Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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

Try applying a finger style pattern like this one over this song...

Guitar II: Major, minor, Blues, and the kitchen sink...

We have been breaking down some scales in class and discussing their usefulness in terms of improvising and riff construction.

We started out with the the minor pentatonic...
This is the classic rock and blues solo scale. By law you must play this if you own a guitar.

For today's purposes we will be working in the key of A:

Next we introduced the The Blues into the equation...
The Blues scale adds some notes that take the minor pentatonic and make it a bit grittier. You can see that a couple of notes have been added to the pentatonic shape.


We played a lick or two using the Major Pentatonic...
The Major pentatonic is the opposing sound to the minor pentatonic. This scale has a lighter quality when played in rock and blues. Ideally you want to find ways to mesh the minor and major scales to together.


Which brings us to...
You can view these scales as separate entities and work with them separately, or you can start to think of them as parts to a whole. Many great soloists build solos that seamlessly combine elements of each type of scale into one scale which, for today's purposes, we'll call the "kitchen sink" scale.


Try that on for size! This scale has elements that will work in a Major or minor Blues, over chord changes in A. There are a lot of options for the aspiring soloist. Have fun with it.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sample Fingerstyle 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.

GHS Guitar: Intro to Finger-style Guitar (Video)

GHS Guitar: Intro to Finger-style Guitar (Video): I will be adding updates to this video with music excerpts of the examples played in the video.

Monday, March 23, 2015

GHS Guitar: The Diminished Chord: The Joy of Parallel Movement...

GHS Guitar: The Diminished Chord: The Joy of Parallel Movement...: ...This is a post that has information about diminished chords. In Guitar 2 we have been discussing diminished chords. This post should help...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guitar II: Moveable Bar Chords on the 5th String

Bar chords are often torturous for beginning guitarists, but they unlock the neck of the guitar like no other chords can do.
With the 3 chord shapes in this post and knowledge of the 5th string (to the 12th fret), you now have 36 chords at your disposal (theoretically more if you count enharmonic equivalents as different chords-but let's not worry about that too much).

First, let's look at the 3 shapes in question:




These shapes are based around the open position A chord. If you take away the first finger bar, you probably can see the the A, Am and A7 shape.

These chords change letter name based on where you place that first finger bar. When you know the notes on the 6th string, you really have some options.

These are the first steps in mapping the neck of the guitar. Happy chord hunting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guitar 1: Composing on the 1st two strings

Today you will use Noteflight to compose a simple melody using notes on the first two strings of the guitar.

Your composition will make use of all six notes (B, C, D, E, F, G) that we have studied. The melody will be 8-measures in length and will make use of Whole notes, Half Notes and Quarter notes.

Click here to get to the Noteflight template

Friday, March 13, 2015

Guitar 1: 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.

Guitar 1: Notes on the 2nd String

The notes on the 2nd string follow the same pattern as the notes on the first string. Here is an image showing the notes on the staff and their position on the neck of the guitar.

This duet uses notes on the first 3 strings. If you want to review just the notes on the first 2 strings you can stick with the top line.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GHS Music Technology: Creating a YouTube account for student or teacher ...

GHS Music Technology: Creating a YouTube account for student or teacher ...: YouTube can offer many opportunities for both students and teachers to share ideas, concepts, projects, lessons, and reinforcement in an eas...

Guitar 1: The 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 styles of music. This video demonstrates a strumming pattern called the syncopated strum. It is one of the most commonly used and useful strums for the guitarist. Try using this strum with the chord progression for When September Ends and you will start to hear the song emerge from the chords.

This strum follows this pattern: D DU U D     (D=Down, U=Up)

Try combining your chords into your own progression using this strumming pattern.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Guitar I: Notes on the first string- Duet

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