Guitar Lessons

Guitar 101

chromatic scale

The chromatic scale is a scale in which every note is hit..keep in mind you will be using 12 half steps or what’s referred to as semi-tones. . Interestly enough, looking at the word chromatic, chroma comes from the Greek word for color. This scale will create dexterity and accuracy, when played. Below are some exercises to help learn this scale.

Let’s start with the low E string on the 6th string. Go ahead and hit..
E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#

Now let’s look at the A string on the 5th string.
A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A

Try this on every string.

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December 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Major Scales Theory (Open Scales)

Major Scales

Scales have always had a scary tone to me. A lot of times when we don’t understand something or how it works, it becomes gray territory. There is a formula for using the major scales I will explain in relation to the guitar, and this break down should make more sense. A scale by definition, is a series of notes that can either go up by an octave or down by an octave. It will involve a sequence of notes using whole steps and half steps.

Let’s take a C scale which has no sharps or flats. I’ll explain that later, but it will be the easiest one for you to understand.

Whole     Whole     Half       Whole      Whole    Whole     Half

C               D             E             F               G             A              B

On a guitar the scale can  be explained in terms of Tone & Semi-tone as well..so now it would be…

Tone      Tone       Semi-tone       Tone     Tone     Tone     Semi-tone

C             D             E                       F            G           A            B

Quick Tip !! When dealing with these major scales, you will always have a series of 7 notes. If you go up to 8 you will then hit an octave

Quick Tip !! B & C will always be together, just as E & F will always be together as far as distance between notes.

Let’s look open major scales on the guitar starting with C. Keep in mind we are only dealing with one octave right now.

C Major Scale  ( Note in parenthesis is the root note of scale)

C Major Scale – CDEFGABC – no sharps

——————————-
(1)—0———————–
—-0–2———————-
—-0–2–3——————
———-(3)——————
——————————-

G Major Scale

G Major Scale – GABCDEF#G – 1 sharp F#

—————————
—————————
–(o)———————–
—0–2–4—————-
—0–2–3—————–
———-(3)—————

D Major Scale

D Major Scale – DEF#GABC#D – 2 sharps F# & C#

—————————-
—-0—2–(3)————
—-0—2—————–
—(0)–2—-4————
—————————-
—————————-

A Major Scale

A Major Scale – ABC#DEF#G#A – 3 sharps C#, F#, & G#

—————————–
—————————–
–1–(2)——————–
—–0—2—4————-
—-(0)–2—4————-
—————————–

E Major Scale

E Major Scale – EF#G#ABC#D#E – 4 sharps F#, G#, C#, & D#

—————————–
—————————–
—————————–
–1–(2)——————–
—–0—2—4————-
—-(0)–2—4————-

B Major Scale

B Major Scale – BC#D#E F#G#A#B- 5 sharps C#, D#, F#, G# & A#

—————————–
–(0)———————–
–1—–3——————-
–1—2—-4—————-
—–(2)—4—————-
—————————–

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Putting Major chords together!!

So how do you know which ones go together. I’ve decided to start simple, since there are 5 common keys you will be dealing with on a daily basis.  They are C major, G major,D major, A major, & E major. Depending on the scale, will determine the chords used from the scale. You will notice the roman numerals above the chords. This will signify the position and type of chord played. Anything in a capital letter will be major. Anything in a lowercase manner will involve a minor. The last chord is a diminished. We’ll get to that one in a  bit here.

Major Scale Chords

                                   I      ii        iii      IV   V     vi       bVII

Key of C                  C     Dm     Em      F     G    Am   B

Key of G                  G     Am     Bm     C    D     Em    F

Key of D                  D     Em     F#m   G   A      Bm   C

Key of A                  A     Bm     C#m    D   E      F#m   G

Key of E                  E     F#m   G#m    A   B     C#m    D

So now I’d like to put this context of actual songs and how it would apply. In an earlier blog I mention songs that start with a C major chord. One of them was “La Bamba.” When you look at “La Bamba” it is a song that is in the key of C. The main chords in the song are C, F, & G. According to the Key of C major chord progression chart, you are playing the I, IV, & V. Still confused? Let’s look at Eagle Eye Cherry’s “Save Tonight” also in the Key of C. The chords used in that song are  Am,F,C, & G. This time you’re looking at  vi, VI, I, V.

In a major scale, certain degrees of a major scale are assigned certain chords. Here I wrote it another way for you to see.

