Guitar 101 http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/24/all en VH1 Save the Music: How to Use Fingering “Extensions” to Make Open Chords Come to Life http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-use-fingering-extensions-make-open-chords-come-life <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello, my name is Joe Egan. I teach guitar, piano and voice at Holland Elementary School in Boston. </p> <p>One thing I like to do after teaching my students basic chord forms on the guitar is show them how to arpeggiate the chords — pick the notes out one at a time while letting them ring together — and also show them how to create little fingering “extensions” that offer them neat and fairly easy ways to make their chord playing sound more interesting and melodic than simply strumming or arpeggiating the chords. </p> <p>In this lesson, I’ll show you some of these musical “tricks” that I teach my kids.</p> <p>Two common techniques that pop, folk, country and bluegrass guitarist-songwriters typically employ to achieve musical movement within chords are the use of hammer-ons and pull-offs to and from neighboring notes that are easily reachable while forming the chord shape. </p> <p>In this first musical example (see <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>), Iʼm arpeggiating open Am, Dm and E chords while adding little fingering extensions to them and letting the strings ring. In the Am and Dm chords Iʼm doing pull-offs from what’s called the third of each chord to the sus2 as I arpeggiate the shape. On the E chord I’m moving from what’s called the sus4, which in this case is the note on the G string’s second fret, to the third of the chord, which is at the first fret.</p> <p>When pulling-off, it’s important that you pull, or yank, the string downward slightly, in toward your palm, as you release it. If you just lift the finger straight off the string, the note you’re pulling off to will sound weak due to poor string vibration. It’s the pulling motion that gives the pull-off note its volume.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F89461917%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-Y6lPN"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Joe%20Egan%20FIGURE%201-1.jpg" width="620" height="793" alt="Joe Egan FIGURE 1-1.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/part%201%20B.jpg" width="620" height="264" alt="part 1 B.jpg" /></p> <p>In <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, Iʼm moving from a standard open G chord strum to what’s called “C over G” (notated as C/G) by hammering-on from the open D and B strings to the second- and first-fret E and C notes with my middle and index finger, respectively, all the while holding down the low and high G notes on the outer strings with my ring finger and pinkie. </p> <p>Notice that the A string is not brought into play at all here; while fretting the low G note, I’m using the underside of my ring finger to mute the unused A string and prevent it from ringing as I strum across all six strings with the pick. When playing this example, make sure your hammer-ons are quick and firm. As is the case with pull-offs, the goal with hammer-ons is to make them as loud as the picked notes.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F89354879%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-t9wUN"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Joe%20Egan%20FIGURE%202.jpg" width="620" height="276" alt="Joe Egan FIGURE 2.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 3</strong> is a country/bluegrass-style rhythm accompaniment pattern using open G, C and D chords with hammer-ons from open strings to fretted chord tones integrated into the strumming. On the G and C chords, we’re hammering-on from the sus2 of the chord, which is on an open string in each case, to the third of the chord, fretted with the middle finger. On the D chord, we’re hammering-on with the index finer from the sus4, which is the open G string, to the fifth of the chord (at the second fret).</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F89355011%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-SiWss"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Joe%20FIG%203-1%20wowo.jpg" width="620" height="703" alt="Joe FIG 3-1 wowo.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Joe%20FIGURE%203-2%20wowo.jpg" width="620" height="694" alt="Joe FIGURE 3-2 wowo.jpg" /></p> <p>Our final example, <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, is also in the key of G and features melodic extensions within each chord, on one or two strings, which creates that classic Neil Young-style “picky-strum-y” kind of folk-rock accompaniment. What we’re doing here is taking advantage of open strings and moving from the fifth of each chord to the major sixth and also from the root to the second, or ninth.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F89355113%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-sO9V3"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Joe%20Egan%20FIGURE%204.jpg" width="620" height="688" alt="Joe Egan FIGURE 4.jpg" /></p> <p>Notice in all of the above examples how these chord extensions, used in conjunction with selective strumming of the strings— meaning not just constantly strumming across the entire chords — help give the rhythm pattern a driving forward motion that would be absent without these techniques and makes hem come to life and sound like real songs.</p> <p><em>Joe Egan teaches guitar, piano and voice at Holland Elementary School in Boston.</em> </p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-use-fingering-extensions-make-open-chords-come-life#comments Joe Egan VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:28:42 +0000 Joe Egan 18257 at http://www.guitarworld.com VH1 Save the Music: The Importance of Rests, and How to Use Fret-Hand Muting Effectively http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-importance-rests-and-how-use-fret-hand-muting-effectively <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello, my name is Matt Blake, and I teach guitar classes at Wells Station Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee. </p> <p>In this column, I’d like to share with you a useful lesson that I teach my students, and that is the importance of rests, or silence, in music, and how to achieve it in a meaningful, controlled manner. I do this by teaching them some basic, stock jazz “riffs” that are both fun to play and beneficial for their general technique development.</p> <p>Music may be defined simply as “organized sound and silence.” Too often, people tend to overlook the “organized” and “silence” parts. Good phrasing in music comes from the skillful control of just that. </p> <p>On the guitar, it’s not enough to set the strings in motion to create sound and just let the silence fall haphazardly or merely through its interruption by the next sound. You have to purposefully initiate the silence, just as you do the sound. To do this on the guitar, we mute the strings, using either or both hands. In this lesson, I’d like to focus on fret-hand muting and how it can be used to clean up your sound and improve your phrasing.</p> <p>The basic idea of fret-hand muting is to simply relax the hand muscles without actually letting go of, or breaking contact with, the strings. You can think of fret-hand muting as similar to playing a piano keyboard — apply downward pressure when you want sound to occur, and release it when you want it to stop.