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Guitar PracticeImprove your Playing

Guitar practice is repeating a particular thing to perfect your performance of it. It can be anything from a pull-off to a two minute solo. It can also be used to learn to play scales or chords better than you are doing right now.

Guitar practice isn’t like it was years ago. Repeating an exercise too much can actually be bad for your playing if you aren’t paying close attention to what and how you are playing.

Practice is used to etch a particular thing into your brain and make it an automatic response like knowing scales or chords or perfecting your expertise on a Wah Wah pedal. No thinking, you just do it because you know it well.

Stay in Tune

Staying in tune especially when you practice is important because you are paying closer attention or should be to everything you are playing.

If you stay tuned with a guitar tuner to concert pitch you will learn to hear and remember the different intervals and chords easier. Concert pitch is used around the world for tuning.

Go to the page below to learn about tuning.

Guitar Tuning

The Ultimate Guitar Practice Books

There are no scale exercises in these books. They teach you how to practice not what to practice. This will stop many bad playing habits from forming.

There are two of these books one is for beginners and one is for those who are looking to break all the bad habits they have and develop new ways to practice and learn.

Practice Book

I have the second one which was the original from 1999. The above beginner book is from 2005 and little easier for beginning guitarists.

They are no-nonsense books and you have to apply yourself for them to work. Nothing is hard it just requires your attention, patience and a steady routine of practice(20 minutes a day) and you will be a better guitar player fairly quickly depending on your effort and time you put into it.

Learn First
Before You Practice

You must know what you want to practice first. Don’t worry about playing in time or anything else until your fingers can do what they are supposed to do.

If it’s a scale go through it slowly a few times making sure every note is coming out clear.

If it’s a chord make sure all the notes are clear. If you have open strings in it make sure to keep your thumb in the middle of the back of the guitar neck or where it has to be. The thumb in the middle of the neck is a general position that won’t work on every chord.

If it’s a movable chord move it up and down the neck and check for good tone on every string. Adjust your hand until you got it.

This may sound like a waste of time but if you do this it will help stop errors when you play up to speed. You have to crawl before you walk and you have to walk before you run.

Beginner Guitar Practice

Guitar practice for the beginning guitar player can vary from using a metronome or not depending on how comfortable they are with the material. Don’t rush things, learn all of the material before moving on especially if you don’t understand it completely. Work at it until you get it a little at a time.

The time you spend now getting your practice sessions organized will save you hours of useless practice. Remember to start simple and work up to more complicated music.

Guitar Practice is for Perfecting Things

Guitar practice is used to perfect what you already know. You should use a metronome when you practice guitar, starting with a slow speed about 60 beats per minute and work up gradually to a faster speed. This will vary depending on the material you are using, faster for the easy stuff and slower for the hard stuff.

You should be able to play what you are practicing 20 times without a mistake before increasing your speed. Increase gradually by 5 beats per minute and repeat for 20 times without a mistake before moving on to a faster speed.

This doesn’t mean you can’t move on to something else before you can play something perfect, but remember to come back to it.

Keep a log book of your practice sessions. Write down the things about your playing that need work; a particular chord change, a lick or anything at all.

Remember to practice the things you are not good at, don’t waste time practicing something you already know unless you are trying to improve the quality or speed.

Practicing Everything

When you start out all this practice will seem like a lot of work, but it gets easier because you are practicing everything when you practice one thing.

When you practice a particular piece of music you are also practicing a lot of other music. Remember there are only 12 notes plus octaves. Also the same chords are used in many songs.

What you learn from one piece of music will apply to many other songs.

Guitar Learning

The guitar learning process is the 1st process before guitar practice, we have to learn what to practice first before we can practice it.

The learning process starts with your eyes or your ears or both. The first thing we have to do if we are using our eyes is to get what you see in sheet music, tablature or something someone wrote down from your eyes to your brain.

This is the easy part we do it all the time in everyday life. With guitar playing you have to get what’s in your brain to your fingertips and make it sound musical.

It works the same for your ears, you hear a song on the radio and you try to figure it out on the guitar. This is learning to play by ear. This is an essential skill to master for playing music.

