Every now and then I get these great little emails from people that have completed the Guitar Scale Patterns course, and they’re so encouraging that I thought I’d make a page on the website just for all these stories. Perhaps you’ll find them encouraging too, as you continue on your journey with the guitar!
Disclaimer: Any testimonials or success stories reflect actual results realized by individual players, and will not necessarily reflect your own experience with the course.
If you’d like your own experience included on this page, please submit one here.
These Lessons Have Helped Thousands Of Guitar Players
This guitar lesson has quite literally helped thousands of guitar players first understand their fretboard better, and second, become better players as a result. Here are just a few of the emails that I’ve received:
“I really believe you have added years to my life.”
Jonathan, I am in a peculiar position. I have played guitar all my life (almost). I have played lead in several country rock bands. Then it happened - a fear that I had most of my life. At work, a 600 lb steel beam fell off the crane, and landed on my left hand. The sweet little female surgeon put my hand back together the best she could. I had 8 surgeries on the hand the first year. It put me into retirement at the age of 55. I went on a depression binge.
In March of this year, my doctor gave me a few months to live. I went on hospice for about 3 1/2 months, and something happened. I said to my wife: this is not the direction I am ready to take. I fired hospice, hired a home health team, and the therapists were so involved in helping me with my whole body. I told them that I would love to be able to play my guitar at least a little bit. So they went to work and dug up so many ways to exercise my hand. I am having to retrain all my fingers.
I was so amazed with the progress that I started looking online for scales and tabs. I did not even know the scales and never saw a tab in my life. I am having a hard time with reading and understanding both the scales and tabs as they are written down.
You have helped me a lot. And you have woken up a stubborn old man, that will now not give up. This is the first month I have even picked a guitar up in 12 years. I want to thank you so much. I really believe you have added years to my life.
I bought 1-4-5 and Guitar Scale Patterns as a Christmas present to me. Both are real good and I have learned a lot from them.
I enjoy your e-mails and vids, so please keep them coming. I am 48 and been "fiddlin' " around with the guitar since I was 14 and was content with strumming a few chords before bedtime. However, after hearing a coworkers CD of his band's music recorded in his apartment, I decided to take my playing to the next level and teach myself to play better and make a recording of my own brand of music on my computer.
I trusted your 1-4-5 and GSP for my theory angle of attack. I have always knew this is what was holding me back from being a casual strummer to being center stage (well at least for the church praise band). After viewing your courses, I am amazed how simple you present music theory. I have learned a lot and know that this knowledge will put me over the hump in my quest to be a better, more skillful guitar player. Hopefully, I will "make the band" and make those home recordings with some screaming solos from the A minor pentatonic scale!!
Thanks again for making these videos.
“The I-IV-V course was a revelation”
After a long layoff from playing in high school, I needed an efficient path for really learning the instrument. Learning the music theory and proper techniques for playing chords have moved me along.
The I-IV-V course was a revelation but I also got a lot out of Scales when it came to getting restarted. I have not started DRG yet because I am going through a Riff Ninja course, but it is next in line.
I really appreciate your videos and teaching style. I am close to retirement but not there yet, so my practice time averages around 6 hrs/week. I won't be anyone's success story but the material from playguitar.com and riffninja.com have been well worth the money. (I think you and Colin are collaborators and not competitors but not certain.) I enjoy this exploration and am close to buying an electric. So the reason I have not responded to your requests for feedback comes down to my work and home life and the resultant slow progress. This will improve within the next year or two. I may take a few lessons from a human, face-to-face, and when I do I'll already have the basics in my fingers. And I'll have more intelligent questions. I wish I had never quit playing, but I'm glad I resumed. Thanks.
“My playing has improved greatly!”
My playing has improved greatly, and still am improving. I am very excited about learning how to understand the fret board and to play scales and bar chords. You lessons are awesome - they work if you are determined and practice, as well as go over them often!
1-4-5 and Scales.
I also purchased the bass course to help me understand the difference with bass and lead!
I wanted some time with your lessons....scales and 1-4-5 before giving you some feedback. I am a 60 yr old guy who has been playing music since the age of 5. Was coerced by my mom at the age of 5 to take piano lessons... we moved and I resumed the piano with another teacher and quickly asserted my independence and took up a serious 12 yr study of the trumpet.... weekly private lessons, jazz, classical, marching band, all that stuff... auditioned for the college orchestra at the age of 15 and for the audition we had to sight read orchestral trumpet parts and transpose them on the fly...boy that was stressful!! Anyway, I made the orchestra... auditioned for a jazz band that involved a month in the woods of Maine and we played at the resorts.. Played in a soul band for years while in high school.... total trumpet immersion..,
I picked up the guitar along the way and never had any instruction... I know you mentioned you were a trumpet player in your earlier days and you know what a demanding mistress the trumpet is... I couldn't take a day off of practicing for 12 yrs or at the least I would bring my mouth piece with me on family vacations..... while in grad school in North Carolina... 1977, I picked up the guitar and have been pretty focused on that since that time... after teaching myself out of a book and jamming along with records I quickly joined a band and off I went.... even after more than 30yrs I never had any "lights come on" in terms of my theory that I learned many times over the years.... it just never made a whole lot of sense... mainly memorized positions... but again I have always conceptualized theory through the piano... it is so linear that it makes sense to me...
Recently a friend was in bad times and offered me his guitar at a great price... Epiphone Les Paul.... been playing a strat... so I primarily wanted to help out the friend but started playing the new acquisition and decided to take on a more serious study of the guitar... this is where you come in.
I started with your scales course and have spent a good bit of time working on those.... your method and written material have been excellent for me!! Your pace and explanations are great and visuals are most helpful. Last night I had a friend over and we started jamming and guess what??? THE LIGHTS WENT ON!! Your scale instruction came through like a CHAMP. I have never been shy about improvising but in just a few weeks of studying your course, I was playing at a whole different level and wasn't just faking it!!! The use of my fingers was so much more efficient and clearly the knowledge of the scales gave me so much more in terms of tools and knowledge to work with!!! By the end of one 20 min jam the adrenaline was pumping through me and I have never played so well and felt so satisfied on the guitar in my life!! Your lessons clearly helped me accomplish this wonderful experience... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
I purchased your 1-4-5 and have watched the first 50 minutes and think it is a good theory for guitar but so far I haven't learned much new stuff... I do think that the remaining lesson will prove helpful.
