First of all kudos for bringing in Shuggie Otis. Truly an underrated guy. But a gem. Strawberry Letter 23 is a classic!

Second, C Pentatonic Minor.


Quote by sosxradar
Hi everyone,

Today, I feel so down that I can't do anything so I just pick up my electric and go to youtube and search for some blue backing track.

Let say the track is in A scale and I know A scale but is there a technique to make it sound really good?

Blue is all about beding and sliding. I know some lick that I stole from BB King, Eric & Slash, but what are some basic lick to play when you run out of the cool part?

Are there any technique or those proffesional guitar just spam the the fretboard with luck to produce a good feeling sound?

You ask good questions. What is your lead playing experience?

What to you define as "good"? Good is one of those words that can mean something different depending on the ears that is listening. That's why some people like a certain pop star, and I might not.

I don't know the extent of your experience or what youve been exposed to playing wise.


Hi Cam,

Play whatever you feel is natural for you.

As per your link to the pinch grip, I use the first method that is in that article.

Here's a tip for playing relaxed. Play as softly and quietly as possible. You cannot do that AND have tension at the same time. Impossible.

Sorry for the delay in my response times. But you know...

You can play F without barring the E and B strings. I'd suggest that for a while. Simply play the B string and ignore the last E string.

Playing Smoke on the Water, and I'm presuming the 4ths diad type, play slowly, and clearly. Dont try and play the song. Try to play without working on timing, just work on the clarity of every note that you are supposed to execute upon. Get comfortable and familiar with those "grips" and then slowly apply the rhythmic aspects, and speed.

So far, not many red flags coming up, though I always have a little one come up when someone says this is the "best" way to hold the pick, or strum. The truth is, there is no best way. Everyone's bone structure is different. The trick is find what works for you and which doesn't impede upon your progress, or introduce harmful habits or motions.


Quote by Serotonite
Hello all. I appear to have run into writer's block after exhausting all my general writing ideas. So it looks like I'm going to have to look into a more advanced understanding of music theory.

I can just get my head round the fact that chords are derived from scale degrees and progressions come from playing different chords based on degrees from the same scale in different orders. Horribly rudimentary and probably inaccurate description but it has worked for me before so.

Anyway, does each scale have its own "mood" that can be used as a basis for deciding what key to write in? If this question even makes sense, any help is much appreciated.

The answer is, no, there really is not, not that would tip the scales in your situation.

Let me guess, you are self taught? The comments about theory, sound like someone that's tried to glean their knowledge from bits and pieces, but still not sure how it goes together to make music.

I have to disagree, but only from perspective, as a teacher and songwriter, that's helped hundreds, and assert that theory does help with songwriting, because seeing how music fits and works together as a whole is valuable insights as to possible ideas that you may not have understood were there for you before. Even something as simple a couple of secondary dominant instances in a progression, or backcycling, can inspire a whole other writing direction, and wake up a songwriting rut.


I have a beat up netbook running Win 7 still. Its old and clunky. I also have some other laptops that are newer, and they get little to no use. Go figure. One is a dedicated editing station for the Academy Videos. Got that back in 09, and that's all its ever been used for


C Dim 7 - I just follow the chord formula: minor triad (b5) bb7 - C Eb Gb Bbb.

However this is for correctness sake and correctly acknowledging the intervals.

But for communications sake, and maintaining clarity where being "correct" on the notes is not the priority or objective, then I'd say "Play C Eb Gb and A". Because I'm communicating musical direction, and not musical concept.

I generally do not mess with Octa-tonics however. Most likely I'd choose the approach that makes things clear. If there is a defined scale formula 1, b2, 2 etc, then I'd just use that as the basis for my naming of the notes.


Quote by lleeoo66
Im 18 and I've been playing acoustic/electric for a few years. I mostly play classic rock, as I'll just listen to a song and try to figure it out. If I cant, I will resort to the tab for it. I know some of my pentatonic scales, and I can improvise over some basic chords, but nothing special, just some nice jam sessions. I can't read sheet music, I don't know theory, and I have never written a song.

I read several posts similar to this, and there are just so many recommendations, and there are good and bad reviews about recommendations. Any more advice on where to read/write and learn music theory would be great.

What is your situation?

Can you afford lessons, get a teacher? Can you take music classes?

I think that the recommendations should be appropriate for your situation, and goals.


Hey Cam,

Sorry, it's been a few days. Very busy with teaching, as you can imagine.

Thank you for your comments about my teaching, I never get tired of hearing them, it just makes me grateful that what I am doing is helping someone like you. I try my best. I am glad that that video helped you a bit.