Learning and Using Metronomes

When you are learning a song or any piece of music don’t use the metronome unless it will help you with the timing on a group of notes.

If you want you can break the piece up into smaller sections and practice that with a metronome.

I find that if you learn the whole thing without the metronome first and then practice with the metronome to work for me. You should be able to play the piece from beginning to end, not perfectly that’s what practice is for.

You can also play along with the song. The song will be your metronome in this case. This is how I learned a lot of Beatles and Stones tunes when I was learning.

This is what works for me, it’s not the only way. Use what works for you as long as the end results are the same. Good sounding guitar music.

Beyond Basic Practice

Here you Go…

Don’t be a Robot

Timing in music is very important but so is phrasing your solo. Play the music with feeling. If there are lyrics you can tell what mood the music should be. If there are no lyrics you will have to play it through once or twice until you set an emotion to the music.

Remember a metronome is good for timing but it can’t teach you how to phrase a section of music. This can only be done by a human, at least they saved that job for us. Sensing(No counting) the timing will come with practice.

Guitar Playing

Here is where you play something. It can be anything, something you have or haven’t practiced. Here your main concern is how it sounds.

Here is where you find out what you need to practice. Listen and record yourself if you can and listen for rough spots.

This is what the football teams do on Monday, they watch their mistakes from Sunday’s game. You will listen to yours. You may need to work on a particular chord change or a timing problem.

Just make a mental note of these things but keep playing the song if you mess up during a performance you can’t stop and start over keep going, everybody makes mistakes.

Performing

This is the final stage. Here is where all your work or lack of it shows up.

You don’t have to wait until you can play like your favorite guitarist but you should try to sound as professional as possible for your level of playing.

Most of us have to overcome stage fright, just concentrate on the music and try to sound as good as possible.

Remember that the recordings that you hear on radio , mp3 or other source are probably using top notch sound systems. Something that not all of us can afford to buy.

Keep on Truckin’

Keep trying even if you have a bad experience. One day you will look back and laugh about it, this is part of the learning experience.

Bad Jobs

Playing in places that weren’t made for performing music like school gyms or church basements can be tough to sound good in because of the acoustic properties of the building.

A school gym might have too much echo from the sound bouncing off the walls while a basement might suck up the sound especially if there are acoustic tiles in the ceiling. These are meant to deaden sound.

These are the jobs you have to take in the beginning. Just try to sound as good as possible with what you have. That’s all you can do.

It Wasn’t My Fault!

Don’t blame everything else if it is your fault. Be honest with yourself about your playing and improve where needed.

This is more important if your in a band because human nature makes us want to blame something or someone else for a bad performance. It’s probably because every one isn’t in sync with each other.

Being in a band is a lot like being married. You have to work out those rough spots or hit the road.

Guitar Practice

The bottom line is you must practice and pay attention to what you and your fingers are doing so you can get it right. This will pay off enormously as you progress in your playing.

I hope you found this page useful.

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Music Gift Ideas

Music Gift Ideas

Music gift ideas. Give the gift of music it’s always appreciated, wether it’s a mp3 player,a music download, a CD, sheet music for the musician, a band poster or a band T shirt and let’s not forget Satellite and HD radios.

As the holiday season approaches you may need some ideas of what to give your family members and close friends for gifts. How about Music?

Music was always one of my favorite gifts. A new Beatles or Stones album was always a good gift. Today you have many options for music besides albums. You can hand pick the tunes you like from an album online. You don’t have to get the whole album.

A gift of music doesn’t have to be music itself it can be a radio, mp3 player, a band T shirt or poster for the wall.

You can also give a gift card from a music related site so you don’t have to worry about buying the wrong thing for that finicky person

Music CD’s/Downloads
Music Gift Ideas

Did you know that todays CD’s are better than the original recordings. They have found ways to get more out of the original record tracks. Things like the drummers cymbals and bass lines that have been in the background are easy to hear.

If you have an older CD or album that you really like try a new enhanced CD. They will say enhanced or something to that effect if they have been redone. I think it’s all part of the HD(High Definition) thing.

I use a couple different sites for buying CD’s and getting downloads.

