How to Play Death Don't Have No Mercy by Reverend Gary Davis (Guitar Lesson)


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Hawkeye Herman

Death Don't Have No Mercy

Hawkeye teaches the classic song "Death Don't Have No Mercy" by Reverend Gary Davis.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Songs with Hawkeye Herman seriesLength: 23:38Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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lethallee61lethallee61 replied on September 29th, 2015

Hawkeye - just found this lesson and wanted to thank you so much for making the Blues so accessible. After a number of years wanting to learn the Blues, it's finally starting to click. This song is the first time I've ever felt confident playing some lead in between the chords and it feels great. You've made a beginner guitarist very happy.

tamagoshitamagoshi replied on January 25th, 2014

Dear Hawkeye, I've been following your blues series and more recently this song lesson. I've also browsed through the rest of the site. I've got to tell you: your lessons and your style are the most pleasant, progressive and limpid. I'm a teacher too and I feel I could learn of few tricks from you. Keep up the good work. Just an aside question: when did you start referring to yourself in the 3rd person?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 27th, 2014

Regarding your last question, Laurent, about my"referring to myself in the third person," ... I met and learned acoustic blues guitar in-person sitting at the feet of many iconic blues masters (Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Brownie McGhee, Furry Lewsi, Bukka White, Son House, etc.) when I was a young guy 'comng up' in the blues ... blues musicians of old frequently referred to themselves in song and in their language/speech in the third person ... for example, in a song, Lightnin' might interject a statement like ... "Lightnin' know better," ... or "Lightinin' won't stand for that!" .. and I thought that was a great way of expressing oneself in song and speech and adopted that style of speech myself, not to mimic or replicate them, but because I think it's a catchy and effective means of storytelling ... and a way to avoid con in story and song the constant use of the word 'I'/'me'/first person ... which gets tiring to hear, the word "I" ... "I did this" or "I did that' or "I thought this" or "I'll never do that!" ... listen to classic/iconic blues recordings by these old guys and you'll see what I mean ... it's traditional, humorous, and an effective means of referring to oneself without constantly/repeatedly using the first person in song and storytelling. Thanks again for you question and for enjoying my lessons. ;-)

tamagoshitamagoshi replied on January 28th, 2014

Thanks for the ample answer. Your upcoming adventure in Alaska deserves to be filmed for a documentary. Is there any chance we in Montreal, Qu├ębec, get a visit from Hawkeye in the near future?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 29th, 2014

Oui, I agree with you in regard the filming of my upcoming interseting blues aventure in Alaska ... but the weight limits on the bush planes are sttrict in ergrad to the number of people on board and the amount/weightof freight, which determines the size of the plane and mumber of propelllors. So, I'm taking a camera and a compact Canon video cam with me ... in hopes of capturing some photos and footage myself ... which is not quite the same as documenting the trip from an observer's point of view ... which would/could then include concerts and in-school presentations. Oh well I'll do my best to get some digital still photos and video/moving memories on my own. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 29th, 2014

Thanks for the message, Laurent. There are a couple of excellent blues/jazz festivals in the Montreal area ... the biggest one is: http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/artists/features/feature-blues.aspx ... as I tell all of my JamPlay.com students all over the world who request that I perform and/or teach in their home area ... the best way for me to possibly get to your area is for YOU to contact the event and request my presence, not for me to apply to them amongst the 100s of performer applicants/applications they receive. Simply send an email message to the producers of the event, tell them how you know about me, and that you'd like to see me perform/teach at their event. It is much more 'powerful' and likely if a member of the ticket-buying public make such a request, than for me to be amongst the many performers who apply. Don't worry about my visibility ... the producers of the event in Montreal are well aware of my work and reputation, they just need a bit of incentive to bring me to Montreal. ;-) I would love to meet you in Montreal, someday. A brief email to any of the blues/jazz events in your area requesting my presence would be most appreciated ... and who knows, perhaps we'll be jamming on blues guitar face-to-face sometime in the future ... sooner than later, I hope. Thanks so much for asking ... and for any such outreach/request you might send on my behalf. Just refer them to my website, www.HawkeyeHerman.com, along with your request. Again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 26th, 2014