I may be able to help with your other concerns. First of all I am ot sure what a pinch grip is on a pick, nor do I know how you presently play "naturally" maybe a video of you or a picture, would help there.

I'm not sure I'd have you doing Thunderstruck. Most likely we'd sit down, discuss your goals, I'd assess you present level and knowledge (and diagnose the gaps in your playing, or basics) share with you my observations, get feedback from you as to what songs you'd like to learn, and assess those songs with the gaps and skills I am wanting to teach you. If they line up, then I start working with you. If the song is too advanced for your present state, I will build you towards that goal by teaching you "stepping stone" songs, that will build repertoire, but also teach you critical skill sets that will enable you to tackle your goal songs.

At the same time, I'd be directing you towards a more well rounded approach to the guitar, pointing out basic musical concepts, like the idea of a pedal tone, or a triad, when breaking down not only how to play an intro like Thunderstruck, (Master Of Puppets uses that harmonic device too as well as rhythmic imitation) but where he got it from and why it works. Light theory but in context with your interests, and where riffs aren't simply abstract pieces on a tab staff, where you have no idea why, where they came from, or why they work.

I don't know why he has on an A Major Pentatonic scale, since the vast majority of your interest appears to involve music that is in a minor key.

I have lots of suggestions for your fingers, but it would involve a little more in depth examination of where you are presently at.

I wouldn't introduce a chord, and leave it out there, and say "it's used in metal a lot". I'd introduce it to you in context with a song I was teaching you. Otherwise, it's abstract.

It's used...where? what songs? How? What function does it have? You know, those would be pretty important questions for me.


Quote by Kevätuhri
. And damn, I'm 100% sure there's a mode lesson on this very site that's highly rated and states that Metallica's Enter Sandman intro is in Locrian, but I can't find it. Anyway, the metal population seems to be obsessed with it, probably because it's so brootal with it's flats.

EDIT: wait, I found the lesson:

REALLY? Here on Ultimate Guitar?

Incorrect and grossly inaccurate information that is gulped down by the masses??


I'm not here to say that your ideas are wrong, they are simply a way that you have taken notes, departed an established order, and created a new order with new rules and observations based upon the aesthetics of visual symmetry.

I mean, even John Coltrane came up with an interesting take based upon the Augmented...which is what I thought of when reading your symmetrical "balance" points.

I do not know whether what you have compares any longer to what we have. It may be a departure from it, and if so, as long as its understood, that is the case, I think it is okay.

So now all that matters is if you can create something personally meaningful from this new musical frontier that you have apparently found appealing to you.

Music is a personal thing. If Holdsworth can create his own system of understanding, I see no reason why you or anyone else cannot. As long as you do not presume to bridge the two.

The extent that you actually create something musically that is appealing and pleasing to anyone else besides yourself, is the degree that your ideas will be of interest to other musicians. If you come back and there's something wonderfully beautiful and bizarre and complex about what we are hearing, then I believe your ideas and concepts will be further accepted by others.

If it doesn't, well, then as long as you like it, then you will always have an audience of one.


Quote by cam75
Good stuff.

My hand does tire after 5 minutes or so, thats when I moved on to chords. Thanks for heads up.

Ill look for the Jody Fischer guitar workout.

Can I ask why you start at fret 9 instead of 1? Is is due to smaller fret board, so less stretch, so less of a stress to start?

Exactly right, Cam. Good catch. When someone is learning to play guitar for the first time, it's best to set them up with a range of motion that is challenging but attainable. I can tell you first hand, even from the B by the time they get to the 12th fret E with their pinky, most of them can barely hold it down the first time. Many of them can't even reach it.

It takes a certain amount of time to even get muscular stability and cleanly holding down a thick E string against a fret, especially with the pinky. But as they develop what I'd call "micro muscles" they also improve their flexibility, and they can be progressively more challenged and develop both strength and reach by moving towards the F bit by bit. By the time they can do a full F to Ab stretch, they have a significant amount of strength built up and a nice stretch that makes it much easier to manage other techniques.

Were you able to view the video link?


Quote by xcamero360
Like you usually play better but sometimes your fingers are just slower than normal? Not because of lack of practice though.


You fingers may be fatigued. Rest is just as important as practice. A couple days off for recovery sometimes is the very thing needed to get to that next level. Listen to your body. Best advise I could give anyone.


Quote by cam75
Got the pm, tried to send one back, said your pm was full.

Thanks for that btw.

I didnt watch whole video, but I use basically that to warm up, going up and down the strings, and changing fingers.

Hi Cam,

Thanks for the heads up on the full inbox. I've gone ahead and created some space. Apologies to those who have tried to get in touch with me. It should be fine now, for a while at least.

I'll elaborate upon why I don't like that video, especially for beginners.

