Barre Chords and More (Guitar Lesson)

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Brad Henecke

Barre Chords and More

You learned many chords in the last lesson and a few chord progressions. In this lesson, Brad applies various strumming patterns/rhythms to these progressions. Finally, he introduces the formidable barre chords.

Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 42:23Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (2:05) Introduction Welcome back the Rock Guitar series featuring Brad Henecke.
Chapter 2: (02:16) 4/4 Timing

In this lesson we would like to go over some strumming patterns, but before we can do that you must have an understanding of what 4/4 timing is.

4/4 Timing and the First Pattern
The chart above shows a strumming pattern that uses four strums in 4/4 timing. In music we have what we call measures, the above is a sample of one measure in 4/4 timing. The thick lines on the right and left start and end the measure while what is inside those bars is what is played. In 4/4 time (or quarter notes) you get four beats per measure. The 1,2,3 and 4 in the above example are the beats. This first strumming pattern is very simple in that you simply strum down four times.

To practice this strumming pattern count out 1,2,3,4 evenly with your voice and strum the A chord down for two measures. Simply practice this to get the feel for 4/4 timing and the all down-strum pattern.

Chapter 3: (01:32) Strumming Pattern #2

Now that we have explained what 4/4 timing is and showed you the basic down-strum only pattern we will move on to one that is slightly more advanced. Please look at the image below for a visual representation of Strumming Pattern #2.

The above chart is strumming pattern #2. As you can see, the first 3 beats in the measure are the same as strumming pattern #2. They are just down strums. Once you get past the 3rd beat you see that there is more then just a downs strum on the 4th beat. In between the 3rd and 4th beats and after the 4th beat there is an up strum. So you are playing an up strum in between each down strum which gives this pattern a faster, more lively feel. Think of it as saying 1, 2, 3 and 4 and, where the ands are an up strum. Down, down, down up down up.

Chapter 4: (02:14) Strumming Pattern #3

The third strumming pattern in this lesson features a technique called palm muting which is widely used in all styles of electric guitar. Please view the below graphic for a visual representation of this strumming pattern.

As you can see this strumming pattern is once again and all down stroke pattern, however this time the down strums occur twice as fast and there are 8 instead of four. This part is easy, the part that sets this strumming pattern apart from the rest is that it uses a technique called palm muting.

Palm muting is when you use the palm on your right hand to muffle the strings while strumming a chord. This gives a chunky, rock and roll feel to your playing. The proper amount of tension used to mute the strings with your palm can be tricky to figure out, so experiment with different tensions until the desired sound is discovered

Chapter 5: (02:22) Chord Progression with New Strumming Patterns

Now that you have interesting new strumming patterns to play we simply need a nice chord progression to play them with, and that is what this chapter is all about.

This chord progression has 8 measures. The first two measures will be C, the 3rd measure will be G, the 4th measure will be G7, the 5th measure will be Am, the 6th measure will be Am7, the 7th measure will be G and the 8th measure will be G7. For a visual representation please see "Chord Progression #1" in the supplemental content section.

First we will play the chord progression using the first strumming pattern where you play only down strums, 4 of them per measure. Simply go through the chord progression and strum the chord downwards 4 times for each measure. Repeat as many times as necessary for you to play this chord progression smoothly.

Chapter 6: (01:31) Chord Progression with Strumming Pattern #2

Now use the exact same chord progression and play it with the second strumming pattern that we learned in this lesson. If you need a visual representation of either please view "Chord Progression #2" and "Strumming Pattern #2" in the supplemental content section.

Chapter 7: (01:27) Chord Progression with Strumming Pattern #3

Now use the exact same chord progression and play it with the third strumming pattern that we learned in this lesson. If you need a visual representation of either please view "Chord Progression #3" and "Strumming Pattern #3" in the supplemental content section.

Chapter 8: (06:25) Barre Chords and Exercise

In this lesson we are going to begin exploring the world of barre chords. However, it is quite important to understand that barre chords require a lot of finger strength. It may be extremely hard for beginners to finger these chords, so we are going to go over a few exercises which might help.

