Karl Kerfoot

Intermediate Learning Pathway

Take the next step in your guitar journey.

WHo it's for

Qualified beginners

Take the next step in your guitar journey after you complete our Beginner Learning Pathway.


3 months

Karl and Sam will guide you through 6 grades of instruction with daily practice plans and assessments.


Finish your foundation

By the end of this pathway, you'll be a well-rounded rhythm and lead player  ready to take on any Pickup course.

Keep going

Take the next step

Once you've built your intermediate foundation, take your skills to the next level with genre-specific pathways.

What you'll learn

In this music-first Learning Pathway, we'll equip you with the skills to become a well-rounded rhythm and lead guitarist.

  • Polish your playing with expressive techniques
  • Learn how to solo (and sound great doing it)
  • Build a rock-solid rhythm guitar foundation
How it works

Your guided learning pathway

In this 3-month program, master educators Karl Kerfoot and Sam Blakelock will break down fundamental rhythm and lead techniques that'll take your playing from 'okay' to 'no way!' . With guided jams, daily practice exercises, and straightforward lessons, you'll know exactly what to work on at every step of the way.

The 5 T's

To kick off the Learning Pathway, Karl will break down five core guitar concepts that'll inform your playing for the rest of your musical journey.

Each lesson day, you'll spice up your existing guitar knowledge through the lens of Touch, Time, Tuning, Tone, and 'Tude.

Intro to Lead

In this grade, you’ll build a foundational set of lead guitar vocabulary and start soloing right away.

We won't bog you down with scales here. This music-first grade is all about giving you soloing material and getting you playing ASAP.

Intro to Rhythm

Rhythm is the biggest weak point of most guitarists.

In this grade, you'll get comfortable with fundamental rhythmic subdivisions that'll help you lock into a groove and make sure your timing is on point.

Grade 4. Intermediate Lead Guitar Concepts

Here, we'll put the spotlight back on soloing by getting intimate with the major scale, using intervals to dance around the fretboard, and tackling a suite of tasty techniques to put a special shine on your soloing skills.

Grade 5. Intermediate Rhythm Guitar Concepts

No matter how great of a guitarist you become, you can never neglect rhythm. In this grade, you'll explore rhythm as it applies to various genres and time feels.

Grade 6. Intermediate Guitarist's Toolkit

It's smooth sailing in this grade. To send you off into the sunset and set you up for success, the final grade of Intermediate Learning Pathway features a series of conceptual lessons to take your playing even further.


Stay focused with this step-by-step learning program designed by our expert team of music educators.

3-Month Plan

Grade 1. Leveling Up With the 5 T's

Explore the five conceptual keys to great guitar playing.

We're with you every step of the way in this Learning Pathway. In every lesson, Karl will break down a new concept and run through mini drills with you so you can lock it into your muscle memory. To cap off each day's work, you'll put what you learned in a musical context with a guided jam session.

Day 1. Touch

Develop your feel and focus on how you play notes. This lesson will help you play effortlessly, avoid injury, and hone in on your individual sound as a guitarist.

Day 2. Time

Playing with solid rhythm is what separates the meager from the mighty. In this lesson, you'll explore fundamental subdivisions and what it means to groove.

Day 3. Tuning

Learn how to stay in tune and manipulate pitch. Tuning goes far beyond a clip-on tuner. You'll explore how to use vibrato and bends without sounding like an amateur.

Day 4. Tone

Once you accept the truth – 90% of tone comes from your fingers – you can start honing in on the tone you always dreamed of.

Day 5. 'Tude

Sass up your playing and stop strumming like a dead fish. This lesson is all about learning how to play confidently.

Day 6. How to practice effectively

Our most-requested lesson. You'll learn how to use Pickup music's practice system to stay focused, progress faster, and have fun along the way.

Performance pieces

Perform songs that incorporate the concepts you just learned in a purely musical context. Here, you'll have the opportunity to jam with a live-recorded band of pro musicians. You can submit your performance to the Pickup Music team for personalized video feedback – who said online learning wasn't interactive?!

Final quiz

Cap off the grade with a quiz to make sure you've adequately absorbed the core concepts involved.

Grade 2. Intro to Lead

Welcome to the wonderful world of soloing. Ready to learn how to shred like the greats?

Day 1. Open Em pentatonic

Get acquainted with the most important scale for soloing.

Day 2. Moveable minor pentatonic

Shift your pentatonic knowledge around the fretboard.

Day 3. Major pentatonic

Meet the other side of the pentatonic coin.

