View Full Version : Free online Introduction to Guitar course from Berklee...

03-30-2013, 09:13 AM
I've taken several courses on Coursera using the Chrome browser on my Android Samsung Galaxy S II phone. They have video lectures, assignments and projects. Here's some excerpts from this course:


Introduction to Guitar

Thaddeus Hogarth

Grasp the essentials needed to begin playing acoustic or electric guitar. You'll learn an easy approach to get you playing quickly, through a combination of exploring the instrument, performance technique, and basic music theory.

Next Session:

Apr 22nd 2013 (6 weeks long)

Workload: 6-8 hours/week

About the Course

For students who have long thought about picking up the acoustic or electric guitar, this course will provide an easy-access foundation that will get you playing. When first learning guitar, it is important to have the material presented in stages, in an enjoyable way that allows you to grasp the basics of the instrument and music. The course begins simply with the parts of the guitar, the names of the strings, tuning, and technique—whether finger-style or pick. It then explores the basics of music theory with such topics as scales, triads, power chords, and fingering and shapes.

At the end of this course, students will understand the structure, parts, and accessories of the instrument, in addition to an understanding of its basic maintenance. Electric guitar players will learn the operation of their instrument along with basic options for amplification, effect pedals, and sounds. Students will also learn to develop correct technique and apply theory concepts to their playing. They will have the foundational knowledge necessary to pursue most intermediate guitar courses.

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1: Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

Parts Options, Accessories, Quick Start to Playing

Lesson 2: The Basics—All You Need to Know to Start

String Names, Tuning, Pick Technique, Finger-Style, Strumming

Lesson 3: Twelve Tones = Twelve Frets

Frets, Notes on the Staff, Notes on the Fretboard, Notes on the Staff, Rhythm, Time Signature

Lesson 4: Scales—The What's and Why's

Position Playing, Chromatic Scale, Major Scales, Half Steps, Whole Steps, Keys, Sharps Flats

Lesson 5: Easy Chords—Triads/Power Chords

Basic Harmony, Power Chords, Easy Fingerings for Major and Minor Chords, Songs

Lesson 6: The Pentatonic Scale—The Guitarists Best Friend

Fingerings, Soloing, Electric Guitar Effects and Amplification, Acoustic Amplificiation

Recommended Background

No musical experience or ability to read music is required.

Suggested Readings

The Quest for Good Guitar Tone by Thaddeus Hogarth

Course Format

The course consists of video demonstrations, with integrated quizzes that allow you to reinforce your knowledge of the material before moving on. You will also have assignments that ask you to submit basic recorded examples of your playing for peer review.


•What kind of guitar should I have for the course?

Students should have either an electric or acoustic guitar.

•What do I need in order to record my assignments?

During the course, you will be asked to submit recorded examples of your playing. In order to do this, you will need your computer's built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built-in ports or an external audio interface), in addition to basic audio recording software, such as Audacity, that will allow you to record yourself playing and save the recording in MP3 format.