C OUR SE

minor

Rod Fogg

B7 add 1
first inversions

chorus chorus chorus

ZERO TO HERO IN A LESSON EIGHT A MIDDLE DAY

major

riffs

coda

bridg

Guitar

THEULTIMATE

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

SECTION ONE

GETTING STARTED
Getting in tune
Before playing any music, the most important thing is to get your guitar in tune. Track 1 on the CD will give you notes you can tune to, but it is far easier to use a modern electronic tuner. Some you plug your electric guitar into, or you can use the sort that clips to the headstock of the instrument and picks up its vibrations. Or, if you have a smartphone, you can probably download a free guitar tuner app; I have one on my Android phone and I use it all the time. With the guitar plugged in, turn your tuner on and play each string, one at a time. Make adjustments at the tuning peg (follow the string back to the peg to make sure you are turning the right one) until the tuner indicates that the pitch is correct, usually with a needle pointing to the centre or with a display that changes color. Check that the tuner displays the letter name of the string you are tuning; if the guitar is new the strings may well be below their correct pitch and need several turns before they are in tune. If you begin to get erratic readings from your tuner, it may be that the battery needs changing.

On the left is a tuner with a jack for you to plug your guitar into. It also has a built-in microphone. The string is recognized automatically, and the guitar is in tune when the green light in the center is lit, or when the electronic needle points directly upwards. On the right is a clip-on tuner that senses the vibration of the guitar strings. The display changes color when the guitar is in tune. Follow the string you are picking back up the neck and across the nut (the block of bone or plastic that keeps the strings in position) to make sure you are turning the right tuning peg.

Sitting, standing, and which hand goes where
Most performing on the electric guitar is done standing up, but to put in the hours necessary to achieve guitar-god status it will probably be best to practice sitting down. In either case it is best for your hands if you keep the guitar neck pointing upwards; somewhere around 45 degrees is best. Whatever you do, don’t let it drop below horizontal. You will need a guitar strap that can be adjusted to the correct length. Imagine that the weight of the guitar is being carried by the whole of your back, rather than just your shoulder. For most guitarists, the left hand holds down the strings on the fingerboard and the right hand plays the strings down near the bridge with a pick. Left-handed people often opt to do this the opposite way around, using a purpose-built or converted left-handed guitar. But there is no reason why any one hand should be better at fretting than picking, so if you are a left-handed beginner you might as well learn to play right-handed. The advantage is that when you go to your local guitar store you will find plenty of right-handed guitars, but very few left-handed instruments. Also, if you need to borrow a guitar at a friend’s house or a jam session, and you’ve learned to play left-handed, you’ll probably find all the guitars are right-handed.

6

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

To avoid confusion, throughout this book we will refer to the hand holding down the strings as the “fret hand,” and the hand doing the strumming and picking as the “pick hand.” As you’ve probably gathered, the exercises are intended for electric guitar played with a pick, but most of them will convert quite readily to a steel-string acoustic or maybe even to a nylon-string guitar. If you don’t want to use a pick, you can try using the thumb and fingers of the picking hand to pluck the strings: this is known as “fingerstyle.” Some of the exercises, particularly in the later stages of the book, are intended to be played this way. Study the two pictures below and get used to holding the pick in this way, balanced lightly between thumb and index finger. Then listen to CD track 01 and take a look at Exercise 1.
Below left: The pick is held against the thumb by the index finger and points directly at the strings. Below right: If you get it right, the thumb will be pointing along the strings and the index finger pointing at the guitar. Above left: A good strap is essential. One that doesn’t slide around is best. Above right: A strap can still be useful to keep the guitar up at the best angle even when sitting down to play.

Exercise 1: The open strings, staves, tablature, and pulse
We write music on a stave. The top stave in Exercise 1 has five lines and is for standard musical notation, which is not unique to guitar, but can be read and played by other musicians such as violinists or pianists. The bottom stave has six lines and is for a system unique to fretted instruments, known as tablature or “tab.” Each line represents a string and numbers are used to indicate which frets to play. The lowest line is your lowest sounding string and the top line is your highest T H E O R Y sounding string. In this case the zeros represent the open strings: the sounds the guitar Musical sounds are produces without any help from the fret hand. So the object of the exercise is to play all the named after the first open strings starting with the lowest sounding and ending with the highest sounding. Just let seven letters of the the pick fall gently from one string to the next with a relaxed downward movement of your alphabet: A B C D E F G. picking hand. We call this a downstroke—not difficult, but we’ve got to start somewhere. There are more than If you take a closer look at the notation stave, you will see that notes can be written on the seven notes on the guitar, lines or in the spaces, and that we add extra lines, called ledger lines, to accommodate low so after G we begin again notes that do not fit on the stave. We have also added the names of the open strings of the on A. We will return to guitar: E A D G B E. Try playing along with the CD track. It begins with four clicks: count 1 – 2 this in more detail later. – 3 – 4 and then begin. You can hear the click carrying on in the background. Keep counting the clicks so that you play the next note at the right time. Each one of the notes last for four clicks and is known as a “whole note.” That makes each click a “quarter note.” We’ll see what they look like in the next exercise.

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T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

The music is divided up by vertical lines every four beats; these are known as bar lines. There are six bars in this piece of music and, as in most rock music, there are four beats to a bar. (Sometimes a bar is also called a “measure” but we’re sticking to bar in this book.) At the start of the piece there is this sign: 4/4. We call that a time signature. The top number tells us how many beats there are in the bar, and the bottom number tells us they are quarter notes; so that means four quarter notes to a bar in this exercise. The clicks in the background introduce the idea of “pulse,” the steady background beats that underlie virtually all music. EXERCISE 1 CD TRACK 01

4 &4

w
E

w
A

w
D

w
G

w
B
0

w
E
0

0

0

0

0

Upstroke sign

Downstroke sign

Single eighth note

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≤ ≥

Exercise 2: Half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes
In Exercise 2 we are working on developing some faster movements with the pick. Listen to CD track 02 and check out the music on the page opposite. In the notation stave the first four bars introduce a new kind of note—the half note. Each one of these T H E O R Y lasts for two beats, so counting four beats to a bar At the start of the exercise you will see we would play on beats one and three. Can you q =85. This “tempo marker” sets the overall speed of the piece of music at 85 beats per figure out which note you have to play? The zeros minute or bpm. “Rock” gives you an idea of on the top line of the tab stave and the notes in the the style of the piece. top space of the notation stave tell you to play the open high E-string. Now let’s take a look at the next four bars. These also introduce another new kind of note, the quarter note. There are four of these in every bar, one on each beat. This time we are starting to move across the guitar, using the B-string and the G-string. All these notes should be played with the pick, using downstrokes. You can see the sign we use for a downstroke in between the staves in the first bar of the exercise.

CD 1

Beamed eighth notes

PRO TIP Low and high: In music, terms like low and high always refer to the pitch of the music, so the “low” end of the guitar is near the nut on the first few frets, where the lowest notes are found. If you read “go up one fret” it means go one fret higher in pitch. This would mean moving your hand one fret nearer the bridge and therefore nearer the floor. You might have noticed that we have two E-strings. The high E-string is the highest sounding one, nearest the floor, and the low E-string is the lowest sounding one, nearest the ceiling. Just remember that low and high always refer to the pitch of the note.

8

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

4˙ &4 ≥
0

q=85 Rock

EXERCISE 2 CD TRACK 02 / BACKING TRACK 03

˙ ≥
0

˙
0

˙
0

˙
0

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0

˙
0

˙
0


5

& ⁄
9

œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0

& ⁄

w œ œ œœœœ œ œ œœœœ œ œ œœœœ œ œ œœœœ ≥ ≥ ≥≤ ≥≤
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

CD 02/03

Moving on to bars nine through 12, each bar contains two quarter notes followed by four of another new kind of note; these are known as eighth notes. When more than one appears together, they are grouped (“beamed”) by joining their tails together. There are two eighth notes to a beat (that would be eight to a bar), so we tend to count them by saying “and” in between each beat, like this: “One-and two-and three-and four-and” So the count for these four bars would go: “One two three-and four-and” S O U N D S Both the rhythm and lead parts on this track were played using the middle pick-up on a Strat through a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp.

