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""One of America's finest acoustic guitarists and blues educators."
Cascade Blues Association
"Herman plays with a sensitive, reflective touch that continually draws
attention to his vocals, which are effectively understated and free of
affectation... Herman can rock with the best of them. A solid choice for fans of
traditional acoustic blues."
Living Blues Magazine
" ...plays haunting music on a mournful guitar."
Los Angeles Times
"The only thing better than ... (more)
Hawkeye currently offers 195 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 189 intermediate lessons and 6 song lessons.
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The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.
Hawkeye Herman introduces the blues. He explains the 12 bar blues chords and the poetic format that blues lyrics typically follow.
Hawkeye explains how the I, IV, and V chords are used in a 12 bar blues progression.
Hawkeye demonstrates common strumming patterns used in blues music. He also explains how country music evolved from the blues.
The shuffle is one of the most common rhythms used in blues music. Hawkeye introduces the most basic shuffle rhythm pattern.
Hawkeye covers the blues shuffle in greater depth.
Hawkeye introduces and explains a common blues turnaround.
Hawkeye demonstrates various ways of arpeggiating the blues turnaround from the previous lesson.
Hawkeye explains how the turnaround from the previous lesson can be transposed to all 12 keys.
Hawkeye explains how the blues turnaround can be played on the bass strings.
Hawkeye provides some tips regarding how to integrate turnarounds into the context of the 12 bar blues form.
In this lesson Hawkeye will explain how you can use turnarounds as a way to play basic lead.
Hawkeye demonstrates how subtle changes made to the blues shuffle can have a profound impact on the overall sound of the 12 bar form.
Hawkeye demonstrates more blues shuffle variations. He discusses playing individual notes and palm muting.
In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a bass version of the blues shuffle that mimics a common left-hand piano pattern.
Hawkeye presents an exercise that will enable you to play a turnaround over the blues form in all twelve keys.
Hawkeye teaches a Delta blues turnaround in the key of A. This turnaround is played in the style of Robert Johnson.
Hawkeye Herman teaches a new Delta blues turnaround. This lick was inspired by Robert Johnson.
Hawkeye Herman teaches more components of Robert Johnson's signature sound.
Hawkeye introduces some common, movable chord shapes.
Hawkeye reviews movable chords in this lesson. He explains how these chord voicings can be used in a practical blues context.
Hawkeye Herman introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson, the most commonly used scale in blues lead guitar.
Hawkeye builds on the pentatonic scale. He introduces "blue" notes, which transform the pentatonic scale into the minor blues scale.
Hawkeye explains how to transpose the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales to different keys.
Hawkeye Herman explains how to determine the key of a blues song. This information is essential if you wish to play lead over a song.
In this lesson, Hawkeye will bring together much of what he has taught in this lesson series and apply it to the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.
Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle on the treble strings.
Hawkeye Herman teaches you how to play his original song, "The Great River Road," in this phenomenal lesson.
Hawkeye covers the guitar style of Mississippi John Hurt. This style makes heavy use of alternating bass lines.
Hawkeye teaches an original piece called "Piano Blues." He teaches this song to further demonstrate the alternating bass line.
Hawkeye Herman teaches a beautiful blues accompaniment pattern.
Hawkeye introduces the stop-time blues rhythm.
Hawkeye Herman explains how to play Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago."
Hawkeye introduces the eight bar blues progression.
Hawkeye takes the 8 bar blues material from the last lesson and explains how to transpose it to different keys.
Hawkeye teaches a classic 8 bar blues tune in the style of Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy.
In this lesson Hawkeye revisits the blues/pentatonic scale and talks about playing multiple notes at the same time.
Hawkeye Herman teaches a classic blues song ending. He also explains how it can be played in different keys.
Hawkeye Herman covers the basics of slide technique and provides exercises to demonstrate them.
Hawkeye Herman introduces open D tuning. He explains how to play a 12 bar blues progression with a slide in this tuning.
Hawkeye Herman demonstrates the classic Robert Johnson song, "Ramblin' On My Mind" in open D tuning.
Hawkeye explains how to play the blues shuffle in open D tuning.
Hawkeye teaches the "harmony" version of the shuffle in open D tuning.
Hawkeye teaches a simple blues turnaround in open D tuning.
Hawkeye Herman teaches some open D slide guitar licks. These licks are inspired by the song "Ramblin' On My Mind" by Robert Johnson.
Hawkeye Herman explains how to play the D minor pentatonic scale in Open D tuning.
