Certification Program

We dropped this when the pandemic started. We’ll be updating and revisiting this soon.

In the meantime, try reading the label on my guitar:


Don’t print this … it needs revised, but you can at least get the big picture. PDF

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. If you only want to sing and strum songs you liked as a teenager, this program is probably not for you. If you cannot imagine that playing Three Blind Mice could have any relevance in your life, this program is probably not for you.

Even if you’re an experienced guitarist, you should start by playing the songs in Levels 1 and 2 to make sure the layout and approach to the music makes sense to you. We are committed to standard notation, tablature, and chord charts, and playing each song in multiple ways to develop a full tool box of skills.

Private lessons might be available by calling 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 info@denverguitarorchestra.com 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, and staves for straight melody playing, guitar ensemble work, and “fingerstyle” chord-melody performance (we call “TuffAxe”). 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.

Guitar Teachers

How You Can Help Us: We need your students to help fill out our sound. We are ready to work with you to help prepare your students to play with the Denver Guitar Orchestra as a way to augment the skills you are teaching them now. We will support your students with our weekly ensemble, give them crazy amounts of great music, and help them through our structured program for ensemble guitar. Please email us and we’ll give you the big picture.

How We Can Help You: Please drop us an email telling us how you teach, what types of students you specialize in helping, and any other info about your style or your program. We maintain a database of instructors. Often we meet guitarists who want more formal training, and if you meet their needs we’d love to send ’em along to you. And, we write a LOT of music. If you need a guitar arrangement of a song we may already have it, just ask. And, our ensemble program allows you to create an instant orchestra from day one in your classrooms.

Let’s get started–>


Certified Members page is here.