Guitar for Songwriters, Level 1 & Level 2 - FALL 2019 Thursdays Starting 10/10

Have you owned a guitar for years but have only a passing acquaintance with it?  Maybe you learned a few chords but never went forward?  Or perhaps you have just started to teach yourself and would like the guidance of a gifted teacher and the encouragement and inspiration of a group setting? Don't just learn guitar. Learn to play guitar in the context of the songs you love and the songs you'll write. Enter Guitar for Songwriters, Levels 1 & 2.

Level 1 is designed for a beginning player. That can be you if you are a total beginner, or it can be you if you know a few chords but can't confidently change in time, play in time, have more than one or two strumming or picking patterns, or just generally want to build a sturdy foundation as a player. Level 1 will take you there, building dexterity and ergonomics in left and right hand technique, expanding your chord vocabulary and understanding the basic function of chords in diatonic harmony, broaden your palette for picking and strumming techniques, introduce fingerstyle playing, and give you writing assignments to put it to use--all the way to barre chords, where Level 2 picks up.

Level 2 will build on the left and right hand dexterity and vastly expand your chord vocabulary, adding tensions and extensions to chords, teaching you voicings up and down the entire neck, further expanding picking and strumming styles, and introducing concepts of riff writing and soloing.

Already have a handle on that? You are likely a candidate for Level 3, next offered FALL 2019. In the meantime, PRIVATE LESSONS can be a way to address your growth and can be tailored to your needs and your songs and their arrangements. 

ROOTS students past or present use the discount code "ROOTSguitar" to save $25. Please note: this class is small by design, but in the event demand is not sufficient to open a section, registrants will be notified and will have the option of a full tuition refund or transferring credit to another class opportunity. Please register in advance to assure the class you want takes place as planned!

Supplementary materials include a password-protected website for class members with

  • handouts,
  • audio of exercises and drills,
  • complete class video for all 6 weeks to review or make-up

If you take the class as an online student, you will receive on-demand access to all 6 class week videos, audio exercises, and handouts, released weekly. AND you will get 3 private 30-minute lessons over Skype to be scheduled directly with the course instructor. Thus you receive the 9 hrs of class instruction plus 90 minutes of private instruction at your own pace.

Sample (general) curriculum overview to Level 1:

Week 1

  • introduction (frets, fingers, positions, shapes)
  • basic technique/finger exercise (coordination, holding pick)
  • chords vs. single notes
  • guitar tablature (how to read ; numbers/fingers)
  • chord diagrams (how to read)
  • open chords!!!** (handout )
  • begin learning chords/song

Week 2

  1. finger exercise
  2. review song
  3. moving fingers/chord progressions…putting it together*
  4. basic strumming technique* (one on one/groups)
  5. new chord(s)

Week 3

  • finger exercise
  • review song
  • strumming (more options)
  • new chord(s)/new song(if ready, some students)

Week 4

  • finger exercise
  • review song(s)
  • strumming practice
  • diatonic chord theory (understanding why certain chords sound good together and form keys)

Week 5

  • finger exercise
  • review songs
  • strumming practice
  • more chord theory (putting what our fingers know together with what our minds can understand)

Week 6

  • finger exercise
  • performances (solo/group/with teacher accompany)
  • assignments for using these skills and concepts in songs


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