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pachelbel's canon

Pachelbel’s Canon in D


If ever a song needed no introduction, surely it would be Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  Composed around 1700, the Canon was fairly popular in it’s day, but fell into obscurity until the 20th century.  Now it’s one of the most widely recognized and loved of all classical pieces.

While the Canon in D was written in the Baroque musical period, it’s perfectly at home in any repertoire.  It’s been the inspiration for “copycat” versions by a multitude of pop artists since the 70’s, from new age, to rap, to disco, and everything in between.  Why?

Perhaps the infectious quality is due to the repeating bass line.  It creates a solid order that is at once recognizable and predictable, while remaining compelling and interesting enough to allow for myriad variations in the melody.

Whatever the reasons, Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a joy to play, and people love to hear it.

canon guitar



Watch This Video to Hear and Overview the Canon


“Allen, your way of explaining this piece of music is excellent. I labored over the Canon in D for a long time and gave up. Looking at small sections and adding dynamics to it is the only way and some of the so-called online teachers should take lessons with you.”  Michael Kietz

In This Course, You’ll Discover:

  • How to quickly memorize
  • How to practice effectively
  • How to play chord melodies
  • How to analyze the music
  • How to play expressively
  • How to balance voices

With This Course, You’ll:

  • Learn new right hand tips
  • Explore harmony
  • Practice separating parts
  • Focus on connecting notes
  • Understand multi-layered music
  • Discover melodies within chords
  • Share a timeless hit

Listen to Canon in D:

“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”    ~Claude Debussy


In This Course, You’ll Get:

  • 24 (!) Highly Detailed Video Lessons
  • 9-page PDF Practice Packet
  • Musical Sections Separated for Practice
  • Multiple versions of the music for easier learning
  • Both music notation and TAB
  • Step by step instructions for dynamics and phrasing
  • Lifelong access for future reference
  • A clear path to play Pachelbel’s Canon with grace and ease
“I like that you include harmonic analysis and dynamic analysis as you combine them with tips on musicality. In addition, your coverage of the technical aspects of fingering both right and left hands has proven to be quite helpful. You made this piece accessible to a person studying for a year, as well as people who want to take pieces such as this to a higher level of musicality and understanding. Phroneo K.
Many thanks for your kind words and advice. Good music teachers, in my experience, are rare. You are beyond good. You are excellent. Truly you are a gifted teacher, and I’m thankful for having found you on the internet.” F. Anthony
“Thanks so much Allen, I’m watching your class now and really enjoying it! I’ve never delved so far into analyzing a piece before, it’s wonderful.” Jack C.

“Is This Course for Me?”

pachelbel canon guitar

Because the Canon in D is really a set of variations on a basic theme, it is actually “modular”.  This means that you can learn a few sections (at a beginning level) and add more advanced sections as you master them.

For this reason, the Canon grows with you.

For this arrangement, I’ve switched it to the key of C to avoid tricky bar chords or advanced techniques.  This way, it’s perfectly suitable for beginners.

If you’re studying classical guitar technique, you’ll find great opportunities to practice your arpeggio patterns, and, in the busiest section, scale work over a bass line.  Fun!

If you love this piece, you should play it.  It’s accessible and completely doable.

Less Than Zero Risk Guarantee

Here’s How It Works:

1.) You go ahead and click the button below and complete the checkout.

2.) Start the course whenever you’re ready. Download and print the materials, and get started with the video tutorials.

3.) If this is not the most in-depth, comprehensive, easy to follow learning experience, I want you to let me know and ask for a full refund.  I want you to be absolutely critical of the entire learning experience.

By working through this course…
  • You will have a better understanding of music and musical processes.
  • You will have new ways of seeing and hearing music.
  • You will feel that you have gotten noticeably better at practicing guitar and learning new music.

And if you don’t get all these benefits, and you’re not completely excited and think this is the best investment you’ve ever made in your music education, I demand that you let me know and ask for a full refund.

If for any reason you’re not completely convinced of the value and effectiveness of this course, ask for a refund.

  • I’ll immediately return your money (no quivelling, no hassles)…

  • AND you can keep this course…

  • AND you can have any other course, even if it’s higher-priced, at no charge (so I can redeem myself).

Of course, you could take advantage of me with this guarantee, but I trust you’ll be honest.

Please hold me (Allen) and this course to the highest standards, purchase with confidence, and let me know how it goes.

Play Canon in D: $39

This course on Pachelbel’s Canon in D (in C) costs $39  for lifetime access and all supplementary materials.

**Become a member of The Woodshed and get full access to this and all courses included in your membership.**

Purchase This Course Now and Get Started Purchase just this course.
Join the Woodshed and Access This Course, PLUS Much More
The Woodshed is a complete program to learn classical guitar.

