Blues Guitar For Beginners

Beginner Guitar Course from Mark Brennan

New to guitar and love the blues? This course is perfect for you!

29 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

91% Appoval

1392 of 1460 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

Mark will teach you the basics of your guitar and other electric gear. After you know your gear and what it does, it's time to rock. Mark will begin with basic right and left hand exercises and will eventually have you playing chords and learning your first scale.

Begin the Course

Series Intro - Guitar Parts and Tuning

Mark introduces his Phase 1 series and covers some fundamental electric guitar basics.

30:12 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty



Mark provides a detailed overview of amplification. This lesson has some great info for any electric player.

33:55 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Using Tablature and Learning the Fretboard

Before we start rocking, Mark goes over some tools and training necessary to every beginning guitarist.

12:52 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Right Hand Technique

It's time to get some sound out of your guitar. Mark begins with picking hand technique.

31:34 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Left Hand Technique

Mark explains proper left hand technique from the ground up.

10:36 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Natural Notes in the 1st Position

Mark teaches you all of the natural notes played in first position. He uses two classic melodies to supplement this information.

25:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The C Major Scale - 1st Position

It's time to learn your first scale - the C major scale in first position. Mark also explains how the major scale is constructed.

21:31 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Chords in C major - Part 1

Mark covers 7 basic chords in the key of C major.

35:14 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Chords in C major - Part 2

Mark expands on chords in C major by showing full forms of the chords you learned in Part 1. He also teaches you the chord progression to a familiar tune.

25:00 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Power Chord Primer

It's time to start making some noise by using power chords and palm muting. Mark gives you the framework to start rocking with the 12 bar blues progression.

36:43 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Open Position Minor Pentatonic

Take your knowledge of the notes in the first position and start jamming on a simple pentatonic riff.

14:34 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Blues Scale Basics with Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Vibrato

Let's build on lesson 11 with an extended discussion of the pentatonic scale. For lesson 12, we'll simply add one note to the minor pentatonic scale to give us the famous minor blues scale. We'll also discuss new techniques to interject into your playing, including hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and vibrato.

36:27 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Movable Power Chords

Mark explains how to finger power chords and how they can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. He also shows an exercise that will help you remember the name of each power chord.

16:28 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Rhythmic Notation Part 1

Mark Brennan explains rhythmic notation, tempos, time signatures, note values, and more in this lesson.

32:14 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Key of G Major

Mark explores the key of G major in this lesson. He covers the first position pattern of the scale and explains how it can be harmonized in thirds.

33:22 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Chords of G Major

Mark teaches the basic chords of G major as well as some other exercises to get you acquainted with this key.

34:28 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Key of D Major

Mark explains the basics of D major.

25:00 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Chords in D Major

Mark takes you through the chords of D major and explains some new ones that you haven't encountered yet.

35:00 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


More Movable Power Chords & the Circle of Fifths

Mark continues his discussion of power chords. This time around, he explains the circle of 5ths and demonstrates some power chord progressions that illustrate this concept.

33:18 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Movable Minor Pentatonic Scale

Mark teaches the 1st box of the minor pentatonic scale.

32:31 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


The Minor Blues Scale Transposed to A

Mark explains how you can transpose the pentatonic pattern covered in lesson 20 to the key of A minor. He also shows the "lower extension box" and "home plate box."

26:09 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Blues Boogie Shuffle

Mark teaches the difference between straight eighth notes and the shuffle feel.

42:33 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Amplification Part Two

In response to member requests, Mark added another amplification lesson to his growing phase 1 series. In this lesson, he compares 3 classes of amps from entry level models all the way to a Mesa Mark V.

40:45 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Introduction To Improvisation

In this lesson, Mark teaches some blues licks that can be used when improvising over a 12 bar blues progression.

24:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Key of A Minor

Mark covers the key of A minor.

29:36 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Two Movable Major Chord Forms

Mark teaches two movable major chord forms and gives many examples of how to practice playing them.

26:10 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


I-IV-V Progression Revisited

Mark Brennan shows you how to apply the chord forms learned in lesson 26 to a I-IV-V progression.

21:52 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Movable Dominant 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan continues his teachings on movable chord forms. In this lesson he shows the dominant 7th chords and how to use them in a 12 bar blues progression.

19:49 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Movable Minor and Minor 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan teaches these minor chord forms and how they are movable up and down the fretboard. He also shows how to use these chords in common progressions.

21:29 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

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Mark Brennan

  • Akron, OH
  • Playing since 1974
  • 53 lessons at JamPlay
Mark Brennan, born August 12th, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, began playing guitar at the age of 10. His first influences were from the Ventures and the British Invasion, especially the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Shortly afterwards he was playing in rock bands with his brother on drums, developing his ear by learning songs straight from records. Playing in a band became a passion.

