Memorial Day Sale - Save 75%
1 Month. 2 JamTrack Packs. $5 Bucks.

Best deal of 2017. Take advantage now, offer expires 5/29/2017.

Week 1: Series Introduction and Theory (Guitar Lesson)

What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Chris Liepe

Week 1: Series Introduction and Theory

Welcome to lesson 1 in this 6 week series on expanding your rhythm guitar playing! Here, Chris introduces you to what will be taught in the series and starts breaking things down in the key of E.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Expanding Your Rhythm Playing seriesLength: 48:36Difficulty: 3.5 of 5

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.

clm123clm123 replied on February 24th, 2017

Great lesson. Nice explanation of the I IV V progression and how the II, III and VI are minors and the VII diminished. Course it helps to be somewhat familiar with scales at this point. Also great explanation of the adding 3rd etc as part of chord being played. Thanks.

oshechteroshechter replied on December 9th, 2016

I can see the important to learn the neck notes by heart. without it it is really hard to catch up.

LouisQLouisQ replied on February 5th, 2016

what is the 6 week series on naming the notes?

semperfidelissemperfidelis replied on September 21st, 2015

I love this lesson. Very well taught.

wardyr1wardyr1 replied on August 2nd, 2014

Just started looking at this, and if it continues as well as it's started, I for one, will be very impressed!

wombat68wombat68 replied on July 28th, 2014

I'm confused as to the breakdown of the V chord (B) in the progression. I work out the i,iii,v of B (within E scale) to be B,D#,F# but in your fingering you use the open E instead ?

keltiebrucekeltiebruce replied on March 4th, 2014

This series is the music knowledge about the guitar that I dream about. If anything It is teaching that more work is needed on my fundamentals, but it is a wonderful place to strive toward. Creativity is exploding and the sky is the limit. This is great lesson toward gaining more knowledge about the guitar. Thank you a whole bunch Chris

davyrodavyro replied on October 27th, 2013

Quick question... the 3rd of the D minor scale (2nd degree of C major) is F ...Is that F minor or major?

bourque1bourque1 replied on November 6th, 2013

F diminished! it's the 7th scale tone!

bourque1bourque1 replied on November 6th, 2013

D minor scale is the same as the F# major scale. if you're talking about playing with D as your root, with the same notes as C major, you're getting into modes. In terms of playing in the key of C, F is a major chord.

mnelson89mnelson89 replied on May 1st, 2014

I don't understand why no one flagged this...Dm is the relative minor of F major, not F# major, going up the pentatonic minor scale is enough to tell you that. In regards to the note F in the D minor scale, its a "minor 3rd" interval, however if you use F as a root for a chord, the chord would be an F major chord. F# is the 3rd of a D major scale.

mblaidemblaide replied on July 19th, 2013

I picked up something called a "Guitar Wheel" several months ago. Just google it. I found it very helpful to have in front of me for these lessons. Got it at a local music store for like $15.

JojjeJojje replied on June 11th, 2013

@Chris Liepe: are you going to do more lessons in this style with other scales? Please do, it would be awesome! A metal/progressive style would be nice =)

hrldolientehrldoliente replied on June 9th, 2012

Wow! I never thought of learning to expand a basic chord like this and enhance and or embelish it. This is a great eye opener Chris!

hrldolientehrldoliente replied on June 9th, 2012

Wow! I never thought of learning to expand a basic chord like this and enhance and or embelish it. This is a great eye opener Chris!

costeffcosteff replied on May 21st, 2012

Great lesson! I really need to work on my theory fluency so that I can get the most out of this!

m theorym theory replied on April 28th, 2012

Just joined Jamplay on a trial membership and having a good look around. This is the best and most usable guitar lesson I've ever seen! Lovin this site :)

foxboyfoxboy replied on October 1st, 2012

I wish to second this. I've just revisited this lesson and have to say that i got so much out of it. Thanks, Chris!

dwg101dwg101 replied on February 2nd, 2012

Chris You mentioned a lesson on finding cords on the neck that may be good to take before this lesson, were is this lesson?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on February 5th, 2012

in my phase 2 series, the lesson on the CAGED system. or phase 1, the triads lesson.

jafijafi replied on November 30th, 2011

I maybe off but isn't the E scale E F# G# A B C# D# Because if it is then you said G instead of G# when you went through the E scale.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on December 2nd, 2011

oops, good catch!

noodledocnoodledoc replied on November 26th, 2011

Lesson 1 week 1, first line of music in supplemental. What is it? Is it harmonizing the C major scale by 3rds? I thought we were doing E major. Why is it up there? Sorry if I missed something.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 28th, 2011

good question! We are doing E, but before we got in to the "E" specific stuff, I was covering basic chord harmony. At the beginning of the lesson, I play through what you see in the supp content. I used C because it is the easiest key signature to work with when learning basic theory concepts. Later we, port that theory over to other keys

foxboyfoxboy replied on November 14th, 2011

You could also play the 4, 5 and 6 chords by just locking your fingers in the 7-9fret E-shape featured here and moving them up and down the neck on the 3rd, 4th and 5th string instead of changing fingering for the 4 and 5 chords. (However, you should mute the 6th string). By doing so, is a cakewalk to play a great sounding strum in E major even for absolute beginners.

