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School of Music 9 MUS 107 (Group Guitar Class)

MUS 107 (Group Guitar Class)

Spring 2024

Syllabus: MUS 107
Instructor: Dr. Dennis Davis
Course Location: Campbell Building, Room 327
Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Office Hours: By Appointment or Zoom

Catalog Description

Class Guitar I (Non-Music Majors). Two classes per week. May be retaken to a maximum of 4 hours. Music minors may also enroll into private lessons (MUS132F) for one credit hour. Non-music majors/minors may enroll into private lessons (MUS 132F) after 4 semesters of MUS 107. Students who declare a music minor in guitar are required to complete one semester of MUS 107.

Course Description

Provides basic instruction in the essential elements of guitar playing in a format accessible to all students. The ability to play guitar and a prerequisite knowledge of music is NOT required (or expected) for this course. Consider declaring a music minor if you are an experienced guitarist who is already familiar with music notation and want to take private lessons (MUS132F).

Assumptions

  • All students must have an acoustic guitar for this course. This course requires five hours of practice time each week (minimum). Exercises, songs, and assignments are cumulative and should be practiced every week without reiteration. The weekly submission of practice journal entries will begin on the third class.
  • Required Concerts: You are required to attend (or view online, depending upon Covid policies) Guitar Area Concerts and our class will perform during the opening segment of the Guitar Studio Concert. Please resolve any conflicts with me during the first week of class. Note: an unexcused absence from a required concert, whether online or in-person, will lower your semester grade by one letter. Please look at your schedule before the second class and discuss any conflicts with your instructor. Be sure to place these events in your electronic calendar.

Required Concerts

  • Please note that Covid-19 no longer affects our concert activities. Students are expected to attend the two required Guitar Area Concerts.
  • The Guitar Ensemble Concert: March 28, 2024, 7:30PM, Gifford Theater
  • The Guitar Studio Concert: May 5, 2024, 3:00PM, Gifford Theater

Optional and Extra-Credit Concerts and Opportunities

  • James Meade, Guest Alumnus Guitar Concert: February 13, 7:30PM, Gifford Theater; Masterclass is also available (3:30-5:30)
  • The EKU Guitar Ensemble: Lexington Public Library, February 18, 2024, 2:30-3:30PM
  • Extra Credit Concerts and Opportunities (5 final grade percentage points: attending two extra-credit concerts raise the final grade by one letter): Other extra credit opportunities (see Blackboard activities and deadlines) may arise serendipitously during the semester. There are also guitar instructional DVDs that may be reviewed for extra credit. A list is available upon request.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn how to read music notation using the guitar.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate proper posture, hand position, and technique.
  • Students will learn how to practice music effectively.
  • Students will gain the ability to perform solo and ensemble works for guitar.
  • Students will learn music theory and the history of the instrument.
  • Students will learn the basics of improvisation.

