Jon MacLennan

Programs My Library Blog FREE BLUES SCALE GUIDE Login

Dear Prudence Guitar Lesson (Beatles)

fingerstyle Feb 17, 2024

One of the most rewarding ways to play guitar behind a singer or back up another musician is to play fingerstyle.

This means playing guitar without a standard flatpick. 

Many great artists have used this technique to play on countless hit songs. There are many different types of fingerstyle. I would consider this style a singer-songwriter fingerpicking style.

Today I want to share with you how the Beatles did this, in this “Dear Prudence” guitar lesson.

So grab your guitar and let’s get started!

Who wrote Dear Prudence?

"Dear Prudence" is a timeless classic from the Beatles' 1968 album, The Beatles (also known as the White Album

"Dear Prudence" was written during the Beatles' transcendental meditation retreat in Rishikesh, India, in 1968. The song was aimed at Prudence Farrow, sister of actress Mia Farrow, who was also attending the retreat. Prudence was known for her introverted nature and tendency to stay in her room meditating. 

John Lennon...

Continue Reading...

The Ultimate Landslide Guitar Lesson

fingerstyle Feb 13, 2024

Want to learn fingerpicking guitar?

Well, here’s a great song that is perfect for beginner and intermediate students wanting to get into fingerpicking.

One of the best ways to get started playing fingerstyle guitar. Is to learn a few simple fingerpicking patterns. 

Learning a few patterns like what I am going to share in this lesson below can give your playing a whole new sound.

You can use these patterns to make any chord progression sound new and interesting.

It also helps develop your fine motor skills and jumpstarts your fingerpicking hand

So grab your guitar, tune-up, and let’s dive into this Landslide guitar lesson.

Who wrote Landslide?

"Landslide" is a hauntingly beautiful song written by Stevie Nicks. It first appeared on Fleetwood Mac's self-titled 1975 album, recorded at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles. 

Despite not being released as a single initially, "Landslide" resonated deeply with listeners and has become a fan favorite.

Some of its credits...

Continue Reading...

BB King Chains And Things Guitar Lesson

blues Feb 06, 2024

Today I want to share with you a soulful and heart-wrenching song from the king of the blues B.B. King.

It’s a minor blues progression and only uses 3 chords.

You’ll discover how to play those chords, a fun fingerstyle groove, and even how to solo over the progression like B.B. King.

So grab your guitar and let’s get started!

Who wrote Chains And Things?

"Chains And Things" was written by B.B. King and Dave Clark and appeared on the 1970 album Indianola Mississippi Seeds. The song was produced by Bill Szymczyk and featured notable contributions by Carole King on piano, Bryan Garofalo on bass guitar, and Russ Kunkel on drums. 

It peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 6 on the R&B chart, earning praise for its haunting piano riff and dramatic string arrangement. 

The lyrics have a bluesy melancholy vibe to them. Singing of despair, longing, and hope, with B.B. King's emotional vocals and guitar solo capturing the essence of the song. 

...
Continue Reading...

Delta Blues Guitar Lesson - Play Fingerstyle Like Robert Johnson

blues Feb 04, 2024

Ever wanted to just sit out on the back porch or on your sofa and play some Delta blues?

Well, today I’m going to share with you exactly how anyone can start with this Delta blues guitar lesson in the style of the great Robert Johnson.

For this lesson, I won’t be using a pick. I’ll be playing fingerstyle (no pick).

So grab your guitar and let’s get started!

Delta Blues Chords

The first thing we’ll cover is these classic blues chords you’ll need to know. This blues is in the key of A major. Now a blues in the key of A would typically revolve around just 3 chords A7, D7, and E7. This would be the I, IV, and V, in the key of A. 

We’ll use all 3 of those chords. Plus we’ll make a few classic Robert Johnson style adjustments to them to tap into that iconic Delta blues sound.

Let’s take a look at a few of those moves. The first chord is an A7 played in 7th position like this:

This chord looks like a common open position D7 chord...

Continue Reading...

I'm Tore Down Guitar Lesson (Freddie King, Eric Clapton)

blues Jan 21, 2024

  

In the quest to become a blues guitar master, there are many tunes we have to learn.  

Today I’d like to share with you a fun song that is a must-know blues guitar classic. 

It’s perfect for jamming with friends or with a looper pedal at home.  

It was originally recorded by Freddie King, but in this post, we’ll talk about Freddie’s version and also Eric Clapton’s.

So grab your guitar and let’s dive into this “I’m Tore Down” guitar lesson. 

Who wrote I’m Tore Down?

"I'm Tore Down" is a blues song with a rich history and multiple versions depending on your reference point. The original version, released in 1961, is credited to Freddie King (then known as "Freddy" King), although pianist Sonny Thompson played on several early King songs and is sometimes mentioned as a potential co-writer. It was recorded for Federal Records at their Nashville studio in 1961.

