Music Theory For Guitar (Fretboard Mastery)

Music Theory For
Guitar
(Fretboard Mastery)
Music Theory For Guitar (Fretboard Mastery) is Copyright 2012 by Brandon C.
Farris. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Introduction
Hey everyone! My name is Brandon Farris. I am the creator of Full Score Guitar
Lessons.com.
This ebook was made just for you!
I’ll tell you a little about me and how I came to writing this book.
I started playing guitar when I was 12 and ever since then I have wanted to learn
everything there is to learn about guitar.
This may seem like an impossible task and it just may be, but the journey and the
information I’ve gathered is an irreplaceable experience.
Those moments when things just CLICK!
This ebook was made to help you in Guitar Theory.
When you buy a typical music theory book you get ALL music theory. This can be
a lot to handle at first. Especially if you are only interested in guitar theory.
That is where this book comes in handy. This takes the guess work out of what to
learn. With the lessons in this book you will have a great foundation in guitar
theory and be ready to expand your knowledge further.
My advice to you is never stop learning. Make your goal be to learn everything
there is to learn and you will always be learning.
I hope this helps!
This is for you!
Tones and Pitches
What is a tone?
A tone is any sound played or sung at a certain pitch.
Try this, whistle a couple notes. Now hum something. All of these are tones. Any sound
you can play or make is a tone.
What is a pitch?
Pitch is how high or how low a certain tone is.
Hum a note any note. This is your tone. Now hum a note that is higher than that one.
You just raised the pitch of that tone.
Notes On The Staff
There are 7 main notes in music. They are the first 7 letters of the alphabet.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
There are 12 notes all together that make up all the notes you will hear in music, but we
will cover them later on in this lesson.
Letʼs talk about putting these notes on a musical staff.
A musical staff is a way to read and write music. Each one of these 7 notes have a
specific place on the staff. Here is a picture of a blank musical staff.
As you can see there are 5 lines and 4 spaces.
Each line represents a specific note and each space also represents a specific note.
Here are all the notes and their names on the staff.
Now here are the same notes on the staff but also in Tablature.
The top is the musical staff and the bottom half is guitar tablature.
What is tablature?
Tablature or Tabs as they are normally called is an easy way for us guitar players to
read sheet music.
Most guitar players donʼt learn how to read sheet music like the above example. So, we
learn tabs to learn all our music.
I think it is extremely helpful to learn both.
How do you read tabs?
There are 6 lines in tablature. The spaces arenʼt used in tabs. The 6 lines represent the
6 strings on your guitar.
The bottom line represents your low E string on your guitar which is the top string.
The next line above that represents your A string which is right below your low E string.
The next line is your D string then the G, B, and high e string.
The numbers on the lines show you what fret you play on that string. So, in the example
above the tablature is showing us that we will play the 2nd fret of the D string then the
3rd fret of the D string.
Next, play the open G string then the 2nd fret of the G string.
Get the point?
Now, back to the musical staff. Notice how the notes go in alphabetical order then start
repeating. Notes donʼt stop at the top of the staff or below.
This is what I mean. The staff continues above and below the staff to accommodate the
lower and higher notes.
Here is a picture of the notes above and below the staff.
Notes Above The Staff.
Notes Below The Staff.
Intervals
Before we learned that there are 7 main notes to music and 12 notes all together.
What are the other 5 notes?
In between the main notes there are whatʼs called sharps and flats.
If you play any open string on your guitar then move up 12 frets (12 notes) then you will
be at the 12th fret where the 12 notes start to repeat again.
The 12th fret on your guitar is the same note as your open strings except they are a
higher pitch.
First letʼs learn what Sharps and Flats are.
This is the symbol for a sharp
#
This is the symbol for a flat
b
To sharp a note means to raise that note up a half step or one fret on your guitar.
To flat a note means to lower that note a half step.
So anytime you see one of these symbols in front of a note then you know to take that
note and either raise it a half step or lower it.
Here are all 12 notes in order starting with A.
A - A#/Bb - B - C - C#/Db - D - D#/Eb - E - F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab - A
Notice the notes that have two different names for example.
A#/Bb
These notes are called enharmonic notes. An enharmonic note is the same note that
has 2 different names.
The note A# is the same note as a Bb. You can call this note either name.
To play these notes on the guitar play your open A string then move up a half step. That
is your A#/Bb note.
Continue up a half step at a time and look at what note you are playing by checking the
example above.
Here is an example of every note note starting with A on the staff and tablature.
What is an interval?
An interval is the space between two notes.
I will explain this more in a minute. Another term you need to know is unison.
When two of the same notes are played at the same pitch then they are played in
unison.
Another term you should know is octave. When you play a note then play the same note
just higher or lower in pitch it is considered an octave.
So, if you play your open A string then play the 12th fret of your a string then you are
playing an octave up from the open A.
Letʼs move on to the other intervals.
Using the C major scale as an example Iʼll show you the intervals between each note.
If you play C (your root or first note)
then play the D note (the second note)
then that is a second interval.
If you play C and then play E which is the third note of the C major scale then you are
playing a third interval.
If you play C and then play F which is the fourth note of the C major scale then you are
playing a fourth interval.
If you play C and then play G which is the fifth note of the C major scale then you are
playing a fifth interval.
If you play C and then play A which is the sixth note of the C major scale then you are
playing a sixth interval.
If you play C and then play B which is the seventh note of the C major scale then you
are playing a seventh interval.
Pretty simple stuff!
Major and Minor Intervals
The intervals that you just learned are major intervals because they use the basic notes
of the scale and have no odd notes like a flat third, sixth, or seventh.
These next intervals are minor intervals because of the flattened notes.
If you play C again then play Db then that would be a minor second interval.
If you play C the play Eb it would be what?
A minor third!
Since E is the third note of C major it makes it a third interval and when you flat E and
make it Eb then it turns that major interval into a minor.
Now if you play C then play Ab you get a minor 6th interval.
If you play C then Bb then you get a minor 7th interval.
Perfect Intervals
Notice in the examples above the 4th, and 5th intervals were left out. That brings us to
our next type of interval.
Some intervals canʼt be sharpened or flattened so they are called perfect intervals.
So if you play C then play F then that is a perfect fourth interval in the key of C.
If you play C then G then that is a perfect fifth interval.
Diminished & Augmented
Intervals
Now you know a perfect interval canʼt be a major or minor but that doesnʼt mean that it
canʼt be altered.
If you play your perfect fourth in the key of C, C then F, and flat the fourth (F) then you
have a Diminished 4th interval.
