The Beginner Rhythm Guitar Practice Plan, Vol I: The Fundamentals

Dave Isaacs covers foundational rhythm guitar concepts and techniques.

The ability to play rhythm is one of the most important skills you can have as a guitarist. Even great soloists like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan were great rhythm guitar players. And every decent bar room musician knows that the rhythm is what gets people on the dance floor!

This course is a comprehensive overview of basic rhythm guitar for beginners. The topics covered include: open and barre chord forms, chord qualities and basic chord theory, strum and pick technique, and techniques to develop timing, groove, and subtlety. Fill in gaps in your chord knowledge, and learn to apply basic theory to figure out new chordal sounds. Learn to make your strumming more dynamic and powerful, and how to simulate the sound of a whole band with a single guitar. While you’re working your way through this course, you’ll develop powerful practice techniques that get real results.

Learn foundational rhythm guitar concepts that will set you on the path to becoming the best guitarist you can be. Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
25 Lessons
4 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
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The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, The Beginner Rhythm Practice Plan Vol. 1 features world-class instruction and a dynamic learning system to help you succeed quickly.

It's not just videos, and not just downloads. You'll get:

  • Interactive tabs, notation, and fretboard
  • JamTracks for play along practice
  • Ask-a-teacher functionality
  • Speed up, slow down and loop the video
  • Bookmark exact moments in the lesson
  • Note-taking feature
  • 4k video with multiple camera angles
  • Track progress with the progress report
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This is a full, 4+ hour course featuring 25 step-by-step lessons with full supplemental content.

4k & 1080p

Course filmed with 6 cameras and stream in awesome 4k video quality and downloadable in 1080p.

Interactive Tabs

Tabs powered by Soundslice, the powerful interactive tab software, working natively in your browser.


Download and play along with custom JamTracks to lock in the concepts. Own them for life.

Tabs & GPX

Download all tabs and notation in PDF and Guitar Pro formats. Download and own them for life!


Learn the basics to ensure a solid foundation

  • Proper right hand technique
  • Proper left hand technique
  • Beginner Learning Progression
  • Much more...


The skills you need to strum and play rhythm

  • Strumming
  • Changing Chords with Ease
  • Mastering Rhythm
  • Much more...


Every idea has a practice session

  • Rhythm
  • Strumming
  • Chords
  • Much more...

Meet David Isaacs

Dave Isaacs has earned a reputation as one of the best: not simply a guitar and piano teacher but as a musical mentor to performing artists, songwriters, and performers as well as beginners, weekend warriors, and perpetual beginners.

Dave's approach to teaching develops not only guitar playing but the whole musician, building real skills, confidence, and musical knowledge.

A dynamic performing artist himself, he played in venues across the US from small clubs to festivals and concert halls. He has jammed with Les Paul on a Manhattan nightclub stage, rocked in the mud at Yasgur's Farm, harmonized in Greenwich Village folk clubs, and chicken-picked hot licks on Nashville's Lower Broadway. His ten independent CD releases run a wide stylistic range, from eclectic singer-songwriter to swampy groove-blues, bright country-rock, Southern soul, and lyrical jazz and classical guitar.

On the formal academic side, Dave is an award-winning graduate of New York's venerable Manhattan School of Music, with a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance. He was a full-time instructor of music and music technology at Tennessee State University from 2009-2013, and taught music theory and listening skills in the audio production program at the Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville from 2008-2016.

With his combined experience as a working musician and artist and nearly thirty years of teaching private lessons, workshops, clinics, and college courses, Dave Isaacs has a rare and exceptionally wide perspective as an educator.

Ultimate Beginner’s Rhythm Guitar Course, Vol I

Common Chords & Scales

This course will provide you with a deep understanding of the mechanics involved in ergonomically playing the most common open-position and Barre Chords. Together, we'll break things all the way down to individual finger movements that will help build confidence, stamina, and accuracy in your chording ability. It is perfect for all skill levels.

This course offers 25 lessons covering 4+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course


Welcome to 'The Beginner Rhythm Guitar Practice Plan, Vol. 1 : The Fundamentals'.

