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

Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
David MacKenzie

Advanced Star-Spangled Banner

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

Taught by David MacKenzie in Songs with David seriesLength: 37:12Difficulty: 3.0 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. replied


Southern CashSouthern Cash replied

Enjoyed it, great job!

adydas78adydas78 replied

Hey, great lesson! Can I play this in E flat tuning? I play most of my tunes in E flat and since I have only one guitar don't want to changed tuning every time I play this. Would I sound too off? Thanks!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

tabs now match the performance scene.

musicrnmusicrn replied

Hi Dave, This is gorgeous and inspirational! I can play it but not getting the tone I like. What effects are you using exactly? Ive bee playing Jazz the last year, but do hv a Marshall available,fender strat too. Any tips welcome. You are a great teacher too!,

gibbsc13gibbsc13 replied

Did you change the lesson in the middle of the song? On the second video lesson, when your playin the high notes you do it one way, but then as you recap what you played, you play it differently.... or I may just be seeing things (4:36-4:50).

thrasher334thrasher334 replied

I seen you playing your arrangement and loved it so much that even though I knew I am way out of my league as a beginner I was so impressed and emotionally moved I decided I have to learn this as my first real accomplishment I have heard other versions of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER but this is the absolute best I have heard.

cindarcindar replied

love this version Dave!! ive pretty much got the whole song down except for that last litttle riff, but i love the way you've mapped this out!! continue the great work

gunnygunny replied can play that on my parade deck have every right to do so. Being that we both did time during the Persian Gulf crisis...and my deepest respects to your son. I will add this to my guitar footlocker. And when I play the Banner I will do so as with much feeling as you have that those who are listening will know it is being played in honor of your son and to our comrades who have fallen in the line of duty. Greatly appreciated and respectfully submitted....Semper Fi! The Gunny.

alexferreealexferree replied

What guitar are you playing?

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

busted song plez

dragon1968dragon1968 replied

david your a awsome guitar player and more so a great teacher i first saw you on youtub and had to join jamplay i've almost got the entier song down and looking fowerd to learning more from you . thank's tracy hastings

goinblindgoinblind replied

hey dDave I have mastered half of this song, working your ending, but just want to let you know this is the best version of the song i have ever heard

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

well thank you very much! i am humbled to hear you say that! I am glad your getting something out of ths lesson, and this song is very close to my heart!

thesheriffthesheriff replied

Watching the Song Demonstration and the way Dave Plays it does not match the Tabs provided in several spots. This makes learning the song very difficult

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

i have to apoligise, as i think afterwards looking at the break down of riffs, i did perform it slightly different for the actual performance. in reality, most peoples styles do not mesh, such as, i dont sound like eddie van halen, or slash, etc, therefor i wont be able to put forward all the techniques perfectly like them. what i am getting at is NOT an excuse but that you SHOULD allow your own style to come out in this piece. i gave examples of licks/riffs to play, but please add your own as well.

thesheriffthesheriff replied

where can I get a copy of the backing track?

maxmaxmaxmaxmaxmax replied

great arrangement dave, one question i always played intro 2-0,3-1,4-2,3-1,2-0,1-0 don't it makes notes ring longer because open strings

jimhambyjimhamby replied

Hey Matt, Did you ever get the backing track tabed out?

dinotatsdinotats replied

The backing track still doesn't operate. It would be coool if it did. Also the tabs still aren't completed correctly.

dinotatsdinotats replied

Well I haven't been on since I wrote last but it's working now. Before I would just click the backing track and nothing would happen but now it worked. The tabs were good for the song itself but the riffed out ending wasn't there. But it is now. Thanks

jboothjbooth replied

Hey there, I just tested the backing track on a few pcs and it has worked on all of them. Are you getting an error? have you tried downloading it to your computer to see if that helps? as far as the tab do you know which part you feel is incorrect?

dinotatsdinotats replied

PS Dmac rocks!

ben234ben234 replied

can you put the jimi hendrix version up as well

VinnyBVinnyB replied

Just watched it twice in a row.......awesome.

headbanger245headbanger245 replied

on the supplemental content, on the second part of the tab, instead of star-spangled banner, its playful popoki in the slack key lessons. just thought i should bring that up.

kevinacekevinace replied

Tabs tabs tabs!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Tabs will be up by tomorrow...sorry for the delay, everybody!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I'll transcribe the backing track sometime tomorrow for those of you that want to learn the rhythm parts as well.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I recommend that you all master the easier DMac version of this song and memorize it. Then, start adding in the embellishments and advance techniques that Dave is teaching in this lesson.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

i agree with matt, especially if you are a beginner. that way you'll have the foundation of the song down, and then can add all the extra riffs. good call matt.

jboothjbooth replied

Matt's working on it :) I'm sure it's not gonna be fun to notate this, lol.

hgnativehgnative replied

nice song dave is it yours

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

this is my rendition of the SSB. i put it together on my digital recorder. used my roland keyboard and did the drums. played my bass, and added the rythm guitar. then added the strings to add some higher end to it.

hgnativehgnative replied

it is nice!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied

Thank you for the nice compliments! i really tried to do it justice! i played it so much i think i can do it in my sleep now! lol!

mav67mav67 replied

Dmac laying it down and taking names. Good job, almost made me wish I was American.

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Nicely done, DMac - you're the BOSS!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

cool arrangement

mkorsmomkorsmo replied

Sounds like Eric Johnson jumped in there for a few riffs near the end.

rhoadsfreakrhoadsfreak replied

Dave, that was absolutely an incredible version of The Star Spangled Banner....It is truly inspiring listening to you play. Thanks for sharing that with us.

robearlerobearle replied

oooo! that rocks! you rock! In fact, everything about it just!

dsilvestredsilvestre replied

I am tuned up this time in standart tuning, i got it right, in tune... Ahah couldn't be more right! I am going to lern this now and then i will let you know... Great Lesson...

nmoundnmound replied

Damn, very nice!!!

ronin808ronin808 replied

Wow!! You pumped alot of energy into this versionI hope I can get it down for the 4th. Great job as always man!!

nessanessa replied

Dmac, YOU ROCK!!!

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

The Star-Spangled Banner

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

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Electric Eye Part 1Lesson 10

Electric Eye Part 1

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.

Length: 24:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Electric Eye Part 2Lesson 11

Electric Eye Part 2

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

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Closer to the HeartLesson 13

Closer to the Heart

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

Canon Rock in D

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

Length: 80:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Carol of the BellsLesson 17

Carol of the Bells

DMac teaches a Trans-Siberian styled rendition of "Carol of the Bells."

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!

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Jim Deeming Jim Deeming

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

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
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
Amber Russell Amber Russell

Now we look at more harmonics, using a section of Amber's song - 'Love vs. Logic'

Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

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

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Will Ripley Will Ripley

Will is back with another classic sounding riff! This riff is a great exercise that gets you using your fingers on more than...

Free LessonSeries Details
Irene Ketikidi Irene Ketikidi

Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques...

Free LessonSeries Details
Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

Free LessonSeries Details
Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

Free LessonSeries Details
Lita Ford Lita Ford

Lita Ford, guitarist for The Runaways, presents a fantastic and in depth series on what it was like and what it took professionally...

Free LessonSeries Details
Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

Free LessonSeries Details
Matt Brown Matt Brown

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

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
Andy Whitehead Andy Whitehead

Join Andy as he takes a look at the style of one of the most influential guitarists of all time: Eddie Van Halen. In the...

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 520977 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 127 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.

Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!