Guitar 101 Beginner Course
Upon enrolling in Victor Cruz’s Acting Studio’s course, Guitar 101, students receive:
- Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
- Gator GBE-Dread Gig Bag
- 8-Week Semester Workbook (w/ Additional References and Guides)
Have you ever closed your eyes and imagined yourself in front of stadium of cheering fans, you with a guitar in hand? Or maybe just performing for your friends and family at a get together. Perhaps, you’ve always wanted a musical outlet and have either discouraged yourself out of it, or have let others discourage you from taking that first step toward uncovering the potential you have within?
Guitar 101 is truly a unique approach toward discovering guitar and exposing your unique voice. We are confident that you will walk out of your first semester with the tools necessary to begin a long committed journey of self-discovery through music, one song under your belt, your first on stage performance, and the experience and gift you’ve given yourself to allow yourself to open new doors.
What You’ll Learn
This semester, we will work on ONE (1) song. Song choice: “What A Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke
The program runs for 8 weeks. Each session is 2 hours. Additional private coaching sessions available.
The skills and techniques we will tackle in this course (but are, definitely, not limited to):
- Chords (Shapes, Diagrams, and Variations)
- Scales & Progressions
- Strumming & Picking
- Timing, Rhythm, & Meter
- Music Theory, Ear Training, Tonal Relationships, & Guitar Tablature (Tab)
- Musicality, Sensibility, Texture & Dynamics
- Guitar Maintenance & Tuning
Music is a language of its own. In this course, we hope to push you to look deep within yourself and accept more of who you truly are and walk away with a new tool that will not only help you in a career as a musician, performer, or entertainer, but also as a way to better express yourself and connect with others.
I look forward to meeting you very soon!
Guitar 101: The Wonderful World of Guitar
“What A Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke
In this semester, we will learn to play Sam Cooke’s classic tune, “What A Wonderful World” using the song as a catalyst to explore guitar techniques such as, strumming patterns, chords, chord progressions, timing/rhythm, solo-ing and improvisation, songwriting, and performance. Utilizing a handful of the foundational chords shapes and structures necessary to build a relationship with your instrument, this song also perfectly pairs with novice guitar players. Not to mention, Sam Cooke is a total bad-ass, so this will be a lot of fun! We discuss music theory concepts, relative to the playing of your instrument and your creative expression, however, this is not a theory heavy course. The objective of our program is to get you playing, connecting, writing, and telling YOUR story as its first priority and opening the doors and offering resources that may help you to explore those musical concepts more deeply, if you choose to.
8 Week Beginners Guitar Course
“All My Single Notes, All My Single Notes!”
In Week 1, students meet their cohort and receive their class materials (Guitar, Guitar Bag, Semester Workbook). On this first day, we get a chance to discover our new instrument by engaging in discussions and games to help grasp the foundational elements of the guitar that serve as the building blocks toward mastery. And just like Beyoncé said, “If you like it, then you shoulda played guitar on it.”
Hour .75 – Introductions, Class Materials, Class Overview
Hour 1.25 – Parts, Fingers, Frets, Strings & Names, Identifying Single Notes
“Roots, Intervals, and…wait for it…our Two Note Chords!”
In Week 2, there will be a review of the previous week’s material with any opportunity for students to discuss questions, comments, concerns, and wins/gains with the group which will serve as your support during the on-ramp of this new journey you’re on. We will talk briefly about Sam Cooke and the song, “What A Wonderful World” in which we dig deep into the historical context, purpose, and intentionality in the artist’s work. And lastly, students will understand the basic concepts around root notes and intervals enough to begin structuring their first two note chords.
Hour .5 – Roots, Intervals, Reading Guitar Tablature (Tab)
Hour 1.5 – Two Note Chords, Application to Class Song
“Who’s Strumming with Me, Man?”
In Week 3, students will deep dive into the more rhythmic elements of playing guitar as we build in strumming to our previously learned two note chords. Games and challenges will push students to truly grasp timing, BPM (Beats Per Minute), and multiple strumming and light finger-picking patterns (used in your favorite songs) and how to utilize these techniques to bring your songs to life. It’s gonna be so much…strum…like “fun”…see what I did there?
