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Brendan has been passionate about music since childhood. He began his studies on trumpet, in elementary school, and then moved to guitar as a teenager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, and has studied with Norm Zocher, Joe Stump, Bret Willmott, Bob Pilkington, Jay Weik, Tim Miller, & Charlie Banacos.
While at Berklee, Brendan was a member of the Music Mentoring Program, teaching private lessons to gifted high school students. He is currently teache... (more)
Brendan currently offers 178 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 5 beginner lessons, 104 intermediate lessons and 69 lessons in our Artist Series.
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The basics of the basics. Join Brendan for his 5 part series designed to get you started down the road of playing guitar!
In his first beginning guitar lesson, Brendan draws on his vast teaching experience and imparts some of the basic things every guitar player should know. As in all the lessons in this series, Brendan will give you three things to work on with each lesson: Chords, Melody, and Rhythm.
Brendan continues his introductory series for guitar, adding more chords, melodic exercises and rhythmic exercises to further you in your playing ability!
Brendan continues his Introductory Guitar series with three new chords, a challenging melodic exercise, and a rhythm exercise.
In week number 4, Brendan shows you his chord transition strategy and introduces the major scale!
In the final lesson of this series, Brendan sends you on your way with some great tools: strumming chords and playing the minor pentatonic scale!
In his Theory and Improvisation series, Brendan Burns looks at triads, chord voicings and usage across the circle of fifths.
Brendan Burns provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in his chord voicing lesson series.
Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the tiny triads derived from the 3rd form of the CAGED system.
Brendan demonstrates the 2nd form tiny triads.
Brendan demonstrates the tiny minor triad shapes derived from the form 1 CAGED shape.
Brendan demonstrates the 3rd form minor triads from the CAGED system.
Brendan burns demonstrates the 2nd form minor tiny triads.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the tiny triad shapes for augmented chords.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the grips for the diminished tiny triads.
Now that you've gone through all the tiny triad lessons, Brendan offers some closing statements and insights that will help you with incorporating them into your playing.
Brendan takes a more in depth look at extensions that can be added to the tiny triad forms.
Brendan demonstrates the addition of the 6th extension to the tiny triad forms.
In lesson 13, Brendan covers the extensions for the minor form tiny triads.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the Sus 4 forms for the tiny triads.
To get you setup to start learning more tiny triads, Brendan talks about what he'll be covering next and provides a review of the previous material.
Brendan Burns takes a look at extensions that can be added to major triads.
Brendan discusses and demonstrates how to add the 6th extension to your major triads.
Brendan takes a look at the extensions and embellishments that can be added to the minor tiny triads.
Brendan Burns demonstrates and discusses the unstable or "ambiguous" triads that result from altering the 3rd.
Brendan Burns demonstrates and discusses how to utilize spread voiced triads in your playing. In the first lesson of this mini-series, he discusses major spread voicings.
Brendan demonstrates spread voicings of minor triads.
The first lesson in Brendan's triadic improvisation lesson series covers the major triads and the combinations of their extensions.
Continuing on with triadic improvisation techniques, Brendan discusses and demonstrates how to utilize the minor triads.
Brendan demonstrates and discusses how various tiny triads can be applied to bass notes to imply larger, more complex chords. He also explains how these concepts can be used in a melodic context.
Focusing on different forms of picking and playing can steal your chops away from your rhythm playing. Brendan Burns offers up a 6 week coarse on rebuilding your rhythm chops that focuses on training necessary muscle groups and getting back into tempo.
Brendan Burns offers up the first exorcise of a six week program dedicated to rebuilding rhythm technique.
In week two of his six week rhythm building program, Brendan goes over an exercise that covers treble and bass strumming.
Brendan is back with the 3rd and 4th week exercise to workout your rhythm playing.
In week five of his six week rhythm workout, Brendan provides an exercise that breaks the guitar up into five distinct sections.
Brendan Burns offers up the final exercise of his six week rhythm workout.
Brendan Burns starts off a short lesson set on how to count compound meters. He starts with the 5/8 time signature.
