attempting to play the exercise on guitar.

Dennis has written the exercise with a metronome marking of 120 beats per minute. However, practice the exercise in a wide range of tempos. Do not neglect the slow and fast extremes of the tempo range.


Since a measure of 5/4 contains an odd number of beats, it can be subdivided in various different ways. Typically a riff in 5/4 consists of a 2+3 pattern or a 3+2 pattern. Each pattern has its own distinct rhythmic feel.


Dennis demonstrates the exercise using all downstrokes. For additional practice, play the second measure using alternate picking.

5/4 Riff #1 (2+3 feel)

Riff #1 (measures 3-4 of "Supplemental Content") features a 2+3 rhythm pattern. Play this riff with all downstrokes to achieve maximum heaviness. Also, play it at a wide variety of tempos. Make a mental note of how the tempo affects the overall feel of the riff.

5/4 Riff #2 (3+2 feel)

This riff uses a tonic E5 chord and the Bb5 power chord located a tritone away. Now, the rhythmic feel is divided into a section of 3 quarter notes followed by a group of 2 quarter notes. Compare the overall feel of a 3+2 5/4 riff to the previous riff. What difference does the subdivided grouping have on the overall feel of the riff?


Play this riff with all downstrokes. As you move into extremely high tempo ranges, you may have to play the eighth notes with alternate picking.

5/4 Riff #3 (3+2 feel)

This is a highly chromatic riff played in G minor. The Phrygian mode is applied. The F# chord at the end of the measure functions as a passing tone between the diatonic F5 and G5 chords.

The rhythm of this riff may seem awkward at first. The eighth notes at the end of the measure create a push back into the beginning of the riff. Play the riff along with Dennis at 04:36 to make sure you have the rhythm and counting nailed down. He plays the riff at a very slow tempo. Then, pause the video and play the riff at a wide variety of tempo ranges.

5/4 Riff #4 (3+2 feel)

5/4 Riff #4 has a distinct Dave Mustaine / Megadeth feel to it. Like the past few riffs taught in this scene, Riff #4 has a distinct 3+2 rhythmic feel. Notice how the third and fourth strings are muted. Do not get sloppy and omit the palm muting element. Without it, the riff sounds totally lame. Use the finger roll to ensure that notes do not ring over top of one another.

Note: The following information about finger rolls are taken from lesson 15 of Matt Brown's Phase 2 Reading Music and Rhythm Series. Check out this lesson for more information about the finger roll technique.

A finger roll must be performed whenever two consecutive notes are played at the same fret but on different strings. The way in which you fret the initial note must change when this technique is applied. When rolling to a lower string, fret the first note more with the fleshy pad of the finger so that the tip can easily roll to the next note. When rolling to a higher string, the opposite approach must be taken. Fret the first note with the very tip of the finger. Then, slightly flatten out the tip joint so that the pad of the finger frets the second note. When performing a roll, the melody must remain smooth and connected. However, both notes should not ring over top of one another.

5/4 Riff #5 (2+3 feel)

This riff is inspired by the French metal band Gojira. It features some very dissonant E(b5) chord voicings. The riff closes with an octave slide from the fifth of E minor (B) to the b5 (Bb).


Play the riff with all downstrokes to ensure a punishing sound.

Keep Your Slurs Even!

Do not rush the quarter note slides at the end of the riff. Play them without the slide at first to nail down the rhythm. Then, add the slide back in.

5/4 Riff #6 (2+3 feel)

This riff has a more classic, thrash feel reminiscent of earlier Slayer. It is played in F# Aeolian. Practice the riff at a variety of tempos. It sounds best at lightning fast speeds.
Chapter 3: (06:38) 5/8 Time Signature Note: Open "Time Signatures #1" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

5/8 Time

5/8 is quite similar to 5/4. Depending on the indicated tempo of the piece, these two meters may sound identical. For example, some of the riffs from the previous scene can be re-notated in 5/8 time. A slow 5/8 feel can sound the same as a fast 5/4 feel. However, in 5/8, the eighth note receives the beat instead of the quarter note. Similar to 5/4, a measure of 5/8 can be subdivided into a 3+2 rhythm feel or a 3+2 rhythm feel. Dennis demonstrates riffs that exhibit both feels in this scene.

5/8 Riff #1 (3+2 feel)

Remember that the eighth note is counted as the beat now. Sixteenth notes are counted like eighth notes in 5/4. Count 1+2+3+4+5+ for a measure of 5/4 time comprised solely of sixteenth notes. Watch at 01:12 as Dennis breaks down the rhythm and the counting. Plays this riff at a variety of tempos.