Hawkeye challenges you to play "Ramblin' On My Mind" using the techniques from the past couple of lessons.
Hawkeye shows that open D tuning and slide guitar are not exclusive to the blues. He provides an exercise that demonstrates how this tuning can be used in rock music.
Hawkeye returns to the world of open D tuning. He introduces various chord voicings and explains how they can be used in the blues.
In this lesson, Hawkeye teaches a classic blues song by Mississippi Fred McDowell - "You Got To Move".
Hawkeye Herman demonstrates how to play the melody of "You Got to Move" with a slide.
Hawkeye Herman talks about playing and creating blues licks with the slide.
Hawkeye Herman breaks down important aspects of Elmore James' style.
Hawkeye teaches some versatile blues licks and riffs that can be used in open D tuning.
Hawkeye Herman teaches the basics of open G tuning.
Hawkeye gives a brief overview of chords and how they are played in open G tuning.
Hawkeye gives a brief rundown of how the blues / minor pentatonic scale can be played in open G tuning.
Hawkeye talks about playing accompaniment using open G tuning.
Improvisation using the minor pentatonic / blues scale is discussed in open G tuning. Hawkeye also touches on Robert Johnson's song, "Walkin' Blues."
In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman talks about playing the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He also shows some basic turnarounds.
Hawkeye reviews the blues shuffle in open G tuning. He demonstrates shuffle variations as well as a few licks, turnarounds, and other tidbits.
Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.
Hawkeye introduces the capo and explains how it can be used. This lesson is still in the context of G tuning.
Hawkeye Herman showcases the power of slide guitar by demonstrating the classic Robert Johnson song, "Come On In My Kitchen."
Hawkeye Herman gives a brief rundown of Skip James' blues guitar style. This lesson also focuses on playing in open tunings without a slide.
Hawkeye demonstrates how to take a song from open D tuning and play it in open G. He uses the song "No Expectations" by the Rolling Stones as an example.
Hawkeye shows you the wonders of drop D tuning and teaches his rendition of "Big Road Blues."
Hawkeye goes over the fantastic song "Statesboro Blues" by Blind Willie McTell in Drop D tuning.
Hawkeye discusses some history behind the great blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson. He covers the song "Matchbox Blues" to provide an example of his style.
Hawkeye explains the chord changes used in a minor blues progression.
Hawkeye talks about the capo and its many uses.
By user request, Hawkeye shares ideas on how to end songs in this lesson.
In this lesson, Hawkeye Herman returns to the wonderful world of stop-time blues. He teaches a few more ways to play in this glorious style.
Hawkeye talks about the eight bar blues and uses some classic blues songs as examples.
Hawkeye talks all about the blues mambo in this lesson.
Hawkeye explains how all the endings you've learned up to this point can be transposed to any key.
Hawkeye talks about transposing the minor pentatonic scale to various keys.
Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can be used to play lead in any song.
Hawkeye explains how the blues scale can span the neck in any key.
Hawkeye talks about the background of rock 'n roll and how it is connected to blues.
This lesson is filled with fun licks and lick techniques.
Hawkeye brings more blues wisdom to you in this lesson about spanning the neck.
Hawkeye provides a few useful tips on playing barre chords.
Hawkeye discusses how the visual shapes of chords relate to one another on the fretboard.
Hawkeye explains how to find the I, IV, and V chords in all 12 major keys.
Hawkeye answers member questions on the shuffle rhythm.
Hawkeye shares an idea in the key of A that you can apply to your blues playing.
Thumbpick Vs. Flatpick: A most common question asked among guitarists is discussed in this lesson.
Hawkeye shares his ideas on the capo and explains why he thinks it is important for every guitarist to own one.
Hawkeye reiterates that everything is movable on the guitar and provides some fresh new ideas.
Hawkeye explains how to add variety to the shuffle pattern by transferring the bass notes to the treble register and by adding palm muting. He also explains how you can create your own shuffle variations.
Hawkeye provides more amazing tips and tricks on moving your shuffle rhythm to the treble for a unique sound.
Hawkeye revisits the techniques learned in the last few lessons and explains how to tie tie them together to create solos.
Hawkeye provides some great tips for transposing any song you want to learn to a different key.
This exciting lesson dives into some of the earliest history of blues music and how it has shaped popular music today.
Hawkeye Herman explains why "blues is the roots, and everything else is the fruits."
Hawkeye discusses the history and style of Hank Williams.
Hawkeye demonstrates some key aspects of Jimmie Rodgers' style.
