Rock Guitar for Beginners

Beginner Guitar Course from Will Ripley

Learn to play the electric guitar like a pro! Will Ripley is a veteran teacher that will show you quick and easy ways to start playing actual music on the guitar! Start learning original classic rock style riffs right away, all the while learning solid foundations to your guitar playing. Get ready to Rip it up!!

44 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

Join instructor Will Ripley for his series, Rock Guitar for Beginners. Will's easy to follow teaching methods will have you playing classic sounding rock riffs from the get go! From riffs to chords, and even a little bit of music theory, Ripley will have you sounding like a pro in no time!


Series Introduction

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs from the very first lesson!

5:25 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


First Easy Riff, Part 1

Will wastes no time getting you playing actual music! Check out this cool riff in the style of Black Sabbath. You'll be rockin' in no time!

7:13 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

First Easy Riff, Part 2

Will continues in this lesson by showing you how to read basic tablature for his Black Sabbath style riff.

9:31 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Chromatic Exercise

In this lesson, Will takes a break from riffs to show you a great tool for increasing your dexterity on the instrument: the chromatic exercise.

6:37 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Right Hand Technique, Part 1

A good foundation on the guitar has a lot to do with your right hand, or picking hand, technique. Will starts here with the basics: How to hold a pick and how to place your hand.

9:22 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Right Hand Technique, Part 2

So far, Will has had you focus on playing on one string. Now he gives you the tools to play across multiple strings.

8:40 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Riff in the Style of Deep Purple/Queen

Now that you have some right hand technique under your belt, Will hits you with another classic sounding riff in the style of Deep Purple or Queen. This is an easy, yet great sounding single note riff that will have you rockin' out in no time!

9:43 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Riff in the Style of Bon Jovi

Will is back with another classic sounding riff! This riff is a great exercise that gets you using your fingers on more than one strings, and improves on your chromatic movement.

5:44 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Riff in the Style of Journey/Foster the People

Will uses this catchy riff to teach you how to mute open strings and fretted notes, and how to add some rhythmic depth to your playing.

5:43 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Riff in the Style of RATM/Led Zeppelin

Here's another catchy, classic sounding riff from Will. This one will get you up and running with your alternate picking. A must have picking technique moving forward!

7:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Chromatic Graduation Riff

Remember the chromatic scale we learned earlier in this series? Well, Will steps it up a notch by adding a cool funky riff to help you earn your chromatic diploma!

10:21 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


E Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic is one of the core scales of rock guitar. In this lesson, Will shows you a super simple fingering for this essential scale!

8:21 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Em Pentatonic Riff In the Style of the Beatles

Now, take the minor pentatonic scale, add some rhythm, and you've got a super cool rock riff!

4:47 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Intro to Power Chords

Power chords are essential to any rock guitar playing. In this lesson, Will shows you the basics. Learn open string power chords and other classic power chord shapes!

11:09 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Power Chord Riff In the Style of Tom Petty/ACDC

Will's back with another classic sounding riff in the style of Tom Petty or ACDC. This riff builds off of what you learned in the previous lesson on power chords. Use both your open string power chord and full fretted power chord shapes!

11:19 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Palm Muting

Getting a great rock sound has lots of different elements to it, and one of those is the palm muting technique. Will shows you a super easy way to get rolling on this great right hand technique!

6:39 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Power Chord Riff in the Style of Black Sabbath

Now Will takes a riff he taught earlier in the series and adds the power chord element to it. This makes the riff extra heavy sounding and extra cool!

10:48 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Power Chord Riff with a Fifth in the Bass

Believe it or not, Ripley can show you a way to make your power chords even more powerful! It's a simple fingering shift, but will add a lot of thickness to your power chords.

12:31 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Power Chord Riff in the Style of Audioslave/RHCP

Get ready to learn a super pro-sounding riff in the style of Audioslave or Red Hot Chili Peppers! Hidden in this riff are some more foundational guitar techniques that will increase your facility on the guitar.

12:41 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Other Two Note Shapes

We've learned the interval of the power chord, now Will shows us some other intervals in the form of two note shapes that are easy, and add tremendous color to our playing.

