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Positive Vibes

"I just have to share with you folks that I am very grateful to you all for the wonderful lessons. While I have learned wonderful songs and great technique, I have also been able to start writing my own songs in the same genre, all due to the lessons I received here (and my time at Fur Peace ranch). I am having some of these songs demo'd professionally in Nashville as we speak in hopes of pitching them to other artists. I am starting to live my dream! It would not have been possible without BDW. Thank you all very much. "
Rick Brindell


In response to Eric's cancellation of his subscription:

There's nothing you guys could have done better. I loved the site and the lessons (mostly Jorma's and a couple of David Wolff's.) I just learned so many tunes in the past three months that I now need some time to practice what I've learned and lock all that material in before continuing to learn more new stuff.

Eric T Lieberman


BDW has allowed me to learn all of the "words" to the prayer in a way that always seemed the sole property of Jorma; the subtleties of Police Dog Blues, Sally, Hesitation Blues and the likes, have been handed to me on a silver platter and I have been able to take these snippets and apply them throughout my repertoire. My membership has been worth every penny - I am so fortunate to have one of my heroes be so generous sharing his methods and "tricks"!
Joe Smith
Melbourne, Fl


I signed up today without issue. The website content has grown since I was last a member. That being said, the beauty of Jorma's playing is timeless. I am overjoyed by the new songs as well as listening to the older ones. This website is really a gift to the world. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who makes Break Down Way possible.
Take care,
Chris Jennings


I just wanted to let you know I've been working on Embryonic Journey the last couple of weeks and when I started I thought I would NEVER master the groove / syncopation of the tune. Doing it at a snail's pace always just felt plain wrong to me but I patiently kept at it, knowing or hoping at some point the muscle memory would finally take over and fingers would start flying.....Well, last couple of night's it DID take over, and what a cool moment it was when it finally happened!! I can still not play it as fast as it probably should be played, but I am now definitely honoring The Song with what I can do....I suddenly realized what an Epiphanous Journey I am on with my pursuit of a membership in the fingerpickers club. Thanks a bunch!! - Brett Englund


"I just sat down with my first video: Water Song. In a word, FANTASTIC!!!!!!!. I'm so amped. I've been wanting to learn this song for years. Figured out some of it on my own but this is just great. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" - Les Pestaina


" Thanks. Have been using your homespun stuff for years and admittedly been "addicted" to tab.  By forcing me (us) to work things out by ear, I've learn more in 2 days than a week with most tab. Looking forward to learning from you "in person" at your camp during the first part of April." - William Lee


"BDW has been essential in my guitar journey. Jorma and the Break Down Way crew have a great teaching method where you approach learning a song in small parts. The fundamental core of the song prevails, which forces you to listen instead of reading tablature. It’s difficult at first but I’m amazed at how well my ear training has developed in a very short period of time. This is the ideal way for this music to be passed along. My goal is to someday be good enough to help keep this genre of music alive and well for many years to come." - John Bonvouloir


"I have had a wonderful ride w/ Breakdownway -- an awesome website, super musicians / coaches, and a great Admin staff -- you make it *easy* to want to pass along positive impressions / compliments." - Best Regards, Nancy Fischette


"The site is great and I ran it on both my computers (a mac and a pc laptop) last night for the first time. I'm very happy with it so far. Thanks again for the quick response." - Doug


"I learned Uncle Sam's blues through this site and am playing it in a duo that is gaining popularity around the Portland area. I really appreciate what this site has meant to my musical career. Also, one reason I bought the dvd set was so I could have the tab, but I am finding that though break down way takes me longer to get initially because there is no tab, I actually learn it more completely and remember it better." :) - Beth Gold


"I have enjoyed the on-line lessons tremendously, they have helped to jump started my guitar playing." - Mike Hill


"This ones for Jack....Thank you for inspiring me to take up the Bass wayyyyyy back in the early 70's....my influence's are you, The other Jack,(Bruce), Felix and Mel..(the guy from Grand Funk)...I'm presently working on the "Water Song"....and your willingness to share some of your Landmark riffs is commendable!!!

