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Suspended Chords – No Third

Suspended chords are used quite a bit in a lot of different styles of music. What they suspend is the 3rd of the chord.

These chords don’t have a 3rd in them but usually resolve back to the 3rd.

They normally don’t last long before they resolve back to the original chord.

You will recognize this sound in lots of songs once you hear it.

John Lennons’ song Woman uses this in the beginning.

Two Suspended Chord Types

There are two types of these chords. A suspended 2nd and a suspended 4th which is used more often.

Each of these notes is next to the 3rd, one below and one above. The 3rd is the note being suspended or hanging.

You can hear the tension it creates and you can feel it release when the chord is changed back.

There are no major or minor because the 3rd is the note that determines if a chord is a major or minor chord.

If you don’t know how chords are built you should check out the pages below and other basic and beginner pages.

Guitar Chord Theory
Scale Intervals

Suspended 4th Chords

Here is a table showing you the chord numbers.

Chords are built using every other note in a scale

A normal C chord would be made with 1-3-5 or C-E-G in this case from the above scale.

A suspended 4th chord would be made 1-4-5 or C-F-G using the above scale.

You can hear how it wants to return the 1st chord

Here are a couple chord diagrams.

You can hear how it wants to return the 1st chord

It sounds suspended doesn’t it?

Listen and you will hear this in a lot of songs you know

It’s almost like going to the 4 chord but different

Try playing the C to an F and then a C to a C suspended 4th, it’s close but different

Music is full of these little subtle changes that you will learn to recognize the more you play

C major to C suspended 4th

Suspended 2nd Chords

These chords sound a little different because they are resolving up instead of down to the 3rd in a chord.

Here are some chords based on the C scale above.

Here is how this sounds

C major to C suspended 2nd

These chords can have two names but they usually go by the root note of the chord.

The C sus4 chord notes are C-F-G.

The F sus2 chord notes are F-G-C.

They contain the same notes but will usually be called by the lowest or root tone of the chord.

They can get confusing but if you think of them like below they won’t be for most people.

A sus4 chord is equal to a 2nd suspended chord a 4th up.

A sus2nd chord is equal to a 4th suspended chord a 5th down.

Check out the link below if you are confused by the 4th and 5th.

Music Intervals

Both Suspended Chords

Sometimes you will hear both chords used in a song along with a major chord.

Here is a D scale because it’s easier to play so you can get the sound down.

Here are the chords.

The 3rd chord is the same as the 1st. I put this there because that’s how this little progression is played most of the time.

If you listen to it you will here when to change and what chord to change to.

I’ll play it a couple different ways. Some songs should come to mind.

D to D suspended 2nd to D suspended 4th riff

John Lennon’s Happy Christmas and also the beginning of his song Woman are two songs using these suspended chords.

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Lead Guitar Scales

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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 and fifths.

This isn’t a good key for open string chords unless you tune your guitar down one half tone and use the G scale chords.

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

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 Scale PDF

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.

Learn Scales EasierTake it for a Free Ride

Guitar Scales Method

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

I hope you found this page useful.

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Lead Guitar ScalesSecret Scales?….

Lead guitar scales. Are these secret scales known only to the really good guitar players? They are the same old boring major and pentatonic scales.

They use the same scales you see all through this site. The main ones are the major and minor pentatonic scales and the major and minor blues scales.

They also use the major scale but that is where these other scales really came from. The pentatonic scales are actually short versions of the major scale and the Aeolian Mode that comes from the major scale.

How Come “They” Sound So Good?

When you practice scales you probably play the whole scale, this is how everyone is taught scales.

However in a song or lead you never use the whole scale like you practice it because it would sound like a practice lesson.

You have to skip notes, reverse them and anything else you can think of.

The “Real” Reason
“They”Sound so Good

“They Follow the Chord Changes”

You have heard players that don’t change with the chords, you get bored with their playing quickly because there is no change, it’s monotonous.

You have to change with the chords and flow into the chord changes.

Varying your rhythm is another way to enhance your guitar leads.

Chord Tones

You must know all the notes in the chords. Any of these notes can be used in your lead. You will find that many of the chords you change to share a note or two. After a little practice of memorizing the notes in chords it will become 2nd nature

If you had a C9 chord you would have C-D-E-G-B♭ chord tones. The major blues C-D-E♭-E-G-A, minor blues C-E♭-F-G♭-G-B♭.

