Huey Lewis Song Lessons Featured (2)

Huey Lewis & The News Song Lesson Playlist

The 1980s and 1990s proved to be a monumental time for popular music. Much of the contemporary arrangement styles and production techniques were exploited to extremes, lending to the proliferation of the musical hallmarks we associate with the past 40 years. One of the bands that burgeoned during this period was none other than Huey Lewis & The News: a new wave, blue-eyed soul band from San Francisco that had a thing or two to prove! Through extensive touring, charismatic performances, and a couple of globally successful albums, Huey Lewis & The News’ music would appear in Hollywood movie soundtracks, and earn the band some of the most prestigious award nominations one could ever dream of.

In this blog, we’ll be showcasing some of JamPlay’s intuitive guitar lessons that teach you how to play some of Huey Lewis & The News’ most notable songs. Let’s dive in and learn some classic hits!

“Heart Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Huey Lewis & The News – Song Lesson – JamPlay

In this song lesson, JamPlay educator Callum Bair demonstrates the guitar parts for “Heart of Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Huey Lewis & The News. This song was the third single representing the band’s most popular album, Sports. It peaked at No. 6 on the US Billboard charts, and is said to have been inspired by a show the band played in Cleveland, Ohio!

The song consists of a few guitar parts that serve its different sections, and intertwine to form its notoriously infectious groove. For the breakdown of all of the parts, check out Callum Bair’s full song lesson on JamPlay!

“Hip To Be Square” by Huey Lewis & The News – Song Lesson – JamPlay

If you’ve ever seen the 2000 film, American Psycho, or have read the book on which the movie is based, you probably are very familiar with this one! In both the film and the novel, “Hip To Be Square” is verbally critiqued by the serial-killing protagonist, Patrick Bateman, during which he commits one of his slayings. Aside from publicity from the novel and film feature, this song was critically acclaimed and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Hip To Be Square” features a memorable rock ‘n’ roll riff that’s perfect for some crunchy distortion. The original recording also presents some horns parts. But in this lesson, JamPlay educator, Chris Liepe shows you how to play those parts on guitar instead. For the note-by-note breakdown, check out Chris’ full song lesson on JamPlay!

“I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis & The News – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Opening with a guitar slide that was meant to honor the late Jimi Hendrix, “I Want a New Drug” is an ear-grabbing, new wave rock ‘n’ roll anthem about love. Legend has it that Huey Lewis wrote this song in under an hour at his attorney’s office. Peaking at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100, this track was later covered by parody artist, Weird Al Yankovic.

If you like rock guitar, you’ll love learning this song. It features crunchy rock riffs, jangly rhythm parts, and some searing lead guitar melodies. For the full “I Want a New Drug” guitar lesson, check out Callum Bair‘s lesson on JamPlay.

“The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Undoubtedly Huey Lewis & The News’ most notable track, “The Power of Love” was the band’s first No. 1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. And this success didn’t come solely from the songs catchiness! Huey Lewis wrote this song as part of a contract with the creators of the blockbuster sci-fi movie, Back To The Future. In the film, main character, Marty McFly’s favorite band is Huey Lewis & The News. “The Power of Love” is the movie’s theme song, and is covered by Marty’s band as part of the film’s plot.

Learning the guitar parts for this song can only be described as rewarding. The distorted rock riffs in this song are amongst some of the most memorable from the 1980s. Learn the whole song with D.J. Phillipsfull guitar lesson on JamPlay!

“Working For a Living” by Huey Lewis & The News – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Working For a Living” is an uptempo rock single that appeared on Huey Lewis & The News’ 1982 LP, Picture This. Peaking at No. 20 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock charts, the song is said to be about Huey Lewis’ real-life career positions before the success of his band.

In this song lesson from Chris Buono, you’ll have the chance to learn the song note-for-note as it appears on the album. He also presents an easy strum along version of the lesson for beginner-level rock guitar players. For the entire breakdown, check out Chris Buono’s full song lesson on JamPlay!

For more Song Lessons, check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.

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Power Chords - Featured

Get More Power From Your Power Chords!

Get More Power From Your Power Chords!

Power chords are part of the backbone of rock guitar.

