Classrooms should not be dreary places. They should be delightful, engaging, inspired and everywhere you look you should have a chance to learn and grow. That’s why we put together some ideas for essential posters for your classroom guitar program.

Notes on the Neck

Most guitarists will memorize the notes on the neck up to the 3rd or 5th fret. That’s because they never looked at (or studied) the notes on the guitar. Having a poster of the notes of the neck of the guitar in your students’ notebook or on the classroom wall is like having the alphabet on the wall – essential! This image is great for beginners: it shows natural notes only and it also calls out the difference between a whole and half step. There are lots of these posters around that have different looks, more notes filled in, etc.

Chord Charts

Guitarists and chords go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Chord charts make those chords easy to remember and your students should have easy access. I like this poster because it does not have anything earth shattering. You can easily find chord chart posters with every chord under the sun. Would your students use the all? Probably not. Look around and choose the poster with chord charts that is right for your class.

Keep Calm

I think this one is obvious.

Strumming Patterns

Students generally think that strumming a guitar is arbitrary…it’s not. Changing a strumming pattern can change a song completely! Having a poster on the wall and handouts about strumming patterns will serve as reminder that making music is deliberate and your strum is a part of it. Guitar Command has a bunch of these graphics.

Guitar Parts

I’ll always remember the Woody Allen film, Take the Money and Run in which the main character’s cello playing is described as, “He had no conception of the instrument. He was blowing into it.” Get a guitar parts diagram so that there is no confusion….and no blowing into the guitar!

Guitar Heroes

I was once in a guitar class in which the class was asked who was in this picture. The class collectively determined that this was a picture of the Beatles (correct), “John McCarthy, Paul Harrison, Ringo and….I forgot the other one”. At least they got Ringo. Still, they loved Beatles songs and when they started playing it was awesome. It’s important to have pictures of heroes adorning our walls. They inspire us to work harder, give us taller shoulders to climb on, and move us past our self-taught limitations. If you’re not a fan of the Beatles, try Segovia, or Orianthi. Our heroes are also composers! You might want a pic of JS Bach whose pieces sound incredible on guitar.

If we missed something, give us your ideas for classroom posters in the comments.