Guitar - Rhythm

Instructor:   Erik Smistad

Course Description:

Level: 2 – 3  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

You’ve been playing guitar for a little while now. You know your basic chords, you know how to play a couple spicy licks, and maybe you know some basic theory. You’re proud of yourself for making it this far, you should be!

However, you know you can still go further. That’s where this class comes in. We’ll be learning some slightly more advanced chords (plus how and when to use them), some cool techniques like fingerpicking, and how to play musically within a group setting. We’ll also be covering some fun riffs and songs to expand your guitar vocabulary.

By the end of this class, you won’t just be a beginner guitarist. You won’t turn slightly red and make excuses about a vicious hangnail when the guitar comes to you around the campfire. You’ll be a solid rhythm guitarist that everybody wants to jam with! And if jamming’s not your thing, you’ll have more tools in your tool kit for your own personal enjoyment on the instrument.

Erik Smistad

Erik Smistad is a Calgary-based multi-instrumentalist. While Erik is best known for his bass playing ability in the Canadian music scene, he has been playing guitar for many years as well.

A professional and active song writer, arranger, session musician and performer, Erik has been teaching music full time since 2010.

A few of Erik’s recent musical highlights include two UK tours in 2014 & 2015 with his progressive rock band Diatessaron and touring Spain and Portugal with the Calgary Youth Orchestra.

Erik is known for his ability to play any style of music, but he is especially active in the progressive rock, bluegrass, soul and alternative rock genres.

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.