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MUSIC THEORY FOR GUITARISTS

Copyright (C) 2004-2007 Nick Antonaccio, All Rights Reserved.


What is music theory, and why should you learn about it?

The goal of music theory is to put a generic label on every possible musical sound that can heard or played on an instrument. It uses formulas consisting of note names, intervals, scales, chords, chord progressions, and chord-scale relationships, to name and categorize all possible musical pitch combinations. Music theory provides a universal structure to help musicians understand how music works, in a generally organized and communicative way, and it provides the fundamental knowledge required to create, write, arrange, play by ear, and improvise music.

Learning music theory does not teach you “how to play guitar”. That only comes from playing thousands of pieces of music over many years. Technical ability, dexterity, fast thinking habits, and natural patterns of movement only come from lots of physical practice on an instrument. Intuitive understanding of how to perform and create “good”, stylistically interesting, aesthetically pleasing music only comes from playing and internalizing pieces of music created by other musicians, experimenting with your own creative explorations, and experiencing many varied performance situations. Knowing common chord shapes, melodic patterns, picking and strumming techniques, song forms, and having the ability to produce good tone and to execute all common movements such as slides, bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs, harmonics, etc. are what enable a person to “play guitar”. This text won't replace any of that learning. But to really understand, and to know completely how music works in a universal way, music theory ties everything together into an organized scientific context in which all sounds are understandable, repeatable, malleable, expressive, and more easily put to creative use. Learning the material in this text will help you in that regard.


NOTES ON THE GUITAR:

There are only 12 notes in our musical system. They are labeled by 7 letters that ascend in alphabetical order from “A” to “G”. Those letters repeat from the lowest to the highest possible notes. Below is a listing of all the “natural” notes, and the frets at which they are found on the guitar (the 1st string is the thinnest string, closest to the ground):


Open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1st string: E F G A B C D E

2nd string: B C D E F G A B

3rd string: G A B C D E F G

4th string: D E F G A B C D

5th string: A B C D E F G A

6th string: E F G A B C D E


On the guitar, the notes “B” to “C” and the notes “E to “F” are always 1 fret apart (for example, if an “E” is found at the 5th fret of the 2nd string, then an “F” is found 1 fret above, at the 6th fret). All other notes are 2 frets apart (for example, if an “F” is found at the 6th fret, a “G” is found at the 8th fret, 2 frets above). Frets in between the natural notes are labeled by sharp (“#”) and flat (“b”) symbols. Sharp symbols move a note up 1 fret. Flat symbols move a note down 1 fret. The fret in between an “F” and a “G”, for example, can be called either “F#” or “Gb” - both those names refer to the same note. Below is a complete listing of all the notes on the guitar, including the sharps and flats:


Open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1st string: E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E

2nd string: B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B

3rd string: G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G

4th string: D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D

5th string: A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A

6th string: E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E


Notice the following things about how notes are organized on the guitar:

  1. Notes ascend in alphabetical order on each string, from lower to higher numbered frets.

  2. Note names repeat every 12 frets. Add 12 to any fret number, and you'll find a note with the same name. Those notes are called “Octaves”.

  3. Each string contains notes identical to the one next to it, typically 5 frets apart (for example, the 1st string open, is the same as the 2nd string, 5th fret). Notes on the 2nd and 3rd strings are 4 frets apart. The guitar is set up this way so that several octaves of notes can be found and played together, all within several inches of each other on the fret board.


INTERVALS:

Intervals are numbers that define relative pitch distance between notes. In simpler terms, on the guitar, intervals can be expressed in terms of fret distances. These intervals are the basis of all structures and concepts in music theory:

Interval | Number of | Common

Label | Frets | Name

-------------- |------------- |--------------

| |

1 | 0 frets | “unison”

b2 (or #1) | 1 fret | “minor second” or “half step”

2 | 2 frets | “major second” or “whole step”

b3 (or b4) | 3 frets | “minor third”

3 | 4 frets | “major third”

4 | 5 frets | “fourth” or “perfect fourth”

b5 (or #4) | 6 frets | “tritone”

5 | 7 frets | “fifth” or “perfect fifth”

#5 (or b6) | 8 frets | “augmented fifth” or “minor 6th”

6 | 9 frets | “major 6th”

b7 (or #6) | 10 frets | “minor seventh”

7 | 11 frets | “major seventh”

8 | 12 frets | “octave”

b9 | 13 frets | “minor 9th” (b2 + an octave)

9 | 14 frets | “major ninth” (2 + an octave)

#9 | 14 frets | “sharp nine” (b3 + an octave)

10 | 16 frets | “major tenth” (3 + an octave)

11 | 16 frets | “eleventh” (4 + an octave)

12 | 17 frets | “twelfth” (5 + an octave)

13 | 17 frets | “thirteenth” (6 + an octave)


It's important to see and remember that the numbers 9 = 2, 11 = 4 and 6 = 13. They are the same notes, just an octave (12 frets) apart. Here is a diagram displaying all the intervals as they appear on the frets of any single string of the guitar. Hyphens (“-”) represent empty frets:

1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 8 – 9 – 10 11 – 12 – 13

(is the same as:)


1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6



Movable Patterns and Root Notes:


It's important to understand that the above diagram is movable. You can shift it to any fret, on any string of the guitar, and it outlines a relative set of notes that creates the same characteristic sound, no matter where you put it. The sound of those natural numbers (i.e., numbers with no flats or sharps) is called the “Major Scale”. Count up, in the above order, from any fret, on any string, and it creates the recognizable “Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do” sound, with which most people are familiar.


When working with movable patterns, the concept of a “Root Note” is very important. Root notes can be defined as the number “1”. If you put the number 1 in the above diagram on a “C” note, you're playing a “C major scale” (in that case, the numbers 12345678 land on the notes CDEFGABC). If you put the number 1 in the above diagram on an “A” note, you're playing an “A major scale” (the notes ABC#DEF#G#).


Once the above fingering pattern is understood, the next step, and the most important one, is to lay out those relative interval number positions on each string of the guitar, so that that they can be played anywhere on the instrument – up, down, and across the fretboard. Below is a diagram displaying the relative positions of all the intervals on each string of the guitar fretboard:


1st string: 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1

2nd string: 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5

3rd string: - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 -

4th string: – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 - 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 –

5th string: 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4

6th string: 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1 – 2 - 3 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 1

LEARN THAT DIAGRAM. Being able to play the numbers in the above diagram is the fundamental learning process required to understand practical music theory on the guitar. You'll use it to play every possible variation of every possible chord, scale, and chord progression found in our musical system. In other words, you'll use it to find and play every sound combination possible on the guitar. We'll use it to define and find all the musical materials in this text. As you go, remember: 9=2, 11=4, 13=6.



CAGED” Shapes:


If you play guitar for any length of time, you'll likely hear some reference to “caged” shapes and fingering patterns. The CAGED shapes are nothing more than the numbers of the full fretboard interval pattern shown in the previous section, broken up into smaller manageable chunks. Those chunks are typically divided into 5 sections, each labeled by one of the letter names “C” “A” “G” “E” and “D” (those letter names refer to chord shapes derived from each fingering pattern – the common “open C chord” comes from the C shape, the open A chord from the A shape, etc... but that's not important at this point). If you know the fingering pattern in the previous section, you know the CAGEE shapes. In this text, term “CAGED shapes” will be used to refer to that full fretboard interval pattern.



362573 C

4|||14

C A G E D |736||

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ 514|25 A

3 6 2 5 7 3 5 1 4 | 2 5 6 2 5 1 3 6 1 4 | | 5 1 2 5 1 4 6 2 |||7||

4 | | | 1 4 | | | 7 | | | | | | 4 | | | 7 3 | | | | | | | | 625136 G

| 7 3 6 | | 6 2 5 1 3 6 7 3 6 2 | 7 2 5 1 4 6 2 3 6 2 5 7 3 ||||4|

5 1 4 | 2 5 | | | | 4 | 1 4 | | 5 1 | | | | | | 4 | | | 1 4 7362|7

| | | | | | 7 3 6 | | 7 | | 7 | | | 3 6 2 | 7 3 | 7 3 | | | 14||51 E

||73||

251462 D

||||||

362573 C

(Look to the right to see how these shapes connect 4|||14

together to form the complete fretboard pattern). |736|| ||

514|25 \/




SCALES:


The most important concept in music theory is that different interval patterns create different characteristic sounds. If you change, add, or delete any number from the 1234567 major scale interval pattern, you'll get a scale (an ascending or descending succession of notes) that sounds different than the major scale. This is the fundamental concept upon which our entire musical system is based.


The interval patterns below represent most of the common scales used in familiar music. As with note names, interval numbers next to a flat symbol (“b”) should be moved down 1 fret (closer to the headstock of the guitar). Numbers with a sharp symbol (“#”) should be moved up 1 fret (closer to the bridge of the guitar).