If you play your perfect fourth starting with C then sharp the fourth the you will get an
Augmented 4th interval
C-F = Perfect Fourth
C-Fb = Diminished Fourth
C-F# = Augmented Fourth
The same concept applies to the diminished and augmented 5thʼs
C-G = Perfect Fifth
C-Gb = Diminished Fifth
C-G# = Augmented Fifth
Scales
So what is a scale? A scale is 7 notes in a row in alphabetical order.
Every scale will start with a root and will end on that root an octave higher. So, actually
a scale is 8 notes in a row.
An example is, The C major scale starts and ends on the note C.
The G major scale starts and ends on the note G and all the scales have 6 different
notes in between these starting and finishing notes.
Here is what the C major scale looks like on the musical staff and tablature.
The first note of any scale is called the tonic or the first degree. The second note of any
scale is called the second degree and so on.
There are certain intervals used to make up a Major scale. There are also different
intervals that make up the major scales.
The different intervals are what give the different scales their unique sound.
The most common scale is the Major scale. This scale has a happy and uplifting sound
to it. Opposite of the major scale is the minor scale. The minor scale is a sad and
depressing sound.
When you listen to music try to tell is it is a major or minor scale. You will be able to tell
by the way the music feels.
Both the major and the minor scale can start on any of the 12 available notes because
each scale, no matter what note you start on, has itʼs own combination of intervals that
make up that scale.
How To Make A Major Scale
If you use this combination of intervals starting on any note, then it will make a major
scale out of the note you started with.
Here is the combination. Memorize this and try it on different notes.
Start with any note and go up a...
Whole Step - 2 frets
Whole Step - 2 frets
Half Step - 1 fret
Whole Step - 2 frets
Whole Step - 2 frets
Whole Step -2 frets
Half Step -1 fret
Letʼs give this a try with C as our root note or our starting note.
Start by playing the note C then move up two frets to the note D. Next, move up 2 more
frets to the note E. Now move up only one fret to the note F. Move from F up two more
frets to the note G, then up two more to the note A. From A move up two more frets to
the note B. Finally move up one more fret and play the octave C.
You just played the C major scale!
Now try this same combination but start on the note G.
If you followed the interval pattern above you should of played the notes....
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G.
Itʼs that easy!
Natural Minor Scale
Now that you know the pattern to make any major scale letʼs move on and learn the
pattern to make any minor scale.
Now, when you hear a minor scale you can tell because it has a dark depressing sound
compared to the major scales you just learned.
Letʼs start with the natural minor scale.
The natural minor scale is the easiest of the three minor scales to learn because all
natural minor scales have a corresponding major scale.
Here is an example of what I mean.
If you take the C major scale
C,D,E,F,G,A,B
and start playing the scale at the sixth note of the scale, which is A, and play until you
reach A again then you just played the A natural minor scale.
So, the notes of the A natural minor scale are in order.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
The exact same notes as the C major scale just starting on the 6th note (A).
If you start any of your major scales with the sixth note then you are playing that natural
minor scale.
Letʼs use A major as another example.
The notes of the A major scale are...
A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G#
So play this same scale but start on the 6th note (F#).
This is called the F# natural minor scale.
F#,G#,A,B,C#,D,E
Pretty easy huh?
So as long as you know the notes of all your major scales then you know all the notes to
all the natural minor scales.
Here is a list of major scales and their related minor scale.
C major (A minor)
C# major (A# minor)
Db major (Bb minor)
D major (B minor)
Eb major (C minor)
E major (Db minor)
F major (D minor)
F# major (D# minor)
Gb major (Eb minor)
G major (E minor)
Ab major (F minor)
A major (F# minor)
Bb major (G minor)
B major (G# minor)
Cb major (Ab minor)
Here are the intervals that make up the natural minor scales.
Start on any note and...
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half step (1 fret)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half step (1 fret)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
If you started on the note A you would of played the notes...
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
And as you learned before, this is the A natural minor scale, and the C major scale if
you started on the note C.
Harmonic Minor Scale
From now on the other two minor scales should be fairly simple.
To make the harmonic minor scale all you have to do is sharp the 7th note of any
natural minor scale.
Letʼs take A minor as an example.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
These are the notes of the A natural minor scale.
To make this a harmonic minor scale simply sharp the 7th note.
(Raise the note one fret)
Here are the notes of the A harmonic minor scale.
A,B,C,D,E,F#,G
Itʼs that simple!
Here are the interval movements to make the harmonic minor scale.
Start with any note and...
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half step (1 fret)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half step (1 fret)
Move up 3 half steps (3 frets)
Move up 1 half steps (1 frets)
Melodic Minor Scale
To make a melodic minor scale you raise the 6th and the 7th note of the natural minor
scale up one fret.
The intervals to make this scale are...
Start with any note and...
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half step (1 fret)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 2 half step (2 fret)
Move up 2 half steps (2 frets)
Move up 1 half steps (1 frets)
Take A natural minor as an example.
The notes of the A natural minor scale are...
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
To make this a melodic minor scale you will raise the 6th and 7th notes up a half step.
So, the notes of the A melodic minor are...
A,B,C,D,E,F#,G#
Now that you are familiar with scales letʼs break these scales down even further into....
Modes
There are 7 different modes in each scale. Each of the 7 modes start on a different
degree of the scale.
An example is the Phrygian Mode starts on the 3rd degree of your scale.
So, letʼs use C major as an example.
To play the phrygian mode of C major you just start with the 3rd note of the C major
scale. So, the notes for the phrygian mode of C major are...
E,F,G,A,B,C,D
Now that you kind of have an idea about modes letʼs go through all seven modes and
how they are made.
Ionian Mode
This is an easy mode to remember because itʼs just the major scale.
The C Ionian mode is...
C,D,E,F,G,A,B
The Ionian mode starts with the first note of the scale.
Dorian Mode
The dorian mode starts with the second note of the scale. In the key of C the Dorian
mode is...
D,E,F,G,A,B,C
This is called the D dorian mode.
Phrygian Mode
We previously learned the phrygian mode. This mode starts with the 3rd note of the
scale.
So, here are the notes of the E phrygian mode.
E,F,G,A,B,C,D
Lydian Mode
The lydian mode starts with the 4th note of the scale.
Here are the notes of the F lydian mode.
F,G,A,B,C,D,E
Mixolydian Mode
The mixolydian mode starts with the 5th note of the scale.
Here are the notes of the G mixolydian mode.
G,A,B,C,D,E,F
Aeolian Mode
The aeolian mode starts with the 6th note of the scale.
We learned this before. This is also called the minor scale.
