Teachers at the Old Town School

Donna Herula

Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Blues, Slide, Fingerstyle

Donna teaches all levels of students from beginners to advanced players. She teaches classes in the Core Guitar Program and also Acoustic Slide Guitar.

Donna began playing guitar at the age of 10, and in high school, played in rock bands and studied jazz guitar. She took two years of classical guitar in college. At the Old Town School of Folk Music, she took Blues Fingerstyle 3 numerous times and learned to play Delta blues, Piedmont, country blues, ragtime, and slide guitar styles.

Donna is an accomplished guitar player and singer and was cited in Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s May 2016 issue as one of the top 10 “up and coming resonator players.” She was the headliner at the Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa and performed as a soloist or in a duet at the Chicago Blues Festival three times – including performing solo centennial celebration tributes for Robert Nighthawk, Johnny Shines, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

She was the co-winner of the Windy City Blues Society Blues Challenge twice and represented Chicago at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. She was a semi-finalist in the Yamaha Six String Theory international guitar competition.

Donna is a regular performer at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago and has opened for Buddy Guy multiple times. She has performed numerous times in the Deep South including at the King Biscuit Blues Festival and at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas.

Donna enjoys teaching guitar and performing educational programs about blues history and traditional blues artists with her husband, Tony. She has taught guitar classes or workshops at libraries, folk conference, folk clubs, blues and roots festivals, blues camps, blues foundations, colleges, and music stores.

Her musical influences include Son House, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter.

Started at the Old Town School in December of 2015

  • www.donnaherula.com

Upcoming Workshops

Blues Workshop Series with Donna Herula: Americana and Folk Slide Techniques


$25 ($23 members)

Sun. June 27, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Slide guitar can add beauty and emotion to folk and Americana songs. Students will learn how to integrate both fingerpicking and slide guitar into their acoustic guitar playing. We will be reviewing, "Promise Me," a heartfelt song that uses alternating thumb, descending picking patterns, and slide guitar in this slow to moderately paced song in Open D Tuning. DADF#AD

Blues Workshop Series with Donna Herula: Chicago Blues Slide Technique


$25 ($23 members)

Sun. July 11, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Learn early Chicago Blues style slide guitar reminiscent of Hound Dog Taylor. With driving rhythm and fun-to-play slide licks, we will be reviewing the upbeat duet, "I Can't Wait to See My Baby." This song can be played on electric guitar or electrified acoustic or resonator guitar. The workshop is appropriate for beginner to intermediate slide guitar players.. 

Blues Workshop Series with Donna Herula: Instrumental Acoustic Slide


$25 ($23 members)

Sun. July 25, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM · Online

Learn a solo, acoustic blues instrumental that showcases numerous tricks and licks up and down the fretboard! This menacing song, "Black Ice," is in Open D Minor Tuning and incorporates alternating thumb, fast-moving slide guitar and various ascending and descending left-hand finger patterns. This workshop is best suited for intermediate to advanced fingerstyle and slide guitar players.