Day 4. Blues scale

Make your guitar cry out to the heavens with a b5

Day 5. Instant neo soul

Make your playing more buttery than a stack of flapjacks 🥞

Day 6. Aeolian

Modes?! Don't be scared, it's just a minor thing.

Day 7. Dorian

Swap in a natural 6 to make it funky, jammy, and jazzy.


Put your soloing skills to the test with three tasteful solos.

Get feedback

Get personalized video feedback on your playing from the Pickup team.

Final quiz

Make sure you're ready for Grade 3.

Grade 3. Intro to Rhythm

Rhythm is, by far, the biggest weak spot of guitarists. Welcome to the most important grade in the pathway.

Day 1. Classic strum patterns

Learn how to think like a drummer and strum your way to success.

Day 2. Blues

The rhythm train is leaving the station. Time to learn the iconic blues chug.

Day 3. Power chords

Think power chords are just for beginners? Think again. These humble chords form the backbone of guitar harmony, and they're great for honing rhythm skills.

Day 4. Intro to fingerstyle

Less pickin', more pluckin'. Learn how to add dynamics to your playing with various fingerpicking patterns.

Day 5. 6/8 time signature

Break out of 4/4 timing and expand your rhythmic knowledge.

Day 6. Funky 16th-note syncopation

Give your playing a fresh injection of groove with fundamental funk rhythms.

Day 7. Same progression in 3 styles

Learn how to add nuance to your chordal playing by attacking the same chord progression in three different styles.


Demonstrate what you've learned in a musical context by learning original songs.

Get feedback

Get personalized video feedback on your playing from the Pickup team.

Final quiz

Make sure you're ready for Grade 4.

Grade 4-6.

Take your rhythm and lead skills to new heights, then cap off the grade with some core tools.

Grade 4. Intermediate Lead

In this grade, we get into the nitty gritty of lead guitar. You're going to get to know the major scale like the back of your hand and dive into extended techniques that'll drop jaws when you shred your next solo.

Day 1. The major scale

Learn how to navigate the center of the Western musical universe.

Day 2. Single-string C major scale

You don't really know a scale until you can play it horizontally up your neck.

Day 3. Major scale in 3rds

Learn how to break up scales into melodically interesting intervallic ideas.

Day 4. How to think rhythmically

Even in lead guitar, rhythm is king. Today, we explore that concept by focusing on subdivisions in single-note shredding.

Day 5. Double stops

Beef up your single-note lines with dynamic dyads. These intervallic mini chords are used by great soloists in almost every style of guitar playing.

Day 6. Extended techniques

Now that you have the vocabulary, it's time for the special sauce. Bending, vibrato, slides, hammer ons, and rakes will add a new level of singability and dynamism to your playing.

Day 7. Putting it all together

Let's tie a bow on your lead guitar toolkit. Here, you'll work on combining everything we'll have covered so far in your lead guitar endeavors.


Demonstrate what you've learned in a musical context with two more solos.

Get feedback

Get personalized advice on your playing from the Pickup team.

Final quiz

Make sure you're ready for Grade 5.

Grade 5. Intermediate Rhythm

Did you think we were done with rhythm? Think again! It is the most important element of music, after all. Grade 5 puts the spotlight on groove by examining crucial rhythmic ideas through the lens of different styles and time feels.

Day 1. Must-know 7th chords

Expand your harmonic toolkit with colorful 7th chords.

Day 2. Swing vs. straight

Rhythm is all about subtle differences. Learn how to wield them to your advantage with swung and straight time feels.

Day 3. Intro to R&B, soul, and neo soul

What makes these genres so compelling? Today, you'll learn all about soulful rhythm guitar.

Day 4. Singer-songwriter voicings

Harness the power of full, lush chords to support your singing.

Day 5. 6/8 time signature

Break out of 4/4 timing and expand your rhythmic knowledge.

Day 6. Funk

Tackle a series of iconic funk techniques like muted staccato picking and 7th-chord grooves.

Day 7. Country

For more than just cowboys – Learn how to boom chuck and blend in an alternating bassline.


Tackle new tunes to apply what you've learned in a musical context.

Get feedback

Get personalized advice on your playing from the Pickup team.

Final quiz

Make sure you're ready for Grade 6.

Grade 6. Intermediate Guitarist's Toolkit

It's all smooth sailing from here. Over the next seven days of lessons, we'll equip you with some key concepts and tools that'll help you take your musical skills even further.

Day 1. Note name drills

Need help locking in note names on your E and A strings? Look no further.

Day 2. Chord drills

Learn how to fluidly navigate chord progressions across your fretboard.

Day 3. Ways to use the number system

Get hip to the most useful way of thinking about chord progressions.

