How to Play St. James Infirmary by Hawkeye Herman (Guitar Lesson)

Guitar Lesson
Get Started
What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Hawkeye Herman

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.

Taught by Hawkeye Herman in Songs with Hawkeye Herman seriesLength: 38:08Difficulty: 4.5 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.

tiptymtiptym replied

Love this! Reminds me of a New Orleans Jazz funeral......

senormagoosenormagoo replied

Fantastic version, thanks for the lesson, I will try and get this down PAT!

D.LulandD.Luland replied

Lovely version, thanks

toddgerztoddgerz replied

MVD I have had the same issue. It was resolved by changing web browsers. G Chrome i had and issue. Safari worked just fine..FOR ME1

MvDMvD replied

Thanks, great lesson. A pity though that there´s small intervals-break ups all the time, apparantly some technical issue...

stevenotesstevenotes replied

thnks so much HAwkeye im brand new to jamplay and im in a acoustic trio where i do rythmn and vocal inspired to use the F7 and A9 sections in my parts. I usually solo th emelody but looking fwrd with your lessons to start soloing more pirposefully.[email protected] replied

Lovin the blues and playin em! I can assure you did the most part to inspire!

cjdonaldcjdonald replied

Best line I've heard all day..."I'm a guitar player. Guitar players are easily amused, but they are also easily bored..." Classic! I love it!

johneblairjohneblair replied

why all the skips in the lesson???????

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied

Thanks Hawkeye! Great sound and singing :)

teggenbergerteggenberger replied

love it. this series has really opened some doors for me.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much, Dennis. ;-)

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

complete performance tab added, sorry for the delay!

kd44kd44 replied

Great Song, I've always wanted to learn this song.. It's on my "Bucket List" so to speak. LOL... thanks Hawk! :-)

wolahanwolahan replied

Great Song. Is there any way I can play it without using the F Chord in a Bar Chord? Thank you.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for your comments and question, Jim. You have problems with the barred F chord, eh? ... ;-) ... that is a very basic issue for many players .... don't give up on the barre F cord, its very important ... sit erect in a chair without arms, and get the elbow of your fretting hand away from your side, out away from your body ... don't squeeze your elbow into your side, get it out/away from your body and this will increase the ability of your fingers to stretch and create the barre F chord. This takes practice and patience, but it's worth it. Intermediate level players should not be having problems in creating basic barre chords ... in my humble opinion, it's the barre chords that separate an advance beginner from an intermediate player. Here's a solution that circumvents your issue with the barre F chord ... play a simple first position C7 chord... like this: .... now move that chord shape up the neck until you index finger is on the 6th fret of the 2nd (B) string, and create the same first position C7 chord with your index finger at the 6th fret of the 2nd string. Do NOT play the 1st and 6th strings, only strings 2/3/4/5 ... and you have an F7 chord that you can use in place of the barre F chord, and for the E7 chord that follows in the song, all you have to do is play the same C7 shaped chord down 1 fret (with the index finger at the 5th fret of the 2nd string) and you have the E7 chord, and with the E7 chord played at this position you can play across all six strings of the guitar. This is process of relocating a chord is known as 'chord substitution.' All chords and everything that is played on the guitar is movable up and down the neck. Another choice is to play the F chord in the first position using only three fingers to fret the chord, rather than a barre shape, like this: .... Even with these positive and working substitutions for the barred F chord ... it is crucial, in my opinion, for one to practice patiently and be able to play basic barre chords in order to play tunes/songs without a capo and in any key. I hope this information in helpful to you and that you continue to enjoy these lessons.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

So glad you enjoy this song, Ken. Thanks for your comments. You'll find a short sample of the song from one of my CDs here: ... from my CD "It's All Blues To Me" which can be found here: ... also, you'll find the entire song on video, performed by me in concert, here: ... try to play along with me, it's good practice, and try to 'steal my licks/riffs/ideas ;-) Thanks so much for enjoying these lessons. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons and improve your blues guitar skills.

kd44kd44 replied

I got this.. but I coming up with my own solo... not that yours is bad... LOL... But I think that's where "I" come in to play on this song. :-) Thanks again... Great Song and GREAT TEACHER.. Oh, and me and David Hughes was talking about you last week.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Ken, happy to hear that you're 'mastering' this great song. I believe that you should bring your own creativity to the song. That's what playing blues music is about, expressing yourself in your own way. Replication of what I do is the FIRST STEP in playing this song (or any song I teach), not the last step. ;-) I hope you continue to progress and improve your skills via these lessons. And please relay my greetings and best to David Hughes when you next chat with him.