Thanks so much for your kind comments, Laurent. Much appreciated. I looked at all of the files in the 'supplemetal content' fold for this lesson and it l;ooks to me that the full E, A, abd B chords are notated properly and fully. Please tell me which of those files has the issue you speak of/ask about. Also, may I suggest you view some of the many blues songs that I have posted on youtube ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal' my ideas/licks/riffs ;-): http://www.youtube.com/user/HawkeyeH ... and please be sure to check out/explore my web site for more free guitar lessons and blues history information: http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com In regard to my teaching style and abilities ... as a teacher, I ask that you visit my web site and click on the 'Blues in the Schools' page. I have presented in school blues educational programs in schools for 36 years, from elementary schools through the university level, in over 500 schools, in 30 US states, 12 foreign nations, to over 1/2 million students of all ages. I have presented master classes for musicians and teachers on how to do what I do here at home and in Europe. In late Feb., for three weeks, I will be on tour in Alaska, presenting concerts and in-school programs, which will include my being flown by bush plane to remote Native villages, accessible only by air, to give concerts and teach blues music/history in the Native village schools. I will be in at least three of these isolated locations, by bush plane, and spend at least two nights in each village before flying on to the next village. This will be quite a 'blues adventure. ;-) Far different than teaching at Stanford Univ. or an inter-urban elementary/middle or high school or even a small town school here in the USA/Europe/S. America. All of these educational programs that I present are funded by grants to schools and arts councils. Most recently ... In November I gave three days of lectures and workshops at the Univ. of Iowa's School of Education ... training teaching degree bound students about my programs and teaching skills ... as well as teachers invited from the local public schools. I love my work ... it's obvious in my lessons how much I enjoy sharing the blues with anyone willing to listen ... not just teaching guitar ... but the history of the great water-shed of American music that is the blues, and it's impact on all American music and our culture. Blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits.: - Willie Dixon (one of the most famous blues songwriters). I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments and for 'traveling' with me on the 'blues highway' here at JamPlay.com.

ElaineHElaineH replied on January 8th, 2012

Hawkey, I am really enjoying your lessons, and learning a lot. I played a long time ago when I was young, then let it go, so in the last couple years I've gotten back into playing. I play with a group that does a lot of blues, and this song is one of them I have not really connected to it, until I found your rendition. I have a question about your strumming. I can't seem to get that nice soft sound you have when you hit your down strums. Can you give me some tips? Thank you!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 8th, 2012

Hi, Elaine. Thanks for the message, kind words abou thmy lessons, and for your question. Can you tell me in words how to adjust my touch when applying paint to canvas with a brush in order to acheive a desired effect when creating a painting? ... :-) ... that would be difficult to do in words, wouldn't it? especially without your being able to see what I'm doing 'wrong' ... so it is with guitar ... all I can do is tell you to practice ... repetition is the best teacher ... same as with painting ... don't lose patience ...think of the guitar and learning to play it as you would learning to paint ... the learning process is the same ... it's about muscle memeory ... you need to be patient, keep practicing, lighten up your touch ... anchor your right-hand (sturrming hand) pinky on the face of the guitar so that your hand is not 'flying around in space' ... but is held in one main stable position while strumming ... a similar technique as how a painter will rest the hand with the brush on a solid object in order to achieve stability ... if your hand is strumming the guitar and is not being supported/stabilized, it will have the same result as trying to do fine paint work without suppporting the brush ... it will be 'all over the place.' So, you need to watch my right-hand very closely ... and then adapt your strumming technique so that you're not playing so stridently. That's the best advice UI can give you without seeing you strum ... you need to watch hat I'm doing very closely ... and then practice/repeat the technique over and over and over again ... I enjoyed looking at your art work on your web site ... my wife is an artist;-) thaks again for your question. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

Sorry about repeats this goofy pc messed up on me again truely sorry.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 5th, 2012

I started at the age of 5 in 1968 played off and on was in a underground blues band in the early 1990's . The band split up got discouraged and didn't play for 15 to 18 yrs hardly at all just decided last year to start back where I left off and I was rusty and rough actually started making music rough and rusty went back and re worked every thing . Doing a lot better now and it's never too late to learn from a gr8 teach like u so I get back on here time to time . I like doing this alot better than just watching guitar lesson videos bought from music stores like I have done in the past.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 1st, 2012

What I do that mainly is my own thing when watch y'alls videos is I play along and pause it and then go back and play in attempt by myself. Now that is what do even in videos of musicians playing that aren't even guitar instruction videos I have been doing that I used to do it with old vhs guitar instruction videos back before I ever got on the internet. But that is my own thing more less to play along and then when I mess up I pause the video and go back over that part of the song until I get the right chord in the right timing and pattern.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 1st, 2012

Patience and repetition are a major part of learning anything ... including the guitar. Keep up with your 'system of learning' and enjoy the process of expanding your abilities on the guitar. ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 1st, 2012

A lot of great blues songs start out in e minor. The cat fish blues two trains running style I have been working on is in e blues. I made a song in open f slide guitar lol for something totally different that I don't see too many blues players playing in that key any more much accept for Cedric Burnside taking after his father . Funny thing I was watching an R.L. Burnside video and he was playing this song in the key of open F . I went to find they key and play along with it and I was like wait a minute. What key is this guy playing in? I finally figured it out in about a good 45 minutes. It was F . So I found a free lesson on youtube on how to tune your guitar to open F . Well after I did that I came up with this slide guitar tune that is about a 10 minute song called Alabama Border Line Blues that alot of people have really liked better than alot of stuff I have done ..R.L. wasn't playing slide in that video I was watching and it was a totally different song I have to go back and look it back up. I don't think it even says what the actual name of the song was. He was sitting on his porch on an electric guitar playing but he was definitely in the key of open F . I also noticed his son plays some stuff in that key. It's a very interesting key to play in. It was not easy for me to tune my guitar in that key niether even with instruction as far as making sure it was perfect enough to upload myself on youtube and every other site I am on accept for this one.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 1st, 2012

