Classical Guitar I Schedule

Here's a tentative schedule for the class--Ron will be changing some details as necessary.

Each topic relates to A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar unless otherwise noted

Treat each week's scheduled material like a checklist for each time you sit down to practice; don't spend the entire 30 minutes (or more) on one or two things--

  • touch on several items each time you sit down to practice, including studying the textbook. 
  • Always review older material

Happy practicing!

Week 1 

Introduction to the guitar and classroom study environment

  • Playing Position
  • The Right Hand
  • The Rest Stroke with Index and Middle Fingers (we will not use rest stroke for thumb yet)
  • Reading Music: Pitch notation, Rhythmic notation
  • Open Strings 1, 2, and 3
  • Introduce Free Stroke Thumb
  • The Open Bass Strings
  • Beginning Left hand exercise
Week 2: 
  • Chords and Strummed Songs (not covered in textbook): Banana Boat Song
  • Combining Thumb and Fingers: Ex 1, 2, p. 15
  • Complete Music Review
  • The Left Hand: Notes on the First String
    • write in note names (for this exercise only - you must memorize all notes we study within a day or two of introduction), practice saying and playing
  • Notes on the 2nd string 
    • write in note names, practice saying, playing
  • Combining Strings 1 and 2
    • Melodic Movement
    • Cross fingering

Week 3: Test 1, Thursday Week 4

  • Begin chord playing and strumming: D, A7: Banana Boat Song 
  • Tuning (video presentation online)
  • continue practicing p free strokes on open strings
  • warmup: 

  • Begin all songs, p. 21

  • Begin string 3, p. 22

By the end of week three, you should 

  • be able to consistently sit properly, hold the guitar correctly, and demonstrate correct hand positions
  • demonstrate correctly played free strokes with p for all the music we are working on
  • use proper left hand technique and fingerings for all the music we are working on
  • have fluency reading notes on the 1st, 2nd strings, open 5th, 6th strings, be familiar with 3rd string
    • Ron will not allow you to use music with note names written in for tests.
  • be very comfortable with all meters and rhythms we have studied, and be able to count out loud for all the music we are working on. 
  • be able to strum evenly while moving from the D-A7, and be able to form each chord so that it sounds clearly.

Week 4: 

  • Read about Tuning, and watch video
  • Review all songs for strings 1 and 2
  • Continue string 3
    • Begin Twinkle, Yanke Doodle, Au Clair de la Lune

Begin Amazing Grace

Thursday: Mid-term exam 

Week 5 

  • Begin Melody with Bass Accompaniment: p. 24
    • Etude, Slavonic Dance
  • Rests, Ties, p. 26-27
  • Continue Amazing Grace with up-down strum
Week 6:
  • Continue Amazing Grace 
  • Rests, Ties, Pickup Notes
    • written exercse
    • For He's a Jolly Good Fellow, Down in the Valley, When the Saints Go Marching In
  • Eighth Notes
    • counting exercise
    • Bingo. Good King Wenceslas
  • 2/4 time
Week 7: 
  • Music in Two Parts (read about Bass Stopping)
    • Etude, Chanson Russe
  • Dotted Quarter Notes p. 32
    • Deck the Halls, Alouette, Auld Lang Syne
    • Select Ode to Joy, Shenendoah, or Streets of Laredo Duet
    • More Advanced Solo Playing 
      • Berceuse, Song of the Silk Road
      • 1st and 2nd endings
  • Begin Summertime --"swinging" strum, in key of Am 
    • The Chord Progression

Week 8: Friday--last day to drop with W
Mid-term: Tuesday - pieces TBD


  • Notes on the 4th String, p. 38
    • written exercise
    • 4th string Estudio, Estudio Duet
  • Summertime chord song

Week 9:

  • Notes on the 5th String, p. 40:
    • Soriana, Hymn, Asturias Theme
  • Sharps and Flats, p. 44, the Natural Sign, p. 46
    • first string, second string, chromatic scale, Aura Lee
    • Alman
  • Accidentals on String 3
    • We Three Kings
    • written fingering exercise

Week 10: 

  • Key Signatures
  • Accidentals on Strings 4 and 5, p. 52
    • Finlandia
  • Playing Beyond the First Position
    • Joy to the World, Two Octave Chromatic Scale
  • Notes on the Sixth String, , p. 56
    • Lullabye

Week 11: 

  • Notes on the 6th String, Cont.
    • Noche en Espana
  • Accidentals on String 6, p. 58
    • written Ex.
    • Malaguena Theme
  • New Finger Combinations, p. 60
    • Greensleeves

Week 12: 
Finals -- no class meetings Final Exam for Winter 2018: Thursday, March 29, 9:15 - 11:15 a.m

Final Exam TBD

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