Quote by varundbest
Any source to get that knowledge?

I'm glad you replied. I'm the one that posted the "answers" you were asking for specific to your questions. I see know that you don't seek answers. You seek knowledge.

Knowledge is better. Knowledge helps you find your own answers.

There are lots of sources, but as Jet pointed out, something that might seem good, may actually be setting you back.

Is getting a private teacher or lessons, an option for you?

A good teacher can guide you through this process.


I listen to what's going on, determine the key and play in a way that interacts with the music, and the changes. I develop my theme and let my ears guide me. By now my ears go to chord tones, so I dont need to think in them, although I can just as easily choose a target as well. I play by inspiration, and whatever I want to do, I have the skillsets, pitch collection, feel, experience, theory overview, and familiarity with the instrument to play what I want.

I play what's in my head. If it's a lick, it was one I heard in my head that I wanted there.


Quote by varundbest
I have been playing guitar on and off for three years and i can play any chords i have come across so far with ease and shifting is also good. As for lead guitar, my i've worked on my pinky finger and now can play most solos at same or decent speeds with the correct timings and feeling.

Now getting to the point, i want to work my way through learning specific genres of music, i'm not very good with music theory and stuff however i do have basic knowledge. Can you please help me with what to learn and how to proceed to start playing these genres. What i am basically looking for is theory (Scales, common patterns, power chord progressions, family of chords which sound good together and stuff).

Scales: Common scales are Pentatonic Minor, Blues, Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor

Common Patterns:

I IV V in Major
i IV i in Minor
i V in Minor
i VII VI VII in Minor
i VII VI V7 in Minor

Power Chord Progressions:

B5 D5 E5 G5 F#5 G5 F#5 G5
E5 G5 A5 C5 D5
A5 D5 A5 E5
A5 G5 F5 E5
A5 C5 D5


Try and look up the Yamaha Portable Grand - its under 300, and its 76 Key's. I use it, and I'm very happy for the money.


Yeah get something like a Line 6 pocket pod or a Korg Pandora. You can usually find older ones used for pretty cheap. I'm a few years removed from needing anything like that, but there may be newer and better Options now.


Quote by mikerockcity
Any guitar teachers here?

Im starting to give guitar lessons to a girl, she's just starting out..

Any pointers, advice for me as a new guitar teacher?

How old is she?

Electric or Acoustic?

What is your playing background and knowledge?

What are her goals and tastes in music?

Have you ever taught before?

Is she paying you?

Once I know the answers to these, I can better advise you.


Quote by J23L
Why would i need to know how to read the bass and treble clef? Im not joining an orchestra so that's pointless in my case. I don't need to learn how to read music

Let me explain something to you (and others)...and this is also why, I didn't issue a rebuttal to his point, because what he said, is absolutely true. The problem I suspect, is most people read faster than they comprehended what he said:

If you can do all of that, you are set for pretty much any situation Id say.

And, he's right. If you can do all that, you are.

Do you need all that? No, but if you have all that, it's a pretty easy case to make that you are set for pretty much any situation.

So in your case, you're not prepared for any situation, however you can still learn skills that meet up with your personal goals.

And this isn't just to you, its hopefully to make people realize what he said if they missed that last part. There's really no debating it.


Right, we have a saying "The blind leading the blind, and both will fall into the same hole"

What you might want to do is post a blog on encouraging other players. Share your struggles and what you've learned, and start out with basic ideas to help people, but build slowly. Increase your knowledge and share what you've learned. Your intentions are good. There's nothing wrong with helping and wanting to help.

Hopefully that helps. Be the kind of person you'd have wanted to find on You Tube.


Quote by aselfmman
hello , im in the fifth year now of playing guitar , i learned the ;
chords - scales - key signatures - modes - bunch of solos and licks - how to read music - im into the blues now

im addicted to guitar , that ive learned english to understand youtube videos and books

i live in a place where there is no teachers and visa to pay online onces

and i love doing this ( learning alone ) , but a teacher would be a great idea ,

not just to ask him about technical stuff ,

just to see a dude with a long journey of guitar playing in front of you ,

that would be great ,

because you can analyse how he thinks , or feel ,

and even steal licks from his playing without even asking him anything ,

what im trying to say , self learning is a cool thing ,
( i would take classes if i could )

but you should set down with an experienced dude to get inspired ,
( while you have the possibility )

and focus on what you have ; your freedom , ears

( and cool guys in this forum that would help you just for the sake of music )

while no one is screaming every day in you ears ( do that and that )

i hope you got what i said , best wishes

I do, and good points - that's a pretty good attitude to have about it. I mean that's what we pretty much do, but some people want to start running before they learn to walk.


