One Chord Blues Jam

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Nick Russo

Blues has many iterations and styles, ranging from complex forms that include Jazz to the basic 12 bar formula. In this series Nick Russo breaks down an ultra-basic One Chord Blues Jam that he uses to impart his melodic and rhythmic wisdom. By the end of the course you'll be studying the greats of Blues music and you'll be able to jam over a single chord or the basic 12 bar form.

35 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

89% Appoval

51 of 54 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

Nick imparts his rhythmic and melodic phrasing philosophies over a single chord jam. You'll start at the basics of rhythm, harmony and tonality, then move on to more complex ideas and blues based techniques. Along the way Nick will provide instructions with both fingers and picks, as well as on acoustic and electric guitar, in order to provide a well-rounded experience. By the end of the course you'll be able to solo over a standard 12 bar form.


Series Introduction

Nick discusses the the material that he will be teaching in the series.

9:26 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Playing the Blues with Two Notes

To get started in the series, Nick discusses how to find notes on the fretboard and how to hear the intervals between notes. You'll use this information to play a 2 note jam in a Blues style.

26:59 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Eric Clapton's Cream

Continuing on with your interval study, Nick offers up a jam in the style of Eric Clapton's Cream. This study focuses on the major second interval.

16:40 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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The Blue Note

Let's now look at the blue note. This lesson discusses micro-tones between two notes and the use of bending to get there.

23:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Major 6th: Style of Voodoo Child

Next up, Nick demonstrates the major 6th interval in a jam styled after the iconic song "Voodoo Child"

13:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Building the E Minor Pentatonic Scale

You're grooving a bit more and working with more notes now. It's time to take this one chord blues jam up a notch by building the minor pentatonic.

19:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Expanding E Minor Pentatonic

In this lesson, you'll expand on the ideas of the minor pentatonic, discussed in the previous lesson.

14:49 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Completing the Minor Pentatonic Scale

Now, let's complete the minor pentatonic scale in E. You'll use this to jam over a 12/8 groove.

20:22 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Exploring Rhythm

Using the chops you've built already, Nick will impart some rhythmic wisdon in the form of the triplet.

20:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of John Lee Hooker: Part 1

In the next several lessons, Nick Russo offers up an in the style look at the playing style of John Lee Hooker. To get you started you'll look at the Chicago Call and Answer.

11:40 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of John Lee Hooker: Part 2

In part two of his look at the style of John Lee Hooker, Nick discusses rhythm and how a swung 8th note is actually a triplet.

10:46 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of John Lee Hooker: Part 3

The last part of Nick's style of John Lee Hooker study focuses on variations from the two previous lessons. You'll dive further into rhythm and look at different interval techniques.

14:38 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 1: Introduction

Moving on, Nick discusses arranging for solo guitar and the use of pedal tones and fingerstyle technique.

13:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 2: Adding D

Now that you're getting the basic fingerstyle technique down, it's time to add some complexity and harmonic movement.

15:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 3: Adding G

In lesson 15 you'll continue to add notes and complexity to your solo guitar arrangement. You'll add the G note here.

19:16 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 4: Rhythm

Lesson 16 is all about counting. Taking a more in-depth look at rhythm for solo guitar arrangements, Nick imparts wisdom on the best methods for counting and introduces further subdivisions of the triplet.

18:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 5: Independence

In part five of the fingerstyle solo guitar study, Nick discusses finger independence in the fingerstyle technique.

22:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 6: Fills

A fill typically occurs near the end of a phrase, or transition to a new phrase as a way to move from one section or another. Nick discusses its use and demonstrates some possibilities.

15:19 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Fingerstyle Solo Guitar, Part 7: Putting it All Together

With the basic aspects of a good solo guitar arrangement under your belt, it's time to add them all together for your solo guitar one chord jam.

17:12 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Part 1 - Bass Line

In lessons 20 through 24, Nick will dissect the style of legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. In Part 1 you'll look at a bass line in his style.

17:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Part 2 - Adding Open E

In part 2 of this mini-series Nick discusses the use of an open droning E string that is being added to the bass line.

14:22 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Part 3 - Dyads

You're now going to add dyads to your playing ensemble. Mixed with the open droning E and with a few slides and bends for good measure, you'll be sounding more like SRV by the time you complete this lesson.

16:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Part 4 - Rhythm

Now let's take a look at rhythm in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughn. As with previous lessons, Nick will discuss counting and specific rhythms being used.

15:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan: Part 5 - The Turn Around

Lesson 24 wraps up the focus study on blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. You'll take all the elements learned in the previous lessons and combine them into an SRV styled jam.

