Guitar Best Practices

NAfME Beginner (Year 1) through Year 4

By Christopher Perez, NAfME Guitar Council Southern Division Representative

Many schools today offer guitar classes and guitar ensembles as a form of music instruction. While guitar is a popular music choice for students to take, there are many teachers offering instruction where guitar is their secondary instrument.

NAfME All National Honor Guitar Ensemble

Photo courtesy of Christopher Perez

The NAfME Guitar Council collaborated and compiled lists of Guitar Best Practices for each year of study. They comprise a set of technical skills, music experiences, and music theory knowledge that guitar students should know through their scholastic career.

NAfME All National Honor Guitar Ensemble 2018

Photo courtesy of Christopher Perez

As a Guitar Council, we have taken careful consideration to ensure that the lists are applicable to middle school and high school guitar class instruction, and may be covered through a wide variety of method books and music styles (classical, country, folk, jazz, pop). All items on the list can be performed on acoustic, classical, and/or electric guitars.

Download the Year 1 through Year 4 Guitar Best Practices here.

NAfME All National Honor Guitar Ensemble 2018

Photo courtesy of Christopher Perez

Later this spring, NAfME will publish the Guitar Best Practices for year 3 and year 4 (now available). The Guitar Council hope these lists will guide classroom lessons and help you offer quality guitar instruction and performance experiences for your students.

Further reading:

Top 6 ½ Things Beginner Guitarists Should Know in Their First Year

6 ½ More Things Beginner Guitarists Should Know in Their First Year

About the author:

Christopher Perez headshotNAfME member Christopher Perez is the Director of Guitar Studies at Freedom High School in Orlando, Florida, and a graduate of Western Illinois University. Selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2017 GRAMMY Foundation Music Teacher of the Year Award, he remains very active as a teacher, presenter, adjudicator, clinician, composer/arranger and musician. Mr. Perez is a member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and serves on the Guitar Council as the Southern Division Representative, FMEA (Florida Music Education Association) serving on the FMEA Guitar/General Music Committee, GFA (Guitar Foundation of America), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Mr. Perez continually serves on several local and state music assessment writing teams. His music is published with Drop6 Media, Inc. and has several arrangements on the FBA State Music List. He is a percussionist with the Southern Winds Symphonic Band and with Walt Disney World’s “ENCORE! Cast Performing Arts”. Mr. Perez has presented sessions at NAfME, FMEA and OCPS Music Conferences and the FHS Guitar Ensembles continually perform on local, state, national and international stages. Under his direction, the FHS Guitar Ensembles performed several times as a demonstration music ensemble and in concert at FMEA All-State Music Conference in Tampa, Florida, at the Stetson University Guitar Day in DeLand, Florida and in concert at the 2013 & 2017 Long Island Guitar Festival in New York.

Did this blog spur new ideas for your music program? Share them on Amplify! Interested in reprinting this article? Please review the reprint guidelines.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

January 29, 2019. © National Association for Music Education (

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