Open F tuning is the same as open E only 1/2 step higher, very easy to figure out: open E from low to high strings is: E/B/E/G#/B/E ... so it follows that open F is: F/C/F/A/C/F ... I don't recommend that one tune an acoustic guitar to open E or open F tuning as it places far too much stress on the neck and top of the guitar. It's okay, IMHO, to tune a solid-body elec. guitar to open E or open F without damaging the guitar.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 1st, 2012

I did it on my vintage Washburn Delta King Hollow Body. Sure hope I didn't hurt it. Don't thik I did. R.L. Burnside was playing on a solid body fender strat in that key it wasn't slide though u know that thing he did that was very cool his own thing with his way of strumming the guitar with a cracking pop like sound on electric I like to play around doing that myself. I notice Malcom Young takes up that style of picking when Cedric is on his drums.Very cool I dig the sound.Now there was another old video I watched of R.L. Burnside were they was out on the porch picking and he tuned his guitar by ear out of the top of his head into something that I could not figure out what it was. I will have to go back up to youtube and watch that again. It is a very off key I couldn't even match the tuning with my chromatic tuner.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on January 1st, 2012

Greetings Mr. Hawkeye.Am back. Sorry I took so long I have really been busy and involved in alot of things online pertaining to the Ali Farka Toure the man and The Music project that I helped the most on to get successfully funded. I was looking for your profile to message u on here but I couldn't find the option. Any how Corey thanked me himself for what I did. I posted info for this legend 24 hrs a day to every music site I am on including my guitar space and live blues world.com . Am glad to be back here for more lessons I really need them to learn more . I also have put back out music from my former under ground blues band I had 15 yrs ago. It was an electric blues band and the music was gr8 and quit simple and basic to play if u ever go to my reverbnation u will be able to hear it. Got alot a good comments on that music and I am #2 blues charts on there. But I want to learn more of the more fancier guitar chords and style of playing especially in Acoustic so I choose u and Corey Harris for my main teachers. So I am back here now for some more of your lessons and explanations and teachings. By the way happy new year and yes I truthfully think and know that if it wasn't for me I really don't think Corey's Book project @ kickstarter.com would have got funded because I was the top of the list and posted the news more than any one else accept for Corey himself and I have a feeling I may have posted the info eben more than him , any how I got a long way to go to get away from my old habits in playing that aren't bad at all considering alot a people really like my music . I still need to advance and collaborate so I am back now for another month of your great lessons...Thanks.Bless.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on January 1st, 2012

Welcome back. I wish you all the best, and more, in 2012. BTW#: I know Corey H. ... we've performed on the same 'bill' at blues festivals and on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.

gregster1gregster1 replied on July 15th, 2011

Hi Hawkeye! Never heard this song before but I really like it.So true. Good one to learn.Appreciate you teaching the song and leaving us room to improvise. Think thats the right term. And thanks to you REV. Gary for writing it. CYA

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on July 15th, 2011

Thanks for the kind comments, Gregory. Very much appreciated. This has become a 'classic' blues song and has been recorded by many others, including Hot Tuna, Lucky Peterson, and even the Grateful Dead. As always, I suggest you listen to the original by Rev. Gary Davis. You'll find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5qx0I2tyTI ... Thanks again. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

mstewart85mstewart85 replied on May 17th, 2011

I've been playing slightly over a year, and found your lessons difficult, however, I keep coming back to you as I improve. For me, this lesson has been outstanding. I get it so far and look forward to the spice. I have been practicing the scale to get ready. Thanks again for this lesson.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on May 17th, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. Please keep in mind that the Pahse One area is for beginners ... the Phase Two area is for intermediate players ... and the Phase THree area is for advanced players. If you've only been playing the guitar for a year ... I'm not surprised that you're having 'difficulty' with Phase Three lessons ... May I suggest that you work your way through my Phase Two intermediate blues guitar lessons before you look at lessons in Phase Three. I've given a lot of thought and planning as tot he order and content of my Phase Two lessons ... follow them in the order they are presented (don't skip around) and you'll gain a strong understanding and foundation in blues music which will allow you to play blues freally, as you please, and even improvise ... skip around in my lessons and you'll still learn a lot, but there will be gaps/holes in your blules understanding and foundaion. Be patient with yourself, progress at your own speed, and enjoy the learning and practicing process. Again, thanks so much. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

mstewart85mstewart85 replied on June 3rd, 2011

Thanks for your encouragement Hawkeye. Figured out the lick and now I can't stop playing the tune. At 65 started a little late last year, but have plenty of time to practice, so am now grinding through scales, in addition to working on your lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on June 3rd, 2011

