Quote by Vreid

"2. Nice tricky one, it's enharmonic to a B# the major 3rd of G# so since a perfect 4 is C# a C is a b4 (Dim 4?) "

Not sure why he put a ? after Dim 4.

Because it's both.   I'm not sure what naming conventions we are staying with, but it's like saying minor 7th or b7.  Same thing.  So I used both.


Oh I apologize for the confusion there Neo, I don't have an objection to the names, but it's just not something you run into all the time.  The intervals were correct but not everyone understands these intervals can become diminished or augmented.  I just didnt want to throw those people.  It's sort of like those that know rudimentary diatonic harmony, but get thrown when bIII  bVI and bVII's are used.  They just havent been that far up the mountain yet.


Quote by jonriley64
It's a semitone bigger than a minor interval.

Name the following intervals (give your reasoning where you can):










(some sneaky ones in there )
The first note is always the lower one, btw.

No one's got these right as I have seen yet.  Some of these are similar to theoretical keys.
So here is the straight theory even if some are improbable names. If some of you ask about theoretical keys, It's similar as to why you would choose Bb major, instead of A# major as a key.  Would you like to be playing a C##min7?  or Dm7 as the iii chord?

With this in mind, here are the actual interval names based upon the notes proposed.  Letters are important guys.  G to C is always some kind of a 4th - it doesnt matter the number of half steps.  Letters matter.   Thus, only G to any B can be called a third.  So telling him he got number two correct is simply not correct.  

1. Minor 3rd
2. Nice tricky one, it's enharmonic to a B# the major 3rd of G# so since a perfect 4 is C# a C is a b4 (Dim 4?) 
3. Major 6
4. Minor 7th
5. Major 7th
6. Dim 7th (bb7)
7 Aug 2nd
8. Min 2nd
9. Aug 6

Long day, but I teach this stuff.  If I missed one it's because my brains foggy after a long day in the studio, but I think they are correct.


Quote by Billie_J
Some of you went a bit overboard because I might not have made my problem clear. So what I didn't understand (you probably tried to explain it to me but I didn't realise it,) was how to determine whether an interval is a major interval. Like you have to have some kind of basis of information to start determining altered intervals..

Triad theory.  Understand how to name the correct letters of every single triad type.  Then you understand the major 3rd and Minor 3rd of every single chord/interval.  Instantly.  That's the answer.  Memorize every single triad.


Quote by thepresentense
First of all, hello guitar world! I don't know anything about music theory but I came up with this chord progression for a song:

E, Esus4, A madd9, B, Am, B, Am, G#m, G, C, Bm, B

As far as I know, it is in the key of E and the scale is the E augmented fifth scale (except the part of the Bm)

What scales or modes can I use to create a solo/vocal line over it?

Thank you so much for your help.

 I'd say that it could be played mostly with E major, but with some strategic melodic decisions over certain non diatonic chords.

 I'd suggest analyzing it.  

I'd agree that E major be the key

E and Esus woke fine over E major

Am, I'd look as iv -so I'd play either A C or E or B,  - I'd just be careful not to hit a C# out of the E major scale.  You could stay in E major and avoid the C#

The rest of the chords work over E major, except over Bm, I'd play a B D or F# and avoid the D#.

Over C I'd avoid the C# and G# and choose C E or G

Good luck.  Learning theory, chord construction, and scale composition are very helpful for these things.


Quote by theogonia777
denace the mennis, nikko the husky, and xixi top

xixi top

Can we sponsor a mandatory name change for him?  This is awesome!  It must happen.

Hail - Not a pop-reggae band...I see what you did there!  

I'm thinking more Neo-Soul....


I'm not sure where this is applicable, but I have studied Carol Kaye, for at least 3-4 years now, digesting her approach, listening to her words and opinions, and having spoken to her many times.  I think if you know who Carol is, her pedigree is pretty unmatched.  So, as a little girl playing jazz at 14 years of age with the "greats" in some of the pioneers and real "workers" of the day, she emphasizes, that they didn't play or practice a bunch of scales, they worked on melodies.  Yes they used/understood scales, but they were incidental to melody and thus easily departed, for effect.

