Your First Song (Guitar Lesson)

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Brad Henecke

Your First Song

Now that Brad has covered the A and E shape barre chords, it is time to learn the remaining barre chord shapes. Later, Brad teaches you how to play "Hotel California."

Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 41:31Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (1:41) Introduction Welcome to Lesson 4 of Brad Henecke’s Classic Rock series. Brad starts the lesson off with a great Minor Blues jam.
Chapter 2: (0:50) Lesson Information The chord voicings Brad plays in this brief jam are the topic of the current lesson. The previous lesson gave you a brief introduction to barre chord shapes. In this lesson, Brad takes the barre chord concept to the next level. First, you will learn some basic minor chord shapes. Brad then delves into more advanced chord shapes such as the Minor 7 barre chords as well as Dominant 7 barre chords. Once these chords are mastered, they can be applied to the rock and roll classic “Hotel California.”
Chapter 3: (3:53) E Minor Barre Chord Shape Before moving ahead to the minor chord shapes, take some time to review some of the concepts from the previous lesson. When Brad refers to a chord’s “shape” he is referring to the visual pattern that the left-hand fingers form. Take a close look at the E chord for example. This shape is used for a major barre chord with the root on the 6th string. To form a barre chord shape from the open E chord shape, the open strings must be fretted by the barre. Look at the A barre chord on Brad’s dry-erase board. Do you notice how the shape of the open E chord fits into this new shape?

Learning the minor barre chords is a relatively easy process once you have learned the major barre chord shapes. The easiest minor barre chord to start with is the Am shape, because it is performed in roughly the center of the neck. You may have noticed that barre chords are easier to play in this area of the fretboard. This is due to the fact that the frets are not too far apart or too close together.

Start with the A Major barre chord shape. (Brad reviews this chord at about 2:30). To play A Minor, simply lift up your second finger. The first finger is now fretting the fifth fret with the barre. Lowering this scale degree (the third of the chord) forms a minor chord. Notice how this barre chord shape resembles the open Em chord shape.

Note: Chord theory is discussed in greater detail in Classic Rock Lesson 5.

Many beginners have trouble getting the third string to ring clearly when playing this chord shape. For this reason, experienced players often press their second finger down on top of their first finger. This added pressure is sufficient enough to properly fret the third string. Once you feel comfortable with playing this Am shape, move the barre chord shape to other areas of the neck and proceed to practice it there.

Note: Click the “Supplemental Content” tab for fretboard diagrams of all the chords discussed in this lesson.
Chapter 4: (1:38) E7 Barre Chord Shape/A7 chord Brad demonstrates how to play an A7 barre chord in this scene. He refers to this shape as the “E7 Barre Chord Shape,” because the shape of the chord closely resembles the open E7 chord.

Once again, start with the fingering for the A Major barre chord. Now, instead of lifting up your second finger, lift up your pinky. The first finger is now fretting the D string with the barre. The resulting note is a G. This forms an A7 barre chord. This chord shape is used quite frequently in the blues and rock genres.
Chapter 5: (2:36) Em7 Shape / Am7 Chord To form the Am7 barre chord, start with the Am barre chord you learned in Scene 3. Then, lift up the pinky finger. The resulting notes in the chord are A, C, E, and G. These notes spell an Am7 chord. Once you have mastered this chord shape, you can play all of the barre chords with roots on the 6th string. In the following scene, Brad will demonstrate the barre chords with 5th string roots. Learning these shapes will enhance your chord vocabulary as well as your overall knowledge of the fretboard.
Chapter 6: (3:49) The A Shape and Tips Remember the basic open A chord shape from Phase 1 Lessons? This same chord can also be played by barring the fretted notes with the first finger. Brad will demonstrate how to form barre chords from this shape in this scene and the scenes that follow. The D Major barre chord is the first of these chords to master.

Start by laying a barre across the 5th fret with your first finger. The low string is not strummed in this chord, so the first finger doesn’t need to barre it. Then, your third finger will perform another barre across the D, G, and B strings at the fifth fret. Play each string individually to ensure that no string is accidentally muted.

Although the note on the first string is part of this chord, most guitarists omit this note from the shape. This is due to the fact that it is quite difficult to avoid muting the first string with the third finger.

