Free guitar lessons - Learn the basics of how to play chords and arpeggios for beginners

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These free guitar lessons are for beginner guitar players and for those who want to learn some basic theory. Exercises cover how to play, build and understand basic chords, scales and arpeggio as a foundation for song writing. The lessons have useful tips, with access to the teacher through social networks and links to even more lesson elements. This is the first guitar lessons session, featuring the basic building blocks of guitar theory. The lesson contents consists of musical alphabet, string names, notes on the fret board, scales, church modes and degrees, major minor and triad arpeggios and chords and links to the website GuitarBasics.com and some extra lesson elements within the site.

Introduction (form the lessons): Hi, I'm Kirk... In an attempt to create a set of online lessons based on the lessons I give my students in the studio, I have created these Private Guitar Lessons Without a Teacher. Even though I can't be there to help you in person, I do offer some of my own personal comments using thought bubbles. I am also available to answer questions via social media and email, as seen at the end of this lesson session.

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Free guitar lessons - Learn the basics of how to play chords and arpeggios for beginners

  1. 1. Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 Building Blocks - The Basics Free Private Guitar Lessons...Free Private Guitar Lessons... without the teacher (kinda)... © GuitarBasics.com Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks
  2. 2. ... The Basics...The Basics... Even though I can't be there to help you in person, I do offer some of my own personal comments using these thought bubbles. I am also available to answer questions via Social networks and email, as seen at the end of this lesson session. Even though I can't be there to help you in person, I do offer some of my own personal comments using these thought bubbles. I am also available to answer questions via Social networks and email, as seen at the end of this lesson session. Hi, I'm Kirk... In an attempt to create a set of online lessons based on the lessons I give my students in the studio, I have created this: Private Lessons without a Teacher... Hi, I'm Kirk... In an attempt to create a set of online lessons based on the lessons I give my students in the studio, I have created this: Private Lessons without a Teacher... Introduction Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  3. 3. 1 … Musical Alphabet 2 … String Names 3 … Notes on fretboard The Basics...The Basics... ... 4 … The Steps 5 … The Degrees 6 … Scales 7 … Church Modes 8 … Arpeggios 9 … Chords Session 2 will cover the Building Blocks of Song Writing Session 1 Lessons Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  4. 4. The Musical Alphabet Consist of 7 repeating letters (also know as notes) ... A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, etc... The musical alphabet goes from A to G and then repeats over and over again... All the white keys on the piano are either A, B, C, D, E, F or G. The musical alphabet goes from A to G and then repeats over and over again... All the white keys on the piano are either A, B, C, D, E, F or G. The Basics...The Basics... 1 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  5. 5. The Musical Alphabet - Part 2 There are also half notes between some of the letter notes. ... A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# etc... Notice that there are no half notes between B & C and between E & F The # symbols are called "Sharps". All the black keys on the piano are sharps. Either an A#, C#, D#, F# or G#. The # symbols are called "Sharps". All the black keys on the piano are sharps. Either an A#, C#, D#, F# or G#. The Basics...The Basics... 1 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  6. 6. The Musical Alphabet - Part 3 In some cases music utilizes "Flats(♭)" instead of "Sharps(#)" ... A♭ A B♭ B C D♭ D E♭ E F G♭ G A♭ A B♭ B C D♭ etc... Notice that there are no ♭ notes between B & C and between E & F. The "♭" represents a half step lower and the "#" represents a half step higher. All the half step notes (like the black piano keys) have two names: A#/B♭ - C#/D♭ - D#/E♭ - F#/G♭ - G#/A♭. The "♭" represents a half step lower and the "#" represents a half step higher. All the half step notes (like the black piano keys) have two names: A#/B♭ - C#/D♭ - D#/E♭ - F#/G♭ - G#/A♭. The Basics...The Basics... 1 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  7. 7. The String Names There are 6 strings on the typical guitar. Each string has a note name. The biggest fat string is call the "Low E String" The image shown, is a representation of the guitar fretboard held upright, facing you. The image shown, is a representation of the guitar fretboard held upright, facing you. The Basics...The Basics... 2 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  8. 