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Chromatic Scales – Every Note

The chromatic scales are probably the easiest scale to remember but not the easiest to play because of moving out of position from the beginning positions.

This is a good scale for finger exercise. This will help you to switch strings smoothly while staying in time. Just practice slow even notes. You don’t want to be able to hear when you switch strings

Sharps and Flats

All the rules of writing music go out the window when it comes time to write chromatic and other symmetrical scales as you can see below

There is no standard an A flat could be written as a G sharp or vice versa. Here is the C chromatic.

There is actually only one chromatic scale you just start on a different note, All the notes are in this scale

C Chromatic Ascending 6th string

c-chromatic-ascending-6th-string-7979580

C Chromatic Ascending 5th string

This is similar to the last one. The same moves. The next one after this is different.

C Chromatic Ascending 4th String Start

The difference happens between the 3rd and 2nd string because these two string are tuned a major 3rd apart instead of a fourth

C Chromatic Ascending 3rd string

With the ascending scale we moved down one fret except between strings 2 and 3. With the descending scale we will move up one fret except for strings 2 and 3

Flash

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Windows Media

For the example up above I combined the first and last scale samples to make a two octave audio

Descending Chromatic Scales

We’ll start backwards from the first section starting on the high E string. The reverse of the last ascending scale.

C Chromatic Descending 1st String Start

C Chromatic Descending 2nd String Start

C Chromatic Descending 3rd String Start

C Chromatic Descending 4th String Start

Flash

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Windows Media

Here’s a sample of how to use this scale. We’ll use a G to C Chord change

I had to leave out a note or two to get it to fit but you got the idea right. Just another tool to make your leads or rhythm guitar more interesting.

Rhythm guitar players use notes and chords listen to how the Rolling Stones guitar players work the rhythm and leads together.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

The hardest part of learning guitar scales is where to start? How many times do I have to play the same scale? Which scales to learn first?

Getting organized is the key to it all

I found a software program that helps you learn any of the major scales, modes and other scales.

It’s amazing how a computer and some software can make learning these scales so much easier than when I learned them. Some I didn’t learn till years later because it was such a pain and if you didn’t use them a lot you would forget them.

If you are willing to take a little time each day and use it you will learn all the scales everywhere on the fretboard

Try it for Free

You can try a free trial version here Guitar Scales Method Trial

Right or Left Handers

It’s simple software with a full length fretboard for right or left handed players

Take your time and follow each step. You’ll learn music basics, chords and much more.

If you apply yourself you will know the guitar neck and scales in a fairly short time

Been Playing for Awhile?

Even if you have been playing awhile you can benefit from this product, you will be surprised how much you don’t know as well as you think you do

I wish this was around when I was learning guitar

Once again here is the link to this software that will save you hours of practice by organizing these scale for you to learn.

Guitar Scales Method Trial

P.S. You are Never done learning guitar, there is always something new to learn. It’s a lifestyle enjoy it

Top of Chromatic Scales

Back to Symmetrical Scales

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The Harmonic Minor 7th Mode – No Special Name

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.

Every dominant 7th chord contains a diminished chord starting on the 3rd note.

G-B-D-F = G7 Chord

B-D-F = B Diminished Triad.

B-D-F-A♭ = G7♭9

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

I hope you found this page useful.

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How to Make Guitar ChordsUsing the Major Scale

Discover how to make guitar chords. These formulas can be used for any major scale. All you need to do is match up the numbers with the notes. Make your own chords.

Not all chords come from the major scale. The minor scales contribute too. You don’t have to remember where they all come from this is just a way of organizing them.

The guitar can be a very versatile instrument when it comes to chords. We can create chords like no other instrument can without getting into electronics.

These formulas come in handy when trying to play a chord in a different place or open tunings.

We will use the major scale as the chord building tool. The notes may match up with a major scale and it may not. We are using it as a tool for making chords and has nothing to do with the scales.

Below is a list with numbers that match up with the C scale. You will see numbers in many chord names.

3 notes have two names 2 and 9, 4 and 11, 6 and 13. These notes are the same only one octave apart. It doesn’t matter which octave you use most of the time.

There is a list of major scales at the bottom of this page that you can use for different chord names. For a D chord type you will follow that line to get your notes.