Tony Iommi’s epic, lumbering sludge on “Iron Man,” and Ritchie Blackmore’s iconic grind on “Smoke On The Water” have been first steps for three generations of players. Malcolm Young’s riffs drove AC/DC into musical history, and James Hetfield’s machine-like right hand is essential to Metallica’s power.

We find power chords in more places than in the obvious heavy rock setting. But first, let’s look at why those simple forms create so much, well, power.

The term “power chord” is sometimes used to refer to the main movable barre chord forms like the six note “E-shape” and four or five-note “A shape”:

But, because these are major chords, they belong in a different category. To make the distinction clear, let’s say power chords are the familiar two- or three-note shapes we see so frequently in hard rock.

We’re going to call the two-note formation a perfect 5th, or just “fifth” for short. That means that if you take the lower sounding of the two notes and call it the first note of a major scale, the upper note will end up being note number 5 in the sequence. Sounded together, these two notes a 5th apart create our basic power chord. Adding the third note on the next string doubles the starting note an octave higher.

Making these distinctions between types of chords might be the most compelling reason for learning some basic music theory. Sounds can fall into categories based on their sonic quality. There’s math that corresponds, but that’s not the part musicians use in real time. If you think of music theory as a method to give names to different sounds, all we’re really doing is putting labels on your toolbox.

Keep in mind that these labels identify categories of sound, not just shapes!

We already know we can play the same notes in multiple places. If we add more roots or fifths, it doesn’t change the chord’s name. The following chords could all be labeled E5, and notice how while the sound is obviously different the tonal quality or color is similar.

If you compare the sound of any of these to a familiar open E, the difference is obvious. Adding the major 3rd, G# changes the character of the sound to something richer and warmer. Returning to the E5, the sound is more open, with a natural bite and grind regardless of the shape. This is the sound we’re so familiar with, especially sliding that two-note form around:

If we reverse the two-note E5 and put the root note on top, we get a different, darker sort of grind. We’ve inverted our 5th and created a fourth.

Here’s where we have to be clear about something. Context is important in how we name things. Our understanding of a note is colored by the notes that surround it. So we can refer to the distance between two notes on the scale or the fretboard, and name the distance. In this case, four scale steps creates a fourth. BUT, in the context of the chord and key of E, the same two notes are still the root and the fifth if we name them individually.

Got it? If not, don’t fear. You can see and hear the difference. Here is the same basic riff in fifths and then in fourths. Keep in mind the letter names are the same, and so is the name of the chord.

If your head hurts a little, it’s ok. Here are some classic examples of power chord riffs that use 5th or 4ths. Start listening for the difference and you’ll hear it.

Black Sabbath, “Iron Man” – 5ths

Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” – 4ths

Judas Priest, “Living After Midnight” – 5ths

Rainbow, “Man On The Silver Mountain” – 4ths

This might be more than you ever thought you needed to know about the humble workingman’s power chord.

But, wait, there’s still more!

This example might be called “melodic power chords”. Sliding one finger down from the E root of our E5 creates a new interval and a new chord. In this case, our two-note interval gives us two of the three notes of a B major chord. Combined with 5ths, this new chord creates a smooth, melodic transition. This sound became popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s; check out Glen Tilbrook’s cool chunky rhythm playing in Squeeze hit “Nail In My Heart”, or the anthemic opening riff of .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely”.

Still got room for one more? Double the root and raise it a step, creating an add9 chord. The most famous examples of this form come from The Police’s Andy Summers on songs like “Message In A Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take”, and it’s a cool substitute for a standard sliding form.

This kind of thinking can open the door to all sorts of new sounds: take a familiar shape and change one note. If you can connect the theory to categorize the sounds, great. If not, just listen for tone color, vibe, and atmosphere. This is what intuitive players do, and besides, the math makes a lot more sense when attached to a sound.

Interested in learning to solo on guitar? Check out JamPlay.com. JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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Dave Isaacs has established himself as a guitar teacher extraordinaire, having built a strong set of educational curriculums for beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar players alike. Dave shares his expertise largely through video platforms, but also through his thoughtful writing. You can take guitar lessons from Dave Isaacs via his comprehensive video guitar courses on JamPlay.com.