Root = Major
2nd = Minor
3rd = Minor
4th = Major
5th = Major
6th = Minor
7th = Minor flat 5 (1 b3 b5)

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Major & Minor Chords (Open Chords)

So now we’ve gone through the Major & minor open chords. The one thing to remember while playing these chords, is to really listen to the texture of these chords. Major chords are best described as happy chords, while minor chords have a sadder sound. Even though these chords may be used interchangeably, when played separately, it’s very clear the color they convey.

 

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Songs that start with E, A, C, G, & D

Many songs will start with one of these chords. As you start your journey into learning songs, stay focused on the sound quality coming from these Major chords. Below I’ve listed a handful of songs that start with these chords, starting with E Major..

E Major

Cherry, Cherry – Neil Diamond
Only God knowws why – Kid Rock

A Major

What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes

C Major

Stand by me – Ben E. King
La Bamba – Richie Valens
Crazy for this girl – Evon and Jaron

G Major

Love Me Do – The Beatles
I fought the law – Sonny Curtis
Brown eyed girl – Van Morrison
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay – Otis Redding
You shook me all night long – AC/DC

D Major

That’ll be the day – Buddy Holly
Get Back – The Beatles

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

D Major Chord

D Major Chord

There’s a few different ways to play the D major chord. The first one we’ll talk about is the traditional way, the other being another way you may want to try it, especially if you might be having trouble playing it in the begining.

Option 1 for playing D Major Chord  – Do not play on the 6th or 5th string, but start on the 4th string open. Then put your 1st finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret…put your 3rd finger on the 2nd string, 3rd fret, and your last finger will be your 2nd finger on the 1st string, 2nd fret.

Option 2 for playing D Major Chord – Do not play on the 6th or 5th string, but start on the 4th string open, barre your 1st finger on the 2nd fret all the way across the 3 strings, while using your 2nd finger on the 2nd string, 3rd fret.

Check out my YouTube video of how to play a D major chord here-
http://youtu.be/0v7LrMj3jYQ

 

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

C Major Chord

C Major Chord

The great thing about the C Major chord, is it seems like everything falls into place with finger placement. When you look at the shaping and the order of the fingers on the chord, it just seems natural. Ok, so the 1st thing you want to remember is do not start this chord on the 6th string. You will not play this string. You will start on the 5th string and place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret. Next you will play the 4th string, placing your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret. The 3rd string is open. On the 2nd string, put your 1st finger on the 1st fret. The 1st string is open. Now you’re good to go!

Check out my YouTube video of how to play a C major chord here –

http://youtu.be/WLMa9gizp4o

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

G Major Chord

G Major Chord

The G major chord is another standard chord when learning beginning guitar. The interesting thing about it, is the many variations of playing it. Remember all of the strings are hit in this chord.

This is the standard way ..take your 1st finger and place it on the 5th string 2nd fret..then your 2nd finger and place it on the 6th string 3rd fret, and lastly your 3rd finger placed on the 1st string 3rd fret.

Quick Tip ! The advantages to using this chord would be being able to change from a C or to an F because of fingering positioning smoother or easier.

 

Check out my YouTube video of how to play a G major chord here –
http://youtu.be/QAEbBCZXp1E

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Major Chord

A Major Chord

The A major chord will be one of the open chords you will be able to play a few different ways. Remember the 6th string will not be played. Instead you will start on the 5th string open. This is your A note.

Option 1 for playing A Major Chord -Place your 1st finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret..2nd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret…and your 3rd finger on the 2nd string, 2nd fret. The 1st string will be open.

Option 2 for playing A Major Chord -Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret..3rd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret…and your 4th finger on the 2nd string, 2nd fret. The 1st string will be open.

Quick Tip ! Depending on what you’re playing in reguards to the other chords with the A Major, may determine which one you play. Example : If you are playing a song and need to jump from an A Major to a D Major, you may choose Option 1 for finger placement of the chord.

Check out my video of how to play an A major chord here –
http://youtu.be/ZQsLSCKUQKw

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

E Major Chord

E Major Chord

The E Major chord is a frequently used chord in todays and yesterdays music , and an easy one to learn if you already know the E minor chord. Simply keep your two fingers in place assuming position for an E minor chord, and simply put your 1st finger down on the 1st fret of the 3rd string. When playing this chord you will hit all of the strings. Now just strum away.

Check out my YouTube video of how to play an E major chord here –
http://youtu.be/M6gVbHntSPY

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment