Group Classes for January / February 2022

Good day to everyone!

Hard to believe that, come March, I’ll have doing online classes now for two full years! As someone who once said I’d never teach online, I’ve obviously changed.

But that’s the nature of life, isn’t it?

While 2021 was definitely a mixed bag in terms of the year it was, for me, classes were the highlight of any week. So while part of me is not happy with my group classes still being done on Zoom, part of me is also very excited about the new slate for 2022! Not sure that that makes sense, but that’s the way it is.

As ever, my classes are in three distinct formats:

  1. Straight lectures. Time is devoted to questions and specific demonstrations in regard to technique or concepts in question
  2. “Typical” group classes. “Typical,” for Zoom, is that we start out with questions and demonstration, but during the playing part, participants must mute themselves as not to disrupt the sound
  3. “Showcase” classes. Here, a student gets the “stage” to perform a piece while the rest of the class listens and then, after the performance, takes part in the discussion to help the performertarget specific changes that can bring about a better arrangement, performance, or song.

Even if you’ve not taken one of these classes before, you’re more than welcome to come and experience it. Everyone is capable of helping each other out. That’s been the beauty of these classes – No matter how bad things the past two years, people learned and improved in my classes. This is what keeps me psyched going into 2022 (and beyond, if need be!).

Here is the slate of classes. If you’re interested, just drop me a line at dhodgeguitar@aol.com or call me directly at (413)717-1996.

Introduction to Classical / Spanish Guitar (Mondays 5:15 – 6:15)

(eight total classes – classes end February 21)$100 ($50.00 per month)

Very excited to be offering this class again! The cool thing about classical / Spanish guitar is that even the simplest exercises make very nice songs to impress both yourself and anyone who’s listening. You can also use the techniques you learn in your “every day” guitar playing.

If you can read guitar tablature (and / or music notation) you can take this course. We’ll start out extremely basic, and work our way up to more complicated pieces. Our focus after the first two weeks will be pieces by Bartolome Calatayud.

Arranging Songs for Performance (Mondays 6:30 – 8:00)

(eight total classes – classes end February 21)$150 ($75.00 per month)

Absolutely thrilled to be doing this class again! We’ll work on arranging songs for single-player performance (unless you’re fortunate enough to share residence with another musician!). Each week everyone will present at least one song and get thoughtful feedback from the others.

One of the (very) cool side-effects of this particular class has been the introduction of artists that are unknown to the other members of the class. To me, this in and of itself has been worth hosting the class! Both covers and originals are fair game.

Basic Rhythm Fundamentals Workshop (Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30)

(eight total classes – classes end February 22)$100 ($50.00 per month)

We’ll address different ways of strumming, picking, and (most importantly) combining basic strumming with picking in order to create wonderful rhythm parts. My plan is to use songs that everyone knows and to explore how to add more parts to them. As always, I’ll make a point to help you grow based on where you are. Every week we’ll also have exercises specifically designed to help you be a better player.

Continuing Guitar Vocabulary (Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:00)

(eight total classes – classes end February 22)$100 ($50.00 per month)

Essentially, this class is much like the group class we had at the BCC, except that you won’t be able to hear everyone in the group play. It takes a little getting used to at first, but it will worth your while. Every week, we’ll look at one or two songs (and I’m open to requests) and explore the various ways of playing it.

A Quick Note about Wednesday Classes:

Since these two classes are closely related, I’m offering a special deal –Prices below are if you take the single class.If you decide you’d like to take the two of them, you pay$150 ($75.00 per month)

Riff by Riff (Wednesdays 5:15 – 6:15)

(eight total classes – classes end February 23)$100 ($50.00 per month)

This should be a lot of fun! We’ll look at specific riffs, analyze where they came from (how they’re made), and will then take time to explore variations in timing and different keys. The aim will be to be able to take what we’ve learned and use it to help us create fills and riffs that can be part of any song.

Materials will be provided. Depending on how things go, we may even take requests!

Exploring the Fundamentals of Improvisation (Wednesdays 6:30 – 7:30)

(eight total classes – classes end February 23)$100 ($50.00 per month)

Ages ago, I wrote a series of articles for Guitar Noise called “Turning Scales into Solos” (you can read the first of them here: https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/turning-scales-into-solos-part-1/). We’ll use these as a guideline to get us going on improvising. We’ll start out by learning basic riffs and fills, while also determining which scales will work well. We’ll use rhythm as well as notes in order to create your own voice when it comes to your guitar playing.

“Kind of Absolute Beginners’ Guitar” 2021 (Thursdays 5:15 – 6:15)

(eight total classes – classes end February 24)$100 ($50.00 per month)

This class is not totally an absolute beginners’ class. If you know the basic chords and can change them reasonably well, you should do fine.

As with “Continuing Guitar,” we work on expanding your existing knowledge to help you improve more quickly. Focus these upcoming months will be on finger picking and learning new chord voicings up the fretboard.

Jam Prep (for any instrument) (Thursdays 6:30 – 8:00)

(eight total classes – classes end February 24)$150 ($75.00 per month)

Let’s be honest – we’re all ready to get back to playing with others. This class will be very much like the old “Jam Classes” we’ve had at the BCC and Crissey Farm. My plan is to use songs that everyone knows and to explore how to add more parts to them. As always, I’ll make a point to help you grow based on where you are.

Just how much you get out of this class will be up to you, as you won’t be able to hear anyone besides me when we play “as a group.” If you’d like to improve your group playing by working out parts that are different than what someone typically plays (and we’ve all been in groups where six or more guitarists are all playing the same thing!), you are more than welcome to do so. You can play an instrument that you “kind of” know without being embarrassed.

You can also work on developing harmony vocal lines…Hopefully, this class will be an excellent way to prepare yourself for playing for real when the occasions arise (hopefully) in the near future.


Do let me know what you think about these, especially if you’re interested. Class size initially will be limited to eight, but the cool thing about this is that we can start a second class should one get filled.

As always, I’m more than willing to answer any questions or entertain any suggestions you may have. Email me directly or call me on my cell (413 – 717 – 1996).

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.

As always, I am taking on new students (only online – no one-on-one lessons for the immediate future) should you be interested. Just email or call and we can discuss what your objectives are.

Also, please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested.

I look forward to sharing music with you all once more. And to learning all sorts of cool things to play in 2022!

Stay well.

Peace

David