Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson

Orville is a Guitar instructor at JamPlay.com

Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons p... (more)

Orville currently offers 127 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 21 beginner lessons, 81 intermediate lessons, 10 song lessons and 15 entertainment videos.

Beginner Acoustic with Orville

Discover the essentials with Orville Johnson by learning some of the most popular topics and techniques in beginner guitar.


Overcoming Beginner Challenges

Orville talks about some challenges you will likely face as a beginner and offers some advice that will help you overcome them.

13:05 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Flatpick and Strumming

Orville talks about flatpicks, how to hold them, and how to strum with them.

13:29 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

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Fingerpicking and Patterns

Orville Johnson introduces some basic fingerpicking patterns.

6:58 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Metronome and Practicing

Orville Johnson explains why it is important to practice with a metronome. He also covers some practice strategies that will help minimize your frustration.

21:35 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Practical Theory Part 1: Intervals

Orville dives into part 1 of his beginners' guide to practical theory. In this lesson, you will learn the basics of intervals.

17:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Practical Theory Part 2: Scales

Orville Johnson takes a look at scales in part 2 of his practical theory mini-series.

18:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Practical Theory Part 3: Chords and Construction

Orville Johnson jumps into part 3 of his practical theory mini-series. This lesson is about chords and their construction.

21:08 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Practical Theory Pt. 4: Modes

It's now time to tap back into the practical music theory portion of this series. Continuing on with part 4, Orville now discusses what modes are and how they are really just scales with Greek names.

19:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Basic Blues Shuffle

Orville Johnson demonstrates a basic blues shuffle. This incredibly easy rhythm piece will have you sounding like a blues great in no time!

12:38 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Connecting Chords with Bass Runs

Orville Johnson demonstrates how simple chord progressions can be spruced up with bass runs. The classic song "Oh! Susanna" is used as an example.

12:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Voice Leading

Orville Johnson talks about the concept of voice leading. This concept will help you play chord progressions that flow better and sound more harmonious.

10:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Major Chords

Orville Johnson teaches the basic major chords in this lesson. He also explains the best way to change from chord to chord, a challenge for many beginners.

19:23 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Note Values

Orville Johnson jumps into some light theory with a lesson on note values.

7:51 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The CAGED System

Orville Johnson takes a beginner's look at the CAGED system.

8:14 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Open D Tuning

Orville Johnson introduces open D tuning and encourages exploration of its possibilities. This tuning is great for a broad range of playing styles.

24:04 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Open G Tuning

This time, Orville Johnson introduces open G tuning. This tuning is great for a broad range of playing styles and sounds pretty without even fingering a chord.

21:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Beginner Fingerstyle Techniques

This lesson is perfect for the beginner looking to develop dexterity and independence in the right hand fingers. Orville guides you step by step through basic rhythm concepts and fingerstyle exercises.

26:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


How Does a Capo Work?

This lesson presents any beginner with the information needed to understand how a capo works. This tool enables you to change the key of a song without learning any new chord voicings.

22:07 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Beginner Lead Techniques

Orville introduces basic techniques that can be used to play lead guitar. This lesson includes a primer on hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends and harmonics.

22:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Orville's Guide to Practicing

Orville dispenses a lifetime of accrued wisdom on the subject of practicing and learning. This lesson is only 16 minutes long, and it will not only change how you learn the guitar, but can also be applied to all facets of your life.

16:38 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Creating New Chords

This lesson is all about creating different types of chords. This does steer the lesson towards music theory, but the information is invaluable and infinitely applicable.

23:05 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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