Table of Contents

WHITE BELT: LEVEL 1 GUITAR LESSONS
Always Begin Here! Effective Practice Guitarist and Guitar Anatomy 101 Knowing your Guitar Neck like the Back of your Hand Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Open Dominant 7th Chords Open Major Chords Open Minor Chords Perfect Intervals: Pillars of Western Music Rhythm Melody Harmony: The Basis of All Theory Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow Tuning Your Guitar Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

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15 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 17 17 17 17 17

GUITARIST AND GUITAR ANATOMY 101
The Ear The Inner Ear The Musical Ear The Fingers Good Posture Good Diet and Exercise The Guitar

18
18 18 20 20 21 21 22

EFFECTIVE PRACTICE
Begin with Written Goals Do the Time Practice Critical Hearing Overcompensate for Weak Areas Practice to Perform Set Management On-Line vs. Off-Line Practice On-Line Practice Structure And Now the Challenge...

22
22 23 24 24 25 25 25 26 26

1

ALWAYS BEGIN HERE!
Set Your Goals Before Starting Let's Get Started Jot Down your Inspiration Write down what you want to become. Write down major milestones. Write down the steps to make your milestones it happen. Write down your daily time commitment to make it all happen. Write down all the songs you would like to play. Notes of the Chromatic Scale Notes of the Different Octaves Notes of the 2nd Octave Notes of the 4th Octave Notes of the 5th Octave Exercises

26
26 27 28 28 29 29 29 30 30 31 31 31 32 32

MUSICAL VITAMINS FOR GUITAR PLAYERS ONGOING GROWTH: HORIZONTALLY AND VERTICALLY
Horizontal Growth Genre Cross-Over Genre Substitution Variations on a Theme Melodic Variations Harmonic Variations Tempo Variations Technical Variations Build a Medley Tonal Variations

34 39
39 39 40 40 40 40 40 40 41 41

OPEN DOMINANT 7TH CHORDS
Exercises:

41
42

OPEN MAJOR CHORDS
Exercises:

43
45

2

OPEN MINOR CHORDS
Exercises:

46
47

RHYTHM MELODY HARMONY: THE BASIS OF ALL THEORY
Rhythm Melody Harmony Interaction of Rhythm, Melody and Harmony The Guitar Can Do It All Why We Study Music, Not Just Guitar

49
49 50 50 51 51 51

SET MANAGEMENT: A MUST-HAVE IN PERFORMING
Set Management 1 Minute Set 5 Minute Set 15 Minute Set 30 Minute Set Encore

52
52 52 53 53 53 54

TUNING YOUR GUITAR
Tips before you start Five Point Tune Up Point 1: Start with a Tuner Point 2: Tune Perfect Unisons on Adjacent Strings Point 3: Tune Octaves Two Strings Apart Point 4: Tune Octaves Three Strings Apart Point 5: Tune Octaves on Adjacent Strings Other Hints Potentially Necessary Guitar Adjustments

54
54 55 55 55 56 56 56 57 57

YELLOW BELT: LEVEL 2 GUITAR LESSONS
3rd and 6th Intervals: The Emotional Intervals Major and Minor Scales: Yin and Yang of Scales Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Open Major 7th Chords Open Minor 7th Chords Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

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58 58 58 58 58 59 59 59 59 59

3

3RD AND 6TH INTERVALS: THE EMOTIONAL INTERVALS
3rd and 6th Interval Spellings Tertian Harmony Major 3rd Minor 3rd Major 6th Minor 6th Exercises:

60
60 61 61 62 62 63 63

MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES: YIN AND YANG OF SCALES
Major Scale Minor Scale

64
64 65

OPEN MAJOR 7TH CHORDS
Exercises:

66
67

OPEN MINOR 7TH CHORDS
Exercises:

68
69

THE ESSENCE AND IMPORTANCE OF FLOW
How Listening is Different than Playing Listening Flow Playing Flow Boiling It All Down Other Practical Examples How to Develop Flow in Playing

70
70 70 71 72 72 73

ORANGE BELT: LEVEL 3 GUITAR LESSONS
2nd and 7th Intervals: The Leading Intervals Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: A Form Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: E Form Inverted Chord Forms Major and Minor Chord Inversions Major Scales and the CAGED + 2 System Moveable A-Form Barre Chords Moveable E-Form Barre Chords Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Pentatonic Scales: Rocker's Favorites Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The CAGED System: Seeing the Fretboard The Essence and Importance of Flow Triads: Stacked 3rd Intervals Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

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74 74 74 74 74 75 75 75 75 75 76 76 76 76 76 76 77

4

2ND AND 7TH INTERVALS: THE LEADING INTERVALS
2nd and 7th Interval Spellings Major 2nd Minor 2nd Major 7th Minor 7th Exercises:

78
79 79 80 80 81 81

EXTENDING BAR CHORDS BY MORPHING: A FORM
Major Chord Morphing in A Form Minor Chord Morphing in A Form Exercises:

82
82 82 83

EXTENDING BAR CHORDS BY MORPHING: E FORM
Major Chord Morphing in E Form Minor Chord Morphing in E Form Exercises:

83
83 84 84

INVERTED CHORD FORMS
Major Chord Inversions Major Root Position (Root, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th) Major First Inversion (Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Root) Major Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Major 3rd) Minor Chord Inversions Minor Root Position (Root, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th) Minor First Inversion (Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th, Minor 3rd) Minor Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Minor 3rd)

84
85 85 85 86 86 86 87 87

MAJOR AND MINOR CHORD INVERSIONS
Major Chord Inversions Major Root Position (Root, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th) Major First Inversion (Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Root) Major Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Major 3rd) Minor Chord Inversions Minor Root Position (Root, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th) Minor First Inversion (Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th, Minor 3rd) Minor Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Minor 3rd) Exercises:

87
88 88 88 88 89 89 89 90 90

MAJOR SCALES AND THE CAGED + 2 SYSTEM
Scale Degrees

91
91

5

The CAGED System The C Pattern The A Pattern The G Pattern The E Pattern The D Pattern The B Pattern The F Pattern General Fingering Advice Avoiding Boredom

91 92 92 92 92 93 93 93 93 94

MOVEABLE A-FORM BARRE CHORDS
Now to Make them Moveable Exercises: Physical Exercises: Musical Exercises: Building on Earlier Lessons:

94
95 96 96 96 97

MOVEABLE E-FORM BARRE CHORDS
Now to Make them Moveable Exercises: Physical Exercises: Musical Exercises: Building on Earlier Lessons:

97
98 99 99 99 100

PENTATONIC SCALES: ROCKER'S FAVORITES
Pentatonic Major Scale Pentatonic Minor Scale

101
101 101

THE CAGED SYSTEM: SEEING THE FRETBOARD
Connecting the Dots Seeing Exercises:

102
102 104

TRIADS: STACKED 3RD INTERVALS
Major Triad Minor Triad

104
104 104

6

Diminished Triad Augmented Triad

104 105

GREEN BELT: LEVEL 4 GUITAR LESSONS
7th Chords: More Stacked 3rds Blues Rhythm Patterns Blues Scales Blues Tunes Need Lyrics Major 8-Bar Blues Major 12-Bar Blues Major Blues Scale Minor Blues Minor Blues Scale Modified Blues Scale Moveable 6th Chords Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing Simple Sample Blues Licks The Essence and Importance of Flow Tritone: The Devil's Interval Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

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106 106 106 106 106 107 107 107 107 107 108 108 108 108 108 108 109 109 109

7TH CHORDS: MORE STACKED 3RDS
Major 7th Chord Dominant 7th Chord Minor 7th Chord Half Diminished 7th Chord Diminished 7th Chord

110
110 111 111 112 112

BLUES RHYTHM PATTERNS
Straight Quarter Beat Straight Half Beat Straight Eighth Beat Upbeat Eighth Beat Eighth Triplets Shuffle Shuffle Variation Exercises:

113
113 114 114 114 115 115 116 116

BLUES SCALES
Major Blues Scale Minor Blues Scale

117
117 118

7

BLUES TUNES NEED LYRICS
The Form Follows the Lyrics Some Lame Lyric Examples: (You can do better!) Exercises: Major Blues Chord Progressions Quick-Change 12-Bar Blues Exercises:

118
118 119 119 120 120 121

MAJOR BLUES SCALE
Major Blues Scale

121
121

MINOR BLUES SCALE
Minor Blues Scale

122
122

MOVEABLE 6TH CHORDS
The Formula How to Use 6th Chords Exercises:

123
123 123 124

SIMPLE SAMPLE BLUES LICKS THE ESSENCE AND IMPORTANCE OF FLOW
How Listening is Different than Playing Listening Flow Playing Flow Boiling It All Down Other Practical Examples How to Develop Flow in Playing

124 126
126 126 126 128 128 128

TRITONE: THE DEVIL'S INTERVAL
Tritone Interval Spelling Exercises:

129
130 131

WANT TO TURBO-CHARGE YOUR GUITAR LEARNING ABILITIES?
Also Included: Exclusive Mental Conditioning Techniques

132
132

8

External Distractions Internal Distractions

133 133

BLUE BELT: LEVEL 5 GUITAR LESSONS
Basic Theory of Harmonic Scale Progressions Cadences: Musical Punctuation Ear Training: What? How? Why? Harmonic Scale Chords for All Major Keys Harmonic Scale Directional Chord Changes Intervals: The Essential Building Blocks of All Music Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow The Four Corners of the Harmonic Landscape Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

135
135 135 135 135 135 136 136 136 136 136 136 137 137

BASIC THEORY OF HARMONIC SCALE PROGRESSIONS
Harmonic Scale The Harmonic Scale Using Triads The Harmonic Scale Using 7th Chords The Harmonic Scale Using 2nd Inversion Triads The Harmonic Scale Using 1st Inversion Triads The Harmonic Scale Using Open Chords

138
138 138 139 139 140 140

CADENCES: MUSICAL PUNCTUATION
Two Extreme Examples Yoga Music? You Ain't Nuttin But A Hound Dog Types of Cadences Authentic Cadence Perfect Cadence Imperfect Cadence Plagal Cadence Deceptive Cadence Exercises

141
141 141 141 142 142 142 143 143 143 143

EAR TRAINING: WHAT? HOW? WHY?
Why Ear Training? A Practical Definition Structuring Your Own Ear Training Program Essential Elements of Ear Training

144
144 144 144 144

9

HARMONIC SCALE CHORDS FOR ALL MAJOR KEYS
Key of C Major / A Minor Key of Db Major / Bb Minor Key of D Major / B Minor Key of Eb Major / C Minor Key of E Major / C# Minor Key of F Major / D Minor Key of Gb Major / Eb Minor Key of G Major / E Minor Key of Ab Major / F Minor Key of A Major / F# Minor Key of Bb / G Minor Key of B / G# Minor

145
145 146 146 147 147 148 148 149 149 150 150 151

HARMONIC SCALE DIRECTIONAL CHORD CHANGES
Descending by 5ths Ascending by 5ths (Descending by 4ths) Ascending or Descending by 2nds Ascending or Descending by 3rds Exercises

151
152 153 153 154 154

INTERVALS: THE ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCKS OF ALL MUSIC THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE HARMONIC LANDSCAPE
The Four Harmonic Quadrants West and East Hemispheres North and South Hemispheres

155 156
157 157 158

In the north hemisphere are songs which are written in one key only. Chromatic chords or not, the key is the same throughout. This is appropriate for simple songs with verses and choruses, and comprises the lion's share of popular music. 158 Some Popular Examples Exercises: 158 158

RED BELT: LEVEL 6 GUITAR LESSONS
Alternate Picking Compound Intervals: Intervals in 2nd Octave Intervals: Musical Atoms Intro to Major Scale Modes Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Music Reading for Guitar Nashville Numbering System Adapted for Black Belt Guitar

159
159 159 159 159 159 160 160

10

Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Reading Music for Guitar: Pegging Notes to Fretboard Red Hot Double Stop Picking Scale Modes as Substitutes for Major and Minor Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow The Never Ending Circle of 5ths Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

160 160 160 161 161 161 161 161 161

ALTERNATE PICKING
Exercises Cruise Missle Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast Blackberry Blossom

162
162 162 163 164

COMPOUND INTERVALS: INTERVALS IN 2ND OCTAVE
Minor and Major 9th Minor and Major 10th Perfect 11th Augmented 11th / Diminished 12th Perfect 12th Perfect 15th

165
165 166 166 166 167 167

INTERVALS: MUSICAL ATOMS
Interval Summary Intervals in the 1st Octave Interval Spellings Perfect Intervals Consonant Intervals Dissonant Intervals

168
169 169 170 170 173 174

INTRO TO MAJOR SCALE MODES
I. Soloing over diatonic major and minor chord progressions Ionian Mode Dorian Mode Phrygian Mode Lydian Mode Mixolydian Mode Aeolian Mode Locrian Mode

176
176 177 177 177 178 178 178 178

NASHVILLE NUMBERING SYSTEM ADAPTED FOR BLACK BELT GUITAR 179
How to Draw Your Own 7-Pointed Star Draw the 7 Points and the Yin Yang Number the Points Add Key Names and Base Chord Names Adding Substitute Chords 180 180 180 181 181

11

Key of C Major / A Minor Exercises:

182 182

READING MUSIC FOR GUITAR: PEGGING NOTES TO FRETBOARD SCALE MODES AS SUBSTITUTES FOR MAJOR AND MINOR
II. Soloing over modal chord progressions III. Scale Modes as substitutes for major and minor scales Ionian Mode Lydian Mode Mixolydian Mode Aeolian Mode Dorian Mode Phrygian Mode Locrian Mode

182 183
183 184 184 184 185 185 186 186 187

THE NEVER ENDING CIRCLE OF 5THS
Key Aspects of Music Theory Explained by the Circle of 5ths Limitations of the Circle of 5ths

188
188 191

BROWN BELT: LEVEL 7 GUITAR LESSONS
Improve Your Solos with Drones and Pedal Notes Learning to Play Leads Using the Vector Method Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Overtones and Natural Harmonics Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

192
192 192 192 192 192 193 193 193 193

IMPROVE YOUR SOLOS WITH DRONES AND PEDAL NOTES
How Droning Can Help Pedal Notes How It Works

194
194 194 195

LEARNING TO PLAY LEADS USING THE VECTOR METHOD
How to Listen for the Vector Points

195
195

OVERTONES AND NATURAL HARMONICS
Not All Guitars Created Equally

196
197

12

Problems with Natural Harmonic Who Uses Harmonics? Other Uses for Natural Harmonics Exercises

197 197 198 198

BLACK BELT: LEVEL 8 GUITAR LESSONS
Guitar Teaching Basics to Remember Guitar Teaching Do's and Don'ts Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing The Essence and Importance of Flow The Way of the Black Belt is One Eternal Round Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities? Your Attention Channels

199
199 199 199 199 199 200 200 200 200

GUITAR TEACHING BASICS TO REMEMBER
You Can Be a Teacher Student Responsibilities: Teacher Responsibilities: You Cannot Teach Everyone Learning Cycle Plan for and Hold Recitals

201
201 201 201 201 202 203

GUITAR TEACHING DO'S AND DON'TS
Do's Don'ts

203
203 203

THE WAY OF THE BLACK BELT IS ONE ETERNAL ROUND
Flash Back to the Beginning of Your Journey Good Teachers Remember Their Beginnings

204
205 205

GUITAR, MUSIC AND MARTIAL ARTS GLOSSARY

206

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14

White Belt: Level 1 Guitar Lessons
Always Begin Here!
What would you do if you knew in advance you could not fail? What is that secret element that separates good players from bad players, and great ones from good ones? You may be surprised by the answer.
Category: White Belt Subcategory: Goals Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Effective Practice
This lesson will reveal some of the secrets that separate great players from the rest. The secret is in knowing how to practice, then doing it... consistently. What to practice varies with each player. We will focus here on the how to make the most of your practice time.
Category: White Belt Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Guitarist and Guitar Anatomy 101
Parts are parts... or are they? In this short but important lesson, we just want to take a little time to pay attention to some details too often overlooked in keeping the guitarist and their guitars healthy. We want both you and your guitars to be around for a very long time.
Category: White Belt Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Knowing your Guitar Neck like the Back of your Hand
Want to learn a valuable skill that your friends probably won't? Commit now to learn something that most self-taught guitar players never learn. This skill will enable later learning of reading music by sight.
Category: White Belt Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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15

Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Open Dominant 7th Chords
In this lesson you will add more open chords to your library. These chords are similar to those you have already learned, but the addition of the dominant 7th chord will add funk, and flair to your playing. At the end of this lesson, you'll have 21 of the most popular chords in music at your disposal!
Category: White Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Open Major Chords
These are the first 7 chords that every beginning guitar student should master. Play these chords comfortably, and you'll be able to play almost any beginning-level song.
Category: White Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Open Minor Chords
In this lesson you will double the number of open chords you have already learned, by adding the natural complement to the major chord series. When you learn the major and minor chords together, you will be able to play the accompaniment to most popular songs ever written.
Category: White Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Perfect Intervals: Pillars of Western Music
Of all the intervals in our Western scale, the perfect intervals are the ones that act as the anchors for all the other intervals to swirl around in music. Learn to recognize them by ear, and you will have a solid foundation on which to build your later understanding of chords, scales and progressions.
Category: White Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Intervals Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Rhythm Melody Harmony: The Basis of All Theory
At the heart of every lesson and every practice session there should be an awareness of three vital and essential forces in all music. Learning how to manipulate these forces will give your music and performances tremendous depth, clarity and power.
Category: White Belt: Theory

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16

Subcategory: Music Elements Published on: 21 Apr 2004

Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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Tuning Your Guitar
The purpose of this lesson is to help you keep your guitar in tune so that it sounds optimal for the kind of playing you do. Unless you know how to tune across all strings, and along the whole neck of the guitar, you may find that your guitar sounds good when playing an open C chord, but when playing the same C chord as a bar chord on the 8th fret, it sounds out of tune.
Category: White Belt Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

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17

Guitarist and Guitar Anatomy 101
We will focus here on some areas that all guitarists should understand, and know how to take care of.

The Ear
Never forget that music is an affair with the ear. Whenever you get mired down in theory, exercises, drills problems with equipment, or even frustrations with fickle band members or even the nastier aspects of the music business, remember that music is affair of the ear. There are three parts to the ear to get to know:
• •

The outer ear, or the part of the ear we see. The inner ear, which are the delicate working parts of the ear, consisting of the auditory canal, the ear drum, the hammer, anvil and stirrup, the cochlea, the auditory nerve, etc. The musical ear, which is our mental ability to fully understand the music we hear.

The Inner Ear
The inner ear is built to respond to vibrations in the atmosphere around us. Vibrations cause the ear drum to vibrate in resonance with the vibrations in the air. These vibrations are caused by vocal chords, guitar strings or other forces causing the air to compress and expand outward from the vibrating source. This pressure disturbance consists of compressions and rarefactions of the molecules in the air.

18

A healthy ear responds to vibration rates ranging from about 20 per second to about 20,000 per second, or 20Hz to 20KHz. The rate of vibrations is called frequencies. A healthy ear also responds to extremely faint vibrations in the air, the faintest of which is known as the Threshold of Hearing (TOH). The lowest intensity pressure wave a healthy ear can detect is one whose compression of atmospheric particles increases the air pressure by just 0.3 billionths of an atmosphere! The decibel scale measures how much sound energy is being emitted from a source. For every 10 decibels that you add to the scale, the amount of energy in the air is increased 10 times. Have a look at the following table: Source Threshold of Hearing (TOH) Rustling Leaves Whisper Normal Conversation Busy Street Traffic Vacuum Cleaner Large Orchestra Max Volume on MP3 Player Decibel Level 0 dB 10 dB 20 dB 60 dB 70 dB 80 dB 97 dB 100 dB x Greater Than TOH 100 101 102 106 107 108 109.7 1010 1010.5 1011 1013 1014 1016

Angry Mom, yelling to "turn it 105 dB down!" Front Row Seats at Rock Concert Pain Threshold Jet Takeoff Eardrum Explodes 110 dB 130 dB 140 dB 160 dB

From all of this, we hope you take away one important item. Take care of your ears! Very loud sounds above 130 dB can cause permanent diminished hearing, as can prolonged exposure to sounds above 80 dB. Most often this hearing loss is not total, but prolonged exposure to loud music does lead to diminished hearing at the high end of our hearing range first, so music and voices begin to sound a little muffled at first, then it can render us deaf to subtle overtones in both music and speech that give music and speech their rich qualities. Wearing hearing protection in noisy work environments, in airplanes, and especially at rock concerts makes you makes you a smart person, not a baby. If you think your friends will laugh at you for wearing foam ear plugs, its because 19

they were too stupid to think of it themselves, so buy enough for everyone, and you'll all have more fun. Nobody will miss the ringing in the ears for a day or two after the concert. Foam ear plugs diminish the sound intensity by 20 - 30 dB, which is just enough in most cases to prevent pain and damage, while still enjoying the full range of frequencies. Remember Pete Townsend? Guitarist of the once loudest band ever... The Who? See that hearing aid in his ear? Wonder how it got there? You get the point.

The Musical Ear
In future lessons, when we refer to "the ear", we will be talking about the musical ear. The musical ear is defined as our musical understanding of what our physical ear hears. The musical ear is developed and cultured through small daily doses of ear training exercises, which consist of interval, chord and scale recognition and recall, as well chord progression recognition and recall. Another aspect of ear training is very special skill called perfect pitch, which is the ability to name any note you hear, as well as recall up the right note from memory with no other external reference.

The Fingers
The fingers are the part of you that tickle the guitar, and make it sing. Your fingers take instructions from your mind at first as you are learning to translate chord and scale charts, or tablature into intelligible music. But with experience the mental instructions to your fingers give way to the emotions of the heart. You no longer have to rely on cognitive processing to play what moves your audience. Instead, of using your hands to push music from the guitar out to your audience, your hands are used to shape and mold the songs as they flow out of their own volition. In the case of amplified music, your hands actually are used to restrain and steer the power of your guitar, the way a jockey steers a thoroughbred in full stride, or the way an expert swordsman controls the strokes of his sword to change direction without losing momentum. Your fingers are all numbered as per the picture below. This is to help you in some chord charts and tablature to use the fingering that the author wants you to use. On your fretting hand, the fingers are numbered as 1, 2, 3, 4, beginning with the fretting index finger, and ending with the fretting pinky finger. The thumb is sometimes notated as T (Thumb). The picking hand uses letters to indicate the finger used to pick each note in an arpeggio. This notation is usually found in sheet music of classical music, where fingers instead of picks are used. The letters are initial letters of latin words: p (pulgar or thumb), i (indice or index), m (medular or middle), a (anular or ring finger), d (dimuto or little finger).

20

Good Posture
For your fingers to do their best magic, your whole body should be comfortable. There is a high correlation between slouching guitar players and back and neck problems. When sitting, choose a chair that allows you to straighten your spine, allowing your arms to hang comfortably down to their playing position.

Good Diet and Exercise
Hey, wait a minute! This is a guitar lesson, right? This is a Black Belt Guitar lesson. We care about you, and we are quick to point out that great musicianship and vices do not necessarily go together. Take a lesson from two of today's hottest guitar gods: Steve Morse, and Steve Vai. Both are Steves, and both are vegetarians. They believe (as do we) that good health is key to excellence in any pursuit, even the music business. They know that diet affects the body, mind and spirit in ways that either support or hinder the learning, creative and performing processes. Their intense ability to focus, write, create, jam, tour, demo, endorse, carry on a family life, etc. etc. is supported by the energy they get from good food. With a little planning, anyone can make good choices about food. Don't smoke. Don't take alcohol. Don't do drugs. You don't need these things, ever. We all love Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain, but we all prefer they were still with us. Eddie Van Halen would have preferred not to have mouth cancer. You got the point. Take good care of yourself. Get your rest. Stretch. Exercise. Breath. Your playing, and your life demand your best health. Take time out for this, and you may be playing into your 90's!

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The Guitar
The guitar is not really part of our body, but with the exception of our own voice, the guitar is the instrument with the truest extension of our body. With enough experience, it is possible to become one with the guitar. Here we will take a little time to become acquainted with the major components of the guitar. You will eventually have to know these parts well enough to keep your guitar in good repair, whether you do it yourself, or lean on your friendly luthier to do it for you. Take a little time to memorize the names of the things on your guitar(s).

Take good care of guitars. You can't help wearing out your frets eventually, but you should protect your guitar from too much abuse from pets, kids, baggage handlers, sun, drying out, but most of all protect your guitar from loneliness! If nothing else, your resale value will be higher if you take care of them. Change your strings as often as needed to keep your sound good. Keep your acoustic guitars moisturized by keeping a damp sponge in the case. Find a good luthier if your guitar gets sick or needs surgery.

Effective Practice
Begin with Written Goals
Set long-range (year), medium range (week to month), and short-range (today) goals before you start sit down with your guitar. Write those goals down. Most players fail to do this, and end up at the same place... frustration. Written goals have real power. Every tangible thing begins with a thought. If that thought is not expressed in written or spoken words, the thought never becomes more than a thought. When the thought becomes written word, it drives us on to action, and those thoughts are transformed into physical reality.

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Always have pencil and paper with you. This is to catch all the inspiration that you have, which is usually a fleeting thought or impression. Even if you can't fully develop it at the time, you should jot it down. Otherwise, it quickly fades away, and you may never have that impression again, until you hear that someone else has used it.

Do the Time
How much is enough? We believe that less than 30 minutes daily will produce anemic results. It usually takes 5 - 10 minutes to warm up the fingers and the ear before the good practice really begins, and the musical juices begin to flow. On the other hand, world-class musicians typically practice no more than two-hours per day to keep their skills honed (this does not include time performing or recording). So the sweet spot for most guitarists is somewhere between 30-minutes and 2 hours each day. If you find that you can't find two hours back-to-back, it's OK to break your practice sessions into a morning session and a separate afternoon or evening session. How much is too much? If you are practicing properly, you should not have a problem with frequent burn-out. Most problems from practice arise not from practicing too much, but practicing the wrong way, so you get bored, then you want to throw your guitar through the wall, then you find yourself on TV for all the wrong reasons! Having said that, we recommend taking a planned day off or planned day of very light practice every week. Sunday works well for many students, and is our choice. This planned day off gives us several advantages, including:

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• • • • •

Greater intensity and focus during our 6 on-days. Greater creativity comes from this planned time off. It allows us to remember that we are all human beings with lives beyond music. It allows us to renew our relationships with those we love and with God. When we strengthen our relationships with those we love and with God, we feel their support more in our playing.

We want you to excel at music, but we never want music to become an addiction.

Practice Critical Hearing
The hardest part of any practice routine is hearing how you really sound, so you can find the problems and fix them. Whenever possible record your practice sessions, even if you only have a cheap tape recorder. The cheaper the better, at first. Tape recorders do not lie, and they will tell you how you really sound without the sugar coating, or overly harsh criticism.

The most important benefit from this exercise is that you will learn to really hear yourself as you are, then magically, you know what you need to work on.

Overcompensate for Weak Areas
Good right-handed basketball players spend twice as much time dribbling with their left hand in practice, in order to switch unconsciously between hands in the game. In practicing guitar, you should spend 80% of your time on the weakest 20% of your playing, until it is no longer a problem. The idea is that you don't need to practice what is already easy for you. A good example is with strumming or picking. For most players, the downstroke is the strongest and most comfortable, and if you practice for 5 minutes using only upstrokes, you'll see how awkward the upstroke really feels. An average player would sense this awkwardness and train himself to avoid it. But an excellent player would see this as an opportunity for improvement, and practice it twice as much as the downstroke, making both equally strong.

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Practice to Perform
This advice applies to practicing your repertoire (songs), and will increase your confidence many fold. The idea is that if you practice one way, then perform something different, both the practice and the performance can be sources of embarrassment and frustration. Imagine, if you can, an audience while you practice, and practice playing to them. A friend, band mates, or even playing for your dog can make the practice more real. If you can't find a live audience, remember you can always play for your tape recorder. As much as possible, try to play, breath, sing, etc. with the same intensity, emotion and projection as when you perform. If you have stage gear, try to mark your settings so that once you achieve a great sound in the studio, you don't have to fumble around to find the settings that sounded good the night before during practice.

Set Management
Akin to practicing like you play is practicing what you will play. Before you go on stage (or before friends) to play, you should know something about how long you will be allowed to play, then fill that time with the songs that have the most impact, or are most entertaining. A 1-song set is planned for and executed differently than a 3-song set, or a 10-song set, etc. Manage your set in writing. This is so that you and your band mates will avoid confusion when playing. This approach will save hours, days, weeks or years of frustration and anxiety in your playing.

On-Line vs. Off-Line Practice
Not all aspects of guitar are learned with guitar in hand (on-line). Some of the theoretical aspects can be effectively learned without your guitar (off-line). Knowing this will allow you to take advantage of those times when you can't have your guitar with you (driving, during a break at work, etc.) to keep learning the theory, and saving the prime time when you can have your guitar with you to work on your technique, repertoire, speed, etc. Even some of the creative aspects of music can be organized into on-line vs. offline times. For example, while practicing scales (on-line), you accidentally hear yourself playing a very catchy melody. Stop and jot it down. Or, while you are driving to work (off-line), you hear something on the radio that you want to add to your repertoire, but you think you can improve on it. Pull over and jot this down as well. Or, while waiting to pick your sister up at the airport (off-line), you can pull out your tabs on that lead you want to master, and work out some of the

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fingering that seems comfortable to you, while also using your aural recall to hear the tones of the lead in your head.

On-Line Practice Structure
On-line practice should be structured with your specific goals for the day in mind, but some examples of effective practice might look like this:
• • • • •

Warm-Up, Tune-Up (5 Minutes) Scale Practice (5 Minutes) Chord Changes (5 Minutes) Review, Refine, Existing Repertoire (30 - 45 Minutes) Learn New Reportoire (30 - 45 Minutes)

And Now the Challenge...
These practice ideas are pretty simple, and you probable already new them, but if a year from now you find yourself utterly frustrated, visit this lesson again and evaluate your own practice habits to see if there is something you are overlooking.

