Jon Clarkson

Welcome to my lesson page.  Here I will post material related to lessons which you can download and/or stream.  Often this material will be geared toward a specific lesson for a specific student or recital, but you are welcome to use it for your own purposes if you wish.  Please do not share this page publicly…thanks!  🙂
2/5/18  Mike Sweeney, Fight the Good Fight
Here are 2 playalongs for the solo section for “Fight the Good Fight”.  One is slower at 75 bpm, the other is at 90 bpm (original song tempo).  Enjoy!


12/9/17 Max Hutti  Black Knight  Here are 2 playalongs for the first half of Black Knight.  90 and 100 bpm (original tempo is in the 130 bpm neighborhood).



10/13/17  Spencer Ferrar, original composition:  “To The Right”.

10/9/17  Braden Kelly, Detroit Rock City.  Here is a version of Detroit Rock City we’ll use for the recitals.  2 versions; one slow, one at original tempo.
Here it is at 150 bpm.

And again at 176 bpm (original tempo):

10/3/17  Ryan Bridges, Secret Agent Man.  This is a shortened version with no solo.  There are 2 versions: slow and fast.  Practice both.  This first version is at 130 bpm.

This version is at 156 and is the same tempo as the original song.  We’ll shoot for playing it at this speed at the recitals.

09/18/17  ii-V Jam Tracks.  Dorian to Mixolydian.  Am7 to D9.  The first one is 93 bpm with a “straight funk” groove.  Each chord lasts a measure, so you can be more relaxed and focus on hitting chord tones over each chord.

Triplet feel, 76 bpm.  Focus on emphasizing triplet feel on these next 2.  Play “shuffle 8th notes”, straight triplets, and transition between them.  Look for common tones between the chords as each chord lasts 2 beats; you’ll have less time to think about the particular chord.  The Minor Pentatonic with the m7 replaced by maj6 is a great general purpose scale to use here.  The second one is the same thing, but a faster tempo (93 bpm).

08/08/17  Spencer Ferrar- Fade to Black
Below you’ll find 4 versions of the intro solo for Metallica’s Fade to Black.  I’ve recorded it at 112 bpm (original tempo) and 97 bpm (15 bpm slower):  each tempo has 2 versions…one where I play the solo (kinda sloppy LOL) and one where it is only the rhythm and click track.
97 bpm with solo

97 bpm no solo

112 bpm with solo

112 bpm no solo

07/30/17  16th/Triplets Drill.  This exercise will help develop “pocket/inner-clock”, accents, and can also be helpful for developing interesting lines where the “contour” of a phrase or run  is separate from the rhythm (and vice-versa).  This is a 4 note descending Am Pentatonic lick (the classic 5th fret Pentatonic position, played on the Hi E and B strings).  It runs for 10 minutes and the tempo gradually increases from 70 to 120 bpm.  If it gets too fast, just start again from the beginning.  The 4 note pattern is played 3 ways:  1.  First you’ll hear 1 bar of it as 16th notes followed by one bar as triplets along with a kick drum on each quarter note/beat  2.  then the pattern disappears and is replaced by a hi-hat; continue to play the pentatonic pattern:  one bar of 16ths, then one bar of triplets 3.  finally, all you will hear is the kick drum on the beats and you will attempt to play one bar of 16th notes and one bar of triplets.  The drill cycles through this sequence for approximately 10 minutes and gradually increases in tempo.


6/19/17 Student:  Bob St. Gemme.  Song:  Grateful Dead “Goin Down the Road”
Here is a set of backing tracks for this song that increase from 145 to 176 in tempo.  This is a good general song to practice rock/blues changes with a bonus vi chord thrown in.  Stream them below using the embedded player, or download them (scroll down).




Right click and select “save link as” on each tempo to download “Goin’ Down the Road”:  145  155  165 176


5/30/17  Student:  Ryan Bridges.  Song:  James Brown “I Feel Good”
Notes:  Tempo is slightly slower than original.  Key of D.

You can play this file with the embedded player, or download it by clicking on the  green download link below:

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