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  1. #1531
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    Originally Posted by FlyingV View Post
    You're always going to be inadvertently banging into that D string when you're chugging away on (as they're often called) root-5th power chords. More right hand precision would help, perhaps, but what you need to be doing is muting all the other strings with the fleshy part of the side of your palm, you sort of lay that across all the strings and just leave the top two E and A strings open. Hope that makes sense. In a nutshell, you have to be/want to be muting all those other strings when you're playing those kinds of chords.
    or mute the other strings with ur left hand
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  2. #1532
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    Yo, do any of you guys want any theory type-ups? I've got the day off so I figure I may aswell type up a bit of this or that like keys and scales etc.

    Are there any particular requests? Cheers
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    oderint dum metuant Master.D.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Anticrombie315 View Post
    Can anyone recommend some good books on theory?
    Yep.. but check back here in a few mins I'll type up some things for ya - save you the money lol.
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    Originally Posted by Master.D. View Post
    Yep.. but check back here in a few mins I'll type up some things for ya - save you the money lol.
    Lol sounds good.
    I used to be 135 pounds, give me a break.

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    LESSON ONE: KEY CALCULATION


    -------------------------



    I'll start all of my lessons with this picture, just incase you're a bit rough on that spot. I can't type up a lesson on working out which notes are which, because it is just as simple as memory recall!

    -------------------------

    STOP! If you are already comfortable with your knowledge of keys, don't bother reading this! There is not just one way, the only correct way is the way that is easiest!

    Most people will start firstly with a lesson on how to construct scales or chords or intervals, but after reading this you will soon learn that the aforementioned tasks can all be worked out much easier once a firm knowledge of key construction has been learnt.

    There are a number of ways in which you will be left with the task of determing what key you're in/want to be in. The main times in which this will happen are as follows:

    a.) You see a key signature and want to work out the tonal note so as to construct a chord progression or scalar run, etc.

    b.) You are improvising and are told what key the backing track is in.

    c.) You are sitting a theory exam or completing theory homework and are told to work out a scale via i. being told the tonal note ii. being told the number of sharps/flats without being told what said sharps/flats are.

    There are a plethora of different ways to figure out what notes are in a certain key, some of which have left students and peers of mine looking like they have just seen a dead body! To me, the following method is by far the easiest.

    It is important to note here that one should try their hardest to memorise the following pattern of letters: FCGDAEB. A clever mnemonic could be "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle" or whatever you find easiest!

    -----

    First question: You see something like this:

    Yet you have no idea what the tonal note is! How do we work this out? Simple - but first let's start with an easier one:



    I will reiterate that the letter pattern - FCGDAEB should be memorised by now (hopefully!). The following steps can then be taken to work out what key we are in:

    STEP 1: Work out what note the sharp sign is on in its staff. Tick tock tick tock, yep it is on an F
    STEP 2: This step is very important "The major tonal center of any given sharp-based key signature can be calculated by adding one half-step to the sharpened note that appears last in the key signature"
    STEP 3: F# + 1 half step = G. Therefore, this is the key of G major. Simple enough yes? Let's do one more:

    Last sharp is G#, + 1 = A major

    Things do tend to get trickier when flats are concerned, but you will soon learn that it is a relatively easy task. The one thing that is difficult about flat keys is that one must simply memorise the fact that

    1. F major has one flat, which is Bb so if you see this:
    You know you are in F major.

    The rest is easy!

    Say you see this:


    STEP 1: Work out which notes are represented in the key signature. They are Bb, Eb, Ab and Db.
    STEP 2: The second last note represented in the key signature is the tonal center. HOW EASY WAS THAT!
    STEP 3: Therefore we are in the key of Ab major. Wow, too easy!

    You may have heard of the term "relative minors" - rest assured, those will be discussed too!

    -----

    Second question: You are told you are "in the key of D major" - how on Earth do you know what notes to play, or more importantly what notes NOT to play!

    Upon successful memorisation of "FCGDAEB" you will find this to be the easiest of questions referring to key calculation.

    Let's use the key of D major, and work out what notes are in the key signature.

    At this point I will point out that all major scales with flats in their signature will have a tonal center that is flattened (excluding F major, if you paid attention earlier!). Therefore if you are ever presented with a note that is natural or sharpened, you know for a fact that the key signature will have sharps in it, not flats.

    STEP 1: Take the tonal note ("D") and figure out the note that is directly one half step BELOW. In this case it is C#, correct? Yes.
    STEP 2: Figure out where "C" occurs in your newly learned letter pattern. FCGDAEB - it is the 2nd letter.
    STEP 3: Therefore, D major has 2 sharps in it. But which ones are they? FCGDAEB. So easy I wanna kill myself! All the notes in the key can then be worked out by simply writing the musical alphabet from tonal center to tonal center (D in this case) and then "accidentalising" the notes that you just worked out! E.g.

    D E F G A B C D becomes
    D E F# G A B C# D

    Let's go again with a harder one. What notes are in the key of F# major?

    STEP 1: Take the tonal note ("F#") and figure out the note that is directly one half step BELOW. In this case it is E#, correct? Yes. NB: You may have to touch up your knowledge of enharmonic equivalents to work this out
    STEP 2: Figure out where "E" occurs in your newly learned letter pattern. FCGDAEB - it is the 6th letter.
    STEP 3: Therefore, F# major has 6 sharps in it. But which ones are they? FCGDAEB. So easy I wanna kill myself! All the notes in the key can then be worked out by simply writing the musical alphabet from tonal center to tonal center (F# in this case) and then "accidentalising" the notes that you just worked out! E.g.

