Creative Acoustic Guitar Accompaniment Loops: Continuing Education/CMTE


Welcome to our Creative Acoustic Guitar Accompaniment Loops (CAGAL) 5-hour CMTE course! CAGAL are designed to provide music therapists and educators with creative guitar skills to use with children, teens, and adults. CAGAL bring together contemporary guitar skills and sounds that provide musically engaging templates for rhythmic and chordal accompaniments and progressions. These can then be used to involve clients and students in various guitar-based music experiences. CAGAL as played by the therapist or educator can be used as background accompaniments for clients and students playing instruments and improvising, singing and vocalizing, listening, moving, relaxing, song-writing, and other applications. CAGAL can also provide accompaniments for the music leader’s own singing and song-writing. In addition, for clients and students who are able, the CAGAL may be learned as part of their music skill development and their overall music therapy, music education, or leisure skill development.

Most of the 20 CAGAL were designed to be played on a steel-string acoustic guitar using a flatpick (plectrum). The exceptions are the Mixolydian Loops which are plucked/finger picked. The steel string guitar and flatpick allow for strong rhythmic accuracy and a fuller sound when working with groups. The neck of a steel string guitar is also narrower than that of a classical guitar, so fingering chords may be easier. Each of the 20 original CAGAL consists of a multi-measure phrase that works musically so that it can be repeated or “looped” as many times as the player likes. In addition, many of the CAGAL can be played in succession in a variety of combinations to form longer phrases. Again, the emphasis is on a collection of original, and engaging guitar progressions for accompanying a variety of experiences.

The book and video tracks (accessed via YouTube) begin with a brief instructional on using guitar TAB. Next, the 20 CAGAL are organized by 7 main styles/feels, including syncopation, rhythmic slapping, reggae, blues shuffles, mixolydian, funk, and clave. I realize that music therapists and educators have varying degrees of guitar skills, and may be reticent to trying new skills such as those included in our CAGAL videos and book. Because of this, the video clips present each of the CAGAL in an easy to learn visual and audio format, while the book presents each of the CAGAL in both standard notation and guitar tablature (TAB), with chord diagrams as well. I would like you explore at least the first CAGAL loop for each of the above 7 styles within the 5-hour CMTE course.

Again, welcome to CAGAL. I have enjoyed putting this collection of skills together for you in this 5-hour CMTE course, and I am glad that you will be joining me on this guitar-based exploration of creative techniques to enhance the sound!

Robert E. Krout, EdD, MT-BC