MUSC 103: Basic Guitar

Instructors: Brett Floyd, Brendan Lynch, Jeremy Polley
Credit: 2
Course Description: An introduction to playing the guitar as both a solo and an accompanying instrument. One class meeting and one private lesson per week.

Objectives: Students will learn to play solo guitar, to perform basic accompaniment techniques, and to read music notation, tablature, and chord symbols.

Materials: The required text will be Solo Guitar Playing, Book 1 by Fredrick Noad. Students must provide their own classical or steel string acoustic guitar (electric guitars can not be used).

Instructional Delivery Strategy: Students will attend one scheduled 50-minute class meeting and one 30-minute private lesson weekly (to be scheduled at the mutual convenience of student and teacher). Classes and private lessons will utilize lecture, demonstration, and student performances followed by evaluation.

Course Requirements: Students are expected to arrive on time with all materials and to practice daily. There will be three performance exams during the semester, and each weekly private lesson will be graded.

Attendance Policy: Attendance at each class meeting and private lesson is expected because musical development requires regular instruction and consistent effort. More than two absences is considered excessive and may result in a reduction of the final grade. Private lessons missed by the students will not be rescheduled. Lessons missed by the teacher will be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable time.


Three performance exams = 40%
Weekly private lesson grades = 40%
Class participation = 20%

100-90 = A, 89-80 = B, 79-70 = C, 69-65=D, below 65 = F


Week 1: Orientation. Your guitar, tuning, playing position. Basic Right and Left Hand Technique/Open String Notes Pg. 17-19

Week 2: Review Basic Right and Left Hand Technique/Open Strings Pg. 17-19 Musical Symbols and Notes on the First String. Pg. 21-23

Week 3: Notes on the First String Review. Notes on the Second String. Pg. 24-27 Week 4: Daily Technique Exercises Pg.28-29 Notes on the Third String. Pg. 31-32

Week 5: Notes on the Fourth String. Pg.33-34. Exercise 49. Pg 37 and Ex. 49a,49b. Pg38

Week 6: Test on material covered in Weeks 1-5. Ensemble Songs: Blues Song and Bm Groove (handouts). Technique Practice Pg. 42-43 Ex. 55-57.

Week 7: Notes on the Fifth and Sixth Strings. Pg. 45-47. Position Scales both with Pick and RH fingers (handouts). Full Chord Shapes (handouts).

Week 8: Begin Learning Ensemble Song Spanish Streets (Rumba)(handouts).

Week 9: Review/Continue Position Scales both with pick and RH fingers (handouts). Full Chord Shapes (handouts). Ensemble Song: Spanish Streets (Rumba).

Week 10: Ensemble Song Practice: Blues Song, Spanish Streets, Bm Groove. Review for test in Week 11.

Week 11: Test on Scale Forms, Chord Shapes, and Note Reading. Ensemble Song Practice: Blues Song, Spanish Streets, Bm Groove.

Week 12: Completion of the First Position Pg. 51-55. Technique Practice Pg. 56. Ensemble Song Practice: Blues Song, Spanish Streets, Bm Groove.

Week 13: Begin Learning a Solo Piece. Choose 1 from Pg. 57-59. Ensemble Song Practice: Blues Song, Spanish Streets, Bm Groove.

Week 14: Continue with Learning a Solo Piece. Ensemble Song Practice: Blues Song, Spanish Streets, Bm Groove.

Final Exam: Date TBA

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester each student will be able to: play single line melodies that incorporate quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes in straight and rhythm; execute strumming patterns using quarter and eight note combinations and progress to more complex patterns involving syncopation and sixteenth notes; read all notes in the first position of the guitar as written in treble clef as well as tablature from first position through twelfth position.