Some notes may be flatted or sharped from the notes you see just change them accordingly.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

How to Make Major Chords

Major – 1 3 5

add9 – 1 3 5 9

6th – 1 3 5 6

6/9 – 1 3 5 6 9

Ma7 – 1 3 5 7

ma9 – 1 3 5 7 9

ma7/6 – 1 3 5 6 7

ma13 – 1 3 5 7 9 13

How to Make Minor Chords

m – 1 3♭ 5

m add9 – 1 3♭ 5 9

m6 – 1 3♭ 5 6

m9 – 1 3♭ 5 7♭ 9

m6/9 – 1 3♭ 5 6 9

m11 – 1 3♭ 5 7♭ 9 11

m7 – 1 3♭ 5 7♭

m13 – 1 3♭ 5 7♭ 9 11 13

m7/11 – 1 3♭ 5 7♭ 11

mMa7 – 1 3♭ 5 7

m7♭5 – 1 3♭ 5♭ 7♭

m9Ma7 – 1 3♭ 5 7 9

How to Make Augmented 5th Chords

An Augmented chord is a chord with a raised 5th. It is written like Caug or C+. The + sign is also used to indicate another note is to be raised like a E7+9. This chord doesn’t have a raised 5th the 9th is raised. If there is no note after the + you raise the 5th 1/2 tone or one fret.

Any major or dominant chord can have a raised 5th. Minor chords don’t get a raised 5th because it makes them a major chord. If you raised the 5th of Am A C E to A C F it would be an F chord.

How to Make Diminished Chords

A diminished chord is a chord with a lowered 3rd and 5th. It is written like Cdim or C°. This sign doesn’t get used like the + you will only see this on a diminished or diminished 7th chord.

You will notice 2 flats after the 7 in the diminished 7th chord. This is how it’s made. The 7th gets lowered a whole tone. It’s actually a 6th.

How to Make Suspended Chords

sus2 – 1 2 5

sus4/9 – 1 4 5 9

sus2/6 – 1 2 5 6

sus4/6 – 1 4 5 6

sus4 – 1 4 5

sus4/9 – 1 4 5 9

sus4/6 – 1 4 5 6

7sus4/6 – 1 4 5 6 7♭

7sus2 – 1 2 5 7♭

13sus4 – 1 4 5 7♭ 9 13

How to Make Dominant Chords

These chords are built from the 5th note of the major and minor scales. They all have a flatted 7th.

7 – 1 3 5 7♭

9 – 1 3 5 7♭ 9

7/6 – 1 3 5 6 7♭

11 – 1 3 5 7♭ 9 11

7/11 – 1 3 5 7♭ 11

13 – 1 3 5 7♭ 9 13

How to Make Altered Chords

Altered chords are chords that have altered 5, 9th or 11th notes in them. There is one chord where the 13 gets lowered but this is the same as raising the 5th.

The 5th can be raised, lowered or both in the same chord.

The 9th can be raised or lowered. You usually only see one of these changes in this type of altered chord.

The 11th can only be raised. If it was lowered it would be a major 3rd. The raised 11th is the same as a lowered 5th. They are both the same note.

Octaves and Chord Building

In chord construction octaves don’t matter as far as the effect of the note on the chord. An 11 and 4 both give the suspended sound. The same is true of the 2 and 9 and the 6 and 13.

♭5 – 1 3 5♭

7♭9 – 1 3 5 ♭7 ♭9

7♭5 – 1 3 5♭ 7♭

7♯9 – 1 3 5 ♭7 ♯9

7♯5 – 1 3 5♯ 7♭

7+11 – 1 3 5 ♭7 ♯11

7♭5♯5 – 1 3 ♭5 ♯5 7♭

9+11 – 1 3 5 ♭7 9 ♯11

+7♭9 – 1 3 ♯5 ♭7 ♭9

+7♭9 – 1 3 ♯5 ♭7 ♯9

9♭5 – 1 3 ♭5 7♭ 9

9♭13 – 1 3 5 ♭7 9 ♭13

Key and Chord Notes

Guitar Fretboard

If you need to learn the guitar fretboard better to use this info go to my fretboard page below. You can learn where these notes are and there is a link to some very good software for making it easy to learn the guitar notes.

Guitar Fretboard

Thank you for visiting the How to Make Guitar Chords page of our site.

I hope you found this page useful.

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Learning Guitar ScalesA Tough Job?

Learning guitar scales and modes can be very boring making it harder to concentrate and remember, like all those dates in history class I could never remember.

Scales are like baseball fields. Each one is the same but they’re different too. One field the turf might be lumpy making the ball bounce crazy another field it’s easy to hit it over the fence.