Major: Minor Pentatonic: Blues: Major Pentatonic:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 b3 4 5 b7 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 2 3 5 6

Mixolydian: Dorian: Lydian: Locrian:

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

Natural Minor (Aeolian): Harmonic Minor: Melodic Minor:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (ascending)

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 (decscending)

Bebop Dominant: Bebop Major: Bebop Minor:

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 1 2 3 4 5 #5 6 7 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 7

Diminished: Whole Tone: Lydian Dominant:

1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 6 7 1 2 3 #4 #5 b7 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7

Chromatic (every possible note):

1 b2 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 7



To create any scale, just plug the interval numbers into the fret board interval diagram (or any of the 5 CAGED sections). Below are 5 minor pentatonic scale fingerings. They all contain the same numbers 1 b3 4 5 b7, just plugged into each of the 5 CAGED sections, so in different places on the neck:


C A G E D

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

| | | 5 | | 5 1 4b7 | 5 | | 5 1 | | 1 4b7b3 5 1 | 5 1 4 | |

4b7b3 | 1 4 | | | |b3 | b7b3 | | 4b7 | | | | | | b3 | | |b7b3

| | | | | | | | 5 1 | | | | | | | | | 5 1 4 | | | | | 5 | |

5 1 4 b7| 5 b7b3 | | 4b7 1 4b7b3 5 1 b3 | | |b7b3 4b7b3 | 1 4

| | | |b3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


Here are the fingering diagrams, written without interval numbers:


| | | + | | + + + + | + | | + + | | + + + + + + | + + + | |

+ + + | + + | | | | + | + + | | + + | | | | | | + | | | + +

| | | | | | | | + + | | | | | | | | | + + + | | | | | + | |

+ + + + | + + + | | + + + + + + + + + | | | + + + + + | + +

| | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


If you've ever played mainstream rock, blues, country, or funk lead guitar, you're probably very familiar with the above fingering patterns. You've likely seen how they're used to create licks and melodies in virtually every type of lead guitar solo in popular music. Now, you know where they come from, and that's just one part of understanding music theory. All the other scales in our musical system work the same way. Every single scale fingering possible on the guitar can be played by picking out the correct numbers from the full fretboard interval pattern. It takes a bit of memorization, but it's really that simple! Here are some additional scale examples, written out using the “E” CAGED shape:

Blues: Mixolydian: Dorian: Harmonic Minor: Chromatic:

+ + + + + + + + + | + + + + + + + + + + | + + + + + + + + +

| + | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | + | + | + + + + + +

| + + + | | + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + | + + + + + + +

+ | | + + + | | | | + | + | | | + + + + | | | + + + + + + +

| | | | | | + + + | | + | + + | | | | | + | + | + + + | + +



An Important Note About Sharps and Flats:


Sharped/flatted intervals do not always land on sharped/flatted note names (and visa-versa). If you start on a "C" note and go up a b2 interval (1 fret away), the note ends up being "Db". If you start on the note "B", the b2 above lands on "C" - a natural note. The same thing can happen in a variety of situations. A #4 above "C" is "F#". A #4 above "F" is "B" - a natural note. Start on "C" and go up a natural 3rd (the interval number 3 with no sharp or flat), and you get the note "E". The natural (unflatted) 3rd above "Gb" lands on the note "Bb" - a flatted note name. Just be aware that sharped/flatted interval numbers have nothing to do with whether the note names they define are sharped/flatted. The intervals just define the notes that make up the scale/key - not that the notes themselves have sharp or flat names.


A Note About Modes:


Modes are another confusing subject for many students because they're often taught in a confusing way. If you find the notes of a C major, D dorian, G mixolydian, F Lydian, and B Locrian scale, you'll see that they all contain the same note names (C, D, E, F, G, A, and B). D dorian, G mixolydian, F Lydian, and B Locrian are said to be "modes" of the C major scale - they contain the same notes, just starting on a different letter (i.e., C major starts on C, D dorian starts on D, and G mixolydian starts on G, etc.). It's more important to understand that those scales all have a particular sound based on their interval pattern - just like any other scale. They just happen to contain the same note spellings. That's all a mode is - the same scale starting on a different letter. But they shouldn't be learned that way. Simply learn each individual scale as an interval pattern - a set of numbers above a root note. That's how they're used in real music.


Familiarize yourself with the scale patterns presented above. They form the fret board fingerings used to create melodies and lead guitar solos in every style of music. Every accomplished lead guitarist has the important scales memorized and deeply ingrained in practice, up and down the fretboard as a series of CAGED fingering patterns. They each provide a unique sound. Learning these formulas, along with the 5 CAGED diagrams will replace any need for scale books. Instead, learning to build all of the scale types in each of the 5 CAGED positions on the neck will yield every possible fingering combination. All you need is the information above.

CHORDS:



Chords are created by playing 2, 3 or more interval numbers together. On a guitar, the notes of chords are played on different strings simultaneously, whereas scales are created by playing successions of notes individually. Below are interval (number) patterns and diagram examples for all the chord types in common use. You can create all of these chords on the guitar by simply picking out the specified interval numbers in the CAGED shapes, and plucking them together. Learning these formulas along with the 5 CAGED diagrams will replace any need for chord books. Instead, learning to build all of the chord types in every position on the neck will yield 10's of thousands of combinations! All you need is the information below.


It's very important to note that when forming a chord on the guitar, any note(s) can be doubled (i.e., any collection of C, E, and G notes (1, 3, and 5), regardless of octave or repetition, form a C major chord). Common guitar chord shapes contain many doubled numbers (i,e., you may find several number 1's, several 5's, etc., in each fingering). For each type of chord, guitar diagrams derived from the CAGED interval patterns should be tried. Compare the shapes to the chords you know. Every single chord fingering possible on the guitar comes from those few simple CAGED interval patterns.



Power Chords:


Power chords are the most common sound in rock guitar music. To create a power chord, the intervals 1 and 5 played together. They are represented in chord symbols by a note name, followed by the number "5":


Intervals: 1 5

A5 E5 D5

___________ ___________ x__________

| 1 | | | | 1 | | | | | | | 1 | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | 5(1)| | | 5(1)| | | | | | 5 | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |(1)|

Major Chords:


"Major triads" are most often represented in music by a single note name, i.e. "C" = C MAJOR triad, "G#" = "G sharp MAJOR triad" (also C, C, or Cmaj).

Intervals: 1 3 5


C A G E D

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ x__________

| | | 5 | 3 5 1 | | | 5 | | 5 1 3 | 1 | | | 5 1 | 5 1 | | |

| | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3 | | | | | | | |

| | 3 | | | | | 5 1 3 | | 3 | | | | | 5 1 | | | | | | 5 | 3

| 1 | | | | | | | | | | 1 | | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | 1 |


Notice that in the "D" shape there is no place to find the intervals 1, 3, or 5 on the 6th string - that's why you don't play that string in a D chord.



Minor Chords:


"Minor triads" are another type of common three note chord (with a sadder, darker sound):


Cm, Cmin, C- ("Am" = "A minor" or "A minor triad")


Intervals: 1 b3 5

Am Em Dm

___________ ___________ x__________

5 1 | | | 5 1 | |b3 5 1 | 5 1 | | |

| | | |b3 | | | | | | | | | | | |b3

| | 5 1 | | | 5 1 | | | | | | 5 | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 1 |





"7th" Chords:


7th chords contain four notes, and come in three types, or "sonorities": MAJOR, MINOR, and DOMINANT. The main difference between each chord type is the 3 and 7 intervals. MAJOR 7th chords are labeled by the symbols "M" (large M), "maj", or a triangle, and contain all "natural" intervals (no sharp or flat intervals). MINOR chords are labeled by the symbols "m", "min", or "-" (minus sign), and contain a b3 and b7. DOMINANT chords are those that don't have any other sonority label (i.e., "C7" is a dominant 7th - it contains no major or minor symbols). Dominant chords contain a natural 3 and a b7. The 5 is optional in all of these chords (i.e., some fingerings of C7 on the guitar do not contain the note G (the interval 5) - it's not required):




MAJOR 7th: Cmaj7, C7, CM7


Intervals: 1 3 (5) 7



Cmaj7 Amaj7 Gmaj7 Emaj7 Dmaj7

x__________ ___________ x_x________ ___________ x__________

| | | 5 7 3 5 1 | | | 5 | | 5 1 3 | 1 | | | 5 1 | 5 1 | | |

| | | | | | | | | 7 | | | | | | | | | | 7 3 | | | | | | | |

| | 3 | | | | | 5 | 3 | | | | | | 7 | 5 | | | | | | | 5 7 3

| 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |




MINOR 7th: Cmin7, Cm7, C-7


1 b3 (5) b7


Cmin7 Amin7 Gmin7 Emin7 Dmin7

___________ ___________ __x_x______ ___________ x__________

| | | | | | 5 1 |b7 | 5 | | | | | | 1 |b7b3 5 1 | 5 1 | | |

| |b3 | 1 | | | | |b3 | | | | | |b7 | | | | | | | | | |b7b3

| | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | | | 5 | |

| 1 |b7 |(5) | | | | | | 1 | |b3 5 | | | | | | | | | | | | |




DOMINANT 7th: C7 (Dominant 7th are usually referred

to as simply "Seventh" chords.