The first one is very simple and can be done anytime, anywhere. Simply open your hand all the way and then close it into a fist. Doing this repetitively will work the muscles in your wrist which are very important to playing the guitar. This exercise isn't very intense, and once you have good hand strength it may not be worth it, however for people having trouble with barre chords may find it of great use.

The second exercise is quite easy as well, but involves playing the guitar so not only is it an exercise but can also be considered a warm up. The exercise begins on the 5th fret, using all four fingers. Have your first finger play the 5th fret, second finger playing the 6th fret, third finger playing the 7th fret and 4th finger playing the 8th fret. With this simple exercise you start off by playing the 5th fret on the low E string (6th) with your first finger. Now play the 6th fret on the same string with your second finger, but unlike normal leave your first finger on the 5th fret. Leaving the fingers down after you have played them helps you stretch your hands and build strength. Repeat this with your 3rd and fourth fingers so that you have all four fingers laid down on the guitar at the same time, on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th frets. Do this exercise across all of the strings. Once it becomes easy on the 5th fret you can move to the 4th as your starting position which will be harder as your fingers have to stretch slightly more. After you have mastered that play the entire thing backwards, meaning start at the 8th fret and work back to the 5th from the high e to the low e string.

The third exercise is very tough on those with weaker hands. Place your 1st finger on the 5th string of the high E (1st) string. Then take your fourth finger (pinky) and do a trill (hammer on/pull off combo) repeatedly on the 8th fret. Do this repeatedly until your hand becomes tired. After you practice that you can do the trill up and down in the same fret positions over 6 strings.

Chapter 9: (07:48) Intro to Barre Chords and the E Shape

Now that you have some exercises you are ready to learn barre chords!

What is a Barre Chord
Basically, a barre chord requires you to play more then one fret with the same finger. For the purposes of this lesson the barre chord will require your first finger to barre 5 or 6 strings.

Barre chords are basically the shape of the open chord, but you use your first finger to barre a fret thus effectively moving the nut of your guitar up. So for instance, for the E shape barre chord you place your first finger across all of the strings on the 3rd fret. Then make the shape of the E chord as you regularly would pretending your first finger is the nut. That means you would put your second finger on the 4th fret of the G string, your 3rd finger on the 5th fret of the A string and your 4th finger on the 5th fret of the D string. It makes the shape of the E chord, but because you have moved it up the neck and barred it with your 3rd finger it is a different note. Remember, on the guitar we make new notes by shortening the strings, so moving up the neck with a barre chord creates a new not each time. Whatever note your are barring on the 6th fret determines the name of the chord in the example of the E shape. That is why barre chords are so absolutely important, they allow you to play many different chords up and down the neck of the guitar without memorizing too many things. Look at the two pictures below to see the difference between an E shape barre chord and a regular E open chord.

The E Shape Barre Chord

We used the E shape barre chord in the example above, however we will review it quickly to make sure you understand. The chord chart on the left depicts the G major chord, which uses the E shape. The reason the chord is called a G major is because the note on the 3rd fret of the low E (6th) string is a G. That is how you determine which chord you are playing when using the E shape barre chord. If you moved it up one fret it would be a different chord using the shame shape.

Anyhow, fingering the E shape barre chord is quite easy on paper but harder in practice. Getting your finger to go across 6 strings and keep them all depressed is quite difficult. To practice I recommend taking your first finger alone and trying to press all 6 strings down and don't worry about the rest of the chord at first. Play with the positioning of your finger and how hard you have to push until you find a position that allows you to comfortably play all 6 strings. In the real world using real chords you will never actually only be playing with your first finger, so all 6 strings ringing won't be as important, but I find this really helps you get a feel for barre chords. Now, after you have done that place your 2nd finger on the 4th fret of the G (3rd string). Then place your 3rd finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string and your 4th finger on the 5th fret of the D (4th) string. This makes a G Major chord because of the frets, remember you can move this shape up and down the entire neck of the guitar.

If you wish to see a chart of the notes on the neck of the guitar to help figure out which fret makes which chord using the E shape, please go to the supplemental content section and select "Guitar Note Chart."

Chapter 10: (05:40) The A Shape Barre Chord

The A Shape Barre Chord

The A Shape barre chord is similar in shape to the A open chord, much as the E shape is similar to the E major chord. This particular chord is considered a C major because it is barred on the 3rd fret, and if we remember correctly barre chord shapes can be used up and down the neck to create different chords.

