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Updated May 9, 2022: Masks are strongly recommended on campus and vaccination or negative covid test is required for entry. Please view our Health & Safety page for specific policy details for in-person classes and concerts. »

Specialty & Technique Guitar Classes

Go beyond the basics and learn the nuts and bolts of music.

If you can already play guitar, now it's time to get into the groove. With the guidance of our expert teaching artists, expand your skills and repertoire to open the wide world of guitar beyond the basics.

For intermediate players and beyond, open to students who have completed the Guitar 2 level and above. (If you're not sure where your skills fit in, visit our placement quiz.)

We suggest all guitar students consider starting with Guitar Fingerboard Theory, if you want to work on lead guitar or eventually write your own songs. It's a great primer into a wider world of musicianship.

Class Schedules and Availability

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Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder with Michael Miles

$25 ($23 members)

06/13/2022 (1 meetings)

Monday · 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. These one-off workshops are intended for intermediate players who can read tablature and have experience with fingerstyle guitar. Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want.

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: You Haven't Done Nothing by Stevie Wonder with Michael Miles

$25 ($23 members)

06/20/2022 (1 meetings)

Monday · 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. These one-off workshops are intended for intermediate players who can read tablature and have experience with fingerstyle guitar. Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want.

Fingerstyle Workshop Series with Michael J. Miles: Living for the City by Stevie Wonder with Michael Miles

$25 ($23 members)

06/27/2022 (1 meetings)

Monday · 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM · Online

This series of workshops include detailed instruction, professional tablature, and audio. These one-off workshops are intended for intermediate players who can read tablature and have experience with fingerstyle guitar. Each workshop will concentrate on a single tune. Take them all or choose the ones you want.

Guitar Fingerboard Theory with Chris Winters

$187 ($170 members)

06/20/2022 – 08/08/2022 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4545 N Lincoln Ave

Approach music theory from a guitarist’s perspective. Examine intervals, chord and scale construction, inversions, and progressions in the context of traditional and pop genres. It is highly recommended that all students of the guitar make it a point to enroll at some point in their musical journey. Leave this class with enough material to keep you busy for years. Whether you want to write your own songs, become a hot lead guitarist or just increase your musical vocabulary and ability to jam and make music with others - this is the class for you!

Guitar Fingerboard Theory with Dan Fulkerson

$187 ($170 members)

06/20/2022 – 08/08/2022 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @909 W Armitage Ave

Approach music theory from a guitarist’s perspective. Examine intervals, chord and scale construction, inversions, and progressions in the context of traditional and pop genres. It is highly recommended that all students of the guitar make it a point to enroll at some point in their musical journey. Leave this class with enough material to keep you busy for years. Whether you want to write your own songs, become a hot lead guitarist or just increase your musical vocabulary and ability to jam and make music with others - this is the class for you!

Guitar 4Ever with Holstein with Ed Holstein

$214 ($194 members)

04/30/2022 – 06/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 11:00 AM – 12:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

A shoo-in for "Longest Running Class Taught by the Same 1970s Folk Icon". Eddie has been doing this one for years, and still keeps it new, interesting, and fun: Finger Pickin', Blues, Rag, Dylan, Prine, the American Songbook, and an occasional odd-ball tuning all arranged by Eddie! Among other things, this is the class where Eddie tries out tunes before he takes them on stage! Come join the fun for Eddie’s songs and stories.

Guitar 4Ever with Holstein with Ed Holstein

$214 ($194 members)

06/25/2022 – 08/13/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 11:00 AM – 12:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

A shoo-in for "Longest Running Class Taught by the Same 1970s Folk Icon". Eddie has been doing this one for years, and still keeps it new, interesting, and fun: Finger Pickin', Blues, Rag, Dylan, Prine, the American Songbook, and an occasional odd-ball tuning all arranged by Eddie! Among other things, this is the class where Eddie tries out tunes before he takes them on stage! Come join the fun for Eddie’s songs and stories.

RPA Ensemble with Steve Dawson

$214 ($194 members)

04/28/2022 – 06/16/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

We play and sing Rock Pop Acoustic, with a lot of laughter thrown in. Being one of 15+ guitars and a rhythm section will help you Relinquish Performance Anxiety. You may love it so much, you'll be Reluctant to Plan Activities that would keep you away. If you're Ready to Play Along, join us on Thursday nights. You'll have a great time while improving your technique and building your repertoire.   "mysteriously named ... totally charming…a serious musicianship class masquerading as a social club.” - No Depression Magazine

Class is full — Call 773.728.6000 for waiting list info

RPA Ensemble with Steve Dawson

$214 ($194 members)

06/23/2022 – 08/11/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

We play and sing Rock Pop Acoustic, with a lot of laughter thrown in. Being one of 15+ guitars and a rhythm section will help you Relinquish Performance Anxiety. You may love it so much, you'll be Reluctant to Plan Activities that would keep you away. If you're Ready to Play Along, join us on Thursday nights. You'll have a great time while improving your technique and building your repertoire.   "mysteriously named ... totally charming…a serious musicianship class masquerading as a social club.” - No Depression Magazine

