Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > UG Community > Archives Of The Best Threads > Music Theory Archives
User Name  
Password
Search:

 
Old 05-20-2003, 11:56 PM   #1
casualty01
Here all along
 
casualty01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Warm and Fuzzyland
Weekly Theory Lesson #2 (5-18-03) "Accidentals"

hello all, time for another installment...... with last weeks theory lesson covering basic fretboard knowledge as the musical alphabet (natural notes only), half/whole step shapes, and
the musical alphabet whole/half step pattern. this week, we're going to simply take a look at
accidentals.

it's going to be a rather short lesson dealing only with accidentals. but we don't wont to get
to ahead of ourselves

so lets get going. ...

Flashback
well, last week we learned about the Musical alphabet(A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A) and it's intervallic pattern (ie. W-H-W-W-H-W-W)
but, what happened to the missing half steps ? what do we call the notes that are in between
those whole steps? (ie. the notes in between A-B, C-D, D-E, F-G, and G-A)

well, the notes in between those whole steps, are known as accidentals. they share the same letter name as the note before, or after it, but with a little symbol to show you that it's an accidental.


(sidebar)

before we go any further, a simple reminder of "direction" on the guitar might be needed. alot of people get confused as far as "direction" goes, seeing as how all directional aspects of the guitar are reversed from what we're used to. our normal definition of "up" is actually "down" on the guitar. it confuses the hell out of some people, but really makes alot of sense if you know WHY the directional terms are applied in reverse.

the direction on the guitar is determined by pitch. in a horizontal aspect, pitch on the guitar as im sure you've noticed, goes DOWN (gets lower ) as you move your finger towards the direction of the headstock (the part where your tuning pegs are located). and pitch goes UP (gets higher/brighter) as you move your finger towards the body of the guitar. alot of people would naturally assume that moving towards the headstock is up and moving towards the body is down, but seeing as how the direction on the guitar is designated by the change in pitch. directional terms are completely opposite from what we're used to them as.

if you were to play. Fig. 1a you'd be playing in a downward direction seeing as how the pitch is going down (getting lower)

however, if you played Fig. 1b, you'd be playing in an upward direction, seeing as how the pitch goes up (getting higher)

Code:
Fig. 1a Fig. 1b E----------------------------- E---------------------------- B----------------------------- B---------------------------- G----------------------------- G---------------------------- D----------------------------- D---------------------------- A----------------------------- A---------------------------- E--10--8--7--5--3--2--0------- E--0--2--3--5--7--8--10------


in a vertical aspect ... the pitch goes UP as your hand moves down towards the floor, and the pitch goes DOWN as your hands moves towards the cieling.

example........ if you were playing Fig. 1c, you would be playing in an upwards direction (notice your hand moving towards the floor), seeing as how the pitch is going up. and likewise, if you played the example in Fig. 1d, you'd be moving in a downward motion, as the pitch is going down (getting lower)
Code:
Fig. 1c Fig. 1d E----------------------------- E----8--5-------------------- B----------------------------- B----------8--5-------------- G--------------------5--7----- G----------------7--5-------- D--------------5--7----------- D----------------------7--5-- A--------5--7----------------- A---------------------------- E--5--7----------------------- E----------------------------



with that being said and cleared up....... lets move on

Accidental Symbols

Accidentals are little symbols that give us information about what to do with pitches (we'll get to what they're actually telling us in a minute ). they're all pretty easy to understand and each symbol always follows the same rule (ie. a # can only mean one thing, a b can only mean one thing etc... ) and the load is lightened by the fact that there are only 5 of them used in western music*

Accidentals

- this symbol here is what's reffered to as a "Sharp". this symbol tells you to raise the pitch of a note by a 1/2 step.

example.... what if someone were to ask you to play an F#?, well, you know that the first fret on the E string is an F (see Fig. 2a). so by simply knowing the rule of the "#" (that it raises the pitch by a 1/2 step) and knowing that a 1/2 step is = to one fret (you should, after reading the last lesson ). you should be able to figure out that F# is the second fret on the E string as in Fig. 2b
Code:
Fig. 2a Fig. 2b F F# E------------ E------------ B------------ B------------ G------------ G------------ D------------ D------------ A------------ A------------ E----1------- E----2-------


- this symbol is called a "Flat". This symbol tells you to lower a pitch by a 1/2 step.

