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Lesson 6 – How to subdivide the beat

Lesson 6 – How to subdivide the beat

This is the video transcript of lesson number 6 of the Beginners Guitar Course: How to subdivide a beat.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson one, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson two, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson three, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson four, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson five, here.

What are you going to learn?

  1. To identify the beat of a song, the bar and how to subdivide the beat, to create more intensity.
  2. A new song with the Dm and F chords.  

What will you do differently after completing the assignments for this lesson?

  1. You will have proved to yourself that you are capable of learning on your own a song, by listening and understanding what you hear.
  2. You will be able to listen to music, feel the beat and hear what you need to play, to create the rhythm. 
  3. You will further consolidate your learning, to help you progress quickly towards the song learning goal.

The Beat

What is the beat ? 

The beat of this song is the pulse that all members of the band sync to, to play the melody and accompaniment. You identify the beat by simply tapping your foot to the music.

DO IT WITH ME!

Tap your feet to this song and when you are ready say one! Fill in the gaps between the ones! 

The beats are grouped in units of generally two, three or four beats. We name the unit a bar. 

Have fun with the beat  

You will now learn to talk musically about the beat and start having fun with it. When we play rhythm, we define the beat and we talk about the beat with its subdivision.

Subdivision of the beat

Play with muted strings the following routine to learn to how to subdivide the beat. Read once, then play twice, non stop:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 &3&4 
  • 1 potato 2 potato 3 potato 4 potato 
  • 1 potato 2 potato 3 potato 4 potato

Play with your hands the following routine learn to ow to subdivide the beat. Read once, then play twice, non stop:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 &3&4 
  • 1 potatoe 2 potato 3 potato 4  potato 
  • 1 potatoe 2 potato 3 potato 4  potato

The beat is constant in this exercise, and when you play more notes per beat, the music feels more intense. When you count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, you divide the beat in two, the potatoes divide the beat in four.

Feel the intensity

How to subdivide the beat: Intensity

Play with me the C and Am chord with these variations, and feel how the intensity changes.  Learn how how to subdivide the beat

Complete the assignments and submit.

Dm and F Chords

The Goal

Listen to the song you will learn.

Learn the song in steps. 

Step one – Chord Learning routine

Learn the Dm and F chords.

Apply the chord learning routine.

When you have practiced sufficiently complete the assignment of step one. 

Have you submitted it, if so, press play and continue.

Step 2 – Join them 

The chords share this common note that I highlight in red. In order to join them, practice the following routine. 

On your own 

Please stop the video and practice the routine on your own.  Apply the check questions for self assessment and complete the assignment of Step 2. 

Step 3- Play the chords 

The Goal

Your goal in step 3 is to play the chords with potato subdivision, and accents on beat 1 from start to finish. 

How to subdivide the beat: write it

Learn how to do it ?

First of all you need to count how many beats each chord lasts, and then how many times they are repeated from start to finish.

The first chord is a Dm. How many beats does it last?

The second chord is an F. How many beats does it last?

How many times are they repeated?

Download the audio file dmfchordsstep3 and apply the L.I.S.P routine to answer the previous questions and to learn to How to subdivide the beat Practice the chords with the audio file until you are fluent with the accents and structure.

Complete the assignment and send it.

Press play and continue.

Step 4 –  L.I.S.P Melody 1

Download the audio file dmfmelody1. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 5 – L.I.S.P Melody 2

Download the audio file dmfmelody2. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 6 – L.I.S.P Melody 3

Download the audiofile dmfmelody3. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 7- Play the full song

Play along with me the full song. On the screen you will be able to see the choices you have to play.

Chord + melody 1

Play the chords and then melody number 1.

Chord + melody 2

Play the chords and then melody number 2.

Chord + melody 3

Play the chords and then melody number 3.

Assignments 

The Beat Assignment 1 

  • Listen to the songs I have shared with you, clap your hands on one, fill in the rest of the beats and write the answer to the question, how many beats in a bar in each song?, and submit to the forum.
  • Listen to the songs I have shared with you, clap your hands on one, fill in the rest of the beats and sing the most comfortable subdivision the song uses. Write down your replies to what is the subdivision of each song and submit to the forum.
  • Record yourself playing your three combinations of 4 bars of muted rhythms. 

For example: 1st bar one note per beat, next bar 4 notes per beat, next bar two notes per beat, next bar 4 notes per beat.