</p> <p>This basic action is the focus of <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>. Blocking out chords on each beat, it is akin to what is known in jazz as “flat-four”-style chord playing (an approach popularized by guitarist Freddie Green with the legendary Count Basie Band). Notice the staccato markings (the tiny black dots below the notes). After strumming each chord, loosen your grip on the strings just enough to “choke” the chord so that it stops ringing. It should sound like “jump, jump, jump, jump;” rather than “joe, joe, joe, joe.” </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88186402%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-2AwDe"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1%20blake.png" width="620" height="309" alt="1 blake.png" /></p> <p>You may find it helpful at first to isolate the fret hand and play the exercise as if the neck were a keyboard, repeatedly hammering-on the chord shapes without strumming, then quickly releasing the downward pressure against the strings. The movement should be minimal, and, again, the fingers should not break contact with the strings. Once this feels natural and easy, add the pick-hand strums.</p> <p>Adding an element of syncopation — when sound between the beats is emphasized — <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> makes use of a rhythmic figure popularized by the Benny Golson jazz standard “Killer Joe.” A good way to practice this example is to set your metronome at half the prescribed tempo — 70 beats per minute (bpm) instead of 140 — and have the clicks represent beats two and four. This is a great way to develop a more natural jazz feel. Again, spend some time practicing this with just the fret hand to allow you to really observe and focus on your muting technique. It’s really more about coordination than finger strength.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88186529%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-cbxhz"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2%20blake.png" width="620" height="309" alt="2 blake.png" /></p> <p>When tackling our next and final example, “Salamander” (<strong>FIGURE 3</strong>), work out the rhythm first, as there is a fair amount of syncopation (There are pick strokes in the notation to guide you). Set the metronome as indicated and tap out (on a table or your knee), or speak the rhythms at first before playing them on the guitar. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88186616%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-ABCnw"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3%20blake.png" width="620" height="573" alt="3 blake.png" /></p> <p>Once you get the sound of the rhythm in your mind’s ear, try playing the chords with your fret hand only, then add the pick hand. (The Bfm7 chord is best fretted with your middle finger on the low E string and your ring finger barring across the D, G and B strings.) If the chord changes are tripping you up, play the whole figure using a single chord at first until you acquire the muscle memory to grab the chord shapes fairly quickly. Take note that on beat four of bar 3, your fret-hand fingers should be muting the chord, not lying flat across the strings.</p> <p>After working through these musical exercises, you should find that your control of fret-hand muting feels more secure and natural. Try applying this useful technique to your own rhythm guitar playing. Hopefully, you’ll soon hear a noticeable improvement in your phrasing and ease of expressiveness. Happy muting!</p> <p><em>Matt Blake teaches guitar at Wells Station Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee. Check out Matt's release, </em>Black Suit and Bones<em>, at <a href="http://mattblakemusic.com/">mattblakemusic.com</a>. Matt will perform live on <a href="http://www.dittytv.com/">dittytv.com</a> 5 p.m. (Central) April 27. Log in to chat or ask Matt questions during the show/interview.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-importance-rests-and-how-use-fret-hand-muting-effectively#comments Guitar 101 Matt Blake VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:12:18 +0000 Matt Blake 18179 at http://www.guitarworld.com VH1 Save the Music: How to Change Chords Smoothly and Explore the World Beyond the Third Fret http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-change-chords-smoothly-and-explore-world-beyond-third-fret <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello, my name is Richard Giannotti. I teach guitar classes to middle school kids at PS 83 in Bronx, New York. </p> <p>My biggest challenge on a daily basis is addressing 30-plus young teenagers at a time and maintaining their attention and focus by keeping them engaged and captivated with the subject matter at hand. In this column, I’d like to share an approach I’ve developed and taken with my students that helps keep them motivated to pay attention, practice and explore the instrument more on their own time. </p> <p>The first thing I show my fifth- and sixth-grade students is how to play a handful of open chords — what are commonly referred to as “cowboy” chords — such as D, A, E, G and C. The students work very hard at being able to finger the chords correctly and cleanly, and I’ve found that the biggest challenge for them beyond that initial requirement is being able to switch from chord to chord smoothly and in time, meaning without pausing or skipping a beat (coming in too late rhythmically). </p> <p>This objective can easily take up an entire school year, as we meet only once a week, about 40 times a year, with many students in the room, each of whom I need to evaluate their individual progress and help correct any bad playing habits. </p> <p>When my students reach seventh and eighth grade and are more accomplished on the guitar, I like to introduce them to the world beyond the third fret. I do this by presenting the concept of a triad, which is a chord that includes only three notes and can be played in various positions and inversions on the fretboard. (An inversion refers to the ordering, or “stacking” of the notes.) </p> <p>Unlike an open chord, a triad may be played without any open strings and thus can become a movable shape that may be shifted up and down the neck to any key, which makes it doubly useful. Let’s start with G, C and D triads in third and second positions (see <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>). To form the G shape, barre your fret-hand index finger across the top two strings at the third fret, pressing its fleshy pad, or “paw,” against both strings. Now press the tip of your middle finger against the G string at the fourth fret, making sure that finger does not inadvertently touch the B string. </p> <p>When learning a new chord shape, it’s always a good idea to pick out each note individually and in succession, such as from low to high, to make sure you’re fretting all of them cleanly. If you hear a “dead” note—one that doesn’t ring clearly—check to make sure your fretting fingers are properly positioned on the indicated strings and frets. Once the three notes sound clear individually, strum them together to form a G triad. (Follow this same “quality control check” with all of the remaining chords in FIGURE 1.)</p> <p>Now let’s play the C and D triads that follow G in FIGURE 1. For C, place your index finger on the high E string’s third fret, your ring finger on the G string at the fifth fret and your pinkie on the fifth fret of the B string, as indicated. The D triad should be a familiar shape, as it is the same as an open D cowboy chord, minus the open fourth string. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85205381%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-5TWZc"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1_1.png" width="620" height="242" alt="1_1.png" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 2</strong> presents a different set of inversions of G, C and D triads, all played higher up the neck. Notice that, while the chords are different here, the same familiar fingering shapes from FIGURE 1 are employed again, only in a different order and in different positions. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85205651%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-9YeeR"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2_0.png" width="620" height="244" alt="2_0.png" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 3</strong> shows yet another trio of G, C and D triad inversions played even higher up the fretboard. Again, notice the familiar shapes used.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85205799%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-hsvaW"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3_0.png" width="620" height="250" alt="3_0.png" /></p> <p>Now we’re going to take all nine of these shapes and inversions we just learned and incorporate them into a challenging and musically entertaining exercise (see <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>). Notice that the first G shape in bar 3 is the same as the D shape in bars 1 and 2, only moved higher up the fretboard. The same holds true with the D shape in bar 4 and the G shape in bar 5. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85205896%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-OrSey"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Richard%20Giannotti%20FIGURE%204.jpg" width="620" height="751" alt="Richard Giannotti FIGURE 4.jpg" /></p> <p>To make things interesting rhythmically, the chords are to be strummed on what are known as the eighth-note upbeats—on “one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and” in each bar, which creates a lively, reggae-like groove. For strumming, you can use either all downstrokes or upstrokes, in either case being very careful not to inadvertently strum the open D, A or low E strings. </p> <p>Between each strum, momentarily loosen your fret-hand “grip” on the strings to stop them from ringing and create a brief “hole” of silence. Doing so will produce a nice, crisp staccato rhythm (short and detached) and make the figure sound like a real reggae guitar part. </p> <p>You needn’t let go of the strings, however. Just relax your fingers to the point where the strings break contact with the frets. Once you’ve mastered this exercise, try with moving these triad shapes up and down the fretboard to various positions and other keys, and experiment with different rhythms too. Keep in mind that, when it comes to creating music, there are no rules! Be as creative as you like and do what sounds appealing to you. </p> <p>Keep on rockin.’ — Mr. G.</p> <p><em>Richard Giannotti teaches guitar classes to middle school kids at PS 83 in Bronx, New York.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child¹s complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-change-chords-smoothly-and-explore-world-beyond-third-fret#comments Guitar 101 Rich Giannotti VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:09:24 +0000 Rich Giannotti 18107 at http://www.guitarworld.com VH1 Save the Music: The Art of the Jam — How to Teach Young Children to Improvise http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-art-jam-how-teach-young-children-improvise <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello. My name is Mark Hale, and I teach general music and guitar to elementary school students, grades K-4, in Nashville. </p> <p>Having done this for a few years and experimented with various approaches, I have come up with what I believe to be a very effective and fun approach to teaching young, beginner-level students how to tap into the creative part of their brains and improvise melodies. I’d like to share this approach with you. Here’s how I go about this challenging task, by grade level, using the piano at first, then transitioning to guitar.</p> <p><strong>Improvising on the piano, grades K and 1</strong></p> <p>I explain what that big word improvisation means then immediately put the kids on electronic keyboards. They already know some basic rhythm patterns, which I initially teach them using percussion instruments. I find that, for this type of exercise, it actually helps to give the students some parameters, or boundaries, which makes it kind of like a game and less daunting, and tell them that they can only use the notes C, D and E (marked on the keys). </p> <p>They are to use their index finger and “make up” some rhythm patterns using only one note at first, then two, then three. I, meanwhile, provide guitar accompaniment, playing the chord progression C-G-Am-F, four beats on each chord. I call this lesson “Cats, Dogs and Elephants are Stinky” and sing those words after the students have improvised for a few bars. This exercise can also be transposed to the key of G, with me playing the chords G, D, Em and C and the students playing the notes G, A and B.</p> <p><strong>Improvising on the guitar, grades 1 and 2 </strong></p> <p>Essentially same approach as above, but, with the guitar, a brief explanation and demonstration are needed to show how to hold the instrument properly and use their hands and fingers to “squeeze” and “pinch” the strings like a cats claw. I only let them use two notes at first—the open high E and G on the third fret. I start by having the student pinch the first string’s “third box” (fret, in this case, the G note), fretted with their index finger, and have them say or sing their first name and play that note in the same rhythm. For example, “Jessica” would be three sounds; “Paul” would be one sound. I then tell them to lift their finger off the string and similarly play the open E note in the rhythm of their last name. </p> <p>To help the students remember the notes, I also have them sing and play them with the words “three" and "open” (see FIGURE 1).</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83978705"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1.png" width="620" height="245" alt="1.png" /></p> <p>Once they feel comfortable doing this, I accompany them with the chord progression G-Em-C–G, eight beats on each chord (see FIGURE 2). </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83978926"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2.png" width="620" height="819" alt="2.png" /></p> <p>They are now improvising, or as I like to proclaim, playing a “Kick-butt Guitar Solo.” I take a similar approach with my second graders but with the notes A and C on the first string’s fifth and eighth frets (see FIGURE 3), a fragment of the A minor pentatonic scale, which they will become more acquainted with later), accompanying them with a basic 12 bar-blues rhythm pattern in A (see FIGURE 4). I’ll also have them sing the numbers “five” and “eight” on pitch to help.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83979184"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3.png" width="620" height="178" alt="3.png" /></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83979297"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/4.1.png" width="620" height="796" alt="4.1.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/4.2.png" width="620" height="260" alt="4.2.png" /></p> <p><strong>Improvising on the piano, grades 2-4</strong></p> <p>I use this same kind of exercise-game with my older students, but now I introduce them to the complete A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G) and tell them they can only play those five notes, which are marked on the keyboard while I play the 12-bar blues progression in A for accompaniment. To give this lesson a more rocking rhythmic punch, I add a backbeat, provided by having one student play the drums using “foot-hand” technique (kick–snare) on a virtual drum kit, compliments of the TableDrum iPad app. (I can control the volume by running the audio signal through an amplifier.) Eventually, I move the percussionist away from the app and onto a real drum set. </p> <p><strong>Improvising on the guitar, grade 3</strong></p> <p>This is essentially the same A minor pentatonic lesson plan, but here I start out where the students left off in second grade with the fifth-position A and C notes. Using tablature as a visual aid, I show them the shape of the A minor pentatonic scale and how they can do the same fifth-to-eighth-fret move on the B string (see FIGURE 5). They are now improvising using four notes—A, C, E and G.