Class Description - Guitar Classes

Kids at the Fleadh

The following general descriptions apply primarily to melody instruments. Traditional singing and accompanying instruments like bodhran, guitar, harp, and piano will have somewhat different descriptions.
Please see the individual descriptions for each class for more details.

Starter: Certain instruments (fiddle, harp) offer starter sections for those who are new to the instrument. These classes cover starting technique and care of the instrument and serve as an introduction to Irish music. Depending on skills recognized or obtained, students may move up to Beginner classes sometime during the quarter.

Beginner: These classes are for those who are new to the instrument or have limited skills. Note that some instruments will have "Starter" classes due to the nature of the instrument. Students will become familiar with their instruments and will learn to play simpler Irish tunes by ear at slower speeds; tunes that are taught may not be on the tune list for the quarter but may be in the Riley 'Common Core'. Students will learn about the different types of traditional Irish tunes.

Intermediate: Students should have previously been in a Beginner class (or the equivalent in outside private lessons) or have played the instrument for some time in Irish or related styles. Students will continue to learn tunes by ear, with a focus on the current quarter's tune list. Students will learn to play at faster tempos and begin to learn Irish ornamentation and style.

Advanced: These classes are for those who are quite familiar with their instrument and Irish music. Tunes will be taught with the goal of attaining playing them at 'Riley Speed', which can be heard by listening to the tunes on the website. There will be continued emphasis on ornamentation and style, using the current quarter's tune list.

Classes are offered based on instructor availability for the current quarter. Please see the current schedule for this quarter's classes, times and instructors.

Guitar Classes

Class Teacher Time Email
Guitar I-A (Adults) - Standard Tuning
April Mann 9:00

For all class levels, the focus will be on learning to accompany Irish traditional music. The whole school learns the same tunes by ear, so you will be able to play with others. In addition to class, there are different bands that you are invited to join (no additional fee) at 12:30pm. Going to band will allow you to practice the tunes outside of class with people playing other instruments. Children and adults are in the same classes at both levels. Standard tuning is typically taught in these classes.

This class is for students who have just started on the guitar and the focus will be on learning the guitar chords that accompany most Irish tunes. If you are just starting to play guitar and cannot smoothly change chords, then you should start in the Beginner class. The instructor will be able to let you know when to move up to the Intermediate class. Emphasis will be on learning the chords and applying them to the quarter's tunes at slower speeds.

Students should register for this class if they can play songs or tunes on the guitar with basic chords in the keys of G, D, E Minor and A minor. The tunes will be practiced at a little faster pace. The focus will be on learning what chords to use to accompany the quarter's tunes and the strums that can be used for the different types of Irish tunes. Depending on the students registered for the class, Drop D tuning may also be used in this class.

This class is for students who can play Irish tunes at a fast pace and will be taught using Drop D tuning. The focus will be on chords and rhythms that can be used to accompany the quarter's tunes, along with alternative chords, note runs and patterns that enhance the tunes.

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