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Major Scale Improvising (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Major Scale Improvising

Dennis covers the basics of the major scale. Then, he introduces you to improvisation within a one octave scale pattern.

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Lead Concepts & Techniques seriesLength: 25:45Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:44) Series Overview Welcome to Lead Guitar Techniques with Dennis Hodges! Watch and listen as Dennis improvises a mean solo in the key of E major. Learning the art of improvisation is the primary goal of this lesson set.

Improvisation begins with learning a handful of scales. Most scales are derived from the major scale. Consequently, Dennis has decided to begin his discussion of scales with the major scale. In the scenes that follow, Dennis explains the basic music theory pertaining to this scale. You will learn horizontal and vertical patterns that will enable you to play in a variety of keys across the fretboard.

In addition to scales, Dennis will cover a variety of lead guitar techniques throughout this series. Future topics include harmonization of a melody, tapping, sweep picking, bending, and much more!
Chapter 2: (03:23) Major Scale Steps, One String Major Scale Theory

Every scale is based on series of steps. These steps are referred to as intervals. The major scale features a distinct scale pattern of its own. This pattern consists of the following interval pattern: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. A whole step is comprised of two frets across the same string. A half step occurs from one fret to the next.

Learning Scales in a Horizontal Fashion

The following information regarding horizontal scales is taken from lesson of Brad Henecke's Phase 2 Classic Rock series.

In his book, The Advancing Guitarist, Mick Goodrick argues that one should first master the guitar from a horizontal standpoint rather than a vertical standpoint. This is contrary to how most beginning guitarists learn the instrument. Most beginners learn a handful of vertical scale patterns that can easily be transposed to a different key on the neck. Many of these beginners run into problems while improvising due to this approach. Many players get stuck playing in one vertical scale position. They lack the ability to move up and down the neck to access different notes and potentially, new ideas.

Mick Goodrick presents many specific arguments in his book to support this claim. "Playing on a single string helps to eliminate two potential problems: 'paralysis' (fear of movement) and 'acrophobia' (fear of higher frets), since the entire length of the fingerboard is utilized from the very beginning. Also, Mick notes that "this approach is conducive to learning note locations because you can't rely on a fingering pattern (as in position playing)."

For all of the aforementioned reasons, it is very important that you learn to play each scale across all of the six strings. Keep in mind that this process will take a very long time. It may take years before you can comfortably play all of the scales you know horizontally in all twelve keys. However, the results of this practice are well worth the wait.

Applying the Major Scale Pattern to the 1st String

Dennis explains how the interval pattern of the major scale can be applied to the 1st string. The lowest possible note that can be played on this string is E. One whole step or two frets above E is the note F#. Remember that a whole step is represented by two frets. Continue to follow the pattern of whole and half steps listed earlier until you reach the next E note located at the 12th fret. Then, descend the scale back down. Remember Steve Eulberg's scale mantra: "What goes up must come down."

Applying the Major Scale Pattern to the 3rd String

This time around, Dennis does not begin the major scale pattern with an open string note. Instead, he begins with the note played at the first fret of the third string. This fretboard location produces the note G# or Ab. Once again, follow the major step pattern until you reach the G# note one octave higher at the 13th fret. Check your work by playing along with Dennis.

Horizontal Major Scale Quiz

First, pick a string number at random. Then, pick a fret number. If you are playing an electric, choose between 1 and 7 for the fret number. Pick between 1 and 4 if you are playing an acoustic. Electric guitars allow you to play in a higher range. Once you have chosen a string / fret location at random, play a horizontal major scale beginning with this note. Do not worry about note names just yet. Simply focus on the whole and half step pattern that defines the major scale. Notes will be discussed in later lessons.
Chapter 3: (04:51) C Major Scale and Theory Relationships The musical alphabet consists of the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. After G, the alphabet simply repeats. A specific pattern of whole and half steps can be applied to the musical alphabet. Half steps occur between the notes B and C. They also occur between E and F. A Whole step occurs between the remaining pairs of notes in the alphabet. Examine the following interval relationships listed below.

