Guitar strumming for beginners: EX3 and 4.

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In the previous lesson we've seen the most basic strumming patterns in EX1 and EX 2, in this lesson we're going to move to a more sophisticated ones.


Exercise 3:


ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play 1 downstroke followed by 1 upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
down        UP        down              UP

Exercise 4:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play an upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
 UP         down          UP          down

You have to play these strumming patterns slowly to memorize them and after that you can speed up a little.

Guitar strumming for beginners: EX1 and 2.

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If you want to learn strumming you have to begin with the most basic patterns and move to the more complicated ones and here are some exercises that you can make use of to improve your strumming.

 
 Exercise One:

As i told you before you can use a metronome or even count in you head if you don't have one and the count will go like this:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play a downstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
down       down          down           down

Notice that you can repeat this 3, 4 or even 10 times, and you can fret a chord or just play open strings.

Exercise Two:

ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and      (repeat this)
The first exercise is the play an upstroke with every number
ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and
 UP            UP              UP               UP

Learn strumming

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Another key factor to master guitar is to learn strumming, strumming gives a song its unique color, so make sure you learn it before you move to learning guitar scales or anything else.

Some people say that rhythm is something you have or you don't and you can't acquire it by learning, i say this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of, because every person on this planet can learn guitar including the theory behind it as he can learn anything else as well.

The key factor to learn strumming is to develop your musical ear so you can differentiate between an "Upstroke" and a "Downstroke" and when i say develop you ear, i don't mean that you have to develop a perfect pitch ear that can identifies notes by listening to them, because differentiating between an "Upstroke" and a "Downstroke" is so easy, a small child can do it.

You don't have to fret a chord if you're learning strumming, just play with open strings or mute the strings with your left hand if you pick with your right, the next thing to do is to grab a metronome if you have one (even on your computer or mobile) and set it let's say at 80 bpm. If you don't have a metronome, just count in your head.

Listening to your favorite music can develop your ear, so make sure to listen to great artists and by time you'll be able to know what they are playing and how they are strumming.

To learn strumming you have to begin with the most basic strumming patterns, read this post about "guitar strumming for beginners".

The 2 ways to using guitar scales and modes

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The reason behind learning guitar scales and all modes for guitar is of course to use them. Guitar scales in western music are played along with triads or "Chords", this process is called harmony, so what is harmony anyway?

Harmony is anything that's played along with a melody, in other words, harmony is "melody + chord". When we harmonize the major scale for example, we get 7 different chords from it in this order: MAJ - MIN - MIN - MAJ - MAJ - MIN - DIM, so if it's the C major scale, we get: CMAJ - DMIN - EMIN - FMAJ - GMAJ - AMIN - BDIM.

The most common scales that guitarists use are: The major scale and its modes, the minor scales (natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor), pentatonic guitar scales (major and minor) and blues guitar scales.

The most common way for beginners when improvising or soloing over a specific chord progression is to play one scale over all the chord progression, the key to find the scale is to find what chord this chord progression resolves to, if you discover this chord you can play the most appropriate mode or scale to it.

Note: This method is only if you're just starting and the only reason that makes great guitarists use it is with rapid chord changes.

The second and the more professional way is to play 1 scale or mode per chord, this means when the chord changes in a chord progression you have to play the corresponding scale to it (if you have 4 chords in a chord progression you have to play 4 different modes or scales).

The combination:

To make your playing perfect you have to use both of them, because sometimes you come across a fast chord change in chord progression, so you have to use the first one.

Modes for guitar: The Locrian mode (the 7th and the last mode)

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The Locrian mode is the 7th and the last mode of the major scale, it is based on the 7th note of any major scale and it's the less used among all modes for guitar. This mode has a very dissonant sound because it has a lot of flats in it. The interval structure of the Locrian mode is: 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 (diminished 5th) - b6 - b7.

The Locrian mode is considered as a minor mode or scale because it has the b3 note in it and it is used in some heavy metal songs. Because it doesn't have a perfect fifth that gives the scale stability, it's very hard to use it alone so most musicians use it with the Phrygian mode. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Locrian mode you're playing you just have to go 1 half step forward and that's it!

The whole and half steps formula of the Locrian mode is: H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - Wh.

You can play the Locrian mode especially over m7b5 chords because it's the triad that contains the most notes of that scale, unfortunately you will not be using that chord much.

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

The seventh and last mode (Locrian mode), we begin with the seventh and the last note of the G major scale F#

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------14---16-----
A----------------------------14---15---17------------------
E---------14---15---17-------------------------------------

Now you have a clear picture of the modes of the major scale and their use, while they have the same notes of the major scale, they sound very different, because what makes the difference is the order of the notes not the notes themselves.

A small advice from me:

I advice you to learn and apply these modes (when and how to play them all over the neck) and not only playing one octave. Learning guitar scales is the secret to understanding the theory, so by the time you've learned some scales and all modes for guitar, you'll be able to write your own songs in a specific key that will blow your friends or audience's minds.


See also: All Modes For Guitar

1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).
 

Modes for guitar: The Aeolian mode "Natural minor" (the 6th mode)

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The Aeolian mode or the natural minor scale is the 6th mode of the major scale, it is based on the 6th note of the major scale, as its name refers to, the Aeolian mode is a minor mode and has 3 differences with the major scale: b3, b6, b7. The interval structure of the Aeolian mode (the natural minor scale) will be: 1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7.

In music the 6th note of the major scales is considered the relative minor of that major scale, so if you want to know what is the relative major of the natural minor scale you're playing you have to go 1 whole step and 1 half step forward (3 half steps), or 4 whole steps and 1 half step (9 half steps).

The whole and half steps formula of the Aeolian mode is (Wh - H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh).

Chords that you can play the Aeolian mode over them are: Minor chords, m7 and m9, because they have the b3 and b7 intervals. It is considered as the most minor mode of all modes for guitar. If you want to mix it up with minor pentatonic guitar scales, go ahead.

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

The sixth mode (Aeolian mode or natural minor scale), we begin with the sixth note E

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------12---14-----
A-----------------------------12---14---15-----------------
E----------12---14---15------------------------------------

The Aeolian mode is probably the most used mode among others, it has that dark minor sound that's used in almost every song, it's so important because we can harmonize it to obtain 7 chords in a minor key.