Once we start playing eighth notes we usually start using “alternate picking.” This is where every downstroke is followed by an upstroke. In bar nine you can see the signs for both downstrokes and upstrokes. Some guitarists call alternate picking “economy picking.”

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T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 3: Notes on the E-string and B-string
In Exercise 3 we start using the fingers of the fret hand. There is no CD track with this exercise, because the idea is simply to get comfortable using the fret-hand fingers to hold down the notes on the E-string, and then the B-string, at the first four frets. On the guitar, the fret-hand fingers are numbered from 1 to 4, starting with the index finger as 1 and ending with the pinky as T H E O R Y number 4. Place your fingers, one at each fret, copying the picture The sharp sign (#) simply means “go one fret higher,” below. If you have particularly small hands, you could try using fingers so F-sharp is one fret higher than F, and C-sharp is 1, 2, and 4 on the first three frets, and not worry too much about the one fret higher than C. There is no sharp between B note at the fourth fret just now. This will avoid the stretch and help to and C or between E and F, as you will see if you look keep your hand parallel to the edge of the fingerboard, something all at a piano keyboard (p19). guitarists should aim for. Each finger should be as close to the fret as possible without being on top of it. If your fingers are close to the frets you won’t have to squeeze so tightly and you will be less likely to get fret buzz, where the string rattles against the fret instead of sounding cleanly. Aim to use the tips of your fingers. The thumb goes at the back of the neck, opposing the fingers in a relaxed position opposite the first finger or between the first and second fingers. Check out the picture above. Don’t get into the habit of hooking the thumb over the top edge of the neck, and don’t press any harder than you need to.

The fingers should be close to the frets.

Squeeze gently with your thumb on the back of the neck.

T E C H N I Q U E There is no need to lift your first finger off the first fret when you add your second finger at the second fret. In fact, it is generally recognized as good technique to keep your fingers down when playing successive notes on the same string, so you should end up with all four fingers down on the E-string before releasing them to place them one at a time on the B-string. With your pick hand you should be playing downstrokes, smoothly and in a steady rhythm.

10

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

EXERCISE 3 NOTES ON THE E-STRING AND B-STRING

° &

w
E open string
0

w
F first fret
1

#w
F-sharp second fret
2

w
G third fret
3

#w
G-sharp fourth fret
4

¢⁄ ° & w
B open string
0

w
C first fret
1

#w
C-sharp second fret
2

w
D third fret
3

#w
D-sharp fourth fret
4

¢⁄
E B G D A E
F F# G G# D# C C# D

3

5

7

9

12

15

A fingerboard diagram showing the notes on the first four frets of the E-string and B-string.

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T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 4: Picking on strings one and two
Exercise 4 is a straightforward study in coordinating the placing of the fret-hand fingers with downstrokes from the pick, this time with a backing track. Remember that when the music is moving slowly, and the quarter note is the fastest note, we tend to stick to using downstrokes. The fret hand plays the notes we learnt in Exercise 3, but keeping to the first three frets to avoid any problems with stretching at this early stage. In bars three, seven, and 15 we have the note F-sharp played twice. Notice that in the notation stave we only need to put a sharp sign in front of the first F. The sharp affects any notes of that pitch for the entire bar.

T H E O R Y Notice that there is no rhythmic information in the tab stave. It is possible to write rhythms on the tab stave, but when there is a notation stave (often referred to as “dots” by musicians) tab rhythms are normally omitted to avoid unnecessary duplication. So you can read your rhythms from the “dots” and read your notes from the tab—or better still read the whole thing just using the notation stave. A common approach for guitar players who cannot learn to read music, or do not want to, is to learn the music “by ear” from the CD track and then use the tablature to guide their fingers to the correct notes.

CD 04/05

There is one new rhythmic value: the dotted half note. Putting a dot after any note adds half its value. So if we put a dot after a half note, which is worth two beats, it will now be worth three beats. Most of the bars of this exercise use this note value—there is a quarter note on beat one followed by a dotted half note on beat two, which rings on through beats three and four. Check out the CD track and when you’re ready play along with the backing track.

