Typically S1, Term 3




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).