Always Begin Here!
Set Your Goals Before Starting
Without goals, there is no movement. Wherever we are now is both the origin and destination. Compared to water, lack of goals is like the Dead Sea. Already at the lowest possible elevation, it can flow nowhere, can exert no kinetic or potential energy upon other objects nor sustain complex life. For our goals to be effective, they must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Action-Oriented, Relevant and Time-Framed), or they will eventually give way to pressures or frustrations. Let's examine each one at a time: Specific Goals limit the variables we have to deal with at once, and allow us to focus on those areas that need work. Areas that do not need work should not be practiced at the expense of those areas that do. Specific goals should be written down to keep you on task until mastery is gained, and you check yourself off. Measurable Goals allow us to quantify or substantiate progress from one day or one week to the next. How do you really know if your playing of diminished arpeggios is getting faster and cleaner if not confirmed by a metronome? How do you really know that you are making fewer mistakes unless you can compare two recordings of yourself? Always measure, always record, always listen critically.

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Attainable, Action-Oriented Goals ensure that regardless of our current abilities, the next step is always possible, but requires effort. Trying to tackle extended chords before you are proficient with triads, for example, can be frustrating. Channel your energy into mastering your current level and then move on to the next. Our belt level system is geared to help sequence these musical concepts into a logical order for you. Relevant Goals serve the purpose of helping us study the right material in the right context, and weeding out activities that distract from the specific goals set earlier. For example, if you are preparing a Bach piece for a classical master class with David Russell in two weeks, why would you spend your training time jamming to BB King? Save BB King for later, and work on your posture, breathing, memorization, articulation and phrasing on your classical guitar. Be comfortable in the knowledge that you cannot excel at all styles at once. Time-Framed Goals always have a deadline attached, but just as importantly there is a beginning time where you block out other activities to focus on the task. This window must be commensurate with the work to be done during that timeframe. You might not make every deadline, but unless you put dates on your goals, they have a way of dragging themselves out much longer than necessary. This is one habit that will separate you from your friends by a long shot.

Let's Get Started
Before beginning any lessons, take some quality time to dream about what you want to become, and how guitar will enhance your life and the life of others. The pursuit of guitar can consume hours each week, and even years of your life, so take some time to dream and plan for you dream to realize itself. Let the clarity of your vision and the thrill of creating that future take control for a little while. What will make you want to keep going when your fingers hurt, when people tell you that your playing stinks, or have no future in guitar, or most common of all when the novelty wears off, and things become boring? Go to a quite place, put away your guitar and pull out a piece of paper and a pencil. Review the following steps and spend some quality time with your future self.

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Jot Down your Inspiration
Take some time to list your inspirations. Who are those who move you with their music? Whose songwriting causes you to marvel? Whose technique causes your jaw to drop? These players might be famous, but they do not have to be. They can be your friend, a local band member, a teacher. As you list the players who inspire you, think about them and let the emotions flow through you. List the things they do in their playing, songwriting, or in their personal character that makes you want to be better at this guitar thing. Pay attention to your motivation meter and note whether they really move you or not. If you think you are writing down characteristics that inspire someone else, don't list them.

Write down what you want to become.
Write down what you want to be using specific declarative language as if you already are what you want to become. Examples would be:

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• • • •

"I am a well-rounded competent player that plays blues and jazz for live audiences and in the studio", or... "I am a teacher who motivates my students through my recorded music and my interaction with them", or... "I am a world-class professional player that inspires other guitar players around the globe through my performances and recorded music", or... "I am a business man who likes to play guitar to relax in the evenings".

Write down major milestones.
Major milestones are important achievements combined with dates. These must be written to be effective. Without milestones real progress cannot be made or measured. Examples of major milestones might be:
• • • • •

Save enough money to buy a new Martin guitar by my next birthday, or... Start teaching students in my basement by next spring, or... Start a band by next month, or... Get admitted to music school by next semester, or Build a studio in my basement by next year, etc.

Write down the steps to make your milestones it happen.
Write down the practical things you can do each day to make your milestones a reality. Write them down. Examples might be:
• • • • •

Practice daily Read publications Look for bands auditioning for players Do marketing for new students Save 10% from each paycheck for new guitar

Write down your daily time commitment to make it all happen.
How much time can you give each day to make your goal happen? Write down your ideal daily commitment, and your minimum daily commitment, in case your ideal commitment can't be reached for some reason. During this time each day, make sure to remove distractions, such as TV, phone, kids, visitors, etc. It should be just you, your instrument, and your practice routine.

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Write down all the songs you would like to play.
Take some time to write down in one place all the songs you can think of that you would like to play. At first, don't worry about the order, just list every cool song that you would like to add to your repertoire either now or down the road a ways. Return to your list often, to pull songs off of it into your short-term practice routines.

Knowing your Guitar Neck like the Back of your Hand
Do you know where to find a B on your guitar? How about an F#? It's no fun when playing with your friends and someone says play an A, and you need to watch their fingers for a clue, or listen to an A on the piano while you fumble around and play a few notes until you find it. Not knowing where the notes on your fretboard are has "amateur" written all over it, so in this lesson, we'll give you some ideas to learn where the notes are on your fretboard until know you know it like the back of your hand.

Notes of the Chromatic Scale
It required generations of musicians, scientists and inventors to arrive at a 12-note scale we have today after centuries of the study of music, combined with generous helpings of trial and error, political and theological strife and compromise. The result was an agreed upon pool of notes from which all scales, chords are constructed. Most of the details had been worked out by the time orchestral music was born, otherwise it would have been impossible for different instruments to play together harmoniously. We call this repeating 12-note scale the chromatic scale, which denotes color. In the following busy little picture, each colored dot illustrates the location of a particular note of the chromatic scale on the guitar fretboard. Anywhere you start, the colors slightly shift with every half-step (1 fret) up or down the neck, and repeat with each octave (13 half-steps or frets apart from the starting note).

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Notes of the Different Octaves
The six-string guitar has notes that span about 4 octaves. In classical music, each octave has a number so that any instrument can find the same pitch, even though they are all tuned quite differently. In classical music, each octave is renumbered starting with the C note. Here we have pictures of the notes in each octave from Octave 2 to Octave 4. The notes may be referred to as G4 (G in the fouth octave) or C3 (C in the third octave), for example.

Notes of the 2nd Octave
Beginning with C2 and ending with B2...

Notes of the 3rd Octave
Beginning with C3 and ending with B3...

Notes of the 4th Octave

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Beginning with C4 and ending with B4...

Notes of the 5th Octave
Beginning with C5 and ending with B5...

Exercises
Don't try to absorb this picture all at once. Break it down into small digestible pieces, such as:
• • •

Pick a string and learn the note names up and down all frets, one string at a time. Pick a fret and learn the note names across all strings one fret at a time. Pick a note and learn the position of that note everywhere on the fretboard.

The notes on the fretboard are learned by repetition. Here are a few useful ideas:

• • •

When you do have your guitar with you (and nobody is around to make fun of you) sing the names of the notes as you play them. This makes the learning "sticky", and you will internalize it much more quickly than by playing alone. Look for and visualize patterns, and play those patterns as you discover them. For example, know where a C is relative to a G, or an F relative to a D. Learn the note locations relative to the inlays (dots) of the guitar neck. When you can't have your guitar with you, quiz yourself by drawing the fretboard on a

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piece of paper, or try out some nifty software like CDB Fretboard Trainer on your Palm Pilot. As you learn chords and scales, take a little extra time to sing the notes of those chords and scales as you are first learning them. This is a two-way reinforcement activity that helps cement both the notes and the scale and chord construction in your mind. A little bit every day is better than a lot at once. Don't try to cram for your test. Just make a point of knowing your stuff, and when you realize that you might have some fuzzy areas that need sharpening, just revisit them and you'll see that a little attention to these areas will quickly fix them.

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
In learning to play guitar, there are musical vitamins that can help supplement our usual diet of learning to play new songs, and rehearsing the songs we already know. These musical vitamins are the drills and theory that supplement your song playing, and help you to remain musically healthy. The benefits are that you can absorb more music, faster, process the music and understand it, and detect and fight off bugs in our playing. A healthy balanced practice routine might look something like this:

Here is a list of musical vitamins with the Black Belt Guitar Recommended Daily Allowances (BBGA RDA), needed to keep you musically healthy and strong. Check your practice routine, and see if any of these vitamins could help you out. Guitarist Vitamin Vitamin Description BBGA RDA 5 Minutes Daily

Arpeggios: Arpeggios are the bridge between chords and scales, and they should be part of Vitamin A every practice routine. Playing arpeggios from bottom to top and from top. Borrowing: As you listen to music from different artist, styles, genres or even other instruments, open your ears for ideas that you want to Vitamin B amalgamate into your own playing. This kind of openness will add depth to your playing, and help you avoid periods of creative drought in your playing.

Daily, as Exposed to Music

Chords: It goes without saying that chords are the workhorse of guitar music. Learn open chords, bar10 Minutes Vitamin C chords, inverted chords, extended chords, Daily sustained chords, augmented chords, diminished chords. To be like guitar George, who knows all his

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chords, you need to practice a lot of chords every day, and stuff a lot of them into your memory banks. Darkness: That's right... total darkness. Take the time to play with all the lights out. This reinforces the direct link between your hands and your ear. 10 Minutes 3x Vitamin D Instead of seeing what your hands are doing, learn Weekly to feel what they are doing in relation to what you hear them doing. This is a super-potent exercise for refining your tactal and aural abilities. Exercise: Not guitar exercise... Physical exercise. Get out and get your heart pumping. Stretch and do some push ups and pullups. Practicing guitar is 30 Minutes 3x Vitamin E no excuse for letting your body go to the dogs. Weekly While you are exercising, use this time to listen to your favorite guitar influences. An iPod can be one of your best investments. Fingerpicking: Put your pick away for a while, and get in touch with with your guitar. Also try Mixed with Vitamin F combination of picking with your flat pick and Picking fingers for a little different articulation than with a pick alone. Gambling: There is no subsitute for thorough preparation in playing, but taking an occasional gamble can sometimes pay off. Try going for broke on some of your toughest leads in front of some of the friends you want to impress the most. If you As Vitamin G win, you win big. If you lose, all you have lost is a Opportunities moment in time, but you have learned a lot from Arise the experience. Learn to play the tough hands with a straight face, cool, calm and relaxed. Don't dwell on the weak cards in the hand you are playing, just ante up and play. Enjoy the game. Harmonics: Learn to play false harmonics on the 12th fret above the fretted notes of your left hand. Vitamin H Also, learn all the names of the natural harmonics over the 12th, 5th, 4th and 9th frets. Try substituting these harmonics over fretted notes. 15 Minutes Weekly

Vitamin I

Interval Training: Notes don't make music, intervals do. Our mind hangs on to the last note 5 Minutes played in a melody, and anticipates the next, which Daily creates our perception of motion in music. The distance between notes played melodically or

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harmonically should be understood by the mind and the fingers. Know all your intervals up and down. On the same strings and across strings. This will help you nail new melodies you hear the first time, without having to fumble around the fretboard to find the right notes. Jamming: Now this is what it is all about. Actively pursue being able to play with other musicians. Learn from those better than you, and be patient with those that are a little behind. They are learning too! Learn to organize your jam sessions around common knowledge, such as common tunes, or common chord progressions that you all know. Careful not to let egos interfere with the music.

Vitamin J

Every chance you get

Kinetic Energy Focus: In guitar, we use kinetic energy of our fingers and picks to make music. The more efficient our movements, the less wasted motion, and the more kinetic energy is converted to speed. Minimize the wasted motion in your right hand by picking with precision. Minimize the Every Time Vitamin K You Play wasted motion in your left hand by using proper positioning of the fingers just above the frets, the proper voicings in the chords and scales to minimize left-hand travel, and using the best available fingerings to allow playing passing notes even when the left hand is changing position. Left-Hand Only: This includes hammer-ons, pulloffs and bends and slides. Left hand only Vitamin L exercises will help improve your leads and licks overall. You can do this at the same time you practice scales, or other leads. 3 Minutes Daily.

Muting: Take some time to focus on deadening the strings that are not being played. If you are not Every Time paying attention to this, chances are you are Vitamin M You Play making unwanted noise on your extra strings. Consciously determine whether left-hand or righthand music works best for what is being played. Nashville Numbering System: This system is the best way to get the sound of the harmonic scale 5 Minutes into your ears and hands. Using numbers for Vitamin N chords in the harmonic scale, all musicians in the Daily band are instantly able to relate the chords to each other without the need to read music.

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Open Strings: Experiment with the songs you already know to see if ringing open strings can add a new dimension to the chords you are already As Opportunity Vitamin O playing. Guitar is very well suited to this kind of Affords effect, and most bar-chord-locked players don't ever think to try it. It can set you apart from the crowd. Punching Through: This vitamin pertains to adjusting your tone and choice of melodies and chord voicings to punch through the bed of sound created by your other band members, without As Opportunity having to increase your volume. It means to play Vitamin P notes that are not already being played or sung by Affords someone else in the band. Two-note harmonies work excellently in this application, and punch through more effectively than bar chords to be sure. Quiet: Guitars in the wrong hands can be an endless source of noise. Introducing timely pauses in the middle of a piece can create tension, and anticipation, and has the effect of winning back a As Opportunity Vitamin Q lost audience. Try it in some of your music to see if Affords you can add some life to your songs. Also, quite refers to keeping volume below the pain threshold when practicing, and saving your ears, your dog's ears, and your audience's ears. Reading Music: Small doses of reading music in both standard notation and tablature everyday is more effective than avoiding it until you have to, 10 Minutes Vitamin R then beating your head against the wall when you Daily need it. Take some sheet music with you in your backpack or on a plane, and read a few bars while waiting for your ride. Scales: Another staple of any serious practice routine. Learn scales backwards and forwards, vertically and horizontally, major, minor, 10 Minutes pentatonic, blues, modes, exotic, etc. Learn to fit Vitamin S scales over chord progressions. Learn to play in Daily time... quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. Tuplets and triplets. Get the scales into your ears and fingers, and everything else is just gravy. Timing: Use a drum machine or metronome. Get Vitamin T your tempo going, then try to work those quarter notes up to eighth notes, and then graduate to During Practice Drills

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sixteenth notes. Try to increase your sense of synchopation, going with and against the rhythm in interesting ways. Upstroke: When flat-picking, almost everyone has a stronger downstroke, but the upstroke can be During Vitamin U problematic. By practicing your upstroke twice as Practice Drills much as your downstroke, you can equalize the imbalance in strength. Verbalize: When learning note names, intervals, scales, chords, chord changes, etc., it really helps Vitamin V your memory if you say or sing what you are playing. This will cut down on the time it takes to master these basic elements. During Practice Drills

Writing: Take a music pad with your wherever you go. This is to jot down ideas that are keepers. If Every Vitamin W you don't write it down... too often it's gone forever. Opportunity That is until you hear someone else playing it on the radio. You get the idea. X-treme playing techniques: Dive Bombing, Legato Phrasing, Middle-Eastern Effects, String Skipping, String Scraping, Whammy Melodies, The Difference Tone, The Gargle, EVH Elephant, Satch As Needed for Vitamin X String Pull, are all great techniques to learn, but Boredom they can't substitute for being solid musically. Practice these special effects to add spice to your playing, but don't make them the main course. You-niqueness: In all the playing you do, remember, remember that it's more fun and profitable to play things your own way, than to learn to mimic other successful players exactly. Let Every Vitamin Y Opportunity other players inspire you and let them teach you things you would not have learned on your own, but always try to put your own signature on what you play. ZZZZZ...: Get plenty of sleep! Recent studies prove that sleep deprivation significantly increases health risks, and reduces cognitive functions, creating symptoms similar to attention deficit 8 Hours Vitamin Z disorder. In guitar, you simply can't learn as much Nightly as fast if your faculties are impaired by lack of sleep. Trade in those after-gig party hours for some z's, and you'll be amazed at the difference in your playing.

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
Assuming that you have firmly committed to become a great player (of course you are), and you are making time to practice and perform (check!)... here are some more ideas to help you chart your course to being a well-rounded, and seasoned player, and a player who always keeps things fresh and interesting.

Horizontal Growth

Growing horizontally means adding to the list of songs that you are able to play, even though you may play all the songs in basically the same way. Think Broader and Wider. You want to acquire or write more songs all the time, and learning or writing new songs should be a regular part of every practice session.

Genre Cross-Over
Another way that artists try to expand is to learn songs from different genres. This makes you an eclectic player, who might be able to mix some blues, with rock, or jazz with classical, for example. This is also a great excuse for owning several guitars, each of which might be particularly well suited to one genre or another. Vertical Growth

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So let's say you can play a thousand songs, but you play them all the same way... Here are some ideas to help you keep your repertoire fresh and original sounding. Think Higher and Deeper. Vertical growth is the deepening or heightening of old, familiar songs or techniques. Rough edges are polished off, holes and gaps are filled, voicings and melodies are altered for effect, and a creative spirit identifies itself.

Genre Substitution
One well-known example of genre substitution is neo-classical. Think of Bach played through a tall stack of amps with full volume and distortion, and in doubletime. This is a way to make very complex, technical music more accessible and popular with an untrained audience.

Variations on a Theme
Try playing a well-known standard tune like Jingle Bells, Happy Birthday or the theme to Gilligan's Island in the style of metal, grunge, country, bluegrass, jazz, or classical. This way you can have a lot of fun practicing, and fitting an old familiar tune to any occasion.

Melodic Variations
Try changing major melodies to minor and other scalar modes. Also, experiment with substituting direct, overt melody with indirect, implied melody played through licks.

Harmonic Variations
While comping, and trying to find the best sounding voicing, try playing the melody on top and bottom of harmonic intervals or triads. Play the theme using open chords, straight bar chords, or substitute Jazz chords.

Tempo Variations
Practice to a drum machine as much as you can when alone, but try switching between different drum patterns or tempos. It's amazing to hear the difference a shuffle, a bossanova or reggae rhythm can do to pull you out of a 4/4 rut.

Technical Variations
The same old tired song can be spiced up by decisions on how to execute particular sections of a song... whether to strum or finger pick, use chords or arpeggios, employ bends or slides, hammer-on or pick, or mute or let ring, etc.

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Build a Medley
Are there certain songs that sound great bolted together? Any two songs written with similar chord progressions and rhythm patterns make great candidates, and they are typically great crowd-pleasers.

Tonal Variations
Another excuse to spend money on guitar equipment is this one. Try playing your favorite tunes through different settings on your amp and effects chain. For example: fuzz vs. clean, acoustic vs. electric, with and without reverb and chorus, etc. Take a heavy metal song, and go unplugged with it. Experiment with all your equipment settings, but boil them down so that you audience hears only what you think will really do the job, then mark the settings on your equipment. These settings are now yours.

Open Dominant 7th Chords
The Dominant 7th chords takes its name from the minor 7th note in combination with the major 3rd note. This combination gives the chord a unique characteristic that tempers the major 3rd, allowing you to to use it interchangebly with major chords if that is your desire. The minor 7th chord also has a sort of leading quality that song writers use to lead into a resolving chord. Take just a minute to memorize this table:

Attributes Chord Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree

Values 1-M3-5-m7 Major M3, m7

Now take some time to learn each chord shape in this table. White notes are optional:

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C7

A7

G7

E7

D7

F7

B7

Exercises:
The exercises are basically the same as those you learned before. Remember to go slowly, deliberately and paying attention to the feel and sound.

• •

• •

Play each chord until you can do so comfortably without dampening those strings that should be played, or playing strings that should not be played. Learn to pay close attention to clean playing from the start, and you'll sound much better much sooner. Learn the fingering that works most comfortably and effectively for you. Try it different ways, and decide what works best for different situations. Learn the correct finger pressure to apply to your strings for the best sound and most comfort. You should be pressing just hard enough to eliminate any string buzz, but not so hard that your hand gets fatiqued or cramped. Try strumming the chord with your right hand, and also playing one note at a time from bottom to top, and top to bottom. As you play the notes one at a time, sing the note names aloud, playing and singing from bottom to top, and top to bottom. This will reinforce your learning of the note names on the fretboard. Try playing all the chords in complete darkness, using only your finger memory to locate and position your fingers without your eyes to guide them. As you play the chord, sing the name of the chord, and visualize the chord shape.

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Learn to transition smoothly from one chord to another without noise. Practice changing from every chord in this set to every other chord in this set and back until you can do so comfortably. In each chord, listen for and locate the minor 7th note which gives this chord it's dominant feeling.

Play the 7th chords alternating with the major chords to get the feel and sound.
• • • • • • •

C - C7 - C - C7 - C A - A7 - A - A7 - A G - G7 - G - G7 - G E - E7 - E - E7 - E D - D7 - D - D7 - D F - F7 - F - F7 - F B - B7 - B - B7 - B

In the progressions below, pay attention to the strong leading sound of the dominant 7th chord before finally resolving on the last chord in the progression.
• • • • • •

Dm - G7 - C - Am - Dm - G7 - C G - A7 - D Bm - E7 - A C - D7 - G A - B7 - E Gm - C7 - F

In the progressions below, the 7th chord softens each chord, and gives a bluesier or funkier feel.
• • • • •

E7 - A7 - E7 - A C7 - F7 - C7 - F E7 - B7 - E7 - B7 - E A7 - D7 - A7 - D7 G7 - D7 - G7 - D

Now try to put the names of some songs you already know to these progressions. And as always, come up with a couple of your own!

Open Major Chords
The first chords every guitarist should learn are the open string chords for a couple of very good reasons:

Major chords are the most popular and familiar of all chords. Learning major chords only will enable you to play a handsome collection of popular music in all genres. 43

Open chord shapes allow you to play the most notes with the fewest fingers in arguably the most comfortable position. Open chords use at least one open string, which frees up some of your fingers to either rest, or articulate some other notes while playing or transitioning between chords.

Many guitar players spend their entire career simply playing in open string chords, and a great deal of music is written for open chords to make it easier to play and learn. Open chords are especially versatile when transposing the key of a song by using a capo. The open string chords are named after their root note, but by committing the shape or form of the chord to memory, the player can easily transpose songs up and down the neck of the guitar. The chord forms are also named after the shape of each of these chords. Major chords take their name from the major third (M3) note present in every one of them. When played together with the root and the 5th, the M3 gives the entire chord the familiar, bright, happy quality we have all come to know through our childhood. Take just a minute to memorize this table:

Attributes Chord Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree

Values 1-M3-5 Major M3

Now take some time to learn each chord shape in this table. White notes are optional:

C

A

G

E

D

F

B

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Exercises:
These exercises go beyond just memorizing the chords, if you do each of these chords slowly, deliberately and paying attention to the proper physical and aural sensations, you will internalize and master these chords much faster than by memorizing alone. Your attention to the details early in your learning will pay big dividends later, since you will not have to unlearn any bad habits, and you can focus later on more advanced things.

• •

Play each chord until you can do so comfortably without dampening those strings that should be played, or playing strings that should not be played. Learn to pay close attention to clean playing from the start, and you'll sound much better much sooner. Learn the fingering that works most comfortably and effectively for you. For example, when playing the A major chord, is it better for you to play all three notes on the second fret by laying your first finger across all three strings, or is it better foy you to play with the second, third and fourth fingers? Try it both ways, and decide what works best for different situations. Learn the correct finger pressure to apply to your strings for the best sound and most comfort. You should be pressing just hard enough to eliminate any string buzz, but not so hard that your hand gets fatiqued or cramped. Try strumming the chord with your right hand, and also playing one note at a time from bottom to top, and top to bottom. As you play the notes one at a time, sing the note names aloud, playing and singing from bottom to top, and top to bottom. This will reinforce your learning of the note names on the fretboard. Try playing all the chords in complete darkness, using only your finger memory to locate and position your fingers without your eyes to guide them. As you play the chord, sing the name of the chord, and visualize the chord shape. Learn to transition smoothly from one chord to another without noise. Practice changing from every chord in this set to every other chord in this set and back until you can do so comfortably.

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In each chord, listen for and locate the major 3rd note, which gives the entire chord it's major feeling.

Now chords by themselves are not really musical, so let's combine two or more chords together in a a series of major chord progressions that sound good.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

C - F - G - C - F - G (La Bamba) C - G - G - C - C - F - G - C (Happy Birthday) A - E - E - A - A - D - E - A (Happy Birthday) C-F-G-F C - D - G - C - D - G (I just called to say I love you, (chorus)) C-G-C-G C-G-F-C G - G - C - D - G (Man of Constant Sorrow) G-F-G-F C - F - C - G - C (On Top of Old Smoky) C - F - C - G (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) A - D - A - E (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) D-G-D-G D-G-C-D B-A-B-A E-F-E-F B-C-B-C

Now try to put the names of some songs you already know to these progressions. Come up with some of your own!

Open Minor Chords
Minor chords take their name from the minor 3rd (m3) note. The minor 3rd imparts a more solemn or sad feeling to the chord, and indeed to the entire song, if the song is written in a minor key. Take just a minute to memorize this table:

Attributes Chord Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree

Values 1-m3-5 Minor m3

Now take some time to learn each chord shape in this table. White notes are optional:

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Cm

Am

Gm

Em

Dm

Fm

Bm

If you feel that Cm, Gm and Bm open chords are a little tough to finger, you're right. Most guitar players avoid these fingerings in real life and choose to use barre chords, a chord type you'll learn in the yellow belt lessons. For now, suffer through these, because they will give your fingers a little stretch and help your fingers develop a little independence from the others. (Finger independence is a very desirable goal).

Exercises:
Remember to take each of these chords slowly, and deliberately. Fingers eyes and ears should work together to internalize these chords.

Play each chord until you can do so comfortably without dampening those strings that should be played, or playing strings that should not be played. Pay close attention to clean playing from the start, and you'll sound much better much sooner. Learn the fingering that works most comfortably and effectively for you. Try each chord different ways, and decide which fingering works best for different situations. Learn the correct finger pressure to apply to your strings for the best sound and most. comfort. You should be pressing just hard enough to eliminate any string buzz, but not so hard that your hand gets fatiqued or cramped. Try strumming the chord with your right hand, and also playing one note at a time from bottom to top, and top to bottom.

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As you play the notes one at a time, sing the note names aloud, playing and singing from bottom to top, and top to bottom. This will reinforce your learning of the note names on the fretboard. Try playing all the chords in complete darkness, using only your finger memory to locate and position your fingers without your eyes to guide them. As you play the chord, sing the name of the chord, and visualize the chord shape. Learn to transition smoothly from one chord to another without noise. Practice changing from every chord in this set to every other chord in this set and back until you can do so comfortably. In each chord, listen for and locate the minor 3rd note, which gives the entire chord it's minor feeling.

Play the minor chords alternating with the major chords from the previous lesson to reinforce the major chord and to get the feel and the sound of the major to minor and minor to major chord changes into your mind and fingers.
• • • • • • •

C - Cm - C - Cm - C A - Am - A - Am - A G - Gm - G - Gm - G E - Em - E - Em - E D - Dm - D - Dm - D F - Fm - F - Fm - F B - Bm - B - Bm - B

In the next set of progressions. notice that playing only minor chord progressions is kind of limited, and the over all sound is a little dark, compared to our majoronly progressions.
• • • • •

Em - Am - Em - Am Gm - Em - Gm - Em Cm - Am - Cm - Am Dm - Am - Em - Am Am - Dm - Am - Dm

Most music, whether classical, popular, country, rock uses a combination of major and minor chords to make them powerful, moving, and... well, popular! Here are some progressions from some widely known tunes to make the point.
• • • • • • •

Am - C - Dm - F - Am - Am - E (House of the Rising Sun) C - Am - G - F - C (Country Road) C - G - Am - F - C - G - F - C (Country Road (Chorus)) G - C - Am - G (Yellow Submarine) Em - F - G - C Em - A - Em - A - D - G - D Em - C - G - Em - C - D

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• • • •

Am - F - E - Am - F - E Dm - G - C - Am Am - G - Am - Em - Am - G - Am - Em - Dm - C - G - Am (Love and Miracles out of Nowhere) Bm - A - G - A - Bm - A - G - A

Now try to put the names of some songs you already know to these progressions. Come up with some of your own!

Rhythm Melody Harmony: The Basis of All Theory
At the center of all music there are forces at work that we take for granted as listeners, but are critical to always remember as musicians: rhythm, melody and harmony. Some musical styles emphasize one or two over the remaining forces, and there are sections in some piece where one or two of the elements are intentionally left out, but good music needs all three legs to run on. As a reminder of the importance of all three forces, Black Belt Guitar Academy, uses this three-part symbol to remind us of the balance and interplay between rhythm, melody and harmony. Black Belt Guitar Academy also stresses that every practice session should include elements of rhythm, melody and harmony. Let's take a closer look at each element, and then all of them together:

Rhythm
Rhythm is the first and most basic element of music, and is the greatest force for propelling music forward. Tempo is the speed at which music moves, and rhythm is how that tempo is subdivided. Tempo andrhythm also exist in all aspects of nature and life, which is why we all have a natural understanding of rhythm when we hear it, and why tempo and rhythm in music can directly affect our moods and vital signs. In a band, guitar players are usually not responsible for setting the tempo or the beat of a song... that is the domain of the drum and base sections. However, guitar players like vocalists MUST observe andkeep the the time. It's always more forgivable to skip a note or even a measure or section of a song, than to play out of time with the rest of the band! When playing solo, it is the job of the picking or strumming hand to set the tempo and the rhythm for the fretting hand and the vocals. A separate rhythm section is not required when playing a tune, because the tempo and rhythm can be implied in a melody, but however overt or subtle, tempo and rhythm are always there. 49

For these reasons, a metronome or drum machine is a crucial tool to develop and maintain good rhythm when practicing solo. When a ticker is not available, tapping your foot, counting out loud or bobbing yourhead is the next best thing.