Different scales on guitar make a big difference in a song. It can give you more open strings or different fingerings that sound better in one scale than in another scale. Unlike the Piano which is linear and the only thing that changes is the pitch and how far over on the seat you go to reach the notes.

Some scales are harder to use on the guitar than others. The scales with the notes of the open strings in them are more popular.

However if you are going to play with horns like a Sax you need to know your flat keys because this is what they use.

Major Scale First

Learning the major scale first is the way to go.

Learn the C scale first, it’s an easy one no sharps or flats

If you learn the C major scale you will have also learned the following;

C – Major Pentatonic – C D E G A C

A – Minor Pentatonic – A C D E G A

C – Ionian Mode – (Major Scale) – C D E F G A B C

D – Dorian Mode – D E F G A B C D

E – Phrygian Mode – E F G A B C D E

F – Lydian Mode – F G A B C D E F

G – Mixolydian Mode – G A B C D E F G

A – Aeolian Mode – (Natural Minor) – A B C D E F G A

B – Locrian Mode – B C D E F G A B

Two More Scales
Major/Minor Blues Scales

If you add the note E♭ between the D and E of the major pentatonic you will have the C major blues scale

Also if you add the E♭ between the D and E of the minor pentatonic scale you will have the A minor blues scale

Same Scales – Different Root Note
Learning Guitar Scales

Relative Scales

The major and minor pentatonic relative scales have the same notes.

The C major has the same notes as the A minor pentatonic.

The relative minor is a minor 3rd or 3 frets back from the major pentatonic scale.

The relative major is a minor 3rd or 3 frets ahead from the minor pentatonic scale.

It’s the Root

What makes them different is where you start or the root note.

The C pentatonic sounds better if played over the C chord form.

The root note is more powerful than the 6th or A note making your solo want to return to the root tone.

Using the Minor Form for Major Chords

You can use the minor form just don’t use the root to start with use the second note, a minor third ahead.

In other words use the A minor form for a C chord but make the C note home and not the A

Learning Guitar Scales – The Modes

The same is true of all the modes above.

They are the same notes as the C scale but they start on a different note.

These can be used over the chords in the C scale.

Learning guitar scales doesn’t have to be hard

C Major Scale Modes

Ionian Mode – I or any C chord except for dominants

Dorian Mode – ii chord D minor chords

Phrygian Mode – Em chords – limited due to F note

Lydian Mode – IV chord or any F except dominant

Mixolydian Mode – V chord or any G dominant

Aeolian Mode – vi chord or any A minor Chord

Locrian Mode – vii or Bm7♭5 chord – For Jazz Players

Scale Learning Software
Learning Guitar Scales

The hardest part of learning guitar scales is where to start? How many times do I have to play the same scale? Which scales to learn first?

This is a little different than the tetrachord way of learning scales. you might understand this easier.

Organization is the Key

This is a software program that helps you learn all of the major scales, modes and other scales.

It’s amazing how a computer and some software can make learning these scales so much easier than the way I learned them.

Scale and Mode Learning

(Opens New Window)

Small Easy Steps

Learning scales in small visual sections makes learning them easier to remember.

Scales are simple but confusing because the notes are very similar for each scale.

10-20 Minute Practice Sessions

If you are willing to take a little time each day and use this software you will learn all the scales everywhere on the fretboard.

Don’t overdo it, about ten to twenty minutes a day will do.

You will also learn about chords and arpeggios. Arpeggio is a fancy word for a chord played one note at a time

The beginning of Roy Orbison’s song Pretty Woman is an E9th arpeggio mixed up a little bit. The same with the Lennon/McCartney song Day Tripper

Right or Left Handed

It’s simple software with a full length fretboard for right or left handed players

Take your time and follow each step. You’ll learn music basics, chords and much more.

Veteran Guitar Players

Even long time guitar players can benefit from this product, you’ll be surprised how much you don’t know as well as you thought you did.

Learning Scales Method

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Thank you for visiting our Learning Guitar Scales page

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Discover Musical IntervalsMeasure Everything Musical

Understanding musical intervals will make all other music studies much easier to grasp. This is the stuff that will set you apart from other players. You will be able to think creatively for chord and solo ideas.

Intervals are the building blocks of every scale and chord that exists.

Music Intervals – A Set of Steps

I think the best way to understand musical intervals is to picture a set of stairs with 12 steps, each step represents a note in the musical alphabet or a fret on the guitar.