Hawkeye demonstrates the "boom-chicka" strum and explains various ways you can incorporate it into your playing.
Hawkeye Herman explains how to spice up your rhythm playing by incorporating bass runs between chord changes.
Hawkeye Herman celebrates lesson 100 with a short but sweet review of what you've learned in the past couple of lessons.
Hawkeye Herman demonstrates rhythmic concepts from earlier lessons by playing a fun medley.
Hawkeye shares some of his favorite licks in this lesson.
Hawkeye teaches more fun licks to add to your blues bag of tricks.
Hawkeye Herman is back with some more classic blues licks that span the length of the fretboard.
Hawkeye explains the importance of playing licks over the entire neck of the guitar.
Hawkeye Herman shares a lick that is commonly known as the "Rock Me Baby" Lick. He explains how this lick can be incorporated into a performance of this classic B.B. King song.
Hawkeye discusses how ideas derived from turnarounds can be incorporated into blues solos.
Hawkeye Herman talks about instrumental themes and how you can add lead fills to them.
Hawkeye continues his discussion on instrumental themes and blues.
Hawkeye Herman explains how dominant 9th chords are formed and how they can be used in blues music.
Hawkeye Herman continues his discussion on 9th chords.
Hawkeye Herman shares more eight bar blues knowledge in this fun and information-packed lesson.
Hawkeye shares his thoughts on tuners in this lesson.
In the 114th installment of his Blues Series, Hawkeye introduces the capo. He demonstrates how this valuable tool allows you to transpose chord voicings to various keys.
Having trouble getting those fingers to form barre chords? In lesson #115 of his Blues Series, Hawkeye covers some tips and techniques to help with these problematic chord shapes. Any beginner can master barre chords with determination and a little help from Hawkeye.
Hawkeye explains why the adjacent strings on the guitar are tuned in perfect fourths and how this relates to left hand fingering.
Hawkeye continues where he left off in lesson 116 and explains how the tuning of the guitar relates to commonly used chord shapes.
Hawkeye Herman reviews important transposition concepts. Here he demonstrates how to change the key of a song so that it is appropriate for your vocal range.
Hawkeye takes a look at this important right hand technique.
Hawkeye provides a history lesson on Bo Diddley. He also demonstrates how to play the classic "Bo Diddley Beat." This rhythmic pattern appears in countless blues and rock songs.
Hawkeye teaches some blues bass lines that can be applied to the twelve bar blues form.
Hawkeye continues on from his 121st lesson with more examples of blues bass lines for guitar.
Hawkeye dives into some lead bass ideas. He demonstrates how a classic Eric Clapton riff can be used over the twelve bar blues form in any key.
Hawkeye teaches the bass line riff to his song "Willie's Bounce."
Hawkeye continues his discussion on finger picking.
Hawkeye Herman teaches a version of the A chord that he calls "The Texas A."
Hawkeye breaks down the blues scale and demonstrates how to appropriately add the major 3rd.
As demonstrated in previous lessons, Hawkeye opens up the world of double stops. Hawkeye teaches some classic Chuck Berry licks to demonstrate how double stops can be used effectively.
Hawkeye introduces the guitar stye of Scrapper Blackwell. He uses the song Scrapper called "E Blues" as a starting point.
History flows deep in blues music. Hawkeye discusses the influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson. This lesson is one for the history books.
Hawkeye opens up some ideas on how to "plan ahead" in your playing. Similar to riding a bike, you need to look forward to see where your going. Humming what you want to play allows you to anticipate the road ahead.
Inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Hawkeye was commissioned by the BBC to write a song about Katrina. Hawkeye demonstrates this song and recalls his thought process in writing this song.
Hawkeye demonstrates how a hammer-on can be used to open up doors in your playing. Hawkeye shows you how to achieve this technique and use it successfully in your playing.
Hawkeye covers the pull-off, best friend of the hammer on. This technique is used to achieve the same goal as the hammer-on, yet with a completely different finger movement.
Hawkeye combines lessons 133 and 134 and demonstrates some examples of how to utilize the hammer-on and pull-off techniques together to enhance your overall blues guitar skills.
The 12 bar form is a staple in the world of blues music. However, there are plenty of different ways to arrange it. This lesson covers what is commonly called "The Quick Change."
Hawkeye demonstrates how to change up a traditional 12 bar blues progression by starting on the IV chord.