I use these sites because they all have good prices and I know they are legal CD’s and downloads of the original artist not a bootleg from someone’s computer.

Music CD’s

Amazon-Music Cd’s

Walmart-Music Cd’s

fye-Music CDs

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Music Downloads mp3

Amazon-mp3 Downloads

Walmart-mp3 Downloads

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The next one isn’t actually a music gift but most people that like music also like to have a little fun and they may like a video game.

These games aren’t just for kids. Us older grown-up kids like them too.

Amazon-Games

Walmart-Games

fye-Games

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Concert Tickets
Music Gift Ideas

A concert ticket to your favorite band or even a sporting event is a great present too.

You can buy tickets for an area close to you.

You can also buy tickets in advance and get good seats at a lower price to please your concert goer and save you some money.

Concert Tickets

Sports Tickets

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Satellite Radios & Subscriptions

Satellite radio is a way to listen to music commercial free. There are over 130 music channels to choose from. They cover any style you like and there are also specific artist stations.

You can get comedy and sports also with XM radio. You can pretty much pick and choose what you want to subscribe to.

They are running specials right now until the end of the year.

The company Sirius and XM Radio have teamed up to give you anything you could possibly want from a radio. Music, Comedy, Talk shows, Sports of all kinds worldwide.

Home Page

Radio Subscription Deals

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Band/Music Posters
Music Gift Ideas

Posters are like paintings but they cost a lot less. They are a good way to decorate a wall in a bedroom, basement or your music room if you have one. They get hung up in living rooms too.

Kids like to hang posters of their favorite people wether they are popular musicians or a sports figure.

123Posters – Music Posters

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Band T-Shirts

Every concert I have ever been to there are people outside the concert hall selling band T shirts for whoever is playing that night.

Some of them selling bootleg T-shirts. In other words they didn’t pay some royalty money to the artist or recording company. These shirts are usually cheaper and are of low quality.

That isn’t true of Rock.com. They are official sellers for whoever is on the shirt. They also have hoodies and other stuff for your gift selection.

Official Rock Band T-Shirts & Gear

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More Music Gift Ideas

Musicians – Guitar Players

This section is for the ones that not only listen to the music but play it as well.

One of the things that will help your playing is reading about top guitarists in magazines. There are magazines that have examples and they discuss what kind of gear they use and alternate tunings for a particular song and a lot of other tips on playing.

A good way to learn little guitar tricks to impress your friends and fellow guitarist’s.

Here is a list of them one is for bass. The one I read is Guitar Player and has been around a long time and has some good articles and lessons.

These magazines vary in price. I pay about $15.00 a year for Guitar Player.

All the magazine links open in a new window.

Guitar Magazines
Music Gift Ideas

Guitar Gear
Music Gift Ideas

I have two sites I like for guitars and gear.

Here is a list of basic accessories guitar players need from Same Day Music. All the links open in a new window.

Basic Gear

Here is a link to Birdland Music. I usually check out these two sites for my guitar needs because they are both good to deal with, good prices and quick delivery. Sometimes you might find a deal on what you want if you check out both sites.

Birdland has a clearance page too. You can find good deals there and save some money on a music gift.

Birdland Music

Clearance Deals

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Sheet Music/Books

I have two sites I use for sheet music and books. The first link is to Music Notes.

Music Notes

This site has the best sheet music for guitar players. It goes beyond regular sheet music into transcribing.

You get the whole song with all the guitar parts including the solo if it has one.

I have a copy of Pink Floyds song Hey You. It’s 10 pages long not counting the title page. You get everything for the guitar parts. Written in music notation and tablature.

You can get a physical Gift Card or an e-mail gift card from any amount from 1 to 500 dollars. The Guitar Guru versions run about $7.00 per song depending on the length. They run specials pretty often.

There’s free software for viewing and printing the songs

Gift Certificate Card

E-Mail Gift Certificate

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Sheet Music Plus

This is a good site for Mel Bay lesson books plus a lot of other artist books and regular sheet music.

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Backing Tracks

Backing tracks are a great way to practice licks or just jam and try new ideas.

These tracks are good for any instrument not just guitar.