Glad you're progressing/making head-way with your blues guitar playing via my lessons here at JamPlay.com. Please be sure to watch some of the videos of my music so you can see how I use the techniques I teach in these lessons when I'm performing in concert and at festivals: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HawkeyeH&view=videos ... try to play along with me and try to 'steal' my blues licks ;-) I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

I have friend and you might know this kid.Her name is Shae Lee and she lives in Kansas.She is only 11 yrs old and plays and sings in several different blues and pop bands.One is or was the unXpected.I am really not to sure if she is still with that band but she is in a band now i know that and this kid has even inspired me to broadcast myself.One day i grabbed my video camera and said to myself , why can't i do this? Show that i am real and trying, so I started making my own videos and recordings myself.To really try and actually physically and mentally try and get in there and do something is the most important thing.This kid sent me a friend request on myspace a couple of years ago and i went to her music page and i said man, here i have been playing around with this stuff off and on all these years and why can't i stick my own neck out? So that is what I have started doing, and if it wasn't for that thought that came into my mind I probably wouldn't have decided to get up enough courage to broadcast myself.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 18th, 2010

I think Shae Lee is a 'friend' of mine on mysapce.com ... I received some messages from her a few years ago. Yes, you must 'broadcast' yourself in order to let people know you are involved in making music... if you don't do it ... nobody else will ;-)

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

I beleive in being honest and global with people and online here is my constructive way of sticking my own neck out there and getting discovered even if i don't make it out of my house.I try to prove a point across to many on facebook you name it. Why post yourself in a picture as something especially a musician holding a guitar or saxophone or what ever but not letting any one hear or see you actually trying to play on that instrument? So i actually have my own guts and courage to broadcast myself and let be known that i am real and honest no matter how good or bad i am at what i am doing i am really doing it and trying, and that counts the most.Anyhow i am going to find a way of financing an upgrade here so i can take my time and slowly go through as many of your lessons as i can.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 18th, 2010

I hope you can find the money to finance your continuing with these lessons. Best of luck!!!

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

I don't know why our conversation is stuck here but anyhow, i am very poor and uemployed at the monent.I havent gotten far enough to make money off playing music , that is still a hobby for me that i try to further myself up.Yes i created my own songs in my own way and yes I have my own music page myspace and i have reverbnation.com , my own recordings of myself.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

Son House is definitely a very good one.I watch his videos alot.Beleive me Mike when everybody else is watching what ever or playing guitar hero which i choose not to beleive in and have never ever even tried to play it, because my opinion is the money that is spent on that could have bought a real guitar/drums/bass/etc. But that's me.I'm either watching/listening/or trying to play blues . I have little rock and roll thing about me, but i'd rather listen to and play blues.I also take interest to Ali Farka Toure and Bassechue Kouyate African blues and Corey Harris Mississippi to Mali and spiritual and Carribean music. Reggae and blues rasta roots experience.I have discovered stuff that i never heard of myself until I started investigating blues and roots music online.But anyhow i am going to check that out sorry about the time I just am deep music digger. I love to discover things i never knew.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 18th, 2010

I was fortunate to have learned directly from, at the feet of, Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGhee, and many others. I dig deep into the music and I'm known as a blues performer and blues educator/historian ... that includes the musics of Africa, the Caribbean (ska/calypso/reggae), the Middle East, Fado music of Portugal, Rembetika music of Greece, and even the many musics of Asia ... I've been in over 500 schools in 28 states and 8 foreign countries teaching the blues and related musics to over 1/2 million students from elementary age to college level ... you can read some of the historical articles I've written here: http://hawkeyeherman.com/articles.htm I know Corey Harris, we've performed at the same events/festivals and on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise (along with Lil Ed, too). It's good to immerse yourself in as much music as you can ... it's a big musical Universe, and I enjoy exploring many aspects ... but I always come back to the blues for my own enjoyment, satisfaction, and self expression.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

Ok i just wrote it down on paper and i am gonna type in this link and click on it and check it out.Thanks.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 18th, 2010

Yes you are right about j.b.hutto lil ed's uncle i turn everthing else off and crank up his music alot.Alot of blues people i even discovered blues musicians who play festivals and shows everywhere that never heard of lil ed or j.b.hutto and i coud not beleive it. But anyhow i will check that out because i seem to only be able to play with a flat pick in doing anything and were talkin 42 yrs mane off and on.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I'm replaying this again and let me explain to you i have always had a problem with finger runs,that's what we always called them.That's one of my main down falls is the runs.The finger movement in between the regular full tremino of the guitar chords.I hope you understand what i mean.Sorry about so many comments here but i feel that my guitar instructor should know what kind of student he is dealing with because were not in person in the real now,were doing this on line so i feel that the more i tell you about me and the way i play and the things that i have problems with, the easier it is for you to give me answers.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 18th, 2010