Hour .5 – Introduce Timing, Rhythm and a Metronome
Hour 1.5 – Strumming, Application to Class Song
“Pick a Chord, Any Chord”
In Week 4, our gears shift away from our two note chords and explore, what are known as “open” chords on the guitar. Students will engage their prior knowledge of single notes, roots, intervals, and, even, strumming and picking to create common used fingerings for what are known as “open” chords. This will offer access to create and experiment with different variations of chords as you begin discover your individual voice and style. We will spend most of the day reviewing these shapes and breaking off into a group exercise utilizing our new tools. Abra…Chord…Dabra?! Eh?
Hour .5 – Chord Diagrams, Introduce Chords: G, C, D, E major and A minor
Hour 1.5 – Explore chords in group application, application to class song, one on one with students who are struggling
“You Know That New Sound You Been Looking For? Well, Listen…To This!”
In Week 5, much like the eye opening moment for Marvin Berry, “Chuck Berry’s Cousin”, in the 80’s classic, students will build the foundational techniques, scales, and comprehension of concepts around the key of a song and its relationship to scales while improvising or writing a guitar solo, lead or melody. The course has it’s students begin with a basic major scale in the key of G and by the end of the day’s lesson, students will also have been exposed to the pentatonic scale, which is the most commonly used scale in American Pop and Rock music. Most of the guitar solos you know and love, utilize one or more of these techniques. And yes…they we all be yours! Muahahahaha!
Hour .5 – Key of a song, Improvisation, and Soloing w/ Examples
Hour 1 – Major Scale, Pentatonic, Application to Class Song
In Week 6, we spend a day discussing the foundational elements of strong, clear, and powerful songwriting. Students will share their examples of strong songwriting and we will use our class song and other examples to discuss developing voice, tone, and effective language for best telling YOUR story. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with other members of the class or work solo. This day will also be the day we decide some details for our final performance as a group! You’re gonna be beautiful, DARLIN’!!
“How Do We Get To Carnegie Hall?…”
In Week 7, we practice, practice…PRACTICE. We decide on our show i.e. group performances, solo performances, original pieces, collaborations, etc. Students will then do a full run of the show.
“Dress Rehearsal & Final Performance Presentation”
In Week 8, students get an opportunity to share what they have been working on throughout the course with family and friends in their first live, guitar performance! Woooo!
Our semester ends after our final performance. And while, this course makes no claims that you will become B.B. King or Jimi Hendrix by the end of the short 8 week course, however, what the course DOES guarantee is to give you are all the necessary tools to help you begin this new chapter in your artistic journey! It will introduce to a community of aspiring musicians starting their journey just like you and the course offers multiple avenues of support as you begin playing and exploring your new instrument.
Who is this guitar class for?
This course is for ANYONE who has ever thought of playing the guitar as a hobby or to further themselves as artists or musicians. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! This is a beginner course and is meant to grow your understanding of music and guitar from the ground up with no music prerequisite necessary.
YOU can benefit from this course if you’re:
- A musician or songwriter looking to learn a new instrument/accompaniment
- An actor, looking to add a musical skill to their arsenal
- A writer or poet
- Looking for a new way to express yourself
- Looking for a career in music, or fun new hobby
All are welcome.
(This is a class for adults. More classes coming soon for different age groups.)
Max Group Size: 10-12
Upcoming Course Dates:
The Guitar 101 Beginner Course is an 8 Week course. See below for more details on price for the entire course, dates, and times of each session. All classes are held in Manhattan.
Guitar 101 Beginner Course
Register today for our Summer 2019 8 Week Course:
October 1st, October 8th, October 15th, October 22nd, October 29th, November 5th, November 12th, November 19th
7:30pm – 9:00pm
212 West 29th Street – 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
About the instructor
Gio Cruz is a veteran musician and educator with 12+ years experience in playing, writing, and performing music, both solo and in multiple band settings, specifically on the guitar, and 5+ years in education, 4 of which, were in a traditional school setting, working with students of all ages (K-12) and of diverse skillsets. In addition, Gio taught private guitar lessons to students all over New York. He is currently writing music for local commercial spots and is scoring an upcoming full length film. Gio is writing a new album due to be out soon.