Planet of Rock uses real music(No MIDI) and you can pick from head banging to mellow with a large selection of popular bands.

the first link is the home page and the second link is for the Blues section.

Planet of Rock – Home Page

Planet of Rock – Blues Tracks

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What languages are supported by Joomla! 1.5?

What languages are supported by Joomla! 1.5?
Written by robert griffith   
Monday, 11 August 2008 01:12
Within the Installer you will find a wide collection of languages. The installer currently supports the following languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Bengali, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Devanagari(India), Croatian(Croatia), Magyar (Hungary), Italian, Malay, Norwegian bokmal, Dutch, Portuguese(Brasil), Portugues(Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Svenska, Thai and more are being added all the time.
By default the English language is installed for the Back and Front-ends. You can download additional language files from the Joomla!Extensions Directory.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 01:12

 

Copyright © 2011 learn-guitar-asap.com. All Rights Reserved.

Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.

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Discover the Major Blues Scale

The major blues scale is used mostly on the I chord. You have to listen carefully because it sounds a lot like the minor blues scale.

This is another tool to use in your solo’s. This Major Blues is the pentatonic major scale with an added note.

Add this blue note into the pentatonic for more variety. Try using it and let your ears be the judge.

Major and Minor Blues

There are major and minor scales just like the major and minor pentatonic scales.

In other words an A minor scale would be the same as a C major scale and vice versa.

Here are the two scales first the major then the minor.

Here is what they both sound like. They almost sound identical at first listen. Practice being able to tell them apart.

The major scale is built 1-2-3♭-3-5-6

The minor scale is built 1-3♭-4-5♭-5-7

The major and minor blues in A

Major Blues

Major Blues Scale Patterns

The R stands for root of the scale.

To use the major blues in the same key as the minor you have to move it down 3 frets

The major blues is mainly used on the I chord but don’t be afraid to experiment.

The diamonds shapes are the Blue Notes, this is what’s different from the major pentatonic scale.

The major blue note is the flatted 3.

The 6th string is on your left the nut is on the top

The Major Blues Scale

F♯ and G♭ are the same scale spelled different.

This is where I changed from flat to sharp keys.

Minor Blues Scale

I hope you found this page useful.

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Guitar Tuning Open E

Discover the guitar tuning open e. This tuning is used in a lot of songs. George Thorogood uses this one a lot. Bonnie Raitt also uses this one.

Open tunings are a great way to sound professional without out knowing a lot of music theory.

You usually only use the basic 3 major chords in the major scale making it perfect for Blues and Country music.

You can play slide or finger pick or both. Normally a slide player uses his picking hand thumb to keep a bass line going while the other fingers play a repeating riff, lead or a melody.

You can also hybrid pick. Use a pick and fingers at the same time. This is a technique used a lot by Country guitar players in standard tuning for getting a steel guitar bend sound.

Look Ma – No Fingers

This open tuning tunes the guitar so when you strum all the strings you hear an E chord. I’ve had people that don’t play strum a guitar tuned this way and they think that playing the guitar is easy because they played that open chord and sounded good. They thought all guitars were tuned like this.

The guitar gets tuned as follows.

  • E string(heavy) = E
  • A string = B
  • D string = E
  • G string = G sharp
  • B string = B
  • E string = E

This tuning is equal to this chord diagram.

This one is popular for slide guitar. You will find a lot of songs with slide are written in the key of E.

Listen to George Thorogood, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winters or The Allman Brothers.

E Tuning and Capo

You can also use a capo when you are in an open tuning to get to a different key.

You will see slide players do this.

The slide guitar is common in blues and so are horns like the Sax. These instruments are better played in the flat keys so if you put a capo the first fret you will be tuned to an open F Chord. You just have to move all your slides up one fret.

This will let you play blues in F, B flat and C. Here are the positions for the capo on the 1st fret.

You don’t have to use a capo to do this but having the open strings in the key is useful.

F Blues

Open position or 13th fret is the I chord = F

6th position is the IV chord = B♭

8th position is the V chord = C

B♭Blues

6th position is the I chord = B♭

11th position is the IV chord = E♭

Open position or the 13th fret is the V chord = F

C Blues

8th position is the I chord = C

13th or open position is the IV chord = F

3rd or 15th position is the V chord = G

Guitar Tuning Open E
Guitar Tuning Open E

Here are some basic chords for the open position.

