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Minor Pentatonic ScalesFind Those Licks

The minor pentatonic scale is responsible for countless little licks that make you recognize songs. This is the first scale every guitarist starts out improvising with because it’s so easy to remember and play.

This is another scale that stems from the major scale.

Natural Minor Scale
The Minor Pentatonic’s Mother

The Natural minor scale is the mother scale for the minor pentatonic scale.

This scale comes from the 6th note of the major scale. Every major scale has a relative minor scale the starts on the 6th note of the major scale. It will have the same number of sharps and flats and share the same key signature.

Here is how the natural minor scale sounds

The A Minor natural scale

The Minor Pentatonic

This scale coming from the natural minor scale is a short version leaving out the 2nd and 6th notes.

You may see this scales numbers shown like this 1 3b 4 5 7b. They are using the major scale to show how it is built. This is common, most chord formulas are shown this way. I used the natural minor scale to show you because that is where the minor penta scale comes from.

This is a very useful scale for improvising in any type of music

The A Minor Pentatonic Scale

Minor Penta Patterns

These patterns are just like the major pentatonic except that the root is different. You can see that part of one pattern is in the next pattern. This will help you play all the way up the neck.

You can start with any pattern and go in either direction up or down. The 5th pattern has part of the first pattern in it. It’s a circle like the major scales.

Nut is on top, 6th string on your left

Patterns for Left-Handers

Nut is on top 6th string on your right

Relative Major Scale

Every minor penta scale has a relative major scale. This is just like the major scales. They have a relative minor scale built from the 6th note in the major scale.

We can do it a little different with the pentatonic scales. If you play an A minor penta scale your relative major scale is C a minor third or 3 frets upward.

If you use pattern 1 the minor root is played with your first finger and the major root is played with the fourth finger.

If the chord your are playing over is a C you would use the C note as your “home” note. The minor scale works over major chords for improvising but the major doesn’t work as well over minor chords.

The minor third note is also the augmented 9th note which may be why it works that way. The augmented 9th chord was made popular for non jazz guitarist’s by the Jimi Hendrex’s song “Stone Free”.

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Guitar PicksPlectrum Style Guitar

Music Gift Ideas Page or Music Gift Ideas List

Guitar picks come in many different colors and thicknesses but the basic pick shape stays very similar because you have to hold it in your hand.

Picks stay in a similar shape for the same reason baseball gloves do, they have to fit on someone’s hand.

In the case of a pick they must fit between the thumb and index finger comfortably.

The black tear-drop shape is a Gibson pick from a long time ago.

The white thumb pick is made by Dunlop I usually file the playing tip down some on these.

I prefer a heavy pick for single notes because they don’t flex too much. Medium picks I like for strumming chords.

The F1 and X1 picks I got on the internet a few years ago at http://www.f1pick.com. They have an extra section of plastic on them that helps steady the pick. The F1 has a plastic section for your index finger and the X1 has a section to put your thumb in.

Pick Material

The material the pick is made out of will effect the tone of your guitar. Try picking your guitar with some things you have around the house like a folded up piece of paper, broken CD or thin cardboard. Try using a quarter anything else that will work just to hear the different tones they create.

Picks are made from a variety of plastics and a few are made of metal. There are metal finger picks that the steel guitar players use and there are regular metal picks but they have no give.

I remember reading about a popular rock guitarist who used a dime for a pick but I can’t remember his name. It was the 60’s.

Pick Thickness

The thickness of your pick will change the tone some but the main thing is it will effect is your playing.

I’ve found that a thick pick is easier to control, they have less give and will help train your picking hand so your hand controls the tone too.

With the heavy pick you adjust the force your arm uses to pick lighter to heavy.

This puts a lot of the tone control right in your hand or arm I should say.

The thickness of picks vary from different manufacturers but not a lot. I usually use the Fender heavy because I have a bunch of them, any brand that doesn’t break is good.

Picking Speed

Here is another reason I like the heavy pick, since you have less flex you can play faster for single note picking. This movement comes from the wrist.

The heavy pick will help train your picking hand for those single notes too.

Basic Guitar Picks

Here are some top names in the pick making world.

Dunlop Picks

Dunlop uses a plastic called Tortex. They came out with a tortoise shell pick years ago. No they didn’t use real Tortoises. Dunlop’s Tortex picks are available in a variety of shapes and gauges.