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83979409"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/5.png" width="620" height="333" alt="5.png" /></p> <p><strong>Improvising on the guitar, grade 4</strong></p> <p>Picking up where we left off in third grade, I complete the scale using tablature with fret-hand fingerings as a teaching tool, starting on the “big E” string (see FIGURE 6). </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83979614"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/6.png" width="620" height="345" alt="6.png" /></p> <p>Once the students are comfortable with this, I have them play through the first five notes of the scale in a rhythm of quarter notes and then go backwards to the starting note (see FIGURE 7) as I accompany them with an A barre chord, strummed in an eighth-note rhythm. I call this the “Pentatonic Jam."</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83979815"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/7.png" width="620" height="329" alt="7.png" /></p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>Mark Hale teaches general music and guitar to elementary school students, grades K-4, in Nashville. </em></p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child¹s complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-art-jam-how-teach-young-children-improvise#comments Mark Hale VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Wed, 20 Mar 2013 12:07:35 +0000 Mark Hale 18031 at http://www.guitarworld.com VH1 Save the Music: How to Break Away from the Open Position and Discover New Chords Higher Up the Neck http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-break-away-open-position-and-discover-new-chords-higher-neck <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello, everyone. My name is David Haiman, and I teach guitar classes to fourth- through sixth-graders at PS/IS 180 in Harlem, New York City. </p> <p>In this column, I’d like to share with you a neat, fun approach I use to help my students explore the upper areas of the guitar neck in their chord playing. </p> <p>After learning a handful of stock chord shapes in first and second position — what are commonly referred to as “open” chords or “cowboy” chords — it can be liberating for your fretting hand to venture beyond the first three frets, move up the neck and get acquainted with the sweet sounds of chords played in the higher positions. </p> <p>In this lesson, I will show you how to build what are called triads based on each step, or degree, of a major scale, using the guitar-friendly keys of D, A, and E to demonstrate. Each of these keys allows us to employ one of the open low strings, which we will allow to ring as a droning, unchanging bass note — what is known as a pedal tone — while we switch chords on higher strings. This approach produces a musically appealing sound, one used to great effect by world famous guitarists like Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, the Who’s Pete Townshend, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.</p> <p>We’ll start by strumming a familiar open D chord then “walk” up the D major scale on the top three strings to generate a set of triads that reside in the key of D major (see <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>). After playing the initial D chord, switch your fingers to what would be a familiar-looking D minor shape, shift that shape up two frets, then strum the top four strings. This gives you an E minor triad over a D bass note, indicated by the chord symbol “Em/D,” which signifies “E minor over D.” </p> <p>Now move that same minor shape up two more frets, which will give you F#m/D (“F sharp minor over D”). Continuing to seventh position, return to the major shape and strum. This is G/D (“G over D”). Now slide that same shape up two more frets to A/D (“A over D”), then move up another two frets and switch back to the minor shape for Bm/D (“B minor over D”). </p> <p>The shape for the diminished chord, C#dim/D (“C sharp diminished over D”), is 12th fret on the G string, 14th fret on the B string and 12th fret on the high E. You’ll want to barre your index finger across the top three strings to finger this chord, as indicated in FIGURE 1. Finally, we end and resolve our chord progression by playing the original D major shape one octave higher and 12 frets above its original position. Now play the same same eight chords in reverse order.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82799981%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-mMAXS"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1_0.jpg" width="620" height="235" alt="1_0.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 2</strong> presents a musically interesting way to play the chords from FIGURE 1 as arpeggios, or what are commonly referred to as “broken chords,” letting the strings ring together as you pick out the individual notes of each chord to create a nice flow of notes. I leave it to you to continue the pattern up the neck with the remaining chords you’ve just learned.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82800126%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-Vsi0D"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/2.jpg" width="620" height="218" alt="2.jpg" /></p> <p>Now let’s try doing the same thing in a different key. <strong>FIGURE 3</strong> shows a similarly generated chord scale, this time in the key of A and on the middle four strings. As we had done in FIGURE 1, we’re “walking” up a major scale on three strings at the same time, in three-part harmony, while sounding a bass pedal tone on an open string with each chord. </p> <p>For the chords A, D/A and E/A, barre your index finger across the D, G and B strings. FIGURE 4 presents a nice, rolling arpeggio pattern in 3/4 meter that you can apply to all the chords from FIGURE 3.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82800235%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-lso2Z"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/3_0.jpg" width="620" height="243" alt="3_0.jpg" /></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82800322%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-HXSi4"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/4_0.jpg" width="620" height="222" alt="4_0.jpg" /></p> <p>Let’s look at one more key. <strong>FIGURE 5</strong> illustrates an ascending chord scale in the key of E major, this time with the open low E string used as a bass pedal tone and fretted notes played on the A, D and G strings. In this case we’re adding a neat twist to the proceedings by additionally including the open B and high E strings as pedal tones, along with the low E. Doing so creates a set of very rich-sounding, shimmering chords that include added “color tones.” </p> <p>Try coming up with your own variations on these arpeggio patterns, and see what happens when you mix up the order of the chords in each progression, ascending and descending. One can imagine many songs being composed this way. Two examples that come to mind are Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” and “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers Band, both of which use some of the chords shown in FIGURE 5. Have fun experimenting with these progressions. Perhaps your own original songs may emerge from them! </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82800439%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-v2DqX"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/5_0.jpg" width="620" height="221" alt="5_0.