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Learn How a Metronome canIncrease Speed and Accuracy

The metronome is the most important guitar accessory you can buy besides a tuner. It should be purchased before you spend your money on a stomp box or some other sound altering device.

It’s not just for beginners. You will run across problems with timing in many songs. The song may be slightly off but it sounded good and got recorded as it was. Sometimes in music an odd unit of time will be added to a song.

The Beatles did this on a few of their songs on the White Album.

Music is all about Timing

This guitar learning tool can make you play more accurately and faster in a shorter amount of time. It can be used for single notes or chords or a combination. It will tighten up your timing for 16th notes or triplets or anything else you play.

You might think that taping your foot is accurate enough but you will be surprised how easy it is to get out of time. What can cause this is your attention might be on chord changes or you might get caught up in the emotion of the song or progression.

How to Use Metronomes

Metronomes are great for helping to get your timing down on quick or odd chord changes. Sometimes you get an extra measure of 2 beats in a 4 beat song, that the writer needed to make the lyrics work. This will throw you out of time.

Start Slow – 60 – Beats Per Minute
One Beat a Second

The best way is to start out is with the metronome at 60 beats per minute. You should do single notes for a few minutes and then chords for a few minutes.

This is mostly for a beginner guitarist you can adjust the speed if you have been playing for awhile but never used a metronome before.

Whole Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM

Play the C scale letting each note last for 4 beats-whole note

Repeat until you can stay in time before increasing speed

These notes are counted 1 2 3 4 playing the note once and letting it ring for 4 beats. These notes are worth 4 beats

Here is a C scale in whole notes with tab we’ll use for the example.

The C scale in whole notes

That last note was off a hair did you hear it? Early or Late? Listen for the accent on the metronome for the 1st beat

Half Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play each note letting it last for 2 beats

Practice until perfect before speeding up

Half notes are counted 1 2 play the note once and let the note ring for two beats same with 3 4. These notes are worth 2 beats

Here is a C scale in half notes with tab we’ll use for this one.

The C scale in half notes

The next to last note was off time did you hear it. Don’t play yours off time.

Quarter Notes

Set for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play each note once for every beat

Practice until perfect. The note are getting shorter

Here is a C scale in quarter notes with tab we’ll use for this one.

This one goes up and back down. The notes don’t have as much room in between them

These notes are counted 1 2 3 4. They are worth one beat.

C scale ascending and descending in quarter notes

Eighth Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play two notes once for every beat

Practice until perfect. The note are getting shorter

These notes are counted 1 & – 2 & – 3 & – 4 & . They are equal to one half of one beat

C scale ascending and descending in eighth notes

Sixteenth Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 40 BPM

Play the C scale notes in a group of 4 per beat

Practice these until you can stay in time

These notes are fast in a normal tempo song. This is why I started at 40 BPM for this one

These notes are counted 1 e & a – 2 e & a – 3 e & a – 4 e & a. The & is the same & in the eighth notes. Four of these notes are equal to one quarter of a beat

Just like in fractions 4/16 equals 1/4.

C scale in sixteenth notes

So far what we have done is divide the note value from the one before. The halve note is half of a whole note, the quarter is worth halve of the half note and so on.

This continues on to 32nd notes and 64th notes which in a fast song is like a humming birds wings, we’ll stop at the 16th notes for now.

Triplets

Triplets are three notes played in the same amount of two notes of the same value.

Eighth note are the usual but they can be any value note.

The song Good Times Bad Time by Led Zepplin has some good examples of triplets.

But before you start playing like that you have to learn the basics

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play three notes for every beat

Practice until you have it perfect before speeding up.

I learned to count triplets as 1-trip-let, 2-trip-let and so on but I like the 1-e-& method better because the & is the actual eighth note.

We are just putting a note between two eighth notes but playing them in same time as two eighth note.

There is no other time symbol for triplets other than the bar across the top with the 3.

This is more of a feel hing than it is a counting thing. Just pay attention to the down beats and make your note fit in between.

That is what gives these groups of notes their triplet feel. This feel is also similar to a Blues shuffle or 12/8 time.

This is a good exercise for practicing a scale to take the boredom out of it. As long as you learn the scale and play it in time it doesn’t matter how you learn it.

Go right from the top image don’t pause. I had to separate them so you could read them on the page.

The C scale ascending and descending in triplets

Swing Eighths

If you leave the middle note out of a triplet you will get Swing or blues eighth notes or close to it. This is the way you should play eighth notes in blues and swing tunes.

