Schedule & Fee
'I'm not good enough to be playin' much acoustic guitar onstage. Man, you gotta get so right; I mean, the tones, the feel, the sound. Plus, acoustic blues guitar is just that much harder on the fingers. I really appreciate when someone can blow me away with live acoustic blues.'
– Johnny Winter
The modern blues guitar ‘sound’ evolved from a huge range of regional styles. (Many of the early masters of these styles, including Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, played with such virtuosity that players today still have difficulty copying them!) And in recent years there has been a surge of interest in the acoustic roots of the music, with a whole new generation of exciting blues players emerging. Even previously dedicated electric players (i.e. Eric Clapton) have re-emerged as born-again acoustic blues players.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics provides an extensive introduction to the form and how to play it. The course will cover the following elements:
- The blues form – the structure of the music
- Licks, riffs and runs (allowing for some simple lead playing)
- Basic fingerstyle technique (almost all of the early players were fingerstylists)
- Sliding and open tunings (the most distinctive sound in blues guitar)
Along the way participants will be introduced to the major figures and regional styles through listening sessions and numerous practical examples.
Although this course is an introduction to acoustic blues guitar, it is not a course for guitar beginners. (Go to Introducing Guitar for Adults or Introducing Guitar for Teens for information on our beginners courses.) Participants in Acoustic Blues Guitar should have at least one year’s playing experience, be able to read guitar tablature (see the tablature parts in these examples) have a good grasp of basic open-position chords as well as standard barre chord fingerings. Changing from one chord to another should not be a problem.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics is one of our group courses. Private, partner, group and intensive lessons in acoustic blues guitar and other guitar styles are also available. Go to Departments & Faculty - Guitar & Bass for more information.
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Michael McInerney, Teacher
'Michael is a fantastic teacher who combines huge enthusiasm for his subject with huge knowledge (and patience!). An excellent course.'
– G. Walsh
Michael began playing the guitar in his late teens, initially as a way of trying to make sense of the musical jargon that confounded him as he tried to teach himself the harmonica, his first instrument. It didn’t work. And so, for the next 18 years or so he meandered from one style to the next in search of that ever elusive piece by which he could finally say, ‘Now I can really play!’ The search continues. In the meantime he has, at one time or another, played blues, jazz, flamenco, slide-guitar, Irish traditional, some classical and a little ragtime – though his main interests remain blues, slide and fingerstyle guitar. He also has a keen interest in the use of alternate tunings and has built up a large resource on the subject. Although he sees himself as primarily an acoustic player, he also plays electric and is equally at home with pick or fingers. His experiences trying to figure out what was going on either from books or recordings has given him an insight into the difficulties faced by anyone trying to learn the guitar, and he remains committed to the idea that in order to teach you must first know what it’s like not to know. As a result, his guitar courses are the some of the most popular and successful in the history of the New School. Michael has written and performed solo guitar music for theatre and film and performed as a flamenco guitarist; he can also be heard with his band Master Blaster. He holds an LGSM (P), DipJazz from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, a BA in English and Philosophy from NUI Maynooth, and a Diploma in Drama Studies and an MA in Modern Drama from UCD.
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2013-2014 First Term Schedule & Fee
Schedule to be confirmed.
Tuition Fee: €170
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Enrolment for this course requires a completed enrolment form and full payment of tuition fees. (Go to Enrolment & Booking Form Downloads for a 2013-2014 General Enrolment Form.) Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date of enrolment. Early enrolment is recommended, as places are limited to eight.
Purchasing this course as a gift? Go to Enrolment & Booking Form Downloads for a Gift Certificate Booking Form.
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