Note: On his dry-erase board, Brad indicates that the barre on the D, G, and B strings should be played with the second finger. However, performing the barre with the third finger is much easier.
Chapter 7: (2:20) Am Barre Chord Shape Pause the lesson and take some time to review the basic open Am chord. Brad will use this shape to form a new barre chord: Dm.

To form Dm, begin by barring your first finger across the 5th fret. Now, the third and fourth fingers will fret the D and G strings at the 7th fret respectively. Finally, the second finger frets the B string at the 6th fret. This shape lowers the third scale degree one half step from the Major barre chord. This changes the quality of the chord from major to minor.

Note: Click the “Supplemental Content” tab for fretboard diagrams of all the chords discussed in this lesson.
Chapter 8: (1:43) A7 Barre Chord Shape / D7 Barre Chord Brad uses the shape of the open A7 chord to form the D7 barre chord. Once again, play a barre with the first finger at the 5th fret. The third finger then frets the note A at the 7th fret of the D string. Finally, the pinky frets the note F# at the 7th fret of the B string.
Chapter 9: (1:43) Am7 Barre Chord Shape / Dm7 Barre Chord The open Am7 chord shape lays the foundation for the m7 barre chord with its root on the fifth string. To play a Dm7 chord, start with the Dm barre chord from Scene 7. Then, simply lift up the pinky finger. This forms Dm7.
Chapter 10: (1:04) E and A Shape Review Pause the video and review all the chord shapes discussed in the lesson thus far. Be sure that you can play each chord shape with minimal left-hand set-up time. These shapes are utilized in the song “Hotel California,” which Brad demonstrates in the following scenes. You may find it helpful to separate these chords into two categories: chords with 6th string roots and chords with 5th string roots.
Chapter 11: (1:56) Introduction to Hotel California Steve plays through the intro and verse sections of “Hotel California.” This provides you with a great model to strive toward when practicing. Before you dive into playing the song, study the song’s chord shapes in the following scene.
Chapter 12: (1:40) The Chords in “Hotel California” Take a moment to look over the chords that appear in the verse to the song. At this point, you have a few different options for each chord. For example, the first Bm chord could either be played as 6th string root barre chord or a 5th string root barre chord. In the following scene, Brad will explain the proper chord shape to use for each individual chord in the song.
Chapter 13: (7:40) Half of “Hotel California” and Backpicking Before you begin to work on any new song, make note of the key and time signatures. “Hotel California” is typically played in the key of B Minor. The entirety of the song is in 4/4 or “common” time.

For now, strum a whole note for each chord. Later, Brad will demonstrate how to play the verse with a technique referred to as “backpicking.”

Here is a measure-by-measure breakdown of all the chord shapes used in the verse:
Measures 1 and 2: Bm-Use the 6th string root barre chord.

3 and 4: F#-Use C shape barre chord with root on 5th string.

5 and 6: A-Use 6th string root barre chord.

7 and 8: E-Use C shape barre chord with root on 5th string.

9 and 10: G-Use 6th string root barre chord.

11 and 12: D- Use C shape barre chord with root on 5th string.

13 and 14: Em-Use open Em shape.

15 and 16: F#-Use the 6th string root barre chord.
Pause the video and slowly practice through the progression on your own. Once you have mastered it, attempt to play it along with Brad at 5:25. This will greatly improve your rhythm and hopefully iron out any chord change issues you may be experiencing.

“Backpicking” refers to a descending arpeggiation of a chord. Brad demonstrates this technique with the first chord of the song, Bm. Brad plays this technique using his right hand fingers. However, when performing this technique with a pick, all backpicked notes should be played with an upstroke. Drag the pick across each string in this direction.

Each chord is played for a full two measures. The downbeat of the first measure always features a downstrum of the chord. Then, the backpicking is applied. The high E string is struck on the “and” of beat 2. The rest of the arpeggio pattern occurs on beats + 4 +. The following measure begins with the root note of the chord. Then, the backpicking pattern repeats.