In a nutshell, tendonitis. And strain risks.

There are two areas being pushed simultaneously in this: stretch as well as strength by exerting sufficient downward pressure at the fingertips, to make the stings ring loud and clear while maintaining enough arch at the same time to allow both strings to sound.

Any of these three areas can be unknowingly over exerted to the point of some real pain and negative development, if you are an uninformed beginner.

For a beginner, in my opinion, this exercise is atrocious because there is dubious value and benefit, that cannot be gained naturally with gradually building up a stretch. This video has the illusion of being something, but there's nothing there that can't be replicated with a more natural development of stretching through a gradual chromatic means. This is just a fancy hoop to jump through, and to the uninformed, potentially can do more harm than good.

In a practical playing sense, there's nothing here that's real world that you're likely going to use or encounter needing this "skill" set in an every day environment. It reminds me of a counterpoint example of illustrating the definition of contrary motion, and that's about it.

When I start out my beginners, I work a chromatic 4 note per string, 4 picks per note starting from C# to E (9-12 frets) working vertically down the A D G strings, etc. As they show progress, and a gradual stretch is created, without stressing, or prematurely risking a strain (bad) Then I naturally increase that stretch by moving that exercise back to B, and then A, and then G and finally F. Monitoring their stability, inquiring about their range of motion, and advising upon a balance of stretch and relaxation is very effective.

At the same time, it can be used to create effective down picking practice as well as alternate picking. It can facilitate maintaining contact with the guitar as well as proper transition to adjacent strings.

If someone wants to explore warmups and technical stretches that will challenge and actually give something different in terms of range of motion, Jody Fishers 30 Day Guitar workout by National Guitar Workshop is as formidable a book as I have ever seen.

Anyways, to summarise my .02 cents, it has dubious benefits that cant be better facilitated and replicated with much less risk exercises and a gradual stretching regimen, and it has very little real world benefit as an applied motion.

I just don't want to see anyone's playing life cut off prematurely because of these kinds of things. I have first-hand experience with that kind of bad stuff.


Thanks for the link to that exercise.

I don't like it one bit. That's not to say you need to stop doing it. I just don't like many things about it.

Did you locate my PM/Message? Upper right of this page under "Profile" takes you to a page where you should be able to see that you have a new message.

Good luck in your lesson tomorrow!


Quote by jerrykramskoy
A less technical way to think of cadence, in modern music, is that you've made your point with a section of music (e.g. a verse) and here is the break from that before moving to the next section. If you look back at the word's origins, it comes from Latin meaning "to fall".

Exactly - that's very much in line with how I break it down to students.


No problem mate - glad that helped!


Check your PM box - Hopefully something like that will help you in regards to your G chord situation.


Quote by Robert Callus
I'm not a beginner, I'm a teacher but I'd like to share my view on this.

I don't think it's a good idea to ask beginners what they want to learn since beginners don't know what there is to be learnt yet. What needs to be followed by which.

Instead try to go back to when you were a beginner. Now that you know better, what kind of book would you have liked to have when you got started?

I don't write books yet, but I'm preparing a music theory and songwriting course. And that's the question I ask each time: What book/course I would have liked to own 20 years ago, before I started playing.

I like your points.

For years people have been bugging me to publish a beginners series. My response was always, "Why"?

At the time, for me, the reason why I'd publish something is the most important question that I need to answer. If the reason I'd publish something is "Money". That's not a compelling or sincere reason, even if that's honestly why someone may be motivated to develop and publish. By the way, that motivation is NOT a core reason that I do what I do.

For me the idea of money is closely linked to "fair exchange". If you buy something, and invest of yourself in that thing, then I don't mind recieving a fair exchange for it. But if I publish something that you will buy and I get money, and you get a trinket that had very little new or useful or fresh information, then I have no interest in that - that's not a "fair exchange".

My point to them was, "There are lots and lots of beginner resources out there. Does the world NEED another beginner course?" It would be one thing if there was very little material out there...its another thing if I am substantially adding to, or introducing something that improves what is out there. Those are compelling reasons.

It's quite another to simply say "Me too!" and jump out there with something that's in no way new, innovative or different.

So, if the world needs another beginner book, course, or product, my questions are:

1. why?

2. What makes yours better? And, what was the problem with the other 1 million You Tube videos and beginner courses and websites out there, that failed all these users who now want to buy your book, and take your approach?

In my mind, that is more important than asking for what someone wants. You should have a firm conviction that what you have to offer is what someone else needs or can benefit from, and a well defined sense of purpose behind it. Otherwise, what are you really doing, and who are you really doing it for?


