Guitar Lessons — TMC Curriculum Level 2

Genre Specific Guitar Methods

Learn how to play your favorite style of music. Explore other styles of music you may be unfamiliar with or experiment to expand your playing vocabulary. A variety of methods are available to appropriately match the learning style, ability, skill and interest of each student. Music rudiments, note and rhythmic values and note reading are covered in the beginning of each level 1 method. Initially simple chords are covered and gradually move on to full chords. Theory is introduced as skill levels increase. Most methods generally progress smoothly to increasing skill levels and include songs, solos, duets and technical exercises.

  • Classic Guitar
  • Jazz Guitar
  • Rock Guitar
  • Metal/Thrash Guitar
  • Electric Blues Guitar
  • Acoustic Blues Guitar
  • Bass Guitar
  • Folk Guitar
  • Country
  • A variety of other methods are available such as Bluegrass, Gospel, Celtic, etc.
  • Theory workbooks
  • Technical Exercises – Introduction to developing right and left hand control through various fingerboard exercises. In notation and tablature.
  • Supplements – Additional songs, solos, duets and exercises to enhance the learning process


Tablature is often used to help you start playing your favorite music as soon as possible. This allows the process to be enjoyable, as you stay focused on your developing skills. Tablature is a type of short hand for music notation and is generally represented by 6 lines for strings and numbers for fingering (fret) locations. To help facilitate the process during your lessons, most material will be hand written in tablature and some in hand written notation. Chord and fingerboard diagrams will also be used for easy reference. Many of the following styles and methods are available in notation and tablature.

  • Play your favorite songs - Learn to play guitar from your favorite CD’s - several thousand songs already transcribed
  • Rock
  • Acoustic
  • Finger-style
  • Classical guitar
  • Jazz
  • Folk
  • World Music/New Age
  • Country  
  • Worship

Song Transcription

Have you ever wondered how some people can listen to music and then figure out how to play it by ear? You can begin to learn the skills of transcribing music from your ear to your guitar by knowing what to listen for and understanding some basic patterns and sequences in music. Learning to transcribe is fun, challenging, rewarding on many levels and is a huge contribution to your ear training and musical development.

  • Aurally isolating notes
  • Aurally isolating chords
  • Scales construction - Steps and movement of scales
  • Harmonized scales – The sequence of a key of chords
  • Patterns in chord progressions
  • Neighboring Keys – Shared note and chords
  • Modulation – Changing keys temporarily and permanently

Song Writing - Theory for the Songwriter

An introduction to song writing using the musical alphabet, notation and/or tablature with fingerboard and chord diagrams.

  • Melody – scales, rhythm, phrasing
  • Chord Progressions - Learning how to write and play chord progressions.
  • Using chords to create melody  
  • Song structure analysis - Analysis of songs from your favorite writers and players
  • Theory and analysis as it applies to melody, harmony, chord progressions and musical phrasing
  • Fingerboard Harmony – Learn chords, chord inversions and how they apply to the fingerboard
  • Writing and arranging your songs
  • Developing your own musical sound

Arranging for the Guitar

Learn to write and play your own arrangements of your favorite songs through the use of scales, intervals, chords and compositional techniques.

  • Enhance the arrangement of music you already know
  • Melody with drone strings
  • Melody and harmony using intervals
  • Using chords to create melody
  • Movable chords with open strings
  • Chords with drone strings
  • Using extended chords and chord substitution

Composition for the Guitar

Learn to create solo guitar compositions from your own musical ideas, phrases and chord progressions.

  • Learn compositional techniques
  • Melody – scales, rhythm, phrasing
  • Melody and harmony using intervals
  • Using chords to create melody
  • Theory and analysis for melody, harmony, chord progressions and musical phrasing
  • Fingerboard Harmony – Learn chords, chord inversions, arpeggios and how they apply to the fingerboard
  • Song structure analysis


The ability to spontaneously perform or create solos, melodies and rhythms without prior preparation is not magical. It is the result of drawing on previously developed skills and knowledge. The study and practice of scales is the foundation for spontaneous improvisation. Scales are great for technical and musical development and can be a source of great satisfaction as a way of evaluating your technical and musical progress. Intervals and chords are built from scales and provide another harmonic means for improvisation.