Now that you've mastered 5/8 time, Brendan provides a lesson on counting 7/8.
Brendan Burns demonstrates how to count 11/8 time.
Now that you have counting under your belt, it's time to actually play some compound meters.
In lesson 10 of his rhythm series, Brendan teaches playing examples of the previous time signatures he has covered.
Brendan discusses how using bass lines can enhance your playing and allow for more creative expression in a band style situation. He starts you off by discussing bass lines created from major and minor triads.
In the second bass lines lesson, Brendan discusses arpeggios and bass lines for all types of 7th chords.
Brendan Burns returns with a more intermediate look at bass lines for guitarists. In this lesson he discusses chord tone and chromatic approaches from above and below the root.
Brendan returns with another look at bass lines for guitarists. Building on the previous lesson, Brendan discusses chromatic approaches that combine tones above and below the root.
Brendan returns to his Rhythm Guitar series with another look at bass lines for guitarists. In recent lessons he's covered chromatic approaches from above and below the root as well as a combination of. Brendan will now discuss and demonstrate double chromatic approach.
Brendan takes us back to basics in this series by helping us understand and internalize rhythmic subdivisions.
In lesson two of Understanding Subdivisions, Brendan takes a look at 8th note "over the bar line" rhythm patterns.
Brendan takes us deeper into understanding subdivisions by looking at 16th note subdivisions coupled with fun 8th and 16th note patterns!
Brendan wraps up this series with a look at some crazy sixteenth note, over the bar line rhythm patterns.
Brendan Burns takes a look at tips and tricks for taking your guitar playing to another level.
Brendan Burns explains how pivot fingers can be used to achieve smoother, quicker chord changes.
Brendan Burns discusses a "battle plan" for performing chord changes. The battle plan prepares you for the next chord in the progression through visualization as well as physical preparation.
Brendan explains how rhythmic consistency with the right hand must be maintained in order to perform effective chord changes.
Brendan Burns explains how "staggering" your strums can assist in performing chord changes.
Brendan discusses and demonstrates how to connect chord voicings together.
Brendan Burns demonstrates and discusses ways to connect dominant 7th chord voicings.
Brendan Burns demonstrates connecting chords for both the 6th string and 5th string minor 7th voicings.
Brendan Burns discusses the major 7th chord voicings and ways to connect them.
The last chord voicing in the connecting chords series is the minor 7th flat 5. Brendan demonstrates uses and voicings for this chord.
Brendan answers some frequently asked questions about his Kline guitar.
Brendan Burns discusses ways to get the most out of every practice minute you spend with the guitar.
Get ready for the wild and weird! In this two part series, Brendan shows us how to achieve some very unique, organic sounds by physically attaching various items to your guitar.
Brendan wraps up this short series by showing us some practical applications for the prepared guitar.
In part one of this mini-series, Brendan shows you everything you need to know about producing solid left hand harmonics.
Brendan shows us how to play the simple tune of "Amazing Grace" using only harmonics. In addition, we'll learn how to develop other melodic ideas that enhance the original melody.
Brendan continues in his harmonics series by showing us how to bend harmonic notes behind the nut, culminating in the harmonic exploration of two traditional folk tunes: "Danny Boy" and "Shenandoah".
Brendan wraps up his harmonics series by showing two really awesome techniques: tap harmonics and pluck harmonics. These two techniques will make the entire chromatic scale available to you via harmonics!
Brendan expands on a topic he shared with us a while back: practice strategies. Learn how to get the most out of your practice time with 8 very helpful and practical tips from a seasoned veteran!
Brendan Burns talks about the circle of fifths, intervals and more to help you in your playing.
Brendan Burns explains the circle of fifths and how to navigate it on the neck of the guitar.
Brendan Burns demonstrates an exercise that will help you locate and play octaves on the guitar.
Brendan Burns focuses on the fifth interval in chapter two of the interval workout.
In the third interval workout chapter, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the perfect fourth interval.
In chapter four of his interval workout series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the major third interval.