Quote by TobusRex
@sean: B11? No offense, but that is considered one of the "Big 9"? No being snotty here, but I've never even heard of that chord. Well, unless I know it by some other designation.

@cam: don't give up, just keep working it. The best advice I've ever heard about guitars (other than to find a good teacher) is to put your hands on it and play. Don't just noodle aimlessly either...but listen to the sounds you are making. I started to improve rapidly once I made sure I had a guitar within reach at ALL TIMES when I'm home. Seriously, like those HS football players carrying footballs around school all day teaches them a little about ball control, having an axe to pick on encourages frequent and casual playing. I have a Seagull Entourage S6 in my computer room, my composite guitar in the living room (on the couch next to me usually), and my Taylor in the bedroom.

This is a pertinent thread to me because I just got a teacher last week. Wish I'd done it years ago, but frankly he'd have probably been a zygote back then, lol.

I am not offended.

I call it one of MY big 9 but understand, that it's contextual of a very specific structured learning environment that has many pieces going to it. It is not put out there to imply or insist that others do it that way, or that it's everyone's "Big 9" nor is it intended to.

These chords inform a very specific learning path that I take my students on. They may not make sense to the outside world. The B11 later becomes a B7. I call it a B11 because of the actual notes if someone were to examine the chord as a whole.

Functionally, it's a 3 finger B7.

I hope that helps. And best of luck with your guitar teacher! That's cool.


Quote by cam75
Ive been studying theory on and off. Im actually pretty comfortable with theory basics. Ive been actually physically touching the guitar about a month. I average 1 hour of time a day.

I can most the big 8, but still have trouble with G, oh, and A, having trouble barreing it, or getting my 3 fingers squeezed in on the fretboard.

Been doing the spider exercises and practing my chords, and some chord changes.

Proabaly overthinking the anchoring and pick thing then.

Just my nature, when I start something, I want to master it, and I go all in. Ill try to reign it in some.

Really appreciate all the help and insight from everyone.

Hi Cam,

The only "spider" exercise I am familiar with is Dave Mustaine's. If you're talking about that.... (shaking my head)

I believe that you *might* be overthinking the pick thing/anchoring thing, but what I would suggest, is, just pick a way that you want to go, that feels natural to you, and just go for it. I've been playing guitar over 30 years now, and my predominant way, is a pinky anchor. There are others that can do the floating hand and no anchor. Maybe when I started over 30 years ago, I might have been able to do now though, its too late.

Yet here I am playing guitar and teaching, so I'd say I'm doing okay. I developed my pinky anchor completely naturally and organically.

That's my thoughts about the matter. Pick a thing that you like, and work with it.

I might differ with you that you can "do the big 8", because I consider "doing" the big 8 to include the following:

1. Correct fingers and strength and clarity

2. Applying it to songs, in which you can transition to other chords in real time, without affecting the pace of the song.

3. The ability to adapt to different finger positions, depending upon the context of the song, and effect those changes. That one may sound a bit abstract, but there are many ways to play a G, depending upon what you are going to do next. For example a G to a C I might play one way, than a G to a D/F# to and Em. You may or may not understand that particular example directly, but others here will. My point is, there are different times you may want to finger a chord differently.

As far as theory basics, if it's working for you go for it. In my "professional opinion" (which is not worth anything, unless you add a $1.25 to it ...and then, you can buy a cup of coffee with that opinion) at your stage, your knowledge of theory is abstract. I prefer to teach theory concurrently with being able to apply it in real time, and that's essentially the source of my bias, as it were.

That's not necessarily a technique specific thing. For example, I don't need technique to recognize JJ Cale's "After Midnight" C to Eb, F, as a I to bIII IV. But I am definitely applying my understanding of theory to a skeletal Harmonic Analysis of the piece as a whole.

Learning theory, in other words, encompasses the knowledge and being able to use it. My standard and threshold may be a bit different, than yours or another's but that's what informs my perspective. So take all of my words with a grain of salt.

If at the end of the day, you are being enriched and it's not impeding the other musician things you are developing, go for it.


Quote by jongtr
"Big 9"? I count 10 there....

F - - comes later!


That 10th chord...yeah I've misnumbered them before. Surprising that I still catch myself doing that from time to time. I consider the B11 a non essential throw in, transitional to a B7, but that's the first instance of a B root chord, that I teach. The other 9 are every day chords.

Hint: (F/C) no 1st string. It's essentially an F barre without the barre. I let their barre strength and development develop naturally over time, until jusssst before they are going to be facing their first barre in a song (the F#m in Peaceful Easy Feeling) and the week before I give them an exercise that we affectionately term "I Hate My Guitar Teacher", and when they come back the following week, that F#m is a breeze, and suddenly they don't hate me any more. In my practice, I have discovered that these gradual chords and songs therefore present less barriers while simultaneously developing the strength/stability side, the technique side and finally the song-playing side.


