Phil Shapiro's Group Folk Guitar Lessons

The Student Union Board at Cornell University presents Phil Shapiro's GROUP FOLK GUITAR LESSONS. You can learn to play acoustic guitar, or improve your guitar playing, with this inexpensive course. There are eight one-hour lessons, on Monday evenings, in the International Lounge at Willard Straight Hall.

Registration is at the first lesson. Just come, and bring a guitar. The classes are well thought out, and will give you the information and the skills that you need to learn how to play guitar, or how to play better. Phil Shapiro has been teaching guitar in Ithaca for over 30 years.

7 pm BEGINNERS: This is the class for those who have never played at all, or who have played just a little. It teaches you to have fun with the guitar, and assumes no knowledge whatsoever. By the end of the first lesson, you can play a simple song.

You don't have to read music to start playing guitar. You can start with a few chords and a few tricks and make a rhythmic, coherent accompaniment right from the start. If you are an absolute beginner, or if you have already played for a while, but you're stuck, try this course.

8 pm INTERMEDIATES: This is for players with some experience, and knowledge of basic chords. It's for those who want to learn finger-picking, or break out of repetitious patterns. It includes an introduction to improvisation.

Can you change chords well enough to (more or less) play a simple song all the way through without stopping? Then try this class. Are you already playing some finger-style guitar, but all you do with your right hand is play boring patterns? Try this class.

There will always be time to answer your questions, and you will never be made to feel foolish for asking them.

If you are unsure which class is for you, come to both. One will be right. There's no extra charge for sitting in on both classes. The entire course costs $60, payable at the first lesson. It is open to the general public. For further information, call Phil Shapiro at 844-4535, or e-mail at

These classes are offered twice a year, typically starting in January or February, and September.