Before you play your combinations, count in sync with a metronome:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 
  • 1 potato 2  potato 3 potato 4 potato 
  • 1 potato 2  potato 3 potato 4 potato

Then play your 4 combinations. 

Please choose the slowest tempo you are comfortable with, and apply the corresponding check questions for your own self assessment. Once you are satisfied with your results, please submit your recording to the teacher. Practice your combinations until they sound correct, then record, so you can assess how well you are progressing.

Dm and F Chord 

  • Step one – Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing the Dm and F chord learning routine. 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?
  • Are you in sync with the beat?
  • Did you count it in?
  • Did you sing what you were doing?
  • Did you play the chord for 4 bars non stop ?
  • Step 2 – Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing the routine of Step 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 ?
  • Are you in sync with the beat?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you say when you are changing fingers and have you moved them exactly as you count them ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing?
  • Can you hear every single note with clarity?
  • Step 3 – Record yourself 

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dm f chords step 3.If you are able to do so then you have successfully learnt the chords.Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 4

  • Step 4 – L.I.S.P melody 1

Write the replies to: 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track dmfmelody1.

Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 5

  • Step 5 – L.I.S.P melody 2

Write the replies to: 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you have L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dmmelody2. If you are able to do so then you have successfully learnt Melody 2. Please proceed to Step 6

  • Step 6 – L.I.S.P melody 3

Write the replies to: 

How many bars before the melody starts?

Then 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you have L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dmmelody3. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 7.

Music Production and Songwriting

Music is fun and the most enjoyable experience is to write your own music. Read some of my articles on how to write a song, record and produce it to your utmost satisfaction .

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 song. 

This transcript is the second lesson of the beginners guitar course. This is the link to beginners guitar lesson one.

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 your 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 quickly learn.

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 4 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

You 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 6th 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 go on 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 must I place my third finger to continue creating the shape ? 

What fret?

My 3rd finger  as shown in the diagram highlight, 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 fret board 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

3.0 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 3

4.0 Step 3, Play a song

4.1.  The Song

Listen

4.2 Learn the chords

This song is made up of chords ( show ) and a melody  (show) 

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 I magine 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 where 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 where 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

How to FIND notes on the Guitar Fretboard – Video transcript

This is the transcript of lesson 1 of the Beginners Guitar Course. Please follow this link for next available starting times.

What are you going to learn 

To identify by sound and name the notes of C scale, on all strings and frets on the guitar.

You will also learn a song,  a rhyme that you will sing and play, to teach you how to anticipate aurally and visually, the next note of the scale you wish to play.

You will also learn to think in a musical way so as to emulate what goes through the mind of the professionals, when we play.  This will drastically increase the speed and fun of your learning, on how to find notes on the guitar.

Why learn how to find notes on the guitar?

So you can locate visually and by sound, the scales, chords and melodies we will use in our course.

What will you do differently after this lesson

You will be able to create musical phrases of four beats duration, which are one of the basic building blocks of music. As a consequence, this will open up  a pathway for your learning that simulates the real thing. 

You will be able to coordinate your left and right hand to play the C scale in tempo, all over the guitar to help you in your how to find notes on the guitar.

And you will be able to look  for sounds horizontally or vertically,  as  on the guitar ,pitch can increase vertically, decrease vertically, or increase horizontally, or decrease horizontally.

How are you going to learn to find notes on the guitar?

You will learn to find notes on the guitar in four simple steps

  1. First of all , you will learn the names of the strings, that correspond to pitches, musical sounds.
  2. Then you will learn the relationship between the pitches of the C scale, and the frets on the guitar.
  3. In step 3, you will learn a melodic rhyme to help you find all the notes in relation to a beat. 
  4. In step 4, you will create your own practice routine, to develop the skill with fun.

Rules

Apply at all times when you play the following 3 rules:

  • Always sing what you are playing. 
  • Always play in tempo.
  • Always tap your feet or move your body to the beat. 

If you do not, you will not be feeling the context, the music,  therefore you will not learn.

Names of the strings 

The guitar has 6 strings: E A D G B E. Each string is adjusted to produce a specific pitch, a musical sound we can sing. These pitches have defined names. In English, we use the letters of the alphabet C D E F G A B to define them.