Dunlop Picks

Fender Picks

Fender uses a plastic called Celluoid that is supposed to be a primier pick material. They have a couple slightly different shapes the 351 shape is the pick most associated with Fender. A wider body and a rounded tip have made this pick a favorite with players of every style.

Fender Picks

Ibanez Picks

Ibanez makes picks with rubber grips and a “sand” grip too. They have special Steve Vai picks also.

Ibanez Picks

Planet Wave Picks

These guys specialize in Beatle Picks. They have Song titles and images on their picks and other things. They also have Beatle guitar straps.

From Love Me Do to Revolution, the Beatles were the most creative, diverse and influential band in pop music history.

Planet Waves honors the Beatles’ legacy with a unique collection of guitar picks and straps, featuring iconic album covers and timeless images which capture the enduring spirit and essence of the “Fab Four.”

Planet Wave – Beatle Picks

National Picks

They only sell fingerpicks because they only make Dobros and Variations of the original Steel body guitar.

National Thumb Picks

Wirething Picks

This is a new type of pick using plastic and copper

The Wirething(R) Guitar Pick is a new invention that features a smooth curved wire that picks the string, embedded in an injection molded textured and contoured plastic grip.

This gives guitarists the precise clean sound of a metal pick, plus the easy grip, control, and light weight of a plastic pick.

The invention has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 5,894,097.

Wire Features

  • .035 in. diameter steel or copper-alloy wire
  • Precision-formed for consistent production
  • Micro-smooth polished finish for reduced string wear
  • Spring-tempered for extra-long life and durability
  • Smooth no-scratch finish easier on your strings than metal picks.
  • This custom-fabricated copper-beryllium alloy wire is extremely hard
  • Will not be magnetically attracted to electric guitar pickups.

Grip Features

  • Injection-molded acrylic or nylon
  • Contoured for thumb shape — improves grip and comfort
  • Textured for no-slip control
  • Invented by multi-instrumentalist Ken Barry
  • It could be a useful to any guitarist’s pick collection

Wirething Picks

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Guitar Picking Techniques

There are quite a few guitar picking techniques to get different sounds out of a guitar.

You may not think it but picking controls your sound of your guitar as much as the material your guitar is made from and the pick-ups you might have on it.

If you play with your fingers they also effect the tone. You can use fingernails to play the strings or the tips of your fingers. Finger picks can also be used but they are mainly for steel guitar players

You can also use a pick with fingers in certain playing situations giving you yet another way to control your tone.

Plectrum or Pick Style

The main advantage of using a pick is for speed. It also makes it possible to play louder than with fingers which is good for Rock music.

The notes can have a more treble sound than using fingers.

The pick can also be used for the tapping technique giving a different tone than the fingers.

This alternate picking page is very important for all your guitar picking.

This is where you play one note on the down stroke and the next on the up-stroke, over and over.

This way of picking is essential for fast single note playing.

Here is a link to a page with more on alternate picking.

Alternate Picking

Tremelo Picking

This is the alternate picking in a very fast pace. It can be used on more than one string. Stevie Ray Vaughn used this picking style on a couple of his slower songs.

This style of picking was popular in guitar instrumentals during the 50’s and early 60’s.

A tremelo used to be an effect on guitar amps years ago that made the sound go kind of back and forth, much like talking through a window fan when you were a kid. Tremelo and Reverb were the only effects available back then.

Tremolo Picking

Sweep Picking

Sweep picking is playing a chord or arpeggio fast in a downward or upward motion but making each note sound individual and not like a chord.

This requires some very controlled muscle co-ordination to be done right. Don’t just rake across the strings because that isn’t the same. That is another technique that uses muted strings for an effect.

Sweep picking is one of the guitar picking techniques that makes it possible to play very fast clean Melodic lines like Al Di Meola does.

This technique is usually combined with alternate picking so it’s essential to practice both.

Sweep Picking

Pick and Fingers-Learn Both

Playing with a pick is one way of playing the guitar.

Learning to play with a pick is a good way to start but you should Learn to play with your fingers too.

Knowing how to play in both styles will make you a more versatile player.

There are songs that just sound better played in a finger-picking style

Thanks for Visiting Our Guitar Picking Techniques Page

I hope you found this page useful.

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Discover the G Flat Major Scale

The G flat major scale has six flats giving us B, E, A, D, G and C flatted in this scale. The scales are a little easier to remember if you’re familiar with the circle of 4ths.