In high school, he grew to love acoustic and classical guitar. He spent time playing acoustic music, influenced by The Eagles, CSN, Dan Folgelberg, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, etc. In the 70's, he headed a very popular Cleveland band, The Brennan-Cosma Band, which played a variety of acoustic and rock music, along with originals. He also took up classicalguitar, and began developing his fingerstyle technique.

Mark is a graduate of Cleveland State University (1980), with a Bachelor of Music in Classical guitar performance. He also studied Music Composition, and took many Music Education classes. After graduation, he began his private teaching career, teaching electric, acoustic, and classical guitar, along with music theory. He taught in various studios and guitar shops throughout his career, and currently has a private practice at his home in Fairview Park, Ohio.

In the 80's Mark took an affection to Progressive rock. With his band Polyphony, he was influenced by the music of Yes, Genesis, Kansas, ELP, Styx, along with a set of prog rock originals.

Currently, Mark is in the regionally successful Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here. The band performs faithful renderings of the Floyd classics spanning their entire catalog, along with a strong visual stage show. Here, Mark displays his command of the David Gilmour style.

Mark is excited to be part of JamPlay.com's fine roster of teachers. He's looking forward to extending his 35 years of performing and teaching experience to the JamPlay members. His philosophy is about developing a passion for guitar and being the best musician you can be; being true to yourself and developing a personal style, and truly expressing your heart through your music.
Reviews & Feedback 91/100 with 1460 ratings

100 times better than guitartricks. It really is!


All of the above answers were true for me.


Good teacher


Amazing learning.


Appreciate the way the lessons are starting to build and I can see my skills improving


Spot on for beginers like me


Been playing for years. Never got that before. Thanks a mil. Walker


Clear lessons, chill disposition. Enjoying the lecture.


Cool tones! Boogie sounds good.


easy to understand


Easy to understand, very good info.


I like the comments about making it musical........or play it smoothly...;;;make is sound pretty


Excellent I


Excellent presentation and easy to understand.


excellent teacher... ty mark


Exercise to memorize fretboard was good


Explained and demonstrated very well for the newbie, great job dude!


One of my favorite teachers for far. I like his teaching style. Very articulated and explained so well.


Good method of practice


Thanks, Mark! I have a whole new love and appreciation for my strat. I was thinking of it in terms of a kid with a learners permit and a brand new vette that he really did not know what to do with. The lesson put some basic techniques into per


Good stuff for me to work on. Want to control my picking on each string where needed. Thanks


good teacher, easy understand a


Good teaching style and material was presented well. Teaching by example was very good.


will this way of playing single notes work.how much time a day ?


great and relaxing takes his time easy to understand.


I picked up a few tips here in spite of playing guitar for over ten years.


Great lesson. Finally I have understood (and memorized) where are the notes :) Also playing legato: this is something I will spend a lot of time practicing. :) Thanks Mark


Great song


Great Start for someone that has no clue on what they are doing. The tuner section was very informative, I was tuning wrong this whole time.


great teacher very easy to understand


great teaching easy to understand now need to practice practice and practice


Having reviewed some of the other teachers, I really like Mark. I especially like the animated fretboard view of what he's doing. I'm a long-time player with lots of holes in my knowledge and this is helping tremendously.


He is quite easy to understand doesn't add a bunch of unneeded information keeping it simple straight foward.


He made I t easy to understand.


He showed me a method to actually learn the notes. I have never tried this before and I am surprised to say that it works great. In an hour or so, I memorized all the E notes on the entire fretboard and am going to work on learning the rest of

Guitar Tracks

He's very good, and clear at explaining the information of every note name up and down the neck of the guitar.


Helped me correct something my inperson teacher didn't even talk about.


Hi Mark, in the lesson you are recommended tapping your feet which I'm sure is a good thing to do. I have a question do you have any advice for someone that is paralyzed from the waist down. I have played guitar since 1984 had an accident in 20


How do I save this so I know how to get back to him?


I agree with all of the above


I am not sure if this is just what I need right now, however I a learning more. I just have to practice more and become more sure of myself.


I appreciate tip that isn't really necessary to strum upstrokes on all string of chord. 3-4 notes are okay as well. This knowledge should help me to progress. Thanks.

Jammin John

I have been on Mark's lesson series for 4 years and am just finishing Lesson 24. I have enjoyed learning these riffs over the last 5 months. Only 5 more to go. Mark is the reason I joined Jamplay. After the trial month with his lessons I realiz


I Have been trying to learn scales but more importantly not just memorize them understand what they mean how they work and their importance.