Entering The Office II

The second installment of the instructional column.

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Ok, so this time I'm going to be teaching a chord and a scale and show you how they are used in a classic song. But first, I must say that after looking at the last column, I really screwed up the tablature. I don't know how to preview this so forgive if it's messed up but I'll try to fix that this time around. If it doesn't line up correctly, you can always copy and paste it onto the notepad program on your computer. Moving on, I believe I taught the G, D, and C chords in the last column. This time I will be focusing on Am (A minor). The chord diagram for it is shown below.

     Am
|---|---|---|o
|-x-|---|---|1
|---|-x-|---|2
|---|-x-|---|3
|---|---|---|o
|---|---|---|x
Ok, so the numbers on the side indicate which fingers to use to finger the chord. 1 being index, 2 middle, and so on. To make the Am into an AM (A major) chord, just move your index finger on the B string up to the 2nd fret. Anyways, practice changing from Am to D, C, and G to get your fingers used to the positioning. Just strum a bit while changing chords until you get the hang of it.

Next is the E Minor Pentatonic Scale (pentatonic meaning five notes in the scale). The five notes in the scale are E, G, A, B, and D. E, being the first note in the scale, is why the scale is named for it. The tablature for the scale is shown below. Start by playing the scale first ascending then descending, meaning play it in reverse.

|---------------------0-3-|
|-----------------0-3-----|
|-------------0-2---------|
|---------0-2-------------|
|-----0-2-----------------|
|-0-3---------------------|
The Em Pentatonic scale combined with a G chord spawned one of the greatest rock riffs of all time. I'm talking about Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", which is what I'm going to show you. Start by picking the G note on the low E string then playing the next 4 notes in the scale. Then strum the G chord a few times. The main riff to the song is shown below.
|--------------3---------3---|----------------3---------------3---|
|--------------3---------3-o-|-o--------------3---------------3-o-|
|--------------0-----0---0---|----------------0---------------2---|
|--------0--2--0---2---2-0---|----------0--2--0---2--0--------2---|
|----0h2-------2---------2-o-|-o----0h2-------2---------2--0--0-o-|
|-3------------3---------3---|---3------------3-------------------|
I believe it's very easy to see why the Em scale was combined with the G chord to play this riff. Just looking at the tab above and the scale, you can see all the common notes between the two. Anyways, besides this riff that's used for the rhythm behind the solos and the intro, the verse riff is nothing more then strumming the G, C, D, and Am chords. I'm not going to bother tabbing out the two solos. If you would like the lyrics and the solos to the song, try searching for it and I recommend using version 5. The only thing I don't agree with in the tab is something towards the end of the first solo. I play it slightly differently but to each his own. On a different note, I hope this has been helpful to you beginners out there. I wish I could've known some of this when I began because it would've helped me a lot but I hopw your beginning days turn out better then my disasterous beginning. And I apologize that I didn't go into as much detail with this column but I've been a little short on time lately. I'm very sorry and I will certainly work on that in the future. Until next time, happy playing!

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Regression
    With the A minor chord, I would swap the 2nd and 3rd finger around personally. Unless I'm not reading it correctly, it seems like a very awkward way to play it.
    StefanLi
    I know several people that hold it like that because it's easier to switch from the Am to a C
    wesselbindt
    Regression wrote: With the A minor chord, I would swap the 2nd and 3rd finger around personally. Unless I'm not reading it correctly, it seems like a very awkward way to play it.
    It's probably a typo.
    ctdguyiam
    With the A minor chord, I would swap the 2nd and 3rd finger around personally. Unless I'm not reading it correctly, it seems like a very awkward way to play it.
    i'm sorry about that. it was a typo. as i mentioned i was short on time...and it was very early in the morning and i was tired. this one wasn't as good as the first in my opinion. so in the future i will try to make my posts better. thanks for reading.