Welcome to beginning guitar! My name is Mr. Retz and I am excited to be sharing my love of music, and especially the guitar, with a new group of musicians. For those of you who don’t know me, I lead Petrus, the 8th-12th grade music group at the Sunday, 5:30 Mass each week. I have been playing guitar for over 30 years and have played in many groups in varying styles.
This year we will be using a method book by Jerry Jennings called Guitar: Start Out Jammin’! Level 1. It’s a really great program that includes a DVD for the student to play along with. The cost is $17.95 and you can pick it up locally at El Dorado Hills Music or order it online from jenningspublishing.com or Amazon. I have known Jerry for close to 20 years and he is one of the best private guitar teachers in the area. This resource is well put together and should help not only in the classroom but also while practicing at home. Please try to get a copy before our next class.
I will supplement this material with handouts and familiar songs that will become a part of the student’s repertoire.
To each class the student should bring their guitar, if playing electric they will need a small amp, their book, a folder with any handouts I have distributed, a music stand and at least one guitar pick. The guitar should be in good repair and capable of staying in tune. If you are having a guitar restrung, light strings will make it easier on the fingers for beginning guitar players. I suggest “heavy” picks but many beginners do well with “mediums”.
Each week our lesson begins with the Prayer to the Holy Spirit. We then review the concepts from the previous week before diving into the next lesson. At the end of the lesson I will write the areas of focus for the coming week on the board and explain each one.
In addition, I will post this information, and usually a picture of the board, on my website at mattretz.com and send out an e-mail once the information has been posted.
I will spend as much time as I can each week making sure each student is progressing and understanding the techniques taught. Having said this, if a student only touches the guitar for the 45 minutes a week that they are in my class they will not be able to keep up. The class is there to show the student what to work on when playing at home. Like most everything else, you get out of it what you put into it. I suggest a minimum of 15 minutes a day to start. This is not a chore though, it’s a fun, and rewarding experience that I hope will lead to a lifelong passion as it has for me. I still play guitar most every day!