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Green Day Song Lesson Playlist

Green Day Song Lesson Playlist

Calling all millennials! Do you remember when alternative and punk rock was synonymous with pop culture? Well, you can partially owe those fond memories to international superstars, Green Day. Hailing from East Bay, California, Green Day is one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time. They have sold over 75 million records globally, earned themselves a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, have won 5 GRAMMY Awards (nominated for 20), and are ascribed as one of the driving forces behind the mainstream popularity of punk rock music.

Today, we’re looking at some of the songs that made them famous. Check out these Green Day song lessons from JamPlay’s top educators!

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day – Song Lesson – JamPlay

In this song lesson, JamPlay educator Chris Buono shows you how to play one of Green Day’s biggest (if not the biggest) hits of all time, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” Apparently, singer, Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song to chronicle his disappointment when his then-girlfriend moved away to Ecuador. Since its release, it has broken the top 20 charts in five countries, gone certified Platinum in the UK, and become one of the most played high school graduation songs of all time.

The song’s arrangement includes one acoustic guitar, Billie Joe Armstrong on vocals, and a strings section. The rhythm of the acoustic guitar is paramount to the performance of this song, and is one of its identifying features. To see a full breakdown of how to play this song on guitar, check out Chris Buono’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” song lesson on JamPlay!

“Basket Case” by Green Day – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Green Day’s “Basket Case” debuted as a single from their 1994 full-length album, Dookie, and spent five weeks as No. 1 on the Alternative Charts in the US. It would ultimately go on to earn a nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in the 1995 GRAMMY Awards. This is one of the songs that put Green Day “on the map” in terms of global popularity.

This song is tuned to E flat, so you’ll have to tune your guitar down a half step! For the full breakdown where Chris Buono shows you how to play this song note-for-note, check out his Basket Case” song lesson on JamPlay!

For more Song Lessons, check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.

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JamPlay Learning Paths Featured

JamPlay's Learning Paths - The Best Way to Learn Guitar

Already a JamPlay Member? Click here to jump right in!

When it comes to learning guitar, online resources have never been more robust! And here at JamPlay, we’ve got thousands of incredible guitar, bass, and song lessons across every genre and skill level available. But the eternal question still remains… where do I begin? Well, JamPlay finally has an answer.

Introducing: JamPlay’s Learning Paths – a linear, step-by-step approach to learning guitar regardless of your skill level. What’s different about our approach? Allow us to show you!

What are Learning Paths?

Put simply, Learning Paths are progressive curriculums made from carefully selected guitar courses that have been arranged in “paths” that will keep you on track as you learn guitar! Each one is specific to a genre, and starts you off with courses that teach the most fundamental skills for that genre. Each subsequent course builds on the previous one’s teachings, adding new tools to your toolbox as you go.

This first set of Learning Paths includes Blues, Rock, Country, and Fingerstyle. Let’s look at the Blues Learning Path as an example for what to expect!

How it all works…

Each Learning Path is divided up into three stages, each more advanced than the last. This way, you’ll be able to find your place along the path with ease. As you can see in this first Blues Learning Path stage, you’ll start with the very basics: tuning your strings properly, how to hold a guitar, playing your first notes. Then…

The next courses focus on how to play chord progressions, basic rhythms, essential scales, and solo-worthy melodies. When you’re progressing though the courses, it’s important to get these core skills under your fingers. They’ll come in handy when moving on to more advanced sections.

When you’re done with Stage 1, you’ll move on to Stage 2 where you’ll really apply your newfound guitar knowledge. This section is perfect for intermediate guitar players. So, if you’ve already got a grip on the basics, this section is a great place to start! Stage 2 is also where the lessons will delve further into the details; you’ll learn guitar skills and techniques that are specific to the genre you are studying.

 

Moving on, Stage 3 is designed to challenge both late intermediate and advanced guitar players. Just as you built upon your fundamental skills in Stage 2, you’ll take those lessons and really put them to the test in Stage 3. By the end of this section, you’ll be more than ready for the stage. You’ll understand advanced techniques, be able to play rhythms across multiple keys, and be comfortable with improvising lead melodies. Sounds exciting, right? Wait until you see the other features Learning Paths have in store!

Other great Learning Path features:

Learning Paths also offer Chord and Scale Libraries

Huge selections of Jam Tracks and Lick & Riff examples for you to play along with…

And intuitive progress tracking, so you can visualize the strides you make every time you take a step down the path.

