Van Halen – Jump Guitar Lesson

In this Jump guitar lesson series we will study the most popular Van Halen song of them all, "Jump".

Released on the 1984 album, it took fans by surprise with it's keyboard heavy instrumentation. Eddie Van Halen was a certified guitar god by this point and having him opt for a keyboard driven song was a bit strange at first. But he certainly knew what he was doing and "Jump" became a massive hit.

In the first lesson I will demonstrate how to play those keyboard chords on the guitar. It actually works out great and isn't very difficult to play. It also makes for a great workout on playing closed position triads around the fretboard.

Also, in the first lesson I will demonstrate the pre-chorus guitar riff. This riff is really cool with a nice laid back feel that perfectly fits the groove and builds the tension to the chorus.

In the second lesson video I will show you note-for-note how to play Eddie Van Halen's iconic guitar solo for "Jump".

Eddie Van Halen actually refers to this solo as the greatest solo he never wrote. He said that because of the way he writes and records his solos is to play through the solo section multiple times just improvising. After he thinks he may have enough takes he then goes back a "comps" together the actual solo by using the best bits a pieces from all the improvised takes in a matter that creates the final solo.

Since the solo is written in this fashion, it can seem like you are jumping from one musical idea to another rather quickly. It also makes for a highly musical and unorthodox sounding solo that is very unpredictable.

In this Jump Guitar solo lesson, I will break down all of those licks note-for-note and phrase-by-phrase so hopefully you will be able to understand everything that is required to play this solo correctly.

The techniques you will be using in this solo lesson include slides, bends, fast legato, pinch harmonics, tapping, large fret hand stretches and more. As always, if any of these techniques feel awkward to use I highly suggest spending as much time on each individual phrase by itself before combining them to play the entire solo.

I would definitely put this solo in the advanced category, but that shouldn't stop a good intermediate player from trying to take a whack at it. If anything is studied correctly it can be accomplished and hopefully, after watching this lesson, you will know how to properly practice it.

Well that is about all I have to say about this short but sweet yet legendary guitar solo. Oh and talk about impressing your friends! I don't think there is any person on the planet, at least one that listens to rock music, that isn't familiar with the solo for "Jump". It was an instant classic when Eddie Van Halen recorded it 30 years ago and it still remains that way today.

For good measure, I decided to add one more lesson to this lesson series. The third video will teach you a note-for-note guitar transcription of the keyboard solo. Tons of fun to play!

When playing music written for other instruments on the guitar, it usually makes for quite the challenge and this is no exception.

This keyboard solo consists of a TON of rapid arpeggios. The good thing here is that you really only need to know two patterns, a 3 note descending pattern, and a short sweep picking pattern towards the end of the solo.

I suggest mastering these patterns before trying to memorize where to play them in the solo. This is gonna be a great workout for your left hand! Good Luck!


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Jump Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Chords

Jump Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Guitar Solo

Jump Guitar Lesson Pt.3 - Keyboard Solo


  1. pacholek07 on December 31, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Need to do 5150 song. One of the best rhythms and change ups!

  2. GEORG on January 14, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you very much for teaching the intro of this song. The piano solo would be great, too.

  3. GEORG on January 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Awesome!!! The piano solo for guitar. Thanks a bunch, Carl

  4. gilles Hamond on May 29, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Bonjour Carl, peux tu nous donner avec la leçon sur le solo de jump, la tab qui va avec? Merci Gil

  5. gilles Hamond on May 29, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Hi Carl coold you give us the guitar tab of Jump Van Halen Chorus? 🙂

    • Carl Brown on May 31, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Sorry but I can’t provide TABS due to international copyright restrictions. 🙁

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