This scale is made from tetra-chords in the C flat and D flat major scales.

If you want to learn more about tetra-chords check out this page below.

Major Scales – Tetra-Chords

The C flat scale is the same as the B scale. The C flat scale is really only used for teaching. It’s the C scale with every note flatted which would be confusing. The B scale only has 5 sharps making it a little easier to read.

These scales are related and you will see the same chords in the G flat, C flat and D flat major scales.

These scale names are also the names of the major chords in the G flat scale.

G Flat Major Scale Note Layout

G Flat Tetra-Chords

A tetra-chord is a group of four notes that make up one half of a major scale. Major scales have two tetra-chords in them from two other related major scales.

The first G flat tetra-chord comes from the second C flat scale tetra-chord and the second tetra-chord comes from the first tetra-chord in the D flat major scale.

Key

1st Tetrachord

|

2nd Tetrachord

Key

The G Flat Major Scale Numbering

Major scales have numbers that go with the notes. This lets you refer to any scale note or chord in any key with one statement like …iim7 to V7 progression would be… Dm7 to G7 in the key of C or

Gm7 to C7 in the key of F.

When referring to chords the numbers are written in Roman numerals, upper case for major chords(I, IV V7) and lower case for minor and diminished chords(iim7, iiim7, vim7).

G Flat Major Notation and Tablature

The G Flat Major Scale Chords

G♭

A♭m

B♭m

C♭

D♭

E♭m

Fdim

G♭

The G Flat Major Scale Chord Diagrams


The G Flat Major Key signature

This is how the key signature will look if you are in the key of G♭. The flat symbol circles the B, D and G lines and the E, A, and C spaces in the staff.

This doesn’t mean the music won’t have other flats or sharps. They will be marked in the music itself on the staff but the B, E, A, D, G and C won’t be so you have to remember them. The F is the only note that’s not flat in this key.

The flat keys spell words as you cycle through the 4ths starting with B then BE then BEA then BEAD then BEADG then BEADGC and thats it, no more. This might help you remember the flats.

Major Key

♭’s

Key Signature

Rel Minor

G♭

B♭, E♭, A♭, D♭, G♭, C♭

E♭

Reading Music Notation

Here is a link on how to read music notes.

Reading Music Notes

Music Intervals

If you know the circle of fourths it’s fairly easy to remember the flats. The guitar is tuned in 4th’s except for the 3rd to 2nd strings which is a major 3rd interval.

To learn more about intervals check out the intervals page below.

Music Intervals

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Major 7th ChordsA Must Know Chord

The major 7th chords are a very smooth sounding. They are also very easy to make from the major scale. You are only adding one note to a major chord.

This chord is actually a combination of a major chord and a minor chord.

The C maj7 chord notes are C-E-G-B

The C major chord notes are C-E-G

The E minor chord notes are E-G-B

This applies to all major chords. If you make a minor chord(Minor 3rd + Major 3rd) from the 3rd of a major chord and add it to the major you will have a major 7th chord.

There are two notes which are common in both chords. If you didn’t understand the major and minor 3rds check out these pages to learn about them.

Music Intervals Major Scale Primer.

Major 7th Chords
Where Do They Come From?

Two scales you can find these chords in is the major scale and the Harmonic minor scale.

Every major scale has two major 7th chords in it built on the 1st and 4th notes.

The Harmonic minor has one built on the 6th note.

Major Scale – maj7th Chords

Key

I Chord

Notes

IV Chord

Notes

F

Fma7

F-A-C-E

B♭ma7

B♭-D-F-A

B♭

B♭ma7

B♭-D-F-A

E♭ma7

E♭-G-B♭-D

E♭

E♭ma7

E♭-G-B♭-D

A♭ma7

A♭-C-E♭-G

A♭

A♭ma7

A♭-C-E♭-G

D♭ma7

D♭-F-A♭-C

D♭

D♭ma7

D♭-F-A♭-C

G♭ma7

G♭-B♭-D♭-F

G♭

G♭ma7

G♭-B♭-D♭-F

C♭ma7

C♭-E♭-G♭-B♭

F♯

F♯ma7

F♯-A♯-C♯-E♯

Bma7

B-D♯-F♯-A♯

B

Bma7

B-D♯-F♯-A♯

Ema7

E-G♯-B-D♯

E

Ema7

E-G♯-B-D♯

Ama7

A-C♯-E-G♯

A

Ama7

A-C♯-E-G♯

Dma7

D-F♯-A-C♯

D

Dma7

D-F♯-A-C♯

Gma7

G-B-D-F♯

The G♭ma7 is the same as the F♯ma7 chord but written different.

