Classes & Certification

Denver Guitar Orchestra Certification

You should contact us as soon as possible so we know you’re working toward playing with the group.

If you’re just starting (or getting back into) guitar, we teach “fingerstyle” or “chord-melody” guitar and it starts with Level 1 and 2 classes. The easiest place to jump in if you live in the Denver area is to take the ridiculously cheap classes at Lakewood Cultural Center. If that isn’t convenient, or if you’d rather start with private lessons, call us at 303-984-0777.

Why we encourage certification by levels: We don’t want to waste your time or our time. For newer players, we want to make sure you have a good ability with chord playing and we need you to be able to read tablature and certain aspects of standard notation. When you have completed Level 2 (or maybe Level 3), you will have the skills necessary to play for the rest of your life quite happily and you’ll have the ability to join the orchestra and not feel lost.

There is a small fee to cover the cost of printing and binding for instruction books. You’ll almost certainly need to own a copy of each book prior to your certification appointments. If cost is a concern, we have a scholarship program. Please contact us at to make an appointment to get your books and discuss certification. The arrangements posted on this site are the same ones as in the certification books, but they do not include all of the instructional materials you’ll need to be successful in your exam.

Certification appointments for Levels 1 through 3 will generally last less than an hour.

All our sheet music contains standard notation and tablature, chords and lyrics (if applicable), and staves for straight melody playing, guitar ensemble work, and “fingerstyle” chord-melody performance. Arpeggios are added in later levels. You may request copies of the sheet music without tablature displayed if you prefer reading standard notation only.

If you need help getting up to speed on reading music, we’re happy to help you with introductory classes or private lessons. We are also motivated to work with your guitar teachers to make sure they can help prepare you for entrance into the Denver Guitar Orchestra.



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Certification Program

Print this! Here is a PDF with a printable version of the certification expectations and testing procedures.

Certified Members page is here.