Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sample Finger-style Patterns

Here is a collection of finger-style patterns for many musical occasions. The patterns are broken into two categories: Patterns in 4/4 time and patterns in 3/4 time. Even though music can be played in many different types of time signatures, 4/4 and 3/4 are among the most common. These patterns can be starting points for even more exploration.

Alternating Thumb and finger pluck:



Plucking Arpeggios:
An arpeggio is also known as a broken chord. Rather than strumming the notes of the chord together, an arpeggio breaks them up.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Intro to Finger-style Guitar (Video)

I will be adding updates to this video with music excerpts of the examples played in the video.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Duet Reading: Notes on the First String

Playing duets is an excellent way to quickly improve your note reading ability. For this example, you are going to work out the notes and rhythm of Part I (the top line). We will play the duet as a class. I will play Part II.

Audio of Duet 1

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guitar I: The B7 chord and Hallelujah

In class we discussed the B7 chord. We looked at the open position fingering of the chord and mentioned it's relationship to E chords (specifically Em).

Well here is that chord in blog format...
Here are the chord changes to the very popular song "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.
The B7 chord (in this key) only makes one appearance in the form of the song, but the impact is striking. It is easily the most memorable chord in the song. The fact is the B7 chord doesn't actually belong in the the key of the song (G). It is borrowed form another key and that is why it is such a special sound.

G                                 Em
I've heard there was a secret chord
        G                              Em
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
       C                        D                    G         D
But you don't really care for music, do you?    
It goes like this
        C              D
The fourth, the fifth
        Em                 C
The minor fall, the major lift
       D                         B7               Em
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
         C               G
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

         C               G    D    G
Hallelujah, Halleluuuuuujah

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

Primary Chords: Major and Minor

In a previous class we discussed the idea of primary chords. These chords are the I, IV, and V chord of a particular key. We have played the primary chords in the key of G (I = G, IV = C, V = D).
Primary chords exist in minor keys as well, but they look a little different. While Major key primary chords are all major (I, IV, V), minor key primary chords look like this: i, iv, V7

We know two of the minor chords: Em and Am
In the key of Em, these are the i and iv chords. The V7 chord is a bit more tricky and may pose more of a challenge to some of you because it uses the pinky on the left hand.
I introduce to you the B7 chord...
You'll notice when you play these chords together they have a darker more moody sound than the major chords we have been playing.

Take your time playing through these chords with the various strum patterns we have been working on.

Guitar I: A, Am, A7 Chords and Song

Here are 3 forms of the A chord in open position.

The A7 chord completes the primary chord cycle in the key of D Major. The primary chords in any key are the I chord, IV chord and the V7 chord. In D Major the I chord is D, the IV chord is G and the V7 chord is A7.

A lot of music has been written using just the I, IV and V7 chords in any given key.
As we learn our beginning chords, we will group them into these families. Because you will often play chords from the same family together, it is helpful to practice them together.

Here is an exercise that uses the primary chords in the key of D (D, G and A7). In this exercise the objective is to play the bass note of the chord before strumming the chord. The bass note or root is the note that names the chord.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Classic Chord Progression with Various Strums

A few classes ago we introduced a classic chord progression that has been used for years in classical, jazz, and pop music. We call this progression (G, Em, C, and D) a I-vi-IV-V progression. For those of you who need to refresh your knowledge of roman numerals that mean 1,6,4,5. We use roman numeral in music because they have the ability to be upper case and lower case. In this case, that is important because upper case means the chord is major and lower case means the chord is minor. If you look at the chord progression you see that only one chord (Em) is minor and only one roman numeral (vi) is lower case. If you count G as I, then counting to 6 will bring you to E, or in this case, Em (vi). 

Try playing this progression using the strums shown on the image: Syncopated, Latin and Rock. I have included a video which demonstrates using each strum patter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Theory Behind Chord Families

I have spoken in class about how certain chords belong together because they are in the same family. Well, by family I am talking about the key in which these chords reside.
 Let's look at three chords: G, C, and D

These three chords get played together a lot. We call these chords the I (G), IV (C) and V (D) in the key of G.

When you look at the Key of G and how the scale in that key is constructed, you will see the pattern of chords that live within the key of G. This pattern is the same in every Major scale (Do, Re, Mi...etc.)

Notice how the I, IV and V are upper case or Major chords. We call those the Primary Chords in the key. Hundreds and hundreds of songs have been written based on these primary chords alone. At this point, you already know the primary chords and a couple of secondary chords (Am, Em) in the key of G so you are well on your way to playing, and creating some great music.

Notes on the First String 2/2

This post is dedicated to the notes on the first string. The first string is the "E" string and when the first string is played "open" it is the note "E".
"F" and "G" are played on the 1st and 3rd fret respectively. Playing through these exercises will prepare you for our first duet.

Notes on the First String 1/2

This video reviews the three notes on the first string: E, F, and G

Friday, September 12, 2014

Guitar 1: Benchmark Chord Assessment

Thursday and Friday 9/18 and 9/19, we will have our first benchmark chord assessment. We do this to help chart forward progress on the guitar. I will be listening for chord accuracy, clarity, and motion. The object isn't to play fast but to play accurately and cleanly.
Additionally, I will be listening for the syncopated and rock strums. Again, this is a starter measurement point.

Chords to be assessed:

Reflect on the Music: A Guitar Forum

Friday, September 5, 2014

Guitar 1: Basic Strums- Syncopated Strum

GHS Guitar: Guitar 1: Basic Strums- Syncopated Strum: In addition to learning your chords, a guitarist wants to have a variety of different strumming patterns to enable them to play different st...

Thursday, September 4, 2014