Quote by Guitar0player
So basically you want to know if you fit in with a certain demographic, a certain celebrity demographic in order to give yourself more hope and motivation?

Look dude, this forum is pretty hostile. It's a damn fact, I mentioned TOOL has complex melodies and some dude jumped at me for no goddamn reason and told me they cant write for shit. Opinions aside that's just the type of people here, mostly hostile. I'd use curse words but I dont want to get banned for describing what the population here seems like.

Honestly, you were better off Googling "Famous self taught guitarists", I am pretty sure Hendrix fits into that category.

I am not trying to be negative or destroy your motivation, I am just giving you a heads up. People on forums....they are usually not nice.

Note: I am talking about UG in general not this specific subforum.

Also, being self taught can work, but trust me. Taking lessons is better. For one good reason, there will always be a guy there telling you when you're "doing it wrong", And unlike in here he'll try to be a half decent human being about it.

Most of us aren't hostile at all but we can get crabby at times, and burned out. Sam's a good guy, and as someone that's taught others to play Tool songs, I respect them, and I think they can write. So, even band opinions are subjective.

My problem is, when someone comes and asks but they didn't come to listen. But I don't sweat it anymore. I figure out pretty quickly who can and cant be helped. When people come with questions, but are so full of their own ideas, that they can't hear the answers, unless it matches what they want to hear, you're pretty much done.

Leave em to the wind and that point, and wait another year until they've figured out they really ARE going about it the wrong way, and they are finally lost enough to allow themselves to be led.

And many of us are a little weary of the attempts at justification about not knowing theory, by invoking arguments involving highly functional self taught guitarists. Let it go already, dude. Because you'll never hear someone that knows theory argue on how its not useful since "insert guitar player here" didn't know theory.

Only people that don't know it, have the compulsion to argue it, as if to reassure themselves. Usually we see it as a sign of laziness and lack of motivation/discipline. Which is fine, but then call it what it is. Don't come in here and try to get us to support that justification.

That makes sense right?


But you can make sound, fingrpikingood, you have an instrument and notes. Play the thing. Go play that "sound explanation", and then look at what's being done. Go PLAY that HW, and derive YOUR own meaning, since that's how it works for you.


Quote by fingrpikingood
Ya, I agree with the whole beginning part of the video. Reading music can be a useful tool, but it is not necessary for understanding theory.

I understand. Many people group the two together when it's presented.

Quote by fingrpikingood
What I disagree with about the video, is the ending part where he is selling pipe dreams telling people to give him money because he will teach them the theory they need to know in a couple months.

Appreciate your candid thoughts and responses to this.

Quote by fingrpikingood
I mean, imo, what you need to know about theory, if you just want to play and improvise over popular music, can be explained very quickly. In just a couple of hours, but to internalize it in a useful way, in so far as actually playing guitar, it takes a very long time, and a lot of practice.

And your point of view makes a lot of sense, because it mirrors your experiences and observations throughout your whole time as a musician.

Quote by fingrpikingood
He is saying that learning guitar can be fast, but it cannot. If it could be fast, then the best guitarists would be even better, because they would learn more quickly and would be even farther along than they are now.

That's the point I made in that video. It's sort of a dichotomy, isn't it? A standard for possibility and existence in yours and many others' minds, is that everyone must know about it, or it's simply not real.

Quote by fingrpikingood
The best guitarists, are at the level they are because they put A LOT of time into it. A lot of practice. There is no shortcut to getting really good at guitar. It takes a lot of practice.

Practice goes without saying I think.

Quote by fingrpikingood
I regard sight reading as a useful skill, but it is not learning theory, I consider it another instrument, really. Theory is something separate. A lot of schools mostly in academia will teach notation, because it makes sense there, and is useful in that place, but I don't find it is commonly taught for starters if you go get guitar lessons somewhere. Not teaching sight reading isn't anything new in teaching guitar

Hmm I've seen the opposite. I've seen the vast majority start out with some sort of music reading. Mel Bay, Hal Leonard are the two that I see the most.

Quote by fingrpikingood
I find there are different ways to go about learning guitar, some better suited for some results than others, and I find how I would teach it is a very efficient way, which I never come across, but what this guy is selling, being able to give intervals straight away, I don't find is really all that useful of an approach for any destination of guitar.

It really depends upon what you're looking to do. Does a guy that strums Jimmy Buffet songs on the weekends, need theory? Probably not. He may not have any interest in lead guitar, keys, or what have you. He may need his C his G his D and Em chords and a guitari n tune. Different people have different contexts and motivations for playing and wanting to well as how FAR they want to go with it.