S O U N D S The lead part on this track was played on a Fender Telecaster using the bridge pickup through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp. This amp has a built in chorus effect which is used to provide movement to the otherwise static long notes in the exercise.

With the new dotted half note we now have rhythm signs for four beats, three beats, two beats, one beat, and half a beat.

12

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

EXERCISE 4 CD TRACK 04 / BACKING TRACK 05

œ 4 &4 ≥
0

q=80 Spooky rock

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1

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1


2

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2

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3

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3


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0

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1

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2

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2

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CD 04/05

9

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1

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1


2

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1 1

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2 2

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3 3

w
0

13

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 5: Blues on the E-string and B-string
Exercise 5 uses the same set of notes as Exercise 4, but gets things moving a little more quickly with a faster tempo and lots of consecutive notes on each of the top two strings. Don’t be tempted to play all the notes with finger 1, or to use only fingers 1 and 2. It is best to stick to one finger per fret; so use your first finger at the first fret, second finger at the second fret and so on. Keep the fingers close to the guitar and make small movements. If the fingers feel stiff at first it is simply that they are not used to moving on their own. Work on it, and they’ll get better.

T H E O R Y There’s one new element in the notation stave—the curved line that joins together two notes of the same pitch in bars four, eight, and twelve. It’s called a tie, and makes the two notes into one long note. It is a way of writing a note longer than one bar or, as in this example, lengthening a note beyond the bar line.

Remember, in bars five and six the fourth note is F-sharp, because the sharp sign in front of the second note affects every F in the bar. The exercise is 12 bars long, after which there is a double bar line; these are often used to mark out sections in a piece of music. Then there is one more bar to bring the music to a close, in which you have to play two notes at once. Just use a downstroke. Two notes played at once are sometimes called a “double stop”—a term we have borrowed from classical instruments like the violin. We also sometimes call them a “diad.”

CD 06/07

T E C H N I Q U E In bars three and nine there are pick directions. Notes on the downbeats are played with downstrokes, notes on the upbeats—the “and” that falls between the four beats of the bar—are played with an upstroke. We’ve already met this basic principle for guitar picking and we will stick to it for most of the book.

This exercise uses a form known as a 12-bar blues; it’s blues in style, and it’s 12 bars long. The form is commonly found in blues, rhythm and blues, rock’n’roll, and classic rock. When guitarists jam together they often use a 12-bar blues, taking it in turns to solo or play rhythm. Each time through the 12-bar is known as a chorus. We’ll be learning some ways to play the rhythm track in Section Four. On the backing track (CD track 07), there are three choruses, so you can play the piece three times if you wish. We’ll come back to this track in the future and use it to practice blues and rock soloing.

14

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

EXERCISE 5 CD TRACK 06 / BACKING TRACK 07

4 œ #œ œ œ &4
0 2 3 2

q= 110 Medium blues

œ #œ œ œ
0 2 3 2

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0


2


3

≥ ≤
2 0


5

& ⁄

œ #œ
0 2

œ
3

œ
2

œ #œ
0 2

œ
3

œ
2

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0 2

œ
3

œ œ w
2 0

CD 06/07

9

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œ œ œ #˙ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥
0 0 1 2

œ œ œ #˙
0 0 1 2

œ #œ œ œ œ w
0 2 3 2 0

w w
0 0

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T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 6: String crossing, top three strings
Playing repeated notes on the same string, as in Exercises 4 and 5, is easier than moving backwards and forwards from one string to another. Exercise 6—string crossing—is intended to get you working on moving the pick back and forth between adjacent strings while also adding fretted notes with the fingers. We will be using the open G-string and the note A on its second fret, as well as the top two strings from Exercises 4 and 5. The backing track is CD track 03, the same as for Exercise 2. At the beginning you can see the instruction “Let ring…” It is easy to let the notes ring on when you are playing open strings, but once you begin to use your fingers to fret the notes it is important to get them on their tips so that you don’t accidentally touch a string that’s meant to be still sounding. You have to hold the string down through the whole bar as well. The sign …sim means “in the same way”—so carry on letting notes ring over each other for the whole piece. Aim for the same effect that you hear on the CD track.

