Tapping: Basic and Advanced Techniques (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Tapping: Basic and Advanced Techniques

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

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Lead Concepts & Techniques seriesLength: 39:47Difficulty: 3.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:32) Intro Brace yourselves for Lead Guitar Lesson 6! Dennis begins by playing several brief examples using multi-finger tapping. Excerpts include:

- an original etude
- "Touch of Blue" by Stanley Jordan
- "Castle Theme" from Super Mario Bros., by Koji Kondo
- "Star Power" from Super Mario Bros., by Koji Kondo

Tapping is used most often in rock and metal, but if used tastefully can fit in other genres, including country and modern jazz/fusion. Johnny Hiland is a noted country guitarist who isn't afraid to tap, and Stanley Jordan's name is synonymous with multi-finger tapping in a jazz setting. See "Lesson 11: Satriani Inspired Tapping" in Kris Norris' series for a long list of tappers.

Tapping is also popular with contemporary acoustic guitarists, going back to Michael Hedges, and including Andy McKee, Kaki King, and JamPlay's own Erik Mongrain (that's right, he's ours now).

Lesson Contents

As with the sweeping lesson, Dennis starts with basic tapping maneuvers and progresses to more advanced techniques. Simple exercises are provided to introduce each technique.

It is important to remember that even though all this material is presented within 39 minutes, that doesn't mean you will master everything by the end of the lesson. Take your time with each exercise and make sure you are comfortable while playing. Be very aware of any tension throughout the body, especially the jaw, neck, shoulders, and arms.
Chapter 2: (09:41) Basics Pt. 1 Dennis starts by quickly explaining the basic idea behind tapping, which is both hands are used to hammer onto the fretboard. He then discusses some different methods for the right hand, including tapping with the middle finger, index finger, or pick. The merits of each are different; whether you use the index or middle finger depends on how you hold the pick and using the pick results in a stronger, crisper attack. If you are using a finger, make sure you aren't throwing your whole hand at the guitar! Just as with left hand hammer-ons, you should keep the right hand stable and move only the tapping finger.

Exercise 1 (02:35)

In this Van Halen-esque tapping move, the right hand initiates the sound by using a finger or the pick to hammer-on at the 12th fret on the high E (1st string). The left hand index finger should already be holding the 5th fret on the same string. Then a pull-off is performed from the 12th fret (with the right hand finger or pick) to the 5th fret (left hand index finger). Dennis repeats this a few times and mentions this is a good way to practice it yourself. Next, hammer-on to the 7th fret with the left hand ring finger as normal.

The sequence then is: tap at 12, pull-off to 5, hammer-on to 7. Repeat slowly and steadily using the rhythm as written and played. Feel free to change frets and strings as Dennis demonstrates; following your creativity this way can make practicing more enjoyable.

Exercise 2 (03:20)

This is the same idea as above, except the sequence is changed. After tapping onto the 12th fret on the high E (1st string), Dennis has his ring finger in place on the 7th fret. He pulls off from the 12th fret to the 7th fret and then pulls off to the 5th fret as normal. The sequence now is: tap at 12, pull-off to 7, pull-off to 5.

Exercises 3 & 4 (04:29)

These are the same as Exercises 1 & 2, respectively. However, there is no longer a pause when repeating. Each note is played as a quarter note, receiving one full beat. At faster speeds these will sound like triplets.

Fight the urge to play super fast! Until all notes are equal in volume and your timing is steady, it will just sound clumsy. Speed will come gradually as ease of playing improves.

Exercise 5 (05:53)

This example goes back to Exercise 1 but adds an extra pull-off, so the sequence is: tap at 12, pull-off to 5, hammer-on to 7, pull-off to 5. On the high E (1st string), the right hand taps on the 12th fret. Then you pull-off to the 5th fret, which is held by the left hand index finger. After that you hammer-on to the 7th fret with the left hand ring finger and pull-off back to the 5th fret. Each note is played as a quarter note, so they should all last the same length of time. Again, Dennis changes strings and frets to create an unusual, non-diatonic sound.

Exercise 6 (06:44)

This is similar to Exercise 5, except it features a tap, pull-off, pull-off, hammer-on pattern. On the high E (1st string), tap at the 12th fret, pull-off to the 7th fret, pull-off to the 5th fret, and hammer-on to the 7th fret.

