Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Major Scale and its Modes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Major Scale and its modes

Here's a chart of the Major(Ionian) Scale and all of its modes.  A mode is a derivative of a scale, meaning its that same scale just starting on a different note.  The first mode, the Ionian mode is the major scale.  The next mode, Dorian, is the major scale starting on the second note. Phrygian is the major scale starting on the third note, Lydian the fourth, etc.....

look at it like this:

CDEFGABC    =  Ionian (Major)
DEFGABCD    =  Dorian
EFGABCDE    =  Phrygian
FGABCDEF    =  Lydian
GABCDEFG   =  Mixolydian
ABCDEFGA   =  Aeolian (Minor)
BCDEFGAB   =  Locrian

Aeolian is what is also known as the minor scale, or it can be referred to as  relative minor because it is "related" to the major scale.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The word arpeggio means "broken chord".  Arpeggios have many uses and can be played a number of ways, heres a few charts of some essential arpeggio families to know. You can kinda think of them as chords that are played in a scale like manner

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barre Chords

Barre chords can be thought of as open chords that are "moved up" on the neck.  They are essential for many reasons, particularly so that we know more than one way to play same chord.  Why would you want to know several ways to play the same chord?  Because one, it makes you more versatile, and two, its another way of complementing another persons playing.  Ive seen instances where groups will have two guitars strumming open chords in unison. Why not complement instead of copy?  So heres a barre chord chart to further your chordal knowledge and give you more options when playing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Drop 2 Chords

These are drop 2 chords that are used a variety of styles, especially Jazz in particular, I like to practice these around the cycle of 4ths.  Think of Wes Montgomery's style when learning these.

The Harmonic Minor Scale

Heres a chart of the harmonic minor scale and all of its modes, The harmonic minor scale can be thought of as the minor scale with a raised seventh.  I like to use harmonic minor when I am playing a minor blues progression and the V chord is major.  This works because the 3rd of the V Chord is the raised seventh in harmonic minor.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Blues and its Various Forms

The blues comes in many types of forms, the most common is the 12 bar form.  Within the 12 bar blues we can have many variations.  Ive included a couple of charts, the first one is the most basic form. The roman numerals represent the chords within a key.   For example, lets say we are in the key of "C"  those chords would then be C7, F7, G7.  Seventh chords are used in the blues because regular major chords just sound too happy.  The seventh chord or higher extensions such as 9th chords are generally favored because of the tension they create when played.

Also I would like to mention that the last four bars of the blues are called the "turnaround", it is referred to as this because you can anticipate that it is going to start over.  If we want the form to keep going we play the V chord in bar 12, however if we are to end the song then we substitute the I chord to end it.

This is the major blues by the way, ill explain about the minor blues later since it is a little different.

In the second chart, I have included what can be referred to as the "quick change" form.  It is called this because in bar 2 we switch to the IV chord for a measure, as opposed to playing the I chord for four measures.

Major Scales

The major scale can be thought of as the mother of everything.   All other things come from it, chords, other scales, etc....  You can think of the major scale as the classic ( Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do) thing.

Heres a chart for the major scales and all of the modes that come with it.  A mode is a scale starting on different note.   These are their Greek names:  Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian.  They are also known as church modes.

The Ionian mode(which is the major scale btw) is the first one.  Dorian is the major scale starting on the second note.  Phrygian is the major scale starting on third note.  Lydian is the major scale starting on the fourth note and so forth.


Open Chords

Open chords are essential for all types of music,  I highly recommend that these be learned before you progress on to other types of chords.  Just knowing these alone will allow you to play hundreds of songs.