Guitar Class

This semester long class is designed to give basic skills for the beginning guitarist. Main curriculum points are highlighted below, along with what should be accomplished each quarter.

  • Chord Charts: students will learn how to read chord charts and learn about 8-10 basic chords

  • Strumming Techniques: a few different patterns enabling them to accompany sung melodies

  • Music Notation: reading the symbols for notes and rests on the treble staff is necessary in order to read the music we play.

  • External parts of the instrument: diagram provided to show basic parts of the guitar (head, tuning pegs, frets, bridge, etc.)

  • Posture: how to hold the guitar in classical and folk positions

  • Open String Notes: what notes they are, how they correspond to their notated notes on the staff

  • Hand Positions: placement of left hand thumb on the back of the neck and fingers to curve around (one finger per fret on the fret board); right hand to relax over the body of the guitar to strum over the sound hole with right hand thumb and/or fingers and picks

  • Basic Acoustics: how the guitar produces its sound


Semester Overview:

  • String 1 (E): Notes E, F & G (how they are notated on the staff, how to play them)

  • Chords: a minor and e minor

  • String 2: (B): Notes B, C, & D

    • Songs with notes on Strings 1 and 2, “Common” Time Signature

  • Chords: G, D, A7 & C

  • Basic Chord Progressions

  • Add F3 and A notes on String 1

  • String 3 (G): G & A notes; G scale and arpeggios

  • 2-part songs

  • Chords: D7, A & E

  • String 4 (D): Notes D, E & F (plus F#)

  • ¾ Time Signature

  • Chords E7, B7, d minor

  • Songs with various chords

  • Performance Project: Pick a school-appropriate song to learn the chord progressions to & perform for the class

  • Composition Project: 12-measure song written by students following notation rules




  • There will be various worksheets and small performance assignments 10-20 points each.

  • Projects and final performances will be worth 70-100 points each as independent work time will be given in class.

  • Participation will count 25 points each week—this includes staying focused in class and showing each other respect.