You have to be careful with how you play the A note(keep it short) because of the B♭. It will clash and sound bad.

Check out the chord pages to see how chords are made. This will help you to remember the notes in them.

Guitar Chord Theory

Open Strings

Just because you are playing up the neck doesn’t mean you can’t use open strings. If an open string is in the chord or scale you can use it. This also gives you a little extra time for shifting to another position.

All the open strings E-A-D-G-B-E are in many major keys like C, D, A, G. Other major scales will have one or more open notes you can use.

Other Scales

There are also other scales and modes. Modes are scales within a scale starting on each of the different notes of the main scale.

The Dorian mode comes from the 2nd note of the major scale. This is a popular minor scale used in many songs. In the key of C the notes would be D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D

Have you ever listened to Al DiMeola? He likes the Harmonic minor scale in A it would be A-B-C-D-E-F-G♯-A. That F to G♭ give it a distinct sound. He also uses the Gypsy minor scales A-B♭-C♯-D-E-F-G or A-B♭-C♯-D-E-F-G♯

Check out the scales section of the site to learn more.

Guitar Chord Theory

And here is a software product that helps learning scales easier to do.

Different Tunings

A lot of guitarist’s use open tunings for guitar. This is good for fingerpicking and slide guitar. George Thorogood uses open tunings on many songs.

Check out my page on tunings below.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Transcibe Software

This is software that helps you learn a song from a recording. You can slow it down and still keep the original pitch and you can change keys too. You can also do loops for a tough section to repeat it.

You should already know some chords and songs before trying this software, but it does have a free trial period and it’s a small download. Check it out.

Transcribe! for Windows, Mac or Linux

Thank You for Reading Our Lead Guitar Scales Page

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Guitar Tuning Should beFirst on your Learning List

There is nothing in the world of guitar playing more important than guitar tuning. You can be a great guitar player but if you play for people out of tune they will leave. Listeners can take a mistake or two but do not play out of tune.

Tuning to the World

If you use a standard tuning method you will be in tune with the rest of the world. A 440 hertz A note is the same all over the world.

The important thing is you will be able to train your ears better if you are constantly in tune. An A note will always be 440 on the money not below or above. You will learn to recognize the notes easier.

Sometimes it not possible to be perfectly in tune like playing along with an out of tune piano or older keyboard of some type but try as much as possible to stay in tune.

Tuning Two Guitars

If you are going to play with another guitar player getting in tune with each other is even more important. If one of the guitars has a string out of tune it will stand out much more than if you were playing alone.

This is because you will probably both be playing the same notes at the same time at some point during a song. This can also cause very long useless arguments about which of you is out of tune. Have you been there?

Concert Pitch

This is the official name for being in tune with the rest of the world. The important thing about being in tune all the time is more about training your ears than being in tune.

This is very important. Training your ears is essential. Universities that offer music as a major have ear training the entire length of their courses. If you just randomly tune to play you will have a harder time training your ears to hear pitches correctly.

Check out the page below to tune up and learn about the different tuners. Some come with metronomes too which is a useful tool.

Guitar Tuner

How to Tune a Guitar

What you need to tune is one note that you know is accurate, a tuning fork will do but not as accurate because of temperature and humidity changes, but it doesn’t need batteries.

A guitar tuner will most likely be the best choice especially if you are just starting to play. A song that you know with a long note in it will do in a pinch.

Breaking a few strings in the beginning is normal, especially the first and second string on a light set of strings. Experience is the solution, remember what you did wrong and try not to do it again. This train of thought will help your guitar playing as well as tuning.

Intonation – Guitar Tuning

What makes guitar tuning a pain is that the guitar neck layout is not perfect, it varies in accuracy depending on where you play the notes. This is the nature of the guitar.

You may find your guitar in tune in the first position but not in the upper positions. This is usually intonation. The positioning of the bridge and the fret lay out.

This will not prevent you from getting started playing. Again experience will help you. Don’t get hung up because you can’t get your guitar in tune perfectly. Harmonics can also play tricks with your ears.

Guitar Tuning – Do’s and Don’ts

Do

Do have good strings on your guitar

Do press straight down on string with finger tip

Do use a good source for your tuning notes

Do turn your tone knob down – No treble

Do pick your string near center – away from bridge

Do make sure you are in tune every time you play or practice

Don’t tune with any effects boxes or reverb turned on

Don’t pull or push your finger on the string when tuning

Don’t have any other noise if possible

Here is a link where I buy guitar accessories, they’re quick delivery and have good prices.