One step equals a semitone or one fret. If you play every note on one string from the open position to the 12th fret you will have played the chromatic scale. See, you learned a scale learning about scale intervals.

Musical Interval Names

Every musical interval has a name so you know what to call it when talking with another musician or reading in a instruction book. This is the ABC’s of the music language.

These intervals are based on the C Note

This information below is vital to understanding scale, chord, melody and harmony structure for any type of music scale or music in general.

  • C to C = Unison = two of the same note
  • C to C♯/D♭ = Minor Second = 1 fret
  • C to D = Major Second = 2 Frets
  • C to D♯/E♭ = Minor Third = 3 frets
  • C to E = Major Third = 4 frets
  • C to F = Perfect 4th = 5 frets
  • C to F♯/G♭ = Diminished 5th = 6 Frets = Tritone
  • C to G = Perfect 5th = 7 frets
  • C to G♯/A♭ = Minor 6th = 8 frets
  • C to A = Major 6th = 9 frets
  • C to A♯/B♭ = Minor 7th = 10 frets
  • C to B = Major 7th = 11 frets
  • C to C = Perfect Octave = 12 frets
  • C to D(1 octave higher) = Major 9th = 14 frets
  • C to F(1 octave higher) = Major 11th = 17 frets
  • C to A(1 octave higher) = Major 13th = 19 frets

Types of Music Intervals

There are five types of intervals

  • Major – 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th
  • Perfect – unison, 4th, 5th and octave
  • Minor – 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th
  • Diminished – 5th and 9th
  • Augmented – 5th, 9th and 11th

Note that the 11th isn’t in the diminished list because the 11th is the same note as the 4th and if you lower the 4th or 11th you have a major 3rd note.

The Major Intervals

The major musical intervals take place at the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th notes

  • C to D is a whole step or 2 frets and is a Major 2nd
  • C to E is 2 whole steps or 4 frets and is a Major 3rd
  • C to A is 4 ½ steps or 9 frets and is a Major 6th
  • C to B is 5 ½ steps or 11 frets and is a Major 7th

Major Interval Audio

I’m going to play the above major intervals as individual notes and together.

The Minor Musical Intervals

A minor interval is ½ step or fret lower than a major interval

Only Major intervals can become minor intervals

  • A minor second is ½ step or 1 fret C to C♯/D♭
  • A minor third is 1 ½ steps or 3 frets C to D♯/E♭
  • The difference between a major and a minor chord is 1 note
  • A minor 6th is 4 steps or 8 frets C to G♯/A♭
  • A minor 7th is 5 steps or 10 frets C to A♯/B♭

Minor Intervals Audio

I’m going to play the minor intervals just like I did for the major ones.

The Perfect Musical Intervals

Perfect musical intervals are called perfect because both notes belong to each others scale or key

In other words C is a note in the F scale and F is a note in the C scale

There are only four of these

  • The Perfect 4th is 2 ½ steps or 5 frets C to F
  • The Perfect 5th is 3 ½ steps or 7 frets C to G
  • The Perfect octave is 6 steps or 12 frets C to C
  • Perfect Unison is 0 steps it’s two of the same note

Perfect Intervals Audio

I’m going to play the first 3 perfect intervals. The last one is two of the same note.

The Diminished Intervals

A diminished interval is ½ step or 1 fret lower than a minor or a perfect interval

Although the diminished minor can be a diminished interval they really don’t get used that much, it’s more for the perfect 5th and 9th intervals

You will note that I said 9th in my last paragraph, that is because to complete the intervals we must go two octaves, see below

We have to get a little into chord building to explain the rest of the intervals

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

Some of these numbers are not used for various reasons

  • The 3 is referred to as major or minor
  • The 8 is referred to as an octave
  • The 10 is a 3rd an octave higher
  • The 12 is a 5th an octave higher
  • The 14 is a 7th an octave higher
  • The 15 is a double octave

Are you catching on to the music math. Seven is the magic number. The 2 and 9 are the same note, the 4 and 11 are the same and the 6 and 13 are the same note.

The Diminished 5th and 9th

The 5th and 9th are really the only ones that get diminished, which means they get lowered by ½ step or one fret. You will also see the word flat or flatted or a minus sign like C7-9. This means to lower your 9th a half step

Diminished 5th and 9th Audio

We’ll do these the same as above

The diminished 5th notes are C to F♯

The diminished 9th notes are C to C♯ – not a pleasant sounding harmony much like the minor 2nd. It gives that out of tune sound

Diminished 5th and 9th intervals

The Augmented Intervals

An augmented interval is ½ step higher or 1 fret than a Major or a Perfect interval

The only ones that really get used here are the 5th, 9th and 11th

You will see a + sign or aug, an augmented 11th note is the same as a flatted fifth, they are the same note. In chords octaves do not matter, the note will have the same effect on the chord.

