level 2 :
dom 7th open chords (c7,a7,g7,e7,d7,b7)
suspended open chords 1 (dsus4,dsus2,asus4,asus2,esus4)
power chords (6th string roots,5th string roots)
basic barre chords
suspended open chords 2 (csus2/4,fsus2/4,gsus4,esus2,bsus4)
maj7 and min7 open chords
how to play barre chords?
1)practiced getting just the barre down....try to make the whole barre sound with
my index finger from the first to the sixth string.
2)learn songs which involve barre chords and try to play them at your own speed.
3)try playing the g scale (from 3rd fret of 6th string) by completely barring the
third fret throughout the whole scale,that'll increase the barring strength..
4)as usual go for accuracy and timing rather than speed..make sure no buzzes are
heard and use a really really slow tempo...
5)use you thumb the gain pressure for the index finger.
the first thing is to do with the guitar itself. make sure you can play perfectly
along to the record right in the rhythm. it is called 'muscle memory': u shd be
always able to play the chords correctly whenever u want to, and not only
sometimes. to do this, ur fingers and hands will learn to *remember* to summon up
exactly the right muscles to tend to automatically shape themselves accordingly in
the next chord shape and move along in the right direction to form that chord
without yourself even having to think of pushing them to do so.
then at first, you may avoid singing entirely. just hum along the tune while
playing. u'll realise this is much easier to do and goes well with the chords too
most of the time.
then u may graduate to singing and playing with the track. this is still kinda
easier coz u can sometimes skip some singing portions if u find ur rhythm eluding
then to start doing it on ur own... the first requisite to be able to add singing
to the chords is to remember the song absolutely perfectly, the lyrics and the
tune and the intonations and all. u may avoid some singing techniques like the
tremolo in the beginning, as u can pick all that later again.
so how do you do it? well, i first listen closely a few times to the cd and get
the general feel for the song, the layout, the sections, the different
instruments etc. then i sit down with my guitar and pick out the bass line, or
even just the bass notes to the chord changes. this may take a while if the
bass is tough to hear. sometimes headphones help. the thing about bass notes is
that there are no majors, minors, sevenths, suspensions or anything like that
to confuse you when you're just getting started. i just start at the open e and
continue up and down the string trying each note until one fits. i usually try
the common keys (e, a, d, c & g) first. then i restart the cd and narrow it
down even more, until i have the first note, then the second, then the third.
this process usually drives my wife crazy because she has now heard the first
part of this song 14 times. so you might want to consider headphones.
so once i have the bass notes i play along with the cd and just play the bass
notes. i'll also try experimenting with other notes in case i am not sure of
some of the notes. i often pick out a note a fifth up from the actual bass note
and think it's right...until i poke around a bit more and play the right one.
so now i have the chord changes. now comes the easy part. if your tune is a
contemporary rock tune then most likely the chords for those bass notes are
either major or minor. admittedly it is the minority of bands that employs a
more intricate chord selection than these few. be careful of bands like stp who
use very creative chords.
so now i just try adding in major chords to each of the bass notes that i had
previously figured out. certain ones will fit, others won't. for those that
don't, try playing a minor chord and see if it fits better, sometimes the
difference is subtle...try them both anyway.
there are times in songs when you hear a guitar chord change but the bass
doesn't. in this case the chords may be suspended chords that resolve to the
bass note chord. these are tremendously common in rock guitar. they usually
will be a suspended 2 or 4 chord. you can learn to recognize these by the lack
of a bass note change. the alternate to that is when the bass note changes and
the chord doesn't seem to change. this could be a mistake by the bass player,
....uh...just kidding...more likely is a chord with an altered bass note. like playing a c major then a c/b to an am7. the c major sounds the same troughout but the bass line descends.
listen closely for notes that ring throughout chord changes. finding a common
tone between two chords might help you find the chord type and fingering.
usually open strings sound different and are easy to pick out. certain chord
progressions have common notes. an example is a dsus2 (or d9 or dadd9) to e to
f#m7 progression. the common note is e. (this is the chord progression to "hey
jealousy" by gin blossoms).
it also helps to know a bit about the band. does the guitarist tune up or down,
or to a different key, or use a capo? are there certain chord fingerings that
they use often? by the way don't try to pick out any michael hedges tunes until
you get real good.
by now you may very likely have the chords to the tune all figured out. but now
there may be a melody to figure out too. the trick to melodies is to get the
first note. after that it gets easier. pick out the first note of the melody
just like you did the bass line. pick a note on your guitar and figure out if
it is higher or lower than the first note of the melody. or maybe another
salient note in the melody is easier.
the chords will tell you what key you're in. from there you can play around in the major or minor scale in that key and find the notes that fit. listen to the character of the string used to get the fingering. the same pitch will sound brighter if played on the higher strings at a lower fret as opposed to a lower string at a higher fret.
this works the same again for solos. once you know the chords noodle around
with the appropriate pentatonic scale until you get the general feel for the
solo. start with the root note (high or low) and proceed from there. if the
guitarist uses scales more interesting than the pentatonic (hopefully) then try
the major or minor scale for starters.
don't get too hung up on scales though. there is nothing that says that the
notes in the solo have to be in a particular scale...this is art and the rules
are meant to be broken.
after a while of doing this with a number of different songs you will get to
the point where you can play a chord progression and melody on your first or
second try (really, you will). at first you may get a few of the notes wrong,
but as you continue to play the tune you will make improvements to your
transcription and to your ear in general.
try picking out a song in your head. play the star spangled banner from memory, or pomp and circumstance, or mary had a little lamb, or little drummer boy. it is very useful to be able to play a melody that you hear in your head. don't worry about what note to start on or what scale to use. if you are playing from memory it doesn't matter, just play the notes you hear in your head and fiddle around until you get the melody right.
remember that, as in life, learning music is pyramidal. everything builds on
top of what has been previously learned. a solid foundation is essential to
proper progress...and that takes time. be patient, yet persistent. push
yourself, and reward yourself for all successes.
how to shift from one chord to another?
1. place all of your fingers down on a chord that you have chosen to work on. for
examples c. you might have to put your fingers down one at a time at first.
2. very slowly lift your fingers off of the strings. as you do, try to hold your fingers in the shape of the chord. do not lift more than a centimeter away from the strings at first. try to watch those stray fingers that do not want to obey your wishes.
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