Again, I can't thank you enough for helping me turn on the "light".
I am at the moment reading through JB’S Guitar Chord Secrets which is an online instruction book. This is a great book and it covers all the stuff included in your 1, 4, 5 and Guitar scale patterns courses which I purchased from you recently. Down the years I have bought guitar books galore but never quite got anywhere. Your courses opened the door for me and a big help is the visual screen help where I can see and hear what is happening as opposed to ploughing my way through instructions in a book. I am able to increase my competence because although I knew a lot from years of reading instruction books, I just could not get it until I discovered your courses. You also have a nice easy manner and this helps. In addition, of course I am semi-retired and I have more time.
“David G. Hope”
This is becoming a habit, but I find myself writing to say Thank You, for the second time in as many weeks, for the knowledge I've gained from you. I received my copy of your 'Guitar Scale Patterns' DVD, just this morning, and, amazingly, within 15 mins of watching the first lesson, I know the formula for Major & Minor scales and was able to correctly work out and play several scales.
If the rest of this course is as informative as this it'll be the best investment in music I've ever made. I don't know if it's what you teach, how you teach or both, but I learn more from you quickly than I've learnt from anyone else. Perhaps it's that you employ common sense instead of showing off what YOU can do (which a lot of 'teachers' do)? Whatever it is I'm bloody well thankful I found a teacher who teaches.
Can't wait to get on with the rest of the DVD.
“Your teaching method for me is superior”
I am a beginner, 66 years old, purchased my first guitar (acoustic) 2 years ago, took lessons for short time, purchased Hal Leonard Beginner book. Struggled a lot. 6 months ago I was given two electric guitars. Then I purchased Guitar Theory DVD from Steve Stine, and I began to understand the theory and fretboard. More recently, I purchased 3 DVDs from you over 6 week period, starting with Bar Chords (Stine has limited info on Bar Chords). I thoroughly enjoyed the Bar Chord lesson, but then it led me to your Unlocking I, IV, V, DVD and more recently, your Guitar Scale Pattern DVD.
Your teaching method for me is superior, I had enough theory already for basic understanding, but you helped me understand in a way that has accelerated my learning and practice. I spend 3 hours per day, between replaying your DVDs and actual practice; sometimes more. I learn something new every time I replay one of your DVDs; something clicks. I can't thank you enough for the clarity and understanding your teaching provided me. No one is too old to learn!
“I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years”
Jonathan, I have purchased Unlocking I-IV- V, Guitar Scale Patterns and Bar Chords Made Simple. I bought my first Guitar in 1975. I started with a little Pop and Rock n Roll. Later I moved to Blue Grass. I love playing. But, I must say I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years. Thank you. I would recommend them to anyone.
“This is having a dramatic effect on my muscle memory, confidence, and learning progress”
I’m impressed with your Guitar Scale Patterns course and am glad I found it. I’m making significantly better progress by focusing on the patterns as opposed to my original brute force approach to memorization of tonic step sequences and individual notes – I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
I agree with you that intimate knowledge of the fretboard is critical and I’m making progress with every practice session – I’m still a beginner. I must admit that I still find myself validating your Scale Patterns with the individual fret notes, but seeing the patterns is having a dramatic effect on my muscle memory, confidence, and learning progress.
I’m very pleased with your Scale Patterns course and will likely follow up with your Unlocking I IV V course in the near future.
I watched the DVD, and it was like someone turned on the light! I began rhythm guitar lessons at age 59. I took lessons for about 18 months... always the same type of lesson. He would teach me the intro of a song... and we wouldn't go any further. Next week, he might start to show me the same song. He never taught me anything about theory! I finally decided that he was an excellent musician, but not a good teacher. I got so perplexed that I thought about quitting... but I'm a stubborn old man!!! LOL I quit taking lessons last April, but I still play almost every day... just because I enjoy it! Your DVD is great!!! I wish I had bought it two years ago!!
“Every aspect of my playing is improving faster than I ever thought was possible”
Just a quick note to let you know that I have enjoyed both of your videos immensely.
I have been struggling with the theory aspect of guitar for almost 40 years now.
For the first time in my life, I am starting to make sense of the scales, chords, modes, intervals and how they all relate to one another and work together to make music a fun and enjoyable experience once again.
I have never considered myself to be a person of inferior intelligence, but the confusion that I had with these concepts has led to an endless amount of frustration on my part.
Thank you for taking the time to put this together, and explain it in a way that the average person can understand.
For the first time in my life, every aspect of my playing is improving faster than I ever thought was possible.
Please keep up the good work and keep me informed of any future projects.
I have watched your DVD's and I found them very helpful. I'm almost 65 years old and have been strumming the guitar since I was about 14 years old. I'm mostly self-taught with a few instructions from family members who play, but never any formal training. Your lessons have helped me understand exactly what is going on with the fret board and where to find my notes. Although my fingers don't work as well as they did when I was young, I still enjoy trying to play my favourite tunes. Keep up the good work. Wish I would have had you around 50 years ago. Thanks again.
“I seem to be getting better!”
I have been playing for a long time and could always get by. Now you have given me a lot more tools and knowledge to bring me to a higher level that seemed to have not been obtainable before. I am playing more and seem to be getting better. As well as not so frustrated.
I want you to know how much I appreciate all of your help and assistance in learning how to apply Music Theory and especially Guitar Theory to my understanding of the Guitar. I was a Instructor of Religion at Saint Leo University for almost 10 years and have taught in the classroom setting of community colleges for many years. I have several earned degrees and am at home in the college classroom setting. I know talent and dedication when I see it and you have both! For me it is very important to know that you personally have developed these courses out of your own struggle and challenge to master the Guitar. It is also important to know that you are personally available and dedicated to helping people master these concepts on the Guitar. I have been playing every day since my wife bought me a nice Martin Guitar last September to help me recover from a heart attack and open heart surgery. I am dedicated to it. I spend at least 90 minutes a day on my Guitar and more on the weekends.