The difference between an augmented 5th chord and an augmented 11th chord is an 11th chord should contain a 7th and a 9th in it.

Augmented Intervals Audio

The notes for the augmented 5th are C and G♯

The notes for the augmented 9th are C and D♯

The notes for the augmented 11th are C and F♯

How Do I Use Musical Intervals?

Much of this information can be used for building chords, that’s what the 5,9 and 11 stuff is about. It is also used to understand scales. It is hard to explain without going into chord building, so if you are confused try checking out the major scale primer page.

Inverting Musical Intervals

Inverting an interval is simply placing the lower note one octave higher.

In other words if you have a major third interval like C to E and raise the C one octave like E to C you have a minor 6th interval instead of a major third.

Below are lists of how intervals change when inverted.

Hover over question mark for explanation

Perfect Interval Inversion

  • Perfect Unison becomes a perfect octave
  • Perfect 4th becomes a perfect 5th
  • Perfect 5th becomes a perfect 4th
  • Perfect octave becomes a perfect prime(unison)

The perfect intervals remain perfect

Major Interval Inversions

  • Major 2nd becomes a minor 7th
  • Major 3rd becomes a minor 6th
  • Major 6th becomes a minor 7th
  • Major 7th becomes a minor 2nd

The major intervals become minor

Minor Interval Inversions

  • Minor 2nd becomes a major 7th
  • Minor 3rd becomes a major 6th
  • Minor 6th becomes a major 3rd
  • Minor 7th becomes a major 2nd

The minor interval becomes major.

Diminished Interval Inversions

The only practical diminished interval will be the perfect 5th, the 4th would become a major 3rd and the others would only confuse you and me.

A diminished 5th becomes an augmented 4th

Augmented Interval Inversions

The only practical interval will be the perfect 4th, the 5th would become a minor 6th.

Don’t confuse this with the chord names an augmented 5th chord would not be called a C/minor 6th. It would still be C+ or C aug.

Thank You for visiting out Musical Intervals page.

I hope you found this page useful.

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The Dorian Sharp 4 Mode..Minor Chord Improvising Scale

The Dorian sharp 4 mode can be used for any minor triad or a 6th, 7th, 9th or 11th. A very useful mode.

A point to remember about chords. A major 6th is also a minor 7th chord.

An example F-A-C-D is an F6 chord and D-F-A-C is a Dm7.

This means that you can use this scale over an F6 chord too. This will depend on the song and what sound you want.

This theory will work well sometimes not so well other times. When you see an F6 they usually want a F bass note not a D and vice versa.

Experience will tell you when to use it and when not to. Experiment.

Here are a few Dm7 chord forms.

Here is what this dorian sharp 4 mode sounds like played against a Dm7 chord.

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The D Dorian sharp four play against a D minor 7th chord

It’s like a minor pentatonic with one of the blue notes(♯4/♭5) in it.

The Dorian ♯4 Mode List

The Dorian ♯4 Mode Formula

Raise the 4 of the Dorian by one fret.

Here it is based on the major scale.

1-2-♭3-♯4-5-6-♭7

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Melodic Minor Scales

Jazz guitarist’s are familiar with melodic minor scales, but they aren’t limited to just Jazz, explore it’s uses. This scale can be used over a variety of chords including altered forms

To make a melodic minor scale just lower the third of any major scale by one half tone(one Fret). Here is what it sounds like

You may have noticed the use of double sharps. This is necessary so the same note name isn’t used twice in a scale.

If the double sharp F was changed to a G there would be two G’s in the scale making it confusing.

The formula for making the melodic minor is as follows.

Whole Tone-Half Tone-Whole-Tone-Whole Tone-Whole Tone-Whole Tone-Half Tone-Whole Tone

This scale is the same as a major scale except that the 3 note is flatted 1/2 tone.

Melodic Minor Chords

Here is a list of the chords for the melodic minor scales. These chords are much different than the natural minor scale as you can see. I’ll explain them below.

