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Guitar - Introduction

Instructor:   Ruth Purves Smith

 Course Description:

Level: 1 – 2  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

Beginner Guitar with Ruth Purves Smith is a class for those who want to learn the basics of accompanying themselves on the acoustic guitar. This is for beginners and near beginners. We will learn the essentials of knowing your guitar, including: standard tuning & guitar terms, basic chord forms, some simple techniques to add to chording (ie: runs, hammer ons), using a pick vs fingerpicking, and what it takes to play guitar & sing at the same time. We CAN explore alternate tunings if we get that far…. THE goal is to have a fun, friendly environment to explore what YOU want to learn, as a beginner, about the acoustic guitar. 

If you have a specific song in mind to learn, please let me know a few weeks before camp.

HOT TIP: For those who have never played at all before, I recommend that you get a good quality, nylon stringed, “classical”guitar. This is not mandatory … fun is!! “

Ruth Purves Smith

Ramblin’ from the wheat gold walls of the Alberta Prairie, singer songwriter, Ruth Purves Smith, has traversed the troubadours’ path with the best. She has released two acclaimed, self penned, full length CDs, toured across Canada, America, & Europe, performed with Legends, and has her music licenced to the MTV network.

Website Ruth Purves Smith

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.