Quote by Billie_J
I know and understand the questions asked above. But just, I don't think it's the best way to determine the key/scale by collecting all the notes of chords and then trying to form a scale of them. Might work yes, but what is the point of it if it takes longer than finding notes by ear?

It would be just easier though, if I knew theoretically where to start making solos or anything at all..

So what is the best way to determine key/scale?

While you think about that answer...

What you stated above...that's not how you do it. You don't collect the notes of chords and form a scale with them.

You learn scales. Let's just do one. Major scale. Go learn how to spell every major scale. Come back and post. Start there. Don't try to eat the entire elephant at once. Just do THAT one thing. Post:

The Major scales for








Don't go look for the "answers". Go look and learn how to spell the notes (its a pattern/formula), and then do it.


Quote by manishx7
cheers Sean! Its really helpful! Just wanna ask, if it is a must for you slide your fingers for hitting the notes on the 13/15? Or can I place a different finger on the finger board to hit the other note on the 15th fret?

Lastly, might sound a little silly but how did you manage to figure out all the notes? I'm almost pulling my hair out for other christian songs !

Sure! You can do it how you like, as long as you like the results. On the example you had me listen to, I heard them as slides, so I just did it that way.

As far as "how". I guess it comes with the territory. I make my living teaching people to play the guitar. Figuring out songs to teach students, is a part of that at times.

Also, theory helps a lot. You could learn to do this!

Hope it helped a little.


Quote by manishx7
Thank you so much Sean! You're a legend! Thank you so much! I'm trying to study how to read it now! Once again thanks so much!!

Well, here! I made a couple of video links to help: - demo of the solo - teaching it slowed down phrase by phrase.

Hope that helps!


Yes, I'm happy to help! This is the solo. There are a lot of effects on this, such as delay, etc.

This first line gets you to about 3:08 just before it gets higher.


This part goes from 3:08 to 3:13


This next part gets you to where the girl starts singing "mountains..." at the end of this line


Hope this helps! Be blessed!

By the way, to help you out, these chords are Gm F and Eb to F.

You can play along with this with a Capo at the 3rd fret, and then play an Em D and C back to D (open string chord shapes)

Forgive the buggy formatting, I don't normally do tab, but it's to help you for your church, so I gave it my best


Quote by fingrpikingood
I find sight reading could actually be a very powerful skill, but it is time put in vs reward, vs what else you could be doing to improve your playing.

One thing I know I would have liked to be able to sight read for, was learning note for note some recordings Oscar Peterson had made. There is a note for note series, and if I could sight read, I would have been able to just blow right through the whole thing, and learn so much from him so quickly.

Instead, I had to try and figure it out, or what I would do is just to play over the music, and try to ear some parts on the fly, and just get general vibe and stuff, and then ear some specific things.

But if I could just sit down with sheet music in front of me, and play note for note what other great musicians played, that would be a great learning tool for learning a lot of stuff quickly.

Learning to sight read is a little easier in a way on piano, so if I played as much as I used to, I may have learned by now. But it's a little different on guitar.

There are many cases where it can be handy though. I would like to be able to just write music with a pen and paper. That could be cool at times. It would be useful for being a studio musician also, because someone could just call you, and you could play whatever they want.

However, for me, I would prefer to be called upon to write my own licks, rather than ones someone else wrote, and all of the time I would need to spend to learn to sight read, is not worth what I would get out of it, when there are so many other things I could work on, which would be more useful to me. I am more of a freestyle/writer, than I am a performer of music note for note, so at this point, it's not very useful for me.

It's not something I would impress upon others either, really, unless they really wanted to take a path in music where it could be required. For a lot of instruments, it's not really that bad to learn, if you know all your major scales, too. Guitar though, is not really one of those. Because standard notation tells you what key you're in, and then only shows notes in that key, unless otherwise indicated, and it is pretty easy to see most intervals. So, it's not so bad really. But guitar is all kind of weird, in that you simply cannot play some things that you could on a piano. Other instruments don't have that issue so much, because they can only play one note at a time. So, there would never be notation that would require you to play something impossible, or choices of multiple ways to play the same notes.

EDIT: I'll also say that it would be helpful for remembering stuff. Again, I mostly freestyle, but i do learn some thing note for note, then I can only record it and ear it out later, or hopefully remember it. Earing stuff out is not SO bad, but just reading it out and playing it as I do, would be much faster.

I really appreciate your perspective because you are a creative and someone who knows a little bit about music and theory already.

You just essentially agreed with every point I made in that video/animation about sight reading, AND the possible exceptions to where it might be useful.

1. Jazz -Figuring out Oscar Peterson (check)

2. Classical (no one made that argument against it yet, so I assume it's still good)

3. Composing and writing - "sitting down with a paper and just writing music" (check)

4. Studio Musician - Hired Gun "it would be useful for being a studio musician also" (check)

Thank you; you made all my points. But my central point in that regard was tying it in to music theory, and whether or not you need it...and how nearly all methods I've seen and read over the last 30 years that I've been playing, all start with sight reading, or notation, if people want to split hairs, on what is sight reading and what is reading music notation, I'll concede it. But I won't concede that you absolutely do NOT need to know how to do either, to understand and apply music theory.

It's not to debate the usefulness of sight reading, because as we all noted, there are places where you would do well to have it.


Quote by mdc
It's just superimposition with triads.

If you stick a major triad a major 6th higher than the root of a dominant 7th chord, you'll get a 13b9 chord.

G7 with Emaj triad on top. Or in the case of your example, Ab13b9. Your voicing is a rootless voicing.

Ah, so it is rootless. That's what I thought. But I didn't know the context! Makes sense now.


For example. If you play an E minor triad over a C you have outlined the notes of a C major 7, but to really get that musical sense of the strongest C major 7th, the triad should be in the upper voices, and the highest note of that Em should be a B.

I published an article on a website somewhere once that had named a bunch of these ideas.

I should try and remember where.


Quote by Billie_J
But I just don't know why I used the major formula 1-3-5 to find the chords, why not the minor one or even the diminished one?

Go ahead. Do it, and let us know what happens when you do. Use the diminished and the minor.

But you should know that the reason most of us use it, is the Major Scale sets the standard of everything we know about the rest of music theory, because that's the central reference point.

A Minor scale is a Major scale, but with a b3 b6 b7. That's how we relate it to a Major scale. A Dimininshed triad is a R b3 b5, we relate those notes to the major scale/triad and modify them accordingly. At least at first. Once you get these under your belt, you can add to knowledge. Sure I can shorthand a minor scale now, and if you'd like to commit to learning all minor scales and major scales you can do that. But central to Music Theory is the Major scale.

Quote by Billie_J
Why is it the major one? And again I might be overthinking this but if I had a C Natural minor scale, how would I determine the chords? Using the major formula or the minor formula?

Again, go put your ideas to the test, and answer those questions. Instead of ask why, go prove it to yourself. It will either work, or it won't, right?

The answer is you'd learn how to write/spell and recognize every triad. The notes of the scale are used to build the chords. They are one and the same. But until you learn HOW to do triads, there's no way you'll be able to determine the chords, unless you understand the relationship that Chords have to Scales and Keys. And that's a ways from where you are right now.

I mean you could learn how to spell out every minor and Major Scale, and there's a benefit to doing that, and then you could work out the chord formulae and order in a Diatonic Major scale, and a Diatonic Natural minor scale, practice writing the scales, and the chords according to that formula, and then, you wouldn't need to know how to tell triads, but you'd have the right answers because you memorized the formula.

That would work, as an option.

Quote by Billie_J
And just I have no idea how to determine the key/scale let's say for a progression eg. Em C G D - I'd have no idea what to do.

You do have an idea, and that is, you understand that you'd need to learn more than you know. As it stands right now, no you don't have those tools. But you do have an idea how to get them, the question becomes, are you prepared to put in the work, I think.

Quote by Billie_J
And I'm not interested in searching for corresponding keys/scales for 3 hours just to determine the key of a few chords.

OK, so that answered that question: No you're not willing to.

So are you willing to continue on musically, and no longer have this inquisitive need to know the key or chords and how it all fits together? Would you be willing to just let go of the idea of understanding keys and chords and scales, and just create music by ear, at random, without knowing what you're doing?

Would that be acceptable to you?

Quote by Billie_J
And no, no possibilities to get a teacher, a proper one. I played saxophone for about 4 years many years ago in a proper "institution" but currently my guitar teacher is just not teaching anything. He's able to do things but he just can't teach.

So there's no chance for you you to learn then. Because you seemed to indicate that don't want to put in the work, you want to find your own way in such a way that suits you, and you have only one option for a guitar teacher, in a world where you have the Internet.

What if you were talking to a guy that couldn't ski?


Dude: I cant ski, I want to go skiing.

A: Well get to a mountain and take lessons

Dude: I don't own skis.

A: Well get some skis.

Dude: I don't want to waste my money buying skis. Look, skis are just flat pieces of wood. Why should I have to pay money for skis, when my dad has 2x4 planks out in the garage? Why should I have to buy skis? In fact, skis are just wood. I have tree branches outside, why can't I just strap on some branches to my feet and ski that way? How did the early people learn to ski before they started making skis?