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>David Haiman teaches guitar classes to fourth- through sixth-graders at PS/IS 180 in Harlem, New York City.</em> </p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child¹s complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-how-break-away-open-position-and-discover-new-chords-higher-neck#comments Beginner David Haiman Guitar 101 VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Mon, 11 Mar 2013 19:59:13 +0000 David Haiman 17977 at http://www.guitarworld.com VH1 Save the Music: An Effective Strategy for Teaching Young Beginners the Joy of Playing Guitar http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-effective-strategy-teaching-young-beginners-joy-playing-guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>Hello. My name is Ted Meyers, and I teach guitar classes at the Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio.</p> <p>Being assigned the ongoing mission of teaching a new crop of middle school students each year to play guitar on a beginner level in a group setting, I’ve had numerous opportunities to try various approaches to getting the kids to focus on learning to play the instrument without becoming bored or frustrated. </p> <p>I’ve found that the best way to accomplish this is to show them how to play things that sound musically satisfying but don’t require much in the way of technique. </p> <p>These criteria are important because, as I’ve learned, when you’re dealing with young teenagers, you need to hold their attention and give them just enough of a challenge that the task at hand will be realistic and won’t end up discouraging them. </p> <p>One strategy I’ve found to be particularly effective is to get the students strumming chords right away, as opposed to the conventional guitar method book approach of introducing simple single-note melodies that don’t sound very inspiring or “cool” on their own. </p> <p>What I’ll do is teach them some simple chord progressions — meaning chords played in a particular order — that convey a sense of musical purpose and forward motion and sound like something you would hear in a real song, as opposed to just introducing a handful of random chords. </p> <p>This tactic helps captivate the students and keep them focused. I will also, at least initially, limit the chords to only the top three strings (the G, B and high E) and stay in first position, using a combination of open strings and fretted notes. This makes things easy on the fingers while also capitalizing on the superior, full-sounding tone of the open strings and notes played in the lowest positions (within the first few frets).</p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1</strong> is a little chord-playing etude I came up with — an etude is a musical exercise that sounds like a mini-composition — to get the kids started (after we’ve tuned up, of course). It consists of four easily fingered chords: G, Gmaj7, G7 and an all-open G6. Using only the top three strings like this — instead of six, five or even four strings — allows the students to better hear and focus on the individual notes that comprise each chord voicing and how they relate to each other and sound together (like listening to a three-part vocal harmony). </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ted%20Meyers%20FIGURE%201.jpg" width="620" height="533" alt="Ted Meyers FIGURE 1.jpg" /></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F78965717%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-jIXMo"></iframe> </p> <p>The first thing I advise them to do, to help insure a good, clean sound when fretting, is to pre-position the ring, middle and index fingers on the high E string at the third, second and first frets, respectively. By doing this, they can then “peel off” the fingers one a time to reveal the next chord in the progression. </p> <p>I find that doing this helps beginners due to their lack of finger strength and calluses, which both develop over time with consistent practice. I point out to them that if the chords do not sound clear, they may need to press down a little more firmly, or the fretting finger on the high E string is not centered properly between the fret bars, in which case, they’ll need to “scoot” the finger a little to their right, closer to the fret. </p> <p>Regarding the strumming, I find that it’s good to get the students used to playing a combination of quarter notes and eighth notes early on, as you would typically encounter in a popular or folk song, and teaching them how to count beats. </p> <p>Consecutive downstrokes are used for the quarter notes, and a downstroke-upstroke combination is employed for any pair of eighth notes, which in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> fall on beat three in each bar, except the last. So the counting for the first four bars is “1 2 3-an 4, 1 2 3-an 4,” etc. </p> <p>Once the students have mastered this little progression, I then present to them the option of playing the chords in reverse order, which becomes a fun challenge and gives them a greater opportunity to hear and compare the sound of each chord. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 2</strong> expands on this little progression and introduces a few new chords, for which notes are fretted on the B and G strings, as well as the high E. When playing these chords, it’s very important that the fretting fingers “stand tall” and don’t inadvertently touch or “slouch” and lean against the neighboring strings. </p> <p>It’s a good idea to teach the students to “test out” each chord to make sure they’re fingering it cleanly by picking the notes one at a time. This will reveal any “dead” notes in the chord and fingering adjustments that need to be made.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ted%20Meyers%20FIGURE%202-1.jpg" width="620" height="780" alt="Ted Meyers FIGURE 2-1.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Ted%20Meyers%20FIGURE%202-2.jpg" width="620" height="232" alt="Ted Meyers FIGURE 2-2.jpg" /></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F78965905%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-1hDq4"></iframe> </p> <p>I hope that, as a teacher, you too will have success using this approach with your beginner students. Try coming up with similarly satisfying and easy-to-play chord progressions of your own design, gradually introducing more challenging elements as your students progress.</p> <p><em>Photo: Rob Davidson</em></p> <p><em>For more about Ted Meyers, head to <a href="http://meyersmusic22012.weebly.com/index.html">meyersmusic22012</a>. Check out the photo gallery of Meyers with his students below!</em></p> <p><em>The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America¹s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child¹s complete education. Get involved at <a href="http://vh1savethemusic.com/">vh1savethemusic.org</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/vh1-save-music-effective-strategy-teaching-young-beginners-joy-playing-guitar#comments Beginner Guitar 101 Save the Music Ted Meyers VH1 VH1 Save the Music Beginner Guitar 101 Guitar Basics Blogs Lessons Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:14:25 +0000 Ted Meyers 17779 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101 - Mastering Rhythm & Syncopation, Part 5: Quintuplets and Nightmare Licks http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-5-quintuplets-and-nightmare-licks <!