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Showing posts from October, 2009

One String Pentatonic Scales

Pentatonic scales are 5 note scales that should be in every guitar player's vocabulary. The two most common pentatonic scales are the major and minor variety. However, any combination of 5 notes could be considered a pentatonic scale. Pentatonic Box Shapes Guitar players often learn pentatonic box shapes. These shapes are incredibly useful and easy to learn, but one problem many guitarists face is getting stuck in these boxes. Because they are stuck viewing the neck through boxes, they have a difficult time connecting these shapes, thus creating a complete picture of the fingerboard. One String Pentatonic Scales To break out of the box I'm going to suggest another way to learn/practice your pentatonic scales. Play these scales on one string . That's right, one string, this is great way to start moving up the neck. You also benefit from seeing, and feeling, the intervals in the scale. Download the Handout The handout provided with this post presents the G mi

Sus 2 and Sus 4 Chords for Guitar

If you've ever found yourself searching for a way to harmonically spice up your folk and pop based tunes then check out Sus2 and Sus4 chords. They are versatile, easy to play, and harmonically satisfying. What are Sus2 and Sus4 Chords? The sus stands for a suspension. The formula for a sus2 is [1 2 5] and the formula for the sus4 is [1 4 5]. Notice that neither chord contains the 3rd, that's because it's replaced by the 2nd (sus2) or the 4th (sus4). Playing Sus Chords on the Guitar The easiest way to learn sus voicings is by altering your triad voicings. For a usesful reference sheet on triads visit my post on triads . All you need to do is find the 3rd of your chord voicing and replace it with either the 2nd or the 4th, depending on which sus voicing you are creating. That's all there is to it! Sus Voicings Handout -click to download

Creating Major Scales

Here's a handout I created for students that explains how to create all of the major scales. Click here to download. I hope you find it helpful.

Major Triads for Guitar

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Learning triads and their inversions is a must for all guitarists, regardless of stylistic interests. In our rush to play our favorite songs we often skip directly to larger chord forms and harmonic structures instead of gaining a solid foundation in basic chord structure and harmony. It's not until later, however, we get a sense that a piece of the harmonic puzzle is missing from our chord vocabulary. If any or all of this sounds familiar read on! In this post we'll look at the major triad and inversions in closed position. The Major Triad The major triad is a three note chord built by taking the first, third, and fifth notes of the major scale and stacking them on top of each other. (If you are unsure as to how to create the major scale view this post on major scale construction.) I will refer to the notes of the chord by number. Therefore, the major triad has the formula [1 3 5]. By looking at the chord tones as numbers the triad is no longer root specific. The