Jorma Kaukonen 7-Pack

Jorma Kaukonen 7-Pack

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


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Jorma Kaukonen is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist born on December 23, 1940, in Washington, D.C. He is best known as the guitarist for the band Jefferson Airplane and its spin-off group, Hot Tuna.

Kaukonen's musical career began in the early 1960s when he met future Jefferson Airplane bandmate Jack Casady at a Washington, D.C. coffeehouse. The two began playing together and eventually moved to San Francisco, where they joined Jefferson Airplane in 1965.

Kaukonen's guitar playing was a key element of Jefferson Airplane's sound, and he contributed several of the band's most famous songs, including "Embryonic Journey" and "Third Week in the Chelsea." After Jefferson Airplane disbanded in the early 1970s, Kaukonen and Casady formed Hot Tuna, which continues to tour and record to this day.

In addition to his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Kaukonen has released several solo albums and collaborated with other musicians, including the legendary blues musician, Reverend Gary Davis.

Kaukonen is considered one of the most influential guitarists of his generation, known for his intricate fingerpicking style and his ability to seamlessly blend blues, folk, and rock influences into his playing. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Jefferson Airplane in 1996.


  • Lesson 1: Hesitation Blues - Hot Tuna

    Hesitation Blues is one of Rev. Gary Davis' most famous songs and has been popular among guitar players for over 50 years. Many guitar students and fans particularly were exposed to Davis' songs thanks to Jorma Kaukonen and his early Hot Tuna albums.

    This lesson looks mostly at the way Jorma played it on the first Hot Tuna album. Since every performance of his is quite different and involves a lot of improvisation, a note-by-note transcription would be nearly impossible. However, we have done a very accurate transcription of the two intro verses along with examples of how he accompanies a couple verses.

  • Lesson 2: Death Don't Have No Mercy

    Death Don't Have No Mercy is one of Rev. Gary Davis' most popular songs, partly due to Jorma Kaukonen recording it with bassist Jack Casady on the first Hot Tuna album. Jorma's driving rhythms and improvisations make every performance of this another masterpiece.

    This lesson breaks down the way Jorma played it in 1969 and includes the intro, the fills in the first two verses, and the first solo.

  • Lesson 3: Genesis

    Jorma Kaukonen has been a huge influence on fingerstyle guitar players since Surrealistic Pillow by The Jefferson Airplane appeared in 1967. After albums with them and three with Hot Tuna, his collaborative efforts with Airplane bassist Jack Cassidy, he released his first solo album Quah in 1974. The lead track from the record was Genesis, a touching ballad with some blues tinges reminiscent of his Country Blues roots.

    This lesson covers the way it appeared then as well as some of the variations that evolved over the years. It is played with a capo at the second fret in the relative key of A Mixolydian, and is mostly an alternating bass series of chords, where the progression is really only four measures long. It still should present a few new techniques and tricks to most players.

  • Lesson 4: Water Song - Jorma Kaukonen - Guitar Lesson

    Water Song has been one of the most popular songs among my fingerpicking students for about 40 years now. It first appeared in 1972 on Burgers, Hot Tuna’s first studio album after releasing two live ones.

    Nowadays Jorma plays it a bit more restrained compared to in the Hot Tuna days, frequently playing with just Jack Casady on bass. The song is played in Open G Tuning and has a few very distinct sections.

    There are many measures that need to be played with improvised strumming, although almost all measures need small variations.

  • Lesson 5: Embryonic Journey Fingerpicking Solo

    Shortly after the Jefferson Airplane took off, they released Surrealistic Pillow, in 1967. Their virtuoso guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen, played this solo guitar masterpiece and it was included. Iy is done in Dropped D Tuning using mostly a standard alternating bass technique (Travis Picking).

  • Lesson 6: Mann's Fate

    Mann's Fate is a piece by Jorma Kaukonen that first appeared on the first Hot Tuna album. The instrumental was based on licks and themes by West Coast blues/folk player Steve Mann, who did some session work for Sonny And Cher and heavily inspired Jorma, as well as most of the players on the scene in the mid 1960s.

    There are just a few short sections, and Jorma adds improvised sections with each rendition. This lesson just looks at the main sections, which feature a haunting intro, a repetitive pair of easy chords to build tension, a bluesy, percussive E Minor progression, and a flashy blues lick to wrap things up.

  • Lesson 7: I Am The Light Of This World

    I Am The Light Of This World is Jorma Kaukonen's take on a classic Rev. Gary Davis Ragtime/Gospel tune. Davis' version appeared on his 1960 album Harlem Street Singer and Jorma's was from his 1974 album Quah. Jorma is great at refining and polishing up old blues tunes and this is a great example.

    His version is done in the key of C Major with a capo at the 4th fret, keeps a steady alternating bass pattern going, and incorporates some tricky melodies into the mix, even while singing. He also uses the left hand thumb wrap technique on his F chords, but the lesson includes alternate ways of fingering those passages. His original is quite fast, but as the years have passed he tends to play it slower so don't be dissuaded by listening to the original.