MUSIC THEORY 101 Don't Be Afraid :)

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by jonesy, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Brand new member here. I've only been learning for around 2 months now. I'm just finding sources like this and trying to teach myself.

    Currently I'm learning the minor pentatonic and blues scale, and learning the 12 most used chords major, minor and 7th. Then I practice my picking and do the chromatic scale everyday several times. I also am doing finger excercsies, such as ladder and spider (spider hurts me--lol.)

    I already understand how imporrtant at least some theory is to playing, so here I am.

    How do I read or make sense of "i iv v"

    Thank you.
    PS--My first guitar is an Eppiphone Les Paul Standard Pro Quilt top in blue. :) However, I find myself picking up my sisters' Fender acoustic most of the time to practice on.
     
  2. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Those are chord symbols, or rather symbols of the chords' function. That's one, four, and five in roman numerals. They indicate minor chords, because they are lower case. Upper case would indicate major chords.

    The number itself refers to the root of the chord. For example "iv" is a minor chord built on the fourth note of whatever key you are playing in.

    For instance the key of A minor contains the notes ABCDEFG.
    Notice that I've highlighted the first, fourth and fifth notes.

    From that you can see that the iv chord would be a minor chord built on D, as that is the fourth note. ie a Dm chord.

    So the "i, iv, v" that you asked about would be Am, Dm, Em, in this key.

    Similarly, I, IV, V (upper case, so major chords) would be A, D, E.

    You can apply the same process for any key, so for instance the key of E minor contains the notes EF#GABCD. In that key i, iv, v would be Em, Am Bm.

    See the logic? You can play the same song in a different key if you know the chord functions. Look at these:

    C Am F G
    F Dm Bb C
    G Em C D
    D Bm G A
    F#D#m B C#
    Ab Fm Db Eb

    All of those chord progressions are I, vi IV, V, just in different keys.

    :)

    edit: You might like to have a look at this old thread, which uses roman numerals to list the chords found in a number of different types of key.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/guitar-lessons/97488-reference-chords-all-modes-major-scale.html

    :)
     
  3. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yes. Thank you. I have another question I will post now also.
     
  4. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    So, actually I have two questions.

    (1) My ring finger and my middle finger, on my fretboard hand, seem to be glued together. I have very little control over the ring finger. All other fingers are pretty good relative to my never having tried to exercise them independently of each other. Is this normal, or am I deformed? To try and get over this limitation, I have been doing ladder exercises and spider exercises, along with playing the full chromatic scale on all strings. I've been doing that for about 4 days now. Currently, they the ring finger is still not cooperating.

    (2) When I look at the 5 position of the minor pentatonic scale, they are in different positions of the fretboard. When played, they sound the same except in a different octave. I mean I get that the shapes are all different because each place on the fretboard is a different note. So to have the same sound in a different octave, the finger positions have to be relatively different also.

    What I am not understanding is what if I play say the A minor position (5th fret)/shape on another fret? It still sounds good. I mean what am I not getting here?
     
  5. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    I'm afraid that the only answer I know to that one is simply more practice. Not a very exciting answer, but it's all I've got.

    That's good - some people have trouble grasping that part. :)

    Ok. It will still sound good because the intervals between the notes are the same, just starting on a different root note. You are still playing a minor pentatonic scale, just not the A minor scale anymore.

    If I understand you, you are taking this shape:

    e 5 - - 8
    B 5 - - 8
    G 5 - 7
    D 5 - 7
    A 5 - 7
    E 5 - - 8

    And moving it to another fret, for instance:

    e 6 - - 9
    B 6 - - 9
    G 6 - 8
    D 6 - 8
    A 6 - 8
    E 6 - - 9

    Is that what you mean?

    What is happening there is that you are playing the Bb minor pentatonic scale. It's still a minor pentatonic because the shape is the same, but it's the Bb scale because you are now starting on the 6th fret, ie Bb.

    Any help?

    :)
     
  6. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yes. I think so, but two questions.

    (1) Why is it that the Ab Pentatonic played at the A locations?
    (2) What happens if I play the minor Pentatonic shape #1, for instance, which is
    1-4
    1-3
    1-3
    1-3
    1-4
    1-4
    starting on a random fret? I know it has something to do with a root note, but I don't know how to find a root note. I mean what if I just picked the 3rd fret, for example, and started playing that position?

    Thanks. I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.
     
  7. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    My pinky has no special dexterity.
    It too is tied to the ring finger, until I get on a fret board.
    At that point the muscle memory is wholly different. Playing the way I do (positions) I see the two basic variations as 1-2-4 and 1-3-4 as far as fingers are concerned.
    It does not mean my ring finger doesn't move if I play 1-2-4, but it doesn't fret the note.
     
  8. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Here's a diagram of the minor pentatonic shapes with the position of the root note identified. (nb - it seems that every place on the internet numbers them differently, so don't take the shape numbers as gospel)

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  9. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    This is my go to scale when I get a bit rusty and want to get all 4 fingers working together...play it up and down starting slowly with quarter notes, then increasing speed to eighth notes, then sixteenth notes etc.

