Lessons with Mary Flower

Artist Series Guitar Course from Mary Flower

Mary Flower is an award-winning acoustic fingerstyle blues guitarist known for her original tunes and smooth voice. With multiple albums and an impressive career, Mary strives to keep the blues alive.

5 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

91% Appoval

104 of 109 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

In Mary's Artist Series you can expect a concise approach to beginner theory, fingerstyle and much more.


Chord Relationships

Mary Flower dives into the relationship of chords while looking at a piano keyboard for a better understanding.

16:39 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Major Scale

Mary Flower talks about the major scale, its formula, and chords. She also briefly discusses barre chords.

15:43 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Travis Picking

Mary Flower shares a basic lesson on Travis Picking.

15:38 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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Alternating Bass

Mary Flower talks about alternating bass patterns and how to incorporate them into your playing.

6:52 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


CAGED System & Capos

Mary Flower talks about the CAGED system, the transposition process, and how to use a capo.

6:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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  • Portland, Oregon
  • Playing since 1959
  • 41 lessons at JamPlay
Working in both the intricately syncopated Piedmont fingerpicking style and her own deeply bluesy lap-slide guitar, Mary has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for her springwater-clear vocals and mastery of multiple guitar styles as well as her own compositions. Though she can create prewar blues and ragtime with the best of them, Mary draws on traditional, contemporary and original material to create something new: a sound uniquely her own that remains true to the timeless power of the blues.

Flower's elegant, funky and inventive playing on vintage guitars makes her one of a mere handful of women guitarists admired for their instrumental prowess. In 2000 and 2003 respectively, Mary placed in the top three at the National Fingerpicking Championship. Her career as an internationally known performer and teacher has spanned more than three decades.

A recent transplant to the Northwest, Mary cut her teeth on the Colorado music scene where she played with the likes of Katy Moffatt, Pat Donohue, the Mother Folkers and more. Mary took a detour in the 80s to raise a family, all the time woodshedding and performing locally.

Mary's CD Bywater Dance, recorded pre-Katrina in New Orleans for Yellow Dog Records, has garnered widespread acclaim. An award-winning player with seven solo cds and 5 instructional DVDs to her credit, Flower is in demand for festivals, concerts and guitar workshops on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Unassuming blues heroine Mary Flower proves one again that she's one of the nation's premier fingerstyle blues guitarists-- her technique is exceptional throughout, and in the end, serves the highest purpose, the music--unfailingly sweet, hot and sassy--every track on this album has something about it that will give you the shivers... This is one of the most satisfying albums of the year."
  - All Music Guide to Blues

"Her crisp, fluid fingerpicking sounds deceptively effortless, with flawlessly executed syncopation, the hallmark of a bouncing, upbeat Piedmont style. From casual listeners to devoted blues fans, Flower's music is accessible to everyone"
  - Blues Review

"With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in twelve tunes bred of back porches, parlors, street corners, juke joints and country churches...one of the best blues based singer songwriters working today."
  - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Mary is one of those rare artists who manages to create a tincture of the aged authentic with the freshly original."
  - Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
Reviews & Feedback 91/100 with 109 ratings

A clear explanation. Thanks,


All of the above, never understood it and now I can’t wait to jam with my friends, thanks Mary!


All three above !


important stuff, well explained

Ernst Nollert

Easy and effective!


Easy to understand & its just what I needed


Easy to understand and easy to listen to . Like Mary's style and how she comes across.


For a beginner, this was really helpful. Nice little tune to practice on to get it down. Within 30 minutes I was sounding pretty goo (if I do say so myself!)

john losoya

great wish i could pick all 3 options.


I like the teacher, easy to understand and very meaningful!! I am new to guitar so your explanation of chord progressions, including thepiano keyboard example, was extremely useful. I wont ever be a great guitarist but your lesson will help


I like the teacher. She is easy to follow. Travis picking is new to me and her way of teaching had me picking it up immediately.


This was a little confusing. I know from earlier sessions that Mary dislikes barre chords and calls her forms "adult chords". I didn't get a clear differentiation. It seemed "lite" for this series. At first I press the down thumb but I do like


i said a few days ago that she talks to fast , sorry i am new to jamplay and did not know there is a control button that lets you slow it down , and mine was turned up so fast . she sounded like micky mouse, so so sorry she is a great teacher


I'd like to learn more


So glad you use the piano key board. It was my first instrument.


I've been fiddling away with open chords for a couple of months and wanting to but hadn't been able to move on up the fret board. This lesson gave me the impetus to make the move. Thank you.


Nice calm approach with efficient chord changes added. No over complication.


She is really good teacher , and this is not directly related to her teaching methods it's just Avery common problem for me and that is learning in this way things are on a roll and I just can't stop things and say I missed what you meant / hav


Thanks. Regards.


The radio buttons won't let me select all but I would if I could. I liked the teacher, easy to understand, it was just what I needed! I would give Mary a big hug for giving me an a ha! moment in chord relationships.


This is just one of the clearest lesson I’ve seen. Only yThe ladies can get into the head of a beginner,! thank you Mary.


this was a great lesson. this is just the stuff I'm looking for with jamplay


Well done!