Tag Archives: Spanish

Lesson two: The C and Am chord

 

Chord learning Routines: The C and Am chord  

1 Introduction

 1.1 What are you going to learn?

In this lesson you will learn a C and Am chord, and use them to play this 4 bar song song. 

You will learn the shapes, how to play the chords with clarity and above all, play them in a context that simulates the real thing. This means that you will learn to hear in advance the music you wish to play, so as to prepare and synchronise your left and right hand to play it, to a beat.

You will not be reading what you have to play, but rather, hearing what you have to play. This way of learning and playing, will be more rewarding, it will increase your learning speed and therefore your final satisfaction.

You will also consolidate a routine, for learning other shapes, with a self assessment criteria that will prove to you that you know it. 

 1.2 How are you going to learn?

Step by step, having fun, and following strictly my guidelines to help you immediately create some beautiful music. 

So, rather than simply playing two chords with no logic, you will learn how to use them to play a song with feeling. This end result feels better, it also makes sense and as a consequence you have more fun and learn quickly..

You will learn the chords and songs in four steps. 

1.2.1 Step one

In step one you will relate visually the shape of the chord,  to the fretboard, to place your fingers in a specific sequence and arpeggiate the chord to create a four beat musical phrase. 

You will identify the foundation of the chord, the note on which it is constructed from. That is our target note, the note to look for whenever we want to play any chord.

In step one, you will learn how to produce clear chordal sounds with patience and repetition.

1.2.2 Step two 

You will initiate a slow practice routine to memorise and consolidate the shapes of the chords.

You will play the chords in tempo to create rhythm and further consolidate the clarity of the execution.  

1.2.3 Step three 

In step 3 you will play this song, a simple 8 bar song,  where you play chords for half of the time, the rhythm of the song, and the other half you will play the melody, which would be the vocal line, what the vocalist of a band would sing. 

1.2.4 Step four 

You will complete assignments to prove that you have learnt the how and what of playing the C and Am chord. 

2 Step 1: How to memorise a shape ( The C and Am chord )

2.1 The Goal

The goal of step one is to learn to play a chord by applying the following routine.

In this course you will first see the shape of a chord as a diagram, then you will apply this routine:

  • Place your fingers in order 
  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted,place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Let’s learn this routine.

2.2 How to understand a diagram 

In the following diagrams you will see chord shapes with numbers.

These numbers correspond to the following fingers of the hand, that you will use to apply pressure onto the fretboard. 

Right handed people generally use the left hand to form the shapes. Left handed people generally use their right hand. 

2.3 C Chord

Your first objective in this learning will be to relate the chord diagram to the guitar fretboard. 

This is the C chord diagram. In the diagram you have vertical lines and horizontal lines.

The vertical lines represent the frets. The horizontal lines represent the strings in order from sixth to first.

2.3.1 Fingers

1st finger where ? 

Look at the diagram and relate.

Where must I place my first finger to start creating the shape?

On what fret?

My first finger, as shown in the diagram must go in the first fret.

On what string? 

My first finger, as shown in the diagram, must go on the second string.

Place your finger down.

2nd finger where ?

Let’s move on to the second finger. Please leave your first finger down. 

Ask yourself: Where must I place my second finger to continue creating the shape?

What fret?

My second finger, as shown in the diagram,  must go on the second fret.

What string ? 

My second finger, as shown in the diagrammust goon the fourth string. 

Place your second finger down. 

3rd finger where?

Let’s move on to the third finger. Please leave your first and second fingers down. 

Ask yourself: Where should I place my third finger to continue creating the shape? 

What fret?

My 3rd finger as shown in the diagram, must go on the third fret.

What string? 

My 3rd  finger, as shown in the diagram, must go on the fifth string.

Say three and place your third finger down and strum with your thumb.

2.3.2 Get a good sound 

Are any of the strings buzzing when you strum?  

If they are you need to raise the tips of you finger fingers, grab a pencil and lift them, also extend your wrist. Look at the angle of the hand in relation to the guitar. Look at how my wrist is straight, correct your position and play the chord again.

Are you still hearing some buzzing? Repeat the clarity check. 

