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Effective: Fall 2012

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: MUS 15A or equivalent.
Advisory: Advisory: This course is included in the Guitar Class Applied Performance family of activity courses.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
2 hours lecture, 1 hour laboratory. (36 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • The successful student will be able to apply music theory as they perform intermediate fingerpicking styles and categorize chords into primary and secondary triads.
  • Successful students will be able to make a comparison of folk and pop melodies based on an understanding of intermediate right and left hand techniques.
Description -
Development of traditional finger-picking style playing and picking techniques. Solo and ensemble performance on an intermediate level. Emphasis on reading traditional notation, chord symbols and tablature.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Apply intermediate aspects of music theory as they relate to popular and folk guitar.
  2. Demonstrate finger-picking in 4/4.
  3. Analyze the form and structure of contemporary and traditional folk songs.
  4. Demonstrate strumming and finger-style techniques for folk songs accompaniment.
  5. Memorize musical notation for the guitar (tablature, chord diagrams and standard notation.
  6. Practice secondary chord positions (II,III,VI) in seven keys.
  7. Examine left hand technique (alternating bass, hammering-on, pulling off, and bass runs.
  8. Examine right hand technique (strumming, arpeggios, and finger picking.
  9. Demonstrate folk improvisation by using bass runs, slides and suspensions.
  10. Memorize note reading (C and G scales and simple melodies).
  11. Recognize the form and structure of songs studied and listened to in class.
  12. Compare the contributions made in the folk guitar repertoire from people of diverse backgrounds and cultures with changes in technology.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Personally owned or rented classical, acoustic steel string, or electric guitar.
  2. Music staff paper.
  3. Classroom with staff lined board.
  4. Music stands.
  5. CD player and access to AV equipment.
  6. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
This course is a continuation of the study of the guitar in the popular and folk idiom. Through analysis, singing, performing and listening, various songs and styles will be studied. This is a performance based course with the broad range of folk music as its subject matter
  1. Rudiments of music on an intermediate level
    1. Note values, meter, chord theory, transposition, and ear training
  2. Review of guitar maintenance
    1. Tuning, how to change strings, sitting and holding the instrument
  3. History of folk music
    1. European influences
    2. American style (Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, Pete Seeger, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, Leo Kottke, Bonnie Riatt, Joni Mitchell, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and others.
    3. African influence (Sibanda, Jean Bosco Mwenda)
  4. Intermediate techniques and skills unique to folk style playing
    1. Finger-style picking
    2. Strumming
    3. Use of a pick
    4. Tablature reading, note reading, and chord identification
  5. Examination of different folk styles through live performance, film, video, and recorded material
  6. development of performance skills through ensemble playing
  7. Introduction to altered tuning and using a "slide"
  8. Using the guitar as a basis for composition
  9. Introduction to barre chords
  10. Expand repertoire
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Reading
    1. Required text
  2. Writing
    1. Two written examinations, one final examination
    2. Two performance midterms, one performance final examination
    3. Research project on a favorite guitarist of their choice
    4. Song comparison paper
  3. Other
    1. Performance of I-IV-V7 chords using barre chords
Representative Text(s) -
Shipton, Russ, The Complete Guitar Player, Music Sales Corporation, 2002.
Leonard, Hal, Play Guitar Today Level 2, with CD, Hal Leonard Corporation, 1999.
Leonard, Hal, The Ultimate Guitar Scale Chart, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000.
Leonard, Hal, Basic Guitar Chord Chart, Santorella Publications, 2004.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Self-paced, Oral presentations, Electronic discussions/chat, Independent study, Laboratory, Demonstration.
Lab Content -
One hour of supervised in class guitar practice is required per week.
  1. Additional Resources:
    1. Library : books for MUS 15B are on reserve at the front desk. The books cover a wide spectrum of music theory and folk music
    2. Media Center: Film and Music Review: 7 segments of Martin Scorsese's PBS special on "The Blues."
    3. On-line resources: The Smithsonian Institute ( and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ( Artist assignments will vary by quarter.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
This project consists of the following 3 parts:
  1. Oral Presentation (30 points)
  2. Two 3x5 cards turned in on the day of the presentation (35 points)
  3. Directed listening: representative musical example presented for listening analysis (35pts)

Similarities and Differences Assignment
  1. Select 2 songs that you have played in class and make a copy of each.
    1. Title of the 2 songs
    2. Write a short paper and make a comparison noting what is similar and what is different between the 2 songs, whether they are instrumental or folk songs with words. Some of you have been working on instrumental folk songs, classical pieces, or blues songs so feel free to make a choice between any 2 songs that you enjoy playing. Here are some possible ideas:
      1. The song length
      2. Instrumental or vocal style
      3. Accompaniment style (alternating bass, bass runs, movable chords strumming, arpeggio, finger-picking)
      4. Reading method: tablature, standard notation, or chord symbols
      5. Key
      6. Subject matter of the lyrics (conversational, political, philosophical?)
      7. Poetic devices: rhyme, alliteration, simile, repetition, metaphor, assonance personification, symbolism, onomatopoeia. BE SURE TO ANALYZE AND WRITE ON THE LYRIC SHEET FOR THIS PART
      8. Form (verse, chorus, bridge?)
      9. Style
      10. Melody (stepwise or large intervals?)
      11. Rhythm
      12. Chord analysis
      13. Performance challenges on the guitar and how you solved them
      14. Something you learned about the guitar from playing this song
      15. Why you selected these 2 songs