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What A 'Gmaj' Chord Has In Common With A 'Gmaj' Scale Part 1

 

- Over the next few weeks, we'll explore the Gmaj scale in different locations of the fret board, and see how it fits into the Gmaj scale in the same area of the fret board. This will consist of at least three parts.-

 

  This week, we're going to view the Gmaj chord and scale in the open position.  

 

 

FIGURE 1  LISTEN TO IT

 

 

  Okay, first let's look at the 'Gmaj' chord in the open position...

 

       G                   G    B    D    G    B    G

  e||--3----------------|---------------------------3----||
  B||--0----------------|----------------------0---------||
  G||--0----------------|-----------------0--------------||
  D||--0----------------|------------0-------------------||
  A||--2----------------|-------2------------------------||
  E||--3----------------|--3-----------------------------||

 

 

  You'll notice in the diagram, the note names are given, along with the fingering.  Beside that, the tabbed out version of the chord, both as a single strummed chord (with the chord name above) and as a single note-picked chord (with the note names above.)  Try to play the tabbed out notes both with a pick and with your fingers.  

 

  Now, how about saying out loud: "Do Ra Me Fa So La Ti Do!"  Does that remind you of Elementary School music class?  So what does that have to do with the Gmaj scale?

 

 

  FIGURE 2  LISTEN TO IT

 

 

Sing along:"Do Ra Me Fa So La Ti Do    Ra Me Fa So La Ti Do"

NOTE NAMES: G  A  B  C  D  E  F# G     A  B  C  D  E  F# G

       e||--------------------------|--------------0--2--3----||
       B||--------------------------|-----0--1--3-------------||
       G||-----------------------0--|--2----------------------||
       D||--------------0--2--4-----|-------------------------||
       A||-----0--2--3--------------|-------------------------||
       E||--3-----------------------|-------------------------||

 

 

  Great!  That's the Gmaj scale in the open position.  Try playing that both with a pick and just your fingers.  Remember that it's more important to get it right than fast, so start of slowly.  You are trying to play the scale crisply, cleanly, accurately, without hesitation, forwards and backwards, and without looking!  You will be able to speed it up with more practice.

 

  So how does that work into creating guitar fills?  First, let's find out what a guitar fill is.  That's the music you hear for example after B.B. King sings the phrase "You know you shook  -  me  -  ba - by.  You shook me all night long."  Or the little licks you  hear in the background of your favorite country tune.  Try just pulling something out of the scale, for instance...

 

 

FIGURE 3  LISTEN TO IT

 

 

Fingering:     4  X  4  X  1  3  1  2 

      e||------3--0--------------------|
      B||------------3-----------------|
      G||------------------------------|
      D||---------------0--2--4--------|
      A||------------------------2-----|
      E||---------------------------3--|

 

 

  Although that is something simple, it takes finger control.  The numbers above the tab represent the fingers that I recommend be used to play each note.  (T = Thumb; 1 = First/Pointer; 2 = Middle; 3 = Ring; 4 = Pinky; and  X = None.)  Once you've got that little lick down, try playing the chord in front of it.  And when you can do that, we'll get a little fancy!

 

 

FIGURE 4  LISTEN TO IT

 

 

Fingering:       4  X  4  X  1  3  1  2 

       e||--3----3--0--------------------|
       B||--0----------3-----------------|
       G||--0----------------------------|
       D||--0-------------0--3--4--------|
       A||--2----------------------2-----|
       E||--3-------------------------3--|

 

 

  Now by using the fingering given, your hand stays very close to being able to play the original chord at any time throughout the lick.  Sometimes, to get a specific effect on a note, you have to use different fingering.  FIGURE 5 plays the same pattern, but differently.  We begin to use bends to bring our notes alive, to give them character.  Try bending them with the fingering given in FIGURE 4, then you'll understand why the fingering has changed!  It's pretty hard to bend a note with your pinky, especially way down there on your neck! 

 

 

FIGURE 5  LISTEN TO IT

 

 

Fingering:  2  X  2  X  2  2  1  2 

  e||--3----2b-0--------------------|
  B||--0----------2b----------------|
  G||--0----------------------------|
  D||--0-------------0--3--3b-------|
  A||--2----------------------2-----|
  E||--3-------------------------3~-|

 

 

  Now, you must practice getting back to the original chord as soon as you're finished with the lick.  Over the next few days, play around with the scale and see what little licks you can create.  Remember to take it slow, accuracy counts!  See you next week! 

 

 

 

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