1 3 (5) b7 They have a "bluesy" sound compared

to major and minor 7th chords.)


C7 A7 G7 E7 D7

__________x ___________ x_x________ ___________ x__________

| | | | | | 5 1 |b7 | 5 | | 5 1 3 | 1 |b7 | 5 1 | 5 1 | | |

| | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | | |b7 | | | 3 | | | | | |b7 |

| | 3 | | | | | 5 | 3 | | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | | | 5 | 3

(5)1 |b7 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |




Arpeggios:


An arpeggio is just the notes of a chord, played individually. Arpeggios are used as basic building blocks in all types of music. To create an arpeggio, play the notes of a chord one by one, up and down the fretboard, wherever the correct intervals are found. Here is an example of an Fmaj7 arpeggio fingering:

1st string: 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1

2nd string: 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5

3rd string: - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - -

4th string: – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 - - - 3 - – 5 – - –

5th string: - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 -

6th string: 1 – - 3 - - – 5 – - – 7 1 – - - 3 - – 5 – - – 7 1

Extended Chords:



(NOTE: Diagrams for all of the following advanced chords can be found at the end of this section in the example songs).


More complex chords are created by adding 9, 11, and/or 13 intervals to 7th chords. Those intervals, or "extensions" (9,11, and 13) add additional color to the basic 7th chord sounds. ONLY the highest extension is needed to create an extended chord (i.e., the C13 chord requires only the notes in C7, plus an added 13 - the added 9 and 11 are optional). It's very important to realize that the numbers 2/9, 4/11, and 6/13 are the same. When you count up the notes of the major scale, the notes start over at 8 (i.e., 8 is an octave above 1 - the same note, just up higher). Continuing that pattern (i.e., if 8=1), then 9=2, (10=3), 11=4, (12=5), 13=6. When forming extended chords on the guitar fretboard, look for the numbers 2, 4, and 6 in the fingering patterns when you need the intervals 9, 11, and/or 13 respectively.



MAJOR: (note that every major chord contains all

natural intervals - no sharps or flats)


Cmaj9, CM9, C9 (note that the 5 is optional by

the guidelines above - as in

1 3 (5) 7 9 7th chords)


Cmaj13, CM13, C 13 (note that the 5, 9, and 11 are

optional by the guidelines above

1 3 (5) 7 (9) (11) 13 only the highest extension is

required, and the 5 is optional).



MINOR: (note that every minor chord has a b3 and b7)


Cm9, Cmin9, C-9


1 b3 (5) b7 9


Cm13, Cmin13, C-13 (note that the 5, 9, and 11 are

optional by the guidelines above)

1 b3 (5) b7 (9) (11) 13



DOMINANT: (note that every dominant chord has a natural 3 and a b7)


C9


1 3 (5) b7 9


C13

(note that the 5, 9, and 11 are

1 3 (5) b7 (9) (11) 13 optional by the guidelines above)

C11

(note that the 5 and 9 are optional

1 3 (5) b7 (9) 11 by the guidelines above)



















Altered Chords:


Altered chords contain a sharped or flatted 5 and/or 9 (i.e., #5 or b5, and/or #9 or b9). Alterations are typically notated by parentheses after a chord label, i.e., G7(b5). Flats are often indicated by minus signs ("-"), and sharps by plus signs ("+"). Although 5, 9, and 11 are optional in some extended chords (see the guidelines above), they should be included whenever altered (i.e., in a C9 chord, the 5 is optional. In a C9(#5), the 5 is required):


MAJOR:


Cmaj9(#11) (note that #11 and b5 are the same note: 11=4, and #4=b5)


1 3 (5) 7 (9) #11 (note that the 5 and 9 are optional)


MINOR:


Cmin7(-5)


1 b3 b5 b7


DOMINANT: (this category is most often altered)


C7(+5), C7(#5), C7aug Chords containing a #5 are

also called "augmented", or

1 3 #5 b7 "aug" chords.


Caug or C(#5) "Caug" (no 7) refers to a simple

major triad with a #5.

1 3 #5


C7(#9) or C7(+9)


1 3 (5) b7 #9


C7(b9) or C7(-9)


1 3 (5) b7 b9


C7(-5) or C7(b5)


1 3 b5 b7


C9(-5)


1 3 b5 b7 9


C7(b9,b5)


1 3 (5) b7 9


C7(#9,b5)


1 3 b5 b7 #9



Suspended Chords:


"Sus" means replace the 3 interval with either a 2 or 4, as indicated. If no number is given (2 or 4), then sus means "4".


Csus4 (remember: a plain "C" = 1 3 5)


1 4 5


Csus (same as Csus4)


1 4 5


C7sus4


1 4 5 b7


Csus2 C7sus2


1 2 5 1 2 5 b7

"Add" Chords:


Triads (major and minor) with one or more added intervals (6 and/or 9). The difference between add chords and extended chords is that add chords do not contain a 7. All notes are required in add chords:



Cadd6, C6, C6, Cmaj6, CM6


1 3 5 6 (C major triad, with an added 6)


Cadd9, C(triangle)add9, CM(add9)


1 3 5 9 (C major triad, with an added 9)


C6/9, C6add9, Cadd6/9


1 3 5 6 9 (C major triad, with an added 6 and 9)


Cm6, C-6, Cmin6


1 b3 5 6



Half Diminished Chords:


One very common type of altered chord, "half diminished" means the exact same thing as "minor 7th with a flatted 5". Very common in minor chord progressions:


Co7, Cmin7(-5), Cm7(b5), C-7(b5), etc.


1 b3 b5 b7



Diminished Chords:


"Diminished" refers to the interval pattern 1 b3 b5 (6). Diminished chords have the unique characteristic of repeating every 3 frets. You can take any diminished chord fingering and move it up repeatedly in three fret increments, and all positions will contain the same notes:


Co, Cdim (diminished triad)


1 b3 b5


Co7. Cdim7 Try moving this shape up 3 frets,

and look at the note spellings at

1 b3 b5 6 (6 is also called bb7) each location - they are the same.

"Slash" Chords:


The note following a slash symbol should be played as the bass (lowest sounding) note in the chord. When playing with a band, guitarists often ignore slash symbols, allowing the bass or piano instruments to play the bass note:


C/G


1 3 5

C E G, with the "G" note played as the lowest note in the chord formation


C/Ab


1 3 5

C E G, with and added "Ab" note played in the bass


C7(b5)/Gb


1 3 b5 b7

C E Gb Bb, with the "Gb" note played as the lowest note in the chord formation



If you want to be able to read chord charts, play by ear, or improvise, then you should learn the shapes that are found in the music you like. Add them to your habitual vocabulary. They are perhaps the most important and useful elements of music to be practiced on the guitar. Try playing the following examples to understand how all the most complex chord types can be found on the guitar:

Chords to the Song "Laura":



| E7(b9) | Am9 | Am7/D D7(b9#5) | Gmaj7 Am7 | Bbdim7 Bm(b6) | Gm7 | Db7(#5) C7(b9#5) | Fmaj7 Bb7 | F6/9 | Fm Fm(maj7) | Dm7(b5) G7(b9b5) | Cmaj7 Dm7 | Em7 Am7 | D7(-9+5) | G9sus4 G9 | F#07 Fm7 | Em7 Eb7sus4 | Dm7 Dbmaj7 | Cmaj9(#11) ||




E7(b9) Am9 Am7/D D7(b9#5) Gmaj7 Am7

C shape E shape E shape C shape E shape E shape

1=7th fret (E) 1=5th fret (A) 1=5th fret (A) 1=5th fret (D) 1=3rd fret (G) 1=5th fret (A)

x__________ ___________ x__________ x__________ ___________ ___________

| | 3 |b9 | 1 |b7b3 5 | | Db7b3 5 1 | | 3 |b9 | 1 | | | 5 1 1 |b7b3 5 1

| 1 |b7 | 5 | | | | | | | | | | | | | 1 |b7 | | | | 7 3 | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | 5 | | | 9 | | | | | | | | | | |#5 | 5 | | | | | 5 | | | |


Bbdim7 Bm(b6) Gm7 Db7(#5) C7(b9#5) Fmaj7

E shape E shape D shape C shape C shape D shape

1=6th fret (Bb) 1=7th fret (B) 1=5th fret (G) 1=4th fret (Db) 1=3rd fret (C) 1=3rd fret (F)

