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Proper Practicing (Guitar Lesson)

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Matt Brown

Proper Practicing

There is nothing more valuable than your time. In this introductory phase 2 lesson, Matt reviews some basic practicing exercises so that you can get the most out of your practice time.

Taught by Matt Brown in Rock Guitar with Matt Brown seriesLength: 29:00Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (06:03) Introduction and Hammer-ons Matt introduces the idea of creating a practice schedule. By breaking down guitar playing into its basic technical components, the guitarist is able to focus on specific weaknesses. A practice schedule should be developed to ensure that each technical aspect of guitar playing is addressed adequately within a week period. In this scene, Matt demonstrates several of his favorite warm-up exercises.
  1. Hammer-ons
  2. This exercise is designed to enhance the tone, rhythm, speed, and accuracy of hammer-ons. It's a really easy exercise to learn, but it really improves your left hand. This exercise is a must if you want to work on strengthening your pinkie finger.
Chapter 2: (13:43) Additional Exercises with Right Hand Techniques Matt shows some exercises that isolate the right hand. He also introduces other technical concepts that require maximum attention. These are: Scales (major, minor, diminished, augmented, all modes, blues scales, pentatonics, etc.), arpeggios, and right / left hand synchronization.

  1. Kirk Hammett's Excellent Right Hand Exercise.
  2. Taking the left hand out of the picture allows you to really focus on your picking. Right hand speed is contingent upon two factors: economy of motion and speed. The first of these is the most important. Right hand speed is created through repetitious accuracy rather than simply moving your hand quickly. The first exercise focuses on these right hand mechanics. It is primarily designed to develop right hand speed, accuracy, and palm muting.

  3. Semi-Chromatic Right Hand Exercise
  4. This exercise focuses on the same skills involved in Exercise 1. It is very important to vary which exercises you practice. This is an exercise physiology concept that ensures maximum muscle development. The muscles in our body have memory. By performing tasks that they are less used to, they receive more benefit.

  5. Right Hand String Skipping
  6. Exercise 3 is straight from Villa Lobos' Etude No. 1. It works your ability to play arpeggiated passages in which your right is required to skip one or more adjacent strings.

  7. Right/Left Hand Synchronization AKA THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISE EVER!
  8. Playing cleanly (not with notes that accidentally are muted) requires careful planned timing between both hands. The left hand must fret the note before the right hand picks it. Eliminating wasteful movement enhances the accuracy of both hands. Matt explains "good classical left hand technique" alongside this exercise.

Chapter 3: (05:06) Bending and Tremolo Picking Matt explains the do's and dont's of bending and tremolo picking.
  • Make sure you practice bends of varying intervals.
  • Make sure all bends are in tune.
  • Don't hurt yourself! Don't bend strings that are bigger than what you are comfortable with.
    Tremolo Picking:
  • Keep your wrist straight and pick using movement from the forearm
  • Pull your pick closer to your palm with your thumb and first finger to create a sharper angle between the pick and the string.
  • Rest your right hand on the bridge.
Chapter 4: (04:46) Left Hand Speed and Trills Matt explains the basic mechanics of the left hand and how they apply to guitar technique. The music theory behind playing arpeggios is also explained.
  1. Exercise 1
  2. Designed specifically to develop left hand speed by strengthening both the extensor and reflexor muscles in each left hand finger.

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.

somewhere0inbetweensomewhere0inbetween replied

lol. he says d&d is part of the busy schedule. I know I picked the right teacher! haha! thanks

dlpjr7869dlpjr7869 replied

Enter your comment here.

dlpjr7869dlpjr7869 replied

Cool, been looking for a video on this site explaining an exercise program. Thanks.

nlonguk02nlonguk02 replied

Your 1st lesson is straightforward and motivational, Matt. Thanks a lot. I'm into Rock and your lesson series is great to me.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like them! Let me know if you ever have any questions. ;) Take care!

duvexyduvexy replied

Great lesson Matt I really appreciate your lesson.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Thanks! Glad it was helpful!

