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Novice Guitar: The Songs of Gillian Welch

This class will explore the repertoire of Grammy Award-winning and highly influential songwriter Gillian Welch. Much like two of her noted influences, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Welch’s songs are both unclassifiable and firmly rooted in the broad landscape of American folk music. Material covered will be drawn from Welch’s first four critically acclaimed albums: Revival, Hell Among the Yearlings, Time the Revelator, and Soul Journey — likely in that order.

The class is geared toward the novice guitar player who has some experience learning and playing songs. Enrollment is also open to intermediate students with the understanding that we will proceed at a pace appropriate to the novice student and that the focus will be on Welch’s subtly expressive rhythm guitar and singing and NOT on the lead guitar work of David Rawlings. We may borrow from Rawlings to embellish the performance of a few select songs but the primary focus will be on Welch’s rhythm guitar and vocal performance.

NOTE: Students must have a solid handle on the following 1st position chords: A, B7, C, D, E, F, G, Am, Em, Dm. Songs will be taught by demonstration rather than sheet music or tablature.

In order to play the songs in the keys and chord positions on the recordings, we will use a capo extensively so please acquire a capo prior to the first class and keep it in your guitar case.

Also recommended: a clip-on guitar tuner and a notebook. Please also listen to the album Revival prior to the start of class so the songs are familiar to you.

Please contact the instructor at with any questions prior to enrolling.

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

October 9, 2023 - November 27, 2023


Mondays, 6:30- 7:45pm


Ben Hartlage

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 Shimabakuru and... more


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555 Morewood Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213