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TheGuitaristsGuidetoMusicTheoryand Application
BySeanAshcraft IntroductionWhatisthispacketandwhyisthisstuffimportant? Ivenoticedovertheyearsthatmanyguitaristssimplydonotknowanythingabout musictheory,namelythetheorybasedinthewesternclassicaltradition.Well,tosaythey donotknowanythingaboutitisabitofanexaggeration;manyknowadecentamount abouttheory,theyjustdonotknowhowtoapplyittotheguitar.Itisalmostasifthereare twoseparatelanguagesbeingspokenthesedays:realmusicandguitarmusic.Hence thepopularityoftablatureanditbeingthesolemethodforsonglearningmanyguitarists (rightalongwithplayingbyear). Iamwritingthistoshowthatalltheseareactuallyapartofthesamething,andthat theproblemwithguitaristsisjustalittlelackofpractice.Boththosewithexperiencewith musictheoryandthosewithoutwillbeabletobenefitfromthispacketbecausewewill startwiththeverybasics. Iamalsonotgoingtolie;musictheoryisnotsomethingthatjustcomesnaturally. Youcanbegivenpagesandpagesofmusicandexamplesandexplanationsfromthebestof thebest,butitisstilluptothemusiciantolearnthematerialandknowhowtoapplyitto themusicalworld. Sowiththatbeingsaid,whatisthepacketactuallygoingtodoforyou,theguitarist, themusician?Itisgoingtotakeyourighttothefirstthingalmosteverymusicianmasters: thescales.Thekeys.Buttheguitar,beingapolyphonic(multivoiced)instrument,willalso haveanotherthingtotackle:thechords.Andthisbeingatheorypacket,wewilldiscussthe functionofthesechords.Wewillstartoffniceandrelativelyeasywithfirstposition(as manyopenstringsaspossible).Butwecannotstopthere.Wehaveallthoseotherfretsto masteraswell. Whereasmostotherstringedinstruments(Imthinkingviolins,violas,cellos,etc. here)willthentalkaboutpositionplaying(hereisscaleXinpositionY,andnowagain inpositionZ,etc.),theguitarismuchbettersuitedforscalepatternplaying,whichwill thenwarrantanindepthdiscussionofthemodes,aswellasbarrechords. Afterthat,wewillbeginthinkingmoreoutsidethebox(areferencetotheold pentatonicscalesomanyguitaristlove)andbeginapplyingverticalmotioninourscale playing(upanddowntheneck).Thenwewillexpandourknowledgeofchordvoicing(jazz playerswillespeciallybenefitfromthis).Andwewillalsobegindiscussingtheimportance ofarpeggios.(Yes,sweepswillbecovered,butwhylimitourselvestojustsweeping?)

2 AndthenIwillhaveprobablyhaveforgottensomethingveryimportantbythen,soI willprobablyupdatewithanewadditionormakesomesupplementarypackettogoalong withthis. ImustnowemphasizethatthisisNOTachordbookorascalebook.Iwillnot draweverysinglechordthatexistsoreverypossiblescalefingering!Thisbookismeantto beaguidetoletthemusiciandeterminewhatsuitshis/hertastes.Thereisadefinitewrong waytodothis,butthereisnotadefiniterightwaytodothem(example:aCmajorscalehas certainspecificpitches,buttherearedozensofwaystoplayit). Ihavetriedtomakethisbookasneutralaspossible;inotherwords,arock guitaristandajazzguitaristshouldbeabletolearnjustasmuchaboutmusicasaclassical guitarist(orwhateveryouconsideryourself)would.Allmusicsharesasimilarheritage.It alljustdependsonhowyouwanttoexpressyourself. Howtoreadthispacketandhowtopracticethisstuff LikeIsaidintheintroduction,youwillbegivenexamplesofeverythingthatis outlinedhere.OccasionallyIwillgiveguidelinesastohowmucheachthingshouldbe practicedandwhatshouldbememorized.ButoftenIdonot,asfollowingwithasortof traditionthattextbookwriterstendtofollow(probablynotintentionally);itwouldseem thatIleaveituptothereadertodecidewhatsmoreimportant.Wheneveryoutakea classinhighschoolorcollege,atleastinthepublicschoolsystemmostAmericansare raisedwith,youmemorizeonlywhattheteacherorprofessortellsyou(orwhatsgoingto beonthetest). Thereisnostandardizedtestthatthemusicianisgoingtotakeafterreadingthis packet,however.Therealtestisthemusicalworld:howyouwanttoapplyit,andhowyou arechallengedbyotherstoapplyit.So,itreallydependsonwhatkindofmusicianyou wanttobecome.Intheory,thebestmusician(ifthereissuchathing)willmemorizeevery scaleandeverychordformandknoweveryruleabouttheoryevercreated.Butifyouare moreapttojustlearningabouthowtocreatethebestsolo,thenyouwanttomemorize yourscalesandchordfunctions.Ifyouwanttojustwritemusicforotherstoperform,then knowingchordfunctionandhowscalesrelatetochordsshouldbeemphasized.Orifyou wanttojustplayguitarandnotreallywritemusic,thenknowingyourchordsandscalesis probablythemostimportant. Ideally,youhavesomeonewiserthanyourselfguidingyouthroughthisprocessof learningtheguitarinsideandout.Whetheryouhaveaninstructorornot,challenge yourselftoknowthematerial,notjustmemorizeit.Constantlyapplywhatyouhave learnedtotherealworld.Findmusicthathaswhatyoujustlearned.Ifyouneedhelp,local musicstoresandtheInternetaregreatresources. Also,takeyourtimewiththematerial.Dontmoveonuntilyoufeelconfidentabout eachexample.Agoodruleofthumbisthatyouhavemasteredsomethingonceyou physicallycannotplayitwrong.But,noteveryexampleneedstobemastered100%tostill learnmuchaboutmusictheory,soifyouarehavingproblems,moveon,orreview.And remembertohavefun.

