Guitar

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.


12-Week Courses

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.


Guitar Chords 101

Add more dynamics and expression to your playing and gain a greater feel for your instrument by learning Berklee's approach to the construction of chords and chord voicings.

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Guitar Chords 201: Chord Melody and Inversions

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.

Guitar Scales 101

Organize the guitar fretboard, develop your technique, and learn to confidently navigate the instrument by gaining a firm understanding of the pentatonic, blues, major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales and their modes.

Blues Guitar

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.

Jazz Guitar 101

Study the styles of some of the most influential jazz guitarists, and learn the basics behind the jazz language: chord/scale usage, building melodic tension, and improvisation techniques.

Classic Rock Guitar

Elevate your playing by learning the styles and techniques of the architects of classic rock guitar: Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Gilmour, and Page.

Jazz Guitar 201: Advanced Jazz Guitar Improvisation

Develop your jazz guitar performance skills by learning advanced techniques to improvise over chord changes, both in traditional standards and complex modern harmony.

Guitar Improvisation Techniques

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.

Acoustic Blues Guitar

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.

Funk/Rock and R&B Guitar Soloing

Learn the appropriate scales, the best use of effects, and the rhythmic and melodic timing to create an authentic funk-based solo and sound.

Acoustic Guitar Techniques

Strengthen your rhythmic strumming, use of alternate tunings, and fingerstyle playing, and improve your fluency, tone, dynamics, and control.

Rhythm and Groove Guitar

Learn the rhythmic techniques and chord tools that are the foundation of groove-based music. Expand your chord knowledge and learn to construct original rhythm guitar grooves that you can apply to a wide variety of music styles.

Getting Your Guitar Sound

Learn to use your ears, hands, and the tools of the trade to play jazz, rock, blues, country and other genres, with a hi-quality, authentic and persuasive guitar tone.

Fundamentals of Classical Guitar

Gain a foundational, working repertoire for the classical guitar. Develop an extensive repertoire of techniques, including tremolo, rasguedo, harmonics, slurs, and percussion effects.

Steve Vai Guitar Techniques

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.

Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation

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.

Basic Improvisation

Learn a step-by-step approach to improvisation that applies to all styles and any instrument. Develop your solos by studying the riffs and licks of legendary players, and learn to incorporate the inflexions, feel, and nuances of the masters into your own playing!

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Advanced Blues Guitar

In this advanced course, learn how to play rhythm guitar parts and solos over a variety of blues progressions, grooves, and tempos, in styles such as shuffles, funky blues, blues/rumbas, blues/rock, soul, and slow blues.

Music Technology for Guitarists

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.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 1

Private Guitar Lesson Level 1 focuses on the theoretical foundation for guitar performance. Upon completion, students will be able to play chromatic and major scale forms, and understand the chord forms represented by these scales. Students will master triads across the fretboard in the most common keys before moving on to four-part chords and arpeggios.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 2

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, students will be introduced to the whole-tone scale in two octaves across the fretboard.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 3

Private Guitar Lesson Level 3 introduces the harmonic minor scale and the chordal 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 and arpeggios. In addition, students will be introduced to the diminished scale in two octaves across the fretboard.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 4

Private Guitar Lesson Level 4 builds upon the knowledge imparted in level 3 regarding the harmonic minor scale and its basis for harmonic possibilities. Students 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.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 5

Private Guitar Lesson Level 5 focuses on the major scale in all keys and in various positions on the fretboard. Students will explore chord inversions further and practice voice leading by way of triads in C major. Students will also master the chromatic scale in all keys and in three octaves.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 6

Private Guitar Lesson Level 6 revisits the melodic minor scale and its harmonic permutations. The student 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. Students will master four-part arpeggios and chord voicings in all keys.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 7

Private Guitar Lesson Level 7 builds upon the knowledge gained in earlier levels regarding the harmonic minor scale and its chordal possibilities. Students 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. Students will also explore harmonic minor four-part chord forms further.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 8

Private Guitar Lesson Level 8 continues the application of the harmonic minor scale and its chordal possibilities in all keys. Students will also revisit the major and minor pentatonic scales and apply them to all keys. Students will demonstrate close and spread voicings by way of voice-led triads across the fretboard. In addition, students 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.

Guitar Degree Majors Only
Private Guitar Lesson Level 9

Private Guitar Lesson Level 9 is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the skills they have developed in the Guitar program. Throughout the term they have worked with their private lesson instructor to formulate the repertoire for their performances, so that it aptly showcases their understanding and application of music theory, chord scales, and single-note and chord technique, while creatively applying them to musical settings.

Multi-Course Certificates

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.

Programs marked with " Degree Path Certificate" allow you to earn credits that transfer directly into the online Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program. Upon successful completion of a degree path certificate, you'll be awarded provisional acceptance into the certificate's correlating degree major. Learn More About Degree Path Certificates


Master Certificates (8-12 Courses)

Songwriting and Guitar

This program is the perfect match of time-tested tools, theories, techniques, and applications that you can use immediately to hone your craft and become a more successful and well-versed songwriter, guitarist, and performing musician.

27 Credits
Guitar
Degree Path Certificate

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 inflexion, this certificate program will take your guitar playing to the next level.

24 Credits
Guitar and Music Production
Degree Path Certificate

Berklee Online's Production and Guitar Master certificate program provides students with an extensive background in music production, and a guided study path in guitar, which focuses on scales, chords, techniques, and teaching you to use your ears, hands, and the tools of the trade to play with a hi-quality, authentic and persuasive tone.

27 Credits

Professional Certificates (4-6 Courses)

Jazz Guitar
Degree Path Certificate

Build up your fundamental skills in great detail, and learn to play jazz guitar in creative and expressive ways.

15 Credits
Rock Guitar
Degree Path Certificate

Learn the necessary scales, chord voicings, and approaches to both rhythm and lead guitar to get you on the road to becoming a melodic craftsman, fluent in any rock style from Texas blues to progressive rock.

15 Credits
Guitar
Degree Path Certificate

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 inflexion, this certificate program will take your guitar playing to the next level.

15 Credits
Blues Guitar
Degree Path Certificate

Get your mojo working with the Blues Guitar Professional Certificate program and gain command over the methods that Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and other blues greats contributed to the form.

15 Credits
General Music Studies

Recognizing that one size does not fit all, Berklee Online offers this flexible program to help ensure that you receive the exact training and experience that will best help you meet your music career goals. Our admissions advisors can also help pinpoint the courses that are most aligned with your learning needs.

15 Credits

Specialist Certificates (3 Courses)

Guitar Skills
Degree Path Certificate

Build the foundation you’ll need to advance essential guitar concepts, and gain the knowledge necessary to develop your technique and hone your skills in any style.

9 Credits
Improvisation

Develop your ears and transcribing skills, learn the solo riffs, licks, mental process, and practice methods of the masters, and establish a solid path towards becoming an accomplished improviser yourself!

9 Credits
General Music Studies

Recognizing that one size does not fit all, Berklee Online offers this flexible program to help ensure that you receive the exact training and experience that will best help you meet your music career goals. Our admissions advisors can also help pinpoint the courses that are most aligned with your learning needs.

9 Credits

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.


Guitar

Through private lessons with Berklee's renowned faculty and a rigorous program of study that spans contemporary music styles, you will develop your unique sound, improve your technique, increase your musicianship, and harness technology to create professional-sounding recordings.

Interdisciplinary Music Studies (Create Your Own Major)

“Build your own” music major by selecting coursework from a number of disciplines that align with your personal career goals.

Undeclared Option

This major is geared specifically for new and entering students who are not yet ready to declare their major.

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