Playing this chord can be very difficult, in fact this is most likely one of the hardest chords you will ever play. Barre the first 5 strings on the 3rd fret of the guitar, and then take your 3rd finger and lay it down over the D (4th), G (3rd) and B ) 2nd strings. This requires an enormous amount of hand strength and flexibility, so it will probably take you a good amount of time to be able to play this chord well. Don't give up however, it is hard for EVERYONE when they are just learning barre chords.

Since the A shape does not play the low E (6th) string, the chord is named after the note that is being barred on the A (5th string) So for instance, pretty down on the 3rd fret of the A string gives a C not, so this A shape barre chord is called a C Major chord.

Chapter 11: (03:11) The C Shape Barre Chord

The C shape Barre Chord

The C shape barre chord once again uses the shape of the C major open chord. In this example, which is technically a D major chord because of the fret it is played on, you simply have your first finger barre all 6 strings on the 2nd fret and then use the remaining fingers to play the C major shape. To do that place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the B (2nd) string, 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the D (4th) string and your fourth finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string.

The note that is played on the 5th string determines what a chord using the C shape barre chord is called. For instance, the 5th fret on the 5th string is a D note, which makes this a D major chord. It's important to understand the difference between a barre chord shape and the actual note that is being played.

As with all barre chords this one is difficult to play and will require practice and time to master. So whatever you do don't give up! The strength in your hand will gradually improve and before you know it you will be playing barre chords like a god!

Chapter 12: (04:12) Minor Barre Chord Using E Shape

Minor Barre Chord Using the E Shape

You can transform any E shape barre chord into a minor chord very easily! All you have to do is finger the E shape barre chord form as normal but remove your second finger from the guitar. In this particular example the second finger would be removed from the 6th fret, but as barre chords move up and down the neck it is easier to just remember lift your second finger. The chord in this example is called an A Minor chord.

It is easy to remember the "E Minor Shape" barre chord by it's relationship to the E major shape barre chord, however it is best to practice and memorize the chord by itself as you will not always be going from E Major shape to E minor shape. This chord is very simple. In this example we will start playing on the fifth fret, which means you will barre every string on the 5th fret with your first finger. Then take your 3rd finger and place it on the A (5th) string on the 7th fret and your 4th finger on the D (4th) string 7th fret. This creates an A minor barre chord using the E minor shape.

This chord may be slightly harder to finger then the E Major shape because when you lift your second finger that means barring all 6 strings becomes more important.

Major and Minor Exercuse

Now we wish to share a short exercise to help you practice the various barre chord shapes we have learned. The exercise simply moves you up the neck and forces you to change chord shapes. Start by playing the B Minor barre chord (E minor shape on the 7th fret), then move on to the 6th fret and play a C shape barre chord followed by an E shape barre chord on the 5th fret and lastly a C shape chord on the 4th fret. The point of this exercise is not to memorized the chords or anything along those lines, simply to practice playing different barre chord shapes on different positions up and down the neck. Try making up your own exercises to practice barre chords as they are very difficult and lots of practice will be required before you can play them with ease.

Chapter 13: (01:50) Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You are now done with Rock Guitar Episode 3. Please make sure to practice everything in this lesson thoroughly before moving on. Having the strength and knowledge of barre chords is quite crucial to every guitar player so do not neglect practicing and learning these chords.

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.

kathypbkathypb replied

Brad, you are very clever. What better way to make us learn tricky barre chords than via Hotel California? I salute you!

kevin.cherrykevin.cherry replied

Just my 2 cents here, which may be not be correct, but I don't see the need to Barre the 6th string on an A shaped Barre chord. If you're picking the 5th - 1st, then don't waste the energy Barring the 6th if it isn't used.

ermchanermchan replied fingers just cant do a C shape barre....

benthebosbenthebos replied

that fan blowing his hair would be a cool look on stage

rocknrolldreamrocknrolldream replied

Brad what is a good way to set up a practice session for a beginner learning the bar chords. My wrist get's pretty tired especially trying to make the A form chord clear.