Melody
Melody, or the tune, is the second most basic element in music, most approximating speech, it tells the story. Melody needs tempo and rhythm to help the story line move along, but the tempo and rhythm can be implied in the melody itself. Melody is the single most powerful element in music. Without a tune, music cannot exist. Melody is a single line of musical thought comprised of intervals played sequentially. Notice we say intervals, not notes. Our mind senses the relative distances between the notes, even if we do not know exactly which notes is being played. If the notes are like letters of the alphabet, then intervals are like words, whichform musical sentences called phrases, and larger musical paragraphs called sections. Another sensibility we all have is whether the intervals "fit" within some kind of scale, relative to a tonal center. Our ability to remember prior notes (they ring in our ear), sense intervals between those notesand sense the scalar fit of notes around a tonal center gives us all another unique ability to "follow" a tune, and even anticipate where the tune is headed, based on where it has been. Because of the importance of melody in music, we spend time in each lesson and during each practice session focusing on it. We always want to make a better musical statement, and we do so through melody. We also encourage musical students to always look for ways to say more with less. We do this through thoroughly understanding scales. Scales in all positions, keys, types and modes. Andres Segovia taught his students that study of scales solves more musical problems more quickly than any other aspect of musical study. Black Belt Guitar Academy believes in this philosophy wholeheartedly and encourages scale practice in every practice session.

Harmony
Harmony is the final element in music. When two or more notes are played simultaneously, we again have an interval or stacked intervals that take on a character beyond that of the notes alone. This is because the energy from the individual notes and their overtones either reinforces or interferes with the overtones of the other notes, givingthe harmony a unique character beyond the notes themselves. This is a case where 1 + 1 > 2, and 1 + 1 + 1 > 3. We hear more than just the notes themselves. What we hear is often described as musical color, and the more notes we play, the more color there is. Too many notes gives us a "muddy" musical color.

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Here again we learn the basics of harmony: intervals, and stacked intervals or chords. Understanding how intervals stack up to form chords gives our players a deep understanding of what is going on harmonically, and gives them a rich palette of harmonic colors to choose from in their own playing. Harmony must be moving to be musical. Think of a blaring train or a car horn. Harmonic, yes. Musical no. For this reason, we emphasize chord changes or progressions as much single chords. We also study chords in the context of movement around a tonal center, using color and voicing for variety, but almost always support of the melody, and almost always in concert with the rhythm.

Interaction of Rhythm, Melody and Harmony
As said earlier, rhythm can be implied in the melody, and harmony. Chord changes have a sense of direction approximating a tune, and if one note in a chord seems dominant (usually the top note) while the others seem recessive, then then a melody can emerge out of harmony as chord progressions are played. The interaction of all three elements and the endless possibilities makes music exciting to listen to, study and play and perform. The same songs can be played a million different ways by a million different musicians and still be recognizable. Without understanding all the theory behind the music, we just listen and connect with the soul of the artists. By just tweaking a tempo, substituting a rhythm, sharping or flatting a tone, or adding or subtracting a shade of color, the whole rendition is made one's own, and is a unique event in space and time wheresouls come together.

The Guitar Can Do It All
Like piano, guitar is one of the few instruments that allows such strong command of rhythm, melody and harmony at once. Unlike piano, you can carry a guitar with you wherever you go, and tune it any way that suits your need. Also, a guitar most closely approximates the vocal qualities of the human voice. Words like "weeping", "crying","screaming" are often used to characterize the expressive qualities of the guitar. I've even heard guitars sound like cattle, and elephant rumbles. You can buy wah-wah pedals, ya-ya pedals, and even talk-boxes for your guitar. All you knew when you picked up your guitar for the first time is that it somehow spoke to you, and you listened.

Why We Study Music, Not Just Guitar
The challenge of guitar is to take this wonderfully expressive instrument and use it to tell our own unique stories. We dothis by manipulating rhythm, melody and harmony to suit our purposes. A study of music should center around the practical use of each these three forces separately, and how they work together.

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Theory is learned as much by listening to music the "works", as much as by hitting the books, but we need both. Armed with this knowledge, we understand musical messages with more clarity, and learn how to write and perform our own musical statements with greater impact. Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie said he spent a lifetime learning what not to play. A study of music teaches us that when making a musical statement, less can be more. Too much of a good thing is just noise. Bruce Lee also taught in Jeet Kune Do, that we strive to continuously remove the non-essential from our movements. This is a good lesson in life and music as well. Throughout your studies at Black Belt Guitar Academy, we hope you'll always take a fresh look at these wonderful musical elements each time you pick up your guitar, and ask how will I use them today?

Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Set Management
All good albums and concerts are organized to give the audience the best experience possible in the time allowed, so that you'll be invited back. This planning is an important part of performing that we'll call set management. When given an audience, you are judged by how you play in the time you have. You are not judged for what you don't play. So you want to leave your mark during your time. This could be playing for a friend, performing at school, auditioning for a band. In that time, what will you play to engage your audience and convey who you are musically. Given sets of different durations, do spend some quality time refining the sets as a matter of habit through your entire career. Constantly replace old, stale material with new fresh material, but stick to the allotted time.

1 Minute Set
Pick the song that you think will make the most impact for the occasion. This should be your most polished and comfortable song, and one that is a crowd pleaser. Don't make the mistake of picking a song you are working on, or one you can't play completely, or one that you can't remember the words to if you are a singer.

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5 Minute Set
This set should contain your best two or three songs, sequenced to start and end with a bang. The bigger bang at the end, if possible. Leave them wanting more. Familiar tunes work good here, so your audience spends more time getting a feel for your talent, than wondering who wrote this thing. Keep your selection tight. This means play songs that are related in style, tempo or theme. This gives your audience a clearer picture of what kind of musician you are. Save your eclectic tendencies for longer sets. Don't exceed your set time unless asked. It's better to be invited back, than risk the losing the interest of your audience.

15 Minute Set
This set should contain your best five or six songs, sequenced to start and end with a bang. As usual, the bigger bang should be at the end, if possible. Leave them wanting more. With a set this length, you can begin to introduce some more variety in terms of fast/slow, or even mix a little acoustic work with your electric songs. Don't range too far. Keep about 80% of your songs within the genre or style that defines you, and use the other 20% of the material as relief.

30 Minute Set
Arrange your songs to give good variety, and undulate your audience through a wider range of emotions. Alternate fast and slow songs, major and minor keys, popular and obscure, in order to keep the audience interested. Again, start and end with a bang, and leave them wanting more. A good formula might like something like this:
• • • • • • • •

Song 1: Flagship Song Song 2: Fast Familiar Material Song 3: Fast New Material Song 4: Slow Flagship Song Song 5: Fast Familiar Song Song 6: Fast New Material Song 7: Slow New Material Song 8: High Energy Song to Bid for an Encore

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Encore
No matter how long your set lasts, what would you play if asked to play some more? This is your reward for a set well managed and executed. If you think you might get to play more than one, give them a slow song to calm them down, so your final song can send them back over the top. These are just a few rules to help you with being ready for your performances, but remember, once you know the rules, you can break them with authority!

Tuning Your Guitar
You are expected to learn tuning early, since you'll use this the rest of your guitar-playing life. There are many different possible tunings your instrument, but throughout our lessons, we will will be using the standard tuning of E-A-D-G-B-E unless otherwise specified. For an excellent Windows-based chord and scale generator program at a very modest price, we highly recommend Virtual Fretboard. Among its many features is the ability to generate chords and scales in any key, and with any of 13 alternate tunings.

Tips before you start
• •

Buy a sturdy case for your guitar to protect it from the inevitable bumps, scrapes and dings that can affect tuning. Keep your guitar humidified by keeping a moist sponge in an open plastic bag within your case. This will save your guitar from humidity changes that can effect the shape and sound of your instrument. Never leave your guitar out of its case for extended lengths of time when you are not playing. Kids, pets or humidity changes or plain old gravity can ruin your instrument. After you know what strings feel and sound best for you, stick with the same weight all the time, so your guitar will not have to be readjusted when new strings are put on. Change your strings often if you are serious about sounding good. Old strings tend to sound dull. Coated strings last longer than non-coated.

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Five Point Tune Up
Our 5-point tune up method will allow you to sound most in tune for the kind of songs you will be playing. As versatile as our Western 12-note scale is, it is not exactly precise, which means that there are a few compromises along the way to make it sound good to us overall. That said, we need to know how to make our guitars get in tune, stay in tune, and to minimize any perceivable inconsistencies in the scale that we get with all fretted instruments to some small degree.

Point 1: Start with a Tuner
There are two general categories of tuners: active and passive, and you need to know how to use both. Active tuners are those that produce a tone, and you are expected to tune your guitar to match this tone. This can be a piano, or your guitar teacher's guitar (especially when your teacher is playing on a DVD), or it can be a tone played from your computer or anything else. Sometimes you have no choice except to tune with the other instrument or device simply because they cannot. Passive tuners are those that hear the tone you are playing and tell you what note it is. These tuners should be part of every guitar player's toolkit to keep them (and their band mates) all sounding good. Now that your open strings are in tune with your tuner and bandmates, here are some other tuning tricks to make sure your instrument sounds good with itself:

Point 2: Tune Perfect Unisons on Adjacent Strings

Pluck the strings of the corresponding color one at a time, and repeatedly. When nudge one of the strings if you have to to come into tune with the other. Repeat this for each pair of strings.

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Point 3: Tune Octaves Two Strings Apart

This technique will make sure that strings two-apart will sound in tune with each other. This will usually fix problems you hear while playing open E, A, or D chords. The notes to compare are color coded.

Point 4: Tune Octaves Three Strings Apart

This technique will help you fix problems you hear when playing your open C and G chords. The notes to compare are color coded.

Point 5: Tune Octaves on Adjacent Strings

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This technique will help you fix problems you hear when transposing chords to another voicing higher up on the fretboard. The notes to compare are color coded as usual.

Other Hints
• • •

Generally, tune up, and not down. That is start below your target pitch, and tighten your string until you arrive at the desired pitch. Perfection is not attainable, but you can optimize the tuning for your circumstances. If you have a floating bridge, you may need to repeat the process a few times.

Potentially Necessary Guitar Adjustments

• •

Fresh strings of the recommended weight are usually the best adjustment you can make if you are having trouble tuning across using the 5-point method. The screws (or fine tuners) on your may need to be adjusted to lenghten or shorten your strings Tighten the springs on your floating bridge

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Yellow Belt: Level 2 Guitar Lessons
3rd and 6th Intervals: The Emotional Intervals
Since you have already mastered the perfect intervals, you have a solid foundation for any western chord or scale. Now you are ready to learn the next set of intervals: those which impart emotion into the chords or scale.
Category: Yellow Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Ear Training Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Major and Minor Scales: Yin and Yang of Scales
Major and Minor scales are the workhorses of Western music (not western like John Wayne, Western like descended from European roots. Learn why these scales are so pervasive, how they are related, and why they are complementary.
Category: Yellow Belt: Scales Subcategory: Published on: 27 Jan 2004

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Open Major 7th Chords
More very common open chords to get to know. By now you are probably beginning to take notice that the chords have a lot in common with the ones you already know, but the sound is quite unique. It's this difference in the quality of the tiny changes that make them so interesting and useful. Pay particular attention to these differences. At the end of this lesson, you'll have 28 of the most popular chords in music in your arsenal!
Category: Yellow Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Open Minor 7th Chords
Congratulations! At the end of this lesson, you will have 35 of the most popular chords used in pop, country, rock, bluegrass and jazz. You will be armed with 35 chord forms that can be transposed up and down the neck to any key by using a capo. This is an amazing accomplishment, and you should be proud. Many professional artists play all their tunes using only the chords you have learned so far!
Category: Yellow Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

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3rd and 6th Intervals: The Emotional Intervals
As a yellow belt, you will now master the major and minor 3rd and 6th intervals. This is for a few good reasons:
• • • • •

They form the basis of all major and minor sounding chords They are the most common intervals used in two-part harmony Next to the Perfect intervals, they are the easiest to recognize by the ear beginning ear training They round out the set of consonant intervals You will need to have a firm foundation of major and minor intervals established in your ear before studying major and minor scales as an Orange Belt

Here is a friendly reminder not to be too anxious to learn all the other intervals at once. It is much more preferable to culture your ear through small frequent doses of a few minutes a day when your concentration is good and your ear is relaxed, than to try to cram to much in at once. Number Consonant Other Frequency of Half / Names, Ratio Steps Dissonant Symbols 0 3 4 8 9 12 1 5:6 4:5 5:8 3:5 1:2 Consonant P1 Consonant m3 Consonant M3 Consonant m6 Consonant M6 Consonant P8 Inverted Interval Name Perfect Unison Major 6th Minor 6th Major 3rd Minor 3rd Perfect Octave Name of Interval in Second Octave Perfect Octave Minor 10th Major 10th Minor 13th Major 13th Perfect 15th

Interval Name Perfect Unison Minor 3rd Major 3rd Minor 6th Major 6th Perfect Octave

3rd and 6th Interval Spellings
This chart shows the spelling of all intervals upward and downward from any starting point. This is important to know when composing music, because if you know the name of one note, then by hearing the interval, you will know the name of the next note you hear by ear. P1 Ab m3 Cb M3 C m6 Fb M6 F P8 Ab

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A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G#

C B Db D Eb E Fb F F# Gb G Ab A A Bb B

C# C## D D# E E# F F# G G G# A A# Bb B B#

F F# Gb G Ab A Bbb Bb B Cb C Db D Ebb Eb E

F# F## G G# A A# Bb B B# C C# D D# Eb E E#

A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G#

Tertian Harmony
Most popular Western music today is built upon what is known as tertian harmony. Tertian or tertiary means thirds. In music, we create pretty harmonious chords by stacking 3rd intervals atop one another as you see here, to build several of the most common chord forms that you have learned already (major and minor triads, and 7th chords), and extended chords that you will learn later (9th, 11th and 13th chords, in order of decreasing popularity).

Here you should focus on the basic sounds and fingerings of the major and minor 3rd intervals as each stands on its own.

Major 3rd
The major 3rd by itself is a very stable, consonant and happy sounding interval. So much so, that by itself it can ring comfortably in our ear for a long time without causing any real tension. It's no wonder that doorbell manufacturers chose the major 3rd as its interval of choice. It is welcoming and inviting, whether played

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from bottom to top, top to bottom, or both at the same time. Regardless of which notes are played, as long as the notes are 4 semitones apart, our ear says aah!

Pay attention to the slightly different sound of the same notes played on different strings. This subtle difference will be focused on at a later point when we discuss voicing.

Minor 3rd
The minor 3rd by itself is also very stable and consonant, but has a distinctly sadder, darker feeling associated with it, compared to the major 3rd.

Major 6th
The major 6th by itself has a bit of a bright, happy feeling. Of the consonant intervals, you feel that there is quite a bit of space between the bottom and top notes. But there is a flip-side to this happy camper. In some musical contexts, the major 6th can sound minor. If you start with a note, raise it by an octave, then lower it by a minor 3rd, you have a major 6th. This is because the major 6th and minor 3rd complementary, or inverted intervals. In other words, added together they make an octave.

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The real point here, however, is to allow your ear to hear this all happening, and assimilate these aural illusions into your understanding of what is going on in the music.

Minor 6th
The minor 6th by itself is a little on the darker, sadder side than the major 6th, but also has its flip-side. The minor 6th's complementary or inverted interval is the major 3rd, and your ear can play similar tricks on you while trying to discern between the major and minor 6th, based on mood alone.

Exercises:
When training your ear, remember: You cannot force your ear to learn. It must happen easily and naturally, and through relaxed repetition over time, rather than cramming all at once. When we try to force the ear to learn, the ear rebels, and closes. Here are some tips to encourage your ear to open up.
• • • • • •

Practice the intervals no more than 10 minutes each day. Practice intervals at the beginning of your practice session, when your ear is most open and relaxed. Start out by learning the intervals on your instrument, not someone elses. Learn the intervals in the order presented in this lesson. Play the intervals both on the same string and on different strings. Play them up and down the fretboard, both in order and randomly. Sing the note names of each interval as you play it. Sing and play each interval both up and down. 63

• • •

Play one note in the interval and sing the other. Do this up and down. Play and sing each interval both melodically (one note at a time)and harmonically (two notes at a time). If your ear gets tired, move onto other things and come back to it fresh tomorrow.

Major and Minor Scales: Yin and Yang of Scales
The major and minor scales separated by four frets are relative scales. Related because they have all the same tones in common: DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA TI becomes LA - TI - DO - RE - MI - FA - SO, and vice versa. Major and minor scales are the backbone for all Western music. They should be thoroughly mastered before moving on to other scales. This is because with major and minor scales our ear is our guide. Whenever our fingers get lost, our ear helps us find the way home. It is a bit of a challenge to master the fingering of the major and minor scales at first, but working through the troublespots will pay big dividends, and your ear will tell you when something is out of bounds. Since these scales are so universally familiar and the effect on our common emotions is so predictable, mastering these scales will allow the player to quickly acquire a repertoire that makes the audience feel safe and familiar. Don't be surprised if your audience joins in and starts singing or playing with you. One of the three essential components of music is found right here: Melody. When listening to music, we almost always hear the main melody sung or played on the major or minor scale, but we rarely hear the melody played as a scale, that is starting at the root, climbing up the scale to the root and back down again. So don't get stuck in the rut of ony practicing scales that way! Practice listening for and playing interesting melodies within the scale at all times. The examples below are in the parallel keys of C major and A minor, which means that both scales share the same notes but have different starting and ending points.

Major Scale
DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA - TI - DO. The Major scale is the most familiar of all the scales, since we have heard almost daily since birth. It has a happy effect upon us. (Think of the theme song to the Brady Bunch... don't deny that you know this tune by heart). It is major by virtue of the major 3rd, and the distinguishing degree is the major 7th, which has a strong tendency to pull the ear up a half step to the root or home or key note.

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Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Good over Chords Good Progressions

Values 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 W-W-H-W-W-W-H Major M , M7 , M6 with I-IV-V , II-V-I , I-VI-IV-V , I-III-IV-I , I-IV-I , I-V-I

Distinguishing Degree M7

Minor Scale
LA - TI - DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA. The Minor scale is the second most familiar of all the scales. It is minor by virtue of the minor 3rd, and the distinguishing degree is the minor 6th, both of which have a darkening effect on our emotions. (Think of the theme song to Gilligan's Island... yeah, you know this one too). Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Values 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 W-H-W-W-H-W-W Minor M6 M , m7 , m6

Good with Progressions Im-bVII-bVI , Im-IVm , Im-Vm , Im-bIII-bVII

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Open Major 7th Chords
Major 7th chords get their name from the combination of the major 7th note in combination with the major 3rd note. Double majors. You might think that this would make it sound a little too major, but this is not the case. This chord, actually sounds a little off major. But it has its place in the harmonic scale and as a chord to use as a transition between a major chord and a dominant 7th chord. In later lessons, you will learn that the major 7th chord is a substitute for the major I and IV chords, in harmonic progressions. Take another minute to memorize this table:

Attributes Chord Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree

Values 1-M3-5-M7 Major M3, M7

Now take some time to learn each chord shape in this table. White notes are optional:

CM7

AM7

GM7

EM7

DM7

FM7

BM7

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Exercises:

• •

• •

Play each chord until you can do so comfortably without dampening those strings that should be played, or playing strings that should not be played. Learn to pay close attention to clean playing from the start, and you'll sound much better much sooner. Learn the fingering that works most comfortably and effectively for you. Learn the correct finger pressure to apply to your strings for the best sound and most comfort. You should be pressing just hard enough to eliminate any string buzz, but not so hard that your hand gets fatiqued or cramped. Try strumming the chord with your right hand, and also playing one note at a time from bottom to top, and top to bottom. As you play the notes one at a time, sing the note names aloud, playing and singing from bottom to top, and top to bottom. This will reinforce your learning of the note names on the fretboard. Try playing all the chords in complete darkness, using only your finger memory to locate and position your fingers without your eyes to guide them. As you play the chord, sing the name of the chord, and visualize the chord shape. Learn to transition smoothly from one chord to another without noise. Practice changing from every chord in this set to every other chord in this set and back until you can do so comfortably. In each chord, listen for and locate the major 7th note.

Lets review the major chords (those with a major third in them), to compare them side by side, so you can get the fingering and sounds of the different 7th degrees down pat. Many popular songs use this transition to walk chromatically up and down the 7th degree while holding the rest of the notes in the scale constant.
• • • • • • •

C - CM7 - C7 - CM7 - C A - AM7 - A7 - AM7 - A G - GM7 - G7 - GM7 - G E - EM7 - E7 - EM7 - E D - DM7 - D7 - DM7 - D F - FM7 - F7 - FM7 - F B - BM7 - B7 - BM7 - B

In the progressions below, pay attention to the lovely soft sound of the major 7th chord when played with other major 7th chords in the same scale.
• • • •

EM7 - AM7 - EM7 - AM7 AM7 - DM7 - AM7 - DM7 CM7 - FM7 - CM7 - FM7 CM7 - AM7 - CM7 - AM7

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Now try to put the names of some songs you already know to these progressions. Come up with some of your own!

Open Minor 7th Chords
Minor 7th chords get their name from the combination of the minor 7th note in combination with the minor 3rd note. Double minors. But instead of sounding more minor than a straight minor, it sounds like a minor chord with softer edges. In later lessons, you will learn that the major 7th chord is a substitute for the minor II, III and VI chords, in harmonic progressions. Take the usual minute or two to memorize this table:

Attributes Chord Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree

Values 1-m3-5-m7 Minor m3, m7

Now take some quality time to learn each chord shape in this table. White notes are optional:

Cm7

Am7

Gm7

Em7

Dm7

Fm7

Bm7

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Exercises:

• •

• •

Play each chord until you can do so comfortably without dampening those strings that should be played, or playing strings that should not be played. Learn to pay close attention to clean playing from the start, and you'll sound much better much sooner. Learn the fingering that works most comfortably and effectively for you. Learn the correct finger pressure to apply to your strings for the best sound and most comfort. You should be pressing just hard enough to eliminate any string buzz, but not so hard that your hand gets fatiqued or cramped. Try strumming the chord with your right hand, and also playing one note at a time from bottom to top, and top to bottom. As you play the notes one at a time, sing the note names aloud, playing and singing from bottom to top, and top to bottom. This will reinforce your learning of the note names on the fretboard. Try playing all the chords in complete darkness, using only your finger memory to locate and position your fingers without your eyes to guide them. As you play the chord, sing the name of the chord, and visualize the chord shape. Learn to transition smoothly from one chord to another without noise. Practice changing from every chord in this set to every other chord in this set and back until you can do so comfortably. In each chord, listen for and locate the minor 7th note.

Lets review the minor chords (those with a minor third in them), to compare them side by side, so you can get the fingering and sounds down solidly.
• • • • • • •

Cm - Cm7 - Cm - Cm7 - Cm Am - Am7 - Am - Am7 - Am Gm - Gm7 - Gm - Gm7 - Gm Em - Em7 - Em - Em7 - Em Dm - Dm7 - Dm - Dm7 - Dm Fm - Fm7 - Fm - Fm7 - Fm Bm - Bm7 - Bm - Bm7 - Bm

Now lets compare the dominant 7th and the minor 7th side by side. These have the root, 5th and minor 7th in common. The difference is the major and minor 3rd, respectively.
• • • •

C7 - Cm7 - C7 - Cm7 - C7 A7 - Am7 - A7 - Am7 - A7 G7 - Gm7 - G7 - Gm7 - G7 E7 - Em7 - E7 - Em7 - E7

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• • •

D7 - Dm7 - D7 - Dm7 - D7 F7 - Fm7 - F7 - Fm7 - F7 B7 - Bm7 - B7 - Bm7 - B7

Now some more musical examples where the minor 7th chords are used in conjunction with other chords in the scale for an overall softer minor feel than a straight minor chord.
• • • • • •

Am7 - B7 - Am7 - B7 - Em Dm7 - Am7 - E - Am Cm7 - Am - Cm7 - Am Dm7 - D7 - G C - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 D - Bm7 - Em7 - A7

Now try to put the names of some songs you already know to these progressions. Come up with some of your own!

The Essence and Importance of Flow
How Listening is Different than Playing
A basic understanding of the mental and emotional processes involved in both listening and playing can help us better understand how they are different, and how we can take better control over these processes in developing our own skills of timing and flow. Whether listening or playing, we will make an important assumption that the language being played is comprehended by both the listener and the performer. There is at least substantial commonality in the vocabulary and structure shared by each.

Listening Flow
When listening to music, the phrases played a few seconds before linger or "ring" in our short term memory, suspended there until we can complete the phrase, or thought. At that time a meaning is associated with the completed thought as we interpreted it and an emotion of some kind is evoked. So in listening, the basic linear flow is: 1. Understand the context or topic of what is being played 2. Combine notes from the phrase as they happen until a phrase is signaled to have ended 3. Interpret the phrase to give it meaning within the context

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4. Apply a meaning and emotional response to the interpreted phrase Familiarity with a topic, song or style, or familiarity with the performer can allow us to anticipate accurately in many cases what might be played next. However, when listening to unfamiliar material or to a new performer, this is the basic process, and there is a small but notable time lag between each of these steps.

Playing Flow
Playing is much more difficult than listening, most obviously because there are more processes involved, and the process is circular, rather than linear. So, there is potentially more that can go wrong within the overall process, and more areas over which to gain control or mastery.

Playing from Memory
Playing a rehearsed song from memory where you've had a chance to work out the bugs is a matter of hearing the end of the song from the beginning, and within the song, hearing the next phrase while the current phrase is being expressed from your instrument. Mental focus should always be on the next measure or phrase, while the execution of the current measure or phrase is handled at an autonomous or physical level. Here is the process: 1. In a state of comfort and confidence, having rehearsed thoroughly you can hear the entire song in your head, and see and feel your hands playing all the notes even before you begin to play the first note 2. You buffer the first several measures or the first phrase in your mind, hearing it before you play it 3. While your hands are playing the notes in your mind's ear, your long-term memory is buffering the next phrase into your mind's ear, continually staying ahead of what is being played physically 4. Hear yourself playing, not with a mind to change what you play, but how it is being expressed (tempo, volume, tone, etc.) 5. Evaluate the audience's response, and make expressive adjustments accordingly 6. Return to the third step

Improvising
Improvising is even more complex, but by controlling some of the macro variables, like playing within a familiar context will help the performer stay in control of the other more fluid variables. Here is the basic process: 1. In a state of comfort and confidence, having learned the boundaries of the context in which you will play, you come prepared with rough ideas of

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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

what will be spoken within that context, or how far outside of the context you will stray Begin with an idea or an emotion, within the context or topic Evaluate options for how to express that idea or emotion (prior experience helps shorten this phase) Choose from among the options (usually leaning towards what has worked in the past) Execute the chosen option on your instrument, using certain expressive options or punctuation available to you Hear yourself speaking or playing your instrument Evaluate yourself speaking or playing Evaluate your audience's response Return to the first step

Boiling It All Down
So whenever you play, whether from memory or improvising, you only really have to be in control of three things:
• • •

The current chord and its scale or mode (handled autonomously) The next chord with its scale or mode (handled conciously by the mind's ear) The transition between the current and the next chord with its scale or mode (handled autonomously)

We can further boil it down to the notion of "hearing ahead". Always keep your mind's ear primed with what is going to be played next. If while practicing you find yourself stopped because you don't know what's next, don't blame your hands. Start by fixing the process of flowing sound into your mind's ear. If you're learning to read music, then you have to learn read ahead with your eyes a measure or two before the sound is expressed from your instrument. If your eyes stall on the current measure, your playing flow will be interrupted.

Other Practical Examples
In all martial arts styles, we study the flow and transfer of energy while both meditating and while performing forms and while sparring. The mind's eye in every case is seeing the next move, while contemplating how to transfer energy from one position to the next. If there is an interruption in the flow or a loss of balance or power, the striking hands or feet are usually not the root of the problem, it is an interruption in the flow of energy from the previous position or stance. In juggling three balls, one becomes unaware of the individual balls, but gains a sense of the space occupied by the balls as a set, and the transfer of energy and

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between the balls in the set. For each ball, the throwing hand autonomously tosses the ball into the air in a trajectory learned through experience to come down near the other hand. The mental focus is always on the catching hand, and getting it into a position to catch the falling ball. Meanwhile, there is a rhythmic droning of 1 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 3... felt throughout the entire body. Though these examples are not musical, they reinforce the concepts discussed here, and provide useful contrasts.

How to Develop Flow in Playing
Flow is developed through proper practice of the pieces you want to play. Start by framing the idea, and then adding detail later. Know the changing chord centers as they progress the song. Add detail as you go, such as melody and fingering. Practice sticky spots more than the smooth spots, then play the whole piece. In spots where you cannot hear or picture what is coming next, rehearse this in your mind before your fingers hit the strings. Once you have mental and aural clarity, then address the strings with your fingers. For long, difficult passages, start with single measures, then build up to 2, then 4, then 8, then 16. I would also suggest learning these measures from the back of the piece to the front, as suggested by David Russell. This way your mind has exponential exposure to and clarity of later measures in the piece, which breeds comfort and confidence.

