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Popular Guitar and Voice Basics I

Course Code: MUSC 1186
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 1.5
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this course, students will develop their ability to sing and play the guitar simultaneously. Emphasis will be on using healthy playing and vocal technique, developing musicianship skills, and building a collection of repertoire.

Course Content

Applied musicianship:

  • singing melody by ear while accompanying self on guitar
  • playing repertoire from beginning to end without stopping
  • demonstrating duple and triple meters clearly in repertoire
  • creating introductions and clear endings in assigned repertoire
  • sight singing a vocal melody from a lead sheet
  • performing repertoire by memory: a minimum of ten assigned songs: lyrics, melody, harmony
  • understanding and playing basic chord progressions
  • transposing the following progressions to a variety of keys as determined by the instructor: I - ii (or II) - V7, I - IV - V7, I - vi - ii - V7
    • recognizing the above-listed progressions within songs
    • transposing songs to appropriate keys
    • modulating within songs
  • introduction to improvisation 


  • producing a clear tone 
  • understanding the importance of hand position
  • playing notes up to the 5th fret
  • playing open-position guitar chords
  • strumming patterns with root-note emphasis
  • fingerpicking patterns (basic)
  • using plectrum
  • tuning guitar by interval
  • changing guitar strings independently


  • acquiring healthy vocal technique and posture while playing guitar
  • recognizing effect of self on others in a social setting: body language, proximity, eye contact, and other aspects of non-verbal communication

Methods of Instruction

The instructor will present concepts, demonstrate techniques and patterns, model skills, and lead the class in rehearsal of repertoire. Practice exercises and pieces will be rehearsed and/or performed by the whole class, small groups and individuals.

Means of Assessment

Weekly practical evaluation                40%
Individual performance assignment (submitted by video) 15%
Participation & engagement in class  10%
Individual midterm exam 15%
Individual final exam 20%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to demonstrate satisfactory skill and musicianship in voice and guitar, as outlined in Course Content.

course prerequisites

Acceptance into Foundations for Music Therapy Studies program

MUSC 1204 or MUSC 1215 

Individual assessment: The student must meet the minimum thresholds for participation in MUSC 1186 by demonstrating their incoming knowledge of open guitar chords and current singing ability.  This assessment is operationalized by the Music Department.  



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.