    F# G A B C D E F# becomes
    F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#

    And for flats, to work out what notes are in the key of Eb major

    STEP 1: For "flat" keys, reverse the letter pattern. It will therefore become BEADGCF
    STEP 2: Find the tonal note ("Eb") in the pattern and then find the very next note (in this case, Ab). How many is that? Three. How many flats are in Eb major? Three. What are they? BEADGCF

    Eb F G A B C D Eb becomes
    Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

    -----

    Third question: On a theory paper; "What scale has four (4) sharps in it?"

    STEP 1: Count to four on our letter pattern, FCGDAEB - the fourth note is D#.
    STEP 2: Similar to the first question, all we do is add one half step to it and that becomes our tonal center. In this case, D# + 1 = E. Therefore, the key with four (4) sharps is E major!



    -----

    You may have heard people talk of "relative minors", these are just the minor equivalent of any major key - that is, it is a minor scale but has the same accidentals as its relative major. This is worked out simply by figuring out the 6th note in the major scale. Take G major for instance, the relative minor will be?

    G A B C D E F# G.

    E minor! So what accidentals does E minor have? One - F#.

    The same works in reverse, if someone asked you to figure out what accidentals were in the key of F# minor, just find the third note (obviously, three is opposite to six in music language - which you should hopefully know), which in this case is A. Therefore, upon working out the accidentals in "A major" you automatically know the accidentals that are in F# minor.

    Lastly, here are a few "rules" that you should keep handy.

    1) Keys can not have both sharps and flats in them
    2) Nor can they have both flats and sharps
    3) If a key has ONE SHARP, it MUST be F#. Similarly, if a key has one flat, it must be Bb, etc. If a key has three sharps, they must be F C and G and so on and so forth
    4) Each letter name can only be represented once. Therefore you can't have a key that has both "D and D#" in it, for instance. This rule is very important and can not be forgotten
    5) Each key will have 7 different notes in it - one for each letter in the musical alphabet.
    6) Some little tricks exist aswell, such as the subtraction/addition of three rule that states that any key's parallel minor (that is, A major to A minor) will have either i. three less sharps, or ii. three more flats. That's easy! Take for instance A major which has three (3) sharps, how many then does A minor have? Zero (0). Woo, just saved you a bit of time didn't I

    -----

    That's it for key calculation. The next lesson will probably cover interval/scale/chord construction since I can make those lessons now considerably shorter due to your newfound knowledge of keys!
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-06-2008 at 09:44 PM.
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    LESSON TWO: SCALE CONSTRUCTION
    Relax guys, the rest will be very short!!


    -------------------------



    I'll start all of my lessons with this picture, just incase you're a bit rough on that spot. I can't type up a lesson on working out which notes are which, because it is just as simple as memory recall!

    -------------------------

    I suggest you don't read this lesson until you have read the lesson about key construction (or know already how to construct keys). Due to the length of my key calculating lesson, I will be breezing over how to construct generic major and minor keys - you will soon learn why.

    Scale construction is probably the most important thing for a guitarist, next to chord construction. Unfortunately for most I will be covering it from a theoretical standpoint, so no tabs or lessons on how to actually play the scales!

    Scale questions are fairly straightforward, just asking to write out scales on notation in treble/bass clef, either ascending/descending, or sometimes starting of different scalar degrees. I will cover construction of the most common scale types (not modes, yet). These are:

    Major, minor (natural), harmonic minor, melodic minor. I will not cover pentatonic major/minor in this but will write up a lesson for those upon request, or perhaps in my mode construction lesson. Nothing to it but to do it!

    -----

    THE MAJOR SCALE, HOW TO CONSTRUCT:

    So easy you'll shoot yourself in the foot! But I will, however, be making the assumption that you're quite confident with your key signature construction. This way we can throw out any of those silly WWHWWWH methods that you may have been taught.

    Question: Write out the B major scale.

    STEP 1: Work out if there are any accidentals in the key of B major
    STEP 2: Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you know that B major has five accidentals - F# C# G# D# A#.
    STEP 3: Write it now by either "accidentalising" each appropriate note, or simply write the key signature and then just write from B to B with no accidentals, that is:



    OR



    -----

    THE MINOR (NATURAL) SCALE, HOW TO CONSTRUCT:

    So easy you'll shoot yourself in the foot (yes copypasta, stfu!)! But I will, however, be making the assumption that you're quite confident with your key signature construction. This way we can throw out any of those silly WHWWHWW methods that you may have been taught.

    Question: Write out the F# minor scale.

    STEP 1: Work out the if there are any accidentals in the key of F# minor.. you can do this by figuring out its relative major which is probably the easiest way.
    STEP 2: Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you know that F# minor has three accidentals - F# C# G#.
    STEP 3: Write it now by either "accidentalising" each appropriate note, or simply write the key signature and then just write from F# to F# with no accidentals.

    --> F# G# A B C# D E F# <--

    Now things will get a bit trickier

    -----

    THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE, HOW TO CONSTRUCT:

    First of all, why does this scale form exist? Without getting too technical, harmonic minor was invented so that the progression of V-i in the minor key could be strengthed by raising the third in the V chord from minor to major, thus strengthening the resolution to the tonic chord. To guitarists however, it just exists because it sounds awesome!