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Orange Belt: Level 3 Guitar Lessons
2nd and 7th Intervals: The Leading Intervals
More intervals to discuss, think about and get into your ear. In Scales, the 2nd and 7th intervals play the role of leading the melody "home" to the tonic note. In Chords, these intervals play the role of adding color, direction or suspense.
Category: Orange Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Intervals Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: A Form
This lesson will show you how to construct 7th, 9th and 13th chords on your knowledge of the A-form bar chord. Again, you start with what you already know, then add to it one or two notes at a time to give color.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 18 Dec 2003

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Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: E Form
No need to be afraid of chords with big numbers. This lesson will show you how to construct 7th, 9th and 13th chords on your knowledge of the E-form bar chord. Extending chords is easier if you start with what you already know, then add to it one note at a time to give color. This lesson will get you on your way.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 03 Nov 2003

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Inverted Chord Forms
Inverted chords are just chords we already know, except they are upside-down. Chord inversions are important for intermediate guitar players to learn to add variety, substance, character, flexibility and feeling to their playing.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Major and Minor Chord Inversions
Now that you have mastered open chord shapes and bar chord shapes, it's time to turn those chords upside down! This lesson will expose you to major and minor triad (three-note) inversions.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Major Scales and the CAGED + 2 System
The C major scale is the most universally recognizable scale in all of Western music, owing to all the songs written in the key of C. However, learning to play the C scale on a guitar is a bit of a challenge for most beginners, and even intermediate players. It's just one of those scales we have to master, and this lesson breaks it down into manageable chunks.
Category: Orange Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 05 Sep 2004

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Moveable A-Form Barre Chords
Now we come to the bar chords of the A-form. The A form is the perfect foil for the E-form. Here's why... Leaving the index finger in the same position and just moving the 2, 3, and 4 fingers onto the next higher strings, you are already playing a perfect 4th up the scale. Starting on in the A-form and hanging to the Eform leaving the index finger in the same position, you have gone down a perfect 4th, which is the musical equivalent of going up a perfect 5th.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Moveable E-Form Barre Chords
Welcome to Bar-Chords. Fasten your seatbelt, because you are about to learn how to give wings to some easy open-chord shapes that you already know. This will both reinforce what you already know, and open new doors to comfortably play songs that were just out of reach with open chords alone.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Pentatonic Scales: Rocker's Favorites
Pentatonic scales and guitars go together like peas in a pod. They are a favorite of rock, blues and jazz fusion players, because of their forgiving fingering and exotic sound.
Category: Orange Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 28 Jan 2004

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The CAGED System: Seeing the Fretboard
After mastering open chords and barre chords, this lesson has the natural next step for helping you see the entire guitar fretboard. It's called the CAGED system, and unlike the name implies, the system is quite liberating. In 5 minutes of studying this lesson, you'll learn more than at perhaps any other lesson about the fretboard.
Category: Orange Belt: Theory Subcategory: CAGED Published on: 28 Jan 2004

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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Triads: Stacked 3rd Intervals
Most harmony in Western music is based on tertian harmony, or some combination of major and/or minor 3rd intervals stacked atop one another. Learn some useful guitar chord formulas based on stacked 3rds.
Category: Orange Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 28 Oct 2003

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play

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guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

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2nd and 7th Intervals: The Leading Intervals
As an orange belt, you will master the major and minor 2nd and 7th intervals. Here are a few good reasons for really learning them well:
• •

• •

7th chords are very common in modern music, and to hear what is going on, you should be able to recognize and play a major and minor 7th easily. In scales and melodies, 2nds and 7ths have a strong pulling force or leading tendency toward the root or tonal center of the song or section. 2nds pull downward, and 7ths pull upward toward the root. 2nd and 7th intervals when added to major and minor chords add color, otherwise referred to as dissonance or musical energy. Since most scales are comprised of whole-steps and half-steps, knowing the positions and sounds of the major and minor 3rd steps will help you improvise with speed and accuracy when playing leads which are based on scalar runs. 2nds and 7ths should be learned together, because they are complementary, meaning that a 2nd and a 7th add up to an octave. This quality can make them a little confusing to the ear, so it needs to be learned and sorted out.

Here is another friendly reminder not to be too anxious to learn all the other intervals at once. It is much more preferable to culture your ear through small frequent doses of a few minutes a day when your concentration is good and your ear is relaxed, than to try to cram to much in at once. It typically takes a new music student several weeks to completely learn the intervals by ear. Number Consonant Other Frequency of Half / Names, Ratio Steps Dissonant Symbols 0 1 2 10 11 12 1 15:16 8:9 5:9 8:15 1:2 Consonant P1 Dissonant Dissonant Dissonant Dissonant m2, b2 M2, 2 m7, b7 M7, 7 Inverted Interval Name Perfect Unison Major 7th Minor 7th Major 2nd Minor 2nd Perfect Octave Name of Interval in Second Octave Perfect Octave Minor 9th Major 9th Minor 14th Major 14th Perfect 15th

Interval Name Perfect Unison Minor 2nd Major 2nd Minor 7th Major 7th Perfect Octave

Consonant P8

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2nd and 7th Interval Spellings
This chart shows the spelling of all intervals upward and downward from any starting point. This is important to know when composing music, because if you know the name of one note, then by hearing the interval, you will know the name of the next note you hear by ear. P1 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G# m2 Bbb Bb B Cb C Db D Ebb Eb E Fb F Gb G Abb Ab A M2 Bb B B# C C# D D# Eb E E# F F# G G# Ab A A# m7 Gb G G# Ab A Bb B Cb C C# Db D Eb E Fb F F# M7 G G# G## A A# B B# C Db D D D# E E# F Gb G P8 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G#

Major 2nd
The dissonant major 2nd is the first interval in the major scale. The dissonance is heard mostly when the interval is played harmonically, which incidentaly can only be done on separate strings. The major 2nd is comprised of two semitones or two half-steps of separation. Because the major second is two frets apart, it is an especially popular interval for use in trilling (rapidly hammering on and pulling off with the fretting hand). This is heard often in rock and blues tunes.

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Minor 2nd
The ultra-dissonant minor 2nd is full of energy, and is used sparingly, because of it's potency. The dissonance is heard when the interval is played harmonically on separate strings, which is a stretch for most players. The minor 2nd is comprised of one semitone of separation. The minor 2nd is another good interval for trilling (rapidly hammering on and pulling off with the fretting hand), which you will probably hear most in heavy metal music.

Major 7th
The major 7th is a highly dissonant interval, played harmonically, because it is the inversion or complementary interval to the minor 2nd. When played melodically and the root is on the bottom, the major 7th on the top has the strongest pull of all intervals upward toward the root one octave above the lower tone. This is why the major 7th is known as the leading interval, as it leads the ear to anticipate that the next note it will here is the root.

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Minor 7th
The minor 7th is a dissonant interval played harmonically, although slightly less dissonant than the major 7th. The minor 7th is a part of both the dominant 7th chord and the minor 7th chord. Played melodically, the leading pull up to the octave is less than with th major 7th, but when the minor 7th is played instead of the major 7th (as in the mixolydian scale mode), it gives a funkier feel.

Exercises:
When training your ear, remember: You cannot force your ear to learn. It must happen easily and naturally, and through relaxed repetition over time, rather than cramming all at once. When we try to force the ear to learn, the ear rebels, and closes. Here are some tips to encourage your ear to open up.
• • • • • • • •

Practice the intervals no more than 10 minutes each day. Practice intervals at the beginning of your practice session, when your ear is most open and relaxed. Start out by learning the intervals on your instrument, not someone elses. Learn the intervals in the order presented in this lesson. Play the intervals both on the same string and on different strings. Play them up and down the fretboard, both in order and randomly. Sing the note names of each interval as you play it. Sing and play each interval both up and down. Play one note in the interval and sing the other. Do this up and down. Play and sing each interval both melodically (one note at a time)and harmonically (two notes at a time). 81

If your ear gets tired, move onto other things and come back to it fresh tomorrow.

Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: A Form
Here are some more extended chords that are based on the A bar chord form. A couple are stretches and exotic chords are here, but seeing how to build them up will give you the mental tools you need if you ever come across them. On a guitar, extended chords follow the same chord construction formulas as a piano, but the larger chords cannot be played the same way, as on a piano because we either don't have enough strings, or enough reach with our fingers. For this reason on guitar when playing 9th and 13th chords, we typically either rearrange the order of the notes, or we omit certain notes, and repeat others for emphasis. for 9th and 13 chords, we are more limited using the A form than the E form, because the big E string is not being used.

Major Chord Morphing in A Form
We begin with a familiar minor (M) chord, then morph it into a major 7th (M7th) chord by dropping the octave a half-step. Next, we add a 13th on top of the M7th chord, creating a major 9th (M9th) chord, then we drop the 13th and the 9th on top of the M7th to make a M13th chord. Continue by dropping the M7th another half-step to create a dominant 7th (7th) chord. Add the 9th, then the 13th on top of the 7th to create a 9th and 13th chord, respectively. .M.... .M7th. .M13th .M9th. .7th.. .9th.. .13th.

Minor Chord Morphing in A Form
For the minor series, remember that all the chords must have minor 3rd in them. Begin with a familiar minor (m) chord, then morph it into a minor major 7th (mM7th) chord by dropping the octave a half-step. Then add a 9th on top of the mM7th chord, creating a minor major 9th (mM9th) chord. Next, add a 13th on top of the mM7th to make a mM13th chord. Continue by dropping the M7th another half-step to create a minor 7th (m7th) chord. Add the 9th, then the 13th on top of the 7th to create a m9th and m13th your chords. 82

m.....

mM7th.

mM13th

mM9th.

m7th..

m9th..

m13th.

Exercises:
• •

Play all the chords in adjacent pairs. Go back and forth among adjacent pairs until you are quite familiar and comfortable with the changing note. Play the same chord all the way up and down the neck, one, two and three frets at a time. Get the sound of the chord structure in your ear even when there is no tonality.

Remember, it's not so hard if you take it slow. The important part of learning these chords is to learn their sound by ear and their shape by tactile feel. Play them in different combinations until you can transition successfully by raising or lowering one note at a time.

Extending Bar Chords by Morphing: E Form
One of the reasons beginning guitar players may go for a long time without ever learning extended chords, is that they don't see the relationship between chords, or they are overwhelmed by the formulas.One way to make learning extended chords less daunting to learn is to start with a familiar chord shape, and change one note at a time.

Major Chord Morphing in E Form
We begin with a familiar major (M) chord, then morph it into a major 7th (M7th) chord by dropping the octave a half-step. Next, we add a 9th on top of the M7th chord, creating a major 9th (M9th) chord, then we add a 13th on top of the M7th to make a M13th chord. Continue by dropping the M7th another half-step to create a dominant 7th (7th) chord. Add the 9th, then the 13th on top of the 7th to create a 9th and 13th chord, respectively.

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M.....

M7th..

M9th..

M13th.

7th...

9th...

13th..

Minor Chord Morphing in E Form
For the minor series, remember that all the chords must have minor 3rd in them. Begin with a familiar minor (m) chord, then morph it into a minor major 7th (mM7th) chord by dropping the octave a half-step. Then add a 9th on top of the mM7th chord, creating a minor major 9th (mM9th) chord. Next, add a 13th on top of the mM7th to make a mM13th chord. Continue by dropping the M7th another half-step to create a minor 7th (m7th) chord. Add the 9th, then the 13th on top of the 7th to create a m9th and m13th your chords. m..... mM7th. mM9th. mM13th m7th.. m9th.. m13th.

Exercises:
• •

Play all the chords in adjacent pairs. Go back and forth among adjacent pairs until you are quite familiar and comfortable with the changing note. Play the same chord all the way up and down the neck, one, two and three frets at a time. Get the sound of the chord structure in your ear even when there is no tonality.

See, it's not so hard if you take it slow. The important part of learning these chords is to learn their sound by ear and their shape by tactile feel. Play them in different combinations until you can transition successfully by raising or lowering one note at a time.

Inverted Chord Forms
A major or minor chord inversion is simply the major or minor chord played with the with a different sequencing of the root, 3rd and 5th. When the root is on the bottom, we call the chord "Major or Minor, Root Position". 84

Next, if we move the root to the top, leaving the 3rd on the bottom, then we call the chord "Major, or Minor, 1st Inversion". Finally, if we raise the root to the middle, and the 3rd to the top, leaving the 5th on the bottom, we call this chord "Major or Minor, 2nd Inversion". Knowing how to invert chords will add flexibility to your playing, especially when playing harmonic melody with chords. Sometimes the melody is best played as the top note in the chord, sometimes in the middle, and sometimes on the bottom. Think of a singing trio. Let's look at the most common positions on the fretboard for playing major and minor inversions. These inversions should be thoroughly memorized and rehearsed, so that you can invert any chord in any key at will.

Major Chord Inversions
In these chords, the 3rd degree refers to the major 3rd interval. Play it and listen for it.

Major Root Position (Root, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th)
The root position gets its name from the root note being on the bottom of the 1-35 sequence. The root note in this position acts as the anchor, and the harmony rides on top. 654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Major First Inversion (Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Root)
The first inversion gets its name because the root (or 1st degree) is moved from the bottom to the top in a 3-5-1 sequence. This voicing is especially useful when the root note rides on top of the other notes, making it very distinguishable as the highest voice in the trio.

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654 Strings Shape

543 Strings Shape

432 Strings Shape

321 Strings Shape

Major Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Major 3rd)
The second inversion gets its name because both root and the 5th degree are moved from the bottom to the top in a 5-1-3 sequence. The root note gets buried in the middle and becomes more subtle. 654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Minor Chord Inversions
In these chords, the 3rd degree refers to the minor 3rd interval. Play it and listen for it.

Minor Root Position (Root, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

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Minor First Inversion (Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th, Minor 3rd)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Minor Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Minor 3rd)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Major and Minor Chord Inversions
A chord inversion is simply a triad played with the with a different sequencing of the root, 3rd and 5th. When the root is on the bottom, we say that the chord is played in "Root Position". If the root is moved to the top, leaving the 3rd on the bottom, then we call this triad a "1st Inversion". Finally, if we raise the root to the middle, and the 3rd to the top, leaving the 5th on the bottom, we call this triad a "2nd Inversion". Knowing how to invert chords will add flexibility to playing, especially when playing harmonic melody with chords. Sometimes the melody is best played as the top note in the chord, sometimes in the middle, and sometimes on the bottom. Let's look at the most common positions on the fretboard for playing major and minor inversions. These inversions should be thoroughly memorized and rehearsed, so that you can invert any chord in any key at will.

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Major Chord Inversions
In these chords, the 3rd degree refers to the major 3rd interval. Play it and listen for it.

Major Root Position (Root, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th)
The root position gets its name from the root note being on the bottom of the 1-35 sequence. The root note in this position acts as the anchor, and the harmony rides on top. 654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Major First Inversion (Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Root)
The first inversion gets its name because the root, or 1st degree is moved from the bottom to the top in a 3-5-1 sequence. This voicing is especially useful when the root note rides on top of the other notes,making it very distinguishable as the highest voice in the trio. 654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Major Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Major 3rd)
The second inversion gets its name because both root and the 5th degree are moved from the bottom to the top in a 5-1-3 sequence. The root note gets buried in the middle and becomes more subtle.

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654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Minor Chord Inversions
In these chords, the 3rd degree refers to the minor 3rd interval. Play it and listen for it.

Minor Root Position (Root, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Minor First Inversion (Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th, Minor 3rd)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

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Minor Second Inversion (Perfect 5th, Root, Minor 3rd)
654 Strings Shape 543 Strings Shape 432 Strings Shape 321 Strings Shape

Exercises:
These exercises will help you establish the positions, feeling and sound of the different inversions in your ear. Try playing each inversion harmonically, and melodically by arpeggiating. For each of the key notes, Play each inversion back and forth across all strings, then up and down the neck on the same strings, following the patterns in the first two examples:

C

Major

Inversions

C

Minor

Inversions

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Db Major Inversions Db Minor Inversions D Major Inversions D Minor Inversions Eb Major Inversions Eb Minor Inversions E Major Inversions E Minor Inversions F Major Inversions F Minor Inversions Gb Major Inversions Gb Minor Inversions G Major Inversions 90

• • • • • • • • •

G Minor Inversions Ab Major Inversions Ab Minor Inversions A Major Inversions A Minor Inversions Bb Major Inversions Bb Minor Inversions B Major Inversions B Minor Inversions

Major Scales and the CAGED + 2 System
Scale Degrees
For this lesson to make sense, we need to review briefly the concept of scale degrees:
• • • • • • •

I: the First Degree, Root or Tonic (DO) II: the Second Degree (RE) III: the Third Degree (MI) IV: the Fourth Degree (FA) V: the Fifth Degree (SO) VI: the Sixth Degree (LA) VII: the Seventh Degree (TI)

The scale degrees are useful because no matter what key you are playing in, the scale degrees in relation to the root are always constant. The goal of scale degrees is for you to know both on the the fretboard and by ear where you are relative to the root at all times.

The CAGED System
The CAGED system is a way of visualizing the entire fretboard by focusing on 4 or 5 frets at a time. In order to understand the CAGED system, you must first know by memory the shapes of your open chords, namely C, A, G, E, D, B and F major. If you don't know these by memory, then go back and review them now. Within each box, we have grouped together a series of notes containing the C major scale in one or two octaves. Each box has within it highlighted root or tonic notes that outline the shape of the open chord from whence the box gets its name.

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The C Pattern

In this pattern, you can see the shape of an open C chord. This shape is very comfortable for playing the C scale with only one octave. Since the 1st and 6th strings within the box do not include the tonic, they are not as heavily used, except when walking up to the bottom tonic or down to the top tonic.

The A Pattern

In this pattern, you can see the shape of an open A chord. This pattern almost includes two Octaves, but requires a little stretching to use. The advantage of this pattern is when playing triplets on each string.

The G Pattern

In this pattern, you can see the outline of an open G chord. This does contain two octaves, and lends itself very well to sweep picking across two octaves.

The E Pattern

In this pattern, you see the outline of an open E chord. This pattern also contains two octaves, and is a workhorse for beginners and intermediate players who are comfortable with E-shaped barre chords.

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The D Pattern

In this pattern, you can see the outline of an open D chord. This pattern contains almost two octaves, and is useful for voicings where you don't want a boomy 6th string or thin-sounding 1st string.

The B Pattern

Though not technically a member of the CAGED system, the B shape is a useful shape in its own right, and follows the A shape, but allows for a fret below the bottom tonic. This shape looks almost contains two octaves, and requires a position change (B pattern to G pattern) to hit the second octave, but overall it is a very finger-friendly shape for playing the scale.

The F Pattern

Also not technically member of the CAGED system, the F shape is the most finger-friendly shape of all, allowing for two full octaves in four frets. The F shape and the D shape also work well together, and should be practiced together.

General Fingering Advice
These scale patterns were grouped in order to keep the fingers working in a 4 - 5 fret range, so as a rule, you fingers should not have to move much within a position. Assign one finger to a fret and don't stray across frets unless a stretch is required.

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If you have to stretch, it's usually easier to grab a fret lower on a higher string than a fret higher on a lower string, but some situations require the harder stretch. Practice both ways.

Avoiding Boredom
Most players stink when playing scales, because they were never challenged to learn ways of practicing them in an interesting ways, so they got bored and quit. Here are some ideas:
• • • • • •

Play scales up and down with alternating picking patterns, and sweep patterns. Play scales up and down with hammer-ons and pull-offs only. Play scales up and down with picking accents on every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th notes. Play scales arpeggiating up and down in twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens and eights. Play scales by string skipping. Play scales in harmonies using 3rds, 4ths, 5ths and 6ths intervals.

Discovering all these patterns will unlock the secrets of the fretboards in the major scales, prepare you to learn scale modes, and you'll see for yourself why Andres Segovia said practicing scales solves more problems more quickly than any other exercise!

Moveable A-Form Barre Chords
With the combination of open chords and bar-chords, you could learn rhythm guitar to hundreds, of songs, if you never learned anything else. Further, you will he able to transpose any of those songs to play within comfortable singing ranges.Here is how to play the major chord shape of the A chord, and by using the index finger to form a bar, the chord becomes moveable. Here we show a couple of ways you may finger the major chord shape: A Major Open Chord Bb Major Bar Chord Bb Major Alternate Bar Chord

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If there is a downside to bar chords, it is that you are over-committing your index finger, limiting you to playing notes only above the index finger on any string, but at the yellow belt level that is not a concern. We will learn some more sophisticated chord forms later to add variety and subtlety to your playing later. Have a look at the different kinds of chords you can learn all based on the Astring. Take time to relearn the fingering you learned when the A chord was played open. Since you must use your 1st finger to play the bar, you must use your remaining 3 fingers to play the other notes. The thumb is not used in bar chords. Someplayers like to play the A major chord by laying their 3 finger across the D, G and B strings. Other players like to finger these strings with the 2, 3 and 4 fingers, to get better sustain and vibrato. Try it both ways!

M

M

7

M7

m7

Now to Make them Moveable
All the A-form barre chords naturally get their name from the root of the chord on the A string. Here are all the names of the notes on the A string for your convenience and memorizing pleasure:

95

Exercises:
Physical Exercises:
You may notice that playing bar chords is tiring at first, and they often produce a buzz in the strings until your hand builds up strength. But with practice bar chords will become your bread-and-butter chords, used heavily in most of your accompaniments. Here are a few tips to build up your left hand stamina:

• • •

Keep your wrist relaxed and pointed downward so that your index finger can fall naturally across all the strings, and your other fingers have a natural arch in them. Keep you thumb behind the neck of the guitar opposite your fingers to allow you to apply the most pressure with the least effort. If bar chords cause you fatigue or discomfort, rest for a few seconds, or switch to an open chord until your hand regains its strength. Know that the fatigue is only a temporary problem, and that in a few days you will find your hand getting stronger.

Musical Exercises:
Notice that we are asking you to play the same progressions as before, except, that now you have some real wings, enabling you to fly up and down the fretboard using either the E-form or A-form. Play the following chord progressions as bar chords and sing the base note as you do the exercises:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A A - Ab - G - Gb - F - E - Eb - D - Db - C - B - Bb - A E - EM7 - E7 - EM7 - E F - FM7 - F7 - FM7 - F F# - F#M7 - F#7 - F#M7 - F# G - GM7 - G7 - GM7 - G G# - G#M7 - G#7 - G#M7 - G# A - AM7 - A7 - AM7 - A A# - A#M7 - A#7 - A#M7 - A# B - BM7 - B7 - BM7 - B C - CM7 - C7 - CM7 - C C# - C#M7 - C#7 - C#M7 - C# D - DM7 - D7 - DM7 - D D# - D#M7 - D#7 - D#M7 - D# Em - Em7 - Em - Em7 Ebm - Ebm7 - Ebm - Ebm7 Dm - Dm7 - Dm - Dm7 Dbm - Dbm7 - Dbm - Dbm7 Cm - Cm7 - Cm - Cm7 Bm - Bm7 - Bm - Bm7

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• • • • • • • • •

Bbm - Bbm7 - Bbm - Bbm7 Am - Am7 - Am - Am7 Abm - Abm7 - Abm - Abm7 Gm - Gm7 - Gm - Gm7 Gbm - Gbm7 - Gbm - Gbm7 Fm - Fm7 - Fm - Fm7 EM7 - F#m7 - G#m7 - AM7 - B7 C7 - BbM7 - Am7 - Gm7 - FM7 A - F#m - C#m - A

Building on Earlier Lessons:
Do each progression until you can do so cleanly and comfortably for a few repetitions. It's better to spend more time working on precision than trying to rush through all the exercises. These exercises will build dexterity into your fingers. Concentrate on smooth, noiseless transitions. Don't allow any slop in your playing. Also as you play, let your ear discern the subtle differences in the voicings of each chord. Play the (Bar) voicings alternating between the E-form and the A-form.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

C(Open) - C(Bar) - C(Open) - C(Bar) D(Open) - D(Bar) - D(Open)- D(Bar) A(Open) - A(Bar) - A(Open) - A(Bar) B(Open) - B(Bar) - B(Open) - B(Bar) G(Open) - G(Bar) - G(Open) - G(Bar) C7(Open) - C7(Bar) - C7(Open) - C7(Bar) D7(Open) - D7(Bar) - D7(Open) - D7(Bar) A7(Open) - A7(Bar) - A7(Open) - A7(Bar) B7(Open) - B7(Bar) - B7(Open) - B7(Bar) G7(Open) - G7(Bar) - Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar) Cm(Open) - Cm(Bar) - Cm(Open) - Cm(Bar) Dm(Open) - Dm(Bar) - Dm(Open) - Dm(Bar) Am(Open) - Am(Bar) - Am(Open) - Am(Bar) Bm(Open) - Bm(Bar) - Bm(Open) - Bm(Bar) Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar) - Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar)

Moveable E-Form Barre Chords
E-Form bar chords allow you to take the shape of the E chord, and move that shape up the neck of the guitar to any fret, and voila, you have a new chord! Do this all the way up and down the neck, and you can suddenly play the chord in any key! Have a look at how by moving the E chord up a fret and barring the F all the way across the 1st fret, you then have an F chord:

97

E Major Open Chord

F Major Bar Chord

Have a look at the different kinds of chords you can learn all based on the Estring. Take time to relearn the fingering you learned when the E chord was played open. Since you must use your 1st finger to play the bar, you must use your remaining 3 fingers to play the other notes. The thumb is not used in bar chords.

M

M

7

M7

m7

Now to Make them Moveable
All the E-form barre chords naturally get their name from the root of the chord on the E string. Here are all the names of the notes on the E string for your convenience and memorizing pleasure:

98

Exercises:
Physical Exercises:
You may notice that playing bar chords is tiring at first, and they often produce a buzz in the strings until your hand builds up strength. But with practice bar chords will become your bread-and-butter chords, used heavily in most of your accompaniments. Here are a few tips to build up your left hand stamina:

• • •

Keep your wrist relaxed and pointed downward so that your index finger can fall naturally across all the strings, and your other fingers have a natural arch in them. Keep you thumb behind the neck of the guitar opposite your fingers to allow you to apply the most pressure with the least effort. If bar chords cause you fatigue or discomfort, rest for a few seconds, or switch to an open chord until your hand regains its strength. Know that the fatigue is only a temporary problem, and that in a few days you will find your hand getting stronger.

Musical Exercises:
Play the following chord progressions as bar chords and sing the base note as you do the exercises:
• • • • • • • • • • • •

E - F - F# - G - G# - A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E E - Eb - D - Db - C - B - Bb - A - Ab - G - Gb - F - E E - EM7 - E7 - EM7 - E F - FM7 - F7 - FM7 - F F# - F#M7 - F#7 - F#M7 - F# G - GM7 - G7 - GM7 - G G# - G#M7 - G#7 - G#M7 - G# A - AM7 - A7 - AM7 - A A# - A#M7 - A#7 - A#M7 - A# B - BM7 - B7 - BM7 - B C - CM7 - C7 - CM7 - C C# - C#M7 - C#7 - C#M7 - C# 99

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

D - DM7 - D7 - DM7 - D D# - D#M7 - D#7 - D#M7 - D# Em - Em7 - Em - Em7 Ebm - Ebm7 - Ebm - Ebm7 Dm - Dm7 - Dm - Dm7 Dbm - Dbm7 - Dbm - Dbm7 Cm - Cm7 - Cm - Cm7 Bm - Bm7 - Bm - Bm7 Bbm - Bbm7 - Bbm - Bbm7 Am - Am7 - Am - Am7 Abm - Abm7 - Abm - Abm7 Gm - Gm7 - Gm - Gm7 Gbm - Gbm7 - Gbm - Gbm7 Fm - Fm7 - Fm - Fm7 EM7 - F#m7 - G#m7 - AM7 - B7 C7 - BbM7 - Am7 - Gm7 - FM7 A - F#m - C#m - A

Building on Earlier Lessons:
Do each progression until you can do so cleanly and comfortably for a few repetitions. It's better to spend more time working on precision than trying to rush through all the exercises. These exercises will build dexterity into your fingers. Concentrate on smooth, noiseless transitions. Don't allow any slop in your playing. Also as you play, let your ear discern the subtle differences in the voicings of each chord. Play the (Bar) voicings using only the E-form.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

C(Open) - C(Bar) - C(Open) - C(Bar) D(Open) - D(Bar) - D(Open)- D(Bar) A(Open) - A(Bar) - A(Open) - A(Bar) B(Open) - B(Bar) - B(Open) - B(Bar) G(Open) - G(Bar) - G(Open) - G(Bar) C7(Open) - C7(Bar) - C7(Open) - C7(Bar) D7(Open) - D7(Bar) - D7(Open) - D7(Bar) A7(Open) - A7(Bar) - A7(Open) - A7(Bar) B7(Open) - B7(Bar) - B7(Open) - B7(Bar) G7(Open) - G7(Bar) - Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar) Cm(Open) - Cm(Bar) - Cm(Open) - Cm(Bar) Dm(Open) - Dm(Bar) - Dm(Open) - Dm(Bar) Am(Open) - Am(Bar) - Am(Open) - Am(Bar) Bm(Open) - Bm(Bar) - Bm(Open) - Bm(Bar) Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar) - Gm(Open) - Gm(Bar)

100

Pentatonic Scales: Rocker's Favorites
Welcome to pentatonic scales. Without a doubt, these are the most popular scales in rock and blues guitar because they are by far the easiest to play. They are forgiving scales because the fingering is straight forward and lends itself to hammering on and pulling off, as well as slides, bends and all the other tricks of the trade. Pentatonic scales are based on major and minor scales, except two notes of the scale are dropped, changing them from diatonic (seven-note) to pentatonic (fivenote) scales, and at the same time making them more "guitar-friendly". Pentatonic scales are the boon of rocksters and are relied on heavily for traversing up and down the neck of the guitar. Eric Johnson is one of the premier pentatonic scale masters ever to pick up a guitar. As you listen to his music, pay particular attention to his alternating use of pentatonic scales, blues, modes and major and minor scales. His straightforward rocking leads are mostly driven pentatonic notes, however. The examples below are in the relative keys of C major and A minor, which means that both scales share the same notes on the fretboard, but have different starting and ending points (shown in white).

Pentatonic Major Scale
Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Good over Chords Good Progressions with Values 1-2-3-5-6 Major M , M7 , M6 I-IV-V , II-V-I , I-VI-IV-V , I-III-IV-I , I-IV-I , I-V-I

Pentatonic Minor Scale
Notice in the pentatonic minor scale the minor 3rd, 4 frets above the root (in dark blue). This is often used as a pivot note when switching between the C major key, and the relative A minor key. To hear it and get the feel for the pivot note, play a few bars in C major, then a few bars in A minor. Many many songs are written on top of these two progressions.