In chapter five of his interval workout, Brendan demonstrates the minor third intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the tritone intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the major second intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the minor second intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the major sixth intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the minor sixth intervals.
Brendan Burns demonstrates the major seventh intervals.
The final interval workout from Brendan Burns features the flat seventh or minor seventh interval.
Brendan returns to show us how to navigate modes on the guitar using one string up and down the neck.
Brendan continues his navigation series by showing us how to play the modes on two strings.
Brendan wraps up his Modal Navigation mini-series by showing us how to play the modes on three strings.
Brendan teaches us how to improve our improvisation using just the major pentatonic scale.
Brendan continues in the Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation series by showing us some exercises with the minor pentatonic scale.
Brendan wraps up his Harmonic Pentatonic Improvisation series by showing us how it all fits together when improvising over diatonic chord progressions.
In this new mini-series, Brendan shows us various chromatic ways to approach triads on an arpeggio level. This first lesson deals with approaching the major and minor triads from one half-step below the chord tone.
Next up in Brendan's mini-series, Chromatic Approaches for Triads, he shows us approaches from one chromatic note above the chord tones. As Brendan would say: "Super fun, super easy, super awesome!"
Brendan demonstrates the next chromatic approach in the series: one chromatic note below and one from above the chord tone.
Brendan concludes the first half of the Chromatic Approaches to Triads series by reviewing the "one above/one below" approach to the chord tones.
In the second half of Brendan's series, he looks at double chromatic approaches to the triad chord tones from below.
Brendan continues to explore the cool sounds of chromatic approaches. Here, he looks at double chromatic approaches to the triad chord tones from above.
Brendan continues in his Chromatic Approaches series by showing us the double approaches from below and above. There are some great sounds here to integrate into your improv!
Brendan concludes this mini-series with a look at the last set of chromatic approaches: two half steps from above and two from below
Brendan Burns breaks down jazz styling and chord voicings for lead ideas and comping.
Brendan Burns discusses drop two voicings. Then, he explains how to explain dominant seventh voicings on strings 4, 3, 2, and 1.
Brendan Burns discusses the minor 7th chord voicings on strings 4, 3, 2, and 1. To form a minor seventh chord, simply flat the third of its dominant seventh counterpart.
Brendan adds to his jazz chord voicings series with a discussion of major 7th chords.
In the final installment of his Jazz Chord Voicings series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the minor 7 flat 5 chord voicings.
Brendan teaches a series of lessons designed for the rock player to get their heads and fingers around playing in a jazz blues style.
To get started with his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan discusses the goals set out for the series and also covers the most basic elements of the blues; the 12 bar structure.
In lesson two of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan discusses common chord voicings and ways to use them in the style.
Stepping away from rhythm for a moment, it's time to start looking at the roll of melody in this style. Brendan breaks down some tendencies here and demonstrates some concepts.
Lesson four of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series is all about the Flat 7. Brendan discusses it's addition to the melodic scope of playing and how best to use it.
Lesson five in this series builds on the concepts taught in the last lesson and looks at how the chord progression changes to add a more jazz influenced sound to your blues rock playing.
Continuing with the theme of the chord progression change, it's time to start thinking about improv options for the turnaround. Specifically the 2-5 change that occurs with this new chord progression.
Continuing with his lesson series, Brendan is transitioning to approach tones. To get started he'll discuss the minor pentatonic approach.
Adding more tools to our Jazz Blues arsenal, it's time to start thinking in chromatics. Brendan discusses this approach to the 3rd and how to use it best.
It's time to introduce yet another jazz chord variant to our standard 12 barre blues. This time in the form of the 6 Flat 9 voicing. Brendan discusses where you can find the grips for this chord and where in the 12 barre blues to insert it.
Now that we've added a new chord to the 12 barre progression, we need to be able to improvise over it. In lesson 10, Brendan discusses the changes and improvisation philosophy needed to solo over the new chord.
