Today we’re going to look at some ‘Tritone Substitutions’. So what is a Tritone and what is a Substitution?Continue Reading
Understanding the differences between the scales and modes can feel like a daunting task. What makes a scale Major or Minor? Why do we get different chords from different scales? Understanding the intervals which make up each scale or mode can help. One way to do this is to learn the scales across a single string so that you can more easily see the distances between notes.
In this post we’re going to look at 11 different scales/modes, all starting from the root note A. We’ll play these single string scales on the A string to keep things simple. Moving these patterns to other strings will give you different key centers as will moving the patterns up the fretboard. We’ll start by looking at all twelve intervals in relation to the note A:Continue Reading
Today we’re going to look at the ‘Circle of Fifths’. You may have come across the term before, or the ‘Circle of Fourths’, or just ‘The Circle’.
Check out the diagram below and then we’ll look at what it means and why its useful.
As you can see if we move clockwise in The Circle of Fifths we go up in fifths, e.g. C to G. If we move anti-clockwise we go up in fourths, e.g. C to F. The inner ring shows the relative minor key of each Major key. For example the relative minor to C Maj is Am. The relative minor of G Maj is Em etc.Continue Reading
In this episode we’re going to take a detailed look at intervals, what they are and the sound quality of each interval type. An understanding of intervals is absolutely essential to avoid the guesswork when navigating the guitar neck not just with lead lines but creative chord voicings too.
Let’s understand the intervals for guitar. The most underestimated weapon in your arsenal of musical weaponry. Essentially intervals are simply the distance between notes, however with a little understanding you can harness the true power of intervals to achieve any sound you want. We’ll also learn about interval note quality and how this can help unlock songwriting creativity.
Welcome to part 2 of our exploration of seventh chords. In part 1 we looked at the more common types of sevenths, in this part we’re going to look at some which you won’t come across as often.
You can get some quite unusual sounds from some these chords because of their altered extensions. Remember these chords will be derived from a particular scale or mode and some of these chords are exclusive to their mode.Continue Reading
Today we’re going to look at extending the basic chord triads by adding a 7th. This will give us a whole new set of ‘Seventh Chords’.
If you’re not sure how to form the basic triads check out our post on doing exactly that, here. You may also want to check out our post on intervals if you’re not sure of the difference between a minor 7 and a major 7, however the diagrams below should make things fairly clear.Continue Reading
In this episode we’re going to learn how to harmonize the major scale to form diatonic chords. ‘Diatonic’ chords are chords which have been created using the notes from the major scale.
If we make a basic chord triad from each degree of the scale, we end up with seven chords. A chord triad is a group of three notes, usually a root, third and fifth. These are are all degrees of the major scale.
In this series of lessons we will look at the modes of the Major Scale. We’ll learn how the modes relate to the major scale and look at when and how to use them.
Modes seem to be a source of confusion for a lot of people, especially the ‘self-taught’ guitarists among us. You’ll also often see modes of the major scale listed in books for reference but with little or no explanation of how to use them.
So what are the modes of the major scale?
A mode is basically the major scale, shifted along so that the ‘root’ note is different, for example in C major the second note is D. The second mode of the major scale is ‘Dorian’ so in C major we get the D Dorian mode. The notes of D Dorian are the same as C major except they run from D to C instead of C to B.
Let’s start by looking at the Major Scale itself:Continue Reading
Dorian is the second mode of the major scale so we get it by starting from the second note instead of the first. In the Key of C major the Dorian mode would be D Dorian, the notes would be D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D. The same notes as C major but starting from D instead of C.
The Dorian mode is normally used over a m7 chord, this is because the II chord in a major key is a m7. See our post on building chords from the major scale for more information. So if we have a chord progression which contains a II chord we can use the Dorian mode to solo or write a melody over it. We can also write chord progressions which resolve to Dorians I chord. For example dm7.
Phrygian is the third mode of the major scale and is considered to be a ‘minor’ scale due to the flat 3rd. the interval formula for phrygian is:
Since the III chord of the major scale is a m7 chord, phrygian will work well over this. For example in the key of C major the E phrygian mode would work well over Em7. To really bring out the sound of phrygian we need to make good use of the flat 2nd.Continue Reading
Lydian is the 4th mode of the major scale. In the key of C major we get F Lydian. The notes of Lydian are the same as its related major scale, however the lydian mode has an augmented 4th, also referred to as a #11.
Despite the root chord of the mode being a major 7, the lydian mode also has a tense and mysterious quality due to the #11. Since there is a whole-tone between the 3rd and 4th notes we get a semitone between the 4th and 5th.Continue Reading
Mixolydian is the 5th mode of the major scale. In C major we get G Mixolydian, the notes are: G – A – B – C – D – E – F – G. Mixolydian, like Ionian and Lydian is a major type of mode because it has a major 3rd. However it differs from Ionian and Lydian in that it has a minor 7 not a major 7.
This means that we get a Dominant chord, G7 from the mode (Rather than GMaj7), this is made up of a Root, major third, perfect fifth and a minor seventh. Despite being similar to the major scale the mixolydian mode has a lot of mileage for musical endeavours.Continue Reading
The sixth mode of the major scale is the Aeolian mode. This is better known as the Natural Minor Scale. In the key of C major we get the A Aeolian mode (A minor).
The A minor scale is often referred to as the ‘relative’ minor to C major. Likewise C major is the ‘relative’ major to A minor. To help understand this mode let’s look at how to write an aeolian mode chord progression.Continue Reading
The final mode of the major scale is the Locrian mode. Or as we here at Strings of Rage used to call it “The Dreaded Locrian Mode”.
This is because the Locrian mode tends to be quite dissonant and can be tricky to use. Some books, websites and instructional dvd’s that we’ve come across even omit Locrian entirely! Some have even mentioned it briefly and then moved on!Continue Reading
In this lesson we will look at the repeating pattern of the 3nps modes for extended range guitar. This will help you to learn all the modes more easily. We’ll start by using the Mixolydian mode again.
In this lesson on the modes for extended range guitar we’ll look at 7 string guitar (Tuned: B-E-A-D-G-B-E) and two different tunings for 8 string guitar.Continue Reading