___________ ___________ x__________ x_______x__ x__________ x__________

1 | | b3| 1 1 | |b3 | 1 |(5)1 | | | | | 3 | | | | | 3 |b9 | |(5)1 | | |

|b5 | | | | | | | |b6 | | | | |b7b3 | 1 |b7 | | | 1 |b7 | | | | | | | |

| | 1 | 6 | | 5 1 | | | | | | 5 | | | | | | |#5 | | | | |#5 | | | 5 7 3


Bb7 F6/9 Fm Fm(maj7) Dm7(b5) G7(b9b5)

E shape C shape D shape D shape A shape E shape

1=6th fret (Bb) 1=8th fret (F) 1=3rd fret (F) 1=3rd fret (F) 1=5th fret (D) 1=3rd fret (G)

___________ x__________ x__________ x__________ x_________x ___________

1 |b7 | | 1 | | 3 6 | | |(5)1 | | | |(5)1 | | | | 1 |b7 | | 1 |b7 | 5 |

| | | 3 | | | 1 | | 9 5 | | | | |b3 | | | | |b3 | |b5 |b3 | |b5 | 3 |b9

| 5 | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | 5 7 | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | |b7 | | | | | | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Am7 D7(-9+5) G9sus4

A shape A shape A shape E shape C shape E shape

1=3rd fret (C) 1=5th fret (D) 1=7th fret (E) 1=5th fret (A) 1=5rd fret (D) 1=3rd fret (G)

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ x__________ ___________

5 1 | | | 5 (5)1 |b7 | 5 (5)1 |b7 | 5 1 |b7b3 | 1 | | 3 |b9 | 1 |b7 | 5 |

| | | 7 | | | | | |b3 | | | | |b3 | | | | | | | | 1 |b7 | | | | | | | |

| | 5 | 3 | | | 5 | | | | | 5 | | | | 5 | | | | | | | | |#5 | 5 | 4 | 9

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |b7 | | | | | | | | | | | | |


G9 F#07 Fm7 Em7 Eb7sus4 Dm7

E shape D shape D shape D shape A shape A shape

1=3rd fret (G) 1=4th fret (F#) 1=3rd fret (F) 1=2nd fret (E) 1=6th fret (Eb) 1=5th fret (D)

___________ x_x________ x__________ x__________ ___________ ___________

1 |b7 | 5 | | | 1 | | | |(5)1 | | | |(5)1 | | | (5)1 |b7 | 5 (5)1 |b7 | 5

| | | 3 | | | | |b5b7b3 | | | |b7b3 | | | |b7b3 | | | | | | | | | |b3 |

| 5 | | | 9 | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | 5 | | | | 5 | | | | | 5 | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4 | | | | | | |


Dbmaj7 Cmaj9(#11)

A shape C shape

1=4th fret (Db) 1=3rd fret (C)

___________ x__________

5 1 | | | 5 | | 3 | |#11

| | | 7 | | | 1 | | 9 |

| | 5 | 3 | | | | 7 | |





Blues Progression in the Key of A:



| A13 A9 | D13 D9 | A9 A7 | A7 A+ | D9 D7(b9) | Adim7 D#dim7 | Amaj7 Bmin7 | C#min9 Cmin9 |

| Bmin9 Bmin13 | E9 E7#9 | C#07 F#7(#9) | B9sus4 Bm7 E9sus E7(b5#9) | A6/9 A6 A6/9 Amaj9(#11) ||




(rootless)

A13 A9 D13 D9 A9 A7

E shape G shape C/A shape C shape E shape D shape

1=5th fret (A) 1=5th fret (A) 1=5th fret (D) 1=5th fret (D) 1=5th fret (A) 1=7th fret (A)

x__________ x_________x x__________ x__________ ___________ x__________

1 |b7 | | 5 | 3 | 9 | | | | 3 | | | | | 3 | | | 1 |b7 | 5 | |(5)1 | | |

| | | 3 | | (1)|b7 | 5 | | 1 |b7 | | | 1 |b7 9 5 | | | 3 | | | | | |b7 |

| 5 | |13(9) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | 9 | | | 5 | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 313 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


major triad, #5

A7 A+ D9 D7(b9) Adim7 D#dim7

C shape C shape E shape E shape D shape C/A shape

1=12th fret (A) 1=12th fret (A) 1=10th fret (D) 1=10th fret (D) 1=7th fret (A) 1=6th fret (D#)

x_________x x_________x ___________ __x________ x_x________ ___________

| | | | 1 | | | |#5 1 | 1 |b7 | 5 | 1 |b7 | 5 | | | 1 | 6 | b5 | | 6 |b5

| | 3 | | | | | 3 | | | | | | 3 | | | | | 3 |b9 | | |b5 |b3 | 1 | | | |

| 1 |b7 | | | 1 | | | | | 5 | | | 9 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |b5 |b3 |


Amaj7 Bm7 C#m9 Cm9 Bm9 Bm13

E shape E shape E shape E shape E shape E shape

1=5th fret (A) 1=7th fret (B) 1=9th fret (C#) 1=8th fret (C) 1=7th fret (B) 1=7th fret (B)

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

1 | | | 5 1 1 |b7b3 | 1 1 |b7b3 5 | 1 |b7b3 5 | 1 |b7b3 5 | 1 |b7b3 | 1

| | 7 3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| 5 | | | | | 5 | | | | | 5 | | | 9 | 5 | | | 9 | 5 | | | 9 | 5 | |13 |

| | | | | | | | | |b7 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |


E9 E7(#9) C#07 F#7(#9) B9sus4 Bm7

C shape C shape G shape C shape E shape E shape

1=7th fret (E) 1=7th fret (E) 1=9th fret (C#) 1=9th fret (F#) 1=7rd fret (B) 1=7th fret (B)

x__________ x__________ __x_______x x_________x ___________ ___________

| | 3 | | | | | 3 | | | | | | |b5 | | | 3 | | | 1 |b7 | 5 | 1 |b7b3 5 1

| 1 |b7 9 5 | 1 |b7 | | 1 |b7b3 | | | 1 |b7 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | |#9 | | | | | | | | | | |#9 | | 5 | 4 | 9 | 5 | | | |


E9sus E7(b5#9) A6/9 A6 A6/9 Amaj9(#11)

C shape C shape G shape D shape C shape C shape

1=7th fret (E) 1=7th fret (E) 1=5th fret (A) 1=7th fret (A) 1=12th fret (A) 1=12th fret (A)

x__________ x__________ ___________ x__________ x__________ x__________

| | | | | | | | 3 | |b5 | 3 6 9 | | |(5)1 | 6 | | | 3 6 | | | | 3 | |#11

| 1 4b7 9 5 | 1 |b7 | | 1 | | | 5 1 | | | | | | | 1 | | 9 5 | 1 | | 9 |

| | | | | | | | | |#9 | | | | | | | | | | 5 | 3 | | | | | | | | | 7 | |















CHORD PROGRESSIONS – ROMAN NUMERALS:


Certain chords sound "right" together, and are grouped together to form "progressions". Just as there are interval patterns that guide how notes fit together to form chords and scales, there are similar guidelines that define how chords fit together to create complete pieces of music. Every chord progression in every piece of music ever written can be notated using 7 "roman numerals". Roman numerals refer to notes of the major scale (i.e., the numbers can be found in the CAGED shape fingerings).



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8=1)

Large: I II III IV V VI VII I

Small: i ii iii iv v vi vii i

\ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ /

2 frets 2 frets 1 fret 2 frets 2 frets 2 frets 1 fret

apart apart apart apart apart apart apart



Just as with finding intervals, when finding roman numerals the number "1" can be put on any fret. If you put it on a "C", you're playing in the “key of C”. If you put the number 1 on an "A", you're playing in the key of A, etc... (The definition of major scale interval numbers on a single string can be found at the beginning of this text, in the section entitled "intervals").



starting on the starting on the

6th string: 5th string:

______ ______

1||||| |1||||

|||||| ||||||

2||||| |2||||

|||||| ||||||

3||||| |3||||

4||||| |4||||

|||||| ||||||

5||||| |5||||

|||||| ||||||

6||||| |6||||

|||||| ||||||

7||||| |7||||

1||||| |1||||




Roman numerals also indicate chord types by the guidelines below:



LARGE roman numerals represent MAJOR chords.

SMALL roman numerals represent MINOR chords.

LARGE roman numerals followed by a 7 represent DOMINANT 7th chords.

Any other type of chord can be represented by replacing a root

note letter name with a roman numeral digit.



















To demonstrate how to play roman numeral examples throughout this section, the 6 most common major, minor, and 7th bar chord shapes (defined earlier in the chord section) will be used. They are as follows:



"E" shapes have root notes on the 6th string (built from the "E" CAGED shape).