    Question: Write out the E harmonic minor scale.

    STEP 1: Work out the if there are any accidentals in the key of E minor.. you can do this by figuring out its relative major which is probably the easiest way.
    STEP 2: Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you know that E minor has one accidental - F#.
    STEP 3: The only thing that separates harmonic minor from natural minor is that the 7th scale degree is raised. So all you have to do is construct the scale as if it were a natural minor, and then simply raise the 7th degree. Wow that's easy!

    E natural minor is - E F# G A B C D E, so if we raise the 7th degree we get
    E F# G A B C D# E

    NOTE: Some people might mistakenly raise the 7th degree, in this case, from D to Eb (considering that D# and Eb are enharmonic equivalents). This is incorrect. Why? If you remember from my key lesson, you will know that each letter in the musical alphabet has to be represented in each scale. This is, in fact, why "double sharps" and "double flats" exist. Case in point:

    Question: Write out the G# harmonic minor scale.

    STEP 1: Work out the if there are any accidentals in the key of G# minor.. you can do this by figuring out its relative major which is probably the easiest way.
    STEP 2: Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you know that G# minor has five accidentals - F# C# G# D# A#.
    STEP 3: The only thing that separates harmonic minor from natural minor is that the 7th scale degree is raised. So all you have to do is construct the scale as if it were a natural minor, and then simply raise the 7th degree. Wow that's easy!

    G# natural minor is - G# A# B C# D# E F# G#, so if we raise the 7th degree we get
    G# A# B C# D# E F## G#. However, it is more common to use an "x" to represent a double sharp. I just used two "#" signs to indicate that the note has infact been sharpened twice.

    -----

    THE MELODIC MINOR SCALE, HOW TO CONSTRUCT:

    Why does this exist? Depending on your knowledge of intervals, you might have noticed that the interval created between the 6th and 7th degrees in a harmonic minor scale create an interval that is known as an "augmented second". While some people exploit this interval, most people find it awkward sounding. This was resolved by introducing the melodic minor scale, which not only raises the 7th degree but also the 6th degree.

    One thing that you must note for melodic minor construction, especially in theory exams, is that in its descending form is just the same as the natural minor. I will demonstrate this.

    Question: Write out the B melodic minor scale ascending and then descending.

    STEP 1: Work out the if there are any accidentals in the key of B minor.. you can do this by figuring out its relative major which is probably the easiest way.
    STEP 2: Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you know that B minor has two accidentals - F# C#.
    STEP 3: The only thing that separates melodic minor from natural minor is that the 6th and 7th scale degrees are raised. So all you have to do is construct the scale as if it were a natural minor, and then simply raise the 6th and 7th degree.

    B natural minor is - B C# D E F# G A B, so if we raise the 6th and 7th degrees we get
    B C# D E F# G# A# B

    However, when we write it descending, we ignore this all and just write it as if it were natural minor. Therefore, if we looked at B minor ascending and descending it would look like this (I will use a lowercase "n" to represent a natural symbol):

    B C# D E F# G# A# B An Gn F# E D C# B

    -----

    Scale degrees anyone?

    Unfortunately, the names for each scale degree are pretty complicated and it's quite difficult to figure them out as it is mainly memory recall. I will try to devise a pattern for them but otherwise they are as follows:

    First degree = Tonic
    Second degree = Supertonic
    Third degree = Mediant
    Fourth degree = Subdominant
    Fifth degree = Dominant
    Sixth degree = Submediant
    Seventh degree = Leading tone in major, Subtonic in natural minor

    Upon simply reading that, you have probably devised a little pattern in your head. Once you can memorise that the third degree is mediant and the fifth is dominant, it should be easy to work out the rest as they are pretty simple.

    I put this in the lesson because in most theory exams you will be given the question "write x scale starting and ending on the mediant" - now that you know that the mediant is the third degree the rest will be easy!

    -----

    That's all for scales.. next up is probably intervals because that is very very short, and then chords which is fun
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-06-2008 at 11:52 PM.
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    LESSON THREE: INTERVAL CONSTRUCTION


    -------------------------



    I'll start all of my lessons with this picture, just incase you're a bit rough on that spot. I can't type up a lesson on working out which notes are which, because it is just as simple as memory recall!

    -------------------------

    Whether you're sitting a theory exam, composing a score or busting out teh h4x metal riffage a firm knowledge of intervals and how to construct them is absolutely crucial. Intervals are ridiculously easy to master and a firm knowledge of them will help you greatly when it comes to constructing chords aswell. There are two characteristics of intervals, I will refer to them as quantity and quality.

    Quantity refers to the distance between the two notes. For this we have unison, seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths and octaves.

    Quality refers to, well exactly that! For this we have major, minor, augmented, diminished and perfect.

    I will address some potential questions you would come across when dealing with intervals.

    -----

    First question: Write a minor third above C

    STEP 1: Using your key signature/scale construction knowledge, construct the scale of C minor. You should get C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
    STEP 2: Write this scale down on some scrap paper or just remember it, because with it you will be able to work out the following intervals just at the click of a finger: unison, major second, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor sixth, minor seventh, octave. You may be able to see where I'm getting at here?
    STEP 3: Count the third note in the minor scale. What is it? Eb. Therefore what is a minor third above C? Eb!

