Sunday, December 19, 2010

Songs & singing...

I've still been on the guitar and still doing lessons but... There is always a but! But I'm trying to learn 'songs' and worse than that - how to sing along to em.

Been looking at Led Zeppelin's (too difficult but I love em!):
The Rain Song & Over The Hills And Far Away

Some I used to play bits of (badly): 
Clapton's acoustic version of Layla
Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here & Welcome To The Machine
Screaming Tree's Dollar Bill
Hendrix Hey Joe & The Wind Cries Mary

Trying to sing along is a real show stopper. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lesson 7: Chord Construction Made Easier (part 2)

I should be able to figure out all the notes that are used in a major scale to make up a chord...
Looking back at the first part of lesson 7 and a (major) scale as numbers 
gives me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 from a given the root note.
By placing my fingers on the guitar at the root note shown in the image below

A table of notes in a scale is constructed from the scale pattern above where 1 is the root note starting point and then looking at the distance between the notes. 1 to 2 is one step/tone, 2 to 3 is one step/tone,  3 to 4 is half a step/tone etc.

I should be able to figure em out and draw them all up in the table below (and I'm going to force myself to do it to make sure I get it!)

1 root C
2 minor DD#EFF#GG#AA#BCC#
3 minor EFF#GG#AA#BCC#DD#
4 major FF#GG#AA#BCC#DD#E
5 major GG#AA#BCC#DD#EFF#
6 relative minor AA#BCC#DD#EFF#GG#
7 major (can be flattened for a blues sound) BCC#DD#EFF#GG#AA#
8 octave CC#DD#EFF#GG#AA#B

HTML table ALERT :) 
it has been a long time since I've done one of those!

Now to make the Major chord you need the 1, 3, & 5th notes in that scale.
Easy so far!

To make the Major 6 you need the 1, 3, 5 & 6th notes in that scale.
I'm still following! 

To make the Major 7 you need the 1, 3, 5, & 7th notes in that scale.
Yes, thankfully, it is that easy :)

To make the Minor chord you flatten the 3rd so you need 1, 3b & 5th notes in the scale.

Minor 7 is 1, 3b, 5 & 7thb

Suspended 2 is 1, 2 & 5th

Suspended 4 is 1, 4 & 5th

C or D is an easy one to try that out on. Play the D and then try to add those notes in and magically you will be making those chords.
I like magic!

To be sure there are plenty of other chords but this is a good of enough start for me in my effort to rule the world and understand the beginning of chord building on a guitar.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lesson 7: Chord Construction Made Easier (part 1)

Lesson 6 was a bit too much in the deep end. So I was after something to help me understand it in a more structured way, something with numbers (which for me was going to be a simpler way).

To find the notes that make a chord:
  • Put your 2nd finger on the root note. That's note 1 in the sequence. So in the key of C, and the chord of C, you need to find the root note on the top, fat, E string. That's going to be the 8th fret on the top E string. This puts your fingers in a good starting point for the notes that make up the chord of C.
  • The next note in the sequence is 2 frets up, where your little finger is sitting over the 10th fret. That's going to be a D and it is note 2 in the sequence.
  • That sets you up for the note pattern shown blow (in red crosses). The rest of the notes look like this:

X marks the spot to the pattern to the notes above.

Also numerically (where it makes sense for me!)

To build a (MAJ) chord you want to take the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the (MAJ) scale.

So in C you want 1 - C, 3 - E & 5 - G.

If you now finger a C chord down at the zero fret you will see that those are the 3 notes that make up a 'C'.

Next time will go into how other notes modify a MAJ chord.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lesson 6: Chord Construction

This lesson was my first step into looking at how guitar chords are put toegher.
It was lots of fun 'cause strangely enough it was making some sense!

Trying to make some sense of my notes from that lesson, one week later is, proving to be more difficult... OK so diving in without a safety net - here goes!

