Rocking on Acoustic Guitar

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Will Ripley

Will Ripley is back with his series, Rocking on Acoustic Guitar! Known for his electric rock guitar series on Jamplay, Will shows us how to rock on the acoustic with this series geared towards rock, classic rock and pop-rock acoustic guitar techniques.

44 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

91% Appoval

572 of 599 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


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Full Course Breakdown

Find out just how much electric guitar and acoustic guitar have in common! Learn basic acoustic techniques like strumming, fingerpicking and chords, and apply them over classic sounding rock, classic rock and pop-rock tracks in the styles of some of your favorite artists!


Series Introduction

Welcome to Acoustic Guitar! This series is geared for beginning and intermediate players with a focus on rock, classic rock, and pop-rock aspects of the acoustic guitar. In this video, Will gives you the rundown of what you can expect in this series.

5:08 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Technique Tweaks

To get us started on the right foot, Will goes over some foundational techniques that are 'must know' for this series!

9:11 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Right Hand Technique

In this lesson, Will gets more specific with the right hand. Learning proper hand placement for strumming and fingerpicking will set you up with a solid foundation!

10:29 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Left Hand Technique

Not to forget the left hand, Will focuses in on proper thumb placement on the neck of the guitar, as well as how to get nice clean tones from your guitar without any buzz!

13:29 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Beginner Guitar Progression

In this lesson, Will lays out a path for the beginning guitarist. Following this path will ensure you set yourself up for success on the acoustic guitar!

12:15 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Intro to Chording

Before Will dives into all the chords you need to know, he brings us this lesson that will set you up for success moving forward. This includes his big secret to changing chords!

11:05 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Chords You Need to Know

Not all chords are necessary to know when you're just getting going on guitar. Will shows you some essential chords that will get you prepped to play tons of songs!

15:19 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Developing Strum Patterns

Strumming and rhythm are huge parts of learning guitar. Many players feel they have to know very specific patterns. Will is here to teach you that it's more about developing a sense of rhythm that will give you the freedom to create your own patterns.

9:57 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Close to the Bridge Upstroke

Here's a cool little technique that gives some dynamic quality to your playing. Just another tool in your tool belt that you can use at any given time!

5:17 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


One Finger Chord Movement

Sometimes chords can be much simpler than we think. This is the case in this lesson. With a basic one finger movement, you can play three super cool sounding chords!

8:30 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The "Wonderwall" Chords, Part 1

This lesson explores these great chords that allow you to get super pro sounds with minimal movement.

7:05 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The "Wonderwall" Chords, Part 2

In this lesson, Will expands on these great sounding chords with more easy chord movements. In addition, he shows us how to inject more rhythm into our strumming by accenting certain beats.

12:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Buffalo Springfield

In this lesson, Will has a great track for us done in the style of Buffalo Springfield that is a great vehicle for getting solid strumming and rhythm down pat.

10:42 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Ballad in the Style of Guns 'n' Roses

So much of acoustic guitar strumming is about rhythm. This lesson in the style of a Guns 'n' Roses ballad has a great simple strum pattern that will help you understand connecting with rhythm even more!

9:07 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Coldplay/Cream/Jane's Addiction

Sometimes the coolest sounds are just certain chord shapes moved around the fretboard. This lesson clues you in on how to get some awesome sounds out of your basic E chord shape.

8:34 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of CCR

Learning to put accents into your strumming will help you become a more dynamic player, especially when you're playing by yourself! This lesson works on the accents, plus a simple chord progression with a key transitional chord.

11:39 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Marshall Tucker Band

Another classic sounding chord progression here from Will! This lesson will also focus in on changing chords efficiently and smoothly, as well as how to add dynamics to your playing.

18:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of The Beatles/Green Day

It's time to ramp up the difficulty on your chords! Luckily, Will gives us a great track at a moderate to slow tempo to work out this very Beatlesque chord progression. If you can master this, you will have earned your chord playing diploma!

17:22 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Slap Strumming, Part 1

In a basic sense, your acoustic guitar is really a percussion instrument. To start to get the most out of that aspect of your guitar, Will shows us a great technique for injecting rhythm into your playing: Slap Strumming.

5:44 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Slap Strumming, Part 2

Now, let's take this new technique of slap strumming and apply it to some tracks we've already learned in this series. This will help you see the value of injecting rhythm into your playing, especially when you're playing your guitar all by yourself!