A: Well okay - go try and build yourself some 2x4 skis and let us know how it worked out. You might be some brilliant engineer type that can carve their own skis, I don't know. Go try it.

Dude: I dont want to waste my time making them, I'd prefer they materialize at my door.

A: What about get a teacher? Maybe they might have some loaner skis for the lesson.

Dude: No chance man. I once had a teacher that taught woodshop...and I learned to make a clock...

A: Uh....okay...(not sure what that meant)

Dude: But I want to learn to ski...



Quote by auzzietaco
I'm a total noob at theory, and would like to start writing songs with my band. I can't come up with anything decent no matter how hard it try. We've come up with basic outlines (tuning, time sig, tempo) but can't get a riff, solo, or chord progression to save our lives. Any tips?

Have you thought about expanding upon your musical knowledge to get exposure to more ideas and possibilities?


Quote by fingrpikingood
I guess, when you say 13b9, you mean this sort of shape?


I actually eared that whole piece out. There were a couple shapes I didn't use much. That was one of them, and I actually don't use augmenteds much either. But the chord name website I use sometimes didn't know what the above was, nor I think one other shape, which was a sort of dim Maj 7 I think.

but I remember you sayign that you would play an A over a C I think it was, because of WH scale, if I got that right, which then became a 13b9, but I don't understand how the WH scale comes in.

F# C F A?

If from the F# (as the root) - then I'd consider the "F" an EX (major 7th) the C a b5 and an A a b3.

If from the F (as root) - the I'd change F# to Gb - a b9 the A a major 3rd and a C the 5th. There's no D, so I don't see a 13th or the Eb (b7)

Can you explain what I'm missing in your diagram? Is this a rootless chord?


Quote by Zanon
You could just learn the theory behind scales and that would solve all this AND you would have an understanding of how it's constructed / how to build chords from said scale / be able to apply it to your playing.

Just a thought though

Exactly my sentiments. I think many of us here seek to not only help people with questions, but to inspire these same people to learn how to answer their own questions, by acquiring the same skill sets that we have.



Sight reading is not undervalued. It's only useful where you need it.

It might or might not be useful to have that skill. The question, is, "Is the amount of juice worth the squeeze?" For some, but not for those who need to understand music theory, which was my point. Tablature communicates a musical language as well.

There are no arguments in that video. Every point was made.

You're tying the last 2 minutes of the video to the first 10, and you missed the transition, which was a general, "most things take too much time and are made more complicated than necessary" and all of those things, as listed, are traditionally overly time consuming, as you have well said, and are why most people are on the outside, looking in when it comes to learning and understanding theory, and progressing on guitar in general.

And I agree with you about the general uselessness of the Circle of 5ths. The entire concept can be explained without it. 4ths and 5ths are cake without any Diagram. I agree that there are problems with how its presented. But I can take anyone that knows intervals, point to that diagram, and they will instantly get it. The diagram is superfluous.

Totally useless for theory, as is sightreading. I agree.

I think we've had a great discussion, and I appreciate all the points of view; its good to see people thinking about these things, that have rarely been challenged, and wholesale accepted as "the way" in the past. Much respect to all those who tackle these points and questions honestly, regardless of what side you ultimately come out on.


Quote by radiantmoon
Overvalued? is that a fact? How is being able to look at a sheet of muscic and play it Instantaneously an overvalued skill? It can literally save you hours of trying to figure out complex pieces of music by ear. When you read my post do you sit there having to figure out my sentence word by word or can you understand it on the spot? Sight reading is of course a valuable skill to have. If you play nothing but 1 4 5 pop songs then maybe it isnt useful, but if you are playing complex pieces of music from the classical and jazz repotoire it is very useful indeed.

Here's my response. Your points aren't far off.


Quote by P_Trik
Good answer, Sean. If you know your fretboard, Billie, count the number of frets between each of the notes in each triad. From C, E is four frets higher and from D, F is only three. Each note is the third letter higher, an interval of a third, but from D the interval is smaller or MINOR.

