This course is for players who want to learn to play classic Americana tunes tastefully and correctly and make them instantly recognisable. Americana covers a raft of genres and styles – lots to get your musical teeth into! We’ll look at grooves, licks, riffs, intros, outros, fills. Everything in-depth.

This course is all about the ‘Americana sound’. We’ll cover a host of techniques from strumming, fingerpicking hybrid-picking, altered tunings across Country, blues, folk, Western Swing and more; maybe even incorporating a touch of Bluegrass.

We’ll cover Americana chords and its many distinctive rhythms, embellishing chord progressions and how to colour simple chords and progressions with well-placed hammer-on and pull-off embellishments and where and when to use them. Creating simple solos using major and minor scales within the Americana style. And yes, fingerpicking and banjo roll techniques – wonderful things to know and applicable across many styles other than just Americana.

We’ll look at artists and their songs as diverse as The Eagles, Chet Atkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Maybelle Carter, Bruce Springsteen, Elizabeth Cotton to Townes Van Zandt, Tom Petty, John Mayer and Lyle Lovett. There’s such a choice within the Americana genre that we always decide on the list just before the course – the draft list currently includes.

  • The Weight (The Band)
  • Free Falling (maybe John Mayer or Tom Petty version)
  • Desperado, Take it Easy (The Eagles)
  • Vigilante Man (Ry Cooder)
  • Feels like rain (John Hyatt)
  • The Chain (Fleetwood Mac)

As with all our courses, there’ll be non-stop playing using some great tunes throughout; this is a technique-focused course with tons of tunes and no theory.


Course suitability

The course is suitable for acoustic and electric guitar players; if you can play open chords well and make a reasonable attempt at basic barre chords (preferably with a plectrum) then you’re good to go for this one. The material will vary from Beginner+ to intermediate. Lots of extra tools to plop into that guitar toolbox to add to other genres and styles.



Hand-outs will provided as we go through the course. All photos, audio and video recordings, copies of flip chat diagrams and any supplementary sheets will be made available after the course.


Call us for a chat

These are teaching events with specific subjects to cover. We take things at the appropriate pace for the group, allowing some opportunities to explore other areas of interest to the group.

If you’d like to talk through the course (content, format, flow, etc.) or discuss your playing experience and expectations, drop us an email and we’ll set up a call to go through it.

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