Between A and B: Whole Step
B and C: Half Step
C and D: Whole Step
D and E: Whole Step
E and F: Half Step
F and G: Whole Step
G and A: Whole Step

If the natural note names (notes with no sharps or flats) are written in order beginning with the note C, the C major scale is formed. This order of notes follows the interval pattern that defines the major scale.

C Major Pattern in First Position

In the last scene, you learned how to play the major scale from a horizontal perspective. Now, Dennis will demonstrate how the major scale can be applied to a vertical fretboard pattern.

Note: First position is frequently referred to as "open" position, because it contains several open string notes.

Note: Open the tablature / notation to this scale listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Practice up and down this one octave fretboard pattern. Then, memorize it. Begin to play it in time with a metronome to work on rhythm. Count the beat out loud as you play through the scale. Play the scale pattern along with Dennis at 01:17 in the lesson video to ensure that you are not playing any incorrect notes.

Picking Practice

Practice through the scale using a variety of picking techniques. Play through the scale with all downstrokes. Then, use strict alternate picking. Start the alternate picking pattern with a downstroke. The next time around, begin with an upstroke. Developing your picking technique will come in handy later when playing solos.

Scale Degrees

A specific number can be applied to each note in the major scale. These numbers are frequently used when discussing important theory concepts. Play up the C major scale. Assign a number to each note. Within the single octave of the scale, C to C spans 8 notes. The appropriate scale degrees are listed below:

C: 1
D: 2
E: 3
F: 4
G: 5
A: 6
B: 7
C: 8

Forming Chords with the Major Scale

The first, third, and fifth notes from any major scale form a major chord of the same letter name. For example, the first, third, and fifth notes from the C major scale form a C major triad. Respectively, these notes are C, E, and G.

Pick these notes individually. Then, play them and let them each sustain. Watch Dennis at 2:30 for an example of these exercises.

Apply this formula to the remaining major scales. For example, the first, third, fifth notes of the E major scale form an E major chord. The same is true of A major. Hopefully you are beginning to understand how chords and scales are intertwined. Since a chord is built from a specific scale, that scale can be used when played over its related chord.

Playing the notes of the chord individually forms what is called an arpeggio. Since the notes within this arpeggio are the notes that comprise this chord, a C major arpeggio can be played over a C major chord in a solo. These notes can be played in any order over the chord.
Chapter 4: (03:42) C Major, 1 Octave Pattern in 5th Position When learning a scale, it is important to learn where it can be played in a variety of different vertical positions on the fretboard. Dennis demonstrates the C major scale in fifth position. This means that the first finger is playing all of the notes at the fifth fret. This particular scale pattern is a one octave scale pattern. The notes in this pattern are one octave higher than the scale pattern that you learned for open position in the previous scene.

Practicing the Scale

Begin on the fifth fret of the third string. This note is C. Watch closely as Dennis plays through the rest of the pattern at 00:30 in the lesson video. Tablature and notation to this scale pattern can also be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab. Pay close attention to the fingering used. This fingering will allow you to play the scale with maximum speed, control, and accuracy.

Pause the lesson video and practice through the scale pattern. Play the scale along with Dennis at 01:05 in the lesson video to ensure that you are playing the correct notes. Remember to ascend and descend when practicing any scale. Once again, memorize this pattern. Then play it along with a metronome. Play a note for each click of the metronome. This produces quarter notes.

Next, determine which notes from this pattern form a C major triad. Remember that these notes are the 1st, 3rd, and 5th of the scale.

Shifting the Pattern to New Keys

This pattern can be moved to any position on the fretboard. However, it can only be used on the top three strings. Changing positions alters the key of the scale. For example, if you slide this pattern up two whole steps (4 frets higher), the scale becomes an E major scale. Practice through the major scale in this key. Then, find the E major arpeggio within the scale. This scale pattern will be used as the basis for improvisation in the following scene.
Chapter 5: (10:02) Improvising within the Pattern Dennis explains how to improvise and create your own licks spontaneously by using scale segments and arpeggios. A backing track is included with this lesson for you to jam along with.