Remember back to the natural minor section. Remember that the natural minor scale
starts with the 6th note of the scale.
Here are the notes of the A aeolian mode.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G
Locrian Mode
The locrian mode starts with the 7th note of the scale.
Here are the notes of the B locrian mode.
B,C,D,E,F,G,A
Practice these modes in all of your major keys. All you really need to know is all your
major scales and you can figure out all of your modes and your corresponding minor
scale.
Here is a free eBook with 25 plus scales that you can learn. They are all in the Key of C
so keep that in mind when you want to transpose these.
These scales range from the basic Major Scales to bebop minor and 8 tone scales.
Free Guitar Scales eBook!
Guitar Solo Lesson
Want to solo like the pros? This guitar solo lesson will help you learn the foundation of solos and
improvisation. Solo over any chord progression and learn to improvise on the spot.
Most guitar player want to solo and improvise on the spot and make masterpieces. Now this is
very possible don't get me wrong, but if you want to be ahead of the game then learning how to
solo and improvise is the key!
If you love to learn then this page is for you. Once you're done with this page you will be able to
solo and improvise over practically anything. Interested?
Let's get started
Guitar Solo Lesson ~ Starting Off
Before we start soloing there are 4 things you need.
They are...
•
•
•
•
Instrument Proficiency
Good Ears
Basic Scale, and Chord Theory
Lots Of Practice!
Instrument Proficiency
This basically means you have to know how to play guitar. You don't have to be at the level of
Eddie Van Halen or Paul Gilbert to make great sounding solos.
Your solos will be as good as you are on your guitar. You need to be able to play what you hear
in your head. Don't let your fingers get in the way of your creativity.
One of the most important things you should practice and know by heart is Scales. Learn all of
them inside and out all over the guitar.
Good Ears
You need to be able to hear what the melody of a song is and what the rhythm sounds like. What
is the bass playing? What is the other guitar players playing? These are things you need to hear
in songs.
Try to hear the chords and the chord changes in the song.
You should know what notes and scales go over those chords. You may already know what notes
sound good over certain chords, but you need to let your ears be the deciding factor.
Your ears may surprise you and make you hear and play notes that you normally would never
play. You have to hear the music to easily and creatively improvise.
A good soloist builds his solo on the foundation on the other musicians.
Hear the music to know when to climax your solo or to bring it back down.
You may even get creative ideas listening to the drummer or hear a creative live from the piano
player.
Basically... listen, listen, listen.
Scale and Chord Theory
You would be surprised at how many guitar players actually don't have theory training. It's like
trying to build a house without a foundation, it's very possible to build a great house but it's
going to be shaky.
A basic knowledge of scales and chords will do. Go here to get your basic knowledge of theory
Easy Guitar Theory.
Now you don't have to know theory or how to read music to shred, but for solos and improvising
its a must.
Here is the theory you should really know.
•
•
•
•
Learn to read standard notation (music)
How to find the notes of chords
Know the keys and scales
(If someone tells you to play in the key of C you'll need to know how many sharps and
flats are in that key.
•
Chords
•
(What notes make up what chords, which scales go with what chords, and extended
chords).
Try writing a novel without first learning the alphabet. It can be done but it's going to be difficult
and not flow.
Lots Of Practice
This can only come with time. Playing along with other musicians and with CD's. The best way
to learn is to actually improvise on the spot.
Once you start doing this enough you won't even think about chords and scales it will become
second nature.
Experience will help you gain confidence and skill, but this won't come on its own; you have to
put in the practice time.
Guitar Solo Lesson ~ Transcribing the Music You Hear
Writing down the music you hear is called Transcribing. It involves listening to a solo and
finding out what notes are being played, and then writing it down on paper.
This may sound hard, but with practice this will become second nature. Just train your ears.
There are three steps to transcribing:
1. Listen
2. Process
3. Document
Listen - Start by listening to the music-not for your enjoyment, but listen actively to the notes,
rhythm, and so on.
Process - Next you actually figure out what notes and rhythms are being played.
Document - Finally write the notes down on paper.
With time and practice you will fly through this listen-process-document system. You will be
able you write the notes down as you hear them almost subconsciously.
Hearing Pitches
When listening you need to hear the notes. When I say hear the notes I mean listen to every note
that comes up hear it and register it.
You must be able you hear a pitch and find it and play or sing it back. So if you have an
instrument try this exercise. Let's use piano as an example. Say you close your eyes and play a
note on the piano. Could you eventually find that note or sing that exact note?
This is easier than it sounds believe me. To be able to do this you need what is called tonal
memory, or pitch memory. Put simply, be able to recall any given pitch when played.
Here is an exercise to help you develop your pitch memory.
Listen to a solo or any part of a song and pick any note in that song, pause the song up to that
point and fix that note in your head. Think about that note for a few seconds and then play it back
on your instrument or sing it back.
When you have selected a note go back to the song and see if you were correct. Compare the
notes if you played the wrong note then try again until you can do this every time.
When starting out hold the note in your head for only a few seconds, 4 or 5 will do. When you
get good enough to do this almost every time then hold that note in your head longer before you
play it back.
Once you have that note down move on to the next note. This is a great way to learn a solo...one
note at a time.
Hearing Rhythms
Start this by playing the solo that you want to hear and get the rhythm down. Tap the rhythm of
the notes on the table with your hand. Get the first measure down then the next until you can do
the whole solo.
Remember to hold the rhythm in your head before you try to tap it out. Build your rhythmic
memory. Once you have the rhythm down break it up into measures. This may sound difficult but
with a basic understanding of theory you will get this in no time.
If the song is in 4/4 then make sure the notes add up to 4 beats when you break it up into
measures.
Hearing the Complete Solo
What you need to also practice is hearing the complete solo. By this I mean find out what note
begins the solo and which one ends it. How many measures are in the solo and what is the end of
the 4th measure. Start finding pieces of the puzzle (solo) and connect the dots. This is a great
way to learn and transcribe a solo.
After piecing together the notes fit the rhythm in there. Break up the notes onto measures like we
learned before. Once you have your solo figured out compare it to the actual solo. If you were
wrong in some areas fix them then try again.
This is amazing practice.
Write It Down
After all these steps you should now have a transcribed solo. This may seem like a lot of work
but very few acquire this skill. Transcribing solos is a tool you will use every day of your
musical journey.
Stay a step ahead of the game with this new found skill!
Guitar Solo Lesson ~ Different Kinds Of Solos
There are many different kinds of solos available for you to play. They range from just you
playing and no one else to a full on band behind you while you go crazy on your guitar.