Right Hand Technique

Use alternate picking for the sixteenth notes. This riff can be played with or without palm muting.

5/8 Riff #2 (2+3 feel)

Riff #2 is very similar to the previous riff. Now however, the measures are subdivided into a 2+3 eighth note grouping. Dennis breaks down the counting at 01:50. Tap your foot along with the accents. The accents occur on the first beat of each group (beats 1 and 3).

5/8 Riff #3

The subdivisions within this riff change from measure to measure. The first 3 measures have a 3+2 feel. The final measure features a 2+3 feel. Riffs in irregular meters often are subdivided differently from one measure to the next. Dennis demonstrates the riff at 02:59. He breaks down the counting slowly at 03:38. Remember that a quarter note receives two beats in 5/8 time.!

When practicing this riff, set the JamPlay metronome so that the accents click on beats one and four. When practicing the final measure, loop the measure with the metronome accenting beats 1 and 3. Make sure that the metronome clicks on each eighth note in the measure.
Chapter 4: (07:53) 7/4 Time Signature Note: Open "Time Signatures #2" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

7/4 Time

7/4 is a quarter note based signature. The quarter note receives the beat. There are a total of 7 beats per measure. Riffs in 7/4 can also be notated as a measure of 3/4 then a measure of 4/4 or vice versa. The verse section to Pantera's "I'm Broken" is typically notated in this fashion.

7/4 Rhythm Exercise #1

This exercise consists of two measures. The first measure is comprised solely of quarter notes. The second measure consists of eighth notes. Dennis breaks down the counting and rhythm of the exercise at the beginning of the scene.

Picking Pattern

Play the exercise using all downstrokes. At extremely high tempos, you may need to use alternate picking during the second measure to maintain maximum precision.


Since 7/4 contains more notes per measure than 5/4 and 5/8, there are more options for subdividing each measure. You could have a 2+3+2 or 2+2+3 or 3+2+2. All of these rhythmic groupings sound and feel different because of where the accents are placed within the measure. The latter two options are far common than the first.

7/4 Rhythm Exericse #2 (2+2+3 feel)

This E Phrygian rhythm exercise features a 2+2+3 feel. Set the metronome so that it clicks on beats 1, 3, and 5 of each measure. Dennis breaks down the counting of the riff at 01:40.

Picking Pattern

Use all down strokes when playing this riff.

7/4 Rhythm Exercise #3 (3+2+2 feel)

Riff #3 is quite similar to the previous riff. However, the subdivision of each measure is now different. This riff has a 3+2+2 feel. This places the accents on beats 1, 4, and 6 instead of beats 1, 3, and 5.

Additional Practice

Dennis demonstrates a similar riff to #1 and #2 at 02:55 in the lesson video. This 7/4 riff has a 2+3+2 subdivision. The accent pattern of this subdivision feels quite strange. Consequently, it is used rather infrequently. Work through this two measure riff on your own time. If necessary, write the riff down on a piece of staff paper as you are learning it.

7/4 Riff # 1 (2+2+3 feel)

This riff is reminiscent of the 7/4 riffs in Dyer's Eve by Metallica. This song is from the album ...And Justice for All. Some spider riffing can be used in the left hand to make the riff more manageable at high tempos.


Use all downstrokes. You may have to incorporate alternate picking at extremely fast tempos.

7/4 Riff #2 (3+2+2)

This F Aeolian Lick has a modern, progressive sound. Some chromaticism is added to notes from this scale. For example a b5 blue note (B) is used. Also, the final eighth note is used as a passing tone between G and the F note that begins the riff.

The riff begins with an Fadd9 power chord. A similar motif begins the guitar solo to "Floods" by Pantera. Then, Ab major and G major triads are outlined.

7/4 Riff #2 should be played legato. However, do not let any of the notes ring over top of one another. This will cause the riff to sound muddy and rhythmically undefined.

7/4 Riff #3 (3+2+2)

Riff #3 has a distinct death metal sound a la Carcass. It utilizes inverted Bb/F power chords and major third based power chords. Compare the sound of the Bb5/F chord to a root position Bb5 power chord. Also compare the sound of the major power chords to the sound of F#5 and G5 power chords. In the previous lesson, several riffs featured power chords based on the minor third interval. Both of these power chords are used frequently in metal. What difference do these special power chord voicings make on the overall sound of the riff?