bossofmebossofme replied

Hi Brad. I like your lessons very much. In your palm muting lesson in Rock Guitar, following the chord sequence, do I only play the first 2 or 3 strings of the chord? That seems to be what the video shows, but you never mention it.

hojocathojocat replied

Who else was inspired to look up the tab for "Just What I Needed" by The Cars after doing the exercises with palm muting?

ehwwongehwwong replied

must be hot in the studio.... :)

jtimminsjtimmins replied

Hey brad, Im having trouble with the C bar chord. I have trouble barring all 6 strings even if Im only focusing on using the first finger. I feel like my hands arent strong enough to push them all down, and as a result the 3rd string is always muffled. Are there any specific exercises youd recommend to build up strength? Thanks for the great lessons!

jboothjbooth replied

You don't really need to barre all 6 strings for the c. The 6th string is totally necessary. Also, remember, you only truly need to be hitting the strings that aren't depressed by other fingers with your barre. Concentrate on those, as opposed to pressing all 5 strings down. So on this chord you really only NEED to be pressing down the high e string, and the G string. It's much easier if you think of it that way. It's not wrong to hold all 6 strings and used the low E, but it makes a very hard chord shape that much more difficult, and is, at least in my eyes, unnecessary.

jtimminsjtimmins replied

Thanks! Love the site by the way

daveboguedavebogue replied

I Brad- I have been playing guitar for a while but I just recently got into barre chords in your lesson. I broke my left wrist in 97 and my supination is limited. This is making fingering difficult. Have you heard of this before and is there any way to compensate, i.e. holding the guitar different? I find myself leaning to the left a lot. Thanks

otisnovaotisnova replied

Is there any rule as to which strings to concentrate on to pluck when palm muting a chord. I have real trouble getting a good consistant sound. I notice Brad is only hitting maybe 3 strings when palm muting a this the best way to go. I find it difficults to strum while keeping my palm at the proper position and pressure.

mdreynoldsmdreynolds replied

Is there any way I can get the tab or chords written out for the sequence that brad is playing on the intro to Lesson 3. Please let me know it is very cool and I would like to learn the whole thing. Thanks

born2bblueborn2bblue replied

I have the same question about scene 3 of lesson 3 intro... is that posted anywhere?

robabrobab replied

I am confused with the D major Barre Chord, why is it that the first finger is on the 2nd frett (F sharp) and it is called a D chord? What exactly gives each chord its name and how do you figure it out?

synoticsynotic replied

The root is usually the first note of the chord. So with a C chord, the first note is a C, and is on the 5th string. So when you play the D major chord using the C shape barre chord, you should actually still be hitting the fifth string (and not the sixth string, which as you mentioned is F#). So the root moves two frets from C to D and it's a D major chord.

tammy7689tammy7689 replied

i believe its because the 3rd fret on the 2nd string is a D note and thats the root note....someone plz correct me if im wrong....thats why it makes it the D barre chord

tammy7689tammy7689 replied

there is no way i will ever get the C shape barre chord lol

felipefelipe replied

Brad, On barre chords, what is the position of thumb finger of left hand on the neck? I tried like Mark Brennan showed it in his lesson.

CarolLBCarolLB replied

The intro is EXACTLY what I want to learn to play. Just good, solid rythym that rocks! Looking forward to learing how!

dlapera72dlapera72 replied

i downloaded adobe but the video is still not playing any tips?

kevinacekevinace replied

Email me directly at [email protected] and I'll see what I can do to help you out. Is it just this video that's not playing or is it other videos on the site as well? How about the main video on What about Q&A videos or lick library videos? Please provide all this information when you email me.

firstmilefirstmile replied

This lesson is broken. The video will not load.

nessanessa replied

Please download the latest version of Flash here: That should help!

jake homejake home replied


sendbahtsendbaht replied

Thanks Brad for the lessons, I like you easy style. Hay, when I pratice the barr cords I put my fingers down first then then index finger. When you were begining what came first fingers then index or index then fingers? I'm sure I need to learn to place them all at the same time, but? Any help would be great.

lukacar24lukacar24 replied

you rock!

