Private lessons in guitar can begin anytime.
Beginning Guitar is a square-one beginner class. We assume you know no chords, nothing about tuning and holding the guitar, and nothing about music. If you have started some on your own, the first few weeks may be review. We strongly recommend you consult with us before signing up for this level if you already know a few chords, even if you consider yourself a beginner.
Most people have been playing three or four months going into Acoustic Guitar II. You should know about eight of the following chords: E, A, D, G, C, Em, Am, E7, A7, D7. Some chord changes are easy, some are made slowly and not in time. Usually there are a half dozen songs that you can play from beginning to end, though not necessarily easily. No fingerpicking experience is required.
Most people have been playing six to eight months going into Acoustic Guitar III. You should know 10-12 chords and be able to make most of the chord changes smoothly. You may have some difficulty playing the four-string (non-bar) F chord, and bar chords are usually introduced near the end of Guitar III. You may or may not have learned some fingerpicking.
For people with nine months to a year of playing experience, bar chords start appearing in the songs taught in Acoustic Guitar IV. Since it takes a while before a student has the strength to move easily between open position and bar chords, if you can do so you are most likely at a minimum of Acoustic Guitar VI, where the average length of playing time is a year to a year and a half of playing.
The Jam classes require that you can make open chord changes easily, and you should be able to play basic bar chords.
You’ll get the most out of Music Theory for Guitar if you can make open chord changes easily. For Chord Magic for Guitarists you should be able to move easily between open position and bar chords.
For all of these classes there is no requirement to read standard music notation. Many teachers
use guitar tablature, which is easily learned if you don’t already know it. When we refer to length of time played, we are talking about regular and continuous practice. Many players who have
played for years, but on and off, may still find one of these classes appropriate for their level. If you have any questions about your level, please speak with the Program Director to ensure best
placement – 415.673.3600 – or send an email.