The eighth notes are played with down strokes. Use alternate picking for groups of sixteenth notes.
Chapter 5: (03:29) 7/8 Time Signature Similar to 5/8 and 5/4, 7/8 and 7/4 are closely related. A slow 7/8 can sound the same as a fast 7/4. 7/8 can be subdivided into the same groups as 7/4. Now however, the eighth note is counted as the beat instead of the quarter note. When counting, a numeral is assigned to each eighth note. "+"s are used within the counting pattern when sixteenth note rhythms occur.

7/8 Rhythm Exercise 1 (2+2+3)

To get you acquainted with the basics of this signature, Dennis has written out two simple exercises that involve only the notes E and F. The first exercise features a 2+2+3 subdivision of the measure. Dennis breaks down the counting off the exercise at 00:44. Play the exercise at a wide variety of tempos with a metronome. Set the metronome to accent the proper beats.

7/8 Rhythm Exercise 1 (3+2+2)

This exercise features similar rhythms. Now however, the subdivision of the measure and subsequently the accents are shifted to different beats. Now, accents occur on beats 1, 4, and 6.

Back to the Hall of the Mountain King

"Hall of the Mountain King" is a popular classical melody the "Peer Gynt Suite" composed by Edvard Grieg. For the purposes of this lesson, Dennis has arranged the melody in 7/8 time. The first three measures are subdivided in 2+2+3 groupings. The final measure features a 3+2+2 grouping.
Chapter 6: (05:53) 9/8 Time Signature Typically, measures of 9/8 time are subdivided into three equal groups of three eighth notes. However, in certain situations, measures of 9/8 can be subdivided in various combinations of 2's and 3's.

9/8 Practice Riff #1

9/8 Practice Riff #1 features a subdivision in the first three measures. The final measure is comprised of a 3+3+3 subdivision. The accents in the first three measures create a very different rhythmic feel from the last measure. This popular 2+2+2+3 subdivision is found in the jazz classic "Blue Rondo A La Turk" by Dave Brubeck. This is the first track on the album Time Out.

9/8 Practice Riff #2

Open "Time Signatures #3" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

This chromatic riff features a 2+2+2+3 subdivision. Typically when 9/8 is subdivided in some sort of 2, 2, 3 combination, the long 3 group is placed at the end.

9/8 Practice Riff #3

This riff features the long 3 group played at the beginning instead of the end of the measure. This produces a completely different accent pattern and feel. The accents occur on beats 1, 4, 6, and 8.

9/8 Practice Riff #4

A strange new subdivision is used in Riff #4. The measure is divided into groups of 2+3+2+2. Now, the long group is sandwiched in the middle of the measure. Despite the odd subdivision of the measure, this riff sounds surprisingly normal. Dennis breaks down the counting at 04:50.

9/8 Practice Riff #5

This riff features a 2+2+3+2 subdivision. A pedal tone is played on the low E string. Each time this note is played, it is palm muted. A melody line is played on the fifth string against this note. The melody notes are derived from the E harmonic minor scale.
Chapter 7: (05:10) 11/8 Time Signature With time signatures such as 11/8 and 13/8, the possible combinations of subdivisions increase. 11/8 can be subdivided in the following ways:


The first four subdivisions are far more common than the remaining subdivisions on the list.

11/8 Riff #1

This riff features a 2+2+2+2+3 subdivision. It is completely diatonic to the E harmonic minor tonality. Use the spider riffing technique when playing the E5, C5, B5 portion of the riff.

11/8 Riff #2

This riff is from the interlude section to the Dillinger Escape Plan fan favorite "43% Burnt." The riff is atonal. Many people mistake atonal music for jazz. Jazz features a high level of chromaticism, but it is almost never atonal. The harmony is always functional or modal.

11/8 Riff #2 uses a 3+2+3+3 subdivision. Watch at 02:37 as Dennis breaks down the counting pattern. When Dennis demonstrates the riff, he hammers out the accents. The riff should not be performed this way. He plays it in this manner to emphasize the subdivisions. The accents should be far more subtle.

11/8 Riff #3

A 3+3+3+2 subdivision is used in this riff. A low E pedal tone is palm muted on beats 3, 6, and 9. In between these beats, notes from the E harmonic minor scale are played on the fifth and fourth strings.
Chapter 8: (05:32) 13/8 Time Signature 13/8 is an eighth note based time signature. Since there are now more beats in each measure, there are more possible ways to subdivide the measures.

13/8 Practice Riff #1

Open "Time Signatures #4" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

This is the clean interlude section to "Future Breed Machine" by Meshuggah. This song is from the Destroy, Erase, Improve album. Meshuggah recorded this song on seven string guitars. Dennis has arranged the part for a six string for the purposes of this lesson. The part is now played an octave higher.