Every solo is unique for its own reason. I'm going to cover these different solos and you can use
whichever ones you like. Here we go.
Melody Solo
This is the most common and the easiest. A melody solo is nothing more than you playing the
melody of the song. Yep that's it. If it's time for you to get in front of the crowd and play and you
play the melody of the song then your soloing.
There is absolutely no improvisation in this type of solo. Try this with a couple of your favorite
songs. Listen to the song and play the melody as it's played.
Solo Behind The Melody
Some wouldn't even classify this next example as a solo. This solo is better felt than heard in
other words. When you solo behind the melody your improvising on the spot, but you might be
improvising behind the singer or behind the main melody.
It's like when you hear a saxophonist playing behind the song, it's not the upfront melody it's
behind it all adding flavor to the song.
Trading Fours
This is a very common jazz solo. When you hear two different players going back and forth
soloing for a short time they are most likely trading fours.
This can happen with a drummer and a guitar player or a keyboardist and guitar player or even
two different guitar players. The point of this unique solo is to build off of the previous players
solo and together build a great sounding solo.
It might be fairly easy since you're not composing long solos on the spot you're just soloing in
bursts.
Solo A Verse
Most rock and jazz songs contain this next solo type. This may sound familiar to you. This solo
is when you solo over a chord progression, typically the verse chords or even the chorus.
Soloing over a verse allows you to make up whatever you want or stick to the main melody it's
all up to you.
Listen to your favorite music and see if you can figure out which one they play.
Cadenzas
The last type of solo is a real solo. A cadenza solo is when the music stops and it's all you. The
lights are on you and you are the focal point of the moment.
You step out and play whatever comes to mind building a solo for however long you want. This
idea lets limitless ideas flow.
Guitar Solo Lesson ~ Approaching A Solo
There are different ways to approach a solo. I will cover these ways in greater detail later on in
this lesson, but for now I will shortly overview them.
Interpret The Melody
This is the easiest approach to soloing. You simply put your own spin on the melody. You don't
change it much you just let your technique and personal playing style show.
If you don't feel comfortable soloing off the top of your head then this is great.
Embellish The Melody
This one gives you a little more freedom and it builds off the last example. Instead of playing the
melody straight you add your flair to it. You can change notes to varying the rhythm. Making the
solo your own melody in other words.
Riffing
This approach is all about wowing the crowd. All you do is play licks you know as fast as you
can and show off your guitar techniques.
A good approach if you're Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, or John Petrucci. If you can do that then
maybe you will like this solo. You probably won't hear this often because most guitar players are
focusing on making the song sound good and not showing off. Then again we like to show off
quite a bit.
Scale Based Improvisation
This solo, sometimes referred to as horizontal improvisation, is basically taking the notes of the
scale your playing in and creating solo lines.
Horizontal improvisation is the most common solo you will hear. The key to playing this is just
to know what scale and key the song is in.
Chord Based Improvisation
Since we have horizontal improvisation why not vertical improvisation? Well here it is when you
have a chord based solo then you're taking the notes that are in the chords being played and use
them to solo.
You have to know what chords are being played before you can play the solo though. This
approach is a lot like playing arpeggios.
Through Form Improvisation
Melodic improvisation as it's called is the ultimate goal. When you melodically solo you're
thinking about the whole solo before you play it. You're building and releasing tension over a
number of measures.
This is used by great soloists and should be practiced and used.
All it takes is a little thinking beforehand.
Guitar Solo Lesson ~ Rhythm Variation
So here we are building off of what we learned earlier. When you change the rhythm you still
keep the melody notes so the listener recognizes it but you can make it funky or slow, make it
pop or make it swing.
The rhythm plays a big part in soloing and improvising.
In this section we will go over the six ways to vary the rhythm. Let's begin!
Simplify The Rhythm
This is a pretty simple concept because all you do here is simply make the melody more simple.
You're taking notes out of the melody while still leaving the melody sound in tact.
The best way to begin this is to figure out which notes are necessary and which notes are just
filler notes or passing notes. Usually the longer notes are the melody and the shorter ones are the
passing tones.
Try keeping all the notes that fall on beats 1 and 3 and make them fit the measure. It depends on
the melody.
Find a simple melody and simplify it but finding all the important notes. Another way for more
complex solos would be to look at the chord structure. By this I mean you can eliminate all the
notes that aren't in the chord.
You can also take out any syncopation or notes on the up beat. Syncopation is when a note is
played in a part of the beat that's not expected.
Once you have simplified the syncopation notes then make the existing notes either half or
quarter notes. Make it simple.
Syncopate The Rhythm
Here we have the complete opposite of the last one. We are making the solo more up beat and
alive.
To syncopate the rhythm your going to take an easy solo (one that is pretty straight forward) and
taking some notes and moving them to the up beat or the "and" beat.
Say you have a group of eight notes in the melody, move those notes to the up beat instead of the
down and that will give it a lively sound. For example if the eighth notes were on the 1 and 2 and
3 and 4. You could play them like this. And 2 and 3 and 4 and. All you're doing is moving them
to an unexpected place.
This idea is limitless give it a try and syncopate your own solos. This takes practice so don't be
discouraged if it doesn't come right away.
Back Phrasing
This method applies to the whole melody. When you back phrase a melody you're starting the
melody on a beat after the beginning beat. So if the melody starts on the 1 beat you could start it
on the 3rd beat or even 2 beat of the second measure. Although, when you back phrase you have
to end the melody in the same place as it normally ends.
So if you started the melody on the 2nd beat instead of the 1st then you would just have to play
some notes shorter to make the melody end on the right beat.
So the more you wait to play the melody the faster your going to have to play to catch up and
end the song on the right beat.
Don't worry if this is confusing, it will hit you one day believe me.
Front Phrasing
This one is pretty easy. When you want to front phrase all you're doing is starting one beat early.
If you want it to have a syncopated feel then start it on the up beat before the melody starts. Give
it a try.
Adding Notes
This is when you have some long notes like half or whole notes and you play more shorter notes
to replace the long ones. If the melody starts out with a whole note try taking out the whole note
and replacing it with 4 quarter notes.
You can use this for any note not only half or whole notes
Creating New Rhythmic Patterns
This one is for experienced soloist. To do this one, say you have a group of 4 eighth notes in the
first measure of the melody to create a new rhythmic pattern you will have to do some
mathematical calculations and make a new rhythm with those notes.
There are many combinations to do this. You could play 2 sixteenth notes and 3 eighth notes as
long as it's the same length as the original melody.