Watch Brad carefully while he demonstrates the backpicking arpeggio pattern. Play along with him to master the rhythm.
Chapter 14: (4:38) Second Half of Hotel California The verse portion of this song features numerous barre chords and only one open chord shape. However, the chorus part consists of mainly open chords and just a few barre chords. This is quite common among popular rock songs. Open chord voicings are typically chosen for chorus parts, because they generate more volume and sustain than their barre chord counterparts. Here’s a quick explanation of how the chorus barre chords should be played:

Bm is played as a barre chord with its root on the 5th string.

The F# chord is played as barre chord with its root on the 6th string.

Instead of continuing with backpicking, the chorus shifts to a standard strumming pattern. Strum the following rhythm throughout the chorus: 1 2+ +4+. The direction of the strumming should be played as down, down, up, up, down, up. Remember that the “and” beats are always played with an upstrum.
Chapter 15: (2:32) The Entire Song Practice the verse and chorus parts individually until you can comfortably play along with Brad. In this scene, he connects the verse and chorus parts together and plays the bulk of the song. This provides you with an effective practice model to imitate. We also recommend that you acquire a recording of the Eagles playing the song. In this lesson, Brad has only taught the basic rhythm guitar parts to the song. What other guitar parts are added to the original Eagles recording?
Chapter 16: (2:03) Final Thoughts on the Lesson Like Brad mentions, learn this song slowly by practicing a segment at a time. Drill all difficult chord changes until you can play them in your sleep. As always, remain patient! Depending on your ability level, this song should take a few weeks of diligent practice to master.

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.

efrenishefrenish replied

a very old video but i actually really liked it and it is a great chord exercise.

goldsbargoldsbar replied

Jamplay has come a long way since this series of lessons. It's been total beginner until this point. Now a C-shape bar chord. Don't get the progression. If you're just starting, you can learn a ton of songs with just the E & Em shapes or much easier power chords which haven't been discussed yet. Will say this is a good way to learn the C shape.

jet690jet690 replied

I started this course as I thought it was a Phase 2 course - more like a complete beginners course. Hotel California is wrong. Not impressed and why does he play with loads of distortion all the time?

Sharp LeadSharp Lead replied

Are you kidding? nothing like it! Basic rubbish

sign4thissign4this replied

What about the Solo?

bam711711bam711711 replied

Thanks for going slow for us beginners. You do a great job of explaining each example. Thanks Brad.

maxim750maxim750 replied

you have got to get rid of this guy ,he really lets down jamplay ,im sure hes a nice guy but not a teacher

imonarimonar replied

PLEASE be aware dont get confused: THE PHOTO OF F# in C SHAPE in the supplements is WRONG. It's played by placing the bar on the second fret. :)

imonarimonar replied

IGNORE the comment I am wrong.

grassercgrasserc replied

You sold me. I took personal guitar lessons 40 years ago and played in bands from the time I was 12 until college. Now I'm rusty and never achieved the level that I wanted to. So I tried out the trial for a week and the first day, I messed around in the beginner area and didn't learn anything new. Then I decided to try the intermediate area today. I jumped past your first 3 lessons because they were not new to me. I figured I would start with the "first song". Not only did I learn about 6 new "practical" barre chords, you hurt my left hand with Hotel California. Now maybe it is arthritis, but my guess is that this was probably more guitar work than I've done since my college days. So I'm going to give Jam Play a try and keep going through your lesson sequence. My love is lead guitar and at some time I'll probably take a course in parallel but I like your style AND substance.

Gary48Gary48 replied

F# Barre Chord photo is incorrect. It's the same photo as that shown on B Minor Barre Chord

Dalton_PerryDalton_Perry replied

I can make the chords sound nice but I can't switch between them very well. Any advice?

sorinboiasorinboia replied

Has anyone else feels the tabs don't match with what is played ?

Matty_Som81Matty_Som81 replied

Does this lesson come with a backing track?

prusso07prusso07 replied

Great lesson. The C shape barre is a challenge but i will get the cords to ring out clear in time. It makes it much more interesting when you use the barre cord to play a great song that you know!

mauriceaglemauriceagle replied

I need the solo where can I find it

antl58antl58 replied

been playing for almost 2 years and i have to say great lesson....really like how you are using rock songs as a format for the exercises it is a great help it helps with the "feel" of the progression when you are familar with the song. cant wait to take next lesson. keep them coming.

benthebosbenthebos replied

i used to really struggle with barre chords on my first guitar but now on my lovely new gibson i can bang them out no problem. im guessing its down to the larger fret wire and possible a less warped neck

ciwsciws replied

I suck. My fingers hurt and am struggling with the barre chords. How am I going to get the good looking girls if I can't even play hotel California?

jerry thompsonjerry thompson replied

i have such a hard time with barre chords. my hands and arm just ache,not to mention i have small hands.

saruvasaruva replied

Hey Brad,you played good solo on the intro.I just want to ask what is the root note of scale that you used on your solo?

