Maximizing The 12 Notes

Monte Pittman (Madonna) shows us how to get the most out of the fretboard.

As Madonna's long time guitarist, Monte Pittman knows a thing or two about the instrument. Monte takes us on an exploration of scales, chords and exotic tonalites, designed to give us insight into how the entire fretboard is tied together. Discover practical ways to access every note and chord available to you, along with the ability to hear what you are learning in context over backing tracks. Then, Monte will show you how he puts many of these things to use in his own songs!

Suited for guitarists of all skill levels, our emphasis will be connecting the entire fretboard in the context of scales and chords to get the most out of your playing. Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
40 Lessons
11 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
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The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, Maximizing The 12 Notes 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 Monte Pittman

Monte Pittman has enjoyed an ongoing and fruitful collaboration with multi-platinum selling artist Madonna, having recorded and toured with her extensively over a period of more than fifteen years. Then there's his first band, Myra Mains, his stint in the metallic behemoth that is Prong, and collaborations with a broad spectrum of international artists.

In 2014, Pittman released his Flemming Rasmussen-produced "The Power Of Three", his first release with Metal Blade Records, blending killer riffs, blistering leads and gigantic hooks to an album that was equal parts anthemic grandeur and in-your-face attitude, making metalheads around the world take note.

Pittman has won various industry awards, including Best Solo Artist Award at the Artists in Music Awards, along with a Career Achievement Award for Rock Guitarists at the 22nd Annual LA Music Awards. We are excited to now release his material to the faithful JamPlay masses and interested guitar players across the globe with his exclusive course.

Unique Approach for Real Results

Having taught for over 20 years, Monte offers a unique teaching approach for making musical connections throughout the fretboard.

Twelve notes, six strings, twenty-two plus frets - a massive amount of combinations! How do all these elements work together? Where do all the puzzle pieces fit? Monte Pittman's wealth of teaching experience is the perfect match for getting us up to speed on just how all of these things work with one another, and how we can begin to tie them together to start making connections. This course offers 40 lessons covering 11+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course

Series Introduction

Twelve notes, plus your fretboard equals a massive amount of combinations! Join Monte Pittman in this series introduction as he tells us what to expect in his course.

2:01 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Diatonic Scale

We start with the diatonic scale. Monte shows the scale in all it's positions, getting you familiar with it's shapes on the fretboard.

19:57 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diatonic Chords

Each of the notes in the diatonic scale has a chord associated with it. In this lesson, Monte shows us those related chords, and explores other notes in the scale that can accompany them, giving us unique tonalites.

17:41 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Combining Diatonic Shapes

There's no rule book that says once we are in a scale position that we have to stay there! Monte explores combining different diatonic shapes in this lesson.

24:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Pentatonic Scale

Now we take the diatonic scale subtract two of its notes. What do we get? The pentatonic scale. Join Monte as he shows all of the positions of this common, often used scale.

21:18 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diagonal Pentatonic Scales

One of the most useful and cool ways to play our pentatonics is diagonally across the fretboard. Monte shows us how to use this technique, moving across all the positions.

14:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Blues Scale

The blues scale is very similar to the minor pentatonic scale, so much so they can be interchangeable. But there is a very specific and unique tonality that it has that makes it a "must learn" scale for any guitar player!

14:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diminished Chords and Scales

The diminished scale will add a unique tonality to any player's sound. In this lesson, Monte shows us this scale and it's related chords.

8:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



Think of enclosures as surrounding your target note with its upper and lower neighbor. Monte gives us some useful exercises to get us familiar with this technique.

9:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Grand Scheme So Far

In this lesson, Monte uses all of the techniques we've gone over so far, putting them in the context of a track.

13:18 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Harmonic Minor Scale

So many of the scales we're learning a simply changing one or two notes in our original diatonic scale. Harmonic minor is like that. Even that simple change can result in a completely different mood and tonality. In this lesson Monte shows us the various positions of harmonic minor.

16:16 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Harmonic Minor Chords

Now it's time to learn the various chords that accompany harmonic minor.

14:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Hungarian Minor Scale

The hungarian minor scale can be viewed as a modification of the harmonic minor scale. It has a very exotic sound, and is sometimes referred to as the "snake charmer" scale. Join Monte as he reviews the various positions of this unique scale.

11:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Hungarian Minor Chords

The chords associated with hungarian minor open tonalities that can be a challenge to the ear, but at the same time can create a unique world of sounds and moods. Monte walks us through the various possibilites.

18:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Uncharted Territory

Now it's time to do your own exploring of the various tonalites we've discovered so far. Monte gives us a track to play over with the goal of incorporating many of the techniques we've learned so far in the course.

14:26 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Melodic Minor Scale

In this lesson, Monte shows us the melodic minor scale and it's positions. This is one more tool in your tonal toolbox!

23:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Melodic Minor Chords

The chords for melodic minor are different and unique to say the least. Hopefully this lesson will open your ears to the possibilities of this jazz-like tonality!

12:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Whole Tone Scale

The whole tone scale is a scale that works well over augmented chords. In this lesson, Monte shows us how to associate this scale with the augmented chord.

17:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Half Whole Diminished Scale

As certain patterns emerge in certain scale shapes, they often lead us to other types of scales and tonalites. Such is the case with this scale, whose pattern we've seen emerge in some of the recent scales we've covered - the half whole diminished scale.

22:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



Intervals are the distance from one tone to another. Being able to recognize them by ear can take you a long way in your guitar playing. Here, Monte explores different types of intervals and how the patterns are the same in various keys.

27:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty



Triads are the three notes that make up our chords. In this lesson, Monte shows us various places these can be found around the neck.

17:58 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty



In this lesson, Monte talks about the different types of harmony: static, parallel and counter point.

25:37 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Substitutions

Chord substitutions are a great thing to know if you want to take your basic progressions and add a different flavor to them. Here, Monte shows us some common progressions and how to use substitutions in an effective way.

16:06 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


I-IV-V Progression

Monte takes the basic progression of I-IV-V and shows us some different ways to approach it, resulting in some cool explorations of tonality.

22:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


ii-V-I Progression

Now Monte approaches the ii-V-I progression, and looks at the chord substitutions that will work with these chords.

25:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Song Creation

Monte now takes some of the progressions we've been working on and dives into creating our own song!

15:47 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


I-vi-IV-V Progression

Let's take a look at the classic I-vi-IV-V chord progression, but in the context of using only certain notes in the chords from certain scales. The results are eye opening!

28:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Power of Three - Diminished

Monte talks about the versatility of the diminished chord and scale, and being able to repeat it every three frets on the neck.

15:56 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Power of Three - Augmented

Now it's time for the augmented chord and scale. Knowing where and how to move this around gives us a great tool to use!

17:06 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Power of Three - Dominant

In this lesson Monte combines the concept of moving diminished and augmented chords with the concept of chord substitutions.

12:12 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Guiding Our Way Through all 12 Notes

Now we're at the point where we've learned to play a chord with all twelve notes. Whether it's movable shapes or chord substitutions, Monte has shown us a comprehensive way to use the twelve notes. Here he puts all the techniques together!

21:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Finding Chords

When you think about it, there are so many combinations of notes that give us a wealth of chords. In this lesson, Monte shows us how to come up with some creative chords; hopefully some you've never imagined that will open up some unique tonal possibilities!

14:18 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Using the Same Chords to Switch Keys

Monte takes a look at using common chords when switching keys.

16:11 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Creating Your Own Exercises

Practicing the scales and chords in a specific way can help you overcome certain hurdles you may face when trying to learn patterns and shapes. Sometimes the best way to go is to create your own exercises! Monte talks about this specific concept in this lesson.

26:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Two Hand Tapping

In this lesson, Monte uses his song, "Changing of the Guard" to show us a cool two handed tapping riff.

23:14 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Two Hand Four Finger Tapping

Two hand, four finger tapping sounds very difficult, but Monte uses his song, "Before the Mourning Son" to break down the technique.

14:02 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty



In this lesson, Monte shows us a creative use of Harmonics from his song "Obliterated".

19:55 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Picking Hand Tips

In this lesson, Monte discusses and demonstrates various tips and tricks to help get your picking hand under control.

10:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diminished and Augmented Chord Shapes

Now to see diminished and augmented chord shapes in action. Monte uses his beautifully haunting song, "Beguiling" to show us how to implement these chords in a real song setting.

11:03 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Ethereal Chord Sounds

In the final lesson, Monte shows us how to achieve the haunting, ethereal sound in his song "Beguiling".

16:24 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty