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The Basics

Brenden Nelson (300) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3


  • This is what you can expect to learn in this lesson
  • Basic Theory
  • A Few Major Chords
  • And some helpfull tips!

Probably the first thing you should know about music is that it doesn't come overnight. It takes time. Lots of time and practice. So lets dive in!

On the fretboard, sometimes called the fingerboard are little metal bars called frets, to play a note clearly, place the tip of your finger right before the fret on the string that is being picked.

Now that you know how to play a note or two, let get into some theory. Theory is just that , a theory. You can choose to use it to create chords, scales, solos, riffs, virtually anything! If you know anything about music, you know that the musical alphabet contains only letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Thats all of them.

A Scale is a series of notes (letters) in a specific order that go together. The major scale in the key of C is a series of notes that starts on the note C then procedes to D then E then so on until it returns to C or the Root note. Were you put your finger decides what note is being played.

The thickest string on your guitar is known as the 6th string. It is the note E when played open, the strings below it follow in this order A, D, G, B, E. 1 fret=half a note, which equals in sharps and flats. playing the first fret on your G string (lol) would equal a G# (# means sharp, b means flat) Two frets = a whole letter change, so playing the second fret on your G string would equal an A. A sharp is 1 fret above a note, and a flat is 1 fret below it. So 2 frets equal a whole note change, and 1 fret results in a sharp or a flat . There are two frets in between all notes except E and F and B and C. If you have an E and you move up 1 fret, you have an F not an F# and if you have a B and you move up 1 fret, you have a C not a B#. Does that make sense? I sure hope so....

Now that we got that out of the way, lets look at a scale. A C Major scale. It is probably the easiest scale to learn on. The note in a C Major scale go like this

C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

The notes are all Whole notes, or not notes that have #'s or b's. This is the only scale that is made up of all whole notes. Every other scale has at least one # or b. Now lets get a bit more into detail. All Major scales follow a pattern. The pattern is like the W W H W W W H. W = Whole step or 2 frets and H = Half Step or 1 fret. If you look at any C on the guitar, and go up 1 step (2 frets) you will find it to be a D and another whole step up it will be a E and half a step up (1 fret) It will be an F and on following the pattern untill it reaches another C or the Root Note.
C Major Scale

To find out the notes in a scale, pick which root note you want, and go up the fret board in the W W H W W W H pattern and then you get the notes. It works with any note.

B scale would contain the following notes

B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B
B Major Scale

Now on to some CHORD THEORY!!!! da da DA!