    I think you can work out the rest (without going into non major/minor qualities). Let's do another one:

    Question: Write a major 6th above C:

    STEP 1: Using your key signature/scale construction knowledge, construct the scale of C major. You should get C D E F G A B C
    STEP 2: Write this scale down on some scrap paper or just remember it, because with it you will be able to work out the following intervals just at the click of a finger: unison, major second, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh, octave.
    STEP 3: Count the sixth note in the major scale. What is it? A. Therefore what is a major sixth above C? A!

    By juxtaposing the two scales of C major and minor, you will probably notice that some of the notes remain the same in both scales. Namely the fourth and fifth - this is why these intervals recieve the term "perfect". Therefore, when asked to construct a perfect interval you can construct either the major or minor scale to work it out. For this same reason, there is no such thing as a "major/minor fifth/fourth"

    -----

    Augmented and diminished?

    You may have heard these terms come into play every now and then. Fortunately, most of us will already know that to augment means to increase and to diminsh means to decrease. All intervals can be augmented or diminished (even though a "diminished/augmented octave" kind of sounds like a contradictory statement!)

    To augment means to increase an interval by one half step, whilst keeping the same note name, and

    To diminish means to decrease an interval by one half step, whilst keeping the same note name. What this means is that while Eb and D# are enharmonically equivalent, the interval from C to D# and the interval from C to Eb have two separate names.

    -----

    Question: Write an augmented fifth above A

    STEP 1: Construct an A major or minor scale. I'll go with minor because it doesn't have any flats or sharps!
    STEP 2: Find the fifth degree, this is E
    STEP 3: To augment means to raise by one half step without changing the letter name
    STEP 4: We get E#, which is an augmented fifth above A!

    -----


    Question: Write a diminished third above Bb

    STEP 1: Construct a Bb minor scale. Five flats? Ew!
    STEP 2: Find the third degree, this is Db
    STEP 3: To diminish means to lower by one half step without changing the letter name
    STEP 4: We get Dbb, which is a diminished third above Bb!

    Remember, that to diminish a second/third/sixth you must lower the minor and not the major. Similarly, to augment a second/third/sixth you must raise the major and not the minor.

    -----

    What's a tritone?

    Woo, the tritone - what an intruiging interval! "Tri" means three, and "tone" means whole tone or whole step. Too easy! You will never be asked to write a tritone, because (upon aural identification) it can be either an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth. Technically however, it is safer to go with an augmented fourth considering that we are adding three whole tones to the tonic note!

    -----

    Harmonising with a certain interval?

    Not long ago, I posted a short lesson about harmonising with thirds.. giving a quick little idea on how it is executed. Today I will be talking about "diatonic" (also known as generic) harmonisation. What this means, is harmonising at a certain interval without changing any of the notes in the key that we are in.

    If you want to "harmonise in thirds" obviously it will change whether we are using a major or minor third, depending where we are in the key. Pretend we are in the key of D minor and take the following note sequence:

    D E F E D

    How would we harmonise that? All we have to do is take a constructed D minor scale:

    D E F G A Bb C D

    and then write it out again from the third degree to the third degree like this:

    F G A Bb C D E F

    Then sandwich them together, and we see what note gets harmonised with what!

    F G A Bb C D E F
    D E F G A Bb C D

    Easy as pie!

    -----

    That will about do it for intervals. Remember that trick I mentioned for scale construction where you can always just write the key signature and not worry about "accidentalising" each note? Ya you can do the same for intervals!

    Next up is chords, this is where things get messy
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-07-2008 at 04:35 AM.
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    LESSON FOUR: CHORD CONSTRUCTION


    -------------------------



    I'll start all of my lessons with this picture, just incase you're a bit rough on that spot. I can't type up a lesson on working out which notes are which, because it is just as simple as memory recall!

    -------------------------

    This lesson will cover chord construction. It will not however cover diatonic chords, chord progression or cadences. These will all be covered in future lessons. Similar to scales, I will not be teaching about chords in relation to the guitar i.e. how to play them. Everything will be from a theoretical viewpoint. I have always believed that the best way to learn something is to watch a question get answered step by step so you have probably noticed by now that this is how I teach, haha!

    Similar to intervals and scales, there are a few chord types and today I will just be going through the basics. They are:

    Major, minor, augmented, diminished, major7, minor7, dominant7, half dim7 (also known as min7b5 ["minor seven, flat five"]) and full dim7. I might also throw in a little section about sus chords like sus2 and sus4.

    Each chord has its own construction pattern, which I would gladly instruct you on but I am insistent that the following methods are the best way to work them out. Why? Because after you do a few exercises using my method you're just going to end up memorising the right answer anyway!

    NOTE: All chords are constructed with each note being a third away from eachother. That is to say, that a chord will be constructed using a "1-3-5" method (1st, 3rd, 5th scalar degree. Intervals all a third from each other) with the only thing changing being the quality of each third. Similarly, 7th chords are created using a 1-3-5-7 method.

    -----

    THE MAJOR CHORD:

    Ah yes, ol' reliable. The major chord is the be all and end all of music. Home, the tonal center. A chord with such esteem that even a piece that exists entirely in a minor key will often resolve onto its parallel major tonic chord just for a sound of complete resolution (called a "tierce de picardie", FYI).