At 6:55, Dennis alternates between Exercises 5 and 6 back to back. He also demonstrates the same concept while changing frets in the context of Exercises 3 and 4. This is not written in the supplemental content, but it's an example of one way to creatively practice. Playing just one tapping pattern repeatedly can get boring, so it's good to mix things up sometimes. He also suggests practicing using each finger of the right hand, to start practicing coordination and building strength in all fingers. This will come in handy for the advanced material.
Chapter 3: (07:27 ) Tapping Basics Pt. 2 Exercise 7 (00:10)

Dennis jumps right into the next exercise, which will use more left hand fingers while still only tapping with one. This method has also been used by Van Halen, notably in "Hot For Teacher" during the intro and before the solo, and during the intro of "The Philosopher" by Death. This technique calls for strong left hand legato playing. If your hammer-ons and pull-offs are weak, check out "Left Hand Overload" in Dennis' Metal series, and Nick Greathouse's "Legato Playing" lessons in his Speed and Technique series.

This is written and taught on the high E (1st string), but can and should be moved to other strings and frets. Dennis taps onto the 12th fret, pulls off to the 5th fret, hammers on to the 7th fret, and then with his pinky hammers onto the 8th fret. The left hand portion could all be played instead with index at the 5th fret, middle at 7, and ring at 8. After hammering onto the 8th fret, the pinky pulls off the 7th fret and the ring finger pulls off to the 5th fret. The whole sequence is then: tap at 12, pull-off to 5, hammer-on to 7, hammer-on to 8, pull-off to 7, pull-off to 5.

Dennis then moves the tapping finger from the 12th fret to the 13th and 10th frets. He then briefly improvises with A harmonic minor (A B C D E F G# A) and moves the left and right hands to create a melodic flurry of notes.

At 2:31 he switches to the B string but stays in A minor, so the frets used are not quite the same. Since F is in our A minor scale and not F#, Dennis now uses his middle finger on the left hand to play the 6th fret of the B string. He then plays a portion of "Hot For Teacher" to illustrate the sound of keeping the fingers on the same frets across the neck. It's a cool, weird sound, but it's not a diatonic sound. This is an important point: it's best to keep yourself open to learning things the "correct" way, and also the "who cares" approach, because there are certain situations where one or the other will sound best. Guys like John Petrucci and Kirk Hammett work things out to be as correct as possible, and guys like Van Halen and Dimebag (R.I.P.) went with whatever they thought sounded cool.

Exercise 8 (03:55)

Here Dennis introduces tap-slides. The right hand can still use either a pick or finger to strike a fret and then slide somewhere else just like a traditional slide with the fretting hand. On the high E (1st string), Dennis taps at the 10th fret and slides to the 12th fret, all with right hand. This part alone might take some time. You shouldn't apply too much pressure, because there is a genuine possibility of slicing a finger open. However, you need to apply just enough pressure to sustain the sound as you swiftly move between frets.

After the tap and slide, pull-off to the 5th fret and hammer-on to the 7th fret as in Exercise 1. Again, Dennis demonstrates changing strings while using this technique. He also performs it with each right hand finger. He also plays larger slides to get a different sound.

Exercise 9 (05:28)

Now it's time to slide up AND down after tapping. Dennis shows that smaller distances are easier to slide between, such as one or two frets, which is a similar condition with slide performed by the left hand. It's difficult to sustain the sound and land on the correct pitches if you are trying to slide 5 or more frets back and forth.

The written exercise is mostly to show you what it would look like in music; Dennis only hints at it in the video.

Exercise 10 (06:19)

This is the final "basic" tapping example. If you're still having trouble with tap-slides, especially sliding between notes, it would be better to spend time on those before trying this. If you insist on trying it (and we're not there to stop you anyway), strive for an even volume and tempo as you play.

On the high E (1st string), Dennis taps at the 10th fret, slides up a whole step to the 12th fret, and then slides back down to the 10th fret. After that he pulls off to the 7th fret, which pulls off to the 5th fret, and then hammers on to the 7th fret. Dennis then loops this 6 note sequence. All this notes are from E minor pentatonic (E G A B D). Dennis plays every note but the G from that scale. He then moves to the 2nd string and 3rd string, but keeps the frets the same on each string, as Van Halen is known to do.

At 6:45 Dennis continues to play a similar pattern along the high E string while staying in E minor pentatonic. This is not written but worth trying to figure out.
Chapter 4: (10:41) Advanced Tapping Pt. 1 Okay. If you're here to work, you're in luck. This is where we toss the pick out completely and use all 8 fingers on the neck (though not all at once, we only have 6 strings!). Hop over to YouTube and search for "Stanley Jordan Autumn Leaves," Zack Kim, "Chris Broderick Mozart," "Jennifer Batten Flight of the Bumblebee," "Joe Satriani Midnight," "Chris Arp Imogen's Puzzle," Reggie (or Regi) Wooten, and Sam Triggy to see some crazy applications of this approach.

