David Isaacs

David Isaacs

From Dave Isaacs Group

Dave Isaacs has earned a reputation as one of the best: not simply a guitar and piano teacher but as a musical mentor to performing artists, songwriters, and performers as well as beginners, weekend warriors, and perpetual beginners. Dave's approach to teaching develops not only guitar playing but the whole musician, building real skills, confidence, and musical knowledge.A dynamic performing artist himself, he played in venues across the US from small clubs to festivals and ... (more)

David currently offers 450 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 63 beginner lessons, 358 intermediate lessons, 4 song lessons, 20 lessons in our Artist Series and 5 Lick & Riff Library entries.

Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with simple song examples after the second lesson!

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The Series Introduction

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with simple song examples after the second lesson!

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Strings & Things

Tune up, learn your way around your guitar, and explore a simple, musical picking exercise to help you learn the string names. You'll be playing right out of the gate!

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Hands on the Fretboard

Learn hand position, posture and see how to set up your playing for success when it comes to your fret hand. Dave goes in depth with his discussion and demonstration of hand mechanics. Don't miss this lesson!

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Your First Song!

Learn the E7 minor and Am chords and then immediately put them to use with a simple song. Play along to the provided backing track and feel like you're part of the band...It's only your 4th lesson! Keep up the good work!

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Power to the Chords

Power chords are some of the most simple and ubiquitous tools for playing and making great songs. Learn the most basic shapes and put them to use right here! Dave also discusses the beginnings of strumming and note values.

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Music & Melody

Learn a simple melody and take in a little info about what a 'key' is. You can learn the melody and have a friend strum the rhythm. Or, do it the other way around!

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Two Finger Chords & More

These simple, musical tools can take you a long way. Use your index and middle fingers to play a simple Am chord and a simple E chord. You'll also learn how to read chord charts and play through another fun real-world example that includes a slightly more advanced chord.

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A Simple Melody

You will be introduced to a simple A minor scale and then learn a song that helps you get your new scale under your finger tips!

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Finger Independence

Do you ever feel like you are wearing mittens while you are trying to practice your guitar playing? If you have ever experienced this sensation, this lesson is for you!

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Let's Major on C Major

You'll be introduced to the C Major scale and then you'll be able to put it to use over a soothing acoustic guitar rhythm bed. Have fun!

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The C Chord and G7 Chord

Here you'll get to spend some time applying some fundamental chord shapes. Dave shows how to switch between these two chords seamlessly and, as usual, has a creative example ready to go so you can put your new knowledge to good use right away!

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G and C Working Together

I know what you're thinking..."I just learned these!" Well, you did learn a C chord and a G chord, but this lesson goes over ways to play these chords together in a chord progression that REALLY sounds great. The more ways you know how to play and use these basic chords, the more interesting your playing will become!

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Playing Most Songs

You've probably heard it before, but most songs out there can really be played with just 3 or 4 chords. In this lesson, Dave gives you the tools to play most of the songs you know and love!

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Rhythm & Charts

We're moving into some new territory with this series now. You'll now be focusing more and more on material that you can play in a band setting. Up until now, you've been applying the basics to real music, but we're going to step it up a notch now! Get ready and have fun!

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A Taste of the Blues

Learn about the blues form and strum along with a cool, laid back, bluesy track. You'll be able to take the material in this lesson a long way down the road! Don't forget to have fun with it now though too!

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Major Pentatonic Music

Learn the C major pentatonic scale and put it to good use over a catchy tune! You'll be surprised how simple this is and how very musical you can be with just 5 notes arranged in a musically interesting way.

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Four Fingers and a Chord

The mighty and intimidating F chord is one that most beginners see as a major hurdle in learning the basic chords on the guitar. Dave offers some ways to make the F chord more approachable. Once you examine the wrist and finger position for the F chord, you'll put it in a nice musical context for your practicing fun!

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Chord Shapes & Arpeggios

Work on precision with your picking hand and more finger independence with your fretting hand using a soothing practice track called "Chimes". You'll get a good taste of combining melody and rhythm playing in this lesson as well!

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Work Those Rhythms

Dave works you through eight different strumming variations, discusses how to feel the groove while keeping the rhythm, and shows you how to take a handful of examples and create any strum pattern you wish!