stuartwhostuartwho replied

The video and notes talk about appegios "Exercise 3 is straight from Villa Lobos' Etude No. 1. It works your ability to play arpeggiated passages in which your right is required to skip one or more adjacent strings." But I can't find a tab in the supplemental content and I can't work out how you are doing it.....any help or description would be great. Thanks

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! Sorry! You're right, that appears to be missing from the supplemental content. String skipping technique is covered in the second scene from 6:30 - 7:30. I'll make sure the tabs / notation get added. :)Also, I think a later lesson covers this entire piece of music in detail...lesson 30 I think.

stuartwhostuartwho replied

Thanks.... Lesson 30? That's a long long way away! I'm already struggling! But this lesson is great. Thanks again.

downunderdownunder replied

Hi, Can anyone please explain how a metronome is set when playing 16th note triplets?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! At first, I like to practice with the metronome set to click on the eighth note. So, if you're playing 16th note triplets, there will be 3 even notes per click. Then, once I'm playing the idea perfectly smooth and in time, I set the metronome to click on the quarter note (6 even notes per click).

downunderdownunder replied

Thanks for your quick response. It all makes sense now. I've just bought a new korg metronome and intend to get my poor rhythm skills up to speed.

naftaftanaftafta replied

with the exception of the second scene, all scenes don't load. it appear written "video not found http://media-ecl...." Is it my problem or is it happening to everyone?

naftaftanaftafta replied

with the exception of the second scene, all scenes don't load. it appear written "video not found http://media-ecl...." Is it my problem or is it happening to everyone?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! I just tried watching the first scene, and it worked just fine for me. Try emptying your browser's cache (under the drop down for the name of the browser). Then, close your browser, re-open it and try again. If that doesn't work, please contact [email protected] Thanks!

naftaftanaftafta replied

It's working now, chinese internet connection is just kind of crazy but now everything is fine.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Cool! Glad to hear it.

fdakisfdakis replied

Wow.I didn't realize how difficult it was to get my pinky to stay close to the strings. Like you commented, it tends to do that "British tea" thing and it's a hard habit to break.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

It sure is! Try not to drive yourself nuts when trying to keep your fingers close to the fretboard. Just work on it for a little bit each day. It probably took me a few years to train my fingers not to have minds of their own. Also, keep in mind that this is an area that you can always continue to improve upon. No matter how economical your movements become, there's always room for improvement.

likebeastlikebeast replied

Great lessons thanks!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

You are quite welcome!

alexaffectsalexaffects replied

when will you start live lessons again?

rbradyrbrady replied

Hi, Matt: For playing-while-standing, what do you recommend for the height and angle of the guitar? Thank you!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I adjust my strap pretty much the exact same way regardless of whether I'm sitting or standing. The strap should be adjusted such that your left bicep is exerting the least amount of energy to hold your left arm up. For most people, the neck will form a 45 degree angle with the ground. The body of the guitar will most likely rest against your abdomen rather than your right leg. Once you have your strap adjusted like this, just stand up! Then, make any necessary minor adjustments. I bring my strap down just a little since I have relatively long legs and a shorter torso.

dreamadvisor2000dreamadvisor2000 replied

matt, why not rest your hand on the bridge?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

When you're playing string skipping stuff, anchoring your wrist limits its range of movement since its fixed to a certain location. It's just way easier to skip from the sixth string to the first string quickly when your wrist isn't locked in one spot.

dreamadvisor2000dreamadvisor2000 replied

and again with the resting or not resting your hand on the bridge question, I find when i play better styles, songs, techniques sometimes with my hand resting on the bridge or not resting on the bridge

goobstergoobster replied

Lots of great stuff that is saving me wasted time and energy. Thanks Matt!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Glad to hear it! That's what I was hoping for!

teppe498teppe498 replied

Regarding the hammer-on exercise. Do I need to use alternate picking or just downstrokes. Maybe not a very clever question but I just want to get things right.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I usually do it with just downstrokes...I like to keep things simple when possible.