--paging_filter--><p>In <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-4-more-fun-triplets-and-hemiola">Part 4</a> we covered quarter-note triplets, 16th-note triplets and sextuplets and learned how to create tricked-out hemiola licks by taking a repeating note pattern and changing its rhythm so that the pattern begins, or "pops," on a different part of the beat each time it's repeated (rhythmic displacement). </p> <p>Now we're going to dive deeper into the rhythmic realm and explore a new subdivision, quintuplets-five evenly spaced notes per beat-and learn how to create psychedelic "nightmare" licks.</p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1a</strong> is a descending five-note blues scale lick played in a quintuplet rhythm (indicated by the "5" centered below the two beams connecting each five-note group). As you can see and hear, this rhythm perfectly matches the number of notes in the lick (five), so that it begins squarely on the beat each time it's repeated, producing a straightforward, unsyncopated melody. Practice playing this example a few times to get the note pattern under your fingers and help plant the quintuplet rhythm in your mind's ear. Use alternate picking (down, up, down, up, etc.) and, as always, be sure to tap your foot on each downbeat as you play.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/101sync5_1.jpg" width="620" /></p> <p>The picking pattern can be a bit tricky because you're playing an odd number of notes-five-using an even number of picking strokes-two. Doing this makes your right hand "reverse polarity" as the first note of the lick begins on a different stroke with each repetition.</p> <p>There's no standard way to count quintuplets, but I find that counting "1-bee-day-bo-dah, 2-bee-day-bo-dah, 3-bee-day-bo-dah, 4-bee-day-bo-dah, 1-bee-day-bo-dah," etc. works well because you can keep track of each quintuplet and beat without confusing the syllables with those used for triplets or 16ths.</p> <p>Now let's create some musical mayhem with this same five-note pattern by changing the rhythm to throw the phrasing into a controlled tailspin. This can be done by playing the same five-note pattern as 16th notes, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1b</strong>. As you can see and hear, the pattern begins one 16th note later each time it's repeated, creating a staggered effect as the phrasing seems to drift off and spin out of control. You'll notice, however, that there is a method to the madness, as the pattern eventually comes full circle to the point where it begins on "1" again.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/101sync5_2.jpg" /></p> <p>A different and equally cool hemiola pattern is created by taking the same repeating five-note pattern and changing the rhythm to eighth-note triplets, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 1c</strong>. Again, notice how off-kilter the phrasing sounds as the pattern seems to fall further and further out of sync with the beat on each repetition until it cycles around to the point where it lines up with the beat again (sort of like two windshield wipers moving at slightly different speeds).</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/101sync5_3.jpg" /></p> <p>Now let's see what happens when we combine hemiola-based syncopation with an already twisted-sounding "chromatic climb" lick. <strong>FIGURE 2a</strong> is an unsyncopated 16th-note run that meanders up the high E string in an "up two, back one" pattern. <strong>FIGURE 2b</strong> shows how this chromatic "rising fever" pattern can be transformed into a delirious "chromatic nightmare" lick by playing the exact same note sequence while changing the rhythm to eighth-note triplets.</p> <p><img src="http://dl.guitarworld.com/101sync5_4.jpg" /></p> <p>Being able to play these two heavily syncopated patterns flawlessly, meaning tapping your foot while playing them repeatedly at a steady tempo without losing your count or getting into a technical "trainwreck," will take your rhythmic skills to a whole new level, as you'll be surveying every possible eighth-note-triplet and 16th-note syncopation, via accents. Proceed slowly at first and don't try playing them faster until you feel you've conquered them at slower tempos. The payoff is well worth the effort, in terms of getting great benefit from your practice time.</p> <p>When creating your own "nightmare" licks, always keep in mind that it's important that you resolve them in a way that brings the listener back down to earth and punctuates the statement you've just made. If you're going to go out on a musical limb, be prepared to get back to solid ground so you don't leave your audience hanging.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-5-quintuplets-and-nightmare-licks#comments Guitar 101 Guitar 101 Lessons Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:40:21 +0000 Jimmy Brown 153 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101 - Mastering Rhythm & Syncopation, Part 4: More Fun with Triplets and Hemiola http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-4-more-fun-triplets-and-hemiola <!--paging_filter--><p>In part 3 we learned how to count and play eighth-note triplets (three evenly-spaced notes per beat). We also learned how to use a rhythmic device called hemiola to create ear-tickling syncopation effects. As you recall, we took a short, repeating pattern of eighth notes and made it sound more interesting and quirky by changing the rhythm to eighth-note triplets. Doing this caused the pattern to begin at a different place in the measure each time it's repeated (rhythmic displacement). We then used this same approach to transform a repeating pattern of four 16th notes into a psychedelic, circular lick by again changing the rhythm to eighth-note triplets. In this lesson I'm going to show you more slick hemiola tricks that will help expand your phrasing vocabulary and bolster your rhythmic skills at the same time. But first we need to cover two more commonly used triplet rhythms.</p> <p><strong>FIGURE 1 </strong>illustrates how quarter-note triplets can be implied within an eighth-note triplet rhythm by using accents, rests or ties to emphasize every other note (the implied quarter-note triplet rhythm is indicated above each measure). As you play this example, notice the "staggered" feel the implied quarter-note triplet rhythm imparts.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/guitar101_sync4_1.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 2 </strong>shows two measures of quarter-note triplets in 4/4 time. Notice that one set of quarter-note triplets takes up two beats, or half a measure (the same space as two sets of eighth-note triplets).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/guitar101_sync4_2.jpg" /></p> <p>The hardest thing about counting and playing quarter-note triplets is tapping your foot on each beat at the same time. The easiest way to master this is to count eighth-note triplets, as indicated here, so that each quarter-note triplet falls on every other count ("1 trip let 2 trip let 3 trip let 4 trip let"). This will enable you to determine exactly when to tap your foot and when to play.</p> <p>Going in the opposite direction (getting "smaller"), 16th-note triplets are three evenly-spaced notes played in the space of one eighth note (see <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>). As this example demonstrates, in a measure of 4/4 time you can have two sets of 16th-note triplets per beat-one for each eighth note.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/guitar101_sync4_3.jpg" /></p> <p>There is no standard way of counting 16th-note triplets. Many musicians borrow the syllables used for counting eighth-note triplets and count "1-trip-let and-trip-let, 2-trip-let and-trip-let, 3-trip-let and-trip-let, 4-trip-let and-trip-let, 1-trip-let and-trip-let, 2-trip-let and-trip-let," etc., with the understanding that the "trip" and "let" counts are now falling on different places in the measure than they would when counting eighth-note triplets.