Consolidate

I would suggest before you continue to rewind the video from the start and repeat all the instructions.

2.3.3 What is the bass

I hope this question has come to your mind. The bass is the lowest note of the chord on which we build it from the foundation.The bass is the name of the chord.

So the bass of C is c. Where is the bass? The bass c has to be the lowest note of our chord, and in this case, we produce the c note as a bass by pressing the 3rd fret on the 5th string.

2.3.4 Play the C chord

You are now ready to apply swiftly the chord learning routine. Play along with me. 

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted,place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Rewind and repeat this last section

2.3.5 Tips

Some tips to keep in mind. 

Keep your hand relaxed
As a general rule, to avoid unnecessary strain, keep your fingers on the fretboard just the necessary time to create the sound you wish and then let go. 

Repetition
I also find it more practical, to help develop long term memory, not to repeat each exercise, more than two consecutive times, before taking a break or moving on to a new exercise.

2.4  Am Chord

Let’s take a break from the C chord and learn the Am chord. 

2.4.1 Fingers

Please look at the shape and where each finger is placed. Play the chord in the following sequence: 

Place your fingers in order

and ….

say aloud the fingers as you do so.

Say one and place your first finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question: What fret and what string does my first finger go on? In this case fret 1 string 2.

Let’s do it together.

Say two and place your second finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question: What fret and what string does my second finger go on? In this case fret 2 string 4.

Let’s do it together.

Note: Please make sure your first finger stays in place.

Say three and place your third finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question what fret and what string does my third finger go on.

Let’s do it together

Keep your fingers in place .

2.4.2  The bass

Name the bass of the chord

What is the bass of the Am chord ? a.  The bass is the name of the chord; on top of which we add more notes to compete the sound. 

Where is the bass of the Am chord?

The bass is in the low register. This is the low part of the guitar. The bass can be an open string or a string I am pressing with my left hand. 

So do I have a low open string that sounds like a?Yes I do. So, this is the bass and the lowest note of the chord from which we play our chord from.

Play 

2.4.3 One note at a time

Play this chord with me, one note at a time, count it in: 1 2 3 4.

2.4.4 Get a good sound

If any of your notes do not sound clear enough, please use the pencil to correct your finger placement.

Play the chord one note at a time.

2.4.5 Play the Am Chord

You are now ready to apply swiftly the Chord Learning Routine. Play along with me.

Am chord

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted, place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound.
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Rewind and repeat this last section.

3. Step 2, Play C and Am chord in tempo

To move on to step 2, you must be able to already play with clarity the C and Am chord.

You will now learn to play the C and Am chord in this manner: 

3.1  The Goal

Listen

3.2 Working towards the goal 

3.2.1 Spot the common notes

In order to jump from the C to Am chord you need to find the similarities between them. Practice with me this combination. Get your fingers ready for the C chord but apply the Chord Learning Routine

  • Play one string at a time from the bass. ( 1 and 2 and 3 and  4 move)

3.2.1 Slowly join the chords

Now lift up your third finger, put in on the third string and play the Am,  and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. In the diagram in red, you can see the common notes. 

Common Notes between the C and Am chord

3.2.2 Play along with me non stop

Repeat with me, try not to stop and also say what I am saying: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 move. The word move is your cue to move your finger. This time I will play the chords two times.  

 C Chord. 

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass:1 and 2 and 3 and  4 move, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 move  

Do not lift your fingers up from the fretboard.

3.2.2 Clarity Check

Please take a moment to correct your position and sound both with the C and Am chord. Strum each chord to check for clarity. 

3.3 Repeat all step 2

4.0 Step 3, Play a song

4.1  The Song

Listen

4.2 Learn the chords

This song is made up of chords and a melody.

Let’s learn the chords. First get the C shape in place. 

4.2.1 Listen

Listen to what you have to do, tap your feet and move your body to the beat.

4.2.2 Imagine

Keep tapping your foot, move to the beat and imagine the sound of what I have just done.

4.2.3 Sing

Sing what I have just done.

4.2.4 Play

Play it with me.

