Author Archives: Live from the Guitar loft


This one brings back memories! I put this fingerstyle arrangement together with Guitar Tablature (I play the song through again with on-screen tabs at the end of this video) so you can learn it in time for Halloween! 🎃
Have fun!! Muahahaha!! 👻

Standard Tuning (E A D G B E)
Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Picks (like used in the video) Available HERE: www.justinjohnsonstore.com

You Could Win This $3,289 Custom Guitar!

As a way of GIVING BACK to my Subscribers on my YouTube Channel, I’ve decided to GIVE AWAY A GUITAR every time the channel reaches 100,000 new Subscribers! … The current Giveaway will be this one-of-a-kind Wild Customs “Art Top Series Wild One Raven,” which I will be giving away as soon as my YouTube Channel reaches 900k Subscribers! The Wild Customs “Art Top Series Wild One Raven” (Value: $3,289) is an all Mahogany, set-neck guitar, with Pao Ferro fretboard. The pickups are Seymour Duncan SHPH1 (59) Bridge & APH1 (Alnico II Pro) Neck. It features custom laser-etched artwork by Hugo Grieveldinger. 

Watch the video above for full details and specs on the guitar, and to hear it in action. The video will also give you complete details on how to enter to win it! 

Guitars and more on SALE through Labor Day!

Guitars & more on SALE through Labor Day!

It’s been a wild year and you’ve been working hard.. 
to keep your sanity if nothing else!
Let’s take some time to relax, celebrate & make some music! 

Guitars, Lessons, Music, & More from Justin Johnson’s Guitar Vault
On Sale through Labor Day!


You Could Win This Guitar!

Justin Johnson Guitar Giveaway!

As a way of celebrating 700,000 Subscribers on my Youtube Page and giving back, I’ve decided to GIVE AWAY A GUITAR every time the channel reaches 100,000 new Subscribers! …

The first giveaway will be this one-of-a-kind Justin Johnson Signature “Charred Whiskey Barrel Guitar” which I’ll give away as soon as this channel reaches 800,000 Subscribers.



NEW RELEASE! The Bootleg Series Vol. 2: Whiskey Sippin’ Music

NEW RELEASE! The Bootleg Series Vol. 2: Whiskey Sippin’ Music

The Bootleg Series: Volume 2 is here! The Bootleg Series is a compilation of solo guitar arrangements drawn from Justin Johnson’s most popular online video performances, that we mastered and released just for this collection.  We get so many requests to make these video performances available as music downloads, that we finally decided to answer the call and make it happen.  

Justin’s blues and slide guitar performances have racked up multiple millions of views online, & until The Bootleg Series, you could only hear those performances online in low-def streaming video format.  The Bootleg Series tracks have been mixed from their original recorded versions and mastered to give you the most detailed version available, without compromising the authentic, rootsy vibe of these live and impromptu performances. 
You will have the option to download the files in mobile-friendly MP3 format OR high-def, audiophile quality WAV format… or BOTH!

The Bootleg Series Vol. 2: Whiskey Sippin’ Music
• Whiskey Sippin’ Music
• Crawlin’ King Snake
• Shot Glass Slidin’
• Healing Blues Interlude
• Heavy Delta Blues
• Guitar Meditation
• Hoochie Coochie Man
• Healing Blues
• Old Hickory Sway

Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Picks – NOW AVAILABLE!

The Justin Johnson Signature thumb pick is based around a specially designed flat pick, so you can fully employ all of the techniques associated with flat picking, and use your pre-existing musical memory relating to flat picking methods.  This pick is attached to a specially designed adjustable strap, that securely and comfortably holds the flat pick against your finger, so you can ALSO use the full range of thumb-picking and fingerpicking techniques while the pick is held securely to your thumb.  

This velcro strap is easy to adjust, so that you can set the pick to naturally align with your most comfortable playing position.  Most other thumb picks can’t be aligned to YOUR position, so you have to alter your technique and muscle memory to work with the pick.  The Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Pick makes learning to use a thumb pick very easy, natural, and intuitive.  

The Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Picks come in two thickness gauges:

HEAVY GAUGE (1.0mm): The Thick Gauge picks are more rigid, and are designed to perform better with acoustic guitars and guitars with heavier gauge string sets.

MEDIUM GAUGE (0.80mm): The Medium Gauge picks are designed to have a subtle “give” when plucked.  This makes them better when used with electric guitars, guitars set up with lighter gauge strings, or if you do a lot of strumming.  

The Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Pick is engineered to offer you the best qualities of both a traditional thumb pick and a traditional flat pick, so you can take full advantage of each picking style, while seamlessly and effortlessly blending between them.   

Each package of Justin Johnson Signature Thumb Picks comes with (2) pre-assembled thumb pick sets (2 picks and 2 adjustable straps).  


JUST RELEASED! Justin Johnson’s One String Diddley Bow Instructional Course

Just Released! One-String Diddley Bow Instructional Course
People have been asking for this one for years, and it’s finally available! 
A full length video course, specifically for the One-String Diddley Bow

Need a Diddley Bow to go with it? We have a few available (including the exact same one Justin built & used to film this course) over on our 
Etsy page: Click Here to check them out!