I see her as the last of a breed, a dying breed, but it indicates to me that people in the past used to approach music differently.  Her statement frankly knocked me off my feet, thinking wise.  Because we ALL seem to do nothing but think about scales, practice them and even exalt them as the key to many things.  But in a few words, she not only shrugged off that notion, but she illustrated a fundamentally altering paradigm shift in how THEY approached playing, versus what we see today.

It sort of plays into this topic, and at least in my mind....have we missed something?  Is there some wisdom there in her small voice and impeccable background that indicates the last of a way of thinking about playing music?  For me, if she's correct then that point of view as a hole is quickly diminishing in the onslaught of the internet and the ideas being propagated out there.

So, I'm not so quick to dismiss her ideas, but that does spawn a rhetorical question, are we losing out on wisdom of the past, by accepting the relative lack of investment into our art, craft (for example I saw a user complain at the prospect of learning a scale in other positions) and as a whole gradually dumbing down in the era of instant gratification which requires little to no personal investment?   Did we lose the melody versus scales emphasis, by looking for an "easier way"?

I don't know, but that question has not left me, since she made that statement.  My quest changed at that point, to better absorb what she was talking about, and what they did differently...because if there's a kernel of truth that is now becoming extinct,  I don't want that to happen; I'm trying to absorb these things before she is gone, and they are lost forever.


Tony Done 


I tend to organize them in major or minor forms.  So major scale with a raised 4th, minor scale with a lowered 2nd, etc.  

Also grouped conceptually from bright to dark (Lydian ending on Locrian)

As for your comment that "  the basic chords associated with it are those of the C major scale"

In my opinion, the flaw would be assuming that the chords in C can be applied wholesale, without an assessment on how you'd make them work for D and NOT C.  

This comes down to function.   So my question to you is, HOW do you take chords in C and make them feel resolved to Dm?  That is the fundamental disconnect that I often find.    Chords in the Key of C have specific functions; they can be leading towards the tonic, or away from the tonic.   So, the challenge is, take the chords in C as you say it, and manipulate the functions so that they do NOT resolve on C, but emphasize the tonal center of D.

A more complete understanding of chord functions, and how things resolve, will reveal that the choices are not a free for all extraction of any chord from C major, but a carefully considered selection, that honors the monotone expediency of the D note, while expressing the natural 6 and minor 3rd characteristic notes, while avoiding the V7-I resolution tendencies that would indicate a resolution back to C.    

And yes, I understand that b3 is not the characteristic tone in Dorian, but it does enhance the minor tonality.


Quote by MaggaraMarine
Why not just watch it and see if you understand it?

Marty Friedman doesn't know much about theory, so I would guess he will not use many theoretical terms when he explains stuff.

I'll never forget when he called D# the Relative Major of C minor.  He had the pitch right, but the wrong enharmonic.

Still, the guy can play.  Lots of musicians have a less than intact understanding of music theory, but they can put down some astonishing music.  


I actually have one now!  

Small, but it's to finish my Music Production Certification at Berklee.  Then use the knowledge to produce, record, mix, master my own music in my home studio, and assist my students in creating and producing their own music.

Pick up your jaw JetPenguin/Nic  

Yes, I did...yes I am.  


From a teacher standpoint, I can't recommend better than Keith Wyatt.  He was the Blues instructor way back in the day at GIT, now MI, and he does have a course on Artistworks.  I stress, the idea of *teacher* because anyone can play and demonstrate....but a real *teacher* is much harder to find.

I speak from the point of view that I am a guitar teacher, I suppose there's that.


If you are hired to be a session musician, chances are it's for some kind of a commercial project.  This means, leave your ego at the door, understand it's not about you, it's about the song, and they are expecting you to understand the difference.  

You are not being paid to solo to a backing track.   You are being paid to enhance a song, to the point that they can then take the song and accomplish the production goals (commercially intact).



It's a good question, and I can see why you might associate the "sound" of Grateful Dead songs to a certain "scale".   But more times than not, it is a Major or minor scale type thing, with other scale notes, such as a b7, from Mixolydian.

Where you'd really get insight, is to break down the scales and notes as they fall over certain chords.   So, it a chord tone?  a Tension?  An extension, etc.     Also, it would be helpful to understand the harmonic tendencies of intervals.  Intervals as a whole, are great and essential to analyze what you are hearing.  