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Complete C

Look at the C major scale once again. This time however, you'll get to complete the first position C major pattern. You'll play every note within reach of your first 4 frets. You'll also learn a catchy tune that puts this knowledge to good use.

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The Return to Chords

Work in the Am, Dm, and Em chords and play them in a melancholy, yet soothing example. You'll also get to work on your basic strumming.

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Shifty Pentatonic

Learn the E minor pentatonic scale with a small position shift that will get you out of the open position and moving around the neck a little bit. This is where it really starts to feel like you are owning your instrument!

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Let's Major on A Minor

Earlier in the series, we explored the C major scale. In this lesson, the A minor will get some love. Learn the basic open position and use it in a new melody.

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In 7th Heaven

Back to some chords now. In case you couldn't tell from the title, we'll be focusing on 7th chords for this lesson. You learned A7 a while back, and now you'll learn E7 and B7.

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Walkin' The Blues

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back! You've covered a lot of ground so far! You've been playing real music now for some time, and in this lesson, we're going to learn a walking blues line. What is a walking blues line you ask? Well, you're in the right place!

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Moveable Chords

Chords that don't have any open strings in them AND chords whose open strings fit comfortably within the chord all called "moveable chords". Learn how to play a couple chords up the neck.

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Moveable Pentatonic

In this lesson, you'll take another big step forward when it comes to working outside of the open position. You'll feel like doing some jamming too!

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Syncopated Strumming

There are eight more strum patterns for you to dig into in this lesson. This time, they are a bit trickier. Follow along with the rhythm charts and take each example in chunks if needed. Combine them with the ideas in the previous strumming lesson for even more fun!

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And Now...Barre Chords!

You knew it was coming! This is the lesson where we stop dancing around full fingered moveable chords and dive head first into the most common barre chord shapes. They're not as bad as you may be fearing. Isaacs' straight forward, musical approach particularly shines on this often avoided topic for beginners.

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Advancing with Blues

As the musical examples continue to distance themselves from that stereotypical beginner sound, Dave works through this track with a simple, moving melody inside a blues progression.

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Make It up as You Go

Some of you may have been waiting for this one! Now we'll focus on some improvisation...Some lead playing. It's not about knowing all the scales or trying to be fancy. It is about using what you know to make a lasting impression on the listener, and you'll be surprised at how little you have to play in order to do just that!

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Like a Drummer

Learn how to create motion and percussive interest with your strumming. If you look at and listen to how drummers accent general grooves, there is a lot of insight there in to how to make your rhythm playing groove.

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New Chords, New Strums

Learn B minor chord and continue developing your feel and grooviness when it comes to strumming. Be sure that you are combing over older lessons as well so that you can incorporate many ideas into what you are playing.

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A Start to Alternate Picking

Develop precision in your picking. Learn when it's best to use alternate picking. Get comfortable with a few exercises and then apply the technique in a musical context!

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A Little Bluegrass

We're going to continue with rhythm playing and 16th note strumming, but this time we're going to touch on some laid back bluegrass playing. This is another simple style of playing to add to your arsenal.

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A Bit More on Barre Chords

Learn a few more barre chord forms and get more advanced with your strumming. As you've come to know and love with these lessons, you'll have a chance to learn a new song!

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Here You Are

You've made it a long way if you've made it to the end of this series! In this final lesson of Mr. Isaacs beginner course, you'll spend some dedicated time moving both major and minor barre chord formations around the neck.

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Blues Guitar for Beginners

So you want to play the Blues? Let's join Dave Issacs as he takes us on a journey covering the building blocks of the Blues for the Day 1 Beginner. We'll start at the very beginning with an inventory of the various parts and functions of the electric guitar before moving on to cover the core skills of the genre. If you're looking for a fast track to getting the fundamentals of the Blues under your fingers, then this is the course for you!

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Getting to Know Your Electric Guitar

Guitars come in several shapes and configurations, and as an absolute beginner, this can confuse matters before you even get started. In this opening lesson, Dave Isaacs will discuss the name and function of the various parts of an electric guitar.

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Tuning and String Names

Now that we've covered the guitar itself, let's discuss each string and how to tune them!