15:26 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Elmore James: Part 1

In first exploring the style of Elmore James, we are going to look at a dyad in triplets that you have surely heard before.

10:33 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Style of Elmore James: Part 2

Nick takes you deeper into this triplet pattern, and really digs in with how the triplet appears even when your aren't sounding all of the notes in the triplet.

14:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Elmore James: Part 3

Now, expanding on the triplet vocabulary we have explored, we will bring in more diads, to make the riff more complex.

15:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Robert Johnson: Part 1

The walk down riff Nick shows us in this lesson is classic Robert Johnson, but you have definitely heard other players use it as well, as his playing is a deep influence to those who came later.

13:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Robert Johnson: Part 2

The rhythmic style Nick shows us in this lesson is again ubiquitous to the blues, but like the last riff it is Robert Johnson who pioneered the sound.

18:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Style of Robert Johnson: Part 3

This lick is often used in turnarounds or endings, and descends using more triplets. We will learn it in multiple forms.

16:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Slide Part 1

Nick starts us off with the basics of slide technique with a lick that you can play in standard tuning.

13:33 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Slide Part 2

Staying in standard tuning, Nick talks about some diads and triads that you can use when you're playing slide guitar.

16:18 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Slide Part 3

We continue with the slide, exploring open pedal notes in the open strings and getting a feel for sliding into the note.

18:47 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Standard 12 Bar Blues

In this lesson, Nick focuses on the Blues form and it's variations. It is helpful to internalize the 12 bar blues form and it's variations to be able to jam with other musicians.

28:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Summing it All Up!

Nick shares some final words of wisdom, and brings us into a jam where we can use the skills we have learned in the series.

27:45 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

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Hot Jazz Jumpers, Nick Russo +11, The Scooches

  • Playing since 1995
  • 52 lessons at JamPlay
Multi-instrumentalist, Nick Russo, B.S., M.A. is a full-time professional musician, educator in New York City. Nick performs with artists such as Paul McCartney, Jon Batiste, John Lithgow, Rob Morrow, The Hot Sardines, Antonique Smith, Deep Singh, Frank London, Zeb Bangash, Russell Hall, Gordon Au: Grand St Stompers & others. Russo has toured with artists such as Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Antonique Smith, Victor Jones, Anastasia Rene and leads The Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and Nick Russo+11.

Multi-instrumentalist, Nick Russo, B.S., M.A. is a full-time professional musician, educator in New York City. Nick performs with artists such as Paul McCartney, Jon Batiste, John Lithgow, Rob Morrow, The Hot Sardines, Antonique Smith, Deep Singh, Frank London, Zeb Bangash, Russell Hall, Gordon Au: Grand St Stompers & others. Russo has toured with artists such as Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Antonique Smith, Victor Jones, Anastasia Rene and leads The Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and Nick Russo+11. Recently Nick created and shot his own blues and slide guitar video courses for JamPlay/TrueFire in Colorado, recorded video of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for Princess Anne, performed and recorded with Alphonoso Horne and performed in the recent Jan 15th NYC SummerStage virtual MLK concert with Anthony C Bryant & Russell Hall. Nick will be appearing in the new TV series: Billy Buys Brooklyn on Discovery Channel and international networks. Appearances also include: ABC's Good Morning America, PBS Masterpiece: The Chaperone & Sam Mendes: Away We Go; Nick plays guitar and banjo on PBS Kids: Peg + Cat, is author of Metallica's Legendary Licks series (vol. 1 & 2) and editor of GRP arpeggios. Nick has been an Essex College adjunct professor, teaching artist at The Duke Ellington School, LAMS, Queens Y, PS144, PS101 & leads workshops via Queens College: Kupferberg Center. Nick is currently teaching remote guitar, ukulele, banjo, drum and electric bass lessons, recording and streaming concerts online.
Reviews & Feedback 89/100 with 54 ratings

I really like the way these lessons build up from very simple ideas to great music


He is starting where I am. My skills are pretty basic. He is excited about playing, and watching him improvise while he was giving the intro was really cool.


I like the Eric Clapton track too.


Loving this course and loving Nick's style and teaching. I'm getting what he is saying and it is working for me. Love it.


Nick Russo is a great teacher. He understands how to take along a student with a gradual skill building and making it easy to follow him. Thank you.


Thank You, for my brand new Cornerstone Options.


The lessons are engaging, clear and organized. It's so important to strengthen the ear-voice-guitar relationship and improvise on a deeper rhythmic level. Plus, to learn from a New York City guitarist who plays with artists such as Paul McCartn


WOW! THISGUY IS THE BEST. Thank You Nick Russo Please Put out more LESSONS