</p> <p>Sextuplets are played at the same "speed" as 16th-note triplets-six evenly spaced notes over one beat. The only difference is where you place the accents. For example, <strong>FIGURE 4</strong> is a lick that uses both sextuplets and 16th-note triplets in the same measure. Notice how the contour of the line affects the phrasing. Sextuplets may be counted "1-uh trip-uh let-uh, 2-uh trip-uh let-uh, 3-uh trip-uh let-uh, 4-uh trip-uh let-uh, 1-uh trip-uh let-uh, 2-uh trip-uh let-uh" etc.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/guitar101_sync4_4.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5b </strong>is a cool hemiola lick that's based on the repeating six-note pattern introduced in <strong>FIGURE 5a</strong>. As you can see and hear, playing the six-note pattern as 16th notes instead of sextuplets displaces it forward a half a beat (one eighth note) with each repetition, creating an exciting and dramatic syncopation effect as the first note of the pattern "pops" in a different place with each repetition. Notice that the pattern is displaced seven times before it cycles around to the point where it begins on "1" again. Be sure to play through <strong>FIGURE 5a </strong> a few times until you feel comfortable with the note pattern before tackling <strong>FIGURE 5b</strong>. (Both examples are great picking exercises.)</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/guitar101_sync4_5.jpg" /></p> <p>In part 5 I'll introduce you to quintuplets and show you how to create more mad hemiola licks by playing a repeating five-note pattern as 16th notes or eighth-note triplets. We'll also learn how to combine hemiola with chromatic "climbing" sequences to create horrific "nightmare" licks.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-4-more-fun-triplets-and-hemiola#comments Guitar 101 Guitar 101 Lessons Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:57:23 +0000 Jimmy Brown 152 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101 - Mastering Rhythm & Syncopation, Part 3: Triplets and Hemiola http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-3-triplets-and-hemiola <!--paging_filter--><p>In <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-2-16th-notes-rests-and-dotted-rhythms">part 2</a> I introduced you to 16th notes and demonstrated how to create a variety of funky syncopations by using rests and dotted rhythms, as well as ties. I hope you've been using every transcription and lesson example you come across to practice your rhythm reading and counting skills because doing this will definitely help improve and sharpen your rhythmic sense, no matter what level you're at as a player or what style(s) you're into. Being able to count, read and, most importantly, feel the complex rhythms of today's music is something that requires a bit of practice to become proficient at, so make a point of reading and counting rhythms on a regular basis (15 minutes a day is good!).</p> <p>As promised at the end of our last lesson, we're now going to learn how to count, read and play triplets. As you recall, a quarter-note beat can be evenly subdivided into two eighth notes ("one and") or four 16th notes ("one ee and uh"). You can also split it equally into three eighth-note triplets, as the riff in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> demonstrates. Notice that while eighth-note triplets are similar in appearance to eighth notes (duplets), in that both subdivisions are connected with a single beam, they're grouped in threes, with a numeral "3" centered below the beam.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig1.jpg" /></p> <p>Counting "one trip let, two trip let, three trip let, four trip let, one trip let, two trip let, three trip let, four trip let," etc. enables us to keep track of every triplet and beat in a measure of 4/4 while maintaining a steady pulse. (Some musicians and teachers prefer to count eighth-note triplets as "one and uh, two and uh, three and uh, four and uh," which is admittedly less of a tongue-twister at fast tempos, but I've found that students who do this run the risk of mistakenly confusing the "and" and "uh" counts with those used for eighth and 16th notes, which fall on different parts of the beat.)</p> <p>Because we're now subdividing the beat into three equally-spaced notes, each individual eighth-note triplet has a slightly shorter duration than an eighth-note duplet played at the same tempo. Thus, eighth-note triplets are "faster" than regular eighth notes.</p> <p>Due to the odd subdivision of the beat (three equal parts instead of two or four), eighth-note triplets "go against the grain" of eighth notes and 16th notes and require a different counting pattern. <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is a riff that uses eighth notes, eighth-note triplets and 16ths, requiring you to change counting patterns as you play. As I've previously advised you to do when sight-reading any piece of sheet music for the first time, first clap the rhythms of the notes (or tap them on your knee) before playing the notes on your instrument to help you focus on interpreting the rhythms correctly. And, as always, be sure to tap your foot in a steady quarter-note pulse. This will insure that you don't speed up or slow down the tempo when "shifting gears" from duplets to triplets to "quadruplets" (as 16th notes are also known).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig2.jpg" /></p> <p>Ties and rests can be used with eighth-note triplets to create a variety of interesting triplet syncopations, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. Notice in bar 2 of this example that a quarter note may be substituted for a pair of tied eighth-note triplets within a single beat (as used in bar 1 for the sake of comparison). This is considered more economical notation, as there are fewer items to read. For this same reason, a quarter rest is preferred over two consecutive eighth-note-triplet rests that fall within the same beat (compare bar 3 to bar 4). A pair of brackets with "3" centered between them is used in conjunction with (or instead of) a beam in these types of "broken" eighth-note triplet figures. The bracket indicates that the quarter note or quarter rest represents two thirds of the triplet figure and not an entire beat, as would normally be the case.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig3.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURES 4 </strong>and <strong>5</strong> are examples of how you can take a simple, repeating melodic pattern of eighth notes or 16ths and transform it into an exciting and tricky-sounding lick by playing it in an eighth-note triplet rhythm. <strong>FIGURE 4a </strong>is a single-string pedal point lick played in even eighth notes. While the note pattern is fairly interesting, the rhythm is rather bland, as it is unsyncopated-no upbeats are emphasized. Notice how much cooler and intense this same note pattern sounds when played as eighth-note triplets (see <strong>FIGURE 4b</strong>). The accented fretted notes create syncopation and convey what is known as a quarter-note triplet rhythm.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig4.jpg" /></p> <p>FIGURE 5a is a repeating four-note descending lick played in even 16th notes. Notice how it begins squarely on the beat each time it's repeated. This same note pattern becomes much more interesting when played as eighth-note triplets, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 5b</strong>. Because the pattern is still four notes, it's rhythmically displaced each time it's repeated, shifting ahead one eighth-note triplet with each repetition. This melodic device, known as hemiola, produces a compelling syncopation effect and generates rhythmic tension. It also plays tricks on the listener's ear by creating the aural illusion of "phony 16ths" played at a slower tempo.