I have purchased over 20 different books and videos. I have studied on line through the most popular guitar web site. While I have learned a little bit from all of these sources---nothing has made the guitar come alive like your videos! Your videos put all of the pieces together and result in your being able to actually visualize, conceptualize, and tactically play the guitar! Your videos are the missing link where all of the various lessons come together and find a greater meaning like the missing link to a puzzle. I hope that you will provide instruction for all levels of Guitar instruction. I am currently serving as Chaplain to the Palliative Care Team at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida. I am hoping soon to be good enough to play my Guitar in our chapel and to play some beautiful music to our dying patients to comfort them. Thank you for taking a personal interest in my learning how to play the guitar with understanding.
I have spent several hours watching and studying your videos. They are excellent. I will tell some of my colleagues at work about your Guitar Videos.
“Gives Me Ideas For Making a Solo My Own”
I am learning and understanding the fretboard, giving me ideas for changing a solo, so as to make it my own.
Courses: Guitar Scale Patterns and Slow Blues Solo in A.
I have found the fretboard sheets from Guitar Scale Patterns, showing the Root 6 Pentatonic minor and major, Root 5 Pentatonic minor, Diatonic minor and major and root 5 minor very helpful in understanding Slow Blues Solo in A, which I have just started. I have got the first phrase down with some changes of my own and will finish the rest of it as I get time. Been playing guitar for 10 years and I play about an hour and a half a day, mainly because it relaxes me and have enjoyed learning the Classic Rock songs from the 1960's and 70's. I am 66 years old.
“Understanding how scales work is very valuable”
Hi Jonathan, I think the most valuable course for me was your early courses in a basic 145 approach, and a basic 145 approach to scale theory, to get the understanding of how basic Country and Blues worked.
From here have studied in many music theory areas and approaches, to learn what I wanted to know and what worked for me. There is no 100 percent right or wrong way, but understanding how scales work and work together, and able to apply it is very valuable, and there's always different approaches.
But think the earliest courses were the most valuable to me, because it gave me the basic understanding when I was starting over again from 2006, when I needed it. Your soloing courses have your own soloing style and method, that works really well for you. All you need is the right lyrics to be added, and you would have a few songs.
I got both the Unlocking 1-1V-V DVD and also the Guitar Scale Patterns DVD. I think your style of teaching is great because you take your time and don't miss out on the important details. Often I find instructors gloss over this and leave you to sort it out if you are able to. I now have a full understanding of chord construction and of how useful scale patterns are. It's really great because I didn't find either course at all boring. I was really interested throughout.
Thanks very much for your help. I now have a real basis to work from in my guitar playing.
Jonathan, I wanted to let you know that I have watched part 1 of the l - lV - V DVD. The cool thing is you can watch it on the internet with out having to download it.
You made it very simple to follow. I will have to go over it again most likely, I've never learned any theory before.
I used to play right handed, just started playing left handed back in June. 15 years ago I lost the tip of my left ring finger in an accident at work. I bought the guitar scale patterns first so I could get my left hand picking at the same time my right hand is hitting the notes. Really glad that I have gotten both of these DVD's. I figured the scales would be a good place for me to start. Probably going to get the improvising DVD next. The emails just keep coming I'm loving it. The Riff Ninja and his sidekick Riley playing Simple Man by LYNYRD SKYNYRD you gotta like that. Thanks for everything.
“Thank you for making it possible, exciting, and fun to learn”
Jonathan: I just wanted to thank you and say how happy I am with your 1-4-5 and guitar scale patterns courses. I started playing guitar when I was 12 - almost 50 years ago - yikes - learned some chords and songs - but was never able to unlock the fret board. I knew a lot of piano theory, but could not extrapolate it to guitar. Never even understood that the fretboard is a bunch of semi-tones which makes the guitar easier than piano in some ways.
Anyway, I stopped playing for decades until this past year when I began to feel a craving for it, especially playing electric lead. I hunted around the internet for instruction - lots of good courses - but couldn't find the right thing for where I am now. My brain can only absorb so much. Eventually I stumbled on the pentatonic pattern and realized this was a piece of the puzzle. Fortunately I discovered your courses and am thrilled - it helps that for 1-4-5 I already understand on some level what we are dealing with - I discovered this pattern when I began, but there is a wealth of information to absorb and apply.
I didn't think I could learn scales and patterns on guitar - it seemed incomprehensible to me. You are a wonderful teacher and I am so happy to finally be learning how to play beyond the level where I stopped so long ago. Learning to integrate some theory with improvisation and expression is my dream and I wanted to thank you for making it possible, exciting, and fun to learn. I have taught subjects in the past that could be considered complicated systems, and so I recognize how artful you have made these courses. I hope you will bring out more of them, although one could review these over and over and keep learning. Please feel free to use this as a testimonial if you want to.
Anyway - you have a wonderful teaching style and I wanted to express my appreciation to you.
Jonathan, that lesson in the I IV V about this made things SO much clearer. I have a good grasp on the major scale but was hitting a wall with the minor. This opens a door for me. I love logic! Thanks, Man.
Hello Jonathan, I've never written to you before, but I thought maybe it was time to express my gratitude. I retired five years ago and always wanted to be able to play guitar. I stumbled around trying, but could never get anywhere. I bought Unlocking 1-4-5, Guitar Scale Patterns and 30 Blues Jam Tracks.
My reason for contacting you is to let you know what a difference its had. I only play guitar for myself and family. I immerse myself and the troubles of life disappear.
Anyway, as a beginner the most important, advancing information was your instruction to learn the pentatonic scale. Learning that scale changed everything and all advancement I've had stems from that kernel of insight.
Watched GSP twice and you have really done a nice job of placing a lot of information in a short period of time.
I consider myself an intermediate to advanced beginner. I am comfortable with open and barre chords, I regularly practice various patterns of Pentatonic scales. I just finished teaching myself Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison from tabs. I have downloaded and printed all your cheat sheets.
