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We start this session series with our musical ruler. This will help us track tone names, fret by fret, first on string 6. Here's how our theory system starts... There are 12 tones. They are 1 half step [1 fret] up or down to the next. There 7 Naturals & 5 sharps/flats. The sharp [#] raises a natural one half step and the flat [b] lowers a natural one half step. There are 2 more naturals than sharps/flats, therefore, there are two place that naturals 'touch'. These are naturally occuring half steps between B/C & E/F. Resources ⇒ Music Theory page | Circle of 5ths is a key center organizational chart based on a wheel | Lines of 7 | Derivative/Parallel
We now have the same scale form [shape], built at Am/C [P5]. Am/C is also all naturals. The only different tone from Em/G is rather than the B tone, Am/C has a C, rather than B. The A, D, E, G are common to both scales. What were opens are now 5 frets; what were 2's now 7 frets, what were 3's now 8 frets. The shape is maintained. Your index is the 'new nut'. If you were to put a capo at fret 5, and played the Em/G pentatonic scale as you did at the nut, it will sound as Am/C. The lower tone of the scale form on string 6 is the minor root. The higher one is the Major root. Once we move this scale, we can solo in every key, at least with this one fingering. We are functional at a very base level, to solo in every key. We can use patterns to get the ball rolling. Over time, we move to understanding what tone names are in each scale and depend more on our melodic sensibilities than on patterns. Scale patterns are scaffolding that we take down once the structure is in place.
Progressions are streams of changing chords. As we have seen, they are written as chord symbols, typically above something [rhythm notation, melody, lyrics]. Our goal is to continually expand our chord catalog. We do this by using chord learning systems, a simple sheet of chords, or just songs that we like. To play a song, we look at all of the chords in the song [its chord inventory], determine which we know and don’t know. If we don’t know a chord, we find a version of it. If we don’t know an open string version [Chord Connect], we can use a R5 chord. By doing this, the song may not sound right, but is possible to play. Once we know all of the chords which need to be connected and have working versions, we go back and forth between each chord pair, until we know we have it. This way, when every chord change in a song is solid, the song will not break.