It’s a slighly delayed 2nd eight note. A kind of layed back style of playing.

We’ll use the A minor pentatonic scale for this example

The way I wrote the swing eighths isn’t exactly how they’re played but it’s close. They don’t have a way of writing them out without getting into 16th notes and rests making the music complicated so they just write swing eighths in the beginning of the song.

I’ll play regular eighths first then the swing 8ths.

Regular and swing eighths

Metronomes

Here is a link to where I buy most of my guitar strings and other things.

You don’t need an expensive one. I think I paid about 30-35 dollars for a Korg MA-30 about 5 years ago.

Correct that same mistake you keep making over and over by working your speed up to the song tempo.

Practicing with a metronome will get you playing better faster.

All types of Metronomes

(Opens New Window)

I hope you found this page useful.

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Harmonic Minor 7th Mode for…Diminished and Dominant 7th

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The harmonic minor 7th mode can also be used for diminished 7th and dominant 7th chords by starting ½ tone above the root.

This scale will work for a G♯ diminished chord or a G7 chord giving it a ♭9 sound.

The A minor harmonic mode played against a G sharp diminished chord

I only played mode notes so you can here its character. The diminished 7th can be used in blues and rock as well as Jazz and beyond.

The Harmonic 7th Mode List

The D♯ and E♭ are the same scale just written different. This is where I switched from flat to sharp keys in the list.

The Harmonic 7th Mode Formula

This mode doesn’t have a related mode name that I know of.

Here is the mode built from a major scale formula

1-♭2-♭3-♭-4♭5-♭6-7

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Guitar Power Chords…Essential Rock Chords

These two note guitar power chords are the basics for too many to count popular rock songs. These chords are just as important to rock music as altered chords are to Jazz musicians.

The fact that there is no 3rd in this rock chord lets us use both major and minor scales for improvising without concern about major or minor.

Power Chord Structure

A power chord which is written with a 5 after the letter of the chord, like E5, G5 or C5.

All power chords are either a major or minor chords with the 3rd removed. This makes the chord usable for major or minor lead work or improvising giving many more scales to pull leads from.

Although there are only two notes to a guitar power chord when you double them up with octaves they can be very powerful. I guess this is how they got their name.

Chord Structure.

Power Chord Scales

You can use the major and minor Pentatonics scales, the Blues major and minor scales, the Dorian, Mixolydian and Aeolian plus the Major scale. You can also experiment with the Harmonic and Melodic minor scales.

The root of the home chord will be your scale choice most of the time. If you are playing to an A5 chord use the A scale of any of the above scales, you can also experiment using the relative minor or major scale of that chord even though it has no 3rd. For A use an F sharp scale or a C scale or mode. Experiment.

Power Chord Amp Settings

Most power chords need to be played loud and have a good balance of tone. Some good bottom with higher toned harmonics coming through.

If you use power chords on your first three strings you may have to try different tone settings to get the sound you want or heavier strings.

That is unless you want a more treble sound which might work out good when the bass guitar provides the bottom for you.

The variations of sounds are only limited by your imagination.

Power Chord Diagrams

C Chord Forms

The 1st chords root is on the 5th and 3rd strings

The second chords root is on the 6th and 4th strings

The third chords root is on the 6th and 1st

The last chord above is best played like a regular barre chord but let your middle or 4th finger touch the 3rd and 4th string lightly to mute them.

A Chord Forms

The 1st chords root is on the 5th and 3rd strings

The second chords root is on the 6th and 4th strings

The third chords root is on the 3rd and 1st

G Chord Forms

The 1st chords root is on the 6th and 4th strings

The second chords root is on the 6th, 3rd and 1st strings

The third chords root is on the 5th and 3rd strings

E Chord Forms

The 1st chords root is on the 6th and 4th strings

The second chords root is on the 6th, 5th and 3rd strings

The third chords root is on the 4th and 2nd strings

D Chord Forms

The 1st chords root is on the 5th and 3rd strings

The second chords root is on the 4th and 2nd strings

The third chords root is on the 6th and 4th strings

There are many more guitar power chords but these are the easiest to play. You can play any major or minor chord and mute the 3rd in the chord like C E G , the C chord mute the E note.

Experiment with some different forms. Here is one that you probably know and all you have to do is lift your second finger so the 3rd string doesn’t make any sound.