8. The String Names - Part 2 The other five strings (from biggest to smallest) are A, D, G, B and High E string. The high "e" string (as shown) is the thinnest. Again biggest string is call the "Low E String" To remember the string names use the following acronym... Enjoy All Daily GuitarBasics.com Exercises The image shown, is a representation of the guitar fretboard as you would see it in your hands while playing. The image shown, is a representation of the guitar fretboard as you would see it in your hands while playing. The Basics...The Basics... 2 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  9. 9. Notes on the Fretboard Remember the musical alphabet notes A A# B C C# D D# E F...? Those letters all have a place on the guitar fretboard, with the string names being the starting point of the letters. Each of those vertical lines are called "frets". The spaces between the frets are where you place fingers to play a note. If you plucked a string without placing a finger on the fretboard, the note name would be the same as the string name you plucked. Each of those vertical lines are called "frets". The spaces between the frets are where you place fingers to play a note. If you plucked a string without placing a finger on the fretboard, the note name would be the same as the string name you plucked. For example, the notes of the D string are D D# E F F# G... etc... Likewise, the notes of the B string are B C C# D D# E F... etc... The Basics...The Basics... 3 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  10. 10. Notes on the Fretboard - Part 2 All the frets have note names, here is an example of part of the fretboard showing notes (with sharps) on all the strings. If you pushed your finger down on a note and plucked that same string, then did it again with the next note in order, and kept playing each note in order from string to string, you would then be playing a "scale". If you pushed your finger down on a note and plucked that same string, then did it again with the next note in order, and kept playing each note in order from string to string, you would then be playing a "scale". Notice that the notes not only go in order along one string but can also go across in order from string to string. Starting from the "Low E" string there is an: E F F# G and G#, then to the "A" string it continues with A A# B C C#, then to the "D" string... and it continues again in order from string to string. The Basics...The Basics... 3 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  11. 11. The Steps All the notes of the musical alphabet have a distance between them. The distance is called "Steps". One "half step" is the distance from one fret or note to another. A whole step is two half steps or two frets. The distant between each note (A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# etc...) is a helf step or one fret. The same is true if using flats (A B♭ B C D♭D E♭E F G♭ G A♭ etc...). Examples: A to B is a whole step (2 frets) because there is an A# or B♭ note between them. B to C is a half step (1 fret) because there is no sharp or flat note between them. C to C# is a half step (1 fret) because there is no note between them. D♭ to E is a whole step because there is a D note between them. E♭ to G♭ is a whole & half step (3 frets) because there is an E and F note between them. The distance between every letter name note (A, B, C, D, etc...) is a whole step except between B&C and E&F which have just a ½ step of separation. The distance between every letter name note (A, B, C, D, etc...) is a whole step except between B&C and E&F which have just a ½ step of separation. The Basics...The Basics... 4 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  12. 12. The Degrees Just as music has an alphabet (notes), it also has numbers known as "Degrees". The degree numbers are simply 1 through 7. Like the notes, they repeat: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, etc... The degrees are the building blocks of all the three fundamentals of music (scales, chords and arpeggios). All these elements are built with simple formula arrangements using the numbers of the degrees. The degrees are the building blocks of all the three fundamentals of music (scales, chords and arpeggios). All these elements are built with simple formula arrangements using the numbers of the degrees. The Basics...The Basics... 5 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  13. 13. The Degrees - Part 2 Just as notes are sometimes separated by a half or whole step, so are some of the degrees. So, with the degrees, its all whole steps of separation, except between the 3&4 and between the 7&1, which are just half steps. So, with the degrees, its all whole steps of separation, except between the 3&4 and between the 7&1, which are just half steps. The distant between... 1 and 2 is a whole step 2 and 3 is a whole step 3 and 4 is a half step 4 and 5 is a whole step 5 and 6 is a whole step 6 and 7 is a whole step 7 and 1 is a half step In other words... from 1 (which is also called the "Root") it's... whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. or... 1 w 2 w 3 h 4 w 5 w 6 w 7 h 1... Note: On the guitar, each of the frets are considered a half step apart. The Basics...The Basics... 5 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  14. 