Am

AmMa7

Bm7

CMa7♯5

D7

E7

F♯m7♭5

G♯m7♭5

Dm

DmMa7

Em7

FMa7♯5

G7

A7

Bm7♭5

C♯m7♭5

Gm

GmMa7

Am7

B♭Ma7♯5

C7

D7

Em7♭5

F♯m7♭5

Cm

CmMa7

Dm7

E♭Ma7♯5

F7

G7

Am7♭5

Bm7♭5

Fm

FmMa7

Gm7

A♭Ma7♯5

B♯7

C7

Dm7♭5

Em7♭5

B♭m

B♭mMa7

Cm7

D♭Ma7♯5

E♯7

F7

Gm7♭5

Am7♭5

E♭m

E♭mMa7

Fm7

G♭Ma7♯5

A♯7

B♭7

Cm7♭5

Dm7♭5

D♯m

D♯mMa7

E♯m7

F♯Ma7♯5

G♯7

A♯7

B♯m7♭5

C♯♯m7♭5

G♯m

G♯mMa7

A♯m7

BMa7♯5

C♯7

D♯7

E♯m7♭5

F♯♯m7♭5

C♯m

C♯mMa7

D♯m7

EMa7♯5

F♯7

G♯7

A♯m7♭5

B♯m7♭5

F♯m

F♯mMa7

G♯m7

AMa7♯5

B7

C♯7

D♯m7♭5

E♯m7♭5

Bm

BmMa7

C♯m7

DMa7♯5

E7

F♯7

G♯m7♭5

A♯m7♭5

Em

EmMa7

F♯m7

GMa7♯5

A7

B7

C♯m7♭5

D♯m7♭5

If you are having trouble following any of the chord names and what they mean you can check out these two other pages.

Music Intervals and Reading Guitar Chords.

The first chord from the above list is a minor chord with a major 7th in it.

If you play these three chords in order you will hear a familiar progression used in many songs

The second chord is your standard minor 7th chord, nothing special.

The 3rd chord is a major 7th with a raised 5th. This chord is used sparingly and for a short duration most of the time.

The 4th and 5th chords are dominant 7th’s, very common.

The 6th and 7th chords are chords with alternate names. The Fm7♭5 can also be the A♭m6. The Gm7♭5 can also be the B♭m6

An easy way to remember these is to think of the 3rd of the Fm7♭5 as being the minor 6th. A♭ is the 3rd in this chord. This will work with any m7♭5 chord.

Patterns for Melodic Minor Scales

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

The squares are notes before or after the root, use them after you know how the scale is supposed to sound.


Patterns for Melodic Scales
Left handed

The nut is on the top , the 6th string is in the right


The melodic minor scales can be used to improvise with any of the chord forms shown above.

More on the Melodic Minor Scale

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Discover the Blues ScaleGive Your Solo’s Soul

The blues scale is used in all styles of music from time to time. We hear this scale from players like BB King, Eric Clapton and the many others.

This scale will give you another tool to use on your solo’s. A lot of blues or just a touch, it’s up to you.

Blues scales are just the pentatonic scales with an added note. However that one note changes the whole feeling of a song or lead.

Try this scale along with the pentatonic for more feeling.

The Major and Minor Blues

There are major and minor scales just like there major and minor pentatonic scales. Also the major and minor scale forms are the same.

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 should be used on the I chord

The diamonds are the Blue Notes. This is what’s different from the major pentatonic.

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

Minor Blues Patterns

The R stands for the root of the scale.

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

The diamonds are the Blue Notes. This is what’s different from the major pentatonic.

The minor blue notes are the flatted 5 and 7.

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

The Minor Blues Scale

A Simple 12 Bar Blues in A

Pentatonic Scale

It’s a good idea to go through the Pentatonic course first unless you already know them good. That will make this blues course easier to understand. The scales are very similar.

This is a good course to get the Pentatonics down

Blues Guitar Course

I have a course that I bought a little while ago to check out that really explains how to use the Blues scales.

It’s written by a guitar teacher/working musician Griff Hamlin out in the LA area of California. He’s got a couple U-Tube videos out there too.

It teaches you how to do bends the right way along with other techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs and combining them.

The blues course shows you when to use the major blues or minor blues scale. This makes a big difference than just staying in the minor scale which many people do.

The first part gets you up to speed with written examples and fretboard diagrams of the first form of the Blues scale and then on to bends, pull-offs, hammer-ons and the combination of the last two together

After that you learn the other forms. There is plenty of sound and jam tracks to work with like a Crossroads jam track, good stuff.

Check it out for yourself.

Jam Tracks

After you get your chops down you need somebody to jam with right?