PartOne:TheKeysinOpenPosition
KeyofCMajor
Nosharps.Noflats.Whatcouldpossiblybeabetterplacetostart?Imustnowmake afewquicknotesbeforewegetstarted. First,everytopicdiscussedwillhaveanexampleonaseparatecorrespondingpieceof sheetmusic.IhadtomakeanexecutivedecisiontodoitthiswaybecauseIamself published,andwaytoolazytocombinethetwoelementstogether. Second,Iamassumingthemusicianhasbasicknowledgeof2things:howtoplaybasic guitar(youatleastknowthenotesinfirstpositionandyoucanplaysomebasicchordslike C,D,G,E,Em,Am,F,etc.),andhowtoreadmusiconamusicalstaff(andknowwhattypes offingeringscorrespondtowhat:Example1.2showswhatImtalkingabout).Ifyouarenot familiarwithoneorbothofthese,thenIsuggestyoutakesomeguitarlessonsrealquick, andthenafterthisismastered,returntothematerialinthispacket.Teachersaregreat guidesandareessentialtobecomeaguitarmaster! Third,thisfirstkeyisadoozy.Why?BecauseIwilldiscussalltheintricaciesofthetheory behindthekey,butonlyonce,becausethesameprinciplesapplytoallkeys.Ifthislastone confusedyouabit,justholdon,takeabreath,andprepareforalittlebitofaride.Consider yourselflucky,though;manymusicianspracticekeystheirwholecareerwithoutanyone explainingthetheorybehindthem(andusuallytheircareersarequiteshort). Whatisakey? Greatquestion.Buttodefinethis,youhavetoknowquitealotabouthowour systemofmusicworksinthefirstplace.Iveprovidedtwoseparatedefinitionsforthose whoareinterestedandforthosewhoknowthattheimportantthingisyourabilitytoplay them. TheLongDefinition: Musicissimplytheorganizationofnoises.Butitisthatkeytermorganizationthat, inreality,makesitnotsosimple.Thetonesweperceiveaspitchesareperceivedbecause theyvibratetheairaroundoureardrum.Howfasttheairvibratesdeterminesthepitch thatwehear. Now,acrazythingaboutvibrationisthatwheneveryoudoubletherateofvibration, youwillsee(imagineaslinkyrightnow)asimilarvibrationpatterntotheoriginalone emerge,justwithtwiceasmuchstuffgoingon.Goingbacktothatslinky,ifyoufixedone endofit(toletssayadoor)andshookitbackandforthuntilyougotonebendinit,that wouldbeonepitch.Nowshakeittwiceasfast.Nowyouhavetwobendsinit.

4 Whatsthebigdealwiththis?Well,whenthishappensinmusic,wecallitanoctave. PlaythelowEstring.Nowplaythehighestring.Samepitch.Twoseparateoctaves.See Example1.1. Inwesternmusic,wedecidedtodividetheoctaveinto12pitchedtones,andifyou playalloftheminconsecutiveorder,yougetthechromaticscale.Makesureyoucanread andunderstandExample1.2,theOpenPositionChromaticScale.Thisbringsupthetopicof enharmonictones:mostnotescanbewritteninacoupledifferentways.Wewilltalkabout theimportanceofwhichenharmonictonetouseinthecontextofscalesandchordstacking andjunklater.Fornow,juststicktotheprovidedfingeringsifthenotesaregivingyou trouble. Theclassicaltraditionistobeginwithmajorscales,thenprogresstominorscales, thentotackleotherscalesafterthat.Whatsthedifferencebetweenamajorandminor scale?Whyisthemajorscalelikethisandnotlikethat?First,aminorscaleisamodeofthe majorscale.Whatdoesthismean?Amodeisjustanothernameforascale,butthe connotationisthatitisderivedfrom(orbasedoff)anotherscale.Forexample,thekeyofA minorisbasedoffthekeyofCmajor.Welldiscussthisinmoredepthlater. Butwhyisthemajorscalesetupthewayitis?Well,thereisthissomewhat complicatedideaoftheovertoneseriesthatstatesthateachtoneisactuallycomprisedof multipleovertones,whichmakethesoundbrighterordarkerdependingonwhat overtonessound.Playinthemiddleofastringaroundthe12thfretitsoundsdarker; lessovertonesappear.Playnexttothebridge:itsoundsbright;moreovertonesare present.Theargumentgoesthatthemajorscalecontainsmostofthenotesoftheovertone series.Butthisargumenthasasomeofflawsinitandgoeswayabovewhatyouneedto knowrightnow.Basicallythemajorscalesoundsgood,sowellstickwithit.Andmusic theorymakesalotmoresenseonceyougettoknowit.Inotherwords: Theshortandskinny: Akeyisacollectionoftonesthatsoundgoodwhenplayedright.IfIpracticemy keys,Iwillknowmoreabouttheguitarandmusicingeneral. TheStandardCMajorScaleExample1.3 Iwillstartoffeachkeywiththestandardversionofit.Idefineakeysstandard versionasmovementfromthelowestkeynoteinfirstpositionontheguitartothehighest keynoteinfirstposition.So,thisfirstscalewillgofromlowCtomiddleC,oneoctave. ComparetheshapeofyourhandasyouplaythisscaletotheCchord.Seehowtheyre related?Thisscaleshouldeventuallybememorized. TheExtendedCMajorScaleExample1.4 Anextendedscaleisessentiallyallthepossibletonesinthatparticularkey,limited tothepositionathand,namelyfirstposition.Dontsomuchmemorizethisasbeabletocall upanytonefromitatcommand.

5 Thesetwoscalesaregreatwarmups.Forceyourselftoplayascleanlyaspossible withtheseandallscales.Donotgotoofast!Onlygoasfastasyoucanplaycleanly.Evenif thisseemstooelementaryforyou,challengeyourselfwithcleanliness.Tryaddingrhythms tomakethingsmoreinteresting;forexample,tryswinging8ths,ordottedrhythms.Be creative.Donotjustskipovertheseopenpositionscales! EtudesinCMajor Anetudeisapieceofmusicthatexercisesagiventechniqueoridea.Practicewitha metronomeisafantasticideawiththese. 1.5Scalein3rds.Greatexercisewithintervals.Forthezealousmusician,trythescalein 4ths,5ths,etc.Dontknowwhatanintervalisyet?Italkaboutthemalittlemoreinthe ChordsintheKeyofCMajorsection. 1.6Anicelittleditty,completewithchordsincaseyourteacheroryourfriendwantedto accompanyyouasyoupracticethisetude.Youcanalsousethechordstoseehowmelody andharmonyrelatesonceyoureadaboutthechordsinthekeyofCmajor. 1.7Thisisanexampleofwhatiscalledamelodicsequence.Thisiswhenasimplemelodic passageisrepeatedandtransposed,ormoved,upordowneverysoofteninapredictable pattern:inthiscase,everyonemeasure,downastep.Illbringuptheideaofharmonic sequenceslater;theyarethefoundationforthemelodiccontentofamelodicsequence. Ifyouhaveothermethodbooksorsongbooksofyourown,tryplayingthemelodies thathavefewaccidentals(sharpsorflats)andappeartobeinthekeyofC.OnedayIwill haveaneditionofthispacketwithexamplesfromrealmusic,withabunchofdifferent genrestokeepthingsinteresting.Butfornow,duetolackofresearch,funding,andoverall interest,youwillhavetobeyourownrepertoirebuilder.Consultaguitarinstructorfor moreguidance. ChordsintheKeyofCMajor First,letstalkaboutwhatachordis.Achord,forourpurposesrightnow,issimply aspecificsetofintervalsplayedatthesametime.Achordsnamedependsontwofactors: itsrootandquality.Letmequicklytalkaboutboth. Root:Thisisoftenthebassnoteofachord(i.e.,thelowestnoteplayedonthe guitarorthenotethebassplayerwouldplayinaband),butthisisnotalwaysthecase.For now,letsthinkoftherootasthenotethatisthemoststable,orthatneverchangeswhen youalterthechordsquality.Iknowthatmakeslittlesenserightnow,butjustkeepgoing anditwillmakemoresenseinaminute. Quality:Therearetwowaysofthinkingaboutachordsquality.First,youcanspeak oftheemotionofthechord,orbasically,howdoesitsound?Youknow(orshouldknow) theEandEminorchords.Wouldyouagreethatonesoundshappierthantheother?One soundsdarkerthantheother?IbetyouthinktheEminorchordsounddark,whereasthe E(major)chordsoundsmoreorlessresolute.Youcanprescribeanumberofdifferent

