Basic Electric Guitar

Beginner Guitar Course from David MacKenzie

In his Phase 1 series, David MacKenzie will walk you through the basics of rock guitar.

41 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

85% Appoval

381 of 413 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

David introduces essential electric guitar skills in this series. These lessons focus primarily on rock guitar. However, they are great for students interested in all styles.


About the Guitar

David discusses the parts of the guitar. He also gives you some basic techniques to get you started.

31:00 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Power Chords

In this lesson, David introduces basic power chords. Great fun for beginners!

10:12 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Basic Chord Progressions

David introduces some basic chords and chord progressions.

14:15 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Notes, Chords and Arpeggios

David provides a brief explanation of what notes, chords, power chords, and arpeggios are.

8:12 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Speed and Coordination

This lesson is all about increasing your speed and coordination. David demonstrates basic picking exercises.

14:12 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Chord Exercises

David MacKenzie presents a mysterious sounding chord exercise. This exerices is designed to improve right hand technique.

9:12 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Practice and Discipline

In this short lesson David talks about practice, discipline, and how you should apply yourself when learning and mastering the guitar.

6:00 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Double Stops

Double stops can bring new life to your rhythm and lead playing. David provides a short tutorial on what double stops are and how they can be used.

7:12 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Major Chords

David covers the basic major chord shapes. Every guitarist must learn these basic chords.

18:29 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Minor Chords

David MacKenzie walks you through the basic minor chords. Expand your knowledge of chords with this fun-filled lesson.

8:15 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Major Scales

Major scales are an essential component of all styles of music. They can also be used as a great way to orient yourself with the fretboard.

32:12 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Major Scale Jam

David MacKenzie explains how to practice the major scales along with a fun backing track.

11:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Minor Scales

David MacKenzie proceeds to an in-depth discussion of the minor scales.

15:36 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Scale Jam

David MacKenzie shows you how to play the natural minor scale over a rockin' JamTrack.

6:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


One String Exercise

David demonstrates an excellent one-string exercise in this lesson. This exercise will improve your dexterity and knowledge of the fretboard.

16:48 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are techniques that enable you to play with a smooth, legato feel.

8:27 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Basic Bends

David MacKenzie gives a crash course on bending in this lesson. Bends can add a lot of soul to your playing.

16:12 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Cool Rock Licks

David MacKenzie teaches two rock licks inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.

12:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Hammer-On Exercise

David returns to the world of hammer-ons with a fun new exercise. This lesson includes a JamTrack.

13:56 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Return to Pull-Offs

David returns to the world of pull-offs with a new exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

12:50 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Practicing Bends

David MacKenzie returns to bending technique in this lesson. This lesson features a backing track that is designed for bending practice.

12:18 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Basic Vibrato

Integrating vibrato into your guitar playing is a great way to add emotion and soul. David MacKenzie explains the basics of vibrato in this lesson.

9:12 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the pentatonic scale.

5:48 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson.

4:38 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Full Major Scale

David MacKenzie explains a two octave pattern of the major scale.

11:31 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Full Minor Scale

David MacKenzie introduces a two octave natural minor scale pattern.

12:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Full Major Pentatonic Scale

David teaches a two octave pattern of the major pentatonic scale.

6:30 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Full Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie teaches a two octave version of the minor pentatonic scale.

9:20 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Cool Lick

David MacKenzie teaches several licks based on common arpeggio patterns. This lesson also includes a backing track to jam with.

20:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rhythm Basics

David MacKenzie introduces some important rhythm basics in this lesson. This lesson also includes a backing track exercise.

14:55 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Power Chord Variations

David MacKenzie explains various power chord voicings. By simply moving a finger or two, new power chords can be formed.

18:43 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Cool Lick Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces some new amazing licks.

29:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Tapping Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

22:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Tapping Exercise #2

David MacKenzie teaches another amazing tapping exercise.

13:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Tapping #3: Adding Open Strings

The third tapping lesson elaborates on the previous lesson by adding open strings.

12:59 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Tapping #4: Diminished Lick

The fourth lesson in Dave's tapping series deals with a monster diminished lick.

11:02 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Tapping #5

In lesson five of his tapping mini-series, DMac provides backing tracks that you can tap over.

8:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Tremolo Technique

In lesson 38, DMac demonstrates some tremolo techniques to add to your repertoire.

13:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Tapping #6

DMac returns to his tapping instruction with more advanced techniques.

19:54 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord Structures

In lesson 40, DMac teaches you how to play various D chords all the way up the neck.

9:20 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



In lesson 41, David discusses the octave and its uses while playing.

17:09 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

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  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Playing since 2001
  • 59 lessons at JamPlay
Dave MacKenzie has been playing guitar for 30 of his 45 years on this earth. Starting back when he was 14 years old, Dave picked up the guitar and started to learn from his oldest brother, who had played some guitar as well. Dave was hooked, and couldn't learn fast enough! Everything from the Beatles, Chicago, Ted Nugent, The Eagles, you name it, Dave was trying to play it.

Then as with a lot of players out there, Eddie Van Halen came along and changed the way guitar was played! Dave has been influenced by anyone he has heard play guitar, literally! Always keeping an open mind and a humbleness about him has helped him to keep learning new things on, and about the guitar.

Dave has mostly played in top 40 rock, country, and pop bands. He is most recently playing guitar and keyboards in a 80's metal band called Open Fire. They have opened for Warrant, Firehouse, Winger, and LA Guns within the 3 and a half years they have been together, and are now jumping into original music.

Dave believes you should have internal motivation, and passion to play guitar, and most definitely, it should be fun!

As with his playing, Dave will find new ways to show you how to get the most out of your time learning guitar!
Reviews & Feedback 85/100 with 413 ratings

A fret board diagram to go with the power cords would be a big help


What a cool technic


Easy to understand great player ????


easy to understand takes the time to show you thanks


excellent delivery, very clear


first lesson,David said tune your guitar first,What a different it makes when your guitar is tuned


Fun octave forms


Good exercise, maybe a little easier.

Guitar Joy

Great explanation of what a power Chord is (I didn't know) and then demonstrating how to do them w/one, two or three left-hand fingers, up and down and across the fretboard!


Great lesson David, thank you


Great stuff, far better than the usual boring stuff.

Kem Canon

Hey Jim, I will continue with your lessons on electric guitar as I can. If there seem to be gaps in my "attendance", it's because I am also going with Jim Deeming here at the start. It's a regular smorgasbord of instructors, all of whom (from

Paul wells

Humour, great


I have been playing guitar for nearly 30 years and only joined to learn to solo better. But I figured, why not start at the beginning.... I was too poor when I was young to afford lessons, and we didnt have theinternet yet, so I self taught. I


I like his method.. keeps it interesting and keeps the drive to jam getting into power chords.


I needed it, but it was also easy to understand and I like the way the teacher didn't beat around the bush!


I needed this it was easy to understand and the teacher was funny>


I want to learn scales and this was very good


I'm past this point but got a couple good practice skills


Just a good finger dexterity excersize.


like the teaching approach


The teacher explains things in a way that are really easy to make sense! He knows how to put himself in the student's shoes. Thanks!


this was very easy to understand. thank you. i really enjoyed the lesson

chopper bob

Tks. for taking it slow.


tough lesson but well presented