Music Theory Minute: Inversions

By Dave Eichenberger The first thing we learn as guitarists are usually some basic chords. These chords contain very specific notes played with shapes that every guitarist has used for well over 100 years. We now know that in addition to the billions and billions of chords that are available to us, there are many…

Chord Scales in the Key of Awesome

Wait, I am already learning chords and scales… you’re telling me there are also things called Chord Scales? Yes! Chords scales are not only useful when composing, but also in improvisation. When harmonizing a melody we can make our music more rich, have more twists and turns, and break us out of the riff-based power chord rut we have been in for far too long. This article will explain a basic harmonization of the major scale, using movable chord shapes on the four smallest strings of our guitars – all while sounds sophisticated, complex, and completely irresistible to the opposite sex.

Evolution In Music Pedagogy

I started my walk on the musical road to perdition not as a guitarist, but as a singer. I received a fairly traditional, classical education. I learned to read notes, solfege (learning relative intervals: think of the famed scene of the Sound of Music where the children learn to sing via Do-Re-Mi: that’s solfege!), all the modes. When I switched to the rock and metal side of music I experienced major troubles: I couldn’t get rid of my belcanto-techniques.

Why Are There 12 Frets To The Octave?

The guitar is a problem-haunted instrument. Because of its construction it can never be 100% in tune. As I wrote in my previous blog, the frets are positioned in a compromised way as to make it as good as possible under bad circumstances. But to make things even worse, Western music itself is never in…

Breaking Down the Barriers: Understanding Modes of the Major Scale, Pt 1

Understanding what modes actually are is the first step to using them effectively as an improvising guitarist. It is all part of understanding what we like when we’re listening to or learning a song. For me, I heard all this great music but didn’t understand how the guitarists picked those particular notes to create a solo or chord progression that reached me. Knowing this allowed me to see the ingredients to a song’s recipe.

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Relationship Between Keys, Chords, and Scales

What is a key? We have all heard that term before, as in ‘What key is this song in?’ When we first start out playing guitar this all seems so complicated, but in the end it isn’t. The last Breaking Down the Barriers blog focused on the musical alphabet, and how it relates to guitar playing. This article with actually focus on how to use this alphabet in a musical way.

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