6 characteristicstoeachchordyoulearn.Butsinceeveryonehasadifferentopiniononmusic (oradifferentear),thisisntaverygoodwayofcategorizingchordsororganizingthem inawaythatwecaneffectivelystudy.So Secondly,youcananalyzetherelativestructureofthechord.Wedothisby assigninganame(orquality)toaseriesofintervalsthatareacertainchromaticdistance fromtheroot.Ok,thatwaskindofconfusing.Letslookatitfromabuildingblock perspective. BuildingChords:WhyAreChordsCalledWhatTheyAre?Example1.8 Ok,whenyoubuildabuilding,youstartwiththefoundation.Yourrootislikethe foundation.LetsstartwitharootofC(Example1.8).Wecanputanynumberofnotes abovetherootofCandcreateachord.But,timeandtrialanderrorhastaughtmusiciansin theWestthatcertainnotesaboveagivenrootconsistentlysoundgood,orharmonic.And,if wekeeptheserelativeintervalsthesamebutchangetheroots(letssaytoG),thenweget anequallyharmonicsound,butwithaslightlydifferentcharacteristic(becausewehave changedfoundations,sotospeak). Major:Theeasiestsetofintervalstodescriberightnowisthesetofintervalsthat makeupwhathasbeencalledthemajorchord.Fromtheroot,ournexttoneisupamajor third,whichisequivalentto2wholestepsputtogether,or4halfsteps(ahalfstepisafret, oronenoteuponthechromaticscaleseeExample1.2againandfindC,thencountfour halfstepsornotesup).ThisisE.Now,fromthere,wewillgoupaminorthird,or3half steps.ThisisG.NowplayC,E,andGatthesametime.Lookfamiliar?NowaddanotherCto topthingsoff.ThisismostofthefamousCchordthatsomanyguitaristsknowandlove. TrythesamethingwithGbeingtherootonthe6thstring(lowEstring).Followthe sameprocedure.ThenextnoteupisB.ThenextnoteupisD.NowtopitoffwithanotherG. ThisismostoftheGchord.Ourfullerchordsweknow(all6stringsforG)simplydouble thenoteswevealreadyplayed.Trythiswithasmanynotesasyoucan. Insummary:Majorintervals:Root,Major3rd,Minor3rd.

Minor:Ifyouswitchthemajorandminorintervalsaroundinourlittleformula,we getwhatweliketocallaminorchord.TheeasiestonetobuildistheEminorchord.Start withEonthe4th(orD)string.Nowgoaminor3rdup.Nowgoamajorthirdup.Youshould havepickedoutthenotesE,G,andB.Playthosenotes,thenthefullEminorchord. ComparethatwiththeEmajorchord.Itsamajor3rdupfromE,thenaminor3rdup,right? E,G#,andB.Dontworryaboutthesharprightnow. Insummary:Minorintervals:Root,Minor3rd,Major3rd.

Ifyouhaventguesseditalready,thereasonwhywecallchordsminorandmajoris kindofmadeup.Thereisntanysuperscientificreasonoranythinglikethat(although manywouldarguethereiswewontgetintothatdebaterightnow).Butfromthere,all otherchordsmakealotmoresense.So,theyrereallymadeupbecausetheymakemore complicatedthingsmuchsimpler,whichisokifyouaskme.

7 Thelasttypeofchordthatwearegoingtodiscussrightnowisthedominant7th chord. Dominant7th:Wewontgointowhydominant7thsarecalleddominantright now,butwewilltalkaboutwhytheyre7ths.Intervalwise,dominant7thssimplyput anotherminor3rdontopofthetopmostnoteofmajorchords.So,goingbacktoC,thetop mostnoteisG,sogoaminor3rdabovethat.ThatsBb.Whoa,ourfirstchordwithaflat. Keepyourcool;itsnottheendoftheworld.Letsdoaneasierexample.TaketheGchord. Topnote:D.Minor3rdabovethat:F.PlaytheG7chord.Sincethechordwemadeupwasa bitawkwardtoplay,wedisplacedthenewnoteupanoctavesoitiseasiertoplay.Butboth areG7chords. Butwhyarewesaying7th?Well,gobacktotheC7chord.Thatnewnoteweadded (Bb)wasprettymuchthe7thnoteoftheCmajorscale(Bnatural). ButwhyisitBbandnotB(natural)?!?!Well,likeIsaid,dominant7thsaddaminor 3rdabovethelastnoteinaMajorchord.Soitsnotquitethe7thnoteoftheCscale.That(a major3rdinsteadofaminor3rdabovethelastnoteinamajorchord)wouldbeamajor7th chord(Cmaj7).Andifyouploppedaminor3rdabovethelastnoteofaminorchord,youd getaminor7thchord.Itissetuplikethistopreventconfusionbetweenthesethreetypesof 7thchords(although,Illadmit,itcreatessomemoreconfusionanywaysforthosetryingto figurethisoutforthefirsttime).Butwearentworryingaboutthemajor7thandtheminor 7thrightnow. Sojustsmileandsay:Dominantintervals:Root,Major3rd,Minor3rd,anotherMinor 3rd. See,thatwasntsobad? Ok,goingbacktowhatIoriginallyintendedforthissection(wearestillinChords intheKeyofC,remember?),wewillnowtalkaboutwhatchordsareinthekeyofC! Mathematicallyspeaking,thereare7notesinthekeyofC,sothereisthepotentialforat least7separateroots,whichmeansthereshouldbe7separatebasicchordsinthekeyofC. (Thankyou,collegelevelcalculus.)Andyoudbeaboutright!Whenwetalkabouttheroots ofchordsrelativetothekey,weuseRomannumerals.So,IisC,IIisD,IIIisE,etc.Whether theRomannumeraliscapitalizedornotshowswhetherthechordismajororminor.So,Iis C,butiiisDm. Ihavealreadydonethebusyworkandhavefoundoutwhatchordsendupbeing majororminorinthekeyofCifyoustaywithinthekeygiven(nosharpsorflats).These areoutlinedwithsuggestedfingeringsinExample1.9. IC.Obviously,therootofthekeyofCmajorisgoingtobeone(I)andmajor. Nothingtoosurprisinghere.SinceweuseacapitalioraRomannumeral1todesignate thischord,readcarefullyandmakesureyoudontconfuseitwithwhentheauthorspeaks infirstperson(whenIuseanI). iiDm.IfitwereD(major),thentherewouldbeanF#,whichisnotinthekeyofC.