This riff is very challenging from a technical perspective. It features wide left hand stretches combined with string skipping at a very fast tempo. Consequently, you must start very slow and gradually work up the tempo. The tempo is eighth note = 172 beats per minute.

Right-Hand Technique for String Skipping

Do not rest any part of the right hand on the body or the bridge of the guitar. Rest the top of the forearm on the upper hip of the guitar's body. This allows for maximum range of movement with the right hand wrist. The wrist is also free to move at a greater speed when this technique is applied. Watch Matt at 07:35 for a demonstration. Notice how only the forearm is anchored to the body of the guitar. Curl the right hand fingers loosely into the palm. Do not clench them into a fist! Keep them as relaxed as possible. Generate most of the motion from the wrist. The elbow joint is used slightly to move the position of the wrist up and down.

Note: Refer to lesson 14 the proper string of Matt Brown's Phase 2 Rock series for more information about string skipping technique.

"As I Look Back"

Dennis demonstrates the accompaniment part and the melody to this original composition. The melody and accompaniment are both diatonic to B natural minor. The piece features a 3+3+3+4 (3+3+3+2+2) subdivision of the beat. At 05:08 he plays the melody and the accompaniment so you can hear how they work together.

Similar to the Meshuggah interlude, the accompaniment figure to "As I Look Back" features some very wide stretches with the left hand. Refer back to the Left Hand Overload lesson from this series for some excellent reach development exercises.
Chapter 9: (01:39) Wrap-up and What's Next Words of Encouragement

Hopefully you are realizing that these strange time signatures are not difficult to play when you break them down and analyze their subdivisions. You simply have to count up to a number other than four.

Words of Caution

Don't overestimate the value of these signatures. Just because something is in an odd meter doesn't mean that it's good. Don't write music that is weird and complicated for the sake of being weird and complicated. Music must be honest and heartfelt. It must also have a strong groove.

Preview of What's Next

Dennis begins an in depth history of metal in lesson 10. He will trace the evolution of the genre from a rhythm guitar perspective and a lead guitar perspective. He'll begin with early metal artists such as Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath and work his way into modern material. The next several lesson will trace the evolution of the genre from a rhythm guitar perspective and a lead guitar perspective.

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.

RenoNuskiRenoNuski replied

I am actually starting to sound metal worthy.

duvexyduvexy replied

Great lesson Dennis. I am still behind as I am still learning. I will catch up though.

daypass137daypass137 replied

As chance of detailing picking for "As I look back" chordal part? And any suggestions on stretching the hand to easily grab that first chord?

theaust22theaust22 replied

I'm still kinda new at this stuff and maybe I'm not seeing something right or there is an error, but in the 7/4 example riff #2 (the one with the progressive sound) is that riff an 8th note shy? I tried different ways to count it and something isn't lining up = /....and also another great lesson Dennis = )

theaust22theaust22 replied

I'm still kinda new at this stuff and maybe I'm not seeing something right or there is an error, but in the 7/4 example riff #2 (the one with the progressive sound) is that riff an 8th note shy? I tried different ways to count it and something isn't lining up = /

barton001barton001 replied

Are you ever going to make that "History of Metal" lesson that you referred to at the end of this lesson? That would be really cool.

robert jamesrobert james replied

Good job.

tangohuntertangohunter replied

I guess I'm missing the point here.. How does having 5 beats per measure really change the sound of a song? Why not just have 4 beats and then use rest as needed to recreate the same feel?

brokendawnbrokendawn replied

I think it has to do with accents. For example, when you're playing a waltz (3/4) the accent is on the first beat, and the other two are weaker beats. So you should count ONE two three, ONE two three. As for concert time, (4/4), i believe that the baroque conception (not sure if its baroque, but i think it is) is: 1 - Forte (Accented beat) 2 - Piano ("weak" beat) 3- Mezzo forte (somewhat half accented, louder than the third and forth but weaker than the first) 4- Piano (another weak beat) The point is, the first beat is always accented, i think. Overall it changes the feel of the song. Anyway, i'm not the most appropriate person to answer.

tangohuntertangohunter replied

Ah, that makes sense!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

That is a very appropriate and accurate answer! also, bonus points for music history.

brokendawnbrokendawn replied

thanks :). i studied some theory in violin classes. I wish i could get more into chord construction and modes, as i never studied that, though. We studied mostly rhythm and sight reading, as well as aural training

mattbrownmattbrown replied

excellent lessons, Dennis! We definitely need more rhythm based material on this site.

dimedime replied

man you rock'em all dennis nice lesson could you please make some lessons for shredding?That would be awesome

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

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