Audio Guitar Discussion Thread

tracerbullet

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

okay see, notes in the D major scale are D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D. Now if you transpose from D to A, the note are A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A.

So, in the process of transposing, G which is the fourth of D gets sharpened (as you said). Or the scale being transposed to, which in this case is A has its root note (which is A again) flattened to replace the fourth note in the scale of D major. So Ab/G# replaces G.

Then again, I think my method is probably more long-drawn :p
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

Oh OK like that. You basically add the flat of the root to the scale.

No your method is not long-drawn or incorrect, everybody has their own 'tricks' to learn and get over theory (and indeed everything else). It may be a simpler thing to learn, except that you now have to drop one note, and figure out which that dropped note is.

As long as it works for you it's great, and I'm sure somebody else will find it a nice alternative method.

I still play in shapes mind you, still learning transposition as I'm not a vocalist and I'm not in a band where I have to keep up with others.

@rio, I just saw your post - I don't own the thread dude, and I'm as eager to hear different points of view as put in my own into the thread. Would love to hear your reply to checksum's post.

@checksum - you've got a good selection of bands there, you'll get simple versions of chords for their songs on tab sites or by ear. Try and learn the basic major chords along with the fourths, fifths and minors. The system is called CAGED, which I will explain in a little more detail in my next chords post, along with how to build them, but to start with, here are the three chord sets that will make up most of the songs you want to play:

C, F, G, a, d, e (Key of C)

E, A, B, c#, f#, g# (Key of E)

G, C, D, e, a, b (Key of G)

Capital letters are major chords and small letters are minor chords.

Strum the chords as whole notes for some time, and practice changing between them. That F chord is going to kill you to start with, but will be the foundation for barre chords. Would suggest you start with the basic open chord forms first, without trying a barre (that would mean control on your right hand so you don't hit the bottom strings). Once you get the changes down, try simple songs (Happy Birthday is a great start!) so you can pick up confidence.

One word of caution: It is very tempting at first to try and keep time. Don't.

Our minds are conditioned to do one thing at a time. Practice timing and changes separately when you're just starting out. Or you will not be able to do either correctly. The most important thing is to get the feel of the instrument and figure out where everything is. Play things slowly, well below the actualt speed, sing one word or one phrase at a time and play only one or two chords. Then take it to the chorus, or the second verse, or whatever. When I started out I would drop the bridges and other parts that I felt were complex. I still do, for learning new songs.

Take it easy. That's page one.
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

All right, now we'll start with part 3: chords. I was initially looking at making this an audio lesson but will skip that to prevent ear torture, plus there's nothing theoretical about audio. Again we'll be borrowing heavily from concepts we learnt in part 1 and 2, notes and intervals. We will not allude to the circle of fifths again, but remember that we will be using it to build our scales and chords.

What are chords?

Chords are nothing more than three or greater number of notes played together. There are diatonic chords called 'power' chords, and we'll see a little bit about them as well. So simple - play three notes together, and you have a chord.

The first chord we'll learn today is Em7add11. It sounds complicated, but it's really not. It is the chord you play when you strum all the open strings on your guitar without fretting anything. We'll come back to explain this chord once we learn how to build chords.

As we already know, a scale consists of intervals. A chord is simply two or more intervals played together. The simplest chords are tritone (and the most widely used) which are three notes, or two intervals. We'll dive into those first, as they are the building blocks of harmony. I'll be working in the key of C, which has no accidentals. Hopefully that will keep it simple for everybody. For intermediate guitarists - you can use the circle of fifths to transpose, and advanced guys already know all this stuff anyway.

The basic tritone chord types are:

Major: Root, Major third, Perfect fifth

Minor: Root, Minor third, Perfect fifth

Augmented: Root, Major third, Augmented fourth

Diminished: Root, Minor third, diminished fifth

Building chords

I will first lay out the notes of C major:

C D E F G A B

We will need to build chords in each and every note in the key. The 'key' thing to remember is that tritones in this key will have ONLY notes from the key. As we kind of hinted earlier, a chord is a root third and fifth. Refer to the intervals lesson if you need to jog your memory on the names I'm reeling out here. Root is the starting note of the chord.

I will lay out all the chords for these notes, along with the intervals:

C (first degree): root, third, perfect fifth: C, E, G - C major

D (second degree): root, minor third, perfect fifth: D, F, A - D minor

Aha! why is the minor third F and not Eb? Because though we use notes from the key of C, when we build a chord we always do it referring the root note's scale, not the scale it is being created in. So we have to use the third in the key of D, not in the key of C. This way the chord is universal no matter what key you play it in. This can be confusing when confronted for the first time.

The third for the key of D is F#, and the minor third is F. Moving on:

E (third degree): root, minor third, perfect fifth: E, G, B - E minor

F (fourth degree): root, major third, perfect fifth: F, A, C - F major

G (fifth degree): root, major third, perfect fifth: G, B, D - G major

A (sixth degree): root, minor third, perfect fifth: A, C, E - A minor

B (seventh degree): root, minor third, diminished fifth: B, D, F - B diminished

Each key will have only one augmented/dimininshed chord, and can be used to great effect for contrast. 'All my loving' by The Beatles uses an C augmented when returning to root chord C, and it's great fun to play/listen to it.