CD 08/03

Keep your fingers on their tips so you don’t touch the open strings when they’re meant to be ringing on.

16

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

EXERCISE 6 CD TRACK 08 / BACKING TRACK 03

4œ œ ˙ &4 ≥ ≥ ≥
let ring
0 0

q=85 Rock

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...sim
0 0 0

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0 1 0

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0


5

0

2

2

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9
0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ
0 1 0 1

œ œ œ œ
2 0 2 0

CD 08/03

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ & ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤ ≥ ≤
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


11

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1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2

w
3

17

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 7: Notes on the G-string
Exercise 6 is about learning the names of the notes on the first four frets of the G-string. We have seen that that a sharp sign (#) means “go one fret higher.” In music we also have a flat sign (b), which means “go one fret lower.” So G-sharp is the same note as A-flat, and A-sharp is the same note as B-flat. In this exercise we’ve used both names side by side. When they appear during the course of a piece of music, sharps and flats are known as “accidentals.” We have seen that a sharp or flat last for the whole bar, so we also need a natural sign (§), which cancels a sharp or flat. One of these will crop up in a later exercise, but you can see some here, before the second-fret A and the fourth-fret B. If we take a look back at Exercise 3, the F-sharp on the second fret of the E-string could have been written as G-flat and the Csharp on the second fret of the B-string could have been called Dflat. When we start learning about keys and key signatures we will discover that there are certain times when it is correct to use a sharp and certain times when it is correct to use a flat. In the meantime get used to the idea that some notes have two names. One other thing to get used to is that almost every note on the guitar is available in more than one place. In this exercise we can see that the note B on the fourth fret of the G-string is the same note as the open second string we have been using in Exercises 4, 5, and 6.
Keep the fret-hand fingers curved, close to the frets and on their tips.

EXERCISE 7 NOTES ON THE G STRING

° & w
G open string
0

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nw

#w

bw

nw
B fourth fret
4

A G-sharp or A-flat second fret first fret
1 2

A-sharp or B-flat third fret
3

¢⁄

18

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

Sharps and flats and the keyboard For historical reasons we think of the musical alphabet as starting on the note C. The distance from C in this diagram of a keyboard to the next appearance of the note C is known as an octave. The black notes on a keyboard are the sharps and flats. As we mentioned before, there is no black note (sharp or flat) between B and C or E and F. The distance from C to C-sharp (or D-flat) is known as a half step and is the same as one fret on the guitar. The distance from C to D is known as a whole step and is two frets on the guitar.
C# Db D# Eb F#
Gb

G# Ab

A# Bb

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

T H E O R Y if we play all the white notes from C to C we get a C major scale; we will cover major scales later in the book. If we played all the notes, both white and black, we would produce a chromatic scale. There is a chromatic scale starting on G coming up in Exercise 10.

Exercise 8: Notes and rests
Some of the funkiest rhythms and grooves work because of the silences that separate the notes. So when it comes to rhythm, a silence is as important as a note and in music we need a way to write a silence. In Exercise 8 we have all the note values we have come across so far, from eighth notes lasting half a beat to whole notes lasting four beats, with the sign for their equivalent rest written underneath. A rest is the technical name for a silence in music. On the guitar, it is important to play the rests—that means making sure you have released a fretted note or silenced an open string so that we hear a silence and not an unwanted note ringing on. More on this in the next exercise. EXERCISE 8 NOTES AND RESTS

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Eighth note: half beat

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Quarter note: one beat

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Half note: two beats

˙

Dotted half note: three beats

˙™

Whole note: four beats

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Equivalent rests:

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Ó

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T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

PRO TIP Try not to get caught up in looking at your hands. If you know the music, you can play looking at your fret hand. If not you’ll need to look at the music and play the guitar by feel. It’s best not to look at your pick hand—you’ll soon learn to find the strings accurately if you persevere. When you’re confident with a piece of music, practice without looking at either hand; this will let you make eye contact with your fellow band members or your audience on a gig.

