Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 2 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (36 total per quarter)
Advisory: MUS 14A; this course is included in the Guitar Class Applied Performance family of activity courses.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Successful students will be able to identify notes and play in the first position at an intermediate level.
  • Successful students will be able to use right and left hand techniques to demonstrate their comprehension of rest strokes, free strokes, scales, and intermediate melodies.


Continuation of MUS 14A. Covers more advanced techniques for the right and left hands. Includes reading standard notation up to the 5th position. Increased emphasis is placed on solo guitar literature in addition to ensemble literature. No public performances are required.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. perform left hand techniques of legato.
B. read in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th positions.
C. perform basic chords in the first position.
D. perform three pieces from the standard solo guitar literature.
E. perform a series of exercises to develop left and right hand technique.
F. use a tuning method using harmonics.
G. recognize the contributions made in the guitar repertoire from people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Course Content

A. 5th position introduction and problem solving
B. Right hand fingering concepts
1. Legato playing
C. Left hand techniques and exercises
D. Expressive devices and exercises to master them
E. Repertoire selections from many cultures
F. Classroom ensemble playing
1. Developing student's timing and concentration
G. Memorization of three short pieces from the standard guitar literature
H. The theoretical principle of the overtone series (harmonics) used in tuning
I. Exposure to performance in this art form
1. Live performance
2. Media: film, video, and recorded material
J. Evaluation
1. Comprehensive written exams
2. Comprehensive playing exams in private with instructor

Lab Content

Supervised in-class guitar practice.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Classical or acoustic steel string guitar.
B. Music staff paper.
C. Classroom with staff-lined board.
D. Music stands.
E. CD player and AV equipment.
F. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
1. On-going access to computer with email software and capabilities.
2. Email address.
3. JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. One written midterm examination.
B. One written final examination.
C. One performance examination consisting of four parts: scales, arpeggios, sight-reading, and solo performance.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Self-paced
D. Electronic discussions/chat
E. Demonstration

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Noad, Frederick. Solo Guitar Playing, Volume 1. 4th ed. Music Sales America, 2009.

Sult, Michael. Guitar Seminar, Volume I., 2003.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. If the student chooses not to do a presentation, they must submit an eight page research paper with notes and bibliography. Subjects include anything related to the classical guitar from the players and composers to the physics of tone production.

B. A one to two page concert review is a required writing assignment. Details on the performer(s), repertory, and location are essential; however, more value is placed on the student's critical narrative of the event. Assignment details:

1. The review should deal with aspects of the concert that are considered most important or striking. Be sure - always - to concentrate on musical matters, although brief discussions of other aspects of the concert may be included. In the process, talk about the works performed, how they were presented, how well the performers presented the music, and what made the performances effective or ineffective.

2. Compose your review on scrap paper. Feel free to take notes during the performance. The final version should be done on a computer or typewriter. When writing about events that occurred at the concert, use the past tense. (Example: "Although the guitarist was quite good, I thought that she was far too loud to blend well with the flute player.") But when writing about a particular musical composition or work of art, use the present tense. (Example: "In Villa Lobos Choro no. 1 , the third section in E Major seems to serve as a triumphal conclusion to the struggle of the preceding three sections in E Minor.")

3. Finally, be objective! Comparisons of pieces and performers should be avoided unless it is to make an argument regarding music history or analysis. Reviews are most effective when they are honest and show that you seriously engaged the music and performance.