Guitar for Beginners with Ed Hopwood

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Guitar for Beginners with Ed Hopwood

Learn to play your favourite songs on the guitar in our new online course with seasoned guitar teacher Ed Hopwood. As Ed explains, once you can play just three chords, you’ll be able to play thousands of songs.

Guitar for Beginners is suitable for absolute beginners – with no previous musical experience necessary. Just bring an acoustic guitar.

The Idler Academy’s Guitar for Beginners is a five-week, five part course.

You’ll learn the basic chords you need and the three key chords that Ed calls the ‘holy trinity’. You’ll master fingering, strumming and picking techniques. These are hard to learn alone – and much better learnt from a really great teacher like Ed.

“It will be a steep learning curve in the first few weeks,’”says Ed, “But if you can stick with it, if you can learn those three chords, you will be able to play so much music. Get the fingering right and practise every day, and you’ll be able to strum some tunes after a week.”

We’ll be releasing each lesson of Guitar for Beginners weekly on Mondays, starting 27 December – but don’t worry if you miss the beginning – all previous classes will be available to you whenever you join. And the whole five part course will be available from 24 January 2022.

On 31 January, you’ll be able to join fellow students at a live Zoom with Ed who’ll answer your queries and give more tips and we’ll finale the session with a group play along.

What you get:

Video: five video lessons

Audio: the option to download and listen to the lessons in podcast form

Downloadable notes: in our printable pdf you’ll find summaries of each lesson, checklists, chord diagrams, a guide to the guitar, and links to further resources

Exclusive course forum: here you can chat with fellow students and pose questions to the tutor

Quiz: Test what you have learnt with our fun multiple choice quiz

Certificate: When you pass the quiz you will be issued with an Idler Academy Certificate of Completion

Meet the Tutor: Exclusive online Q&A session with Ed Hopwood on 31 January 2022 at 17:00 London time

Course Outline

Each week, starting Monday 27 December 2021, we release one lesson. At the end of course we’ll gather for a live “Meet the Tutor” session and group play along.

Monday 27 December 2021
Introduction and Lesson 1: Tuning (19 minutes)
Get started with the correct posture and how to hold the guitar. Ed shows you how to tune the guitar and the importance of hand stretches. We learn about each part of the guitar. Before the end of the lesson, you will learn to make an E chord and the basic strum.

Monday 3 January 2022
Lesson Two: Finger Practice (13 minutes)
We practise changing chords and learn to play our first two-chord song.

Monday 10 January 2022
Lesson Three: Finger Picking (17 minutes)
You’ll find out about 5 string chords, 6 string chords, and open chords, and how to use them. We’ll learn how to strum, how to pick and why picking is good exercise for arthritis!

Monday 17 January 2022
Lesson Four: The Holy Trinity (15 minutes)
First, we learn the G Major and D Major chords. Then we practice changing between the three chords of the Holy Trinity.

Monday 24 January 2022
Lesson Five: Dynamics and Speed (18 minutes)
Learn how to sing at the same time as you play; how to change chords using the lyrics of the song; how to use speed and pitch; and how to change the key with a capo to suit your voice plus we look at another picking pattern.

Monday 31 January 2022
Meet the Tutor
Gather with your fellow students for a group play along. This one hour live session with Ed Hopwood will be held on Zoom. You’ll have the chance to ask him questions and for the course finale play along with Ed and the group.

About the tutor

Ed Hopwood is a touring musician and teacher based in London.
He performs as a One-Man Band as well as fronting American Roots influenced trio The Rigmarollers where he sings and plays guitar, harmonica & washboard. Previous shows include Port Eliot festival, Celtic Connections, London’s Festival Of The One Man Band and countless Blues & Folk festivals in the U.K and Europe.
He lives and works aboard his riverboat ‘Muddy waters’ (aka The Harmonica Barge) and is currently based in West London.
“Hopwood has a gift for playing minimally yet utterly musically at the same time” Blues Blast Magazine
“Ed’s one-man show to a packed tent was pure genius. The crowd always love him” Victoria Hull, The Idler Stage – Port Eliot Festival