For lesson 11 of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan is offering up the final chord substitution for the 12 barre blues. This one is all about the sharp 4 diminished chord. Brendan will discuss it's placement and how it works in the scheme of a traditional blues.
To wrap up his lesson series, Brendan discusses how to solo over the new diminished chord you've inserted into the 12 barre blues. Once finished with this lesson and series you'll discover that you've added the validity to the idea of playing a straight chromatic scale over a traditional blues. Brendan follows with a final discussion about how this relates to rock players in a Jazz-Blues setting.
In this "In the Style of" series, Brendan Burns discusses and demonstrates the stylistic traits of the iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Brendan discusses how Jimi Hendrix used muting and slides in his playing.
Brendan Burns discusses and demonstrates how Jimi Hendrix used trills in his playing.
Brendan Burns discusses Jimi Hendrix's use of power chords and chromatics in his playing.
Learn how Jimi Hendrix used unison bends and octaves in his playing.
Brendan Burns explains how Hendrix used the major and minor pentatonic scales to add lead fills to his rhythm playing.
Brendan Burns discusses how Hendrix comped his rhythmic sequences.
In the final lesson of the Hendrix series, Brendan discusses some of the chord voicings that Jimi Hendrix liked to use.
Brendan Burns takes an in-depth look at the guitar styling of legendary rock band The Rolling Stones. Specifically, Brendan breaks down the techniques and conceptual ideas in Keith Richard' and Mick Taylor's playing.
Brendan Burns discusses how open G tuning and chordal embellishments are key components of Keith Richards' guitar sound.
Brendan explains some Stones-eque chord progressions that utilize the open G chord shapes from the previous lesson. He also introduces the concept of secondary dominant chords.
Brendan Burns begins to discuss the rhythmic tendencies that occur in The Rolling Stones' playing. Specifically, he demonstrates and discusses the use of anticipations.
Brendan Burns discusses how The Rolling Stones incorporate blues elements into their songwriting and guitar playing.
Brendan Burns discusses the use of open chords and their embellishments in The Rolling Stones' playing.
Brendan Burns discusses how The Rolling Stones borrowed ideas from players such as Chuck Berry to create their own unique lead guitar ideas.
Brendan discusses how The Rolling Stones utilize the minor pentatonic forms in their lead playing.
Brendan Burns demonstrates how The Rolling Stones use the major pentatonic scales in their playing.
Brendan Burns takes an in-depth look at the bending techniques used by The Rolling Stones' guitarists.
Brendan Burns finishes up his look at The Rolling Stones' bending concepts with a lesson on bending minor chords.
Brendan Burns demonstrates The Rolling Stones' use of diatonic third and sixth intervals as well as oblique counterpoint in their lead ideas.
Brendan Burns wraps up his style of The Rolling Stones series with a discussion about how to add all of the lead elements together.
Brendan Burns delves in to the stylistic playing of Eric Clapton.
Introducing the style of Eric Clapton lesson series. In this series of lessons, Brendan Burns takes an arrangement based look at the life and growth of this prolific guitarist. Starting with the Yardbirds when Clapton was only 18, Brendan moves chronologically though all the major phases of Eric Clapton's playing.
In this first Style of Eric Clapton lesson, Brendan starts with the beginning of Eric's playing with a look at a tune from The Yardbirds. Here, you'll lay the framework of the blues structure and learn how Clapton tends to create solos and melodic ideas.
Brendan introduces a fast blues and the Bo Diddley beat - important components of Clapton's playing in the Yardbirds. He ends the lesson by breaking down Clapton's early solo work.
In the third Yardbirds lesson, Brendan goes over another tune in the style of this group. He explores how Clapton approaches and structures guitar solos.
Brendan Burns is back with another "in the style of" tune from The Yardbirds. In this lesson, Brendan discusses how Clapton is now starting to incorporate rock elements into a traditional blues sound.
In the 5th lesson in The Yardbirds chunk of material, Brendan discusses the Rock elements that Clapton begins to add to his blues playing.