101

Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Good over Chords Good Progressions with

Values 1-b3-4-5-b7 Minor m , m7 , m6 Im-bVII-bVI , Im-IVm , Im-Vm , Im-bIII-bVII

The CAGED System: Seeing the Fretboard
There comes a time in the life of every guitarist when the fretboard suddenly "pops out", and becomes an entire playing field. Until this unexpected event happens, a beginning guitar player is confined to simply playing open chords and barre chords to get the job done. Up until this time, there are areas on the fretboard that you were not quite sure how to use. So to liberate you from the confines of open and barre chords only, let us introduce you to the CAGED system. You have already seen CAGED in earlier lessons, because it's how we taught you the shape of chords in the open positions. Now, what if you could use those same shapes to play the same chord up and down the entire neck? In this context, CAGED does not refer to the name of the chord, but the shape, and it is a way of "seeing" the neck of your guitar as never before.

Connecting the Dots
These two diagrams illustrate the how it all connects together. On the left, we have the C Major chord in seven positions. On the right, we have the C Minor chord in the same seven positions. Starting from the bottom to the top, the shapes are listed, C - A - G - E - D. These chord shapes connect perfectly as you move your hand up the neck. There is no overlap in these positions, though they share common boundaries. The red dots are of course the C note, or root in this case. The black dots are the 3rd and 5th degree.

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Major Chord Forms Minor Chord Forms

B and F chord shapes also exist, but they actually overlap their adjacent chords, so they are a little less distinct sounding. Additionally, B usually requires skipping strings to work, so it doesn't work well when strumming.

103

Seeing Exercises:
Study these pictures and try to see them on your own guitar. Learn in the key of C first, then transpose to other keys, and practice changing between these chord positions until it becomes second nature.

Triads: Stacked 3rd Intervals
Remember that music is not in the notes, it's in the space between notes. Any combination of two major or minor 3rds stacked atop one another makes what we hear as a triad. The simplest kind of chord in music.

Major Triad
The formula for a major triad is 1 - M3 - 5, which is really a major 3rd interval with a minor 3rd interval on top. It's the gaps or intervals between the notes that give the major triad its stable, happy feeling.

Minor Triad
The formula for a minor triad is 1 - m3 - 5, which consists of a minor 3rd on the bottom, and major 3rd on top. The intervals stacked this way give the chord or arpeggio a sadder, more emotional feeling.

Diminished Triad
The formula for a diminished triad is 1 - m3 - d5, or in intervalic terms, two stacked minor intervals. This chord is not usually dwelt on very long in music, but you can use it as a VII chord in a diatonic progression (more on this in another lesson), or when you need to impart an eccentric accent to your playing. The 104

sound of a diminished chord played independently is that of a "shrunken" minor chord, due to the two minor intervals.

Augmented Triad
The formula for an augmented triad is 1 - M3 - A5. This is two stacked major intervals. This chord usually functions as a passing chord between major and minor chords. The sound of an augmented triad played alone is that of a "stretched" major chord, again owing to the two major intervals on top of each other.

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Green Belt: Level 4 Guitar Lessons
7th Chords: More Stacked 3rds
These chords are very common in jazz and pop music, and the only way to really learn them is to memorize the construction, and learn to finger them on the fretboard. No shortcuts, just take the time to memorize the sound and the fingering. You will be armed for bear.
Category: Green Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Charts Published on: 03 Dec 2003

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Blues Rhythm Patterns
In this lesson you will focus on the most common and distinctive rhythm patterns in blues music form, straight 8ths, straight 16ths, swing and shuffle.
Category: Green Belt Subcategory: Rhythm Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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Blues Scales
Blues scales are perhaps the third most common and popular scale in music today. It abounds of course in blues, but also spills over comfortably in rock country and jazz.
Category: Green Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Blues Tunes Need Lyrics
Let's face it, dear guitar players... the blues aren't the blues unless you sing 'em. As a green belt, you should master singing while playing. The blues format offers a safe, familiar platform for singing from your heart.
Category: Green Belt Subcategory: Lyrics Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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Major 8-Bar Blues
The hugely common 8-bar blues form follows the blues I - IV - V form, although not the same blues feel as the 12-bar blues. Still, after 8 measures, there is a strong sense of verse completion. This lesson will help you learn the structure and how to use it in your own playing.
Category: Green Belt Subcategory: Music Form Published on: 01 Apr 2004

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Major 12-Bar Blues
The study of the blues is the core focus of the green belt. You are preparing for your blue belt, which means that you understand and have good mastery of all the musical concepts embodied by the blues. This first lesson deals with the framework that the blues are built upon, otherwise known as the 12-bar blues.
Category: Green Belt Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 30 Mar 2004

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Major Blues Scale
The major blues scale is very similar to the major pentatonic scale that you already know by now, but has an additional passing tone that makes it undeniably bluesy. Learn the most common box patterns for playing the major blues scale here.
Category: Green Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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Minor Blues
Blues played in a minor key has a very solemn, dark, heavy feel and the progressions that every green belt should have in their repertoire, just for those occasions when no other form of music can adequately tell the story. Minor blues can be played in the 12 or 8-bar forms.
Category: Green Belt Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 02 Apr 2004

Minor Blues Scale
The minor blues scale is akin to the minor pentatonic scale, which you should also already know by now. Additional passing tones create a more colorful palette of sound. Learn the most common box patterns for playing the minor blues scale here.
Category: Green Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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Modified Blues Scale
This modified blues scale has two passing tones that make it doubly blues sounding and give additional variety and color to the usual blues scale. This is a favorite of Steve Morse, and many of the better Nashville players.
Category: Green Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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Moveable 6th Chords
6th chords are a vital part of the competent and confident jazz and blues players' library. Learn these moveable chord shapes, and you'll be playing several voicings of this pleasing chord in any key. These chords are a cool departure from the bland and boring triads and power chords.
Category: Green Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chords Published on: 23 Mar 2004

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Simple Sample Blues Licks
This lesson will present some common and useful blues licks for those just starting out. Take these for a test drive and see if they can get you off to a good start.
Category: Green Belt: Licks Subcategory: Licks Published on: 02 Apr 2004

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials,

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errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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Tritone: The Devil's Interval
What? The devil's interval? Don't look at us. We didn't invent the name, We're just letting you in on a little known secret among self-taught guitarists. Learn this interval, and why it can wreak so much mayhem in music.
Category: Green Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

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7th Chords: More Stacked 3rds
Again, remember that music is not in the notes, it's in the space between notes. Any combination of three major or minor 3rds stacked atop one another makes what we hear as some kind of 7th chord. In all the sections below, there are two sets of chords, the first shows the notes in sequential order from the root or 1st degree to the 7th degree, which constitutes quite a stretch on the guitar, but it is important to help develop the qualities of the chords in the ear. The second set of chords in each section are a little tighter on the guitar neck, because we rearrange the order of the degrees, but the chord quality is the same overall, even though the voicing is different. Memorize both by sound and by position!

Major 7th Chord
The formula for a major 7th chord is 1 - M3 - 5 - M7, which is really a major 3rd interval with a minor 3rd then another major 3rd stacked on top. The function of the major 7th chord in the harmonic scale is a I or IV chord.

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Dominant 7th Chord
The formula for a dominant 7th chord is 1 - M3 - 5 - m7, which is really a major 3rd interval with two minor 3rds stacked on top. The function of the dominant 7th chord in the harmonic scale is a V chord.

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Minor 7th Chord
The formula for a minor 7th chord is 1 - m3 - 5 - m7, which is really a minor 3rd interval with a major 3rd followed by another minor 3rd stacked on top. The function of the minor 7th chord in the harmonic scale is a II, III or VI chord.

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Half Diminished 7th Chord
The formula for a half-diminished 7th chord is 1 - m3 - b5 - m7, which is really a minor 3rd interval with a major 3rd followed by minor 3rd stacked on top. The function of the half-diminished 7th chord in the harmonic scale is a VII chord.

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Diminished 7th Chord
The formula for a minor 7th chord is 1 - m3 - b5 - bb7, which is really 3 minor 3rds intervals stacked atop one another. The diminished 7th chord is not part of the harmonic scale, but it is an interesting chord because of its symmetry. This means that no matter how you stack it, the quality of the sound is the same. Try playing the chord up and down the neck 3 frets apart, and you'll probably recognize it from some classical pieces.

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Blues Rhythm Patterns
This lesson deals with rhythm patterns common to playing in the blues form. Notice that we say bluesform, not blues style. This is because a green belt should study and understand the blues form, and develop their own styles on top of this form.

Straight Quarter Beat
This beat is extremely common for drum and base lines, but when the guitar also plods along at 4/4 on top of the drums and base, it can get a little uninteresting. For this reason, try to use 4/4 for the guitar part only when intentionally trying to create a feeling of a march, or something like it. Another way to keep the overall song sounding interesting is to play 4/4 for part of the song, and switch to another beat during other parts of the song for contrast.

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Straight Half Beat
This beat is a little more unusual than the 4/4 beat, and feels more like a funeral march than a regular march. Try this beat on top of some of your blues progressions, and find opportunities to use it. Sometimes it works with minor blues progresions.

Straight Eighth Beat
Straight eighths is common in rock styles, and propels the music forward a little more strongly than quarter beats. Many of the ZZ Top's rock-style repertoire is in straight eighth notes.

Upbeat Eighth Beat
Ah, now we start departing from the feeling that we are piggybacking entirely on the down beat of the drums and bass. Not only does playing the upbeat provide a nice fill to counterbalance the drums and bass lines, using an upstroke with your pick on the upbeat gives a different overall sound to the chord than a downstroke would. Upbeat eighth-note rhythm maintains a strict swing feel.

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Eighth Triplets
Eighth triplets really means playing three notes in the time it takes to play two eighth notes. That's 12 notes per bar. Most often this rhythm is played with alternating down and upstrokes. This rhythm has a very compelling forward motion to it, and is the basis for the shuffle, which we'll present next.

Shuffle
The shuffle is based on a triplet feel. It is done by omitting the middle stroke of each triplet. The result is a distinctive "loping" feel with a strong forward motion. The hand motion is almost always down on the first beat, and up on the next. The feeling is a kind of circular motion, like the piston on a steam locomotive.

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Shuffle Variation
This is another way to notate a shuffle, but the sound is also subtly different, as the downstroke is allowed to ring slightly longer (technically an eighth and a half), and the upstroke is very short (technically a sixteenth note). The "loping" feel is enhanced.

Exercises:
We highly recommend that you master all of these rhythm patterns, learning their feel and when and how to use them. Remember that in order to be a great blues lead player, you must first master a strong sense of rhythm. Play your entire blues repertoire in each of these rhythm patterns, and note how it changes the overall feel. As you play your blues repertoire in all of the above rhythm patterns, mentally note the effect of each, and how you would use each in your own playing.

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Blues Scales
Blues scales are based on pentatonic major and minor scales, except that there is a chromatic note added, changing them from pentatonic (five-note) six-note blues scales, named for their invention by and heavy use in Blues music. These scales retain the "guitar-friendly fingering patterns of pentatonic scales, and are used interchangeably with pentatonic scales in rock music, or other applications, where a lick is to take on a bluesy feel. The examples below are in the parallel keys of C major and A minor, which means that both scales share the same notes but have different starting and ending points. As usual, the white dots are the root note in each scale, and the maroon notes are those that are the distinguishing note. The blue notes are those that connect the minor scale to the parallel root in the major scale.

Major Blues Scale
The major blues scale is used in most applications where the major pentatonic would fit, but has the added element of both the major and minor 3rd in the scale. The minor 3rd can be used either in chromatic runs between the major 2nd and major 3rd, or as a way of shifting the lick between a major and minor feel. This shifting can can have a dramatic swinging effect between a happy and sad mood in the same piece.

Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good Progressions with

Values 1-2-b3-3-5-6 Major b3 M , M7 , M6 I-IV-V , II-V-I , I-VI-IV-V , I-III-IV-I , I-IV-I , I-V-I

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Minor Blues Scale
The minor blues scale is the surest choice when singing the blues because of the role of the minor 3rd in setting the sad tone for the overall melody. The flatted most commonly serves as a passing note in chromatic runs between the perfect 4th and perfect 5th, adding a little color and tension and release. Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good Progressions with Values 1-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor b5 m , m7 , m6 Im-bVII-bVI , Im-IVm , Im-Vm , Im-bIII-bVII

Blues Tunes Need Lyrics
Blues tunes without lyrics are not really blues tunes. Think of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan. They are all singer players. The best thing about the predictability of the 12-bar blues structure, is that it is a comfortable framework for both the performer and the listener to tell or listen to a story. Everyone has the blues from time to time, so why not play and sing about how you felt when your old dog died, or your car wouldn't start when you needed it most, or your no good, lyin', cheatin', two-timin' flame decided to burn elsewhere. Lest we become guitar players who never venture to utter a syllable of song, the green belt study and practice gets us out of this rut, develops our abilities to multi-task, and play with emotion. The best part is you don't have to have a great voice to sing the blues (although it helps).

The Form Follows the Lyrics
Lyrics are so important to the blues, that they often are written first, then the form is fitted to the lyrics, whether 12-bar or 8-bar. Also, the subject being sung about often determines the chord selection.

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Some Lame Lyric Examples: (You can do better!)
Here's a common source of the blues for too many of us: I went downtown to look for a job Yeah, I went downtown lookin' for a job Well, I looked and hunted the whole day long And now I sit on this corner and sob... Ain't no work in this little town No, there ain't no work in this little town Well, from dawn till dusk I look And you ask why I frown... Another example of a love gone wrong: (Remember that singing your feelings is more therapeutic than landing in jail!) I called her up, but she won't answer the phone I called her up, but she won't answer the phone I walked by and saw the light on But she won't answer the phone... How about something a little more upbeat: (The blues form doesn't always need to be about bad things, you know) I got my paycheck today, and there was a little extra I'm goin' out tonight, and it's you I'm sitting next ta I'll pick you up at eight, don't be late, Come on, come on baby, baby don't make me wait, Come on little darlin', help me spend that little extra.

Exercises:
Sing and play the blues. We repeat, sing and play the blues. Develop your sense of timing, point and counterpoint harmonic fills, and learn to judge whether 7th chords, 9th chords or straight triads give the best overall color to the lyrics. Take the lame lyrics above, and add the music. Through trial and error, pick the form, rhythm patterns and the chord progressions that work best to your ear. Write some lyrics of your own. Tell your own story and embellish it to make it as sad, ironic, funny, or outrageous as you possibly can.

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Major 12-Bar Blues
12-bar blues refers to the 12-measure structure that defines a verse in a blues tune. The chord progressions played over the top are very familiar and predictable, which even an alien could identify with in a few minutes. What's so great about this predictability, is that it allows the player and the listener to breathe variety into the tune through licks, chord coloring and voicing, rhythmic variations and other musical dynamics, such as volume and tone. Think of the structure of the blues as the circular Yin, and all the angular patterns played atop the circular chord progressions as Yang. The other really great thing about the blues is that it's all about playing with feeling. Once you learn the basic framework, you can play for days on end, and you never have to read music!.

Major Blues Chord Progressions
The Roman numerals at the top of the chapter will be explained in more depth at the blue belt level, but you should know that these represent chords in the harmonic scale. This is what the 12-bar blues chord progressions looks like in the most common major keys for blues:

FeelDegree I Rock/Pop A Bluesy Jazzy Smooth Jazz Funkee A7 A6

I A A7 A6

I A A7 A6

I A A7 A6

IV D D7 D9

IV D D7 D9

I A A7 A6

I A A7 A6

V E E7 E9

IV D D7 D9

I A A7 A6

V* E7 E7 E9

AM7 AM7 AM7 AM7 DM7 DM7 AM7 AM7 E7 E7#9 E7#9 E7#9 E7#9 A7 A7

DM7 AM7 E7 E7#9 B7#9

E7#9 E7#9 B7#9 A7

* The last measure uses a V chord, which is also referred to as the "turnaround" chord, which points the audience in a circle back to the I chord, or the beginning of the progression. This repeats for every verse in the song, and when the song is over, the final chord is a I chord, or back to the tonic.

Quick-Change 12-Bar Blues
"Quick-change" is a variation to the 12-bar blues that has the same basic structure as 12-bar blues, except in the second measure the IV chord is substituted for the I chord.

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FeelDegree I Rock/Pop A

IV D

I A

I A

IV D

IV D

I A

I A

V E

IV D

I A

V* E7

Exercises:
Play the chord progressions listed in the tables above from left to right. Play them using various rhythm patterns. Play them in open and moveable chord positions you learned in the earlier belt level lessons. Make sure you always practice the blues with feeling. Focus on the rhythm, and clean chord changes. If you are playing the blues correctly, there should always be a little sweat on your palms and on your forehead.

Major Blues Scale
The major blues scale is based on the major pentatonic scale, except that there is a chromatic minor 3rd note added between the major 2nd and major 3rd, changing it from pentatonic (five-note) to a six-note blues scale. The major blues scale retains the "guitar-friendly fingering patterns of major pentatonic scale, and is used interchangeably with its pentatonic counterpart in rock music, country and bluegrass, where a lick is to take on a bluesy feel. The example below are in the parallel keys of C major. The white dots are the root note in each scale, and the maroon notes are those that are the distinguishing note. The blue notes are those that connect the minor scale to the parallel root in the major scale.

Major Blues Scale
The major blues scale is used in most applications where the major pentatonic would fit, but has the added element of both the major and minor 3rd in the scale. Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions Values 1-2-b3-3-5-6 Major b3 M , M7 , M6 I-IV-V , II-V-I , I-VI-IV-V , I-III-IV-I , I-IV-I , I-V-I

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Minor Blues Scale
The minor blues scale is based on the minor pentatonic scale, except that there is a chromatic augmented 4th/flatted 5th note added, changing it from pentatonic (five-note) to a six-note blues scales. This scales retains the "guitar-friendly fingering patterns of pentatonic scales, and is used interchangeably with pentatonic scales in rock music, or other applications, where a lick is to take on a bluesy feel. The example below is in the keys of A minor, the most common key in blues, owing to the easy chords and easy playability in the 5th position. As usual, the white dots are the root note in each scale, and the maroon notes are those that are the distinguishing note. The blue notes are those that connect the minor scale to the parallel root in the major scale.

Minor Blues Scale
The minor blues scale is the surest choice when singing the blues because of the role of the minor 3rd in setting the sad tone for the overall melody. The flatted 5th most commonly serves as a passing note in chromatic runs between the perfect 4th and perfect 5th, adding a little color and tension and release. Attributes Scale Formula Major or Minor Good over Chords Good with Progressions Values 1-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor m , m7 , m6 Im-bVII-bVI , Im-IVm , Im-Vm , Im-bIII-bVII

Distinguishing Degree b5

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Moveable 6th Chords
This lesson discusses the 6th chord, and shows some of the most common forms, all of them with the root on the bottom.

The Formula
The 6th chord is technically a four-tone chord, a major triad with a major 6th added a top. The formula is root - major 3rd - perfect 5th - major 6th. Because of the major 3rd, the chord has an overall major flavor, and because of the major 6th, there is a moderate tension that wants to be resolved to the perfect 5th.

How to Use 6th Chords
6th chords are a good choice in blues, jazz and popular progressions, where a I or IV chord might be used. 6th chords also sound delightful in progressions with 7th chords and 9th chords. A 6th chord is also a very popular ending chord, when you want the 6th note to ring in the mind of the listener long after the song is over. The chord shapes below are moveable, which means that you can play them all over the fretboard. Learn them all by memory and by ear. The different voicings are quite pleasing in their own right. This is because some of the voicings are inverted, or might even omit the 3rd or the 5th. In all the chords, the root is the lowest note, so you can know the name of the chord by knowing the lowest note.

Root on 6th String Root on 5th String Root on 4th String

Root on 6th String Root on 5th String Root on 4th String

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Root on 6th String Root on 5th String Root on 4th String

Exercises:
For a mental exercise, pick the chords apart so that you can identify the 3rd, the 5th and the 6th degrees relative to the root. This will make it easier to remember the chords, and also hear the subtle differences in the voicings. Note that the chords that are constructed in the order of root - 3rd - 5th - 6th are the hardest to finger. This is typical of chords with more tones than 3. Rearranging the order of the tones for easier fingering becomes the rule, rather than the exception. Learn the shapes and play them in combinations with each other, concentrate on changing to and from these chords comfortable and noiselessly.
• • • • •

A6 - Ab6 - G6 - Ab6 - A6 G6 - C6 - G6 - Am7 - G6 C6 - Am - C6 - Am A6 - EM7 - G6 - DM7 A - AM7 - A7 - A6 - D - DM7 - D7 - D6

Try to play the same 6th chords in all possible voicings. Try some progressions of your own!

Simple Sample Blues Licks
Remember our guitar-friendly blues scale in the guitar-friendly key of A? Here it is again for your review.

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Here are a collection of short blues licks in Am. The licks are played as short clips on an acoustic guitar at about 3/4 speed so you can hear really well what's going on. Try each lick on your own guitar, and pay attention to the bends, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, double-stops, chops and rolls that are very common in blues. Most of the licks are played in the 5th position (1st finger on the 5th fret) but some of the licks slide up to the 7th position on the upper notes, and down to the 3rd position or even the open position on the lower licks. These positions are very comfortable. Blues Licks in A minor Lick 1 Lick 2 Lick 3

Lick 4 Lick 5 Lick 6

Lick 7 Lick 8 Lick 9

Lick 10 Lick 11 Lick 12

Lick 13 Lick 14 Lick 15

Lick 16 Lick 17 Lick 18

Lick 19 Lick 20 Lick 21

Lick 22 Lick 23 Lick 24

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Remember that in blues, it's all about the groove and the feeling. Practice each of these licks until you can do it smoothly and with soul. Mix and match them, then make up some of your own.

The Essence and Importance of Flow
How Listening is Different than Playing
A basic understanding of the mental and emotional processes involved in both listening and playing can help us better understand how they are different, and how we can take better control over these processes in developing our own skills of timing and flow. Whether listening or playing, we will make an important assumption that the language being played is comprehended by both the listener and the performer. There is at least substantial commonality in the vocabulary and structure shared by each.

Listening Flow
When listening to music, the phrases played a few seconds before linger or "ring" in our short term memory, suspended there until we can complete the phrase, or thought. At that time a meaning is associated with the completed thought as we interpreted it and an emotion of some kind is evoked. So in listening, the basic linear flow is: 1. Understand the context or topic of what is being played 2. Combine notes from the phrase as they happen until a phrase is signaled to have ended 3. Interpret the phrase to give it meaning within the context 4. Apply a meaning and emotional response to the interpreted phrase Familiarity with a topic, song or style, or familiarity with the performer can allow us to anticipate accurately in many cases what might be played next. However, when listening to unfamiliar material or to a new performer, this is the basic process, and there is a small but notable time lag between each of these steps.

Playing Flow
Playing is much more difficult than listening, most obviously because there are more processes involved, and the process is circular, rather than linear. So, there is potentially more that can go wrong within the overall process, and more areas over which to gain control or mastery.

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Playing from Memory
Playing a rehearsed song from memory where you've had a chance to work out the bugs is a matter of hearing the end of the song from the beginning, and within the song, hearing the next phrase while the current phrase is being expressed from your instrument. Mental focus should always be on the next measure or phrase, while the execution of the current measure or phrase is handled at an autonomous or physical level. Here is the process: 1. In a state of comfort and confidence, having rehearsed thoroughly you can hear the entire song in your head, and see and feel your hands playing all the notes even before you begin to play the first note 2. You buffer the first several measures or the first phrase in your mind, hearing it before you play it 3. While your hands are playing the notes in your mind's ear, your long-term memory is buffering the next phrase into your mind's ear, continually staying ahead of what is being played physically 4. Hear yourself playing, not with a mind to change what you play, but how it is being expressed (tempo, volume, tone, etc.) 5. Evaluate the audience's response, and make expressive adjustments accordingly 6. Return to the third step

Improvising
Improvising is even more complex, but by controlling some of the macro variables, like playing within a familiar context will help the performer stay in control of the other more fluid variables. Here is the basic process: 1. In a state of comfort and confidence, having learned the boundaries of the context in which you will play, you come prepared with rough ideas of what will be spoken within that context, or how far outside of the context you will stray 2. Begin with an idea or an emotion, within the context or topic 3. Evaluate options for how to express that idea or emotion (prior experience helps shorten this phase) 4. Choose from among the options (usually leaning towards what has worked in the past) 5. Execute the chosen option on your instrument, using certain expressive options or punctuation available to you 6. Hear yourself speaking or playing your instrument 7. Evaluate yourself speaking or playing 8. Evaluate your audience's response 9. Return to the first step

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Boiling It All Down
So whenever you play, whether from memory or improvising, you only really have to be in control of three things:
• • •

The current chord and its scale or mode (handled autonomously) The next chord with its scale or mode (handled conciously by the mind's ear) The transition between the current and the next chord with its scale or mode (handled autonomously)

We can further boil it down to the notion of "hearing ahead". Always keep your mind's ear primed with what is going to be played next. If while practicing you find yourself stopped because you don't know what's next, don't blame your hands. Start by fixing the process of flowing sound into your mind's ear. If you're learning to read music, then you have to learn read ahead with your eyes a measure or two before the sound is expressed from your instrument. If your eyes stall on the current measure, your playing flow will be interrupted.

Other Practical Examples
In all martial arts styles, we study the flow and transfer of energy while both meditating and while performing forms and while sparring. The mind's eye in every case is seeing the next move, while contemplating how to transfer energy from one position to the next. If there is an interruption in the flow or a loss of balance or power, the striking hands or feet are usually not the root of the problem, it is an interruption in the flow of energy from the previous position or stance. In juggling three balls, one becomes unaware of the individual balls, but gains a sense of the space occupied by the balls as a set, and the transfer of energy and between the balls in the set. For each ball, the throwing hand autonomously tosses the ball into the air in a trajectory learned through experience to come down near the other hand. The mental focus is always on the catching hand, and getting it into a position to catch the falling ball. Meanwhile, there is a rhythmic droning of 1 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 3... felt throughout the entire body. Though these examples are not musical, they reinforce the concepts discussed here, and provide useful contrasts.

How to Develop Flow in Playing
Flow is developed through proper practice of the pieces you want to play. Start by framing the idea, and then adding detail later. Know the changing chord centers as they progress the song. Add detail as you go, such as melody and

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fingering. Practice sticky spots more than the smooth spots, then play the whole piece. In spots where you cannot hear or picture what is coming next, rehearse this in your mind before your fingers hit the strings. Once you have mental and aural clarity, then address the strings with your fingers. For long, difficult passages, start with single measures, then build up to 2, then 4, then 8, then 16. I would also suggest learning these measures from the back of the piece to the front, as suggested by David Russell. This way your mind has exponential exposure to and clarity of later measures in the piece, which breeds comfort and confidence.

Tritone: The Devil's Interval
There is a particularly troublesome interval in the chromatic scale to become acquainted with. Here are a few factoids.

• •

The Tritone interval is so called, because it is exactly half the number of frets between the bottom and top notes of an octave. The three tones played together are form the tritone sound. Because the overtones in a tritone do not reinforce the overtones in the fundamental tone, the ear has a difficult time discerning whether to move up or down to find the home base. The devil's tone can cause aural vertigo, if overused. The devil's tone was not permitted in any medieval church music, being viewed as the antithesis to the so-called perfect intervals. Being a dissonant interval, the tritone is seldom dwelt on for long in music, but is often used in modern music as a passing interval in two-part harmonies.

Here again is a friendly reminder not to be too anxious to learn all the other intervals at once. Think of intervals as "vitamin I", which you need to take every day in small doses, but which you should take every day.

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Number Frequency Consonant / Interval Name of Half Ratio Dissonant Steps Perfect Unison 0 1 Consonant Augmented 4th 6 / Diminished 5th Perfect Octave 12 32:45 Dissonant

Other Names, Symbols P1

Name of Interval Inverted Interval in Second Name Octave Perfect Unison Perfect Octave

d5, b5, A4, Diminished 5th Augmented 11th / #4, Tritone / Augmented 4th Diminished 12th P8 Perfect Octave Perfect 15th

1:2

Consonant

Tritone Interval Spelling
This chart shows the spelling of all intervals upward and downward from any starting point. This is important to know when composing music, because if you know the name of one note, then by hearing the interval, you will know the name of the next note you hear by ear. P1 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G# A4/D5 D/Ebb D#/Eb D##/E E/Fb E#/F F#/Gb F##/G G/Abb G#/Ab G##/A A/Bbb A#/Bb B/Cb B#/C C/Dbb C#/Db D##/D P8 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G#

Notice that some of the tritone spellings have double sharps (##) or double flats (bb) in them. This is because in standard music notation, note names must fit

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within key signatures, to keep the repeating of written sharps and flats to a minimum. Names of notes are given by counting the natural or fundamental notes, up or down, then adding the accidentals (# or b) on top at the end. In the case of Ab, counting up three naturals gives us B > C > D, which happens to be an augmented 4th, so we stop there. For a diminished 5th, in the case of Ab counting up 4 naturals gives us B > C > D > E, but the pitch is too high, so when we drop two frets lower, it is really a D pitch, but we call it an Ebb to respect the spelling of the 5th.

The Devil's Tone: Augmented 4ths/Diminished 5ths
The Augmented 4th or Diminished 5th interval sounds so strange to our ears, that even though it exists, it is only used sparingly. When it is summoned forth, it can have a surprising or stunning effect on the listener, causing the audience to lose their musical bearing, if only for a moment. It does this because the mind cannot easily perceive which direction they are going relative to home. If dwelt on too long, can erase the notion of home base from the listener's mind. The effect is musical vertigo.

Exercises:
When training your ear, remember: You cannot force your ear to learn. It must happen easily and naturally, and through relaxed repetition over time, rather than cramming all at once. When we try to force the ear to learn, the ear rebels, and closes. Here are some tips to encourage your ear to open up.
• • • • •

Practice the intervals no more than 10 minutes each day. Practice intervals at the beginning of your practice session, when your ear is most open and relaxed. Start out by learning the intervals on your instrument, not someone elses. Learn the intervals in the order presented in this lesson. Play the intervals both on the same string and on different strings. Play them up and down the fretboard, both in order and randomly.