The fatter guitar string produces the lowest pitch. As we jump from string to string,  the strings get thinner, they also vibrate more quickly  and the sound increases in pitch.

The fatter string is tuned to a frequency we call E. It is commonly called the E string but please remember that this is relative, as this can change, this is not an E string but a string tightened until it produces this pitch, we call E .

So if I press the string somewhere else, Do I produce a new sound? Yes.
Is this new sound an E?

No . It is not  since it  does not sound like an E. It sounds higher in pitch. There fore it has a different name. It is called the G note .

So what frequencies do we generally tune the open guitar strings to ? 

Starting from fat to thin they coincide with the frequencies  of :

E

Acronym

You can remember the names of the pitches, frequencies of the strings, by using an acronym. I like to use the following: 

E very to remember the name of the E string

A  pe  to remember the name of the A string

D  eserves to remember the name of the D string

G  reen to remember the name of the G string

B ananas to remember the name of the B string

E veryday ( to remember the name of the high E string

Play along with me this acronym

Every, Ape, Deserves, Green, Bananas, Everyday

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Step 2  Find the notes of C scale

Take it easy

All musicians including myself,  struggle with new exercises. This is absolutely normal.  However, music is a discipline where you learn by repetition. Do not expect to fully understand the following new concepts until you have repeated the exercises, a lot. So , just sit back and enjoy the ride and in a few minutes time you will have learnt the C scale all over the guitar.

The C scale has seven notes

The C scale has seven notes: C D E F G A B . After the B we go to C D E F and so on.

So this is a low c and this is a high c. The high C doubles the frequency of the low C. The frequency is the number of times the string vibrates per second.

Therefore, as I go up in pitch, I start  to repeat the same notes, but in a higher octave, a higher pitch,

Frets and notes

In order to answer how to find notes on the guitar,  all you need to understand is that between the notes of E F,  and B C there is only one fret distance and between all the other notes there are two.

How to find the notes on the guitar
How to find the notes on the guitar

This is one fret distance. This is two frets distance.

So let us start with the sixth string.

What is the frequency we tune the 6th string to  ….. E  ? So this is an E sound. 

Play the note

Sing the sound

What is the next letter in the alphabet ?

F

How many frets is F away  from E? 

One 

Play the F  

Sing the sound 

So F is a musical note that is higher in pitch than E, and we produce the sound by shortening the string by one fret. 

Next note

What is the next letter in the alphabet after F  ?

G

How many frets is G away from F  ?

Two

Play the G

Sing the sound

So G is a musical note that is higher in pitch than F, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

A

How many frets is it away from G ?

Two

Play the A 

Sing the A 

So A is a musical note that is higher in pitch than G, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note B

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

B

How many frets is it away from A ?

Two

Play the B

Sing the B

So B is a musical note that is higher in pitch than A, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note C

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

C

How many frets  is C away from B?

One

Play the C

Sing the C

So C is a musical note that is higher in pitch than B, and we produce the sound by shortening the string one more fret.

Next note D

The next letter in the alphabet is:

 D

How many frets  is D away from C?

Play it

Sing it

So D is a musical note that is higher in pitch than C, and we produce the sound by shortening the string  two more frets.

Next note E

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

E, So we are back to the E , but a higher E 

How many frets  is E away from D

Play it

Sing it 

So  E is a musical note that is higher in pitch than D, and we produce the sound by shortening the string by two more frets.

Step 3 The Musical Rhyme

You will now learn a short musical rhyme to play in tempo the notes of the C scale, in a manner that will help you memorise both names and sounds and increase the speed of your learning drastically and ther fore learn how to find notes on the guitar.

The C scale on the 6th string 

Notice: that I sing the sound of the note I play,   and then sing what I will do next with the same sound,
Also notice that the rhyme lasts 4 beats, four taps of your foot.

Play along with me, 6th string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 6th string.

Play along with me 

Stop the video , rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 5th string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 5th string.

What is the frequency we tune the 5th string to  ….. A  ? 

So this is an A sound. 

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need to.

Play along with me, 4th string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 4th string.

What is the frequency we tune the 4th string to  ….. D  ? 

So this is a D sound

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 3rd string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 3rd string.

What is the frequency we tune the  3rd string to ?

So this is a G sound. 

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 2nd string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 2nd string.

What is the frequency we tune the  2nd string to  …?   B  

So this is a B sound. 