I'm not quite finished, but I've got to say I'm very impressed. I learned (or at least understood) way more theory than I ever got in 3 years of classical guitar back in the 1970s. You've really figured out how to put some really key information into a methodology that is easy to understand and retain. I kept scribbling down "ah ha" moments through-out the video. And I've been able to apply it easily to my playing (which is good as I haven't played in 20 years so I'm pretty rusty.)
Thanks so very much for putting this DVD together. I'll be watching it repeatedly to try to integrate the concepts more fully.
I've purchased most of your courses and have found them invaluable. I've advanced my guitar playing ability from Learner through to Intermediate. Although I don't play in a band, I jam regularly with friends and they have noticed the improvement particularly with my soloing.
Thanks so much to you for your highly instructional courses and jam tracks.
Thank you for the follow-up email to find out my progress with the 1-4-5 program. Firstly, please know I feel very lucky I bought the lesson. It cleared the confusion and vagueness I had regarding the fret board. You presented the unlocking 1-4-5 guitar concept in a manner that is effortless to understand. I feel very confident that I can write or rewrite music using this new 1-4-5 chord/major scale concept knowledge.
I found the 12 bar grid template a great tool to understand how music is made. I am glad I am no longer confused on concept of the 1-4-5, 1-3-5, 2-3-6, minor and major chords. My current level: In addition to unlocking 1-4-5 with your awesome lessons, I just completed learning all the minor and major pentatonic scales all modes.
“It's made things a lot clearer”
Thanks for some great stuff. I have been playing now for a few years and have not really understood what it is I am doing. I have to say that after a few sessions of watching your videos and reading some of your tips, it's made things a lot clearer and has even opened up a lot more ideas on how to arrange things when playing.
Keep up the great work!!!
Just wanted to say that your I, IV, V has been fantastic for me. Now granted, I am still working through a lot of the material and mating it all together in my head, but none the less it has given me a much better knowledge of the fretboard. I recently picked up the guitar again after too many years away from it, and I have to say... your material is exactly what the doctor ordered. The tips that you have on your blog have been as much of a help as the DVD's. It's become a standard practice of mine to use the material both that you send in email and the material on your blog as practice for the day and through out the week. Your blog has become like having you as a teacher in my living room in the morning before work and again when I get in after work.
I can't thank you enough for what you are doing... you have renewed my confidence in actually being able to master my own technique and playing style. I had started with very limited exposure and instruction in playing guitar years ago... but decided to pick it up again when a recent move turned up a left behind acoustic in my attic, and then coming across your material and exposure to your blog and instruction. I now have 2 acoustics and have gained enough confidence to purchase a Fender Strat to develop my electric guitar playing as I'm more of a rock/metal fan since being a teenager back in the 80's.
That's the beauty of your instruction: I have been able to work with both the acoustic and electric and I am amazed at the progress I have made. I feel that the instruction I have received...both on your DVD and blog... has afforded me the ability to progress much faster and more efficiently than just having a weekly instructor to visit. (Plus I would be hard pressed to find an instructor who would be in my living room at 4:30am while I practice with my morning coffee before work, and then come back at 5pm when I return for more practice... you're always here.)
The thing is, I had felt that playing guitar efficiently would be something that I just would not grasp...especially fret board knowledge and theory... thank you for proving me wrong. The patterns that you define and the theory that goes with it has allowed my brain and my fingers to come together in an understanding that makes everything flow. I have to tell you, playing is one thing... understanding what you're doing... that's the key. Your patterns make what I once felt would be too complex simple to follow and it sticks in your memory. You have given me many AH-HA moments.
Again, thank you for what you're doing, and keep doing what you do, because I couldn't be doing what I'm doing if you didn't. LoL
You're awesome and I greatly appreciate all your doing.
I have noticed, and my friends have noticed, an improvement in my playing and in my confidence. Thanks. I love music and being able to play music really brings the experience full circle.
“This Really Opened My Eyes”
I have really enjoyed your DVD and plan to watch it several more times until I have it down. I have actually been playing around on the guitar for many years but like you said, I didn't really know theory at all. You have already taught me a great deal and I am very grateful. I look forward to moving forward from here to a place where I can play the way I have really always wanted to but just didn't know how.
I have usually only played for my own "stress relief", if you will, in the past but recently I tried playing in a jam session at a local VFW with a bunch of older guys and I was embarrassed because I just couldn't keep up. I know quite lot of chords actually but just have trouble doing it right, I was also a little nervous because of lack of confidence I guess. Seeing the patterns and how it fits together really opened my eyes and made so much sense.
I have looked at many online "learn Guitar Over-night" courses and have to say that the courses offered at PlayGuitar.com are very well laid out, easy to follow, and relevant to the material at hand. I have purchase most of the coursed offered and find them worth the money and time investment. Thank you!
I love the way it helps so much in noticing the repetition of string and note pairings. IE; an A note will Always be directly above a D note.
Very refreshing; I like your style of teaching. Good video!! Thanks
I just wanted to let you know that your video has already helped me tremendously in understanding how the notes and chords relate to one another. I've been playing guitar for 37 years and never understood the concepts that you've taught in Unlocking I-IV-V. A friend of mine tried to explain it to me several years ago but I never "got it" until now. I feel confident that the knowledge you've given me will open up an entire new world for me in playing guitar. Your lessons are excellent!!! Thanks and I'm looking forward to becoming a better guitar player through your lessons.
Guitar scale patterns have really helped me a lot in understanding my fret board on my 3 guitars. I have played guitar for about 30 plus years and the patterns have really helped me to understand more about guitar playing in the 2 weeks that I have had your video and understanding more on guitar theory. Thank you very much! Hope to get more lessons thru the internet that I can use in the future.
“One Earthshaking Discovery”
Just wanted to thank you for a few "new" ideas I picked up from your scale course and one earthshaking discovery that linked together stuff I've been doing for over 40 years playing around on the guitar.
“The light just clicked on!”
The light bulb just clicked on with this 2nd video lesson on how scales and music relate! Thanks!
