By the grace of God, we start a new year! Now let's get to pickin'! We'll start with the basic melody of "Amazing Grace" that ANYONE can learn, then add strums and continue to beef it up. Also, this is a KILLER pick accuracy exercise, and we'll have fun d
Folks, it's that time of year again, and we're gonna start it off right with a guitar/mando duet for this beautiful melody. However, the solo is built so that it will stand on its own if you don't have a mandolin picker under the tree this year. We'll als
I taught a super-advanced tricky version years ago, but many have asked for a straight-ahead melody version...this one is fun! We're also gonna work on being strategic when shifting our fret-hand as well as bare bones alternate pickin'!
It's here! Let's learn 6 licks in E, and 3 each in A and B (NO CAPO!) then apply them to a basic 12-bar blues progression! Also, many of these licks can easily be transposed to any key you'd like, and I'm gonna show you how.
You've gotta hear this one. I couldn't decide on a key, so we're gonna learn a couple solos in both C AND G! The first solo in each key sticks to the basic melody with strum fillers, while the second gets more technical with crosspicking, etc. Enjoy the r
Let's learn two solos in the key of D for this fun tune! What a great pick hand workout as well! The first solo is a straight-ahead melody presentation while the second is a note-for-note unison solo with mandolin. Grab a mando-pickin' buddy and get after
I hope you're ready to have some fun cause I've got two solos for you to work on. The first is a Carter-style melody solo down looowwwww, then we jump up an octave for licks and crosspickin'! Both of these are in the key of C and sound mighty fine.
When's the last time you heard "hot" and "leather britches" in the same sentence? Whenever it was, it probably wasn't used this way. The first solo is an intermediate-level straight-ahead melody, while the second solo is gonna push you a bit. Don't forget
There are some melodies that take you back to the 1,000 times you heard it, and this is one. We'll learn two solos for the classic hymn "Near the Cross" in the key of G–one in waltz time and one in 4/4.
Don't let the simple "Oh! Susanna" preview fool you. This lesson is huge. We'll use "Oh! Susanna" to teach you some big league guitar theory. Many folks express to me their desire to build solos, improvise, or create licks. If you don't know how to find c
Let's learn not one, but TWO solos for East Tennessee Blues on geetar! We'll start up high with a fairly straight ahead melody, then drop down an octave and introduce some blues and boogie woogie licks!
Stuck inside this weekend? It's time to pick some Angeline! We'll learn a low melody version, then move it up an octave and play it up top. This is an intermediate level tune that's tons of fun to pick!
Click below to hear this beautiful medley! These two classic hymns fit together beautifully! First is "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" which is a more simple ballad style. Next, we look at a more challenging "Travis-stylish" version of "What a Friend We H
Click the link below to listen! We're going to learn how to incorporate crosspicking into our guitar rhythm with three different exercises. First, we'll learn a hybrid guitar strum. Then, we'll learn some crosspicking patterns, and finally combine the two
Click the link below to hear my intro and approach to waltz guitar rhythm! In this lesson you'll learn four strum patterns for basic waltz timing, walks between typical chords in the key of G, and six different phrase-ending licks/runs. Once again, what I
Click on the link below to hear my version! This is an old fiddle tune in the key of G that is lots of fun to play. I've created a fairly basic version of the tune, so it's a great one for anyone to tackle!
Every once in a while I'll create a lesson that is absolutely foundational. Everyone wants to know how to build solos/improvise, but they think it comes naturally–it doesn't. We must have a process, and we must practice that process.
Click on the link below to hear my version! This is a slick and fun-to-play arrangement of this classic ragtime tune. It's in the C position and has some great syncopated and swing licks! I not only teach the two guitar solos, but also teach the chords an
Click on the link below to hear these HOT solos! I've got two solos for this one: a low solo and a high solo. Both are built for speed and are perhaps the most fun flatpickin' arrangements I've created. Don't forget to download the 3 speeds of rhythm trac
Click on the link below to hear this arrangement! Who doesn't love this old hymn? I've had it requested numerous times for a couple years now and I'm glad to do it. This arrangement is very straightforward...we have the melody and basic chords. It's robus
Click on the link below to see more! Unless you're the next Chet Atkins, sooner or later you're gonna have to use a capo. This is a 30+ minute lesson that covers everything you need to know regarding: which capo you should use, proper capo placement, theo
Click on the link below to hear my version! This ol' fiddle tune is in "D" and we're gonna learn to play it in Drop D tuning (which is a lot of fun, by the way). The first A & B parts are the basic melody, while we spice up the 2nd ones.
Click on the link to hear this beautiful version! This song reaches deep down in my heart and brings back precious memories. This fingerstyle arrangement is robust enough to play anywhere, but also simple enough for anyone to learn. I hope you enjoy playi
Click on the link below to see these versions! Not only will we learn two solos for this tune, we'll also learn how to improvise! We'll start with a basic version of this fiddle tune in "D," then learn to fill spaces and add a blues note to create an inte
Click on the link below to hear this tune! I think this is some of the best teaching I've done recently, because we start out with the basic melody, then go measure-by-measure through the advanced and talk about how it's built from the basic melody.