kylems89kylems89 replied

i vote for 3-1-2-4 as the hardest of the synchronization excercise.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

yep...that one is definitely a tough one.

satchfansatchfan replied

Matt, i have a question regarding the Kirk Hammet low E string sixteenth note and sixteenth note triplet exercises. Should i increase speed within the 3 minutes or stay at the same tempo for 3 minutes and increase for the next 3, etc?.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Within the 3 minutes, keep the metronome at the same tempo. Then, if you can, increase the tempo the next time you repeat the exercise.

haliashalias replied

All great exercises. I've just one question that doesn't seemed to be covered anywhere. How do you work these exercises while standing up? I'm guessing most guitar players actually stand up during performances and the techniques must be different from sitting down, which I noticed myself. Like how far up do you strap your guitar? Do you have it lower or higher while standing or?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! Good question. Technique is exactly the same regardless of whether you are sitting or standing up. The key is making sure that your strap is adjusted properly so that you can play just as comfortably standing as you can sitting down. Check this lesson out for more info: http://www.jamplay.com/members/guitar/phase2/matt-brown-14/lesson9.html

midlifemidlife replied

Matt, I have developed what I consider a pretty good practice routine using a combination of your practice drills and the drills Dennis Hodge presents in the Metal Section. The improvement has been awesome. Despite my progress, I struggle to play the 16th note repetitive riff at the beginning of Slayer's Raining Blood. It is a simple pattern of 5-3-2-0, 6-4-3-0 played on the low E. The tab shows part at a mind numbing 218 BPM. I struggle to play this clean at 96 BPM. The problem is the left hand just cannot keep up. Is there a technique or trick to playing this fast, or is it simply practice, practice, practice?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! First and foremost, your entire body has to be as relaxed as possible to play all of that crazy fast thrash stuff. Second, developing speed is like training for a sport. You consistently have to practice almost every single day, or you will lose endurance and speed. Another thing to consider is that the Slayer guys are some of the fastest players on the planet. I learned Rain in Blood as a teenager. I think I had been playing for about 7 years at the time. I got pretty close to the recorded tempo, but not quite all the way there. So, it's going to take some serious time and practice before you can pull a song like this off. I recommend you start practicing the song in its entirety. Start at around 85 beats per minute and make sure that you can play the song start to finish with absolutely no mistakes. Then, go up to 86 and repeat the process. It will take you at least several months if not years to get to the recorded tempo, but if you hang with it, I guarantee you'll get there.

sheridan911sheridan911 replied

im british and i drink tea

halldavidrhalldavidr replied

Hi Matt: Regarding the hammer-on drill ... You show examples using the index & middle fingers and middle & ring fingers. No drill involving the index & ring fingers?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! Good question. You're right...this particular exercise doesn't give you any practice playing a hammer-on between fingers 1 and 3 or fingers 2 and 4. You could easily include these combinations though. For example, hammer-on from the first fret to the third fret with either of these finger combinations. Then, just continue the pattern like I demonstrated in the lesson.

midlifemidlife replied

Matt, I am not clear on how to count the 16th note triplets or how to pick them? Should it be down-up-down, down-up-down? BTW - Could not believe how hard the 16th note down picking "only" was. I expected it to be easy, but the repetitive motion got to me about 2 mintes in. Great lesson and just what I needed to improve technique.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Great! I'm glad that you're improving! I originally learned these from an interview / lesson with Kirk Hammett. He mentioned that these are some of the right hand exercises that have helped his speed and endurance the most. As far as the picking pattern for sixteenth note triplets (sextuplets) is concerned, the pattern is down-up-down-up-down-up. It's just alternate picking.

midlifemidlife replied

Ok, so straight 16th notes are 16 notes per measure and counted: 1-e-&-a, 2-e-&-a, 3-e-&-a, 4-e-&-a. 16th note triplets are 24 notes per measure and counted: 1-trip-let-&-trip-let, 2-trip-let-&-trip-let, 3-trip-let-&-trip-let, 4-trip-let-&-trip-let. Is this correct?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Yep! Sounds like you understand this. There are a few different ways to count sixteenth notes and sextuplets out loud. The two ways that you listed will definitely work though.