3deeder3deeder replied

my favorite intro to barre chords. good job Brad...

piggygstrangpiggygstrang replied

This isnt a question or anything its just more of a suggestion to all the fellow peers struggling with the chord change, try playing all the verse chords picking one string at a time at a very slow tempo slowing going down the neck should help and eventually just speed it up and play it with the right strumming pattern

phillyfoldemphillyfoldem replied

hey Brad.......phenominal lesson....big help as always, but I do have a minor whine(sorry). I dont know if it is bad sound on my PC or not but I think if you dialed down the distortion it would be easier for me to hear the notes?

ruyjbcruyjbc replied

Brad, That what I was looking for. Thanks

franrfranr replied

I know the opinions are divided whether or not this is a good start to learn the barre chords but all I can say is that I'm glad you did, and choose this particular song for it - for me it's a huge motivation to try and learn those chords while at the same time feel I'm working on something worthwhile. So many thanks.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

I’m Glad you said this .The reason I did it this way was .when I first started with jam play there was only two teachers on here . I was suppose to teach the more advanced and Steve E . was teaching the level one beginning guitar .I had to kind of start in the middle of things .so I went with advanced Barr chords and turned then into a exercise that would get you playing a song in a quicker way .Kind of like the wax on wax off method ( karate kid movie ) lol I’m Glad this lesson worked out for you Thanks !

dalepickarddalepickard replied

thanks for the c-shaped bar chord. I've been playing for 3 years, and had no idea it existed. It's a challenge right now to make the C shape using fingers 2, 3 and 4, but I think once I get over the initial discomfort it'll be a great addition to the tool box, just like the E and A shaped bar chords are.

knievelknievel replied

Aaaghghg, I've been playing for 8 months and until today have managed to avoid the need to play a c-shape barre chord. There's simply no hiding from it on this song. Thanks, sort of :)

dalepickarddalepickard replied

Dang. I have been playing for three years and never even knew about the C shape bar chord. It's a challenge, but will totally make playing easier when it's mastered.

jb1973jb1973 replied

haha I have been playing for 12 years and have avoided the c shape barre chord ...doh

rkirbyrkirby replied

I second that!

stangmmxstangmmx replied

Part 2 of the lesson doesn't work.

rflora4660rflora4660 replied

You're making this song a lot harder than it needs to be. Just play the B minor in the A minor barre shape at the 2nd fret. Then just move up to the E barre shape in the same fret to get the F#. Use the open E and E minor in the first position. No need to change to C barre shape.

machspeedmachspeed replied

The point of the lesson was to teach the other barre chord shapes, not to teach efficiency of motion.etc. It's true that there are easier ways to play it, but he chose to play using various barre chord shapes.

gibson22gibson22 replied

very nice lesson. and easy to under stand great song to learn on

sixstring74sixstring74 replied

part 2 of this lesson doesn't work, it skips straight to part 3.

jboothjbooth replied

Which quality setting are you using? I can't seem to replicate the problem.

tbeztbez replied

Great lesson! I am looking forward to the next 50 or so.. :) I like how you build on the exercises from the previous lesson to teach this song. A good reminder that it pays of to do the exercises a few times before moving on.

mrkbrksmrkbrks replied

Hey Brad. Great lesson to get me to start paying attention to how important it is to know shapes and names of barre chords. Which amp are you using at the end where you are just jammin? It sounds great. Thanks

dhanajidhanaji replied

Brad, can you explain the strumming for the Verse (Barre Chord) part of the song? It's very confusing. I got my barre chords sounding clear and my average chord change time is about 2 seconds. But I do not understand the back-picking part. I have practiced this song for about 4 days now. I can play along with you when you play the chord progression without the back-picking applied. In the tab you play the chord twice, the second time you strum only 4th-1st strings (down or up?) and then you back pick and change the chord. Is this pattern right? In the video it looks different from what’s written in the tab.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Hi Guys ! When I play the struming paterns I play them By feel .I don't read Music so I tend to play what feels right .The tab is somthing that was added later by some one else . .My guess is the strumimg on the tab and what i do is differnt .listen to a recording of the song and try to hear what they are doing for the struming .