14. The Scales The first and most important building block of music is "Scales". The most important scale is the "Major Scale". All other elements are built upon or can relate to, the major scale. We've already touched on the major scale but in the form of degrees. In fact, the "steps" of separation between the degrees (w,w,h,w,w,w,h) is the exact formula of the major scale. This is where the alphabet notes now come into play. There are 12 major scales, just like there are 12 notes... A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# or A B♭ B C D♭ D E♭ E F G♭ G A♭ There are all kinds of scales with various different formulas. The formulas are however, are all based on the major scale. There are all kinds of scales with various different formulas. The formulas are however, are all based on the major scale. The Basics...The Basics... 6 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  15. 15. The Scales - Part 2 As with most scales, the name of the major scale is the same as the letter note you begin the scale with. This starting point is considered 1 and is called the "Root" or "Key" depending on how you are referring to it. G Major scale for instance (as seen below) start with the 1st degree on the G note. Since the distance from 1 to 2 is a whole step, the 2nd degree is A. From 2 it is a whole step to 3, which would be B and so on... Remember the "Solfège" as a child? Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do? Well, that's the major scale: 1 is Do, 2 is Re, 3 is Mi and so on... Remember the "Solfège" as a child? Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do? Well, that's the major scale: 1 is Do, 2 is Re, 3 is Mi and so on... The Basics...The Basics... 6 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  16. 16. The Scales - Part 3 As applied to the fretboard, here are some various major scales. The key usually indicates what notes are to be used in a song. If you want to play a song in the key of D, then place this pattern on the fretboard with the 1's on the D notes. The notes of the pattern will generally be the only ones used in the song. The key usually indicates what notes are to be used in a song. If you want to play a song in the key of D, then place this pattern on the fretboard with the 1's on the D notes. The notes of the pattern will generally be the only ones used in the song. The Basics...The Basics... 6 The number patterns on the fretboard above can shift from left to right as a whole and repeat every 12 frets. Every 1 is the same note name, every 2 is the same name and so on. If the whole pattern is placed with the 1's on C#, then the key and major scale name is C#. If the entire pattern is placed with the 1's on B♭, then the key and major scale name is B♭ and so on. Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  17. 17. The Modes The "Modes" (church modes) are simply the various inversions of the major scale. To create an inversion of a scale, take the first degree of the scale and move it to the end. So, the major scale: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 inverted becomes 2,3,4,5,6,7,1 which is also the formula for the 2nd degree mode (the major scale is considered the 1st degree mode). The 1st. degree mode is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 which is known as the Pure Major Scale. The 2nd. degree mode is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1. The 3rd. degree mode is 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2. The 4th degree mode is 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3. The 5th. degree mode is 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4. The 6th. degree mode is 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 which is known as the Pure Minor Scale. The 7th. degree mode is 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Each of the 7 modes have names. In order they are: Ionian(1) Dorian(2) Phrygian(3) Lydian(4) Mixolydian(5) Aeolian(6) Locrian(7). Each of the 7 modes have names. In order they are: Ionian(1) Dorian(2) Phrygian(3) Lydian(4) Mixolydian(5) Aeolian(6) Locrian(7). The Basics...The Basics... 7 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  18. 18. Arpeggios Arpeggios are partial scales built using the notes of large scales (like the major scale). Just like scales and modes, arpeggios all have formulas. The most used arpeggio is the "Triad" arpeggio. To play a triad arpeggio, simply play the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of a scale, in order and one note at a time. In the case of the 1st degree mode (Ionian or Pure Major Scale), if the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes are played in order, one note at a time, it would be called a "Major Triad Arpeggio". It's called a "major" arpeggio because of the distance between the notes or degrees. From 1 to 3 is two whole steps and from 3 to 5 is a half and a whole step. If there were a different amount of steps, it would be called something else. It's called a "triad" because it consists of 3 notes. Notes are the building blocks of the scales, which are the building blocks of the arpeggios, which are the building blocks of chords. Notes are the building blocks of the scales, which are the building blocks of the arpeggios, which are the building blocks of chords. The Basics...The Basics... 