Where to even begin?


binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
11/10/2005 5:25 pm
I can play a little but only because:
a. I take lessons
b. I look up tabs on the internet and play them

Honestly, I have no idea what a root is, or what a 5th is, or even what the chord names mean. My teacher is cool, but he is teaching me songs not theory. I feel that I need to get the basic music language down before I can progress much further.

I can play some open chords, I can even play a few songs but everything else is like reading another language! Where can I read up on the basics? I have looked on-line at various sites and they all seem to start at a level that I do not understand. Again, I need the basics. If I read something like Csus7 or Dmaj9 it’s like I’m reading German! I have no clue what I am looking at. I want to be able to understand this.

Thanks for the info.
"I'm a rocker dude through and through. I like Van Halen, not Van Hagar" - Joe Dirt
# 1
Jolly McJollyson
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Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
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Posts: 5,457
11/10/2005 5:45 pm
Originally Posted by: binfordtoolsI can play a little but only because:
a. I take lessons
b. I look up tabs on the internet and play them

Honestly, I have no idea what a root is, or what a 5th is, or even what the chord names mean. My teacher is cool, but he is teaching me songs not theory. I feel that I need to get the basic music language down before I can progress much further.

I can play some open chords, I can even play a few songs but everything else is like reading another language! Where can I read up on the basics? I have looked on-line at various sites and they all seem to start at a level that I do not understand. Again, I need the basics. If I read something like Csus7 or Dmaj9 it’s like I’m reading German! I have no clue what I am looking at. I want to be able to understand this.

Thanks for the info.

There is so much information in music theory that I'd recommend having your teacher teach you some about it while you also learn online.

I'm actually on my way to class right now (damn the collegiate system!), but
I'll explain those two example chords for the hell of it. Csus7 isn't really a chord, but C7 is! C7 is merely a C major chord C-E-G (root-third-fifth, count the notes between C=1 D=2 E=3, etc) with the minor seventh added. So it goes C-E-G-Bb (root-third-fifth-minor seventh, the major seventh is just B natural). And Dmaj9 is D maj D-F#-A with the seventh and ninth (second) added, so D-F#-A-C-E. D=1 E=2(9) F#=3 etc. I'd explain more about intervals in keys and whatnot so you know WHY the third in Dmaj is F#, but I'll probably get around to it when I get back from class, or equator might beat me to it, unless he starts talking about relative scales ;) :D (just kidding, Equator! We agree to disagree :) )
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 2
equator
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Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 558
equator
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Posts: 558
11/10/2005 7:19 pm
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollysonor equator might beat me to it, unless he starts talking about relative scales ;) (just kidding, Equator! We agree to disagree )

Let me know McJollyson when you are ready to learn about Relative Scales and their aplicationes. ;)

The best place to start, is understanding the Major Scale in the key of "C".
So, we are gonna be using seven notes:
C....D....E....F.....G.....A.....B
1....2....3....4.....5......6.....7
where "C" is the Root note,
"D" is the second,
"E" is the third; and so on.
To build a Chord on the first note(root); you need three notes: The first, the third and the fifth.
C............E.....G
Root........3.....5
So, you play those three notes(C,E,G) together, and you are playing a "Cmajor chord"
That is a basic chord, and because you are using three notes is called "Triad".
I don`t wanna get you confused.
So I`m gonna stop rigth there.
Someday I`ll play like in my dreams.

equator's Music Page.

.
# 3
Jolly McJollyson
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Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
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Posts: 5,457
11/10/2005 7:31 pm
Originally Posted by: equatorLet me know McJollyson when you are ready to learn about Relative Scales and their aplicationes. ;)

Hahaha, hey! You know full well I know the Relative Scales (I just disagree ever so slightly on how they should be applied) :D .

So anyhow, Binford, let us know if you're confused by any of this, if not, we'll move on into triads and what have you.

MAN I'm in a good mood!
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 4
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
11/10/2005 8:16 pm
Thanks for the help so far.

I think I understand the c major chord thing. It's made up from a C, E, G.
C = root
E = third
G = fifth

I believe that it comes from this:

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Is this correct?
Thanks
"I'm a rocker dude through and through. I like Van Halen, not Van Hagar" - Joe Dirt
# 5
equator
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Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 558
equator
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11/10/2005 8:31 pm
Originally Posted by: binfordtoolsThanks for the help so far.

Is this correct?
Thanks

yeah, that`s correct
Now let`s make a Major seventh by adding the seventh note of the scale.
C....D....E....F....G....A....B
1....2....3....4....5.....6....7
Take the first, third, fifth, seventh
[C,E,G,B]
Those notes make up the "Cmaj7 Chord"
Someday I`ll play like in my dreams.

equator's Music Page.

.
# 6
Jolly McJollyson
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Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
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Posts: 5,457
11/10/2005 8:47 pm
Originally Posted by: binfordtoolsThanks for the help so far.