8 iiiEm.Again,ifmajor,thenaG#wouldbetherenotinthekeyofC. IVF.Ahh,theFchord.Everyonesfavorite,right? VG.Nowheresapointofinterest.IfyoumakeGintoG7,youstaywithinthekey ofCmajorbecauseyousimplyaddanFtotheGchord.Also,Visoftencalledthe dominantchord.Nowdoyouseewhywecallthesechordsdominant7ths?Welltalk aboutdominant(aswellassubdominant)chordslater.JustknowthatVandV7are,for ourpurposes,prettymuchinterchangeable. viAm.Thevichordisalsocalledtherelativeminorbecauselater,whenwe discussminorkeys,wewillfindthatAminorcontainsthesamekeysignatureasCmajor (nosharpsorflats). vii???B???.What?BothBANDBmcontainanF#?Whatnow?Actually,thevii chorddoeshaveaqualitycalleddiminishedandiswrittenvii,whichwewonttalk aboutrightnow.Itsabitmoreadvanced.Nevertheless,youcanstilllearntheBchord. So,westillevenoutwithasolid7chords:C,Dm,Em,F,G,G7,andAm(plusB,but dontreallyworryaboutit).Nowwebeginthefunwithchordfunction. IntroductiontoChordFunction Chordfunctionistrickybusiness.Theproblemisthatwecancreatealltheruleswe want,butthensomeoneorsomethingcomesalongandshatterstheserulestobits.But,we canalwaysstartwithnice,basic,formulaicprogressionsthatwecanelaborateonlater. TheP>D>TClassFormulaExample1.101.18

Weliketoclassifythebasicchordsweknowinto3classes:Tonic(T),Predominant (P),andDominant(D).Eachclasshasitsownfunction,orthewayitrelatestootherchords andmovesfromchordtochord.Letsoutlinetheclasses: 1. Tonic(T):Iandvi(CandAminthekeyofCmajor).Tonicreferstothehome key,orinthiscase,thekeyofCmajor.SoIbeingtonicmakessense;itisthe homekey.Butviisalsolumpedintothisclassbecause,forone,itsharestwoof thethreetonesasI,butitalsosoundsthesameway.BothIandvisound resolute,orlikeyouwentbacktohomebase(insertmoredescriptive phraseshere).ItsjustthatIsoundsmoreresolutethanvi.Youllseewhyina minute. 2. Dominant(D):V,V7,andvii(dontworryaboutvii)(sometimesiiiisinhere too)(G,G7,andB,andsometimesEm).Dominantchordshaveacertain tendencytoresolvetoatonicchord.Thisisbecausetheycontaintheinfamous ScaleDegree7(BinthekeyofCmajor).Thisscaledegreeissooooclosetothe keynote(Cfornow)thatitalmostscreamsandbegstoberesolved.Ok,so maybethatsabitofanexaggeration,butyougettheidea.iiiisoftenlumpedin hereforthesamereasonasviinthetonicclass.ItsmostlyaVchord,butthen

9 againitalsosharestwotonesfromtheIchord,soitsnotaverystrong dominant.Justkindofignoretheiiichordfornow. 3. Predominant(P):iiandIV(DmandFinthekeyofCmajor).Alsooftencalled thesubdominantclass(IthinkthatswhatIcalleditearlier;ignoremy inconsistency).Iliketocallitpredominantbecausethatsexactlywhatitdoes: itcomesbeforethedominantclass.ThinkofitasasetupforthebigD>Tor thebigresolutionfromdominanttotonic. SowhatdoesthisP>D>Tformulamean?Well,therearesomeguidelinesand someexceptionsthatwillmakewritingsolidchordprogressionsabreeze. Rule1:Followthearrows!(yes,those>arearrows!)Substitutethechords outlinedabovefortheirrespectiveletter Example1.11:IwillreplaceIV(F)withthePclass,V(G)withDclass,andI(C)with Tclass.MyprogressionisnowF>G>C.Simple,yeteffective. Rule2:Youcanjumptoanychordwithinacertainclass,butyoumustfollowthe arrowsafterthat. Example1.12:IVispredom(shortforpredominant)andiiispredom.SoifIwent IV>ii>V>I,thisrulewouldbefollowed. Rule3:Youcanstartthingsatanypointintheformula Example1.13:IthinkIllstartattheDclassinsteadofthePclass.So,V>I(G>C). Classic. Rule4:StartingthingsoffwithaTclasschordisok.Also,Icangotoanychord. Example1.14:Letstrygettingthatiiichordinourprogression.So,startwithI(C), whichcangoanywhere,soletsfollowwithaiii.iiiisalsoconsideredkindofaDclass chord,soletsletgotovi,whichincidentallyisaTclasschordaswell.Letsroundthings offwithanotherP>D>T,soletsfollowwithaii>V>I.Sothewholeprogressionis I>iii>vi>ii>V>I.Kindofcomplicated,butwellworththework. Nowtheresalwaysexceptionsandfancynamesfortheseexceptions.Andthen therearejustfancynamesingeneral.Letsstartwithsomeofthoseproperterms. Cadence:aresolutionattheendofachordprogression.Thesemakeyour progressionsoundmoreorlesscomplete.Therearedifferenttypesofcadences,however. yet. AuthenticCadence:aV>I,orinthiscase,G>C(Example1.15).Norulesbroken

PlagalCadence:aIV>I,orF>C.(Example1.16)Uhoh.ThisisaPclassgoingto Tclass.Butitsok;ithasbecomesuchconsonantresolutionthatwejustignorethatrulein thiscase.But,ifwewentii>I(Dm>C),thatwouldtechnicallybebreakingtheP>D>T