Click on the link below to hear these chords used in Faded Love! Katy Lou drops by the Pickin' Parlor to teach us some vital swing chord shapes. We'll learn two each of 6th & 7th chord shapes, then a minor and diminished shape. Finally, we'll apply it to
Click on the link below to hear the guitar/mandolin duet! This a beautiful fingerstyle guitar version of a classic Christmas carol. It's in "Drop-D" tuning and I actually have two different solos in this lesson, as well as learning the backup for the mand
Click on the link to hear it! This is a challenging arrangement of this classic fiddle tune, but incredibly rewarding to learn! This one has it all–triplets, up-the-neck licks, double-stops, and more! Don't forget to download the 3 speeds of rhythm track
Click on the link below to see the video! I absolutely LOVE this version on guitar! It would be easy to throw together a bunch of bluesy licks that work over the chords, but it's another thing to play bluesy licks that sing the melody, which is what we do
Click on the link below to hear this classic tune! Most bluegrass flatpickin' tunes are played out of G, C, or D positions, so I thought we'd change it up a bit. June Apple is in the key of A myxolodian, but we're going to play it without a capo! I really
Click on the link below to the see the lesson! This lesson is built to take absolute beginners through the process of learning guitar chords. The diagram is great to simply print out and hang on the wall or near where you practice. This thorough lesson co
Follow the link below to see the performance of this tune! This is an outstanding lesson for those of you out there just beginning to learn how to play guitar, and especially flatpick! Everyone (even your grandma) knows this tune, so why not start your il
Click the link below to see the performance! I love Christmas. I love Christmas music. I love fingerstyle guitar. Therefore, I love fingerstyle guitar Christmas music! I know you'll love this intermediate version that is great for that special time of yea
Click on the link below to watch the performance! Though this tune is traditionally a waltz, this particular version is built in 4/4 time and jazzed up a bit. It's in the key of E minor, and features lots of blues notes as well as an...
Click on the link below to see the performance! If you know me, you know old-time hymns are my favorite tunes, and this one is no different! This arrangement is in the key of C and it's a GREAT one to learn how to play fingerstyle guitar. It's not too har
This one is a LOT of fun to play! Soldier's Joy is usually played in the key of D, but we're gonna slap a capo on the 2nd fret and play out of C. As with many fiddle tunes, this one has the AABB format, so I spice up the second A and B parts to give you s
This 30+ minute lesson teaches 4 "bluesy" boogie woogie runs out of the key of G, some of which are "closed" patterns (no open strings), which means you can use them in ANY key...and I show you how to do that in the video lesson! You can find...
In this world, there are a few melodies that stand alone apart from the words, and this is one. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and timeless hymns ever written, "In the Garden" holds a special place in my heart! Check out this straight-ahead finger styl
Check out this cool arrangement! You probably remember this tune from when you were a kid, and this song has a way to take us back to the good 'ol days. I've built this break to cater to players of ALL levels, and I know you're gonna love it. Don't play i
This one is HOT! John Hardy is an old ballad written about a rough feller that lived in the late 1800's. This song has some great lyrics, but it's also played quite often as an instrumental! This song was recorded by the Carter Family in 1930, so the firs
If you're gonna learn to pick on the geetar, it sure helps to know how to read tabs. There are two basic parts of reading tabs: 1) The notes themselves, 2) The timing of each note! This tab goes along with the 40+ minute video lesson series where Ben show
Whether finger picking, cross picking, or simply playing chords, an understanding of how chord suspensions work is vital for all guitar players! Most every guitar picker probably plays a suspension here or there, but may not even know what they're doing.
Though this is a famous "fiddle" tune, it'll tickle your fingers to dance on this one a bit! I like it for a couple of reasons...One, it's in the key of "A" and we're NOT using a capo! Two, it's a perfect SPEED EXERCISE built into a song! If you want to g
Christmastime is here again, and this year we're learning a great, familiar carol with a couple tricks thrown in! Toward the end of this one, we go into a cool version of Blackberry Blossom, then wrap back up into an E minor feel!
I've already posted the mandolin tab and video lesson to this song, but I've now uploaded the banjo and guitar tabs early so you can have a jumpstart on learning them. The videos for banjo and guitar should be out over the next week! You can find the banj
I've taught a Doc-style version of this tune out of the "C" position, but I heard lots of feedback for a version in the key of "A". Yes, I'm gullible, and I take bribes...so, here you go. This is a sassy version that might get you slapped, but you'd bette
This is one of my favorite pickin' tunes of all time, and I'm offering it free to everyone to celebrate the 6 month anniversary of the new site! It's actually the first flatpicking song I ever learned on guitar, but I'd be embarrassed to put that version
This is probably my most requested song of all-time, and I've done a version on every instrument. However, I wanted to do a basic fingerstyle version that would be great for solo performance, but not so hard that even beginner players can...
My two favorite guitar players are Clarence White and Tony Rice. I love to hear Tony talk about the influence he received from Clarence, and when you listen to Tony play, it is quite obvious. This tribute version of I Am a Pilgrim is not a copy of any par
This is just a great tune to jam on! It's usually played pretty laid back, so this is a great time to work on your crosspicking as well. This tab has both forward, forward-reverse, and backward rolls built into the melody, so you can really get a good cro
Dating back to the 1880's, the Wabash Cannonball is a favorite tune for many, and recognizable by all! Due to the overwhelming requests for more guitar flatpicking lessons, I've decided to tackle this ol' melody with a couple different crosspicking patter