Denver Guitar Orchestra
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Saturday, December 2nd from 10 am to noon at 216 South Grant Avenue. Here’s a map!
If it is your first time, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you’re coming.
What to Bring:
- Music Stand (we have a few loaners)
- Pencil and highlighter
- $10 cash or check
- Three-ring binder to hold Christmas music
- Three-ring binder to hold regular music
Music we will play this week:
- All Through the Night
- Cielito Lindo
- Happy Xmas
- Silver Bells
- White Christmas
Now, let’s talk…
It’s time to unleash your acoustic guitar from its hiding place in your closet, the garage, or your school, and put it to use in a fun city-wide ensemble. We are growing an orchestra with guitarists who understand teamwork. It’s fun and you’ll improve your skills at a much faster pace than working alone. We know two things every accomplished player does … they practice and they show up to rehearsal. If you’re willing to do those two things, we’ll bring guitar into your life in a significant way.
Our Mission: To support guitarists of all ages and skill levels willing to practice, rehearse, and work as a team in a community orchestra education program.
Are you eligible to join? You’ll need to hold a Denver Guitar Orchestra Level 2 Certification to begin ensemble work. Email us today and we’ll get you the materials you need to get started: email@example.com If you are studying with a guitar teacher, ask them to contact us so we can give them the certification materials and you can test with them.
Who should probably NOT look into joining us: If you’re an accomplished guitarist who does not want to work from sheet music, or if you prefer solo playing, or if you only want to play a certain type of song, then you already know you have better options in Denver and we encourage you to seek those alternatives out.
Brown Bag Rehearsals: You must be pre-registered to attend our rehearsals. We use the word “rehearsal,” but mostly we’re just getting together to play some songs. We usually meet on Saturdays or Sundays at Historic Grant Avenue community center, but don’t just show up. We adjust the schedule frequently, we need to make sure you have the correct stuff in your book, and we don’t want to waste your time. If you don’t hold a DGO Level 2 Certification, you’ll need to get that first. Call or text 303-984-0777 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Typical Rehearsal Schedule:
- Feel free to bring a snack.
- We usually meet for a couple of hours.
- $10 participation fee (cash).
- Solos: Optional.
- Etude: We’ll spend a few minutes on techniques.
- Level 3 Book: Less Difficult Songs.
- Level 4 Book: Songs Worth Mastering.
- Level 5 & 6: Multipart Arrangements.
Song Books for Certification:
There is a small fee to cover the cost of printing and binding for the instruction books. You are required to have a copy of Books 1 and 2 prior to your first certification appointment. Please contact us at email@example.com to make an appointment to get your books and discuss certification. The arrangements posted on this page do not include everything you’ll need from the instruction books. You should contact us as soon as possible so we know you’re working toward playing with the group. Certification appointments will generally last 30-60 minutes.
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. Dates next to the song title indicates the latest edit. You may request copies of the sheet music without tablature displayed if you prefer reading standard notation. If you need help getting up to speed on reading music, we’re happy to help you with introductory classes or private lessons.
Public Domain Guitar Arrangements
with Standard Notation and Tablature
One Chord Songs
- Farmer in the Dell (2016-01-03) PDF
- Frère Jacques (2016-01-03) PDF
- Row Row Row Your Boat (2016-01-03) PDF
- Three Blind Mice (2016-01-03) PDF
Level 1 Examination:
- Be able to tune your guitar without assistance.
- Own a copy of Books 1 and 2.
- Play chords while strumming and singing all songs in Book 1.
- Play melody or guitar staves from tablature or standard notation for all songs in Book 1.
