Program Syllabus (Description)

Program 1: Beginner Contemporary/Mandarin Pop Guitar (Acoustic)

In the Beginner Contemporary/Mandarin Pop Guitar program, you will learn the basic foundation of playing the guitar. You will start with learning how to sit and hold the guitar, developing correct body posture, tuning your guitar, understand basic music theory, read chord diagrams, chord pressing techniques and strength training. Right after the foundation work, you will learn to strum while changing chords. This is to exercise your coordination skills. Next, you will learn to strum different rhythms for different songs. Usually by Lesson 10, you should finish the strumming syllabus. Eventually our goal is for you to strum and sing simultaneously.

The second half of the syllabus is for plucking. We have committed at least 19 lessons alone for it. Reason being plucking is more difficult than strumming. It also requires more time to get the basics right. In general, we have categorized plucking styles into 2 main categories in the beginner syllabus. Plucking only and Rhythm plucking. Each has its many different sub categories which will be covered in greater detail. Some songs involves a hybrid of plucking and strumming styles. By lesson 29, you should finish all the songs for beginner level. Lesson 30 will be a theory lesson to help you understand what you have learnt since the beginning.

Total number of songs taught (estimated): 63
Strumming: 25
Plucking: 38

Recommendation: 30 lessons (at least) for fresh beginner

To view a list of songs you are expecting to learn, please click here: Program Syllabus (Song List)

Summary of program:

Lessons 1-10

- Introduction to guitars
- Parts of the guitar
- Knowing your strings and guitar fingerboard
- The Chromatic Scale
- Chords in Key of A to G
- Reading chord diagrams
- Guitar Tuning with a tuner
- Chord pressing techniques
- 1 Fast song strumming pattern (Rhythm 1)
- Half bar changes (Rhythm 1)
- 1 Slow song strumming pattern (Rhythm 2)
- Half bar changes (Rhythm 2)

Lessons 11-30

- Simple plucking styles
- Many sub categories
- Simple rhythm plucking styles
- Many sub categories
- Theory: Relationship between the Chromatic Scale, Major Scale and Chords

Program 2: Intermediate Contemporary/Mandarin Pop Guitar (Acoustic)

Intermediate Contemporary/Mandarin Pop Guitar comprises of 3 main sections. 

In the theoretical section, you will learn be taught General Music Theory which allows you to understand the relationship between chromatic scales, major scales and chords. Next up, Chords Theory 1 and 2 will be introduced to expand your chord knowledge and vocabulary. In Chord Construction Theory, there will be practical exercises for you to construct chords on the guitar, as well as, deriving the chord name of any given chord shown to you. In addition, you will also learn how to use a guitar capo and the theory behind it. You will also be taught different bar chord shapes and its variations. Finally you will learn the technique of identify notes on your guitar fingerboard quickly by locating the octave notes.

In Practical Part 1, you will learn all other strumming/plucking patterns not covered thus far. It emphasizes heavily on the use of right hand technique to build dynamics in any song you play. Hence you can expect lots of strumming exercises from a wide variety of songs aimed to develop your "FEEL". This program is also designed for beginners who wants to cement a further foundation in rhythm guitar.

For Practical Part 2, we have committed the lessons to allow students to choose the songs they want to learn. The goal is to teach students how to play by ear by using their songs, creating a win win scenario. You will be introduced to 7 patterns of the major scale. Essentially, this would enable to you derive the key of any given song by application and listening. Given the key, you can then chart out the chords by trial and error. As you gain experience, you will become more precise in hearing chords more accurately. Finally we can determine the style of play for each song.

Total number of songs taught (estimated): 40 (excluding students choice of songs)

Recommendation: 30-50 lessons

To view a list of songs you are expecting to learn, please click here: Program Syllabus (Song List)

Summary of program:

Lessons 1-5: Theory

- General Music Theory
- Chords Theory 1
- Chords Theory 2
- How does scales lead to chords
- Using a guitar capo
- Barre chord shapes
- Octave notes on the guitar
- Chord Construction Theory: Theory to Practical
- Chord Construction Theory: Practical to Theory

Lessons 6 onwards: Practical Part 1

- Intermediate Level 1 songs
- Intermediate Level 2 songs
- Intermediate Level 3 songs
- All other strumming styles
- All other plucking styles
- Hybrid styles

Practical Part 2: Play By Ear

- Students choice of songs (no limit to how many you can choose)
- How to derive key of song through major scales
- Charting out chords for song
- Determine style of play for song

Program 3: Advance Contemporary Pop/Mandarin Pop/Fingerstyle Guitar (Acoustic)

Advance Contemporary Pop/Mandarin Pop Guitar will be the final program Guitarworks has in stored for your learning. We will explore music theory in extensive detail and learn the mechanics of how it relates to guitar playing. It is essential for every guitarist to have a solid foundation in music theory to better compliment their playing. The topics listed below have been meticulously sieved out from the vast ABRSM syllabus so that you only learn that which is relevant. Finally, we will explore fingerstyle in great detail by learning read tabs, understand tabs and how to apply them in practical.

We define fingerstyle play by 4 major components:

1) Melody
2) Chords
3) Fill ins
4) Rhythm (if applicable)

To play a fingerstyle song, all 4 components must be present within the song. Thus the difficulty will be high and each song will take a much longer time to learn. All songs listed for fingerstyle are self arranged.

Total number of songs taught (estimated): No limit

Recommendation: As much as you want to

To view a list of songs you are expecting to learn, please click here: Program Syllabus (Song List)

Summary of program:


- Intermediate Theory Lessons 1-5
- Technical names of Scale Degrees
- Relative transposition
- Transposition chords
- Circle of 5th theory
- Circle of 4th theory
- Letter names on treble clef
- Key Signatures
- Time Signatures
- Counting


- Fingerstyle songs

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