homepage   sevenstring guitars   sevenstring registry   photo gallery   subscription   spy 
Sevenstring.org - The Seven String Guitar Authority
Go Back   SevenString.org > Interviews, Reviews & Tech Articles > The Sevenstring.org Workbench
LIKE SS.org on Facebook FOLLOW SS.org on Twitter
  
The Sevenstring.org Workbench How-To's, Lessons, Tech Articles, etc. to keep your gear and your playing in top shape. Contribute and submit your own!

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 01-12-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
SS Contributor
 
Jongpil Yun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,326
Thanked: 28
Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.Jongpil Yun is pretty damn metal.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Basic Music Theory: An introduction

WARNING: Article is 4ths tuning specific.

The Major Scale

Code:
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 |   | 7 | 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 |
| x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x | x |
The above diagram is a major scale, with each box or "x" representing a single semitone, or fret. As you can see, the major scale is W, W, H, W, W, W H, with a half step only between the 3 and 4, and the 7 and 1. Chords (and by extension, arpeggios) are all built from and described by their relation to the major scale. The major scale is, in fact, the basis of all western music theory. The scale of C major (in the key of C) looks like this:

Code:
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 |   | 7 | 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 |
| C |   | D |   | E | F |   | G |   | A |   | B | C |   | D |   | E |
Intervals

An interval is the distance between two notes. Each interval has a special name given, once again, in relation to the major scale.

Code:
| 1 |                                                    ROOT or TONIC
| 1 | b2|                                                MINOR 2nd  (1 fret)
| 1 |   | 2 |                                            MAJOR 2nd  (2 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 | b3|                                        MINOR 3rd  (3 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 |                                    MAJOR 3rd (4 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |                                PERFECT 4th  (5 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 | b5|                            DIMINISHED 5th  (6 frets) 
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |                        PERFECT 5th  (7 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 | b6|                    MINOR 6th  (8 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 |                MAJOR 6th  (9 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 | b7|            MINOR 7th  (10 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 |   | 7 |        MAJOR 7th (11 frets)
| 1 |   | 2 |   | 3 | 4 |   | 5 |   | 6 |   | 7 | 1 |    OCTAVE (12 frets)
Fourths tuning, which is what this lesson is concerned with, is composed of having all seven strings arranged in 4ths, generally starting from B. From low to high, the strings would then be BEADGCF. This is also known as the circle of fourths and has other uses in music theory. A useful mnemonic for remembering this is

Quote:
Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father.
The mnemonic works equally well in reverse, in which case it would be

Quote:
Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle.
Chords & Arpeggios

A chord is 3 or more notes played simultaneously. Chords are usually composed of minor 3rds and major 3rds stacked on top of eachother, or equivalently, by taking a scale and skipping every other note starting from the tonic. Such chords are called tertian, although this is very unimportant to remember.

An arpeggio is a chord where the notes are not played simultaneously -- instead, they are usually played in sequence, but not always.


Inversions

An inversion of a chord is a chord with a bass note other than the root. For example, if you have a chord of a 1, 3, and 5, the chord has two inversions -- 3, 5, 1, and 5, 1, 3.

A chord will have one less inversion than it has notes. A four note chord can be inverted 3 times, but if you invert it again, you will be in root position an octave down.

It's helpful to remember that when inverting intervals, the two intervals together will always add up to 9, and the name will be opposite. For example, the inversion of a minor third is a major 6th -- 3 + 6 = 9, and the opposite of minor is major.

Given this, you can find that 2nd become 7ths, 3rds become 6ths, and 4ths become 5ths. Minor becomes major, augmented becomes diminished, and perfect intervals remain perfect.

If you stack an interval and its inversion together, you will have gone up an octave. For example, a minor third on top of a major 6th together sum to an octave, a perfect fourth and perfect fifth do as well.

Power Chords

Power chords aren't chords in the truest sense, because there are only two notes in a power chord, but to tell anyone that would be pedantic. A power chord is made up of a root (1) and perfect fifth (5), which would be C and G for a C power chord. You will sometimes see a power chord notated as for example, C5.

Code:
| 1 |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5 |   |   |   |   | 1 |
| C |   |   |   |   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   | C |
               P5th                    P4th
A power chord can be played by putting your first finger on any fret, and your third finger one string down and two frets above it, as seen below. You can also double up on the octave, and even double the fifth.