I got both lessons, and the theory was very easy to understand. I can find almost any scale on the guitar now!! Now I just have to get the fingering down.
I enjoyed the Unlocking I-IV-V lesson so much that I vowed I would get more lessons from you. So today I purchased the Guitar Scales Lesson. I'm "Hungry to learn the scales". Over the years, I purchased many lessons from so called Guitar guru's but they always left me stranded with their inability to teach clearly. I would then become frustrated, throw their lessons in a corner and look for the next guitar tutor. It is my firm belief that YOU are the best tutor for learning the Guitar Theory.
Thanks Jonathan... Teaching the guitar is your gift, keep up the great work.
“My guitar playing really has drastically changed”
Every time I saw your advertisement on the internet I was skeptical. Having seen so many of these before always promising to drastically improve my guitar playing. I figured I could learn to solo on my own so I started learning as many licks as I could however this did not improve my ability. After getting very frustrated and almost giving up on it, my buddy asked me if I had heard of your Guitar Scale Patterns course. Since I had seen the advertisements and my friend asking me about it I decided before giving up on it I would see what this lesson had to say.
I can't tell you how impressed I am. You are a great teacher. My guitar playing really has drastically changed. I can do an improv solo to just about any song my friends are playing now. I never thought I would be able to do that. My only thing now is trying to get faster, but I guess that will come in time. You are an amazing guitar player and I thank you so very much for all you do.
“Leo van Esschoten”
I must tell you, I was somewhat skeptical about the lessons and held off quite a long time. But, finally I decided to order the I-IV-V lesson. I am glad I did! I have some books on teaching guitar and one of them did a chapter on the I-IV-V material. Sadly, the way it was presented in that book just did not click with me. Your video lesson was a different story! The concept came across loud and clear! I will be viewing the files quite a few times and do the home work!
Well, it took me a while but I finally made it through both of your CDs, “Unlocking I - IV - V", and "Scale Patterns". I have been playing for over 40 years, and am something of an accomplished fingerpicker (Chet Atkins style). While my favorite is country, I also enjoy playing some of the classical pieces by people like Mendelssohn, or Schubert, and to be honest I wasn’t certain I could learn much from a beginners course, but I felt it was worth a try.
Actually, I was wrong.
Old dogs can be taught new tricks, IF they are willing to admit they don’t know everything.
Having spent several hours with your material I was very pleased, and found quite a few tips which I’m sure will be helpful. In my opinion the good thing about your course is that it will help the raw beginner as well as the experienced player, especially with your emphasis on scales.
Congratulations on a job well done, and keep the special tips coming. I enjoy them.
Honestly, Jonathan, is it really sensible for me to pay £18 for a video on music theory from you? No! I should, and would, happily pay a lot more! With a friendly teacher, and successful merging of beginners and advanced, I would recommend this to anyone! In 2 days I have totally changed as a guitar player, for the better!
Yours Sincerely, a very happy customer
“This lesson is the best so far, and it was worth every penny”
Great video!! I loved it.
This is the first and only guitar lesson I have ever purchased. Because I have a limited budget, most of my learning comes from youtube and other sites which offer free tips. This lesson is the best so far, and it was worth every penny.
I have only been playing serious / picked up the guitar for about the last nine months. I really enjoyed and learned a lot from your lesson. I would recommend it to anyone.
“Anyone can grasp the way you explain things”
I would honestly say, that I bought BCMS just to complete my collections that you produced such as; Guitar Scale Patterns, I IV V, Bass, and Jam Tracks. But I was really happy that I discovered that I still have a 25% missing in my barre chord playing. Thank you for making my barre chord know how to its completeness.
You are a great teacher, and I am giving you an A++. Your style of teaching is universal that anyone can grasp the way you explain. You really want your students to learn and that is establishing a legacy. I spent on bundles of guitar books and it did not help me at all but one single 4 pages manual that illustrates the music theory in diagram and that is it and you are on your own. But you explained the missing link to me on your Guitar Scale Pattern. Without you I already gave up, it's been three years playing on and of with the scales and it did not do me any good. I asked myself, What is next after learning the scales? I think I am not the only one with that question. I found the answer in the Guitar Scale Pattern and Unlocking 145. Thank you for now and time for me to watch my favourite Decoding the Bass Guitar. My dream, that one day I can play a solo in a 5 or 6 string bass guitar. Thank you again and more power to you.
I loved it, it opened up my eyes.
I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and after 30 minutes of watching the Guitar Scale Patterns video I learned something that is hard to put a price on.
You guys know what I mean!
It's like someone opening you eyes to something you have been trying to see for a long time.
If you're into learning the fretboard and wanting to play all over the neck, just buy this.
You will not regret it.
“My knowledge has improved considerably thanks to you!”
My knowledge has improved considerably thanks to you!
I have unfortunately for me started later in my life, I find some challenges in doing so but slowly I am gaining some ground, I like the way you explain things in a common sense way, thanks Jonathan.
“Really Helped Me Start Making My Own Solos”
This has helped me starting to make up my own solos.
Courses: Slow Blues solo in A, Guitar Scale Patterns, Bar Chords Made Easy, Unlocking 1,4,5
There are plenty of keys in the above courses to help someone like me, who has always experimented with different sounds on my guitar, to make riffs and solos my own. It is nice to be able to do classic solos note for note, but the real enjoyment is changing them to how you are feeling in the moment.
After all, the pros do not play them the same way every time.
Understanding the fret board makes this possible. It frees you up to be able to play all over the fret board and UNDERSTAND why certain notes sound so sweet together.
I also use songs playing on the radio as jam tracks. Since I do this at home with no one listening but my wife (she says I have become a lot better over the past several years), I am not worried about making mistakes. I start playing immediately as a song plays to try and find the key it is in. I have developed my ear so that I can hear it when I find the key. Since I have been doing this for the past few years, it only takes 2-3 seconds to find the key. This makes playing more fun and free.
Understanding how chords are made up allows me to find and play the same chords in different voicings all over the fretboard. Several years ago, I would have thought this would be impossible for me.