4:30 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Parallel and Oblique Finger Movements

Many times a chord change can be accomplished with minimal movement. Let's dive right into the fundamental mechanics of guitar playing by covering parallel and oblique finger movements.

6:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Parallel and Oblique Finger Movements - Practice Guide

Now let's practice the minimalist approach to chord changes that we learned in the previous lesson.

15:05 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Flip or Forearm Rotation

Efficient movement is key to cleanly making quick or numerous chord changes. In this lesson, Dave will cover one of the most useful movements in guitar playing - 'The Flip'

9:31 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Flip or Forearm Rotation - Practice Guide

In this next lesson, we'll run through some repetitions of the 'The Flip' in order to commit it to muscle memory.

9:13 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord Qualities

True mastery of our chords comes not only from memorizing the names of the chords, but by being able identify the actual sound of the chords. Here, Dave will discuss the importance of positioning and efficiency in order to create quality recognizable chord sounds.

9:29 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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Chord Qualities - Practice Guide

Now lets run through some repetitions of the previous exercise in order to really polish the quality of our chords.

10:15 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord/Scale Relationships

The relationship between chords and scales are one in the same, being that typically the scale resides within the chord itself. In this lesson, Dave will cover how to use the scale of a chord to identify alternate versions and placements of well known chords.

8:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Chord/Scale Relationships - Practice Guide

Alright now let's commit the scales within the chords to memory with the goal of being able to create a melody derived from our chord progression.

13:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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Primary Chords in D

We've all heard chords that sound like they were made for each other. In this lesson, David will cover some of the chords that work best with a D chord, as well as how to identify them alphabetically and numerically.

10:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Primary Chords in D - Practice Guide

Ok. Now let's practice the chord progression provided by David in the previous lesson.

10:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Primary Chords in F

Let's take things up a notch and apply the same concept that we covered with the D chord, only now with more difficult F chord.

8:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Primary Chords in F - Practice Guide

Now it's time to practice the F chord progression provided in the previous lesson.

18:53 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Full Barre F Chord

Time to get real. Barre Chords are a real challenge for many players. Many times this difficulty stems from less than optimal finger placement, as well as 'over-gripping' the guitar. In this lesson, Dave will discuss using some ergonomic finesse when utilizing the full bar 6-note F Barre Chord.

13:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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The Full Barre F Chord - Practice Guide

Alright, now let's put in some repetitions and practice the full bar 6-note F Chord.

10:18 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The A Shape and the B Chord

Continuing down the rabbit hole with our Barre Chords, Dave will now discuss the correlation between the A shape and B Barre Chord.

6:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The A Shape and the B Chord - Practice Guide

Here's a chance to put in some repetitions of the A-shape and B Barre Chord covered in the previous lesson.

10:50 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Barre Chords

Let's continue our exploration of Barre Chords and dive into the realm of Minor Barre Chords. In this lesson, Dave will cover the ergonomics and placement of the B Minor Barr Chord.

4:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Minor Barre Chords - Practice Guide

Now it's time to practice the construction and application of our B Minor Barre Chord.

10:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Minor E Shape Barre Chord

Continuing with our Barre Chords, Dave will now discuss the the E Minor Barre Chord as well as the four primary shapes that are prevalent in modern music.

5:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Minor E Shape Barre - Practice Guide

Ok. Now let's practice committing the E Minor Chord Shape from the previous lesson to muscle memory.

9:41 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Combining Barre Chord Forms

We previously mentioned the four primary Barre Chord shapes. Now let's follow Dave as he covers how to ergonomically combine these shapes into a single chord progression.

7:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Combining Barre Chord Forms - Practice Guide

In this lesson, we will run through some repetitions of the chord progression provided in the previous lesson in order to commit the four primary Barre Chord shapes to muscle memory.

11:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Review and Basic Chord Progressions

Coming down the homestretch! In this review, Dave will cover the open-position and fretted Barre Chords which, when committed to memory, will allow us to play all twelve major and minor chords in two positions!

8:42 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Review and Basic Chord Progressions - Practice Guide

Congratulations! Here we are on our final exercise of the course. Let's bring it home with some repetitions of the extended chord progression from the previous lesson.

17:23 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty