D'Arcy Wickham School of Guitar

Courses are available in Beginner, Rock & Blues, Folk & Fingerstyle, Country & Bluegrass, Bass, Ukulele, and more!

D’Arcy Wickham Studios is now accepting students. Get results with a fun and well-organized curriculum. With subway access and guitar supplied, “learning to teach yourself guitar” has never been easier.

Beginner Guitar Course

Introduction

This is a short course (5-10 weeks ) in the core skills of guitar such as basic strumming , tuning, and changing chords without gaps. The focus is learning simple songs, building confidence and preparing for a future course in a specific guitar style. Suitable for all ages.

Topics

  • Basic guitar chords, how to get clear sounds and how to practice them.
  • How to string and tune the guitar.
  • Folk-Country strums in 4/4 and 3/4 time.
  • Basic Theory
    • The notes of the guitar fingerboard (Chromatic Scales)
    • Key Signatures
  • Reading Music
    • The notes in the 1st position
    • Tied notes
    • Rests
    • Dotted notes
    • Sharps & flats
    • Swing rhythm
  • How to change chords without stopping

Rock and Blues Guitar Course

This course is divided into 3 basic areas

Techniques:

  • Pick grip and tone
  • Accenting
  • Blocking
  • Leaving out 1/8 notes
  • Pushing and anticipating
  • Down stroking
  •  Left hand and right hand mutes
  • Sixteenth note rhythms
  • Reggae Rhythms
  • Boogie beats, shuffles, roots blues and rock grooves
  • Up cuts
  • Release Mutes
  • Syncopation

    Songs taught in the Rhythm Guitar section include:

2. Theory, Chording & Notation

Theory

  • Basic Chromatic scales on each string
  • Keys defined and explained
  • Transposition of basic chord progression
  • Finding notes on the guitar
  • Tuning the guitar
  • Chord building
  • Chord substitutions and extensions
  • Relative keys
  • Cycle the 5th’s and chord cycles
  • Simple Diatonic chord progressions and chord functions
  • Minor key Diatonic Triads
  • Harmonizing a melody with chords

Chording

  • Simple open string chords
  • 5 kinds of Bar chords
  • The Form Chord System
  • The Triad System (Johnny Smith)
    5. Diminished chords
  • Three string Jazz rhythm chords

Music Reading and Notation

Exercises for learning to read are taught as well as the following

  • Reading Rhythm Charts
  • Flats and Sharps
  • Grace Notes
  • Quarter Note Triplets
  •  Slurs
  • Note Values, Tied and Dotted Notes, Time Signatures
  • Writing Music

3. Scales & Improvisation

This section involves theory and technique and the use of prerecorded rhythm tracks (guitar and drums)
for home study:

  • The 3 note per string concept for scales
  • Arpeggios
  • Modes and how to use them…sample progressions
  • Intervals and how to use them
  • Major and Minor (Blues) Pentatonic scales
  • Natural, Melodic and Harmonic Minor Scales
  • Analyzing chord progressions and tunes for key areas
  • Improvisational techniques (Hammers, Pulls, Slides, Bends, Harmonics, Vibrato)
  • Connecting scales
  • Stacked Note Scales
  • Position playing, phrasing, vintage 50’s licksAnd much more…The improvisation section also involves the learning of several prepared solos and the following lead solos:

Darcy Wickham hosts the Freetimes Cafe Open Stage

Fingerstyle and Folk Guitar Course

This program begins with a comprehensive study of finger picking patterns and their application to suitable accompaniment style songs , followed by a detour into fingerstyle blues (both delta and country blues) and then finally an introduction to notable pieces by the greats of contemporary finger picking… Bruce Cockburn to Tommy Emmanuel to Eric Clapton and many others.

Prerequisite

The only prerequisite for this course is a knowledge of basic folk chords and the ability to change chords without gaps. This course is divided into 5 basic sections:

1. Fingerstyle Accompaniment – Pattern Picking System
2. Delta and Country Blues Styles
3. Contemporary Music Repertoire
4. Ragtime, Classical and Gospel Arrangements
5. Basic Theory, Theory, Bar Chords and Scales

Section 1 – Fingerstyle Accompaniment

Pattern Picking System:

  • hand position
  • combination patterns
  • roll patterns and combinations
  • leaving out beat
  • pinch patterns
  • improvising patterns
  • heel damping
  • miscellaneous patterns
  • system of bass notes
  • simple patterns

Section 2 – Delta & Country Style Blues

Delta Style Blues:

  • the 12 bar blues
  • blues grooves

Country and Bluegrass Guitar Course

Introduction

This is a short course (5-10 weeks) intended to build good attitudes, study skills, practical and theoretical skills and to prepare a student for specializing in a future course in the style of guitar of their own choosing.