I would stress that progress comes from playing, and more playing. I play because it is fun and it relaxes me. Learning how the fretboard works will make it fun for others also. Also, playing in a band helps you get your timing down. I play in a band at my church, which is a safe place. (You do not have to worry about people throwing stuff if you make a mistake). I had only been playing for a couple of years when I joined the band and at first, could only keep up with every 3rd chord the band played. But when I found the correct chord I would accent it. I did this to express my joy at playing the right chord, but the band said it made things sound better. This helped my initial disappointment of not being able to keep up.
Today, I am able to fit in and add to a band's sound. To those just starting out, I would encourage them to enjoy the journey. After several years of steady playing, you will be having fun also.
Being able to play freely makes it more fun.
“Your videos have helped more than you can imagine”
Jonathan, I played guitar years ago and just recently started playing again. In the past when I played I knew what I was playing, but not why I was playing it. I have been studying the I,IV,V theory a little, the circle of fifths. I am trying to understand that along with learning the fretboard. Your videos have helped more than you can imagine. I feel like I have my own tutor.
This lesson is true to its name. It really unlocked what I’ve been missing after playing for nearly 24 years. Now I understand keys. I’ve been trying to figure this out for years and asking people how to do it. This lesson finally gave me what I was missing. It has a lot packed it. Takes a while for it to sink in, but now I’m creating instead of memorizing!
“Truly Switched The Light On For Me!”
Hi Jonathan, I just watched part 1. You've truly switched the light on for me.
Can't wait to build on it now.
Your video was rough, the info was invaluable, and your follow up is most impressive. I am a guitarist who accompanies himself (myself) in order to sing. The first frets of my Yamaha Classical guitar are worn out. But that is as far as I can go. I love the theory that you have handed to me so that I can build a scale and figure out the relevant chords to any song. I will be back, but I am still assimilating. I want more. I have been playing with my guitar for about ten years and I can cheat, but I know that I can be a better cheater... The things that you teach are invaluable. I am willing to go farther with you.
Before I purchased the course, I was skeptical about it. I thought it would be another regular how-to-play lesson. But I gave it a chance and I understood that I was so wrong about it. It just enlightened my understanding of the fretboard instantly. I recommend it to everyone.
I think your lesson was great! I'm a poor excuse of a bass player and am trying to do all I can to become a good bassist. I figured that if I learned a little about the guitar it would help.
I subscribe to Dolphin Street and your lesson was highly recommended by them. Let me say that I wasn't disappointed at all. Your lesson didn't claim to make me a Guitar God overnight (and it didn't), but it did "unlock the I - IV - V" for me. I pretty much knew what you taught in Part I, but I still came away with a better understanding or reassurance of what I already knew.
Part II is the bomb! I never quite understood that Tone, Tone, Semi Tone...thing until I watched you go through it. I caught it the first time through. However, I watch the video over and over to make sure I have it in memory. And I can't get over how easy it was to understand what you taught about chord structure and major, minor, diminished chords, etc.
I'll never leave the bass, but I'm going to try to learn the guitar now. You have a way of making your lessons understandable unlike any "help" that I've ever received.
One thing I've noticed already is that I was able to apply the number system to assist in learning a song that I needed to learn for yesterday. I saw the pattern (I-V-VI-IV) and learned the song in a matter of a few minutes. It usually takes me hours of listening... stopping the music to find the notes... slowing the tune down with Transcribe...very time consuming.
I guess you can tell that you have helped me out tremendously. Thanks man! You are making a huge difference in making this music thing fun for me. I had actually quit playing for over twenty years because it had become too much like work rather than something that I could enjoy.
Sorry to go on and on. Thanks for everything. Hope you enjoy the holiday.
Hi mate, I have received the DVDs (I bought both I, IV, V and scale patterns), both have been extremely helpful. I have played guitar for about 7-8 years but had always been happy to just bang out the pubs favorite tunes playing rhythm. I knew the basic pentatonic scale but wasn't interested in playing lead - to be honest the fret board was a bit too intimidating. That has all now changed. I "get" the fret board and for the first time I really appreciate how cool an instrument the guitar really is!
When watching your DVD I thought I knew pretty much everything you were talking about but listened anyway. What I learned was that I didn't actually know it - I'd heard others talk about it and thought I knew. Now I can join in the conversation and more importantly I can join in the jam!!!
Yesterday my wife (a singer) came into the living room and said "you actually sound half decent now!"
Simply awesome! Thanks heaps.
I am a 57 year old "wanna be" guitar player. I have played around with a guitar since I was 10. Over the years I have taken a few lessons (slow and BORING) and bought TONS of instructional books. Oh sure.....I learned some things... a few riffs, how to play some chords. I could play several of my favorite songs, but I was FAR from comfortable enough to play in a band.
I reached a point when I said to myself, "Where do I go from here? What else do I need to learn to advance my skills and become a REAL guitar player?" Something was missing.
And then I ran across Jonathan's "Unlocking I IV V" and WOW!!! I couldn't believe it! It was like someone had untied my hands and said, "Now listen closely to this guy and learn this... and become a REAL guitar player".
I have learned to do more on the guitar since receiving "Unlocking I IV V", than I have learned in all my 47 years prior! And I've only been using it a few months!!
Don't make the same mistakes I made wasting a bunch of years goofing around. The lessons are intense. You will have to go over them several times to be able to absorb it all. And you will have to PRACTICE. But it works... better than anything I have ever tried before... and oh... did I mention? I'm playing (part-time) in a band now. Life is good 🙂
“You broke down the mysterious fretboard and made learning easy.”
Where were you when I wanted to learn to play the guitar forty years ago? I know, you weren't alive. Previous instructors made the process hard, or maybe it was my attention span. Either way, I've come farther in two months now that I understand the patterns than I did in many years of trying, getting frustrated, and quitting. You broke down the mysterious fretboard and made learning easy. At fifty five, a great regret was never learning to play the guitar. Because of you and your program I am on the way to erasing that regret from my life. This may sound overstated, but I assure you, it is not.
