Monday, November 30, 2009

The Difference Between Guitar Thirds and Sixths

Playing a major scale in thirds is often confused with sixths on guitar. This is because thirds are often inverted on the fretboard with the third in the lower, or bass, position and the root on top. When this occurs the interval appears to be a sixth because you're looking at it backward.

The guitar tab below illustrates a G major scale played along the string 2 (B) with third intervals following over on string 1 (E). Shapes like this are used in songs such as "Heaven" (intro) by Los Lonely Boys, "Wanted Dead or Alive" (intro) by Bon Jovi, and "Tequila Sunrise" (solo) by The Eagles.

E----7---8-----10-----12-----14-----15-----17-----19--|
B----8---10----12-----13-----15-----17-----19-----20--|
G-----------------------------------------------------|
D-----------------------------------------------------|
A-----------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|

In the tabs below, the thirds from string 1 (E) have been transposed down an octave and placed on string 3 (G). But if you mistakenly view the notes along string 3 as the roots, then the notes along string 2 appear to be a sixth away. In actuality, these notes are still thirds. The shapes have just been inverted. Shapes like these are used in songs such as "Your Body is a Wonderland" (solo) by John Mayer, "Peace Train" (intro) by Cat Stevens and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" (verse) by Bryan Adams.

E-----------------------------------------------------|
B----8---10----12-----13-----15-----17-----19-----20--|
G-----------------------------------------------------|
D----9---10----12-----14-----16-----17-----19-----21--|
A-----------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|

In this final guitar tab example you can see the same notes with the roots on string 1 (E) and the thirds on string 3 (G). Shapes like this are used in songs such as "Brown Eyed Girl" (verse) by Van Morrison, "Patience" (intro) by Guns and Roses and "Finish What You Started" (solo) by Van Halen.

E----3----5-----7-----8-----10-----12-----14-----15---|
B-----------------------------------------------------|
G----4----5-----7-----9-----11-----12-----14-----16---|
D-----------------------------------------------------|
A-----------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|

So you can see that 3rds on the guitar can take on many different forms. Some of the inverted shapes above are mistakenly referred to as 6ths because guitar players are looking at the wrong note and calling it the root. Using interval shapes for guitar is covered in Fretboard Theory Chapter 9: Intervals.


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Mr. Desi Serna
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Choicest Bounties of Heaven




"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!" -ABRAHAM LINCOLN


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Mr. Desi Serna
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Serenade Steve Miller Guitar Tabs G Major 7 Chord

The song "Serenade" by Steve Miller Band is a great example of using a major 7 guitar chord. You can hear a G major seven played in the open position at 0:53 in the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPsdlso6-X8


The chords to this section, which begins at 0:51 are G, Gmaj7 and Am. These chords are notated for guitar in the tab below.

E----3----2----0--------------------------------------|
B----0----0----1--------------------------------------|
G----0----0----2--------------------------------------|
D----0----0----2--------------------------------------|
A----2----x----0--------------------------------------|
E----3----3-------------------------------------------|


The verses to this song use the chords Am, F and G as notated in the tabs below.

E----0----1----3--------------------------------------|
B----1----1----0--------------------------------------|
G----2----2----0--------------------------------------|
D----2----3----0--------------------------------------|
A----0---------2--------------------------------------|
E--------------3--------------------------------------|

To learn more about major seven chords for guitar, including which popular songs use them, see Fretboard Theory Chapter 10: Chord Extensions.


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Mr. Desi Serna
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Diminished Chord Songs and Guitar Theory

A full diminished guitar chord is based on all minor third intervals. It consists of a root, minor third (b3), flat fifth (b5th) and double flat 7 (bb7th). For example, a Bdim chord includes the notes B D F and Ab. Each note is a minor third, or three frets, above the note before it. And B is a minor third above Ab to complete and repeat the formula. The notes of a Bdim guitar chord can be seen in the tabs below.

E-----------------------------------------------------|
B-----------------------------------------------------|
G-----------------------1---------1----------1--------|
D---------------------3-------0-3----------3----------|
A--2-5-8-11-14----2-5-------2------------5------------|
E--------------------------------------7--------------|

Diminished Chord Fingerings
In order to combine these notes and make a chord shape you have to transpose some intervals up an octave. Three of the most common diminished chord fingerings can be seen in the guitar tab below.

E------------10---------------------------------------|
B--3----6----9----------------------------------------|
G--1----7----10---------------------------------------|
D--3----6----9----------------------------------------|
A--2----x---------------------------------------------|
E-------7---------------------------------------------|

Diminished Chord Inversions
The neat thing about guitar diminished chords is how their inversions are formed on the fretboard. Since diminished chords are built on fixed minor third steps, you can simply slide any diminished chord fingering up 3 frets for an inversion. Move the same chord fingering up 3 frets again and you have the next inversion, and so on until you match the first position exactly one octave higher.

Diminished Chord Guitar Theory
If you know anything about guitar music theory, then you know that true diminished chords do not fully occur in the major scale. The closest you come is the seventh chord (see Fretboard Theory Chapter 6 Guitar Chord Progressions and Playing By Numbers). This scale degree has three of the four notes needed to build a full diminished chord. It has the root, minor third (b3), flat fifth (b5th), but no double flat 7 (bb7th). But many musicians refer to this as a diminished chord anyway. Other names include diminished triad and half-diminished.