byronblackbyronblack replied

Hi Brad, After progressing from the first phase lessons (after re-teaching myself after playing badly for 10 years), your lessons are the first ones that i've chosen to study. I really like your teaching style, you explain everything very well. This particular lessons has been excellent as I always strugged with Barre chords, I can now get the fingering right and they sound good - just need to work on your exercise a little more to be able to change cleanly between them. Keep up the great work Brad!

twiztedfatextwiztedfatex replied

hey ive been playing for two years...i know alot bar chords and basic chords and i can play them all fine...but when i got to you c shaped bar chord i struggle a little(my hands arent the biggest) any tips or thoughts would be appricated...Rock on bro

jboothjbooth replied

The C shape is really tricky. My hand has a very, very hard time playing the C shape barre which is why I play an abbreviated version. Basically I only bar the 3rd and 1st strings with my index finger. Since none of the other notes are open it's not necessary to have the finger covering 5 or 6 strings. This helped me a lot.

scottbrownscottbrown replied

Brad, I notice when I am playing my barre chords that I tend to raise the neck up a few inches( not like Gene Simmons or anything) it seems to get my hand in a better position. Is this a bad thing that I should try to stop doing now?

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

No it is not a bad thing .When you raise the neck up a bit it makes a better angle for your wrist. You want your wrist to be able to curve more so when you are holding a Barre with your finger the finger can be at more of a straight line over the fret. The only time raising the neck a bit is a bad thing is when you start sticking your tongue out like Gene Simmons LOL.

eickeick replied

great lesson its tough and i think ill be on it for a month before moving

eickeick replied

Hey Brad grate lesson was rilly haven a tough time with the bar cords. But ill just keep worken at it I figured i might be going too fast threw the lessons .Im just getten to agressive i gess but thanks. As i said before great lesson

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

It takes quite a wile to master the Bar chords .Just keep at it .It will all come together . Happy Holidays ! :)

peterwestpeterwest replied

Brilliant lesson, before I just couldn't get barre chordes from TABs now I can do them fine (Just hurts my fin gers a little though). Again well done. By the way nice rocking at the last section

trextrex replied

Great lesson. I've always had a tuff time with barre chords. They are so much easier now that I had a shop "set up" my guitar. The finger exercises are helping also.

redsoxnationsteveredsoxnationsteve replied

Brad, Thanks....This was a great lesson. I struggled in the beginning with the E Shape Barre Chord, but is becoming quite familiar with that and the A Shape Barre Chord. The C Shape Barre is one I am struggling with right now, as my pinkie seems to have a mind of it's own. Thanks again for this great lesson.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

great to hear your working out the barr chords .keep working on them soon they will become eazy .

bwoodatstatebwoodatstate replied

Hey Brad, I am having a hard time getting all the strings to ring out doing a E shape bar cord anywhere on the neck. I heard that you are suppose to put your nuckle between the two highest strings and that your index finger should slightly roll over on itself. Also, where is the best place to put my thumb?? Thanks

redsoxnationsteveredsoxnationsteve replied

Great lesson so far. I am also having some problems forming the E shape Barre Chord, and getting all the notes to rang true. I quess, I will just take a break, and be back at it soon. Cheers

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

The best place to put your thumb is in the middle of the back of your guitar neck. your fingers will be in a better position for playing the chord .Your wrist needs to be bent, not straight . I do believe your barring finger does slightly role to the side . Try this and see if it helps .



jboothjbooth replied

Where you put your finger REALLY depends a lot on your hand, the shape of your fingers and where the creases / joints are in the finger you barre with. It's really hard to give a definitive answer on that other then play with position. What I recommend is take all of your fingers off but the barre and experiment until you can make all 6 strings ring out. That is probably the optimal place for your finger. One thing to keep in mind is that the issue might not be your finger placement, but your hands may not have adjusted to the strength required to hold a barre down yet, so this may be something that will improve in time. It's also a possibility that your guitar action is too high or the neck is a bit to wide for you. I used to have an Ibanez that I couldn't barre on at all.

frugalfrugal replied

I'd just like to share a tip for anyone that's having trouble with the c-shape barre chord, as I was. Don't barre all 6 strings - just 1 to 5 as the 6th string isn't played anyway. I was having trouble with the high e string sounding dull, but by barring only 5 strings I can get extra pressure on there and now it sounds sweet!

jboothjbooth replied

You can also just barre the 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings as well. This may be harder then easier for some depending on hand shape though.

frugalfrugal replied

Good point :) Although I prefer to keep 5 barred so it's easier (for me at least) to make the transition back to the e-shape barre. Now I just need to convince my pinky to go where it should on the c-shape, I'm finding this really tough.