I think I understand the c major chord thing. It's made up from a C, E, G.
C = root
E = third
G = fifth

I believe that it comes from this:

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Is this correct?
Thanks

Absolutely! What you have there is a triad built from the major scale starting at C. A seventh chord will include that 7th scale tone, a ninth will include the 1, 3, 5, 7, and 2, an 11th will include 1, 3, 5, 7, 2, and 4, and a 13th is just a chord made of all the scale tones. A major scale (like any scale) is simply a series of notes that have a certain pattern to the harmonic intervals between them. From 1 (C) to two (D) it is one "whole step" (two frets up on the guitar), from D to E is another whole step, etc. In the end, the order of steps in a major scale is

whole whole half whole whole whole whole half

C to D to E to F to G to A to B back to C

Which is why the third in a Dmajor chord is an "F#."
See, it's a whole step from D to E, but it's only a half step from E to F (one fret). Because you need a second whole step interval, you move the F up a half step, making it F#. There's an easier way of determining the notes of a key called the circle of fifths, and I'll spell it out for you here.

Remember this, first, the order of sharps is "F-C-G-D-A-E-B"
(Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds), which means that whenever a key has ONE sharp, that sharp is F. If the key signature has TWO sharps, it's F and C, etc.

C major has no sharps. Now we'll use the circle of fifths to determine what major key signature has one sharp.

Basically, just go up a fifth from C, and you'll have it. Well, let's go up a fifth from C... C-D-E-F-G, ok, so the fifth is G. Now we'll spell out the G major scale:

G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G

Ah HA! One sharp!

Now we'll continue along, up a fifth from G: G-A-B-C-D, ok, Dmajor has two sharps.

Anyhow, long story short, the major keys go like this:

C-G-D-A-E-B-F#-C#

and the minor keys go like this:

A-E-B-F#-C#-G#-D#

On to flats. The order of flats is the opposite of sharps, so just reverse it

B-E-A-D-G-C-F

Cmajor has no flats, and we'll go DOWN a fifth (not up) to determine the next key. C-B-A-G-F, ok, Fmajor has one flat. (oh, also, if you don't want to think about going down a fifth, just go up a fourth, it will bring you to the same note name: C-D-E-F, so sharps go up a fifth, flats go up a fourth).

Anyhow, the process continues and eventually it looks like this:

C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Cb

For minor keys, start with A:

A-D-G-C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab

Ok, that's all I'll do for now, that's a whole lot to swallow.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 7
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
11/11/2005 1:57 am
Jolly - my brain hurts :eek:

Let me digest this tonight

Thanks !
"I'm a rocker dude through and through. I like Van Halen, not Van Hagar" - Joe Dirt
# 8
equator
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Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 558
equator
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Posts: 558
11/11/2005 1:58 pm
To understand chords such as Maj9, Maj11 and Maj13.
You need to writte the scale twice, or what is called two "Octaves"
C.....D.....E.....F.....G.....A.....B.....C.....D.....E.....F.....G.....A.....B.....C
1.....2.....3.....4.....5......6.....7.....8.....9.....10...11....12...13.
You know by now how to make a major triad[1,3,5,],
and how to make a Maj7[1,3,5,7].
If you add notes beyond the seventh, is called "Extended Major Chords".
So, a Maj9 contains [1,3,5,7,9].

Maj11=[1,3,5,7,9,11]
Maj13=[1,3,5,7,9,11,13]
As you can see, you are taking every other note of the scale or what is called using "Thirds", count from "C" to "E", three notes. Right?
Now count from "E" to "G". You get the idea.
Doesn`t sound like German anymore. Does it?
Someday I`ll play like in my dreams.

equator's Music Page.

.
# 9
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
binfordtools
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Joined: 06/15/05
Posts: 37
11/12/2005 1:58 am
Originally Posted by: equatorTo understand chords such as Maj9, Maj11 and Maj13.
You need to writte the scale twice, or what is called two "Octaves"
C.....D.....E.....F.....G.....A.....B.....C.....D.....E.....F.....G.....A.....B.....C
1.....2.....3.....4.....5......6.....7.....8.....9.....10...11....12...13.
You know by now how to make a major triad[1,3,5,],
and how to make a Maj7[1,3,5,7].
If you add notes beyond the seventh, is called "Extended Major Chords".
So, a Maj9 contains [1,3,5,7,9].

Maj11=[1,3,5,7,9,11]
Maj13=[1,3,5,7,9,11,13]
As you can see, you are taking every other note of the scale or what is called using "Thirds", count from "C" to "E", three notes. Right?
Now count from "E" to "G". You get the idea.
Doesn`t sound like German anymore. Does it?


Yes, I'm starting to see how this works a bit.
"I'm a rocker dude through and through. I like Van Halen, not Van Hagar" - Joe Dirt
# 10

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