Core Guitar Classes

The backbone of the Old Town School experience since its inception in 1957, our Core Guitar classes provide solid musical background using traditional and popular styles in a friendly casual group environment.

for beginners and beyond

For the complete beginner.

Guitar 1 »

Your musical journey starts here. Learn chords, simple strums, and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting. You’ll be introduced to the basic elements of rhythm and harmony that will have you making music in no time! Guitar 1 is for the absolute beginner.

Improve skills. Add songs.

Guitar 1 Repertoire »

Improve your skills by learning lots of great songs, different strums and a few "licks," while singing and playing at the same time! We suggest that students repeat the repertoire classes as needed. There are hundreds of tunes to learn at every skill level.

New chords. New connections.

Guitar 2 »

Learn new chords and ways of playing and connecting them with bass runs, arpeggios, and using a capo. Discover different rhythms and pick out some melodies. Before taking Guitar 2, you should play basic open chords in the keys of A, D, E, and G, smoothly without losing the beat.

Self-starters start here.

Guitar 2 Repertoire »

If you are self taught or have completed Guitar 2, this is the level to repeat as often as you want to build up your songbag.

Build dexterity with basic fingerpicking and flatpicking.

Guitar 3 »

Move on to the next plateau with barre chords and movable shapes. Build dexterity with basic fingerpicking and flatpicking. Develop techniques and memorization and adding dynamics to song arrangements. Begin to develop your own musical voice and expand comfort with your instrument.

Barre chords open doors.

Guitar 3 Repertoire »

Enhance your knowledge of the guitar neck while examining tunes from a variety of styles - popular and traditional. As always, students are welcome to repeat a repertoire class as often as they chose. Songs change from session to session.

Extend the Core Guitar Experience

Choose from a variety of class options continuing in the model of the core program, before branching off to specialty or ensemble classes!

 Beyond Guitar 3 (for folks participating at our Lincoln Park location, or who prefer a mid-day schedule.)

 Guitar 4 (round out your study in the core guitar program with Travis-style fingerpicking, complex orchestral chords (jazz chords) and melody playing.)

 Extended Play (continued study with a group of students who have gathered together around a particular teacher.)

 Guitar 4Ever (continue to work on playing with others, playing from memory, and creating your own ongoing organic songbag.)

Choose Your Class »

If you're a total beginner…

Sign up for Guitar 1 and join the multitude of folks who have played their first song here at Old Town School.

If you used to play…

Start with Guitar 1 Repertoire or Guitar 2 if you understand how to read basic open chord diagrams, and need work on rhythm and changing chords smoothly.

If you've got the basics down, but…

Need a little more practice? Looking for a fun social experience and the opportunity to build your songbag? Check out our placement quiz to decide which class from Guitar 2 or beyond is right for you.

© The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc. 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000