10:15 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Octave Shapes

Will's back with an important and useful technique: Octave shapes. Learn not only the shape, but how to apply muting to get it sounding very professional!

8:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Muting Techniques

Proper muting can add a lot of passion to your playing. In this lesson, Will shows us how to play single notes without compromising any of the energy or intensity.

8:27 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Minor Pentatonic Scale - Second Position

Will showed us the first position of the minor pentatonic scale in an earlier lesson. Now it's time to move on to the second position. It's a must know scale and technique!

5:22 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Reading Chord Charts

Up to now we've learned a lot of single note riffs and power chords. Now it's time to inject some chord playing into our technique. In this lesson, Will starts us off by showing us how to read a chord chart.

9:13 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Spanish Flavored Chord Song

Continuing with chords, Will introduces us to some new chord shapes with this Spanish themed chord song.

6:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Sus and Slash Chords

Sus and slash chords are very important when it comes to making you sound like a pro. Will walks us through a few of the most common ones, and how to implement them in our playing!

6:30 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The G Major Chord

The G major chord is one of the most common chords used in popular music. In this lesson, Will shows some of the more popular and useful variations of the chord.

5:26 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Secret to Changing Chords

One of the biggest issues for beginning guitarists is changing chords. It can be a source of great frustration. Join Will as he shows us his secret to changing chords that will revolutionize your playing!

11:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Rhythmic Subdivisions

By now you've learned what an important role rhythm plays in the process of learning guitar. Will gets more specific here by showing us some basic rhythms and how to count them.

14:45 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Acoustic Pop Chord Song

Ever wonder how certain songs get really pro sounding chord progressions and strumming? Here's a peek behind the curtain as Will shows us a chord progression that is simultaneously easy and great sounding!

16:04 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Three Must Know Strum Patterns

Strumming and rhythm is something that frankly gets taken for granted when learning guitar. But, it's just as important as the notes you play on the fret board! Will gets you started on the right foot with your rhythm by showing you these three must know strum patterns.

11:42 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


All Major and Minor Chords

It's time to get deeper into chords! In this lesson, Will shows us all the major and minor chords.

12:30 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


12 Bar Blues Song - Part 1

The 12 bar blues is a fundamental rock and blues song form. Will shows you the 12 bar blues, but puts a little twist on it to make it sound extra rockin'!

7:44 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


12 Bar Blues Song - Part 2

In part 2 of the 12 Bar Blues Song, Will gets into the meat of the 12 bar blues form.

11:25 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Chord Techniques in the Style of Neil Young/Guns and Roses

Will brings together several chord playing techniques in this lesson that will challenge you and keep you on the road to sounding more like a pro!

15:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale - Third Position

Will now brings us the 3rd position of the minor pentatonic scale. This is one of the great rock guitar scales, and Will is building towards having you cover the entire fret board with this scale!

4:42 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Chop Builders

Here's a couple of exercises that will help build your "chops", otherwise known as your strength and dexterity on the guitar!

11:29 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Major Scale and Basic Theory

Don't let the phrase "music theory" scare you off! It's merely an aid to help you understand what you've been learning and playing so far. Will uses this lesson to show you a very important scale that is the door way to some beginning theory concepts. When you're done, you'll have a better grasp of the material he's showed you already!

10:59 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fourth Position

On to the fourth position of the minor pentatonic scale! As usual, Will shows us the scale, then shows us a way to connect all of the positions so far.

4:16 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Find Every Note on the Fret Board

Believe it or not, finding and knowing every note on the fret board is not as hard as it may seem. In this lesson, Will demystifies the fret board taking away that overwhelming feeling when you look down at it. A few simple tricks is all you need!

13:39 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Precursor to Barre Chords

Leading up to learning your barre chords, Will shares this lesson with us that gets us familiar with some of the basic shapes we'll need to know. Plus, you get to learn some super cool sounding chords!

9:26 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Four Shapes of Barre Chords

The "dreaded" barre chords are anything but dreaded here. Will gets you going on the four basic shapes, with some tips and tricks to make them frankly, quite easy!

15:27 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Barre Chord Song

Now Will gives you the chance to put those barre chords into practice! Here's a super simple little song to help you get more familiar with the shapes we learned in the last lesson.