Hawkeye demonstrates yet another form of blues known as the "Talking Blues." This style is indicative of its name. It features a talking vocal style played over a I, IV, V chord progression.
Need a slightly different voicing to spice up your playing? 9th chords will give your blues playing a colorful, urban sound.
Hawkeye breaks out his slide and demonstrates how chord progressions in major keys can be played in open minor tunings.
Hawkeye offers up some tricks and techniques that Elmore James utilized in his style of playing.
In lesson 142, Hawkeye dives into the style of Son House. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms often played with a slide.
Learn how to "think what you play and play what you think" in Hawkeye Herman's series, Hummin' and Strummin'! Relax, visualize and tune into your best friend: your guitar!
Hawkeye Herman introduces his new series, Hummin' and Strummin'! Learn how to "think what you play and play what you think". Relax, visualize and connect with your best friend: your guitar!
The first step in connecting with your guitar is learning good posture and learning how to relax. Join Hawkeye in this lecture style lesson as he discusses how to get comfortable and how to relax!
After we've relaxed ourselves, it's time to get the instrument in tune. In this lesson, Hawkeye discusses how to properly use a digital tuner.
Are you guilty of watching yourself play? Hawkeye explores this topic in this lecture style lesson and helps you break the habit!
Being intentional with your instrument is one of the best ways to connect with it! Hawkeye discusses his philosophy on being intentional through visualization techniques.
Join Hawkeye as he shows you how to connect with your instrument through various chordal formats and rhythmic variations.
So far, Hawkeye's shown us how to connect mostly through rhythm guitar. Now, he shows us the blues scale and takes Hummin' and Strummin' in a new direction!
You've already learned the minor pentatonic scale. Now, learn to connect through the major pentatonic scale - a great scale to know for country and folk songs!
The ability to transpose is a must have when playing your favorite songs. In this lesson, Hawkeye shows us an easy method for transposing songs. This will help keep you on the same page with others during your jam sessions!
Hawkeye wraps up his Hummin' and Strummin' series with a recap of the philosophies and concepts he's shared so far. Thanks for joining him for this series! You should now have all the tools you need to truly connect with your instrument!
Are you tired of just playing in your bedroom? Are you thinking of putting yourself out there in a jamming situation? If so, this series from Hawkeye Herman is just the one for you! Hawkeye has been a professional musician for more than 40 years, and has facilitated hundreds of jams. Benefit from his vast experience in this series, Jamming With Others.
Join Hawkeye as he introduces his series, Jamming With Others.
Hawkeye gets started in this series with this lecture style lesson explaining just what a blues jam is, and how your typical jam session works.
Remember, it's not all about you! Hawkeye discusses a major part of jamming with others: etiquette!
Learning how to be on stage during a jam is super important! In this lesson, Hawkeye gives us a picture of what it's like on stage, and he coaches us on one of the most important aspects of all: How to be a good listener!
Chris Liepe joins Hawkeye in this lesson, giving you a practical look at playing with another person with no rehearsal!
Now, Chris will lead a song and Hawkeye will back him up! Then they will both explain the process they went through to make this jam successful.
One more collaboration between Chris and Hawkeye. In this one, they explain the process of complimenting each other musically, when both are playing rhythm guitar.
Now that Hawkeye has discussed all of the elements of a Jam, he gives you a detailed look at a Jam Night, from being a jammer to being a facilitator of the jam.
Having your own regular, private jam session can be a great way to build a musical community. In this lesson, Hawkeye shares is extensive knowledge that comes from years and years of hosting his own private jams. Get ready to take notes!
Hawkeye wraps up his series on Jamming With Others with a review of his key points: Jamming in a club situation, and starting your own private jam.
After reviewing some basics when it comes to the Blues, Hawkeye shares his knowledge from personal experience and one-on-one encounters with some of the greatest classic blues players ever to play! Learn some licks and hear fascinating inside information about some of these players that only a man who was there could deliver!
You've taken Hawkeye's Blues and Songwriting lessons here on JamPlay, and now it's time to join Hawkeye in looking at specific aspects of some of the most influential blues guitar players of all time. The simple and quick ideas in this series will deepen your appreciation for these musicians and help you work some new flavors into your own playing!
Many of the classic Blues greats used a slide in their playing. Hawkeye goes through the many types of slides available and helps you choose one that is right for you.
A capo for Classic Blues? Well, Hawkeye uses a capo to keep classic blues phrasing and ideas the way they were originally played while being flexible for the singer who is performing along side him. Learn how to use a capo in this way.