10 formulastill.OnethingtokeepinmindisthataIV>Iisaweakresolution.ThinkAmen attheendofhymns;usuallyaplagalcadenceisusedwiththose. DeceptiveCadence:aV>vi,orG>Am(Example1.17).Thistechnicallydoesnt breakanyrulesbecauseviisaTclasschord.But,viisnotthetonicI,whichsomany peopleareusedtohearingafterabigVchord.Thus,thedeception. HalfCadence:I>V,orC>G(Example1.18).Again,thisdoesnotbreakanyrules becauseIcangoanywhere.ButimagineendingasongonaVchord.Thatwouldprobably driveBachinsaneifitneverresolvedtoI.Sousesparingly.Itscalledhalfbecauseusually youfollowitwithanothercadencethatgoesV>I,oranauthenticcadence. MoreEtudesinCMajor Thesearelesslikeetudesandmorelikejustsimplechordprogressionsinwhichwe willapplywhatwejustlearnedaboutchordfunctionsothatwecaninterpretthem.Try analyzingtheprogressionsalongwiththetextandformyourownopinionofthembefore playingthem.Thenplaytheprogressionsandseeifyouthinkthesamethingasyoudid before. 1.19ThisiswhatIliketocallthe50schordprogression.Itwouldseemalmost everysongfromthe50shadthisoraverysimilarchordprogression.Doesiteverreally cadence?Orisitmoreofacycle(i.e.,youcontinuetorepeattheprogressionuntilyou decidetoendthesong,probablyonaI)?Manymodernprogressionsarelikethisone, wherethereisnocadenceuntilperhapstheveryend,creatingadrivingsensationthatis commonplaceinrockmusic. 1.20VerysimilartoExample1.14,butcontainseverysinglechordweknowinthe keyofC(includingB,whichiswhyIincludeditabove).Manyclassicalcomposersused thisoraverysimilarprogression.Itcontainswhatiscalledsequentialrootmovement, whichmeansthateverychordrootmovesupordownthesameinterval.Inthiscase,each intervalisafifthdown,orfivenotesdownthescale.So,fivenotesbelowEisA,fivenotes belowAisD,andsoon.NoticethatIcouldhavesaidfournotesaboveaswell.Fournotes aboveEisstillA,etc.Italldependsonhowyouhearthemovement,regardlessofhowthe actualbassline(bottomnoteofthechord)moves.Also,seehowthisprogressionstillfits theP>D>Tabove(itrepeatsonce)? 1.21Thisisoftencalledthe12BarBlues.Obviously,itstwelvebarslong,andI believeitsoundsbluesysimplybecauseitprettymuchbreakstheruleswedescribed above.Notonlydoesitonlycadenceplagally(Ithinkthatsaword;IV>I),italsoisagreat exampleofretrogression,orbasically,goingbackwardsintheP>D>Tformula.Thisisa verysimpleformofthe12barblues,whichwewillelaborateonlater(itissuchagreat progressiontoelaborateon!). NowgooutandfindsomesongsinthekeyofCmajorandlearnthechord progressionsinthem.Trytoanalyzethemusingthetoolswevelearned.Manysongswill containthingswehaventdiscussedyet,likeborrowedchordsoralteredchords.This doesntmeanyoucantplaythemyet,however.Trytocomeupwithrationalexplanations

11 ofyourown,orbetteryet,lookaheadinthispacketandseeifyoucanpinpointwhatthat particularthingis.Thiscanbetrickytodoonyourown,sohavingagoodguitarteacheras aguideisalwaysagoodidea. MoreAdvancedTopics Nowwearegoingtotalkaboutsomemoreadvancedtopicsthatrequiremorestudy thanjustacasuallookovertoreallyget.Ifyouhavesomegeneralknowledgeofmusic theory,thenthissectionwillmostlikelybeofbenefittoyoubecauseyouprobablyhave neverthoughtofsomeofthesethingsinthisway.Oryoumightbefamiliarwiththese concepts,butyouneverstudiedthemveryindepth. Pleasenote:ifyouarestrugglingwiththeseconceptsbecauseyouhaveneverseen anythinglikethisbefore,IencourageyoutogoontotheotherkeysinPartOneandjustdo thebasics(i.e.,thescalesandthebasic7chordsandtheiretudes).Onceyouhave masteredthose,comebacktothesemoreadvancedtopicsandseeiftheydontmakemore sense,orseeifyouarebettermotivatedtolearnmoreaboutthem. FunctionalChordsTheFour(orfiveorso)SeventhChordsExample1.22 Well,therearealotofdifferenttypesofseventhchordsbecauseyoucanalterany pitchinachordandcomeupwithadifferentchordaltogether.Toalterissimplytoraise orloweranyparticularpitchinachordbyahalfstep(orsometimesmore).Forexample: Ifyoulowerthe3rdofanEmajorchord,yougetanEminorchord. Likewise,ifyouraisethe3rdofanEminorchord,yougetanEmajorchord. Also,ifyoulowerthe5thofanEminorchord,yougetanEdiminishedchord.

Thisiswhatwedotogetthevarious7thchordsthatyouveprobablyruninto,like themajor7thandtheminor7thandthedominant7th.Fewpeoplehaverunintothefully diminished7thandthehalfdiminished7th(unlessyouplayjazzorclassical),andeven fewerhaverunintotheaugmented7th.SowhatdidIjustlist,sixdifferent7thchords?Were justgoingtofocusonfour:thedominant7th,themajor7th,theminor7th,andthefully diminished7th,andwhatchordsaretypicallywhich7thchordwhenyouforcethemtobe, aswellaswhattheywillnormallyresolveto.(Thehalfdiminished7thwillappearwhenwe talkaboutminorkeys,andtheaugmented7thwillcome,well,later.) Dominant7th:typicallyjusttheV(G7inCmajor).The7thscaledegreeofthemajor scaleisflattedontopofamajorchord.Again,rememberthattheViscalledthedominant scaledegree,whichisrelativelyeasytoremember.ThisusuallyonlyresolvestoI,which wewilldiscusswhyinaminute.ButalsorememberthatVandV7areinterchangeable,so ifyouresolvedtovi,thenthatwouldstillbeadeceptivecadence.Whichisok. Major7th:IandIV(writtenIM7andIVM7inR.N.)(Cmaj7,Fmaj7).Anormal7th scaledegreeofthemajorscaleisaddedtothetopofamajorchord.Major7thchordshave lessofatendencytoresolve,whichiswhyIliketocallthembothfunctionalchordsand colorchordsbecausetheydonthavetodosomething;theycanjustsoundprettyontheir

