Lessons with Randall Williams

Artist Series Guitar Course from Randall Williams

Randall Williams is a dynamic, powerful, classically trained acoustic musician who interest is found in the dynamic and relevant world of folk. One of Randall's specialties includes the style of cut or partial capo.

30 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

Randall Williams will cover useful music theory, capo guitar for beginners, open tunings, partial capo playing and more in this amazing lesson series.


Useful Music Theory

In his introductory lesson, Randall Williams discusses music theory in a useful and practical context. This knowledge will be required for his future lessons.

26:39 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Music Theory Part #2

Randall Williams returns with the second part of his lesson on useful music theory. In this lesson, he talks about using a capo, ornamenting chords, and the minor scales.

36:38 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Open Tuning

In this lesson Randall introduces the concept of open tuning. He will talk about how open tunings work as well as how they alter your chords and scales.

31:48 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Open Tuning Part 2

Randall Williams returns to the world of open tunings to talk about open d, open g, and open c. He also give tips on slide guitar and playing in these tunings.

41:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo for Total Beginners

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the life of a beginner easier.

12:46 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

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Partial Capo Part 2

In this lesson Randall returns to the world of the partial capo (or cut-capo). He covers additional right hand techniques and a few sample songs.

18:00 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo Part 3

Randall returns to the world of the partial capo. In this lesson, he talks more about playing songs and chords. He also introduces a second capo.

9:41 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Partial Capo Part 4

Randall returns with the fourth part of his partial capo for total beginners lesson set. Randall introduces more right hand patterns and talks about playing with a disability.

11:28 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Randall's Toolbox

Randall Williams shares his technique toolbox in this lesson. He explains over twenty different rhythmic patterns that can be applied to a chord progression.

27:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Randall's Toolbox Part 2

Randall shares part two of his toolbox mini-series.

25:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo Techniques

Randall Williams shares many new ideas in part one of his Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

38:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Partial Capo Techniques Part 2

Randall Williams shares part two of his fantastic Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

16:30 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo Techniques Part 3

Randall shares part three of his Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

19:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo Techniques Part 4

Randall Williams continues on to part four of his exciting Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

29:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Partial Capo Techniques Part 5

Randall concludes his Partial Capo Technique mini-series.

32:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 1

Randall Williams explains and performs the song "Causeway" by Daithi Rua.

8:24 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 2

Randall Williams takes a look at his original song "Stronger For Your Flame" and offers a wonderful performance.

10:18 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 3

Randall Williams shares an inspiring, original song called "Draw the Line."

6:06 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 4

Randall Williams shares his beautiful original tune, "Praying for Land" in this lesson.

7:50 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 5

Randall Williams teaches his original song "Ghost in the Machine."

9:37 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 6

Randall Williams shares his touching original song, "I Will Come For You."

8:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty



After sharing many great tunes in his Exploring Songs mini-series, Randall Williams says a few words about performing.

10:29 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Short Form Songwriting

Randall Williams creates a song with you from scratch in this fascinating lesson about short form songwriting.

31:18 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Singing with the Guitar

Randall Williams presents his introductory lesson on singing with the guitar.

10:36 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Singing with the Guitar Part 2

Randall explores more singing topics in this lesson. He provides sample exercises and encourages you to sing along.

26:15 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Exploring Songs Part 7

Randall Williams shares another beautiful original tune called "Guatemala" in this lesson.

6:55 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Songwriting Part 1

Randall Williams continues his exploration on songwriting. In this particular lesson, he focuses on musicality and the creative process.

14:39 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Songwriting Part 2

Randall Williams continues his discussion on musicality and creating songs.

23:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Songwriting Part 3

Randall continues his discussion on songwriting in part 3 of his songwriting mini series.

21:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Songwriting Part 4

Randall Williams concludes his mini-series on songwriting in this lesson.

13:24 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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  • Bath, Maine
  • Playing since 1988
  • 41 lessons at JamPlay
He felt that classical music lacked the inclusiveness of folk music, and that the inevitable division between performer and audience was unbearable. And so Randall returned to the world of traveling with his guitar, writing songs in train stations and sleeping on couches, then singing and playing on street corners, cafï, and pubs. For a time he lived aboard a 20' sailboat that he bought for $800, teaching himself how to sail by single-handing through the Baltic and North Seas with his guitar sleeping in the berth beside him at night. He wrote a book about the trip, which begins with the story of almost getting squashed by a tanker before dawn one morning in the North Sea.

He moved to North Africa, then set off across the Sahara by hitching with locals - bouncing through a minefield on the way that made his mother have bad dreams. He loved the adventure, but he missed the music.

In 2005, Randall returned stateside to scrounge up a career as a performing songwriter, hoping it wasn't too late. So far, it hasn't been. As the "Partial Capo Guy," Randall has written two books for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products, and given workshops at some of the biggest festivals in United States. As a performer, Randall has been a finalist in the Founder's Title and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests, A regional finalist at Kerrville, a showcase artist at Northeast and Midwest Folk Alliance, and at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, and an Audience Favorite at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. His 2007 live release, "One Night in Louisiana" made a respectable dent in the folk DJ charts (One single, "Lebanon," was #8 in May,) and he's generally a nice guy to have around, capos or not.

Randall is as much at home in a Bangkok slum or a Senegalese village, at the Kennedy Center in D.C. or the Fine Arts Palace in Brussels sandwiched between a twitchy orchestra and a full house, or shoeless on the floor of your living room. Randall has sung in a dozen languages in over 35 countries.

Lynne Andrews: "When Randall left the confines of classical music largely behind, they lost a great talent, but the world gained a good friend - a friend who will tell its stories with grace, compassion, humility and humor."

Randall began playing guitar seriously in 1988, and played his first open mic one year later. Randall kept playing and learning more and more. Randall began teaching guitar in 1992, while studying musical composition, analysis, and performance. Randall got his undergraduate music degree in 1996, then studied flamenco for about a year (1997) before beginning studies at the royal conservatory of music in mons, belgium.

From 1998 to 2001, Randall studied voice, analysis, and harmony at the conservatory, with classical guitar lessons on the side for about 6 months. Randall's undergraduate study and the conservatory courses added a degree of musical structure to his improvisational ability, and gave him a strong music theory base. He recieved the premier prix for concert singing from the conservatory in 2001.

Randall's most recent discoveries: how to build a structure for creating chords in open tunings, and learning how to structure placement of partial capos in standard and alternate tunings.
Reviews & Feedback 93/100 with 85 ratings

Good Teacher , Great Lesson, Learned A Lot !


Causeway is beautifully rendered and beautifully written. It stands alone, complete, both simple and complex. Well done.


harmonizing the major scale in open tunings really helps me learn the various chord voicings


I want to learn to use the Capo because my fingers are kind of short. Randall explains things in an easy manner to understand. I like the teacher and the way he explains things. Thanks




In reality I like the teacher, it's easy to understand and it's just what I needed. It's great to learn how to really use the Drop D capo. How to take advantage of it.


made it easy to understand!!!!


Music theory has always boggled my febble brain...and it's still confusing, but with Randall's approach it's starting to sink in

dan schmidt

Nice pace and easy to follow. Good sense of humor. No entanglement and strait forward .


Oh my God....finally. Thank you for finally helping me "get it"!


Straight to the point! No flafla and very fast learning! Is this teacher still creating more videos on the website? Guy from US or Canada? Thanks again! Fred


Thanks for making it un-der-stan-da-ble!


this is perfect


very easy to understand and well explained