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 two weeks of term as they find the level which suits them best.

Guitar 1 – Improving Beginners

This class is aimed at those with roughly a year’s experience playing the acoustic guitar and those continuing on from last year’s Guitar 1. We will build on fundamental skills including use of a plectrum and fingerpicking, and expand our knowledge of open chords. We will develop a repertoire of songs and learn more about both accompanying and picking out traditional tunes in a variety of keys. 

To get the most out of this class, you should already be familiar with a set of open chords/how to move between them and be comfortable using a plectrum and/or basic fingerpicking. 

Delivery: The class will be delivered as online 1 hour/week Zoom sessions. Accompanying learning material will be sent out before class to give students time to prepare. There will also be the option for 1:1 slots, again via Zoom, to allow more detailed feedback to be provided to students.
Day/Time: Thursdays from 7-8pm
Maximum class size: 12
Tutor: Michael Starkey

Guitar 2 – Improvers

This class is aimed at those who have more than a year’s experience on the guitar. 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 tunes. There will also be an increased focus on musicality and fluidity in moving between chords.

Delivery: online Zoom group classes: 2 x 40 minute sessions with a 5 minute break in between. Students will have access to a shared Google Drive folder which will be updated weekly. The folder will contain lesson material in PDF format, as well as videos demonstrating this material.
Day/Time: Thursdays from 7-8.15pm 
Max class size: 15
Tutor: Jack Weir

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. You should know these open string chords: C A G E D; Am, Em, Dm; A7, D7, E7, B7

Topics covered during the year include:
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

Please bring a notebook, picks and a capo to class.

Delivery: one-hour online Zoom classes, including screen sharing pre-prepared video clips and other visual material. A booklet for the term will be provided in PDF format.
Day/time: Thursdays from 7-8pm
Maximum class size: 15
Tutor: David Francis

Guitar 4 – Upper Intermediate

For guitar players who are comfortable playing a range of chords and have solid technique. We will build a palette of chords and techniques you can use to develop a narrative in your arrangements and accompaniment using dynamics, rhythm, melody and harmony. While catering for more confident players, the class aims to welcome a range of abilities.

Topics covered during the year include:
Flat-picking the melody
Chord Voicing and inversions
Improving your rhythm
Explore the dynamics of your instrument.
Playing in Standard Tuning and Drop D Tuning.
Developing your finger-picking
Developing a tailored accompaniment 

Delivery: Material for each piece will be delivered in advance through the shared Groupspace service. This will include Guitar TAB, Music and chord charts, chord boxes, fingerings and accompanying notes, plus mp3 files with the melody and chordal arrangement.

The idea is for the student to become familiar with the material prior to the online Zoom lesson.

The Thursday evening session will take the form of a 45 min to 1 hour Zoom lesson where Frank will teach (walk through) the piece and accompaniment to the group. After a short break, the rest of the session will be made up of a drop in session where students have the opportunity for a short 1-1 (10 mins max each).

Day/Time: Thursdays from 7-8pm
Maximum class size: 20
Tutor: Frank McLaughlin

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