E Chords

A Chords

B Chords

D Chords

The D7 chord can become a D9 if let the 1st string ring out. You can also let the 1st and 2nd string ring out making this chord a D6/9.

There are many more chords to be found. Put your guitar in this tuning and play around with it. Try playing some 3 chord songs in the first position.

More Chords

If you want to learn more chords for this open tuning all you need to do is understand how chords are made and transfer this to the notes in this tuning.

Check this page for chord infoList of Guitar Chords. This will tell you the notes and numbers for all chords.

You might want to pick up a slide for your playing. Most players put them on their little finger so they can finger chords too.

Thank You for Visiting Our Guitar Tuning Open E Page

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Discover the D Flat Major Scale

The D flat major scale has five flats giving us B, E, A, D and G flatted in this scale. The scales are easy to remember if you know the circle of 4ths. With each key we added one more flat.

This major scale is made from the tetra-chords from the G flat and A flat scales.

The D flat, G flat and A flat are all related to each other this is why you see the same notes and chords in them.

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

The D Flat Major Scale Layout

The first four notes of this scale came from the key of G♭. The last four notes of this scale come from the key of A♭.

D Flat Tetra-Chords

The tetra-chord is a four note group of notes that makes up half a of a major scale. Each major scale has two of these.

The first D flat tetra-chord comes from the last G flat tetra-chord and the second one comes from the first A flat tetrachord.

Key

1st Tetrachord

|

2nd Tetrachord

Key

The D Flat Major Scale Numbering

The major scales have numbers that go with the notes for easy identification. You will find out later that this way of referring to numbers makes it possible to refer to all scales and chords no matter what key you are in.

Usually this is used to refer to the chords but it is also our way of building our chords from scales. When referring to chords the numbers are usually written in Roman numerals, upper case for major chords and lower case for minor chords.

The D Flat Scale
Notation and Tablature

D Flat Major Chords

D♭

E♭m

Fm

G♭

A♭

B♭m

Cdim

D♭

The D Flat Major Scale Chord Diagrams


The D Flat Major Key signature

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

Other flats and sharps will be marked in the music itself but the B, E, A, D and G won’t be so you have to remember them.

The flat keys spell little words as you cycle through the 4ths starting with B then BE then BEA then BEAD then BEADG and so on. This might help you remember the flats in the keys.

Major Key

♭’s

Key Signature

Rel Minor

D♭

B♭, E♭, A♭, D♭, G♭

B♭

Music Intervals

If you know the circle of 4th’s 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.

If you want to learn more about intervals check out the intervals page below.

Music Intervals

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Alternate Guitar Tuning

Using an alternate guitar tuning is a good way of adding different sounds to the guitar. The guitar doesn’t have to be tuned in the standard E A D G B E tuning.

There are quite a few players that don’t use the standard tuning at all or very little. George Thurogood is one example. His reason is he plays slide guitar in most songs.

Slide guitar is easier to play when the guitar is tuned to an open chord like E, D, G or A.

Some finger pickers like these and other tunings because it brings the notes closer together for fretting. This is something Classical guitarist’s won’t lower themselves(Joke) to do.

Try an Open Tuning

Even if you don’t want to play slide or finger pick try tuning your guitar to one of these tunings.

It doesn’t sound the same as a fretted chord and really sounds good on an acoustic guitar.

Caution! You might get hooked on that open chord sound. I think that’s what happened to Keith Richards. He likes to play in the G tuning alot. Brown Sugar was recorded using this tuning although it could be played in a standard tuning but it wouldn’t have the same sound.

Tune up and try one.

If you like this sound you will want to pick up a slide for playing.

What makes this style appealing is you don’t have to know a lot about music to sound professional. You just need to perfect the slide technique.

Open E Tuning
Alternate Guitar Tuning

This open tuning tunes the guitar so when you strum all the strings you hear an E chord. I’ve had people that don’t play strum a guitar tuned this way and they think that playing the guitar is easy because they played that open chord that sounded good.

