Beginner Rhythm Practice Plan: Vol 1

Beginner Guitar Course from David Isaacs

The human body is essentially a machine, and like any other machine - if used improperly it can start to break down. Join David Isaacs as he gets down to the nuts and bolts of chording and chord progressions. We'll get under the microscope and break down open position and Barre Chords - finger by finger, while discussing the ergonomic benefits of proper hand positioning. We'll also cover the minimalist movements required to create fluid, accurate chord changes that can help avoid injury and maintain fretting hand stamina.

25 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

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.

Begin the 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

View this Lesson

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


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


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


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

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Dave Isaacs Group

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Playing since 1980
  • 364 lessons at JamPlay
Nashville-based Dave Isaacs has made a name for himself as one of Music City's top guitar instructors, working with both professional and aspiring songwriters and artists at his Music Row teaching studio. He is also an instructor in the music department at Tennessee State University and is the coordinator and artistic director of the annual TSU Guitar Summit.

A seasoned performer as well, Dave has released eight independent CDs and gigs steadily as a solo artist, bandleader, and sideman. He continues to write, record, and perform as well as arranging and producing projects for other artists.

Reviews & Feedback 98/100 with 250 ratings

An onscreen tab would be really nice addition to help keep focus on the lesson. Until then I'll just print a copy


He is a great teacher, the rhythm he teaches is fundamental for a good music foundation (plus the harmonies are pretty good).


Awesome Dave - looking forward to this :)


Best course I've done online. Inspiring teacher and great mix of methodology and mechanics.


David is such a great teacher. This course was just what I needed!!


David Isaacs is excellent. I really connect with him. The kind of guy I'd like to meet in person. Really learning a lot from him.


Good amount of stick and carrot to keep me motivated


He conveys a sense of great knowledge and explains the concepts very clearly.


Hoping to begin a learning experience.


I appreciate that he went over the different fingering positions, I had to learn that on my own and have told others the same that David has.


I liked the way the instructor talked about the guitar course.


I loved the transition explanation from Major to the 7th


I'm stuck on basic chords and chord progressions. Just got my JamPlay membership yesterday, so happy to get started.


The lesson plan and goals are exactly what I’m looking for to improve my skills


Very clear about whats trying to be accomplished