Theory is a bit like math. You have to learn to count, then add and subtract before going on to multiplication and division. A good teacher can help with all that in short order. Check with your local muSic store and be clear with what your goals are. Good luck

Exactly. All I need to teach a student, any student theory, online or otherwise, is to start with the ABC's, the ability to count to 7. You nailed it, P-Trik

As an example of just how far that simple starting point can take you, here's an very small excerpt of someone's answer sheet from a recent homework assignment they turned in from my Chords and Triads course (I think this is lecture 7):

1. B# G# E = E aug , 2nd inversion, open voicing
A# F# C# = F#, 1st inversion, open voicing
Bbb Eb Gb = Eb Diminished, 2nd inversion, Closed voicing
B F D = B diminished, Root, Open voicing
A# E# Cx = A# , Root, Open voicing
Db Gb Bbb = Gb minor, 2nd inversion, Closed voicing
E# Gx C# = C# aug, 1st inversion, closed voicing
F A D = D minor, 1st inversion, Closed voicing

Two months ago, this student knew NOTHING. But I started with ABC's and counting 1 to 7. And this last homework took him about 3 days, from the time he viewed the lecture, till the time he turned in the homework, which this is just part of assignment #1, there are 7 total sections to this particular homework. This means that he's already functioning at a high level, in real-time. started with ABC's and counting 1-7.


Hey Billie,

You're on the right track, but you're missing the idea of intervals.

Take a C Major Scale


A Major Triad is built with the idea that if you took the chord and built it from the major scale of the same name, so, a C Major chord built off the C Major Scale, you'd grab the 1 3 and 5 from that scale, and end up with a Major Triad:

C E G.

Let's look at a D major scale next

D E F# G A B C# D

If you took the 1 3 5 from the D Major Scale, you'd end up with a D F# A - A D major chord.

But we say that in C the D chord is Dm. Can you compare the scales, (C Major and D Major) and see why?

In C major's scale the D chord spells D F A -

Not D F# A. There is no F# in the C Major scale. The notes for D from the C major scale are D F A

So what you have is a D minor, 1 b3 5 is the chord formula.

Now you can do that for every chord in the C Major key, or you can realize someones already done the work. and therefore if you look at the chords made from C Major, you have C Dm Em F G Am Bo - Or you could do the work and spell out every major scale and come to the same answers yourself

But where you lack, is you didn't know that in D the F# is a major 3rd and F is a b3. This is what I mean about lacking an understanding of intervals (a full understanding) yet. You're on the right track but not there yet.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of the importance of knowing and being able to identify intervals.

Have you ever considered maybe getting a private teacher?


Do you want the truth?

For your situation to work, as it stands now, one of two things have to happen.

Either the wall has to move OR the oncoming force has to be greater than the strength of the wall. If neither happens...then you are stopped cold.

So in your case, you must ether relax your standards way more than you have....or those local to you will have to change and come up to your standard...or you'll have to discover someone (enough people) at your standard.

If neither happens, you're pretty much done. That's the truth part of this, that I'm not sure you'd want to hear.

The only other thing that you might be able to do, is discover sources with likeminded people around the world, for online collaboration.

Barring that, if you don't flex, you'll have to widen your search area (when you get a car) or get lucky and find someone...which sometimes does happen, but the whole process is entirely based upon chance and luck.

I cant tell you what to do's either going to happen or it's not. If I knew what makes someone lucky, I'd play tomorrows Lotto numbers.


Have you ever watched Django Rinehart play? See if you can look up Phil Keaggy and Tony Iommi.

My suggestion might be, play on a smaller scale guitar if the stretches are a pain, or...practice slowly and allow the hands to become used to it. If you have hand issues AND are trying to play too much too soon, without the natural hand development and adjustment, its likely you'll experience those kinds of problems even more so, than someone with hands that aren't messed up.

Hope that helps!


Lift the pressure off your finger tip. That's a great book, but again, work it out one measure at a time. Literally, go slowly and make sure that yu have that one measure down before the next.


Quote by Darkn3ss99
I just started to learn to read music on the guitar and im having some problem counting the rhythm while playing. I am using a metronome and my question is should i count 1 2 3 4 or should i subdivide and count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.

I think it makes sense to be aware of the "and". When I teach it, I explain it like tapping your foot and counting 1 2 3 4 on each tap, but when you lift your foot and it's at its highest point before coming down again, I have them say "and".

It helps to go slowly, and get used to thinking about it, by saying it out loud. Using and, keeps you committed to time (as does a metronome) when you don't have a metronome, and it's just good practice.

If you really want to practice an idea that will help you to be more aware of the "and", I'd also suggest a slow reggae beat, where you count out loud but only strike the chord on the "and"s, and immediately mute it as you count the number.

A simple Am chord, will get you the best effect if you're just starting out on guitar.

If you are just learning to read music, and trying to put the two together (playing in time), I would not suggest that you start with a metronome, Instead I'd suggest going slowly enough to be in control of the count (and count it out loud rhythmically), and, working one bar/measure out at a time. First making sure that you can count it, then apply the notes to that rhythm, practicing them, and then connecting the measures together.

