An essential guide to classical technique, note reading, chords, songs and pieces. Taught by Larry Ferrara.


Classical Guitar Online is a practical guide and a series of lessons that will develop the technique and performance of music for the classical guitar. From note reading, chords, pieces and songs the online course will teach classical guitar skills, literature, and musicianship. Along the way the course will also introduce the materials and styles found in contemporary popular music. Students begin by studying the foundation of classical technique and the elements of music (pitch, melody, rhythm, harmony, form, etc.) and then learn about how to properly play pieces and songs that represent the comprehensive knowledge of the guitar and it's literature, both classical and popular. The student will become aware of how to read notes and tablature, play arpeggios and chords, single note lines and solo repertoire from the great composers of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. The course will ultimately lead the student to the music and technique necessary to play the guitar well.

The 12 guitar lessons are embedded with video, audio, and music examples. There are note readings, tablatures, songs, and repertoire assignments, as well as links to other online guitar resources on the Web.

There are two texts which must be purchased for this course:
1) The Guitar With Frederick Noad, TV workbook by Frederick Noad, published by, Frederick Noad Books, 1982, and cataloged as (FN72).
2) Guitar Note Speller, by Aaron Shearer, published by Warner Bros., 1969
How to obtain the text books-

The best way to obtain the Guitar with Frederick Noad TV Workbook is to go to the web site (scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the heading: GUITAR FOR BEGINNERS TV WORK BOOK (BOOK ONLY) $16.95 (FN72) and purchase it online.  If you run into problems, or wish to purchase it by credit card you can contact the distributor, D & H Sales, directly by calling: 1-800-680-3262. The online link has ordering information about the text toward the bottom of the web page and the title is cataloged as, Guitar for Beginners, TV Workbook (book only), $16.95 (FN72).

The Guitar Notespeller by Aaron Shearer can be ordered online from This site carries new as well as "gently used" books which will save you some money.

You can use Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, or Netscape for this course. Your computer must have an mp3 player, which many computers already have installed in their operating system. If you don't have one, you can download it using this website: You must also have the latest version of Flash Player installed. You can download the Flash Player here:   Get Flash Player

The exercises and pieces will be uploaded and embedded as either jpeg files (pictures)  or  PDF documents. To view the PDF's you must have a recent version of the Adobe's "Portable Document Format" reader and you can download it here: PDF

There will by weekly Assignments for you to fulfill with corresponding web lectures, videos, text book reading, homework exercises and listening files. To access the Assignments page and log into this course and select Assignments from the menu on the Homepage of the course.

The Assignment Page of the website coordinates the web lectures, the textbook reading technique and note reading exercises as well as the video portion of the class. Each  weekly assignment will also be e-mailed to you and will list the tasks you will need to complete for every week. All the web lectures and assignments are dated with the corresponding week they are due. Once you've visited (read, seen and practiced) a week’s worth of web lectures, exercised and video components, you will then be prepared to move onto the next sequence of lessons in the course.

All of the lessons and performance explanations are embedded with video or sound files (mp3’s) and you can open the files directly from the CCSF server location. All of the video lessons are also available on CCSF's television station,  San Francisco Cable Ch. 27 and  Ch. 75. If you prefer you can view them from the course website or from Cable. The video sequence will coordinate with the same set of web assignments.

You need to do the equivalent of one hour of video lesson each week in this course. The way you fulfill that requirement is by either viewing the video lessons from the Classical Guitar Online website, by tuning in to CCSF cable channel 27 or 75.

Attendance in the class will be determined by how often you experience the video instruction. You are expected to view the TV videos, or log on to watch them on this site, read and practice the web lectures, do the text book assignment and complete the Notespeller.

You will be actively viewing videos, practicing technique, playing through pieces, songs and note reading exercise in this course. Person to person contact will be at the orientation, review sessions, and at the midterm and final. The material you will be responsible for learning on the midterm and final performance exam will be covered by the weekly video lessons, the review sessions at CCSF, this web site, e-mail pieces, songs and note reading assignments.

Your grade in this course will consist of:
1.    Practicing the assigned technique, pieces or songs sent to you by way of e-mail, standard mail, or accessed from this web site.
2.    View the videos on television or from this web site, and complete the exercises from the TV workbook, standard mail, or the e-mails.
5.    Partaking in the midterm and the final, in class performance.
1.   Participation                                        30%
2.   Practice and Improvement                30%
3.   Note Speller                                        20%
5.   Midterm and Final Performance       20%


1) DIRECT E-MAIL (for private communications to Mr. Ferrara.) Best used for “private” questions about registration, grades, problems, etc.

The WELCOME PAGE contains information on how to use the course and other pertinent course information.
The SYLLABUS PAGE contains an overview of the entire course and will give you a list of the topics covered in the semester.
The ASSIGNMENT PAGE contains links to the weekly web lectures, listening files and the corresponding readings from the text as well as content for successfully taking the quizzes.

The GLOSSARY PAGE gives you quick access to definitions to musical terms and words.

The LINKS PAGE takes you to other recommended music sites on the World Wide Web.