Karl Kerfoot

Late Beginner 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 Kerfoot will guide you through 6 grades of instruction with daily practice plans and assessments.


Solid rhythm & soloing

By the end of this pathway, you'll have entered the world of soloing and have a rock-solid rhythm guitar foundation.

Keep going

Take the next step

Once you've built your beginner foundation, you're ready for Intermediate Learning Pathway.

What you'll learn

In this music-first Learning Pathway, you'll polish your rhythm guitar foundation and enter the world of soloing.

  • Tackle expressive rhythm guitar techniques
  • Start soloing ASAP (and sound great doing it)
  • Learn how to start making your own music
How it works

Your guided learning pathway

In this 6-week program, Pickup Music's Head of Education Karl Kerfoot will guide you through the core skills you need to leave the beginner level in the dust. You'll tackle dynamic rhythm techniques to bring your chords to life before taking your first steps into the world of guitar soloing.

Drive the Bus

By the end of this grade, you’re going to be much more confident with your strum patterns, your power chords, and the notes on the low E string.

We’ll even get you started on simple lead-guitar playing. Soloing might sound scary, but Karl makes it a breeze.

Hone your skills

In this grade, you’ll journey deeper into the chordal kingodm, continue soloing, and slay the bar-chord dragon.

From punk-inspired power chords to Khruangbin-inspired pentatonic soloing, this diverse grade will give you a little bit of everything to spice up your playing.

Journey on...

For the next leg in your guitar journey, you’ll get acquainted with the blues form, strengthen your strumming, dabble with soloing, and expand your fretting-hand techniques for even greater expression.

This is where you'll really start to hear the magic in your playing as we shift focus to techniques that'll take your from a beginner guitarist to a proper musician.

Grade 4. The guitar is a tiny orchestra

This grade is all about teaching you some alternatives to the basics so you can add variety to your playing and have more control over what your guitar sounds like. You'll learn how to make the most out of the all six strings so you can fill the roll of a drummer, bassist, and melodic wizard all at once.

Grade 5. Solidifying foundations

At this point in the pathway, your rhythm and lead skills will blossoming beautifully. Here, we’ll continue to pour the concrete into your guitar foundation with a smorgasbord of chordal and riff-based lessons.

Grade 6. Intro to Lead

This grade is all about giving you expressive soloing techniques and creative tools to help you improvise like a musician and move on from the “beginner guitarist” mindset.


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

6-Week Plan

Grade 1. Drive the bus

Hone your strumming skills.

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. Drive the bus

Today, you’ll work on consistency in your strumming. Not being able to keep time when you’re playing guitar is like driving a bus down a road full of potholes. It’s no fun! We'll make sure you always travel smoothly – at least on guitar. Today's exercises will take you from half to quarter notes and finally 8th notes.

Day 2. Spice up those chords

On Day 1, we asked you for consistency. On Day 2, we’ll show you how to make things interesting. As soon as we get to rhythms that use subdivisions, there are a couple of perks. You can sprinkle upstrokes in your strumming pattern, and hide difficult chord changes on the upbeat.

Day 3. Powering up

We’re shifting gears today with a new song inspired by The Black Keys that'll help you solidify your comfort with power chords. Power chords are great because they’re easy to move around the fretboard, pair with vocals, and fit in with a band without taking up too much sonic space.

Day 4. Lead 101

Every guitar hero starts somewhere. Today, you'll take your first steps into the world of guitar soloing. Scared of lead guitar? Don't be. Karl makes it fun and simple.

Day 5. Strum patterns are a myth

It's the biggest conspiracy since the The Beatles moon landing! Today, you'll learn why you don't need to worry about strum patterns and why it's all about keeping that motor running in your strumming hand.

Day 6. Simply satisfying

A well-rounded guitarist knows how to play both rhythm and lead. Today, you’ll practice playing some beautiful melodies. Your picking technique and your fretting skills will both get a boost.

Day 7. E-string workout

Hit the gym as you internalize the notes on your low E string.

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. Hone Your Skills

Become a versatile rhythm player and continue taking your first steps into soloing.

Day 1. Two chords walk into a bar

If you think back to last grade, you’ll remember how we practiced power chords halfway up the neck to decrease the strain on our hands. Today, you’ll do the same thing with bar chords before incorporating some strumming patterns.

Day 2. Have you ever seen the slash chord?

Our lesson today takes us back to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever Seen The Rain? You'll tackle the chorus and use slash chords to incorporate a walking bassline.

Day 3. Power sweater (Weezer)

Undone – The Sweater Song by Weezer, is a master class in power chords and 8th-note strumming. Today's material will help you drive the bus with constant 8th-note strums.

Day 4. Pentatonic 101 (Khruangbin)

The minor pentatonic scale is the bread and butter of any lead guitarist worth their salt. This five-note scale helps us navigate the neck and contains the ingredients of the first solo that you’ll play.

Day 5. Sonically considerate

Today, you'll learn how to be a mature guitarist by holding down a groove via backbeat strumming patterns
and chord fragments.

Day 6. Simply satisfying (Part 2)

Today, we revisit some familiar territory by honing in on a song you learned in Grade 1.