Day 4. Intro to reading music

Take an intensive lesson on the fundamentals of standard notation.

Day 5. Capo applications

Learn how to harness the beauty of open-string voicings in any key.

Day 6. Chord/scale relationships

Extend your lead skills with arpeggios.

Day 7. Intro to shell chords

Make it jazzy with root-third-seventh voicings.


Demonstrate what you've learned in a musical context with two new tunes.

Get feedback

Get personalized advice on your playing from the Pickup team.

Final quiz

Cap off your hard work and make sure you're ready to move on.

Student stories

Learn how Intermediate Learning Pathway has helped real guitarists break through their playing plateau and realize their potential.

“My favorite part about Pickup Music is probably nerding out in the forum with everyone. Just knowing you have a creative community to reach out to if you have any questions or you're stuck in a rut.”

Vicki Huang

United States

"I would highly recommend Pickup Music to pretty much anyone who has been playing for a few years and doesn't feel like they are getting better any more."

James Harrod

United Kingdom

“One of the things that's been the most fun for me has been the SongSquad challenges... connecting with other people in the Pickup Music community on Instagram and just encouraging each other as we're learning songs and practicing.”

Vin Thomas

United States

"Pickup Music really helped me push my musical boundaries."

Wytse Hokwerda


REAL students

Don’t take our word for it, take theirs

What guitarists love about this course

Read more reviews

What’s in every Pickup Music membership?

Start learning – free trial

1,000+ Lessons

All skill levels

Interactive tabs

Track your progress

Daily practice plans

New lessons every week

Full refund, no questions asked

If you don’t get better at guitar, we’ll give you your money back

We’re so confident that Pickup Music can help you get better at guitar that we’re underwriting your membership with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Try free for 14 days.

Choose your plan. Cancel anytime.

Best Value - Save 50%
Best Value - Save 50%

Annual Plan



Works out to $15 a month

Monthly Plan




Included in your membership:

All-access pass

Learning pathways that get results

Video feedback on your playing

Practice with a live band

Weekly live lessons

New releases every month

Included in your membership:

All-access pass

Learning pathways that get results

Video feedback on your playing

Practice with a live band

Weekly live lessons

New releases every month

60-day money back guarantee

How your free trial works

Today: Unlock instant access

Explore everything on Pickup Music. Your credit card will not be charged.

Day 12: Get a reminder

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Day 14: Trial ends

Your subscription starts. Forgot to cancel? No stress - we'll refund you. No questions asked.

Plus 60 days worry-free

Don't make progress as a guitarist? Get your money back with our 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions aren’t answered below, please chat with us.

Is Pickup Music right for me?

Are you a guitar player who feels like you haven’t made progress in a few months… years… or even decades? 

You’re probably stuck in what’s called the ‘intermediate plateau’. This is very common and can be very frustrating.

What’s the cause? Well, it’s pretty easy to learn the basics on guitar. Learn a few open chords and you can play Wonderwall and hundreds of other songs. Learn a couple of scales and a few licks and you can play some lead. 

But what then? Triads? Modes? Arpeggios? The phrygian scale?!

Without a clear plan and learning system you fall back to playing the same old chords and licks over and over again. Or you bounce around free lessons online but nothing seems to stick. It’s a recipe for a lot of practice without much progress. 

That’s where Pickup Music can help. We specialize in taking players stuck in a guitar rut and turning them into advanced guitarists.

We do this through Learning Pathways that take you on a step-by-step journey towards fretboard mastery. We give you a highly structured system that shows you exactly what to work on each week to make serious progress. 

These Learning Pathways take the guesswork out of your practice routine. You are guided through a proven grade-by-grade system with daily lessons, play-along practice exercises and interactive workouts. 

But it’s not all about theory. We apply everything you learn to real music. That’s why every grade of our Learning Pathways build up to performing a song with a live backing band. This simulates what it’s like to play a real gig, with real musicians. It’s the absolute best way to learn. 

You also get 1:1 video feedback on your playing from our expert instructors and can attend weekly live lessons. This personal feedback makes Pickup Music the closest thing to taking in-person lessons, but at a fraction of the cost.

So does this method actually work? Will you see results in your playing?

The most common thing we hear from new members is that they’ve made more progress with Pickup Music in a few months than in years of teaching themselves. As one member recently told us, “I'm finally seeing progress for the first time in many years”.

Want to hear about other members’ experiences with us? Read our independent Trustpilot reviews.

Is Pickup Music worth the money?

Private guitar lessons will cost you about $50 per lesson or $2,600 a year. 