Quote by CherokeShredder
I second the Big 9 concept. I question myself: is B11 what I think I remember it to be?

Yeah, pick placement is not too big of a concern, Cam. Let that occur later in time, if you can. Theory comes and goes, so Sean is correct on pretty much everything stated so far


They don't play the high E, but the shape is essentially a B7 minus the pinky.

Thank you for the kind words.


You've been playing guitar for 2 months, am I reading that right, Cam?

14 chords? No, I wouldnt. I'd start out and teach you two, and proceed all the way up to what I consider the Big a beginner. And instead of chords as chords, they'd have songs, so you get technical practice, build a song repertoire (when someone says...can you play any songs, you'd say, yes)

For clarity sake, these are the chords I teach and call the Big 9, and I teach them in a very specific order...(which is not shown below).

A, Am, B11, C, D, Dm, E, Em, F and G

I wouldn't worry about how to hold the pick as far as anchoring it, not at all. In my opinion, it's too early. That kind of thing can be looked at in/over time. And I absolutely would not recommend theory at this point for you.

I am chewing on your points a bit, as I usually do before I make my recommendations. But I'm absolutely confident we can get you there.


Quote by cam75

Thanks for the mentoring offer, and ill take you up on that. Ive always got questions, but dont feel like being flamed for asking 'noob" questions. And with lessons and learning the guitar it seems there are many approaches to take with a beginning player.

Id love to bounce ideas and questions around, and especially like advice on my learning track, as in what should I be learning next, or what doesnt need to be taught, or hit on prevalently with someone as me who is doing this for the enjoyment, and not as a career, or playing in a band.

Im enjoying Jamplay, and watched up to learning all the "major chords", as the instructor put it, 14 or them. Do I have them mastered, no way, but I can some of them, just not the barre chords yet. I dont have the fingered strength yet.

I may keep it as a supplement to my live instructions.

Let me pose this question. What would you start me on If I was coming to you for a first lesson?

First off, Im learning guitar due to my passion for music. I want to play my favorite bands for fun.
I WANT to know the Music Theory, it intrigues me. I have been studying MT from the net and have a pretty good grasp on the basics, intervals, circle of 5ths, etc.

As I said earlier I can fret and play A,Am,C,D,Dm,E,Em,G, and have been practicing the "spider" exercise up the strings with different finger combinations up the fretboard. Just starting to try a few chord progressions, there not clean or fast. I only started "playing" (if you can call it that" about 2 weeks ago.

I can get about an hour to 90 minutes of practice in per day, usually.

So what kind of lessons plan would be a good start over the next month of two? What should I look for, or ask to be taught? What should I look out for that shouldnt be taught?, so If if wants to include it, I might want to speak up and have him rethink that part of the plan.

Thanks again. Really appreciate it.

FYI, still dont have callouses built up yet, played so much yesterday and today my fingers are sore, but Ill be back at it tomorrow.


I read your profile page regarding mentoring. If I do ask something that is only for a paying student just let me know. If I asked I probably wasnt aware that was crossing the line.

Hey cam,

You're good brother, no one's gonna flame you, if they do, I'll flame em back. No but seriously, this place is full of great people that I know and respect and we are pretty good at self policing things here. I'm proud of that. Post away, my friend.

I'm not worried about you crossing the line with mentoring. It's my job to guide you, and the questions that you have are certainly in scope of mentoring. Do not even sweat it my friend. I got your back. I love to help others. That's why I'm here.


Cornell Dupree is a boss! Rainy Night In Georgia is one of the most underrated songs and one of the most underrated musicians I can think of, ever.

Anyways, a more contemporary song that features these chords, all of them, is "Like I'm Going To Lose You". I've taught it to several of my students.


Quote by cam75
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the critque. I agree now in retrospect is was alot. Ill admit the metronome was a bit much, and I have ditched that for now. Ive been practicing about an hour a day. I can play the "8" basic chords, pretty well right now, although still having some trouble with G.

Clarification, he wasnt teaching me power chords per say. We were talking music during the lesson, and just showed me a fingering of them in one position, but it wasnt something I was to be working on.

So, yesterday was Tuesday, my lesson day.

First the good news. Im loving the guitar, playing, the music theory. My fretting and strumming have really progressed in a week.

The bad news. My teacher was a no show yesterday. He teaches out of his house, which is fine by me. I showed up 5 minutes early for my lesson. No one home. Called his cell, voicemail. So lost hour for me. He left me a voice mail a few hours later (almost 7pm) while I was in my night class).