The guitar gets tuned as follows.

  • E string(heavy) = E
  • A string = B
  • D string = E
  • G string = G sharp
  • B string = B
  • E string = E

This tuning is equal to this chord diagram.

This one is popular for slide guitar. You will find a lot of songs with slide are written in the key of E.

Listen to George Thorogood, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winters or The Allman Brothers.

Here is another page with some more on the E tuning.

Open E Tuning

Open D Tuning

This tuning is easier on the guitar neck because it is tuned lower. Most guitars are made for the stress of standard tuning or close to it.

Here is how it gets tuned

  • 6th string(heavy) = D
  • 5th string = A
  • 4th string = D
  • 3rd string = F sharp
  • 2nd string = A
  • 1st string = D

You leave the 4th and 5th string as is and retune the rest.

Here is a diagram

This tuning is the same as E. In other words from the 6th string to the 5th is a 5th interval and so on. They only difference is it’s a whole tone lower.

So anything you read about the E tuning can be applied on two frets lower.

Your main blues keys are D, G and A without using a capo.

The D chord is open or 12th fret

The G chord is on the 5th fret

The A chord is on the 7th fret

Here is a page with some more info and open chords for D tuning.

Open D Tuning

Thank You for Visiting our Alternate Guitar Tuning Page.

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Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams

The purpose of this page is to teach anyone starting out on guitar all about reading guitar chord diagrams.

Chord diagrams are actually very easy. They look like the guitar fretboard because that is what they are, just like a thumbnail of an image on the web.

You will see chord diagrams in all types of written music. These are popular in books written for piano, voice and guitar, or in lesson books. They are also all over the Internet. You don’t have to be able to read or understand music, perfect for getting started.

Chord Diagrams

The Vertical Lines are the Strings
Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams

The diagram is read from left to right with the vertical lines being the strings. The first line on the left is the 6th string, the heavy E and the rest just follow 5-4-3-2-1

The strings on the guitar are as follows from the top string, the Heavy String to the thinner string. E – A – D – G – B – E

The last E is 2 octaves higher than the 6th string.

Horizontal Lines are the Frets

The horizontal lines represent the frets. If there is no number alongside the diagram then it is a first position chord.

If there is a number on the side of the diagram that is the number of the fret. A 7 would mean they are showing you the 7th fret in relation to the chord. The number may be on the left or right side of the diagram. The number may also be written in Roman Numerals like I, IV, or V.

What are the X’s and O’s
Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams

An X along the top of the diagram means that string isn’t used in the chord. It will be dampened by the left or right hand or not played at all as in a chord like the D minor above.

An O means that the open string gets played, usually a first or second position chord but not always.

The letter on top is the name of the chord. This may also have a number with it but that is for another lesson. All you really have to do for now is put your fingers where it shows.

Guitar Chord Finger Numbers
Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams

Left Side Fret Numbers

The numbers on the left are the fret numbers, this is where you place your fingers. If you see a 5 or a V this means the 5th fret.

Bottom Numbers

The diagrams above have the finger numbers at the bottom. The C chord would be played using your 3rd finger on the A string, the 2nd finger on the D string and the 1st finger on the B string.

When you play the F chord your 1st finger will barre the first fret all the way across. If you can’t play a barre chord yet then just play the fist two strings with your first finger and don’t play the two upper strings at all.

Bottom Finger Numbers

  • Your index finger is number 1
  • middle finger number 2
  • ring finger number 3
  • your pinky is number 4

If you are just learning or if you have been playing for a little bit and have trouble with barre chords this will help you.

Place your 1st finger across all the strings on the 10th fret, with your thumb in the center of the back of the neck, play all the notes one at a time.

You will have to adjust your finger up or down and left or right slightly until you find the right spot that lets you have good tone on every string. No buzzing or strings not sounding, this will help you in the future with barre chords.

When you get consistent at getting clear notes move down to the 9th fret and do the same thing again. The closer you get to the first fret the harder it will be to do.

Do this all the way down to the 1st fret one fret at a time. It will be easier if you start at the 10th fret because the strings push down easier near the middle of the string length and work your way back.