Dont just analyze guitar solos.  Study the melody lines as well. GD are a very melodically rich and intuitive band, when it comes to catching the ear.

Hope this helps.


Quote by ged2323
Sweet Child of mine is in the key of D but Cadd9 is not in that key.  
How does it relate ?

What you want to understand is that there are more to "Keys" than the typical diatonic form of thinking.  While C is not diatonic (meaning, its not composed from notes directly taken from a D major scale) there are other ways of "fitting" within a key, that musically sounds good.  One is a bVII (taken from the tonal center of the key of D minor...also known as borrowing from the parallel D minor scale).  The add 9 is pretty much ornamental, or embellishing the harmony.

I hope this helps.  My suggestion would be, take what you know and understand about diatonic harmony, and extend that outward, and start reading or studying about tonal centers, and parallel 'borrowing', also some call this modal modulation.



Music Reading For Guitar by David Oakes

Music Reading DVD by Carol Kaye


The notes spell out an E 6/9 chord

E G# B F# C# is an E 6/9

But since you have double F# and F# as your lowest note, someone might argue that it's some sort of F# and I wouldn't argue against it.

f# f# b e g# c#



Quote by amonamarthmetal
Okay, so these chords don't really exist? In terms of music theory, I mean the names would be wrong. Would there ever be a time when a Sus2 b5 (or #5) would be used?

That would be strange.

Let's look at one, C sus 2 #5 C D G#

I'd look at that as a harmonic cluster.

It could represent a C augmented, but there's no major 3rd.

Other than a C and G#, there are no triadic relationships between any of these notes, Unless you want to argue a G# diminshed between the G# and D notes (But I don't)

C Aug sus2? I guess if you had to name it, using C as your root, that's as good as any.


Quote by f1f2
Really basic question but it's been bothering me (I didn't take music lessons btw). In some piano sheets I would come across for example two tied quarter notes, and can't help but wonder why isn't it one half note instead, because they sound the same? Or do they? Am I missing something?

You wouldn't generally see that unless it extended past a single bar. It would be pointless to tie 2 quarter notes together and then play two, rather than have a half note and then 2 quarter notes, in a single measure. But if it begins in one measure and extends to another, then you might see a tie. I see that frequently where the tie goes a half note, and holds to the first beat of the following measure..

Ideally, written music should strive to concisely convey adequate information necessary for playing something.

Unlike the above sentence.



Quote by Clay-man
When you compose riffs, do you have a general idea of what key and scale and technique you're using, or is every single note planned out like a piano composition?

Basically, how much feeling do you use to guide what you write when you write music on guitar?

Just curious.

Why do you think it is purely one or the other? It's not a black and white thing. It seems to suggest that if you play planned, that oops, there goes your feeling. There's a validity between playing a composition, and playing via improvisation. Both can use a little of each, and certainly both can evoke feeling.


Why you no have the guitar strap at stomach level?

Why you have it like a bow tie????!!!111

Seriously though man, I've been following you on my feed and clearly we have both been busy - you with your tours and fancy artistic pictures (y u no land country girl lovr yet an eny of them??) and me with my insightful FB post updates like:

"Just finishing at the gym!"

"Early morning work out...let's do this"- insert grainy pic of me in a UA sleeveless

and the ever prolific "Just finished 2 hours, man am I tired"

FB posts, which all are musical code for "Guitar Modez".

Seriously though (for real this time) we need to catch up on FB chat again with the rest of the gang. Xiaoxi was in Austin recently, but i found out about it on a day I was already committed, otherwise I'd have shown him how to REALLY drive that little German import!



I don't know that playing an instrument really is an accurate assessment of your teaching abilities.

Make a video, and teach someone how to form a D chord, and change it to a G chord, and post your explanation up.

Make a video teaching a first timer how to hold a pick, address their natural awkwardness, and correct their position while being encouraging and reassuring.


Sometimes things translate better live than to "Here's something I'd like to download and listen to during the day". I think this would be one of those cases, where I'd try and do this stuff live and not worry about the digital content unless the fan base seems to want it, and want to pay for it.


I don't personally, Jerry, but what I can do, is check with my network of friends colleagues and players, and see if anyone I know has had exposure to it.