Student Assessment

  • This is a beginning guitar class, so students are not expected to know anything about the guitar or be able to play the guitar. For most, it is not really possible to play the guitar well after just one semester of study. That is why students are advised to repeat this course and improve each semester. Students interested in more advanced classes need to meet with me and discuss how to minor or major in guitar at EKU. This course is designed to fun, but it does take work and effort to progress on this instrument.
  • Students are graded according to how well they progress from whatever point they are at when they begin this class. Attendance, per the revised schedule mandated by EKU due to Covid-19, is critical for satisfactory progress and students should make every effort to attend every class, whether online or in person. An acceptable excuse is a reported illness (including self-isolation or quarantine), a University provided excuse, or an emergency resulting in unavoidable absence. Students will not receive a grade penalty for missing class due to illness or quarantine, but should notify the instructor as soon as they are aware of their need to miss class. Students are expected to make up missed work and should establish friends in the class to get their notes on what was covered. Course class recordings will be available when the material deems it necessary, but students need to realize that the recordings cannot film the entire room or all of the whiteboards. It is also not possible to teach this course from one static location in the room, so there will be times when I am not visible in the recording. Therefore, establishing a study partner will be very helpful.
  • Attendance will be taken and students are expected to attend class in person, or if required, online in staggered groups. Please note that five unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for this course. Each unexcused absence will result in a 3% reduction of your final grade and each late arrival will result in a 1% deduction of your final grade. The total for these deductions will show up in your attendance gradebook column in Blackboard (-3 equals one absence and -1 equals one late arrival and these numbers are totaled throughout the semester in the Attendance column). These deductions are not added to your final grade until grades are tallied at the midterm and final. You may view “grade details” for more information about the entries in this column. Unexcused absences occurring for emergencies and exceptional and non-repetitive reasons (with written explanation and/or documentation) will also be considered and likely excused, but only on a case-by-case basis at the end of the semester. The attendance column in your Blackboard Gradebook keeps a record of absences and lateness. If you need to be late, please come to class anyway and let me know what happened after class. I will excuse it if your reason is unavoidable.
  • There is a total of 680 points possible in this class.
  • Weekly Participation: 22% of your grade (150 points). Class participation is the primary method for assessing student progress. Class participation is also the best way to learn how to play guitar. So again, attendance, whether in person, or if required, online, is mandatory. Students will suffer point deductions for not doing their homework, failing to bring the required materials, or not adequately practicing the assignments. Even if you are unprepared and have not had time to practice, it is crucial for you to still attend this class.
  • Practice Recordings: 22% of your grade (150 Points). Practice recordings are the primary method for assessing student progress. You should make them every week and upload them to our shared Google Drive folder by Sunday at 11 PM. Be sure to record your technical exercises every week after we cover them (Shifting, Pull-Offs, Hammers, and Coordination). Whenever we cover a new item, you should add it to your recording assignments until perfected or otherwise assigned (i.e. Blues in A, Chords, Ensemble literature, and Songs). Recordings should improve weekly in terms of speed, accuracy, coordination, and quality. However, your first few weeks of recordings will probably sound horrible, and that is fantastic! Make them anyway, embrace the suckage, and trust that they will improve (gradually) throughout the semester.
  • Practice Synopsis: 4% of your grade (30 points).
  • Blackboard Assignments, Musictheory.net and other announced or unannounced Quizzes and Assignments: 22% of your grade (150 points, as assigned).
  • Mid-Term Exam: 15% of your final grade (100 points).
  • Final: 15% of your final grade (100 points).
  • Missing a required guitar concert will lower your final grade by one letter (per event). Missing your own concert at the end of the semester (see schedule below) will result in a failing grade for this class. Be sure to add the required events listed above to your personal calendar and discuss any conflicts with me during the FIRST WEEK of classes.
    100-90 = A, 89-80 = B, 79-70=C, 69-60=D, 59-0=F
  • Student Progress: The instructor will provide students with information on their progress in the course at least once prior to midterm and grades will be posted on Blackboard.
  • The last day to drop this course or to withdraw from the university may be found in the Colonel Compass.

Required Materials

  • You MUST have your own acoustic guitar for this course and you must bring it to every class, along with your course materials. Please do not “borrow” the guitars hanging on the wall. They are for music education majors. You also need to own some picks for learning contemporary music.
  • Students are required to purchase a footstool for this course. It is approximately $10-12 at Sweetwater Music with free shipping. Curriers Music World also sells them and they do a fine job adjusting and restringing guitars.
  • Dr. Davis is editing a new text for this course. Students will not be charged for this text, but they will need to print it, punch holes in it, and organize it in a binder. BE SURE TO TURN OFF “MARKUP” UNDER THE VIEW DROPDOWN MENU BEFORE YOU PRINT IT. Leaving “Markup” on will waste space and money. Please purchase or recycle a Black Binder for this course and put the text in it. Please go to Blackboard and print the free text before our second class on Thursday. AGAIN, BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO TURN OFF “MARKUP” VIEW IN THE WORD VIEW MENU SETTINGS BEFORE YOU PRINT IT, OTHERWISE, IT WILL WASTE A PAGE SPACE AND MONEY. You might test print a few pages to make sure that it is printing properly. Other supplementary materials will be copied and provided for free, as needed, and should also be organized into your course binder.
  • Metronome (approx. $10 or use a free smartphone app). It is typically not possible to make practice recordings with your smartphone while you are using your smartphone as a metronome.
  • A BandLab account may be required for this course if Covid forces us to work remotely. If so, students will be expected to use it for our ensemble rehearsals (our “band”). If required, go to the BandLab website and make your personal account and then add Dr. Davis as a collaborator.

Optional Books and Materials

  • Practical Theory by Sandy Feldstein (10.95 plus tax): Provides non-music majors an introduction to music theory and harmony.
  • Mel Bay: Basic Chords for the Guitar (4.95 plus tax): Chord diagram reference book.
  • Music Theory Websites: Musictheory.net and Music Theory for the 21st Century classroom
  • Consider downloading Audacity to make your practice recordings with on your computer. It is fantastic freeware, and it is easy to use. There are many tutorial videos on how to use Audacity. Here is Dr. Davis’ tutorial video, if you would like to use it.

