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Guitar - Stretching the Envelope

Instructor:   Barry Truter

Guitar - Stretching the Envelope

Instructor:   Barry Truter

Course Description:

Level: 2 – 3  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone, stretching the envelope without tearing it? This course will take you beyond I-IV-V open chords, exploring 2nd and 3rd positions, adding occasional notes to primary triads, and making simple chord substitutions. We’ll also experiment with rhythm, tempo, and time, to appreciate how that affects groove and feel. And we’ll apply what we learn to well-known songs in folk, blues, and pop styles. Suitable for both fingerstyle and flatpick guitarists.

Barry Truter

Barry Truter

Barry Truter lives in Vancouver, BC, and has been a traveller for much of his life. His music and songwriting are influenced by the places he has lived and worked including India, Fiji, USA, England, Canada, and a spell at sea working on a tramp freighter. 

Barry is a co-founder of the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop (GSGW). He teaches guitar privately, and for music institutions in the Pacific Northwest including GSGW, Rossland Acoustic Music Camp, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Vancouver Island Music Workshop, and Vancouver’s Moveable Music School. He performs solo, and with folk group Fraser Union, and blues duo Jook Joint Jokers.

Website:  Fraser Union

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.