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Guitar I/II (Novice/Intermediate) – Campfire Season Returns

No class on April 22. 

There’s a subtle art to choosing a good campfire song. Unlike a performance setting where the general aim is to perform your best material, campfires are more geared toward group participation than to individual showcase.

Campfire participants generally have a very wide range of musical experience and skill levels. Because wind and low lighting also make the campfire setting inconvenient for chord charts or other printouts, a good rule of thumb is to choose familiar songs with predictable structures and a minimal number of standard chords (four or fewer). This makes it possible to share songs person-to-person with minimal instruction.

This is a participatory class. The instructor will bring one song to share per week and students will take turns selecting one additional song to share and teach to fellow participants each week (with support from the instructor, where needed.) Song selection guidance will be given in the first class so, while it’s a good idea to starting thinking about a song to share, don’t worry about having something selected by week one.

PREREQUISITE: Students should be comfortable changing between the basic chords (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Am, Em, Dm) and should have an eagerness to learn and share songs. Students who can play the chords listed above on other instruments (examples: ukulele, banjo, mandolin, accordion) may also be admitted by permission of the instructor. Instruction for non-guitarists will be limited to the basic chord structures required to play each song. Instrument instruction will be offered for guitar only. Note to non-guitar students:  Please contact the instructor to discuss prior to enrolling.

Students who have taken prior campfire classes are encouraged to join. Song selections will differ from prior classes.

Recommended materials: a notebook and pen, clip-on tuner, and a capo.

Recommended: a notebook and pen, clip-on tuner, and a capo.

Please contact the instructor at with questions regarding the appropriate skill level.

Classes are now being held at Winchester Thurston in Shadyside.

Your PayPal payment serves as your registration. You will be contacted with more information about the class closer to the start date.

Refunds, Pro-rates and Cancellation Policy: Refunds will only be issued if Calliope cancels a class due to insufficient enrollment. If that happens, you will be notified in advance and will receive a refund or credit within 30 days from the start of class. No refunds will be given to those who cancel their registration within 2 days before a class starts or after class begins. Classes may not be pro-rated; please plan accordingly. Confirmations will be sent approximately a week before a class starts via email (please specify if you prefer to be contacted by phone).

Class Dates

March 18, 2024 - May 13, 2024


Mondays, 6:30-7:45 PM


Ben Hartlage

Photo copywrite Joe Appel Photography
Ben Hartlage has been performing and promoting roots music in the local area for nearly 25 years. He has had the honor of opening for acts such as The Blind Boys of Alabama, David Lindley, and Jake Shimabaku... more


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555 Morewood Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213