8:48 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fifth Position

The Grand Finale of your minor pentatonics: The Fifth Position. Now that you have all 5 positions, Will shows you some cool ways to practice these, and consequently, the ability to begin using them in solos right away!

9:28 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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Will Ripley

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Playing since 1995
  • 222 lessons at JamPlay
Will Ripley is a passionate guitarist who performs, teaches, and manages a successful music business. His wild stage presence and undeniable guitar skills transcend vibe and waveforms of the highest levels of energy.. His talents however, are directly related to years of staying “on the grind” and “paying his dues”. He has played with many bands, produced, composed and collaborated both solo and with top level musicians. He is a sought-after studio musician and works creatively with other musicians.

Coming from a blues and classic rock background, Ripley discovered 90?s rock in his late teens. Ripley’s style is unique. He’s been described as combining the blues guitar playing of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix with big riffs that are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine with the booty shaking rhythms of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and N.E.R.D. Ripley also has a soft place in his heart for pop music ranging from The Beatles to Stone Temple Pilots to Kelly Clarkson. In addition to creation and production of music, Ripley teaches guitar using a method he developed through his education and over countless sessions with learners of all ages and levels. This led to the development of a successful series of recorded lessons called Guitar Goals available from his website. As the founder of the Will Ripley Guitar School he has begun expanding as a franchise into other cities which has 1 location currently – the Vancouver Guitar School. Students the world over can learn guitar using this effective, rewarding, and enjoyable style at their own pace – with epic results! Ripley seeks participation in authentic, professional-level music, with like-minded, enthusiastic, high-achieving musicians. With dreams of creating legendary songs, Ripley is open to new band mates, songwriting partners, and recording opportunities.
Reviews & Feedback 96/100 with 2828 ratings

Brain exploded on how easy that part of theory is.


:) lets go!!


Will...You are a great teacher. I really like these bite sized lessons. Great pace for me. What I like the most though is that you don't go too fast. You present ideas clearly and with plenty of time for me to implement them. Great job, my man!


A little bit of all 3 bullets. Will, Thank you for your time and effort in demonstrating how to make music on the guitar!


Actually gets you playing straight off the bat! I like his explanation and practical application.


All options above!


lesson is designed well and I feel this lesson along with the others I have completed so far are helping to learn to play better than I ever have. This has just enough of going on different strings and frets to be awesome for my learning experi


All of the above.


All the above


Finally after many years, a teacher I can understand.


All three choices apply, but I really did need this.


Will is a a solid teacher


Will is awesome! So easy to understand. He explains it really well! Thanks!!


As a beginner with electric guitar, I am finding Will's classes easy to follow and fun to play along with.




I have played bass for 25 years and am pretty good at it and have been in a few bands. I've not been as sucessful with guitar but I keep tring so I look forward to working with you Will.


Awesome lesson series. Hope there are more to come! Rock on!!


This guy is great. Really enjoy the lessons, learning so much & helping me out of old bad habits Thanks


Awesome way of showing it. Even though it may be simple that is the first thing that i have learned and played that actually sounds good and right. I have been playing for over 6 months and thats the first thing i can actually play. Sad but sou


You're awesome! Thank You!




Basic but useful


Simply put, a very nice exercise. Great teacher, not boring at all.


Best techaa!


Clear and motivating


cool and hip teacher, makes learning very fun


Cool dude.


Learned more in this clip then I did with two tab books!!


Will is my choice for a teacher right now. I believe this is how any teacher, teaching any instrument should do. Teach a simple riff/melody to play. Because when you're actually playing something on your first couple lessons, that's what hooks


Great foundational stuff. Really needed this.


don't understand chords,tabs i do .Seeing tabs and chords at same time is good


Door opened to the pick curl...and hero Dick Dale. Thanks!


easy peasy


Easy to follow


easy to understand


Will is the BEST instructor I’ve had thus far (and he’s not the only I’ve had! Lol). Thx Will.


easy to understand and learn


I liked the song - introducing the chords followed by the beat was easy to follow.


Easy to understand as well. Really like his style, very personable.


Easy to understand. Very clear. A great way to start. Thanks!!


great explanation of pick holding




Excited already!!


Explains well and is relaxed