The index finger will be used for all your barre chords like the F chord below so get good clear notes and remember the thumb in the center of the neck.

Don’t Squeeze Too Hard

Only squeeze hard enough to get a good clean sound, no Vulcan death grip. You will have to experiment with the amount of pressure you use.

By using the least amount of pressure that you need makes it quicker to release and move on the next chord increasing your speed. It will also make your chord changes smoother.

This also applies to single notes too. Only enough pressure for good tone.

Later on you will add other fingers to make different chords and this exercise will make it easier if you have practiced. You may have to make slight adjustments in your hand and index finger for these new chords.

C Scale Chords

These are the basic chords from the C major scale. Practice playing these chords. When you play these chords use your fingertips except for the F chord. You may have to cut your fingernails.

Also keep your fretting hand thumb in the middle of the back of the guitar neck. This is important, it will keep your fingers arched so they don’t hit the strings and deaden notes from ringing out.

Thank you for visiting our Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams page.

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Guitar Octaves

Guitar octaves are another essential learning lesson. Besides knowing them on the fretboard they can be used like keyboard players use them

You hear these used in many forms of music ocassionally but they are used quite often in Jazz. Listen to George Benson, he’s good with octaves

E Note Octave Positions

This is the only place where the E notes are on the guitar.

Octave Positions

I will show the main octave forms, just move up or down the neck to find your notes. These are really the only practical positions.

Picking Octaves

Plectrum(Pick) Style

You can play these with a pick but what you have to do is block the other strings in between with your fretting hand so they don’t sound out.

Hybrid Picking Style

This is where you use a pick for the top(low) note and the middle or ring finger for the other note.

Fingerstyle

This way you use your thumb for thr low note and one of your other fingers for the higher note. Use whatever finger feels comfortable to you

More Info

Please check out the Music Intervals page to learn more. There are are other common two note combo used in music.

I hope you found this page useful.

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Guitar Chord TheoryChord Making Made Easy

Guitar chord theory is a study on how to make chords from scales. They are basically made by combining every other note in a scale. However understanding intervals will help with larger and altered chords.

Understanding chord theory will save you a lot of time memorizing separate chords. When you see how they are made you only have to remember one formula for each chord.

Chords come from scales. There are a lot of different scales but the major and minor scales are the main sources for chords.

The difference between a major and minor chord is only one note. The minor chord has a minor 3rd and the major chord has a major 3rd in it. Simple.

There are four main types of chords.

Major – Minor – Diminished – Augmented

Each of these especially the major and minor chords have a lot of related chords.

You have most likely seen C7, Dm7 and other chord symbols. Learning how to make them will give you chords all over the guitar neck.

Chord Basics
Understanding Music Intervals

Intervals are the distance between two notes. Most chords are built using major and minor 3rds stacked on top of each other. This is for the root position chord which is where we start and learn the notes and degrees of each chord.

I suggest you open these next few links in a new tab or window to make it easy to switch back and forth. They may help you understand guitar chord theory as I explain it.

It seems complicated at first but it is really just simple math. The better you know the guitar fretboard the easier it will be.

Music Intervals

Guitar Fretboard

Learning where all the notes are will make playing and learning new songs much easier. You won’t be searching for the notes you’ll know where they are.

Guitar fretboard

Major Scale Primer

This is a good page to get an understanding of the major scale and chord building.

Major Scale Primer

How to Read Chords

Here is a page that explains the chord symbols like Cma7, Dm7 or Cma7+5.

You will see these in most music written for piano. learning what they mean is fairly easy.

How to Read Guitar Chords

How to Read Guitar Chord Diagrams

This page will explain the chord diagrams for those of you who are new to guitar diagrams.

Reading Chord Diagrams

Guitar Chord Theory

Chord Types

Here are chords that get used quite a bit in everyday music of all types.

Slash Chords

Sounds like heavy metal chords doesn’t it? It’s actually because of the / in the chord name like name like C/G. This means a C major chord with a G bass note.

About Slash Chords

Suspended Chords

These chords suspend the third of a chord with a second or a fourth note. Usually for a couple beats and then they resolve back to the third.