Short Story: 
Major chords: constructed from 3 notes (1st, 3rd, 5th) in the scale.
Minor chords: constructed from 3 notes (1st, flattened 3rd, 5th) in the scale. 

Long Story: 
Major chords are made up of 3 main notes, the 1st, 3rd and 5th note in the scale.

In the C Major scale:
1 = C
2 = D
3 = E
4 = F
5 = G
6 = A
7 = B

So C, E and G are the ones!

As a bar chord on the 8th fret: 
To make the Minor you flatten the 3rd note of the major scale. 

In the Cminor from the Major scale:
1 = C
2 = D
flattened 3 = Eb
4 = F
5 = G
6 = A
7 = B

C minor barred on the 8th fret:

Grokking that? 
Just remember that Major is 1,3,5 notes from the scale. 
To make a Minor from a Major chord you just flatten the 3rd note in the scale.

More next time in part 2 of chord making.

Lesson 5: Something showing a scale in use

Intro to 'Since I've been loving you' - Led Zeppelin

Learning WTF a scale is (a group of notes that sound the business together) and how it is put together is the type of ground work I was after from a guitar teacher. How to make music is something else again :)

So my guitar geezer told me to look at Since I've Been Loving You 
by Jimmy Page. It has been called one of the best guitar solos of all time and looking at the intro you can see it sits in pattern, in a scale.

My very rough draw up of the intro tab with no timing shown is:
(right mouse and open image in another window to go large)

Looking at those notes and based on the FECK all I know about scales so far I can kind of tell that that is in either C Minor or D#(Eb) Major.

Should be easy to tell 'cause it is beginning with your index finger on the 8th fret C note (or somewhere around there!) and because you are there with your index finger you are in a Minor. So C Minor.

Looking at where your little pinkie finger is naturally positioned it will be in the D#(Eb) [D sharp / E flat] note. So you could also say you are in D# Major (and the C is the relative minor).

I'm pretty sure Mr Page (being the walk on water guitar god he is) moves in and out of scales and patterns and does what ever the fark he wants when he wants without giving a flying shite about them at all
but it is still nice to know that all of those notes in the intro to 'Since I've been Loving You' are BANG on in the beginners scale I've been learning.


Lesson 4: Transitions

Back to the C major scale and soloing over it. 
 Looking at the scale below 
(which I've duplicated from the most excellent 'all scale looking thing' at and cut up into patterns below) (right mouse and open image in another window to go LARGE)

If you are on the 5th fret and moving up and down in notes in Pattern 5 and you want to get up to the 12th fret and Pattern 3 you can just 'leap' up in there in a single bound like super'fecken'man or you could play other notes on the way up there.

A nice way I was shown to transition between these patterns was to hold 2 notes on the bottom (thinnest) 2 strings and play them at the same time (or close to the same time) and then play 2 more just up in the scale and repeat (with any variation you want) until you get up, or down, to where you want to be next.

Hopefully the image above helps to explain this (but I doubt it!).
Looking at the 5th fret you can hold the 5th fret bottom string and the 6th fret next string up and then ping those 2 notes together and slide or jump up to the 7th fret and then do it again.

You can see that sometimes your 2nd note is 2 frets up, not 1 - as you are trying to 
play notes that stay in the C major scale and sound 'nice' together.

I'll 'YouTube' this one at some point. 
It will take about 10 seconds of video to explain.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lesson 4: (prequel) It is OK to suck

After listening to Jimmy Page and Billy Gibbons play guitar all weekend (and trying to learn some of it) I remember a HUGE penny dropping leap forward in learning to play Chess that helps me learn Guitar. 

Its OK to be shite at it and total failure is as good as success.
You need to LOVE being shite at it.
Embrace the crapness, the failure, the bung notes, the lack of understanding 
and LOVE it.

Wallow like a pig in shite in the failures.
And learn from it.

I wanted this blog to be about my lack of musical understanding (my diminished guitar reality) and my lessons to improve that.
Bring on the failures!