These tracks will get you ready for any blues playing situation or style whether it’s a shuffle or a smooth blues sound like Stormy Monday you will be ready.

The only thing better than jam tracks is jamming with a group because live is better but it’s hard to get other musicians to play so you can practice right?. The tracks help you work out those rough spots we all have before going live.

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Two Chord Progressions

Two chord progressions are very common. The Rolling Stone’s song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a good example of this.

The Beatles “Lady Madonna” and “I’ll Cry Instead” are two more examples.

Two Chord Phrases

Sometimes two chords are used together as a phrase acting like a unit or riff rather than two separate chords.

Here is an example of a I-IV as in a Rhythm and Blues Style.

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C to F rhythm and Blues Shuffle

I to vi Two Chord Progressions

This progression is the first half of the 50’s progression I vi IV V. It’s also used in a back and forth manner for lyrics in a song that match these notes in the chords.

50’s Doo Wop Era

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This can also be used as a base for a songs’ verse before going into the bridge or break.

Here is an example in C.

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C to Aminor or I to vi chord change in C

This is played using these two chords.

Another version of this was made popular in the 50’s by Chuck Berry. That rhythm that he is known for is a I to vi change but played differently.

The roots for this comes from the Blues guitarists from the early 1900’s

Chuck Berry Music

Chuck Berry Song Book

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This way of playing it and variations are used in millions of songs.

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Here are the chords. You only need to move the 4th finger.

The 3rd finger stays on the 4th and 5th string all the time. You may need to practice this a bit to get your 3rd finger laying flat.

You only play the 3 top strings and you can mute them slightly with the heel of your picking hand.

When you add an A or 6th to C or I chord you make a I6 or in this case a C6. A C6 has the same notes as an Am7 or vi7.

Why Play the Whole Chord?

The reason for fingering the whole chord is because you can add other things with this rhythm.

Here is an example of combining this with the rhythm and blues riff above.

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A Combo rhythm of Chuck Berry and Rhythm and Blues

This is just a sample of what you can do with these. You can change them around, add notes, anything that sounds good and fits the music you’re playing.

A Must Know
Two Chord Progressions Rhythm

Here is one riff that you need for rock, blues and country guitar. It’s an offshoot of the above.

It’s a 4th finger stretcher so if you have trouble move the chord up the neck where the frets are closer together and work your way down as you gain some stretch.

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Here are the chord forms for this.

The C6 goes back to the C and you start over again. This can also be done with the F chord form near the top of the page except you play these notes on the 5th string.

You can mute the 6th string the whole time, ignore the 6th string in the F.

More Two Chord Progressions

This is just an extension of the C to C6 guitar chord progressions above.

Here is what it sounds like.

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More Chuck Berry Style in C

Here are the Chords

This one is a little finger stretcher too. Work it down the neck one fret at a time and have fun.

The ii-V Two Chord Progressions

This two chord progression is a good jamming chord progression.

A good song example of this is Santana’s “Evil Ways”. The only other chord is a VI7. This song can also be in the G minor melodic or harmonic scale as long as the Gm and C chords are triads.

Evil Ways mp3

Santana – Evil Ways Sheet Music (Opens New Window)

The chords for this song are Gm to C with a D7 as a quick turnaround chord.

Here is a quick listen.

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A two five progression in F G minor to C

This is just back and forth. You just change quicker on the second one. Later on in the song you accent on the upstroke before going to D7

You might like the D7 in the 10th position better because you can get a nice long slide down to start again with the Gm to C. If you listen to the song you will know what I mean.

Another ii-V guitar chord progression.

Another song that only uses the ii-V progression is “Lowdown” written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich.

This song uses chord extensions a minor 9th for the ii chord and a 13th for the dominant chord.

This song is written in E flat.

You can choose which note to play on the 5th or 6th string of the Fm9 chord. One is the root the other is the 5th. I use the 5th(6th string) in the mp3.

Here’s a little listen

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Two five progression in E flat with embellished chords

The possibilities of two chord progressions is endless. You don’t have to stay in one key. The chords can come from any major or minor scale.

The main thing is do they sound good together.

I’ve found that the closer together the notes are from the first to the second chord the smoother the sound is and the easier to play most of the time.

One More – Two Chord Progressions

One artist that comes to mind for funk is James Brown. I think he was the origin of funk with choppy rhythms.

