How to Play The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key (Guitar Lesson)

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David MacKenzie

The Star-Spangled Banner

Learn "The Star-Spangled Banner in an easy, step-by-step fashion. Be sure to check out the Supplemental Content section for tablature and chord charts.

Taught by David MacKenzie in Songs with David seriesLength: 22:00Difficulty: 3.0 of 5

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.[email protected] replied

Please fix!! You didn’t finish the whole song you forgot “whose broad stripes and bright stars, etc”!! Please finish!! replied

not sure about owning a lesson.. Iam not sure how much of the lesson is covered and or how many lessons

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

When you have download credits available (either given as part of some purchases, or purchased in packs through your account) you can spend 1 credit to receive ownership of one lesson. In regards to this lesson that means you can download the entire lesson which would be a total of 6 downloads to complete the lesson. 1 credit will always equal 1 lesson regardless of how long the lesson is, or how many scenes it has. Once you utilize a download credit, you own that lesson for life. You can download it and place it on any device you'd like. Should you lose that content, you can download it again any time you want or need, whether your JamPlay account is active or not.

AeroncaAeronca replied

Been playing since I was a little fella- nothing close to Dave. I agree - Please listen to the actual song written by Francis Scott Key- sang by many. It sure helps me. Great Performance Dave. I apologize if I misspell my words, I was in a M.V.A. Had to lay down my old J-45 Gibson / Martin /- flat top /acoustic. Went electric got a older Fender Strat. Where there is a will, there is a way. Take care all and God Bless. p.s. need a octopus, cant play all 5 at once!

Mitchell.JacobsMitchell.Jacobs replied

Please tell what fret and string your on. You started out telling what fret and string you were on in the beginning, but not all the way through.

mark wildmark wild replied

just wanted to say david with your lesson I learned this song very quickly and I am now to the point I can throw in my own little licks here and there,

mark wildmark wild replied

if it helps any one I have guitar pro on my computer and as I see dave play I input the cords as he plays and it is really helping then I go back and watch him play and try to keep up

demaxwelldemaxwell replied

Why are you in drop tuning? It's a pain in the neck for those of us who don't want to retune our guitar after doing this lesson?

nataliecherinkonataliecherinko replied

hey david I want to learn iron man by black sabboth

HeavychevyHeavychevy replied

Dave I just signed up and watched your lesson. I just read the comments and I agree with "tonyletizia", "agibson" and "ozy1808". Your not explaining what you are playing. Please tell what fret and string your on. You started out telling what fret and string you were on in the beginning, but not all the way through. I am a beginner and am having trouble following you when you are not saying what fret and string you are on.

redpiliumredpilium replied

Dave: I am playing the melody by reading tabs in supplemental material. I can sight read in position 1 but am just reading tabs up in position 6. How can I best learn what notes I'm playing as I read the tabs? Is this important? Do you even think about note names when you play?

tonyletiziatonyletizia replied

Dave you left out what to play for the lines "whose broad striped and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight. O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming." You play it in the intro but u never show how to play it or put it in the tabs. So none of can actually play the song correctly. Could you consider fixing it or atleast update the tabs properly.

nataliecherinkonataliecherinko replied

Enter your comment here.

clemixclemix replied

Very nice!

guitarfreakguitarfreak replied

Dave, having a real problem with the ending?? Seems like midway through the ending video, the video jumps to the very last part leaving you in mid sentence. I'm having a hard time putting it all together?? Any suggestions?? Just picked up a guitar 2 weeks ago and really enjoy youe lessons.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

sorry your having technical issues with the video, hopefully that'll get worked out. i would suggest for now that you actually listen to the "star spangled banner" in any form, mine or other versions, that stick to the actual song it self. get the song inside your head, to a point you might be able to pick out some notes from humming it. this sounds primitive, but lots of people do this to flesh out a tune they are trying to remember or put together. also look at the supplemental content, and see if you can pick out the last part. if i knew where exactly you were having the problem i could perhaps help more. i hope that gives you some avenues to help you get down the ending. let me know how you progress.

rooarmy187rooarmy187 replied

ive been playing tabs for a bit now and you jump on the second set of tabs you go from twilights last gleaming to rockets red glare..... it skips out whos brought stripes and bright stars section

ozy18708ozy18708 replied

on scene four i meant. on scene four at around 5:50 you don't really explain what your playing

agibsonagibson replied

Please alway tell what fret and what string your going to. A couple of times you played a 3 or 4 note progression and said "see there". When you fingers are bunched up sometimes it's hard to see what fret and string your hitting.

ozy18708ozy18708 replied

at around 5:50 it starts to not make sense. your not explaining what you are playing :(

kevinmckevinmc replied

Very nice, this song is full of great places to add your own flourishs

giliyadgiliyad replied

Loved your lesson helped me alot u rock!

adambadamb replied

it is very good but i think it could use a tab table

jimhambyjimhamby replied

Dave I have always wanted to play this song. I am a new guitar player and this version is a great place to start. I am taking some parts from your advanced version and putting them into this one as my skill increases. Thanks and you rock.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

your most welcome! thats awesome your adding stuff to it as you improve! great idea!!

timptimp replied

I`m just learning how to play and I want to learn how to play a song would this song be a good song for a beginner?

darkobliviondarkoblivion replied

yes definately it was the first song I ever learned to play, and this is a great version.

footefoote replied


grunt3066grunt3066 replied

yo thanks for this lesson i mastered this lesson in like 2 hours and 30 minutes thanks man soon ill learn your advanced lesson.

