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Don Ross

Don Ross

Don is a Guitar instructor at JamPlay.com

Don Ross began playing guitar virtually by accident. There was always a lot of music around the house. Don’s dad is an operatically-trained singer. So, the Ross kids heard plenty of voice exercises around their Montreal home as well as classical music on the record player growing up (not to mention the occasional blast of the bagpipes when Don’s dad felt like waking up the neighbors with another musical skill he acquired growing up in Scotland!). Don was a very musical ... (more)

Don currently offers 71 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 71 intermediate lessons.

Don Ross's contribution to JamPlay

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Fingerstyle

Fingerstyle with Don Ross

Don Ross, an award-winning, Billboard-topping fingerstyle artist, will teach you everything you need to know to get started in fingerstyle guitar.

1

Don Ross Series Introduction

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

3:54 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson
2

Playing Style

Don Ross talks about the way he plays and how he got started in his particular style. He also brushes on right hand technique and thumb pick style.

14:09 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

3

Finger Assignments

Don Ross takes some time to talk about where he places each right hand finger while playing fingerstyle. This is a great lesson for those who wish to fix old habits, or are just starting out in this wonderful style.

9:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

4

Travis Picking

Don Ross talks about fingerpicking patterns with a focus on Travis Picking. He explains the pattern thoroughly and at a step-by-step pace so that it can be picked up by fingerstyle players of any level.

22:55 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

5

Travis Picking Part 2

Don Ross dives into Travis Picking once more. This time, he specifically focuses on patterns for chords that have a root note on the fifth string.

14:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

6

Travis Picking Part 3

This time, Don Ross demonstrates Travis patterns with chords that have a root note on the fourth string.

9:21 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

7

Thumb and Brush

Having thoroughly explored Travis picking, Don Ross now takes some time to talk about the "thumb and brush" technique.

12:27 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

8

Altered Vs. Open Tunings: Altered

Don Ross takes a couple lessons to talk about altered tunings and open tunings. In this lesson, he takes a closer look at altered tunings.

8:05 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

9

Altered Vs. Open Tunings: Open

Don Ross now discusses open tunings. Open tunings get their name because the open strings are tuned to a specific chord.

18:40 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

10

Open G Tuning

Don Ross talks more about open G tuning and how to make it more applicable to your playing by applying the Travis pattern you have already learned.

13:46 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

11

Open D Tuning

Don Ross talks about open D tuning, how it's similar to open C tuning, and how you can incorporate it into your playing.

17:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

12

Open C Tuning

In this lesson, Don Ross explains open C tuning. As with the G and D tuning lessons, he explains how open C compares to other open tunings, how to tune, and what it can add to your playing.

26:48 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

13

DADGAD Tuning

Don Ross looks at DADGAD tuning in this lesson. He explores different ways to play, how to tune, and discusses why it has become so popular.

17:56 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

14

Harmonic DADGAD

Don Ross takes another look at DADGAD and how you can play harmonically in this tuning.

11:19 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

15

DADGAD and Travis Picking

Don Ross continues his discussion on DADGAD tuning and brings it all together with Travis picking.

10:58 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

16

DADGAD Chord Voicings

Don Ross takes a final look at DADGAD tuning in this lesson. This time, he explores some great chord voicings that are sure to spice up your playing.

10:41 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

17

CGCGAD Tuning

Don Ross takes a look at a unique and beautiful tuning, CDCGAD, or in Don's words, the "Fred" tuning, and explores what can be done with it.

14:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

18

Brooke's Waltz Part 1

Don Ross takes a look at the first part of his original song "Brooke's Waltz". This song is in the CGCGAD tuning you learned about in the previous lesson.

17:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

19

Brooke's Waltz Part 2

Don Ross moves on and covers the second portion of his original song "Brooke's Waltz".

12:05 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

20

Brooke's Waltz Part 3

Don Ross finishes up the trio of lesson on his song "Brooke's Waltz". This time around he talks about the song structure, as well as the funky behind-the-nut vibrato he ends the song with.

15:43 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

21

Extending Harmony

In this lesson, Don talks about how you can use simple music theory to add colorful extensions to your chords and also create new open tunings. This is a very useful lesson for all guitarists.

18:41 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

23

Upright & Locked Position Part 1

Don Ross delves into one of his sweeter melodies - "Upright & Locked Position". In this lesson, he offers a short review on the tuning he uses and teaches the first portion of the tune.

18:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

24

Upright & Locked Position Part 2

Don Ross teaches the B section of his song "Upright & Locked Position".