It takes a while at first, but it will pay off. It will also make you more rhythmically aware, and when you start using the metronome after that, it will pay bigger dividends.

By the way, David Oakes, in his book Music Reading for Guitar has a pretty neat approach to counting rhythms out loud, and is a great book for learning to read, and count/feel rhythms.


Everyone pretty much nailed it.

It's called Modal Interchange, or borrowing from the Parallel Minor Key.

If you take C Major Diatonic Triads, it means the triads built that only use notes from the C Major Scale:

C D E F G A B C make

C Dm Em F G Am B dim triads

C Minor (Natural) Scale

C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

Cm D dim Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb

Notice in this instance the IV chord is Fm compared to F Major.

As I recall the progression for Creep is in G - G Bm C Cm so I iii IV iv - the iv is borrowed from the diatonic series in Gm. The other common borrowed chords are the bVI and more common the bVII.


Quote by Jake P
No worries, Jet, I totally understand how life can get.

This thread has made me have a significant revelation in discovering that I enjoy not only guitarists, but also guitarist songwriters (or maybe more accurately, songwriters who use a guitar as a way of channeling their songwriting. I suppose it makes sense given that I grew up listening to Cobain. This, along with our PMs has made me realize that I enjoy musicians who are really able to tell a story. Probably something to keep in mind as I progress.

Not sure what I was thinking there with modes- guess I'll have to study that a bit more.

I guess my big question in starting this thread was, and still is, how can I develop a cohesive form of musical expression when my interests range from gentle, melodic folk/country (the original style, not the pop infused drivel of today) to fast, aggressive punk? I suppose the overarching theme to all of it is harmonic simplicity- maybe I need to start there.

A study of Music Theory and applying that knowledge to the guitar as well as Harmonic Analysis and the prevailing insights you get from that, can go a long ways, there!


Quote by PinkZepStones
Jimmy Page, Brian May and David Gilmour use?

Like does anyone actually know as oppose to the standard probably this and that answer?

More than that does anyone know what keys in regards to jimmy page he favoured more than others?

Minor Pentatonic, Blues scales and an awareness of chord tones when they'd play a lick.

For example, in A Minor Pentatonic, A C D E G, in the opening lead to Stairway to Heaven, you'll notice, that the lick stops on the 5th string 8th fret, and technically that's not in the A Pentatonic Minor scale, as it's an F note, but the chord that's playing at the end of that phrase, is also an F - this is what I mean by being aware of chord tones, and taget notes.

You could do this easily with any chord, if you know the notes on the neck, and the notes of the chord. It actually can make your soloing ideas more on "point", and simply by targeting each chord tone by approaching it a half step from the target, can add additional color to your licks.

This isn't the idea of "hey I'm using the scales of xyz" it's being HARMONICALLY AWARE.

The number one problem that guys that want to know scales have, is they think all the magic is in the SCALE and not the player. The day you (not YOU, but generically as in anyone) realize and stop chasing the scale, and look at the reason things work, is the day you'll mature musically by about 5 years.


Quote by Franggus
Hi everyone, I've been playing guitar for the greater part of my life 15 years, played mostly classical guitar, metal and rock and some jazz. But I've never played in a full on thrash band until now. My new found problems are the main thrash beats, municipal waste/toxic holocaust, etc.

C- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|
S- -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o|
B- o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-|

Like so...

My main issue is the snare being so loud I tend to hear it as my down beat. Has anyone here have this problem and gotten over it?

Are there any tricks I'm missing? I can get away with it by (cheating), playing everything half a beat of, but I'm not getting groove yet. :/

Thank for any feedback.

Self Discipline, to play it slowly, accenting the down beats, identifying any syncopated events, slowly at first. Sing the rhythm. I always tell our students, "If you cant count it or sing it out loud right, you'll never play it right". By slowing the parts down until the beats become natural at a speed that is according to your terms, not the song's you'll quickly be able to "know" the song more, so that when you do speed it up, it's not lost.

Do you know how to count rhythms, subdivided in 8ths, 16ths etc?


Quote by scrumss3
one of the things i think that hinders me are the vocals. sometimes they make it very difficult to hear wat the guitars are doing.

There are things you can do that require a bit of investment on your end. One, is buy/invest a software or app that cancels out the center pan of a mix, which is usually where the vocals live, and the solos and guitar parts are usually pan left and right. The great thing about this, is they often can slow down and isolate passages (loop them) to make transcribing them easier.

I use Anytune Pro in my teaching studio, and I can put flags on certain passages, and iso/loop them as I wish. One of my most common uses for this, is:

Slowing down and looping a passage in real time allows me to set up practice speed passages by sections, for my students, to get them more familiar with playing/learning a part.