In this final lesson detailing Eric Clapton's history with the Yardbirds, Brendan discusses additional lead techniques. Specifically, he covers triplet and bending ideas that Clapton has started to employ in his playing.
Eric Clapton has now left the Yardbirds and is going back to his core as a solid traditional blues player. He hooks up with John Mayall and continues to add influence from artists like Son House. In this first Bluesbreakers lesson, Brendan discusses and breaks down a traditional blues in 12/8.
In this lesson of epic proportions, Brendan goes over a new "in the style of" tune that really shows off Clapton's true blues playing.
In lesson 10, Brendan continues to delve into Clapton's playing during his years with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. In this "style of" tune, he takes a look at how Freddie King influenced Clapton. The use of triplet melodies and the "three over four" idea becomes more prevalent at this time.
In the eleventh lesson of the Style of Eric Clapton series, Brendan discusses Otis Rush's influence on Clapton's playing. Again, he provides an "in the style of tune" that covers rhythmic, melodic, and improvisation ideas.
In the fifth lesson covering Eric's playing with John Mayall, Brendan takes another look at a Robert Johnson inspired tune.
Brendan Burns is back with a final look at Eric Clapton's work with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. This lesson like the others covers an in the style of tune from this group. However in this tune, Clapton doesn't take a solo.
Brendan Burns returns to his Style of Eric Clapton lesson series with a review of what has been covered so far. This lesson takes a comprehensive look at all the styles and techniques in Clapton's playing arsenal through his playing with John Mayall. After completing this review, Brendan will move the series on to Clapton's work with Cream.
Brendan Burns has now moved the Style of Eric Clapton series forward in time, and he's bringing you the first lesson on Eric's years in Cream. Departing from a more traditional blues band, Cream is more pop oriented and represents a fairly new sound for Clapton.
Brendan Burns is back and moves deeper into his Eric Clapton series. Lesson 16 starts focuses more on Cream and the pop/blues ideas that Eric Clapton was using at this time.
Delving deeper into Eric Clapton's playing with Cream, Brendan Burns offers up a lesson on incorporating the wah pedal. As with the other lessons, you'll be taking a look at an "in the style of" tune while Brendan talks about Clapton's technique.
Brendan is back with another pop rock style tune from Eric Clapton's playing in the band Cream.
Brendan Burns is back with another style study on Eric Clapton. In this lesson, Brendan takes a look at the influences of George Harrison on Eric Clapton's playing with the band Cream.
Brendan burns is back with the final installment in the Cream section of his style study on Eric Clapton. In this lesson, Brendan takes a look at long form solo ideas that Clapton was using in this period.
Brendan provides a final look at the growth of Clapton through his early years. He provides some insight into Clapton's later years as a solo artist and provides some tips on getting the most from this lesson series.
Brendan Burns takes a look into what makes Dave Matthews such a unique guitarist, and what gives him his distinctive sound. Specifically, Brendan looks at Dave's chord voicings and his melodic ideas, then as always shows you how to bring this into your own playing!
Brendan shows us some of Dave Matthews' unique chord voicings and why they are so important to his distinctive sound.
Brendan wraps up his series in the style of Dave Matthews by showing us one of Dave's unique techniques: stacked fifths.
Brendan Burns breaks down the style of this iconic rock band.
It's time for another look at a legendary rock band! In this new lesson series from Brendan Burns, he'll be laying out how AC/DC makes their magic! Brendan will be guiding you step by step on how this iconic band creates it's famous sound!
To get started with the teaching portion of this lesson series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the basic harmonic principles used by AC/DC. He plays over a track to demonstrate the sounds created.
In lesson three of his Style of AC/DC series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the basic tenants of rhythm utilized by Malcom and Angus of AC/DC. To get you started you'll be working on clapping the rhythm before applying it to your guitar.
In part two of the rhythm section for AC/DC, Brendan is discussing the sue of anticipations on all beats in a measure. He discusses how AC/DC used this mechanism and contrasts against how a straight rhythm sounds.
