Category: Playing Guitar

Learning the Notes on the Fingerboard

The two E strings are the same. The open strings and the 12th fret are the same. That gives you two points of reference vertically and horizontally.

Octaves from the E and A strings are two strings over and two frets up. Octaves from the D and G strings are two strings over and three frets…

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How to Learn the Sound of the Modes

Playing modes over a pedal tone is going to nail the sound of each mode down, but it can also be misleading in that you can wander around aimlessly within the mode and think you’re really “doing it”.

What you need, though, is to develop a sense of the strong and weak notes in each mode,…

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What Makes a Mode

What make the modes is where the music resolves… comes to rest… feels at home.

If you take a pool of notes – C D E F G A B – and make the C sound like home, you get the major scale or C Ionian mode (at this point think of mode as meaning way…

About Pentatonic Scales

There are five interlocking patterns that are usually taught for the pentatonic scale. Each of those 5 patterns line up along side each other to cover the entire fingerboard with one scale.

A minor pentatonic = A C D E G

Anywhere you find those notes on the fingerboard, it’s the A minor pentatonic scale. If…

How to Practice Modes

There are many good ways to practice modes.

Start in a major scale position and alter the notes in that position to get the modes:

Lydian – raise the 4th

Ionian – return the 4th to natural

Mixolydian – lower the 7th

Dorian – lower the 3rd and 7th

Aeolian – lower the 3rd, 6th and 7th

Phrygian – loser the…

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Learning to Solo on Guitar

Start forcing yourself to play notes out of step-wise sequence.

One way to do that is learn melodic patterns. Go through your scales and play 1 3 – 2 4 – 3 5 – 4 6 – 5 7 – 6 8 – 7 9 (thirds) or 1 4 – 2 5…

Order of Importance in Learning Music Theory for Guitar Playing

Notes all over the fingerboard (learning to read standard notation would be a good idea)
Major scale in all keys all over the fingerboard (key signatures, Circle of Fifths)
Triad construction (major, minor, diminished)
Triad Inversions all over the fingerboard
Major key diatonic intervals
Major key triad harmony
7th chords and inversions
Major key 7th chord harmony
Relative major and minor (revisit key…



Learning Scale Harmony

Scale harmony is breaking a scale up into various chords that all use notes from the scale.

Most progressions will be based on this breakdown of chords with an occasional variation here and there.

Then you have to learn all those chords up and down the fingerboard so you can…

Why You Need to Learn Scales

Scales are an excellent way to develop your technique.

They are excellent for helping to develop your ears.

They form the basis for understanding how chords are constructed.

They form the basis for understanding how chord progressions and riffs are constructed.

They are the basic building block of music…

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