Artistry and Modern Fingerstyle

Artist Series Guitar Course from Calum Graham

Award-winning Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham aims to transform the average fingerstyle player into an artist. Using a modern approach to fingerstyle guitar, Calum teaches you techniques in the context of his own songs to get you on your way to composing your own beautiful fingerstyle songs.

29 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

Calum Graham brings us a modern approach to fingerstyle guitar with harmonics, hammer-ons, two handed tapping, rhythmic accents, and many other techniques designed to inspire the artistic side of acoustic guitar playing. You'll be well on your way to creating your own fingerstyle guitar compositions!


Series Introduction

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform the average fingerstyle player into an artist. Using modern techniques such as harmonics, hammer-ons, two handed tapping, rhythmic accents, you'll be well on your way to creating your own fingerstyle guitar compositions in no time!

4:02 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


The Hedges Hammer-on Pull-off Technique

Using his song "The Nomad" Calum shows us a technique inspired by one of his biggest influences: the great Michael Hedges.

10:48 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Exploring Counterpart

The idea of counterpart in a composition is two different lines moving counter to each other. In this lesson, Calum uses his song "The Nomad" to illustrate the use of this technique.

10:30 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Right Hand Slap Technique

In this lesson, Calum shows us an energetic technique achieved by slapping the strings with your right hand. Again, this is in the context of his song "The Nomad".

9:07 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Basslines 101

When constructing fingerstyle pieces, one must act as their own bass player. In this lesson, Calum gives an introduction to playing basslines, and shows us multiple ways to play them.

6:16 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Adding Layers to Basslines

Now that we've learned how to execute a bassline in different ways, it's time to layer another part on top of it! A challenging concept that will further your left and right hand independence.

16:02 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Two Handed Tapping Sequence

Calum continues working us through his song "The Nomad". This lesson is all about a two handed tapping sequence in the song, meant to strengthen our hand independence.

13:40 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Various Ways to Play Melody

Adding variation and nuance to your playing sometimes consists of learning to play melodies different ways. In this lesson, Calum takes a simple melody line and plays it with open strings, then with harmonics.

6:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


A Little Orchestra

Truly artistic acoustic arrangements can almost sound as though there is a small orchestra at your fingertips. Calum is a master at this technique and uses this lesson to show you how to achieve this effect.

14:47 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Call and Answer

In this lesson Calum takes a look at he traditional, time honored technique of the call and answer, putting it into a modern sounding fingerstyle passage.

9:47 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Thinking Rhythmically

As important as melody and harmony are, the acoustic guitar affords a unique opportunity to emphasize another musical element: rhythm. Calum shows us how to think of our guitar as percussion instrument or even a drum set in this lesson.

9:32 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Yoga For Your Fingers

As you can probably see, playing in Calum's style requires lots of dexterity and strength in your fingers! Well, it just so happens that he has a great set of exercises to help you gain that strength and dexterity: Yoga for your fingers!

15:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

One Man Band

Part of mastering this style on the acoustic guitar is learning how to make your guitar take on the personality of many different instruments. In this lesson, Calum shows how to incorporate different techniques that will make you sound like a one man band!

8:02 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Right Hand Development

In this lesson, Calum shows some advanced right hand techniques like rasguedo, string security and string skipping.

19:09 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty



Harmonics can be a great tool for adding flavor and uniqueness to your solo guitar pieces. In this lesson, Calum shows us an excerpt from his song "Waiting" to demonstrate the use of pinch harmonics.

19:02 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Percussive Slap Harmonics

A technique that provides an aggressive percussion approach as well as a melodic uniqueness, percussive slap harmonics is a useful tool in your arsenal of artistic acoustic techniques.

12:06 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Melodic Multitasking

Acoustic artistry involves being able to multitask on your instrument. Playing bass parts, counter melodies and melodies at the same time is a common occurrence. In this lesson, Calum gives us a passage to work on that will sharpen our multitasking skills.