So, what are you waiting for? Learn guitar the right way! The version of you who plays like your favorite guitar heroes is just at the end of a JamPlay Learning Path. Click here to learn more.

Interested in improving your guitar playing? Check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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Tony Martinez's Turning Pentatonics Into Music Guitar Course

Tony Martinez's Turning Pentatonics Into Music Guitar Course

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One of the first steps of learning guitar is discovering all of the scales that will be useful to you. Arguably the most important amongst these are the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. So, you might have already practiced these particular scales A LOT! But, playing scales doesn’t really translate to playing music.

In his course, Turning Pentatonics Into Music, JamPlay educator, Tony Martinez shows you how to transform your Pentatonic scale recitals into performance-worthy playing. Let’s check out some samples from the course!

About the Course:

Playing a lot of notes, or playing really fast, are not skills that are essential to playing musical-sounding solos, riffs, or licks. Using pentatonic scales, with the help of some extra notes, expressive techniques, and tasteful rhythm can be the best way to perform melodic ideas. Join Tony Martinez in his step-by-step approach to playing more musically!

Try out a pentatonic guitar lesson from the course!

In this guitar lesson from Tony Martinez, you’ll learn about “root” notes. The root of a scale or key is the note on which the scale or key starts and ends, and is usually notated as “1,” “one,” “i,” or “I.” Watch how Tony uses the root note to finish musical “conversations.”

For more lessons, check out Tony Martinez’s Turning Pentatonics into Music guitar course on JamPlay!

For more music theory guitar lessons and an ever-growing library of Song Lessons, check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.

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Chet Atkins Song Lesson Playlist

Chet Atkins Song Lesson Playlist

In one of our recent blog posts, we talked about Willie Nelson, who was at the forefront of the “outlaw Country” movement. Outlaw Country, as a genre, countered the imposing standards set by the increasingly popular “Nashville sound” of the 1950s. For reference, the Nashville sound was the more pop-infused successor of honky-tonk which strove to reinvigorate people’s interest in Country music. Today, in contrast, we’re highlighting one of the pioneers of the Nashville sound: Chet Atkins. Even if you are not familiar with his name, you’ve almost certainly heard a Chet Atkins song or arrangement. His recordings have been used in commercial work for half a century!

Chet Atkins is revered as one of history’s greatest guitar players (ranked No. 21 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists). He was best known for the breadth of his influence on Country music, and his distinct flavor of fingerstyle guitar playing. Chet’s style of playing was largely influenced by his lifelong idol, Merle Travis, and usually includes an alternating-thumb bass line played in conjunction with chordal melodies.

During his 54 year career, Chet Atkins produced records for big names like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Jerry Reed. He also served as inspiration for subsequent guitar legends such as Tommy Emmanuel and George Harrison. Chet won 14 GRAMMY awards (not including his GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award) and nine CMA Awards. These achievements are amongst many other of Chet’s impressive accolades. Most importantly, however, Chet is remembered for his music; his songs and unique arrangements are true compositional marvels. Let’s take a look at a few Chet Atkins song lessons you can take at JamPlay!

“Stephen Foster Medley” – Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins’ “Stephen Foster Medley” was his ode to the late songwriter, Stephen Foster (1826-1864), who is known as the “father” of American music. The three songs comprising this medley are “Massa’s in de Cold Ground,” “Nelly Bly,” and “Camptown Races.” The whole composition is played in open G tuning, and features a steady, alternating-thumb pattern.

In this video, JamPlay educator, Jim Deeming performs this Chet Atkins song in its entirety. For the breakdown of the song, check out Jim’s full lesson on JamPlay!

“Windy and Warm” – Chet Atkins

As the story goes, Chet Atkins was recording a decent amount of jazzy compositions during the 1950s. But there came point when Chet was interested in getting back into playing more Country-oriented songs. So, a songwriter named John Loudermilk wrote “Windy and Warm” specifically for Chet Atkins to perform!

Here, Jim Deeming performs “Windy and Warm” all the way through. For the full Chet Atkins song lesson, check out Jim’s course on JamPlay.

