This course has concessions available

NEW: Folk Guitar

This course is for beginners to intermediate
guitarists and will explore traditional songs and
styles from all over the UK and Ireland, with award
winning guitarist Adrian Lever.

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

Open to all guitarists with a year or two experience of playing and able to change chords smoothly and hold a rhythm. If you are unsure of your suitability please get in touch with the department.

What does this course cover

This course will explore traditional song and instrumental dance music accompaniment for beginners to intermediate guitarists - covering styles from all over the UK and Ireland.

We will look at some simple alternative tunings such as drop D, learn how to think about accompanying modal music using drones and moving fragments of chords as well as more standard chord shapes, and explore strumming patterns for jigs, reels, 3/2 hornpipes and polkas. We will also look at approaches to fingerstyle song accompaniment and introduce flat-picking melodies.

By the end of the course you should expect to be able to accompany a fairly wide range of traditional dance music rhythms with a creative toolkit for approaching your accompaniment rhythmically and chordally. You should also have a good introduction to picking melodies and to playing a fingerstyle accompaniment to traditional song.

What will it be like

We will use a combination of playing/learning by ear and using guitar tablature (or standard notation for those that prefer). We will learn in small sections working through ideas and aiming to play together as a group in each section covered.

What else do you need to buy or do

Students will need to bring a guitar either acoustic steel string or acoustic nylon string a capo and a plectrum (preferably fairly thin)

Capos cost between £5 and £30 and a reasonable beginner guitar can be bought for between £100 and £150, plectrums are around 50 pence each.

You will get most out of the course if you spend around 1.5 to 2 hours outside the class per week exploring the materials learnt.

What this course could lead to

A more advanced course should be available the following year to work in more detail on the material explored and to look into other traditional music styles that share common ground.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’