12 own(welltalkmoreaboutothercolorchordsinaminute).But,theystillcanberesolved, butitsalittleweird.IM7resolvestoIVprettywell,butthisisaveryweakresolution(if youendedasonglikethis,itwouldntseemcomplete).IVM7shouldresolvetovii,butthis almostseemswrongjusttothinkabout(whowouldresolveonaviichord?).Thereason forthisisbecauseresolutionisreallydefinedbywhentherootgoesupafourthordowna fifth,whetherperfectorimperfect.OnpaperitworkswhichIwillexplaininabitbut ourearsdontagree.Itslessofaresolutionandmoreofamovementfromonechordtothe next. Minor7th:ii,iii,andvi(writtenii7,iii7,vi7)(Dm7,Em7,andAm7).Aflatted7th scaledegreeofthemajorscaleisaddedtothetopofaminorchord.Thesechordsprobably resolvethebest,rightbehindthedominant7thandthefullydiminished7th.Theyoftenset upotherdominant7thchords,butdiatonically,theyreallyseemtosetthemselvesupmore (wellseethemsetupdom7thsmuchmorewhenwetalkaboutborrowedchordsinPart Two).Fornow,theii7resolvestoV(agreatsetupifyoufurtherresolveV7toI),thevi7 resolvestoii,andtheiii7resolvestovi7.Asyoucanprobablyimagine,theiii7andvi7 resolutionsarerelativelyweak. Diminished7th:vii(writtenvii7)(B7).Adoubleflatted(flattedtwice)7thscale degreeofthemajorscaleisaddedtothetopofadiminishedchord.Thisoneisabitofan oddball,becauseasyoucanseeinExample1.22,ithasachromaticallyalteredtone(an accidental):theAb(thedoubleflattedscaledegree).Thinkofthisoneasadominantchord (intheP>D>Tformula).IfitresolvestoI,itsaprettystrongcadence.But,ifitgoesto vi,itisstillstrong,butitisweakenedbythedeceptivenatureofresolvingonavichord. Thisisaprettydramaticchord,butitcanbeoverusedquitequickly.(Anoteonthe fingering:pickonlyoneofthetwoparenthesizednotes.Bothcouldbeplayed,butits unnecessary.) Now,ifyouhavebeenfollowingalonginthemusic,youmightbeasking,Whatare allthoseannoyinglinesthataregettinginmywayfor?Greatquestion.Thedottedlines areoutliningtheresolutionoftwoveryimportantintervals:the3rdandthe7thscale degrees.Findthe3rdandthe7thscaledegreesineach7thchord.Seehowtheyresolvetothe nextchord?Ifyoupaidrealcloseattention,youwouldhavenoticedthatthe3rdscale degreealwaysresolvesup,whilethe7thscaledegreealwaysresolvesdown.Also,you wouldhavenoticedthatthefulllinesareoutliningtherootmovementfromonenotetothe next:therootalwaysmovesupbyfourthordownbyfifth.Theonlyexceptionstothese tworulesiswhentherootmovesbystep(V7>vi),orwiththevii7chord.Diminished chordskindofplaybytheirownrules;infact,theyaremadeofentirelyminor3rdsor doubleflatted(diminished)7ths,sotheyresolveinafairlycomplexmanner.Wewillgo overtheintricaciesofthesechordsinalaterdiscussion. EvenMoreEtudesinCMajor

Ifyourelookingahead,youseewerenotevenclosetobeingdoneyet.Isntthisso muchfun?Wearegoingtodosomemorechordprogressionsthatincorporatethe7th chordswejustlearned.Theseprogressionswilllookfamiliar,however.Thesearemorelike

13 addendumstothelastthreeetudesthanactualetudes,butshouldstillbepracticedjustas thoroughly. 1.23Again,the50schordprogression,butthistimeslightlymoreelaborated.I substitutedtheFchordwiththeDm7chord,andtheGwithaG7chord,thuscreatingmy patentpendingii7>V7>Ichordprogression(ifyoutaketherepeats).Thisroot movementisquitecommoninalltypesofWesternmusic,fromclassicaltojazzand everythinginbetween(indeed,eveninmetalandhiphop). 1.24Theclassicalprogressionagain,butwitheverysinglechordbeingfollowed bya7thchord.Imustconfess,IhadtoincludeaBhalfdiminished7thchord(theonewith the/throughthe)becauseB7wouldnthaveresolvedtoEm7verywell(B7resolves toCorAm,remember?).Considerthisyourintroductiontohalfdiminished7thchords:they arediminished7thsthatdonthavethedoubleflatted7thscaledegree;itsjustnormal flatted.Trytofollowthemovementofthe3rdsand7thsthroughout.Seeanypatterns? 1.25Icomefromamusicalbackgroundthatplayedthejazz12BarBlues,whichI willoutlinehere,butitwillbepurelydiatonic(inotherwords,werejustgoingtousethe chordsweknowsofar).Itwontsoundbluesyoreventhatjazzy,butitwillbecloserto therealthinganditwillbemoredifficultthanthelastetude.Therealthingwillconsist ofmanyborrowedchords,aka,chordsthatmovethekeytosomethingelseforashort periodoftime,thenmovebacktotheoriginalkey.Wellworkonthatlater. Nowgooutandfindasmanysongswith7thchordsinthekeyofCasyoucan.Most songswillhavejustdominant7thchords,whichisok.Chancesareyouwillbegoingbackto thesamesongsyoudidbefore,butchangingsomechordsto7thchords.Thisisoktoo,but youmustrememberthat7thchordsonlyresolvewhenthenextchordsrootisafourth aboveorafifthbelowthechordyouarechanging.Otherwise,thechordwonthavea function,anditwillsimplyactasacolorchord.Whichisokaswell. FunctionalChordsSusChordsExample1.26 Thesuschordisderivedfromtheclassicaltreatmentofthedissonancecalledthe suspension.Asuspension,bydefinition,iswhenatonefromonechordissustainedintothe nextchord,thistonecreatingadissonanceoraconflictwiththetonesinthelatterchord. Thesuspensionisthenimmediatelyresolveddownward.Ifitnotresolveddownifitis resolvedupthentheresolutioniscalledretardation.Whyitiscalledthisisunclear,butit doesgiveonethesensethatitisnotpreferredintheclassicaltradition.Today,wetypically onlyencountersuspensionsthatcreatetheintervalofa4thora2ndinthesuspended chordwiththeroot.Noticethatthe2ndand4th,whenresolved,gotothe3rdofthatchord. So,weneverhavethe3rdinthesuschord,andthereisnodifferencebetweenmajorand minorsuschords(the3rdistheonlydifferencebetweenthesetwochords). Eventhoughwehardlyeverfollowtherulesofpreparationandresolutionof suspendedchords,knowingtheserulescouldnthurtus.Sowhenusingsuschords,tryto keepthefollowinginmind:

