The Five Fundamental


All of guitar playing can be broken down into five key areas. Master each of these to become THE ULTIMATE GUITARIST!

  • 1. CHORDS

Chords are when we play multiple notes at once, and on guitar this usually means open shapes, bar chords and power chords, but in The Ultimate Guitar Method there are additional components that we teach with chords. Things like voicings, arpeggios and chord composition are essential for any awesome guitarist.

Great Song Examples: Good Riddance (Green Day), Horse With No Name (America), 22 (Taylor Swift),

  • 2. PICKING

Picking is the art of playing a single string at a time. Most people think of guitar solos when they hear this, but that’s only one small part. Here, students develop skill and technique with a range of exercises in each grade and put this to good use by playing melodies, riffs and guitar solos.

There are many techniques that are learnt in this topic such as alternate picking, economy picking, hammer-ons, pull-offs, sliding, legato, staccato, fingerpicking, percussive techniques, tapping and sweeping.

Great song examples: Enter Sandman (Metallica), Drifting (Andy McKee), As I Am (Dream Theater), Tender Surrender (Steve Vai), Thunderstruck (AC/DC), Classical Gas (Tommy Emmanuel)

  • 3. READING

The topic of Reading involves anything that a student might read and then play immediately. It includes music notation, chord charts, chord diagrams, guitar tablature (tab) and any other method of writing down music. We use pdf files, printed music sheets and instructional books in order to help students learn this topic.

There are three key steps to learning how to read any form of music: Read – Understand – Play

  • 4. AURAL

Aural is all about being able to hear something and identify what is happening. It includes knowing what instrument you can hear, but more importantly being able to recognise notes, chords, extensions, alterations, intervals, scales, tonality, keys, recording techniques, chord degrees, scale degrees, effects and theory concepts such as tritone substitution, secondary dominants and relative chords.

The key to developing a students’ aural skills is simply to use the components on a constant basis, so they are able to recognise them when heard in an external situation.

  • 5. SONGS

The whole point of learning guitar is to play songs. So it’s logical that the Fifth Fundamental Technique is to actually put your skills to use and make music by playing songs your instrument. We don’t have any compulsory songs for The Ultimate Guitar Method, rather the song choice should reflect the content in each grade. This allows students to learn and play just about any song in any genre by any artist.

This topic includes more than just learning and playing songs. Students play songs along with recordings, practice videos (see below), together in groups, and also learn how to improvise and write their own song.

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