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Putting Your Hands on the Guitar

Using the correct positioning and posture while playing can save a lot of frustration and possibly even injury. In this lesson, Dave will cover the proper techniques to help us be comfortable and proficient in our playing.

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Understanding Notation Through Shape and Direction

Tablature can be a useful stepping stone, helping us familiarize ourselves with printed music for the guitar, and with a bit more work - standard notation. Here, Dave will discuss the basics of tablature and how it associates with the location and direction of the notes on the fretboard.

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Introduction to 'Blues Guitar for Beginners'

Dave Isaacs introduces us to 'Blues Guitar for Beginners'!

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Your First Melody

Let's get our Blues journey underway with this simple melody that will help us familiarize ourselves with picking and fretting in time with a drum beat.

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Your First Chords

Now that we've got a single-string melody under our fingers, let's take the next step and focus on your first chords with this simple chord progression.

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Blues Technique: The Glide Slide

Continuing with our fundamentals, here Dave will highlight another mandatory Blues skill: sliding between frets.

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Blues Theory: I - IV - V in A

Alright, we've got our basic mechanics down. Now let's dip our toes into the theory pool with this Blues staple, the genre-defining 1 - 4 - 5 in A.

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A Minor Pentatonic Melody

Now it's time to take our melody playing to the next stage with this two-finger pentatonic melody!

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Power Chord Riffs

The power chord (also referred to as a 5th) is another essential skill that spans multiple genres. In this lesson, Dave will utilize this technique with a moody Blues riff in A.

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New Chords!

Time to expand our chord lexicon with this new chord progression that highlights the use of 7th chords and the need for resolution of the progression.

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Fret Hand

Let's continue our journey by adding another tool to our repertoire with this common multi-genre skill: the Hammer-on.

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Core Vocabulary: The Minor Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson, Dave will return to the Minor Pentatonic Scale, but this time in the key of E. He'll also highlight other core vocabulary terms such as intervals, and "call & answer" phrasing.

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Boogie Bass in E

Let's jam for a while! Here's a familiar bass-driven blues progression in E that will help up us to locate and stay in the "pocket".

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Syncopated Riff in G

Alright, let's dial things up a notch with this catchy Blues progression based on the G Major Pentatonic Scale that will also introduce us to a new and useful skill: Syncopation.

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More New Chords

Time for some new chords! Here, Dave will highlight more of our "Cowboy Chords", but this time with a bit more emphasis on the middle, ring, and pinky fingers.

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Shuffle Strum and the D7 Chord

Learning to accurately strum through a shuffle beat can be a challenge. In this lesson, Dave will break down this skill and also introduce us to a new chord: the D7.

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Intro to Fingerstyle

Up to this point, we've used our pick. In this next lesson, Dave will introduce us to the basic mechanics of fingerstyle picking!

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Fingerpicking a Country Blues in G

Let's continue our work with fingerpicking with this fun Country Blues progression in G that will require us to add another finger to our fingerpicking style!

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The Minor Blues

Time to dive into the world of minor keys with this Minor Blues progression that incorporates the Am, Dm, and Fmaj7 to add to our lexicon of chords!

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Minor Melody with Pull-Offs

A 'pull-off' is the flip side of the coin in regards to our previously learned skill, 'hammer-ons'. In this lesson, Dave will make use of this skill with a smooth A minor melody.

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Double Stops and the Partial Barre

Double stops and partial barres are useful tools that can add depth and complexity to our sound and are a staple of the classic blues sound. Here, Dave presents us with a fun 16th beat progression to help us add these important skills to our toolbox.

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Minor Bass String Riffs

Time for a challenge! In this lesson, Dave presents us with sultry-sounding blues progression in Am that has some tricky fingering and demanding use of vibrato!

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12/8 Time and Extended Blues Harmony

Ok, now it's time to revisit our "Cowboy Chords" that we've learned. In this next lesson, Dave presents us with an easy-going piece in 12/8 time.

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Gospel Melody

Congratulations! You've reached the last lesson in the course and should now be well on your way to playing the Blues. In this final lesson of the series, Dave presents us with a bluesy melody to complement our 12/8 piece from the previous lesson.

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