I've learned a great deal from your "Guitar Scale Patterns" DVD. I've been "playing" guitar since I was old enough to hold one, but never heard of the importance of learning the scales. A whole new world of soloing, etc. has been opened up to me.
Jonathan, you caught me, man! I started to get into the bass tutorial then realized I hadn't given One Four Five and Guitar Scales enough time, so I crunched those and I will start the bass class soon. Your 1/4/5 and scales video lessons are fantastic. It has given me renewed interest in music theory and I am enjoying it! Most helpful to me is the blank fretboard sheets and being able to see keys on paper when I am composing. I find I have much more in my bag of tricks to work with. Sometimes tunes just pop out of the paper! I will get back to you when I finish the bass tutorial! Thanks for all you do!
Your guitar scale patterns course is really nice. I'm glad I got it although I knew it would be very helpful even before I made the purchase. This is not the first course I've gotten from you. You're a very good teacher and your newsletters are extremely helpful. I started with your newsletters and courses last Spring and have grown over the last few months more than I have over the last few years.
Very good info & teacher. Helps in learning to solo.
“Watched it at least twice”
I have been completely satisfied and have watched it at least twice!! I realy like the bonuses!! You rock!! I especially like the jam track on the Scale Patterns DVD!! Thanks Jonathan!!
These are really good lessons.
Very well explained
“The best that I have ever seen”
These lessons that you have prepared are the best that I have ever seen.
For once I am getting it! Nice going!!
“The light bulb came on, and stayed on”
Just want to let you know that I found the videos to be perfect for me.
I've been playing metal/hard rock for over 15 years and have been in several bands along the way. I consider myself advanced in technique, but always wanted to understand "the other side" as I call it.
Literally after watching video 1, the light bulb came on and stayed on. The way you presented it was PERFECT. I especially like your alternate way of teaching the different modes (using the term "root" instead of the mode name).
Again, great job. I'm no longer in the dark about this stuff and my playing has already advanced.
“I'm Getting True Progress and Results!”
The courses are well organized and easy for me to follow along. I get true progress and results which helps me keep motivated and looking forward to the next session.
I have purchased most all of them and get great results from each of them.
I picked up the guitar about a year ago with the intention of finally learn to play it. The guitar had been sitting there in the corner for maybe fifteen years, silently accusing me for not putting in the effort to learn to play. Anyway, after a year of going through countless YouTube lessons and luckily a few lessons with a teacher, I wanted to learn something about the music theory. Especially when it comes to playing guitar. After watching your 1-4-5 lesson several times now I really feel that it gave me a good basic understanding on which to learn more. I had read about scales and chords in the books but never really got to grasp the basics. After your thorough explanation even the books seem clearer now.
I've only gone through the patterns lesson once so far. I like your easy going way of presenting the information and am looking forward to learning more about the patterns. I do feel that the combined offering of these two lessons around the New Year's was a real bargain.
I hope that these wishes actually reach you and not just the marketing guys. I wish you a good spring season!
Just learning, but your course on Bar Chords has been very helpful for me. I also have Guitar Scale Patterns which is very good.
“Helped me to jam - which I could never do before”
I learned to play the pentatonic scale in A a long time ago however I couldn't relate it to anything until I purchased the Guitar Scales Pattern and Unlocking the Guitar series (jam tracks were a bonus item).
Playing over the tracks has helped me to "jam" which I could never do before. Bouncy Blues is my favorite track as it is in the A key and has a nice easy swing to it. For a relative beginner at lead guitar (I am a 40 year strummer) playing these series + tracks has made my playing much more fun.
Go ahead and purchase - you won't regret it.
This is not a question but rather an acknowledgement of developing quality materials.
I am retired and volunteer teach guitar to at-risk school kids. I select a couple each year and lend them a student guitar that they can then own after good grades and behavior at school for one year as they let me tutor them academically.
While I play adequately and teach marginally, I am terrible at lesson planning. Borrowing ideas/techniques from your courses has made all the difference.
You have helped to turn several students around to achieving academic success and personal growth.
Thank you for this assist.
This is a great course for me. It is exactly at my level and helps me use existing skills and concepts in an all new dimension. I saw these charts a few years ago and they made no sense to me at all. After 2 years of guitar classes in my community, this concept is a great breakthrough for me.
“Worth Every Penny”
Great video!! I loved it. This is the first and only guitar lesson I have ever purchased. Because I have a limited budget, Most of my learning comes from you tube and other sites which offer free tips. This lesson is the best so far, and it was worth every penny.
I did not realize that you had a video called 1-4-5 prior to the guitar patterns. I was not familiar with you or your product until just before I purchased your guitar patterns. I would like purchase the 1-4-5 video next.
I have only been playing serious / picked up the guitar for about the last nine months. I really enjoyed and learned a lot from your lesson. I would recommend it to anyone.
I would like to thank you for putting these courses out simplified and user friendly and good to understand without being too complicated or too expensive.
In my opinion these courses are a must for anyone wanting to learn more with music theory. I've seen a lot of courses, but yours are definitely needed to cut years off learning time.
“I really appreciate the way you explain things.”
Hello Jonathan -
I really appreciate the way you explain things. I have been looking for a simplified way of understanding how to play a solo over certain chords for years and I think you have done the best job of explaining it. That's why I purchased your course and I hope you post many more videos in the future.
You filled a gap in my music theory that was missing for a long time. I had known about the 1-3-5 rule to make up a specific chord (A cord uses notes 1-3-5 to make up a chord), and I knew about the 1-4-5 rule to select the basic 3 chords in a key. But I no idea they made up a specific pattern on the guitar neck. I wondered how other guys learned those scales!
It's not going to make me a better guitar player overnite, but it has eliminated the reason I gave up trying to play solos.
Thanks for the tip on the minor scales, that's way too simple. The barre chord info also helped with my minors.
I just finished the entire lesson plus the extra videos and will likely revisit some of them again to be sure I caught everything. I can’t say I totally understand it all but it did make lots of things clearer. I’ve been playing for more than 35 years and taught myself and play mostly by ear and now I’m wanting to learn more. I’ve already started practicing much more each day and have seen improvement. It’s my hope that my jam sessions with friends will become more enjoyable the more I practice and learn.