joemcsherryjoemcsherry replied

Hawkeye your bloody good I'll let you know how I get on with this one ,thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the message and kind words, Joe. Much appreciated. Take your time, be patient with yourself ... this is not a 'race' to a 'finish line' ... this is an art form and a musical language. I've given a lot of thought and planning as to the order and content of these lessons. Follow the lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next, and you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues guitar music that will allow you to play/create/improvise as you wish for the rest of your life. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

gharringtongharrington replied

Enjoyable. Hawkeye I'm going to try to marry this lesson with Peter Einhorn's harmonizing the melody of SJI. The 2 styles should be an interesting voicing experience. The blues meets the drop 2 jazzy ! voice.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad you enjoyed this lesson. You can see/hear/watch me perform this song here: ... and many other songs on video here: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

twowheeltwowheel replied

Thanks for this one! Started 4.5 years ago on my retirement. Play lots of stuff now, from Jamplay and other sources. I know lots of scales and theory now but applying them has been a problem. This song and your blues lessons are just what I needed to try and put it all together. My project now is to follow your blues series to where it leads me. Thanks

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad you're enjoying my lessons and finding them useful, Dave. thanks for the message. Please follow my lessons in the order they are presented, patiently progressing from one lesson to the next at your own speed ... and you'll gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music that will, in time, allow you to play and improvise blues music freely. There are more free guitar lessons at my web site, here: ... and be sure to listen to the "Understanding Blues Music" audio here: ... also, please view some of my many videos here: ... so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me ... and try to 'lift' (steal :-) some of my licks/riffs/ideas. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for your kind comments.

twowheeltwowheel replied

Thanks for this one! Started 4.5 years ago on my retirement. Play lots of stuff now, from Jamplay and other sources. I know lots of scales and theory now but applying them has been a problem. This song and your blues lessons are just what I needed to try and put it all together. My project now is to follow your blues series to where it leads me. Thanks

johnlindseyjohnlindsey replied

A great lesson on a great soulful and mournful song. Thanks Hawkeye.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much, John.You can watch & hear me perform "St. James Infirmary Blues" here: ... this song has by far the most 'hits' of any song I've posted at ... watch this song and some of my other songs posted as videos and you'll see how I use the techniques I teach at when I'm performing in concerts and at festivals ... try to play along with me ... and 'lift' some of my ideas/riffs/licks ... Thanks again for the kind comments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

ksorzanoksorzano replied

I have to admit, I'm a beginner and I certainly skipped around. I get a little impatient sometimes. However thanks so much for this! Your playing makes me want to learn to play more. Love this lesson. Love your style! Kern

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Kern, Thanks so much for your for enjoying these lessons and for your kind comments. Very much appreciated. You must learn to be patient with YOURSELF ... and with the learning process. I've given a lot of thought as to the order and content of each lesson ... skipping around within my lessons is not a good idea ... you will gain bits and pieces of information by doing so ... but my lessons are built incrementally, and by skipping around one will miss information that feeds into the current lesson one may be viewing at the current moment. Blues is a language. One would not try to learn a foreign language by randomly skipping around within the text book. One needs to learn a 'language' by building a strong foundation and understanding for the basics ... first and foremost ... by follwoing my lessons patiently in the order they are presented ... and enjoying the process ... and accepting that we all learn at our own speed and time. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that you enjoy my 'style' of teaching ... which is just basically me doing what I love ... sharing the music I love with others. That's why I'm always smiling throughout my lessons series ... I really love my work and sharing my passion for the music with others. Thanks again. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

rtstoddenrtstodden replied

Fantastic lesson Hawkeye! Thanks for teaching this classic!!!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much, Richard. I hope you check out my many videos posted at so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing in concert and at festivals: ... more specifically, you can watch & hear me perform "St. James Infirmary" here: ... Thanks again for the kind comments. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

pedlpedl replied

Dear Hawkeye, I am a new student of Yours and I am nasty and skip around, because I have played the guitar for more than 40 years. I have never had lessons and I am having the best guitar time of my live following Your lessons, so thank You a million times. And I think I will take the time and follow all Your lesons step by step even it will take the rest of my life. Best regards, Peter