Guitar Tuners

One Note Guitar Tuning

I have a metronome with a tuner in it. It only gives an A note which I like better than trying to tune 6 different strings to 6 different notes.

Tuning a Guitar – Give Me an A

Personally I like to tune from one note that is true like from a tuning fork, guitar tuner or a song with a good long note that you know. To me this is much easier than trying to tune six different strings to six different notes. Especially if you are just starting out.

Tune your open fifth string to this A note.
I usually use the harmonic on the 12th fret, 5th string.

Tune the 6th string by playing the E on the 7th fret of the 5th string

Tune the 4th string to the D note on the 5th fret of the 5th string

Tune the 3rd string. Play a G on the 10th fret 5th string or 5th fret, 4th string

Tune the 2nd string by playing a B on the 2nd fret, 5th string.
This will be one octave below but you will hear it match up.

Tune the 1st string by playing an E on the 7th fret 5th string.
This will be similar to the last string

Tuning this way will help prevent you tuning from an out of tune string. Every string is tuned from the fifth string.

My metronome has an A note to tune with so this is why I use it but the A 440 hertz seems to the common tone for tuning many instruments not just guitar.

Guitar Tuning – Standard Way

Tune your fifth string from the A note

Tune your sixth string from the E (7th fret) on the fifth string

Tune your fourth string from the D (5th fret) fifth string

Tune your third string from the G (5th fret) fourth string

Tune your second string from the B (4th fret) third string

Tune your first string from the E (5th fret) second string

This way of tuning has been around for as long as I can remember.

Either Way Works

Try both ways and see which way you like better. There is no right or wrong way to tune your guitar no matter what you may read. They are basically opinions.

The bottom line is are you in tune? That is all that matters

Experiment and try other ways of tuning once you know the guitar neck.

A Note About Tunings

P.S. This is not the only tuning for guitar. This is the standard way of tuning that the majority of people use. There are many other tunings used by various artists. E, D, dropped D, and G are just a few I will show you later on another page.

I told you the guitar was very versatile!

Alternate Tunings

I hope you found this page useful.

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This is our page where you can contact us, ask questions about articles or anything else on our site.

We are interested in your comments and opinions. Please let us know what is on your mind. What music your into, type of guitar you have or anything related to guitar and music.

The more information you can give us the better we can answer you. Your age and how long you have been playing can be important in answering your questions.

Don’t be afraid to contact us. We won’t sell or give your e-mail address or personal information away to anyone or hound you with tons of e-mail.

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Pentatonic Guitar Scales

The pentatonic guitar scales are the basics for anyone interested in playing lead guitar or just plain jamming with a friend.

These scales are really only shortened major and minor scales. These notes are the most often used in melodies and improvising. They leave out two notes from the major scale and the natural minor scale which is in the major scale.

They are also the Blues scale minus one note. The Blues scale can be combined with the Pentatonic scales for improvising.

A little theory, every major and minor chords are used in three different major scales. Any major chord can be the I, IV or V and any minor chord can be the ii, iii or vi of any major scale.

The upper case Roman numerals are for major chords and the lower case are for the minor chords.

This is important because the pentatonic scales are used to improvise over these basic chords.

Major Scales – Major Pentatonic Scales

The C chord is in the C, F and G scales.

The major Pentatonic C scale is C D E G A. Below are the major scales that the C chord is in.

See how the C major pentatonic guitar scales can be used to improvise over any C chord no matter what key you are in. It misses the B♭ and the F♯.

The B♭ would give a dominant 7th sound and the F♯ would give a flatted 5th sound neither of which would fit with the C major except in a Jazz-Blues fusion.

Patterns for the Major Pentatonic Scale

Natural Minor Scales
Minor Pentatonic Scales

The Am chord is in the C, F and G scales.

The Pentatonic A minor scale is A C D E G. Below are the natural minor scales that the C chord is in.

The A minor pentatonic also misses the B♭ and the F♯. Meaning that you can use the A minor pentatonic scale on any A minor chord no matter what key you are in.

Scale patterns for the Minor Pentatonic.

Pentatonic Guitar Scales
Safe Scales

I call the pentatonic scales safe scales because of the notes that are left out from the major scale.

These scales can be used to improvise on any major or minor chord despite what key you are in. No wonder they’re so popular.