I can say that you do break things down in much easier to understand terms and don’t spend time on slashing but on learning techniques and for that, I thank you very much.
I look forward to your email tips as well. Thanks for the good work and your time.
“The Best Course I Have Found So Far”
I wanted to let you know I am really enjoying the Guitar Scale patterns course. It is the best course I have found so far.
“I am definitely digging your approach!”
To say these lessons have improved both my rhythm and lead playing would be a huge understatement!!!
You present the material in a way that makes it easy to understand and, most importantly, to apply to playing no matter what key.
I am a clinical instructor for medical students and use a very similar approach both simplifying concepts and teaching mechanisms (of disease, in my case) that can be applied to many clinical scenarios! I am definitely digging your approach!
“Impeccable Explanations & Demonstrations!”
Your explanation and demonstration of the scales – Major, Minor, and shapes is impeccable. I’ve signed on to a couple other sites but your teaching strategy and content is the best by far. Combined with Colin’s material is comprehensive and the two of you provide an easy way to go back and forth so that your lessons complement each other. You guys really do provide a complete guitar course that goes from beginner to intermediate/advanced. As Ron Rees said earlier, Keep on keeping on. Thanks so much.
“I have never gotten so much for so little before”
In trying to define the value of the lesson your basic course in fret knowledge provided, my first thought was, I don't know the full value yet. This eye opening, easily understood, basic understanding is like learning where a light switch is in a dark room. What that light has helped me find already is amazing and what's still in the dark room yet to be discovered is just a matter of time and effort away. The more I look at what I'm doing the more I see why it all works. I can't say it enough how worthwhile this simple course has been. I have never gotten so much for so little before. A value that delivers a one time benefit is all well and good, but a value that continues to deliver forever is truly hard to find.
I'm an unemployed low voltage electrician (fire alarm specialist ) living in Michigan.... if you can call this living. LOL Your lesson has given me a challenge I desperately needed. It may well prove to be a life saver of sorts... a sanity save for sure. All for under 30 bucks.... quite a bargain.
“I'm actually playing instead of flailing now!”
Hey Jonathan, the two classes I purchased from you were awesome. I'm actually playing instead of flailing now.
Hi Jonathan - thanks for the additional info on the minor of (1-4-5). I really like your lessons. I have studied some guitar theory in the past, but your efforts make it so much easier. Before getting your DVD's, the fret board seemed like years of work to learn. I had learned some positions but never felt like I would be able to master it. Your lessons are giving me hope and energy.
“I've been strumming guitar for over 30 years and yesterday was the first time I understood "what" I was strumming.”
Jonathan, Thanks so much for doing this...
Boy am I glad I ordered the DVDs well as downloading it. I watched it and felt like I was in a college classroom studying Music Theory and how it pertains to the guitar. I know I've only listened to it once, but I will be studying it a lot. You brought it down to my level... I've been strumming guitar for over 30 years and yesterday was the first time I understood "what" I was strumming.
I appreciate the hard work you put into your videos and I want to let you know that they are helping somebody finally get the hang of it. I was listening to the radio and couldn't help but want to transcribe the songs as I listened to them. The only problem was I was driving. LOL.
For a young man and a white board you do a fine job... keep 'em coming!
You are so good at what you do... not just the instruction you provide and sell, but to review others' material and offer it through your site. I know you are successful with your business model.
I dream of being able to sit and jam... I am learning the boxes and notes and scales... I just am not ready to break out and improvise. Your I-IV-V video has helped a lot. Thanks again for providing that program (plus you got to use your new white board) LOL.
Keep this going, you are helping a lot of people just like me and I speak for them, too!
“The best investment possible in understanding music's relationship to playing guitar”
A few months ago, I was surprised how quickly I understood guitar scales from your Scale Pattern DVD, which was just amazing.
I have just started watching your Unlocking Guitar I,IV,V download lesson (DVD on the way), just under 20 mins ago. I already understood how scales are put together but where you demonstrate octaves in scales and the T T ST TTT ST formula, in a linear context, another 'penny dropped', and I was immediately able to play linear scales on every string and name the corresponding notes as I went. NOT because I learned it 'parrot fashion' but because IT MADE SENSE and the natural progression of each octave was clear as day. It may not sound like much but for me it was a eureka moment.
Your teaching methods seem to provide me with these such moments fairly often, something I've never experienced with ANY OTHER TEACHER, (have tried 3 others including one costing $150).
I have no doubt the remainder of the Unlocking Guitar I,IV,V lesson will be as mind expanding as the small piece so far viewed and I am in a hurry to get back to it, but just had to email you to say a huge THANK YOU, Jonathan. Your lessons have taught me more about music & understanding how to play my guitars in 2 lessons (still have to get through Bar Chords Made Simple DVD), than I've learnt in the past 20 months of playing/learning.
These listings are, without doubt, the best investment possible in understanding music's relationship to playing guitar and thereby making me a better player.
Thanks again, JB. As we Aussies would say "Your blood's worth bottling".... (Hope it translates to Canadian OK?)
“This worked better for me than all the books I’ve bought previously combined”
Just thought to drop a quick reference of Jonathan’s courses for anyone thinking of investing in them to improve their playing and deepen their guitar playing experience.
You know, I’ve bought all kinds of books that teach basic theory and riff examples for guitar in the past. They had their value for sure, but the two things I’ve bought from Jonathan gave me a leg up on creating and interpreting music; they've worked better for me than all the books I’ve bought previously combined. One four five, and guitar patterns. Very simple yet really effective for enjoying and understanding the guitar.
Jonathan is not a rip off artist looking to capitalize on the guitarist who longs to improve and deepen their guitar fretboard flexibility. His courses are inexpensive but really all you need. He understands that a very basic but thorough understanding of guitar theory is needed to enjoy one’s guitar experience.
Thanks Jonathan. You’ve really helped me out by giving me the tools to launch my creativity and bolster my confidence. You’re an honest man.
To learn more about Guitar Scale Patterns,
please click here.