“Yankee Doodle Dixie” – Chet Atkins

As Jim Deeming mentions in this video lesson, this Chet Atkins song arrangement is a mashup of both “Yankee Doodle” and “Dixie.” Yes, you read that right! This mashup was originally performed by ‘Blind Tom’ Wiggins in the late 19th century, who played “Fisher’s Hornpipe” and “Yankee Doodle” simultaneously on piano while he sang “Dixie.” Chet Atkins is the first musician to have adapted the song for fingerstyle guitar.

To get the full breakdown with tab of this song, check out Jim Deeming’s course on JamPlay!

For more Song Lessons, check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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dave isaacs guitar solo featured

What Makes a Guitar Solo Great?

What Makes a Guitar Solo Great?

Every guitar fan loves a great guitar solo.

If you’re a confident lead player, the guitar solo is the part of the song where you get to strut your stuff. In the heyday of classic rock in the 70s and 80s, guitar solos were almost obligatory, Players like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai pushed the boundaries of what was expected and even possible.

Eddie Van Halen Rock Guitar Player
Carl Lender, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Rock music split in the 1990s with the advent of grunge. Pyrotechnics gave way to riffs and down-tuned muscle as virtuosity went out of fashion. Some of the best guitar playing on the radio in the mid-90s was not in pop or rock music at all, as hot Nashville pickers like Brent Mason ripped out more notes in a country solo on a clean Telecaster than 10 minutes of modern rock radio.

Another approach had also been brewing all along. There was no room for guitar solos in the punk movement of the 70s, which was in some ways as a reaction to their prevalence in rock. But as punk diversified into new wave, guitarist like U2’s The Edge and The Police’s Andy Summers started carving out a more textural sound, influencing players from Rush’s Alex Lifeson to Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. Johnny Marr, Peter Buck and James Honeyman-Scott brought aggressive jangle with The Smiths, REM and The Pretenders.

These stylistic extremes might seem to have little to do with each other. But every guitarist’s first responsibility is to serve the song. In the best bands, the musicians serve the song with a personal style and sound, and these are often the players with the most impact.

The best guitar solos are memorable in themselves because they accomplish all of those things. The number of notes is not what makes the impact, or necessarily even the notes themselves.

By Pablo Vaz – Imported from 500px (archived version) by the Archive Team. (detail page), CC BY 3.0

It’s the intersection of energy, tone, dynamics, melody, and phrasing, and how those things taken together create a powerful statement.

A solo can have lots of notes and still have all these qualities. The point isn’t whether or not the solo is virtuosic. Virtuosity is an option if you have the chops, and sometimes the only natural choice. But regardless, the solo should feel like an integral and essential part of the song. Dynamically, it creates an energetic build that carries the listener to the song’s climax. Sometimes melody isn’t even the point but sheer power, or open space, or glorious noise.

This is what you listen to first: what the song wants, and what you can do to contribute to it. Think of your soloing as songwriting – after all, improvisation is spontaneous composition. Strive above all to be memorable, whether you use a few notes to do it or sheets of sound.

If you want to learn more about melody and phrasing, there are numerous courses on JamPlay on the subject. This is a great place to start!

Interested in learning to solo on guitar? Check out JamPlay.com. JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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Dave Isaacs has established himself as a guitar teacher extraordinaire, having built a strong set of educational curriculums for beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar players alike. Dave shares his expertise largely through video platforms, but also through his thoughtful writing. You can take guitar lessons from Dave Isaacs via his comprehensive video guitar courses on JamPlay.com.


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The Doobie Brothers Song Lesson Playlist - Featured

The Doobie Brothers Song Lesson Playlist

Today, “Classic Rock” is a name we use to refer to album-oriented rock that graced the 1960s and 1970s, as well as to hard rock that emerged in the ’80s and ’90s. If you were to designate one band as the poster child of this this title, however, you wouldn’t be wrong for picking The Doobie Brothers.

This GRAMMY winning, Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-inducted band has existed in two distinct forms since their 1970 inception, and spanned several sub-genres. The first “form” of the band featured Tom Johnston on lead vocals, and was far more rock-infused. During this period, the band produced super hits such as, “Listen to The Music,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “Black Water,” and “China Grove.” After suffering from health issues that prevented him from performing, Johnston stepped down as The Doobie Brothers’ frontman in 1976. In order to uphold a record contract for a new album, the band summoned keyboardist and singer, Michael McDonald to front the group and write new material. This began The Doobie Brothers’ second phase that was markedly more in vein of (the genre known as) “blue-eyed soul.” It was during this period the band released even more charting hits, such as “What a Fool Believes” and “Takin’ It To The Streets.”