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• • • •

Sing the note names of each interval as you play it. Sing and play each interval both up and down. Play one note in the interval and sing the other. Do this up and down. Play and sing each interval both melodically (one note at a time)and harmonically (two notes at a time). If your ear gets tired, move onto other things and come back to it fresh tomorrow.

Want to Turbo-charge Abilities?

your Guitar Learning

Black Belt Guitar Academy has believes strongly in improving guitar playing by improving the guitar player. This book amalgamates into a single volume all the best learning methods for life in general, and artfully tailors these methods to the guitarist serious about improvement. This book is just as applicable to the beginner as to the seasoned pro, but we highly recommend it to beginning students so they can take advantage of all the advice early in their playing career. In this volume, you'll learn:

How to never get stuck on a learning plateau again, for months on end. The easy way to work out what you need to practice and for how long. How to tune up your senses to make sight-reading, perfect pitch and transcribing easy. How to control your body to release tension and make playing appear effortless - even at high speeds! The simple way to change your thought processes as you play that will improve your playing instantly. Never ever have stage fright again.

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Also Included: Exclusive Mental Conditioning Techniques
• • • • •

Self Hypnosis State control DHE™ Control panels Time Distortion A modified 'Fast Phobia

• • • •

Sensory Overlapping Anchoring 'Photoreading' music and guitar tablature Accessing cues 132

• •

Cure' Imagestreaming Belief swish

• • •

Awareness shifts. Propulsion systems Deep Trance Identification

Your Attention Channels: Playing an instrument is hard. Playing an instrument well is very hard, and requires a great investment. Why not invest some time in learning how to really concentrate, and open up the creative channels between your ear, your fingers and your heart? Otherwise, without the ability to concentrate and focus we are doomed to mediocrity at best, and constant disappointment at worst. Rather than trying harder to concentrate, why not identify and remove distractions? Let's group these distractions into two broad categories: external and internal distractions.

External Distractions
External distractions are those distractions outside of us. The TV is an absolute killer of concentration... turn it off. You can't play while working your day job, changing a diaper or driving, so you have to make time in between these other necessary activities to play guitar with full attention. Make quality time early morning or at night when winding down to play.

Internal Distractions
Now that you have made quality time to practice and eliminated unnecessary external distractions, we turn our attention to eliminating internal distractions, or are those that go on in our minds and and steal creative energy away from your purest musical intent. Before you can eliminate the excess noise in your head, you first have to identify and isolate each signal and assign each signal to its own channel, just like the channels on a multi-track mixer. In no particular order, here are 16 of some of the common signals I hear on my neural channels, which must be controlled:

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Track 1: What I was doing before I sat down to play Track 2: What I need to do after I'm done playing Track 3: What my left hand is doing right now Track 4: What my left hand is going to do next Track 5: What song to play next Track 6: How well my right hand is keeping time Track 7: That tone I'm trying to get Track 8: Audience's interested in my playing Track 9: What I want to say musically Track 10: Attacking that troublesome stretchy chord without losing the beat Track 11: My options for muting the strings and rebounding from mistakes Track 12: What the rest of the band is doing in the moment Track 13: The self applause for that really cool voicing I just love to play Track 14: That fly in the room Track 15: The self loathing for the mistake I just made Track 16: I wish I could afford that new Taylor guitar

Now that I've identified each source of noise, I have full control over each channel discretely and separately. Those channels that are positive and reinforcing my musical intentions I can amplify separately and discretely, while those channels that are negative and distracting, I can switch off entirely. If you think this visualization is a bit hokey, then at least give it a try before you dismiss it. You'll be amazed at what is really going on in your head when you truly listen to yourself think. By strongly visualizing your control over both distracting channels positive channels in this way, you gain remarkable control over your thoughts in any situation, you spend more time "in the zone" and years of mediocrity and frustration melt off your total experience.

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Blue Belt: Level 5 Guitar Lessons
Basic Theory of Harmonic Scale Progressions
Somehow you have noodled your way through the internet to arrive at the heart and soul of how all music flows... from chord center to chord center... within an established key. Your ear senses this flow when listening to any kind of music, but you probably have not learned how chords connect together to make music, and more importantly, how to make your music interesting, which is a fine balance between boredom and ear-sickness. This is where you will begin to learn how to connect chords together so that they sound great!
Category: Blue Belt: Theory Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Cadences: Musical Punctuation
Understanding cadences allows you to understand and enjoy the music you listen to a little more, but the real benefit of understanding cadences is how to use them to make clear statements in the music you write.
Category: Blue Belt: Theory Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 09 Dec 2003

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Ear Training: What? How? Why?
It's not "ear straining", or "fear training", it's ear training. This lesson will give you a very practical approach to the subject that will help you do it right and won't burn you out.
Category: Blue Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Ear Training Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Harmonic Scale Chords for All Major Keys
This lesson has all the base chords and a few of the most popular substitute chords you can use in the major harmonic scale. Please use this to check your answers to the previous lesson's exercise, and commit now to learn this stuff well.
Category: Blue Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Harmonic Scale Directional Chord Changes
This lesson will show that within a harmonic scale, there are all kinds of possible chord change combinations, but from the perspective of forward motion when pairing chords together, there are really only 4 potential kinds of choices to understand and master.
Category: Blue Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 08 Dec 2003

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Intervals: The Essential Building Blocks of All Music
Notes do not make music. It's the intervals between notes that give a melody its direction... either toward or away from the tonic, or home base. Studying this intervalic tension and release will help you understand why some melodies are compelling and others are not. Songwriters, you should know this well.
Category: Blue Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Intervals Published on: 01 Dec 2003

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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The Four Corners of the Harmonic Landscape
There are thousands of possible chords in the Western scale, and millions of possible chord progressions, but

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armed with knowledge of the harmonic scale, you are ready to learn about four broad categories that songs fall into harmonically. Understanding these categories can help you make sense the endless possibilities of and chord progressions, and improve your songwriting.
Category: Blue Belt: Theory Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 21 Apr 2004

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

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Basic Theory of Harmonic Scale Progressions
In prior chord lessons, you have learned chords by their name, shape, position. You need to know this before you progress any further, because you'll need to know chords by name, and make your own choices whether to play the chords with a capo, use bar chords or inversions, or a combination of all three. In the next few lessons, you'll learn how to connect chords together the way the pros do. If you don't feel you are solid on the chords learned in earlier lessons, stop now and go back until you are comfortable recognizing and playing all your open chords, bar chords, and inverted chords. Herewe will introduce the diminished chord, as it is important in rounding out the harmonic scale. Only the diminished chord should be new to you at this point.

Harmonic Scale
The harmonic scale is a series of seven chords, all of which have notes in the major scale of some key. Because all of the notes belong to the same scale, they naturally sound related, but because each of the chords use different notes in the scale, each has its on characteristics which relate to its position in the scale. While the harmonic scale played up or down just sounds like a scale with harmony, it is barely musical musical, because it lacks form, and other musical elements that make it interesting. But when you start to take the chords that make up the harmonic scale and rearrange them over time and add melody, an amazing variety of music begins to unfold. Virtually ALL Western music is rooted in this scale, or somevariation of it, so now is the time to pay attention. This is where the the hands, the mind and the ear begin to function as an integrated unit.

The Harmonic Scale Using Triads
A Triad is just three notes stacked on top of each other separated by an interval of major or minor 3rds. When you play the major scale in the key of C using triads instead of individual notes, you get the most basic harmonic scale. It looks and sounds like this:

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The Harmonic Scale Using 7th Chords
A 7th chord just stacks an additional 3rd on top of the existing triad. The harmonic scale with 7th chords looks and sounds like this:

Most of the chords in the above charts are not very guitar-friendly, but they are given to illustrate the principle of stacked thirds. Try playing them as in the charts as an exercise, but in practice, there are more guitar-friendly fingerings, as you have already learned.

The Harmonic Scale Using 2nd Inversion Triads
Played in 2nd Inversion, the harmonic scale looks like this:

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The Harmonic Scale Using 1st Inversion Triads
Played in 1st Inversion, the harmonic scale looks like this:

The Harmonic Scale Using Open Chords
The above examples had you playing all the chords in the scale by moving your hand up and down the neck. But there are many occasions where playing all open chords is more appropriate. Played in Open Chord positions, you can use a capo to raise or lower the key being played in. Using open chords, the harmonic scale looks like this:

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Cadences: Musical Punctuation
Have you ever talked to someone who has difficulty making their point? Someone who starts another thought without finishing their first thought? Someone who talks in circles, jumps all over the place, wanders, waffles or otherwise leaves you wondering where it is all going? There are such problems in music too, if you don't understand cadences. This is a person who does not understand the purpose of phrasing, or punctuation in their speech or writing. In speech and writing, we use phrases, sentences and paragraphs to organize our linear thoughts into a coherent thought train that our audiences can understand. Paragraphs are comprised with at least one sentence, and sentences are comprised of at least one phrase. Phrases, and sentences always end with some kind of punctuation, to let you know that the thought being expressed is either fully complete, or to be continued. The musical equivalent of punctuation is known as cadence. Cadence is vital in musical thought to indicate to the audience that the phrase is either a complete statement, or to be continued through further listening. Keep in mind that we listeners require most music to go somewhere, and make some kind of point or statement with a definite conclusion.

Two Extreme Examples
To hear illustrate what cadences can do, let's compare two extreme examples:

Yoga Music?
On one end of the spectrum, think of the music you hear when you walk into a meditative establishment, like a trendy Yoga and Health Food Bookstore. You smell the incense. You notice that the music creates a spacious light feeling that lacks borders, boundaries, tension or release, or strong direction. If there is any kind of movement at all, you might describe it as undulating, but certainly not forward moving. The composer creates this kind of ambience by subduing both rhythm and melody, changing chords very slowly by fading them in and out, and most especially by avoiding chord changes that drive to conclusion. In this kind of music, cadences are intentionally avoided, because the composer intends the sense of direction to be lost.

You Ain't Nuttin But A Hound Dog
On the other end of the spectrum, think of Elvis rocking the house with You Ain't Nuttin' But A Hound-dog.

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I You ain't nothin' but a hound dog I Cryin' all the time IV You ain't nothin' but a hound dog I Cryin' all the time V7 Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit I And you ain't no friend of mine The gritty lyrics coupled with the I - I - IV - I - V - I progression give the tune strong, predictable harmonic flow towards a definite conclusion in a tight amount of time. The I - I in the first two lines is not a progression, but establish strong tonality. The IV - I in the middle reinforce the first thought with more direction, but ending the tune here would leave us hanging. The V - I progression is the strongest chord change available to put a stamp of finality on the thought. All of these chord progressions were chosen specifically for their powerful effect. These progressions work so well, that thousands of other songs use them.

Types of Cadences
Below are the kinds of common cadences you will need to know. This will help you not only understand and enjoy the music you listen to better, but you will see how you can use these in your own song writing. In all of the examples below, the first two chords set up the tonality, then the last two chords form the cadence.

Authentic Cadence
The cadence is authentic if the tonic chord is preceded by the dominant: V-I.

Perfect Cadence
The perfect cadence contains all tonal means:I-IV (II)-V-I. 142

Imperfect Cadence
An imperfect cadence ends elsewhere than on the tonic chord: I-V.

Plagal Cadence
The cadence is plagal it the tonic chord is preceded by the subdominant: IV-I.

Deceptive Cadence
A deceptive cadence is on in which the dominant chord is followed by a chord other than the tonic: V-VI.

Exercises
Learn these cadences in all keys, and in several voices. Learn to strum and arpeggiate all these cadences, and use them to connect together or complete musical phrases of your own making.

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Ear Training: What? How? Why?
Why Ear Training?
Listening and composing are Siamese twins of a sort. Every time you listen, you form an impression about things going in the music that you personally like and want to make it your own, and you find it coming out in your playing. The more you understand what you are hearing, the more readily you recognize it when you hear it, then you can categorize it in your own mind, then retrieve it later when needed.

A Practical Definition
A practical definition of ear training is: training your mind to understand what your ear hears. Given this definition, is not so daunting or tedious to learn to listen for what is going on in the music you love.

Structuring Your Own Ear Training Program
Not all ear training programs are created equal. You only need to learn what is useful and practical for the kind of music you want to listen to and play, so let that music be your guide. Now, as you listen to the music you love, try to describe musically what is going on in terms that you or another musician can understand. If some area confounds you, or you can't quite sort out what is happening, then you know you need ear training work in that area.

Essential Elements of Ear Training
Here are some essential elements to learn to recognize by ear:
• • • • • • • • • • •

Perfect Pitch Tone Identification (name that note) Perfect Pitch Aural Recall (sing a note without a queue) Interval Recognition (name that interval up AND down, melodically. Also harmonically) Chord Decomposing (hearing the individual tones in a chord) Chord Type Recognition (name that chord by its sound color alone) Melodic Scale Degree Recognition (1, b3, 4, 5) Harmonic Scale Degree Recognition (I, II, IV, III) Cadence Recognition (where in the song are we?) Speed Recognition (all of the above) Tempo or Meter Recognition (how fast is that?) Rhythm or Beat Recognition (salsa, reggae, 4/4, shuffle)

If any of these areas is particularly hard for you to discern or describe, then you may need to sharpen your ear or your theory or both. There are good software

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and audio products available to drill you initially, but don't become dependent on them. After you understand the terms and concepts that should be trained into your ear, the best ear training is done on your own instrument, and by listening to music and drilling yourself. Remember that the most important goal of ear training is to learn of these elements by recognition or intuition alone, without too much mental processing. Like learning a new language, this is a long process, and is best learned by small doses every day over time, rather than cramming for some test.

Harmonic Scale Chords for All Major Keys
This page has all the base chords and a few of the most popular substitute chords you can use in the harmonic scale. Please use this to check your answers to the previous lesson's exercise, and commit now to learn this stuff well. You know you have learned it well when:
• • • • •

You can play all the base chords in the harmonic scale, up and down You can play any chord by knowing only the key signature and the number of the chord Once you establish the tonality of a song you hear, you instantly know the chord number you are hearing When playing a song, you know what subsitute chords you can choose from to add flavor, without sacrificing musicality When listening to music and you hear a substitute chord, you still recognize the chord number.

Key of C Major / A Minor
I C CM7 C6 ii Dm Dm7 iii Em Em7 E7 IV F FM7 F6 V G G7 vi Am Am7 viio Bo7 Bo7 Bm/5+

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Key of Db Major / Bb Minor
I Db Db6 ii Ebm iii Fm F7 IV Gb Gb6 V Ab vi Bbm viio Co Cm/5+

DbM7 Ebm7 Fm7 GbM7 Ab7 Bbm7 Co7

Key of D Major / B Minor
I D DM7 D6 ii Em Em7 iii F#m F#m7 F#7 IV G GM7 G6 V A vi Bm viio C#o C#o7 C#m/5+

A7 Bm7

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Key of Eb Major / C Minor
I Eb EbM7 Eb6 ii Fm Fm7 iii Gm Gm7 G7 IV Ab AbM7 Ab6 V Bb vi Cm viio Do Do7 Dm/5+

Bb7 Cm7

Key of E Major / C# Minor
I E E6 ii F#m iii G#m G#m7 G#7 IV A A6 V B vi C#m viio D#o D#o7 D#m/5+

EM7 F#m7

AM7 B7 C#m7

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Key of F Major / D Minor
I F FM7 F6 ii Gm Gm7 iii Am Am7 A7 IV Bb BbM7 Bb6 V C vi Dm viio Eo E#o7 E#m/5+

C7 Dm7

Key of Gb Major / Eb Minor
I Gb Gb6 ii Abm iii Bbm Bb7 IV Cb Cb6 V Db vi Ebm viio Fo Fm/5+

GbM7 Abm7 Bbm7 CbM7 Db7 Ebm7 Fo7

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Key of G Major / E Minor
I G GM7 G6 ii Am Am7 iii Bm Bm7 B7 IV C CM7 C6 V D
o

vi Em

viio F#o F#o7 F#m/5+

7 Em7

Key of Ab Major / F Minor
I Ab AbM7 Ab6 ii Bbm Bbm7 iii Cm C7 IV Db Db6 V Eb vi Fm viio Go Gm/5+

Cm7 DbM7

Eb7 Fm7 Go7

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Key of A Major / F# Minor
I A AM7 A6 ii Bm Bm7 iii C#m C#m7 C#7 IV D DM7 D6 V E vi F#m viio G#o G#o7 G#m/5+

E7 F#m7

Key of Bb / G Minor
I Bb BbM7 Bb6 ii Cm Cm7 iii Dm Dm7
o

IV Eb EbM7 Eb6

V F

vi Gm

viio Ao Ao7 Am/5+

F7 Gm7

7

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Key of B / G# Minor
I B B6 ii C#m iii D#m D#7 IV E E6 V F# vi G#m viio A#o A#m/5+

BM7 C#m7 D#m7 EM7 F#7 G#m7 A#o7

We will take this opportunity to mention briefly that the Nashville Numbering System will help you recognize and play chords in the diatonic scale, but what if you hear a chord that does not fit in the harmonic scale, or what if the key changes in the middle of the song? We will address this more in depth in future lessons, but the short answer is this: When a musician borrows a chord from outside the scale, (and if they know what they are doing, by not totally losing the rest of us), then we call that a chromatic chord. Chromatic chords are used to add color. If this is the case, we note the chromatic chord, and move on with the rest of the music that remains withing the safe harbor of the harmonic scale. If the key changes entirely, we can simply take the two stars from above belonging to each key, and chain them together.

Harmonic Scale Directional Chord Changes
Remember that all music progresses from chord center to chord center. Chord changes usually happen on the strong beats of a measure, but sometimes more frequently. Understanding how chord changes create a sense of movement is critical to underdstanding how music works, and how good songwriting is achieved. Let's briefly touch on the safest formula for good song writing: first, establish tonality (can be done with a measure or two of introduction), second, take the listener on an interesting journey using melody and supporting chord changes to provide forward motion (while respecting that tonality), third, resolve the section or song back to the tonic (end on the tonic with both the melody and harmony). Having said this, you are always free to break these rules, but you should understand them first. This lesson will show that within a harmonic scale, there are all kinds of possible chord change combinations, but from the perspective of forward motion, there are really only 4 kinds of movements within a harmonic scale you can change to from your present chord: 151

• • • •

You may descend by a 5th You may ascend by a 5th (descend by a 4th) You may ascend or Descend by a 2nd You may ascend or descend by a 3rd

These choices are so grouped to illustrate that not all your choices carry the tune forward as obviously or as strongly as others. Let's use the Nashville Numbering System to illustrate. The thickness of the arrows around our 7-pointed star gives a sense of the relative strength of the forward motion we perceive by each chord change. We'll take one group at a time.

Descending by 5ths
The first of the harmonic chord changes is the descending 5th. Using our 7pointed star, a descending 5th chord changes move clockwise, one point at a time. The strongest directional pull is the V - I in the major, and iii - vi in the minor.

The strength of the motion is really governed by the individual intervals within the changing chords. Reviewing what we learned from our lessons on intervals, note that the strongest motion is when a 7th degree resolves to the root, and when a 4th degree resolves to a major 3rd. In a V - I progression, we have both of these going on at the same time.

In the key of C, the notes of the V7 chord are G - B - D - F. The notes of the I chord are C - E - G. F resolves to E, which is a 4th to major 3rd degree movement. B resolves to C, which is a 7th to 1st degree movement. G to G is a constant. So strong

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is this forward motion back to the tonic that it has its own name - "Complete Cadence". (More on cadences later).

Ascending by 5ths (Descending by 4ths)
Going counterclockwise around the 7-pointed star gives us ascending 5ths, which are the same harmonically as descending 4ths. The IV - I and ii - vi progressions are slightly stronger than the rest of the chord changes, but note as a general rule concerning 5ths within the harmonic scale, counterclockwise around the star has weaker motion than clockwise. Do note, however, that the IV - I progression is also a cadence with its own name - the Plagal Cadence, used commonly as the gentle "amen" at the end of many gospel tunes.

Ascending or Descending by 2nds
Next to the descending 5ths, the kind of harmonic progression with the strongest movement is ascending or descending by a harmonic second. These kind of progressions are simply understood by our musical ear as walking up or down the harmonic scale. Direction is certain, but they do not create the strong sense of anticipation and finality as the descending 5th progressions.

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Ascending or Descending by 3rds
The final kind of chord progression in the harmonic scale is the ascending and descending 3rds. Their role is to alternate between the major and minor sides of the same harmonic scale. These are the Yin and Yang of chord progressions. While certainly beautiful, there directional movement is weak, and typically are not used as an ending of a phrase. These progressions may carry the tune for a while, but when the ear is ready to go home, a safe route will be clockwise around the horn back to the tonic.

Exercises
Using the Nashville Numbering diagrams of the different keys, try these exercises. Play them all until you really know them by ear. Start in the key of C, then repeat all exercises in all keys.
• • • •

Play all the chord pairs of the descending 5th group. Play all the chord pairs of the ascending 5th (descending 4th) group. Play all the chord pairs of the ascending and descending 2nd group. Play all the chord pairs of the ascending and descending 3rd group.

Repeat all these exercises again, this time play them in different chord voicings, including triads, 7th chords substitution chords. Do this in as many chord positions up and down the neck as you can. Now repeat the exercises again. If you have been strumming, try arpeggiating the chords to get the sound of the chord center in your ear, even when the chord is implied by outlining it with the arppegio, rather than explicitly played as a strummed chord. Don't rush through the exercises. Rushing will not help you. Take your time, and let your ear and fingers grow comfortable with all the movements. Take special note that the voicing you use does not change the directional movement of the progressions. Also, take special notes of the pairs that stand out to your ear as either

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familiar, useful, eccentric, or otherwise noteworthy. If later what you learned starts to fade, come back and go through these exercises again.

Intervals: The Essential Building Blocks of All Music
In this lesson lies the secret to emotionally compelling music: Music is not in the notes being played, it is in the relationship between notes being played. Before we can understand what makes melody and harmony work in music, we need to understand the some emotional properties of intervals. Let's have a look at how different intervals operate on our emotions. In the Western scale, the I degree is the tonic, root or home base. Once the tonic or root note is established in our minds, our brain automatically compares all other tones of the scale to the tonic, and tells us that we are either moving away from or towards home. Moving away from home produces a sense of interest, excitement, or tension. Returning home after going away produces a sense of rest, resolution, or release. Music holds our our interest as long as there is a sense of motion away from home, with the the promise that we will eventually arrive back home again.

The arrows in this diagram illustrate how intervals in the major scale behave like rubber bands pulling on our emotions. The thicker arrows pull harder toward the arrowhead than the thinner lines in the following manner:

The I degree has no pull whatsoever. It is home base, which feels good when you come back to it, but after feeling safe for too long we soon feel bored, and long to venture out again. • The II degree has a strong pull toward the I degree, so much so that it gives a suspended sensation. • The III degree also has a pull toward the I degree, but slightly less than the II. • The IV degree has a hard pull toward the III degree, and is also gives a suspended feeling until we arrive again at the III degree. • The V degree is not exactly half way between the lower and upper I degree, but it sounds like it is. There is a weak pull up or down to the I degree on either end of the scale.

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• • •

The VI degree has a moderate pull up to the I degree, or down to the V degree. The VII degree has a sharp pull towards the upper I degree in a scale. This gives the VII a strong leading characteristic.

Here is another way to look at the gravitational nature of the tonic I degree on the other degrees in the scale.

Learning how intervals effect us emotionally helps your ability to write emotionally compelling melodies, and harmonies, or to alter an existing tune for an emotional wallop. Intervals can't be mastered overnight. In learning intervals thoroughly, the ear and fingers require many repetitions and exposure to intervals in many musical circumstances to really become cultured. It's best to take intervals in small daily doses, at times when your ear is relaxed. Five minutes a day in the morning before diving into other practice routines is probably sufficient.

The Four Corners of the Harmonic Landscape
Remember that (except for "My One Chord Song" by Keith Urban) all music moves from chord center to chord center, and most often those chords are most often part of the harmonic scale, but not always. Sometimes as we listen to music using our knowledge of the harmonic scale, the composer throws us a curve ball, and suddenly we hear a chord that does not fit neatly within the harmonic scale. Or the whole landscape of the song changes as the composer moves between keys. Before going too much further, let's make sure we understand a couple of musical terms:

Chromatic Chords: Chords borrowed from outside the harmonic scale of a given key to add color, movement, tension or contrast to the progression. (Chroma means color, or from the chromatic scale, rather than the diatonic scale). • Modulation: Complete change from one key to another during a piece, often using pivot chords to transition between keys.

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Using the harmonic scale as the common denominator, all Western music can be placed neatly into four broad categories:
• • • •

Songs with chords only from the harmonic scale in a single key Songs with chords from the harmonic scale in a single key, and borrowed chords outside the harmonic scale Songs that change keys, but use only chords within the harmonic scales of those keys Songs that change keys, and borrow chords outside the harmonic scales of those keys

The Four Harmonic Quadrants
Lets explore each of the four categories as four quadrants on a compass.

West and East Hemispheres
In the west hemisphere are songs with chords that are strictly within the harmonic scale. These chords may be triads, 7ths, 6ths, or 9ths, diminished or half diminished, or even sustained, but their tonal center fits neatly within the harmonic scale. In the east hemisphere are songs which borrow chromatic chords, or passing chords between chords of the harmonic scale. Diminished chords and slash chords work extremely well as chromatic passing chords, as well as harmonic chords from other keys.

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North and South Hemispheres
In the north hemisphere are songs which are written in one key only. Chromatic chords or not, the key is the same throughout. This is appropriate for simple songs with verses and choruses, and comprises the lion's share of popular music. In the south hemisphere are songs which have sections, choruses or verses where the key shifts entirely from one to another. This is appropriate for more progressive music, or when the arranger wants to make an ordinary song sound more progressive, or when the composer wants to step the energy of the song up or down by stepping the key up or down.

Some Popular Examples
Single Key, Harmonic Jingle Bells Silent Night Jolly Old Saint Nicholas Modulation, Harmonic El Paso (Marty Robbins) Rocky Top (Tennessee State Song) Single Key, Chromatic
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Modulation, Chromatic
Mean Mister Mustard (Beatles) Oh Darlin' (Beatles) Michelle, My Belle (Beatles)

Exercises:
In all the listening you do to songs for the next month, try to listen for the chord progressions, and identify which quadrant that song belongs to. You'll be amazed at your quickened understanding of harmonic progressions. Don't worry if you get confused at first. After a little repetition it will begin to sink in. Take some of the existing songs you know and add your own chromatic chords by trial and error to find out what works. We will offer some suggestions in other lessons. Take some more songs you know and step the verse or chorus up or down from where you started. We will offer some suggestions here in later lessons as well. including pivot chords that work well to set up the key change.

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Red Belt: Level 6 Guitar Lessons
Alternate Picking
This lesson deals with an often overlooked and almost always underdeveloped technique in most guitar players: alternate picking. Learn tricks and tips from the best in the world, and blow your friends away.
Category: Red Belt: Techniques Subcategory: Picking Published on: 15 Oct 2003

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Compound Intervals: Intervals in 2nd Octave
Compound Intervals are intervals that span more that an octave, but less than two. These intervals are important to learn in jazz guitar because jazz uses so many extended chords, 9ths, 11th, and 13ths, all of which are extend beyond the perfect octave.
Category: Red Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Intervals Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Intervals: Musical Atoms
An interval is the distance between two notes and is measured in whole or half steps. An understanding of intervals is required in order to understand any discussion of melody or harmony. Intervals played sequentially create melody, intervals played simultaneously create harmony. Intervals are classified as either perfect, major or minor.
Category: Red Belt: Ear Training Subcategory: Intervals Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Intro to Major Scale Modes
Scale modes are essential to all aspiring lead guitarists. Few self-taught players know what modes are, and even fewer know how to use them effectively. This lesson explains how to get started with modes as scales that fit over the chords in the harmonic scale.
Category: Red Belt: Scales Subcategory: Published on: 13 Jan 2004

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Music Reading for Guitar
Been playing for 10 years and still can't read standard notation? It's not because you haven't tried... it's because it can only be taught by one who really knows how. By the end of this course, you will be hearing music in your head anytime you see written music.
Category: Red Belt: Theory Subcategory: Reading Music Published on: 10 Jan 2004

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Nashville Numbering System Adapted for Black Belt Guitar
To help you learn how to use the Harmonic scale the way the pros do, we have adapted a system developed by old-timer Neal Matthews, of Nashville fame. Neal's numbering system evolved in Nashville as a way of quickly communicating diatonic progressions that could be used by musicians in the studio who did not all read music, but they sure could play! Learning this system will be a serious time-saver for all guitar players who want to play solid music by ear without having to read music.
Category: Red Belt: Chords Subcategory: Chord Progressions Published on: 10 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Reading Music for Guitar: Pegging Notes to Fretboard
In this lesson, we present you with a free and useful tool that will help you tie the notes you read on paper to the positions on the fretboard. You can download the graphic, and make it your desktop wallpaper to help you learn it while you are waiting for your hourglass to go away.
Category: Red Belt: Theory Subcategory: Reading Music Published on: 13 Jan 2004

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Red Hot Double Stop Picking
High-octane double-stops fuel hot country and rockabilly solos. This lessons introduces double-stop picking, and gives you the are some ideas for supercharging your leads.
Category: Red Belt: Techniques Subcategory: Lead Published on: 17 May 2004

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Scale Modes as Substitutes for Major and Minor
Scale modes as colorful scales are essential to all aspiring lead guitarists. This lesson explains how to think of scale modes as substitutes for major and minor scales, and how to use them.
Category: Red Belt: Scales Subcategory: Scales Published on: 01 Dec 2004

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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The Never Ending Circle of 5ths
This lesson explains the Circle of 5ths, where it came from, what it is used for, and what its limitations are. All guitar players who want to really know how music works, should know this cold.
Category: Red Belt: Theory Subcategory: Music Theory Published on: 14 Oct 2003

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.