4.2.5 On your own

Stop the video and do it on your own. After each repetition ask yourself the following:

Check questions

Did you turn on your metronome?

Did you tap always your foot while playing?

Did you count it in?

Did you sing or say what you were doing?

Repeat
Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, until you can answer with a yes all the check questions.

4.3 Learn the melody

Let’s learn the melody.

4.3.1 Listen

Listen to what you have to do and tap your feet to the beat.

4.3.2 Imagine

Keep tapping your foot and move your body to the beat, and Imagine the sound of what I have just done.

4.3.3 Sing

Sing what I have just done.

4.3.4 Play

Play it with me.

4.3.5 On your own

 Stop the video and do it on your own.

Check questions

Did you turn on your metronome?

Did you tap always your foot while playing?

Did you count it in?

Did you sing or say what you were doing ?

Repeat

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, until you can answer with a yes all the check questions.

Let’s combine the chords together with the melody.

4.4 Play along with me 

4.4.1 Rewind and repeat

5.0 Step 4  Assignments

5.1 Quiz

Please submit your replies to the group forum for peer review. 

  • What is the bass of the Em chord?
  • If the C chord has three notes C E G, draw on the fretboard diagram, two new shapes that have these three notes.
  • If the Am has three notes A C E,  draw on the fretboard diagram ( two new shapes that have these three notes.
  • What is the summary of steps you have to follow to learn a new chord ? 

Place your ……

Name …….  Play  the ………

Play one …….Count ……. 

Clarity……….

Play one …….Count …….. 

  • What is the difference between strumming a chord and playing the chord one note at a time?
  • What is the beat of a song?
  • What is the difference between the melody and chords of a song ?

5.2 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing example 3.2.2. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

5.3 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing example 4.1. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

5.4 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing  C | Am | C |Am, each chord lasts 4 beats. Strummingwith a pick or thumb. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

Are you strumming form the bass ? 

Can you hear every single note with clarity?

5.5  Play the Em chord

Write the routine you have to follow to learn the Em chord. Apply the routine and learn it. 

5.6  Play the G chord

Write the routine you have to follow to learn the G chord. Apply the routine and learn it. 

Note

Songwriting and music production, courses, tips, studio recordings how to write a song, can be found through the corresponding links

Romance Anonimo, How to play on the Spanish Guitar

Background on courses

This composition is part of the level 1 guitar course. In each level, at the Creative Guitar School here in Melbourne, we learn to play the guitar in different scenarios or situations.

We learn to play along with the original tracks

We learn to play along to the original videos of songs we love, but focusing on our role as a guitarist. A Guitarist can play rhythm, fills or lead guitar. Throughout all levels, we learn new skills to help us develop our functions, or roles, in live music situations.

We learn to emulate the live context in our study, to increase learning efficiency

However, music has to be learnt in a musical context, that must have a beginning,  end, and a tempo. We need to coordinate, to develop our motor skills, anticipating what we have to do, in relation to a specific time frame.

We learn to sing what we hear, to memorise the sound and note positions more efficiently

How to play Romance Anonimo

We will remember what to do on the guitar at all levels, because we are anticipating the sound of what we will play. The rule is that if you can sing it, you will be able to play it. There fore,  we sing, even if we are out of tune, what we play. We cannot learn to play the guitar by visually memorising what we have to do, which in popular terms in called muscle memory. This is very time consuming and foments dangerous repetitive moments .

We learn to play songs together as in a band situation

In our guitar courses, we also learn to play songs,  together, in groups. That is, since we are learning in groups, we can then distribute the functions of the song between us. In a band there is a bass player, a drummer, a guitarist defining the groove with chords, and the lead vocalist.

In all our group learning , we also play songs,  where one guitarist defines the groove in a manner as a bass player would,  another defines the chords, as a guitarist would do in a band situation, and the other plays what the vocalist would sing. 

That is why the importance of setting the exact context correctly: to learn efficiently and achieve the most satisfactory results in the shortest time possible. This exercise, as detailed later will guide you through this learning process.

We learn to play songs as a solo guitarist

Romance Anonimo falls into the category of playing both the lead, the vocal line and the chords at the same time. Some guitarists call this classical guitar, and it can also relate to fingerstyle guitar.  This is another form a playing, we learn in all my structured learning courses. 