I personally use the Aeolian mode or the natural minor scale so much and i advice you to do the same by learning how and when to apply it when learning guitar scales.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

Modes for guitar: The Mixolydian mode (the 5th mode)

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The Mixolydian mode is the 5th modes of the major scale, It is also considered a major mode or scale as the Lydian mode because it has one only difference with the major scale, which is the flatted 7th (b7). So the interval structure of the Mixolydian mode would be: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7.

Because it has only one different note with the major scale, it doesn't mean that they sound the same, the Mixolydian mode sounds very different from the major scale. From all modes for guitar, this particular scale is played over Dominant 7th, 9th and 13th chords because it has a b7 note in it.

The Mixolydian mode has this whole and half steps formula: Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Mixolydian mode you are playing, just move back 1 half step and 3 whole steps (7 half steps).

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

The fifth mode (Mixolydian mode), we begin with the fifth note D

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------9---10---12---------
A---------------------9---10---12---------------------------
E--------10---12---------------------------------------------

So with this D Mixolydian mode you can play a D7 chord. In general the Mixolydian mode is played along with the 5th chord of a specific key since its Root note is the 5th note of the major scale.

Once again, these modes for guitar will give you a better understanding of the theory, so make sure to understand and apply them properly when learning guitar scales, because they will help you with your solos and also when writing your own songs.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

Modes for guitar: The Lydian mode (the 4th mode)

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The Lydian mode is the 4th  mode of the major scale, It is considered a major mode because it has only one difference with the major scale, which is the raised 4th (Flatted 5th). The interval structure of the Lydian mode is: 1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 7.

The Lydian mode is probably the most close mode to the major scale (Ionian mode), from all the modes for guitar, it is played mostly along with Major 7th chords. The #4 note gives the mode a special flavor over Major 7th chords.

Note: We can play the full major scale (Ionian mode) over Major 7th chords too.

The whole and half step formula for the Lydian mode is: Wh - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - H. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Lydian mode you're playing, you have to move back 1 half step and 2 whole steps (5 half steps or semitones).

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

The fourth mode (Lydian mode), we begin with the 4th note C

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------7---9---10---------------
A-------------------7---9---10-------------------------------
E--------8---10-----------------------------------------------

Modes for guitar are very important when learning the theory, they will help you in you solos, learning guitar scales is also important because it will give you a lot of choices when you become a songwriter.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

Modes for guitar: The Phrygian Mode (the 3rd mode)

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Phrygian mode is the 3rd mode of any major scale, it is a very used mode especially in heavy metal, rock and even jazz. The Phrygian mode among all modes for guitar sounds very exotic and heavy and it's played in most cases along minor and minor 7th chords.

All modes for guitar are just variations of the major scale (The Ionian mode), so all you have to do is to learn and practice the major scale and each time you start from other notes than the first note to play all the modes for guitar.

The Phrygian mode is very unique among other modes, it begins with a half step interval, and here is the whole and half step formula for the Phrygian mode: (H - W - W - W - H - W - W). The Phrygian mode is the same as the Aeolian mode (natural minor scale) but with a b2nd. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Phrygian mode you are playing, you just move back 2 whole step or 4 half steps: If you are playing the B Phrygian mode, then its major scale is G major scale.


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

The third mode (Phrygian mode), we begin the mode with the third note B

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------7---9----------------
A-------------------------7---9---10-------------------------
E---------7---8---10-----------------------------------------

Learning guitar scales and modes is necessary if you want to be a better guitar player, modes for guitar are very important in music so you should learn them all and learn where they are used. With this knowledge and some tips for songwriting, you'll become a great songwriter.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

Modes for guitar: The Dorian Mode (the 2nd mode)

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A lot or rock or blues fans when learning guitar scales and especially when learning modes for guitar, make their first mode that they want to learn "Dorian mode", that's because it's used a lot in this type of music. As we explained before, modes are just variations of the major scale, you just have to start from a different note rather then the root note.

The Dorian mode is the 2nd mode of the major scale after the Ionian mode (the major scale itself), so if you know how to play the major scale all over the guitar neck then you can play all the other modes. If you want to know what is the major scale of a specific Dorian mode you are playing, you just move back one whole step or two half steps: If you are playing the D Dorian mode, then its major scale is C major scale.

Dorian mode is most used in minor keys in addition to aeolian mode (natural minor scale), sometimes you can play it all over the chord progression, or just over 1 or 2 chords, it is also considered as a minor mode or scale so you can use it also with minor chords.

Dorian mode has these intervals: (1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7), with these intervals it appears that it combines the major and minor pentatonic guitar scales (it has all the notes in both of them). So when minor and major pentatonic guitar scales are used with a chord progression, you can use the Dorian mode as well. The Dorian mode of the G major scale is the A Dorian mode.

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

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

The whole and half step formula of the Dorian mode is: wh-h-wh-wh-wh-h-wh

The second mode (Dorian mode), we begin with the second note A

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------4---5---7-------------------
A------------------------5---7---------------------------------
E----------5---7---8------------------------------------------

Is you want to move to the next level of guitar playing you have to understand the modes for guitar when learning guitar scales, because they will make your playing very rich especially when you're writing your own songs.

See also: All Modes For Guitar


1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

6 tips for songwriting

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Songwriting is the last step that you want to do in your music journey after learning guitar scales and chord construction, writing your own songs requires music theory understanding as well as experience, wither you want to write a rock song or a thrash metal song. Music theory will save you a lot time in your playing and songwriting, it will get you straight to the point where you'll be able to assemble notes and chords to build a harmonized piece of music.

Songwriting is a 2 part process:

1- Writing the lyrics of the song: (if it's not an instrumental song). Most musicians like to write song lyrics first in order to write the proper music that's compatible with the song lyrics theme.
2- Writing the music: That depends on the song theme itself, wither it's a sentimental song or a rage expressing song.

Because this blog is about music and guitar theory, i'm not going to enter to the details of lyrics writing, but i can assure you that a good lyrics ideas come from reading (books, article, listening to inspirational songs...etc), that's if you want your song to have a message in it.