Play it 

Sing it

Play along with me  

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need to.

Play along with me, 1st string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 1st string.

What is the frequency we tune the 1st string to  …?  E

 So this is an E sound. 

This is also an E sound,  but this E is higher and this E is lower in pitch.

This low E vibrates exactly four times slower than this E.  They are the same notes, but in different octaves.

Play it 

Sing it

Play along with me  

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Assignments

Now it is time for you to complete the assignments for this lesson on how to find notes on the guitar.

  • Play along 

Repeat twice a day all the play along examples of lesson one.

  • Fill it in 

Fill in the blank sheet with all the notes of the C scale .

  • Quiz

 Please submit your replies to our google group for peer review. 

  • Why are there different Cs on the guitar ?
  • Why are there different As on the guitar?
  • Why do we have two strings tuned to E?
  • Indicate with an X on what two other strings and positions can you play the C note, you create on the B string  when you press the second fret.
  • Record and create

Record yourself singing the rhyme, non stop on 6 different strings and send it to me.

Note: Choose a very slow tempo 

Check questions

  • Are you singing the notes in exact relation to the beat?
  • Are you tapping your foot non stop while singing and playing ?
  • Are you moving to the new note only just before you sing it ?
  • If your answer is no to any of the these questions, repeat 4 more times all the play along examples.

What will you be able to do at the end of the course?

Students that complete the two beginners course will move on directly to Guitar for songwriters focused towards music production.

Guitar Scales. The 1-4-2 Chords

Cool Jazz Guitar Soloing techniques. Advanced  Jazz Improvisation.

This is an introduction to my jazz improvisation course. This course will soon be available online, but at present, you are welcomed to learn in person, at my Creative Guitar School in Melbourne .

In my Jazz Guitar courses, you will learn how to develop melody and harmony of a given song, to the limit of your creative abilities.

You will learn to choose what sounds good or bad, and there fore, maintain  the flow of your creative dialogue.  This is an extremely rewarding  experience.

I love to improvise, to flow, and create constant variations of a motif a song of any musical idea. It feels great. 

It did not feel good

At first, in the 80s, when I started playing professionally,   I was not  comfortable improvising, since  even though I was playing the correct notes, I did not like what I was doing.  It did not feel good.

I knew I needed more information on how to choose, how to be aware of what sounds good or bad. I needed more options to express those feelings, I had an urge to scream out. 

Berklee College of Music

So, I went to Berklee College of Music, Boston, U.S.A  for 3 years, and I was bombarded with practical good and evil. I loved it.

While at Berklee, I came across Jon Damian,  who taught one of my  favourite guitar players, ( Bill Frisell ). I soon discovered an amazing pathway, to harmonic and melodic variation, to cover, for the rest of my life, all my creative and artists needs.

Guitar Scales: The 1-4-2 Combination

Did you know there are 24 ways of creating chords on the go and you can combine them,  play them any way you wish as long as it sounds good for you.

Listen to the guitar scales

In the intro of the video on this page, I used a combination of sounds based upon the 142 pattern of a scale but, applied only  to one chord. There fore, imagine the colours that can pop up, in a song with many chords and with all guitar scales.

Check out the video to hear this combination of a G scale.

  • one string
  • in one position

But, more magic occurs when you apply the 1-4-2 sound to a more complex harmonic structure.

Since this combination creates a lot of tension, we can then use it, when we need tension on a note, or area of a chord in relation to the guitar scale.

The 142 sound in a more complex harmonic setting 


Guitar Scales  all the things you are

This is the melody of the Standard: All the things you are.

The red lines are the places I have decided to play with more tension, than what the chord will give me.  If I play without the red feeling I produce a  static sound, boring.

See video

When I play, and apply the 1-4-2 pattern to the red section, I get more movement, more excitement and it just feel great.

See video

You can apply this sound also to a solo.

See video

So come along and let´s explore together more of these sounds . Send me an email, get in touch. Book Your Course now .

5 questions Beginner guitar

How to find the notes on the guitar fretboard?

Musical notes represent sounds of definite pitch. When we perform, we are constantly searching for sounds and notes, there fore, we need to learn how to find them on the guitar fretboard.

How to find notes on the guitar fretboard

We generally will not remember, with precision, where they are, by solely memorising, visually the position, or by using any form of logic. You will remember where to find a sound, better said a combination of notes, as no note comes alone, by identifying the sound previous to its location on the guitar fretboard.