Extending chords

We can also extend chords by adding notes to it. The most basic of these is the dominant, which is very common. We get a dominant by adding a minor seventh to the chord in the fifth degree. In the key of C, the dominant would be a G7. We construct a G7 by adding an F to it, so a G7 is basically four notes; GBDF. Every time we add a note after this, we number the chord after 7. For example we can construct a chord GBDFA, this would be a G9 (pronounced G dominant 9th). If we add the note without adding a minor seventh, it becomes an 'Add' chord. So a Gadd9 is basically GBDA.

Then there are suspended chords, referred to as sus chords. Here we drop the third and replace it with another note. The two most common notes are the 2nd and the 4th, giving us Dsus2, Dsus4 and other wonderful droning chords. Very easy to play on the guitar, and a boatload of fun, if a bit overused.

Lastly there are slash chords. Slash chords are basically telling you to play a chord with a different bass note. They are basically inversions, though there may be cases (like a walking bassline) where notes from outside the basic chord form are used. So a C/E is a C with the bass note from E (played after fretting the C and letting all strings ring), and a G/B is a G chord played with a B bass (so not playing the 6th string at all).

Now let's see how we arrived at that open chord. The notes are E, B, G, D, A. Basically we have the Em chord Which is E, B and G, and to it we add a minor 7th (D) and a fourth/eleventh (A). So Em + 7 (minor 7 = dominant) + 11th.

Power chords

Lastly there are power chords. Power chords basically drop the thirds totally, so all you are playing are root and fifth. A lot of guitarists double the notes, for more layering and texture. Power chords have an aggressive sound and can be used as harmony under major and minor melodies, and are thus heavily leaned upon in Rock music, which sometimes switches between major, pentatonic and related minor scales. Most heavy rock harmony uses power chords at one point or the other. 'Rock you like a hurricane' by the Scorpions is almost entirely composed on power chords, as is 'With or Without you' by U2.

Wrapping up

For transposing the chords we use the circle of fifths. There is no magic bullet to this stuff, you should be playing the chords a lot to get used to how they sound. There are hundreds of places to get chord shapes from. I hope you've downloaded the Nut chords program I talked about earlier, it gives you the chord shapes for every single chord, and it will play the chord for you so you know how it sounds. It also names chords for you, so if you hit a cool riff it will name that chord for you so you can impress all your friends with the new G9-5 or whatever you learnt. There's also a filter so you can avoid the funny shapes.

G9-5, for advanced guitarists, is played xx5453. Next part we learn how to decode chord shapes from the funny numbers I just gave, and we move to the instrument and learn basic shapes and CAGED. That will wrap up the lesson on chords, and exhausts all I know about guitar. I really don't know how to play it :p
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

Reading chord diagrams

To start with, chords in most chord charts have a sequence of six digits and X's. The digits each represent a string and fret co-ordinates, and x simply means to not play the string, or to mute it. The leftmost digit is the thickest string, the rightmost the thinnest. So,

000000

Means to play all strings open.

xxxxx1 means to play only the first fret on the thin(high) e string.

x32010 is a basic C major chord. It tells us to not play the top string, to fret the 5th string at fret 3, 4th at 2, leave the G open, second string fret 1, and the last thin string open. This gives us (from 5th string) C, E, G, C, E - all the notes in the C major chord.

Inversions and voicing

We can also play the same chord by only hitting the 5, 4 and 3 strings, we'll get the same chord. It will sound slightly different, but will be essentially the same chord. This is known as an voicing. Staying with C major, play the following:

x32010

x320xx

x32013

All are open positions for the C major chord. All work equally well, and can be used effectively for tonal variations. Now play

xxx988

xx5553

x3555x

x35550

All are the same C chord, but starting from different root notes. In strict chord theory terms the first two in the above set are not C at all, but G65-sus4 and Em#5. But they work just fine as substitutes for C, and when fingerpicking, they are invaluable as playing C in the same position sounds very boring. These are called inversions of a chord.

CAGED

Now onto the last part, which is the CAGED system. These 5 keys contain all the shapes you will ever need to play any of the major scales and chords. Learn the shapes and you will get far, the only thing you need is to barre.

C: CdeFGa

A: Abc#DEf#[G#]

G: GabCDe[f#]

E: Ef#g#ABc#[D#]

D: Def#GAb[C#]

The minor chords are small letters, and [] denotes diminished chords. Finger as many chords as you can in the open positions. Some of them will be impossible,so we now move to the next part: barre chords.

