Acoustic Guitar Styles with Dave Isaacs

Genre and Style Guitar Course from David Isaacs

Dave Isaacs is back with his comprehensive series covering all sorts of different ways that Acoustic Guitar presents itself in popular music.

31 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

Get ready to learn your favorite styles from recognizable artists and put to practice techniques such as strumming, fingerpicking, and chord voicings!


Acoustic Guitar Styles Introduction

Dave Isaacs is back with his comprehensive series covering all sorts of different ways that Acoustic Guitar presents itself in popular music. Get ready to learn your favorite styles from recognizable artists and put to practice techniques such as strumming, fingerpicking, and chord voicings!

5:24 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Pulse, Beat and Rhythm

Dave discusses important ideas about rhythm and time, including counting as you play. He also covers types of notes and rests, and shows you how to read basic rhythms in notation and tablature.

20:53 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Ghost Strums and Dynamics

Dave dives into two of the most important concepts in modern music - groove and dynamics. He talks about how these two ideas go hand-in-hand to make music more exciting, and shows you how to incorporate them into your own playing.

17:08 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Strumming and Chord Embellishments

Dave teaches the song "Heartland Soul," a simple and groovy acoustic number. Using examples from the song, we learn different strumming patterns, as well as how to embellish chord voicings with different notes.

23:18 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Picking Direction and String Crossing

You'll get a single note workout in this lesson! Practice crossing strings, using the most efficient and musical motion possible. We'll discuss anchoring, alternate picking, and some 'best practices' for picking single notes within a chord.

22:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Flatpicking Arpeggios

Building on the picking techniques from the last lesson, you'll get to learn a cool, laid back track called "Years Go By". When you're understanding and able to track with the picking concepts from lesson 5, you're ready to move on to this lesson. Have fun!

13:43 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Alternate Picking in A Major

Get into some single note work and scales in preparation for learning a song in the next lesson! You'll get a taste for working in position and learn how to choose which fingering makes the most sense.

12:11 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Bluegrass-style Flatpicking

Take the picking insights from the last tune and apply them to this straight forward Bluegrass tune called "Picking Party" This mid tempo picking workout will help you cement the picking techniques you have been working on.

15:12 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Breaking Down 16th Note Strums

Strumming is an art. It's also something that show flow and be pretty much effortless. Still, many guitar players struggle with maintaining that 16th note feel and making it sound natural. Mr. Isaacs will break it down for you!

14:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord Ideas & 16th Note Strums

Continue working on the 16th note strumming techniques that you used in the last lesson and put them to work in a tune called "Strumming Groove".

17:37 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Intro To Fingerstyle

If you didn't start as a fingerstyle guitar player, it can be a daunting task to get started with the technique. Dave makes it easy to add this style to your playing!

24:56 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Classical-Style Fingerpicking

Once you have taken Dave's introduction to fingerpicking, get a taste of the way that Classical music uses this technique. You'll also get to learn a cool tune.

12:42 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Strums In Six

This lesson will introduce the 6/8 time signature. You'll learn just a small bit of music theory, you'll get better at counting music and you'll learn to groove!

16:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Tune in 6/8 Time

Take what we worked on in the last lesson and apply it to a song in 6/8 time. You'll get even more used to strumming in this triple groove and play along with real music!

15:37 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Strummed Chords and Bass Lines

Continuing with honing in on the groove, you'll have an opportunity to work with moving bass lines with in a chord progression and strum pattern.

13:25 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Lazy Walkdown

Continue with the walking bass and strum concepts in this lesson and learn a catchy tune that takes 'walking' in the low end to the next level!

17:06 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Thumb Bass, Finger Melody

We're going to circle back around to fingerstyle in this lesson. This time your fingers get to play melody while your thumb acts as your bass player, keeping steady time.

13:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Back Porch Blues

Go a step further with fingerstyle in a Blues setting. Play along with the simple backing track and feel a real sense of accomplishment that you have incorporated the bass/thumb and finger/melody concept! You'll also get to practice palm muting!

11:39 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Muting With Both Hands

Let's talk about muting, rhythm and percussion. You can add a whole other layer of color and musical interest with proper and creative muting techniques.

19:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Steel String Funk

Make an acoustic guitar get a little funky! You'll be applying the rhythmic and creative muting concepts you learned in the last lesson to this groovin' tune.

16:26 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fretted Notes & Open Strings

Use open strings while playing up the neck to bring out the resonance of your acoustic guitar. Learn new chord shapes and scale patterns that span the neck and use the open sound of un-fretted notes.

14:32 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Let It Ring

Take the concept of using fretted notes and open strings that was worked on in the last lesson and apply it to a soothing little tune.

14:34 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Plucked Chords

We're going to return to fingerstyle working primarily with plucked chords. This will be a review of basic fingerstyle, but the fresh vibe created by the plucked chords will present a new challenge.

13:57 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty



Apply what you've been practicing in the area of plucked chords to this laid back and meditative piece. You'll exercise other fingerstyle techniques as well!

13:49 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Easy Groove

Continue to work on fingerstyle, but come at with a slightly different approach. We'll add percussion to plucked chords and subtle melodies within connected chords.

23:17 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Movable Shapes in D

Get yourself out of the open position, and move up the neck while retaining the ringing of open strings as well. You'll do this by capitalizing on inversions.

21:45 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Drop D

Drop your low E to low D and open up a whole new range of possibilities. Dave will go over the tuning process and share some tasty finger picked ideas for you to explore the tuning with.

17:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Country Blues Travis Picking

Travis Picking can be used generally to describe any fingerpicking technique where the thumb is alternating with the rest of the strings. This lesson will take the technique all the way back to its roots in Ragtime piano!

20:15 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



Going deeper into the "Travis" style picking, Isaacs will add a technical variation and teach you a bouncy little tune called "Ragtime". Have fun!

14:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Color Chords in E

We'll return to the concept of moving chords up and down the neck. This time, we'll be in the key of E. We've already done lessons like this on the keys of A and D, so this one should flow nicely with what you've learned so far.

20:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Listen Up!

Apply movable chords up the neck and get a strumming workout at the same time with a track called "Listen Up".

20:23 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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Dave Isaacs Group

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Playing since 1980
  • 478 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 96/100 with 240 ratings

Beautiful piece. Definitely challenging.


Best guitar teacher ever


Clear instructions and demo. Thanks good lesson.


Clear, concise while complete and very easy to learn from - will visit more of David's!


counting out the music helped me understand strum up or don. so much easier to pick up rhythm. Thankyou David


Creative explained. generate insights


Dave Explain things so anyone can understand. He has a ton of knowledge and understanding but he explains things in a simple way.


David is my favorite teacher so far. He is knowledgeable and explains things in a way that everyone can probably understand but without being a bore for those who already have a basic understanding of music and are trying to make sure they didn


Excellent explanation of the theories underlying the techniques


Excellent pacing and clarity.


good exercise. difficult fo me to get the mid section chords not told


Good job


Great chord variations!


Great lesson Thanks MikeRGR


He's a great teacher. This is the second phase I'm in now. The first series of lessons have really helped me to understand chords and to play the acoustic guitar (I'm a bassplayer from origin)


I like this lesson, though for me it's quite challenging, so I will need to practice a lot more to be able to become sufficiently adept to be able to play it up to a desired tempo...


I would check all three. These are great lessons. Precise, easy to understand but I also like the way Dave goes beyond the mechanical and weaves in the elements that will make this musical.


Very nice. I like the song, too.


Just getting started with this course, but I really enjoy David's presentation style, and the focus for the course is perfect for my playing level. Cheers, Jamplay, and thanks David.


My cat had voted, but i am completely agree.. ;) Dave has a lot of talent for online teachings like this..


Seems like a great guy. I really like his super laid back approach.




The exercise is musical and is an actual song. Dave Isaacs encourages students to express themselves and not simply ape what he performs. Great lesson and a great tune!


This sounds like a good, non-beginner course.


This whole series by David Isaacs is well thought out and put together in an easy way to understand.


Very easily understood. Just what I needed. Thanks.


Very easy to understand, good structure, not too long, helpful PDF. Nice!


You are teaching stuff that I want to learn, hence the reason I joined JamPlay.