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Peter. Thanks so much for your kind comments and for your honesty in regard to 'skipping around.' I've been playing the guitar for over 50 years and teaching guitar for over 40 years. I have given a lot of thought and planning as tot he order and content of my lessons. If you follow my lessons in the order they are presented, progressing patiently at your own speed from one lesson to the next you will gain a strong foundation and understanding of blues music and blue guitar that will allow you to play blues music freely and improvise at will. Blues is a 'language' ... would you try to learn a language by 'skipping around' amongst the lessons? I hope not. ;-) I'm no psychologist ... ;-) ... but I think you need to be more patient with yourself and with the concept of your not being in control of the 'program' ... get with the program and the benefits will come incrementally, day by day ... follow your own path/'skipping around' and there will be huge gaps and holes in your understanding and foundation in the music ... just as there would be if you did so when studying a language ... or, would you advise a psychology student to skip around in the lessons in a psychology primer? ;-) Whatever you path you take, I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks so much for your comments.

pedlpedl replied

Dear Hawkeye, thank You for Your fast reply and good advice. I am shurely following the path that You give the students and I enjoy every lesson. I have spent so many hours in trying to find out licks and riffs without getting it and in Your lessons there are so many small and easy details that help and make it sound great. Best regards from a stormy friday norwegian westcoast, Peter maybe I should try to write a simple "stormy friday westcoast blues"

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

"stormy friday westcoast blues" ... why not? ... blues is about life ... wherever you are. ;-)

alex23alex23 replied

I enjoy so much learning the blues with you....I grew up learning Flamenco guitar and Sevillanas....this is different in a way but you are a great teacher .

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Gracias muchisimas por sus palabras amables, Alejandro. Me gusto mucho Flamenco guitarra. Muchos años antes you estudio un poquito de Flamenco desde libros acerca de Flamenco ... sevillanas, boleares, etc. Como blues, hay much improvisation en flamenco guitarra y mucha de la music is en claves minor, como blues. Tengo muchos discos y CDs de flamenco ... me gusto todos ... Manitas de Plata, Carlos Montoya, y otros ... y los cantores como el grande 'Chocalate.' Espero que tu continua gustandas mis lecciones aqui a Saludos, amigo. El Ojo de Halcon (lo siento para mi destrucion de su lengua ;-)

LiamQLiamQ replied

At first I was impressed that Hawkeye spoke some Spanish. But then.... I was shocked that I understood all of it! ;-) I love this song, by the way. I was looking it up on YouTube, and found a Hugh Laurie version of it. I had no idea the man could play music....

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Liam, I'm fairly fluent in Spanish, studied the language for 4 years in high school and I have performed in concert and at festivals in Mexico and S. America in speaking and singing in Spanish. MY grammar is not so good, but my vocabulary is large. I have no fear of speaking the language and making myself understood. ;-) Hugh Laurie has a new blues album/CD out called "Let Them Talk" featuring some superb New Orleans guest musicians. His music is also featured on a new 1 hour PBS documentary called "Let Them Talk" which is currently in the PBS network programming/circulation. I saw the TV program on PBS last week. He plays the piano okay ... and sings ... not so good, but with some feeling. I like his version of the song "St. James Infirmary." You can see/hear my complete version of the song here: .... and there are over 20 other Hawkeye videos/songs here: ... I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

ledderledder replied

Why was I not using that walk up before this? This is a song that I too have played for some time now and I enjoyed seeing the great take on it. loved the transitions. I had not for some reason stuck those 7th in there. Thanks again :)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for enjoying this tune and lesson. This is my own arrangement of the song, including the ascending 'walk up' on the E chord. I highly recommend that you view this song in performance/video, along with others of my songs/videos so as to see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing live in concert or at festivals ... try to play along with me, and 'steal' some of my licks/riffs: ... I hope you continte to enjoy these lessons.

skaterstuskaterstu replied

One more shot of booze, great idea! Hawkeye, you are nothing short of a legend! This is great. Just got back from a trip to Nepal and feeling shit to be back, but stoked to see this tutorial!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Welcome back, Stu. Hope you had a great trip while away from Take your time and enjoy this one, it's a good story that's fun to tell and and audiences embrace the song/story ... and then please go watch the live video of this song at youtube: ... you'll see how I use the guitar techniques in this lesson when performing live/in concert. I have a basic accompaniment pattern that I use and abuse ... all of the single note fills and lead playing are improvised from one performance to the next ... and that's what makes it always fun to play and sing this song. There's always more down the road ;-) Welcome back. Keep the faith. Namaste, Hawkeye