Exercise 9: Blues in E, top three strings
Exercise 9 is a blues-based tune using most of the notes we have learnt so far on the top three strings, so you will be working on fretting notes accurately with the fret hand while also picking the correct string with the pick. In most music, melody notes are played fluently and joined together. In this exercise many of the notes are separated by rests. Listen to the CD track to hear the strongly rhythmic effect of this style of playing. To silence a fretted note, release the pressure from the fret-hand finger so that the string is no longer making contact with the fret, but don’t take the finger off the string. That should silence the note T H E O R Y immediately. Silence open strings When the notes of a piece of by touching them lightly with the music are played smoothly or fret-hand fingers or with the pick. joined up we say it is Experiment to see which one “legato.” The opposite—cut works best for you. At the end of off or separated notes—is the exercise there is a chord— “staccato.” Many words we three notes played at once—with a use in music come from the downstroke of the pick. Italian language, although perhaps more in classical music than in rock’n’roll. You often see the word legato in guitar books and magazines describing a particularly fluid style of guitar solo.

CD 09/07

S O U N D S This one was played with a Telecaster guitar on the bridge pickup. The warm, fuzzy guitar tone comes from a small tube-amp turned up loud—an effect sometimes known as overdrive.

T E C H N I Q U E The pick directions may seem random but in fact they’re based on the idea that your hand is moving rhythmically back and forth in an eighth-note rhythm. As before, downstrokes are on downbeats and upstrokes are on upbeats.

EXERCISE 9 CD TRACK 09 / BACKING TRACK 07

4 œ#œ ‰ œ ˙ Œ ‰ #œ & 4 œ#œ ‰ œ J J J ≥≤ ≤ ≤ ≥≤ ≤

0 1 0 2 3 2 0

q=110 Straight boogie

˙ œ œ#œ ‰ œ Œ ‰ #J J œ#œ ‰ œ J
0 1 0 2 3 2 0

20

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

5

œ#œ œ ˙ œ Œ ‰ #œ œ # œ ‰ J ‰ J J &
1 2 0 2 3 2 0

EXERCISE 9 CD TRACK 09 / BACKING TRACK 07 continued

œ#œ ‰ œ ˙ Œ ‰ #œ œ#œ ‰ œ J J J
0 1 0 2 3 2 0


9

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0 0 0

j j œ w ‰ ‰ #œ ‰ œ œ#œ J
0 1 2 3 0

w #w w
0 0 1

3

2

2

Exercise 10: G chromatic scale
As a way of revising all the notes we have learned so far, and of introducing scales, we are going to learn a chromatic scale—that’s the name for a scale that has all the notes including all the sharps and flats. There are many different types of scale in music, some of which can be very useful to the guitar player as they are used for making up riffs and solos—we have some coming up later. Chromatic scales are useful as finger exercises and as a way of showing the logic of where notes are on the guitar. This one begins on the open G-string and goes up one octave to the G on the top string. Chromatic scales can start on any note, and it’s normal to play scales up an octave or two and back again. In the notation stave we go up in pitch using sharps, and down using flats, which helps to make clear that “black notes”—the sharps and flats—have two names. There’s no backing track for this exercise so practice it and bring it up to the speed of CD track 10. The small numbers beneath the notes on the notation stave are fingerings—they tell you which fret-hand finger to use. (You remember? 1=index finger, 4=pinky).

CD 09/07

T E C H N I Q U E There is a technique that we use on guitar whenever we are playing scales or single-note lines. The idea is not to remove fingers from a string if the music is rising in pitch until it’s time to start playing a different string. This is how it works, starting with the first note of the scale. Play the open G-string and then hold down G-sharp with your first finger; leave that finger in place when you play the A with finger 2, and leave both fingers in place when you play A-sharp or B-flat with finger 3. Then release all three fingers at once as you play the open B-string. Keep them close to the guitar so you can continue up the B-string adding and holding the fingers one at a time and releasing all four as you play the E-string. When you reach the top note of the scale you should have three fingers on the E-string; release them one by one to descend again. This may seem complicated, but it’s not so hard, and in fact reduces your workload—instead of thinking about taking a finger off as you put another one down, you just leave the fingers that are already there in place. Then you think “release fingers” as you move onto the next string.