Day 7. A-string workout

Cap off your hard work with a brand-new workout that'll help you internalize A-string notes.


Solidify your learnings with three songs that'll apply what you learned in a musical context.

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. Journey On...

Continue building your rhythm and lead foundation.

Day 1. Blues rhythm 101

Every guitarist (yes, even you) must learn the blues. It's truly the genre that started it all, and its effect is still felt on music today. In this lesson, you'll get familiar with the 12-bar blues form.

Day 2. Blues lead 101

With your blues rhythm foundation built, we'll look at some simple lead-guitar techniques through the lens of blues.

Day 3. Hammer time

In this lesson, you'll learn how to spice up your open chords with hammer ons. This will help you get familiar with the hammer-on technique, which is a core expressive technique you'll use for years to come.

Day 4. Major pentatonic

Get familiar with one of the most guitar-friendly soloing shapes. This shape will give you the means to step out over Day 3’s chord progression and is an invaluable fretboard go-to for all styles.

Day 5. Singer-songwritin'

Learn these four chords, and you have everything you need to write a chart-topping hit. Seriously. Day 5 introduces a standard singer-songwriter progression that's host to many a hit song.

Day 6. Your first classical piece

Blow your grandma away with this Bach-inspired beauty. Here on Day 6, we’re going to complete the final section of your first classical piece.

Day 7. D-string workout

It’s the end of the line for Grade 3. We can’t let you move ahead without another pulse-pounding single-string workout with Karl Schwarzenegger.


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 pathway with expressive techniques.

Grade 4. The Guitar is a Tiny Orchestra

Learn how to make the most of the six strings at your disposal.

Day 1. The strum slap

Add a percussive element to your strumming with this handy technique that makes playing alone a lot more rhythmic.

Day 2. Sus4 chords aren't sus

Learn how to replace the 3 with a 4 – these moody chords will add a whole new dimension of color to your chordal vocabulary.

Day 3. The rake

Tackle a lightning-fast arpeggiation technique that'll make you sound like a pro.

Day 4. The E major scale

Get acquainted with the center of the music theory universe and build out your soloing vocabulary.

Day 5. The guitar is a tiny orchestra

Today is great example of how you can expand on the basics and become a better player by paying attention to detail. You'll use The Beatles' Something to practice emphasizing different string sets and rhythms.

Day 6. Your first fingerstyle piece (Part I)

Not every song calls for strumming. We’re dedicating today to introducing you to fingerstyle guitar playing.

Day 7. G-string workout

Internalize the G-string notes across your fretboard with a workout session.


Learn songs to lock in 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 5.

Grade 5. Solidifying Foundations

Keep your foot on the gas as you continue on in your guitar journey. This grade is focused on polishing your rhythm skills with a bit of lead work peppered in.

Day 1. Faith in bar chords

Today, we’ll put your 5th- and 6th-string-root bar chord skills to the test with a track inspired by George Michael’s Faith.

Day 2. Quick-switch power chords (Part I)

Today we venture into the world of pop rock with a track inspired by Olivia Rodrigo and the fast-moving power chords heard on her breakout album Sour. If there’s one tip to keep in mind today, it’s this: You gotta walk before you can run. Starting slowly with these power chords is key to smooth transitions.

Day 3. Quick-switch power chords (Part II)

We’re back for more power-chord madness! While we’re using Olivia Rodrigo for inspiration here, these versatile meat & potatoes chords will enable you to play so many rock and pop songs.

Day 4. Trying triads

Today, you’ll learn about the mighty power of the major triad. Here’s the good news: Since you know how to play bar chords, you already know how to play triads. They exist within a bar chord.

Day 5. Slidin' into a lead line

Get ready to strike n’ slide. Today’s lesson will add an expressive attitude to your single-note riffs.

Day 6. Your first fingerstyle piece (Part II)

Grade 4 is back to haunt you! 👻 Today, we revisit our fingerstyle piece from Grade 4, Day 6.

Day 7. B-string workout

Dial in your b-string familiarity with a workout video.


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. Intro to Lead

We're shining a spotlight on lead guitar to equip you with expressive techniques and fundamental vocabulary so you can start shredding like the greats.

Day 1. Vibin' with vibrato

Learn how to put a little wiggle on your lines. Vibrato is a core guitar technique that gives your playing a vocal quality and will eventually become ingrained in your playing style.

Day 2. Feelin' bendy

Learn the art of the bend. This is another core soloing technique that every guitarist must conquer on their quest to fretboard freedom.

Day 3. Intro to improvisation

Making up licks on the spot?! Must be magic... or something that's a lot easier than it seems.

Day 4. Intro to CAGED

Meet the map that will unlock your fretboard. The CAGED system will teach you how to solo in any key or style.

Day 5. Palm muting

Add some 'tude to your playing with nothing more than your fretting-hand palm. This technique will enable you to achieve a staccato rhythm in your playing.

Day 6. Putting it all together

Combine the core techniques you've been working on in this grade.

Day 7. The 1234 workout

Cap off the Learning Pathway lessons with one last workout.


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 to Intermediate Learning Pathway.

Student stories

Learn how Late Beginner 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

We send you an email reminder about your trial end date. Cancel anytime in just 15 seconds.

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