Im pretty pissed about that. I work 20-25 a week, and am taking 17 credits this semester trying to get my schooling for my career change done fast. I have wife/ time commitments, so my time is valuable. I dont have a lot of hours to waste.

So, Im changing teachers. Second lesson and he no shows? He had my cell and email, all I needed was a quick message saying he needed to reschedule.

So, anyway. I have found a new teacher with quite a few glowing reviews, but he's a good 30 minute drive away from me, but im commited.

So Ill update next week with my new teacher.

In the meantime Groupon had a deal for one month of Jamplay for $5, so Ive been watching lessons there, and reviewing UG's lessons.

Hey cam,

Sorry to hear of your experience with the no show teacher. That's not a good start at all. I agree with your decision.

I hate seeing things like this. All you're trying to do is learn to play. Shouldnt be that difficult, but sometimes it is. It sucks.

By the way I do offer free mentoring. I'd be happy to help where I can, make recommendations and the like. Years ago I checked out Jam Play, and to be honest is was pretty good for what it was. I would not recommend a site like Guitar Tricks however. JP was one of the best - keep in mind this was a good 6-7 years ago when I had a free pass, and I used it to make a review at that time.

Keep posting here, and I'll be following your progress with your new teacher, with great interest. Too bad you aren't close by, I'd have been happy to take you under my wing...


Ronald - stick with only the melody at first, and then choose places intentionally where you will go off it, and then come back. Then ask yourself "does that sound good?" when you listen back. If it does, keep it. You'll also be answering your other concern and that is, staying close to the melody, since you will only deviate where it manages to sound interesting and yet maintain the melodic direction that you've established.


Harmonize with minor 2nds for all your notes - very jarring dissonance and "out of tune" feeling.


Quote by cam75
He did help me with my body position, and my strumming, which sucked. Holding pick to tight. I made my first chord progression (Em to Am). Taught me some warm ups and fretting exercises. Showed me a few power chords. Taught me how to utilize a metronome in my practice.

All in all, i enjoyed my first lesson, and I actually felt I made progess in the hour.

Thanks for the links, Ill chech them out.

Seems like a lot, to be honest. I'm having some question as to how you can achieve any substantial progress with all those topics in just one hour, much less the first lesson.

I'm for correcting your body position, giving you some rudimentary instruction on strumming (not picking...I'd wait on that..let you work on one core element, rather than dividing your time) I don't see that Em to Am is a good first progression, simply because there's no common there a song connected to this, or is it an abstract exercise? There are better first chords, and a great first song, and it facilitates not only playing and fretting both chords, but also the changing of them, making songs more available.

I wouldn't show you power chords, until I was applying them to a song I was teaching you - for example Iron Man, or SOTW, etc.

I'm good with warm ups. My impression of your first lesson's content, as a full time guitar instructor, and this is entirely subjective, and by no means is it absolute, or that it's a potpourri of things without any apparent organization to it.

I don't think you can teach someone to practice with a metronome in one lesson. I wouldn't even try it. I'd divide it out over some weeks, in class with hands on teaching and demonstrating and having them play along with me by learning through imitation what being on time sounds and feels like.

Its challenging enough having someone count slowly to 4 the first time they are exposed to musical time keeping, much less feel and sync to an unforgiving click. Teaching metronome skills is a pretty involved process, and can take months before someone is comfortably on their own doing so.


Oh those chords! Oh those chords!

Great share Jerry!


Quote by jerrykramskoy
That's a great set of examples. There's a wealth of ideas to be learned from this.


I agree with this - this is genius, and if you listen to the flurry of notes going on, he still manages to keep us aware of where in the "original" melody the song is still at. This is fascinating stuff.

Great share T


It's very close to a first inversion B, in function - I'd want to hear where it went next. 38 Special and Eddie Money made a career using these kinds of moves.


You should quit. For now.

Find something that you enjoy doing. Not everyone is cut out for the guitar.

And, if you don't have time, and availability, put the guitar down for a season, until a better time in life comes along and you feel inspired to take it up.

Since you don't have money, private lessons with someone personally vested in seeing you progress, helping you avoid mistakes, and learn things the right way, is not an option for you, even if that would help.

The problems you have are common for someone that is self taught. A lot of stumbling, falling over themselves, and thats because its very hard to be both student and teacher at the same time on something that you arent familiar with. You don't know what to avoid, what wastses time, whats just bad advise, or what's poorly executed, and your results, pretty much show because of that. That's not a slam on you, it's just a hard way and a lot of time lost to find what works and what doesn't.

I wish you the best of luck, in whatever you do. If you decide to stay with the guitar you will only get as much as you are willing to invest into it. The same as everything else in life.