Once you are able to sing what you want to play, you will be ready to find the sound on the guitar. All groups of sounds, phrases, melodies, passages, are generally in a specific tonal centre . This means, that the note you are looking for, will be one, of more or less, seven notes to choose from.

Sing before you play

At the Creative Guitar School, I will teach you where to find the notes by learning the scale patterns, but above all, how to find the desired note effectively, by recognising its pitch, and singing it before you play it on the guitar fretboard.

Further more, the pitch on the guitar fretboard can increase in different directions. If you first understand that the sound you are looking for, is going up or down in pitch, then you will not be confused, by which direction you take on the guitar, to find this increase of pitch.

In our first lesson, of all beginners guitar courses, we learn all the notes of the C scale, on all strings. We learn them quickly, by singing and naming them in tempo. We quickly identify the distance between notes, and understand the concept of semi tones and tones.

I strongly urge all students, to repeat this exercise daily, in tempo, to get quickly acquainted with the sound, and as a consequence the notes on the guitar fretboard.

When you practice guitar, please keep in mind that all exercises must be repeated daily, to ensure you can properly memorise the task. However, repetition can sometimes be tiring. Do not worry, I am there for you, to give you new weekly challenges, and to modify any exercise, so you may maintain your constant interest in your daily practice routine .

Why do we learn chords on the guitar?

Not all musical instruments can play chords, however, it is presumed that beginner students, first must learn to play chords on the guitar.

A chord is only part of the tools we can use, to create the accompaniment for a song. A song has tempo, groove, melody, background lines, bass lines, harmony and sections. We need to learn all the basic tools, required to play a song from the beginning to the end. A song is really a melody, the vocal line, and all the rest are tools, to help that vocal line come alive.

Chords can be used to define the groove of a song. A drummer definer the groove with sounds that are not specific lyrical pitches, a bass defines the groove by playing melodic lines in the low register, that define the chords.

As a guitarist, when you play a chord, you define the groove of the song, with more than one note at a time, and since the difference in between chords, create changes in intensity, we get a sort of flow, a forward motion in our playing.

However, we also need to learn to play melodies, the vocal line, which is what the song is about. At the Creative Guitar School, you will learn how to play chords, create your own rhythms and especially, learn how to play the melody of the song, and create variations, to keep the flow going.

The melody, the vocal part with no lyrics, is the essence of a song. You need to master how to play melodies immediately, to avoid frustration, and to avoid getting stuck, in what to do on the guitar.

How to create strumming patterns?

At the Creative Guitar School, l I teach you how to develop your own strumming patterns. For such, you only need to know the ingredients of the patterns which are: the subdivisions of the beat , accents, how to identify a groove and reproduce it.

You will be surprised on how quick you are able to create your own powerful grooves and strumming patterns. This is must for all your musical productions.

However, you need constant practice in your daily routine to achieve the musical goal with satisfaction. You must strive to always play in tempo, as such will reduce the time you will take to learn. It helps focus and reduces unnecessary, never ending repetitions. The more you play in tempo, the quicker you will learn .

When should I start concentrating on technique?

In the initial stages of your learning, you must be able to identify melodic values, rhythmic patterns, understand song structure, maintain a tempo, ect.

Once you are efficient in the basic musical knowledge, then you will be ready to develop speed, accuracy and  guitar technique to help you further your expression.

Technique, may come naturally, by completing the exercises and learning of all songs. However, as a teacher, I will quickly identify your learning obstacles, which we all have, and I will give exercises to overcome specific technical difficulties.

In order to improve your technique, you must practice at the slowest speed possible, anticipating position change and sound. You must try to avoid, to place your finger in any position, if your are not sure of the sound you are looking for. Please, have first, the sound you want to reproduce, in your mind, sing it, and then place your finger where you believe that sound is. If you do not have the sound in your head, you will not remember where to find it again.

This obstacle may be overcome by reading, but reading may block our capability of hearing the sound. When we read, we follow placement and tempo instructions, and in the early stages of our guitra learning, we will not hear the sound until we have played it. The process of learning can be daunting and very frustrating.

I already know my scales, what is next?

Scales are groups of 7notes that identify a tonal centre, the resting point of a song. The scale is a tool we use to make melodies, to create bass lines, to improvise, to create variations of chords, to create fill . In other words learn the scale and start playing . The scale will give the location knowledge, where the sounds are, that you are looking for on the guitar.

