Palomar College Beg. Guitar Syllabus

Music 175 - Beginning Guitar

Instructor: Arthur Golden
Office Hours: by appointment only
Voice Mail: 760-744-1150, Ext. 5501. E-mail:

Required Text: Classic Guitar Technique, Volume 1, by Aaron Shearer and Guitar method Book 1, by Hal Leonard available at bookstore

Other required materials: An acoustic guitar (nylon strings are preferable) and a notebook.

Additional materials: to be supplied by instructor.

Course outline: We will begin with rudimentary exercises and songs, learning the fundamentals of chords and chord symbols, music reading and basic playing technique. By the semesters end you will be able to read music in the first position, play chord progressions in several keys with numerous strum patterns, use proper techniques for holding and playing the guitar, and learn effective practice habits. The basic fundamentals of music theory will also be emphasized, such as intervals, scales, and chord formations. The orientation of the class will be a classical guitar approach, which will allow you the basic skills necessary to play music from the classical guitar repertoire. Note reading is fundamental to this approach, and the Classic Guitar Technique by Aaron Shearer will be heavily stressed.

Practice/Homework: In order to become a proficient player you must be able and willing to practice at least thirty to forty five minutes every day. Frequent homework assignments will be given and you will be expected to participate during in-class discussions.

Attendance: Attendance at all class meetings is required. After three unexcused absences, you will either fail the course or be dropped. You will be expected to be on time for each class and remain in class for the entire meeting time. Exceptions will be made for absence due to severe illness or emergencies.

Midterm and Final Exam: There will be a mid-term exam of material covered up to that time. We will review material required for the exam one week prior to the test date. The Final exam will follow the same procedure and cover old as well as new material covered after the mid-term.

Participation: We will play many songs and exercises as a group, and eventually perform some of them periodically during the semester. Participation in guitar quartets and duos will also facilitate note reading and ensemble performance.

Scoring: Participation: 20%, Mid-term: 30%, Final exam: 50%

Final Grade:
  • 90 - 100% = A
  • 80 - 89% = B
  • 70 - 79% = C
  • 60 - 69% = D
  • 59% and below = F