zackattack614zackattack614 replied

the hammer on exercise sounds like something from mario bros.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Ha! I never noticed! It does kind of remind me of the music they play in the underground type levels.

put a lid on itput a lid on it replied

I kind of went backwards... I learned my first song then I went into Chromatic scales and such. It helps A LOT to practice scales and other finger exercises before learning a song. Especially if the song has a solo... -_- Thanks for the variable exercises Matt, I'll use them every day.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! I'm glad that you're finding these exercises useful! I learned most of these exercises over 10 years ago, and I still practice them on a daily basis. There's always room for improvement!

gvanausdlegvanausdle replied

I was surprised how much it worked my ring and pinky fingers. If then cant strengthen them nothing will it sees... Whew tire fingers.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Yeah...These exercises are great. Make sure that you don't over do it though. Pain does not equal gain when it comes to improving your guitar skills.

joel13joel13 replied

this really could've helped during the football season

kevinmckevinmc replied

Brilliant, just what i needed to know :)

chase_1995chase_1995 replied

Yea my schedule is booked with dungeons and dragons.

martymaymartymay replied

Such a GREAT lesson!! Thanks so much!

aeroskyaerosky replied

This is what I've been missing. I always practice my guitar but I never know how to really exercise or how to work on my technical work. Thanks

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Glad you found this helpful! Good luck!

larazarlarazar replied

I can't find the right hand string skipping exercise, the one "straight from Villa Lobos' Etude No 1" as said in the lesson information.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! If you check out jazz lesson 9, there is a complete transcription of that piece under the Supplemental Content area.

skohlskohl replied

The Trill Exercise in the supplemental content shows a broken link. Help please. Great lesson.

galenogarbegalenogarbe replied

Excellent exercicies!

number6number6 replied

Is it wrong to use my pinky as an anchor with my right hand? I noticed you dont in any of the exercises. Is there any loss in accuracy, speed, consistency or range of the motion? Plus, for fast picking, should the picking motion come from the wrist or the fingers?

mattgroatmattgroat replied

In a one of the rock lessons with Brad, he mentions to use the pinky as an anchor. Can you please clarify this for us Matt

kevinacekevinace replied

From what I understand (from hearing 2 dozen different teachers give their input on the topic), this is a matter of personal preference. It is 'proper' not to use it (provides more mobility / fluid motions) but a lot of people advise using it. I've also seen a ton of great guitarists (famous guys/gal) use it as an anchor.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

exactly what Kevin said.

omrisamaomrisama replied

The Hammeron exercise is hard.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Yeah, that is a tough one. Just keep in mind that every new skill is hard at first. Work at it slowly, and you'll get it.

gdomingosgdomingos replied

This lesson is great! I've been doing the exercises everyday since I've first seen this lesson and I can see that my technique as improved alot. Thanks Matt

jfarangojfarango replied

Hi Matt I can't see the trill exercise in the supplemental content. Could you help me?

snowdadsnowdad replied

Excellent lesson Matt! I'm looking forward to continuing this series.

laurenblaurenb replied

Great lesson Matt. Like iserious, I wanted to play songs, went straight to phase three and realized I was being a little unrealistic. I found this lesson and will try to do a little each day. Already I can see how it will benefit and your comment about doing these exercises first makes a lot of sense as I have the attention span of a goldfish/ low boredom threshold, and if I start playing songs, I never go back to do exercises. The pinky problem made me laugh as mine still sticks up about an inch off the fretboard and it drives me nuts! I'm so glad to know this is a common problem for beginners. I have already learnt more from the few of your lessons I've done than I did in the year I spent with my old instructor. Your awesome!

