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Berklee College of Music

Guitar Performance Techniques

Berklee College of Music via Coursera


Your favorite guitarist didn't become your favorite guitarist without the support of other musicians. The most important skill for a guitarist to learn is the exact same skill that was so important in kindergarten: playing well with others. Guitar Performance Techniques gives guitarists the essential and practical skills to play well with others in any ensemble situation. This course begins with daily warm-up techniques that help you prepare for rehearsals, jam sessions, and stage performances. From there, you'll explore chords, time accuracy, tone production, ear training, and the many aspects of jamming with other musicians. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to confidently interact with other musicians in a group setting and bring your A-game to any jam session you join.


  • Welcome to Guitar Performance Techniques!
    • Welcome to the course! Here we will cover all the details about the course and what you'll need to know to get the most out of your experience.
  • Warming Up
    • In this lesson, we begin by learning how to warm up for a rehearsal or performance. Warming up effectively is essential to play your best, and you'll find that it will enhance all of your skills in an ensemble setting. It will help you to play more relaxed, get a better tone, improve your time, intonation, articulation, and allow you to focus on listening.
  • Developing Your Ears
    • This lesson focuses on the skills needed to develop “good ears.” Musicians who develop “good ears” are able to adapt to any musical situation, even when they do not know the song, key, or form. We will go over exercises to improve our ears and we will practice learning melodies and identifying chords by ear.
  • Tone Production Essentials: Developing Your Touch on the Guitar
    • This lesson will focus on key elements to develop your unique and personal sound on the guitar. We will discuss how the pick can be used to adjust four essential elements of your guitar sound: timbre, dynamics, note duration, and intonation. These four essential elements, when practiced with focus, will take you on the path to having a great touch and unique approach to sound and tone.
  • Performance Preparation
    • In this lesson, we'll prepare for a performance. Being prepared for a rehearsal or gig can help to create a relaxed atmosphere and better overall performance experience. We will discuss developing a performance checklist as well the importance of knowing your gear. Finally, we'll highlight the importance of listening and blending on stage.

Taught by

Tim Miller


4.5 rating at Coursera based on 47 ratings

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