14 1. Thesustainedtone(i.e.thetonethatdifferentiatesthesuschordfromits normalcounterpart)mustbeinthechordthatprecedesthesuschord. 2. Thesustainedtonemustresolve(i.e.immediatelygofromsustonormal). 3. Ifoneoftheserulesisbroken,thenthesuschordlacksfunctionandisjusta coloration(notatruesuschord)(seenextsectionaboutcolorchords). LetsoutlinethevarioussuschordsinCmajor.Some,butnotall,possibilitiesfor preparationaregiven. Resolutionsustainedtonesresolutionislined Csus2andCsus4>C Fsus2>F(Fsus4containsaBb) Gsus2andGsus4>GalsoG7sus4>G7(G7sus2isratheruncommon) Asus2andAsus4>Am Dsus2andDsus4>DmalsoD7sus4>Dm7 Esus4>Em(Esus2containsanF#) IhaveincludedtheG7sus4andD7sus4becausetheseareoftenusedintheII>V> IprogressionIspokeofinExercise1.23.Obviously,therearemanymoreoptionsforother 7thchordsintermsofaddingthesus,butthesearetypicallyuncommon. PreparationExamplessustainedtoneistiedanditsresolutionislined C>Fsus2>Fretardation(ruleofthumb:sus2chordswillalwaysuse retardationifresolved) F>Gsus4>G Dm>Asus4>Am Dm7>G7sus4>G7 Etc. Noticethatthesustainedtonehasthesamefingeringforbothchords(the preparationandsuschord)?Thisdoesntalwayshappen,butusuallydoesinagood suspension. Trytoinventyouownprogressionsthatcontainsimplesusresolutions.Try workingbackwards:startwiththesuschordyouwanttoprepareandresolve,andthen findanotherchordthatcontainsthatsustainedtone.Trytoincorporatesuschordsinthe etudesweworkedonbefore.Iwontoutlinechordprogressionsforthisorthenextconcept becauseIbelieve,bythispoint,youshouldbeabletocomeupwithyourexamples(andIm toolazytorepeatthesamethreechordprogressionsagainonpaper).Also,findexamples ofsuschordsinthemusicyouareplaying. ColorChordsAddChordsExample1.27 Sometimeswejustgetboredwiththesimple3notemajorandminorchords.We arefinewithourfunctionalchords,butwhenachordisntfunctioning,itgetsboring.So weaddnotestoourchordstogivethemalittlemorecolor.Thereare2addchordswe

15 aregoingtolookat:add2andadd6.Thesetwochordsaddamajor2ndoramajor6thto therootchord.Often,thewordaddwontbeapartofthechordsymbol,andwilljusthave thenumber(example:insteadofCadd2,youllseeC2.Thesearethesame).Whileany majororminorchordcanhavetheadditional2or6,notallareeasilyplayable,especiallyin openposition,sonoteverychordwrittenintheattachedmusiciscommonlyused. Add2: C2,F2,G2,Am2,Dm2.(Em2hasanF#). Add6: C6,F6,G6(rare),Dm6.(Am6hasanF#,andEm6hasaC#).

Add2chordshaveamodernsoundtothem(ifthereissuchathing),andAdd6 chordshaveajazzysoundtothem.But,theycanbeinanygenreifusedjustright.Color chordssimplyrequireanear,andarereallyusedwhentheysoundright.Remember,7th chordsandsuschordsarealsocolorchordswhentheydonothaveafunction. Again,trycomingupwithyourownsimpleprogressionsthatcontainthesecolor chords,andfindmusicthathasthesesortsofchordsthatdontseemtobeexplainedby functionaltheory. PowerChordsNo3rdor5Chords Atthispoint,youareprobablythinkingoneoftwothings:Ahhhh,powerchords? orAhhhh,powerchords!Whateveryouropinionis,Idontreallycare.Iamintroducing theconceptofpowerchordsforthreeverygoodreasons: 1. Powerchordsactasaprecursortomovablechords,suchasbarrechordsand jazzchords,aswellasFreddieGreenstylechords.Knowingwherebassnotes are(thenotestypicallyonthe5thand6thstrings)helpoutsomuchinfindingthe rootsofthesesaidchords. 2. Theyareagreatintroductiontoverticalmovementontheguitar:movementup anddowntheneckonafewstrings,asopposedtohorizontalmovement: movementacrossmostorallsixstrings,butinthesameposition.Vertical movementisaseriouslyunderstatedandunderpracticedtechniqueformost guitarists. 3. Theyareoftenmisunderstoodbytheaveragerockguitaristassomethingthat doesntfollowtherulesofmusictheory,andthereforeyoucandowhateveryou verywellplease.Thisisnotthecase,andwithabetterunderstandingofthe powerchord,youcanpotentiallycreatemusicthatismuchmorecoherent. Sowhatisapowerchord?Aspointedoutinthetitleofthissection,theyareoften calledNo3rdor5chordsinstandardmusicnotation.TheNo3rdhopefullymakesit veryclear:apowerchordisjustanormalwithoutathird,thereforemakingitneither majornorminor.Itconsistsofjustarootandafifthabovethatroot(andanydoublingsof notesabovethataswell).

16 Wellthen,whydoweusepowerchords?Itwouldseemthattakingoutthe3rdand makingitneutral,sotospeak(neithermajornorminor),wouldcreateaharmonically uninterestingchord.Andyouwouldberight,kindof.Powerchordsseemtohave originatedwithbluesmusic,andaqualityofbluesmusicisthatitisquiteambiguous whetherthesongsareinamajororaminorkey.Powerchordsallowedtheperformersto freelyexpressthisambiguityintheirsinging,soloing,etc.Theydidnthavetoworryso muchaboutwhattheirguitarwasplaying;theyjustdidwhatsoundedrighttothem.But, notallbluesaresetuplikethis,andmostofthetimebluesareactuallyinamajorkey,with someminortendencies. Powerchordsreallygottheirclaimtofamewithrockmusic,whereguitarswouldbe distortedtothepointthatplayingfullchordswouldsoundtoomuddy.Trypluggingyour electricguitarintoanamplifierwiththedistortioncrankedandplayanopenGchord,or betteryet,aG7chord.Notsoharmonious,isit?NowtrytheG5chordaswrittenbelow. Hearthatrocktone?(Note:ifyoudonthaveanelectricguitar,thisdemonstrationissort ofuseless,butyoucanstilllearnmuchfrompowerchordsnonetheless.) Beforewebeginwithpowerchords,wehavetolearnwherethenotesoftheCmajor scaleareonthe6thand5thstrings.TheseareoutlinedinExample1.28.Noticewherethe halfstepsare(theintervalofonefret)betweenEandF,andBandC. NowletslearnthepowerchordsinthekeyofCmajor.Therearetwobasicpower chords:thetwofingerpowerchordandthethreefingerpowerchord;bothareoutlinedin Example1.29.Thesetwotypesofpowerchordsaremostlyinterchangeableandarejust anotherthingthatissimplyleftuptothemusiciantodecidewhatisbest.PLEASENOTICE thereisNOB5powerchordinthekeyofCmajor.Trynottolookahead,andinsteadguess why.Thoughtofityet?ItisbecauseB5containsanF#,which,again,isnotinthekeyofC. Wewilltalkaboutacoupleofwaystogetaroundthisissueinabit.Butnow,beforeweget toofaralongwiththese,letspracticethesepowerchordsinsomeetudes. PowerChordEtudesinCMajor 1.30Lookfamiliar?Again,itisthePop/Rockchordprogression.NoticethatI havenotincludedwherethepowerchordsare,andnoticethatthereareacoupleof differentwaystoplaythesamepowerchord.Itisuptothemusiciantodecidewhereto playeachpowerchord.Typically,youwanttopickaprogressionthatminimizesmovement inthelefthand,soremembertoswitchstringswheneverthenextchordiscloseby,andtry nottoshiftmorethanfiveorsofrets.Sometimesitisinevitable,buttoomuchshiftingcan leadtoamissfire,orovershooting/undershooting. 1.31IliketocallthisthePunkRockchordprogression;itseemstobeinevery othersongthesedays,regardlesswhetheritisapunkrocksongornot.Itdoesnotfollow therulesofchordmovementverywell(P>D>T),butthatswhatpunkrockisall about,Isuppose:breakingrules. 1.32Thegreat12BarBluesyetagain.Thisoneismoreakintoatrueblues,like whatyoudhereBBKingplayorsomething.Wellseethisoneagainverysoon.

