Become a Better Guitarist with Berklee
Develop your sound and become a more well-rounded guitarist. Learn chords and scales in any style, and advance your blues, rock, jazz, and funk technique.
Experience Berklee Online
Sample lessons, get degree handbooks, mini lessons, and our course catalog, speak with advisors, and more.Get Access Now
Courses are best for students who are looking to meet a specific need, or simply want to get started with Berklee Online. No application necessary.
Master Berklee's approach to playing guitar chords. Improve your style, intonation, technique, time feel, and tone in this in-depth course. Explore open triads, seventh chord structures, open triadic shapes, and inversions in a variety of musical styles.
Learn the techniques and licks of classic blues stylists, such as T-Bone Walker, Lightning Hopkins, B.B. King, and Magic Sam. Gain a foundation in form, control, feel, and harmony that will help to bring a blues sound to your playing or add more depth to any other style of music.
Learn to play a great guitar solo! Guitar Improvisation Techniques is designed to help guitarists who may have learned the technical aspects of playing, but lack the theoretical application of the musical elements that make up a strong solo that moves the listener.
Develop a foundational, working repertoire in the acoustic blues style that includes early and contemporary material from the Mississippi Delta, Texas, Georgia/Carolinas, and more. Learn to fingerpick melodies and solos over independent bass patterns, and perform in the acoustic bottleneck slide style in both standard and open tunings.
Gain a deep understanding and command of the playing styles, repertoire, techniques, and musical concepts of guitar legend and Berklee alum Steve Vai. Learn the secrets behind Vai's best-known compositions and virtuosic techniques, and learn to improve your own solos, chord and rhythm playing, and overall voice on the guitar.
Learn the art of jazz improvisation from Gary Burton, one of the most renowned improvisers in the jazz world. Learn different types and styles of compositions from the perspective of the improviser, and take an in-depth look at how mental, harmonic, and melodic processes contribute to the instinctive skills that an improviser puts to use when taking a solo.
Music Technology for Guitarists provides guitar students with an understanding of digital technology applicable to recording and live performance. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate a mastery of basic digital audio workstation (DAW) functionality and creative use of guitar amplifier modeling and effects processing.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 1 focuses on the theoretical foundation for guitar performance. Upon completion, you will be able to play chromatic and major scale forms, and understand the chord forms represented by these scales. You will master triads across the fretboard in the most common keys before moving on to four-part chords and arpeggios.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 2 introduces the melodic minor scale and the harmonic possibilities represented by the scale. A mastery of the related triads across the fretboard in the most common keys will be used as an introduction to four-part chords, close chord voicings, chord tensions, and arpeggios. In addition, you will be introduced to the whole-tone scale in two octaves across the fretboard.
Where Private Guitar Lesson Level 2 introduced the melodic minor scale and the harmonic possibilities represented by the scale, Level 3 does the same with the harmonic minor scale and its chordal possibilities. A mastery of the related triads across the fretboard in the most common keys will be used as an introduction to four-part chords and arpeggios. In addition, you will be introduced to the diminished scale in two octaves across the fretboard. This knowledge will be applied to a final musical piece under the guidance of the instructor.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 4 builds upon the knowledge imparted in Level 3 regarding the harmonic major scale and its basis for harmonic possibilities. You will also be introduced to the major and minor pentatonic scale in two octaves across the fretboard. An expansion of melodic minor chord forms will also be explored.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 5 focuses on the major scale in all keys and in various positions on the fretboard. You will explore chord inversions further and practice voice leading by way of triads in C major. You will also master the chromatic scale in all keys and in three octaves.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 6 revisits the melodic minor scale and its harmonic permutations. You will explore melodic minor in all keys and in three octaves. Knowledge of the whole tone scale will be extended to all keys as well. Chord inversions will be expanded upon and voice leading will be practiced by way of triads in C melodic minor. You will master four-part arpeggios and chord voicings in all keys.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 7 builds upon the knowledge gained in earlier levels regarding the harmonic minor scale and its chordal possibilities. You will also revisit the diminished scale. Both scales will be studied in all keys. Chord inversions will be expanded upon and voice leading will be practiced by way of triads in C harmonic minor. You will also explore harmonic minor four-part chord forms further.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 8 continues the application of the harmonic minor scale and its chordal possibilities in all keys. You will also revisit the major and minor pentatonic scales and apply them to all keys. You will demonstrate close and spread voicings by way of voice-led triads across the fretboard. In addition, you will dive deeper into diminished triad arpeggios by demonstrating them in three octaves from any chord tone and in all keys. Four-part chord forms and arpeggios will also be explored in all keys across the fretboard.
Private Guitar Lesson Level 9 is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the skills you have developed in the Guitar program. Throughout the term you have worked with your private lesson instructor to formulate the repertoire for your performances, so that it aptly showcases your understanding and application of music theory, chord scales, and single-note and chord technique, while creatively applying them to musical settings.
Certificate programs are 3-18 months in duration and are designed for students who want to gain a deeper proficiency in a chosen area. No application necessary.
Advanced Professional Certificates 8-12 Courses
From rock to jazz or folk to metal, what separates the great guitarists from the rest is their mastery of the skills taught in this program. From basics like chords and scales to nuances like improvisation techniques, form, control, and inflection, this certificate program will take your guitar playing to the next level.
Professional Certificates 3-5 Courses
With the help of ace members of Berklee’s guitar department you’ll build a vocabulary of chords and scales, master blues techniques like bottleneck slide and fingerpicked melodies, and explore your own personal sound. Upon completion, you’ll have all the rhythms, riffs, licks, leads, and solos you need to really play the blues.
Music Degree Programs
Degree programs are the most affordable and flexible option for earning your music degree from Berklee College of Music. They are the best option for students who want a music education degree and the full Berklee experience.