Example..... Play a Gb. by knowing what you learned previously (and hopefully having begun to thoroughly memorize the note names on the neck) you know that one of the G's Lies on the 3rd fret E string as in Fig 2c.. well, if you know the 3rd fret is G, and you know that a b is telling you to lower the pitch by a 1/2 step, what fret is Gb on? ........... hopefully you said 2nd fret (as in Fig. 2d) if not.... get out

Code:
Fig. 2c Fig. 2d G Gb E------------ E------------ B------------ B------------ G------------ G------------ D------------ D------------ A------------ A------------ E----3------- E----2-------



- the symbol to the left is the Double Sharp symbol. when placed in in front of a pitch, it tells you to raise the pitch by a whole step. (seeing as how a normal # tells you to raise it a 1/2 step, the X raising it a W step makes sense )

Code:
Fig. 2e Fig. 2f F Fx E------------ E------------ B------------ B------------ G------------ G------------ D------------ D------------ A------------ A------------ E----1------- E----3-------




- the symbol to the left is the Double Flat symbol. when placed in in front of a pitch, it tells you to Lower the pitch by a whole step. (and once again, seeing as how a normal b tells you to lower it a 1/2 step, the bb lowering it a W step makes sense )



Code:
Fig. 2g Fig. 2h G Gbb E------------ E------------ B------------ B------------ G------------ G------------ D------------ D------------ A------------ A------------ E----3------- E----1-------



- this is a natural symbol. basically, all this does is cancel out a previous accidental. this is really only used for musical notation.

if you have a note with a any accidental (ie. #, b, X, or bb) and the next note after that has a natural symbol, it returns the note to it's natural state. for example ..... if you see on a music staff a Gb and then a G with the natural symbol, it returns the G to it's natural state. if there were no natural symbol, the G would remain flatted for the rest of the measure ( we'll get more into that if i decide to do one on sight reading)


Enharmonic whatsa?!

"well cas, im confused, i thought the 2nd fret was F#, now you're telling me it's a Gb. and you're saying Gbb is the same fret as F ?!..... boy, this makes me want to wet my pants " ahh do not trouble yourself young padawan. there is no reason to be confused. this is simply whats known as enharmonic tones

simply put....... an enharmonic tone is the same pitch, but it can have 2 names (ie. Gb and F# are the same exact pitch, they're just spelled differently. ) we'll get into the reasons why at a later date. just know that a # is always the same pitch as the b of the note above it (ie. A# = Bb, C#=Db ... and vice versa ... Db = C# , Eb = D# etc... )




Basic Rule Alert

<ul><li>1.)Accidental symbols, when written on paper, are ALWAYS placed to the RIGHT of a letter (ie. Bb ... G#....Dx ..... Ebb etc... )
<li>2.) Accidental Symbols, when being applied to Degrees/Intervals (ie. 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13ths) they always go to the LEFT of the interval (ie. b3rd or b3, #4th or #4, b9th or b9 etc... you get the point )
<li>Accidental symbols when written on the staff (ie. musical notation) the accidental symbol ALWAYS appears to the left of the note. as in fig 2c.

Fig 3

Accidentals as they're written on staff paper

</ul><br /><br />
__________________
What's all the buzz about??

Don't be an idiot... click and find out.

Last edited by casualty01 : 05-22-2003 at 01:27 PM.
casualty01 is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 12:07 AM   #2
casualty01
Here all along
 
casualty01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Warm and Fuzzyland
Putting It All Together

ok ladies and gentlemen, now that we know what accidentals are, where they're located, and how they function, lets take another look at our fretboard from last week.

below in Fig.4a is the fretboard with all the natural notes that we learned.

Natural Notes Along Fretboard
Fig.4a


now, take that, and combine that with the knowledge about accidentals that we learned today, and throw everything all in there and you'll have a full look at the fretboard.....

first lets just throw the #'s in there as in Fig.4b

Sharps on the fretboard

Fig.4b
<img src="http://www.savepic.com/freepicturehosting/is.php?i=132508&img=Sharps.gif" border="0">


then lets take the same thing, and look at how it lays out with all the b's as in Fig.4c


flats on the fretboard

Fig.4c
<img src="http://www.savepic.com/freepicturehosting/is.php?i=132509&img=Flats.gif" border="0">


and finally, take all the natural notes, and ALL of the accidentals and throw them all on there and you'll have Fig.4d......the entire map of the fretboard.

Entire Map of Fretboard (all accidentals included)

Fig.4d



ahhh..... now isn't that nice ?

Now, once again, yall have some things to do

1.) memorize the various definitions and explanations throught the lesson.
<ul><li>Accidentals<li>Basic Rule Alerts <li>enharmonic tones </ul><br /><br />
2.) commit the Alphabet, including all accidentals, to memory
<ul><li>with Sharps (ie. A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#)<li> with Flats (ie. A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab) </ul><br /><br />
3.) (repeat from last lesson) MEMORIZE THE NOTES ON EACH STRING
<ul><li>do not, I repeat, do not just learn how to find the notes. Get them MEMORIZED!. If someone says play a G, you should be able to play any G on the neck without hesitation. Of course this takes practice and a little time. But that?s what you need to work towards. <li> if you work on completely memorizing ONLY 1 string per week, you?d have them all done in 6 weeks. Not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things. shit, it?s not a lot of time in any scheme of things. </ul><br /><br />


well, that's that. and once again, if you have any comments or if you have questions regarding the material, feel free to ask them here and i'll answer them with fervor.

Cas-


acknowledgements: Thank you to snyper, if it weren't for having someone so dense and so musically inept to explain this stuff to, i wouldn't be nearly as good at explaining this stuff over the internet.