Embellishing The Melody
There are some great tools you can use to embellish a melody. These are tools that can be use in
any part of a song not only a melody.
The first tool is the bend. A bend is when you play a note and bend the string up (or down) to a
different pitch.
The next one is a trill. A trill is where you alternate between two notes as fast as possible. When
doing a trill you only play the note once and continue to hammer on and pull off in a fast
alternating motion.
Then there is the grace note. A grace note is a note you play before the main note. It doesn't have
any timing to it. Normally you will play it right before the note in a split second change.
Playing Harmony
To play a harmony you can play a certain interval above the original melody note. The most
commonly used harmony is the 3rd.
To play a 3rd harmony, all you do, is know what key you're in and whatever the note is, just go
up 2 notes in the key. In the key of C if the note C was played then the 3rd harmony note would
be E.
You are not limited to just the 3rd harmony. You can play different harmonies for every note if
you wanted to. Experiment with different harmonies and see what you like. This will spice up a
melody.
Solos on Chords
To solo over chords you first need to know basic chord theory. The first thing you can do to solo
over chords is to simply arpeggiate the chord. To do this, you hold the chord being played but
instead of strumming it you would play each note separate.
Also you can invert the chords. This means you can arpeggiate the chord but start on a different
note other than the root note. Soloing over Scales and Modes
First, you have to understand scales and modes.
Now, to solo with scales all you have to know is what key the song is in. If you know you're in
the key of C then you know you can play any note of the C major scale and it would sound good.
When you're building a melody or song you want to have tension and release. To do this you
build up the music to a climax point where it's at its highest point then bring the tension down
and release it to the end.
There are so many way to build a song whether it's with dissonant sounding notes to more impact
on the music to whatever. Be creative but always build tension then release it.
Be creative when writing melodies and building a climax in your song.
How to Transpose
Guitar Chords
Do you want to learn how to transpose guitar chords? This lesson breaks down the mystery of
transposing.
You will be able to play any chord in any key without having to use a capo.
Transposing music is a very important key to guitar. Let’s first start with what transposing
actually is.
Basically, transposing is when you take a song in one key and play it the exact same way but in a
different key (higher or lower in pitch).
Let’s say you want to play and sing one of your favorite songs, but the song is too high for your
voice. What do you do? That is what this lesson is all about. Learning how to transpose guitar
chords will make you a better musician and expand your knowledge of the guitar and it’s theory.
Let’s get started with...
What Key Is It In?
This lesson is going to be very simple once it is broken down for you. First you have to know
what sharps and flats are in each key. Why do you have to know this? Knowing what sharps and
flats are in each key will give you the ability to improvise on the spot.
If someone tells you to play in the key of G you would know that you can play the notes. A, B,
C, D, E, F#, and G.
This frees your mind from having to think about what chords will fit or what scale do you play.
Here is a list of every key and what sharps and flats are in them. Memorize the sharps and flats in
each key. This will make it so much easier when you start learning how to transpose guitar
chords.
Keys with sharps:
G - (1 sharp) F#
D - (2 sharps) F#,C#
A - (3 sharps) F#,C#,G#
E - (4 sharps) F#,C#,G#,D#
B - (5 sharps) F#,C#,G#,D#,A#
F# - (6 sharps) F#,C#,G#,D#,A#,E#
C# - (7 sharps) F#,C#,G#,D#,A#,E#,B#
Keys with Flats:
F - (1 flat) Bb
Bb - (2 flats) Bb,Eb
Eb - (3 flats) Bb,Eb,Ab
Ab - (4 flats) Bb,Eb,Ab,Db
Db - (5 flats) Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb
Gb - (6 flats) Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Cb
Cb - (7 flats) Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Cb,Fb
C has no sharps or flats.
So there it is! Now you know what keys have what sharps and what flats. Let’s move on.
What Chords Can I Play?
Now that you know the single notes of each key let’s take it a little further. In each key there are
three basic chords that you can play. Major, Minor, and Diminished.
But what chords can you play in each key? That is easy. As long as you know what notes are in
each key in order then you’re good.
Do you know all the notes in the key of F in order starting with F? If not look up at the graph
above. The graph shows you that in the key of F there is only one flat (Bb).
This means the notes in order starting with F are. F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E.
Now here is the trick. As long as you remember the following formula you will know what
chords to play in every key.
Major - Minor - Minor - Major - Major - Minor - Diminished
Now let me explain what this formula means and how it will help you transpose guitar chords
better.
Let’s use the key of F again as an example. Remember, the notes in the key of F are.
F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E
Notice there are 7 notes and notice how there are 7 chords above in the previous example.
All you have to do is memorize the notes in each key and the formula above once and you will
know all the chords in all the keys. Taking you one step closer to knowing how to transpose
guitar chords.
The formula above means that the first note of the scale is going to be a major chord. So the first
note in the key of F is F. So, from the formula we now know that in the key of F major you can
play a F major chord.
Now continue this process with the rest of the notes in the scale.
The formula shows us that the second note of the scale will be a minor chord. So, in the key of F
major you can play a G minor because G is the second note of the scale.
Next, in the key of F major you can play A minor and so on.
So in the key of F the chords you can play are, in order,....
F Major - G Minor - A Minor - Bb Major - C Major - D Minor - E Diminished.
You are only one step away from learning how to completely transpose guitar chord!
Here is a list of all the keys you learned before with the basic chords you can play in each key.
Key of C: C Maj - D Min - E Min - F Maj - G Maj - A Min - B Dim
Key of C#: C# Maj - D# Min - E# Min - F# Maj - G# Maj - A# Min - B# Dim
Key of Db: Db Maj - Eb Min - F Min - Gb Maj - Ab Maj - Bb Min - C Dim
Key of D: D Maj - E Min - F# Min - G Maj - A Maj - B Min - C# Dim
Key of Eb: Eb Maj - F Min - G Min - Ab Maj - Bb Maj - C Min - D Dim
Key of E: E Maj - F# Min - G# Min - A Maj - B Maj - C# Min - D# Dim
Key of F: F Maj - G Min - A Min - Bb Maj - C Maj - D Min - E Dim
Key of F#: F# Maj - G# Min - A# Min - B Maj - C# Maj - D# Min - E# Dim
Key of Gb: Gb Maj - Ab Min - Bb Min - Cb Maj - Db Maj - Eb Min - F Dim
Key of G: G Maj - A Min - B Min - C Maj - D Maj - E Min - F# Dim
Key of Ab: Ab Maj - Bb Min - C Min - Db Maj - Eb Maj - F Min - G Dim
Key of A: A Maj - B Min - C# Min - D Maj - E Maj - F# Min - G# Dim
Key of Bb: Bb Maj - C Min - D Min - Eb Maj - F Maj - G Min - A Dim
Key of B: B Maj - C# Min - D# Min - E Maj - F# Maj - G# Min - A# Dim
Key of Cb: Cb Maj - Db Min - Eb Min - Fb Maj - Gb Maj - Ab Min - Bb Dim
Now you know what chords can be played in what key. The best part about this is all you have to
memorize is the single notes in each key and the Major Minor Diminished formula.