You will need to learn how to create melodies, bass lines, melodic harmonic groove. At the Creative Guitar School I will teach you how to have never ending fun, with this beautiful instrument in all styles of music, either if it is jazz, rock, blues, funk, flamenco .

Please remember that all students at all levels regularly must compose and record their song at my Recording Studio.

I would like to invite you all to my upcoming concerts in Melbourne and beyond.

Guitar Songwriting lessons

Guitar Songwriting lessons

Module 1: The Birth of the Song
Wednesdays at 7 p.m starting July 3. Two openings left.

For all songwriters and performers who wish to explore through advanced harmony, the ultimate feel for a song .

Advanced harmony can be made simple if it is explained without complicated terminology. These  guitar songwriting lessons and courses, will give you an in depth harmonic melodic knowledge of the guitar, that will transform how you perform, compose, arrange  and produce your performance of your desired song.

Online Guitar Songwriting lessonsThe outcome of all modules ( Making advanced  harmonic textures accessible to all guitarists and songwriters)

This guitar songwriting course is divided into three modules:

  1. Module 1: The Birth of the Song. In this module you will learn tools/strategies to make sure your song has the most unique : chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure.

You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better or simply to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song,  live or in the studio.

    1. Module 2: Pre Production.  All the creative tools, at a basic level, you can play with, to define the most adequate rhythm section, melodic- harmonic backgrounds, counter lines; and to reinforce the melody of a song.
    1. Module 3: Music Production. The Final Recording.

Each module will give you access to over 50 audio examples,  three hours of videos, a 45 page self explanatory e book and a power point presentation of the ebook where all files are interlinked.

These  guitar songwriting lessons and course, is an extension of my book on arranging and orchestration in the Spanish Language: El Arreglo un Puzzle de Expresión Musical

The need of relating emotion to music

In all my years as a guitar teacher and writer, I have always pondered about how to learn music in a manner that we find the balance between thoughts and feelings. In music, if we think a lot we will not play efficiently , also if we just feel the music, and not establish a conscious understanding of what we are doing, and why, we all end up in deep chaos and frustration.

I believe, in our music learning , we must first feel, then put words to the feeling , classify it, in a manner that when we have the need for such emotion , we will automatically revert to our conscious classification.   However, if we learn to play the guitar , if we follow any  guitar course, that shows, explains concepts through words, with no context and related feelings, we will never understand, nor remember how to make sense of it all.

In my new  guitar courses , especially  my  Guitar Songwriting lessons, I will share with you a conscious understanding of emotion that will definitely  open up a new way of hearing music , learning , playing and songwriting.

Module 1 The Birth of the Song 

Who is this module for

Songwriters and guitarists of all levels,  that wish to deliver a more emotional interpretation of a song, by applying advanced melodic harmonic concepts used by major composers and performers; this course makes these advanced concepts accessible to all without the need of traditional in depth study of harmony and arranging skills.

You do not need to know how to read music, nor know all the scales and chords available. However,  you must have an understanding of basic open string chords.  It will also be beneficial if you can sing songs and play chords at the same time,  and  can play along the recorded original tracks of your favourite songs.

This modules will develop exisiting songs, however once completed, you will be able to compose your new songs, bearing these new emotional tools from scratch.

What will you learn

In this module you will learn tools/strategies, to make sure your song has the most unique chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure. You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better, or simply, to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song, live, or in the studio.

Available harmonic melodic tools to achieve your unique sound

A song is made up of a melody and chords. We use the chords to accompany the melody. Both melody and accompaniment are glued together by rhythm. Your essential tools to interpret, change your song will be to know:

  • All available diatonic chords, inversions and their chord scale relationship. There are only 7 diatonic  chords to choose from. If you are also aware of the feeling they produce in relation to the melody, you will then have the ability to choose the most adequate and unique harmony.
  • How to create excitement with chords, shifting the harmonic tension of a chord , by varying the melodic line and bass lines.  I refer to this as making chords move, making them come alive,  and therefore produce, with the guitar, an accompaniment that not only makes your melody shine even further, but makes the song extremely engaging, with variety of intensity from beginning to end.
  • How to vary your melody to outline and reinforce the final harmonic context, and achieve the desired impact you need to deliver your song to the audience,  in the most expressive and engaging manner possible.  Once you have chosen the most adequate chords, and how to play them with intensity, you will then have the need to modify your melody, to make it sound even more unique .