If you want to write music, make sure you follow these 6 easy tips for songwriting:

1- The first thing that you have to do is to know what type of music you like or you want to write: (blues, rock, metal, jazz), i'm sure you're a fan of a specific type of music.

2- In general you can apply scales and chord progression principals in all genres of music, but there are some specific scales used in some specific types of music, like the usage of blues guitar scales and pentatonic guitar scales in blues and metal music...etc.

3- Any song have many parts in it, the most basic ones are (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Outro), you can add other parts like (Pre-chorus, bridge, Pre-verse) if you want your song to be more complex and complete.

4- Identify what key your song should be in, you can use one key in the entire song, or sometimes switch to other keys (but be careful!).

5- All great songs have what we call "The Hook", it is the part of the song that when you hear it, it sticks into your head and give you a good feeling of the song.

6- The last thing is to find other artists that play other instruments to help you play a complete song (with drums, bass...etc).

These are easy tips for songwriting, make sure to follow them and also that you're always learning and applying what you've learned, learning guitar scales will help you a lot in your playing and composing, so learn more scales and chords in order to write a rich songs.

Any questions, comment.

blues guitar scales

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blues guitar scales are just minor pentatonic scales plus one note which is: flat 5th, this note is called the "blue note". This scales as it name refers is used in "blues music" extensively but you can find it in heavy metal music as well as country music.

To understand and play the blues guitar scales easily, you have to take a look at pentatonic guitar scales, especially the minor pentatonic guitar scale.



While the minor pentatonic scale is built with these intervals: Root - b3 - 4 - 5 - b7 (it doesn't have the 2nd and the 6th intervals), the blues scale is built with these intervals: Root - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 , When you play the minor pentatonic scale in the key of C you will have: C - Eb - F - G - Bb. and it looks like this on the fretboard:

E------------------------------------------------------------
B------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------3---5---------------------------
D-----------------3---5------------------------------------
A--------3---6---------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------

When adding the flatted 5th note to the minor pentatonic scale, we will get the blues scale which have these notes in the key of C: C - Eb - F - F# - G - Bb, and it looks like this on the fretboard:

E------------------------------------------------------------
B------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------3---5----------------------
D-----------------3---4---5-------------------------------
A--------3---6---------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------

Note: the formula of whole and half steps used in the "blues guitar scales" is: (whole and half step, whole, half, half, whole and half step, whole).

The blues guitar scales are great scales because they add colour to your music, make sure you add them to your arsenal when learning guitar scales.

Tips for songwriting: easy song to play on guitar (Major key)

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A lot of guitarists like to write their own songs, but they don't know where to start, they think it's so hard to write your own songs, but with some dedication, practice and my tips for songwriting you'll be able to write amazing songs everyday!!!

In this lesson we're going to learn writing our own songs in a major key, and as i told you everything in music theory goes back to the major scale. When you learn to write a song in a specific key, the same rules apply to other keys, so make sure to follow carefully my tips for songwriting.

The major scale have 7 notes, each note of these have it's specific chord wither it's major, minor or diminished...etc. In the key of C we get these chords (C major - D minor - E minor - F major - G major - A minor - B diminished). The reason why those chords sound good together is very logical: because those chords are just combination of the same notes of the scale.

The major scale isn't the only scale that we can harmonize, we can harmonize (build chords) any scale starting with natural minor scale, melodic minor scale, harmonic minor scale...etc and every scale looks different, so you have to choose a compatible scale and key with the theme of your song.

Note: in this tips for songwriting lesson we're not going to use the diminished chord, because it's uncommon in rock and blues music, it looks dissonant with other chords, but some musicians use it, so it's up to you wither you want to use it or NOT.

Let's use a very basic strumming "guitar strumming for beginners" which is "Down - Down - Up - Up - Down - up", and play it 2 times per chord. The chords that we're going to use in this song are (The 1st "root", the 6th, 3rd and the 5th) in the major key chords, i picked them randomly so you can choose whatever you want to play.

Note: D refers to Down stroke, and U refers to up stroke.

           C chord                                                                  A minor chord
E------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0---
B------1--1----1--1----1--1-----1--1----1--1----1--1-------1--1----1--1----1--1----1--1----1--1----1--1---
G------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2---
D------2--2----2--2----2--2-----2--2----2--2----2--2-------2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2----2--2---
A------3--3----3--3----3--3-----3--3----3--3----3--3-------0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0---
E------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0----0--0---
           D D      U U      D U       D D     U U      D U         D D      U U      D U      D D     U U     D U

        E minor chord                     G chord
E------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------1--1----1--1----1--1-----1--1----1--1----1--1---
B------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0---
G------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0---
D------2--2----2--2----2--2-----2--2----2--2----2--2-------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0---
A------2--2----2--2----2--2-----2--2----2--2----2--2-------2--2----2--2----2--2-----2--2----2--2----2--2---
E------0--0----0--0----0--0-----0--0----0--0----0--0-------3--3----3--3----3--3-----3--3----3--3----3--3---
           D D     U U      D U       D D      U U      D U         D D      U U     D U       D D      U U      D U


And here is your first song, this wasn't so hard at all, this is your first chord sequence, you can choose whatever chord you want to play, but make sure that it sounds good to you. So after learning guitar scales and chords, we've written an easy song to play on guitar, just make sure you practice and practice until you master it.

Guitar strumming for beginners

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The other thing that we've to learn after learning guitar scales and chord construction is "strumming", it a very important part of guitar learning process. Most beginner guitarists worry about learning guitar scales and theory in general and forget to learn strumming.

The action of strumming is to strike the strings up or down, so when you play a chord for example, you follow what's called "a strumming pattern or rhythm". strumming can be done with a pick or with fingers, so let's have an easy example of basic strumming:

Note:
1- Strumming down: means striking the strings down from the 1st thickest string to the last (6th) thinnest string.
2- Strumming up: means striking the strings up from the last (6th) thinnest string to the first thickest string.

A very useful method that can help you in your strumming is counting, you say this "one and two and three and four" and when you mention the number make a down stroke, the word "and" is the space between 2 down strokes.

The previous example is a very basic guitar strumming for beginners, you can choose whatever pattern of rhythm you want to play, just make sure the sound is pleasing to ears.