Power chords have only one inversion, the perfect 4th.



Power chords are the only chords that don't sound dissonant under heavy distortion, and it's no accident. They're composed of only "perfect" intervals, so the amplified overtones don't clash. Even if you were to add a major 3rd, the next most stable interval, under heavy gain it would sound dissonant.

Major Chords & Arpeggios

Major chords are made by playing the root (1), major third (3) and perfect fifth (5) simultaneously, or by stacking a minor third on top of a major third. A C major chord would be C-E-G as seen in the following diagram.

Code:
| 1 |   |   |   | 3 |   |   | 5 |   |   |   |   | 1 |
| C |   |   |   | E |   |   | G |   |   |   |   | C |
         M3rd          m3rd           P4th
Major chords are very stable, very consonant, and have a characteristic bright, cheery sound. As with all chord shapes here, the following can be played anywhere on the neck.



Following is how to play a single string, one octave major arpeggio, along with its inversions.



Next is a seven string, four octave major arpeggio and its inversions. As with all the multiple string arpeggios here, there is a single pattern that repeats.



And finally, a seven string three octave + root major arpeggio and its inversions.



Minor Chords & Arpeggios

A minor chord is made by playing the root (1), minor third (b3), and perfect fifth (5) together. Alternatively, you can think of it as stacking a minor third on top of the root, and a major third on top of that. A C minor chord would be C-Eb-G as seen in the following diagram.

Code:
| 1 |   |   | b3|   |   |   | 5 |   |   |   |   | 1 |
| C |   |   | Eb|   |   |   | G |   |   |   |   | C |
       m3rd          M3rd              P4th
Minor chords are also very stable and consonant, and have a characteristic sad or melancholy sound.



Following is how to play a single string, one octave minor arpeggio.



Next is a seven string, four octave minor arpeggio.



And finally, a seven string three octave + root minor arpeggio.




COMING SOON
  • 7th, 9th, diminished, and sus2/sus4 chords
  • Scales/modes
  • Chord progressions & Analysis

Suggestions welcome.

EDIT: Mods may want to add to the title somewhere that this is written with all 4ths tuning in mind.

Whether it's laughable or irrational, this is the path that ALL great men walk!
If there's a wall in our way, we'll destroy it!
If there's no road, we'll pave it with our own hands!
The magma in our hearts is blazing like flames!
Who the hell do you think we are?

Last edited by Jongpil Yun; 01-12-2008 at 02:14 PM.
Jongpil Yun is offline   Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Seven String

Beitrag Sponsored Links

__________________
This advertising will not be shown in this way to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on SevenString.org
   
Unread 01-12-2008, 05:42 AM   #2
Desecrated
Dirty Lurker
 
Desecrated's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 01-12-2008, 05:54 AM   #3
Ibanez Fanboy
 
amonb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 2,603
Thanked: 18
amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/amonb is rather kvlt and tr00. \m/
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Awesome
amonb is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-12-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
Djavli te ponesli
 
El Caco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: AU
Posts: 6,649
Thanked: 75
El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.El Caco is deemed true.
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Thanks


Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
El Caco is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-12-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
metalguitarist.org
 
Chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Boston, Mass
Posts: 16,687
Thanked: 570
Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.Chris is an automated shredding machine.
Feedback Score: 8 reviews
Stuck, contrib tag for you, and workbenched. Great post man, thanks very much!


Amp: 6505+ / Recto 4x12s
Rack: Axe-Fx II / HD1221s
Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-05-2008, 06:06 AM   #6
8 string addict
 
HANIAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oporto, PT
Posts: 567
Thanked: 8
HANIAK is a jewel in the rough
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Thank you very much for your great post!
HANIAK is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-05-2008, 06:42 AM   #7
No More Mr. Nice Guy
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 7,802
Thanked: 54
Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.Michael is so metal, he bleeds rust.
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Awesome write-up man.
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-19-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
ss.org Regular
 
friday11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hainichen, Germany
Posts: 57
Thanked: 2 / 1
friday11 will become famous soon enough
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
cool! Now something make sense =)
friday11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-27-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
ss.org Regular
 
BaHkaTa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hate City, BG
Posts: 40
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
BaHkaTa is on a distinguished road
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
hey man are you updating this thread with what's in 'coming soon' ? =] anyway it's quite helpful
BaHkaTa is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
ss.org Regular
 
EATyourGUITAR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Westerly, RI
Posts: 5
Thanked: 0
EATyourGUITAR is on a distinguished road
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
this is a really great beginners guide to music theory. one thing Id like to expand on is intervals. didn't want to start a new thread though.