Thanks for the further comments. Much appreciated. I know Lil Ed ... I've performed at the same blues festivals as Lil Ed a number of times ... he plays using his fingers and thumbpick because that's what his mentors (J.B.Hutto, etc.) used for that particular style and sound of slide guitar ... the choice is personal ... I again refer you to my post: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/4476.htm

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I forgot to tell you i play with a hand pick. I have bad problems trying to finger pick like you guys do.I notice that Lil Ed Wiliiams finger picks like you do in his electric slide that everybody that knows me is my very favorite.I just wanna know if i can get this stuff down better with the flat pick style of playing that seems to be the only way i could ever play at all.I'm sorry i should have told you.I have been playing with a flat pick off and on 40 yrs. I'm 47 and i been playing since i was 5 so if you could let me know about that.If you ever ever go to greenboogie2010 @ youtube.com and watch my playing you will see that i use a flat pick.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 18th, 2010

I've been asked about using a flatpick vs. using a thumbpick many times ... Please go the the Hawkeye forum posts area for my "Thumbpick vs. Flatpick" post, and the discussion and posts of others regarding this subject. You'll find it here: http://www.jamplay.com/forums/hawkeye-herman/4476.htm

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I'm sorry i have something running in the background on my pc that is pausing your videos i gotta do a task manager thing here and i will be right back

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I'm going back to phase 2 and by the way i post poned a private party jam session get together i had scheduled tonight because this is more important to me right now.I changed it to newyears eve on my reverbnation.Again i really appreciate this so much.Maybe some day we will meet at a festival or a show some were.A i have a plan for my first actuall festival show in August 2011 Norwalk Reggae and Blues Festival so i give myself that's almost a year and these lessons are very important to me.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I'm using my telecaster right now getting ready to start.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

Ok let me jump back here and re play these videos.The technology today is so helpful.When i was younger there was no computer or any of this stuff and i'm a terrible reader . I had guitar basic instruction books when i was a kid and i glance through them and right back to just playing by ear.Bad habit and i am working on it.I have only been on a computer for 2 yrs and it has taken me 2 yrs to learn how to run one.I'm on my pc right now and i'm still learning this even.I am only a few yrs younger than you are, so I wasn't brought up around computers niether.Oh well lets get back to the your great lessons here and thank you so much.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

Oh yes Micheal I already have been thruogh that and my fender squire strat is actually the easiest for me.Unfortunately it is tuned in an open "D" tuning now because like i said I do alot of that style of playing a hound dog taylor/Elmore James/J.B.Hutto style.If you ever listen to my first mp-3 /cd That I have made myself you will be able to definitely notice that.I have had several accoustic guitars over the years.When i was 5 yrs old i played around on my grandfathers washburn , true tone, and beleive it or not he had a home made acoustic guitar, he built and hand crafted himself.He live in the hills of Kentucky.He also played by ear.Funny thing was his main way of checking his guitar to see if it was in tune was the old basic g chord.He taught me how to tune my guitar by ear that way and by going up to the 5th fret starting at the top sound match top e to the bottom e string.A guitar tuner was not even mentioned seen or heard of in his home.I didn't know that it was a 440 standard tuning until later on in life,and I was already playing all these basic chords not knowing what they really are.But i'm not the only one and neither was he.He played country and bluegrass in a blues folk form of music.And i actually watched him tune his guitar to a wide open g not a d like i play in mostly now but a g and he had a piece of copper pipe that was cut and made to fit his pinky finger.I didn't realize that he was playing blues form music in a country style. I called it country music because I didn't know.Then later on in the years i took interest to rock music that is a blues based rock, but anyway that is another story.All i can say is i have been playing by the sounds of the ear 42 yrs and now i have decided that i wanna pay attention to these lessons , all guitar players know bad habits are bad habits not recomended to any one.I discovered several blues musicians who played by ear all there lives, but they had a stronger gift to that than some other guitar players , like me for example.Education will and is helping me alot.I am back for more so here we go. Let's see what i can learn this time.Thanks so much.