How to write an easy song to play on guitar

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Song writing is probably the last thing a musician would have to know, so a lot of you are asking know "can i write songs after learning some guitar scales and some chords?, is song writing easy like it seems?", well i have to tell you, you don't have to be a rocket scientist or have a black belt in song writing, all you have to do is assembling some chords in a specific key and play some scales that relates these specific chord.

The most essential thing in song writing is to try giving your song the best look it could have, that means that you apply the theory and try to improvise yourself to write a unique song that attracts peoples ears.

Today we are going to write an easy song to play on guitar with some of the knowledge we've learned previously in "The major scale", "Guitar chord construction", "Build other shapes of chords", "building minor chords" and "song writing".

The goal of understanding the theory is to save a lot of time and effort and frustration, so instead of trying to know what chords would sound good together and what doesn't, the theory will get you straight to the point where you can find and play chords that sound together in a matter of minutes.

So are you ready to move from the consumer case to the producer one, make sure you follow the "Easy song to play on guitar" lesson.

Any question, you're welcome.

Song writing: the 3 easy steps to naming any chord in a given key

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In the previous lesson "Song writing" we've seen how to to harmonize or extract chords in a given key from the major scale. This lesson is about identifying and naming our chords in order to be able to play them.

You can check "Intervals", "Modes of the major scale" and "Pentatonic guitar scales", to have a better understanding of the music theory.

Let's take a look at the previous chart (the key of C):

C - D - E - F - G - A -B - C - D - E - F - G - A -B
C   -     E   -     G                     (C major)
      D    -    F    -    A                  (D minor)
            E   -     G   -    B                (E minor)   
                  F    -    A   -    C             (F major)
                        G    -   B   -     D          (G major)
                              A   -    C    -    E       (A minor)
                                   B    -    D     -   F    (B diminished)

Note: The fun part in all this is that this formula applies in all major keys (major - minor - minor - major - major - minor - diminished)!

I'm sure that now you're asking yourself: how the hell i know which chord is major and which chord is minor, here is the answer:

Let's follow these 3 easy steps:

1- In the first case, we take the notes succession of the first chord C - E - G.
2- We play the C major scale.
3- We see what these 3 notes represent to the major scale, if it's (Root, 3rd and 5th) it's a major chord, if it's (Root, b3 and 5th) it's a minor chord and if it's (Root, b3 and b5) it's a diminished chord

To make sure you understand this well let's have a look at the second chord: (D - F - A), we play the D major scale and obviously we can see that the note F represents a b3 to our major scale because the D major scale have (D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# - D), and that's why it is a minor chord.

To practice this and memorize it, make sure to apply these 3 easy steps to all the chords in our C major key.

If you have any question, put it in comment.

Song writing

Posted by | Posted in , | Posted on 6:20 AM

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After learning guitar scales and learning guitar chords, now it's time to make use of them in song writing. Just make sure that you've well learned scales and chords to make song writing very easy.

Song writing is what every musician should know if he (she) wants to be a professional musician, that's why we've learned all this theory (which was simple and easy), to write our own songs and play them.

Songs are written in a specific key or sometimes keys, that's why their chords sound really good together. We can't play chords just like that and say that we wrote a song, we have to follow the theory. Let me ask you a question: In a given key, what chords would sound good together? sure the chords that have the same notes as their scale. The concept of extracting chords of scales is called harmonization, so for example we harmonize the major scale to obtain chords that we can play with it.

Before we learn how to write a song make sure that you've read "The major scale", "Chord construction" lessons to be able to follow me. Let's take the example of C major scale (C - D - E - F - G - A -B - and C again).

To harmonize this scale (extract chords from it), we take the formula of : 1st (root), 3rd and 5th and apply it to every note on the scale, and this will look like this in 2 octaves:

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

These are the 7 chords that we can use in the key of C with the C major scale. We take a note and skip the other and so on. Make sure you understand this well before moving to naming and playing these chords.

When learning theory make sure you move in this order: learning guitar scales, building chords and after that write your own songs or find an easy song to play on guitar.

Continue to read the part 2 of song writing "the 3 easy steps to naming any chord in a given key".


Any question, you're welcome.

Building minor chords

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The concept of chords is a very powerful concept in western music, it gives songs a full sound. Chords are used in parallel with soloing in most songs. They have different shapes on the fretboard: we can play them in open position, as bar chords or sometimes power chords in rock or metal songs.

Building chords is an easy process to learn, all you have to do is follow the formula of this chord and apply it. Minor chords in contrast of major chords have a b3 instead of the 3rd of major chords, this b3 gives minor chords a very minor sound (sad and dark). Let's say that we want to play a C minor chord:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B
1    +   3    +   5
C   +   Eb  +   G

E-------8(C)---------------------------------------------------
B-------8(G)---------------------------------------------------
G-------8(Eb)-------------------------------------------------
D------10(C)--------------------------------------------------
A------10(G)--------------------------------------------------
E--------8(C)--------------------------------------------------

Learning different chords after learning guitar scales, gives you a lot of choices of how your music will look like, i advice you to learn as much as chords you can to make your song full and pleasing to ears.

Build other shapes of chords (major 7th and 7th chords)

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So far in the lesson "Guitar Chord Construction (major chords)", we've learned how to construct any major chord from the major scale and also how to follow effective steps to learn and play them as quickly and accurately as possible. So make sure you understand these well after learning guitar scales.

While major chords are not the only chords used in music, there many other chords and everyone of them sounds and plays differently. Other shapes of major chords are major seventh (major 7th) chords and the only difference between these and major chords is as the name refers, the 7th note. If we play the major scale in the key of A (A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#), while the major chord will be the combination of the 1st (root), the 3rd and the 5th notes, the major 7th chord will be the combination of these notes, the 1st (root), the 3rd, the 5th and the 7th.

A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#
1 -  2 -  3  - 4  - 5 -  6  -  7
A         C#          E                     (Major chord)
A         C#          E            G#    (Major 7th chord)

It looks like this on the fretboard:

E-------5(A)---------------------------------------------------
B-------5(E)---------------------------------------------------
G-------6(C#)--------------------------------------------------
D-------6(G#)--------------------------------------------------
A-------7(E)--------------------------------------------------
E-------5(A)--------------------------------------------------

A lot of people think that the major 7th chord is the same as the 7th chord, well there is a tiny difference between them and it affects the sound hugely. The only difference is the the major 7th chord is built with the 7th note, while the 7th chord is build with the b7 note.