    First question: Write out an A major chord

    STEP 1: The major chord is constructed of a tonic note, a major third and a perfect fifth. You can either use your knowledge of scales or intervals on this one. It does get a bit hectic remembering what intervals make which chord, so using a scale is always good
    STEP 2: The A major scale contains the notes A B C# D E F# G# A. We know that this particular chord is constructed using "1-3-5", that is the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees
    STEP 3: Therefore, the notes in an A major chord are A, C# and E.

    -----

    THE MINOR CHORD:

    The minor chord, an absolute necessity in creation of anything sombre or sadness-evoking. Responsible for making an interrupted cadence so great, or a pseudo-sad pop song effect teenage girls so greatly .

    Question: Write out an F minor chord

    STEP 1: The minor chord is constructed of - yep you guessed it! - a tonic note, a minor third and a perfect fifth. Trust me, using a scalar method will end up being the easiest
    STEP 2: The F minor scale contains the notes F G Ab Bb C Db Eb F. We know that this chord is constructed using "1-3-5", that is the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees
    STEP 3: Therefore, the notes in an F minor chord are F, Ab and C. So easy!

    -----

    THE AUGMENTED CHORD:

    The augmented chord, always good for a bit of a spook or to create a good bit of tension. Used quite frequently in early 20th century Russian music as a means of chromatically approaching the relative minor (or modulating, depending which side of the fence you sit on ). Wut? Nevermind haha it'll all make sense later! The problem with augmented chords is that it's really just a matter of memory recalling, learning that an augmented chord is constructed using a tonic note, a major third, and an augmented fifth.

    Question: Write out a C augmented chord

    STEP 1: Construct a C major chord, you get C E G
    STEP 2: As you just would have read, an augmented chord consists of tonic + major third + augmented fifth.
    STEP 3: Therefore, since we already have tonic and major third, we need to raise the fifth by one half step to augment it. Therefore C augmented chord consists of C E G#

    Fortunately, we don't have to worry about augmented 7th chords haha. If someone can tell me why I'll give ya a cookie .

    -----

    THE DIMINISHED CHORD:

    The diminished chord. In this part of the lesson I am referring just to the diminished triad (that means no sevenths added). A great chord as it possesses a sinister quality yet still serves a diatonic purpose in harmony and is used frequently in the basic principles of tension-resolution in Western music. Similar to an augmented chord, this is also just a matter of memory recall. A diminished triad uses a tonic note, minor third and a diminished fifth.

    Question: Write out an Eb diminished chord

    STEP 1: Construct an Eb minor chord, you get Eb Gb Bb
    STEP 2: As you just would have read, a diminished chord consists of tonic + minor third + diminished fifth.
    STEP 3: Therefore, since we already have tonic and minor third, we need to lower the fifth by one half step to diminish it. Therefore an Eb diminished chord consists of an Eb, Gb and Bbb (because we can't change the letter, remember?)

    -----

    THE MAJOR 7TH CHORD:

    Wanna get laid? This is what you need to learn! The major 7th chord is intriguing because the clash caused in the superimposition of a tonic note and a note that is a major 7th away causes a renowned dissonance, however when implemented with a major triad causes an absolutely awe-inspiring sound. Whoops, guess I just gave away how to construct one! It's that simple - a normal major triad with a major 7th thrown in there aswell.

    Question: Write out a B major7 chord

    STEP 1: You guessed it, construct a B major chord. B D# F#
    STEP 2: Major 7th chords consist of your major triad with just the major 7th note added aswell. To work this out, we can construct a scale and count it out or just take the note a half step below the tonic of the chord. In this case, that note is A# (can't be Bb, remember why?)
    STEP 3: Therefore a B major7 chord contains the notes B D# F# and A#

    -----

    THE MINOR 7TH CHORD:

    Gee, not much to say about this one haha. Used as a great tool in many chord progression especially those in jazz. I'll talk more about its important role when I discuss chordal progressions and cadences. Bet by now you can guess how to work these out.

    Question: Write out a G minor7 chord

    STEP 1: Yep, that's right - construct a G minor chord. G Bb D
    STEP 2: Minor 7th chords consist of your minor triad with just the minor 7th note added aswell. To work this out, we can construct a scale and count it out or just take the note a whole step below the tonic of the chord. In this case, that note is F
    STEP 3: Therefore a G minor7 chord contains the notes G Bb D and F

    -----

    THE DOMINANT 7TH CHORD:

    An absolute essential for any aspiring composer out there. The epitome of tension-resolution. Two notes in any dominant 7th chord create the interval of a tritone that resolves inward by half-step to the tonic and its major third. It doesn't get more tense or more resolved than that! This is where things get hazy. The dominant7 is created by taking a major triad and putting a minor 7th in with it all.

    Question: Write out an E dominant7 chord

    STEP 1: Construct an E major triad, E G# B
    STEP 2: Figure out what is a minor 7th above E, in this case it is D.
    STEP 3: Therefore an E dominant7 chord contains the notes E G# B and D

    -----

    THE HALF DIMINISHED 7TH CHORD:

    Also known as a min7b5 (makes it a lot easier to construct them if you give them this name!). A chord with an inherently tense and dissonant sound that can also be used to create a tranquil and calming sound depending on context? Sounds good to me! Also an absolute essential in traditional Western harmony. This one is a bit tricky, once again just a matter of memory recall. At least the names are some form of indication on how to construct the chord. If you take a diminished triad and add a minor 7th, you're all done (min7b5).

