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     This part of the Guitar Nucleus will focus on playing music. Designed primarily for the beginner and the intermidiate player. Here we will not get into advanced theory intended for Jazz or Classical college students. If you are looking for that type of info we suggest the "Berkley series for Guitar". What is here is a basic foundamental start on theory that may get you interested enough for the advanced books. You won't have to read music since this info will be written in chart form.There are no tab sheets here but instead focus on chords , theory , scales , etc.. There is also a section on some technique excersises that can keep the finger muscles nice and strong.Hopefully you can find something here to add to your knowledge.

     Good Luck and remember - Have Fun !



Music Theory and Technique


Basic Theory | The Major Scale | Chords | Arpeggios | Technique





Basic Theory

     Music theory is basically a set of formulas. Formulas for how to make chords, scales & arpeggios. There are also formulas for chord progressions and how to determine what key your playing in. Of course, chord progressions can be arranged any way you want. Some are more common than others. Also progressions often switch keys. The verse of a song may be in a different key than the chorus. Very often a break will switch keys to set it apart from the rest of the piece. However, this is not set in stone. Possibly the most used chord progression from the 50's until now is a three chord progression that stays in the same key the whole song. This progression is used in blues a lot too. If you've ever played the song 'Rock n' Roll' by Led Zeppelin or the infamous 'Johnny B. Goode' then you've already experienced this progression.

     There's a couple of points to go over before we get into the scales. The musical alphabelt is A B C D E F G. There are also the Sharps (#) and Flats (b). Sharp is one note (one fret) higher and Flat is one note (one fret) lower. An 'Octave' is 12 notes. Open 'E' to 12th fret 'E' is an octave.

Half Step = 1 note (1 fret)
Whole Step = 2 notes (2 frets)
B & E have no sharps
C & F have no flats

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The Major Scale

     The Major Scale is where it all starts. It is the basis for most western music styles and is comprised of 7 notes. The 8th note is the "Octave" which is the same name as the first but one whole scale higher. When trying it on your instrument listen for this:

DoRayMeFaSoLaTeeDo
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Now let's look at the formula:

A good way to remember it is " 2 1/2 - 3 1/2".
( 2 whole steps, 1 half step , 3 whole steps , 1 half step )

Let's look at it using the key of "C". We start with the "C" and end with it (one octave higher).

Now let's see what it looks like on the fretboard.
Note: This is only one way you can play it.


To get the Relative Minor scale start at the 6th of the Major Scale and extend it to include 8 notes.

EX:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A
From the above example we see that A Minor is the relative to C Major.

The Pure Minor scale formula is : 1 whole step , 1 half step , 2 whole steps , 1 half step , 2 whole steps
(1 1/2 - 2 1/2 - 2)

MinorScaleFormula


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Chords

     Chords use formulas just like scales do. Their formulas are taken from the Major Scale. Therefore it's very important to first know the Major Scale before you can understand how a chord is constructed. Most chords fall into one of three basic groups : TRIADS , SEVENTHS , EXTENDED.

Chord Groups:

Triad - 3 note chord using the 1st, 3rd & 5th of the Major Scale.

Seventh - a triad that adds the seventh 1st, 3rd, 5th & 7th of the Major Scale.

Extended - basically a seventh plus. Adds combinations of 6th's, 9th's, 11's, 13th's (usually leaving some out)

Notes:
"Major" straight from the scale without modification.
"Minor" flat the 3rd. This gives it that sad sound.
"Dominant Seventh" flat the 7th. Any 7th chord that does not specify "Major" are considered Dominant.
    (Chords that follow this rule include the 9ths, 11ths & 13ths).

EX 1: C = C E G
EX 2: Cmin = C Eb G
EX 3: C7 = C E G Bb
Ex 4: C9 = C E G Bb D

! Remember the Major Scale - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Basic Triads:

Major - 1,3,5
Minor - 1,b3,5
Diminised - 1,b3,b5
Augmented - 1,3,#5

Basic Sevenths:

Major 7th - 1,3,5,7
Minor 7th - 1,b3,5,b7
Dominant 7th - 1,3,5,b7
Altered Tension - 1,3,#5,b7
Altered Tension - 1,3,b5,b7
Notice that the Major 7th doesn't flat the 7. However , the Minor, Dominant & Altered does.

To use the extended formulas you will need to extend your Major Scale.
DoRayMeFaSoLaTeeDoRayMeFaSoLa
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A

Extended Chords:

6 - 1,3,5,6
7sus4 - 1,4,5,b7 (no 3rd)
9 - 1,3,5,b7,9
11 - 1,5,b7,9,11
13 - 1,3,5,b7,9,13
Major 9 - 1,3,5,7,9
MinorMajor7 - 1,b3,5,7

Some things to remember:
sus4 & 11 - leave out 3rd
13th - leave out 11


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Arpeggios

Arpeggios are like scales except they come from chords. An Arpeggio contains only the notes of the chord which the Arpeggio is named after. Here we'll cover the basic Major and Minor Arpeggios.

maj7 arpeggio Major 7 Arpeggio Major Arpeggio
Minor7 Arpeggio Minor7 Arpeggio Minor7 Arpeggio


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Technique

Below are some nice technique exercises to keep those finger muscles tight. When practicing technique there are a few things to stay true to or you won't really get the right results. Keep true to these, be patient, and you'll be pleased at the long term results.

* Use your first finger as a position marker. Keep your thumb and first finger aligned. Keep the thumb behind the neck.

* Position your finger right behind the fret. This is the point of least resistance.

* Don't lift your finger until you have to. This gives stability and balance.

* Alternate picking down and up. Picking in one direction takes longer.

* Play at a speed that allows you to perform correctly. Speed comes with time. Don't cheat yourself.

The following charts represent fingerboard patterns. The dots on the fingerboard are finger numbers. Finger numbers are as follows:

1 = index , 2 = middle , 3 = ring , 4 = pinky

Technique 1 Technique 2 Technique 3 Technique 4

Play patterns in the following order 4x each:
1 2 3 4
1 2 4 3
1 3 2 4
1 3 4 2
1 4 2 3
1 4 3 2

Also practice your scales and arpeggios for technique. It keeps the muscles up. Your hand's muscles are just like any other muscles in the body. They have to be exercised to stay strong. You are working muscles in your fingers, palm and forearm each time you press down on a note.


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