So an A 7th chord will have these notes (A + C# + E + G), we flattened the 7th note from G# to G. Now let's see how it looks on guitar's fretboard:


E-------5(A)---------------------------------------------------
B-------5(E)---------------------------------------------------
G-------6(C#)--------------------------------------------------
D-------5(G)--------------------------------------------------
A-------7(E)--------------------------------------------------
E-------5(A)--------------------------------------------------

That's it, who says learning guitar scales or music theory in general are hard to learn.

3 easy steps to construct and play any major chord

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In the previous lesson we've talked about "Guitar Chord Construction (major chords)", and we've learned the formula of constructing or building major chords from the major scale, in this lesson we will discover the 3 easy steps to build any major chord in any given note.

The 2 things used in all music are chords and scales, that what music is: playing chords or sometimes their arpeggios, and soloing using scales as well as arpeggios. Some people think that scales and chords are 2 different things, well i will give you this simple definition "chords are only some notes of scales", the only difference is when we play chords we play all the notes in the same time and we play specific notes according to the chord we want to play.

Let's have a look at the 3 easy steps to build any major chord:

1- In you want to play, let's say the A major chord, you have to play first the A major scale which have these notes (A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#), on the fretboard it looks like this:

E------------------------------------------------------------
B------------------------------------------------------------
G------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------4---6---7------------------
A-----------------4---5---7--------------------------------
E--------5---7----------------------------------------------

2- You have to give each note of this scale it's number and take only the 1st(root), the 3rd and the 5th notes of that scale:

A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#
1 -  2 -  3  - 4  - 5 -  6  -  7
A        C#        E

3- Take these notes and play them on a bar chord (easier then the open chord) so every note on the chord will be an A, C# or E.

E-------5(A)---------------------------------------------------
B-------5(E)---------------------------------------------------
G-------6(C#)--------------------------------------------------
D-------7(A)--------------------------------------------------
A-------7(E)--------------------------------------------------
E-------5(A)--------------------------------------------------

How easy is that!, with these easy 3 steps you can play any major chord. Make sure to apply this formula of building major chords after learning guitar scales to have a better and clearer picture.

Learning guitar scales: Guitar Chord Construction (major chords)

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Music theory is very important to every musician, when you understand it you'll be able to write your own music as well as understanding others music. So far we've said that all music theory is compared with the major scale, because the major scale is the standard of all music theory, when you understand it well you will compare everything you will find (scales, chords, intervals...etc) to it.

In this lesson we are going to learn how to build chords from scales and what's the formula for building them, so let's have a look at the major scale in the key of C: (C - D - E - F - G - A - B - and C).

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------------------2---4---5-------------
D-----------------------2---3---5----------------------------
A-------------3---5-------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------

Let's name every note on the scale with a number that represents their position:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - and C
1 -  2 -  3 - 4 - 5 -  6 - 7 - and 8

Note: the 8th note or C is the same as the root note so let's not mention it and stick only with 7 notes.

In this lesson we will build major chords from the major scale. The formula to building a major chord is: taking the 1st(root), the 3rd and the 5th note of the major scale.

C - D - E - F - G - A - B
1    +   3    +   5
C   +   E   +   G

The formula of any major chord is (the root, the 3rd and the 5th), is this case in the key of c we got: C - E - G. Let's have a look at the C major scale:

E-------0(E)---------------------------------------------------
B-------1(C)---------------------------------------------------
G-------0(G)--------------------------------------------------
D-------2(E)--------------------------------------------------
A-------3(C)--------------------------------------------------
E-------0(E)--------------------------------------------------

Note: all the notes on our chord are even C, E, or G, the cool thing about the guitar that the notes do repeat on the fretboard and that gives cleaner and stronger sound.

Let's try to play the C major chord as a bar chord :

E-------8(C)---------------------------------------------------
B-------8(G)---------------------------------------------------
G-------9(E)--------------------------------------------------
D------10(C)--------------------------------------------------
A------10(G)--------------------------------------------------
E--------8(C)--------------------------------------------------

All the notes on our chord are C, E and G.

Learning guitar scales especially the major scale will make playing and understanding music a piece of cake, so to play any major chord, the only thing to do is to take the root, the 3rd and the 5th note of its scale and play them on the fretboard (how simple is that!).

How to practice the pentatonic guitar scales

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Pentatonic guitar scales are easy to learn, but they seem a little confusing when you try to learn them in any position on the fretboard, So i will give you some advices that will help you learn them when learning guitar scales easily.

1- Try to apply them in every key on the fretboard (both major and minor pentatonic guitar scales), doing that will let you memorize better the shape of the scales so you can play them starting from their root note.

2- The second thing to do is to memorize the intervals used in each one of them, so you can play and understand them well, you'll also be able to differentiate between them (major and minor sounds) and that will help you a lot when you try to play them on any given chord progression.

3- Try to apply these scales on every position on the scale, let's say starting from the second note or the third one...etc, this will make you able to play the pentatonic guitar scales in every note on the fretboard in a specific key.

4- The last thing to do is to try to improvise, just play these scales with songs you like to help you get used to them.

If you follow these easy steps of learning pentatonic guitar scales when learning guitar scales, you'll be able to play these scales easily and you'll impress your self and your friends if you like.

Pentatonic guitar scales

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 6:33 AM

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One of the most used scales in music are pentatonic guitar scales, you probably will face them in almost every song you'll come across, they are widely used by musicians of most types of music: blues, jazz, country and even rock and metal.

Pentatonic guitar scales are scales that have 5 notes instead of the usual 7 notes per scale (major and minor scale), and that's where the name came from (Penta = Five and Tonic = Notes), that means 5 notes. These scales have 2 types: the Major Pentatonic and the Minor Pentatonic.

First let's have a look at the major pentatonic scale:

The major pentatonic scale is built with these intervals: Root - 2nd - 3rd - 5th - 6th, so it doesn't have the 4th and the 7th intervals. When you play it in the key of C for example you will get: C - D - E - G - A. and it looks like this on the fretboard:

E------------------------------------------------------------
B------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------2---5---------------------------
D-----------------2---5------------------------------------
A--------3---5---------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------

The minor pentatonic scale is built with these intervals: Root - b3 - 4 - 5 - b7, so this scale doesn't have the 2nd and the 6th intervals, When you play it in the key of C you will have: C - Eb - F - G - Bb. and it looks like this on the fretboard:

E------------------------------------------------------------
B------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------3---5---------------------------
D-----------------3---5------------------------------------
A--------3---6---------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------

Note: The intervals that i mentioned are compared to the major scale.

Learning pentatonic guitar scales are so important when learning guitar scales, i almost can't think of a song that doesn't use them, the fun part is that they are easy to learn.

Learning guitar scales: The minor scale

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So far we've learned about the major scale and its modes, and as there are major scales, there are also minor scale. The major scale sounds bright and happy, while the minor scale sounds sad, that's why you have to make sure of what subject is your song about, a happy thing or a sad one, to choose correctly what type of scales you should use.

Note: We can call some modes minor if they have minor intervals.

The minor scale have 3 types:

1- The natural minor scale: In the lesson of "Modes of the major scale", we've said that the aeolian mode (the sixth mode) is the same as the natural minor scale. In terms of intervals, the natural minor scale or some times called (The relative minor) has a flatted third (3b) and 6b and 7b comparing to major scale. So the structure of the whole and half steps will be like this (wh-h-wh-wh-h-wh-wh) and it will be like this on the fretboard in the key of G (G - A - A# - C - D - D# - F - G):


E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------3---5---------------------
A----------------------3---5---6------------------------------
E--------3---5---6--------------------------------------------


2- The harmonic minor scale: Is the same as the natural minor scale (3b and 6b) but without the flatted seventh (7b) comparing to major scale. So the structure of the whole and half steps will be like this (wh-h-wh-wh-h-wh and a half step(3 frets)-h) and It looks like this on the fretboard in the key of G (G - A - A# - C - D - D# - F# - G):

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------4---5---------------------
A----------------------3---5---6------------------------------
E--------3---5---6--------------------------------------------

Note: you can see that in this scale we've used another concept which represents 3 frets on the fretboard (whole and a half step).

3- The melodic minor scale: The melodic minor scale have 2 forms (ASCENDING and DESCENDING). ASCENDING melodic minor scale is just like the major scale but with a flatted third (3b), when we play it DESCENDING it looks like the natural minor scale. It looks like this on the fretboard in the key of G:

The ASCENDING form (wh-h-wh-wh-wh-wh-h):

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------2---4---5---------------------
A----------------------3---5----------------------------------
E--------3---5---6--------------------------------------------

The DESCENDING form: exactly like the natural minor scale (wh-h-wh-wh-h-wh-wh).

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------3---5---------------------
A----------------------3---5---6------------------------------
E--------3---5---6--------------------------------------------

Sure you're thinking why the hell this scale have two forms, well the melodic minor scale have a very strange property which isn't found in any other scale. So you should ask the composers that made it, they say it looks better!!!.

Minor scales are easy to understand when learning guitar scales, and they are very powerful and used by most guitarists (sure there is a lot of sad songs around). So make sure to learn and practice them when learning guitar scales.

4 easy steps when learning guitar scales

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Learning guitar scales is an easy process to do especially when you follow these easy steps that i am going to teach you, make sure you follow them while learning guitar scales as i did when i learned scales.

1- Start by knowing the structure of the scale with the concept of whole and half steps, by knowing that, you can play any scale without even having to know about its intervals.

2- The second thing is to play the scale over all string, that means that you complete the scale after it reaches the octave note (play 2 octaves until the 6th string) following the same concept of the whole and half steps and playing 3 notes per string.

3- At this time you've played the scale and it took you about 2 minutes (how awesome is that!), the next think to do is trying to know the interval structure of the scale, knowing that will help you understand the theory and the application of this scale, does it have 3b or 6b...etc comparing to the major scale..

4- The last thing is to try to play the scale in every position on the neck by finding the root note all over the fretboard and start playing from there forward and backward.

If you apply these easy 4 steps when learning guitar scales, you'll be able to master any scale in a very short time.

Learning guitar scales: How modes look on the fretboard

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 6:51 AM

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You can play modes following the whole and half formula described on "Modes of the major scale lesson", but to make it easy on you, i am going to give how you can play modes on the fretboard.

I'm going to apply the G major scale (in the key of G) : G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G again.

These are the shapes of the modes on the fretboard:

Lets begin with the first mode (The major scale or the Ionian mode), we begin with the root note G

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D----------------------------------2---4---5------------------
A--------------------2---3---5--------------------------------
E-----------3---5----------------------------------------------

The second mode (Dorian mode), we begin with the second note A

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------4---5---7-------------------
A------------------------5---7---------------------------------
E----------5---7---8------------------------------------------

The third mode (Phrygian mode), we begin the mode with the third note B

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------7---9----------------
A-------------------------7---9---10-------------------------
E---------7---8---10-----------------------------------------

The fourth mode (Lydian mode), we begin with the fourth note C

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------7---9---10---------------
A-------------------7---9---10-------------------------------
E--------8---10-----------------------------------------------

The fifth mode (Mixolydian mode), we begin with the fifth note D

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------9---10---12---------
A---------------------9---10---12---------------------------
E--------10---12---------------------------------------------

The sixth mode (Aeolian mode or natural minor scale), we begin with the sixth note E

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------12---14-----
A-----------------------------12---14---15-----------------
E----------12---14---15------------------------------------

The seventh and last mode (Locrian mode), we begin with the seventh and the last note of the G major scale F#

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D------------------------------------------------14---16-----
A----------------------------14---15---17------------------
E---------14---15---17-------------------------------------

These are the shapes of all modes of the major scale, and you must learn them when learning guitar scales.

Learning guitar scales: Defining modes by intervals

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Modes are just variations of the major scale, each notes of the major scale represents the root note of a mode, because of this; modes can be identified using intervals. So if we want to identify what mode is played, we can see the intervals in it or follow the concept whole and half step.