More on Suspended Chords

Sixth Chords

These chords are popular. A major 6th chord is also a minor 7th chord. C6 is equal to an Am7 chord.

Learn about Sixth Chords

Minor 6th Chords

These don’t get as much play time as the major 6th but they have a couple different names and uses.

More on Minor 6th Chords

The 7th Chords

The following link will tell you all about the different 7th chords.

All 7th Chords

Major 7th Chords

This is a nice mellow chord. It’s made from a major and a minor triad combined.

Maj 7th Chords

Dominant 7th Chords

These chords come from the 5th note of the major and minor scales.

Dominant 7th Chords

Diminished 7th Chords

This is a unique chord. It repeats itself every 3rd fret and has some other uses.

Diminished 7th Theory

Altered Chords

These are the chords with the really confusing names like C7♯5♭9

Altered Chords Explained

Chord Formulas

Here is a page that explains how to make chords using the major scale as a tool.

Chord Formulas

The Chord Types

Major

Minor

Diminished

Augmented

The Major Chords

The major chords are formed on the I, IV and V degrees of the major scale.

The Minor chords are formed from the ii, iii and vi notes.

The vii is a diminished chord when it is a triad, a three note chord.

Major chord degrees are written in upper class I, IV and V. This format will be used in many but not all guitar lesson books.

Minor Chords and the diminished, because it has a minor third as it’s first interval are written in lower case ii, iii, vi and vii.

A major chord is composed of a major third and a minor third interval.

  • C to E is a Major 3rd
  • E to G is a Minor 3rd

This makes a C chord from the I note, it skips the D and the F.

  • F to A is a Major 3rd
  • A to C is a Minor 3rd

This makes an F chord from the IV note, it skips the G and the B.

  • G to B is a Major 3rd
  • B to D is a Minor 3rd

This makes a G chord from the V note, it skips the A and the C.

This is how all major triads are made in the major scale.

The Minor Chords

A minor chord is made from a minor 3rd interval and a major 3rd interval. The opposite of the major chord the minor interval is first and the major one is second.

The minor chords are made from the ii, iii and vi notes of the major scale.

  • D to F is a minor 3rd interval
  • F to A is a major 3rd interval

This makes a D minor chord from the ii note.

  • E to G is a minor 3rd interval
  • G to B is a major 3rd interval

This makes an E minor chord from the iii note.

  • A to C is a minor 3rd interval
  • C to E is a major 3rd interval

This makes an A minor chord from the vi note.

The Diminished Chord – vii

The diminished chord is made from two minor intervals.

  • B to D is a minor 3rd interval
  • D to F is a minor 3rd interval

This makes a B dim(diminished) chord. It is also written B°

The Augmented Chord

The augmented chord is made from two major intervals

This chord actually comes from the minor scales, it is a major chord with a raised 5th

  • C to E is a major 3rd interval
  • E to G♯ is a major 3rd interval

Major Scale with Numbers
Guitar Chord Theory

Below is the major scale written twice. This is where chords get those numbers you see in chord symbols.

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

You will see the numbers 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 13 used with chords

The number 2 and 9 are the same note only an octave apart.

The number 4 and 11 are the same note only an octave apart.

The number 6 and 13 are the same note only an octave apart.

Just add 7 to a lower number or subtract 7 from a higher number

Inverting Chord Tones

Inverting chord tones is simply placing the lower note one octave higher.

All the chords above came from the root note.

These different ways of playing the same chord are called inversions

For the C major chord you have three notes.

There are as many inversions to a chord as there are notes.

The C chord Inversions

  • C-E-G is the root position
  • E-G-C is the 1st inversion
  • G-C-E is the 2nd inversion

The intervals change as the notes are moved

  • C-E-G is a major 3rd + a minor 3rd intervals – root position
  • E-G-C is a minor 3rd interval + a 4th interval – 1st inversion
  • G-C-E is a 4th interval + a major 3rd interval – 2nd inversion

These are not the only way to play these chords. Any combination containing all three notes is a C chord. You can have multiple notes, and will on most major and minor chords.

In other words a 1st position C chord could be C E G C E. Two C’s and two E’s the second C and E are one octave higher then the first one.

I hope you found this page useful.

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