    Question: Write out a D half dim7 chord

    STEP 1: Construct a D minor triad, D F A
    STEP 2: Turn it into a diminished triad by flattening the fifth degree. You will get D F Ab
    STEP 3: As stated above, add a minor seventh. D F Ab C

    -----

    THE FULL DIMINISHED 7TH CHORD:

    Guitarists, grab your pens because this is what you wanna know! Used so much in solos that it is almost impossible not to recognise one! Also unique because it is like you have taken an octave and split it up perfectly into quarters. Read on and you will see why. This chord is constructed using a diminished triad and a diminished 7th.

    Question: Write out a D full dim7 chord

    STEP 1: Construct a D minor triad, D F A
    STEP 2: Turn it into a diminished triad by flattening the fifth degree. You will get D F Ab
    STEP 3: As stated above, add a diminished seventh. D F Ab Cb

    You'll find that if you played D F Ab Cb D, each of the notes is equidistant from the last, interesting!

    -----

    Sus2, sus4. What is this?!

    I will make this lesson very brief. The "sus" stands for "suspension", these chords are named so because the generic third in each chord is replaced by another note thus "suspending" the chordal quality until resolution is achieved. These chords are very handy as they can either be used for tension-resolution or can be implemented to create a tonal ambiguity in certain songs. You will also soon learn their importance as the sus4 chord has come to have a home in 99.9% of Western music.

    The number represents which scale degree is used to suspend the third. Notice they are both directly next to the third in either direction. Yup, sus2 has the second degree replace the third and sus4 has the fourth degree. I will not bother with an example question as I can only assume that it is quite plain and simple how to construct these chords. I will just add that the fifth will always be there.

    -----

    I think that will do for chord construction and it is now time for me to retire to bed. I hope this helped, and tune in tomorrow for when things get a bit more advanced as I start to talk about modes, chord progression, cadences, etc.

    Thanks guys
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-08-2008 at 02:20 AM.
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    Holy ****e bro! Thanks a ton. Gotta do my stat homework, then I look forward to reading that.
    I used to be 135 pounds, give me a break.

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    Wow, this thread kicks ass. I'm gonna check out those lessons when i get back from work tonight.
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    Wow, amazing lesson on chords.
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    wow, so you mean i took a semester's worth of a theory class when i could have just read through all this? Great lessons man.
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    The thing that really made soloing over chord progressions click for me was this Allan Holdsworth video:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...lan+holdsworth

    Extremely helpful.
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    What is the best guitar book for beginners? Also DVDs?
    Last edited by rottengazebo; 12-07-2008 at 06:21 PM.
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    I prefer the number 1 Mel Bay book
    It is still old school where it teaches you the notes on the staff and the string, one string at a time, then adds another string each lesson set
    if you get to the end of the book, you will have a great skill set that will surpass all the "tab only" players out there
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    A lot of guys also use the Metal Method series of DVD's.

    I was never really huge on books and DVD's, but some swear by Metal Method for Metal/Rock playing.

    The only video I had was this old school REH video called ROCK GUITAR, or something like that, with Nick Nolan.

    I started out mostly playing by ear, then I took a Music in class in HS to learn how to read music.
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    More comin fellas.. this is where things get fun.

    Sorry I skipped out on notation lessons and lessons about meter and time sigs and note duration and stuff. It's just a bit of a snooze-fest for me haha. I sort of assumed you would all know most of that stuff anyway.. if not head onto www.musictheory.net and check it out!

    Next up is probably chordal application which will more than likely cover progressions, diatonic chords, cadences, etc

    Or modes.. hard to decide
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-08-2008 at 12:41 AM.
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    brb using non-existent mod connections to get those lessons repped.
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    LESSON FIVE: MODES

    With a little treat for you guys


    -------------------------



    I'll start all of my lessons with this picture, just incase you're a bit rough on that spot. I can't type up a lesson on working out which notes are which, because it is just as simple as memory recall!

    -------------------------

    Modes, modes, modes. I'm pretty sure that most of you will have heard someone use the term "mode" before, without actually knowing what exactly they were talking about. I'm also pretty sure that a fair few of you would have heard this or that about modes and ended up quite confused!

    Basically a mode is like taking a standard major scale and rearranging it so that the standard rules of progression and resolution apply to different scalar degrees rather than the normal tonic note. Modal compositions are a rarity due to the fact that they can have a potentially displeasing taste, yet certain modes have been exploited for their ability to portray certain settings or qualities to a song or melody.

    Since there are seven different notes in the major scale, there are of course seven standard modes. There are a few others out there, but this lesson will just focus on "diatonic modes" - that is, modes that can occur in a key signature. These modes are:

    Ionian, dorian, phygrian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian and locrian. I know, I know.. you're probably thinking "who on Earth gave them such ridiculous names?!" well, BLAME THE GREEKS!

    Unfortunately you're just going to have to memorise the names, but you will soon learn why I have listed them in that specific order.

    Throughout this lesson I will be repeatedly using the D major scale, as by using the same scale over and over it will be easier to see how certain modes are developed and where they should be applied.

    -----

    As a bonus for you guys, I have taken the liberty of composing a small melody in each mode to give you an idea of what sort of sound they can potentially convey.