I would also like to thank Snyper for proof reading the lesson before I submitted it and catching many typos. through all the *****ing and moaning he did about being tired and his pussy bothering him, he still came through like a champ.

sny...
__________________
What's all the buzz about??

Don't be an idiot... click and find out.
casualty01 is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 12:11 AM   #3
Snyper
Warm and Fuzzy King
 
Snyper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto
Quote:
Originally posted by casualty01



acknowledgements: Thank you to snyper, if it weren't for having someone so dense and so musically inept to explain this stuff to, i wouldn't be nearly as good at explaining this stuff over the internet.

I would also like to thank Snyper for proof reading the lesson before I submitted it and catching many typos. through all the *****ing and moaning he did about being tired and his pussy bothering him, he still came through like a champ.

sny...


__________________
My sig is better than yours
Snyper is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 02:02 AM   #4
Charlotte_Punk
UG's Ska King
 
Charlotte_Punk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Under The Shad Of A Coo-li-bah Tree, Australia
Great work with the material of this lesson, i look foward to the next....
__________________
Mistakes are a big part of our sound - Green Day?

Last edited by Charlotte_Punk : 05-23-2003 at 01:24 AM.
Charlotte_Punk is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 05:47 PM   #5
NiTrO_FrEeZiNg
-
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Mexico City
Re: Weekly Theory Lesson #2 (5-18-03) "Accidentals"

Quote:
Originally posted by casualty01
Code:
Fig. 2g Fig. 2h G Gbb E------------ E------------ B------------ B------------ G------------ G------------ D------------ D------------ A------------ A------------ E----1------- E----3-------




I know this is a typo but I just wanted you to know.

G=third fret
Gbb=first fret

I love when I point someones mistakes, specially when that person is better than me in something (in this case: guitar).

EDIT: Thanks for this lessons Cas, I'm finally learning music!
NiTrO_FrEeZiNg is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 08:48 PM   #6
casualty01
Here all along
 
casualty01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Warm and Fuzzyland
Re: Re: Weekly Theory Lesson #2 (5-18-03) "Accidentals"

Quote:
Originally posted by NiTrO_FrEeZiNg
I know this is a typo but I just wanted you to know.

G=third fret
Gbb=first fret

I love when I point someones mistakes, specially when that person is better than me in something (in this case: guitar).

EDIT: Thanks for this lessons Cas, I'm finally learning music!


lol, thanks. guess is hould fire my damn proof reader *cough*snyper*cough*
































Cas-
__________________
What's all the buzz about??

Don't be an idiot... click and find out.
casualty01 is offline  
Old 05-21-2003, 09:07 PM   #7
Snyper
Warm and Fuzzy King
 
Snyper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto
Re: Re: Re: Weekly Theory Lesson #2 (5-18-03) "Accidentals"

Quote:
Originally posted by casualty01
lol, thanks. guess is hould fire my damn proof reader *cough*snyper*cough*

sorry...one out of the many aint so bad

maybe you should keep the glass down when typing these things
__________________
My sig is better than yours
Snyper is offline  
Old 05-22-2003, 08:32 PM   #8
Silenced
Child of the Grave
 
Silenced's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: City of Glass
Hey Cas, great lessons, u r really helping me understand a lot of basic stuff, but do you know a site where i can learn to read standard notation for guitar????or maybe since you are so good at explaining things you could give a quick overview of the basics?????That would really help!!!!
__________________
For My Music Click Here And Listen
Silenced is offline  
Old 05-26-2003, 01:49 AM   #9
joebeta
not Joe, but Bob.
 
joebeta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Purple Haze
I think the answer is no, but I'm not entirely sure. Are double flats and double sharps ever used in diatonic scales? Er... if you write out all of the keys using the diatonic pattern would it require use of double flats/double sharps?

Thanks
__________________

Can't hit me!

www.myspace.com/captaincoffin
joebeta is offline  
Old 05-29-2003, 11:21 AM   #10
casualty01
Here all along
 
casualty01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Warm and Fuzzyland
Quote:
Originally posted by joebeta
I think the answer is no, but I'm not entirely sure. Are double flats and double sharps ever used in diatonic scales? Er... if you write out all of the keys using the diatonic pattern would it require use of double flats/double sharps?

Thanks


well, yeah, if you call certain scales by different names.

just using the key's around the circle of 5ths', no, you wouldn't have anything with double sharps or double flats. plus, there's no key signatures with double sharps or flats.

but, for exampe, if somone were to take, oh, lets say, the key of Ab, and decide to call it G#, then yeah, you would have to use a double sharp in that instance. so the scale, instead of being spelled Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G , it would now be spelled as G#-A#-B#-C#-D#-E#-Fx

MOST of the time, youwould never really see a scale written
like this. the double sharps and flats are used more in spelling chords and designating note function on written paper.


Cas-
__________________
What's all the buzz about??

Don't be an idiot... click and find out.
casualty01 is offline  
 


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.