kingbrettkingbrett replied

Totally agree where your at. I have the same problem...

kingbrettkingbrett replied

Im lost with the strumming. its a down stroke then an up stroke on each string, but when i watch Brad play the song he adds a few down strokes before he adds in the up stroke before he changes chords. anyone following on what I'm getting at? I even checked the tab sheet its not clear on whats up and down. please help.

micnightmicnight replied

I am confused on the Bm in the Chorus. The screen says E Shape on the 2nd Fret. I thought that was F sharp major. What am I missing?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Henecke rules.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Thanks for pointing that out .That was one of the early lessons we did .There were some mistakes made in the editing . The screen should say play the Bm Barr chord on the 2nd fret use the Aminor shaped Barr chord.

billseyephotobillseyephoto replied

Thanks that was driving me crazy

f3l18ipsk8ermf3l18ipsk8erm replied

I'm a little confused... if a song calls for say a Bm chord, how would you know if you're supposed to play the Em or the Am shape? I mean how would you know if the chord starts on the 2nd fret of the 5th string or the 7th fret of the 6th string? Anyway, thanks for the great lesson

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

That’s a great Question! The answer is which one sounds best. When you play the same chord in different spots on the guitar the pitch is the same ,but the voicing is a little different .If you play a B minor up higher on the neck The voicing will sound Higher .It still is a B minor but it sounds higher .If there is not much difference in the voicing you can use ether shape .A example of how to use two different voicing is, have one guitar player play a open chord like A major and another guitar player play a A major Bar chord way up high on the neck at the 12th fret .When the two are played together it sounds more full because you hear two differnt voicing together .

jbrady03jbrady03 replied

hey Brad,, enjoying the lessons. this lesson will def help me develop smoother transistions with different barre shapes . thanks

latrocinialatrocinia replied

why do we want to do the A-shaped barre accord using a semi-barre? why not use three fingers to get the D-major chord? are there some clear advantages with doing this, or is this just a matter of taste?

convalleysconvalleys replied

The C shape barre cord is a bitch....with lots of practise I am getting better at it but I still can't form it quickly.

convalleysconvalleys replied

awesome lesson man! I enjoyed it!

sirshelleysirshelley replied

i have just learnt hotel calafonia and i've bought a les paul standard guitar :)

dash rendardash rendar replied

I've been playing long enough now to be absolutely convinced my third finger wont bend back sufficiently on the first knuckle to play the A maj barre shape properly. So these days I just do my best and leave the top E string muted. I wonder if I'm the only one...?

kevinoneillkevinoneill replied

i find that my second finger will bend back just fine and i'm giving that a shot now. i am a little concerned that this might limit my ability to play extra notes though. any suggestions for bendy third finger exercises?

caseharr33caseharr33 replied

Your not the only one, My fingers won't cooperate anymore either.

caseharr33caseharr33 replied

Hey Brad thanks for the awesome lesson, its a great challenge, and taking lots of practice for me to even get halfway right.

omrisamaomrisama replied

Damn. Even the beginning of Hotel California is hard to play. It's a long song with hard to play chords. Why does it have to be a first song? Bad choice IMO.

beehobeeho replied

I have learned so much from you so far thank you terry

cannibalcorpse524cannibalcorpse524 replied

Brad you are an excellent teacher, i have finally understand all this chords thanks to you.

eickeick replied

thx for the great lesson.Im having lots of trouble but its keeping me

floorshakerfloorshaker replied

Hi Brad. Just enjoyed learning Hotel California with you and hope there will be more songs to relieve the boredom of endless chords and scales. In the chorus, you can also use the E-shape F# instead of Em for the fifth and sixth bars which also sounds nice. Thanks. Chris

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

When I first started with Jamplay there wasn't a phase 3 learning songs so I put some songs in there .After a wile it just becomes scales and tricks .when you get to that point I would use Phase 3 to break up the monotony.

whallwhall replied

VERY COOL LESSON, really helped me with learning barre chord shapes.

drigerdriger replied

brad, i notice in some of the lessons you are fingerpicking. do you fingerpick or flatpick? or both?