“I’m Tore...

Continue Reading...

Brown Eyed Girl Guitar Lesson (Van Morrison)

rock Jan 21, 2024

Today I want to share with you a song that every party band guitar player should know.

It’s full of nostalgia. It makes many listeners think about innocent crushes, summer days, and simpler times. 

You only need 4 chords to play it. And the majority of the song just repeats one progression over and over. (So it’s perfect for beginners as well).

I’m going to break it all down for you step-by-step in this “Brown Eyed Girl” guitar lesson.

So grab your guitar and let’s get started!

Who wrote Brown Eyed Girl?

The timeless classic "Brown Eyed Girl" was written and sung by the iconic Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was recorded in March 1967 at A&R Studios in New York City. “Brown Eyed Girl” was first released as a single in June 1967 on Bang Records. 

The track was produced by Bert Berns and features backing vocals by the Sweet Inspirations, a gospel group. It peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart...

Continue Reading...

Fingerstyle Blues Guitar Lesson -- Play Like Mississippi John Hurt

blues fingerstyle Jan 11, 2024

Fingerpicking the blues is a ton of fun!

Now, I love Chet Atkins and the boom-chick style that he played.

And this style has been carried on by players like Tommy Emmanuel and many others…

But what a lot of people don’t know about, is how the blues players played differently than this classic Chet style.

Sure, they didn’t use a flatpick and had alternating bass movements etc. 

But there is much more to getting the sound. 

And it’s quite different from any other style of fingerpicking. 

Today I want to share with you some of these differences. 

And also break down how to play like Mississippi John Hurt using my 2-step method.

So put away those picks for today and let’s get started with this fingerstyle blues guitar lesson!

Fingerstyle Blues Guitar Lesson Step 1:

Let’s begin with learning the chord progression and alternating bass line. There are only 3 chords we’ll use in this song D, G, and A. We’ll play them in...

Continue Reading...

Purple Haze Guitar Lesson (Jimi Hendrix)

blues Jan 07, 2024

What if you had a chord named after YOU?

Picture this…

It’s 50 years from now…

And a bunch of guitarists are all sitting around talking about music.

Suddenly one of them says, “Oh that chord. Yeah, that’s the [YOUR LAST NAME] chord.”

That would be pretty cool.

I mean, how many guitarists have accomplished this?

To be honest, I can only think of one.

Jimi Hendrix!

In fact, here’s a crazy story about the first time I ever learned about the “Hendrix chord." 

Decades ago when my parents got our first computer, I discovered this thing called TAB sites.

Now I’d already been playing guitar for a bit, but this was an amazing thing. 

You see, I figured out (from a TAB at the time) the opening riff to “Purple Haze”.

I was about 12 years old, but I never connected it to the “Jimi Hendrix chord.” 

But I couldn’t stop playing the riff…

I LOVED it!

I remember playing it and thinking, ...

Continue Reading...

Change The World Guitar Lesson (Eric Clapton)

blues Dec 31, 2023

If you want to become great at playing popular music on guitar from the past 120 years, you’ve got to be familiar with the blues.

Now oftentimes players don’t realize a song they love is based on the blues.

They may even know how to play it but still do not realize they are playing the blues.  

Today is a great example of this.

In this “Change the World” guitar lesson you’ll see how the blues can be brought straight into popular music.

So grab your guitar, tune-up, and let’s get started!

Who wrote Change the World?

"Change the World" is a song co-written by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick. It was recorded by Eric Clapton for the soundtrack of the 1996 film "Phenomenon." 

The song was produced by Babyface and the recording took place at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, California. It features Clapton on vocals and guitar, along with a notable lineup of musicians, including Nathan East on bass, Steve Gadd on drums,...

Continue Reading...

Midnight Blues Guitar Lesson (Gary Moore)

blues Dec 30, 2023

Gary Moore was a phenomenal musician. 

Today I want to share with you one of his AMAZING blues guitar songs.

It’s slow…

It’s groovy…

And it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it!

This is the kind of song you can easily picture being played in a smoky dark club well after midnight.  

It’s a minor blues, and the rhythm part mixes a riff and some sweet chords together. 

And then of course, Gary plays brilliant slow blues licks over the top of this progression which reminds me a lot of songs like “Thrill is Gone” and many other classic blues tunes. 

So grab your guitar and let’s dive into this “Midnight Blues” guitar lesson.

Who wrote Midnight Blues?

"Midnight Blues" is a blues rock song written and performed by Northern Irish guitarist Gary Moore. The song was released in 1990 on Moore's album Still Got the Blues

It is one of Moore's most popular songs and has been covered by many other...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

You're Seconds Away

Enter your best email address to get an instant download link + exclusive content direct to your inbox every week.