Other Course Materials (Music Library - Foster Basement)

  • Music Library (Special section of Main Library): Articles and videos explaining guitar technique, along with videos and CD recordings.
  • Blackboard: Various instruction materials, videos of the exercises, practice recordings, and other items of interest.
  • Google Drive: You will find that you now have a shared EKU Google Drive folder for MUS107. This folder is for your practice assignments and other submissions. The advantage of using Google Drive (by logging in with your EKU credentials), is unlimited storage space and files are easy share. Remember, you must first logout of Google Drive with your personal GMAIL account and then log back in with your EKU credentials to access our EKU shared folders.
Week 4
2/6-2/8
BB Activities:
1) Complete the Notes in First Position Quiz (Notes must be memorized
by Midterm exam)
2) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
3) Practice taking the Basic Chords Quiz (due the weekend before Midterm exam and needs to be memorized by the Midterm exam)
  • Performance test: Blues in A
  • Ensemble Session: Chanson Russe (all parts).
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the second string).
  • The A Minor Pentatonic Scale and Basic Improvisation: Time to add some Licks.
Week 5
2/13-2/15
1) Practice taking the Basic Chords Quiz (due the weekend before Midterm exam and needs to be memorized by the Midterm exam)
2) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the third string).
  • Introduce Come Together by the Beatles.
  • Continue Chanson Russe.
  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, and Basic Improvisation.
Week 6
2/20-2/22
1) Submit Practice Recordings
2) Submit Practice Articles Synopsis
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)

 

3) Practice taking the Basic Chords Quiz (due the weekend before Midterm exam and needs to be memorized by the Midterm exam)

  • Performance test: Chanson Russe.
  • Continue Come Together by the Beatles.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fourth string).
  • Power Chords: Introduction and assignment of two of the several Power Chord Riffs listed in this section.
  • Introduce Strumming Pattern for 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, and Basic Improvisation.
Week 7
2/27-2/29
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
2) Practice taking the Basic Chords Quiz (due the weekend before Midterm exam and needs to be memorized by the Midterm exam)
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fifth string).
  • Regular class activities and reviews for the Mid-Term:
  • Study the prior review questions, know the terminology, and be able to demonstrate important concepts.
  • Be able to label the parts of the guitar.
  • Be able to perform the three Technical Exercises.
  • Be able to tune your guitar and know the important points discussed in that section.
  • Be able to identify and perform the rhythm and notation elements covered to this point.
  • Be able to perform the Blues in A.
  • Be able to perform the Chromatic and A Minor Pentatonic Scale (E form and G form).
  • Be able to play Chanson Russe.
  • Be able to play the assigned sections of Come Together.
  • Know all of the pitches on the guitar in the first position.
  • Be able to play the exercises for the notes on strings 1-3.
  • Perform one Power Chord Riff.
  • Be able to write and perform the 12 basic chords and the strumming pattern.
  • Distribute post Midterm supplements, if not yet already received: Take it Easy, Allemande, and Balletto.
Week 7
2/29
Midterm Examination (Performance and Written)
Week 8
3/5-3/7
  • Review and Discuss Mid-Term Exam Scores.
  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, and Power Chord riffs.
  • Rehearse the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fifth string).
  • Ensemble Session & Assignment: Smoke on the Water (study the new notes and rhythms and practice part 3).
  • Introduce Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Introduce the C major two octave scale.
Week 9
3/12-3/14
(Spring Break)

Spring Break! Yea! Please continue to JAM during your break!

