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FREE Beginners Guitar Course to start at Fagins, Taff's Well

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

So excited to be part of the developing arts programme at Fagins in Taff’s Well. The pub has re-branded as Fagins Craft Beer House & Art Café with a view to supporting the arts and music comes high up on the list. The trouble with great craft beer and bountiful amounts of it - is that it eventually enters you in conversations which come back to haunt you...

The seeds of an idea

One such conversation took place with Simon of Fagins when he suggested that it would be a great idea if we could offer a free ongoing beginners guitar course which would serve as an introduction to what it takes to learn and progress on the guitar. Now let me think - hmm... who do we know...?

The Reality of learning to play the guitar

Many people are averse to committing to long-term tuition until they know what it fully entails and whether or not they think will stick to it. However, learning to play the guitar is a commitment whichever way you look at it and if you can’t justify putting 10-15 minutes a day practising then you really needn’t read on.

As part of your learning armoury, you will need:

  • Dedication

  • Patience

  • Curiosity

  • Concentration

  • To set realistic targets

  • A practice regime

Without engaging these traits and practices, it’s going to be a long learning curve or not one at all so I wouldn’t be putting any gig dates in your diary just yet if I were you.

The Good News

Well, the good news is that thanks to effect of the beer, I totally agreed with Simon and the first such course kicks off on Tue 24th Nov and over the following three Tuesdays of 1st/8th/15th Dec and will last for 2 hours and run from 7.00pm - 9.00pm with a break in the middle.

* Course Updates * - Both courses are now fully subscribed but we will be lookin to run them again after Xmas. If you're interested, please send your details to: 

It will be delivered in the art gallery (back room) and will be open to the first 8 people who register who are either complete beginners or who are struggling with the basics. Depending on the numbers, we will look at further dates and even seperate evenings.

The aim of the guitar course?

I can’t turn you into a guitar hero in four weeks but I can explain many of the basics that surround guitar playing like technique, rhythm, strumming, musical terminology etc. in the hope that you will feel less mystified about it all and take it on to the next stage.

The course will be fairly intense and we will pack a hell of a lot of information into it with questions and discussions very much a part of it.

Intimidation in the classroom!

Many people in class situations feel intimidated when they think that everyone else is understanding quicker than they are and other people seem to be able to get to grips with the pace of the class faster than they can.

So ok, let’s get a few myths out of the way:

  • Learning to play the guitar is not a race, you will learn as fast as you want/need to

  • You will not be able to complete all that the course contains in four weeks

  • Playing the guitar is all about you (and anyone else you choose to involve)

  • Any question you choose to ask is an important one

  • Just because someone can learn something quicker than you, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to employ it better than you when you have learned it thoroughly

  • We are all unique, we will all feel and see music differently – that’s the beauty of music

  • You will get much more out of the course if you practice for 10-15 minutes a day

  • You don't have to be able to read music

  • There is absolutely no alternative to practising – none!

The first yards are the hard yards and much of it is concerned with discipline, both in approach and when practising. There is no need to practise more than 10-15 minutes a day when you start, however, it will be important to see progress and gain confidence which only practising can bring.

What will we learn in the course?

Good question and the answer is lots. You won’t take it all in over four weeks but that’s not the aim of the course. Course material will be supplied for your progressive learning and you’ll have plenty to get on with. I would advise you listen, ask loads of questions then go away and practice.

As I mentioned, the course will be quite intense but don’t be put off, much of what we will discuss will be new to you but that’s the fun of learning to play the guitar and the worse thing to happen will be that you will be able to show off your new musical vocabulary with friends and family!

Some of the things we will discuss and learn about:

It’s going to be a bit of a rollercoaster so here are some examples of what we’ll cover over the four weeks although I’m still finalising the content so it may change by the time we get there.

Week 1

Types of guitar: Classical, Acoustic, Electric, Bass | Tuning a guitar & Tuners

Changing the strings on a guitar | How to hold a guitar & posture

Plectrum technique | Open shape chords & root notes

How to learn them by visualising | Technique

Rhythm & Counting | The metronome

Week 2

Reading TAB | Single string technique | What are riffs?

Pitch, Octaves & Intervals | The guitar fretboard

Chord structure | More chord shapes | Scales

Learning famous simple songs to play

Week 3

Strumming & pattern selection | More songs & riffs

Parts of song | Scales and their importance

Arpeggios | Harmony | Pentatonic scales

The Blues Scales | Playing the Blues

Learning more famous simple songs to play

Week 4

Learning even more famous simple songs to play

Looking over the previous weeks | What is finger-picking?

Glossary of musical terms| The Capo| Technology & Effects

Useful guitar websites | Playing with backing tracks | Will I be famous?

We’ll cover an encyclopedia of information to be digested in your own time and we’ll be looking at famous songs which include:

Song Chords

  1. Horse with no Name - America

  2. Mull of Kintyre - Paul McCartney & Wings

  3. Hey Jude - Beatles

  4. Heart of Gold – Neil Young

  5. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door - Bob Dylan

Guitar Riffs

  1. Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty

  2. 20th Century Boy – T Rex

  3. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

  4. Run to You – Brian Adams

  5. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

All in all, a very comprehensive eye-opener to what hopefully, will be something that will inspire you to get the practice time in and unlock your creativity. Not learning to play an instrument is sucha huge regret for many adults but it's never, never too late.

You can realistically be up and running withing a couple weeks, playing some of the most famous songs ever written and more importantly - properly.

The one priviso for registering on the course would be to attend all four weeks so as not to deprive anyone else of the opportunity so please consider your diary committments before enrolling. Ideally, you will need a guitar, tuner and pectrum, I will be happy to advise as to which particular ones.

For more information on registering, drop me a line on

or give me a call on 07974 361016

Important: The classes wil be limited to 8 for the forseable future to enable us to adhere to strict COVID 19 regulations and guidelines.

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