Today we’re going to simplify and understand an extremely important part of music theory: chord progressions. Like all the knowledge areas we’ve covered so far in this series, I’m going to explain this in the simplest of terms so you can achieve a thorough understanding and absolute mastery of this concept.
The goal this month is not to talk about the theory behind them, although I will be doing that in the next month or two. It’s to get you adding the pitches, and exploring these notes, aurally, as well as using them in your phrasing. So let me show you what I’m talking about.
What we’re going to be doing today is drawing on this knowledge to learn how to combine the minor and major pentatonic scales to create patterns that give us a very unique and interesting sound. For this example let’s start off by running through the first position of A minor pentatonic starting on the fifth fret of the sixth string.
Today we’re going to pick things up where we left off by tackling the notes on the fourth string. And remember, we’re going to be focusing on the prime pitches — that is A, B, C, D, E, F, G — like we did with the fifth and sixth strings. I do this because I’ve learned that simplifying the notes across the fretboard can make things easier for students to master them.
I want to continue improving your knowledge of the fretboard by touching on the topic of chords. Now, most of you probably know all your chords, but what I want to do with this series is really build up your knowledge of the fretboard from the very ground up. So, as with the last lesson, we’ll be starting off with the basics and making sure that you know all your chords with absolute certainty.
What I want to do over the course of this year is introduce you to various concepts and techniques with the ultimate goal of enabling you to improvise across the entire fretboard comfortably and confidently, using pentatonic and diatonic scales. I’m going to break down this knowledge into three categories ...
As 2014 rapidly approaches, Guitar World is taking a nostalgic look back at the most popular GuitarWorld.com stories, videos, lessons and features of 2013. Be sure to check out our other Year in Review stories here!
One of the most common traps guitarists fall into when learning to solo is that they end up constraining themselves to the “box shape.” While the “boxes” are a great learning tool to start familiarizing yourself with your fret board, I have noticed a lot of my students starting to rely too much on this visual technique when soloing.