Quote by sosxradar
Hello everybody

It's seem really hard to learn guitar..... I'm in the situation which is I don't know what to learn next. I can't take a guitar class for some reason.(Time, Money and Availability)

The lesson I've found on internet are not so interesting. Also, I can't play very well.
I can learn a song a day but it drain lots of energy.

It's been 1 year now that I've play guitar and I still made mistake.
The song I can play is Fade to black, For whom the bell tolls, Enter the sandman and some beatles + GnR songs. (I never finish any of these song except Fade to black and enter the sandman).

Yeah - it depends upon the contract.

Here's what I'd do, if I were you, because I get calls to do this as well.

If they say it's 2 hours, then charge a flat rate.

First of all, I would consider what it is you are doing: You are helping a Luthier get attention and hopefully selling guitars.

I call this a "Derived Benefit" that is, what you are doing, is providing a benefit for someone that is going to be making money.

What is that tangibly worth to the person buying? They should not feel that they can charge what they are worth, and you can't. That's not equity. So when you charge, don't give it away, even if you get paid, you can still be "giving it away" by not thinking of the fact that what you are doing is providing a direct tangible derived benefit for the client.

Second, consider your time...prep time. How long are you going to spend preparing for the piece to be played?

Third, consider your TIME, much is your time worth, considering that when you are doing this session, you are not available to do other things in your life with that time, be it shopping, laundry, spending time with people. So how much is that worth to you.

Fourth, consider the market. Is it for a luthier in a small town doing a radio jingle, and not a lot of money? Come up with something that you can live with, that won't push him out of the water.

Consider service-in-trade. maybe he can do some work for you, or maybe there's a piece that he'd give you in exchange for x amount, or a discount etc. Look for creative opportunities for a win-win situation.

Thats how I charge, and every situation is different. I might play 2 hours for a show and get $400.00, but I may have also put a set list together for 3 weeks and rehearsed it over that time, and also provided my own sound, loaded my own gear and made my drive to and from in my veicle using my fuel. None of that is free, and that $400.00 may be a bargain when you think about what happened behind the scenes to play that 2 hour show, and impress that crowd, or whatever derived benefit I brought for that establishment.


Quote by eddievanzant
Why you hatin on modes bro. This is actually about modes. Minor is actually a mode. This is an attempt to further explain the concept of keys.

Modes are crucial to understanding this. If you see a D major in a song in the key of E major, you might think you're in the key of A major. But if E major is your home chord, what that means is you've borrowed a chord.

Now it's already been stated that there are other ways of playing notes other than the seven diatonic notes, but the main one we're talking about is borrowed chords.

Op wants to know where to get the D. Why is the D major? If you play a D like you "should" it's minor so wtf? Well, the explanation is that DM is in A. And A is only one note away from the key of E. In fact, the key of A is the same notes as E mixolydian.

You say you can only borrow chords from the minor mode. Why?

You say if he doesn't understand keys why talk about modes? Because that's how you understand keys.

I think modes are pretty easy to explain honestly. You got 12 notes. A diatonic scale is when you use seven of them. You use a pattern that spaces them as much as possible. Sometimes two notes are together, but never are three notes together.

So you have a pattern of whole steps (2 frets) and half steps (1 fret in between notes. This pattern of intervals between notes is W W H W W W H So E on the E string would be 0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12

However you can start anywhere in the pattern. You can start on the second W and put the first one at the end. So you have W H W W W H.

So you have seven notes, so you have seven different intervals you can start on. But, the first one is the one all the others are compared against. The notes 0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12 are officially and by everyone everywhere called 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1(or 8. You can keep going and call 2 9 etc)

So W W H W W W H is your 1 through 7 and the other notes get flats or sharps. If you start on any other interval, you'll end up with different notes. The trick to understanding this is the circle of fifths.

Say you started on the fifth note of the pattern. So it looks like this W W H W W H W. So the notes are all the same except the seventh which is flat. Instead of fret 11 it's 10 and it's called b7 because 11 is 7 because the names of the intervals all originate from the position of notes in the Ionian mode (W W H W W W H)

The point of it all is to understand the relativity of it. The fifth mode of C (W W H W W H W or 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7) contains all the notes of the key of G. The only difference is C is still your home note)

As much as you could say D major is borrowing from the minor mode (or Dorian or mixolydian actually) you could also say that you were in mixolydian and you're borrowing the B major from the major mode.

Understanding theory is as much about opening your mind as it is learning rules. It's not about putting names to everything just for the sake of it.