The major C penta scale contains the triad notes C E G and the 6 and 9, A and D which can be added to any major triad.

In the minor penta the scale contains the minor triad A C E and the 4 and 7, D and G. In this case the 4 or D is used as a passing tone, in other words don’t use it as a “home” note.

Major and Minor Have the Same Notes

The C major pentatonic and the A minor pentatonic have the same notes. The difference is how you play them. On a C chord your home note is C and with the A minor the A is the home note.

This is similar to the major scale where the A minor natural minor scale is the same as the C major scale. It just starts on a different note.

Pentatonic Guitar Scales-Improvising

What you can do with these scales is change scales as the chords in a song change. This will let you play with the changes instead of playing over them by staying with the pattern for the first chord in a song, that gets boring.

Use passing tones as you change your scale. You can use notes that are in between your chords as you change from one to the other.

If you are playing an A minor chord and it’s changing to a G play a G♯ right before the G change or use E♭ before the change to lead into the next chord. This will make your playing sound more professional.

Always be aware of the chord changes so you can tailor your playing to them. Start your lick on the up-beat instead of on the one down beat, be unpredictable but tasteful. This is easier said than done and will take some practice but this is just part of the journey, enjoy it.

Pentatonic/Blues Scales
Learn Them Faster

Pentatonic Scales

There is a very good product to make learning and how to use pentatonic guitar scales much easier

It has a day by day practice guide for 150 days. You should be pretty good by then

It also has over 270 example licks written in notation and tab with audio so you know your’re playing it right.

You also get detailed instruction on bending and playing hammer ons and pull offs in time with the music and not just random

You will learn how to use the scales not just learn the scale plus lots more on creating ideas for your leads and playing with the chords and not over them

You can also use this course along with your teacher if you are taking guitar lessons.

There is One Catch – You Have to Practice – No Two Ways About It

This is a good course to use and get your basics down before going on to the blues course.

Pentatonic Power

(Opens New Window)

Blues Guitar

This course has text,audio and video to aid your learning

It tells you how and when to use the major and minor blues scales.

It’s pretty straight forward all you have to do is apply yourself and get the patterns embedded into your brain. Learn and practice little bit every day. This approach works good.

Check out my page on how to practice to make the most of practice time.

It’s written by guitar teacher/performer, Griff Hamlin from southern California. You probably have seen him in Videos around the web. Good guitarist, likes the Stratocaster.

Playing Through the Blues

(Opens New Window)

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4 Chord Progressions

There are quite a few well know 4 chord progressions. The first one uses 3 chords in the progression but it goes back to the second chord after the 3rd chord. This is a common 4 chord progression.

There are others from the fifties and sixties that you will recognize. These are still used today but disquised a little better.

Let’s check out some four chord song progressions that use three chords. These chords are usually the I, IV and V chords of the major scale.

I-IV-V-IV Chord Progression

The first song that I remember this in was “Hang on Sloopy” by “The McCoys” or “Louie Louie” by “The Kingsmen”

Hang on Sloopy
Hang on Sloopy – Sheet Music (Opens New Window)

Here are the basic chords in G

Here’s a quick listen.

Hang on Sloopy Progression in G

Another song that comes to mind is The Young Rascals song “Good Lovin”

This was played in D and had a different rhythm.

Let’s move on to some 50’s 4 chord progressions that are still used. Chord progressions don’t go away they just get disquised so they don’t sound the same in every song.

I-vi-IV-V
4 chord progressions

This four chord progression and some variations have been used for thousands of songs.“Oh Donna” by Richey Valens was a popular one.

Here are the chords for the key of G

Oh Donna progression in G

This 4 chord progression was the king of the Doo Wop era. They didn’t try to disguise it back then. Actually they emphasized it.

50’s Doo Wop Music – mp3
50’s Pop Music (Opens New Window)

I-vi-IV-V Variation

One variation of this progression is to replace the IV chord with a iim7 Chord.

D-Bm-Em7-A would replace D-Bm-G-A. Changing the G to an E minor takes away that Doo Woop era baseline and follows the cycle of fourths. It’s smoother.

The “Beatles” song “This Boy” also called “Ringo’s Theme” is a good example of this progression.

The Beatles songs aren’t available in mp3 format but here is a link to their CD’s and a sheet music link for this song

Meet the Beatles Album
The Beatles – Sheet Music (Opens New Window)

You may not hear much of a difference right now but as your musical ear develops you will. There is really only one note difference.

