Program Description

As a guitar player majoring in performance, you will learn the skills, concepts, and methodology required to demonstrate professional-level proficiency on your principal instrument. You'll achieve this through private lessons, which include proficiency-based final exams, guitar labs, and performance studies classes. The Guitar Department provides individualized instruction in both electric and acoustic guitar and the curriculum emphasizes the flexible and expressive properties of the guitar.

You will complete a performance portfolio, including a juried senior recital (supported by recital preparation lessons and classes) that meets current professional performance standards. Most students also engage in extracurricular and cocurricular concert performances, and each performance major participates in ensembles and public performances in the college’s recital halls and venues such as the Berklee Performance Center.

As a performance major, you’ll take specialized courses in ear training and harmonic applications designed to develop your improvisational skills; you’ll also participate in classes given by visiting master performers. Through these activities and interactions, you will develop an aesthetic and critical understanding of the meaning of quality performance, and you’ll be able both to define quality using technical and interpretive musical criteria and to apply those criteria to your own work and to that of others.

In addition to guitar courses, other activities available through the ensemble program may include recording sessions and on- and off-campus concerts, festivals, and tours. You will develop a sufficient theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical background in the area of guitar performance to be able to cope with and adjust to changes in the professional music environment.



Find Your Style

The Berklee Guitar Department allows you to balance the technical with the artistic, all in service of helping you find your voice on the instrument. All styles of playing are offered, including jazz, blues, funk, metal, classical, fingerstyle, and modern improvisation; and you are encouraged to focus or branch out as you wish. Shape your artistic path in a department that trained musicians such as Bill Frisell, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Kevin Eubanks, Steve Vai, and Emily Remler, among many others.

Program at a Glance

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