We offer 4 class levels for learning guitar. See the individual class descriptions for information on what the levels aim to cover during the year.

All guitar groups are on the same night, with the expectation that students will move up or down within the first few weeks of term as they find the level which suits them best.

Be prepared for your tutor to move you to a different class at the start of term and discuss with them if you’re not sure what level is right for you.

Classes will rotate tutors for one night in week 7 of Term 1 to give students and tutors the chance to feed back and share different experiences of teaching and learning.

Guitar 1 – Complete Beginners – Cancelled

Aimed at those who have little or no experience on the guitar. Learn the basics of playing the acoustic guitar: chords, strumming patterns and basic picking, with a view to accompanying traditional music and song.

We will also look at how to properly tune and maintain your instrument. You should have a guitar to bring along to the class.

This class has been cancelled for Terms 2 and 3. 

Times: n/a
Room: n/a
Tutor: n/a


Guitar 2 – Improving Beginners

Aimed at those who have at least a year’s experience on the guitar, ideally those moving up from last year’s Guitar 1 course. It is assumed you will know basic open chords, and have some experience of strumming and simple picking patterns. There will be a progression to more complex chords and rhythms, always in the context of learning songs and occasionally tunes. There will also be an increased focus on musicality and fluidity in moving between chords.

Three continuous terms from Sept 2017.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
Room: 2.31
Tutor: Dan Abrahams

GroupSpace: http://groupspaces.com/SMGGuitar2/

Guitar 3 – Lower Intermediate

For players with several years’ experience. We will look at getting to know the guitar neck better, tunes and songs, rhythm work, chords and inversions, and consolidating finger-style accompaniment and flat-picking.

Topics covered during the year include:
Open string chords: C A G E D; Am, Em, Dm; A7, D7, E7, B7
Some chords in closed position
Changing chords more smoothly
Following a chord chart
Learning to read TAB
Repertoire of song accompaniments
Keeping time more consistently
Playing simple tunes using alternate picking (plectrum)
Improving finger-picking

Three continuous terms from Sept 2017.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
Room: 2.29
Tutor: David Francis

Guitar 4 – Upper Intermediate

For guitar players who are comfortable playing a range of chords and have solid technique. We will learn chord variations, more complex strumming and picking patterns, and develop your skills as an accompanist for traditional tunes and songs. While catering for more confident players, the class aims to welcome a range of ability, with space and flexibility for students to move up from Guitar 3.

Topics covered during the year include:
Chords: Barre chords, inversions, voicings
Fluid chord changes
Knowledge of more complex accompaniments for waltz, march, jig, reel
Knowledge of some more complex chord progressions
Busking an accompaniment
Play A, D and G scales
Playing tunes up to speed
Developing your finger-picking

Three continuous terms from Sept 2017.

Times: Thursday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
Room: 2.28
Tutor: Mark Neal

GroupSpace: http://groupspaces.com/SMGGuitar4/