Diminished chords also have many abbreviations. For example, 0, 07, dim, dim7, o, º, º(7), o7, º7. Unfortunately, some things are arbitrary. It can really get confusing to keep track of whether or not diminished means the four-note/all-minor-thirds form or the seventh degree of the major scale with its b7.

Diminished Chord Songs
The diminished chord gives us an unstable and restless chord that wants to lead to or resolve on something else. For this reason it's often thought of as a "leading chord". It acts like a stepping stone between chords. You can hear diminished chords used in popular songs like "Michelle" and "Glass Onion" by The Beatles, "Man In The Mirror" by Michael Jackson, "Crazy" by Willie Nelson/Patsy Cline, and "Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasis.

For more diminished chord songs visit: http://chordmine.com

Jazz Guitar Chord Progression
Diminished chords are more common in jazz. Try this jazz chord progression: Bb Bdim Cm7 F7

E------------3----1-----------------------------------|
B--3----3----4----1-----------------------------------|
G--3----1----3----2-----------------------------------|
D--3----3----5----1-----------------------------------|
A--1----2----3----3-----------------------------------|
E-----------------1-----------------------------------|

Learn more about music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes and more.


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Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Holy Holy Holy Guitar Tabs

http://blip.tv/file/2826572


"Holy Holy Holy" is a traditional Christian hymn and praise and worship song. This is a fingerstyle chord melody version for intermediate and advanced guitar players with finger picking experience. It's a great lesson on how to use shapes and inversions based on the CAGED Guitar Chord system.



D Bm A A7 D G Em7 D/F#
E--------2--2--5-----2-----7---7---7---7--------------|
B--3--3--3--3--5--8--3-----8---8---8---8--10--7-------|
G--2--2--4--4--6--6--2-----7---7---7---7--7---7-------|
D--0--0-----------7--0--------------------7---7-------|
A--------2--2--0--0--------10--10--10--7--9---9-------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|

A D A/C# Bm E7 A D A E7 A A7
E--------------10--10--9----------5--7----------------|
B--5--5--7-----7---9---10--10--5-----9--10--10--5-----|
G--6--6--7--9--7---9---9---11--6-----7------9---6-----|
D--7--7--7--7------------------7------------11--5-----|
A--0--0--5-------------0-------0------------0---0-----|
E-----------9--7---0-----------------0----------------|


D Bm A A7 D G Em7 D/F#
E--------2--2--5-----2-----7---7---7---7--------------|
B--3--3--3--3--5--8--3-----8---8---8---8--10--7-------|
G--2--2--4--4--6--6--2-----7---7---7---7--7---7-------|
D--0--0-----------7--0--------------------7---7-------|
A--------2--2--0--0--------10--10--10--7--9---9-------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|


Bm D/F# G D G/B A D
E--10----------7--------------------------------------|
B--7---10--10--8---7-----8--5--5--3--3----------------|
G--7---7---7---7---7-----7-----6-----2----------------|
D------7---7-------7-----5-----7-----0----------------|
A------9---9---10--5-----------0----------------------|
E--7------------------8--7----------------------------|



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Mr. Desi Serna
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

In Christ Alone Christian Guitar Tab Lessons Pentatonic Songs

"In Christ Alone" was written by Stuart Townsend and made famous by Travis Cottrell and many other Christian praise and worship music performers. This song features an opening guitar riff played in the E major pentatonic scale pattern 1. It's suitable for beginner and intermediate level players who are learning how to use guitar scales and play pentatonic songs.


E-----------------------------------------------------|
B---------------------9-------------------------------|
G---------9--11----------11---9-----------------9-9---|
D--9--11------------------------11------9--11---------|
A-----------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|

E-----------------------------------------------------|
B-----------------------------------------------------|
G---------9h11---11/13\11--p9-------------------------|
D--9h11-----------------------11------9p11/14--14-----|
A-----------------------------------------------------|
E-----------------------------------------------------|



This version is played and tabbed in the key of E major, but the pentatonic riff can be shifted to other keys. Although not included in the guitar tab, the vocal melody is mostly based on the same E major pentatonic scale and even starts on the same few notes as the riff. Try it!

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
Website: http://Guitar-Music-Theory.com
YouTube: http://youtube.com/GuitarMusicTheoryTab
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrGuitarTheory
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Podcast: Search Desi Serna at iTunes

Monday, November 2, 2009

Guitar Bar Chords and Sore Hand Muscles

My books and DVDs focus on music theory for guitar but I frequently get emails from guitar players complaining about sore hands, especially when fretting barre chords. If you're experiencing muscle or joint pain while playing guitar, then I suggest that you find other ways to fret and play things so that your muscles are not being stressed the same way all the time.

For example, I sometimes play barre chords by wrapping my thumb around the neck (Jimi Hendrix style).


This puts my wrist and hand in a totally different position. I find it a relief especially after playing barre chords in the traditional manner for several minutes. When my hand tires I switch back. I couldn't make it through some songs without doing this.



Little tricks like this can help give some parts of your hand a break while you use other parts. Learning how to avoid situations where your hand endures pressure for too long in one place is critical to building your endurance and playing pain free.

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
Website: http://Guitar-Music-Theory.com
YouTube: http://youtube.com/GuitarMusicTheoryTab
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrGuitarTheory
Facebook: http://facebook.com/desi.serna
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Podcast: Search Desi Serna at iTunes