That’s a lot better than trying to memorize everything.
Now you know the chords and notes you can play in each key. Here is the easy part.
To transpose guitar chords just find what key the song is in. Let’s use the key of C as an example.
If the song you want to learn has a chord progression of C Major, G Major, A Minor and you
want to transpose the same progression to the key of G what do you do?
Simple! All you have to do is find out what number that chord is in relation to that scale. What I
mean by this is in the key of C, C is your first note D is your second note E is your third note and
so on.
So to transpose these guitar chords find out what number these chords are. So the chord
progression above is the first note, the fifth note, and the sixth note of the key of C.
Now find the 1st, 5th, and 6th note of the key of G.
Those notes are G, D, and E. So the same chord progression above in the key of G is G Major, D
Major, and E Minor.
Try this out with other chord progressions and other keys. This becomes second nature after
some practice.
If you still don't quite understand how to transpose guitar chords then leave me a comment and I
will be glad to answer any questions you have.
Guitar Arpeggios
What is an arpeggio?
This is very simple. An arpeggio is simply when you play the notes of a chord separately
rather than all together.
Itʼs really that simple. Letʼs use the C major chord as an example.
The notes of the C major chord are C,E,G.
So instead of strumming all of these notes together to make a chord you simply play
each note separately. So you could play C then G then E or any other pattern.
Thatʼs all it is.
This may sound simple and boring but once you play some interesting arpeggios you
will be hooked.
Arpeggios can take your music a long way. Here I will show you the basic forms of 4
different arpeggios.
I suggest buying a Guitar Arpeggio Book.
Or check out my website Full Score Guitar Lessons.com
for more guitar arpeggios and tons of other lessons.
Here are the 4 basic guitar arpeggios.
Major Guitar Arpeggios
To make a major arpeggio you play the 1, 3, and 5 of the scale. To make the C major arpeggio,
take the C major scale and play the notes 1, 3, and 5 (C,E,G).The (R) you will see in these
lessons shows you which note is the root note.
The next 6 pictures are the notes of the C major arpeggio on all the 6 strings. The next 10
examples are the C major arpeggio in one octave.
The next 5 examples are the C major arpeggio in two octaves.
The next three examples are the C major arpeggio in three octaves.
Minor Guitar Arpeggios
To make a minor arpeggio, compared to the major arpeggio, you flat the 3rd.
So you will play 1, b3, 5. So, if you take your C major scale, which is A,B,C,D,E,F,G, you would
play the 1,3, and 5 and flat the third.
So a C minor arpeggio is C, Eb, G.
These next 6 pictures are the C minor arpeggio on all six strings.
The (R) is a symbol to show you where the root note is. If you know where the root note is in
any chord or scale or arpeggio, then you can move it to any other note.So, if you know one
arpeggio or one scale then you know all twelve, only if you know where the root is. The pattern
is always the same just moved higher or lower on the guitar neck.
These next 10 examples are one octave C minor arpeggios.
These next 5 examples are C minor two octave arpeggios.
These final 3 pictures are the three octave C minor arpeggios.
Augmented Guitar Arpeggios
To make a C augmented arpeggio you will play the 1,3, and 5 of the C major scale but you will
sharp the 5th.
So, the notes of a C augmented arpeggio are C,E,G#.
The (R) you will see in these lessons shows you which note is the root note.
The next 6 examples are the C augmented arpeggio on each of the 6 strings.
These next 10 pictures are of the C augmented arpeggio in one octave.
The next 5 examples are of the C augmented arpeggio in two octaves.
These last two arpeggios are in three octaves.
Diminished Guitar Arpeggios
To make a Diminished arpeggio you will play the 1,3, and 5 of the scale and flat the 3rd and 5th.
So to play the C diminished arpeggio you will play the notes C,Eb,Gb (1,b3,b5).
The (R) you will see in these lessons shows you which note is the root note.
The next 6 pictures are the notes of the C diminished arpeggio on all the 6 strings.
The next 8 examples are one octave C diminished arpeggios.
The next 5 examples are two octave C diminished arpeggios.
These last three arpeggios are three octave C diminished arpeggios.
Beginner Guitar Lesson
Are you a beginner guitar player? Well, your search for a great beginner guitar lesson online is
over. This complete beginner guitar lesson will take you from the very beginning to a more
advanced level. Are you ready?
This beginner guitar lesson online will take you through all the information you need to learn
how to play beginner guitar! Lessons include
beginner guitar scales
free beginner guitar tabs
beginner guitar theory
beginner guitar chords
and beginner guitar tips
Let’s start off with...
How To Hold The Guitar
When you are playing guitar normally you will sit down unless you are playing a show and have
to stand. So, let’s start with sitting down for now.
When you are sitting down, if you are a right handed guitar player, the body should be on your
right leg.
You can tell if you are a right or left handed guitar player by the hand that holds the body (the
large part of the guitar). If you feel comfortable with your right hand on the body then your right
handed. If you are holding the guitar and the strings are opposite (the small string is on top) then
something is wrong...Ok, I’m just kidding. That means you are left handed. Your left hand will
feel comfortable over the body of the guitar and the neck will be in your right hand.
Left Hand Position
From now on I’m going teach this lesson as a right handed guitar player. Don’t worry my fellow
left handed players all you have to do is use the opposite hand I say to use.
Let’s talk about your left hand and its positioning. The thumb of the left hand should be placed
on the back of the neck around the middle. Your thumb shouldn’t be above the neck or below it.
Try to keep your thumb directly behind your first and second finger. This should give you the
best form and a good stretch.
Your fingers on your left hand should be in an ark. When you play you don’t want any of your
other fingers to mute strings. Also, watch your palm of your left hand, it will naturally want to
creep down into a lazy position and rest on the fretboard.
Keep your fingers in an ark. Here is a visual for you. Reach out and pretend to grab a ball the
size of your hand. Your hand shouldn’t close but your hand should look like it’s holding a ball.
Now, turn your hand towards you. Make sure that your thumb is on the bottom of the ball and the
fingers are on top.