Blues Fingerstyle 2 with Chris Walz

$180 ($163 members)

06/20/2022 – 08/08/2022 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Take the fingerpicking, deep boogie rhythms, and regional styles of the country blues you’ve learned in level 1, and concentrate on open tunings and bottleneck slide. Spend four weeks in open D tuning and four weeks in open G tuning, which will be taught in class. Tunes by Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and others will be covered. Students will become comfortable in both Open G and Open D tunings and advance their slide lead playing and improvisational skills. Bring a slide to class

Blues Fingerstyle 3: Decades of Acoustic Blues with Chris Walz

$180 ($163 members)

06/20/2022 – 08/08/2022 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · Online

Fingerstyle Blues 3 classes will take a different decade each session. The classes can be taken individually, or as a series. Session 2 will start with the 1920's when the first Country Blues recordings were made. We will look at both men and women recording artists. Session 3 will be the 1930's Country Blues in the Depression. Session 4 will be the 1940's looking at some Library of Congress recordings. Session 5 will be the 1950's when many of the Country Blues players tried plugging in, yet played the same way. Ending in session 6 will be the 1960's when many of the early Blues artists were re-discovered.

Beatles Fingerstyle Guitar with Michael Miles

$103 ($93 members)

07/11/2022 – 08/01/2022 (4 meetings)

Mondays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · Online

The glorious sounds of Lennon and McCartney, framed for solo fingerstyle guitar. Name your thumb and fingers John, Paul George and Ringo and take a magical musical tour. Upon registration send a song request to Michael. mmiles@oldtownschool.org

Fingerstyle Repertoire with Randy Morris

$214 ($194 members)

04/28/2022 – 06/16/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · Online

In this class, we explore a wide repertoire of fingerstyle instrumentals from popular songs, blues, Celtic, classical and maybe a song or two. Some material will be in altered tunings. The class material will include tablature, audio and sometimes video files. Students must be comfortable with tablature and have some fingerpicking experience.

Electric Guitar Styles Overdrive with Dan Fulkerson

$187 ($170 members)

04/28/2022 – 06/16/2022 (7 meetings)

Thursdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · In-Person @909 W Armitage Ave

Electric Guitar Styles Overdrive is an ongoing class for those intermediate guitarists who have the desire to play electric. Our focus will be on advancing technique, rhythm, speed, and tonal control of the instrument. Songs will be presented and taught with consideration to enhancing and harnessing the techniques needed to make each song sound as much like the original as possible.

Jazz Guitar 1.5 with Tony Do Rosario

$206 ($186 members)

04/30/2022 – 06/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM · Online

A class designed to bring your jazz guitar skills to a higher level. We welcome those who have taken Jazz Guitar 1 and are ready to increase their musical vocabulary in terms of harmony and melody. We’ll concentrate on great American Standards as well as variations of Blues. REGISTRATION IS LIMITED TO THOSE WHO HAVE COMPLETED INTRO, JAZZ GUITAR 1. Contact Tony Do Rosario at tdorosario@oldtownschool.org It’s a lifelong journey and we invite you to repeat level as much as necessary before moving on to Jazz Guitar 2.

Jazz Guitar 4Ever with Tony Do Rosario

$214 ($194 members)

04/27/2022 – 06/15/2022 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

An ongoing class in the advanced study of Jazz for the guitarist. We will build repertoire, further develop improvisation skills and advance rhythmic variations. Participants should have gone thru Jazz Guitar 2 several times or should audition with the instructor tdorosario@oldtownschool.org

Flatpicking 2 - Technique with Chris Walz

$206 ($186 members)

06/21/2022 – 08/09/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Melodies. Focus the rhythm techniques learned in Flatpicking 1 into a solid foundation for single note playing. The pick hand mechanics are the same, but instead of playing all six strings you play one at a time. Emphasis will be on down-up pick strokes, tone, and timing. Worksheets and fiddle tunes will be the materials used to build your skills. Tunes tabbed out will be provided.

Acoustic Blues Guitar 1 with Paul Kaye

$206 ($186 members)

06/23/2022 – 08/11/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 7:00 PM – 8:20 PM · Online

“Blues is a feeling!” First you need the skills to play the music. Learn the styles and technique of blues greats like Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson, Jimmy Reed, and more including fingerpicking, ragtime, shuffle rhythms, blues chords, riffs, and progressions.

Acoustic Blues Guitar 2 with Paul Kaye

$206 ($186 members)

06/23/2022 – 08/11/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 5:30 PM – 6:50 PM · Online

Follow up to Acoustic Blues Guitar 1. Expand your knowledge of fingerpicking, ragtime, shuffle rhythms, blues chords, riffs, and progressions.Learn songs by the great blues artists in the tradition of Misssissippi John, Muddy Waters, Charley Patton and others.