  • An introduction to scales and improvisation  
  • Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales
  • Blues Scales
  • Major Scales
  • Minor Scales
  • Modes
  • Intervals
  • Arpeggios
  • Analysis of solos
  • How to use scales over chord progressions
  • Using chords to create melody

Fingerboard Geography

As an advancing guitar player, one of the most important elements in understanding your instrument is knowing every note, it’s pitch and location on the fingerboard. Many players are frustrated because they are not confident in understanding the notes and layout of the fingerboard while at the same time believing it is an overwhelming task to understand it. The opposite is true. The process of understanding the fingerboard is generally so simple that it is simply overlooked.

  • Easily and effectively learn every note on the fingerboard by simple step by step processes
  • Learn to easily locate every unison pitch on the fingerboard
  • Learn how to “see” the fingerboard
  • Learn the fingerboard vertically and horizontally
  • Instantly recognize intervals, their patterns and shifting patterns across the fingerboard
  • Learn to construct scales on the fingerboard
  • Begin opening the entire fingerboard by learning one position

Guitar Fingerboard Harmony

You can learn to see and play the patterns and understand the relationships of single notes, double notes (intervals) and chords as applied to the fingerboard. If you know your basic major, minor and dominate bar chord shapes, you can quickly learn to recognize new chord shapes and inversions contained within them and add them to your daily playing. Learn to play and understand the relationships between chords both horizontally and vertically on the fingerboard.

  • Scale patterns
  • Octaves and intervals and their patterns
  • Power chords and their inversions
  • Three note chords and their use, relationships and patterns in harmonized scales
  • Major, Minor and Dominate chords and their inversions
  • Open voiced chords

Chord Construction

Have you ever wondered how chords are made and the meaning of all the symbols and numbers? Understanding, playing and substituting chords is not just for the jazz player. It is for anyone who desires a greater harmonic understanding of music and the creative processes of becoming a better player.

  • Scale construction - how keys are formed
  • Interval construction and their relationship to keys
  • Intervals – major, minor, augmented and diminished
  • Triad construction and their relationship to keys
  • Triads – major, minor, augmented and diminished
  • Inversions
  • Extended Major, Minor and Dominate chords, Inversions, other Extended chords, Polytonal chords, Augmented and Diminished chords


Technical exercises are designed to help you play smoothly, accurately and efficiently for faster musical development. They will increase your endurance and help you improve your overall sound.

  • Improve your accuracy and efficiency by increasing your awareness of the muscle functions of your hands and fingers
  • Technical exercises in notation and tablature for left and right hand development
  • Many exercises are hand written for your specific needs
  • Learn to choreograph body and arm movements to facilitate accurate hand and finger placement


How to practice effectively to get what you want from your guitar and music. Develop an effective practice schedule that fits your lifestyle and musical goals.  

  • Practice naturally – play what you like
  • Your practice environment - setting yourself up for successful practice
  • Goals – Target goals and the value of process goals
  • Custom designed practice schedules – Practice schedules designed for your specific approach to learning and playing

Guitar Care

How to keep your guitar playing, sounding and looking it’s best.

  • Maintenance – Learn how to properly clean, condition and polish your guitar. How to clean, condition and oil the fingerboard and bridge
  • Tuning And Tension – Learn how tuning and tension effect you guitar and your musical ear
  • Learn how your guitar size, design, set up and adjustments effects your technical development
  • Guitar set up and adjustments – learn the importance of a properly adjusted guitar and the basic skills for set ups and adjustments
  • Temperature and humidity – Learn the effects of temperature and humidity on your guitar and how to compensate for it
  • Simple modifications – bridge pins, strap buttons, strap locks, knobs, pick guards, pick-ups and electronics.
  • How to buy a guitar – Learn about basic guitar construction and inspection and how to select the right guitar

Areas of Study

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