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Old 05-06-2003, 01:38 AM   #1
casualty01
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Weekly Theory Lesson 5-05-03

Ok?. In the tradition of such weekly installments as ?Guitar of the Week? .. ?weekly techniques lesson? and ?band of the week?. I have decided, seeing as how there?s a demand, to do a Weekly Theory Lesson!

first off, this will very shortly be turning into the ?Fortnight? Theory Lesson. for the first 2 - 3 weeks, i will post 1 every week, but after that, the material will require more time than a week to get down, and in to your head firmly. so i will start doing them every other week then.

before i get started, First just let me say ?? I am going to start from the beginning. The first couple of lessons are going to be very basic. very basic.

I Want everyone who reads these to be able to keep up with
later installments. And having a solid understanding of the Basics is 100% necessary for such a thing. And it wouldn?t hurt some of ya to review I?m sure. So, please, don?t just start reading them, see I?m talking about the string names and then stop reading because it?s to ?beginner? , Besides, you might have gaps in your knowledge that you?re not aware of.

Ok ?.. With that said. Lets get on with it.

First off?.. Some basic knowledge about your guitar

String Names -

The strings as you see below have letter names that coincide with the notes of the musical alphabet

Fig.1a


from lowest to highest (thickest to thinnest)

Fig.1b
Code:
1st string = E 2nd string = B 3rd String = G 4th String = D 5th string = A 6th String = E


This is a ?must know? for proper understanding of the lay out, and location of all the notes on the fretboard.

With that being said ??

[color=deep-pink]The Musical Alphabet [/color]

The musical alphabet ??? ah, what a wondrous thing?.. 7 little letters, 12 simple tones, and yet so much confusion it causes. But, that can be avoided. Personally I feel a lot of confusion first encountered by the musical alphabet, is because so many teachers try to cram the entire idea of the alphabet (sharps and flats along with the natural notes) down students throats all at once. This is not necessary, and often times , counterproductive. Seeing as how many students just learn to count up through the frets in order to find a note, rather than actually memorizing them.

In order to most quickly learn and MEMORIZE the notes on the neck. It is best you simply learn all the Natural notes (no #?s or b?s) first.

in order to understand the Musical alphabet thoroughly, you must first understand what and interval is, and what intervals are measured in.

Intervals (basic)

Well, what is an interval ? An interval - is the distance between 2 notes. Specifically, the distance of pitch, between the 2 notes.

Example, A to C is a specific interval, A to D is another interval. We?ll go over intervals and intervallic structure at a later date. But I just want you to get the basic idea.

Now, Intervals are measured in ?Steps?. steps are the unit we use to measure intervals and designate what kind of intervals they are?..

Think of it like this. When measuring distance, you have various units of measurements, feet, meters, miles, etc? but we start off with smaller increments, like inches, and centimeters. By adding more and more inches, or centimeters, you get larger distances. steps are like the inches and centimeters of the music world.

The 2 kinds of steps we use in western music, are ½ steps , and Whole steps. (from this point on, Half steps will be represented by an H, and Whole steps will be represented by a W???? shocking eh?)

Now, H & W steps are universal to all instruments. Each instrument has it?s own series of H & W steps?? like, on the piano, 1 key = H , 2 keys = W.

well, the guitar works very similarly. a H = 1 fret and a W = 2 frets. Now, as a lot of people only seem to get that far with there H & W step shapes, there are 2 more shapes to factor in to the equation.

So far, we know a H = 1 fret and a W = 2 frets. So, lets take a look at the shapes of H and W step on 1 string

Code:
Fig.2a Fig.2b Half Step Whole Step E-------- E-------- B-------- B------- G-------- G------- D-------- D------- A-------- A------- E--5-6--- E--5-7--


Those are the 2 basic H & W step shapes that occur on one string. The shapes remain constant across the neck (vertically ). Like in Fig.2c & 2d.

