Fingerstyle Mastery

Artist Series Guitar Course from Mike Dawes

Learn the next level of percussive fingerstyle from a world-class player. Mike Dawes teaches you to go from an average fingerstyle player to playing some of his most advanced compositions. 40 lessons to both inspire and challenge any guitarist, exclusively from JamPlay.

40 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

95% Appoval

293 of 301 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


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Full Course Breakdown

This course applies to the intermediate player looking to discover modern fingerstyle techniques and add more dynamics and versatility to their craft. Mike will begin by building the foundation needed to tackle his hypnotic style, then challenge you with song excerpts, exercises, and more.


Introduction to the Course

Mike Dawes introduces you to his inspirational course. He talks about what you will learn, and what you need to know. Buckle up and get ready for the ride.

3:53 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Mike Dawes Gear

From fingernails to pickups, take a close look at the gear that helps Mike create his unique, beautiful sound.

7:23 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Travis Picking Technique

Time for a technique overview! Mike walks through the basics of Travis picking to set a good foundation for what's to come.

10:38 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Travis Picking Part 2

Mike demonstrates travis picking over the 12-bar blues, a perfect context to get your fingers wrapped around this technique.

13:43 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Travis Picking Licks

Learn a lead accompaniment inspired by the late Jerry Reed. This travis picked lick works great over the 12-bar blues.

6:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Travis Picking Combined

Taking the parts learned in the last two lessons, Mike demonstrates them separately, then we overlay them to hear what they sound like together.

3:55 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


DADGAD: Scales and Control

DADGAD offers a great stepping stone out of standard tuning. Mike introduces scales and warm-ups to familiarize yourself

10:48 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


DADGAD: Right Hand Control

Now that we are comfortable with scales in our left hand, Mike introduces right hand exercises that will increase strength and control.

8:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


DADGAD: Movable Shapes

When you changed into DADGAD, it probably felt like you lost your chord shapes. Mike eases you into the change by teaching shapes for this tuning.

11:22 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


DADGAD: Favorite Chords

Continuing with movable shapes, Mike introduces some of his favorite chord shapes that have proven useful in his own songwriting.

5:36 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Getting Creative

So far, we've taken a very technical and theoretical approach to DADGAD. Let's start making music. Mike teaches a beautiful, celtic composition.

7:37 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Getting Creative - Somewhere Home

Extracting a section from "Somewhere Home", Mike puts DADGAD tuning to good use. Beware: this song utilizes hammer-ons, trills, and modulates.

14:39 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty



Mike starts into some more advanced techniques, starting with harmonics. These tools are sure to make your playing rise above the fray.

13:22 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Harmonics with Chords

Learning to blend harmonics into chords and melodies is next level! Mike teaches an exercise that introduces harmonics into a chord environment.

8:30 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Introduction to Tapping

Tapping is an useful technique to extend melodies beyond basic fingerpicking. Mike introduces the concept and introduces an exercise.

7:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Lap Tapping

Find out how an accident led to Mike discovering a whole new approach to tapping. Lap tapping is an effective way to know your fretboard even better.

7:26 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Lap Tapping Part 2

As Mike continues his exploration into horizontal tapping, he breaks down the first section of his song, Still, for a practical study of this technique.

7:35 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Lap Tapping Licks

Mike introduces a new, untitled lap tapping riff. We're still hanging out in E minor, but this riff will help increase speed and precision with your tapping.

7:04 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Acoustic Tapping Harmonies

Time to put your guitar back in the upright position. Mike starts to delve into some more advanced tapping techniques, including harmonization and percussion.

7:53 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Advanced Acoustic Workout

In this "ridiculously, hectic" exercise, Mike takes some familiar shapes and turns them into a beautiful, challenging workout for anyone brave enough to join him.

8:36 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Introduction to Percussion

You would never hit your guitar? Well, Mike will convince you otherwise. He introduces his "grid" system which offers a foundation to add percussion.

13:06 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


The Percussion Grid

As introduced in the previous lesson, Mike expands on the percussion grid and teaches how to create a snare like sound on your guitar.

10:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Drum Kit Emulation

If you've ever seen a drum kit, there's more than just a kick and snare. We are going to start recreating other sounds found in the world of percussion.

6:24 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Adding the Band

Now that we've got a handle on drums, it's time to add guitar! We introduce the fretting hand, both as a percussive element and for adding chords.

5:57 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Percussion: Overload

Mike takes a percussive groove from his song, Overload, and breaks it down. This riff takes the grid system and introduces a simple bass line.

7:05 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Percussive Riff - Maybe Someday

Mike takes a riff from "Maybe Someday" a song from his first album, "What Just Happened" and breaks it down for us. This riff has a celtic waltz feel and involves subtle percussion.

5:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


New Song - The Old Room

World Premiere of this hauntingly beautiful song, "The Old Room". In this lesson, Mike does a complete playthrough, then breaks down the first verse.

16:41 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


The Old Room - The Chorus

The chorus of The Old Room opens up into a majestic section with lush, full chords, harmonics, and accented single note runs. Sounds difficult, but it's an achievable challenge!

7:21 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


The Old Room - Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Variations

Now Mike takes a look at some slight but cool variations in the second verse and second chorus of The Old Room.

9:52 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


The Old Room - Interlude A and B

Relying heavily on a mix of harmonics, fingerpicking, pull-off's, hammer-on's and percussion, this will be a technical challenge, but it is well worth the effort.

13:27 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


The Old Room - Interlude C

Interlude C of The Old Room features 3 sub-sections that build off of one another. Starting with a melodic phrase, Mike then adds a little percussion, then adds a lot of percussion. A nice build as we head towards the Outro of the song!

12:16 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


The Old Room - Outro

Mike closes out the song with this open, free-time outro with dark harmonic tones and heavy reverb. If you don't feel the emotion, check your pulse!

6:05 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - Song Lesson

Building off of what we've learned, Mike is going to break down his song Boogie Shred, section by section, in unparalleled detail. In this first lesson, Mike does a complete playthrough, then shows us the chorus and the main riff.

16:01 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - The Verse

The verse of Boogie Shred is built upon a bass pattern with some simple percussion. From there is escalates, but getting the foundation is key!

11:34 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - The Pre-Chorus

We'll take a look at the pre-chorus of Boogie Shred.

7:53 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - Chorus and Verse Variations

In this lesson, Mike teaches us some cool variations on the verse and chorus of Boogie Shred.

4:41 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - Pre-Chorus 2 and Variations

Now it's time to take a look at some variations in the pre-chorus the second time it comes around.

7:17 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - The Bridge

It sounds crazy, but Mike breaks down the hectic bridge of Boogie Shred and shows that it is actually possible to play!

8:11 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Boogie Shred - The Outro

For the final piece of Boogie Shred, we look at the outro, which is a variation of the chorus. Mike then congratulates us on a job well done as he wraps up the entire series.

5:05 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Bonus Interview

Mike shares stories and advice from his own experience as a career musician.

16:10 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

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  • London, England
  • Playing since 2000
  • 40 lessons at JamPlay
Mike Dawes (ENG) is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers.

His acclaimed solo music has gained over 50 million hits on popular video sharing sites and since the release of his debut album in 2013 he has toured almost every continent on the planet, with an average of 150 concerts per year. Mike needs to be seen live to be believed. His ability to create the most unusual tones and textures simultaneously from a single acoustic guitar leaves fellow musicians stunned. Bass, melody, harmony and percussion all seamlessly produced using his signature technical yet intrinsically musical guitar technique. His show is not just for guitar fans however, his entertaining and humorous rapport transcends the traditional guitar concert. Extraordinary virtuosity meets Monty Python via a one-man rock show. Mike has recorded with and taught multiple grammy winning artists, appeared on film and TV soundtracks, released apps, written for the world’s best selling music magazines and in addition to his solo work, currently performs alongside and in support of the legendary frontman of The Moody Blues, Justin Hayward, the debut live DVD of which entered the US Billboard charts at #2. At 28 years of age, Mike has made a huge impact in a relatively short space of time. His persistent work ethic and entertainingly meticulous approach to composition and performance on a single instrument has seen raised smiles and dropped jaws all over the world. He is not a typical guitar player. On a single steel string guitar Mike is able to coax out the most unusual and subtle textures, whilst performing layers and layers of music simultaneously using complex micro-techniques led predominantly by the right hand. In a style that is hard to illustrate, the young Brit combines rock, folk, funk and pop music in an instrumental concoction that leaves listeners both confused and intrigued. However, it’s his innate musicality and ear for melody that give listeners something different. Mike is able to utilise his advanced technical arsenal to achieve a musical and emotional end, a skill set often lacking in this instrumental category. In the live arena, his British humour and electric presence sprinkle an entertainment not uncommon in a comedy club. He does not take himself seriously, but the music is taken very seriously
Reviews & Feedback 95/100 with 301 ratings

Awesome. -)


enjoying the dry wit and the musicianship


excellent presentation in method, technique and skills..Well spoken, entertaining and thought out..Good humor! I hope this eventually sticks in me brain!


explained very well


Great introduction to Travis picking!


i'm a big fan of Mike dawes. ever since i heard his songs on Candyrat records he seems humble and very english and has a nice dry humor.


I'm a travis picker already, but I like to watch basic lessons as refreshers. Sometimes you start cutting corners and forget they've been cut. Were I new to travis picking, I think this would be the perfect lesson to get into it.

Lori-queen of marlins

l've gotten farther in 4 lessons with you than I have in the last two years on my own! Thank you so much! Your style of teaching is really working for me!


Like his style of p,laying. Hope I can learn this.

PJ Astralaga

Love the gear, the explanation & of course the passion!


Mike Dawes is an amazing player. I hope I can keep up. I'm into this style of playing and I've been wanting to learn it for quite some time.


Nice guy and I love he exercises. Its like a I can feel getting better.


On the intro Mike seems friendly - most certainly he is accomplished and awesome ;). I can't wait to explore his course


Outside the box guitar playing. Well done!


Really enjoyed your approach to Travis Picking!!!


Saw this player with Justin Hayward and was BLOWN AWAY! WHAT AN INCREDIBLE TALENT!


The best is good enough.


the supplemental is good though


this is so hard :-( but I am sure it will pay off


This is way more detailed than I expected, but the teacher is great, I really like his style. Bit fast paced but the supplementary notes are just right. Thanks, Julie


want to lern to do that