8 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  19. 19. Arpeggios - Part 2 Here is an example of a major triad arpeggio in the key of E major. The diagram actually shows two arpeggios, played one right after the other. In fact there are many 1 3 5 patterns on the fretboard. The diagram actually shows two arpeggios, played one right after the other. In fact there are many 1 3 5 patterns on the fretboard. The Basics...The Basics... 8 In this case, the major scale pattern is placed on the fretboard with the 1's on E and since only the 1st, 3rd and 5th degree are being played in order like a scale, and since the distance between the notes are that of a major arpeggio, this is called an "E Major Triad Arpeggio" or "E Major Arpeggio" or just an "E Arpeggio". Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  20. 20. Arpeggios - Part 3 Moving on to the 2nd degree mode (Dorian). A triad is made in the same way, simply play the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of the Dorian mode or 2 4 6. The distance between the 2nd and 4th degree is a whole and a half step and the distance between 4 and 6 is two whole steps (just opposite of the major arpeggio). With these distances separating the degrees, the arpeggio is considered "Minor". A major type arpeggio or chord creates an upbeat happier sound while a minor arpeggio or chord makes a sad or softer sound. A major type arpeggio or chord creates an upbeat happier sound while a minor arpeggio or chord makes a sad or softer sound. The Basics...The Basics... 8 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  21. 21. Arpeggios - Part 4 The first triad arpeggio of the 3rd degree scale (Phrygian mode) is 3 5 7 which has the same separation between degrees as the 2nd degree, making it minor. The 4th degree (Lydian) arpeggio 4 6 1 and the 5th degree scales (Mixolydian) arpeggio 5 7 2 have the same distances between the degrees as the Ionian Mode which makes them both major. The 6th degree (Aeolian) arpeggio spacing of 6 1 3 makes it a minor. The 7th degree scale (Locrian mode) triad arpeggio (7 2 4) is unique with 1½ steps between 7 & 2 and 1½ steps between 2 & 4. These distances make the 7th degree triad, "Diminished". Major songs usually contain just major chords and arpeggios using the 1st, 4th & 5th modes. Minor songs usually contain elements from the 6th, 2nd & 4th degree modes. Most song don't use the 7th degree mode or any diminished parts. Major songs usually contain just major chords and arpeggios using the 1st, 4th & 5th modes. Minor songs usually contain elements from the 6th, 2nd & 4th degree modes. Most song don't use the 7th degree mode or any diminished parts. The Basics...The Basics... 8 Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  22. 22. Chords Chord are the virtually the same as arpeggios, in that they both have the same formulas, and the distance between the degrees, identify them as major, minor, etc... Chords are played fast with a quick strum or slowly, one string at a time. While at the same time, letting all the strings blend all the sounds together at once. Chords are played fast with a quick strum or slowly, one string at a time. While at the same time, letting all the strings blend all the sounds together at once. The Basics...The Basics... 9 However, instead of playing them like scales (one note at a time), chords are played with all notes ringing out together and in no particular order, with the maximum of only one note per string. Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  23. 23. End of Session 1 So far you have learned the basic building blocks of guitar theory (scales, arpeggios and chords) and a foundation for all the future guitar lessons. In the next session we are going to take the next logical step and go back and study the three main elements in more depth and detail and explore how they are used in song writing... Review these basics over and again and try to figure out on your own, how we might expand on them in the next set of guitar lessons... Session 2 - Beyond the Basics - Song Writing. Review these basics over and again and try to figure out on your own, how we might expand on them in the next set of guitar lessons... Session 2 - Beyond the Basics - Song Writing. The Basics...The Basics... ... Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com
  24. 24. Extra stuff to study Here are some helpful links... GuitarBasics.com • Crash Course in Guitar Theory • Daily Guitar Lessons • Arpeggio Samples • Chord Samples • Scales Studies • Social Networking If you like what you see and would like me to post more lessons, please Follow, Like and Share. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let me know. If you like what you see and would like me to post more lessons, please Follow, Like and Share. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let me know. The Basics...The Basics... ... Thanks for visiting! -Kirk Malay Free Guitar Lessons - Session 1 - Building Blocks © GuitarBasics.com

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