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

I do both .When I first started playing guitar my first guitar Teacher was a Classical guitar player. He taught me how to play several finger picking patterns .

MTandreiMTandrei replied

Thanks a lot for adding this lesson! The song helps me remember my barre chords! Thanks brad!

derekdicamilloderekdicamillo replied

this is an older thread hear but I am also having some trouble with the strum! Can you write it out?

SylviaSylvia replied

It's d d u u d u

bwoodatstatebwoodatstate replied

On the E7 shape barr chord, I cant get the 4th, D string to ring. I cant find a position with all the strings to ring when I adjust. It is under the first nuckle, any suggestions??

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Try rolling your first finger (the finger you are using to hold the Barr) slightly to the side. look a the picture where I am holding the chord you will see that I use the side if my first finger a little .This will help you contact the strings better right under the knuckle .Make sure that your thumb is in back of the neck and your wrist is bent .Try this and let me know if it works for you .

spiderluccispiderlucci replied

Having a problem seeing what your doing with the strumming Brad. is there a way you can have it done so maybe I or others can see better? at first it looks like when your explaining how to strum the guitar coming back up... your playing all six string but when you start to play with the B minnor your playing five string and your coming back up again with only four. Sorry, that part and the rest is messing me up... real bad. I'm sure it's not you but if there is a better way to make a print out so we can see all the strumming parts... that would be great! thanks again. Spider

spiderluccispiderlucci replied

Hey Brad, Can you teach the CAGED THEROY, Others would understand this even more... I would like to understand it more myself..LOL and this would help out nat3dawg what his been asking. spider :)

rangerranger replied

Another great lesson from Brad , give the man a raise.

vancampdanvancampdan replied

Great lesson as usual. I would love to see things like the note chart in the Tools section! I just found it by chance in looking at this lesson. I think it would be great to put things like that in the tools so they can be easily found. I always love your lessons because you hit more on theory than some others. THanks!

mike76255mike76255 replied

great lesson Brad,, Are there other exercises to help prople with small hands work on the barre chords

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Try playing your Barr chords higher up on the guitar neck where the strings are closer together. when you have then learned up high start moving down lower .give your self time for the hands to get used to it . all so do hand stretches.

nat3dawgnat3dawg replied

hey brad, i cant tell you how much your lessons have helped me progress. Thanks. I'm a little confused though, if the second chord in the hotel california intro has a sixth string root note wouldnt that be an A# with your first finger barring the sixth fret?? not an F#? any help would be great. Once again, thanks for the organized lessons

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

Just wanted to Let you know there are two differnt Barr chord forms for the F#. one is the E shape the other is the C Shape .Use the C shaped Barr for the intro . the root note on the C shape Barr chord is on the 5th string .when you hold the C shape at the 6th fret your 4th finger will be on the F# note on the 9th fret 5th string ..

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied

there are alot of differnt parts in hotel california .That would be a great idea to do some back picking with open chords .Have a nother guitar playing all the open chord forms with some back picking . I think that would sound great . I'll see what i can come up with for a add on to the supplemental ..

lordzeagerlordzeager replied

Hi Brad, Thanks for the lesson, it's very well done! Is it possible to have the strumming pattern for the first half of hotel california with the BackPicking? If you can it in the supplemental content it would be nice! Thanks a lot

blackdragonblackdragon replied

Nothing to print under "print this lesson"

kevinacekevinace replied

We have not yet finished the lesson write-up for this lesson. It is on the way though. I apologize for the delays.

bator82bator82 replied

Hey Brad, great solo on the intro. I was just wondering though, how do you make your guitar scream with treble like at 1:02 into the intro movie?

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!).

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

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Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

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Freebo Freebo

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

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Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

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

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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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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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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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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

JamPlay introduces Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp! In this first segment, Guthrie talks a little about his influences,...

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Andy James Andy James

Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

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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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Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

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Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

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Nick Kellie Nick Kellie

Nick explains how to use scales and modes effectively when soloing over a chord progression.

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving...

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Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

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