Clinically Effective Guitar Skills

By music therapists, for music therapists

Click here for our list of guitar courses



Want to feel fluent on guitar, specifically in a Music Therapy way?

Ready to improvise with your clients? Write songs with emotion and intuition?

Shape drum circles with your guitar?  Flexibly accompany PMR and guided imagery?

Play adapted, beautiful chords with one finger?  Make up your own strum or pick patterns on the fly?

Check out the course series "GSL: Guitar as a Second Language"




Guitar skills presented with session examples, clinical theory, handouts, and play-alongs

Topics include:

  • Improvisation
  • Bar chords
  • Getting to know the fingerboard
  • Simply-fingered profound chords
  • Bass lines and altered chords
  • Moveable open chords
  • Power chords
  • Accompanying relaxation methods
  • Accompaniment of off-tune singing, improvised ORFF instruments, and others
  • Blues accompaniment and soloing
  • Strum patterns
  • Fingerpick patterns
  • How to strum/pick intuitively
  • Changing styles & building/tapering intensity
  • Percussion sounds while playing
  • Altered tuning instantly into any key
  • Adaptive methods for clients without special equipment
  • One-finger gorgeous chords for accompaniment and added melodies
  • CLINICAL EXAMPLES of when, how, and why to use it all
  • ...and more!

What people are saying...


"This was by far the most instructive and useful guitar skills course I have taken.  The instructor's knowledge and method of teaching were excellent."  ~Ashley Z.

"Over the years of taking many CEU classes, the ones you offer have been some of the most well-designed and helpful.  Jamie is by far the best instructor of any CEU class I have taken.  The reverse capo technique certainly will be utilized immediately in my practice."  ~Susan F.

Fantastic course, from the teaching to the pace to the usable material and examples of how specific techniques can be used for therapeutic purposes.  I found it so valuable and am glad I have the handouts to continue practicing.  This is really what I needed—the right way to think about the guitar instead of getting locked into the same standard chords. I was able to begin using what I learned right away, and also have some skills to continue practicing that I look forward to implementing in sessions.  I appreciated the specifics she included as to how the musical techniques she taught corresponded to aspects of psychology and how they could be used in treatment.  I also liked when she demonstrated how specific progressions could be used in a song.”     ~Melanie I.

“Very helpful course, filled in some gaps in my knowledge. I appreciated the connection to music therapy situations.”  ~Charles G.

“The most useful skill I learned for my practice was the use and flexibility of the bar chords to add interest to the music used in therapy sessions.” ~Laryssa C.

“This was an excellent course, excellent design, and excellent use of online instruction. I was beyond satisfied with the quality and quantity of instruction material. The instructor had a very relaxed style and presented an excellent foundation of guitar skills. My favorite moments though, were when she reached beyond the skills to talk about therapeutic application. She was able to synthesize the material with clinical insight in such an effortless and thought provoking way. Her knowledge base is well evident and she encouraged me to find ways to utilize the guitar as an extension of my musical self and think about music in terms of the guitar.  I would gladly recommend this course to anyone looking to further develop their guitar skills beyond entry level.” ~Ryan C.

"Awesome!  I'm so excited that I learned this!  I once asked my guitar teacher to help me play more than just the first four frets of the guitar.  He taught me a classical piece, which I really like and still play.  But what I was really asking him for was something more like the "unbarred" bar chords from GSL.  I wanted something where I could learn a few basic concepts and then create what I want; something more intuitive.  Maybe if he had been a music therapist he would have known what I was asking.  With the GSL course I have been presented with ideas on how to incorporate the new skills into music therapy sessions.  Having a guitar course for music therapists, taught by a music therapist, is invaluable.  Jamie is a talented guitarist and talented teacher.  She breaks down new skills into small steps and pays attention to detail when presenting the lessons.  I highly recommend this course!"  ~ Cathy C.





Free Videos!

Tips for getting familiar with your fingerboard, and an introduction to music theory


DSC_1846pi_z_2 Join Jamie Bartschi, MMT, MT-BC for a quick lesson in getting familiar with your fingerboard in the "Chromatic Scale Warm-Up" video.


Also, for those interested in taking the GSL courses who haven't had music theory classes yet, watch the "Music Theory Basics" video for a quick introduction to the concepts you'll need in the course.



Chromatic Scale Warm-Up Thumbnail Music Theory Basics Thumbnail




Why Online Video Courses?

  • Face-to-face, in-depth instruction from the comfort of your own home

  • Take your playing to the next level

  • Video Courses available 24/7

  • Earn CMTE credits whenever and wherever you want!

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