This is the form you should have. Also, when you play with your left hand you will play with
your finger tips not the pad of your finger. This is why the ark in the hand comes in handy. You
are going to want to move your hand and thumb around to find a position that isn’t stressful on
your wrist and fingers.
Ok, so the left hand has been covered. Let’s move on to the...
Right Hand Position
The right hand has many different positions because of the diversity it has. For example, you will
play with your fingers sometimes and other times you will play with a pick.
I’m going to teach you to use your fingers first. A great position that may be awkward at first is to
place your thumb on the top string (the biggest one), then your first, second and third fingers will
play the last three strings. Your pinky will be planted on the body below the strings to stable your
hand.
Now, your thumb will be on the top of the top string because when you play with your thumb
you will pluck down. Your first, second, and third fingers will be under the last three strings. The
reason your fingers are on the bottom is because when you play with any finger you will pluck
with an upstroke.
Moving right along...
Guitar Strings
Before moving on you should know what each string is. So, if you are holding your guitar in the
playing position then the string closest to you, which is the biggest, is the “low E string” this is
how I will address it from now on.
The strings in order from largest to smallest after the low E string are the A, D, G, B, and high E
string. What are these random letters here for? Great question! Let’s explain that now with
learning the guitar...
Fundamentals
So, what about those notes we learned about before? Those were 5 of the 12 different notes that
make up the guitar and it’s sound. Yes, there are only 12 different notes on the guitar. Just like
there are only 12 notes on the piano and most other instruments.We will cover this later on
though.
Music is written on a musical staff. The picture below is of a blank musical staff.
As you can see there are 5 lines and 4 spaces on this staff. Each line and space represent a
specific note that you will play when a note is placed on it. Don’t freak out this will all come
together I promise you.
First go over to the How To Read Guitar Tabs page and first learn what guitar tabs are. Tabs are
another way to read music. If you have been around this site you will notice that most of my
examples are in sheet music (the staff you just learned) and tabs (the way you will learn once you
go to the guitar tabs page).
After you go to the tabs page and get a good understanding of how to read tabs then go to the
Learning Guitar Strings page. This page will show you every singe note on the fretboard of the
guitar on every string. You have to know what you’re looking at though so that’s why I
recommended those pages.
Do you remember the notes of the 6 strings? E, A, D, G, B, and e? Well, now we will put those
notes on our staff that we learned about earlier.
When you play any string without pressing any note on the fretboard then that is called an “open
note.” So, if you were to play all the strings of the guitar from low E to high E then you are
playing all open notes.
Now that we covered what open notes are here are your 6 open notes on the musical staff.
I’m sure you noticed that there are some notes below the staff. You will have notes above and
below the staff depending on how high the note your playing is or how low it is.
The lines below or above the staff like in the above example are called ledger lines. If you
haven’t noticed this already, the higher the sound of the note you’re playing the higher it will be
on the staff. The lower the sound of the note you are playing the lower it will be on the staff.
Right now don’t worry about the weird oval things on the staff. So, anytime you see any oval
thing (note) on the very top space of the staff then you can play the high E string. Go to the
Guitar Theory page for more on the staff and it’s notes.
Now, let’s talk about all those notes we can play. I mentioned before that there are 12 different
notes you can play on the guitar. Well, there are actually 7 natural notes. Natural notes are notes
that aren’t sharped or flat. I’ll show you. The 7 notes are just the first 7 letters of the Alphabet.
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. So, where are the other notes? They are in between each of these notes.
Each note has a sharp and flat note. To sharp a note simply means to raise it one half step which
is one fret on the guitar. A fret is the space between each of those metal bars. To flat a note means
you will lower it a fret or move that note one space back on the neck.
This might confuse you, but remember you will understand it soon. Between the notes B, and C
and E, and F there are no sharps. So the notes in order will look like this
Try this. Find your A string on your guitar. It is your second string the one right below the low E
string. Play it open, this is the note “A.” If you play the first space at the very top of the A string
this is the first fret and also the note “A#” or “Bb.” The symbol # means sharp and the symbol
“b” means to flat.
If you continue up another space or fret on the A string that note will be “B.” Look back at the
example before about all the notes in order and try to go all the way up to A again on your A
string.
Name the notes when you do it too. So, the open string is A, the next note is A# or Bb the next
note is B, the next note is C, because there is no sharp or flat between B, C and E, F.
Moving on. So we covered that the frets are the spaces right? Now, when you hear the term
“move up a half step” this means to move the note you are playing up a fret. Or, you can move in
down a half step by moving it back towards your open note.
If you hear the term “move up a whole note” this means move that note up 2 frets. The last one is
“move up (or down) an octave.” An octave is from one note to either the same note higher or
lower. So, from A to A is an octave. If you play your open A note and move up 12 frets you will
reach the note A again. It will sound higher but it is the same note. An octave has the same sound
just a different pitch. It will sound higher or lower but it will be the same sounding note.
This part of the beginner guitar lesson online can get a little overwhelming. I’d suggest you go
watch some tv and give your mind a break. I’m probably the only guitar teacher that suggests
you watch tv. Yeah, I’m pretty cool.
Ok, here is something all guitar players should know...
How to Tune Your Guitar
There are a couple of ways to tune your guitar. You can tune by ear, or you can tune to a piano,
or a guitar tuner, or a tuning fork, or a pitch pipe, or have someone else do it, or buy one already
tuned and never play it, ok, I’m getting out of control here. I will show you three ways. The
guitar tuner, the piano tuning, and the tuning by ear.
First the guitar tuner. Buying a guitar tuner will save you hours of frustration if you’re just
starting out on guitar and haven’t practiced your tuning. I’m serious having a tuner is the
quickest and easiest way to tune for beginners and all professionals use them too. So, if you want
to get one check out the number one place to go for guitar supplies...
Musicians Friend, Everything for Guitarists, at the Best Prices!
Now that you have your guitar tuner let’s review once more the open strings of the guitar. From
the one closest to you in the playing position, E, A, D, G, B, E. So, when using a tuner you will
pluck the low E string with either a pick or your finger it doesn’t matter.
If your guitar is strung right then if you want to raise the pitch of the note you will turn the tuner
at the far left of your guitar away from you. To make is lower or flat it you will turn the tuner
towards you.
You want the first string to be an E. So, turn on your tuner and hold it close to your guitar and
pluck your open E note. You will have to turn your tuners to make it an E note. If your tuner says
that your E string is a D note then you will most likely just have to tune up until it says E.
If your tuner says that your note is a F then just turn your tuner on your guitar towards your until
it reaches the E note. Do this for all the other 5 strings.