ksengage89ksengage89 replied

ok so no matter how hard i will my pinky finger to stay close to the string it still jumps out to far is there some exirise i can do to trian it because no matter how hard i try and ive been trying for weeks now it still dosnt respond

knapper32927knapper32927 replied

Great stuff Matt, thanks so much - on thing though Between the intro and second lesson - the text on the string should say 'deXterity', yes? Other than that - really great help to me Jess

benmanning123benmanning123 replied

yo mat how long did it take you to get it sounding good?

hgnativehgnative replied

teach metallica's (one) matt

mikepaigemikepaige replied

I'm a Brit and have have diligently practiced keeping my pinky down as you taught. Now I can't drink tea properly and am ostracised by my peers. I may have to sue

acaughernacaughern replied

Yeah, and all these good technique exercises made me late for my fencing class, the chess club demoted me, and my D&D clan won't even talk to me now that they know I'm learning guitar -- j/k, great lesson Matt, your dry humor keeps my attention!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I bet your D&D clan secretly wishes that they could play guitar too though. Thanks for the feedback!

bvalbval replied

Lets get visuals of all those different scales in the Teaching Tools section; that would be great!

kevinacekevinace replied

It's a work in progress. We're working on a "scale library" for you guys.

rokthehouserokthehouse replied

The finger exercises are fantastic, like anything else you must practice practice practice. I do right hand exercises while the commercials are on during football. At age 49 I have alot going on so I try to utilize time when I can. Thanks Matt.

iseriousiserious replied

Matt - When I first started here just over a week ago I casually through some of the site content and was particularly interested in the songs section (3). Being a complete novice I'm sure you can imagine what it was like trying the Stairway to Heaven lesson. I was sorely disappointed - thinking you were going much too fast and barely lifting your fingers off the fret board made it difficult to see exactly what you were doing. Same is true of the scales lesson. Now for the irony - I've since gone through things a bit more methodically I've come to understand the *reasons* for all these "mistakes". Having listened to some of your lessons repeatedly it started making sense! Above all, I must say that THIS LESSON bought it all together. I know understand that you're SUPPOSED to keep your fingers close to the fret board and that the reason you're so agile is precisely because of exercises such as those taught in this lesson. I've tried it with marked improvements in less then an hour! Matt - You've since become my favorite instructor! Thanks & keep up the great work!

iseriousiserious replied

One more thing... I was just looking at the practice regiment again - you had mentioned there are 16 possible combinations of 1234. Help me out if I misunderstood, I can come up with 24 combos: 1234 1243 1432 1423 1324 1342 2134 2143 2431 2413 2314 2341 3124 3142 3241 3214 3421 3412 4123 4132 4213 4231 4312 4321

iseriousiserious replied

Sorry - My bad. Ignore the 16 part. Just replayed the lesson and did in fact say 24. Though maybe the combos listed will be helpful to some people

dllfilesdllfiles replied

This is a great lesson matt, I just started this series. Ive been playing guitar for about 2 months now, and for about a month, everyday I would practice most of these routines. Its really helped me alot. Also beats the hell out of paying 50$ an hour for a guitar tutor :D

kevinacekevinace replied

Glad to hear it! Keep up the good work!

verbenaverbena replied

Thanks for the answer, all hope is not lost then ! And after 2 weeks of exercices, I already feel I gained a lot of dexterity and coordination - learning songs is just that much faster now.

maddeemaddee replied

Matt is absolutely right! When I first started my pinky was all over the place except where I wanted it. Now I use it more than my third finger. I can't use my third finger for "A" shaped barre chords cuz it won't bend back at the first knuckle but my pinky works great for the barre! It did take at least a couple of years to feel comfortable and in control of it though!! Keep on rockin' it'll happen!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

This is a very common problem amongst guitarists. It took me three years of diligent practice before I felt like my pinky and brain were totally synced up. Keep working on the excercise, but don't drive yourself crazy. Work at it a little bit each day. Like I said, it will take you a few years. Just keep doing what you are doing!

verbenaverbena replied

Hey there. I have been trying to get a pratice routine worked up (thanks for the exercice ideas, they really help). There is just one thing that is still a problem when practicing. When i do chromatic like / scales exercices, my fingers stay pretty close to the fretboard, but sometime and for no reason my pinky comes up. And when I do the hammer on exercice between my fingers 2/3 and 3/4, sometimes my first finger straigtens up. Do you have an advice to keep those down, or should I just keep practicing harder ? It really feels like they get disconnected from my brain, and beside the "hoh sh*t loosing control of my fingers" unpleasant feeling, I can't seem to find a way to train those to stay down.