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Alternate Picking
Alternate picking is a right-hand picking technique that is especially useful in bluegrass music, where 16th notes (or 8th notes in double 4 time) are the common currency among flat pickers. Picking up and down alternately keeps time, while the left hand works to fret in time with the right. Tips to help with alternate picking:
• • • • •

Hold your pick firmly. Two fingers and a thumb are often favored by the world-class pickers. Start Slowly, focusing on accuracy first, and speed later. Practice your up-stroke twice as much as the down stroke, since the up pick is generally weaker for most players. When you can play accurately at a slower speed, turn up the metronome a notch and practice at the new higher speed. Think of your picking hand as the piston in an engine, and your fretting hand is connected by a timing chain to your picking hand. Work at this mental image until you feel your two hands working together at any speed.

Exercises
These riffs are inspired by the great alternate picker in rock 'n roll... Steve Morse. The way to learn alternate picking fast, is to hold your pick firmly, then start slow, forgetting about speed in the beginning. Instead, think precision. When you can do these licks flawlessly at a certain speed, then turn up the speed on your metronome and work up gradually until you are picking along at the speed of Steve. Remember, that sloppy speed doesn't count! The "^" character in the tabs is a downstroke, because it opens downward. Conversely the character opening upward represents the upstroke.

Cruise Missle
This first lick is from Cruise Missile, and is a great right-hand workout, since the left hand should be comfortable doing almost nothing but chromatic quadruplets. Notice at the end of the even measures there is a quarter note. Your right hand gets a rest for a two counts.

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Click on the tab to hear the midi file play. (Windows Media Player works best).

Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast

This second lick is from Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast (this is the beast part of the song). Again, the left hand fingering is straight forward using the 1st and 3rd fingers alternately for most of the lick. Notice the (ghost note) in the 1st and 3rd measures. Even though the left hand swallows the note, the right hand still picks it. In the 4th measure, notice that the right hand misses a couple of up strokes, but still moves up in preparation for the next down strokes.

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Click on the tab to hear the midi file play. (Windows Media Player works best).

Blackberry Blossom

This third lick is from Blackberry Blossom a classic Bluegrass standard. Even if you don't like country, you really ought to try this one. See if you can keep up with Dan Crary or Mark O'Connor.

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Compound Intervals: Intervals in 2nd Octave
Intervals in the second octave are useful in guitar, because some intervals within the first octave cannot be played with other adjacent intervals in the same octave, because they must be played on the same string. For example, a second and third cannot be played in a chord in the same chord, so one solution is to use open strings, OR to move the second up an octave so that it becomes a ninth. Number of Half Steps 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Consonant / Dissonant Consonant Dissonant Dissonant Consonant Consonant Consonant Dissonant Consonant Consonant Consonant Dissonant Dissonant Name of Interval in Second Octave P8 + Minor 2nd P8 + Major 2nd P8 + Minor 3rd P8 + Major 3rd P8 + Perfect 4th Other Names, Symbols M9 M9 m10 M10 P11

Interval Name Minor 9th Major 9th Minor 10th Major 10th Perfect 11th Diminished 12th / Augmented 11th Perfect 12th Minor 13th Major 13th Minor 14th Major 14th Perfect 15th

P8 + Diminished 5th d12, b12, / A11, #11 P8 + Augmented 4th P8 + Perfect 5th P8 + Minor 6th P8 + Major 6th P8 + Minor 7th P8 + Major 7th P8 + Perfect Octave P12 m13 M13 M14 M14 P15

Minor and Major 9th

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Minor and Major 10th

Perfect 11th

Augmented 11th / Diminished 12th

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Perfect 12th

Minor and Major 13th

Minor and Major 14th

Perfect 15th

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Intervals: Musical Atoms
When we hear two tones of different pitches, our mind perceives that one tone is higher or lower than the other. This difference in pitch is perceived as distance between the tones. The greater the perceived distance, the larger the interval. We give these intervals names to describe them, and help us understand what is going on musically. This diagram will show graphically why there is a natural relationship between some tones, and why some tones seem more related to us than others.

How about a little experiment? Pluck the open A string on your guitar. Now imagine that the vibrations that your string produces through your soundboard, then later in your eardrum could be caught and colored blue. You would have something like the first wave line in the diagram. Any other instrument playing a tone with the same frequency (440 vibrations per second in the case of an A) would be playing in perfect unison with your instrument. While the open A string is vibrating, pluck an A on the 7th fret of the D string and color it purple. If your guitar is in tune, the upper A will vibrate exactly twice as fast as the lower A. This is like the second set of waves on the diagram. For every peak in the lower frequency, there are precisely two peaks in the upper frequency. You hear an octave, which your mind tells you is the same note... only higher. This is because your brain interprets this simplest of ratios 1:2 as a perfect octave. Next, pluck the open A string and the D string on the 2nd fret. We already established that the A is blue, so we need the E to be a different color... green. For every 2 peaks in the vibration of the lower tone, there are precisely 3 peaks 168

in the vibration of the upper tone. This ratio of 2:3 is perceived as a perfect 5th interval. Next, pluck the open A string again, and the open D string. Color the D red, and notice that for every 3 peaks in the vibration of the lower tone there are exactly 4 peaks in the vibration of the upper tone. This 3:4 ratio is perceived as a perfect 4th interval. Your awesome brain is wired to organize tones at lightning speed, and perceives some tones played together or in series to be related, and while others sound chaotic. Those tones that sound related to each other do so because of simple frequency ratios, as explained above.

Interval Summary
Intervals in the 1st Octave
Interval Name Number Frequency Consonant / of Half Ratio Dissonant Steps Perfect Unison 0 1 Consonant Minor 2nd Major 2nd Minor 3rd Major 3rd Perfect 4th 1 2 3 4 5 15:16 8:9 5:6 4:5 3:4 32:45 2:3 5:8 3:5 5:9 8:15 1:2 Dissonant Dissonant Consonant Consonant Consonant Dissonant Consonant Consonant Consonant Dissonant Dissonant Consonant Other Names, Symbols P1 m2, b2 M2, 2 m3, b3 M3, 3 P4 Name of Interval Inverted Interval in Second Name Octave Perfect Unison Perfect Octave Major 7th Minor 7th Major 6th Minor 6th Perfect 5th Minor 9th Major 9th Minor 10th Major 10th Perfect 11th

Augmented 4th / 6 Diminished 5th Perfect 5th Minor 6th Major 6th Minor 7th Major 7th 7 8 9 10 11

Augmented Diminished 5th d5, b5, A4, 11th / / #4, Tritone Diminished Augmented 4th 12th P5 m6, b6 M6, 6 m7, b7 M7, 7 P8 Perfect 4th Major 3rd Minor 3rd Major 2nd Minor 2nd Perfect Octave Perfect 12th Minor 13th Major 13th Minor 14th Major 14th Perfect 15th

Perfect Octave 12

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Interval Spellings
This chart shows the spelling of all intervals upward and downward from any starting point. This is important to know when composing music, because if you know the name of one note, then by hearing the interval, you will know the name of the next note you hear by ear. P1 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G# m2 Bbb Bb B Cb C Db D Ebb Eb E Fb F Gb G Abb Ab A M2 Bb B B# C C# D D# Eb E E# F F# G G# Ab A A# m3 Cb C C# Db D Eb E Fb F F# Gb G Ab A A Bb B M3 C C# C## D D# E E# F F# G G G# A A# Bb B B# P4 Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G# Ab A Bb B Cb C C# Au/Dm D/Ebb D#/Eb D##/E E/Fb E#/F F#/Gb F##/G G/Abb G#/Ab G##/A A/Bbb A#/Bb B/Cb B#/C C/Dbb C#/Db D##/D P5 Eb E E# F F# G G# Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# m6 Fb F F# Gb G Ab A Bbb Bb B Cb C Db D Ebb Eb E M6 F F# F## G G# A A# Bb B B# C C# D D# Eb E E# m7 Gb G G# Ab A Bb B Cb C C# Db D Eb E Fb F F# M7 G G# G## A A# B B# C Db D D D# E E# F Gb G P8 Ab A A# Bb B C C# Db D D# Eb E F F# Gb G G#

Perfect Intervals
Perfect intervals are the first intervals to master because they are the most familiar to most unseasoned ears. Most people instantly recognize an octave when they hear it.

Perfect Unison
The first interval we commit to ear and finger memory is the perfect unison. A perfect unison is the same note played twice. On a guitar, a perfect unison can

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be played melodically (one note at a time) on the same string or harmonically (two notes at the same time) on different strings.

Perfect Octave
The next interval we will commit to ear, mind and finger memory is the perfect octave. The perfect octave is 12 half steps apart on the chromatic scale and 8 notes apart on the major scale. The top note on a perfect octave vibrates exactly twice as fast as the bottom note.

A perfect octave is two notes twelve half-steps apart that have the same name. Every time you go up an octave, the strings vibrate twice as fast.

Perfect 5ths
The next interval we commit to ear and to finger memory is the Perfect 5th. This interval is present in almost every kind of scale. It is neither major nor minor. It adds stability and power to the chord. When playing two root notes and two fifth notes in two octaves, this chord is called stacked 5ths, and is one of the most powerful chords in rock music.

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The ear when it hears a perfect fifth naturally gravitates to the root note, and the fifth adds strength, stability and power to that root.

Church songs sung by medieval monks used perfect 5ths as harmony, because being "perfect" was what godly music was all about. Other kinds of harmony were forbidden in medieval church music because they were seen as pagan at the time.

Perfect 4ths
The next interval we commit to ear and finger memory is the Perfect 4th. This interval is the inversion of a perfect 5th, and like the perfect 5th can add power and stability to chords. It is easy to confuse a perfect 4th with a perfect 5th, because when the ear hears a perfect 4th, it tends to want to hear the top note as the root, then gravitate down a perfect 5th.

Guitar strings are tuned in perfect 4ths from each other. E - A is a perfect 4th, A D is a perfect 4th, D - G is a perfect 4th, G - B is a major 3rd. It is this tuning that we owe our ability to play so many chords within a 4 or 5-fret span. The EADGBE tuning places the majority of the good-sounding notes in close proximity to each other on different strings so that we can easily reach them with our fingers.

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Consonant Intervals
Most two-part vocal harmonies in Western music are performed in major and minor thirds. Because they sound familiar to us is why we will commit them next to ear and finger memory. The tricky part of learning major and minor 3rds is when used together in harmony, sometimes the ear confuses them, and we don't know which is major and minor. We should be able to quickly distinguish between the major and minor 3rd intervals before moving on to other intervals.

Major and minor 3rds
A major 3rd is what makes a major chord sound major, and a minor 3rd is what a minor chord owes its minor sound to.

Major and Minor 6ths
The Major 6th has a close relationship with the minor 3rd, because in fact it is the inverse of the minor 3rd. In other words, a major 6th down from a tonic note is an octave below the minor 3rd above the same tonic note. For this reason, the ear is sometimes confused as to whether the 6th is minor or major.

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In orchestral music, the French Horns often are those playing harmony in major and minor 6ths down from the melody.

Dissonant Intervals
These intervals are closest to the tonic note and have greatest propensity to make the ear want to resolve to the tonic note. Dissonant in musical terms means full of energy or tension.

Major and Minor 2nds
These intervals almost always have a strong emotional pull downward to the tonic note. In guitar they are so close to the tonic note on the same string that they lend themselves to trilling (rapid hammering on and pulling off with the left hand) to add heat and energy to the root note.

Major and Minor 7ths
These intervals have a strong pull upward to the tonic note, and this is their primary function in music... to lead the listener home. In fact, the 7th interval is what gives the V chord (from the harmonic scale) its dominant characteristic, which tells the listener that the next chord is a I chord (also from the harmonic scale).

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The Devil's Tone: Augmented 4ths/Diminished 5ths
The Augmented 4th or Diminished 5th interval sounds so strange to our ears, that even though it exists, it is only used sparingly. When it is summoned forth, it can have a surprising or stunning effect on the listener, causing the audience to lose their musical bearing, if only for a moment. It does this because the mind cannot easily perceive which direction they are going relative to home. If dwelt on too long, can erase the notion of home base from the listener's mind. The effect is musical vertigo.

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Intro to Major Scale Modes
Major scale modes are simply scales within the major scale. Scale modes created by playing the notes within the parent scale but starting and ending on different notes of the parent scale. For example: DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA - TI - DO represents the major scale which is the parent scale for all the modes. By shifting the tonality up each of the steps in this scale we get the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA - TI - DO : Ionian RE - MI - FA - SO - LA - TI - DO - RE : Dorian MI - FA - SO - LA - TI - DO - RE - MI : Phrygian FA - SO - LA - TI - DO - RE - MI - FA : Lydian SO - LA - TI - DO - RE - MI - FA - SO : Mixolydian LA - TI - DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA : Aeolian TI - DO - RE - MI - FA - SO - LA - TI : Locrian

Even though each mode uses the exact same notes as all the other modes, we perceive a great difference between them because the intervals are assembled in a different order. How are Modes Used? Modes are usually used in one of 3 ways:
• • •

When soloing over diatonic major and minor chord progressions When soloing over modal progressions As substitutes for major and minor scales

This lesson discusses the first bullet:

I. Soloing over diatonic major and minor chord progressions
Each mode in the major scale corresponds to a chord in the major harmonic scale. Chord Number I Chord II Chord III Chord Chord Examples Key of C CM , CM6 Dm , Dm6 CM7 Dm7 Corresponding Scale Mode C Ionian D Dorian E Phrygian

in , ,

Em , Em7

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IV Chord V Chord VI Chord

FM , FM7 , FM6 F Lydian GM , G7 G Mixolydian Am , Am7 , Am6 A Aeolian B Locrian

VII Chord Bo , Bm7b5

Diatonic chord progressions are built upon harmonic scale for the key in which the song is written. All the notes in all of the chords are common to the major scale in that key, and so the scale selection with the least amount of risk is the scale that fits perfectly over the chord being played. Let's have a look at each of the modes corresponding to the relative chord in the harmonic scale in the key of C. In the charts below, the white dots are the starting and ending points of each scale. The bright blue dots are the anchor notes, or the root of the C, in this case.

Ionian Mode
The Ionian mode fits exactly over the I chord in the harmonic scale.

Dorian Mode
The Dorian mode fits exactly over the ii chord in the harmonic scale.

Phrygian Mode
The Phrygian mode fits exactly over the iii chord in the harmonic scale.

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Lydian Mode
The Lydian mode fits exactly over the IV chord in the harmonic scale.

Mixolydian Mode
The Mixolydian mode fits exactly over the V chord in the harmonic scale.

Aeolian Mode
The Aeolian mode fits exactly over the vi chord in the harmonic scale.

Locrian Mode
The Locrian mode fits exactly over the vii chord in the harmonic scale.

Tom Kolb has been an instructor at Musician's Institute after graduating with honors and receiving Student of the Year in 1989. Tom has played over 4,000 gigs in the US and Europe, and has done copious studio work with major artists, as well as playing in his own band. The trouble with learning scale modes is that teachers either don't know modes well themselves, or maybe they do, but don't know how to teach them. Tom has

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taught modes to hundreds of students, and now has a book with a CD that helps you get scale modes into your playing as soon as possible.

Nashville Numbering System Adapted for Black Belt Guitar
The lion's share of hit music coming out of Nashville (Austin, L.A., New York, Melbourne, Seattle, Liverpoole or anywhere on earth with a radio is diatonic, or based on the major scale. The same is true of most pop, rock, folk, country, bluegrass and classical music. We should point out a few differences in the notation we use vs. the Nashville Numbering system, but other than the way we write it, the sound and the theory are the same. The Nashville system uses Arabic numbers:(i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4) to number their chords. We use Roman numerals (i.e. I, ii, iii, IV) to number ours. The Nashville system assumes all chord numbers to be major, unless otherwise noted (i.e. min, dim, etc.). We use upper and lower case to indicate the chord type. If the chord type is extended, Nashville writes is as 5(7), and we write it as V7. Remember that the only difference is the way the chords are written, otherwise, we speak exactly the same language here as in Nashville. The 7-pointed star is our visual method to help you organize the harmonic scale in each key in a practical and useful way. On the star, you see how each of the points of the star is separated by some kind of 5th. You also see easily the clumping of major and minor chords in blue and red, respectively, and you will later see how to navigate around the points in the star to take your listeners where you want them to go musically. What you learn right here will be the basis for describing almost all progressions in all your in future lessons pertaining to chord changes. For examble, when we talk about a ii - V - I progression in the key of Am, you'll know exactly what we are talking about, and be able to hear the sound of a ii - V - I in your head, at the same time your fingers know what chords to play. Since you'll also know the viable substitute chords for each position, you'll also have the ability to flavor your renditions in any way you like, without sacrificing musicality. Later on, the goal is to get the sounds and relative positions of each of these chords in your head, so there is no to need for these pictures as a crutch.

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How to Draw Your Own 7-Pointed Star
The best way to internalize this stuff is to draw it for your self. This makes what you learn "sticky", or harder to forget. You will do this 12 times, or once for each key. By then you should have it down pretty well.

Draw the 7 Points and the Yin Yang
Start by drawing a 7-pointed star like so:

Number the Points
Add the Roman numerals I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - viio onto each point, starting with the second point on the right, and going counter-clockwise skipping every other point, like so:

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This arranges each chord in the scale so that going clockwise, the adjacent points are a 5th apart. In most cases the chords are a perfect 5th apart, but the IV to the viio chords are a diminished 5th apart.

Add Key Names and Base Chord Names
Now that we have a generic pointed star, we need to make it key-specific. In the Yang (blue) space, label the name of the major key, and in the yin (red) space, label the name of the parallel minor key. Then, list the names of the base chords of the harmonic scale, corresponding to the key signature in the yin/yang.

Adding Substitute Chords
In the chart below, we list each of those degrees with a Roman numeral (I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - viio), which is a very practical short hand for the chord that should be memorized. Here we will add colors to help in the memorization. Blue is major (1 - 3 - 5), Red is minor (1 - m3 - 5), and Violet is Half-Diminished (1 - m3 d5). The table to the right of each star is a list of the common chord name and popular substitutes for each chord. These substitute chords will allow you to inject more color and variety into their playing, while still remaining mostly diatonic. The first row is the name of the triads in the harmonic scale, the second row is the name of the 7th chords, and the third row is some more chords that can be used interchangeably in the I, iii, IV and viio spots for additional color, without losing the function of the chord.

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Key of C Major / A Minor
I C CM7 C6 ii Dm Dm7 iii Em Em7 E7 IV F FM7 F6 V G vi Am viio Bo7 Bo7 Bm/5+

G7 Am7

Exercises:
Your homework is to construct a table like the one above for each of the 12 keys. Namely, C/Am, Db/Bbm, D/Bm, Eb/Cm, E/C#m, F/Dm, Gb/Ebm, G/Em, Ab/Fm, A/F#m, Bb/Gm, B/G#m. The answers to your homework assignment are on the next page, but we encourage you not to print that page, since it will rob you of the opportunity of constructing it for yourself, which will lengthen the time it takes to learn it and eventually throw it away. A Better way to check your work is to play the chords on your guitar, and if it sounds right... chances are it is right. There are 3 enharmonic keys (same notes as other keys but use different names), which you can do as extra credit if you would like. These are C#/A#m (same notes as Db/Bbm), F#/D#m (same notes as Gb/Ebm), and Cb/Abm (same notes as B/G#m).

Reading Music for Guitar: Pegging Notes to Fretboard
This graphic will help you visually tie the notes on paper to the notes on your fretboard. The dots on the fretboard are the different notes, and the size of the dot corresponds to the octave in which the note resides.

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Scale Modes as Substitutes for Major and Minor
How are Modes Used? Modes are usually used in one of 3 ways:
• • •

When soloing over diatonic major and minor chord progressions When soloing over modal progressions As substitutes for major and minor scales

This lesson discusses the second and third bullets in the list.

II. Soloing over modal chord progressions
Soloing over modal progressions is a little more fluid sounding than soloing over major or minor progressions, but that is only because with major or minor, we can usually find our way home when we get lost because those progressions are so much more familiar to us. Modal progressions are the same as harmonic major and minor progressions, except that the starting and ending notes are different. Modal progressions are written in the same key as their parent scale, so the chord names are the same as the major scale, and have the same number of sharps or flats as the parent scale. With modal progressions, we have to pay a little more attention to the chords in the progression itself, but the basic rules are the same: play the mode that fits the chord in the progression.

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III. Scale Modes as substitutes for major and minor scales
The major scale modes fall into one of two categories: Major or Minor. This is dictated by the major or minor 3rd in the scale, which casts a spell over the rest of the notes in the scale, making the whole scale sound major or minor. Major Modes Ionian Lydian Mixolydian Scale Minor Scale Modes Aeolian Dorian Phrygian Locrian Scale modes within the major or minor categories can be called upon to make the piece of music more interesting, or to color the scale for a particular effect.

Ionian Mode
The Ionian scale is the most familiar of all the scales, since we have heard almost daily since birth. It has a happy effect upon us. It is major by virtue of the major 3rd, and the distinguishing degree is the major 7th, which has a strong tendency to pull the ear up a half step to the root or home or key note.

Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions

Values 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 W-W-W-H-W-W-W Major M7 M , M7 , M6 I-IV-V , II-V-I , I-VI-IV-V , I-III-IV-I , I-IV-I , I-V-I

Lydian Mode
The lydian mode is an airy, floating kind of major scale. The augmented 4th degree makes the listener a little unsure whether the direction of the phrase is towards or away from the tonic.

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Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions

Values 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7 W-W-W-H-W-W-H Major #4 M , M7 , M6 I-II , I-II-VII , I-VII , I-III-VII

Mixolydian Mode
The mixolydian mode is a major mode with a slightly funky sound, owing to the dominant or minor 7th degree. Funk and blues players should be very familiar with this scale.

Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions

Values 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7 W-W-H-W-W-H-W Major m7 M,7 I-VII , I-VII-IV , I-Vm , I-IV , I-VI-VIIm

Aeolian Mode
The aeolian mode is a staight-forward minor scale. It is the backbone for all minor playing, and the other minor modes are a slight departure from this scale.

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Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions

Values 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 W-H-W-W-H-W-W Minor m6 m , m7 , m6 Im-bVII-bVI , Im-IVm , Im-Vm , Im-bIII-bVII

Dorian Mode
The Dorian mode is a minor scale whose overall feel and flavor is minor, but it is softened slightly by the use of the major 6th, instead of the minor 6th. It is a favorite scale in the music of Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a few.

Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords

Values 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 W-H-W-W-W-H-W Minor M6 m , m7 , m6

Good with Progressions Im-IV , Im-IIm , Im-bIII-IV , Im-Vm-VI-Im , Im-IIm-bIII-Im

Phrygian Mode
The phrygian mode is a very exotic-sounding minor scale owing to the minor 2nd. You hear this scale often in flamenco music and metal shred music.

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Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords

Values 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 H-W-W-W-H-W-W Minor m2 m , m7

Good with Progressions Im-bII , Im-bIII-bII , Im-bVIIm , Im-bII-bVIIm

Locrian Mode
The locrian mode is a minor mode with a very eccentric feel. It has both a minor 2nd and a diminished 5th. This is a "surprise" scale that you can use in some phasing to add variety to blues or pentatonic playing.

Attributes Scale Formula Step Construction Major or Minor Distinguishing Degree Good over Chords Good with Progressions

Values 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7 H-W-W-H-W-W-W Minor m2,d5 o , dim , m7b5 Io-bII , Im7b5-IVm7 , Im7b5-bVIIm7

Tom Kolb has been an instructor at Musician's Institute after graduating with honors and receiving Student of the Year in 1989. Tom has played over 4,000 gigs in the US and Europe, and has done copious studio work with major artists, as well as playing in his own band. The trouble with learning scale modes is that teachers either don't know modes well themselves, or maybe they do, but don't know how to teach them. Tom has

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taught modes to hundreds of students, and now has a book with a CD that helps you get scale modes into your playing as soon as possible.

The Never Ending Circle of 5ths
Early in the 18th Century (1728 to be exact), German composer Johann David Heinichen came up with a 12-pointed circle known around the world today as the Circle of 5ths. This very useful tool is at the core of much music theory, because it explains so much with so little space.

Key Aspects of Music Theory Explained by the Circle of 5ths

• • • • •

Every major key in the circle has a corresponding minor key in the inner circle, known as the relative minor key. The relative major and minor keys are related to each other, because they share the same key signature, as well as the same notes in their scales. The only difference being the emphasis on the notes played make the scales sound either major or minor when played. C/Am are one example. Every major key is strongly related to the adjacent major keys in the outer circle by a perfect 5th interval. A perfect 5th up, going clockwise, and a perfect 5th down, going counterclockwise. A perfect 5th up from the key note (one click clockwise) is known as the dominant key. A perfect 5th down from the key note (one click counterclockwise) is known as the subdominant key. Going clockwise, you either lose a flat, or gain a sharp with each point in the circle from where you started. Going counterclockwise, you either lose a sharp or gain a flat with each point in the circle from where you started. The gain or loss of a single sharp or flat accounts for the adjacent keys in the circle sounding more related than the keys located on points further away from the origin. This is important knowledge to have when composing songs that modulate between keys. (More on modulation in a separate lesson). The three sets of keys on the bottom of the circle share the same tones but different key signatures. These are known as enharmonic keys, which literally means that they share the same sound, inspite of their different key signatures. An example of an enharmonic key would be F# and Gb. all of the above points are true both in the major keys (outer circle) and the minor keys (inner circle).

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In the table below, spend some time memorizing the key signature on the left, and then on your guitar, play and sing the major and minor scale notes, visually pegging the notes to the staff on the left. Key Signature Key Name C Major A Minor Major Scale Notes Minor Scale Notes

C-D-E-F-G-A-B

A-B-C-D-E-F-G

G Major E Minor

G - A - B - C - D - E - F#

E - F# - G - A - B - C - D

D Major B Minor

D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# B - C# - D - E - F# - G - A

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A Major A - B - C# - D - E - F# F# Minor G#

F# - G# - A - B - C# - D E

E Major E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A C# Minor D# -B B Major B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E - F# G# Minor - A#

Cb Major Cb - Db - Eb - Fb - Gb Ab Minor Ab - Bb F# Major F# - G# - A# - B - C# D# Minor D# - E#

Ab - Bb - Cb - Db - Eb Fb - Gb D# - E# - F# - G# - A# - B - C#

Gb Major Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb - Db Eb Minor Eb - F C# Major C# - D# - E# - F# - G# A# Minor A# - B#

Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb - Db A# - B# - C# - D# - E# F# - G#

Db Major Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - Gb Bb Minor - C - Ab Ab Major Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db F Minor G Eb

Eb Major Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab C Minor D Bb

Bb Major Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G - A G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F G Minor

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F Major D Minor

F - G - A - Bb - C - D - E

D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C

Limitations of the Circle of 5ths
For all the utility of the Circle of 5ths, there are some very important things that it is not designed to do:

Once a key is established, the Circle of 5ths does not explain or help analyze chord progressions within a key. (In other words, what chords in the Key of C sound good together). When modulating between keys, the Circle of 5ths does not help you find a graceful pivot chord to bridge the jump between keys.

For chord work within a key, or between keys, the Nashville Numbering System works much better (more on this in a separate lesson).

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Brown Belt: Level 7 Guitar Lessons
Improve Your Solos with Drones and Pedal Notes
No matter how fast you can play, no matter how technically brilliant your fretwork, unless you build good melody into your lead playing, you will quickly lose your audience. This lesson will show you how you can use droning and pedal notes for solo practice to help your sharpen your melodic sensibilities and make your solo and lead playing more interesting and emotionally compelling.
Category: Brown Belt: Licks Subcategory: Lead Published on: 21 May 2004

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Learning to Play Leads Using the Vector Method
Having trouble hearing all those fast notes from your favorite players? Try the techniques in this lesson to help you dissect and interpret the most elaborate and lively leads. Learn to make the leads uniquely your own, while preserving the essence of the original artist.
Category: Brown Belt: Licks Subcategory: Lead Published on: 21 May 2004

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Overtones and Natural Harmonics
This lesson will show where natural guitar harmonics are found on your guitar, and how to avoid unwanted harmonic feedback. You'll learn enough practical theory and observations to understand harmonics.
Category: Brown Belt: Theory Subcategory: Harmonics Published on: 21 Apr 2004

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Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

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Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

Read More ..

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Improve Your Solos with Drones and Pedal Notes
What if you were asked to were asked to play a guitar solo act where you had to play for 10 solid minuteswhile your band goes below for some R & R. Would you be able to keep your audience's interest that long? Would you be able to lead your audience through an experience that they will remember positively? Would your band rejoin you just when the audience is roaring their approval? Or would you flame out and self-destruct becauseyour solos really go nowhere interesting, and you are staring into a sea of yawns? The difference is in the melody, your understanding of good melody, and how it influences your audience. Good melody is a sense you should over-develop. This will set your original playing apart from thecrowd of lead players, even if your speed and flashy playing only comes in bursts.

How Droning Can Help
Droning is a single note or chord sustained for a very long time. Think of the sound of your car engine droning through the desert highways of Arizona. The next time you are in your car driving down the freeway, try humming in unison with your car engine and wheels. Once you find you are in perfect unison, try humming an original melody that works over the sound of your car. Through trial and error, you will eventually learn what works and what doesn't. You might find that you are more melodic singing than playing guitar. This is because you can focus on the melody without letting technical aspects of an instrument get in the way. Establishing a drone and playing melody on top is an excellent exercise for guitar as well. I you have an A/B switch with delay effect, play a single note or chord on infinite delay through your A channel, then switch to your B channel to start plucking out melodies, licks, lines and voicings top of the drone you have created. If you don't have all this equipment, just play with in the key of E or A, using the open string as a drone. Using the remaining strings, work out melodies, licks, lines and voicings that are powerful and compelling.Only re-attack the open string as required to help sustain the droning note so you can play melody over the top.

Pedal Notes
Pedal notes play a role similar to drones, except that the notes are attacked at a constant repeating rate. Pedal notes can be played alternately with notes in the melody, as in Flamenco classics Malaguena and Leyenda de Asturias.

