How You Can Help Us: We are ready to work with you to help you prepare your students to play with the Denver Guitar Orchestra. We will support your students with our weekly ensemble. 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.
Our Guitar Calendar
Here’s what we know about:
- September 20-22: Denver Archtop Festival
- September 20-22: Denver International Guitar Festival and Competition at DU
- Sept 30: Boulder Guitar Society: Derek DeMuth
- Oct 28: Boulder Guitar Society: Eric Wiggs
- Nov 19: MSU Denver Guitar Ensembles
June 18-21, 2020: New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival
Who are we missing?
- Boulder Guitar Society
- Cheyenne Guitar Society
- Denver Retro Grass Jam
- Guitar New Mexico
- Northern Colorado Guitar Society (Fort Collins)
- Utah Classical Guitar
Other Cool Dudes
- CU Denver Guitar Program
- Denver University Lamont School of Music
- Metro-State University Guitar Program
Shops We Think are Doing it Right
Know of a guitar-related group or event we could promote? Let us know.
DGO’s take on Guitar Foundation of America Standards
- DGO is built on a “classical” guitar foundation and includes varied musical styles within our curriculum.
- DGO recommends nylon string guitars when playing classical repertoire, and encourages the use of most acoustic guitars. (Although we don’t mind rocking a Strat with a fuzz peddle when one comes our way.
- DGO recommends sitting in an ergonomic position that promotes good posture and easy access to the guitar for both left and right hands.
- DGO encourages the use both hands in a manner that prevents injury in part by avoiding extreme extension and/or flexion of the wrist.
- DGO teaches playing with attention to minimal tension.
- All sheet music is prepared with traditional staff notation, along with tablature and chord charts.
- We are working (slowly) to have our well-sequenced curriculum aligned to the standards published by the Colorado Department of Education to ensure it fulfills national standards.
- We learn repertoire from various musical periods and genres. Modern and historic performance practice are be addressed.
- We will seek opportunities to participate in local, state, regional, and national music festivals and competitions.
- We have a library of solo and ensemble guitar music.
- We have access to high quality instruments, replacement strings and tools for necessary repairs. Seriously, our studio is awesome.
- We are seeking to participate in outreach performances.
- We use proper right-hand finger-style technique for repertoire composed for this technique.
Denver School of the Arts Audition List
- Students will perform one piece of music in the style of their choice
- Students will play a variety of jazz chords and related scales of their choice (see audition preparation page)
- Students will sight read one piece of music
- Students will complete a brief music reading test that will include major and minor key signatures, intervals, and triads
- Students should submit at least one letter of recommendation
- Students must be able to read music in order to be considered for the guitar major program at Denver School of the Arts.
CU Denver’s Audition Info
All audition-based guitar applicants must prepare a video audition for pre-screening.
The video must include the following:
Perform two musical selections:
- A jazz, “Chord and Melody” type of arrangement for solo guitar.
- A single melodic line guitar solo based on a transcription of a jazz – fusion – pop or classical piece.
- A solo classical piece including any repertoire from Bach, Sor, Carcassi, Brouwer or any other comparable selection.
- A fingerstyle piece using alternate tuning or standard tuning like Michael Hedges or Leo Kottke compositions.
Demonstrate the following chord types in root-6 and root-5 positions: Maj7, 7, min7, min7(b5) and dim7, min6, 13, 9 and min9
Scales and arpeggios:
- Two octave major scales in three different positions – pick any key
- Seven Greek modes (one position per mode) – pick any key
- Two octave, seventh chord arpeggios including: Major seventh, seventh, minor seventh, minor seventh flat five and diminished seventh – pick any root note
Metro State Audition Info
- At least two prepared pieces:
- A study of Sor, Guiliani, Carcassi, Aguado, Sagreras, or Brouwer
- A piece from the Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, or Modern periods
- One major scale OR melodic minor scale with classical fingering, using i,m alternation from Segovia scales, 3 octaves
- Sight reading in positions I-V
- Jazz/rock fingerings are NOT acceptable.
- You MUST audition with a classical guitar
- Original compositions and improvising are NOT allowed.
- You must use a guitar support, such as a footstool
- You may NOT use tablature and must read music, not “by ear
- You must have a discussion/email exchange with Alex Komodore (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to auditioning.
- In most cases, you will need to have studied privately with a CLASSICAL GUITAR teacher known to the MSU Denver Guitar faculty
- If you cannot read classical music or play with proper technique/position, and wish to get better at it so that you can audition correctly, at the minimum you should take MSU Denver’s two Class Guitar classes and THEN study privately to get more competitive.
- Your sight reading ability must be the equivalent level of Studies 1-3 from Melodic Rhythms by William Leavitt.
- IF YOU CANNOT READ MUSIC ON THE GUITAR, YOU ARE NOT READY FOR THIS AUDITION.
- You must know basic chord voicings for maj7, 7, min7, min7b5 and dim; with the root of the chord on strings 4,5, and 6, in all keys
- You must be able to comp the above chords in a jazz style (i.e. Freddie Green, Charleston, etc.)
- Prepare a 12-barblues: you must be able to play the melody, comp the chord changes, and improvise over the chords.
- C Jam Blues –Duke Ellington
- Blue Monk –Thelonius Monk
- Straight, No Chaser– Thelonius Monk
- Sonnymoon For Two –Sonny Rollins
- Tenor Madness –Sonny Rollins
- Billie’s Bounce– Charlie Parker
- Now’s The Time –Charlie Parker
- Looking up the tune on YouTube does not constitute research. Find/buy a recording of the song by the original artist, or by an
- important jazz guitarist: Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Grant Green, Pat Martino, et al.