Now for the piano tuning! If you look at the middle of a piano, before the two black notes there
is a white note right before those two black notes. This note is called “Middle C.”
From that note just move backwards (only on the white notes) 5 white notes. This is your E
string. Tune your guitar until it sounds like this note. Now move up 3 white notes and this is your
A string. Move up 3 more white notes, this is your D string. Move up 3 more white notes this is
your G string. Move up 2 more white notes, this is your B string, and finally move up 3 more
white notes, this is your high E string. Make each of your open strings match these notes.
Now you see why having a tuner is helpful? Ok, one more way...by ear! You will normally use
this the most. You will want to tune up before playing for fun or practicing. This is the easiest
once you get some practice with it.
This is the same idea as the piano tuning only you are comparing notes on the guitar. This way
requires you to have already one string tuned. So unless you want to play your guitar in tune with
itself but out of tune you’re going to want a guitar tuner.
So, once your low E string is in tune all you have to do is play the 5th fret of your low E string.
Play the note so you can hear the note being played. This note is the A note. All you have to do is
play the 5th fret note and tune your open A string until it matches the pitch of the note you are
playing on the low E string.
Once your A string is tuned do the same thing as before, play the 5th fret of the A string and
make the D string (the next string down) sound the same. Then play the 5th fret of the D string
and match the next string to that note (the G string). This next step is different so listen up. Now,
on the G string play the 4th fret and match the B string to it. After that is tuned play the 5th fret
of the B string and match the high E string to it.
There! By now you should be in tune and ready to go. If it still sounds bad, which is normal, then
go back through the process until it sounds perfect.
Now you are ready to...
Start Playing
Let’s start off by playing your first notes. We will be building chords while we do this. A chord is
2 or more notes played at the same time. We will build the E minor chord first.
Remember to ark you hand and play with the tips of your fingers and put your thumb behind the
neck directly behind your first or second finger. Now, place your second finger on the second fret
of the A string. Hold this note down and put your third finger down on the 2nd fret of the D
string. Your fingers will be close together but you want each note to ring out.
All the other notes will be open notes. So, all you have is your second and third fingers on
second fret of the A and D string. Press these down as hard as needed to get them to ring out.
Strum all the strings from the low E string to the high E string. If you hear any buzzing or muted
notes figure out what it is and try to fix it.
Once you get this you have played your first chord! Here is what the E minor chord will look like
on the staff and tab.
To make the E major chord all you have to do is hold your E minor chord and place your first
finger on the first fret of the G string. It will look like this...
The next chord we will make is the A minor chord. This is really easy, it looks exactly like your
E major chord. All you have to do to make this chord is to move each of your fingers down a
string.
So, your first finger will be playing the first fret of the B string, and your third finger will play the
second fret of the G string, and your second finger will play the second fret of the D string. It will
look like this...
The last chord we will learn for now is the D major chord. This chord is different from the others
and will take practice. Start by placing your first finger on the second fret of the G string. Then
place your second finger on the second fret of the high E string. Last, place your third finger on
the 3rd fret of the B string. With the D major chord you will only strum the last 4 strings.This is
your D major chord. It will look like this...
Now that you know 4 different chords, let’s put them together. We are going to play a chord
progression of E minor, E major, A minor, and D major.
It will look like this on the staff and tab...
You will get your fingers in place and strum the chord then move to the next chord. Do this until
you get comfortable with these chords and can change them with ease.
Here is a list of the other chords I want you to learn with the fingerings. Practice these until you
are comfortable with them. Take it slow don’t expect to be perfect the first couple times you play
them.
Here is the G major chord on the musical staff and tab. This may look difficult to play but this is
one of the most simple chords to start with.
Here is the A major chord. This will be a little weird because three of your fingers are grouped
together real close.
Here is another really great first chord to learn. The C chord Is another chord that is really simple
after a while but kind of a stretch at first. Keep practicing and these will become second nature to
you.
This chord give some people problems. It's really easy but when you are starting out it is a
strange form for your fingers. Use the fingers that feel the most comfortable.
Here are some chord progressions you should practice before moving on.
G maj - C maj - D maj
E maj - A maj - E maj
D min - E min - C maj - E min
A min - C maj - G maj - D maj
Practice these slow and even make your own chord progressions! You have 8 chords to work
with. Most songs are written with only 3 chords.
The next thing you need to know is....
Picking With a Pick
Every guitar player should know how to play with a guitar pick. Let’s learn how to hold the pick
First, your pick has a pointed edge, this edge is what is going to pluck the string. Hold your pick
in between your thumb and first finger. Looking down at your pick it should be flat.
There are multiple ways to pick, but I’m going to show you 3 different ways. First, down
picking. This is pretty much self explanatory. You will take your pick and pluck downwards on
one string. The next is the up pick.
With this technique you will do the opposite of the down pick. Take your pick and pluck up
wards on any string. These will need practice to feel comfortable.
The last technique is alternate picking. This should be the ultimate goal by the end of this
beginner guitar lesson online. You will want to use alternate picking whenever you play
anything. This type of picking let’s you play complicated pieces a lot easier than straight down or
up picking
Here are three examples of down picking, up picking, and alternate picking. This first example is
of down picking. Give this a try and play around with it to make this picking pattern
comfortable.
Practice this until down picking is really easy for you. You are going to have a constant
downward picking motion the whole time.
The upstroke will be a little more awkward than the downstroke because you normally won't
constantly upstroke. For the sake of this lesson practice with just upstrokes.
This is what you are trying to master. Alternate picking is what all the shredders use. You can
cover a lot of ground with the least amount of effort.
Practice this until you are comfortable. Take every lick you learn where you can apply this
technique and practice it.
Awesome! Now keep practicing these and use them when you play and practice. Here are more
easy guitar chords. The chords below are in order...D dominant 7th, E dominant 7th, F major, G
dominant 7th, and A dominant 7th.
Practice these like the last set of chords and make some progressions with them! Making music
is the best part of playing guitar for most players.
The chord above is the D dominant 7th chord.
This next chord is the E dominant 7th chord. Remember to keep your fingers in an ark so you
don't touch the other strings.
Here is the F major chord. This chord will need some practice because you will have to lay your
first finger over the last two strings. This is called a barre. Barre chords will be your best friend.
Here is the G dominant 7th chord. If you got the G major chord down then this should be fairly
easy as well.
This is another really easy chord to play. This is the A dominant 7th chord.
I hope this beginner lesson helps. If you are interested in even more lessons, styles and
techniques you can check out my website..
Full Score Guitar Lessons.com