Barre chords

Barre chords, together with the CAGED system, basically open up the entire fretboard for you. A barre chord is formed by using your index finger to form a 'bar' on the strings at a given fret. This basically allows you to 'move' the zero fret of the guitar, and acts as a new 'nut' so that the chords sound correct at a position higher up on the fretboard. It requires that

1) you are familiar with the shape

2) your index finger has sufficient strength to form the bar and not mute any strings

3) the rest of your fingers can form the chord shape without assistance from the index

As you already know, each fret on you guitar is a chromatic half step. So the fretboard goes (top string) E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E till the twelfth fret, and then repeats. Any chord that you play at the open position can be moved down to transpose it. For example, play an open E like so

022100

Now without taking your left-hand fingers off the strings, move the 2 down to the 5th fret. Like so:

x554xx

Only play the three fretted strings. See how you've kept the same chord tone, but higher in pitch? This is strictly an inversion of G, but addition of your fourth finger will give you the proper chord:

35540x

And a full barre will give you a full G:

355433

Note that a full barre will be difficult at first. Our instincts get us to use our most important fingers first. That is why we have to train up all our four fingers or we will never be able to free up the index finger for barring chords.

Also note that it is strictly *not* necessary to full barre chords. A 35540x barre will be much quicker to execute and quicker to play, as we are only hitting five strings at a time. Unless you're playing bluegrass where fuller chord sounds are required, the other forms will do fine.

The easiest shapes to barre are E major and Minor, and A major and minor. Between these four forms, you can move up and down and explore the fretboard to your heart's content.

Done!!

This wraps up my theory monologue - sorry for the long posts. Do feedback as much as you can, and let me know if there are any questions on the same. Here are some chords to add a bit of variety to your playing, these sound good on acoustic guitar:

x24400

xx0787

xx0788

xx0780

xx078(10)

x54530

xxx453
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

Bonus: Unusual progressions: this is not really beginners' thing, but here are some nice things to try if you want to explore beyond the Dsus2/4 and G7. All are in key of C.

Minor fourth degree (Fm) as a leading chord to tonic

Double dominant (D7) for same purpose

Sus3rd (Esus4)

6th minor sus4 (Asus4, Asus2 and Am7sus4)

Tonic - 7 - maj7 (C, C7, Cmaj7 though this works best in key of A and E, and is easy to move)
 

samrulez

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

Hey Guys,

Would D'Addario XL gauge stings be heavier than Local XL gauge stings? ;)
 

RiO

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

Gauges are gauges, it can't be different if 2 sets of strings have the same gauge... for example, a set of D'Addario 9's will be the same as Karuna 9's. On the other hand, "tone" and "flexibility" would vary by brand even if the strings are of the same gauge :)

Additional info you didn't ask for lol: If you're using 8's, another thing to worry about is how easily the top 3 strings break... their durability and tone isn't that great either, and generally, 9's have much better tone and last longer. I use D'Addario EXL120 (9's) and change my strings every 3-6 months, depending on when they start to lose tone and sustain. Another thing to note is that EXL120's will feel a lot like 8's due to their flexibility, plus you get better tone and durability :)

And if you can't get D'Addario EXL120, you can look for Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings.
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

I'm not sure what Karuna calls XL are 9, AFAIK they're more like 8s. I've generally seen all local strings (except what is called 'export quality') run one gauge lower than the correct equivalent. At least on acoustics.

For electrics, even though I don't play much, I actually like the light guage (10s). AFAIK only Reynolds makes those freely available (Indian brand). But then again I play 13s on my acoustic, so WTH. I just prefer the fatter tone, I guess.

Strings are cheap, get a few different sets, and make notes so you can remember the sound. By the time it's time to change strings, you forget what they sounded like when new. This way you can narrow it down to your favorite strings.
 

nukeu666

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...



that is the middle octave on a piano keyboard

where do i find that on a fretboard?

how about the higher and lower octaves?
 

digital_brain

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

play your piano and guitar together and see which C sounds alike :p ..
 

nukeu666

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

gah, gp5 is 170mb...ill install it later :p
 

cyberjunkie

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

I'm sooo lost when it comes to music theory. My strumming and my ability to keep track of timings sucks! My chord switching isn't smooth - strings go muted a bit. Things have got louder and the door to my room now automatically gets shut from the outside :p
 

cranky

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

That sounds a little like me :) Except there's no one to shut my doors :) My neighbors scream, but that sounds like their contribution to the music :rofl:
 

samrulez

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

cyberjunkie said:
I'm sooo lost when it comes to music theory. My strumming and my ability to keep track of timings sucks! My chord switching isn't smooth - strings go muted a bit. Things have got louder and the door to my room now automatically gets shut from the outside :p
Chill man. Every guitarist goes though the stage.Even Alexi Laiho,Roope Latvala,Dimebag Darrell,Jeff Hanneman and eveyone did. Its normal.

Just keep cool and practice..And remember..

You Suck > Your Ok > Your Good > Your Great! :hap2:

You cant be OK without sucking, and cant be Great without being Good :)
 

samrulez

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Re: For guitarists of all levels...

nukeu666 said:
is there a anything like a piano keyboard to fretboard mapping?

there are many C's on a geetar so which of them can be considered as a middle C? so on with the other keys?
The Middle "C" from the keyboard is the "C" note on the "A" string in standard (EADGBE tuning) on the 3rd fret.. :)