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig5.jpg" /></p> <p>It sounds equally cool to do the opposite thing and take a repeating three-note pattern, like the triplet lick shown in <strong>FIGURE 6a</strong>, and change the rhythm to 16ths, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 6b</strong>. In this example, the lick begins one 16th note earlier with each displacement. Like the "fours on threes" hemiola lick in <strong>FIGURE 5b</strong>, <strong>FIGURE 6b</strong>'s "threes on fours" pattern suggests a superimposed rhythm, in this case "phony triplets" at a slower tempo.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitarworld.com/files/G101_Fig6.jpg" /></p> <p>Be sure to practice <strong>FIGURES 5b</strong> and <strong>6b</strong> slowly at first while tapping your foot until you feel you can play them cleanly and consistently without fudging any notes or losing track of the beat. Then work on playing them faster.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-mastering-rhythm-syncopation-part-3-triplets-and-hemiola#comments Guitar 101 Guitar 101 Lessons Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:09:01 +0000 Jimmy Brown 151 at http://www.guitarworld.com Jeff Marshall: Guitar 101 Column - Triad Trifecta [April 2010] http://www.guitarworld.com/jeff-marshall-guitar-101-column-triad-trifecta-april-2010 <!--paging_filter--><script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?embed=0&viewportWidth=452&viewportHeight=373',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=2232',width:'452',height:'373'}); </script> http://www.guitarworld.com/jeff-marshall-guitar-101-column-triad-trifecta-april-2010#comments Videos Guitar 101 Musicians Institute Video Lessons Lessons Thu, 15 Jul 2010 19:25:39 +0000 3221 at http://www.guitarworld.com Daniel Gilbert: Guitar 101 Column - Triad Nuggets, June 2010 http://www.guitarworld.com/daniel-gilbert-guitar-101-column-triad-nuggets-june-2010 <!--paging_filter--><script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?embed=0&viewportWidth=452&viewportHeight=373',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=2137',width:'452',height:'373'}); </script> http://www.guitarworld.com/daniel-gilbert-guitar-101-column-triad-nuggets-june-2010#comments Videos Guitar 101 Lessons Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:07:20 +0000 3120 at http://www.guitarworld.com Ross Bolton: Guitar 101 Column - Feelin' the Funk, May 2010 http://www.guitarworld.com/ross-bolton-guitar-101-column-feelin-funk-may-2010 <!--paging_filter--><script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?embed=0&viewportWidth=452&viewportHeight=373',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=2088',width:'452',height:'373'}); </script><div class="field field-type-text field-field-tablature"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Tablature:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Click here to view tablature.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.guitarworld.com/ross-bolton-guitar-101-column-feelin-funk-may-2010#comments Videos Guitar 101 Lessons Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:45:01 +0000 Ross Bolton 3010 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101 - Strumming in 6/8 Meter http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar_101_strumming_in_6_8_meter <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn the basics of strumming 6/8 meter in this video lesson with <em>Guitar World</em> senior music editor, Jimmy Brown.</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="right"> <tr> <td width="10" rowspan="3">&nbsp;</td> <td height="10"></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <table width="200" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" bordercolor="#000000"> <tr> <td height="24" bgcolor="#F70000"><img src="/sites/future.p2technology.com/files/imce-images/lessons-tab_header.jpg" width="123" height="24" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="padding: 3px 3px 3px 6px;"> <a href="http://dl.guitarworld.com/Lessons/Guitar_101/strumming_6-8_meter.pdf" target="_blank" title="8th-Note Triplet Strumming">Strumming 6/8 Meter</a> </div></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10"></td> </tr> </table> <script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?ads=1&zone=',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=329',width:'450',height:'420'}); </script><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar_101_strumming_in_6_8_meter#comments Guitar 101 Lessons Wed, 11 Jul 2007 16:04:59 +0000 Jimmy Brown 580 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101: Eighth-Note Triplet Strumming http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-eighth-note-triplet-strumming <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn the basics of eighth-note triplet strumming in this video lesson with <em>Guitar World</em> senior music editor, Jimmy Brown.</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="right"> <tr> <td width="10" rowspan="3">&nbsp;</td> <td height="10"></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <table width="200" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" bordercolor="#000000"> <tr> <td height="24" bgcolor="#F70000"><img src="/sites/future.p2technology.com/files/imce-images/lessons-tab_header.jpg" width="123" height="24" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="padding: 3px 3px 3px 6px;"> <a href="http://dl.guitarworld.com/Lessons/Guitar_101/8th-note_triplet_strumming.pdf" target="_blank" title="8th-Note Triplet Strumming">Eighth-Note Triplet Strumming Tab</a> </div></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10"></td> </tr> </table> <script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?ads=1&zone=',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=163',width:'450',height:'420'}); </script><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-eighth-note-triplet-strumming#comments Guitar 101 Lessons Fri, 13 Apr 2007 14:35:39 +0000 Jimmy Brown 355 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar 101: String Whacking http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-string-whacking <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn the basics of string whacking in this video lesson with <em>Guitar World</em> senior music editor, Jimmy Brown.</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="right"> <tr> <td width="10" rowspan="3">&nbsp;</td> <td height="10"></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <table width="200" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" bordercolor="#000000"> <tr> <td height="24" bgcolor="#F70000"><img src="/sites/future.p2technology.com/files/imce-images/lessons-tab_header.jpg" width="123" height="24" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <div style="padding: 3px 3px 3px 6px;"> <a href="http://dl.guitarworld.com/Lessons/Guitar_101/string_whacking.pdf" target="_blank" title="String Whacking">String Whacking Tab</a> </div></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10"></td> </tr> </table> <script type="text/javascript"> writeFutureVideo({configEmbed:'/video/playerConfig.php?ads=1&zone=',playlistEmbed:'/video/generatePlaylist.php?videoID=158',width:'450',height:'420'}); </script><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-101-string-whacking#comments Guitar 101 Lessons Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:16:24 +0000 Jimmy Brown 344 at http://www.guitarworld.com