In the third part of his look at AC/DC's rhythm playing, Brendan discusses more uses of anticipations. Specifically you'll be looking at rhythmic variations that have no correlation to the strong beats.
Now moving on to a new aspect of AC/DC's rhythm tendencies, Brendan discusses basic 3-3-2 groupings and provides an exercise to get familiar with this concept.
In the last lesson, Brendan opened up the idea of a 3-3-2 rhythm and talked about doubling it. This lesson seven, Brendan is going to go further into this topic which includes rhythm formations that cross the barre.
Brendan Burns is back with an expanding look on the use of 3-3-2 rhythmic divisions from within AC/DC's playing. In this lesson you're expanding the pattern further and taking a look at a famous style based lick.
In the last several lessons Brendan has been discussing anticipations as part of AC/DC rhythmic tendencies. Starting with lesson nine, Brendan begins to discuss emphasis on the back beat as well.
In lesson 10 of the Style of AC/DC series, Brendan talks about putting all the rhythmic elements you've learned together.
Brendan is back and he's still delving in to the immense beast that is the rhythm tendencies of the AC/DC sound. Lesson 11 is all about the back-beat and playing along with it's groove.
In lesson 12 of his look at AC/DC Brendan is covering the last aspect of rhythm playing for the series. He titles this "Knowing the One."
Still working out exercises that involve no playing on the one, Brendan is now taking a look at multi-barre patterns that take advantage of this concept.
Lesson 14 culminates the rhythm section of the AC/DC workshop. In this lesson Brendan provides one final example to work on knowing where the one is in it's absence of playing.
Now that you've got a great understanding of the rhythmic foundation used in AC/DC's music, it's time to start applying that knowledge to lead aspects. In lesson 15 Brendan offers up his first exercise that is based around a pentatonic idea.
Brendan Burns is back with another look at soloing and lead in the style of AC/DC. In lesson 16 you're going to take the concepts and techniques discussed in the previous lesson and build a solo of your own. Brendan discusses ways to get these ideas in to your own playing.
Brendan returns with another style of solo based off an iconic AC/DC tune. As with the last solo, you'll start by learning this one, then move on to breaking down how you can internalize the concepts.
Moving along in the lead section of this series, Brendan uses the solo you learned in lesson 17 to discuss some concepts and provide exercises on how to get this in to your own playing.
Once again, Brendan is back with another in the style solo inspired by Angus Young's playing. Just like the last several lessons, you'll learn this solo, then move on to putting the concepts and techniques in to your playing.
This lesson takes a look at the rhythmic concepts used in the previous lesson. You'll be using your fingers to count the rhythmic variations and start putting notes to it as well.
Over the past couple of lessons you have been looking at solo ideas that were short and concise in their phrasing. In lesson 21 you'll be looking at an in the style of solo that comprises longer, more melodic phrasing.
Lesson 22 is all about getting the ideas and concepts from lesson 21 in your head and under your fingers. Brendan provides a few exercises to get you playing in the style instead of his written solo.
Once again we are looking at a new solo in the style of Angus Young's playing. Not only are we working on longer phrasing, but Brendan introduces the sextuplet idea as well.
It's once again time to take a look at how to get the concepts and techniques demonstrated by the solo in the previous lessons, under your fingers. In this lesson, Brendan will walk you through the rhythmic variations and talk about key and note selection.
Lesson 25 marks the winding down of the Style of AC/DC lesson series. Over the past 10 previous lessons you've been learning in the style of solos and picking them apart to get the concepts in your head and on the fretboard. The final solo you'll be learning combines all of the melodic and rhythmic elements you've learned so far. This one is a full 16 measures in length and is split 8 barres in this lesson and 8 barres in the next.
Lesson 26 in Brendan's Style of AC/DC lesson series covers the second half of the AC/DC mega solo. You'll be learning barres 9-16 in this one, then you'll follow it up next lesson with a look at getting all these concepts under your fingers.
Here we are at the end. Like the previous lessons in the lead section of this series, lesson 27 is all about getting the past solo you learned in your head and under your fingers from a conceptual level.
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