James Brown Music

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Here is a good progression with a funky blues mood to it

Here are the chords in two positions. The E from the C chord goes to F and the B flat goes to A

This is an easy switch back and forth little progression. Here’s a sample, then you can make up your own rhythm for it

The first chord of the progression puts you in the key of F with a C tonal center, the 2nd chord puts you in the key of B flat

Your tonal center note C acts as home even though you are in the key of F. The F is acting as a IV chord which wants to resolve to I which is really V in the key of F

So even though your are in F it seems like your are in C doesn’t it? So change the B to a B flat in the C scale and you have the C mixolydian scale. Ahh… music theory.

C minor pentatonic and C minor blues scales can be be used too for improvising

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C7 sharp 9 to F7th progression

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How to Read Guitar Tabs

Learning how to read guitar tabs will open up a whole new way to learn songs or guitar leads.There are thousands and thousands of songs on the internet in tab form just waiting for you. A good way to learn finger-picking style too.

Learning Guitar tablature isn’t hard and can also be fun. It’s like reading music but much easier. A lot of sheet music today has both notation and tab. Knowing both is to your advantage.

Tab is easier if you know the song or if it’s a simple exercise in Guitar Player magazine. If you don’t know the song the tab will be more of a challenge especially if your new to it, just take your time and “walk” through it until you “got it.”

Types of Tablature

If you are going to be learning guitar you need to be aware of the different types of tab. There are basically two different types of tablature.

One is for written text like instruction books and song books for guitar.

The other is for online use where the writer has to use the standard characters on the computer keyboard.

I just want to let you know in case you run across some tab and it doesn’t seem right to you. You might be looking at tab for another instrument. Tab can be used for any fretted instrument.

You could be looking at tab for a bass guitar, a 7 string guitar, a banjo or any other fretted instrument. I’ve seen some for Harmonica too.

Tab can also be used to showdifferent guitar tunings other than the standard tuning, it could be in an E or G tuning.

Online guitar tablature also has different ways of being written, there isn’t much in the way of a standard as in staff notation also referred to as music notation.

There may also be other ways that I’m not aware of but most are simple to understand. It is limited because it only uses the keys available on a common computer keyboard and not tablature software.

It’s a quick way for learning guitar tabs you will see around the internet so you should know it

Online Guitar Tablature

Below is a common version of internet tab

On the left side are the names of the open guitar strings. The bottom E is the heavier string and the rest just follow from the bottom up but down on your guitar. Each dashed line is one of your guitar strings, easy.

Above is the C major scale written in tab. This could be one or two measures depending on the type of notes, quarter or eighth notes.

Tablature can be vague but you will learn that it has some other good qualities for guitar players. It’s very useful for finger picking or just picking patterns.

Chords in Tab

Here is how a C chord will look written in this style of tab

Here is a C chord in the 1st position, the x means you do not play it or you mute it with one of your fingers or your picking hand palm. This muting happens a lot for different reasons, here the 6th string ringing out wouldn’t sound good. Try it and see what I mean.

Vertical Measure Bar

Sometimes you will see a bar like I put after the chord above showing the end of one measure and the beginning of another. You don’t always see this and you just have to figure out where the measures are, like I said earlier you are better off if you have heard the music before then it’s easier to follow.

Simple Tablature from Software

Here is a sample of what simple tab looks like from a software program. It doesn’t show any timing in the beginning. This is usually used to show small music samples or licks when the music it was from is known to the reader.

Tab with Rhythm

Below is an example of tab from a software program that shows you the rhythm. The 1st measure is quarter notes and the 2nd one is eighth notes. This has more info for learning guitar tabs that you view, more accurate.

Tablature with Musical Notation

This next example is a very good way for writing music for guitar players. It can give very exact rhythm. This isn’t the rhythm of the song, it is the timing of the notes in the measure, their length of time that they are actually heard. This is a good way to show finger picking styles.

I put the note names to help get you started. You notice this also gives you the tempo ¼ note = 100. This means 100 beats per minute, almost 2 per second, this a pretty average speed.

You also have a chord symbol so if you can’t read music or tab you can at least play the chord. This is a good way to learn music notation, the notes will begin to sink in and you will get to know the different note types like whole, half quarter and on, also it will become automatic where the notes are on the guitar neck.

Tab Symbols

Here are some easy symbols you will run across while learning how to read guitar tabs

The time you spend learning guitar tabs will increase your learning ability ten time over.

h = hammer-on to force your finger down to sound a note

p = pull-off lift a finger with a twist making the note sound out

/ = to slide up to a note

\ = to slide down to a note

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