Acoustic Blues Guitar Repertoire with Paul Kaye

$206 ($186 members)

06/25/2022 – 08/13/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM · Online

This level 2 class introduces the music of traditional blues’ great artists. From the ragtime/blues style of Rev. Gary Davis and Blind Blake to the Delta/Chicago grind of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Learn such techniques as: fingerpicking (ragtime, shuffle rhythm), open tuning, bottleneck slide, basic improvising, and more. This is some of the most satisfying music steel string pickers can get their fingers on!

Crushing Chord Transitions for Ukulele and Guitar with Charles Kim

$30 ($28 members)

05/31/2022 (1 meetings)

Tuesday · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · Online

What’s the chord transition in that song that always trips you up? Whether it involves open chords, barre chords, unusual fingerings or fast changes, make those transitions easier! In this workshop, you’ll learn lots of easy strategies about muscle memory, chord shapes, minimizing finger motion, and practicing. Minimize the frustration with chords and sail smoothly through your songs! Open to any level of guitarist or ukulele player, from beginning to advanced. All fretted string instruments are welcome.

Fingerpicking Classic Chicago Blues with Paul Kaye

$206 ($196 members)

06/22/2022 – 08/10/2022 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 5:30 PM – 6:50 PM · Online

Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Honeyboy Edwards, Magic  Slim, and Big Bill Broonzy all legendary Chicago Blues artists who favored fingerpicking over using a flatpick. In this class we will learn several standard tunes from the "golden age of Chicago blues". Using a 2  or 3 finger right hand technique, learn the secret to making one guitar sound like two!

Instrumental Freddie King: Hideaway and All The Rest! with Paul Kaye

$99 ($89 members)

05/21/2022 – 06/11/2022 (4 meetings)

Saturdays · 11:30 AM – 12:50 PM · Online

To be a blues guitarist of any note (blues/rock, too), you must know the instrumental standards of the legendary Freddie King. Emphasizing the rhythm, groove, funky bass runs, soaring riffs and melodies, we’ll simply learn to play these iconic blues masterpieces, and more. Before you know it, you’ll be “tearing it up” with hot licks and funky blues grooves. Printed material (standard notation/TAB) and recordings (via Zoom) provided.

Argh! Barre Chords! with Charles Kim

$30 ($28 members)

05/24/2022 (1 meetings)

Tuesday · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · Online

The lament of the guitarist after the first couple of classes: “ARGGHH!! Barre chords!” Don't fret, there is hope! In this workshop, you’ll develop the muscles and theory to play barre chords across the neck and learn how to move fluidly from open chords and other chord forms. Learn partial bar forms so you can play your favorite songs while developing your technique. Barre chords without frustration! A workshop for beginners and pros alike. This workshop fills up fast! Advanced registration is encouraged.

Nathan Salsburg Guitar Workshop: Between the Fanciful and the Functional

$40 ($35 members)

06/08/2022 (1 meetings)

Wednesday · 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · Online

Join acclaimed guitarist, composer, archivist, and writer Nathan Salsburg, to examine the approaches, methods, and concepts that inform his guitar playing. Renowned for his solo finger style playing and accompaniment, Nathan has crafted a personal style that leans toward the melodic, lyrical, and narrative. In conversation and through a Q & A, Nathan will discuss tunings, right hand approaches, and other practical guitar techniques. Additionally, by delving into his work - as a composer, accompanist and recording artist, as well as curator for the Alan Lomax Archive - Nathan will journey in to more of the esoteric components of his musicianship. This workshop is designed for players and fans alike.

Simple Guitar Fills with Barbara Silverman

$80 ($70 members)

05/26/2022 – 06/16/2022 (4 meetings)

Thursdays · 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM · Online

Nothing fancy here, we’ll just learn some very simple fills that embellish a song you’re singing — how to go from one sung phrase to the next with tasteful and easily executed walks, fingerpicks or a fancy strum or two. Ballads, swing tunes, country hits—we can do them all!”

Simple Guitar Fills with Barbara Silverman

$160 ($140 members)

06/23/2022 – 08/11/2022 (8 meetings)

Thursdays · 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM · Online

Nothing fancy here, we’ll just learn some very simple fills that embellish a song you’re singing — how to go from one sung phrase to the next with tasteful and easily executed walks, fingerpicks or a fancy strum or two. Ballads, swing tunes, country hits—we can do them all!”

Simple Guitar Fills 2 with Barbara Silverman

$160 ($140 members)

06/21/2022 – 08/09/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM · Online

Nothing fancy here, we’ll just learn some very simple fills that embellish a song you’re singing — how to go from one sung phrase to the next with tasteful and easily executed walks, fingerpicks or a fancy strum or two. Ballads, swing tunes, country hits—we can do them all!”

Songs of the Great Singer-Songwriters with Ed Holstein

$214 ($194 members)

06/21/2022 – 08/09/2022 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Improve your songwriting and enhance your appreciation of the skill by learning songs of the great singer-songwriters. From Greenwich Village to Laurel Canyon. Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, John Prine, James Taylor, Carole King,Tom Waits, Jackson Browne all have their influences and sources of “borrowed” material. Eddie will share his seasoned wisdom, tips, and tales on the discipline of songwriting.