greenboogiegreenboogie replied on December 17th, 2010

I'M TRYING. I AM PRETTY MUCH INSTRUMENTLIST. I HAVE PLAYED SO MANY 12 BAR BLUES CHORDS BY EAR FOR 42 YRS MATCHING SOUNDS ON MY OWN, NOT REMEMBERING WHAT ALL THE CHORDS ARE,BUT YET PLAYING THEM. I PLAYED OFF AND ON MOST A MY LIFE, NOT DOING IT EXACTLY RIGHT. UNFORTUNATELY THAT IS WHY I'M HERE. I HAVE PLAYED LIKE THAT IN OPEN JAMS , BACK YARD GARAGE BANDS , YOU NAME IT. I HAVE GOTTEN DISCGUSTED AND GAVE UP, MORELESS QUIT PLAYING FOR 2 OR 3 YRS AT A TIME. THAT'S WERE MY REAL PROBLEM WAS. I HAVE ARTHRITUS IN MY JOINTS THAT PHYSICALLY SLOWS ME DOWN,BUT I AM DETERMINED THAT I WANNA PLAY MY GUITARS NO MATTER WHAT AS LONG AS I AM ABLE TO DO ANYTHING AT ALL, AND THAT IS WHAT I AM DOING. THANKS MIKE FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO SIT IN WITH YOU ON THESE LESSONS. I AM TRYING MY BEST TO IMPROVE MYSELF ANY WAY I CAN.I PLAY ALOT A OPEN D TUNED SLIDE GUITAR STUFF. I HAVE A TENDENSY TO MAKE UP MY OWN SONGS EVEN THOUGH I LISTEN TO EVERY ONE ELSES. I NEVER REALLY THINK I EVER HEARD THIS SONG HERE BEFORE, THE JIMMY REED AND ROBERT JOHNSON SONGS OH YES MORE THAN I CAN COUNT. I'M GONNA HATE IT WHEN MY 7 DAYS ARE UP, BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW IF I WILL BE ABLE TO FINANCE THIS COURSES. I'M GONNA TRY AND GET AS MUCH OUT OF THIS AS I CAN AND I REALLY APPRECIATE THIS A WHOLE LOT. AS MUCH AS I GET INTO BLUES AND ROOTS MUSIC , AND AS MUCH AS I PLAY AROUND WITH MY GUITARS.I DON'T HAVE AN ACCOUSTIC GUITAR AT THE MOMENT , BUT I'M GETTING READY AS SOON AS I CAN FINANCE IT I WILL GET ME ONE MORE THAN LIKELY AT MY LOCAL PAWN SHOP.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on December 17th, 2010

Thanks so much for your kind comments. Very ,much appreciated. I'm so glad that you've found my lessons helpful to you. If you have not worked through my Phase Two lessons, I suggest you do so ... just follow the lessons in the order they are presented, and be patient with yourself ... use the video controls to repeat anything you don't get on the first viewing. Take your time, there's no rush ... learn/progress at your own speed. Also, it's not necessary to have/play an acoustic guitar to follow my lessons or play the blues. You can use an electric ... and also, if you're very arthritic in your hands/fingers, you might find an acoustic guitar a bit too difficult to fret. Please do what makes you happy and satisfied, and again, thanks so much for enjoying these lessons.

samgibsonsamgibson replied on October 19th, 2010

Greetings from Ireland Hawkeye. I am new here and wanted to compliment you on these excellent lessons. You have inspired me to return to the old blues masters who were so influential on so many who came after. Look forward to more songs soon.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 19th, 2010

Greetings Sam. Thaks so much for your kind comments and for enjoying these lessons. I'm so glad you've had your interest in the 'old bues masters' rekindled. I encourage all of my students to listen to the original versions of all of the blues songs that I teach here in Phase Three, and throughout all of my Phase Two lessons. Going to 'the source' and hearing the originals is very important. I was fortuante to have learned directly from many of the old icons of the blues, not only via listening to their recordings, but by also by sitting at their feet in person and learning directly from them: Brownie McGhee, Son House, Furry Lewis, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Jackson, and many others. It is my job to not only teach my students how to play blues guitar, but to also appreciate the history of the music and the people who created it. I hope you take the time to go through my lessons in the Phase to area, follwoing the lessons in the order they are presented so that you gain a strong foundation in the general techniques of blues music. Since you're 'new' here at JamPlay.com, I'd just like to let you know that I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of each lessons. If students 'cherry pick'/skip around in my lessons they will still learn a great deal, but there will be gaps in their understanding and foundation in the music. Again, thanks so much for your kind comments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and that you learn from me will serve you ... forever. ;-)

alan1956alan1956 replied on October 20th, 2010

Hey Hawkeye...You sat with Bukka White ? How cool is that... No wonder your lessons are so cool and fun...I caught Eric Bibb last year and he told the story of the up and coming nephew ( maybe it was cousin) BB King sleeping on Bukkas floor.. Too Cool....