Code:
Fig.2c Half Step on each string E-----------------------------5-6------- B------------------------5-6------------ G-------------------5-6----------------- D--------------5-6---------------------- A---------5-6--------------------------- E----5-6-------------------------------- Fig.2d Whole Step on each string E-----------------------------5-7------- B------------------------5-7------------ G-------------------5-7----------------- D--------------5-7---------------------- A---------5-7--------------------------- E----5-7--------------------------------


Another shape for each step, H & W, is as followed

Code:
Fig.2e Half Step on adjacent strings E--------------------1------- B----------------2---5------- G------------1---5----------- D--------1---5--------------- A----1---5------------------- E----5----------------------- Fig.2f Whole Step on each string E--------------------2------- B----------------3---5------- G------------2---5----------- D--------2---5--------------- A----2---5------------------- E----5-----------------------


play each H & W step harmonically (together), and melodically (one at a time) ..... so with the first W step (the 5th fret E string and 2nd fret A string) play both notes together (harmonically) and then seperately (melodically) ...... do that with each string set. and memorize the shapes.

As you can see, the shape does not remain constant. The shapes of each interval (H & W steps) change when you get to the G - B string group. that?s simply due to the tuning difference between the G and the B string. So we have to adjust the shape. But, don?t necessarily think of it as a different shape. Picture it as the same shape, but with the actual interval (the higher note) being moved up one fret. If you?re able to visualize it like that, you?ll start to see all these ?different? shapes as really being the same as other shapes that you?re already familiar with (we?ll go more into detail about that as we explore chord construction, interval ladders, and scale patterns at a later date)

Back to Our Musical Alphabet

The Musical alphabet consists of 7 Letters, each letter representing a pitch.

A-B-C-D-E-F-G ? after that, it repeats at A again. There are 12 tones all together, but those involve accidentals. We?re not worrying about them quite yet though.

What you see before you, the alphabet, are all the ?natural? notes (no sharps or flats)

The musical alphabet, from beginning to end, is constructed from W & H steps. the pattern is listed below in Fig.

Whole & Half Step pattern of the musical alphabet

Fig.3a
Code:
A--B--C--D--E--F--G--A \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ W H W W H W W


as listed above, you can see the distance from A to B is a W step, B to C is a 1/2 step, C to D is a W step etc...

Basic Rule Alert
when dealing with the natural notes, everything has a whole step between it except for 2 sets of notes. B & C, and E & F ...... those are the 2 sets of notes that contain a 1/2 step bewtixt them.

so basically, every note has a fret in between it and the next note. except for B & C, and E & F. those 2 sets of notes are always located next to each other.

as you'll plainly see in Fig.3b

Natural Notes Along Fretboard
Fig.3b


Lets look at it from the Low E string (6th string). First of, in order to better visualize the neck. It helps if you look at the nut (the plastic/granite/whatever piece that?s right before the 1st fret, that your strings go over before being put through the tuning pegs.) as a fret. And think of the open strings being held down by finger behind the nut. This will help to better see the relationship from the open strings to the first natural note on the fretboard.

With that in mind ?.. And without looking at the picture above lol.

Hold your first finger down on the 6th string behind the nut. Remember, we?re doing the visualization thingy now, that open string is the note E. knowing what we now know about the alphabet, we know that the next note is an F, and that it?s only going to be a H step (1 fret) away from the E. so go to F, which is on the 1st fret. Now find the next note. If you?ve been paying attention, you should be on the 3rd fret. As G is a W step away from F. now find A and then B etc.. all the way up to the 12th fret. @ the 12th fret, you should have reached another E, but higher in pitch, that?s called an octave. (we?ll get to that later )

Basic Rule Alert
The note names and location of said notes, all repeat at the 12th fret. If the open string is E , then the 12th fret will automatically be E, if the first fret is F, then the 13th fret will be F, etc.. etc.. etc.. . this goes for every string.
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:39 AM   #2
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Weekly Theory Lesson #1 5-05-03 (continued)

Now, lets go back to A, on the 5th fret. As presented to you in Figs.2c.-2f.We have 2 W step shapes. lets apply both W step shapes to the A-B notes. If we look at the single string shape in Fig.2d. and apply that to the A on the 6th string, that will bring us to B on the 7th fret. Simple.

Fig.4a.
Code:
Whole step from A to B on single string E------ B------ G------ D------ A------ E--5-7-



The next shape however crosses onto a new string . If we take the W step shape in Fig.2f.
And apply it to the A in order to get to B, what string/fret will we be playing ?

