John Shannon

John Shannon

John is a Guitar instructor at

“The good thing about growing up in Pittsburgh is that there’s actually a really rich underground music and jazz history there,” says singer/songwriter John River Shannon. Coming from another source, those words might not raise eyebrows, but Shannon’s desert-influenced, mystical-leaning folk-pop is more rustic than Rust Belt; more likely to conjure images of campfires and canyons than dingy basements and speakeasys. Then again, a conversation with Shannon reveals a f... (more)

John currently offers 31 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 31 intermediate lessons.

John Shannon's contribution to JamPlay

Use the tabs below to learn more or subscribe for unlimited access to all artists and courses.


Rockin' Rhythm Guitar

Rock guitarist John Shannon takes you on a journey to improve your rhythm playing. Effecting all facets of rock playing, rhythm is the foundation of quality playing.


Introduction to Rock Rhythm Guitar

Meet John Shannon and his approach to rhythm guitar. John discusses why he put this lesson series together and what his aim is to bring you.

5:29 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Rock Rhythm Player's Toolbox

To get started in his lesson series, John discusses what should be in every rock rhythm guitarist's toolbox. He discusses timing devices like the metronome and things like what amps might be best suited in your own toolbox.

10:56 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rock Tempo Zones

Now that you have your rock toolbox built, it's time to start developing your rhythm playing for rock. In lesson three, John discusses the importance of the metronome and identifies the three tempo zones that you're going to be working in throughout the course.

8:05 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Down Strokes

Lesson four in the rock rhythm series is all about the down stroke. This stroke drives the rhythm home and is a staple for most rock rhythm players.

9:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Up Strokes

Lesson five covers the opposite from the down stroke; the upstroke. The up stroke may not be as driving as the down stroke, but utilizing it can create melody and harmony in your rhythm playing and will be fundamental to proper rhythmic strumming techniques.

7:25 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Power Chords

Lesson six is all about the mighty power chord! John discusses the various ways to create a power chord and espouses their excellence when it comes to rock rhythm guitar.

8:51 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Palm Muting

Palm muting is a powerful tool to help shape and define your tone while playing. It also aids in creating that signature rock rhythm sound.

8:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Full Chords

Previously, John has touched on the power chords and other smaller chord voicings that help cut through the mix and make you stand out. Now it's time to look at bigger, more full-bodied chords that stand apart.

9:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



You've looked at the upstroke and downstroke individually in previous lessons. Now it's time to tie the two together and delve in to rhythmic strumming.

15:40 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



Lesson 10 is all about the octave chord shape. This chord shape provides some cool rhythmic flavors, but also presents other challenges. John discusses it and demonstrates it's use in rock rhythm guitar.

9:39 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Combining Elements

We've reached a junction in the series where you've started to develop several different tools. In this lesson you'll start combining them to create more variety in your rhythm playing.

9:20 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Combining More Elements

Practice is a cornerstone of being a well-rounded rock rhythm guitarist. As such, John Shannon provides another opportunity to take a look at combining elements you've learned previously.

8:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



It's time to start adding more tricks to your bag go rhythm techniques for rock guitar. In this lesson you're going to learning the pull-off technique and how it can add texture to your rhythm playing.

10:49 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



The next technique in your tool-bag is going to be the counterpart to the Pull-Off and is known as the Hammer-On.

12:23 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Drop D Tuning

Lesson 15 starts off a focus on altered tuning from standard. To start with, John discusses Drop D. He teaches you how to get into the tuning, how it alters your playing and then how to get back to standard tuning.

12:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Multiple String Muting

In lesson 16, John discusses muting multiple strings simultaneously. This is done with the palm of the hand and will often be part of the palm muting technique.

11:24 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Rhythmic Chuck

In lesson 17, John Shannon uses the multi-string mute technique along with a strumming chuck to help you create a nuanced and rhythmic line.

7:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Open G Tuning

Lesson 17 is all about open g tuning. This tuning is made popular by bands like The Rolling Stones and their guitarist Keith Richards. John shows you how to get to open g tuning from standard, discusses it's uses and shapes, then helps you get back to standard tuning.

12:49 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Single Notes with Power Chords

John Shannon takes a now familiar power chord and discusses how to add single notes along with it to create a moving and melodic rhythm line.

9:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Rock Fingerstyle #1: Thumb and Two Fingers

It's not time to switch gears and discuss the world of fingerstyle. To get you started, John Shannon discusses and demonstrates the use of the thumb and two fingers for the style.

8:51 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rock Fingerstyle #2: Pick and Middle Fingers

Now it's time to tackle another aspect of the Fingerstyle technique. In lesson 21 you'll be utilizing the pick and your middle fingers, also commonly referred to as hybrid picking.

11:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rock Fingerstyle #3: Textural

Now that you have a basic understanding of the fingerstyle techniques, it's time to apply them in a way that adds texture to your rhythm playing.

10:16 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rock Rhythm Delay

In lesson 23, John Shannon discusses the use of a delay pedal and how to integrate it into your rhythm playing.

13:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Open Strings with Moving Chords

Another rhythm element that John Shannon imparts is the ability to move chords while ringing open strings. He discusses the technique in this lesson.

9:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



In lesson 25, John Shannon discusses the uses of harmonics in rhythm playing.

14:14 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Right Hand Tapping

Bringing in some lead elements can really spice up your rhythm playing. In this lesson, John discusses the use of right hand tapping for rhythm playing.

12:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Advanced Metronome Use

The use of a metronome is an important aspect in keeping good time. A well rounded rhythm player can also use it in advanced ways to help timing on things like compound meter and triplets. In this Lesson John shows you how.

8:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rhythmic Stabs

Rock Rhythm guitar sometimes has a characteristic stab and mute effect that is used. In lesson 28, John Shannon discusses and demonstrates this technique.

8:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Ghost Notes

In lesson 29, John Shannon talks about ghosted notes that are typically slid away from and carry no duration value.

10:00 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rock Rhythm Slide

Taking a page from the previous lesson, you'll once again be sliding. This time using a finger slide to create a smooth, slinky effect.

11:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Arena Chord

Made popular by rock legend Pete Townshend, the arean chord not only cuts through the mix, but it adds style and flair to your live performances. For the final lesson of this series, John shows you how to create it.

10:19 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Rockin' Rhythms and Beyond

If you loved John's series Rockin' Rhythm Guitar, you'll love this series as well! Rockin' Rhythms and Beyond takes you into new, advanced rock rhythm guitar territory. Rhythm is not only what clarifies your melodic ideas but also what allows you to connect to the bass and drums to give the music shape, style and punch. In this course we will go further into developing your rhythmic abilities by thinking and playing from a rhythmic perspective.

Unlock All Courses

Get Started

Get access to all guitar lessons from John Shannon along with our full roster of guitar teachers.