13:52 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Creating Internal Rhythm

Creating internal rhythm is the process of filling some of the space between melodic notes with ghost notes or passing notes to give the passage more of a rhythmic feel. In this lesson Calum uses his song "Three Way Street" as an example of how to create internal rhythm.

11:49 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Utilizing Open Strings

In this lesson, Calum shows us the advantage of using open strings. As the example, he uses his song "Phoenix Rising".

11:16 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Two Handed Tapping 101

To get a little more proficient at two handed tapping, Calum shows us how to practice the major scale using this technique.

7:55 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Cascading Harmonics

The sound of cascading harmonics is very reminiscent of a harp. In this lesson, Calum show a lick that can be used to add that quality to your songs.

7:44 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Thumb Upstroke Technique

Although not as common, up and down picking strokes with the thumb can be used in fingerstyle guitar playing. In this lesson Calum gives us some pointers on how to execute this.

7:50 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


The CAGED Concept

The CAGED concept has helped countless guitarists over the years. In this lesson, Calum gives his take on the concept, and explores its usefulness.

13:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


All In One

Mixing certain elements together gives us a "guitar stew" of artistic techniques resulting in a complex and beautiful musical situation. Percussive guitar, harmonics and hammer-ons are on the ingredient list in this lesson.

14:35 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Travis Picking

In this lesson Calum gives us his take on the classic technique called Travis Picking. Using his song "Through the Photo Album", he takes us into this very Tommy Emmanuel-esque composition.

23:26 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Scales and Open Strings Part 1

Using open strings in your fingerstyle playing is a key technique. Not only does it allow you to achieve a nice sustain, it can also be handy for buying yourself a split second for position changes.

7:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Scales and Open Strings Part 2

In part two of this lesson on using open strings, Calum shows us how to traverse the length of the neck playing a variation of the C major scale, using as many open strings as we can along the way.

5:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Spice Up Your Scales

Now that we've used open strings to make our scales sustain more, it's time to add yet another technique - harmonics. In this lesson Calum combines fretted notes, open strings and harmonics to achieve a very harp-like sound on the instrument.

7:26 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


No Tuner? No Problem!

Being able to tune your guitar without an electronic tuner is a great thing to know in a pinch, but also can help train your ear. Calum revisits some popular self tuning methods in this lesson, possibly revealing some perspectives you've never given much thought to!

10:32 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Playing since 2005
  • 29 lessons at JamPlay
At just 24, Calum Graham has already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of most artists twice his age. The Alberta-based guitarist and singer/songwriter has released five acclaimed albums, won major national music competitions, performed at the Olympic Games in both Vancouver and London, racked up some phenomenal views on YouTube, and was most recently named one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Andy McKee, one of today’s most popular acoustic guitarists, calls Calum “the most promising young guitarist I’ve seen. His command of the guitar is already really impressive!”

Graham just recently released his fifth studio album 'Tabula Rasa' which was crowd funded by fans across the globe and produced by world renowned Acoustic Guitarist, Antoine Dufour. Adding an extra dimension to his compositions, the album introduces Graham’s soulful vocals to his audience for the first time. The album was released in March 2016 and features a combination of his exemplary instrumental guitar work punctuated throughout with elements of folk, blues, and pop in his vocal songs with guest performances by Antoine Dufour and Bass Guitar Extraordinnaire, Michael Manring. Calum is currently working on releasing new videos in the coming months on his YouTube channel, and continues to tour throughout Canada, the US, and Europe.
Reviews & Feedback 93/100 with 165 ratings

great job


All three. I liked the teacher. Easy to understand; AND Just what I needed.


Your instruction is excellent! Watching you play is helping expand my understanding of what is possible on the fretboard. Thank you for sharing your secret "recipes", Calum!


Awesome guitar style and fun to watch/listen to


Good Stuff


I've been looking for a slightly different way of playing finger style and this is great.


Saw him last week in concert.


show methode a lot play guitar . Thank you


Teacher was easy to understand and likable!


This is what I want, just need extra time to practice


Where is the rest of his?