Rock Guitar with Matt Brown

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chuck Berry among others pioneered the style of rock and roll in the 1950's. Today, rock and roll remains the most popular genre of music. Over the years the genre has progressed & spawned many sub-genres: soft rock, classic rock, punk rock, and more. Dive into this Phase 2 set of lessons to become a master of rock.

Proper PracticingLesson 1

Proper Practicing

Learn how to get the most out of your time when practicing.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Introduction to LeadLesson 2

Introduction to Lead

Matt Brown discusses some of the fundamentals to playing lead.

Length: 15:41 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Figuring Out NotesLesson 3

Figuring Out Notes

Matt shows you the basics of figuring out any note on the guitar.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
ScalesLesson 4


Learn the basic minor, natural, and major scales. Quite a few techniques & ideas start with scales - they're an essential building block.

Length: 34:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Major ScalesLesson 5

Major Scales

In this lesson, Matt takes you through the major scales & helps you to understand how they can be used.

Length: 20:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Natural Minor ScalesLesson 6

Natural Minor Scales

Matt teaches the most common natural minor scale patterns.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
BendingLesson 7


Learn & master the most popular types of bends.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sweep Picking & RakesLesson 8

Sweep Picking & Rakes

Learn sweep picking and string rakes.

Length: 18:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Solo TechniquesLesson 9

Solo Techniques

Learn various techniques to use when improvising / soloing.

Length: 12:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tuning DownLesson 10

Tuning Down

Matt explains the most effective way to tune your guitar down.

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Barre ChordsLesson 11

Barre Chords

Learn how to establish finger independence and a few tips and tricks with barre chords.

Length: 37:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rock LicksLesson 12

Rock Licks

In this lesson, Matt Brown introduces a rock lick and shows how several famous players have modified it.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock SequencesLesson 13

Rock Sequences

In this lesson Matt teaches some crucial rock sequences. He also explains how these sequences can be integrated in to your playing.

Length: 34:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
String SkippingLesson 14

String Skipping

Matt Brown focuses on string skipping technique. He provides several exercises designed to improve this aspect of your playing.

Length: 33:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
IntervalsLesson 15


Lesson 15 in Matt's rock series is all about intervals.

Length: 34:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock Lead GuitarLesson 16

Rock Lead Guitar

Matt Brown demonstrates lead guitar techniques using Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" as an example.

Length: 29:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Solo Using Diatonic ScalesLesson 17

Solo Using Diatonic Scales

Matt Brown explains which scales can be used when playing a solo over a diatonic progression in a major key. As an example, he teaches the solo section to Candlebox's song "Far Behind."

Length: 33:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Diatonic Natural Minor Lesson 18

Diatonic Natural Minor

This lesson covers the natural minor scale and diatonic natural minor progressions. Matt uses the solo section to "Stairway to Heaven" as an example.

Length: 24:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Right Hand TechniqueLesson 19

Right Hand Technique

In lesson 19 Matt provides instruction on developing right hand skills including string skipping.

Length: 26:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Non-Diatonic ProgressionsLesson 20

Non-Diatonic Progressions

In lesson 20, Matt discusses chord progressions that don't follow a diatonic tonality.

Length: 29:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Harmonic MinorLesson 21

Harmonic Minor

Matt begins to discuss and demonstrate the harmonic minor scale.

Length: 29:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Improvising Over Harmonic MinorLesson 22

Improvising Over Harmonic Minor

In lesson 22, Matt continues his discussion of the harmonic minor tonality.

Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sweet Child O' MineLesson 23

Sweet Child O' Mine

In lesson 23, Matt takes a look at the solo section for the song "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Length: 19:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
TodayLesson 24


Matt will be taking a look at the solo section from the live version of the Smashing Pumpkins song "Today".

Length: 7:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Back In Black SoloLesson 25

Back In Black Solo

Matt Brown reviews and discusses the solo section to AC/DC's hit "Back In Black".

Length: 9:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
BrotherLesson 26


In lesson 26, Matt covers the solo section from the Alice in Chains song "Brother".

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt's Rock ManifestoLesson 27

Matt's Rock Manifesto

Matt Brown discusses lead guitarists, what makes a good solo, and tips for your own lead playing.

Length: 41:06 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Legato Playing ExercisesLesson 28

Legato Playing Exercises

Matt Brown teaches a number of exercises aimed at improving your legato playing technique.

Length: 37:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Right Hand ExercisesLesson 29

Right Hand Exercises

Matt Brown demonstrates a few exercises to build skill and speed in your right hand.

Length: 15:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
String Skipping EtudeLesson 30

String Skipping Etude

Matt Brown teaches Heitor Villa-Lobos' 1st Etude as a lesson in string skipping.

Length: 38:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Three Octave ScalesLesson 31

Three Octave Scales

Matt Brown demonstrates how to play three octave versions of the minor pentatonic and the major scales in all 12 keys.

Length: 16:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Diatonic IntervalsLesson 32

Diatonic Intervals

Matt Brown demonstrates how to play all seven of the diatonic intervals within the framework of a horizontal major scale.

Length: 23:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Diatonic 7th ArpeggiosLesson 33

Diatonic 7th Arpeggios

Matt Brown discuss diatonic arpeggios as a theory lesson as well as demonstrating the technique.

Length: 9:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Diatonic 7ths Across the NeckLesson 34

Diatonic 7ths Across the Neck

Matt Brown explains how to play the diatonic seventh chords of the major scale. Similar to lesson 32, this lesson takes a horizontal approach to the fretboard.

Length: 10:46 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Solo Ideas #1Lesson 35

Solo Ideas #1

Matt Brown teaches a progression and accompanying solo to demonstrate ideas for creating your own.

Length: 21:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Solo Ideas #2Lesson 36

Solo Ideas #2

Matt Brown takes a look at another chord progression and solo.

Length: 17:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Legato Playing IdeasLesson 37

Legato Playing Ideas

In lesson 37 of the Rock Series, Matt Brown demonstrates and talks about legato playing ideas.

Length: 21:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm ConceptsLesson 38

Rhythm Concepts

Matt Brown switches gears in lesson 38 to start talking about rhythm concepts for rock playing.

Length: 27:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Compositional TechniquesLesson 39

Compositional Techniques

Matt Brown discusses some often used techniques to build effective rock compositions.

Length: 17:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Creative Chord VoicingsLesson 40

Creative Chord Voicings

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

Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lead ApproachLesson 41

Lead Approach

Matt Brown takes another look at his approach to soloing. He demonstrates ideas you can use in your own playing.

Length: 12:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lead Approach #2Lesson 42

Lead Approach #2

Matt Brown adds practice to his lead approach by giving you another chord progression to solo over.

Length: 7:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lead Approach #3Lesson 43

Lead Approach #3

Matt Brown has another chord progression and solo exercise to go over in this lesson on lead approach.

Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
String Skipping RevisitedLesson 44

String Skipping Revisited

Matt Brown takes another look at string skipping. He breaks down some key areas of Matteo Carcassi's Allegro as an exercise.

Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Matt Brown

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

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

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

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

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Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

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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...

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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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Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

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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.

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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DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

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Nick Greathouse Nick Greathouse

Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.

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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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Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Rafael Moreira Rafael Moreira

Playing your scales and improvising horizontally on one string is a great way to visualize the scale degrees, and also a...

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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...

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Will Ripley Will Ripley

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs...

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Tom Appleman Tom Appleman

Tom Appleman takes a look at a blues in E with a focus on the Chicago blues style. The bass line for Chicago blues is very...

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