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BSL Guitar Tuition

This page contains free BSL (British Sign Language) guitar tuition videos and TABs/notation that have been adapted to be as visual and Deaf-friendly as possible. I am the dad of a Deaf boy who loves music and so I have a deep appreciation of the fact that music is for everyone, not just hearing people.

In addition to the content on this page, I provide in-person Deaf/BSL guitar tuition. Please see this video for more information:

I hope the videos and handouts listed below are useful. Everything on this page is free but if you’d like to support me please consider donating money here:

Tom Hunt helping organise the first ever concert at Heathlands Deaf School.
Helping a student perform in the first ever concert at Heathlands School for Deaf Children. I used sound visualizers and my ‘Hearts TAB’ design to help create a visual and exciting experience for the performers and audience.

Please use the menu below to navigate to each section.

1. Intro
2. Videos
3.’Hearts TABs’
4. Chords and strumming songs
5. Articles

Intro

I have worked as a guitar and bass teacher for Heathlands School For Deaf Children for several years and have really enjoyed seeing my students progress. Working at the school has motivated me to find creative ways to make my lessons as accessible as possible, which has shaped all of the content you see on this page.

For example, here is a video of one of my Heathlands students performing the song ‘Love That’s Gone’ by La Sera using coloured strings and the app Rocksmith:

I am always working to improve my BSL skills and explore new methods for tuition, so please check back for more content soon!

Videos

Important Guitar Terms – Strings and Frets:

How To Read My Hearts TABs Using ‘Thunder’ By Imagine Dragons:

Beginner’s Rock Song – ‘Smoke On The Water’

‘Hearts TABs’

My ‘Hearts’ Tabs are also based on the string colours used in the software ‘Rocksmith’. My student electric guitar has been re-strung with these colours (see pic):

Here is how to read ‘Hearts TABs’:

  • The colours represent which strings to use (see the guitar picture above)
  • The numbers represent which frets to use
  • Each heart lasts for 1 beat and all of the hearts move at the same tempo. This means that if there are 2 numbers within 1 heart, they should be played twice as fast as 1 number within 1 heart.
  • The letter Z means 1 beat of rest (don’t play anything for 1 beat)

This classic rock Hearts TAB is a great crowd pleaser:

 

I Ain't Worried One
Chords and Strumming Songs

How to read chord charts (using the string colours seen in the app ‘Rocksmith’):

The chords above can be used to play thousands of songs!

The exercise below will help you improve strumming technique. Keep your picking hand relaxed throughout.

Here is a simple Bob Marley song that uses the A and D chord. You can strum each chord once or keep strumming while you sing the words:

 

Articles

I wrote this article a couple of years ago to share  useful Apps and resources for Deaf music students: https://tomhunt.co.uk/guitar-lessons-for-deaf-students-my-experience-and-some-useful-resources/

 

Copyright Notice

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Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following:

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