The tabs indicate fingering for the right hand, using the standard classical system of Spanish finger names.

I = indice (index)
M= medio (middle)
A= anular (ring)
O= this is what Guitar Pro uses for the pinky, there seems to be no history to it


Most players who use this method have their action as low as possible without buzzing, and prefer light gauge strings (.009s) to make it easier on the right hand fingers. However, this will affect tone, typically making it "weaker." Also, to compensate for volume differences many players will use some sort of compressor (whether a pedal on the floor or a rackmount effect) to even out the sound, which unfortunately can strip dynamics out of the music. In this lesson Dennis is playing 9-gauge strings despite traditionally playing 10-gauge strings (it's a long, boring story as to why). Thicker strings, such as .010s or .011s, will increase strength and improve tone, but will wear your fingers out faster.

Exercise 1 (01:24)

The first exercise is a one octave G major scale on the top 3 strings (G, B, and E). Each finger fits within a four fret range (also known as "one finger per fret"). This is a pattern Dennis introduced in Lead Guitar lesson 1, "Major Scale Improvising." Now you will be playing it with the right hand only, hammering on all notes. Notice Dennis' left hand is resting on the strings lower on the neck to keep the open strings from ringing.

As you first go through this, practice alternating the notes on each string, and use all hammer-ons from nowhere. For example, instead of slurring from the index finger at the 12th fret on G (3rd string) to the 14th fret with the ring finger, strike them each as two separate notes. As Dennis mentions, work to make sure the volume is even from note to note. For extra practice, and to increase musicality, try adding vibrato to the notes as you play.

Once this is very comfortable (which may take days, weeks, months, etc.), practice it all legato (using hammer-ons and pull-offs). Make sure you avoid tension throughout the body! Check your jaw, neck, shoulders, and arms; if seated, make sure you're not lifting your legs, and if standing, don't lean too far one way or the other. It's important to go slow so that your body is relaxed and capable of producing the best sound possible.

Exercise 2 (06:14)

Beware! If Exercise 1 is giving you trouble, this exercise will most likely be even worse! Dennis puts the left and right hands to work simultaneously.

Dennis adds the left hand playing a one octave G major scale on the bottom 3 strings (E, A, and D) in 2nd position, using one finger per fret, starting with the middle finger on the 3rd fret of the low E (6th string). All notes are sounded by hammer-ons from nowhere, which will require some work to keep the strings from ringing out. Dennis points out some players use mutes or even hair ties or Scrunchies to mute the strings. In this lesson, Dennis just uses his left hand index finger to do most of the muting. When it's not hammering on, he lays it flat with enough pressure so that no strings ring but no frets are accidentally heard.

Dennis points out an interesting predicament with this style - only 6 notes maximum can ever be heard on a typical guitar, no matter how many fingers you're using. If you play a note with your left hand, say the 5th fret on the D (4th) string, and then tap a note on the same string at the 12th fret, the first note ends. If, however, you tap the 7th fret on the G (3rd) string carefully, you now hear two different pitches sounding together. Dennis purposely puts these two scales 2 octaves apart so that the two hands won't interfere with each other.

The first two notes present a slight problem. At 8:41, the left hand middle finger and right hand index hammer-on simultaneously. Students often struggle to use two different fingers at the same time. It will just take a few tries while playing slowly to get the hang of it. After that, the left hand pinky and right hand ring finger hammer-on to their notes. Again, go slow enough that you can keep track of which finger is going to which fret. Practice these two notes back and forth several times before going on.

The rest of the exercise isn't as tricky. Both hands use the same fingers at the same time. Once this is very easy, try to play it more legato as mentioned before, with hammer-ons and pull-offs between notes.

Around 9:30, Dennis expands on this exercise by playing the G major scale with the right hand starting on the note B (7th fret, 6th string E). Before trying this, work out what the frets for the left hand will be. As mentioned before, feel free to try ideas you might think of while practicing these. Don't feel restrained to the exercises Dennis or other teachers here (or anywhere, for that matter) give you. Practice creatively, and you'll play creatively!
Chapter 5: (10:24 ) Advanced Tapping Pt. 2 Exercise 3 (0:00)

Right off the bat, Dennis starts with the next exercise, which is the hands combined playing G major one octave apart. Because of the problems mentioned above with limited strings and space (and to introduce more independence between hands), Dennis has re-fingered the left hand pattern. It is now in 7th position, one finger per fret, starting with the pinky at the 10th fret on the A (5th) string. The right hand remains the same. Practice the left hand alone first, as Dennis does at 1:16. Then proceed to put the two together slowly.