UNDERSTANDING INTERVALS

INTERVAL (DEFINITION) : "The measurement of distance in pitch between two notes"

interval names came from people talking about a scale degree as it relates to the root note (tonic). its important to know that major and minor scales with the same root note have some of the same notes. root note obviously but also the 4th the 5th. the minor 2nd minor 3rd minor 6th minor 7th are all just 1 fret below their respective majors. its easy to remember that the distance of a minor whatever is going to be a little smaller and sound just a little different.

the 5th is used in almost every chord ever made. its frequency is 1.5x the root note. it doesn't give the listener any idea as to whether your in a minor or major key/chord. it just adds texture and fullness to the chord. look at a power chord Root + 5th + Oct. it doesnt have much going on. so to really start building chords we have to put something else into it.

terminology:

whole step = 1 tone = 2 frets = 2nd = major 2nd

if its not defined, 2nd means major 2nd
often used in the sus2 chord

half step = semi-tone = 1 fret = minor second

4th = perfect 4th
cause there is no other 4th
when the 5th is raised up one fret its called an augmented 5th
I much prefer to call it that than a minor 6th I'll explain later

scales or chords?
you can do either one if you understand intervals.

scales
a major scale will always have the same intervals in the same order no matter what note you start on. in terms of whole steps and half steps a major scales is

Code:
major

W W H W W W H

minor is

W H W W H W W
in either example you arrive at the octave of the root note.

Code:
try it on your guitar on any string
here is a one string tab for major

0 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 7 - 9 - 11 - 12

minor

0 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 8 - 10 - 12
your guitar is tuned in 4ths for the first 4 strings. a 4th is actually 5 frets on a guitar. you can take these scales and play them anywhere on the neck in any form or mode if you remember the intervals. just do the -5 frets trick to get it onto the next higher string.



Code:
example
major

0 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 7 - 9 - 11 - 12

becomes

- - - - - - 0 - 2 - 4 - 6  - 7 
0 - 2 - 4 - - - - - - - - - -

- 5 frets again

 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 2
 - - - - - - 0 - 2 - 4 - - - - 
 0 - 2 - 4 - - - - - - - - - -
of course it gets tricky when you jump from the g string to the b string cause they are not tuned in 4ths. G ------> B is a major 3rd

GAB like 123 = major 3rd

this is only true if G --> A whole step A --> B whole step
"whole whole" is the start of a major scale as in the example

Code:
major
1 2 3
 W W H W W W H
lets look at an exercise that will help you locate octaves and 5ths anywhere for a given root note

Code:
-----------8-----------
---------6-------------
-------5---------------
-----3-----------------
--3--------------------
1----------------------

or 

------------5----------
---------5-------------
------2----------------
----2------------------
--0--------------------
----------------------
its like an extended power chord.

some absolutely mandatory intervals on the fretboard

Code:
root + maj3rd + 5th + Oct
----------------------
----------------------
----------------------
----------7------------
---4---7----7--4----------
-5----------------5-----

two octaves

----------------------
--------------9--------
---------6-9------------
-------7---------------
---4-7------------------
-5---------------------
you should hear and see whats happening here. its should just be obvious that the major3rd is always one string up one fret down. the 5th is always one string up two frets up. the octave is always two strings up two frets up.

Intervals, learn them or I'll shoot this dog.


(not gonna shoot a dog lol)
EATyourGUITAR is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-01-2009, 12:26 AM   #11
ss.org Regular
 
chnc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirksville, MO
Posts: 18
Thanked: 6 / 1
chnc will become famous soon enough
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by EATyourGUITAR View Post
4th = perfect 4th
cause there is no other 4th
Old thread, I know, but some of the things in this post, like the above, aren't true at all. Don't get the wrong idea, kiddies. (Hints: "Lydian", "+11", "Whole-Tone")
chnc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
music theory

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:39 AM.


Our Network: PRS Guitar Forum | Luthier Forum | SG Guitar Forum | Les Paul Forum | Marshall Amp Forum | Acoustic Guitar Forum

SS.org proudly supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Copyright © 2004-2014, SevenString.org. All Rights Reserved.