In this blog, we’ll be highlighting JamPlay’s collection of comprehensive, studio-accurate guitar song lessons. If you’re a Doobie Brothers fan, there’s no better way to learn their songs than the way they were recorded. Let’s dive right in!

“Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Legend has it that “Black Water” was the brain child of Patrick Simmons, as he was encouraged to write the song after playing the opening riff for his producers in the studio. The song was recorded in 1973, and by mid-1975 it became The Doobie Brothers’ first No. 1 hit.

“Black Water” features a Delta-blues-esque acoustic guitar riff that sets the song’s tone. This is accompanied by other acoustic guitar parts throughout.

In JamPlay educator, Tyler Grant’s song lesson, you’ll learn all of the guitar parts for “Black Water.” Check out the full, comprehensive Doobie Brothers song lesson here!

“China Grove” by The Doobie Brothers – Song Lesson – JamPlay

From their 1973 album, The Captain and Me, “China Grove” is a rock-heavy jam that lingered in the Top 40 for eight weeks upon its release. When Tom Johnston wrote the song, he believed he had invented a fictional place called “China Grove.” Supposedly, he later learned from a cab driver that there is, in fact, a real city in Texas called China Grove.

The song focuses mainly on a “cascade” of rhythm guitar parts. The power chord riffs that introduce the song’s theme truly lay the foundation for the whole tune. Chris Buono shows you how to play these parts in his comprehensive, “China Grove” Doobie Brothers guitar lesson. Learn more about the full lesson here!

“Listen to the Music” by The Doobie Brothers – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Released in 1972, The Doobie Brothers’ mega hit, “Listen to the Music” is a force to be reckoned with. Though it only peaked at No. 11 on the US charts, it was covered by both Sonny & Cher and The Isley Brothers the following year. This song remains a popular track on classic rock radio nationwide, and is The Doobie Brothers’ current top song on Spotify.

In his full JamPlay song lesson, David Isaacs shows you how to play all of the parts of “Listen to the Music.” Check out the lesson here!

“Long Train Runnin'” by The Doobie Brothers – Song Lesson – JamPlay

Also from The Captain and Me, “Long Train Runnin’” started as a live-only jam that Tom Johnston apparently didn’t even want to record! But we’re glad he did. This song peaked at No. 8 on the US charts, and was covered by other notable acts, such as Bananarama. “Long Train Runnin'” was also remixed in 1993 to fit modern listening formats, and the re-release charted in many countries worldwide.

This song features two guitar parts that lay out a rhythmic and harmonic landscape for most of the song. D.J. Phillips shows you how to play both guitar parts as heard on the recording in his full “Long Train Runnin'” song lesson!

 

For more Song Lessons, check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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Happy International Country Music Day! - Featured

Happy International Country Music Day!

Happy International Country Music Day!

Did you know September 17th is International Country Music Day? Well, now you do!

Country music, as a genre, is the metaphorical progeny of blues, jazz, and Appalachian Folk music. Supposedly, this southern style started gaining more national attention in the 1920s, but was still considered “hillbilly” music. But, by the 1940s, Country music was all the rage, as it began to appear in Hollywood feature films. And the rest is history! Since then, many sub-genres of Country have emerged, including Rockabilly, Western Swing, the “Nashville Sound,” Honky Tonk, and most recently, Country Pop (and many, many more)! JamPlay is celebrating the whole Country music family tree this weekend. Here are 3 free Country guitar lessons so you can celebrate with us!

BEGINNER – Country Solo Guitar Lesson with Lance Ruby

In this lesson, JamPlay educator, Lancy Ruby demonstrates how to play a relatively simple Country guitar solo. The solo is roughly in the style of Johnny Cash‘s guitarist, Luther Perkins, who is a founding father of Country music sub-genre, Rockabilly. Some skills you’ll get to practice while learning this solo are string bending, playing chromatic melodies, and playing double stops.