So lets go back to our seven modes:

Ionian (The same as the Major scale)

Dorian (The same as Aeolian but with a raised 6th)

Phrygian (The same as Aeolian but with a b2nd)

Lydian (The same as Ionian but with a #4th)

Mixolydian (The same as Ionian but with a b7th)

Aeolian (The same as the Natural Minor)

Locrian (The same as Phrygian but with a b5th)

Note: This is how are different modes related to each other but you can also set the major scale or the Ionian mode as your reference to all of them.

The major scale is the base in learning guitar scales because all other scales goes back to the major scale, even modes are simple variation of the major scale.

You're may be asking what's the use of modes when we know the major scale, well they have a lot of impact on the music theme, some of them look major and happy and some look minor and sad, some dissonant...etc, also they help you play your scale in every position on the fretboard in every given note.

Learning guitar scales: Modes of the major scale

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I'm sure that many of you have heard the word "Modes" before. "Modes of the major scale" is the most popular subject discussed by new guitarists, and most beginner guitarists are afraid of it because they think it's a very hard subject to learn, believe me it's not true, modes are very easy to learn and very important in learning guitar scales.

Modes are simple variation of the major scale. We know that the major scale have seven "7" notes in it, each note of these is associated with a mode of the major scale (seven modes).

These modes of the major scale appear always in the same order and have different "interval" structure that makes each mode very unique.

Basically, a mode is when we pick a major scale in a given key and start to play from other notes then the root note, conserving the structure of the major scale (WH, WH, H, WH, WH, WH, H), where the first whole step is always between the first note and the 2nd of the major scale (i know that this seems a little complicated, but you will understand it well when you continue reading).

Let's take the example of the C Major scale:

C -wh- D -wh- E -h- F -wh- G -wh- A -wh- B -h- C again.

wh: whole step.
h: half step

If we begin our scale from the second note "D" and continue the same order of notes without changing the structure of the whole and half steps, we get:

D -wh- E -h- F -wh- G -wh- A -wh- B -h- C -wh- D again

If we bagin with E we get:

E -h- F -wh- G -wh- A -wh- B -h- C -wh- D -wh- E again

And so on........

The seven modes of the major scale that represent the seven notes of it are: (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian), to memorize this i will give you a simple phrase where every beginning letter of the words in it represents a mode, this phrase is "I DON'T PARTICULARLY LIKE MODES A LOT"

I : Ionian (1st mode).

DON'T: Dorain (2nd mode).

PARTICULARLY: Phrygian (3rd mode).

LIKE: Lydian (4th mode).

MODES: Mixolydian (5th mode).

A: Aeolian (6th mode).

LOT: Locrian (7th mode).

in the key of C we get:

Ionian            C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

Dorian               D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D

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

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

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

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

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

The structure with the whole and half steps will be:

Ionian            wh-wh-h-wh-wh-wh-h-

Dorian                 wh-h-wh-wh-wh-h-wh

Phrygian                    h-wh-wh-wh-h-wh-wh

Lydian                           wh-wh-wh-h-whwh-h

Mixolydian                           wh-wh-h-wh-wh-h-wh

Aeolian                                      wh-h-wh-wh-h-wh-wh

Locrian                                            h-wh-wh-h-wh-wh-wh


Notes:

1- The ionian mode is the same as the major scale because it represents the root note.

2- The aeolian mode is the same as the natural minor scale.

Learning guitar scales is a very accurate process, so make sure to learn scales gradually from the beginning, and when you master some level move to the next one.

Learning guitar scales: Intervals

Posted by | Posted in , | Posted on 5:05 AM

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Intervals are the key to learning guitar scales "i can't insist enough". Learning intervals will let you really understand music theory and especially guitar scales. Intervals are a must and are the first thing you should learn after learning "the notes on the fretboard" and "whole and half steps".

An interval is the distance between 2 notes and they are measured from the lower note to the higher one. They could be described as "melodic" intervals if the notes sound successively OR "harmonic" if the two notes sound simultaneously.

Intervals could take a lot of shapes, so an interval could be described as: "Major", "Minor", "Perfect", "Diminished", "Augmented".

Lets take the major interval as a reference to other intervals (remember:the major scale is the standard to all other scales), we get these:

- A major interval lowered by a "half step", becomes a minor interval ==> A minor interval raised by one half step, becomes a major interval.

- A major interval lowered by 2 "half steps= whole step", becomes a diminished interval ==> A diminished interval raised by 2 half steps, becomes a major interval.

- A major interval raised by a "half step", becomes an augmented interval ==> An augmented interval lowered by one half step, becomes a major interval.

In the case of Perfect interval:

- A perfect interval lowered by a "half step", becomes a diminished interval.
- A perfect interval raised by a "half step", becomes an augmented interval

These are the basic shapes of intervals that will help you in learning guitar scales and naming scales and chords without even knowing them, you can try other combination your self and find out the resulting interval like for example a minor interval raised by two half steps, becomes an augmented interval...and so on.

Intervals are the basic concept in learning guitar scales, when you learn them properly you'll be able to name any scale and any chord just by knowing its intervals.

Learning guitar scales: The major scale

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 8:31 AM

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Most of the music theory is build around the concept of scales, and most of scales are build in reference to the "Major scale", it is the first scale that you should learn because it plays the role of a parameter or reference to all other scales, so it's the constant of the music theory.

To begin learning guitar scales you should have a general view on "the notes on the guitar's fretboard", and the concept of the "whole and half steps".

The major scale have 7 notes (Doe, Re, Me, Fa, Sol, La, Ti). The standard formula of building the major scale is measured by the concept of "whole and half steps", so every major scale played on every key on the fretboard has the same formula which is (WH, WH, H, WH, WH, Wh, H).  "WH" stands for a whole step (2 frets on the guitar's fretboard), "H" stands for a half step (1 fret on the guitar's fretboard).

So let's take the example of the key of C (we set C as the first note or the root of the scale), the major scale will appear like this (C D E F G A B and back to the root note C).

The notes on the fretboard will look like this:

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------------------2---4---5-------------
D-----------------------2---3---5----------------------------
A-------------3---5-------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------

So if we want our major scale to be in the key of G, (G A B C D E F# and back to the root note G).

E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------------------------------------------
D--------------------------------2---4---5--------------------
A------------------2---3---5----------------------------------
E--------3---5------------------------------------------------

And the same pattern applies to every key note on the fretboard (WH, WH, H, WH, WH, Wh, H).

Notes:
1- In the previous examples, we've played the major scale using 3 string.
2- You can play it on the same string, but this is just for knowing the notes (you can't solo over one string...!!!).
3- We've used an average of 3 notes per string except the first string (we can play it 3 notes in the first string), and this is the best formula, because using this formula will make you a fast and accurate player.




The major scale is the major key in learning guitar scales, because every other scale goes back to the major scale, and this concept will help you a lot in constructing chords and writing songs.

Any questions, you're welcome.

Whole and Half steps in learning guitar scales

Posted by | Posted in , | Posted on 4:42 AM

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One of the basics of learning guitar scales are whole steps (whole tone sometimes) and half steps (semitone).

A half step is equal to one fret; so if you want to move a half step up from A (the fifth fret of lower E in standard tuning) you'll get A# (the sixth fret).

A whole step is equal to two frets; so if you want to move a whole step up from A (the fifth fret of lower E in standard tuning) you'll get B (the seventh fret).

Whole and half steps are the major key in learning guitar scales, because the first thing to do when learning guitar scales is memorizing the whole steps and half steps to make it super easy for you to learn a scale.

Learn the notes on the fretboard

Posted by | Posted in , | Posted on 6:03 AM

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Normally when people arrive at learning guitar scales, it's sure that they now the basic things like (notes on the fretboard, some chords...etc), but just to make sure, this is an introductory lesson on notes.

The western music is based on 12 notes "12 notes scale", with these 12 notes, we can play billions of combination, and that's what scales are all about (different combination of notes).These notes are in this order beginning from the note A.

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# ,and back to A.

You can see that B and E doesn't have sharps (#). "#" means higher in pitch by a semitone or half step."Flat" means lower in pitch by semitone ===> A# is the same as Bb (flat).

The standard tuning of the guitar (the six open strings) is E - A - D - G - B - E (you can use a guitar tuner to tune it). If you play the first open string or thickest, that's an E, if you hold the string down at the first fret it's an F, if you hold it at the second fret, it's an F#....and so on.You can go to Google image and type "guitar notes", you'll find a lot of charts describing guitar notes.

As you can see in guitar, if you reach the 12th fret, the 12th fret has the same note as the open string but 1 octave higher (12 successive notes).

Learning guitar notes is the first step in learning guitar scales process, so make sure that you master it in order to move to another step.

Why learning guitar scales is so important?

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 6:08 AM

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When it comes to learning guitar scales, most beginners skip that part, because they think it's very complicated to learn it, and that's exactly what makes them remain beginners. They know how to play guitar but not why the riffs sound like this.

As every learning process that you'll come across in your life, the most certain and required thing is "Practicing", that's what makes great people "great" in every field including music. and as someone said "creativity is not a thing you born with, it's a thing that you can learn".So what really makes the difference is practicing and practicing until you master it.

Not knowing about music theory will make you always a third degree musician, that's why learning guitar scales is a necessity to every musician who have passion about music. If you learn scales you'll almost master the music theory, and you'll be able to write your own songs and enjoy more and more others songs (because you'll understand it).

Learning guitar scales process is easy if you follow the right steps, but it takes a little time to master it, when you do, it will be an unconscious process and you'll not even think about it when you're playing, you'll just improvise and play.

The easy process of learning guitar scales

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 4:33 AM

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Most people (non musicians) think that writing music is just random, you know, picking some chords and notes randomly until they fit together...etc!!!, but when you enter the world of writing your own music, you'll discover that it's much like math, and scales are the basic of music, because when you learn them properly, you'll be able to read music tabs even without seeing them and that's what we all want!!!

Learning guitar scales is not an easy process to learn and it's not a hard process neither, because you have to be persistent to learn them, that's why it's hard for people who get bored easily, but if you "love" music as i do, the process of learning guitar scales will become a natural and easy process.

The first thing when you learn music scales in general is to memorize patterns (the shape of the scale in the neck of the guitar), to do that you should be familiar with half and whole steps (half step= one note, whole step= 2 notes).

All scales are based on intervals, so all you have to do is memorize the intervals on the scale like major scale for example (whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half), how easy is that!!!, and the funny thing about guitar is when you memorize a scale at one position, you'll be able to play it in every other position on the neck.

The second thing to do in learning guitar scales after memorizing the shape is to know the notes, the notes will help you a lot in constructing chords.

After that you have to know the position of notes in the scale (intervals), root, 2nd, 3rd, 5th...etc, that will help you in knowing your scales, majors, minors, diminished...etc.

The last thing is to play that scale in every position and note on the neck (first string, 2nd, 3rd...etc) , this will give you a flexibility in your playing and will allow you to solo over some specific chords.

When you master guitar scales, you can combine them or play different scales with every chord or do whatever you want with them.

If you follow these easy steps, you'll discover that learning guitar scales isn't hard as most people say.

Learning guitar scales

Posted by | Posted in | Posted on 5:34 AM

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What makes great guitarists great, is not their techniques or fast playing as much as their beautiful music that is compatible with the lyrics and get loved very easily.The beautiful music sometimes has a story to tell even without the lyrics, these great guitarists have learned the music theory and applied it to their music.

Sometimes you see someone who plays guitar super fast or use a lot of techniques (harmonics, hammer ons, pull offs, alternative picking...etc), but unfortunately this guy doesn't know anything about scales or writing music at all, he just copies somebody's riffs and play them!!!don't get me wrong this is cool also but learning guitar scales will make you a better player and a better music writer, so when you listen to a song by a famous guitarist, you'll understand how it's made exactly,so scales are your way to begin composing your own music and understanding others music.

The process of learning guitar scales may seem a lot scary and confusing to a lot, because when they hear the word "music theory", they think that this is sort of space physics that is probably can't be learned without 8 hours of dedication each day.

Learning guitar scales is not easy and it takes sometime to master it, but it's very funny and easy to learn if you follow the right procedures, especially when you go gradually from the scratch.


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