Topics

  • Basic guitar chords, how to get clear sounds and how to practice them.
  • How to string and tune the guitar.
  • Folk-Country strums in 4/4 and 3/4 time.
  • Basic Theory
    • The notes of the guitar fingerboard (Chromatic Scales)
    • Key Signatures
  • Reading Music
    • The notes in the 1st position
    • Tied notes
    • Rests
    • Dotted notes
    • Sharps & flats
    • Swing rhythm
  • How to change chords without stopping

Bass Guitar Course

This is a course for all levels of players. Basic right and left hand skills and theory are taught with primary application to songs in all styles of music. Artists covered include John Entwistle, Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones as well as many others.

Outline

  • How to tune the bass guitar
  •  Right hand positioning: i and m alternation exercises
  •  Left hand positioning: the concept of numerical positions
  • The triad: how to find root-fifth and octaves. Simple songs to illustrate.
  • Major scales  and the basics of chord construction.
  • The basics of diatonic harmony.
  • Songs to illustrate how to follow the chord changes
  • Right hand technique:  fingerstyle, pick style
  • Left hand technique: the 1-2-4 fingering system
  • Music Reading
  • open string  exercises
  • notes on the E string
  • the shift
  • notes on the A string
  • repeat sign
  • the finger roll
  • notes on the D string
  •  notes on the G string
  • ties, ¾ time, dotted ½ notes, rests, signs
  • Eighth notes: syncopation and reading complex rhythms; funky bass grooves
  • The ‘classic’ rhythm
  • Third  position
  • Stopped notes
  • ‘Swing bass’ ( walking bass ) grooves.

Basics of Ukulele Course

From tuning to learning ( and reading ) extensive rhythm skills this program covers it all, with lots of songs as a big part of the program. Suitable for kids and adults too !

  • Tuning
  • Basics of music:note values,countingrhythms
  • Introduction tosimple chords
  • The simple ballad strum
  • Your first song: how to change chords withoutstopping
  • The ‘campfire’ strum and songs using thisstrum
  • More complex chords
  • The use of the thumb in rhythmplaying
  • More songs using ‘thumb’rhythms
  • Waltz time andsongs using ¾ time
  • Swing rhythm and songs using swing rhythms
  • Notes on the C string and E string andmelodies onthese strings
  • Notes on the Astring, the C major scale, andmelodies based on these
  • The12 bar blues shuffle and blues songs
  • Playing the “backbeat”: bluegrass uke
  • Understanding chord construction and the basics of key harmony; chord families
  • Finger picking: simple patterns, pinch patterns, roll patterns
  • Fingerstyle melodies
  • The single roll stroke and tremolo
  • Rests, sharps and flats, and more complex harmonic theory

Other Guitar Courses and Opportunities

Vocal

This is a course specifically designed for those that want to sing and play with their guitar, and improve their vocal skills with a goal of eventually performing in front of a
live audience. Proper breathing, diaphragmatic sound support, pitch control, note reading, microphone technique, vocal range and phrasing are covered as well as songs of the students choosing.

Slide Guitar

A comprehensive introduction to slide guitar in normal and open tunings. Solos are graduated in difficulty. Music by Cooder, Robert Johnson, George Thorogood and others.

Jazz Guitar – An Introduction

  • Jazz chording and rhythms, jazz standards, improvisation, theory, melody reading, swing style, etc.
  • Theory, Composition and Ear Training
  • Chord progressions, modulation, pivot tones, keys, altering and extending chords, chord functions, substituting, chord cycles, transposition, intervals, use of capo. This course also features a “show and tell’ ear training method to facilitate the transcribing of songs

Music Transcribing and Arranging

I will transcribe any piece of music (Note for note) and render a copy in tablature or standard notation. A slowed – down recording of this transcription may also be arranged for.

Video Lessons(Fees extra)

All lessons are available on video by special request.

Course Costs

Lessons are sold in packages of five for $160.00. Lesson times may be made by appointment. Lessons are 1/2 hour, private, and include taping facilities.

Instruments are supplied, including drum tracks, notes and arrangements. Lessons individually custom-tailored in pacing and material, so that students may bring their own music choices to class.
Sign Up Now!

D’Arcy Wickham Studios is now accepting students. Get results with a fun and well-organized curriculum. With subway access and guitar supplied, “learning to teach yourself guitar” has never been easier.

Questions, Inquiries or Sign-Up!

To sign up for D’Arcy Wickham guitar school, or just ask a few questions, please call 416-975-9037, or simply submit the form below.

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Notable Students

Personalities who have studied with D’Arcy Wickham

Shelagh Rogers — Host CBC Radio Show ‘This Morning’
Daniel Lanois — Recording Artist/Producer (Bob Dylan,U2)
Ronnie Cox — Hollywood Actor (‘Total Recall’,’Deliverance’)
David McFarlane — Globe and Mail columnist,author
Evan Solomon — TV Host and author
Daniel Richler — TV host and author, son of Mordecai Richler
Liam Titcomb — SONY Music Recording Artist

Referrals

Notable Personalities who have referred clients to D’Arcy

Gordon Lightfoot
David Wilcox
Danny Marks
Evan Solomon
Bruce Dowbiggan
Bill Cameron

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