Learn the tools of the Jam Band greats

The complete course from Michael Palmisano

Michael Palmisano leads us on a journey in search of new horizons with Jam Band improvisation. Follow along as he lays out his 4-part framework for soloing in a Jam Band context as a late beginner to intermediate guitarist. Understand what the greats such as Trey Anastasio, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, and John Mayer are doing when they improvise solos and change the way you play forever.

Suited for late beginner to intermediate guitarists, this is an all-encompassing, 9 hour course featuring 30 exclusive lessons. A must have for Jam Band aficionados and newcomers alike! Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
30 Lessons
4 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
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Stream online, plus all other courses with membership.

The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, Jam Band Toolkit 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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Meet Michael Palmisano

Michael Palmisano is an award-winning GIT graduate and serves more than 70,000 students worldwide. He is also a member of 5x voted "Best Band" in Baltimore, Maryland called "What's Next". He has been playing guitar since the age of 5, and gigging and teaching professionally for the last 15+ years.

He genuinely loves to teach, with the goal to help people learn the "why" behind the notes, bridge the gap between rhythm and lead guitar, and ultimately use these tools to improvise and get the stuff in your head out! On a side note, it's truly incredible that the internet has allowed us to connect from all over the world.

I believe in online education, and I strive to be as helpful as possible. If I can help you in any way, please don't hesitate to email me with a question or a video for feedback - I respond to each and every message. We are in this together!

Confidence to play melodies that connect chords within a progression.

9 hours of material spanning 30 lessons, equipped with tabs, jamtracks and accompanied practice sessions

Connect chords across the neck and unlock your ability to improvise thoughtful solos. Michael Palmisano deconstructs the playing of iconic Jam Band players and shows how to use the concepts in your own playing. With the addition of exclusive JamTracks, learn to create solos and your unique voice with practical musical application.

Guitarists such as Trey Anastasio, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, and John Mayer famously improvise amazing solos at will. It’s no wonder so many blues and rock players end up in the land of Jam Bands, chasing the holy grail of “in the moment” playing. Trouble is, playing scale patterns up and down the neck rarely works in Jam Band music. Instead, you have to play over the chords. To do that, you have to know a given progression, what the chord functions are and how they connect together.

Michael Palmisano learned how to do this the hard way. Years of studying the greats and documenting. Eventually, he distilled his knowledge into a simple system that he made into an easy to follow course. This course offers 30 lessons covering 4+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course

Series Introduction

Get ready to jam! In this introduction, Michael takes you through some of the key concepts in this series.

5:25 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Major Scale Formula

First, let's review some basics. The foundation of everything we'll learn in this course is the major scale. After you memorize this simple formula, you'll be able to play the scale from anywhere on the guitar.

12:33 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chords in the Major Scale

Every note, or degree of the major scale has a chord associated with it. In this lesson, Michael shows us another formula for learning these chords, which will be the building blocks for future chord progressions.

10:07 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Essential Major Triads

Now it's time to start distilling our full chord shapes down to smaller chord shapes or triads, which are more manageable, both audibly and physically.

14:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Essential Minor Triads

We focused on the major triads in the previous lesson, now it's time to look at the minor shaped triads.

10:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Your First Jam with Connecting Triads

In this lesson, Michael looks at connecting some of the triads we've learned in the previous lessons. You'll see how the root, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion triads are all within easy connection range of each other. All of this takes place over your first jam track in this course!

21:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Middle String Set Triads

Now let's move these triads off of the high set of strings (E, B and G) and move them to the middle set of strings (B, G and D). Although the shapes will vary a bit from the high set, you'll see the connection points stay the same. Combine these with the high set, and these will make up most of the chord shapes you'll need to know to play this music!

11:46 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Middle String Triad Jam

Let's connect the middle set triads in this lesson. Michael leads us over a jam track in which we'll see how to connect the root, 1st and 2nd inversion chord shapes up the neck.

17:56 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


High String Dyads

Distilling down our chord shapes even more now, we go from triads to dyads. This allows us to outline the chords with just the notes that define the function of the chord, in this case, the root and the third. First we'll take a look at inversions on the high string set.

11:51 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Middle Set Dyads

In lesson 10 Michael continues his study on dyads. This time you're looking at them from the middle string set.

12:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


5 and 3 String Set Dyads

We can even use the dyads on lower strings. This can give a rich bassy sound when you want it, and the dyad principle is still the same as in the other lessons!

13:18 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Your First Major Melody

This lesson will harken back to our major scale we learned in the first lesson. Believe it or not, you can make memorable melodies using only 5 notes in the major scale. Michael demonstrates how in this lesson.

13:23 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Your First Minor Melody

Let's move to our first minor melody. If you know your relative minors from the chord scale we learned earlier (the minor 6 chord), this will be a piece of cake to understand. You will be able to use the same melody and fingering used in the major melody lesson with the proper adjustment.

12:39 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Connecting Roots in a Progression

In this lesson, Michael gets you playing over a progression. The concept is simple: look for the root notes around the neck on each chord in the progression. Then, you can start to build other notes off of those root notes. Before you know it, you've got a melody going!

11:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Connecting Thirds and Roots

Now we're going to move on to the next note that makes up a chord - the third. Michael shows us how to identify all the thirds in a string set, so that we can access them whenever we want to. Then, we'll see how we can easily connect them to our roots!

11:04 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Connecting Fifths, Thirds and Roots

While it doesn't define the function of the chord, the fifth is nonetheless a very integral part of how the chord sounds. Now we'll identify those fifths around the neck, and learn to connect them to our roots and our thirds.

14:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding the Missing Note

As you start to see the notes of our chord tones come together on the fretboard, it begs the question, what about the other notes in the major scale? Michael does some detective work in this lesson to learn the identity of our missing note!

11:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding Chromatics

Now we begin to add new notes that are not found in our chord tones. These are called chromatic notes. They are in essence, the notes in between our chord tones, and can be used to connect them. You can hear great examples of this all the time in Jerry Garcia's playing.

11:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Combining Melodies and Licks

We've taken a look at what will be the building blocks of our solos, chord tones and their functions. We've added chromatics, and have a nice tool kit to draw from. Michael now leads us to one of his favorite techniques, combining melodies we create from the tools in our tool kit, and licks that we already know.

18:54 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Pro Tip: Your Six is Your Four

Consider this sort of a guitar hack. The sixth note of the scale you're in implies the 4 chord. How does that work you ask? Michael breaks it all down in this lesson!

6:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Pro Tip: The Five Chord

The five chord is a chord that demands resolution. That's because it contains a leading tone that wants to go back to the root. In this lesson, Michael analyzes that tension, what the leading tone is, and how it relates to all that we've learned so far.

5:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding Melodies to the Bass

As a rhythm player, mimicking the melody on the bass strings of your guitar can be a very effective technique in the Jam Band genre. Michael gives us some examples of how this concept is executed.

4:25 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Adding Melodies to Triads

We've added melodies on the low end of the guitar, now let's look at adding them around the triads that we play on the higher end of the guitar. Michael uses our now familiar chord shapes and explores putting melodies in the spaces around them.

4:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding Melodies to Dyads

Now we are going to add melodies to our dyads. These melodies, when connected to dyads, bring more of a lead guitar sound to your playing. Michael shows us some simple ways to integrate this cool technique into our playing.

4:16 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Essential Progressions Part 1

It's time to put the tools in our tool kit to work on some progressions. Michael will play ideas over the track, then you will have a chance to use some of his ideas to create your own solos and rhythms. The first progression is a track in the style of Althea.

6:57 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Essential Progressions Part 2

This track contains the classic progression of I-b7-IV. Connecting chord tones and using dyads are just a couple of techniques Michael uses in this lesson.

5:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Essential Progressions Part 3

Now we move to the Am-D7 progression. Start with big chords, then distill them down to our triads and dyads, then we'll begin to create melodies from our chord tone knowledge.

3:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Essential Progressions Part 4

Now we look at the classic sounding track that we have used a few times in the course already. The chord progression is simply a B major chord to an A major chord. Be sure to use all the techniques we've covered: full chords, triads, dyads then create melodies.

2:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Essential Progressions Part 5

This progression is reminiscent of Franklin's Tower. Again, use your full chords then incrementally break them down into triads, dyads, then play melodies that will connect the chord tones. Good luck!

4:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


A Final Challenge

This last progression will present the challenge of throwing in a diminished chord. Michael uses all the techniques we've learned so far, but also specifically shows us how and what to play over the diminished chord when it comes around.

4:00 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty