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Hello and welcome to the guitar page!
Beginning Guitar
Mr. Duncan

Welcome to Guitar class. Throughout this course, we will be studying the basic playing techniques for guitar performance. This is a performance class! You will be asked to play with your peers and in front of your peers. There are a few things you should keep in mind when preparing for this course:


First of all, there are some suggested materials for this course:

1.       You will need an Acoustic guitar. An “Acoustic-Electric” guitar will work as well. Please bring your own, borrow one from a friend or family member, or obtain one. If you decide to purchase a guitar, Shop at a MUSIC STORE. Buying a $70 Wal-Mart guitar may seem like a good idea at first but it will quickly develop problems. Yamaha makes some pretty nice guitars for a limited budget .In the event that a guitar cannot be obtained, the music department has a limited number of guitars to borrow.

2.       You will need strings. Even if you have a guitar and the strings are still good, have an extra set. Missing a string will not be an excuse for not participating in class. Good strings for general use are D’Addario light strings. If you have a classical guitar, make sure to get nylon strings.

3.       You will need guitar picks. Have a few extras. They get lost easily. Medium thickness picks work well for beginners.

4.       You should have a three ring binder and plastic sheet protectors for your handouts. I will provide sheet protectors if necessary. It doesn’t need to be a binder dedicated to only this class.

5.       It is highly recommended that you have a hard-shell case for your guitar. This will keep your guitar more protected while in transit and storage. I cannot be held responsible for damage that occurs throughout the semester.


The following are some of the areas that we will need to study in order to develop our guitar skills:

  1. Folk and Classical (Finger picking) styles of playing
  2. Reading standard music notation and tablature
  3. Reading chord diagrams and playing chords
  4. Solo, duet, and ensemble playing
  5. Music terminology and the parts of the guitar
  6. Basic music theory


Grading for the class will be based primarily on the following:

  1. Weekly Written Quizzes and Playing Tests
  2. Midterm and Final In-Class Performances
  3. Free Concert for Family and Friends. TBD


IMPORTANT: In-class or public performances cannot be made up in an authentic manner due to the importance of the live audience element. Students who miss a performance unexcused will receive a 0 for the performance. Students who miss a performance with an excused absence will receive an N/A for the performance which essentially negates the assignment. It is the parent’s responsibility to excuse the student in writing and in advance if at all possible. While I cannot prescribe exactly what would qualify as an excused absence, it should be understood that performances should be missed only when absolutely necessary.  


A few more points to consider:

·         “Makes-ups” are allowed on a case by case basis, sometimes during class time.

·         Students are expected to complete ALL assessments and assignments.

·         Students should label their guitars and cases to prevent confusion.

·         Students will have a place to leave their guitars but I cannot guarantee the safety of the instrument.