BDW is an extraordinary way to learn the techniques and style that make up the "Tuna sound" I love so much. Keep on Truckin!" - Rich


I am a self taught player. Been in some bands and even got paid a few times. I started playing when I was 33. Jefferson Airplane came out with Somebody to love, I think I was 14 or 15. I fell in love with Grace and the guitar player's sound and licks have been the "San Francisco sound" to me ever since. I am 56 now and have been turned on to this site, linking me to the mastery of that guitar player. I'm doing solo sets at a farmers market playing folk and old top 40. In just a couple of weeks Jorma Kaukonen's lessons brought me to really see myself as a "player". My plan is to take some of the tunes he teaches into the clubs. He is not only a masterful player, but an educator, and a successful communicator. To have this opportunity at my age is amazing to me.. Happy Old Dog. Michael Schwab


This past Friday, I finally had the nerve to play my very fist open mike. I played 4 songs having learned 3 of them from Breakdown Way. Uncle Sam Blues, That Will Never Happen No More, Trial by Fire, and Embryonic Journey. Well it was a hit as the reaction I received during and after by the many musicians attending was wonderful. If not for Breakdown Way, I would have never been able to even think of getting to this point.

I am still on a personal high from the feedback I received after the open mike. I was so nervous and now can't wait until the next one. They actually asked me if I would come back to do a full "paid" set. WOW! Imagine that. I know I am still learning (only a little over 4 years with no training other than breakdown way) and have so much to learn as I am not doing this very long, but I am so grateful to all of you to put this out to help people like me. It was totally Jorma who inspired me to want to take up the guitar, but all of you at Breakdown Way who actually made it a reality. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Keep up the amazing work!

Jim Gengo


"Here's what so cool about BDW: The C7-to-F lick at 26:25 of Whinin Boy Blues---I would've had zero chance to get it by just listening. (Or it would've taken me forever to figure out by ear, IF ever) . I could've sworn it was hammer-on when it was a triplet pluck to the F (AND-A-three-and-a) and it still took me days to see/hear it. For a slow Tuna head like me, BDW is a blessing." - Ernie Munick


"I love this website so much. Breakdown Way is like a security blanket. I rest easier knowing it is simply there...keep up the great work!" -Jack Carter


"What a treasure it is to share in the artistry of these great rags, spirituals and blues songs. BDW is a God send and a blessing to those who create, seek and share in its splendor. May all who thirst drink deep from its well of musical and spiritual inspiration." - Mike Damora, Stanhope NJ.


"I am loving BDW!!!! Every time I sit down with it I come away with some new licks and insights. I just can't off the top of my head think of any areas that need improvement on BDW." - Brett Englund


Break Down Way is still the best in providing online acoustic guitar lessons, and getting better all the time. One of the best aspects of BDW lessons is that the teachers don’t teach by note. They give you so much more than just the notes to the song – how to feel the piece, how to play certain passages different ways, plus all those cool tricks and licks they learned from the mentors who taught them (The Reverend, etc).

I’ve never seen this kind of depth anywhere else, and it’s something you just can’t buy in a store or even from many real-world teachers. All those little nuances from the pro’s….so cool. Thanks for everything you do to help musicians! - Eric Soderlund


The lessons are fantastic and Jorma is probably one of the best, if not THE best, video instructor I've experienced. I have a couple of his DVD's too and his clear, concise and common sense approach to teaching guitar is unparalleled. Thank him for me. - Ron Caimi


It amazed me that I was able to get much of the song down without tab - I'd always been a tab freak thinking it necessary to have it all written out in front of me. This was a relevation and an inspiration. - Bob Horn


I'm really enjoying the lessons! They are really fun and I've learned more in a few months than I ever would have imagined. Keep up the good work! - Ray Gallo