How to play Romance Anonimo Acoustic Guitar

Romance Anonimo

This is the sheet we will use to learn this song called Romance Anonimo. The numbers represent the fret, where one of your left hand fingers, must be placed on. The numbers also give the cue:  when to play the note.

We will learn the song slowly,  always at a constant tempo, and singing what we are playing.

If you do not play in tempo, you are learning how to play without tempo. If you do not sing, even if such is out of tune, you will relate the position to a number, to a visual cue, and you will loose the opportunity of memorising sounds, which is what music is about.

Context, what to do , instructions.

The context defines what, and when we play.

  • We will set the metronome at 6o bpm.  This indicates that we have to do something with this pulse. The initial instructions are to say a number every 3 pulses or beats.

Remember, from now on and for the rest of your musical life,  you must establish the beat before you play. This will save you hundreds of hours of learning.

  • Please count three,  and on very one you will say the number, in sequence, as you will hear in the video,  all the way up until, you read the word Am.
  • Now that we have read the numbers, anticipating what comes next, we need to relate these numbers to the fret board.  Please place one of your left hand fingers, on the fret board, on the first string, on the fret indicated.  This first number indicates that we will place our finger on the 7th fret.
  • Let’s count three beats, in sync with the metronome, and play these numbers,  one every three clicks.

Remember, you are creating the sound by both placing your finger on the corresponding fret and hitting the string with your other hand, to actually produce the sound.

We play Romance Anonimoas follows:

 Please say what you are doing, sing what you doing , and  keep in sync with the metronome.

The common error is not to for-see the following fret number we have to play. We solve this by looking at the next number, we have to play on the guitar, on the third beat of each bar or click  of the metronome.

Checklist

Use this check list to judge if are you learning Romance Anonimo:

  • Have you counted it in?
  • Are you saying what you have to do ?
  • Are you singing the notes you are playing ?
  • Are you not stopping ?
  • Are you checking every third beat what you have to do ?

If you are not following these instructions, you will not learn and possibly repeat endlessly with frustration.

If you follow these instructions, you will play the sequence in three repetitions.

However, sometimes we have trained ourselves in our lives,  to not follow a specific thought process and you will find this process hard to achieve.

Do not worry

Just do it, and only ask yourself the outlined questions .

Distractions

At this stage there is no need to worry to much about the sound , or what fingers to use.  We will work on other variables as we progress. 

I find a lot of students, that when they play in my suggested manner,  get distracted by other thoughts. These other thoughts are valuable, but they should not be a distraction to achieve a goal,

What are we learning

  • With this simple exercise on Romance Anonimo we are learning to think in music, which means to choose what we focus one.
  • We also learn to play and synchronise to a time frame, which is a beat.
  • We learn to only develop our skills based upon a time frame.
  • You are also learning to avoid unnecessary repetition.
  • You are also learning to anticipate sounds and their location.

This is the first lesson of how to play Romance Anonimo

In our next lesson, we will learn how to play the second part of this guitar composition, and also learn how to further acquire guitar skills which will make us independent in our learning, and avoid frustration,  with the consequence of developing personal well being, which is the ultimate goal.

Upcoming Guitar School Concert September 23

Upcoming Guitar School Concert September 23

  • 23-0-2017      Time: 13.00 – 15:00

Armadale Uniting Church
86A Kooyong Road
Armadale, 3143
VIC, Australia

upcoming-guitar-school-concert

Ticket price: Free
info@thomaslorenzo.com
https://www.thomaslorenzo.com.au

Join us for our Creative Guitar Experience and upcoming guitar school concert.  All  our guitar students will showcase their guitar arrangements and compositions in large and small ensembles. We have over 35 students ready to storm the stage and bring delight into all our lives.

At the Creative Guitar School,  I focus on developing self expression through personal creativity. But this must be accomplished with the joy of sharing who we are, and what we feel with others. Not only must we express, but do so in manner where others can understand the emotion we wish to portray.

Music is a language that requires a clear exposition of melody and accompaniment.