Certified Level #1
- Frances Phillips
- Kaya Heerman
Two Chord Songs
- A-Tisket, A-Tasket (2017-02-14) PDF
- Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’ (2017-02-02) PDF
- Alouette (2017-02-02) PDF
- Buffalo Gals (2016-01-18) PDF
- Clementine (2016-01-12) PDF
- Drunken Sailor (2016-01-18) PDF
- Go Tell Aunt Rhody (2016-01-21) PDF
- Hush Little Baby (2016-01-10) PDF
- Itsy Bitsy Spider (2016-01-21) PDF
- London Bridge is Falling Down (2017-07-09) PDF
- Mary Had a Little Lamb (2017-07-09) PDF
- Pay Me My Money Down (2017-07-09) PDF
- Shortnin’ Bread (2017-07-09) PDF
- Simple Gifts (2017-07-09) PDF
- Skip to My Loo (2017-07-09) PDF
- Soft Kitty (2017-07-09) PDF
- Sur le Pont d’Avignon (2017-07-09) PDF
- Tom Dooley (2017-07-09) PDF
- Wheels on the Bus (2017-07-09) PDF
Level 2 Examination:
- Be prepared to play chords and sing all songs in Book 2.
- Be prepared to play melody or guitar staves from tablature or notation for all songs in Book 2.
- Play the TuffAxe (chord-melody fingerstyle arrangement) for at least one song of your choice.
Public Domain Songs
- Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman (2017-11-02) PDF
- All Through the Night (2017-10-19) PDF
- Amazing Grace (2017-02-02) PDF
- Beautiful Dreamer
- Brahm’s Lullabye (2017-11-07) PDF
- Colorado Trail (2017-11-07) PDF
- Down by the Riverside (Feb. 19, 2017)
- Down in the Valley
- For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
- Fur Elise
- Happy Birthday (2017-10-06) PDF
- I’m a Little Teapot
- Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
- Plaisir d’Amour
- Scarborough Fair (2017-11-08) PDF
- Spanish Romance
- Streets of Laredo
- This Old Man
- Trumpet Voluntary
- Waltzing Matilda
Level 3 Examination:
- Be prepared to play chords and sing all songs in Book 3.
- Be prepared to play melody from tablature or notation for all songs in Book 3.
- Play TuffAxe on three pre-selected songs.
(Probably Worth Memorizing)
These are not public domain for the most part, so you must email me for the song sheets.
- America the Beautiful (Feb. 2, 2017)
- Andante in G by Carulli
- As Time Goes By
- Blowing in the Wind
- Daisy Bell
- Danny Boy
- Eleanor Rigby
- Ghost Riders
- Godfather Theme
- Home on the Range
- House of the Rising Sun
- La Vie en Rose
- Lara’s Theme
- Last Rose of Summer
- Love Me Tender
- Minstrel Boy
- Moon River
- Morning Has Broken
- Over the Rainbow
- Singing in the Rain
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
- Sound of Silence
- This Land is Your Land
- Three Little Birds
- Try to Remember
- What a Wonderful World
- When You Wish Upon a Star
- Wonderful Tonight
This is preliminary. We anticipate having approximately 100 songs in Book 4. Help us decide what is worth memorizing.
Level 4 Examination:
- Play at least two songs in small ensemble with assigned parts.
- Play TuffAxe on three new pre-selected songs.
- One of the three chosen TuffAxe presentations must be memorized.
These are not public domain for the most part, so you must email me for the song sheets.
- Annie’s Song
- Both Sides Now (Jan. 9, 2017)
- Disney Unto Death
- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
- El Paso
- Elvis Medley
- From a Distance
- Good Bad Ugly
- Hedwig’s Theme
- I’m on Fire
- Love Story Theme
- Mad World
- Pachelbel’s Canon
- Pomp and Circumstances
- Sweet Caroline
- Time After Time
- True Colors
This is the current list. It will never be finished.
Level 5 Examination:
- Play in small ensemble with pre-selected music.
- Play TuffAxe on two memorized songs.
- Play in large ensemble with standard repertoire.
Member Created Arrangements
- Musician driven.
- Perform in small ensemble.
- Perform a memorized solo for audience.
- Perform in large ensemble.
- Performance examination.
