Learning My Guitar

adapted/arr. Teresa Jennings

Last year, we started to publish super easy guitar pieces in Music K-8. Turns out, these were popular! So we're going to do more this year, starting once again with a one chord tune. This time, we are focusing on the E chord. The tune calls for the three-string version and indicates a chord diagram for it at the beginning of the music. However, your students could also use a four, five, or six-string E chord instead. The diagrams for these are indicated at the bottom of page 58.

The song "Learning My Guitar" is based on the well-known round, "Frère Jacques," also known as "Are You Sleeping?" Having a familiar melody will hopefully allow players to also sing, though that is not absolutely necessary. You could divide your class into players and singers, even mixing and matching. Of course, singing in a round is a little more challenging, but again, that's why we kept it super simple. The ability to perform all parts successfully will give students a sense of accomplishment.

At the end of the piece, there is an instruction to "dampen strings." This just means players should lay their right hands across the strings to stop them from vibrating/sounding.

The arrangement and recording for this tune is very nice. It's a light Latin pop version which could also invite some simple percussion accompaniment. Let a few students play shakers, guiro, triangle, etc., to a rhythm they create ahead of time or let them ad lib. To get everyone started together, there is a two bar count-off before the tracks start. A simple live performance with piano, guitars, and percussion is also quite possible with such an easy, familiar song. Even just guitars could be fun, especially if the round is performed.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.