    Only play it as fast as you can without any mistakes; Remember Slow and Perfect is better than Fast and Sloppy. :)

    Major Scale 2 octave version...


    [​IMG]


    Guitar Scale Library


    .
     
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  10. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yeah I have those, and one source says 1 and 3 are the "most used." #1 being on the 5th fret and #2 starting I think on the 12th. So how do the root noted work in concert with the scales? I see that the root of Ab is A. I've been playing the positions, but, as you know, they all sound the same. So how to I mix them up or play them together etc? I read that you should also play them "across" the fretboard. What does that means? I mean how else can you play them, unless you hook them all together vertically and play them down each string?
     
  11. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    What does "Major Scale two octave" mean?

    PS--I would settle for slow and sloppy a this point.

     
  12. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    :shock:

    Where do you see that? The root of A is A!
     
  13. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Ab (A minor) root is A?
     
  14. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Ahhh - I see the problem!

    Ab is "A flat" ie one fret bellow an A.

    A minor is written Am.

    That should make things clearer! And yes, the root of A minor is A.

    :)
     
  15. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Example...

    C Major scale one Octave: C D E F G A B C

    C Major scale 2 Octave: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C


    From Wiki>Octave
    In music, an octave (Latin: octavus: eighth) or perfect octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. The octave relationship is a natural phenomenon that has been referred to as the "basic miracle of music", the use of which is "common in most musical systems".



    p.s never settle for sloppy, ever...

     
  16. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Thank you, so what does it mean when you play it?

     
  17. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Still feeling lost. So you have the A minor, monor pentatonic scale. Each 'shape' is at a different location on the fret representing the A root?

    So, can you play any of those shapes anywhere on the fretboard?

    I'm confused about how to find the locations of the root notes and how to apply each shape to them. That is probably a really obvious question, but it's perplexing me.

    Something like this maybe, "Root Note is nothing but a bass sound which forms the chord. Since it is a bass sound, naturally it will be either on the sixth string or the fifth string."

    But I see root notes, such as that of a non open C chord on higher strings than the 5th or 6th.

    Although they learn to play songs faster, I hope learning guitar like this will be better off in the long run than just memorizing songs and learning by ear like so many other people do. :(

     
  18. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I think of the Major Scale as the "Mother" of all scales and the basis of Western Music Theory...(vs Eastern Music)

    It's the old Do Ri Me Fa So La Ti Do scale, listen to the intervals it's more of a happy sound compared to the minor pentatonic which is more sad.

    Not sure if that makes sense to you or not. :hmm:

    It is easy to get confused by all the different scales and theory involved. Try not to think to much with your brain, let you ear guide you and just enjoy them as music. ;)
     
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  19. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Yes.

    Yes - so long as the root note in each shape is correctly located, then you have different positions to play the same scale all over the neck, and in lower/higher registers. If you look carefully at the diagrams of the shapes you should notice that the lower row of notes (that is lower on the diagram, in fact the pitch is higher) from one shape is the upper row of notes from the next shape, and so on. They all connect together to make one mega-pattern that covers the whole neck.

    Well, as I just said, aligning the upper/lower row of adjacent shapes should help. For example, using the names as they appear on the diagram I posted:

    For A minor we play shape 1 so that the index finger is always at the 5th fret. You can see in the diagram that this means there are A notes (the root of the scale) at the 5th fret of both E strings, and at the 7th fret of the D string.

    Now look at shape 2, and notice that it also has a root note on the D string. Play shape 1 at the 5th fret, then shift your hand so that your index finger is on the 7th fret of the D string, and play shape 2. Can you hear it as the same thing? That is, the same set of notes & intervals? Try to move backwards & forwards between shape 1 & shape 2 using that A (D string 7th fret) as a pivot.

    The rest of the shapes connect in the same way - the upper root in shape 2 is on the B string. Shape 3 also has a root on the B string. That can be your pivot note to connect the two shapes. And so on.

    Er, no. Root and Bass are not the same thing. Bass just means lowest note. The root note is the note a scale or chord is built from - all intervals are measured, from it etc - but you can have root notes in any register. Think of a simple open position E chord:

    e 0
    B 0
    G 1
    D 2
    A 2
    E 0

    There are three Es in that chord. The one on the low E string is also the bass note, because it's the lowest, but the note on the high E string is also a root note.

    Exactly. As it happens, only shape 2 of the pentatonic scale doesn't have a root note on either the E or A strings, but that's really only coincidence.

    :)
     
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  20. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yes, it surely does. I played a couple of major shapes last night and can hear distinctly what you mean. It's even more pronounced comparing the Major to the Blues scale. BTW, I love the blues scale. Played it for an hour last night up and down the fretboard, to the neglect of my finger ladder and spider exercises.

     
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