Upscale (Guitar Lesson)

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Michael Ripoll


Take the key of E to the next level! Nomad presents a few more ideas that are a bit more challenging and continues the experimentation process.

Taught by Michael Ripoll in Acoustic Pop With Nomad seriesLength: 7:28Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

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.

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied

Thank you ! Enjoying the lessons...

bublicklbublickl replied

Can you explain the strumming pattern starting at 3:09, Groove in E.

Acoustic Pop With Nomad

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

"How does he make his guitar sound like THAT?" Have you ever asked that question when just hearing someone strum the guitar. There is a polish and an sheen to their playing that seems like it comes straight off of a recording. This series teaches you to play with THAT sound over many examples that span popular music throughout its greatest decades, including present day acoustic pop.

Define Pop Music Please!Lesson 1

Define Pop Music Please!

"How does he make his guitar sound like THAT?" Have you ever asked that question when just hearing someone strum the guitar? There is a polish and a sheen to someone's playing that seems like it comes...

Length: 9:19 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The Slow StrumLesson 2

The Slow Strum

Dial it back, slow it down and REALLY focus on your strumming mechanics, even if you already strum a lot! We are laying the ground work for intentional, yet free and natural sounding strumming.

Length: 12:51 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Be Free With ItLesson 3

Be Free With It

Nomad stresses the concept of honing in on something, internalizing it, and then forgetting about it and letting your intuition and musical sense take over. This lesson takes the mechanical approach to...

Length: 14:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
In Between Is A DreamLesson 4

In Between Is A Dream

Pick up the tempo on the strumming a little in this lesson. Learn how to create a mid-tempo groove and practice improvising a bit within a planned strum pattern.

Length: 4:17 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Ghost In The StrokeLesson 5

The Ghost In The Stroke

When it comes to strumming, what you don't play is just as important as what you do play. Nomad explains how to add subtle, rhythmic non-strokes into your strumming.

Length: 8:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Have a Blast, Be FastLesson 6

Have a Blast, Be Fast

Kick up the tempo tracker just a bit and practice some Americana style strumming. It's a challenge to make sure that you are still right on the beat - not rushing or lagging too far behind.

Length: 12:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Forward MotionLesson 7

Forward Motion

It's time to apply that age old Nomadian principle of taking what you've learned over the last several lessons, pushing it to the back of your mind and forgetting it. Let your intuition and artistic bent...

Length: 21:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fingerpickin' GoodLesson 8

Fingerpickin' Good

We've spent a fair amount of time on strumming so far. Now it's time to focus on another area in acoustic popular music: Fingerpicking! Learn and apply the basics in a musical context right away with this...

Length: 14:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger FocusLesson 9

Finger Focus

In the last lesson, the goal was to get started on fingerpicking without thinking too much about it. In this lesson, you'll get a chance to actually assign fingers to certain strings and hone in on creating...

Length: 18:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger FamiliesLesson 10

Finger Families

Your fingers will now be working together, separately! Learn to strike two strings or more with two different fingers. This leads to more interesting and flowing lines when fingerpicking.

Length: 9:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger RollLesson 11

Finger Roll

Work with a very specific fingerpicking pattern while using a moveable chord shape to create some interesting sounds. Focus on the fingerpicking hand!

Length: 10:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
YellowbirdLesson 12


Learn a classic fingerpicking pattern that is a lot like a particular Beatles song. Get the pattern and the concept under your fingers with this lesson, and then pop over to Phase 3 and learn the whole...

Length: 11:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Something in CommonLesson 13

Something in Common

Improving efficiency while playing your guitar is always a good thing. This lesson focuses on finding common tones and position similarities between chords so that switching between them is more efficient,...

Length: 10:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
C, We're the Same!Lesson 14

C, We're the Same!

Ground yourself in the Key of C and "C" how many ways you can join common tones in your chord voicings for smooth transitions and consistent strumming. Try these ideas with a capo for even more fun!

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Common Tone Grab BagLesson 15

Common Tone Grab Bag

Now, Nomad takes you on a creative journey! Using his decades of experience in pop music, he demonstrates how to take ordinary sounding progressions and make them sound more connected and unique.

Length: 13:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
From E to Shining ELesson 16

From E to Shining E

Due to the many open strings that can be left to ring out when strumming all the strings, the key of E can be quite the chord playground. Nomad takes you through some of his favorite ways to get fresh...

Length: 8:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
UpscaleLesson 17


Take the key of E to the next level! Nomad presents a few more ideas that are a bit more challenging and continues the experimentation process.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
'A' Is for Almost AnythingLesson 18

'A' Is for Almost Anything

The key of A is another one of those keys that can be really fun to play in! That low open A string really does the trick if you know how to use it. Nomad shares some of his favorite chord tricks in the...

Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sounds in DLesson 19

Sounds in D

We've looked at the keys of A and E. Now we'll look at the rich and deep world of D. Using the open D string with some great moveable shapes will give you some tasty ways to harmonize your musical inspirations!

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chord Flavor Grab BagLesson 20

Chord Flavor Grab Bag

We've spent some time focusing on what can be done in specific keys with open strings backing them. Now we are going to take some of these ideas and apply them to mini song examples.

Length: 7:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Fingerpicking Grab BagLesson 21

Fingerpicking Grab Bag

The last lesson took many of the chord ideas discussed in the previous lessons and got a little more "song-like" with the examples. In this lesson, you'll have a chance to contextualize fingerpicking...

