Monday, October 26, 2015

Notes on the Second 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. The top line of the duet uses notes from the first two strings.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quarter 1 Self-Reflection

All students in Guitar 1 must complete a 1st quarter self reflection survey. The purpose of the survey is to help gauge your achievement in the course at the halfway point of the semester and help me direct or redirect the class moving forward. Your honest feedback will help us all improve.

Self Reflection Survey

Please complete by Tuesday October 27th. Thank You!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Blues Shuffle

Here is a post on the Blues shuffle. It is one of the most classic riffs in all of guitardom and I wanted to commit it to the blog. This "shuffle" is the early sound of rock guitar. This is the model in which blues guitarists still make their music and with which rock guitarists build their style. (image 1)

The A minor pentatonic scale is one of the most common scale patterns used by guitarists to build solos and write classic riffs for songs. (image 2)

To finish off your blues you might want to use this classic lick that has been passed down through the decades... (image 3)

The blues shuffle pattern at the top of the post (image 1) is the backbone. That is your foundation. On top of that you can play a solo using the pentatonic scale (image 2) and incorporate your classic blues lick (image 3).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

You Too Can Write Your Own Song!

Beginning Guitar
You Too Can Write Your Own Song!

At this point you should all have the basic skill sets for writing your own music.
  • Basic Chord Vocabulary
  • A variety of strumming, picking and finger-style patterns (we are getting there...)
  • A guitar

With those skills and the guitar (which isn’t so much a skill as more a medium through which your musical ideas can find an expressive outlet) You Too Can Write Your Own Song!

To make this process easier for you, I have outlined the basic chords in a chord matrix to help you get started. Play around with these chords. Put them in different order. Try different strumming and plucking patterns, different tempo (speed), etc.

Chord Family Matrix (The grayed out chords are ones we have not reviewed in class, but feel free to explore them as well.)
Often we play these chords in a line across this matrix (G-C-D7-G), staying within the same family. But many times when we experiment with chords outside a family we can get interesting results.
Ex. D-B7-Em-F-G These chords are from different families, but it may be a sound you like or can work with.

 Remember a D chord can be spiced up by using a sus2 or a sus4

Write down your ideas so you remember your original chord progressions and any other notes that can help you remember your ideas.

Share Them Here

The key ingredient is experimentation. Some musicians spend hours going back and forth over chords using trial and error to come up with a sound they like. You will be surprised with what you can come up with when you experiment a little bit.

Classic Chord Progressions (These ones have already been used a lot!)
G-Em-C-D7-G-Em-C-D7, etc. (Many songs of the 50’s and 60’s)

G-C7-G-G-C7-C7-G-G-D7-C7-G-G (The blues. Played everyday since 1890 or so.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Composing for the Guitar

Today we will play with a new music notation program.
You will compose using Noteflight an online/cloud-based notation program. Noteflight allows you to compose on a desktop and/or tablet. It allows you to collaborate on composition much as you would a shared document. During class, we will learn how to work with Noteflight. The object is to start building familiarity with the program.
Here is an assignment which will allow you to experiment with composition

Monday, October 5, 2015

Notes on 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.