Use these shapes if you're finding roman numeral root notes on the 6th string:

E major E minor E7

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + <- Bar

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | + | |

| + + | | | | + + | | | | + | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + |

1 5 1 3 5 1 1 5 1b3 5 1 1 5b7 3b7 1 <- the intervals used to create each shape



"A" shapes have root notes on the 5th string (built from the "A" CAGED shape).

Use these shapes if you're finding roman numeral root notes on the 5th string:

A major A minor A7

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + <- Bar

| | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | |

| | + + + | | | + + | | | | + | + |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

5 1 5 1 3 5 5 1 5 1b3 5 5 1 5b7 3 5 <- the intervals used to create each shape



Roman numerals are grouped into several categories: Diatonic, Borrowed, Secondary Dominant, Blues, and Minor. Each category produces familiar harmonic sounds. By combining the above chord and scale diagrams, you get the following fingerings for roman numeral chord progressions:



DIATONIC ROMAN NUMERALS:


Diatonic chords are used in virtually every type of music. They are most common in traditional, folk, classical, and pop music. The I IV and V(7) chords are used in virtually every piece of music you hear, regardless of style. Learning those three chords in every key is fundamental to understanding and recognizing chord patterns of every type. The complete diatonic triads are:



I ii iii IV V(7) vi (V can be either major or 7th)

Starting on the 6th string:

I ii iii IV V7 vi

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| + + | | | 2 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | + + | | | 3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | 5 + + + + + + | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | 6 + + + + + + 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1






For Example:



If you start that pattern on a "G" (6th string, 3rd fret), the chords are:


G major, A minor, B minor, C major, D7, and E minor


If you start that pattern on an "A" (6th string, 5th fret), the chords are:


A major, B minor, C# minor, D major, E7, and F# minor


If you start that pattern on an "E" (6th string, open), the chords are:


E major, F# minor, G# minor, A major, B7, and C#m


If you start that pattern on a "C" (6th string, 8th fret), the chords are:


C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G7, and Am


If you start that pattern on a "D" (6th string, 10th fret), the chords are:


D major, E minor, F# minor, G major, A7, and Bm



Here are the same chords, starting on the 5th string:

The following diagrams provide all the same chords as the shapes above, just at a

different place on the fretboard (using root notes on the 5th string):

I ii iii IV V7 vi

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | + + + | 2 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | + + | | 3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + + | 5 + + + + + + | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | + | 6 + + + + + + 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |



For Example:



If you start that pattern on a "G" (5th string, 10th fret), the chords are:


G major, A minor, B minor, C major, D7, and E minor (same as those on the 6th string)


If you start that pattern on an "A" (5th string, open), the chords are:


A major, B minor, C# minor, D major, E7, and F# minor (same as those on the 6th string)


If you start that pattern on an "E" (5th string, 7th fret), the chords are:


E major, F# minor, G# minor, A major, B7, and C#m (same as those on the 6th string)


If you start that pattern on a "C" (5th string, 3rd fret), the chords are:


C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G7, and Am (same as those on the 6th string)


If you start that pattern on a "D" (5th string, 5th fret), the chords are:


D major, E minor, F# minor, G major, A7, and Bm (same as those on the 6th string)




Here are the chords to "Happy Birthday", written as roman numerals:



I V(7) I IV

Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday (Whoever).


I V I

Happy Birthday to you.



You can now play that song in any key. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR ANY OTHER PIECE OF MUSIC. Try these other practice progressions to hear the "natural" sound of diatonic chords. You'll hear these chord progression in thousands of other songs:



I IV I V

I vi IV V7

I iii IV V

vi IV ii V

I V IV V

I IV I V

I ii iii IV V

I iii vi ii V



BORROWED CHORD ROMAN NUMERALS:


Borrowed chords are used heavily in rock music. You'll see them used regularly with distorted guitar sounds in heavy mainstream pop music. You'll also see them used in bluegrass and other model styles. The flat symbols in borrowed chord Roman numerals mean move the chords down 1 fret:


bVII bIII bVI (bV bII)

Starting on the 6th string:

I bVII bIII bVI bV bII

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b2 + + + + + +

| + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2 | | | + | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | b3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | 3 | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b5 + + + + + + | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | + | | | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b6 + + + + + + | + + | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6 | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6

| | | | | | b7 + + + + + + | | | | | | | + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | 7 | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

+ + + + + + 1 | + + | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | |

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 1

| + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Starting on the 5th string:

I bVII bIII bVI bV bII

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b2 + + + + + +

| | + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2 | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | b3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + + |

| | | | | | | | | | | | 3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b5 + + + + + + | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | | | | | | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b6 + + + + + + | | + + + | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6

| | | | | | b7 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | 7 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

+ + + + + + 1 | | + + + | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Here are examples in 3 keys:



bVII bIII bVI (bV bII)


G: F Bb Eb (Db Ab)

A: G C F (Eb Bb)

C: Bb Eb G (Gb Db)



Try these practice progressions to learn the sound created by each borrowed chord:


I bVII IV IV

I IV bVII V7

I bVII bIII I

I ii bIII I

I bVI bVII I

I bIII IV bVI bVII

I bII bV V

I iii IV iv



OTHER BORROWED CHORDS:



iv (typically used in a IV iv I progression)

v (typically used in a v I7 progression)

Starting on the 6th string:

I iv v

___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | + + | | | 5 + + + + + + 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

Starting on the 5th string:

I iv v

___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | + + | | 5 + + + + + + 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | + + | | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1



Practice progressions:



I iii IV iv

I IV v IV

I IV v I7 IV iv

SECONDARY DOMINANT CHORD ROMAN NUMERALS:


Secondary dominant chords are 7th (9th, 11th, and 13th) chords that come from other keys ("secondary keys"). They create an interesting, unexpected harmonic "twist" - a bit of temporary harmonic tension when added to a chord progression. You'll see secondary dominants most in jazz and classical music, but also in pop ballads that have a "playful" sound reminiscent of ragtime music and the like.


I7 II7 III7 VI7 VII7

Starting on the 6th string:

I II7 III7 VI7 VII7

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | 1

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| + + | | | 2 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | + | | | | 3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | + | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6 + + + + + + | | | | | | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | 7 + + + + + + 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | + | 1 | | | + | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + |

Starting on the 5th string:

I7 II7 III7 VI7 VII7

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | + | + | 2 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | + | + | 3 + + + + + + | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | + | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 6 + + + + + + | | | | | | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | + | 7 + + + + + + 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | + |


Secondary dominant chords have a strong tendency to resolve (move) in the following ways when found in real music:


I7 -> IV

II7 -> V or V7

II7 -> V, V7, and sometimes IV

III7 -> vi or VI7, and sometimes IV

VI7 -> ii or II7

VII7 -> iii or III7


Knowing these guidelines is useful when playing by ear, composing, and/or improvising, because they provide a way of knowing the most likely next chord in any sequence (without guesswork), and thus provide a further structured approach to learning and deciphering chord progressions.


Practice Progressions:


I I7 IV iv

I III7 vi IV

I ii III7 IV

I vi II7 V7

I VII7 iii III7 vi VI7 II7 IV

I VI7 II7 V7

I iii II7 IV

BLUES CHORD ROMAN NUMERALS:


Blues progressions are defined by basic dominant 7th chords (also 9th, 11th, and 13th) on the numbers I, IV, and V. You'll see them most in "bluesy" music :)



I7 IV7 V7

Starting on the 6th string:

I7 IV7 V7

___________ ___________ ___________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| + | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | + | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | + | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | + | | | | 5 + + + + + + 5

| | | | | | | | | | + | | | | + | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | + | | | | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | + |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Starting on the 5th string:

I7 IV7 V7

___________ ___________ __________

+ + + + + + 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | + | + | | | | | | | | | | | | | 2

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3

| | | | | | 4 + + + + + + | | | | | | 4

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | + | + | 5 + + + + + + 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | + | + | 6

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 7

| | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | 1



Examples:



I7 IV7 I7 I7 IV7 IV7 I7 I7 V7 IV7 I7 V7

I7 IV I I7 IV #IVdim7 I ii iii bIII ii V7 I




MINOR CHORD PROGRESSION ROMAN NUMERALS:


Minor chord progressions tend to sound sad, dark, and more serious than other types of chord progressions. To create a minor chord progression, just START and end on a vi chord, and use any of the chords from other categories to form a progression. Minor chord progressions typically contain the secondary dominant "III7" chord. That chord helps to create a harmonic focus on the vi chord (because III7 has a tendency to resolve to vi - see the notes in the previous section).



Minor Chord Progression Examples (just start on vi, and use chords from the other categories):


vi V7 IV III7

vi IV ii V

vi ii V I IV VII7 iii III7

vi iii ii III7



Other Roman Numerals:


Any chord type can be labeled with a roman numeral - just combine a chord type with the roman numeral. In the key of C, Imaj9=Cmaj9 , ii7=D minor 7th, V13=G dominant 13th, VIImin7(b5)=B half diminished, Imaj7#11=Cmaj7#11 etc. (by the definitions given in the section about chords).