“One-String Diddley Bow” Guitar Lesson Video Course 

Learning the One-String Diddley Bow is one of the best ways to quickly master the foundational techniques for Blues guitar and bottleneck slide!  Many blues legends started their musical journey playing the Diddley Bow, from Elmore James and Lightning Hopkins, to Blind Willie Johnson and Jimi Hendrix.  Whether you are a total beginner or a professional guitarist, this video course will help you tone up your blues chops the same way the masters did… on one string!  In this video course Justin Johnson guides you step-by-step with his patient and thorough teaching style, sharing the deeper techniques and knowledge that will allow you to master the Diddley Bow and refine your style as a guitarist.  

This full-length video course will give you foundational techniques for using the bottleneck slide, applying emotional vibrato, controlling your right and left hand techniques, muting, anchoring, secrets to playing in tune, getting better tone and rhythm, and much more.  These techniques are taught using songs examples from some fo the most iconic and deep-rooted melodies in American musical tradition.

On-Screen and PDF Tablature Included!

Intro to the One-String Diddley Bow
What is a Diddley Bow
History of the Diddley Bow
Learning the Parts of the Diddley Bow
How to Tune the Diddley Bow
Understanding Fret Markers 
How to Mark Your Own Frets 
Marking Frets Using Harmonics  
Marking Frets with String 
How to Hold the Diddley Bow
Balance and Control the Diddley Bow
How to Play with a Guitar Slide 
Which Finger To Use with the Guitar Slide 
Playing Slide with Your Ring Finger 
Playing Slide with Your Pinky Finger 
Getting Comfortable with the Guitar Slide
Playing in Tune with the Guitar Slide 
Sliding Between Notes
How to Use Vibrato 
Bo Diddley Beat
Left-Hand Muting 
How to Use a Guitar Pick
Up & Down Strokes
Keeping Good Rhythm
Slow Tempo Play-Along Track
Up-Beat Tempo Play-Along Track
Playing Scales on the Diddley Bow  
G Major Scale
Playing Scales in Tune 
Checking Tuning with a Chromatic Tuner
SONG WALKTHROUGH: When the Saints Go Marching In  
Slow Tempo Play-Along Track
Up-Beat Tempo Play-Along Track 
Taking The Song to the Next Level
G Minor Scale
Slow Tempo Play-Along Track 
Up-Beat Tempo Play-Along Track 
Taking The Song to the Next Level
The Blues Scale
SONG WALKTHROUGH: Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
Slow Tempo Play-Along Track
Up-Beat Tempo Play-Along Track
Taking The Song to the Next Level
SONG WALKTHROUGH: Rollin’ & Tumblin’
Slow Tempo Play-Along Track
Up-Beat Tempo Play-Along Track
Taking The Song to the Next Level

Fingerpicking Patterns to Take Your Guitar Playing to the Next Level

If you have been looking for some fingerpicking exercises to shapen up your accuracy, break your old habits, and drill new muscle memory into all five fingers, then these patterns should keep you busy! I play these patterns every day to warm up, and get my fingers in shape, and promise that you will love’em… if they don’t drive you crazy first! Check them out in the following video…

If these patterns have you cursing at your guitar, and considering a life as a drummer… don’t smash your guitar yet… you just need some introductory fingerpicking techniques to build up your technique and confidence! Remember, practice and consistency is the key to developing good, consistent technique!

Follow these tips while you practice these patterns…

• Take it very slow at first and build up speed over time through repetition
• Get the first two exercises down before trying the rest… they get a lot harder
• Devote one finger for each string (with the thumb dedicated to the low E and A strings)
• Anchor your forearm on the edge of the guitar body

For Great Introductory Fingerpicking Tips, check out this video:


Open and alternate tunings can broaden the range and expression of your guitar playing and allow you to play seemingly impossible riffs with surprising ease. This is even more true when playing slide guitar. When you use the finger slide to play, you are essentially playing everything with one finger, so having a thorough understanding of open tunings and alternate tunings is even more important! Check out the video above, as I walk you through my 10 favorite tunings for slide guitar. Hopefully these tunings will give you some new ideas, and help you break out of your old boxes!


Open G: D-G-D-G-B-D

Open A: E-A-E-A-C#-E

Open D: D-A-D-F#-A-D

Open E: E-B-E-G#-B-E

Open E Minor: E-B-E-G-B-E

Open G Hybrid: D-G-D-G-B-E

Drop D: D-A-D-G-B-E

Drop G: E-G-D-G-B-E

Drop High D: E-A-D-G-B-D

Standard: E-A-D-G-B-E


These are trying times. But remember, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER! We want to encourage you to use this downtime to dust off some music you haven’t listened to in a while, pick up that guitar you told yourself you’d learn to play… Make this a productive time to focus on things that can get lost in the shuffle when everything is in go-mode. 

We’ve made EVERYTHING in store 20% OFF, to make it easier to buy music, guitars, & lessons in these trying times.

We’re also spending all day every day creating music that we’re sharing COMPLETELY FREE through YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram, to do our part to keep spirits high!  We’ll be live-streaming not only FREE Music, but also FREE Guitar Workshops, and LIVE Q&As, so please click those links and be sure you’re SUBSCRIBED, so that you get notice when we go live! 

Shop at & enter the Code STAYHOMEPLAYMUSIC at Checkout for 20% OFF your entire order! 
Guitars, Digital Downloads, CDs, Vinyl Albums, Instructional Video Courses, & More! Everything ships directly from us, from a COVID-FREE, well-isolated, sanitary environment!