  • Access to every course on CGS.
  • A step-by-step technique program.
  • Access to a massive library of play-along skill-building videos.
  • One-on-one feedback and support included.

The Woodshed is $49/month, billed automatically. Cancel anytime, with no contracts. Full money-back guarantee, plus keep this course for free, just for trying it. Learn more here.

After you’ve paid for the course, you can come back to this page and the modules below should be unlocked. You can view and access all your courses anytime on the My Courses page, found in the top menu bar of any page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I download the course videos or access offline?

Currently, videos only stream and cannot be downloaded. You will need internet access to view the videos.

Does this course include the sheet music?

Yes, you get sheet music to download and print, including standard musical notation and guitar TAB. You’ll also find the music separated into small sections for closer study, as well as any other helpful study-aids.

Are TABs included?

Yes, you get both standard musical notation and TABs PDFs to download, save, and print.

How long do I have access to the course?

Once you purchase the course, you have lifetime access. You can proceed at your own pace. You can start and stop as you wish, and know that it will always be here.

If you mark lessons “complete” as you go, your progress will be saved and you can pick up where you left off.

Can I go at my own pace?

Yes. There is no limit on time, and you can progress at whatever pace is most comfortable for you.

If you need to take a break from the course (to travel, or to focus on other things), you can pick up where you left off.

Move through the lessons as slowly or as quickly as you wish.

How can I tell if this piece is good for my level?

As you watch the video and look and the excerpt above, ask yourself the questions:
“Have I played music using these notes?”
“Do I recognize any of the “shapes in the left hand?”
“Are there markings or techniques I don’t recognize or understand?”
“Does this piece get me excited, and just a little scared?”

Most pieces of music can be a wonderful experience for a wide range of players. If you’re a beginner, your challenge will be getting the notes and controlling your hands. If you’re a more advanced player, the notes may come more quickly, but you may need to work on playing more beautifully (phrasing, connecting the notes, balancing the voices, etc).

There is always more to learn. As long as you take your time and focus on specific challenges one at a time, you can enjoy moving forward and learning a wide variety of music.

Can I view this course on my phone or tablet?

Yes, all courses and videos will work just fine on all common devices.

What if I have questions about the course?

If you have any questions on the course, or on any of the lessons within the course, you can leave a comment on any page. (Comments on the website are best, because others can see them as well.)
If you would rather not leave the question as a comment, you can email me directly. I will promptly do my best to answer any questions you have.

What if I buy this course and it's too hard for me?

If you get in over your head, that’s okay. You can return the course and get a refund, or you can keep it and come back to it later.

If you feel overwhelmed, you can also email me for advice or input.

Also, if you feel like it may be too difficult, you may be able to simplify your practice. Focusing on one small aspect (such as the right hand alone) of one small section at a time is very helpful.

What happens next?

If you are ready to purchase this course, you can click the purchase button above or below this text.

After you complete the checkout, you will have access to the course.

If you do not already have a username and password, one will be emailed to you. (Your username is usually your email address).

You can login at the top of any page.

Once you are logged in, you can find your courses in the “My Courses” tab at the top of any page.

To begin the course, print your materials and progress through the lessons.

If you ever have technical difficulties or something doesn’t seem to be working correctly, you can contact me and I’ll help as soon as I am able.

Take this Course

14 Responses to Pachelbel’s Canon in D

  1. Linda January 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    Allen!!!!! I am so excited to find this in the library!!! I have loved this song since I was little, and always wanted to play it somehow on something. And now, at age 50(ish) I am learning guitar, as I have always wanted to. I heard this song on a cruise recently, a string trio playing it, as I walked by I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty of the piece. The song moves me every time I hear it. And now I will learn to play it myself! (you play it beautifully!) Thank you for bringing us such wonderful lessons, your method is amazing, your inspiring emails, and all the videos so helpful. After raising 4 kids and having them all in music lessons thru the years, I am finally learning an instrument myself! I thank you for sharing your amazing gift of music with us. It brings me so much joy!

    • Allen January 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

      Linda!!! Thanks so much for the warm comment!
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the course.
      Congrats on making the time for guitar!
      Thanks again,

  2. Jorge Suria November 21, 2017 at 2:34 am #

    Very nice arrangement, fits nicely under the left hand. I put a capo and play it in D. Sounds nice. Was able to sight read it on first try. Now I will go back see all the tapes to study all your suggestions, on phrasing and artiction that I have habitually neglected out of ignorance and laziness.
    Yet when I heard you play I noticed the difference between your playing and mine.
    I was at a party once, had more than a few drinks. I was asked to play something and I chose Recuerdos de la alambra . I was relaxed under the influenced and for the first time before an audience played emotionally and expressively. Time stood still at times my eyes were closed, I knew where the fretboard was. There was only the music, and beauty.
    I want to play like that ever time,(though not DUI). That’s why I decided to try your courses.