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 21st, 2010

Yes, "how cool is that!" ... It's true I learned to play much of my slide guitar techniques from Bukka White and Son House. Bukka White was BB King's 2nd cousin, and when BB King left the cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta as a teenager and moved to Memphis to pursue life as a blues musician he stayed with his cousin Bukka White and Bukka taught him some guitar, but BB King couldn't quite catch on to playing with a slide like Bukka, even though he loved the sound that his cousin Bukka got on the guitar. And so the very extreme signature tremolo effect that BB King developed and uses by rapidly shaking his fretting hand when playing single lead notes on the guitar is BB's way of getting a shimmering slide guitar effect without using a slide. Eric Bibb is a wonderful blues musician, but he can only tell 2nd and 3rd hand stories about these old original icons of the blues, which is great in sharing the history of the music with others ... but I was THERE, I knew these old guys ... because I'm much older than Eric Bibb, and most of the old blues guys were still alive when I was a young aspiring blues musician, and when Eric Bibb was 'coming up' in blues music all/most of those old guys had already passed on to Blues Heaven, so Eric had to learn from to play the music old recordings, all to Eric's credit for doing his blues 'homework' ... I, on the other hand, sought out and met and learned from them directly. One night in particular, way back in about 1970, I went to see Bukka White perform and after the concert I went back stage to meet him and Bukka sat down with me and played the guitar for me backstage , with nobody else around, for over two hours! He showed me a lot of techniques ... many of which I share with you here at JamPlay.com. And I met and learned directly from Son House, one of the major idols and influences on the great Robert Johnson ... as well as many others of the old original bluesmen whom I've mentioned here. Just as those famous icons of the original old blues passed the 'torch' of the blues to me, so it is my delightful task and passion to pass the blues 'torch' on to you. If you haven't listened to Bukka White, Son House, Lightnin' Hopkins, Miss. Fred McDowell, Miss. John Hurt, Mance Lipscomb, Furry Lewis, and many o fthe other old original blues musicians I refer to frequently in my lessons, I encourage you to do so. I do my best in teaching you how to understand and play the music, but there is no substitute for listening to the original creators of the music. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. :-)

vikingbluesvikingblues replied on October 17th, 2010

Really glad we'regetting some Phase 3 Hawkeye. Thanks you for this lesson - it's made me, for the frst time in years, to have a go at playing a cover. I look forward to further songs keenly.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 17th, 2010

Thanks so much. I'm glad you're moving into 'new territory' as a result of these lessons. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and push the 'boundaries' of your guitar playing. ;-)

jboothjbooth replied on October 9th, 2010

I'm so depressed just listening to these lyrics.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Blues music is about real life/the human experience. ... "Three chords and the truth" is what us bluesmen like to say ... death is a part of the human experience. Death visits everyone ... and blues songs cover the gamut of the human experience. The fact that the lyrics 'depress' you is because you haven't listened to the song ENOUGH ;-) ... blues is a 'release' ... we sing and play the music to relieve ourselves our anxieties about life ... it's better to sing about your problems/issues/troubles than to keep it bottled up inside of you. I reckon the truth is depressing ... sometimes. :-)

thedudethedude replied on October 9th, 2010

You should really listen to Rev. Gary Davis sing it (and play it). It will send shivers down your spine. This is one of my all-time favorites of RGD. He was such a powerful performer - his singing (or preaching!) seems to turn off a lot of people but I think it's awesome. Hard time blues/gospel.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Of course one should listen to Rev. Gary Davis!! (I sorta thought that goes without saying.) That's the case with all of the music I teach ... you should seek out the original artists and familiarize yourself with the original versions of all blues songs. It's easy to do ... just google whatever ... and you'll come up with the songs. Thanks so much for your comments.

eandy5000eandy5000 replied on October 8th, 2010

I love that Hawkeye is doing phase 3 lessons now. In one of his lessons he did a little of Mississippi John Hurt's "payday". I love that song and would love to see it extended into a full lesson.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Thanks so much. You can find "Payday" by Miss. John Hurt by googling ... I cannot guarantee that I'll be able to teach the song here at JamPlay.com due to copyright laws. We'll have to check on that. Thanks again.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Just google "Payday by Miss. John Hurt chords and lyrics" ... and you should come up with what you need.

nessanessa replied on October 9th, 2010

Orville Johnson did a lesson on that song as well. If you're interested, you can find it here: http://www.jamplay.com/members/guitar/phase2/orville-johnson-63/lesson4.html

alan1956alan1956 replied on October 9th, 2010

Over the top man....I'll be spending some time here... I can hear where JJ Cale maybe got some of his influence with this one.... My good buddy transcribed the music and tabs to Hesitation Blues a few years ago when I first started and have struggled with it on and off...we made the deal I had a year to learn it or it cost me $50.......well....I haven't got it down yet and he hasn't got his $50...hah.. Great lesson Hawkeye... Long live the Reverand...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons and for your kind comments. You can google "Hesitation Blues chords and lyrics" for instructions on the song ... there are copyright laws that prohibit my teaching that song. Sorry. ;-)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

There is no 'maybe' about JJ Cale being influenced by Rev. Davis ... and many other blues greats. JJ Cale, like many rock and rollers, is heavily influenced by blues music on all counts. ;-)

alan1956alan1956 replied on October 9th, 2010

Whoops...spelled Reverend wrong..

skaterstuskaterstu replied on October 9th, 2010

This song is great!!!! More of the same Hawkeye!!!

skaterstuskaterstu replied on October 9th, 2010

Yet another question: Hawkeye, will Em pentatonic blues play over the whole song?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Yes, the Em pentatonic blues scale will work throughout the song. Have fun. ;-)

skaterstuskaterstu replied on October 9th, 2010

Hey Hawkeye, please could you do a song lesson for Muddy Waters song 'Good Morning Little School Girl'? I love this song and would love to learn how to play it...

