Guitar Beginner Class - November 5th

November 5th 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - $75

Please bring: guitar, pick, pencil, and notepad. Suggested: electronic tuner

Selected Topics:

  1. Accompaniment

  2. Chord Theory

  3. Developing and Playing Lead & Solos

  4. Flat-picking & Fingerstyle Techniques

  5. Tuning

  6. Use of Capo, Picks, Metronomes, other tools, and practice techniques

 The day’s itinerary will include an in-depth focus on five major categories.

  •  Accompaniment: Rhythm techniques, chord theory, time signatures, chord voicings, an in-depth look at various ways to use a capo, etc.  Print resources will be provided.

  • Developing and playing lead: Reading tablature, playing lead by ear, playing background runs, hot licks, entire solos, bass lines/walks, etc.  

  • Fingerstyle guitar- Different fingerstyle techniques employed by folks like Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, and other popular styles.  The focus will be given to accompaniment as well as lead.

  • Question and Answers session- Questions are encouraged throughout the entire day, however, during this time anything goes.  Any topic related to guitar or music, in general, is on the table!

  • Jam Sessions- Lots of jamming will take place throughout the day as well as a large group jam with all participants in all the various classes (banjo, fiddle, and guitar) will be attended towards the end of the day.

Ben Cockman

Ben Cockman is the guitar and mandolin picker of the Cockman family. His special style of picking adds versatility and depth to the instrumentation. He won the 2014-2015 National Guitar Flat Pick Championship in Winfield, KS. He also won the 2012 South Carolina State and West Virginia State Flat Pick Guitar championships, the 2012 Merlefest Flat Pick guitar championship, the 2012 Wayne Henderson Bluegrass Festival Guitar Championship and the 2012 Ossipee Music Festival's New England Guitar Championship. Ben also won the 2013 4th place National Guitar Flat-Pick and 4th place National Mandolin championships.  

Ben teaches guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro and bass full time. He often cites in interviews that Chet Atkins and Doc Watson are among his biggest influences. Ben's wife, Melissa, plays a big part in the family as a professional photographer. Ben and Melissa have three beautiful daughters, Madeline, Lily, and Callie.


How to define your student level?

Unlike a novice, who has never touched an instrument before, a beginner has just begun and has very basic knowledge of an instrument. 

Here is the definition of a beginner level: (Age does not matter)

  1. Ability to strum a few chords but may not really know what to do with them. 

  2. No music theory or music reading skills required whatsoever!  

  3. Should know basic open chords, 3-6 chords at least: G, C, D, A, E and maybe F.  

  4. Should be able to strum and change chords slowly and steadily. 

  5. Should know 2 to 12 simple songs, playing them by using single notes. 

  6. A knowledge of reading tablature is great, but not necessary. 

  7. Should be able to tune their instrument with a tuner, put on the picks if used, know which string is which (first, second, etc) and the names of the strings.