Guitar

Timing

Typically S1, Term 3

Duration

TBA

Summary

Introduction to guitar (traditionally starting in the Easter term for S1) covering posture, holding the guitar, chord windows, simple chord shapes (eg Em, E, Am, Dm, C, G7, A & D, many of which are interrelated) and ‘circular’ chord sequences (eg Am Dm Am E, Am C Am E, A D A E or C Am Dm G7), with TAB and basic fingerpicking also making it into S1 when things are going well.

Experiences & Outcomes

EXA 3-16a

Teaching Notes

Stress advantages of high L knee (use footstool!) and low R knee (foot on floor) for support, tip guitar into space between knees (of course you can’t reach if you leave it horizontal!) and try nut/elbow ‘strongman’ test to check.
Thinnest string = smallest number (from 1–6), but mnemonic starts from thickest:
Elephants Always Develop Great Big Ears.
Note that you can give the six open strings a fancy ‘chord’ name (Em7sus4)!
E as a fundamental ‘building block’ for the first few lessons.

Mock Spanish (slide E up a fret and back).
Family likenesses (hop E to make Am, hop and push to take same shape to Dm, then pull and hop to return). Also Am to C as single-finger change, G7 as ‘wider’ C and Dm to G7 as wheeling round first-finger ‘axle’.
Working round chords (eg C and Am) by adding and removing fingers to create interesting patterns (simple but idiomatic and effective).

Bridges, rivers and dams!

Sticky elbow test.

1, 2 finger adjustment during Am to Dm, Am to C etc.

Some first chord shape ‘journeys’ for guitar (site download).
Some picking patterns to try (site download).