    Here is a zipped folder with a small sample of each mode. Not every example is spot on, you will have to read the description of each mode to see what I have chopped and changed:

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RMX02CG7


    -----

    THE IONIAN MODE:

    Fortunately for you guys, the ionian mode is just the major scale. Because of this, I won't bother writing out an example question. Whenever you're asked to construct the ionian mode of a specific note, just construct the major scale.

    -----

    THE DORIAN MODE:

    The dorian mode is quite rarely used but when you do come across it you will more than likely be listening to a piece of music that is sad/sombre with a bit of an adventurous or mysterious twist (such as in a movie score). I can give you specific interval patterns to work it out, but I find that the way I will be teaching is the easiest.

    Dorian is known as "the second mode", why? First let's look at the notes in D major:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    Now let's look at the notes in E dorian:

    E F# G A B C# D E

    Notice anything? That's right! The dorian mode is as if we have taken the major scale and rearranged it. Now "E" is our tonic note, which will create an interesting sound when we resolve to and from the E, instead of D! With this, we can see that to work out the notes in a dorian mode, we subtract one whole tone from the tonic and work out the corresponding major scale.

    First question: Write the notes in G dorian

    STEP 1: Subtract a whole step from G, we get F
    STEP 2: Work out what notes are in F major, F G A Bb C D E F
    STEP 3: Write the F major scale from G to G
    STEP 4: G dorian is G A Bb C D E F G

    -----

    THE PHYGRIAN MODE:

    A version of the phygrian mode, known as phygrian dominant is used in almost every song that tries to establish a middle-eastern or foreign, exotic sound. Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about don't you. "That" sound. It's also used time and time again by guitarists in their solos (especially Yngwie haha). The fact that it resolves downward to the tonic by a half step gives it a very unique sound. A must learn.

    NOTE: In my audio example of phygrian, I have used the phygrian dominant version as I figure you will be more accustomed to this.

    Phygrian is known as "the third mode", why? First let's look at the notes in D major:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    Now let's look at the notes in F# phygrian:

    F# G A B C# D E F#

    Now "F#" is our tonic note, which will create an interesting sound when we resolve to and from the F#, instead of D. With this, we can see that to work out the notes in a phygrian mode, we subtract two whole tones from the tonic and work out the corresponding major scale.

    Question: Write the notes in G# phygrian

    STEP 1: Subtract two whole steps from G#, we get E
    STEP 2: Work out what notes are in E major, E F# G# A B C# D# E
    STEP 3: Write the E major scale from G# to G#
    STEP 4: G# phygrian is G# A B C# D# E F# G#

    -----

    THE LYDIAN MODE:

    I think it's safe to say that more modern progressive metal wouldn't exist without this mode! Creates a very intriguing sound, considering that the resolution from the fourth degree to the third degree is a whole step. Gives the mode a "whole tone" sort of sound - very awkward and displeasing. It has a lot of potential to make the listener very anxious.

    Lydian is known as "the fourth mode", why? First let's look at the notes in D major:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    Now let's look at the notes in G dorian:

    G A B C# D E F# G

    Now "G" is our tonic note, which will create an interesting sound when we resolve to and from the G, instead of D. With this, we can see that to work out the notes in a lydian mode, we can either add a perfect fifth, or subtract a perfect fourth and work out the corresponding major scale.

    Question: Write the notes in Db lydian

    STEP 1: Subtract a perfect fourth from Db, we get Ab
    STEP 2: Work out what notes are in Ab major, Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
    STEP 3: Write the Ab major scale from Db to Db
    STEP 4: Db lydian is Db Eb F G Ab Bb C Db

    -----

    THE MIXOLYDIAN MODE:

    Easily the most recognisable and widely used mode. Mixolydian is the pioneer of adventure-inspring music. Frequently used in movie scores and has developed its home in Ireland, this mode has inspired and always will inspire many.

    Mixolydian is known as "the fifth mode", why? First let's look at the notes in D major:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    Now let's look at the notes in A mixolydian:

    A B C# D E F# G A

    Now "A" is our tonic note, which will create an interesting sound when we resolve to and from the A, instead of D. With this, we can see that to work out the notes in a mixolydian mode, we add a perfect fourth or subtract a perfect fifth from the tonic and work out the corresponding major scale.

    Question: Write the notes in C# mixolydian

    STEP 1: Add a perfect fourth to C#, we get F#
    STEP 2: Work out what notes are in F# major, F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
    STEP 3: Write the F# major scale from C# to C#
    STEP 4: C# mixolydian is C# D# E# F# G# A# B C#

    -----

    THE AEOLIAN MODE:

    Finally I get a break! The aeolian mode is the exact same as the "natural minor". Hopefully you would have noticed this, seeing that it is the mode built on the sixth degree of the major scale - which is the same as the relative minor if you ever used my method to work it out.

    NOTE: In my composition for aeolian, the title is misleading. Seeing as everyone knows what aeolian sounds like (you do listen to the radio, don't you?) I decided to write a little contrapuntal two-part melody in melodic minor instead. I hope you enjoy.

    -----

    THE LOCRIAN MODE:

    The locrian mode has practically been banned from appearing in any musical composition or movie score. Why? It's nothing to do with crazy superstition involving the devil or anything ludicrous like that - it's simply because it sounds like crap! Have a listen to my example melody and you will understand. The distance created between the tonic and the fifth degree is a tritone which makes for ugly resolution. Nevertheless, I will construct one for theory-paper purposes.