-Practice pairs of notes back and forth several times.
-Also, repeat each note 4 times (hands together) before moving to the next note.

This is much more of a challenge than Exercise 2. Most of this example uses different fingers on each hand, so this will require much concentration, coordination, and patience. Also, playing this exercise legato will be even harder than the previous exercises, but will make your playing much more satisfying to listeners. Take it slowly and focus on the feeling of the two hands working together. Also, now that all of your fingers are striking frets, notice the slight vibration each note makes as it's attacked. You should feel it under your fingertips as you hammer-on. This is one way to "feel" music.

Exercise 4 (04:04)

Next Dennis adds a simple ostinato in the left hand. All that means is there will be a repeating chord (in this case, G5) acting as accompaniment. The left hand hammers on to the 3rd fret, low E (6th string) and 5th fret, A (5th string) to create a G5. Each chord is a half note, lasting two beats.

The right hand plays up and down the first 5 notes of our G major scale in 12th position using quarter notes, or one note per beat. This creates a sound similar to a simple piano etude. The hands play together whenever a G chord tone (G, B, and D) is tapped. Dennis then repeats this without pause several times, and then expands on it by adding notes from the rest of the scale while continuing to tap the G5 chord in the left hand.

Exercise 5 (05:35)

This is practically the same thing as Exercise 4, except the left hand is now alternating between the root note of the chord (G) and the 5th of the chord (D), playing them as quarter notes. Now both hands are playing together the whole time until the final measure, where Dennis introduces some rhythmic trickiness.

At 5:49, Dennis tells a very lame joke.

Dennis demonstrates the exercise by repeating the first two measures several times. He also includes a demonstration of how these measures should sound when performed in a legato style. It's worth noting that even though it's not written this way in the tab, it's an effective way to practice. When presented with troublesome material, it's often helpful to isolate a difficult passage and repeat it as many times as you feel is necessary. To keep it from sounding boring, some musicians like to move the pattern around, such as up or down a fret every four times it's repeated.

The final measure contains a somewhat basic syncopation. The left hand outlines a G5 chord across the bottom 3 strings (E, A, and D) with quarter notes, while the right hand plays just the root note (G) and 5th of the chord (D) using dotted quarter notes. Next, the hands play together on count 1, then left hand alone on count 2, right hand alone on the "and" of count 2, and then left hand alone on count 3. They are then together on count 4. The whole measure, hands together, would then be counted:
"1 2 and 3 4."

At 6:58, Dennis demonstrates the whole exercise as written.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Xt1nx1onXt1nx1on replied

Hey Dennis thx man for all your time an help, I've grown alot from just your lessons alone man , stay cool

traytontrayton replied

Thanks. I was clueless about tapping. Very helpful.

brandonl15brandonl15 replied

really cool lesson..Tapping iss really...your guitar tone reminds me of PACMAN

mattrbmattrb replied

You mean eruption from Eddie Van Halen lol famous song

hydroemopenguinhydroemopenguin replied

very helpful and i cant stop playin now

belial19belial19 replied

thats a cool beard man

brunopa1brunopa1 replied

this guy is funny.

ben_oben_o replied

(ya i think he was playing it) thats pretty cool man your awesome

alexmarblekingalexmarbleking replied

hi ben lol

smonnarsmonnar replied

it sounded like dennis was playin sumthin outta Castlevania on one of those exercises LOL

dylane1dylane1 replied

If I heard right Dennis was playing the theme in the first mario bros. when you fight the bosses!

kimberajkimberaj replied

dennis you are so amazing! The intro was incredible man, great lesson

isaacrocksisaacrocks replied

How many bass playersw does it take to change a lightbulb? 1-5-1-5-1-5-1-5. Haha!

mastodonrocksmastodonrocks replied

That intro was great. Really inspires me to learn how to play like that

metalheadmclovinmetalheadmclovin replied

AHAHAHA wow Dennis. "I think it's called Eruption by......Eddie something?"

gorbaggorbag replied

excellent job on the lesson, Dennis!

jestersdanc3jestersdanc3 replied

yeah! tapping is fun! Now that i know how to do it, ha!

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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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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Join over 517192 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 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 JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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