THE SUPPORT STAFF AT BREAKDOWN WAY ARE THE MOST PATIENT, PERSISTENT AND TIRELESS GROUP OF FOLKS WHO WILL GO TO ANY LENGTH TO ASSIST YOU IN MAKING THIS UNIQUE TEACHING EXPERIENCE THE MOST REWARDING EVER ... THANK YOU!! ... David Gavurin


I'm another one of the Hot Tuna "early days" fans that wore out 2 lps of the live concert in SF. After that I went off playing the Stefan Grossman/Kicking mule stuff to learn the Gary Davis tricks. Along came David Bromberg and the old bluesy/ragtime stuff just blew me away. After 30 years (approaching 55) I'm back at the starting point with video lessons I never could have hoped for. Wow. By the way -- I saw/heard Jorma do stuff at the Fillmore East and then-- Uncle Sam Blues at Woodstock. Ok enough. This is great and I am fired up. Lets get Winin Boy on the board - I can't wait. - Daniel W. O'Sullivan


I love BDW. Keep up the good work! - Dan Kaveney


I think Break Down Way is the best resource I've ever found for pure musical education ... In a way, even better than the teachers I study with because you can pace yourself and have the lesson right there whenever you want it ... You guys are terrific and I hope the good stuff just keeps on coming. - David G.


I would have never progressed with such enjoyment without your services. - Jim Calkins


Just want to say how happy I am to be able to take lessons from Jorma, my 'idol'. I actually learned how to play guitar, for the most part by listening to the early Hot Tuna acoustic and then electric stuff almost 30 years ago. My albums got kind of worn out by re-cuing the needle to a particular riff on the grooves of the vinyl. Since I subscribed to breakdown way, I have been inspired to play once again after a long absence. - Frank Locascio


Gotta tell you -- I really do love BDW! It's opening so many doors for me musically. BDW is the real deal.
- Don Guidas


I hope this service is available for a long, long time. It's exactly what I've been looking for - I'm an old Jorma, Hot Tuna guitar-style fan ........ don't have the time for lots of sit-down, live lessons, and this is the next best thing! Regards, Peter


Now with Break Down Way and having Jorma's very easy and understanding teaching style, I am amazed at how much I have improved in so little time. - Jim Gengo


This site is incredible! I'm sure it will be the standard other sites will soon be trying to keep up with!”
- Peter Atshaves


This is a dream come true. All those years slowing down the vinyl.....if only!!!
- Steve Berenson


Site looks great, and its good to be working the lessons! Thanks for it all. - William


All, Great new look! I was just getting familiar with the site when it went do for change. Very nice look, feel etc… Keep up the good work!- Joel


Thank you very much. I do like the site much better. I hope its here to stay for a long time to come. Thanks again.
- Jerry


I love it. I grew up learning Mississippi John Hurt songs by ear, and Jorma's music is an extension of this type of music, just more bluesy, and a little more complex. - Ted Straub


Presentation is excellent. Had a few setup problems at first. Roman really helped! -Craig Ebers


Just bought "waiting for a train", and have to tell you that the song is great, and your playing kicks a**. Iabsolutely love all those partial chords, and your explanation of the theory behind them makes the lessons worthwhile. for us hackers (in my opinion) there is nothing worse then learning new licks and tricks,and not knowing what they are, and why they work in the song context. Your explanation is knowledge gained and gives players like me the ability to take these new ideas and use them somewhere else in our playing. Great job! - David


My first month at Break Down Way comes to a close today. It has been well worth it. And I look forward to next month.

All the best, Richard, Santa Barbara


I like the upgrade, new look, new lessons, new instructors, etc.
I been very happy with BDW, it's been a great way to keep me motivated,
The songs are all great ones, I want to learn! Im looking forward to ones coming up!

Keep up the good work, and pass along my thanks to everyone
involved providing this great service.

Chuck H.



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