The only difference between roman numeral chord labels and typical letter name labels is that letters are replaced by roman numbers within a key (ie., relative to a starting note). By doing that, every potential chord progression moves within a framework around a given root note. Using that point of reference, it becomes clear that all chord progressions form recognizable patterns and move in simple, predictable ways. This makes learning songs, playing by ear, composing, improvising, and understanding every potential harmonic sound in music a much simpler process!



MODULATION:


Modulation is defined as the changing of key. Key changes are often used to create harmonic variety within songs and compositions of all types. Starting a song with the chords I, IV, V7 in the key of G (G, C, and D7), then playing the same chords in the key of A (A, D, and E7) is called a modulation from G to A.


Below are a number of typical modulation patterns found in common use:


Direct: Moving directly from one key to another, without any specific transitional chords. The shift is abrupt, from one key to another. This type of modulation is common in popular music. Most often keys are modulated up by half or whole step to create a sense of heightened energy. A song may start in the key of C, and then modulate to D and then E at the end to create a dramatic finish.


Relative: Remember, a minor key can be defined as a progression starting on the vi chord - A minor is the vi chord in the key of C major. The scales C major and A natural minor contain the exact same notes. It is common to start and end a progression on vi for one section of a tune, and then start and end a progression on I for another section of the tune. Although this is not a true modulation, it creates a sense of harmonic shift between the two modes. Another common move is between major keys with the relative minor-major (vi-I) root note relationship. If C major and A minor are relative major and minor keys, for example, C major and A major are relative major keys (they have the same roote notes, defined by the I-VI relationship). This type of shift is a true modulation between two totally different sets of chords.


Parallel: Progressions often move between major and minor keys with the same root note. A song may start in the key of C major, for example, and shift to the key of C minor. C minor is the same key as Eb major (where cm = vi, Eb = I), so there is a totally different set of chords used in this type of modulation (one in which C=I, and one in which Eb=I).


Pivot Chord: V7 chords are often used to move to new keys. Before playing the I of the new key, the V7 of the new key is played at the end of a progression in the starting key. For example, to switch from the key of C to the key of Ab, an Eb7 chord can be placed at the end of the C progression to make the change sound more natural. Remember, the V7 chord has the strongest tendency of any chord to move towards I (Eb7 = V7 in the key of Ab). Secondary dominant chords are often used to make this type of progression away from the starting key. III7, for example, often moves to vi (see the tendency guidelines given earlier). If you resolve the III7 to VI instead (not a chord in the starting key), it facilitates a shift in which VI can be treated as a new I (a "parallel major" modulation).


In the key of C, such a progression would look like:


C -> E7 -> A -> C#7 -> F#m ...

starting key of C: I -> III7 -> VI

new key of A: I -> III7 -> vi ...


ii -> V7 Progressions: Virually every tune in the jazz idiom contains "ii-V" progressions. These two chords are often played through quick successions of keys:


| Cm7 | F7 | Bb | Bb | Ebm7 | Ab7 | Db | Gm7 C7 | F |

| ii | V7 | I | I | ii | V7 | I | ii V7 | I |

| Bb: | Db: | F: |



iimin7(b5) -> V7(alt) Progressions: This is the minor version of the ii-V progression. It typically resolves to a minor chord (thought of here as i ("minor 1"), but can also be thought of as vi in the relative major). This progression contains a half diminshed chord (m7(b5)), followed by an altered dominant (often an extended chord, with a b9/#9 and/or a b5/#5) :


| Em7 | F#m7(-5) | B7(b9) | Em7 | Em7(-5) | A7(b9) | Dm7 |

| i | iim7(-5) | V7(alt) | i | iim7(-5) | V7(alt) | i |

| Em: | Dm: |


Playing Chord Progressions All Over The Fretboard:



When writing, improvising, arranging, or otherwise creating music, one of the most important concepts to put into practice has to do with using multiple voicings of the same chord. You can choose to play any chord in any of the CAGED fingering patterns. By combining chord progressions defined by roman numerals with chord fingerings enabled by the CAGED shapes, you can play every possible chord progression in every possible location on the guitar! As a guitarist, that's the MOST important and useful concept to understand in music theory. It provides you with every possible group of notes that sound good when played together! The following chord fingerings are all the same roman numeral progression:


I IV V

G C D

____5_1_3__ 3_____5___3 x_5_1______ <- open position

| | | | | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | |

| 3 | | | | | | 3 | | | | | | 5 | 3

1 | | | | 5 | 1 | | | | | | | | 1 |

(G shape) (C shape) (D shape)

G C D

___________ ___________ ___________

1 | | | 5 1 5 1 | | | 5 | | | | | | <- 3rd fret

| | | 3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| 5 1 | | | | | 5 1 3 | 5 1 | | | 5

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 1 3 |

(E shape) (A shape) (A shape)

G C D

___________ ___________ ___________

3 | | 5 | 3 | | | | | | | | 5 1 3 | <- 7th fret

| | | | 1 | 1 | | | 5 1 | | | | | |

| | 3 | | | | | | 3 | | | 3 | | | |

| 1 | | | | | 5 1 | | | 1 | | | | 1

(C shape) (E shape) (G shape)

G C D

___________ x__________ x__________

5 1 | | | 5 | 5 1 | | | 1 | | | 5 1 <- 10th fret

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 3 | |

| | 5 1 3 | | | | 5 | 3 | 5 1 | | |

| | | | | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | |

(A shape) (D shape) (E shape)

G C D

___________ ___________ ___________

| | 5 1 3 | 3 | | 5 | 3 x 5 1 | | | <- 12th fret

| | | | | | | | | | 1 | | | | | | |

| 3 | | | | | | 3 | | | | | | 5 | 3

1 | | | | 5 | 1 | | | | | | | | 1 |

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

(G shape) (C shape) (D shape)



Roman numerals define every possible chord progression in music. The CAGED shapes provide every possible fingering for every type of chord on the guitar. By combining the two, you get a method of playing every possible chord progression in every possible way on the guitar. In creating music, and in understanding existing music, that's the most important concept to get ingrained. If you understand and put that to use in a detailed way, you'll recognize the musical content that's in every single piece of music ever written!



CHORD-SCALE RELATIONSHIPS:


Chord-Scale relationships provide the final piece of the puzzle in understanding how music is put together. They are guidelines that define which scales sound good when played together with a given chord progression or individual chord. They provide all the additional "passing tones" that are used to create melodies and to improvise lead guitar solos over a given chord progression. In fact, that's a basic concept in lead guitar playing - finding notes that sound "good" over a given chord progression played by a band. Learning those concepts, together with roman numerals and CAGED shape fingerings provides a complete understanding of how every bit of guitar music is created.


Pentatonics:


1) Over any progression containing I(7) IV(7) V(7) bVII bIII and bVI chords, you can play a minor pentatonic scale in the same key. For example, against I IV V in the key of A (A D and E chords) you can play an A minor pentatonic scale (the notes A C D E G). Minor pentatonic scales sound bluesy, and create a heavy rock sound.


Over I(7) IV(7) V(7) bVII bIII and bVI chords --> play the minor pentatonic or blues scale in the same key.


Ex.) Over I bVII IV bIII in the key of A (A G D C) -->

Play A minor pentatonic or A blues.


2) Over any progression containing I(7) IV(7) V(7) ii iii and vi chords, you can play a major pentatonic scale in the same key. For example, against I IV V in the key of A (A D and E chords) you can play an A major pentatonic scale (the notes A B C# E F#). Major pentatonic scales sound "sweeter" and create a more pastoral, country feel.


Over I(7) IV(7) V(7) ii iii and vi chords --> play the major pentatonic scale in the same key.


Ex.) Over I iii IV V7 vi ii IV I in the key of A (A C#m D E7 F#m Bm D A) -->

Play A major pentatonic.



Playing over individual chords in a progression:


3) Over any chord progression diatonic to a single scale (i.e., all the notes in the chords come from a single scale) --> play the scale to which the chords are diatonic.

Ex.) Over I iii IV V7 vi ii IV I in the key of A (A C#m D E7 F#m Bm D A - all notes come

from the A Major scale) -->

Play the A Major scale.


4) Over any single major chord, play major pentatonic with the same root note.


Ex.) Over G C D chords -->

Play G major pentatonic, C major pentatonic, and D major pentatonic respectively.


5) Over any single minor chord, play minor pentatonic with the same root note.


Ex.) Over Em Am Bm chords -->

Play E minor pentatonic, A minor pentatonic, and B minor pentatonic respectively.