Concerts are held at the end of a 10 week cycle. On the same day, and before each event, we organise a get together with food, drinks and a barbecue. The concert is recorded on video and shared privately with all attendants.

I would also like to invite you to my Melbourne Guitar Concert series. Please follow the above link for more information.

Please fill in the following form if you would like to know more about our School: courses, levels, prices and when new courses are scheduled to commence.

 

 

 

 

Creative guitar improvisation

Creative guitar improvisation

Does creativity thrive from the need to organise the chaos in material life?  Our lives are structured in a manner where improvisation, sometimes,  cannot fit into our daily schedules.  I personally,  just feel great when I am able to sit down with the guitar, play what I wish, and express what comes to my mind.

I invite you,  to share with all of us, your creative guitar improvisation at our Guitar Social Club.

Creative guitar improvisation

All students, including beginners at the Melbourne Guitar School,  can participate in group ensembles. You will be immersed in creating music in a social environment, sharing your musical thoughts with other like minded music lovers. The Creative Guitar Social Club organisers frequent retreats to further develop musical skills and consequent creativity.

Students learn skills by completing the course outlines that may be found on the website.  At present, courses are in their 5th week; new courses will be starting on the 2nd week of June. There are still two openings for Thursdays at 6 p.m and 7 p.m,  for level 1 , and on Thursdays at 8 p.m,  for level 4.

Please send me an email, if you would like further information on all our courses and creative guitar improvisation.

How to be creative in your single note guitar solo

In a guitar solo, we may outline a chordal progression, or reharmonisation of such.  One way of approaching a solo is to create a solid learning method focused on the aural understanding of the harmonic context.

I love to get acquainted, with any given tune or harmonic progression, by creating melodic lines that are a diatonic step away between them. These lines define the harmonic intention of my solo.

I also love to sing the bass lines and at the same time play these melodic lines.  After a few  practice sessions, I reach a point where I have a thorough understanding of the harmonic content. I am then able to modify, define, anticipate, delay or reharmonise such based upon the intention I wish to portray in my solo.

At the Melbourne Creative Guitar School I cater for all levels of learning. I believe music should help our thoughts flow. This ease of emotions will produce great personal satisfaction.

Please join us .

Melbourne concerts and events

During the following months,  I will be producing my yearly Melbourne Concert 2017 series, at the Armadale Uniting Church. At these concerts, I will share with the audience my latest musical creations, in an intimate musical setting. Please take a peek at my latest releases.

Book Full Melbourne Concerts: Thomas Lorenzo  2017

  • July 28 at 7pm
  • August  25 at 7pm
  • September 29 at 7pm
  • October 27 at 8pm
  • November 24 at 8pm

Where:
Armadale Uniting Church 86A Kooyong Road, Armadale, VIC, 3143 (03) 9509 8958

Tickets: $ 30 ( General)

Melbourne flamenco guitars for sale

Back in the year 2007, I spent a few days in Madrid, Spain,  auditioning all the guitars, available at one of the Hermanos Conde Guitar Shop.

In the end , I finally selected the flamenco guitar model which I have on sale now. I selected this model,  based upon its timbre,  projection and the overall spectrum, in relation to the room sound.

This guitar emanates sound in all directions. The luthier created a guitar with extremely well balanced mid frequencies . They allow for extreme clarity,  in the projection of sound, in an ensemble setting.

Therefore, ff you would like to audition this guitar,  please send me an email.

Pro Session Guitarists for hire 

Enhance the lyrical character of your music by adding the Spanish guitar to your arrangement. Your musical creations will over shine others.

Check out my music production services, Pro Session Guitarists for hire, for songwriters; my past and present projects. Experience how the flamenco guitar can enhance your desired emotions, that your compositions truly deserve.

Libros de Música

My textbook on  arranging and orchestration, in the Spanish language is called:  Libros de Música,  El Arreglo Un Puzzle de Expresión Musical. This book compiles, in it’s 483 pages, contemporary arranging techniques , which I classify as  tools,  to help the arranger and composer,  understand their creations and deliver them to the audience,  with the utmost harmonic and melodic expression, in relation to the chosen  style .