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hawkeye, Noy only is this a Great song, BUT one can have a lot of fun with it,as you can add many things too it(One can be creative) Thanks for teaching us this along with the other lessons.I really ubderwstand why you you emphatic about not trying this before taking your other leassons.Had I not been through your other lessons I would have been lost on thiis.I suggest other Students take your advice to heart and not be offended. Dennis

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hawkeye, This is a Great Song,and I had my doubts if I could play it properly,but it is amazeing how all the things you have been teaching started to come into play. Mor practice for me of course. Thanks Dennis,Canyonville

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks for the comments, Dennis. I'm glad you're making progress. Please be sure to watch me perform this song in concert, so you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing ... try to play along with me ... and even 'steal' some of my riffs/licks/ideas. It 'pay's to follow my Phase Two lessons in the order they are presented. Thanks again.

xidryxidry replied

Before seeing this video I thought that fingerstyle was pretty boring. Amazing lesson , Thank you very much:)

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your comments, Moshe. Very much appreciated. Anything that is repetitive and lacking in dynamics can be boring ... including fingerpicking. What bores me? Well, what bores me is flatpicking electric rock/blues players who constantly play a zillion fast cascading notes at a very loud volume ... that, in my humble opinion, sacrifices 'feeling' for speed ... sort of like yelling a lot of words in a short time and saying nothing. I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons. Thanks again for the kind comment.

BarryNZBarryNZ replied

Thanks Hawkeye. It's great to have a song to learn rather than 'in the style of'. I understand the problem Jamplay has with licensing but for me 'in the style of' is like going to buy a new car and the dealer says 'you can only have it in bits - you need to assemble it yourself"! The way you have presented this song is perfect for me. I can learn the simple version first - and accompany you as you sing it. Then, with more effort, I can hopefully pull off the leads and embellishments. Your version of this on You Tube then shows how it should be done. Fantastic Hawkeye. If you asked me what I want from Jmplay - it is more of this

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for your comments, Barry. Much appreciated. We'll keep you suggestions in mind for my future lessons here in the Phase Three area ... within the limits of 'copyright and licensing.' I hope you continue to enjoy these lessons.

nash24nash24 replied

I remember hearing this song from an episode of.. In the Heat of the Night reruns... it stuck in my head and I can't believe I can now learn it. Thanks for the solid lesson. You were great!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Glad you enjoyed the lesson and the song, Tonya. The song St. James Infirmary goes all the way back to the 1600s in Scotland, and was adapted as a blues song most likely in New Orleans in the late 19th Century. It's a very old song ;-) MAy I suggest that you might enjoy watching me perform the song in concert ... so that you can see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing: .... Thanks again for enjoying these lessons.

ramedyramedy replied

Thank you, Hawkeye, for another fabulous lesson! Your teaching method is so right on the money! Learning by rote is ok as a beginning. However, to progress as a guitarist, one must internalize the various nuances and colors of the pallet and use them creatively! We are so lucky to have you share with us that which has taken you many years to develop! The journey along the Blues Highway is a great experience! May your journey be a long one! Bob

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Thanks so much for the kind words and generous comments about my lessons. Very much appreciated. You have described my concept of teaching extremely well. I do suggest you look here, if you're interested, in the many articles I've wriotten on blues history and the icons of the blues that I was fortunate enough to have met and learned from: ... and don't forget the free lessons at my web site: ... and I feel it serves my students well to view the many blues performance videos I have posted at ... if you want to see how I use the techniques I teach here at when I'm performing ... and even try to 'steal' some of my ideas ... this is the place to go: ... again, thanks so much for taking the time to let me know these lessons are serving you well. ;-)

Songs with Hawkeye Herman

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Hawkeye Herman teaches classic blues songs.

Death Don't Have No MercyLesson 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
Baby What You Want Me To DoLesson 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
Give Me a Grandma Every TimeLesson 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
I Used to Ride that TrainLesson 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
St. James InfirmaryLesson 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
Rocket to ChicagoLesson 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
Hawkeye Herman

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.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

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

Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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
Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

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
Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

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

Sarah Longfield Sarah Longfield

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
Tom Appleman Tom Appleman

Tom Appleman takes a look at a blues in E with a focus on the Chicago blues style. The bass line for Chicago blues is very...

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
Bryan Beller Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear....

Free LessonSeries Details
Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Kellie Nick Kellie

Nick explains how to use scales and modes effectively when soloing over a chord progression.

Free LessonSeries Details
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
Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 520531 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!