6) Over any dominant 7th (9th, 11th, 13th), play major pentatonic with the same root note, and add b7


Ex.) Over A7 D7 E7 chords -->

Play A major pentatonic (add the note "G"), D major pentatonic (add the note "C"), and E

major pentatonic (add the note "D").


7) Over any half diminished chord (m7b5), play the blues scale with the same root note (avoid the 5th interval).


Ex.) Over Bm7(b5) -->

Play B blues, and avoid the "F#" note.


8) Over any diminished chord, play diminished scale with the same root note.


Ex.) Over Bdim7 -->

Play B diminished scale.


9) Over any single chord, you can play the intervals that make up the chord. In general, you can also extend any chord with the 9, 11, and 13 intervals to create passing tones. Often, the 6 needs to be flatted (especially in minor chords), the 4 needs to be sharped (especially in major chords), and the 9 needs to be flatted and/or sharped (especially in dominant chords).


Ex.) Over C major (maj7th, maj 9th,etc.) -->

Play 1 3 5 7 9 11 (or #11) 13 ( 1 2 3 4 (or #4) 5 6 7 )

Ex.) Over A minor (min7th, min 9th,etc.) -->

Play 1 b3 5 b7 9 11 13 (or b13) ( 1 2 b3 4 5 6 (or b6) b7 )

Ex.) Over E7 (9, 13th,etc.) -->

Play 1 3 5 b7 9 11 13 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 )

Ex.) Over Cmajor9(#11) -->

Play 1 3 5 7 9 #11 13 ( 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol

Ex.) Over E7(#5b9) -->

Play 1 3 #5 b7 b9 11 13 ( 1 b2 3 4 #5 6 b7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol

Ex.) Over Bm7(b5) -->

Play 1 b3 b5 b7 9 1 13 ( 1 2 b3 4 b5 6 b7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol































































Applied Theory - The Purpose and Benefit Of Learning This Material:



Most people want to learn about music with the idea that they'll be able to play any kind of music that they like. The point of learning about intervals, scales, chords, and chord progressions on the guitar is to be able to understand, hear, and play music on the guitar. Recognizing the sound of chords, scales, and intervals, seeing how they're used in the real music you listen to, and being able to play that music on the guitar is what makes you a capable musician.


So what are the core skills you should develop from studying this text and all the examples? How is this knowledge going to make you a great player?


The most important things you should walk away with are the ability to play every chord and related scale in each of the CAGED shapes on the guitar, the ability to play every possible roman numeral chord progression, and most important, the ability to recognize those sounds by ear. If you understand and are able to hear and play every possible chord progression that appears in music, and if you're able to hear and play every possible chord and associated scale in each one of the CAGED shapes on the guitar, you'll recognize and be able to play all the musical materials used in every bit of music you ever come across.


Every accomplished musician knows that this knowledge and ear training ability is the true foundation required for the development of useful creative musical skill. Every guitar part you've ever heard was created by taking the chords of basic roman numeral progressions, playing those chords in different places on the fretboard (i.e., in one or more of the CAGED shapes), and adding intervals or notes from related scale patterns that also exist in the CAGED shapes. Whether or not the guitarist who wrote it knew what he/she was doing, every piece of guitar music can be described, heard, and understood in that way. Not only that, but every piece of music written for voice and other instruments can also be described and heard the same way. If you want to play any melody or composition on the guitar, whether or not it was originally written for guitar, you will end up playing bits and pieces of chords and scales in the CAGED shapes, and those bits and pieces will outline the chords defined by basic roman numeral chord progressions. When transcribing music for guitar, knowing how to hear the general sonorities of chords and other musical elements will help you find and arrange the most important notes in ways that are playable on guitar.


When a band plays together, the bass player plays notes that come from the chords of a song, the singer sings a melody that's constructed from notes of those chords and passing tones, the guitarist and pianist play chords and melodies that come from that same harmonic progression - all of which come from a fundamental roman numeral pattern. The drummer helps hold it all together with a solid beat. Strummed guitar accompaniments are chord formations grouped together, often with some added intervals and notes from related scales to provide melodic and harmonic interest. Piano compositions are just notes of chords broken up, with added intervals and notes from related scales - all played simultaneously.


Every style of music uses typical chord progression patterns and added interval patterns. Listen to 5000 rock songs, and you'll hear fewer than 20 roman numeral chord progressions in every piece of music. Listen to 5000 symphonic compositions, and you'll hear the same 20 roman numeral progressions. Listen to 5000 jazz tunes, and you'll hear those same roman numeral progressions - in jazz they're just moved around a lot to different keys.


Every single song and musical composition you've ever heard, from medieval chants to instrumental compositions by Bach, orchestral pieces by Beethoven, melodies sung by Frank Sinatra, Blues by B.B. King and Eric Clapton, rock by Van Halen and Metallica, grooves by classic funk bands, improvisations by jam bands like Phish, and beats by Snoop Dog - every single bit of that music comes from notes in a very small set of roman numeral chord progressions and related scales. And all those notes can be found in the CAGED shapes on the guitar. The chord progressions and underlying interval patterns can be easily recognized and heard by ear if you train yourself to listen for such repetitive patterns. All of the instrumental parts and vocal melodies in every bit of music you've ever heard were created by combining the notes of those chord progressions in different octaves, adding various scale intervals to form passing tones and harmonic colors, and setting those notes to a rhythmic beat.


The only difference between all those various styles of music is the instrumentation used, the rhythms used, the textures used (the way chords and melodies are layered, arranged, and combined between different instruments and voices). The common ground in every style of music - the elements that make all that music "harmonious" is defined by the common use of intervals, chords, scales, and chord progressions. Learn the chords and interval patterns typical of the kinds of music you like, and you'll understand, and be able to hear, play, and create every bit of music you've ever liked. With a well developed ear for chords, scales, and chord progressions, the CAGED fingering patterns provide a way to visualize and find all of those sounds on the fretboard.


By adding a theoretical perspective to your understanding of music, an organized concept of how the sounds you hear and like will begin to appear. Continue to learn to play your instrument by learning pieces of music. Continue to build technical ability, dexterity, fast thinking habits, and natural patterns of movement from lots of physical practice on your instrument. Continue to build an intuitive understanding of how to perform and create “good” sounding music by playing music created by other musicians, experimenting with your own creative explorations, and experiencing many varied performance situations. Continue to learn common chord shapes, melodic patterns, picking and strumming techniques, song forms, and build the ability to produce good tone and execute all common techniques such as slides, bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs, harmonics, etc. Now, just add the additional analysis of chords, scales, and chord progressions in the music you like. Use the CAGED shapes to figure out names for fingerings with which you're unfamiliar. Listen for the general harmonic makeup of the music you listen to in terms of common, simple roman numeral chord progressions. Pay attention to how your favorite lead guitarist chooses notes from a given scale, over a given chord progression, to learn create your favorite blistering solos. You'll quickly begin to see that those fundamental elements are all there is in music. There isn't much to it. The few pages in this text contain all the fundamental material required to play possible musical structure. You can learn these materials in a week, and know them intimately within a year. By actively analyzing and figuring out the harmonic content of the music you learn, it becomes easier to recognize what you're hearing. It becomes easier to create the sounds you are imagining. It becomes easier to play and anticipate the sound of unknown chord progressions, no matter what their complexity. It becomes easier to work with other musicians and to communicate your ideas with some common ground. It becomes easier to understand where the sounds you like come from and what note patterns they contain. In every way, music theory makes sound more understandable and organized. A solid grasp of how those patterns are put to use in real music is what makes musicians of any skill level and stylistic interest capable of creative endeavors that could not be accomplished otherwise. Like everything else, it takes time to learn and internalize, but it is worth the effort!