21

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

EXERCISE 10 CD TRACK 10

4 œ #œ &4 ≥ ≤
0 1

q=80

œ #œ ≥ ≤
2 3

œ
0

œ #œ
1 2

œ
3


4

œ
0

œ #œ
1 2

˙
3


0


1


2


3


4


0


1


2


3


3

0

1

2

3

& ⁄
CD 10

œ bœ
3 2

œ
1

œ bœ
0 4

œ bœ
3 2

œ
1


3


2


1


0


4


3


2


1

œ bœ ≥ ≤
0 3

œ bœ ≥ ≤
2 1

˙ ≥
0

0

3

2

1

0

E B G D A E

F C
G# Ab

F# Gb C# Db

G D
A# Bb

G# Ab D# Eb

A

B

Here are the notes of the first four frets on the top three strings.

3

5

7

9

12

15

PRO TIP As you play all the notes from your open G-string to the third fret on the E-string see if you can say aloud the note names. Say them in full: G, G-sharp or A-flat, A, A-sharp or B-flat, and so on. This is a great way to memorize the guitar note names.

22

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

Exercise 11: Octaves
In Exercise 10 we played a one-octave scale, so this could be a good time to explore what an octave is. “The same letter name at a different pitch” is one way of putting it. If you play Exercise 11 you will hear the gap (or “interval” as it is known in music), between two occurrences of the notes G, D, and A. The first note is an open string and the second note is a fretted note, and the two notes are then played simultaneously. Notice how, when they are played together, the two notes seem to merge into one, even though they are clearly of different pitches. It is this similarity that allows them to have the same letter name.

T H E O R Y Musical sounds are waveforms, and waveforms have frequency. Each time the music goes up an octave, the frequency of the note doubles. Frequency is measured in Hertz (or Hz), and is the number of complete cycles of the waveform per second. The frequency of your open A string is 110 Hz, the octave up (on the G-string) is 220 Hz. The octave above that note, which would be on the fifth fret of the top E-string, is 440 Hz. This is the note that an orchestra tunes to at the beginning of a concert and is known as “concert pitch.”

4 &4 œ

0

q=80

EXERCISE 11 CD TRACK 11

œ
3

˙ ˙
3 0

œ
0

œ
3

˙ ˙
3 0

œ
0

œ
2

˙ ˙
2 0

CD 11

T E C H N I Q U E When using a pick it is not easy to play two notes simultaneously if they are not on adjacent strings. You could use a big downstroke and mute the string in the middle with a spare fret-hand finger. You could also put the pick down and use your thumb of your pick hand to pick the low note and your index finger to pick the high note. The method we use on the CD track is to use the pick on the low note and the middle finger of the pick hand on the high note. Using the pick and fingers at the same time is sometimes known as “hybrid picking” and is often used by country guitar players.

23

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 12: Rocking the first position notes; top three strings
If you are playing notes with the first finger at the first fret, the second finger at the second fret, and so on, we would say you were playing in the first position. If your first finger was at the second fret, with the other fingers occupying the succeeding frets, we would say you were in the second position. On a typical modern guitar with 22 frets you can potentially have 19 positions. Guitar positions can be very useful for describing where on the guitar to play a piece or a sequence of notes.

T H E O R Y This exercise introduces the dotted quarter note, one and a half beats long. (The quarter note is one beat, and the dot adds half its value.) Looking at bar one, we would count: one two and three four, playing the dotted quarter note on “one” and the following eighth note on “and.”

As a general rule it is best to play the guitar “in position” and to avoid sliding the hand around as much as possible. A common rookie error is to move the hand around so you can use fingers 1 and 2 when you should keep the hand still and use the weaker fingers, fingers 3 and 4. If you use them, they’ll get stronger. Exercise 12 is a legato solo tune for the top three strings in the first position. Together with Exercises 5, 6, 9, and 10 it works to build dexterity for the fret hand and coordination between the pick and fret-hand fingers. In bars four, eight, and 12 it will be tempting to use finger 1 at the second fret and finger 3 at the fourth fret (in other words, to use second position fingerings) but unless your hands are really small you should stay in the first position and use fingers 2 and 4 at the second and fourth frets. Gradually, your hand will get better at stretching.