If you said 5th string/A string 2nd fret as in Fig.4b.
???.

Fig.4b.
Code:
Whole step from A to B on adjacent strings. E------- B------- G------- D------- A-----2- E--5----




then, whoopdee freakin doo ??that means you?re not an idiot. And you?ve got it (also apply the same concept to half steps. And do this on each string, with every note in order to get very familiar with the various shapes)


Now. With all this in mind ?.. You have some assignments ??..

1.) memorize the various definitions and explanations throught the lesson.
<ul><li>Interval<li>Basic Rule Alerts <li>Steps (what they are) </ul><br /><br />
2.) Memorize string names

3.) commit Alphabet to memory
<ul><li>order of<li>W & H step pattern </ul><br /><br />4.) memorize Interval shapes
<ul><li>Single String Shapes<li>Adjacent String Shapes </ul><br /><br />
5.) 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 D, you should be able to play any D 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. ****, it?s not a lot of time in any scheme of things. </ul><br /><br />

Any questions or anything wasn?t clear on, feel free to ask away.


Cas-

the theory has you?..
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:14 AM   #3
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Hey Cas, This has really helped clear even more than I was wondering out. I'll make sure and study some more up on it, and definetly looking forward to later installments.

Spike
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:17 AM   #4
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word! Thanks Cas! just PELASE don't start going faster and faster with each lesson. it wouldn't be deliberate, but i see it happen when folks do stuff like this. so when you're writing the next one, keep the pace the same.

good job man.

ps, since there are TWO e-strings, it should only take 5 weeks to memorize the notes. i'm bored.

Last edited by frigginjerk : 05-06-2003 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:01 PM   #5
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Alright, now things are little clearer.
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Old 05-09-2003, 11:09 PM   #6
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I'd love to hear cas play, he sounds like a ****ing theory guru, or something, lol! I'll be checking daily for new installments!! Keep it up man.
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Old 05-11-2003, 08:58 AM   #7
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He is a ****ing theory guru...well the theory rain man to be moer accurate.

As always this is solid work Cas, nice explanations make everything very easy to understand. Oh yea, and nice diagrams too
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Old 05-12-2003, 11:42 PM   #8
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Very good cas.
Music theory is so boring, but u make it funny to learn.
The greatest thing to me is that your lesson is in english (off course), so i can get used to all musical english words.
I´m brazilian and i learned english on my own. That´s why there´s a lot of mistakes in my messages, and that´s why i don´t know the musical words very well.

Good job.
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Old 05-16-2003, 10:02 AM   #9
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Great lesson Cas!

The only thing I can say is wrong (if I remember correctly) is that on a keyboard every single key is a W except for the smaller black ones, which are an H.
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by NiTrO_FrEeZiNg
Great lesson Cas!

The only thing I can say is wrong (if I remember correctly) is that on a keyboard every single key is a W except for the smaller black ones, which are an H.


There is a half step between each key, regardless of color.
A whole step between two keys, regardless of color.
The color signifies natural(white) and sharp/flat(black).
Cas's statement was correct.

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Old 05-18-2003, 08:38 PM   #11
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ok, this lesson is going into the archives, and the next lesson will be up tomorrow (5-19-03)

sorry about the 1 week delay, but i've been very busy with rehearsals and extra teaching and all that good ****. but tomorrow is a free day finally so i'll have that written and up by tomorrow night.

thanks for all the replies/feedback, much appreciated

Cas-
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:43 PM   #12
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Cool!!!

cant wait til tomorrow!!!!
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Old 05-19-2003, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by casualty01
ok, this lesson is going into the archives, and the next lesson will be up tomorrow (5-19-03)

sorry about the 1 week delay, but i've been very busy with rehearsals and extra teaching and all that good ****. but tomorrow is a free day finally so i'll have that written and up by tomorrow night.

thanks for all the replies/feedback, much appreciated

Cas-


nice one mate.......great poly filler lesson
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmal
There is a half step between each key, regardless of color.
A whole step between two keys, regardless of color.
The color signifies natural(white) and sharp/flat(black).
Cas's statement was correct.



Thanks.
Once again, I don't waste a chance to show I don't know anything about musical theory.
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