Summary Pages:


The following 3 pages contain a complete summary of all the formulas, structures, patterns, and fingerings detailed in this text. Use it as a quick study guide to practice the required materials.



















































NOTES ON THE GUITAR:


Open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1st string: E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E

2nd string: B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B

3rd string: G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G

4th string: D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D

5th string: A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A

6th string: E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E

______

CAGED SHAPES: The numbers are called “INTERVALS” (9=2, 11=4, 13=6) 362573 C

4|||14

C A G E D |736||

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ 514|25 A

3 6 2 5 7 3 5 1 4 | 2 5 6 2 5 1 3 6 1 4 | | 5 1 2 5 1 4 6 2 |||7||

4 | | | 1 4 | | | 7 | | | | | | 4 | | | 7 3 | | | | | | | | 625136 G

| 7 3 6 | | 6 2 5 1 3 6 7 3 6 2 | 7 2 5 1 4 6 2 3 6 2 5 7 3 ||||4|

5 1 4 | 2 5 | | | | 4 | 1 4 | | 5 1 | | | | | | 4 | | | 1 4 7362|7

| | | | | | 7 3 6 | | 7 | | 7 | | | 3 6 2 | 7 3 | 7 3 | | | 14||51 E

___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ||73||

middle on 1 bar on 1 middle on 1 bar on 1 bar on 1 <-fingers 251462 D

||||||

SCALES: 362573 C

4|||14

Major: Minor Pentatonic: Blues: Major Pentatonic: |736|| ||

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 b3 4 5 b7 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 1 2 3 5 6 514|25 \/

Mixolydian: Dorian: Lydian: Locrian: (start

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 over)


Natural Minor (Aeolian): Harmonic Minor: Melodic Minor:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (ascend) 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 (descend)


Bebop Dominant: Bebop Major: Bebop Minor:

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 1 2 3 4 5 #5 6 7 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 7


Diminished: Whole Tone: Lydian Dominant:

1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 6 7 1 2 3 #4 #5 b7 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7


Chromatic (every possible note):

1 b2 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 7



CHORDS:


Major Triad Minor Triad Power Chord ("5 chord")

1 3 5 1 b3 5 1 5


Major 7th (maj7, M7) Minor 7th (b3, b7) (min7, m7, -7) Dominant 7th (b7) (no maj or min label)

1 3 (5) 7 1 b3 (5) b7 1 3 (5) b7


Half Diminished (m7b5, min7(b5), -7(-5), o7) Diminished (dim7, o7)

1 b3 b5 b7 1 b3 b5 (6 - also called bb7)

Extended Chords - 7th chords with added 9, 11, 13 intervals (9=2, 11=4, 13=6). ONLY the highest extension is needed.


Altered Chords: chords with a sharped or flatted intervals (i.e., #5 or b5, and/or #9 or b9). Notated by parentheses after a chord label, i.e., G7(b5). Flats are often indicated by minus signs ("-"), and sharps by plus signs ("+"). Also, min(maj7) = 1 b3 5 7 (instead of b7).


Suspended Chords: "sus" means replace the 3 interval with either a 2 or 4, as indicated. If no number is given (2 or 4), then sus means "4". For example, Csus4 = 1 4 5, C7sus = 1 4 5 b7.


"Add" Chords: triads (major and minor) with one or more added intervals (6 and/or 9). The difference between add chords and extended chords is that add chords do not contain a 7. All notes are required in add chords. For example, Cadd9 = 1 3 5 9, Cadd6 (C6) = 1 3 5 6), C6/9 = 1 3 5 6 9, C-add9 = 1 b3 5 9


Slash” Chords: put the note after the slash in the bass (the lowest note). C/B = 1 3 5, “B” in bass.


| E7(b9) | Am9 | Am7/D D7(b9#5) | Gmaj7 Am7 | Bbdim7 Bm(b6) | Gm7 | Db7(#5) C7(b9#5) | Fmaj7 Bb7 || F6/9 | Fm Fm(maj7) | Dm7(b5) G7(b9b5) | Cmaj7 Dm7 | Em7 Am7 | D7(-9+5) | G9sus4 G9 | F#O7 Fm7 || Em7 Eb7sus4 | Dm7 Dbmaj7 | Cmaj9(#11) ||

ROMAN NUMERAL CHORD PROGRESSIONS - Large roman numerals are Major. Small roman numerals are minor. Large roman numerals with a 7 are Dominant 7th. The numbers refer to notes of the major scale (i.e., CAGED shapes - in C, I=C major, ii=D minor, V7=G7). All other chord types can be labeled by roman numerals. Just combine the chord type with the roman numeral root note. The roman numeral simply takes the place of the letter name in the chord. In the key of C, Imaj9=Cmaj9, ii7=Dm7, V13=G dominant 13th, VIImin7(b5)=B half diminished, Imaj7#11=Cmaj7#11 etc.


DIATONIC:


I ii iii IV V(7) vi (V can be either major or 7th)


I IV I V

I vi IV V7

I iii IV V

vi IV ii V

I V IV V

I IV I V

I ii iii IV V

I iii vi ii V


BORROWED CHORDS - flats mean move the chords down 1 fret:


bVII bIII bVI (bV bII)


I bVII IV IV

I IV bVII V7

I bVII bIII I

I ii bIII I

I bVI bVII I

I bIII IV bVI bVII

I bII I bV I bII bVII I


SECONDARY DOMINANTS: Each of these chords can also be seen as major.


I7 II7 III7 VI7 VII7


I I7 IV iv ( <- iv is one "other borrowed chords" below )

I III7 vi IV

I ii III7 IV

I vi II7 V7

I VII7 iii III7 vi VI7 II7 IV

I VI7 II7 V7

I iii II7 IV

I IV II7 V7 III7 vi IV iv


BLUES:


I7 (one of the secondary dominants) IV7 V7 (one of the diatonics)


I7 IV7 I7 I7 IV7 IV7 I7 I7 V7 IV7 I7 V7

I7 IV I I7 IV #IVdim7 I ii iii bIII ii V7 I


MINOR CHORD PROGRESSIONS:


(just start on vi, and use chords from the other categories):


vi V7 IV III7

vi IV ii V

vi ii V I IV VII7 iii III7

vi iii ii III7


OTHER BORROWED CHORDS:


iv (typically used in a IV iv I progression)

v (typically used in a v I7 progression)

i (typically becomes vi in a new key), bii, biii, bvi, bvii, vii


I iii IV iv

I IV v IV

I IV v I7 IV iv

I IV II7 V7 III7 vi IV iv i (vi becomes i in old key) -> i

(i becomes vi in new key) -> vi ii V I IV bVII III7 vi



CHORD-SCALE RELATIONSHIPS:


Pentatonics:


1) Over I(7) IV(7) V(7) bVII bIII and bVI chords --> play the minor pentatonic or blues scale in the same key.


Ex.) Over I bVII IV bIII in the key of A (A G D C) -->
Play A minor pentatonic or A blues.


2) Over I(7) IV(7) V(7) ii iii and vi chords --> play the major pentatonic scale in the same key.


Ex.) Over I iii IV V7 vi ii IV I in the key of A (A C#m D E7 F#m Bm D A) -->
Play A major pentatonic.


Minor pentatonic and blues scales sound bluesy, and create a heavy rock sound. Major pentatonic scales sound "sweeter" and create a more pastoral, country feel.


Playing Over Individual Chords in a Progression:


3) Over any chord progression diatonic to a single scale (i.e., all the notes in the chords come from a single scale) --> play the scale to which the chords are diatonic.

Ex.) Over I iii IV V7 vi ii IV I in the key of A (A C#m D E7 F#m Bm D A - all notes come
from the A Major scale) -->
Play the A Major scale.

4) Over any single major chord, play major pentatonic with the same root note.


Ex.) Over G C D chords -->

Play G major pentatonic, C major pentatonic, and D major pentatonic respectively.

5) Over any single minor chord, play minor pentatonic with the same root note.

Ex.) Over Em Am Bm chords -->

Play E minor pentatonic, A minor pentatonic, and B minor pentatonic respectively.

6) Over any dominant 7th (9th, 11th, 13th), play major pentatonic with the same root note - and add b7


Ex.) Over A7 D7 E7 chords -->

Play A major pentatonic (add the note “G”), D major pentatonic (add the note “C”), and E
major pentatonic (add the note “D”).

7) Over any half diminished chord (m7b5), play the blues scale with the same root note (avoid the 5th interval).


Ex.) Over Bm7(b5) -->

Play B blues, and avoid the ”F#” note.

8) Over any diminished chord, play diminished scale with the same root note.


Ex.) Over Bdim7 -->

Play B diminished.


9) Over any single chord, you can play the intervals that make up the chord. In general, you can also extend any chord with the 9, 11, and 13 (2, 4, and 6) intervals to create passing tones. Often, the 6 needs to be flatted (especially in minor chords), the 4 needs to be sharped (especially in major chords), and the 9 needs to be flatted or sharped (especially in dominant chords).


Ex.) Over C major (maj7th, maj 9th,etc.) -->

Play 1 3 5 7 9 11 (or #11) 13 ( 1 2 3 4 (or #4) 5 6 7 )
Ex.) Over A minor (min7th, min 9th,etc.) -->

Play 1 b3 5 b7 9 11 13 (or b13) ( 1 2 b3 4 5 6 (or b6) b7 )
Ex.) Over E7 (9, 13th,etc.) -->

Play 1 3 5 b7 9 11 13 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 )
Ex.) Over Cmajor9(#11) -->

Play 1 3 5 7 9 #11 13 ( 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol
Ex.) Over E7(#5b9) -->

Play 1 3 #5 b7 b9 11 13 ( 1 b2 3 4 #5 6 b7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol

Ex.) Over Bm7(b5) -->

Play 1 b3 b5 b7 9 1 13 ( 1 2 b3 4 b5 6 b7 ) - indicated by the chord symbol


Copyright (C) 2004-2007 Nick Antonaccio, All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2004-2013 Nick Antonaccio, all rights reserved.