Chord Progression for Beatles This Boy

About the Examples

All of these examples are played without any guitar effects like reverb or anything else.

I know they sound a little crude but I want you to listen to the chords or notes in the examples not a fancy guitar sound, that’s for later.

Ear Training

You must train your ears to listen to music closely. Ear training is essential for playing music. This will help you in all your learning and playing.

A good way to train your ears is to listen to a song and concentrate on one instrument, like listen to the bass player. This is good for hearing chord changes. The bass player is usually but not always hitting the root note in a chord change.

Two Keys Progression

This progression comes from two related keys a minor key and its tonic major. A minor(natural) and A major if the E chord is a 7th.

It could also come from the A minor natural and the A minor harmonic minor or melodic minor.

One song that used this was an instrumental called “Walk Don’t Run” written and recorded by Johnny Smith in 1955.

The song didn’t really go anywhere until The Ventures an instrumental group from the United States west coast recorded it in the early sixties. This is where the surfing music got its start.

Here is a link for a download of the Ventures version and a sheet music link

This guitar sounds great coming out of a tube amp. The Fender guitars and amps were the Ventures sound. Back then you had Reverb and Tremelo built into the amps and maybe a Tremelo Bar for your guitar. That was it. I think the Fuzz-box came next and then an explosion of guitar effects.

Walk don’t Run Progression in A minor

When playing this 4 chord progression you only need to play the top 3 strings and you have to mute them slightly with the heel of your picking hand to get the right tone.

This stops the chords from sounding into each other which in this case you don’t want.

Enjoy Your Musical Journey

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Guitar Tuning Open G

Music Gift Ideas Page or Music Gift Ideas List

Discover the guitar tuning open G. This is a popular tuning it has a Banjo like sound if played with the right tone settings. It’s a good slide Blues tuning.

This tuning gets a lot of use in the traditional bottleneck style of slide guitar.

This tuning is based on the barre chord on the left except it will be one octave lower.

Two Open G Tunings

There are two different tunings for the open G. One is high and one is low. The difference is in the 6th and 5th strings

How to Tune Low G Tuning
Guitar Tuning Open G

Here are the tuning notes in case you can’t see the letters on the diagram.

  • E string(heavy) = D = 5th
  • A string = G = Root
  • D string = D = 5th
  • G string = G = Root
  • B string = B = 3rd
  • E string = D = Root

Tuning to Low Open G

The 4, 3 and 2 strings stay tuned as standard pitch. These 3 strings are a G chord in standard tuning.

The easiest way to tune to this is have your guitar tuned to the standard tuning first.

Next tune the top E string to the open 4th string. You will hear it match up the octave as you tune down

Then tune the 1st string to the 4th only one octave higher. You will hear it blend as you tune down.

Last tune the 5th string to the 3rd string. Another octave deal. Then start playing.

Once you get used to hearing the octaves match up tuning is easy.

Open Low G Tuning Listen

Here is what it sounds like. I played the open chord and a 1st position C chord so you can hear the tuning.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

Open Position Chords – Low G Tuning

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D Sharp Minor Melodic Scale

Discover the D sharp minor melodic scale. This scale is related to the E flat and G flat major scales. The E flat scale is the Tonic minor and the G flat scale is the Relative minor.

Learn Scales EasierTake it for a Free Ride

Guitar Scales Method

E♭ Major

E♭ F G A♭

B♭ C D E♭

E♭ Melodic

E♭ F G♭ A♭

B♭ C D E♭

D♯ Minor Melodic Chords

Notes

D♯

E♯

F♯

G♯

A♯

B♯

C♯♯

Triads

D♯m

E♯m

F♯aug

G♯

A♯

B♯dim

C♯♯dim

4 Note

D♯mMa7

E♯m7

F♯+Ma7

G♯7

A♯7

B♯m7♭5

C♯♯m7♭5

D Sharp Minor Melodic Chord Diagrams

Four Part Chords

D Sharp Minor Melodic Key signature

This is how the key signature looks in the key of D sharp melodic or F sharp major.

The C note is a double sharp, actually a D. I do this because you aren’t supposed to use the same note twice in a scale.

Minor Key

Sharps

Key Signature

Rel Major

D♯

D♯, E♯, F♯, G♯

F♯

I hope you found this page useful.

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