Course Description

Guitar for Improvers

Guitar for Improvers is a course run by Malahide Community School Adult Education, Dublin. It is an Online course with a duration of 10 weeks. For more information about Guitar for Improvers at Malahide Community School Adult Education, please review the details below.


Course Description:

Week 1.
We will start the first lesson with the ‘Bass strum style’ which is a strum where you play a bass string (4,5 or 6) instead of a downstroke. The first song with the bass strum style is ‘Catch the wind’ using D,G and A7.Catch the wind can also be played using a ‘normal’ strum such as that used for ‘The times they are a changin’’ from the first book.
Week 2.
For the next song ‘Mr tambourine man’ we will use a  ‘normal’ 4/4 rhythm strum. It’s a good opportunity to learn a great song.
The bass strum style really comes into its own in the next song ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. We can also take a look at ‘Love is all around’ by Wet Wet Wet here.
Week 3.
In this course we will cover two types of playing i.e. strumming and finger style. We will now look at the second one, finger style a.k.a. Finger picking and arpeggio. The first pick is in 3/4 rhythm and in the book he uses a system whereby the index finger always plays the 3rd string, the middle finger always plays the 2nd string and the ring finger always the 1st string. We will now try the first song with the fingerstyle; Scarborough fair and we will be introduced to two new chords, Am and C.
Week 4.
The second song with the finger style uses 4/4 rhythm. First of all let’s try a new chord,B7.The song ‘Why worry’ by dire straits is difficult to play as you have to change quickly from A to B7 then back to E.
For the next song we will learn a third finger pick. This one is also in 4/4 timing.
Week 5.
The next song is ‘Wonderful tonight’. The pick is the same as the 3/4 rhythm pick except that there are two notes added at the end of each bar. In this lesson we will also revise the other songs we learned with the finger picking i.e. Scarborough fair and Why worry.
Week 6.
Congratulations on finishing the first book of ‘The complete guitar player’. We will now move onto book 2.We will do a little bit of music theory here, before moving on to bar chords.
The bar chords are difficult to master
but once you have got one a whole new world opens up as the bar chords are movable up the fretboard. By this I mean if you play the F chord then move the whole thing up two frets you get G, two more frets and you get A and so on….
Week 7.
We will now try a new strum called the ‘swing rhythm’. The upstrums are delayed slightly so it gives a new feel to the strum. The song we will be looking at now is ‘Yellow submarine’ by the Beatles.
Week 8.
Before we start the next song we will look at a new fingering for the G chord using fingers 2,3 &4 instead of 1,2 &3.
The song is American pie by Don mcClean. This is a long and complex song with three different sections in it. We will take them one at a time.
The first section has just one downstroke on each chord though there are a lot of chords. The second and third sections use the ‘Blowin’ in the wind’ strum.
Week 9.
The next song is Brown eyed girl by Van Morrison. The Blowin in the wind strum can also be used for this song as well as the one given in the book.
The song includes the Bm chord which can be played as a bar chord or a non bar chord. The next song is Eternal Flame by the Bangles which has an interesting though complex new strum.
Week 10.
Continuing with eternal flame we need the Bm,F and Dm chords for the middle section of the song.
Moving on to two new embellishments i.e. Bass runs and hammer ons. Bass runs can be used in many kinds of songs as can hammer ons and they are well worth learning.
The final piece is the ‘country waltz’ written by the author of the book Russ Shipton. It includes hammer ons and bass runs with the bass strum style.

Course Day & Time: Monday Evening 7.30 – 9.30pm

Start Date: 18/09/23

Cost: €110

Course Format: In class with tutor

Duration: 10 weeks

Enrolment: Enrolment will open on Wednesday the 9th of August at 10am. You can enrol then by clicking on the Enrol Here Easy Payments Plus button. 

Tutor: Brendan Farrell

An experienced guitar teacher based in Raheny with over 30 years experience. I founded the ‘Harmony school of music’ in Fairview in the early nineties where I taught guitar to a wide variety of students of all ages from absolute beginners to advanced in groups and individually. I have taught guitar in Malahide Community School for some years with both beginners and continuation/improvers.


The Guitar for Improvers course at Malahide Community School Adult Education is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderMalahide Community School Adult Education
Course LocationMalahide, Dublin
Location PostcodeCo. Dublin
Course TypeClassroom Based
Course Start Date18th September 2023
Course Duration10 weeks
Course TimeMonday evening 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Course Fee€110
For more information about Malahide Community School Adult Education, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

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Malahide Community School Adult Education
Malahide, Dublin
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