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Showing posts with the label guitar theory

The benefits of having a guitar practice routine

As the famous saying goes, practice makes perfect. This holds true for any skill, including playing the guitar. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, consistent practice is essential in improving your guitar playing abilities.  Develop muscle memory faster Repeating patterns, scales, and guitar solos on a regular basis is crucial in developing muscle memory. As you learn new chords, scales, and techniques, your fingers need to get used to the movements and positions on the fretboard. Through consistent practice, these movements become second nature, making it easier for you to play guitar without having to think. This muscle memory is essential in playing complex pieces and allows you to focus on your musical expression rather than the technical aspects of playing. Improve hand coordination and dexterity Regular and meaningful guitar practice helps improve your hand coordination and dexterity. As you progress in your guitar journey, you will come across more challengi

Lesson 6, part b: Finding fifth interval to build power chords on guitar

In part b of this lesson on fifth intervals, I'm going to tell you about power chords. You may already be familiar with this as it’s an extremely popular technique in western pop and rock songs.  A power chord is simply the one note, a fifth interval note, and (optionally) an octave note played together.  There is no major third interval note to make the chord either major or minor.  Playing power chords is really common, in western pop and rock music. Let’s look a well known example: Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor: Play the intro to Eye of the Tiger We’re going to start by picking out the bass notes. Starting on the fifth string, find the C note and the B note. And I want you to play:  C, C, A#, C. C, A#, C I want you to do that by yourself, using the knowledge you already have from these lessons (a demo video will be posted here in October 2023 so please check back then for an update if you need to).  Find those notes on the fifth string of your guitar: C, C, A#, C C, A#, C When

Lesson 13: Soloing with the C shape

In lesson 8, we looked at the C shape on the fretboard, which can be used to play any major chord. In this lesson, you are going to build on this knowledge and learn how to: solo with the C shape if your root note is on the 5th string identify the C chord and the D chord within the C shape find the other interval notes within the major scale This is called the C shape pattern because if played in the first position, our root note (in the major scale) would be on the note C. But, remember, our root note could be any note on this fifth string. Because the root is on the fifth string, you're going to play it with our little finger. It's important that you do that when using this shape because the other notes you'll play are going to be to the left of it. So you need the other fingers on the left of our little finger available for play. At first, these full scale shapes can seem a bit intimidating, so let’s just take a moment to look at the C shape and review what we already k

Lesson 12: The D shape guitar chord

The next chord shape we’re going to look at in this lesson series is the D shape.  Just like the other chord shapes, you can use this to play any chord on the fretboard.  In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to: join the E shape and the D shape on the fretboard create and move chords using the D shape play major chords with the D shape change major chords into minor chords with the D shape Just like the other shapes, the D chord is linked to the shape that comes before it, the E shape.  To move from the E shape to the D shape, you replace your annular finger in the E shape, with your index finger in the D shape. This effectively then becomes the nut of your guitar, and leaves the rest of your fingers to play the D shape. There are a couple of ways to use the D shape to play major chords. The first way is to simply play the top three strings, using the D shape, anywhere on the fretboard. Your root note is in the middle of this triad. So whichever note that index finger is on, is g

Lesson 11: The E shape guitar chord

The fourth shape we’ll be looking at in this lesson series, is the E shape. Arguably, this is one of the most useful, and commonly used shapes, especially in pop music. Just like the other shapes, the E shape is fully moveable up and down the fretboard to make other chords.  In this lesson, you’ll learn how to: join the G shape and the E shape on the fretboard create and move chords using the E shape play major chords with the E shape change major chords into minor chords with the E shape The G shape is connected to the E shape by the notes we play with our anular and little fingers. Those notes become the barre, or our new nut of the guitar, and from there we play an E shape. One thing to note with the E shape is that when we play an E chord, in the first position, the root note (E) is actually just played as the open E string. Therefore, if you are playing any other major chord using the E shape, and you want to include the sixth string, you have to use your index finger to bar the f

Lesson 10: The G shape guitar chord

The third shape we’ll be looking at in this lesson series is the G shape. The full range of notes in the G shape are almost impossible to play because of the stretching involved, so we need to break it down into two smaller parts to make it practical to play. In this lesson you'll learn how to: create and move chords using the G shape(s) join the A shape and the G shape on the fretboard play major chords with the G shape(s) change major chords into minor chords with the G shape(s) If you have some knowledge of guitar as a beginner, and I asked you to play a G chord, you would probably play this shape: This is a G chord, played using the G shape. The root note (G) is played on the first and sixth strings.  The third interval note (B) is played on the fifth string, and the fifth interval note (D) is played on the open fourth string, and the fretted second string. You might also see a G played with an additional note played on the second string. This adds another fifth interval note

Lesson 9: The A shape guitar chord

  In this lesson, we’ll be looking at the A shape.   You’ll learn how to: create and move the A shape join the C shape and the A shape on the fretboard play major chords with the A shape change major chords played with the A shape, into minor chords Spelling the A chord If we want to play an A chord, using an A shape, we’ll play the notes A, C#, and E (the one note, the third interval and the fifth interval note in the A scale) - that’s how you spell the A chord. 1. A 2. B 3. C# 4. D 5. E 6. F# 7. G You're probably already familiar with this form of the A chord  played across strings two, three, and four, on the second fret.  The A shape is moveable Just like other shapes, the A chord shape this is fully moveable up and down the neck of the guitar, to create other chords. And just like before, it’s the root note of the shape that determines the chord name. Building the A chord  Our root note in this A chord is placed on the third string, second fret. So if this is our one note, we

Lesson 8: The C shape guitar chord

We’re going to start looking at chord shapes in this lesson.  You'll learn how to: create and move the C shape play major chords with the C shape change major chords into minor chords with the C shape I explained in a previous lesson, that you should assign a shape name to particular patterns, rather than chord names. So think of this as the C shape, rather than the C chord. This is because a lot of guitarists get stuck on the idea that a specific shape is fixed to one particular chord. So for example, a lot of guitar players might see this shape, and think that’s how you play a C.  That’s correct, you can play a C this way, but you can also play a D, an E, an F, a G and so on, with this shape. When we play the C shape in the first position on the fretboard, we get the C chord. If we look at which individual notes are being played, we can see they they are all in the key of C. C (our root note),  E,  G (open string),  C,  E (open string) The G note, and the E note, are open. You do

Lesson 7: How to spell major chords

In this lesson, you'll learn how to spell each of the major chords.  What do I mean by that? Well, when you learn any new chord, you need to know the three core notes that make up that chord (the tonic, the major third interval, and the fifth interval). If you do this, regardless of how you play the chord, you’ll always be able to identify which notes you’re playing, anywhere on the fretboard. I’ve included a print out for you below, so you can start to learn how to spell each of the major chords. Each time you say a chord name, just spell it out too. For example, you’d say C chord, C, E , G. It only takes a few seconds and it really helps you to remember which three notes you’re going to be playing.  As you move through the next few lessons, you’ll start to see why this is really important, and so useful to you as you mature as a guitar player. Spell each of the major chords - worksheet (PDF, 22KB) Spell each of the major chords - answer sheet (PDF, 23KB) Guitar practice journal