Going to a music academy will cost you about $40,000 a year.

A Pickup Music membership will cost you  just $180 for the whole year. 

That works out to 50 cents a day! 

But it’s not just about the money. It’s about not wasting your precious time. It’s about making actual progress on this beautiful instrument. 

By following our proven Learning Pathway system, you can stop wasting your time and effort trying to guess what you should practice next. Our guided programs eliminate the guesswork so you know exactly what you need to focus on each day and week to make lasting progress with guitar.

What makes Pickup Music better than other guitar lesson sites?

Most online guitar lesson sites are very good at teaching one-off songs and licks. Or they get super famous guitarists to record one-hour video lessons talking at length about their particular style and career.

The problem is that these approaches don't stick. They don’t help you to actually get better as a guitarist. You can waste a lot of time bouncing around these types of unconnected, one-off lessons. It’s a recipe for a lot of practice without much progress. 

Pickup Music takes a different approach. We give you a highly structured system that shows you exactly what to work on each week to make serious progress. We take you beyond the basics through a step-by-step journey towards fretboard mastery. 

By following a Pickup Music Learning Pathway, you are getting the most guided way to learn guitar. Over 6 grades, you are taken through daily lessons and practice exercises that carefully explain what’s going on behind the music. 

Each grade then builds up to song performances that apply everything you’ve learned with a live backing band. These challenges - where we simulate what it’s like to play a real gig, with real musicians - is the absolute best way to learn. 

The Learning Pathway method takes the guesswork out of your practice routine. Most guitarists start to see a rapid acceleration in their progress in a matter of weeks.

You can also get 1:1 video feedback on your playing and weekly live lessons. This personal feedback makes Pickup Music the closest thing to taking in-person lessons, but at a fraction of the cost.

Want to hear about other members’ experiences with us? Read our independent Trustpilot reviews.

What exactly do I get from a Pickup Music membership?

When you become a Pickup Music member you get unlimited access to our huge library of lessons:

  • 13 Learning Pathways giving you step-by-step instruction over 3 months
  • 47 Master Classes going deep into different styles over 2 weeks
  • 500+ original songs from some of the world’s best modern guitarists 
  • 100+ essential lick packages to add new flavors to your playing
  • 200+ 5 minute lessons for bite-sized learning. 

You get to enjoy amazing features that create a premium learning experience:

  • day-by-day lessons
  • 1:1 video feedback on your playing
  • weekly live lessons
  • progress tracking
  • interactive TAB
  • multiple HD camera angles 
  • play-along practice exercises
  • downloadable course notes and diagrams
  • quizzes to test your understanding
  • jam tracks with the Pickup Music Live Band
  • exclusive members-only forum, contests and giveaways.

How do the Learning Pathways work?

Learning Pathways are kind of our special sauce here at Pickup Music. They take all the guesswork out of what to practice. 

You get day-by-day lessons, play along practice exercises with your instructor, interactive jams with the Pickup Music live band and you can submit videos of your playing for feedback from the Pickup Music team. 

We designed this system so that you will know exactly what to practice every time you pick up the guitar. This means that even if you only have time to practice with us once a week, you will still make great progress by following a Learning Pathways. 

How often do I need to practice to see results?

Ideally you would practice about three times a week for 30 minutes at a time. But we know that life gets in the way sometimes! So here’s the good news: deliberate practice matters so much more than how often you practice.

After working with thousands of guitarists, we’ve found that the most important thing is to know exactly what you’re going to practice before you pick up the guitar. Even if you can only use Pickup Music a few times a month, you will still make really good progress if you stick to the step-by-step structure of our Learning Pathways.

How long are the lessons? 

Pickup Music's lesson plans are designed to suit the amount of time you have available to practice.

  • Only got a few minutes? Try our 5-Minute Lessons to quickly add a new skill to your toolbox.
  • Got half an hour? Try one of our Essential Lick Packages or original Songs  to expand your vocabulary in different genres.
  • Got a couple of days? Try a Master Class with one of our world-renowned artists. Each class is broken up into short, digestible modules focused on one topic. 
  • Ready to really commit to a multi-week program? Try one of our Learning Pathways. Over 3 months and 6 grades of learning, these detailed courses will take you on a day-by-day journey to master each level in the genre. Learning Pathways include daily practice exercises so you know exactly what to focus on. These courses are the best way to make lasting progress.

Whichever approach you choose, we recommend building the exercises you learn into your daily practice schedule. The best way to improve as a guitarist is through a consistent practice routine rather than sporadic, longer sessions. Learning guitar is a day-by-day, life-long journey.

Can I take the lessons at my own pace?

Everything on Pickup Music is designed to be taken at your own pace. There are no deadlines, so you can work at your own speed. You can stay on a topic until you really understand it before you move on.

While we divide our Learning Pathways into ‘days’ - this is a suggestion only. Some learners might take a few days in one sitting, while others will spend a few sessions on a single day. You can go at the pace that feels most comfortable to you.

How does the 1:1 video feedback work?

We want our members to get the closest thing possible to in-person lessons but at a fraction of the cost. That's why you can now get individual video feedback on your guitar playing from our team of expert instructors.

Here's how it works:

  • Choose a performance piece to learn at the end of each grade of a Learning Pathway.
  • Upload a video of yourself playing the performance piece.
  • An expert instructor from our team will review your playing and send you back a detailed video on what you're doing well and what you need to work on.
  • Repeat for each grade of the Learning Pathway.

Want to see a sample? Check out this recent video feedback from Pickup Music instructor Jack Handyside.

Is Pickup Music good for beginners?

Absolutely! We make learning the guitar fun and simple – the way it should be.

Too many people get frustrated with guitar because they develop bad habits and poor technique. Avoid these costly and time-consuming mistakes by taking Pickup Music's structured and step-by-step approach to learning guitar.

You'll start with Pickup Music's introductory program Beginner Learning Pathway. Over three weeks, we break down everything from simple chords and melodies to rhythm and lead playing. By the end of the program, you'll be able to play any simple pop or rock song (and even write your own).

Most importantly, we make sure you don't get stuck in the beginner's plateau - a common pitfall for guitarists who are just starting out. You'll keep making progress through Pickup Music's guided Learning Pathways. These programs are designed to quickly take you from a beginner player to an intermediate one who feels comfortable across the whole fretboard.

Is Pickup Music good for intermediate and advanced guitarists?

Pickup Music is the best platform available for intermediate and advanced guitarists. Our courses take you beyond the basics to advanced concepts like the CAGED system, triads, arpeggios, modes and improvisation.

The biggest trap for intermediate players is bouncing around from lesson to lesson without a plan or structure to get to that next level. We are known for taking intermediate and advanced players who have hit a ceiling and busting through until they reach the next level.

Am I too old for guitar lessons?

Many of Pickup Music’s members are in their 60s and 70s and have seen amazing success with our programs. Our platform is designed to be user-friendly for all ages and skill levels. And our supportive community is made up of guitar learners of all ages, cheering each other on.

How does the 14-day free trial work? 

When you first sign up to a Pickup Music membership, you enter your credit card but it will not be charged for 14 days. That means that if you decide to cancel within 14 days of signing up, you won't pay anything. 

And we send you a reminder before your trial is about to end so you don’t forget about it. 

If you decide to cancel after that, you won't be charged at your next billing cycle. That means: if you’re a monthly member, you won’t be charged for the next month. If you’re an annual member, you won’t be charged for the next year.

How does the 60-day money back guarantee work?

In addition to the 14-day free trial, we offer a 60-day money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your progress in the first 60 days of your membership, we will give you your money back - no questions asked.

Is it easy to cancel?

Absolutely! You can cancel at any time (although we'd be sad to see you go). Cancelling is easy, no tricks. Just go to your account page and click a button.

You won't be charged anything if you cancel during your 14-day free trial.

If you cancel after your 14-day trial, you won't be billed again at your next billing cycle. Your membership will remain active until it expires on the day it was originally set to renew.

Note: Once your membership expires, we'll save your progress on your Dashboard if you decide to rejoin at a later date.

What’s the difference between the annual and monthly plan?

The only difference is the price. The monthly membership is $29.99 charged monthly and the annual membership is $179.99 charged once a year. 

That means that if you select the annual plan you will pay 50% less and save $180 over a year compared to the monthly plan. 

We'll also send you reminders before we bill you each year so that you don't accidentally forget about it.

We give such a big discount for annual members because it aligns with our long-term vision to inspire and support lifelong guitar learning.

Can I buy lessons individually?

We don’t sell lessons individually. But the good news is you get access to every single lesson on Pickup Music through the one membership. If you’re only interested in one lesson, you could purchase a monthly membership and cancel when you’ve finished it – we have a hunch you’ll want to stick around though :)

How do I restart my membership?

It’s easy to rejoin Pickup Music and we’d be thrilled to have you back! We even saved all of your lessons for you while you were gone on your Dashboard.

To restart your membership, simply head to this page, select the plan of your choice, and sign up with the email address you used to sign up the first time around.

Start free trial