Quote by RajjaJroach
When you more familiar with how key signitures work you can do them in real time. Actually, you kind of missed the point, and kind of proved mine, that knowledge of Key/keysigs is relevant; the accidental of E# would ONLY happen in F# minor; if you familiar with keysigs you wouldn't be fumbling around and wondering "The E# could also be the root of the iii chord in the key of C#, or it could be the V in A#".
It basically comes down to ones own way of thinking about music, and I guess it's up to you, but I think for the benefit of the OP, it best try and get the whole picture, and make your own decision based on that.

Actually, knowing how every diatonic key is written without the use of a key signature is most helpful.

I can see that you're trying to be helpful, and that you know your stuff, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone working through a book grade x to y, if that's what get's people there.

In the end, I think we are both after the same things. This discussion between the two of us, really comes down just different ways of approaching the same goal. I'm all for big picture thinking, and being able to discuss things rationally and respectfully with others that hold a different point of view, which you've demonstrated, so kudos, because that's not something that appears very often here.

So, much respect. I hope you'll continue to post your thoughts, and points of views, with the same maturity and respect as you have on this one!


Quote by RajjaJroach
Sean0913, what I'm saying is to think of the major scale as only one aspect of music theory, and musical composition.

I see you logic, the idea of relating everything back to the 'major scale mentality' and thinking in terms of "tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone"™. But imo this isn't the best way, for a number of reasons. And I believe that you think this way because you disregard key signatures as "irrelevant" which I think is wrong, and actually counterproductive advice.

For instance, what do you do if you see a piece of music with three sharps by the clef, and accidentals like E-sharp? Play through random scale positions till you got it?

If you applied the logic of keysigs, then you would see this is just the relative minor of the original key of A (I.e. F-Sharp minor) and that, unless otherwise notated, the music is based on the F-sharp harmonic minor scale.

This is very common practice, and I couldn't get through the day without it (and I don't really use sight reading either). So basically OP., take it step by step and learn all aspects of music theory instead of trying to funnel it through the narrow path of 'major scale' thinking.

It would usually be shown in the bar, not the key signature. Just follow the music.

You'd know the tonality by resolution, right?

You'd understand that a minor "key" may encompass Natural, Harmonic and Melodic, as possibilities in a minor tonality, and you'd use what the music showed you to derive the nature of the form being used. An E# to an A, is an augmented 5, not likely looking at an Augmented, so then in F# an E# is a major 7th, so voila, what minor scale has a Major7th? I mean many times there is an Augmented used in a Major key, for example, the G to G Augmented in "The Road" by Jackson Browne, or Eddie Money "2 Tickets To Paradise".

This isn't difficult, and all of these do relate back to the basics of knowing the major scale. No separate genesis needed.

Key Signatures are irrelevant unless you are sight reading. Your instance above highlighted that in a sightreading context, but I didn't need it to understand it. I know that 3 sharps is in the key of A Major (C# F# and G#), or F# minor - the vi chord, relative minor or however you like to state it, if using a derivative approach).

The E# could also be the root of the iii chord in the key of C#, or it could be the V in A#. None of these are relevant to key signatures, or dependent.

The other thing is you can learn one system and do all of these in real time.


Quote by J23L
Harmonic Minor is different because of its scale intervals. Harmonic minor is WHWWHWWH while regular minor is WHWWHWW. What do you mean by being able to apply the harmonic minor scale "appropriately"? Don't you use the harmonic minor scale just like any other scale? I understand that the intervals are different in every scale, but the concept of how to use the scales are pretty much the same, right?

There are lots of ways, but what you light want to do, is:

1. First write the notes of a Harmonic Minor Scale

2. Spell out all your triads

3. Spell out all your 7ths next and identify them. If you can't instantly do this, use some other way to come up with the chord identities (intervals, chord formulas, etc)

4. Do you understand Cadences and how that might relate to Harmonic Minor in particular? If so, look at the V chord.


I did this by making a MS Excel Spreadsheet, years ago, and used it as a template to add lyrics in one merged cell as a single row, and adding the chord names where I wished in the upper rows which had many cells.

Whenever I play a new gig and add a song to my list of tunes, and need to remember the words (which is why I use a sheet, since I know the chords, but I put them there anyways) I just grab that template and put the song lyrics in and everything is formatted.

When I print them they are printed without the cell lines, and it looks great. I use format painter in the templates, so chords are bolded, and my lyric fonts, sizes etc are already optimized, and ready to print.


Sounds like you got it worked out then, and know what to do from here!

Good luck.