How to apply them with satisfaction in context

These tools will now give you access to the second part of the module, where you will apply the concepts to a given melody, to achieve the 100% satisfaction goal ; so you can say aloud,  Yes, this is what I was looking for !

On completion you will have practiced :

  • To choose the most appropriate key for your voice to shine.
  • To analyse the harmonic tension you feel at each moment, and choose the adequate chords to reflect such.
  • To create variation in this harmonic tension by creating bass lines, inversions and reharmonisation, or adding melodic lines to the top of Existing chords.
  • To alter the melody of the song to achieve the desired emotional impact.
  • To control the intensity you want to produce at each section of your song.
  • To finalise a satisfying relationship of chords, melody and structure; ready for the pre production stage, where other musicians will interact with you.
  • To say I really adore my song; the final melody, chords and lyrics.

All the above concepts can be applied to any given form of guitar playing as flamenco guitar, jazz guitar, blues guitar and also all types of guitars as electric guitar, acoustic guitar or nylon string Spanish guitar. 

New Guitar Courses starting September 2019

Updates on upcoming courses

Beginners 1 

  • Tuesdays at 6 p.m starting September 3: One opening left.
  • Wednesdays at 7 p.m starting September 4: Two openings left

Intermediate

  • Tuesdays at 7 p.m starting September 3: One opening left.
  • Thursdays at 8 p.m starting September 5: One opening left.

Private lessons available slots left:

Tuesdays at 10  a.m.

Book a free 30 minute assessment;  discover your guitar skills and the most adequate Guitar Course for you.

All other courses are currently full 


Updates on upcoming Concerts

Dear 23 of March

We are coming for you armed with our guitars, marching like true stars!

  • Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12 PM – 2 PM
  • Uniting Prahran (Armadale location )86A Kooyong Road, Armadale, Victoria, Australia 3181
Creative Guitar School Concert

Same place, same time.  Better food and better music.

On Saturday March 23 we will be celebrating our first concert of the year 2019. Special performances by: The Superb Squealers, The Misty C Chord Specialists and the famous Lack of Practice Guitar Ensemble.

If you would like to join in on the fun, please RSVP; so we may reserve a table for you. The Smart Guitar Dress Code will be imposed.

Writing on the Guitar-Songwriter Exclusive

WRITING ON THE GUITAR – SONGWRITER EXCLUSIVE

I am currently finalising my new online course for songwriters and guitarists who need more emotion from their songs. And uniqueness in their melodic and harmonic choices.  Especially, for those who wish to deliver the most powerful live performance of their song  and  record it with others.

What do you need to know to get the most out of a song  ?

Module 1 Harmony

  • What chords do I have to work with the song I have in my head ?
  • What other chords can I use for variety ?
  • What chords can I choose to create more excitement?
  • Is my voice shining ? Do I need to transpose?

    Songwriter

 

Module 2 Structure

  • How can I choose a flowing structure ?
  • How to add a surprise to the structure?

Module3 Groove

  • What is the groove of my song ?
  • How to make even it more groovy, especially in the most exciting parts?

Module 4 Intensity

Module 5 Variety in the melody 

  • How can I make my melody more interesting ?
  • How can it stand out more ?
  • Does my melody reflect the emotional content of the words ?
  • What tools do I have to achieve the desired emotion?

Module 6 Variety in the accompaniment

  • Do I hear backing vocals?
  • Can they help my melody stand out ?
  • What type of vocals lines do I have to choose from ?
  • Do I hear background lines? How can I translate them to the guitar?

Module 7 Enhancing bass lines 

Can I make the bass line more interesting and therefore make the harmony even more powerful? And the melody more emotional ?

Module 8

Decide how the song is be played by others to enhance the final product. Think and define the roles of each section and how you would like them to play, to accompany your desired emotional goal.

  • What is the outline of bass I need to define the chords and the groove of the song  in each section? And the climax ?
  • What is the rhythm I need, to  define the groove and pulse in each section, and the climax?
  • How should the accompaniment be played in each section ?
  • What is the background line of the accompaniment in each section and the climax ?

This course is to take your music to the next level and make it sound totally professional.