CD 12/03

T E C H N I Q U E Pick directions are given only where necessary in this exercise as you’ve probably got the idea of alternate picking by now.

With practice you can get used to opening out your hand and using one finger per fret.

24

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

EXERCISE 12 CD TRACK 12 / BACKING TRACK 03

4 & 4 œ™ ≥

5
0

q=85 Rock

j œ ˙ ≤ ≥
2 0

Ϫ
0

œ ˙ J
1 3

Ϫ
1

œ ˙ J
3 0

œ ™ #œ #˙ J
0 2 4

& œ œ œ ˙ ≥ ≥ ≤ ≥
0 0

œ œ œ ˙
3 3 1 0

œ œ œ ˙
0 0 3 1

#œ #œ #œ œ
2 4 2 2


9

2

0

CD 12/03

œ œ#œ œ #œ œ œ#œ œ w œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ &
3 3 2 0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 2 0 4 2 3

25

T H E U LT I M AT E G U I TA R C O U R S E

Exercise 13: ‘Shadow Walk’ and all the notes so far
Exercise 13 is the last exercise in Section One, so congratulations on coming this far. It’s a long one, featuring groups of legato eighth notes, quarter notes, and some quarter note rests. It includes every single note you can play in the first position on the top three strings. That means you will need to use all four fingers of your fret hand, making smooth, fluid movements and keeping the fingers close to the guitar. Pencil your own pick directions in if you need to, keeping to the idea of alternate picking. You could also write in fingerings for the fret hand if it would help. If you find the piece a challenge—which it’s meant to be—slow things down PRO TIP Always break a long a little and keep working on it. Remember you don’t have to finish an exercise piece down into shorter before moving onto the next one, but you should always keep returning to work sections for learning purposes. on anything you found difficult. During the course of this opening section we have learned holding the pick, As music very often uses fourthe numbers of the fret-hand fingers and the names of the open strings. We bar phrases it can be a good learned about tab, bars, bar lines, time signatures, and the names of all the notes idea to try learning a piece in the first position on the top three strings, including sharps and flats. We have covered the note values from eighth notes to whole notes and learnt the function four bars at a time. of dotted notes and ties. Most of all, we have learned to pick and finger notes accurately on the guitar and to coordinate the two hands. The next section builds on this and covers the notes on the lower three strings. S O U N D S We’re in surf guitar territory, inspired by the twangy guitar music of the early 1960s. This piece also mixes in some of the melodic style of The Shadows’ Hank Marvin (listen to their ‘Apache’ for this track’s inspiration). On the CD we used the bridge pickup on a Strat and added some reverb and a fluttering delay effect. Hank would have used a mechanical delay unit like a Meazzi Echomatic.

CD 13/14

EXERCISE 13 CD TRACK 13 / BACKING TRACK 14

4Œ œœœœœ &4

5
2 0 1 0 2

q=120 Shadows/surf style

Œ œœœœœ
0 2 0 2 0

#œ œ Œ œœœœœ œ œ
2 0 1 0 2 2 3 2 3

& Œ œœœœœ ⁄
2 0 1 0 2

Œ œœœœœ
0 2 0 2 0

Œ œœœœœ
2 0 1 0 2

œ œ œ œ
3 0 0 0

26

SECTION ONE GETTING STARTED

9

œ œ œ œ &
3 0 1 0

EXERCISE 13 CD TRACK 13 / BACKING TRACK 14 continued

œ œ œ œ œ
1 1 0 3 2

œ œ œ #œ #œ œ œ œ
0 3 0 1 2 0 2 2


13

œ œ œ œ &
3 0 1 0

œ œ œ œ œ #œ #œ œ œ #œ œ ˙
1 1 0 3 1 2 4 2 3 4 0 4


CD 13/14
17

& Œ œœœœœ ⁄
2 0 1 0 2

Œ œœœœœ
0 2 0 2 0

Œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ
2 0 1 0 2 2 3 2 3

21

& Œ œ œ œ œ œ ⁄
2 0 1 0 2

Œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ
0 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 3

œ œ œ ˙
1 1 0 2

27

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