I do something similar online, at my Academy, with my students in their homework assignments but it's much more rudimentary, and involves a separate piece of software. I require that as part of many of my playing and homework assignments purely because there's a different learning pathway, neurally that is accessed when things are presented that challenge the student visually. For example, an Aug 6 to a Cadential 6/4, I want to see how they charted those, as well as assimilated the information.


You're not going to be able to play in a scale and make it work.

Hint - pick the key and the predominant tonality for that scale, and identify the chord changes and respect the chord tones on strong beats.


I studied with Jimmy Bruno - highly recommended. I also love Carol Kaye. I'll put them up against anyone.

Jody Fisher is good in print, if you need a good primer that presents information in a very clear and concise way.


I'm going to be controversial here and say there IS a magic way (ok not really magic, but there are better ways than others, which have consistent results across the board). I'm going to raise some eyebrows, and also draw out some amused smiles (from those who know me well)

I've been doing it for years, and teaching it. So hear me out, if you don't know me. Step right up and ride along, if you do.

The first thing any method or approach needs, is your investment. If you don't invest in something that asks something of you; if you never pick the guitar up and focus solid practicing habits consistently, you're dead in the water, no one will be able to help you.

That said, let's assume you've got that end covered.

Critical to learning anything, is the way the information is presented. If it is presented in easy to understand bites, if the method allows for instant recall, then it is, a "magic" way, as far as I'm concerned, in that it surpasses whatever other methods are presented.

But to do this, you have to understand there are different learning styles, there are different ways that people learn. Some like me, are hands on. Some are visual "I see what you mean", some are audible learners "I heard that!". A good approach first takes into account a person's learning style.

Second, it presents the information in such a way, that when the brain and memory (which is like a vast filing cabinet) needs the information, it can access it quickly. It's not novel or new. Have you heard of mnemonics, for example? That organizes and presents information, that the brain files away and can access it.

I can tell a day one student that the Tuning of a Guitar is E A D G B E and have him come back the next week and not be able to tell me or at best stumble all over the place.

I can tell another student that "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk After Easter" and he comes in the next week and nails the tuning of the strings and their order.

Why is that? It's how that information is learned, processed, and then retrieved.

If you can do the same thing with musical concept after concept, be it fretboards or scales or theory, and apply those in real time, and access the information on the fly, then that is "magic". But it's not really "magic", it's really all possible because because of how it is presented, accessed, learned, and applied taking into account how the brain learns things.


Quote by jerrykramskoy
Hi guys. Just stumbled on the Nashville numbering system today in response to oa friend asking what musicians meant by "numbering system".

I've watched a couple of videos on it. Kind of like the Roman numeral system, without the Roman numerals, just using normal numbers. Seems to be for describing simple tunes, chord progressions, and the odd lick.

Has anyone seriously used this? How commonly used is it, outside Nashville? Would anyone try and notatae the same level of detail using it that can be expressed using guitar tab or music notation?



I've taught it for years as a basic adjunct to the Roman Numeric System of Analysis. It's efficient and modern, but like any language, it needs to be clear to all that use it. Instead of analysis, it's a shorthand form of "charting". I don't use it much simply because no one else I know uses it. But if I were in Nashville I'm sure its used all the time.

It is part of a lecture I teach at the Academy, however, just to touch upon most things that I think someone might happen upon or even want to utilize at some point.

I'm surprised that youve never heard of it, Jerry. How about Nashville Tuning?


I wouldn't learn them in all 12 keys. Not starting out. Not at all. It's one of the biggest wastes of time that are constantly perpetuated in the "way" people do things.

Learn them in 5 keys and that will do for 95 percent of your playing easily. The rest is and can be learned contextually. The 12 keys is idealistic nonsense. The only time's it's served me well, in over 30 years of playing and teaching, is in playing Jazz.

Learn C G E D and A and be done, for a long time.


Glad to hear the update, my friend. Keep getting better! To reduce tension play as "quietly as you can". It's impossible to play quietly (dynamics) and to have tension. Try it. I have my students try it and it always get's a laugh (and the lightbulb goes on)


Anytime Cam, sounds like you got things rolling again! Glad you're on the mend, but don't push it. Its not going anywhere!


Hey Cam,

Hard to know. To me, understanding theory and not being able to execute it, is a curious thing. The only reason I could see that you couldn't execute what you "understand" is a weak fretboard knowledge. Adding more theory, doesnt seem to remedy that.