For the full lesson, check out Lance Ruby’s beginner Country guitar course on JamPlay!

INTERMEDIATE – Merle Travis Style Picking (“Travis Picking”) Guitar Lesson with Jim Deeming

In this lesson with Jim Deeming, you’ll get familiar with one of Western Country music’s most prominent styles: “Travis Picking“. This fingerstyle technique was made famous by Merle Travis during the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Because the technique itself requires a bit more dexterity in your right hand, this lesson is great for any player looking to expand their intermediate guitar skills!

For the full lesson, check out Jim Deeming’s full course on JamPlay!

ADVANCED – Country Arpeggio Study Guitar Lesson with Andy Wood

For those of you who consider yourselves an “advanced” guitar player, this lesson is for you. Here, Andy Wood shows you some of his approaches to soloing over a standard blues form (which is common in Country music). The focus of the lesson is arpeggiating chords, which means playing melodies that outline the notes comprising each chord. Remember to start slow, and reduce the playback speed of the video if you need to.

For the full lesson with guitar tab, check out Andy Wood’s full JamPlay guitar course!

Excited to look learn how to play Country guitar? Check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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The Different Types of Guitar Slides Explained

The Different Types of Guitar Slides Explained

The Different Types of Guitar Slides Explained

Whether you are into blues or country music, you’ve probably seen or heard someone using a guitar slide at some point. We can trace the slide technique back to some African traditions, as well as the American diddley bow (a stringed instrument that you play with a glass bottle slide). The Hawaiian nation can also be credited as the birthplace of “steel” slide guitar. The former is the predecessor for blues slide guitar, and the latter would later play a prominent role in country music. Of course, there are other applications of slide guitar, but these are the main genres where we hear it the most.

But… did you know guitar slides made from different materials are used for different purposes? Or that the dimensions of the slide affect the tone and playability of a slide? We’re here to talk about the different types of guitar slides and what they are used for. Let’s slide!

Glass Guitar Slide
Glass Guitar Slide on Sweetwater.com

1. Glass Slides

Glass guitar slides are probably the most popular item on this brief list. Today, glass slides are typically made from either tempered glass or pyrex. But in the early days, guitarists would use glass medicine bottles, wine bottle necks, or sometimes even whole beer bottles!

If you are chasing a warmer tone that presents more of your guitar’s midrange, this slide is for you. Glass is also a perfect material to glide easily up and down the strings; you’ll experience the least amount of friction. Glass slides, especially ones that are thicker, are a great choice for playing acoustic guitars. Be aware, however, that glass typically provides you with relatively short sustain. So if you want something that will help you carry out long notes, you may want to try the next option on this list!

But if this is what you’re looking for, Dunlop, amongst others, makes terrific glass guitar slides you can find on Sweetwater!

 

Metal Guitar Slides
Metal Guitar Slide on Sweetwater.com

2. Metal Slides

Using metal guitar slides was effectively popularized by Hawaiian musicians, and they originally used solid steel bars. This is still, typically, how lap steel or pedal steel music is played. But metal slides have been improvised many different ways over the years. There are even accounts of blues musicians using knives and cigarette lighters as slides!

As mentioned in the glass slide portion, metal slides are generally better for sustaining notes, as they are usually heavier. Metal guitar slides will also produce a much brighter tone. In their hollow form, these tend to be the slides of choice for blues soloists. This also applies to blues artists playing on resonator guitars.

If this type of slide suits your fancy, check out the selection of them on Sweetwater!

Ceramic Guitar Slides
Ceramic Guitar Slides on Sweetwater.com

3. Ceramic Slides

The youngest invention on this list of guitar slides is the ceramic slide. So there isn’t a whole lot of history to talk about… yet! These fragile tools serve as a functional middle point between glass and metal slides. They are more bright than glass, yet retain some warmth. And they sustain more like metal, though not quite as well. So, if you aren’t totally sure what your style is yet, a ceramic guitar slide might be the perfect way to find that out!

The slide pictured here is a Rev. Willy’s model from Dunlop, which you can find on Sweetwater!

 

Interested in learning to play slide guitar? Check out JamPlay.com! JamPlay has over 450 guitar courses from 120+ instructors, and online guitar lessons tailored to every skill level, music genre, and playing style. Click here to learn more.


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