At first when improvising, limit yourself to the three notes that comprise the tonic triad. Refer to the lesson video if you need a review of where these notes are located within the vertical E major pattern. These three notes will always sound consonant with the backing track, because they are part of the tonic chord. Limiting the number of notes you can use will force you to create interest by applying various rhythms.

Dennis provides some examples of improvised licks that apply this method. Notice how each lick is a logical statement. Space is placed between each brief idea. This allows the music to breath and flow. A musical phrase is often compared to a spoken or written sentence. Every phrase must complete a logical idea. In addition, punctuation or silence must separate a phrase from the next. This can be accomplished by sustaining the last note of the phrase or by not playing at all. In time, you will learn how to use silence musically. This shows maturity, taste, and refinement in a solo.

Feel free to get creative with the rhythm. However, you must have an awareness of what rhythms you are playing. Are you playing quarter notes, eighth notes, or a combination of different rhythmic values? Make a note of the rhythm choices that Dennis uses in the lesson video. Also, notice how he repeats rhythms that he likes. Repeating these rhythms give his improvised solo a sense of unity.

When playing with the backing track, do not try to blaze a solo. Strive to create simple, catchy ideas. Often, simple, catchy ideas are the most enjoyable to listen to. Remember to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Speed will come with time and experience. If you can make a solo sound interesting with one note, just think of the possibilities with three notes! The possibilities are multiplied exponentially when all seven notes of the major scale are thrown into the mix.

Step 2

Next, limit your options to notes one, two, and three from the scale pattern. Now, you have two tones from the tonic chord and one chord that is outside of this chord. Dennis improvises with these three notes at 06:00 in the lesson video.

Don't be afraid to add techniques such as bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides to make your solo sound more expressive.

Step 3

Repeat this process with the third, fourth, and fifth notes of the scale. Once again, you have two chord tones and one non-chord tone to work with. Compare how the color of each individual note works along with the backing track. For example, the A note can sound kind of sour if you linger on it. However, it sounds great if you use it in passing from the third scale degree to the fifth or vice versa. Notice how Dennis uses many slurs. Slurs are very conducive to improvising with these three notes since they are all played on the same string.

Step 4

Now, use the first five notes of the scale when jamming along with the backing track. Dennis provides an example at 09:10. Repeat this 4 step process on a daily basis.
Chapter 6: (01:14) Solo over the Backing Track In this scene, Dennis demonstrates a solo in the key of E major. He composed the beginning section of the solo. Later in the solo, he begins to improvise. Try this approach during your own practice sessions. Also, feel free to imitate some of the licks that Dennis plays.
Chapter 7: (00:45) Wrap-Up Hopefully this first lesson gives you a taste of what to expect from the Lead Guitar Techniques series. In the next lesson, Dennis will break down the minor scale in a similar fashion. You will learn important theory concepts pertaining to this scale. The relationship between minor scales and chords will be discussed in detail. After learning theory, Dennis demonstrates minor scale patterns that can be applied to your own improvised solos.

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.

Gold713Gold713 replied

This is great! Was always taught to play major scale on lower strings in circle of fifths. As soon as I played on upper strings I get it... my soloing is going to improve exponentially. THANKS!!!

NoelstrumNoelstrum replied

Great approach to lead playing and I learned so much and able to play a little lead not getting bogged down with memorizing all the modes and scale before I can do leads. Thanks Dennis you are a great teacher!.

Wien999Wien999 replied

A little rusty on presentation but has very good concepts - I learned something..