Length: 10:01 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Neighboring MelodiesLesson 22

Neighboring Melodies

Unlock the melodic potential within simple chords. Accomplish this by looking at the chord in the context of the neighboring notes in the corresponding scale. Once you combine a few chords together using...

Length: 11:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythmic VariationsLesson 23

Rhythmic Variations

Sometimes strumming can get a bit boring. Sometimes fingerpicking can be a bit too calm sounding. But if you take a little strumming, a little finger technique and throw in some percussive playing, you...

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Between the LinesLesson 24

Between the Lines

Get your pick ready and practice incorporating single picked notes into your strum patterns. You'll learn how to target key notes and further your melody sense while keeping time.

Length: 11:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mayer May Not BeLesson 25

Mayer May Not Be

Mix up some fingerpicking, a little slap, and some chord melodies and you have a John Mayer-tinged passage that will inspire your songwriting and grooves.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
His Name Was TravisLesson 26

His Name Was Travis

Nothing accompanies a simple melodic song idea like the Travis picking technique. Nomad covers Travis picking with both the fingers and the pick and applies it in a few different contexts.

Length: 9:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Upside, DownsideLesson 27

Upside, Downside

What happens when you turn a chord upside down? What happens when you rearrange the notes? You get inversions. Inversions are everywhere and though that word may sound kind of boring or clinical, the music...

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Listen to the InversionLesson 28

Listen to the Inversion

Look at how inversions are laid out on the lower string and then hear some ways that those inversions are worked into real musical examples. If you like the Doobie Brothers or Jimi Hendrix, you'll dig...

Length: 14:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Sound Familiar?Lesson 29

Sound Familiar?

Nomad shares a handful of examples of inversion from various pop songs written in the last several decades. See if you can guess the artists and songs that Nomad is alluding to!

Length: 9:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Yes, Less Is MoreLesson 30

Yes, Less Is More

In recent pop music, the acoustic guitar can almost sound like it has been sampled...and sometimes it has been. Nomad explains how to create modern pop hooks and demonstrates the art of leaving space....

Length: 10:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Altered State of String TensionLesson 31

Altered State of String Tension

Get a taste of how to apply simple alternate tunings to your popular music melodies and strum patterns. It's amazing how new ideas open up when you modify just one string!

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Harmonious HarmonicsLesson 32

Harmonious Harmonics

Learn some simple, yet artistic ways to incorporate natural harmonics into your playing. You'll add a percussive element and create some depth of range with your melodic lines if you have harmonics in...

Length: 9:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Nothing To DoLesson 33

Nothing To Do

Working in the style of Jason Mraz, Nomad offers a groovy, laid back track that will bring many of the areas of study from this series to the front and center.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Tom's PettyLesson 34

Tom's Petty

Learn and experience the fun in playing some flowing and free feeling strum patterns inspired by Tom Petty. Nomad provides a Tom Petty-inspired track to sink your teeth and fingers into.

Length: 6:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
NomadLesson 35


Learn a complete original song by Nomad called "Nomad". If you like John Mayer and catchy acoustic grooves, you'll like what you see and hear. You already got a chance to dig into the main riff on this...

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
I'm SorryLesson 36

I'm Sorry

Hybrid fingerpicking, slaping, and some groovy strumming will have you making music with this Jam Track. You have touched on the main hook of this piece in an earlier lesson and now it is time to use...

Length: 6:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In The GardenLesson 37

In The Garden

Yes, there are acoustic guitars in songs that Katy Perry and the like sing over. Put the melodic hook ideas and simple part playing to work over this modern Pop track. Keep it simple... Keep it solid!

Length: 8:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Why Do I Still Love You?Lesson 38

Why Do I Still Love You?

Slow down and cool off for this Country-tinged travis picking track. Keeping things in context will have you playing real music and pushing your skills faster and more intentionally. Soak these tracks...

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Michael Ripoll

About Michael Ripoll View Full Biography Michael "Nomad" Ripoll is a consummate professional in the music industry with a list of credits and accomplishments that span decades. Best known as a masterful guitar virtuoso who has played with a seemingly endless list of the most respected names in the music world, Michael has always strived to exceed the boundaries of a traditional musician’s career by proactively seeking and securing opportunities to excel in other facets of the industry.

While he remains an artist and singer-songwriter first, Michael also operates as the Musical Director for world renowned artist and friend Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, has launched an innovative online format for guitar instruction, and has even contributed to major motion picture film scores. Working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sting, Natalie Cole, the American Idol Tour, the Pussy Cat Dolls, India Arie, and countless others, Michael is regarded as one of the industry’s most sought after session players and touring musicians.

Michael earned the nickname "Nomad" after he started posting pictures and videos of his travels around the globe on his website and YouTube. Follow Nomad everywhere his guitar takes him here at JamPlay and at

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

Free LessonSeries Details
Maneli Jamal Maneli Jamal

The acoustic guitar is basically a big wooden box, so it makes sense that it sounds pretty good as a drum! Learning how...

Free LessonSeries Details
Freebo Freebo

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Randall Williams Randall Williams

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

Free LessonSeries Details
Jeff Gunn Jeff Gunn

Now that we have explored the various distances needed to sound artificial harmonics, will learn how to move between artificial...

Free LessonSeries Details
Larry Cook Larry Cook

In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...

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
Dan Sugarman Dan Sugarman

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

Free LessonSeries Details
Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

Free LessonSeries Details
David Wallimann David Wallimann

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

Do you want to play more musical sounding solos? Do you want to play solos with more emotion behind them? Maybe you're the...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 520531 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 127 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!