11:59 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Open Barre Chord Shapes

Open barre chord shapes allow you to get very cool colors in your chords by using open strings. Will shows us some of his favorite open barre chord shapes, leading us up to a very cool track in the next lesson!

7:59 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style Alice in Chains/Nirvana

Now we put those open barre chord shapes to use with this 90's sounding track. This is also a great track for practicing big chord movements around the neck!

19:45 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Full Barre Chord Shapes

So you've mastered the open barre chord shapes, now it's time to make a slight adjustment and voila! You've got your full barre chord shapes. These shapes will truly open up the entire fretboard to you, and Will uses that to lead us into some cool barre chord songs in the next few lessons!

17:19 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of Jason Mraz

Putting those full barre chord shapes to work, Will teaches us a chord progression reminiscent of Jason Mraz. This will allow you to use the shapes you learned, plus practice moving them around the neck of the guitar!

9:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd, Part 1

Learning the nuances of strumming is something that can really take your acoustic playing to the next level. In the track that Will made just for this series, he gets into the details of getting a good strum going which adds lots of dynamics and feel to the track!

13:39 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd, Part 2

This lesson is about big, resonant chords. These chords turn your guitar into a huge sounding instrument! In the chorus section of this track, Will shows you how to get the most out of these chords.

17:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd, Part 3

Now it's time to learn the signature lead melody of this track! Not only does Will show us the notes, but he also gets us going on some fundamental techniques like bending, vibrato and hammer-ons.

19:47 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Dominant and Minor 7th Barre Chords

7th chords can drastically change the tonal character of not only chords you're playing, but the songs you're playing them in. Will gets you up to speed on your dominant 7th and minor 7th barre chords, which can be used all over the neck!

8:52 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


R&B Song for Dominant Barre Chords, Part 1

In lesson #29, Will unveils a classic sounding R&B style track that will give you all the practice you need on your barre chord shapes, particularly the dominant 7th shapes.

19:43 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


R&B Song for Dominant Barre Chords, Part 2

In part two of this lesson, Will takes a look at 'thumb chords' as a great alternative to your regular barre chords. And as always, he looks at the rhythm and strumming, adding another type of feel to your repertoire!

11:22 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Chord Hammer-ons

Adding chord hammer-ons and embellishments is a great way to really step up your game on the acoustic guitar. In this lesson, Will gives you the low down on some commonly used chordal hammer-ons that will make you sound even more pro!

17:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Moving Bass Technique

The moving bass technique is something commonly found in country, old rock and roll and rockabilly. Join Will as he gets us up to speed with this super fun technique!

13:16 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Slash Chords

Are 'slash' chord still a mystery to you? Well, this lesson is designed to take away that mystery, and get you playing these chords that add a lot color to your sound!

10:36 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In the Style of John Mellencamp/Neil Young

Here's a cool mellow track in the style of John Mellencamp or Neil Young that gets you moving certain shapes around the neck. This one's a lot of fun!

14:46 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Movable Triads

Lots of triads shapes can be moved around the neck to get great, colorful sounds. Will takes the common shapes in this lesson, and shows you how and where to move them!

7:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Intro to Fingerpicking

For some of us, fingerpicking can be quite the mysterious process. Will demystifies that process in this lesson, giving you some simple, attainable techniques to get you started on this must know guitar style!

17:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of Santana/Led Zeppelin

Now that you've got a few fingerpicking basics under your belt, here's a catchy descending riff that is fingerpicked in the style of Santana or Led Zeppelin.

5:04 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fingerpicking in the Style of Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd

Fingerpicking can be applied in many different ways. Case in point, this is a riff we learned to play with a pick earlier in the series, now Will shows us how the riff can be just as effective using a fingerpicking technique.

5:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Acoustic Blues, Part 1

This lesson encapsulates a lot of elements of classic acoustic blues, but with a rock 'n' roll attitude. Explore the minor pentatonic scale, along with fingerpicking to get that traditional Delta Blues sound!

15:14 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Acoustic Blues, Part 2

Will now continues with the "B" section of the Acoustic Blues track. Here we'll find some driving, straight ahead strumming, culminating with a simple yet effective minor pentatonic lick at the end of the section.

8:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


In the Style of Dave Matthews/The Beatles

This one is all about the shapes. Once you get these intervallic shapes down, you open a whole new world of sounds on your guitar. Couple that with a very rhythmic track, and you end up with a very uplifting, fun practice time!

15:24 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


In the Style of Radiohead/John Mayer

Here's a nice acoustic rock ballad done in the style of Radiohead or John Mayer. This track incorporates some very atmospheric chord voicings, as well as right hand techniques such as strumming without at pick and fingerpicking.

17:48 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Picked Arpeggio Chording

This technique is sort of a hybrid between strumming and picking. Will uses a track that we learned earlier in the series to demonstrate this technique that you will find in all sorts of classic songs. A great technique to know, it can do a lot to spice up your strumming!

13:23 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Using a Capo

Capos: A great inspirational tool, or a great mystery? In this last lesson of the series, Will attempts to demystify the capo with some basic information that can get you started using one right away!

10:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Playing since 1995
  • 220 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 91/100 with 599 ratings

liked the teacher-clear, concise,friendly,easy to follow ;exactly what i need to get started.


All really great....thnkyou


Amazing teacher! Super interesting, relatable, and down to earth.


user friendly...practical the one finger A


Awesome lesson, very well broken down!




But... he's teaching what works for him. I think that's a bit confusing for those of us who don't have the long wrist that he has. I wouldn't recommend "Teaching" that one rest their arm in the groove of the bridge. To me... this represen


By far my favorite instructor. The way he teaches makes even complex things for my skill level seem well within reach.


Cool dude, good stuff. I've been playing acoustic for over forty years, bought an electric for the first time just this year. So far I found it is real easy to get lazy on the acoustic cuz the electric is easier to play, not to mention fun.


Really enjoyed this lesson, a lot covered, but doable. Good practice shifting up and down the neck, string splitting, and a fun practice!


fantastic course very methodic and clear to understand i lear a lot


good explanation and easy to follow


well explained; this is actually more simple than i thought


Great groove that looked WAY harder until it was broken down.... still difficult and lots of practice needed but getting there... THANKS!


Great info for beginners.

keith mcknight

Great lesson


Great lesson with easy to jam with backing track. Good job Will!


Great lesson. Thanks!


Great lesson. Very helpful with strumming. For me personally, I would like to see a bit more instruction on fingering the more challenging chords. I understand that the tabs are available but I'm more of a visual learner so that would benefit m


Great Series (so far); I love it. Good tips for correcting my bad habits and developing new good habits! One Happy Camper!


Great teacher


He transmits clear information with short, clear examples.


I am intermediate, but self taught, and Will added a few great points


I have been using Will Ripley's Phase 1 lesson series for the electric guitar, and just recently purchased my first acoustic guitar, so the timing is perfect for me and I am excited to dive into this series.


I hit the thumbs down button by accident.


I only get one choice above: But all 3 fit 1. Like the teacher. 2. Easy to understand and 3. Just what I needed. In all I love this series.


I think that jam play is the best program out there to learn how to play the guitar I am 71 years old and I learn more with jamplay all the books I got


I wish someone had told me this stuff when I started playing - instant improvement!! Thanks Will


I would have checked all the boxes if the site would have let me. I learned so much in just a few days and the progression of the course is perfect for me. I have an electric, but prefer the acoustic guitar and this is perfect. I'm 60 and wom


Look forward to learning more from this guy


Love acoustic covers of rock songs!


Love the song and the band , thanks


loving the acoustic rock..


more please!


Mr. Ripley does a fantastic job in his lessons. At my age, suffering from a stroke that affected my left side, I am now rehabbing myself with Will's lessons. Thanks Will, Don C.


Needless to say that Will Ripley has proven himself to be a very competent, charming and motivating teacher. Keep the good work going... Ahmed Azeddine from Denmark

sunny jim

New subscriber to Jam Play and first time watching Will's lesson intro, first impression, this one type style that I was hoping to learn more on.


Nice technique to know and Learn.


okay got schooled by simple things to assist my advancing to new comfort level of playing


Really waited for this one!


Simple but makes a huge difference on my ability to stabilize my hand.


Teacher does a a great job of slowing it down and explaining.


Thank you so much for breaking it all down to basics. I'm self taught and fairly good, but these lessons made immediate improvement to my playing.


This way of cord chaining is exactly what I needed!!