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How It Works
You've seen this picture before, but practicing over droning can help you internalize the theory here and make it work from a gut level. The drone note is the tonic, or I note in the scale that you happen to be playing in. By playing notes relative to the tonic, you begin to recognize how notes other than the tonic create a sense of tension or resolve to the tonic or a neighboring note. Don't memorize this picture. Instead, learn to feel the tension and resolve of the notes, and evaluate that pull and direction from an emotionallevel:

Droning and pedal note techniques are not only fun to play, they forces your to play a melody that works with or against the tonic. These exercises will accentuate what works and what doesn't. See, when itsounds good, it sounds really good, and when its bad, it sounds really bad. These exercises will accelerate the rate at which your ear improves. Some of the best guitar solo acts use a simple but powerful tool to create their own accompaniment while they solo away. Steve Morse, Eric Johnson and Jeff Beck use droning on a loop to accompany their solos very effectively in live shows.

Learning to Play Leads Using the Vector Method
The in mathematics, the definition of "Vector" is "representation of a quantity having both magnitude and direction". In lead playing, a certain quantity and variety of notes are selected and intersect with rhythmic patterns to create the illusion of both magnitude and direction.

How to Listen for the Vector Points
As you study your favorite lead guitarists, learn to listen critically to the passage in the following manner:

Listen to the first and last notes of the lead first. These are the starting and ending points where you will need to also be.

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Next, listen for the vector, or pivot notes that indicate accents or changes in direction at various times between the starting and ending points on the lead (vector notes very often occur on the strong beat of each measure). Play only the vector notes several times through as you listen to the original artist. This will get you playing the important notes with the important accents in time with the original artist, in much less time than if you just start at the beginning of the lead and plow through to the end. Finally, listen for all the connecting notes between the pivot notes, and play along from pivot to pivot note repeatedly until you are quite comfortable before moving on. If you miss one or two of the in-between notes, it still sounds good as long as you keep the time and play cleanly.

We call this approach the "Vector Technique", because it keeps you focused on the important notes and pivotal notes at the end of musical phrases. Kinda like the Karate Kin on Plum Poles, you see here to remind that it's more important to hit the right notes in time to get back home, than to hit every note.

Overtones and Natural Harmonics
This lesson has presents a very cool and unique quality of the guitar as an instrument, namely its your ability to play harmonics on the guitar. Harmonics are produced any time you strike the string of a guitar, but you don't always hear them, because they are naturally occuring overtones, or tones on top of the loud fundamental tone you hear. To briefly review what you learned in your lessons on major scales and intervals, the fundamental tone is the tone the string produces when the entire length of the open or fretted string vibrates. If you touch the vibrating string lightly at certain points, you dampen the fundamental tone, allowing a softer overtone to be heard. There are an infinite number of points along the string, each producing an overtone, but the loudest and most recognizable overtones correspond to points which divide the vibrating string into equal lengths. The smaller the equal length, the softer the overtone. As you study this picture, here are some observations that will help you rembember where the loudest natural harmonic points are along any given string:
• • • • • • •

Half of the string length is an octave above the fundamental. One-quarter string length is two octaves above the fundamental. One-eighth string length is three octaves above the fundamental... and so on, ad infinitum. One-third string length is a perfect 5th above the first octave. One-fifth string length is a major 3rd above the second octave. One-sixth string length is a perfect 5th above the second octave. One-seventh string length is a minor 7th above the second octave.

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Also, in the picture, take note of the similar colors, corresponding to notes in the chromatic scale, as well as the size of the dots, corresponding to the relative strength of the harmonic tone.

The diagram does not show harmonics above the 12th fret, but they do exist there, in reverse order. Learn the ratios, and play them above the 12th fret as well.

Not All Guitars Created Equally
Some guitars project harmonic overtones more ably than others. If you are using an acoustic top guitar, a thin solid-top model will project louder than a thicker plywood top. If you are using an electric guitar, a hot bridge pickup will detect and amplify harmonics more than a warm jazz neck pickup. Some pickup models are especially built to maximize the effect of harmonics, riding the airwaves on high distortion and volume.

Problems with Natural Harmonic
Natural harmonics are can be very cool, but also problematic if not tamed. Because harmonics arise from touching the string at certain points when vibrating, they can happen accidentally when your left or right hand changes position and touches adjacent strings in those ticklish places. Harmonics can also occur in the form of feedback, when playing loudly, your strings can naturally resonate with its own frequency coming through the amplifier or from other instruments. For this reason, muting with the left and right hand is the antidote to feedback and unwanted harmonic noise. Learn the harmonic points on the guitar also to know what not to play, accidentally.

Who Uses Harmonics?
This list of players is by no means exhaustive, but you might have heard of them: Eddie Van Halen, Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Liona Boyd, Andy Summers, Adrian Legg, John Williams, Andres Segovia, Fernando 197

Sor, Joe Satriani, David Gilmour to name a few. You can add your name to this list of creative virtuosos.

Other Uses for Natural Harmonics
Natural harmonics are a good way to tune a guitar with itself. Playing the same harmonic tone or octave on two vibrating strings at once will allow to you fine tune your guitar. If you cannot get open string tuning and harmonic tuning to sound reasonably in tune on your axe, you might need to take it in to your local luthier for adjustment.

Exercises
Don't try to absorb this picture all at once. Break it down into small digestible pieces, such as:
• • •

Pick a string and learn the harmonics names up and down the string, one string at a time. Pick a fret and learn the harmonic names across all strings one fret at a time. Pick a note and learn the position of that note everywhere on the fretboard.

The harmonics on the fretboard are learned by repetition. Here are a few useful ideas:

• • • •

When you do have your guitar with you (and nobody is around to make fun of you) sing the names of the harmonics as you play them. This makes the learning "sticky", and you will internalize it much more quickly than by playing alone. Look for and visualize patterns, and play those patterns as you discover them. Learn the note locations relative to the inlays (dots) and frets of the guitar neck. When you can't have your guitar with you, quiz yourself by drawing the fretboard on a piece of paper. A little bit every day is better than a lot at once. Don't try to cram for your test. Just make a point of knowing your stuff, and when you realize that you might have some fuzzy areas that need sharpening, just revisit them and you'll see that a little attention will quickly fix them.

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Black Belt: Level 8 Guitar Lessons
Guitar Teaching Basics to Remember
Anyone can call themselves a guitar teacher, and even charge money for it, but most students are smart enough to figure out after a while whether they are learning anything from you. So this lesson will give teachers some basics to remember.
Category: Guitar Teaching Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Guitar Teaching Do's and Don'ts
Here is a brief list of do's and dont's that can help make or break a guitar teacher in the minds of their students.
Category: Guitar Teaching Subcategory: Published on: 09 Oct 2003

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Musical Vitamins for Guitar Players
To always be ready for peak performance, we need to be sharp and at our best physically, mentally and spiritually. This lesson will give us a complete list of musical Vitamins, that when taken in recommended doses will help us to enable us to absorb the music we ingest, process it, and derive energy from it. Musical vitamins also help us grow, stave off disease that can afflict musicians and heal ourselves musically.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

Read More ...

Ongoing Growth: Horizontally and Vertically
A black belt guitar player should be both wide and deep, as explained in the sections below. Also the black belt guitar player should be continually expanding both horizontally and vertically. This lesson has a few ideas to keep you growing and make you a wider and deeper player.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

Read More ...

Set Management: A Must-Have in Performing
Even when you have learned 1000 songs, and have achieved superstar status... the most you'll ever be able to play for an audience in one concert is about 20. Most gigs we play while coming up through the ranks are much shorter, so what you don't play is as important as what you do play. This lesson will help you polish your performances to knock the socks off your audience.
Category: General Subcategory: Peak Performance Published on: 09 Oct 2003

Read More ...

199

The Essence and Importance of Flow
Listening to music, we hardly notice how music flows from one measure or from one phrase or section to the next. But playing flowing music requires many months of study and training. Developing timing and flow cannot be rushed any more in music than in learning a new language. It takes time, effort, practice, trials, errors and reinforcement and celebration of successes.
Category: General Subcategory: Wednesday Published on: 26 Jan 2005

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The Way of the Black Belt is One Eternal Round
At the end of our journey, we find ourselves again at the beginning. This lesson will give you a tangible experience of the distance you have traveled to this point, and also a humbling way to keep you connected with those you teach.
Category: Black Belt Subcategory: Martial Arts Published on: 05 May 2004

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Want to Turbocharge your Guitar Learning Abilities?
Effective Learning habits and methods can teach you how to transform any idle time into quality practice time whether you have your guitar or not. This reference will teach you how to effectively learn to play your instrument... even when you don't have your instrument with you. You can potentially be learning to play guitar 24 hours a week, even if you only have a guitar in hand for 5 or 6 hours a week.
Category: General Subcategory: Learning Published on: 13 Oct 2003

Read More ...

Your Attention Channels
This lesson gives some ideas that help to boost concentration. By gaining total control over our ability to concentrate, we open the physical, mental and physical channels that allow music to flow freely.
Category: General Subcategory: Concentration Published on: 06 Jul 2004

Read More

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Guitar Teaching Basics to Remember
You Can Be a Teacher
If you are not a teacher, don't be afraid to contemplate it. If you know that you like teaching, and want to be a teacher, all that is required to be an effective teacher is that you are effective at helping your students learn what they want to learn. You are not required to know everything. Even if you could know everything, your students could not absorb it as fast as you could spew it out. This gives rise to a division of responsibilities between the teacher and the Student:

Student Responsibilities:
• • • • •

The student must know what he or she wants to learn The student must find and qualify a teacher that will teach what he or she wants to learn The student must show up prepared for lessons The student must commit to practice The student must make the teacher aware of problems, difficulties, changes in goals, or other information that can help the teacher do his or her job

Teacher Responsibilities:
• • • • • •

The teacher must help the student articulate what he or she wants to learn The teacher must evaluate his or her own skills to decide if he or she can teach what the student wants to learn The teacher must outline the lessons in advance, and ask the student to agree to the outline The teacher must show up prepared for lessons, according to the agreed upon outline The teacher must commit to practice The teacher must employ good problem solving to determine why students may not be learning, and prescribe the correct remedy

You Cannot Teach Everyone
Realize that you cannot teach everyone. Not everyone is interested in knowing what you know. This is perfectly OK, and shouldn't bother you. It is your challenge to match what you know to students that want to know what you know... or... to quickly teach your self what your students want to learn. Successful teachers actually do a little of both to find and keep their students.

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Learning Cycle
Assuming that you and your students have connected, and you are clear about what they want to learn, now it is critical that you understand the learning process that all students use. Here is an important image to burn into the back of your mind:

Hearing: is the first and foremost important step in learning guitar. After all, music is a listening skill. All students of guitar should spend copious amounts of time during the week listening to the good music they want to learn. The axiom is "if you can't hear it... you can't play it". When teaching a new drill in a lesson, the teacher should play it through a time or two or three to allow the student to just listen and hear what is going on. During these brief moments, encourage your student to put their guitars down and focus on the hearing process. Seeing: is the next step. The student wants to see how you play what they have heard. Arrange your chairs so that you can easily see each other's hands. Longterm memory retention goes from about 25% to 40% when we hear and see. Doing: is the next important step with two phases: playing it together, then asking the student to play it solo. This should be repeated until the student can solo three times perfectly. Long-term memory retention shoots up from 40% to 60% when we hear, see and do. Teaching: is the final important step that ensures that a new skill is transferred securely from short-term to long-term memory. Long-term memory retention rockets from 60% to 90% when we have to teach someone else something we have learned. Allow the student to become the teacher at the end of each cycle, and repeat back to you what they have learned. As your student is teaching you, make sure your student is writing in their own words the things they are teaching. This is more effective than handing them your own notes, which are in your own words.

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This entire cycle should take no more than 5 - 10 minutes, which will allow for 3 5 cycles in a 30 minute lesson. Understanding this cycle will help you and the student keep the lesson moving forward in a productive way.

Plan for and Hold Recitals
As a teacher, one of your most important duties is to help your students plan for recitals, which you help to prepare and execute. Without this opportunity, many more drop out of your tutelage or out of guitar altogether, because all the practice seems to lead nowhere, ultimately. Remember that music is there to be shared, and help your student to do this, and even when they become better players than you are, they will thank you for this head start.

Guitar Teaching Do's and Don'ts
You can play guitar really well, but teaching has a few do's and don'ts that go beyond playing your instrument. Here are a few.

Do's
• • • • • • • • •

Interview your students to find out what they already know. Interview your students to find out what they want to learn, and how fast. Jointly agree on a structured lesson plan to help the students achieve their goals. Stick to the lessons plan. If the lesson plan needs adjusting, then adjust it together. Mix theory in with lessons in small, digestible doses. Demand that your students set goals. Demand that your students put in the time to practice. Practice what you preach. Have goals and milestones for yourself. Plan for performance opportunities. Hold recitals, concerts, blues nights or other formats that your students can prepare for with enthusiasm.

Don'ts
• • • •

Never come late or unprepared for a lesson. Never spend lesson time showing off what you know or flaunting what you've got. Save your stuff for the closing act in your recitals. Never spend valuable lesson time learning a song that your student wants to learn. Never stray from the agreed upon outline without agreeing in advance to do so.

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Never stop insisting on practice (but insist kindly, of course). It is far better that a student quit because he or she was pushed too hard, than because they were not learning enough. Never miss a day of practice yourself.

The Way of the Black Belt is One Eternal Round

The black dragon is symbolic of how far we have progressed in our journey to acquire knowledge, wisdom, skills and experience. The image of the dragon swallowing its tail is a reminder that we are ever learning and improving, refining, creating, and re-recreating ourselves musically. As proof of how far you've come, take your guitar in your hands and note how comfortable it feels. Feel the potential of the music you can make with it. Feel the connection between your flesh, and the wood and steel. Feel the flowing inner connection between your mind, ear, spirit, and body. Allow all the memories of the struggles with your journey to flash before your eyes in a moment.

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Play your signature song in your signature style. Crank the tempo up a notch or two, and let your spirit soar, and bask a little in your accomplishment.

Flash Back to the Beginning of Your Journey
Now, turn it all around... I mean literally turn your guitar around so that your neck is pointing opposite the usual direction. In this position, try to pluck out the simplest of tunes or finger some of the first chords you learned... It's tough, ain't it! It's the same instrument, but you can't play it worth a darn. This rather strange and awkward exercise is designed to bring you back to the painful beginnings you went through to get here, and highlight the distance traveled, but there is a more important and honorable reason for doing this exercise:

Good Teachers Remember Their Beginnings
The other important benefit of this exercise is to make you a better teacher, because this is exactly how your beginning students feel every day! With your guitar reversed, use your great knowledge of the guitar to teach yourself a few lessons. Don't be surprised if you come off sounding a little ridiculous as your own teacher. It will become crystal clear to you how effective your teaching is because you'll have to break the guitar down into very simple and digestable chunks, and learn patience with yourself at the same time. Of course, we are not recommending you master switch-hitting this way, but it is useful to remind ourselves occasionally of our beginnings.

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Guitar, Music and Martial Arts Glossary
[all]

Term Accelerando Accent Action

Definition Musical notation for gradually increasing the tempo. Emphasis placed on a note. The height of the strings above the fretboard. The strings can be raised or lowered by adjusting the bridge up or down to make the strings comfortably close to the frets without producing undesirable "buzz". 54-56 beats per minute. Leisurely. The 6th mode of the major scale, corresponding to the VI chord, and synonymous with the minor scale. 96-108 beats per minute. Less quickly than Allegro. 112-116 beats per minute. Quick, lively. The relative distance between the peak and trough of an energy wave, in the case of music a sound wave. The greater the amplitude, the greater the energy or volume of the sound. 58-63 beats per minute. Leisurely. 64-72 beats per minute. Slightly faster than Andante. A chord played one note at a time. Musical sections or songs lacking a tonal center, or a home base. Unless skillfully and sparingly used, atonal music is confusing and hard to distinguish from music played by experimental animals. 1) The strength of the strike of the pick against the string. May be sharp or soft for effect. 2) An agressive approach for playing a rift or song with a focus on execution. A sub division of time in music, identified in tablature and standard notation by different kinds of vertical lines. A type of music born in Europe between 1600 and 1750. Baroque is known for its emphasis on shifting harmony, interweaving melody and overall balance and beauty. Steve Morse is a modern connoisseur of Baroque music arranged for guitar. A form of country music that combines the gospel-influenced songs of the Blue Ridge Mountain region with folk melodies. Bluegrass instruments generally include guitars, fiddles, banjos and mandolins. Music evolved from southern black music and usually

Adagio Aeolian Allegretto Allegro Amplitude

Andante Andantino Arpeggio Atonal

Attack

Bar Baroque

Bluegrass

Blues

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characterized by slow tempo and flatted thirds and sevenths. Blues influenced the development of rock, rhythm and blues and country music. Bridge 1) The connective part of a musical composition, or the "B" section of AABA song form. 2) The part of the guitar that raises the base of the strings from the guitar body. The resolution at the end of a phrase in music. A cadence can be melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic in nature. A cadence in music is analogous to punctuation in language. Musical question and answer pattern where the lead calls out on their instrument and the other group members respond. A special clamp that fits across the strings of a guitar on the neck to move the key up or down while the player plays mostly open chords. To have "teeth" or great technique or style with your instrument. Three or more notes played harmonically together. A IV - I Progression at the end of a musical phrase. Also known as a Plagal cadence. Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian diatonic-order scales, dominated by the Ionian mode (major scale) and the Aeolean mode (natural minor scale). A concluding section of a musical composition. Two intervals that add up to an octave (twelve semitones). The internationally agreed upon frequency of 440Hz for the A note above the middle C. Absence of tension or discord in music. Think of a lullaby or nursery tune. Combining melodic lines to create a polyphonic texture. One of Steve Morse's favorite studies. Gradually get louder. A V - VI progression at the end of a phrase. Deceptive in nature because our musical brain anticipates a V - I cadence, but the VI comes as a last-second surprise. Gradually getting softer. Tones based on a 7-note scale, predominantly the major or minor scale. Diatonic songs use chords and scales that very strictly adhere to the notes in the major or minor scales with very little deviation. The tones of the major or minor scale. The first tone in the major scale. The 2nd mode of the major scale, corresponding to the II chord, and classified as a minor mode. Two vertical lines which show the end of a section or piece of

Cadence

Call and Response Capo

Chops Chord Church Cadence Church Modes

Coda Complementary Intervals Concert A Consonance Counterpoint Crescendo Deceptive Cadence

Decrescendo Diatonic

Diatonic Do Dorian Double Bar

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music. Down Stroke Drone Eighth Beat Ensemble Fake Book Right hand movement from top to bottom. A long sustained note played throughout a section or piece of music. The most obvious example is a bagpipe. A beat half as long in time as a quarter beat. In 4/4 time, there are eight eighth beats to a measure. 1) A group of musicians performing together. 2) The quality of togetherness in any of the performing arts. A fake book contains songs written in a concise format that includes only the melody and chords, letting you interpret the song's performance as you feel is appropriate. This is great for quickly learning songs by yourself or with an ensemble. The sound produced by a humbucker pickup as compared with a single coil pickup. Right hand technique using some or all your right hand fingers, instead of a pick. The accidental (b) that lowers a pitch by one semitone. Simple music that speaks of everyday things, an early form of popular music. Musical structure, incorporating elements of repetition and contrast, unity, and variety. Musical symbol for loud (f). Musical symbol for very loud (ff). A polyphonic composition consisting of a series of successive melody imitations. Typically composed for organ music. A V - I Progression at the end of a musical phrase. Guitar manufacturer famous for the Les Paul, Flying V, SG and ES series electric guitars. 40-44 beats per minute. Very slow and solemn. A sub-genre of rock relying on distorted guitars, and whining vocals. Born in Seattle, grunge was pioneered by Nirvana and Alice in Chains. An element of Yin or Um: Hap is the combining or gathering. In order to create something, one must know all of its fundamental parts. Then, one can vary the combinations in order to create functionally different objects. In the combinations of things, one must maintain the concepts of efficiency, maximizing energy with minimal force. Two or more notes played simultaneously. The top of the guitar neck which houses the machine heads. A sub-genre of rock known for fast grating guitar, phrygian scales, and dark lyrics about human angst. Black Sabbath from the old school and Metallica is the current torch-bearer.

Fat Fingerstyle Flat Folk Form Forte Fortissimo Fugue Full Cadence Gibson Grave Grunge

Hap

Harmony Headstock Heavy Metal

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Humbucker

Electric guitar pickups having two magnetic coils wound in opposite directions in order to cancel the 60Mhz "hum" generated by many single-coil pickups. Humbuckers typically produce a thicker, warmer sound than single coil pickups. An interval is the distance between two notes and is measured in whole or half steps. An understanding of intervals is required in order to understand any discussion of melody or harmony. Intervals played sequentially create melody, intervals played simultaneously create harmony. Intervals are classified as either perfect, major or minor. The 1st mode of the major scale, corresponding to the I chord, and synonymous with the major scale. Music born in the early 20th century from African rhythms and slave chants. From its African-American roots has spread around the globe. Jazz evolved from early ensemble improvisation to big band swing to the soloing brilliance of be-bop to brittle atonality and back to its current expression of melody and harmony. An element of Yang: Kak is the concept of angles. All things possess specific shape and pattern to create specific results. Knowing angles enhances the understanding of form, movement and positioning to maximize balance and power. This also refers to angles of attack and body positioning in relation to the opponent and the environment, developing better orientation and directions of attack and defense. This is particularly important in executing effective joint manipulation techniques. With the slightest change of angles, any person's joint can be dislocated with minimal force. An element of Yang: Kan is the concept of distancing. One must understanding the proper range of the opponent's and the individual's arms, legs and/or weapon in order to effectively create a defensive perimeter as well as executing proper attacks, striking the target. Proper footwork and body positioning must be practiced in order to maximize mobility for attack and escape. An element of Yang: Kang is the concept of hardness, like rock or steel. Without a strong foundation, there is no stability, form or longevity. It also has to do with determination of will, never giving in nor yielding, but always staying focused at the task as hand. Practicing karate techniques on your own. The blocks and strikes involved in the sequences tie in with the techniques being practiced at your own level of expertise. Kata requires a certain 'mental' input to be performed well, and moves on from being merely sequences of movements to an art form, and a form of moving meditation. Designation of sharps and flats at the beginning of a section or piece of music to indicate its tonal center. Typical martial/military training methods for a large group of students to practice their skills. Traditionally Kihon are performed in lines with all students performing the same techniques, similar to soldiers marching on a parade ground. The instructor stands at the front and issues commands to the rank and file, who then

Interval

Ionian Jazz

Kak

Kan

Kang

Kata

Key Signature Kihon

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perform the appropriate techniques. In the ranks, the higher belt colors are at the front and the white belts at the back with the highest grade at the front right hand side and the lowest grade at the back left hand side. Kime Focusing one's energy at the end point of a technique such as a punch, block, or kick. In music, it is cutting through the rest of the band. Usually the role of the vocalist or the lead guitarist. Kumite is the general term for fighting in karate. Forms of fighting are Ippon Kumite: One-Step Fighting, Jiyu Ippon Kumite: Free One-Step Fighting, Jiyu Kumite: Free Fighting. All of these forms have similar aspects to performing in music as well. 50-52 beats per minute. Slightly faster than Largo. 46-48 per minute. Very broad and stately. The 7th mode of the major scale, corresponding to the VII chord, and classified as a minor mode. The 4th mode of the major scale, corresponding to the IV chord, and classified as a major mode. The hardware used for tuning each string and housed on the headstock. Also referred to as tuning heads or tuning keys. Notes played sequentially one after another form a melody. The 5th mode of the major scale, corresponding to the V chord, and classified as a major mode. Modality is the choice of tones which surround the tonic note. In addition to major, minor, and chromatic scales, a large number of modes can be constructed in any given tonality. 74-92 beats per minute. Moderate pace. Repeating melodic ideas, or groupings of melodic notes. Motif's within a song or score are similar enough to one another to sound related, but slightly unique. Modern music known for its quiet improvisation on the piano, guitar and synthesizer and a space-filled, relaxing sound. The part of the guitar neck dividing the fretboard from the headstock. The strings ride through the nut. 1) A string played with no left hand fingers fretting any note. 2) A chord voicing with large intervals between the notes. Harmonic frequencies that are emitted by a string when struck in addition to the fundamental frequency. These overtones give each instrument and each string on the instrument its own characteristic sound. Major and minor keys sharing the same starting note. C major and C minor are parallel keys, and have a different key signature. Five-tone scale. Can be major or minor. Major formula is R,M2,M3,5,M6. Minor formula is R,m3,4,5,m7. The 3rd mode of the major scale, corresponding to the III chord, and classified as a minor mode.

Kumite

Larghetto Largo Locrian Lydian Machine Heads Melody Mixolydian Modality

Moderato Motif

New Age Nut Open Overtones

Parallel Key Pentatonic Phrygian

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Pickups Pitch Axis Prestissimo Presto Quarter Beat Raga

An electromagnet located underneath the strings on an electric guitar which produces the signal to be amplified by an amplifier. The note around which a given melody revolves. Often the tonic or root, but can be other notes in the scale such as the 5th. 176-208 beats per minute. As fast as possible. 138-168 beats per minute. Fast. A sub division of time in music twice as long as an eighth beat. In 4/4 time, there are four quarter beats to a measure. A kind of Hindu music, consisting of religious feeling. It presents a tonal system on which variations are played within a framework of progressions, melodic formulas and Indian rhythmic patterns. Jamaican Calypso, soul and rock music known by its strongly accentuated offbeat. Major and minor keys sharing the same key signature. C major and A minor are relative keys, having no sharps or flats. Two dots placed before a double bar indicating the repeat of a section of music. A time in music when nothing is played by a particular instrument A rest is notated in standard notation and tablature by its duration, which instructs the player for how long to refrain from playing. The pattern of beats over time. On guitar it is the patter of strokes played with the right handto give a piece of music a distinct beat. Judging by record sales alone, rock is the most popular form of music of the 20th century. There are several sub-genres and influences, including jazz-rock fusion, folk rock, country-rock, blues-rock, etc. Rock emerged from blues in the 50's and rode primarily on the back of the electric guitar. Popular Latin-American dance music, characterized by Caribbean rhythms, Cuban big-band dance melodies and elements of jazz and rock. Think Gloria Estefan. The accidental (#) that raises a pitch by one semitone. Sparring competition in Karate. On the verge of becoming an olympic sport. A bluesy rhythm of which each main beat is divided into three smaller beats. The hole in the front of an acoustic guitar body from which the sound is projected. The vertical line in standard music or rhythm notation which appears above or below a note or rhythm marker. A right hand technique used to play chords across multiple strings with down or up strokes. A rhythm in music whose down beat is slightly longer than the up beat. Also commonly referred to as a shuffle. Popular in jazz and country music.

Reggae Relative Key Repeat Sign Rest

Rhythm Rock

Salsa

Sharp Shobu Shuffle Sound Hole Stem Strumming Swing

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Syncopation Tablature

Rhythmic accents that go against a steady beat. Musical notation especially for fretted instruments. Tablature consists of horizontal lines corresponding to each string of the instrument, vertical lines corresponding to time measures, and numbers that instruct the player which fret to press at the right time in each measure. The speed of a piece of music, usually indicated at the beginning of the piece. Harmony based upon the interval of the third. Tertian harmony dominates Western music from the Baroque era through the 19th century. A time signature indicating three quarter beats in one bar of music. A curved line in standard notation and tablature which shows two identical notes joined and played as one with the time value of both. The fraction at the beginning of a piece of music which shows how many beats in each measure (top number) and how long each beat lasts (bottom number). Tonality is the organized relationship of tones in music. This relationship implies a central or key tone toward or away from which all other tones move. Electric guitar effect which causes volume to fluctuate at a set frequency and depth. An interval of 3 whole tones, or 6 semitones. Also known as augmented or sharped 4th, diminished or flatted 5th, and the devil's tone. A curved metal bar inside the neck of a guitar used to adjust the arch in the neck. Used to counteract humidity changes cause the neck to arch up or down, creating too much or too little distance between the strings and the fretboard. Right hand movement from bottom to top. Wavering or pulsating of a tone in singing or playing. A slight modulation of a tone in singing or playing an instrument. In guitar, vibrato is produced by stretching and relaxing the strings repeatedly. A performer of extraordinary technical and performing skill and ability. 120-132 beats per minute. Briskly. The selection of a position or fingering of a chord to achieve a particular sound or voice. Music descended from European roots, and based on the Western 12-note scale. A 12-note scale which was tempered in order to produce harmonious music in any of 15 keys. The Western scale is slightly

Tempo Tertian Harmony

Three/Four Time Tie

Time Signature

Tonality

Tremolo Tritone

Truss Rod

Up Stroke Vibrato Vibrato

Virtuoso Vivo Voicing Western Music Western Scale

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out of tune, in order to allow a barely perceptible, yet balanced "out-of-tuneness" across all keys. Whole Beat Won A single beat which lasts for a whole bar 4/4 time. An element of Yin or Um: Won is the concept of circular patterns. It shows that all things in life follow a cyclical pattern, starting from one point and finishing at the same point, which it started. Force can be curved or redirected by minimal opposing force, conserving energy to maximize impact. It also relates to centrifugal force, the power generated by a spinning motion. Even a fishing line can cut through flesh and bone, if spun with enough speed. From Yin and Yang, Yang represents all that is dominant, hard, strong, sharp, light, full or masculine. In music, these dynamic qualities intertwine with the Yin qualities to create direction and emotion. From Yin and Yang, Yin represents all that is submissive, soft, gentle, dark, void, or feminine. In music, these dynamic qualities intertwine with the Yang qualities to create rest and calm emotion. An element of Yin or Um: Yu is the concept of soft, unrelenting motion, like flowing water. Water is soft yet it can erode the strongest of metals. Water moves in perpetual motion, unrelenting and constantly seeking a path. It rounds angular edges and conserves energy by conserving momentum, maximizing on its kinetic energy.

Yang

Yin

Yu

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