Music Theory

The idea here is to do all the courses/lessons in the same Key-signature so that everything you learn (arpeggio, chord, Modes etc.) is within the same key and thus can be used straight away within that key at least.  The Key chosen as the center of attention will be the key of G. One of the reason for this is that because of the standard tuning of the guitar means that the most common chordal relationship accessible without using barring chords (1-4-5 = G C D) as well as the ease of learning blues in the key of E minor which is is of course the 6th degree of the major scale. Now if you didn‘t understand a thing in the preceding paragraph you are in the right place!

You can move the patterns around on the guitar to find them in different keys.  For example if you move the scale, arpeggio etc. up two frets on the E-string, from the third to the fifth – from G to A, then you’ve got something in the key of A If we start the Major Scale on the A note for example on the E-string fifth fret then we are playing the A-Major Scale. Learning scales on guitar can be as difficult as you want it to be. You could just learn position one and position 4 in the pentatonic scale and make some great sounding music on the other hand if you really want to delve into the theory then you need to learn three different musical systems. The Major Scale, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor. Each a Scale/Chord system in it’s own right. Each system has seven different modes. So all in all around 21 different diatonic scales. The Major Scale which has seven modes the 6th of them being the Natural Minor Scale or just the typical Minor everybody talks about and uses.

The Major Scale (the first mode or Ionian) is the main thing you should start focusing on because everything in music theory is explained in some way or another with the Major Scale as reference. So lets say I want to describe the minor Scale to you, I would say the minor scale is like the Major in every way except, and then I would list the changes. Specifically I would say that the 3rd note, 6th note & 7th note of the Minor scale are Flat meaning that you move those three notes down one fret/semitone from the original form of the Major Scale.

The lessons will be ordered by relevance and with the Key-Center approach so the first lesson is the Major Scale because that scale is the foundation for the majority of pop, rock etc. music out there. Again because it’s very important: The Major scale explains concepts such as how chords are constructed and named, how arpeggios work (arpeggio is a broken chord or general: a chord played one note at a time), how chord progressions work (eg. how chords in songs are arranged) how melodies are constructed over the chord progression (the singing/ lead if instrumental) the difference between Major and Minor and so forth. In any case just take my word for it this is a good starting point. Each lesson will kind of suppose that you’ve gone through some or all of the preceding videos.

It’s always hard though to create a one size fits all type of structure. Some might want to start with some easier patterns like the Pentatonic Scales for ease of access and that’s totally fine. You decide how technical and theoretical you want to be. The main thing is to realize that Music Theory is not the bounding box it’s not there to tell you what is right or wrong if something doesn’t fit the theory it doesn’t mean its not right it only means that it doesn’t fit the theory. We’ve definitely not figured everything out about music that we can but we’ve constructed a pretty good Tonal systems that are very useful to understand music in general. If you cover all of the three musical systems, The Major Scale, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor and derived modes then you’ve can explain almost anything out there currently or at least describe it in some meaningful way as a change or difference (delta) from those systems.