I agree that you should share your concerns with your instructor. I really don't have enough background or observation to diagnose. As you know, no one gets accepted into our Academy without passing Notes on the Neck as a Prerequisite, and that's exactly why. The homework I require, makes knowing the notes mandatory. I don't know how else you apply theory to the guitar. Outside of application, theory is an abstract, you can assent to it, but cant apply it.

Of course you dont need a guitar to apply all aspects of theory. I can surely choose an Eb in the key of F and know its a bVII without needing a guitar. I can also harmonically analyze any tune without a guitar, but if I am going to apply anything on the guitar, I need to know the notes, or I'm dead in the water.

If all else fails, you know where to find me, and you know what I do, mate!


Quote by pressureproject
Good grief guys, you're scaring the lad. It's really not that complicated.

If your rhythm guitarist is going from C to A, it's most likely in the key of play the Cmajor scale (same as A minor).

As long as the chords he changes to are in the key of Cmajor, you can stay soloing in the C major scale. That's all you need to know for now. You can move on to other Scales/Modes in that key later, but for now to keep your head from exploding - keep it simple.

Now, I'm assuming you mean "harmonizing" as in staying within the key of the song - not Harmonizing each note with 2 guitars like Iron Maiden....that's a whole other ball of wax. But from what you are describing, I believe you are just wanting to play lead in the same ballpark as the song.

C to A is not diatonic to C major. Am is the vi in C. If I saw C to A, I'd look at the following chord. If it's D for example, - maybe A is functioning as a Secondary Dominant.

Bottom line, music theory is a good thing to have in your pocket.

Basically harmonizing is suggesting a chord. whether in 3rds/6ths, 4ths (inverted 5ths) or 5ths. You're pretty much implying chords.


You're so right. The guitar has unisons. My advice is get very adept at instantly identifying any note on the neck. Also, use what you know about the musical alphabet and string proximity, relative to any note that you are on.


Quote by lanaranara
Hello, I've been playing guitar for 1-1/2 almost 2 years. I've learned all my basic chords and scales. As well as knowing a bit of theory too. But way too often I find my self just learning new songs or playing the same songs over and over, instead of learning new things. I have no real direction to go and feel I'm stuck in this sort of rut. Any help or ideas?

Do you have an specific goals as a guitar player. The mos common thing I find is people have too general goals:

"I want to get good at guitar"

Of course most of us do.

"I want to learn how to solo"

That encompasses maybe 75% of most players.

"I'd like to understand extended chord voicings"

OK, now we are talking. Having a narrow idea of whatever your immediate interests are, can set the compass and get you out of a rut. Make sense?


Just do Giant Steps

Remix Coltrane's solo line.


Use the IV chord.

Chart out lots of tunes and analyze what people are doing for Bridges. Its very easy to just throw out Harmonic Analysis, see what they did, and mentally catalog that as possible avenues for writing.


I'm glad you paid attention to my advice from an earlier topic you posted. Hope it helped, and gets you closer to your goals.


The better you know your guitar, the fretboard, even theory, the more easier it is to bridge this gap.

You have to become skilled at hearing pitches and pitch collections. Without these and a fair amont of time invested, you have a long road ahead. I'd also start by transcribing songs, small tunes at first and build your skill sets and associations that way.



Quote by fears.saqal
How to recognize notes by ear
How to listen to a random song and play it immediately without learning it from tthe tabs
I think this is really important thing to learn but I don't know how
I'd focus on rehab to be honest. It's fine to play guitar and try to learn, but, I'd just bring it to play things I enjoyed, not to force myself to learn more things, because of some percieved "downtime".

If you are really committed to learning and aren't understanding things, perhaps a more structured learning approach would work for you. I'm not sure I'd advocate trying to go in and self-teach.


I'd recommend that you use the index and pinky for power chords. Believe it or not, that will strengthen a bunch of muscles in the hand. I still play most power chords that way. It's always easy later on to adjust that to other ways, such as the index and ring fingers, hyperextending the upper joint to play 2 strings etc.

There is no one way to do something. What I do when I start teaching, is I pick some songs, and teach them in a way so that core skills are developed that will translate into other songs, gradually building a nice skill set that expands.