To become a truly accomplished guitarist, you first have to master the basics. Players that have an intimate understanding of chords, scales, blues and rock, and improvisation techniques are more comfortable in different musical situations, and are more dynamic, expressive and well-rounded guitarists. This extensive program provides students with a wide array of tools and the knowledge necessary to develop their technique and gain a greater feel for their instrument.
The program begins by detailing Berklee's approach to the construction of chords. In Berkleemusic’s rich learning platform, which feature Flash movies, interactive quizzes, instructional videos, guitar tablatures and practice mp3 tracks, students will learn to construct and play triads and basic 7th chords, as well as look at inversions and different chord voicings, the basic foundations guitarists use to write or perform in any number of different styles. With personalized instruction and comments from Berklee's world-renowned guitar instructors, students will gain an extensive chord vocabulary, which will prove invaluable in pursuing any style of music.
Once students have completed their chord study, the program moves on to cover another fundamental building block to guitar mastery: scales. Students will learn the major and pentatonic scales, and how these scales work at different points up the neck. They’ll learn to construct and play blues, Dorian, and Mixolydian scales in all keys, and apply these scales to performance-based weekly musical examples and practice exercises.
Next, students will gain a foundation in form, control, feel and harmonies, by studying the blues and the nuances of the masters in that genre. They’ll learn the 12-bar blues harmony, basic rhythm guitar technique, and the pentatonic and blues scale in the open position up the neck. Students will learn to create tension and release in their solos – a technique mastered by all the greatest guitarists. From there, students will learn methods of improvisation, phrasing, scales, chords, rhythms, fretboard mastery, and sound conception by studying the selected works of different classic rock masters, including Clapton, Hendrix, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.
The program wraps up by presenting a step-by-step approach to improvisation that applies to all musical styles. You'll transcribe, record, and submit for instructor review excerpts of solos from legendary players from many different genres (BB King, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Jimmy Page, Louis Armstrong and others). You'll develop an understanding of the inflexions, feel, and nuances of these different players and their improvisation techniques and learn to incorporate these techniques into your own playing.
Organize the guitar fretboard, develop your technique, and learn to confidently navigate the instrument by gaining a firm understanding of the pentatonic, blues, major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales and their modes.
Learn the techniques and licks of classic blues stylists, such as T-Bone Walker, Lightning Hopkins, B.B. King, and Magic Sam. Gain a foundation in form, control, feel, and harmony that will help to bring a blues sound to your playing or add more depth to any other style of music.
Edward Tomassi, Matt Marvuglio, Jim Odgren (12 weeks, 3 credits)
Learn a step-by-step approach to improvisation that applies to all styles and any instrument. Develop your solos by studying the riffs and licks of legendary players, and learn to incorporate the inflexions, feel, and nuances of the masters into your own playing!
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