SylviaSylvia replied

ha ha ha! I have a pinkie rebel too! My pinkie will get the string but it doesn't wanna let go. The 3 string barre helps me a lot and today I barred 4 strings! Woo hoo progress! ;o)

sopkatsopkat replied

Hi Brad Not sure the best way to practice in conjunction with doing lessons. What do you advise? Is there a standard practice regime I should be donng daily plus the lesson specifics I have currently just done? Is the lesson structure designed for example, 1 lesson per week and practice daily? I know this will vary based on skill, patience and time availablw but a guide would be nice. Thanks BTW: I am doing lesson 3 if this is relevant

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

The great thing about on line guitar lessons is that you can advance at your own pace. What I would do is keep a note book of all the lessons you have. Any time you learn a new chord or a new scale adds it to your regular Dailey practice time. Set your self up with some time for playing chords learning new chords , Playing through scales learning new scales .There will be a lot of learning things and then going over them to keep up on it .The main thing is to keep your self moving forward . Learning new songs is a good way to help your self feel like you are moving in an Up word direction .The most important thing to remember is to keep it fun and play what you want to play.

rampartsramparts replied

My pattern-based logic is crumbling here. If on the C major chord you skip playing the 6th string (E in this case), why play the 6th string on the C-shaped bar chords? In scene 11 brad plays all 6 of them. Thanks

jboothjbooth replied

Hello, Technically you can play the 6th string on a C shape barre chord as the note is part of the chord, but most people do not, as it is best to start out playing the root note of the chord. So it can be played, but is generally not recommended.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

thanks Jeff for the answer your right on !!

spiderluccispiderlucci replied

Hi Brad, it look like you where doing the" CAGED THEROY" I'm not sure if you or the newbies know the CAGED THEROY but it's is really important in the way it fits so, you mention that if you hit the six string for the root note that would be the name of the chord... not always true... I would clear that up with some people because they may get confuse. If you pick up a book called "fretboard Logic SE by Bill edwards you are doing CAGED THEROY BRAD! I hope this helps you and everyone else. Spider

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

I have that book. It's a very good one to have .It helps you understand how chords and shapes all fit together On the guitar neck .I can't coppy the way some one else teaches but i do beleave in making the lessons as visual as possible i do reccommend the book .It is a good one to have and may help clear up any questions that may come along the way .

steveoraclesteveoracle replied

great barre chord lesson, they're still hard but the lesson rocks!!!!

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Glad to see you got the finger exercise .your forth finger is always the hardest finger to control .Anything you can do to make it stronger will help .don't forget to stretch your fingers before playing .you don't want to pull a mussel .keep rocking !

bator82bator82 replied

LOL, nevermind. I got further into the lesson and saw that trill exercise.

bator82bator82 replied

Hey Brad, great lesson set so far. I'm learning with ease, but I seem to be having problems on the G chord to get my 4th finger in the right position accurately during the progressions. Is there an exercise you use to increase pinky strength and flexibility? Thanks in advance.

mdreynoldsmdreynolds replied

Thanks, Let me know.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

let me check that one out i'll have to see what i was playing .

Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.

Basic Rock GuitarLesson 1

Basic Rock Guitar

This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.

Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Learning ChordsLesson 2

Learning Chords

The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.

Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Barre Chords and MoreLesson 3

Barre Chords and More

Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.

Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Your First SongLesson 4

Your First Song

In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."

Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues and ScalesLesson 5

Blues and Scales

Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.

Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tricks and LeadLesson 6

Tricks and Lead

This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.

Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jammin' with ScalesLesson 7

Jammin' with Scales

This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.

Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
3 SongsLesson 8

3 Songs

In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.

Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Power ChordsLesson 9

Power Chords

Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.

Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
2 New SongsLesson 10

2 New Songs

Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.

Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Pentatonic ScaleLesson 11

Pentatonic Scale

Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.

Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Second PatternLesson 12

Second Pattern

Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Message in a BottleLesson 13

Message in a Bottle

Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."

Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Third PatternLesson 14

Third Pattern

This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Colorful Chord TensionLesson 15

Colorful Chord Tension

Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Fourth PatternLesson 16

The Fourth Pattern

Brad covers the fourth pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
DaytripperLesson 17


In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Fifth PatternLesson 18

The Fifth Pattern

Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.

Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

"Brown Eyed Girl"

Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.

Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
PhrasingLesson 20


Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.

Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Basics of TappingLesson 21

Basics of Tapping

Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Intro to ModesLesson 22

Intro to Modes

Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.

Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Understanding Chord ShapesLesson 23

Understanding Chord Shapes

Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.

Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Natural HarmonicsLesson 24

Natural Harmonics

Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.

Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Advanced HarmonicsLesson 25

Advanced Harmonics

Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Dorian ModeLesson 26

The Dorian Mode

Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. This lesson includes 2 backing tracks.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Phrygian ModeLesson 27

Phrygian Mode

Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.

Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Lydian ModeLesson 28

The Lydian Mode

Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.

Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mixolydian ModeLesson 29

Mixolydian Mode

Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Aeolian ModeLesson 30

The Aeolian Mode

Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Locrian ModeLesson 31

The Locrian Mode

The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The Ace ZoneLesson 32

The Ace Zone

Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learn LicksLesson 33

Learn Licks

In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues LicksLesson 34

Blues Licks

Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.

Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Modes and ScalesLesson 35

Modes and Scales

Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
A Different ViewLesson 36

A Different View

In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
One String ScalesLesson 37

One String Scales

This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
One String Ionian ModeLesson 38

One String Ionian Mode

Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Aeolian Mode on One StringLesson 39

Aeolian Mode on One String

Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.

Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Octave ScalesLesson 40

Octave Scales

Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.

Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Using OctavesLesson 41

Using Octaves

Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.

Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Harmonic Minor ScaleLesson 42

Harmonic Minor Scale

Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learning by EarLesson 43

Learning by Ear

Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.

Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Ear Training GameLesson 44

Ear Training Game

Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Diminished ArpeggioLesson 45

Diminished Arpeggio

Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.

Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Understanding Time SignaturesLesson 46

Understanding Time Signatures

Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Diminished ChordsLesson 47

Diminished Chords

Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Open G TuningLesson 48

Open G Tuning

Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.

Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 49

Drop D Tuning

Brad Henecke introduces drop D tuning in this lesson. He explains many advantages of this tuning.

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
G Major PentatonicLesson 50

G Major Pentatonic

Brad Henecke teaches the G major pentatonic scale. He demonstrates all 5 patterns and explains how they can be transposed to any key.

Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Changing Scales with ChordsLesson 51

Changing Scales with Chords

In this lesson Brad Henecke talks about changing the pentatonic/blues scales with each chord in a chord progression.

Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mixolydian Scale and ChordsLesson 52

Mixolydian Scale and Chords

Brad will show how to use the Mixolydian scale with a blues chord progression.

Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Gear and EffectsLesson 53

Gear and Effects

This lesson is all about gear and effects. Brad begins his discussion with power conditioning and removing hiss from your amplifier. He progresses to discuss a plethora of effects pedals. Brad explores...

Length: 52:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Wah PedalLesson 54

The Wah Pedal

In this lesson, Brad Henecke introduces the wah pedal and demonstrates its many applications.

Length: 15:53 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke

About Brad Henecke View Full Biography Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.

This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.

From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.

This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (

His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".

Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.

He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).

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Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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

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.

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Calum Graham Calum Graham

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

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

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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...

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Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

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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...

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John Shannon John Shannon

Meet John Shannon and his approach to rhythm guitar. John discusses why he put this lesson series together and what his...

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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Irene Ketikidi Irene Ketikidi

Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques...

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

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Dan Sugarman Dan Sugarman

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

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Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...

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Michael Palmisano Michael Palmisano

Michael kicks off his course and explains what to expect from the course, as well as who this course is designed for.

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

How do you sequence arpeggio shapes and create a more angular sound to your country playing? Andy Wood explains how he was...

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