In it's most entirely simple explanation, a key is just a sheet music term. You put sharps and flats at the beginning of the staff because you're gonna be playing some sharps and flats. The keys are named after the first/sixth modes (major/minor) of the hypothetical key So it kind of has a self referencing definition. If you write a song in C but it contains all F# and no Fs, you could do that but musicians would hate reading it and think you're dumb.

That's not modal though.

You might say that a D in an E major key is modal, but it's not; it's borrowed from the Parallel Minor scale. It's a bVII. You might argue then it's Mixolydian, but that depends on where it resolves, and the other chords used. If the Bass never shifted from an E, I'd give you that.

Now play an A - how are you going to keep that "Mixolydian" from changing to a simple IV V in A, and A "hijacking the tonality"? And that's why your explanation is all over the place, and obfuscates the truth, because while what you are "correct" about factually, you're not when it comes to applying it.

Now if you play D E/D and A/D, and make D the only thing that sounds like it could resolve on (and I use the term loosely..literally many modal progressions can seemingly go on forever without sounding fully resolved) I'll buy that. But it's not as simple as you've called it.

You have a very beginner level of understanding of the concept of modes, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, if you don't know what you don't know.


Quote by mlfarrell
For someone who's been playing for as long as I have, I'm really an idiot when it comes to actually understanding anything about music theory.

I understand (or at least I thought I did) that every key has a certain set of chords that harmonize properly within that key (aka if you play these chords, you'll always be in the key). I use these usually as a guide if I attempt to write a song (something usually like this - So that's E major right

Well then can someone explain to me why this particular song that is in E major has naturals all throughout it and chords that seem to clearly not "fit" in e major such as D maj? Why does it still sound "right" if its going out of key everywhere. I've never been able to wrap my head around this.


Basically you have two things:

1. Diatonic harmony - thats just the beginning. Thats where things fit nicely and are predictable.

2. Then there's what I will call "everything else" which is really hard to understand if you don't have diatonic harmony solid, because the "everything else" draws from diatonic harmony as a reference point.

Whether its modal interchange, Coltrane changes, Tritone name it, it first starts at an understanding of the basic Diatonic Harmony.

Then you learn things like cadences, substitution, function, embellishment, alterations, etc.

And the answer to your questions, lies in the "everything else". The "why" does it work, more than likely is one of three reasons - Voice leading, Cadences or Creative Reharmonization.


Quote by lleeoo66
Im 18 and I've been playing acoustic/electric for a few years. I mostly play classic rock, as I'll just listen to a song and try to figure it out. If I cant, I will resort to the tab for it. I know some of my pentatonic scales, and I can improvise over some basic chords, but nothing special, just some nice jam sessions. I can't read sheet music, I don't know theory, and I have never written a song.

I read several posts similar to this, and there are just so many recommendations, and there are good and bad reviews about recommendations. Any more advice on where to read/write and learn music theory would be great.

What are your options that would work for your situation?

Are you looking for more free, teach yourself approaches, or is a private teacher an option that you could look at?


Quote by heaven086
What are the most common Major/minors that work together well, for instance, a song I listen to goes like this Em, C, A, Am, Em. all in all 16 beats long. are there any other common ones like this. And what is the best approach at getting them to work together well?

I read this back and think it doesnt clearly state what am asking. The thing am asking is what other Chords like A,Am work together well. as in the same chord but Major/minor


Take a look at any Major key and look at the ii iii and vi chords. That's a diatonic approach.

A and Am, are you talking about keys, or are you talking about chords? For example, While My Guitar Gently Weeps goes to both Minor and Major keys.


Quote by cdgraves
Sounds like you might need to improve your fretboard knowledge. Practice your scales and triads all the way up and down for a few minutes before working on real music. Just knowing where notes are doesn't mean your fingers can get there in time.

I agree, but I think, his approach of isolating on common 2 chord vamps and just messing with those chord tones, is pretty solid...and then augment that knowledge with other chord s in the progression, common chord tones shared between chords, and the like.

Here's what I have our students do:

First of all they know all the notes that make up whatever chord/triad they are playing over, so when they do a solo for their homework, I might have them do nothing but land on 3rds and sustain over the chord changes. Its a bit academic at first but as they continue to do that it becomes familiar, and after a while you realize there arent really that many chords that will throw you, because the 3rds is pretty much a given.

That's just at the beginning. After a while that becomes organic, and they learn where some sound more subtle (like 5ths) and not as strong, and they can pick and choose where the change is coming.

Also I have them both write out, intentionally plotting their changes in advance...and then play, as well as improvise and apply the changes. I think there's something to be learned both in construction and improvisation, and it has seemed to work out well. Melodies tighten up very quickly and seem less rambling.


Win - I just stole that Chart! Its going on my FB page!


Have you ever checked You Tube or Google? There are many free resources out there.