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Thanks so much for your kind comments and request for the song. There are copyright laws that prohibit my teaching some songs ... and that's one of them. Why not just google: "Good Mornin' Little School Girl chords and lyrics" ... and you'll come up with what you need. It's an easy 12 bar blues song ... no tricks ... if you followed my Phase Two lessons then you should have no problems with the song. It's an easy tune to play. :-) Thanks again.

travlic_folktravlic_folk replied on October 9th, 2010

Great lesson. How about one with the old classic 'Before you accuse me'?

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Thanks for the comments. There are copyright laws that prohibit my teaching that song ... why not just google it ... like this: Before You Accuse Me chords and lyrics. The song is a simple/straight-ahead 12 bar blues. Nothing tricky about the song. Sorry I can't fulfill your request. Thanks again for the request.

garybridghamgarybridgham replied on October 9th, 2010

Thanks Hawkeye, I'll have to try this one. You simplified it enough so that I think I might be able to learn it. then you showed how I can spice it up once I learn it. Thanks again.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Take your time and go slow. You'll get it. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

nash24nash24 replied on October 10th, 2010

This is great!!! LOVE the lesson!!!!!!!!!!!! You are the best.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied on October 11th, 2010

Thanks so much. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Songs with Hawkeye Herman

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Hawkeye Herman teaches classic blues songs.



Lesson 1

Death Don't Have No Mercy

Hawkeye teaches the classic song "Death Don't Have No Mercy" by Reverend Gary Davis.

Length: 23:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Baby What You Want Me To Do

Hawkeye teaches his interpretation of the classic Jimmy Reed blues song, "Baby What You Want Me To Do."

Length: 25:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Give Me a Grandma Every Time

Hawkeye introduces one of his original songs entitled "Give Me a Grandma Every Time." This song features many techniques taught in the Phase 2 Blues Series.

Length: 14:22 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

I Used to Ride that Train

Hawkeye presents another original song entitled "I Used to Ride that Train."

Length: 33:24 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

St. James Infirmary

Hawkeye presents his take on an 18th century traditional folk song. Hawkeye breaks down all of the techniques used in his rendition of the song.

Length: 38:08 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Rocket to Chicago

Jump on board with Hawkeye as he demonstrates his song "Rocket to Chicago." With this song, Hawkeye uses his guitar to imitate the sound and feel of a steam engine train.

Length: 11:42 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only

About Hawkeye Herman View Full Biography ""One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators."
Cascade Blues Association

"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of traditional acoustic blues."
Living Blues Magazine

" ...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar."
Los Angeles Times

"The only thing better than hearing this live album is seeing Hawkeye Herman in the flesh. Whether adding his own spin to blues classics or offering his own songs, Herman is a one-man history of blues, noteworthy guitar player and inimitable communicator. Miss him at your peril."
Blues Access

With over 40 years of performing experience, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman personifies the range of possibilities in blues and folk music. His dynamic blues guitar playing and vocal abilities have won him a faithful following and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs and educational workshops throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His original music has been included in video dramas and documentaries and in four hit theatrical productions.

In 2000, Hawkeye was awarded Philadelphia's Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre for best original music in a theatrical production. "Everyday Living," Hawkeye's first nationally released album from 1987, now reissued on CD, features the late blues giants Charles Brown and "Cool Papa" Sadler, and established the demand for his now long-standing festival and concert touring. His latest CDs and DVD, "Blues Alive!" (CD), "It's All Blues To Me" (CD), and "Hawkeye Live In Concert" (DVD) have been greeted with rave reviews. Hawkeye's journalistic efforts have been published in numerous national and regional blues and music-related periodicals.

In 1998 he was the recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping The Blues Alive" award for achievement in education. He served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation for six years. Hawkeye was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of fame in 2004. In September of 2005, Hawkeye composed, at the request of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), "Katrina, Oh Katrina (Hurricane Blues)," detailing the hurricane disaster on the Gulf Coast. The song was aired to over 7 million listeners on the popular "BBC Today" program. He is the cofounder of the Rogue Valley Blues Festival, Ashland, OR.

This musician has definitely carved out a spot for himself in the contemporary acoustic blues/folk field, and has earned a reputation as one of the most accomplished artists in the genre, and audiences throughout the US/Canada/Europe have come to know and appreciate Hawkeye's talent, dedication, and captivating performances.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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


David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

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Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

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

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

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

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

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

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

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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...

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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


Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

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

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Allen Van Wert Allen Van Wert

Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity. This is a short lesson but the exercises here can...

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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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...

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

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

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Rex Brown Rex Brown

Dive into the playing of Rex Brown. As the bass player for Pantera, Down, and Kill Devil Hill, Brown's real world experience...

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Danny Morris Danny Morris

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

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Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

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

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Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

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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.

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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


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