angelanova1angelanova1 replied on November 11th, 2011

Great! exactly what I needed and you made it very simple. Really really nice.. thanks Chris.

bigjimgtrbigjimgtr replied on November 6th, 2011

Lesson 1: Week 1: Series Introduction and Theory, I cannot believe after so many years this is finally starting to make perfect sense. This has always been so confusing, 3rd's and 7th's etc. It's really not THAT difficult. I took theory in High School and have tryed to figure it out a lil' on my own..... you have a great teaching style. Sincerely, Thank you very much !!!! Jim

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 3rd, 2011

supplemental content is up

noodledocnoodledoc replied on November 17th, 2011

Chris, Your lessons are great. Thanks for putting it all together. keep on rocking

noodledocnoodledoc replied on November 15th, 2011

Hey Chris, was really interested in the lesson series on E but none of the videos are found beyond the 2nd scene. 11/15/2011

mgapmgap replied on October 31st, 2011

Great lesson, looks like it will be a very informative lesson set. Will you also be working with time signature?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 3rd, 2011

we stay in 4/4 for this series

rcausrcaus replied on November 1st, 2011

Dear Chris, Can you shed some lights on the telecaster you are using for this series as I also saw you using this guitar in another series. Is it a Blacktop (Mexican) or an American deluxe. I noticed that it has a single coil pick up instead of a humbucker , which pick up is best for rythm. I mainly a rhythm player and love singing too( plus some easy soloing)and want now to move to electric guitar whilst keeping my acoustic for classic blues. Regards Rama

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 3rd, 2011

I'm playing an American Deluxe Tele. I switched out the pick guard for black

foxboyfoxboy replied on November 3rd, 2011

Hi, really gorgeous stuff. However, "expanding rhythm playing" is just one part of the story. To me, this is like "worship style". I know many guitarist that feature this style in worship bands. Maybe Jamplay should add stuff like this also in the "styles" section.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 3rd, 2011

interesting observation :)

bigjimgtrbigjimgtr replied on November 1st, 2011

QUESTION: When you explained that the chord of the 1st degree of the scale is always major 2nd=minor,3rd=minor,4=major etc. is that for the key of "C" or all major scales ?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on November 1st, 2011

All major scales

stratmusicstratmusic replied on October 31st, 2011

These 6 week series are great!

jj90jj90 replied on October 31st, 2011

Some of your series are really filling in some gaps here at Jamplay! Needed more rhythm playing lessons next to Brendan Burns series. Thanks Chris!

bigjimgtrbigjimgtr replied on October 31st, 2011

I think this is the one I've been looking for !!! I've been playing for 30 yrs. but have no clue what or why I'm playing certain things, It can be frustrating having been playing out for years and having to memorize solos and chord patterns is very limiting. Looking forward to this series of lessons !!!

Tyler.RughTyler.Rugh replied on October 31st, 2011

The Supplemental Content will be posted ASAP. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Expanding Your Rhythm Playing

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris takes his 6 week series technique into an "Expanding your Rhythm Playing" session.

Lesson 1

Week 1: Series Introduction and Theory

Welcome to lesson 1 in this 6 week series on expanding your rhythm guitar playing! Here, Chris introduces you to what will be taught in the series and starts breaking things down in the key of E.

Length: 48:36 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Week 2: In The Key Of A

In week 2 of his 6 Week Rhythm Guitar Series, Chris breaks down the key of A major.

Length: 13:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Week 3: In The Key Of D

Week 3 of this 6 week series presents a deeper understanding of the key of D major.

Length: 13:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Week 4: In The Key Of G

Following in suit with the last 3 lessons, Chris explains some rhythm guitar ideas in the key of G.

Length: 15:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Week 5: In The Key Of B

In Lesson 5 of this 6 week series, Chris breaks down the final key of B.

Length: 7:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Week 6: Language of Chords

In this final lesson, Chris teaches how to put a name to the face of all the different chord shapes you have created in the past 5 lessons.

Length: 12:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud instructors.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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

Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Peter Einhorn Peter Einhorn

JamPlay is proud to introduce jazz guitarist Peter Einhorn. In this lesson series, Peter will discuss and demonstrate a way...

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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

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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Paul Musso Paul Musso

JamPlay is proud to welcome senior professor and Coordinator of Guitar Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

Free LessonSeries Details
Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Danny Morris Danny Morris

Hone in on your right hand and focus on getting in the groove. You'll only play one note during this lesson, but it'll be...

Free LessonSeries Details
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...

Free LessonSeries Details
Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

Joel Kosche talks about creating and composing a guitar solo. He uses his original song "Sunrise" as an example.

Free LessonSeries Details
Michael Mennell Michael Mennell

Mike introduces himself and his series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 472799 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.

Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 82 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!