The same is true of the C♭ma7 and the Bma7

Major 7th Chord Diagrams

1st Position Forms

The above chords are movable like the ones below. You just have to move them up or down the neck and keep track of the root.

The Cma7 chord root is on the 5th string.

The Dma7 chord root is on the 4th string.

The Fma7 chord root is on the 4th string.

The Gma7 chord root is on the 3rd string.

Movable Chord Forms

The circles with the R in them stands for the root of the chords so you can keep track of what chord you’re playing

Major 7th
Harmonic Minor Scale

Major 7th – Different Symbols

You will see this chord written as Cma7, Cmaj7, CMa7, or CMaj7. They all mean the same thing.

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Circle of Fifths

As we talk about the circle of fifths what you learn will apply to the scales and chords of all the major scales.

The circle of 5ths is a good way to learn and remember your music keys with all their flats and sharps in them in an organized way.

I think using the 5th’s circle is good for the remembering sharp keys and the 4th’s circle is good for remembering the flat keys. Just another way to learn them.

Circle of 4th’s Backwards

This circle is similar to the circle of 4ths. It is actually the reverse order of the circle of 4ths.

You may find this circle easier to understand with the tetrachords than the circle of 4ths page.

The link below will open the circle of 4ths page so you can look at both pages

Circle of 4ths (Opens New Window)

4ths-5ths Wheel

If you are reading this page you should know about music intervals the link below will open a new window so you can go back and forth if you need to.

Music Intervals (Opens New Window)

In music the V to I chord is a common move. The V chord wants to move to the I, this is the 3rd in the V chord that does this. it wants to resolve or go home.

I to V Chord Movement – Major

You will find the I chord to the V chord common 5th move. Some songs are based on this move. The Beatles song I Should Have Known Better is basically a I – V7 move.

Another Beatles song is Nowhere Man. This song starts with an E to B chord change or a I to V.

i to V Chord Movement – Minor

A Minor One-Five(i-V7) move is a common 5th movement in the harmonic and melodic minor scales.

These V-I moves are also called cadences. This is a fancy word for getting back to the beginning of the verse.

Circle of Fifths Image

This image is similar to the one I made for the major scales page to explain tetrachords.

Just add the two tetrachord sections(large numbers at center) to make a scale. I think this is easier to understand than the circle of 4ths because you are reading forward.

To read the circle of 4ths you are reading the scales in backwards way, you have to move the 1st tetrachord in front of the 2nd one to read it right.

Only add sharp to sharp or flat to flat tetrachords in sections 7,8 and 9. These are keys that are the same pitch but written differently.

Following the Fifths

When following the fifths you need to go back to your 1st chord and not forward.

In other words if you move from C to G this is a 5th forward, C-D-E-F-G If you went forward again from the G chord it would be a 4th, G-A-B-C.

You would still play the same chord but thinking this way is less confusing for chords than following the 5ths.

If you move back you are going down a 5th G-F-E-D-C. You are still going to C but it can cause confusion sometimes as to whether you are moving four or five notes.

The 4ths circle starting with C will take you thru the keys starting with the flat keys.

The circle of fifths isn’t used as much as the 4ths but it is very important for the V-I relationship. The V chord wants to move to the I chord.

Inverting 5th Intervals

If you read the interval section you will remember that when you invert a 4th it becomes a 5th and when you invert a 5th it becomes a 4th.

Inverting means you move the bass note up one octave so C to G(5th) becomes G to C(4th) and C to F(4th) becomes F to C(5th).

Circle of Fifths – Major Chords



The Bottom Line – Circle of Fifths

The main thing is to know all your I, IV and V chords in every key. These are all major chords and the chord table up above is all of the chords.

Here is a list of the I IV V chords in all the Keys

Key

I Chords

IV Chords

V Chords

G♭ and F♯ are the same pitch just written different.

Every major chord is in three keys. The root key and the other two keys it came from.

The C scale came from the F and G scales. Both these scales have a C chord in them along with the C scale.

Minor chords are also in 3 scales not counting the harmonic or melodic minor scales. They are in the ii, iii, and vi positions of the major scale.

I hope you found this page useful.