8:49 Runtime

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25

Upright & Locked Position Part 3

Don Ross returns to his song "Upright & Locked Position" and teaches the C part. He then talks about combining the three major sections of this song, as well as how to end it.

18:39 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

26

Harmonics Part 1

Harmonics sound awesome, and no player's arsenal is complete without this versatile technique. Don introduces harmonics and talks about playing both natural and artificial variations.

13:19 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

27

Slap and Brush Harmonics

Don Ross talks about "slap" harmonics and "brush" harmonics and how they can be used.

8:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

28

The Ripple Effect

Don Ross teaches a harmonic technique he calls the "ripple effect". This technique was originally made popular by guitar legend Lenny Breau.

11:43 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

29

The Ripple Effect Part 2

Don Ross builds on lesson 28 by discussing more ways in which the "ripple effect" can be used.

9:04 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

Fingerstyle

Building Finger Independence

This series is all about fostering the ability for your fingers to play independent of each other. Mastering this skill will give your playing a living, organic feel and open up previously unimaginable doors.

1

Introduction to the Series

Don Ross introduces the series, and talks about exactly what you will learn. He also demonstrates two songs that will be taught in this series, so it's informative and inspirational.

6:25 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

2

Breaking out of Typical Rhythm Patterns

In this lesson Don Ross introduces the concept of polyrhythms, or playing two different rhythms at once. This technique can add depth and flexibility to your playing, but be warned, it is challenging!

7:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

3

Polyrhythmic Picking Patterns: 3 Against 2

Don Ross introduces a 3 against 2 polyrhythm. He starts off by demonstrating how to get the rhythm "in your bones" by tapping it out with your hands, and then goes on to demonstrate how it can be applied to the guitar.

14:40 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

4

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 2

It's time to take the 3 against 2 polyrhtyhm one step further. In the previous lesson Don showed how this could be applied on two strings; this time around he breaks that barrier.

8:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

5

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 3

Don Ross ups the complexity of the 3 against 2 polyrhythm he has been teaching. The fun is just starting!

6:11 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

6

Playing 3 Against 2 Part 4

These polyrhythm exercises are really starting to get interesting. Don complicates the bass line further in this lesson, giving us an alluring mix of a 3 against 2 polyrhythm, arpeggiated chords and a moving bass line.

11:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

7

Polyrhythmic Picking Pattern #2: 4 Against 3

It's time to graduate to a new polyrythmic pattern: 4 against 3. Think of this as 3 against 2's big brother; it's more complex, it's a little harder, but it also packs a bigger musical punch.

18:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

8

4 Against 3 Part 2

It's practice time! Get your guitar out and follow along to learn how to apply the 4 against 3 polyrhythm with a more complex pattern. This will astound and impress your friends.

5:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

9

4 Against 3 Part 3

Don once again returns to the mesmerizing world of 4 against 3 polyrhythms. This time he teaches a more complex variation with an alternating bassline. These exercises may seem challenging, but remember: they will enable you to play complex songs later in this series.

7:18 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

10

4 Against 3 Part 4

Head up! We are almost there! This is the last exercise in the 4 against 3 polyrhythm section. This time Don makes the bassline more difficult. Remember, once you have these techniques down, you will unlock a world of musical possibilities.

14:25 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

11

Using Polyrhythms in Compositions

In this quick yet powerful lesson, Don demonstrates how polyrhythm can be used in musical compositions. Apply these tips to your own playing and watch as your friends and family gasp in awe.

13:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

12

Stop Driving, Start Playing Introduction

Now that you have a basic understanding of polyrhythm, it's time to move on to a song. In this lesson Don demonstrates his song "Stop Driving ,Start Playing," and talks about it's history and gets you up to speed on the tuning.

18:27 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

13

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The First 8 Bars

Don Ross teaches the first 8 bars of his original song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

22:35 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

14

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The Second 8 Bars

Don Ross teaches the second 8 bars of his song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

32:18 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

15

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The B Section

Don Ross moves on and starts teaching the B section of his hit song, "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

14:18 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

16

Stop Driving, Start Playing: The B Section Part 2

Don Ross moves on and teaches the rest of the B section of his song "Stop Driving, Start Playing."

22:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

17

Understanding the Relative Minor

In this lesson Don Ross talks about the concept of relative major and relative minor. This gives you an easy way to transition between two related keys and expand your musical prowess to previously unimaginable levels!

14:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

18

Using the Relative Keys in Standard Tuning

In this lesson Don Ross takes the concept of the relative minor and major keys and demonstrates how it can be utilized in standard tuning.

11:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

19

Relative Minor and Major Keys in Alternate Tunings

Don will discuss how the relative minor and major keys can be used with alternate tunings. In specific, he will look at the Open F, or FACFCF tuning.

10:01 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

20

Reviewing the Ripple Effect

Don Ross reviews the ultra-cool technique commonly known as "The Ripple Effect." This will impress your friends and family without a doubt, and will be necessary for upcoming lessons in this series.

8:47 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

21

Cup of Pop Tunings: Eb Major 9th Tuning

It's time to start learning the song "Cup of Pop," as it is an excellent way to reinforce all of the skills taught in this series, and sounds amazing to boot. In this first lesson we will look at the tuning this song is in, and explore all of its delicate sensibilities. He also shows the relative minor of the scale, because this song features a live re-tuning of your guitar!

10:12 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

22

The Ripple Effect in Eb Major 9th Tuning

Before we can learn the song "Cup of Pop" we need to make sure we can play "The Ripple Effect" in this stunning tuning.

3:05 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

23

Ripple and Tap Technique

"The Ripple Effect" is insanely cool on it's own, but insanely cool isn't good enough for Don Ross. In this lesson we learn his modification of the technique which he calls "The Ripple and Tap." It's even cooler, as if that were ever in doubt. This technique is necessary for learning "Cup of Pop."

8:14 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

24

Ripple and Tap in Double-time

Don Ross takes the "Ripple and Tap" technique from the last lesson and demonstrates how it can be used in double-time.

4:31 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

25

Cup of Pop A Section

Don Ross teaches the first section of his hit tune, "Cup of Pop." Limber up your hands, because this will be a challenge!

44:03 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

26

Cup of Pop B Section

Don Ross launches into the B section of his illustrious and highly difficult song, "Cup of Pop."

18:58 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

27

Cup of Pop C Section : First Re-tuning

In this lesson Don Ross takes a look at one of the signature moments from "Cup of Pop," an on-the-fly re-tuning of the guitar.

9:07 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty

28

Cup of Pop D Section

Don Ross returns to the song "Cup of Pop" to teach the venerated D section. This comes after the re-tuning, and acts as a bridge in the relative minor key.

7:31 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

29

Cup of Pop E Section : Second Re-tuning

It's time to return to the original tuning for the song. Don discusses the E section in which this phenomon occurs.

5:57 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty

30

Cup of Pop Ending

"All good things must end" may sound rather cliche, yet at the end of this fabulous song the words ring true. Join Don as he wraps the song up.

10:52 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

Ear Training

Play Songs By Ear

Your ears can be one of your most valuable assets as a musician. In this series, Don is going to show you how to translate what you hear into what you play. This series is designed to build your confidence and equip you with the valuable skill of playing music by ear.

1

Series Introduction

Don gives an overview of what to expect from this series.

4:20 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

2

The Sound of the Major Scale

Utilizing the visual element of a piano keyboard, and your ears (of course), Don walks through the intervals of the Major Scale.

12:09 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

3

Semitones and Whole Tones

As we begin to look at intervals, we start with the smallest classified interval, as semitone, and will look at 2nd and 3rd intervals as well.

18:52 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

4

The 4th & 5th Intervals

Don continues to explore the concept of intervals, now looking at the 4th and 5th scale degrees.

16:46 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

5

The 6th & 7th Intervals

In this lesson, we're going to look at the last two intervals in a Major Scale, the 6th and 7th.

15:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

6

Memorizing Intervals

In this lesson, Don teaches some helpful tools for memorizing the sound of the intervals.

11:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

7

The Building Blocks of a Triad

Join Don as he breaks down the intervals that go into making a major or minor triad.

24:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

8

Recognizing Major and Minor Chords by Ear

In this lesson, Don works on the skill of hearing the difference between a Major and Minor chord.

14:27 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

9

The Major I, IV and V Chords

In this lesson, Don examines three chords that are perhaps the most ubiquitous chords you'll find throughout mainstream music. Learn to recognize these chord intervals by ear.

10:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

10

Recognizing the I, IV and V Chords by Ear

Continue strengthening your ear with Don with some listening exercises based around the I, IV and V chords in C Major.

9:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

11

Overview: The Chords of C Major

Building off of what we've learned about the major chords in C Major, Don walks through all the diatonic chords and lays the groundwork for building progressions.

17:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

12

Listening Exercise: Chords Sequences

Using our chord knowledge, we will start working on recognizing chord changes by ear through a number of listening exercises.

25:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

13

Transposition

Transposition, is a vital skill for any versatile musician. In this lesson, Don introduces the basics and demonstrates how it's done.

13:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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