  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, and Power Chord riffs.
  • Rehearse the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fifth string).
  • Ensemble Session & Assignment: Smoke on the Water (study the new notes and rhythms and practice part 3).
  • Introduce Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Introduce the C major two octave scale.
  • Optional Extra Credit Paper Due: William Kanengiser, Effortless Classical Guitar DVD(Music Library Reserve).
Week 10
3/19-3/21
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, and Power Chord riffs.
  • Rehearse the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fifth string).
  • Ensemble Session & Assignment: Smoke on the Water (study the new notes and rhythms and practice part 3).
  • Introduce Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Introduce the C major two octave scale.
  • Optional Extra Credit Paper Due: William Kanengiser, Effortless Classical Guitar DVD(Music Library Reserve).
Week 11
3/26-3/28
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
Require Concert: 3/28 in Gifford Theater
at 7:30PM
  • Be sure to attend the required EKU Guitar Ensemble Concert.
  • Continue the Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, and Power Chord riffs.
  • Rehearse the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the fifth string).
  • Ensemble Session & Assignment: Smoke on the Water (study the new notes and rhythms and practice part 3).
  • Continue Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Play the C major two octave scale.
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • The Written Language of Music (through notes on the sixth string).
  • Introduce the CAGED system and discuss how to create Barre Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
Week 12
4/2-4/4
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Guitar Ensemble Concert Quiz. This quiz will cover specific aspects of the concert and it will be easy for anyone who watched the concert to complete it.
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Continue CAGED system, review Barre Chords, and pass out the other Pentatonic Scale Forms.
  • Introduce Estudio in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado (Planting and Block Chord Practicing).
Week 13
4/9-14/11
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Continue CAGED system and review Barre Chords and other Pentatonic Scale Forms.
  • Continue all prior work. Perform prior technical exercises, scales, songs, and ensemble works in class.
  • Rehearse and Analyze Estudio in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado (Planting and Block Chord Practicing) and use it and the C major scale to explain the construction of chords and basic music theory.
  • EKU Guitar Ensemble Concert (Extra-Credit Opportunity).
Week 14
4/16-4/18
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Review and rehearse for the Final Exam and Concert.
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Continue CAGED system and review Barre Chords and other Pentatonic Scale Forms.
  • Continue all prior work. Perform prior technical exercises, scales, songs, and ensemble works in class.
  • Continue to Rehearse and Analyze Estudio in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado (Planting and Block Chord Practicing) and use it and the C major scale to explain the construction of chords and basic music theory.
  • Continue Elderly Woman by Pearl Jam and strumming in triple meter.
  • Extra Credit Topic: Introduce Bob’s Blues and the Dead Thumb Style.
Week 15
4/23-4/25
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Review and rehearse for the Final Exam and Concert-OUR CONCERT IS TONIGHT!
  • Reminder: (7:30 PM, O’Donnell Theater): Perform ensemble selections during the EKU Guitar Studio Concert.
 Arrive 1 hour before the concert to practice stage entrances and exits. Wear black pants, dress shoes, socks, and a long-sleeved shirt. Have your ensemble music in concert order in a black three-ring binder.
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Continue CAGED system and review Barre Chords and other Pentatonic Scale Forms.
  • Continue all prior work. Perform prior technical exercises, scales, songs, and ensemble works in class.
  • Continue to Rehearse and Analyze Estudio in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado (Planting and Block Chord Practicing) and use it and the C major scale to explain the construction of chords and basic music theory.
  • Continue Elderly Woman by Pearl Jam and strumming in triple meter.
  • Extra Credit Topic: Introduce Bob’s Blues and the Dead Thumb Style.
Week 16
4/30-5/2
1) Submit Practice Recordings
(Due Sunday by 11:00 PM)
  • Review and rehearse for the Final Exam and Concert-OUR CONCERT IS TONIGHT!
  • Reminder: (7:30 PM, O’Donnell Theater): Perform ensemble selections during the EKU Guitar Studio Concert.
 Arrive 1 hour before the concert to practice stage entrances and exits. Wear black pants, dress shoes, socks, and a long-sleeved shirt. Have your ensemble music in concert order in a black three-ring binder. 
  • Continue all prior activities, including the single string exercises, Blues in A, the A Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Improvisation, Chanson Russe, Come Together, Power Chord riffs, and the Strumming Pattern assignment for the 12 Basic Chords.
  • Continue Smoke on the Water and Take It Easy by the Eagles (chord Strumming).
  • Continue CAGED system and review Barre Chords and other Pentatonic Scale Forms.
  • Continue all prior work. Perform prior technical exercises, scales, songs, and ensemble works in class.
  • Continue to Rehearse and Analyze Estudio in A Minor by Dionisio Aguado (Planting and Block Chord Practicing) and use it and the C major scale to explain the construction of chords and basic music theory.
  • Continue Elderly Woman by Pearl Jam and strumming in triple meter.
  • Extra Credit Topic: Introduce Bob’s Blues and the Dead Thumb Style.
Week 17
5/7
(Tuesday)
Final Exam is from 10:30-12:30PM in Campbell 327. Students will take a short written segment and submit the recordings that are required. After that, we eat pizza and watch our concert 🙂
Future Studies Remember: you can retake this course as often as you want and if you really enjoy guitar, you may want to become a music minor or major and study privately with me for credit (MUS132F).

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Foster 101
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3266
Email: music@eku.edu

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