    Locrian is known as "the seventh mode", why? First let's look at the notes in D major:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    Now let's look at the notes in C# locrian:

    C# D E F# G A B C#

    Now "C#" is our tonic note, which will create an interesting sound when we resolve to and from the C#, instead of D (can you hear my skin crawling?). With this, we can see that to work out the notes in a locrian mode, we add one half tone to the tonic and work out the corresponding major scale.

    Question: Write the notes in B locrian

    STEP 1: Add a half step to B, we get C
    STEP 2: Work out what notes are in C major, C D E F G A B C
    STEP 3: Write the C major scale from B to B
    STEP 4: B locrian is B C D E F G A B

    -----

    But why?

    I can't tell you why modes exist. I can, however tell you why you as a guitarist have heard of them. Often guitarists will use certain modes as a reference point for soloing in certain keys. If you see that a certain chord is coming up and know what key you're in, you can work out which mode you should play in. This is very helpful for guitarists that learn scales and modes in patterns or shapes on the guitar instead of actually learning the notes.

    Also, they're great to add a bit of taste and a unique sound to your solos.

    -----

    Wooooooo, that was big! Tune in tomorrow for chord application.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-08-2008 at 05:50 AM.
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    The thing that really blew my mind was when Allan Holdsworth explains the Major scale.

    I felt gypped.

    He says: "The modes are just the same scale with a different name."

    Or something like that. Everything just clicked for me when he said that, and I was like: "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!"

    Still, there's no excuse for learning your fretboard inside and out, but you should visualize the shapes of the chords inside of the scales your playing, and when you improvise over chord progressions, you should see the patterns of the scales move and corrospond to the chords they relate to.

    Haha, it sounds complicated, but a lot of thoery stuff is.

    Hey, Master. D, you should do a lesson on modulation.
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    These look like some awesome lessons Master D, thanks! When I get a chance after finals and everything I will definitely be looking to learn from them.
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    dude thanks so much for that musictheory.net link. Im out of school now and am at the point where im trying to learn modes and more chords and stuff like that. This is exactly what i need
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    Originally Posted by wickedsensation View Post


    Hey, Master. D, you should do a lesson on modulation.

    lol, it looks like copy & pastin'. Not to say he doesn't get the gist of what he's posting...

    but modulation is more complicated than "here's the modes."
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    Originally Posted by Willith View Post
    lol, it looks like copy & pastin'. Not to say he doesn't get the gist of what he's posting...

    but modulation is more complicated than "here's the modes."
    You're kidding right mate?

    If these lessons seem simple to a genius like you it's only because I have simplified them because I am trying to teach. You'll have to bare with me seeing as I am catering for people under the assumption that they know absolutely no theory at all.

    I can assure you that these lessons are my own and I'm offended that you accuse me of copying and pasting them.

    By the way, why would I bother teaching about modulation to these people that don't even know how to construct a key in the first place? It only makes logical sense to start with the basics.

    Nevertheless stick around for the lessons on modulation, four part harmony, two part melody construction and species counterpoint.

    Yup.
    Last edited by Master.D.; 12-08-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ctgblue View Post
    Makes my head huuuuuuurt.......
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    Originally Posted by ctgblue View Post
    I prefer the number 1 Mel Bay book
    It is still old school where it teaches you the notes on the staff and the string, one string at a time, then adds another string each lesson set
    if you get to the end of the book, you will have a great skill set that will surpass all the "tab only" players out there
    is this the one you are referring too????

    http://www.melbay.com/product.asp?ProductID=93200

    and what other mel bay books would you recommend after that one?
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    Originally Posted by Master.D. View Post
    By the way, why would I bother teaching about modulation to these people that don't even know how to construct a key in the first place?
    Don't mind him, he just has that whole elitist 'brb, graduating Cum Laude from no.1 contemporary music school in country' Berkley garbage convincing him it makes him a better person.

    Don't let his shortcomings diminish the value of your excellent posts to those among us who can really benefit from them.

    Keep up the good work.
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    Originally Posted by Master.D. View Post
    You're kidding right mate?

    If these lessons seem simple to a genius like you it's only because I have simplified them because I am trying to teach. You'll have to bare with me seeing as I am catering for people under the assumption that they know absolutely no theory at all.

    I can assure you that these lessons are my own and I'm offended that you accuse me of copying and pasting them.

    By the way, why would I bother teaching about modulation to these people that don't even know how to construct a key in the first place? It only makes logical sense to start with the basics.

    Nevertheless stick around for the lessons on modulation, four part harmony, two part melody construction and species counterpoint.

    Yup.
    You believe anybody here is going to understand four part writing from A post? I can assure they won't- and I can prove my theory relatively easily. I've not seen anybody ask for anything other than scales and "how to sweep"---where is the clamor for four part writing? You know why it's not here? First and foremost, because this is a guitar thread- and because four part writing isn't a part of learning guitar, but rather something a guitar can be a part of. It's *writing* Just like counterpoint. Kudos for using the term "species"- I'm positive you lifted that term from Wikipedia or another obsolete source, seeing as how nobody actually refers to counterpoint as "species counterpoint".



    I've got a riddle for you to decipher- let me know when you're ready.




    oh, and LOL- you're 18.
    Last edited by Willith; 12-09-2008 at 06:45 AM.
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