- Complete teacher training
- Taught through level 5
Strumming Song Sheets
Songs we’ve vetted with lyrics and chords only. To be honest, they’re mostly dumb songs we don’t want to put real effort into developing, but somebody thought they were cool.
DGO Etudes Book! Right and Left Hand Warm-ups
The DGO Etudes Book! contains useful exercises gleaned from the history of guitar pedagogy to help you develop deft left and right hand skills. We recommend you use these etudes during the first part of your practice to warm up your hands.
- First Bacarolle (D-shape arpeggios up the neck.)
- Download additional practice logs HERE.
- Download the composing blank HERE.
Etudes are intended as warm-ups prior to repertoire playing. Etudes never end and can be a lot of fun if your attitude is right. We’re looking to swipe good ones you’ve found around the world.
with a bit o’ Hannukah
If there is no PDF, it’s not a public domain song, so we can chat about it on email.
- Adeste Fideles (Nov. 24, 2016): PDF
- Angels We Have Heard on High (Oct. 13, 2015): PDF
- Away in a Manger (2017-11-04) PDF
- Auld Lang Syne (Oct. 24, 2016): PDF
- Dreidel Song (2017-11-06) PDF
- Entre le Boeuf et l’Ane Gris (2015-09-28)
- First Noel (Sept. 9, 2015): PDF
- Greensleeves (2017-11-18): PDF
- Happy Christmas (War is Over) (2016-12-12)
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Aug. 14, 2016): PDF
- Joy to the World (Dec. 18, 2016) PDF
- Ner Li: I Have a Candle (2017-11-12) PDF
- O Come O Come Emmanuel (Sept. 14, 2015): PDF
- Silent Night (Sept. 12, 2016): PDF
- Silver Bells (Oct. 13, 2015)
- Up on the House Top (Sept. 25, 2016): PDF
- We Three Kings (Sept. 25, 2016): PDF
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Oct. 27, 2014): PDF
- White Christmas (Nov. 21, 2016)
Just for Fun
Videos from Other Guitar Orchestras
Everything below here is for teachers
You can stop reading. 🙂
- Pre-test to assure readiness.
- Performance skills test.
- “Pre-selections” must be approved by examiner.
- Material used in a lower level may not be duplicated in a higher level.
- You are not judged on your singing ability (thank goodness!), but you are required to do it.
- Use of sheet music is always acceptable unless a skill is to be memorized.
- Oral examination.
- Written score card with next steps.
- Receive graduation certificate.
- Demonstrate memorized chords A, E, D, G.
- Play all four songs with voice and chords.
- Play all four melodies using tablature or notation.
- Discussion on posture and theory.
- Written plan for Book 2.
- Demonstrate memorized chords.
- Play songs with voice and chords.
- Play TuffUke of one song.
- Play melodies using tablature or notation.
- Discussion on posture and theory.
- Written plan for Book 3.
Guitar Ensemble Arrangements
- One guitar (melody or chords with voice)
- Two guitars (melody and chords)
- Three guitars (melody, chords, tuff or arpeggio)
- Four guitars (melody, chords, tuff, arpeggio)
- Five guitars (melody, chords, tuff, arpeggio, bassline)
- Six guitars (melody, chords, tuff, arpeggio, bassline, percussion)
Guitar Foundation of America Standards we are striving to meet:
- 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.
- DGO recommends sitting in an ergonomic position that promotes good posture and easy access to the guitar for both left and right hands. A footstool or other device may be used to position the guitar in the most efficient position.
- 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. Students should learn to play without using unnecessary muscles to perform a task.
- All sheet music is prepared with traditional staff notation, along with tablature and chord charts.
- We are working 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’re seeking opportunities to participate in local, state, regional, and national music festivals (district competitions, state competitions, festivals, conventions, etc.).
- We have a library of solo and ensemble guitar music.
- We have access to high quality instruments, replacement strings and tools for necessary repairs.
- We are seeking to participate in outreach performances.
- We use proper right-hand finger-style technique for repertoire composed for this technique.