This combines upper and lower strings. You don’t have to play all the strings. Go for the sound you want.

Thank You for Visiting our Guitar Power Chords page.

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Basic Guitar Chords… You Need to Play Most Songs

Learning a few basic guitar chords will start you off playing dozens of songs right off the bat. There are a handful of basic chords that will let you play most songs.

Barre Chords – Basic Guitar Chords

These are beginner guitar chords where your first finger replaces the nut at the top of the guitar neck. This makes it a movable chord that you can play all the way up the guitar neck.

These chords can be tough in the beginning but if you keep at it will come. Lighter gauge strings will help until you can play them.

Make sure you get good clean clear notes from all the strings.

Also try playing these up the neck near the 10th fret. The strings have more give there, then work your way down 1 fret at a time making sure you you have good sounding chords. Don’t use any magic boxes, reverb or distortion while practicing these chords.

These chords are just 1st position chords fingered different so they can be moved up the neck.

One thing to watch out for is extra tension in your hand and arm when you try these different chord forms.
Try to stay as relaxed as you can. This will make playing these chords easier.

The C-A-G-E-D System

The Cagedsystem is a way of looking at these 1st position major guitar chords and making them movable. Each letter stands for a 1st position chord form.

This will help you understand the different basic chord forms and get more familiar with the guitar neck.

The C Chord

Here is the 1st position and the movable form. It may take a little practice to get the movable chord form sounding clear. Start up the neck and work your way down making sure all notes ring out clear.

The root for this chord is on the 5th and 2nd string. You just have to change your fingering so the 4th finger is on the 5th string and the 1st finger acts as the nut.

You should place your 1st finger so is just touches the 6th string to dampen it. You don’t want the 6th string ringing out on this chord.

The 6th string should only be blocked if you are playing the whole chord.

If you are playing alternating bass notes finger the chord so it rings out.

You will control how long it rings with your fretting hand by releasing pressure or by touching it with your picking hand.

This is also true if you are using this form for fingerpicking.

The A Chord

The root for these basic guitar chords is on the 5th and 3rd string. As with the above chord dampen the 6th string to keep it quiet

The G Chord

This chord requires a long stretch, you should practice this one up the neck where the frets are closer together.

The root is on the 6th, 3rd and 1st string. Most of the time the 1st string note is left out making it easier to finger like the third chord form.

The E Chord

This is the most used major chord form. It contains 3 root notes, two 5th’s and one 3rd on the 3rd string.

The root is on the 6th, 4th and 1st string. You don’t want to block the 6th string here. Keeping your thumb in the middle of the neck makes these chords easier to play.

The D Chord

This chord has a good stretch to it. This is another chord you should start to practice up the neck 1st and work your way down one fret at a time.

The root is on the 4th and 2nd string. This form is a little tough to get clear notes from constantly but it has a nice sound

Practice these chords up and down the neck. The most important thing is good clear notes, don’t worry about speed that will come with accuracy.

The Minor Barre Chords – Basic Guitar Chords

As with the major chords there are also minor chords from the open position that can be made movable.

The C minor Chord

This basic minor chord will be harder to finger for beginners so start up the neck and get used to it and then work your way down the neck. This one gives the muscles between the ring and little finger a stretching workout.

The root for this chord is on the 5th and second string, the 5th string is played with the 4th finger which you will have to stretch out to get, just keep at it and it will come.

This chord is good for a drop progession. Lower the bass note one fret at a time and listen. This progression is used in a lot of songs.

The A Minor Chord

This is a popular form and a little easier to play.

The root for this chord is on the 5th and 3rd strings

The G Minor Chord

This basic chord form is very hard to finger and doesn’t get used as an everyday chord but is good know for lead work. Start this up the neck as far as you can reach on your guitar. This is a muscle builder but don’t over do it, a little each day is best.

The root for this chord is on the 6th and 1st strings.

This is actually two triad forms put together. If you want more info on triads or basic chord building check this page out.

The E Minor Chord

This is the easiest of the basic guitar chords barre chords to play. This is the E major form with the 3rd lowered one fret.

The root for this chord is on the 6th, 4th and 1st strings. Only one note different than the major chord on the 3rd string.

The D Minor Chord

This is a good 1st position chord

This is also a hard to grab chord in a fast song, take your time and get clear notes.

Try practicing this on the first three strings with the 2, 3 and 4 fingers before laying the 1st finger down, relax your muscles.