Alright, now that you're more comfortable with a capo, you'll get to see how they did it in the old days. Take simple chord shapes and move them around. You'll learn a few tricks to help you know exactly what you are playing.
The old blues players didn't play in 'positions' as we think about them today. They just played what felt natural. This lesson will explore a way to use more of the neck while getting that familiar classic blues sound.
Hawkeye delivers an extremely simple way of getting started with fingerpicking. Anyone can do it. Even if you have no experience! Add this to the classic blues player's toolbox
Before you are a lead bluesman, you gotta know how to accompany other artists. Hawkeye covers a common backup rhythm style and teaches a pattern to go along with it!
Learn how to implement one of the most common rhythm patterns ever! Work it into your blues playing.
Learn the style and essence of the best selling blues artist of the 1920s. Blind Lemon Jefferson has a bit of a Country feel to his playing.
Get a taste of the style of the guitar player who gave legends like Clapton and B. B. King their start! T-bone walker is an amazing blend of genres and techniques and a blast to study!
The last lesson focused primarily on Walker's rhythm style. Get a start on learning some tell-tale T-Bone licks in this lesson!
B. B. King was one of the most original and influential Blues guitar players of all time. Learn his hand shake and approach to vibrato here!
You will know Albert King by his bends. His style, like many of the blues greats, is unmistakable. Learn how to bend like Albert King.
Get an overview of the lyrical style of Buddy Guy. Sometimes he plays a lot of notes and sometimes his style is very sparse, but his sense of timing and intuition is unmatched! Learn two key licks in this classic style!
Learn the bedrock blues rhythm made popular by Jimmy Reed. He wrote so many great tunes that have been covered over and over again. He laid the groundwork for so many Blues musicians to come!
Cool Papa knew what it meant to have taste. Other, younger players would often share the stage with him and try to cut heads with him by blazing through a bunch of notes. But Cool Papa stayed calm and collected. He was about milking a note for everything it was worth!
So many of the recognizable turnarounds and lead hooks come from Muddy Waters. You only have to listen to Waters along side modern Blues players to hear the influence. Learn a few Muddy Waters tricks here!
Learn a lick from one of the guys who defined the role of lead guitar in Classic Blues. Magic Sam could play it all, but he knew when and how to phrase also!
Sam "Lightning" Hopkins was one of the original Texas Bluesmen. Once upon a time, Hawkeye got to sit down with Lightning and take a guitar lesson and how he's passing the baton.
Part of one of the most popular guitar/harmonica duos of the Classic Blues. Hawkeye used to help Brownie with his groceries and in return, he got to take lessons from him. Learn a fingerpicking style from a man who got to take lessons directly from Brownie McGhee!
Who could forget Tommy Johnson in Hawkeye's must learn list of Blues greats! See how Hawkeye breaks down key aspects of Johnson's style and gives practical ways to practice in the style of Tommy Johnson!
Learn the important aspects of Robert Johnson's music from a broad point of view. Look at turnarounds and the importance of focused practicing!
Take the turnaround that you learned in the last lesson and practice moving it around to different keys. It makes for a nice constant blues riff as well!
You've been treated to several tastes of Robert Johnson's style. Now see and hear how he uses slide in only the way a classic Bluesman can!
Meet a relative of Robert Johnson and an acoustic Blues player who plugged in his guitar... And one of the early guys to do so. He played a lot of Robert Johnson's licks but with some more beef behind the notes!
Playing guitar with the influence of other instruments does great things for your playing. Learn how to emulate blues piano playing on your six string!
One of the great things about learning the Blues, and learning guitar for that matter is that so many things are moveable! The early Blues players knew this and Hawkeye shows you how to take advantage of this in an easy-to-understand way!
Hawkeye Herman teaches classic blues songs.
Hawkeye teaches the classic song "Death Don't Have No Mercy" by Reverend Gary Davis.
Hawkeye teaches his interpretation of the classic Jimmy Reed blues song, "Baby What You Want Me To Do."
Hawkeye introduces one of his original songs entitled "Give Me a Grandma Every Time." This song features many techniques taught in the Phase 2 Blues Series.
Hawkeye presents another original song entitled "I Used to Ride that Train."
Hawkeye presents his take on an 18th century traditional folk song. Hawkeye breaks down all of the techniques used in his rendition of the song.
Jump on board with Hawkeye as he demonstrates his song "Rocket to Chicago." With this song, Hawkeye uses his guitar to imitate the sound and feel of a steam engine train.
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