CateCate replied

It's a bit beginner

coreyfuller45coreyfuller45 replied

Do you not use the 6,7 znd 8 notes in a solo?

timpenntimpenn replied

Great teaching style. Thanks for making it easier to understand

rufus wrufus w replied

HI Dennis, thanks for the lesson me been playing for about 2 yr's and really want to start to do my own thing, this lesson and the one from Brads phase two lesson I thank I am finally starting to get it. Hay thanks so much for the time you put in this lesson :)

jayspencerjayspencer replied

I love this guys teaching style!!

pichipichi replied

Great lesson Dennis!

MoodyAssholeMoodyAsshole replied

Dennis, thank you for the good lesson. I have already learned some scale and pentatonic patterns. But there are so many (patterns)! Say, I've never seen the ones you are using in these lessons before. It seems like every book/training resource offers their own :( I feel than in order to pick up speed you need to focus on some patterns instead of learning all of them. How to choose which pattern to use for a particular scale?

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

there are many patterns, that's true. In the beginning, to avoid getting overwhelmed, I suggest sticking with a couple fingerings you're comfortable with. I chose this fingering since it's small (one octave), fits conveniently in one position with no shifting, and it's on the treble strings which is great for soloing.

testbumtestbum replied

The jam track seems to have only one chord (I am not sure). Should I practice this based on the Key Signature or based on Chord Progression (different chord tone on each chord change) for this lesson? I am trying to build my skills step by step, rather than jumping in to next level. Theorically, either way is fine I believe and i believe i have skills of performing basic techinques, but I have hard time creating melodic sound(I don’t think it is wrong but sound jumpy) by jumping over all the notes in the scale. What would be your suggestion?

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

the track is mostly just over E (A and B do appear, but only for one beat each in the 4th measure of each 8-bar phrase). In this case, the improvising is more key-center focused than chord-tone focused, which is the main goal of my teaching approach here. In rock and blues settings, however, this key-center approach works completely fine (many rock and blues players don't focus on chord tones at all, really).

ndwong19ndwong19 replied

Great Lesson ! So far the most helpful tutorial I've watched.

candycanechildcandycanechild replied

This is exactly what I've been looking for!!! great lesson, i laughed so hard at "that's a weird ending" lol

candycanechildcandycanechild replied

This is exactly what I've been looking for!!! great lesson, i laughed so hard at "that's a weird ending" lol

richard88richard88 replied

You are bringing light to what was once pitch dark for me for years. I did not know how to explain it when I asked a pro. Thank You Dennis and Jamplay. THANK YOU

wayne66wayne66 replied

"that was a weird ending..."

tayebtayeb replied

man i love this guy!!! hes freakin hilarious too!!

chase_1995chase_1995 replied

I love these lead lessons thankyou dennis and jamplay!

blueguitar24blueguitar24 replied


alneves77alneves77 replied

when you talk about resources to mention a 34th lesson??? where?

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

"3rd or 4th lesson"

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied

this comment is real,good teach,second time i/ve taken it.

appzappz replied

Thx dennis practised these along with the metronome for hours.

amoxieprospectamoxieprospect replied

I feel like all these comments are fake

richard88richard88 replied

Hater, go play "guitar hero"

darthstumpydarthstumpy replied

is that an omen? cause it looks exactly like mine anyway great lession! love all your stuff

adamitoadamito replied

It is a Schecter Gryphon

stratocristerstratocrister replied

Gliinck xD hahaha

sandeepsandeep replied

Explained everything clearly! Thank you Dennis!!!

appoappo replied

It's raelly very good

jake homejake home replied

nice solo dude!!!!!!

newworldguitarsnewworldguitars replied

Most enjoyable! Dennis makes this clear even for somebody like me.

lukacar24lukacar24 replied

nice lesson ;D

khayskhays replied

Lessons like these are just as important as learning songs if not more. This was a good lesson even though I have been playing for year.

richard88richard88 replied

Dude, youre a fag.

qbeoramaqbeorama replied

Dennis has the rare gift to ezplain everything coherently and concisely. That's great.

muddy989muddy989 replied

Great lesson , lookin forward to the next one , THANKS DENNIS

hussarukhussaruk replied

Is it the same as "tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone"?

hussarukhussaruk replied

After reading my question.I can see it is!!

chingolingochingolingo replied

Yeahh it is finally here a solo lesson FREAKING SWEET!!! thanks Dennis, also what kind of guitar was that one it looks cool lol

anik04anik04 replied

Thank you so much Dennis! :D

mixaelmixael replied

I hate to say this, but I've been needing this lesson (and the series!) for a long time. And it feel slike I should have thought of it myself! By the way, I loved this one, Dennis.

mike4370mike4370 replied

Dennis, i loved the intro music to this lesson!! that sounded great man!!

joffajoffa replied

Enjoyed this one Dennis - looking forward to more.

dripmandripman replied

yeaaahhh the Hodge is back.

jaronjaron replied

It's unusual seeing Dennis not playing metal.

Lead Concepts & Techniques

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Dennis Hodges blends conceptual lead instruction for developing solos, improvising, and harmonizing along with lead techniques such as legato, sweeping, and alternate picking.

Major Scale ImprovisingLesson 1

Major Scale Improvising

Dennis covers the basics of the major scale. Then, he introduces you to improvisation within a one octave scale pattern.

Length: 25:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Scale ImprovisingLesson 2

Minor Scale Improvising

Dennis introduces the minor scale. You will improvise within this scale and work on a written solo as well.

Length: 26:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
HarmonizingLesson 3


Dennis teaches harmonization in 3rds, diatonic and non-diatonic 4ths, 5ths, diatonic 6ths, and atonal harmonization.

Length: 27:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lead Guitar ImprovisingLesson 4

Lead Guitar Improvising

Dennis teaches key improvisational concepts such as blending scales, phrasing, and staying within a scale.

Length: 29:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sweep PickingLesson 5

Sweep Picking

Dennis Hodges teaches sweeping technique, 3 string triads, and 2 octave arpeggios. Also included is an etude written specifically for JamPlay!

Length: 39:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tapping: Basic and Advanced TechniquesLesson 6

Tapping: Basic and Advanced Techniques

Dennis covers many tapping techniques in this lesson. From basic to advanced, get ready to learn something new!

Length: 39:47 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lead Concepts and Techniques: TricksLesson 7

Lead Concepts and Techniques: Tricks

Dennis teaches a bunch of cool metal and rock tricks in this lesson!

Length: 34:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Writing A Rock Guitar SoloLesson 8

Writing A Rock Guitar Solo

Dennis Hodges teaches you some of the basics to writing your own solos!

Length: 47:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lead Guitar ImprovisationLesson 9

Lead Guitar Improvisation

Dennis Hodges teaches the basics of improvising a solo over a backing track.

Length: 28:44 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
InterpretationLesson 10


Dennis teaches some basics on how to interpret a piece of music and make it your own.

Length: 20:03 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Soloing In E MinorLesson 11

Soloing In E Minor

Dennis dissects a solo he wrote that stays in the 12th position box of E minor.

Length: 15:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Soloing In A MinorLesson 12

Soloing In A Minor

Dennis Hodges dissects an advanced, extended solo he wrote in A Minor for this lesson.

Length: 33:28 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Metal Solo IntroductionLesson 13

Metal Solo Introduction

JamPlay instructor Dennis Hodges is back with a two sided metal solo! This pack of lessons contains an intermediate and advanced level metal solo. You'll be utilizing bends, sweeping, arpeggios and talking...

Length: 2:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Easy Metal Solo Phrase #1Lesson 14

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #1

To get things started, Dennis offers up the first four measure phrase of this easy metal solo. He also discusses the E Phrygian Dominant mode, which will be used throughout most of this solo.

Length: 3:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #1Lesson 15

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #1

Now that you have the first phrases of the easy solo under your fingers, let's put a little heat into the lick. You're working out of the same E Phrygian Dominant scale here, but you're adding some embellishments...

Length: 4:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Easy Metal Solo Phrase #2Lesson 16

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #2

Here's another four bar phrase of the easy metal solo. This phrase is predominantly arpeggio-based. It ends with a big bend and slide out.

Length: 4:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #2Lesson 17

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #2

Like the second phrase of the easy solo, this advanced phrase is also predominantly arpeggio-based. However, it adds speed and flash for a more speed metal vibe.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Easy Metal Solo Phrase #3Lesson 18

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #3

Dennis is back with the next phrase of the easy metal solo. Phrase three incorporates a step sequence where you play a note, go up a step, then leap down in a repeated fashion.

Length: 3:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #3Lesson 19

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #3

Just like the other advanced phrases, this one is an embellishment of the easy lick. To amp up the step sequence of the easy lick, this advanced phrase adds triplets.

Length: 6:16 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Easy Metal Solo Phrase #4Lesson 20

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #4

Dennis Hodges is back with another lick from the easy metal solo. Phrase four is the final phrase of the easy metal solo. This lick isn't incredibly fast, but it combines a pull-off to open strings, which...

Length: 3:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #4Lesson 21

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #4

Phrase four of the advanced solo is another embellishment of the easy solo. To amp up the speed and give it a more metal edge, Dennis introduces trills that bounce off the open strings.

Length: 5:56 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Easy Metal Solo ConnectionsLesson 22

Easy Metal Solo Connections

At this point, you should have all four phrases of the easy solo under your fingers. In this lick entry, Dennis discusses how to connect the phrases together in order to play the entire solo seamlessly.

Length: 4:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Advanced Metal Solo ConnectionsLesson 23

Advanced Metal Solo Connections

Congratulations! You've learned all four phrases of the advanced metal solo. Now, let's take a look at how to connect those phrases for a seamless solo!

Length: 6:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Dennis Hodges

About Dennis Hodges View Full Biography For better or worse, Dennis Hodges cannot stop playing music, and (he hopes) will never stop playing music.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Dennis had a tremendous passion for drawing. He couldn't stop copying moves from bands he saw on MTV, though, and it didn't help that his parents filled the house with Santana, Stevie Ray, and Allman Bros. (on real records, no less!) so it wasn't long till he got his first guitar. It was junk. Within a few weeks his parents traded in a poor acoustic for a less junky 3/4-size electric.

Dennis started lessons right away at the age of 8. He still remembers hating it for awhile, and not taking it seriously until he was 12. He is thankful his parents forced him to practice early on and kept paying for lessons, even though rational thinking should have stopped them after a year.

Around this time drawing became less important, and guitar consumed all his attention. After 6 years of lessons he parted ways with his teacher and, after trying out two others with no results, decided to continue alone. His nerdistic tendencies paid off, as he put in hours working on picking and left hand exercises and learned as many Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett solos as he could.

Luckily, there were playing opportunities at school talent shows and church. Dennis was playing bass at his church when he was 13, helping to hone his performance skills in a group setting.

In high school, Dennis joined the marching band on sousaphone for all 4 years. It was as awesome as you could expect. He was also fortunate enough to be in several different metal bands, still play at church, and get the incredible opportunity to play guitar for many local community theaters. This kept his sight-reading in shape and gave him an appreciation for different styles of music (and paid pretty well, from a high schooler's perspective).

In 2001, Dennis came to Bexley, Ohio to study guitar at Capital University with Stan Smith. His studies emphasized jazz and classical guitar. Here his metal past merged with a deeper understanding of the instrument and music in general, and the basis for most of his teaching style was set in motion.

Dennis now plays guitar for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church every Sunday, for St. Christopher in Grandview, Ohio, with the youth group, and also plays for touring Broadway shows that stop in Columbus. Occasionally, he plays weddings and private parties, and he is starting a new cover band with some friends, called Dr. Awkward. He is blessed to have his understanding and supportive wife Kate, and is glad to be at JamPlay!

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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 126 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

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

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

Greg J.

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

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


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

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

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