Author archives: F. W. Lineberry

The Best Guitar Theory Teacher

The best theory teacher is all the songs you’ve learned. The best theory practice is to tear those songs apart and see how they’re put together.

In order to do that, you will need to learn to recognize chords, scales and arpeggios in any key all over the fingerboard. If you know the notes on every…



Tough Gig Last Night

It was a real tough gig last night.  Way too much fun was had by all.



Modes in a Nutshell

Take the major scale as a starting point.

C major gives us the notes C D E F G A B

If you take that same note collection and make it sound like some kind of D scale, you get the D Dorian mode.

If you take that same note collection and make it sound like some…



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How to Generate a Chord Progression from a Scale

The first step is to figure out what types of chords can be generated from the scale. Learning to harmonize scales in triads and 7th chords is a typical approach to this.

Once you know what types of chords can be generated from the scale, try stringing two or three of them together and see if…



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Scales are Not Keys

Keys are a concept based on the idea of setting up a specific tone (tonic) as the point of final rest in a piece of music. Once Harmony was introduced and became the most important tool for setting up and supporting a tonic. this idea developed into two keys – major and minor. Within the…



Learning Theory, But Don’t Know How to Apply It?

In order to know what you’re doing, you have to analyze what you’re doing.

If you want to learn/analyze a song, the first thing you’re looking at are the types of chords or riffs being used. In order to do that, you have to know how chords and riffs are built. In order to know…



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How to Build Diminished Chords

Diminished triad = flat the 3rd and 5th of a major chord, or flat the 5th of a minor chord.

Diminished 7th chord is a little tougher. You have to know a diminished triad, already, and add a diminished 7th to it. One way to get there is to start with a major 7th chord and…



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The Diminished 7th Arpeggio

The diminished 7th arpeggio is most commonly associated with the minor key. If you build a chord off the 7th degree of A harmonic minor, you get G# B D F.

In A minor it usually functions as a leading tone chord that resolves one fret higher into the tonic chord (Amin).

Once you understand how it…



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How to Break Out of the Pentatonic Rut

Here are some things you can try with Pentatonics:

* Spend more time playing up and down the strings rather than across the strings.
* Pick every note instead of typical hammer pull licks.
* Avoid bends. Use slides instead.
* Avoid triplet patterns. Instead think in groups of 4, 5 and 6
* Think…



How to Learn Triads

The first step is to practice locating and playing the inversions of each triad type up and down each set of three adjacent strings – CEG then EGC then GCE etc. Do the same for minor, diminished and augmented
Work the triads through major scale harmony on each set of 3 adjacent strings using the…



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