17 FindasmanysongsinthekeyofCasyoucan,andsubstitutepowerchordsinforthe chordintheprogressions.Rememberthatpowerchordsareneithermajornorminor,so ignorethosedistinctions.Alsorememberthatanychordaffectingthe5thofthechord (specifically,diminishedchords)dontworkwellwithpowerchords,andrequirespecial treatmentthatwewilldiscussinamoment. ExtendedPowerChordTechniques Powerchordsareoftengivenabadrapforbeingtoosquareandnotharmonically interesting.Whilethisisthenatureofthebeast,thereareafewtechniquesguitaristshave beenusingforquitesometimethatmakepowerchordsmoreinteresting.Imgoingto breakfrommytypicalmodeloftechniquesthenexamplesandjustgiveonespecific exampleforeachtechnique. The5>6>7>6ChordShuffleExample1.33 Ofteninbluesandrockshuffles,guitaristswillextendthe5thofthetwofinger powerchordupawholesteptoasixth,andalternatebetweenthesetwochords.Forthe particularlyflexible,extendingthe6thupanotherhalfsteptothe7thisdonewhenmoving fromonechordtothenext.Indoingso,wemightborrowachordfromanotherkey:in thecaseofExample1.33,aswemovetotheFchord,weborrowthedominantorVchordin thekeyofF,whichisC7.Also,aswemovebacktoC,weborrowtheF7chordfromthekey ofBb,whichmakeslittlesense,butsoundsbluesyanyways.Generally,thesechordsare onlyusedfortheI,IV,andVchords(C,F,andGinCmajor). InvertedChordsasQuasiPowerChordsforSmoothBassMovementExample1.34 Thatwasquitethemouthful,butthetitlesaysitall.Letsgooverwhatitmeans. Firstofall,aninvertedchordissimplyachordwherethebassnoteisnottherootnote.An exampleofthiswouldbeifyouplayedtheCchord,butplayedtheopenEstringor6th stringaswell.ThiswouldbecomeaC/Echord.Or,ifyouplayedaCchord,butyourfriend whoisplayingbassplayedthenoteEinsteadofC,togetheryouwouldmakeaC/Echord. ThisiswhatishappeningwiththeextendedquasipowerchordsinExample1.34.These aresimplybestmemorizedincontextatfirst,andthentheywillmakemoresense.They alsogetaroundthedifficultyofaBchord:ifyouwantthebasstomovefromCtoBtoA likeintheexample,youcanplayC5,thenG/B,thenA5insteadofC5,B5,andA5.Thinkof thesechordsaspassingorneighboringchords.Occasionallyyougetanexampleofa leap,likewhenyougofromC5toG/BtoF5.Thesesimplysoundgoodandarentreally explainedverywellotherwise. Sus2PowerChordsExample1.35 Akintothe6or7powerchords,thesechordsaddalittlesomethingextratothe soundofthenormalpowerchord.Noticethatthesechordsarereallytwodifferentpower chordsstackedontopofoneanother.Forexample,theCsus2powerchordisC5andG5 stacked.Thisiswhytheystillhavethatrocktonewhenplayedthroughheavydistortion; itissimplya5thona5th.Oftenyouwillseethesewrittenassimple2chordsaswell,

18 becausethereisnodistinctionbetweenmajororminor,thereforetherereallyisnoneed forthesusanyways. So,now,findsongsthatareeithercomprisedofpowerchords,orfindsongsthat lendthemselveswelltothesetypesofpowerchords.Trysubstitutingsus2chordsor invertedpowerchordswhentheysoundright.Dontgotoocrazywiththem,however. Mostofthetime,simplepowerchordsworkjustfine;justaddintheseextraelementsto spicethingsup. Whattodonext Musictheoryisbestpracticedviaactivecompositionandarrangement.Ivebeen subtlyaskingyoutoarrangethesongsyoufindbytakingthechordprogressionsorthe melodiesandapplyingwhatwevelearnedsofartothem.Totakearrangingastepfurther, writeoutonstaffpaper(oranotationprogram)exactlywhatyouwouldplayineachsong, distinguishing,forexample,betweenwhenyouwouldplayopenchordsversuspower chords,etc.Dontbeafraidtomakesomeoneelsescompositionyourown(followingstrict copyrightrules,ofcourse). Intermsofcomposition,startoutsmall.Followtheexactformulaandrulesgiven. Elaboratebyaddinginthedifferenttypesofchords,butkeepthefundamentalchord progressionthesame.Then,afteraddingindifferentchords,startelaborating.Ifyoulike thesimplerchordprogressionbetter,usethat.Mostsongsarequitesimple,usingonly basicchords. Ifyouarewritingamelodyontopofyouchordprogression,startwithchordtones, orthenotesthatmakeupachord.Usesimplerhythms.Writingmelodiesreallyhasno formalrules,souseyourearanddecideforyourselfwhatsoundsgoodandwhatworks. Addnonchordtoneshereandthere,ormakethemelodynotethesuspendednoteinsus chords.Recordinganimprovisedmelodyisalsoagoodwaytogetstarted,grantedthat yourimprovisationskillsareatacertainlevel. Ofcourse,youcansimplyjustcontinueonwiththenextkey,andthenslowlywork yourwayintocomposition.Remember,fromhereonout,eachkeywillextremelysimilarto thelast,soeachsectionwillbemuchshorterwithoutalltheexplanationsandsuch.