kavishkavish replied

great lesson now i can play this to my friends and family, you rock !!!!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

great!! good job!!! keep it up!!! you can use a lot of the things you learned here in this lesson for other music you will get into later on. so remember the shapes you've learned here. go get em! best to you this new year!!!

mike77mike77 replied

Dave hi i like the lesson i nail it in 30 mins Dave my ? is why is it that i can play a higher skill song as a beginer but can play as well in the phase 1 lesson or a lower skill song in phase 3 thanks mike

skilletrebirthingskilletrebirthing replied

Awesome Lesson, Dave! Took me a little while to get the last part down, but I got it! Thanks!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

excellent!!! good job!!!

skilletrebirthingskilletrebirthing replied

Awesome lesson, Dave! it took me a little while to get the last part down, but I managed. Thanks Dave!!

kyle1992kyle1992 replied

Ok im new to this website and I dont really know how all this works, but i just replied to my own comment so im dumb lol, but what i was saying was, could you please tell me your amp settings as far as your bass, treble, mid, and distortion? Thanks.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

hey there, i think i used jeff's little marshall 15 watt amp. i tend to go about 4-6 on bass,3-5 on mids, and 6-8 on treble with that amp. hope that helps. dont forget that the sound you hear there is being compressed thru all the digital stuff going on in filming. so it may or may not be easy to replicate that tone. thanks for the question.

kyle1992kyle1992 replied

Great video, but is it me or did you leave out: Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? You went from last gleaming to rockets red glare. But in the demonstration you played it. Im really confused could you straighten that out for me?

cruiserridercruiserrider replied

Gotta add repeat bars on 9th Bar after the E on the 5th string(7th fret)

kyle1992kyle1992 replied

Sorry to bother you again, but could you please tell me what you have your amp settings on as far as the bass, mid, treble, and distortion? Thanks.

jboothjbooth replied

As dave mentioned it's the same, also check the tablature if you need any help :)

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

that might be the case, but only because thata phrase is the same as the first part, so no reason for me to re-teach it. you just repeat it i believe, and that should take care of that...i!

kyle1992kyle1992 replied

Ok great, then just ignore the video question then. Thanks alot :).

vanslash1010vanslash1010 replied

awesome lesson dave

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

thanks man!!! i really appreciate it! that was quite a lesson to prepare. look for an another one on star spangle banner with extra licks thrown in for excitement! coming to a video screen near you!!! ....sorry, got carried away there! :)

billyb440billyb440 replied

Geez Dmac almost makes me want to be American........ But I like being a ......... what was that word..... oh ya..... CANUCK... good job Dmac

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

haha, billy, billy, billy!! thats okay, we will just say your an honorary American! hows that!!! hee, hee! we love all the same!!! ooooohhh, Canada!!!! :)

foximus1100foximus1100 replied

i picked up a guitar LITERALLY 8 days ago with NO experiance at all.. right know i can play this song and the beginning of back in black and it sounds great. dave is my favorite instructor. thanks. now i have to keep practicing.

ten9t6ten9t6 replied

Very nice! I can't wait to get to this level. I get goose bumps everytime I hear that Awesome song. I like the 101st patch, too. The only thing that could have made it better would be an 82nd patch. ;-) Great job..I will be back to this lesson, soon.

hgnativehgnative replied

ahhh done thanks david for the lesson now ill teach it to my daughter you are a good instructor thanks again

hcsohcso replied

I love it and it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Dave is a great instructor

rileyriley replied

hey if you get the chance could you do the canadian anthem

rileyriley replied


igoreigore replied

jimi's version was awesome

Songs with David

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

David MacKenzie will teach a wide variety of songs from genres such as metal, rock, punk and more.

The Star-Spangled BannerLesson 5

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David MacKenzie teaches you how to play "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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This lesson is based on the song "Electric Eye," which was recorded by Judas Priest in 1992. Learn Dave's interpretations of the song's signature riffs.

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Electric Eye Part 2Lesson 11

Electric Eye Part 2

Learn the rest of Dave's version of "Electric Eye" by Judas Priest.

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Closer to the HeartLesson 13

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David MacKenzie covers "Closer to the Heart," a classic song by Rush.

Length: 44:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Advanced Star-Spangled BannerLesson 15

Advanced Star-Spangled Banner

In this lesson David MacKenzie teaches an advanced arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner." This lesson includes a backing track.

Length: 37:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Canon Rock in DLesson 16

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David Mackenzie teaches a rock oriented interpretation of Pachelbel's classic "Canon in D."

Length: 80:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
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Length: 35:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
David MacKenzie

About David MacKenzie View Full Biography Dave MacKenzie has been playing guitar for 30 of his 45 years on this earth. Starting back when he was 14 years old, Dave picked up the guitar and started to learn from his oldest brother, who had played some guitar as well. Dave was hooked, and couldn't learn fast enough! Everything from the Beatles, Chicago, Ted Nugent, The Eagles, you name it, Dave was trying to play it.

Then as with a lot of players out there, Eddie Van Halen came along and changed the way guitar was played! Dave has been influenced by anyone he has heard play guitar, literally! Always keeping an open mind and a humbleness about him has helped him to keep learning new things on, and about the guitar.

Dave has mostly played in top 40 rock, country, and pop bands. He is most recently playing guitar and keyboards in a 80's metal band called Open Fire. They have opened for Warrant, Firehouse, Winger, and LA Guns within the 3 and a half years they have been together, and are now jumping into original music.

Dave believes you should have internal motivation, and passion to play guitar, and most definitely, it should be fun!

As with his playing, Dave will find new ways to show you how to get the most out of your time learning guitar!

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