    • Allen November 21, 2017 at 8:00 am #

      Thanks, Jorge! Notes are a big part of it, but only the beginning.

      Good luck,

  3. Steve Shapland May 5, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    I don’t really need all the sales material (from the top to the table of lessons) every time I come in to study the next section. I’ve already bought the course. If I want to go back to the overview, that’s easy enough to do.

    • Allen May 6, 2016 at 7:52 am #

      Thanks for the input, Steve. This is something I’m working on. I just haven’t completely figured it out yet.
      I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in!

  4. Larry April 12, 2016 at 3:01 am #

    I have been wanting to play this piece for years. I can’t believe how much progress I have made in such a short time, I have only signed up a few days ago.

    I very much appreciate your comment 2 above, as it resonates with where I am after many years of being with my guitar/s.

    thanks Allen.

    • Allen April 12, 2016 at 8:00 am #

      That’s great to hear, Larry!

  5. Andreas Wrzaszczyk April 11, 2016 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Allen,

    1. I know, I’m millions miles away from playing this piece, but: being a regular member of the Woodshed, do I get a full access to this course (when started)?
    2. Some thoughts about “millions miles away..”: I was once confronted with a statement “one needs to practice app. 3.000 hours (means 4 years playing at least 2 hours every day!) to
    become a skillful guitar player”. I’m eager for your opinion on that?
    3. Let’s say, you hear about this piece for the first time. How long would it get for you to play it nicely (as you always do)?

    kind regards

    • Allen April 11, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      Hi Andreas,
      Great questions. Here goes:
      1. Yes, as a member of The Woodshed, you also have complete access to everything live on CGS at all times, including this and all other courses.

      2. In my opinion, the beauty and joy of learning guitar lies not in reaching some specific point in proficiency (after which there are infinite other points), but in the daily engagement. Guitar is something to focus on, a way to incrementally advance on a lifelong path. They say that near death, the people who report being most satisfied with their lives are those who spent the most time “in flow” (where you lose track of time and become immersed in what you’re doing). The daily act of practicing gives us the opportunity to get “in flow”. So the point of practicing is the practice itself. Of course you want to be further along the path. We all do. It’s that desire for more competence that keeps us motivated.
      My advice: don’t count hours. Enjoy your practice and keep your focus on the manageable daily challenges suitable to your current level. The years will pass anyway. Or they won’t, and then, as ever, the important thing is how you spent your days.

      3. Thanks for the compliment. It doesn’t much matter how long it takes me personally. It will of course be quicker for me, because I have more experience and can get the notes faster. But it’s just as challenging and difficult for me as it is for anyone (it just takes less time overall). I still have to bring my 100%, my focus, my patience, my consistency, my intention to solve small problems, my willingness to go slow and get it right. Learning these tunes is a process, and only by focusing on the process does it come out nicely in the end.

      Thanks again for the questions!
      All the best,

      • Andreas Wrzaszczyk April 12, 2016 at 4:46 am #

        Hi Allen,
        thanks for your answer. Great thoughts.
        I must admit: my question about the amount of hours was an unfair one! I think I knew already the answer before you wrote yours.
        Please, don’t get me wrong: of course it was not my intention to “test” you!
        And yet you gave great answers, which I’m sure, are very valuable and important for all the beginners (like me) among us.
        What is so important?
        We all know, there is Mr. Brown who needs 3.000 h. and there is Mrs. Smith who needs “only” 2.000 hours practicing to play as a Guitar-God 🙂 ?
        The amount of hours/years means almost nothing. How right you’re saying: after reaching a desired level there still will be a lot of things, which could be improved or done better.
        It’s not the thing. So what is the thing?
        I personally like very much your statement: playing guitar is important for me, it will not change the world. Playing/practicing guitar must/should be the pure joy, if not, why even bother?
        A good teacher must have some attributes: must be proficient in playing, must know the path and must be able to lead and encourage the “followers” when the getting gets tough.
        What would be the point in promising: practice 3.000 hours and it’s done? And what if not? And what if someone gets scared and quits pretty frustrated?
        And yes, Allen, I’m sure, you’re a great teacher.

        So: 2.000 or better 3.000 hours? 😉

        Kind regards

        • Allen April 12, 2016 at 7:59 am #

          Thanks Andreas,
          The only important hour is this one. The difference in Mr.Brown and Mrs.Smith is the focus, deliberateness, and appropriate challenge in each hour of practice. This makes the practice more effective, and also more engaging, interesting, and enjoyable.

  6. Heather Bond April 9, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    The reason I wanted to play guitar was because I had heard this piece and loved it. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn how to play it even if I have been playing under 12 months.

    • Allen April 9, 2016 at 7:55 am #

      Thanks Heather, best of luck with it!

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