No Music - No Chords - No Problem! (Learn by Ear)

Do you need help playing songs by ear? How well can you hear note movements and chord sounds? Are you able to just listen to a song and learn how to play it without the use of any sheet music or chord charts?




There is a secret to getting started with doing this type of song learning by ear, and it simply involves listening to low bass tones and learning four basic moveable chord shapes located on the lower guitar strings.

The real trick with all of this is to start training yourself on how to map out the sounds of bass tones so that later on, you can test how chord qualities of major and minor interact with every root note.

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IMPORTANT: Please realize, that developing this skill will take both time and patience, so it is a good idea to start doing this work with more manageable songs.

That means, I wouldn’t begin trying to do this with say a Mozart – Concerto (or even anything remotely close to something that complicated). Start with easy tunes and as you get better - move your way up from there to more complicated songs.



Step 1). LOW STRING FOCUS
The first thing that is important to understand is that you need to start by focusing on your lowest guitar strings. So that means your 6th, 5th and 4th strings are where we’ll be listening closely for a link to the bass-tone. For this lesson, we'll focus on the 6th and 5th strings.

This is important because these low tones are the easiest for your ear to listen for and recognize. Low strings make up the root notes that our songs will use for about 95% of all chords that we play on guitar, with a majority of them being on either the; 6th or 5th strings.

So, we’ll start there. If you do not already know the basic bar chords on the guitars, 5th and 6th strings, then get to know your 5th and 6th string major and minor shapes as soon as possible... They look like this…


SIXTH STRING MAJOR AND MINOR:


FIFTH STRING MAJOR AND MINOR:






Step 2). TRACKING THE ROOTS
When you start out at learning a new piece, listen closely to the songs chord changes (otherwise known as the songs Harmony). 

Analyze everything from lowest bass register tones. Zero in on the bass guitar if possible. Get a clear idea of how the chord changes relate to each singular bass note off of the guitars 6th and 5th strings.

At this stage of the game, don’t worry about whether you’re dealing with a major or a minor chord. Just focus entirely on locating each of those low bass notes.

In order for you to really understand this, listen to a group of chord changes in my "Progression 1 example," below, and pay close attention to all of the lowest bass tones to understand exactly what I’m talking about.

All it comes down to is hunting for bass-tones… listen closely…

Progression One:





If you patiently listen to the practice progression and closely study the sound of the lowest bass tones, you will eventually wind up hearing an A, move up into a D, then over to the bass tone of “E” and finally back to the A to resolve the progression.

When you do this work with the study piece (progression one) you’ll discover that the “A” tone starts and finishes our progression. And, once you realize that, you’ve also just discovered that the “Root” of the keys progression, is obviously the tone of “A.”




Step 3). TEST EACH CHORD'S QUALITY
The final part of our "learning by ear exercise" involves testing the sound of whether those low singular bass tones relate over to chord types that are major or minor quality.

Almost 90% of all chords used in songs are of the basic major or minor variety. Sure, there are also dominant chords, and there’s diminished and augmented, but those chords don’t necessarily show up as much as the Major and Minor.

Plus, once you learn about the use of basic major and minor chords, if there are any remaining odd sounds (that don’t make sense in a song that you’re learning), you can always practice and test those other chord types. Doing that work will lead you to finding out what the shapes are for Diminished, Augmented and many others.

Grab a chord book, or a chord app so that you can start trying different chord patterns out on your guitar. That will help you with discovering how and where those other chord qualities can fit musically. Over time your ear will start to remember those sounds.




Step 4). MORE ADVANCED PROGRESSIONS
Before we wrap things up, I’d like to, expand upon all of this with one more progression that will be a little more complex.

Listen to chord progression two and test all of the skill building principles.

- Listen for the bass-tone
- Listen for both major and minor chord quality

Here’s our new chord progression. I’ll give you a hint, it’s still based in the key of, “A Major.” Here’s what it sounds like...

Progression Two:





In progression two, you can hear right away that there is a much busier sense of chord movement. This means that you’ll need to take your time (and use trial and error) to discover where the root notes are located across the 6th and 5th strings.

Once you’ve discovered those single-note bass-tones, keep playing the chord progression over and over, and while those tones move past, simply test those major and minor quality chord sounds until you ultimately nail down the correct types…

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CONCLUSION:
Once you start building your skill with this form of close-listening to chord progressions, (and once you start using this system to listen to all kinds of different songs - gaining experience), you’re going to begin noticing a new level of ability and control when it comes to learning by ear.

This new-found control over your ears and your ability to listen closer to music will not only help you to hear music better, but these skills will also help you better determine the roots of chords and the (Major and Minor) chord qualities as well.

As time goes on, you'll inevitably learn more complex chord types, plus your ear will become more advanced in it's ability to hear notes more easily. And, down the road, there won't be much you'll come across that you wouldn't be able to lift off by ear and ear alone.




VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find.

The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com

As always, if you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube, until next time, take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!

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Complete Beginner's - Rock Riff Lesson

Do you like classic rock guitar riffs? Have you always wanted to learn the secrets behind the "3-chord rock riff?" Well, you're in luck! This lesson breaks down the basics behind jammin' on 3-chord rock concepts... 



In this video – I’ll be teaching a rock riff progression (that I perform at the start of this video lesson). That riff is based upon ideas that are famously referred to as 3-chord rock. And, even if you’re an complete beginner to rock guitar I’m quite certain that you’re going to be able to learn how to play this riff…

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SECTION ONE:
In the first section of this key of “A” rock riff, I’m using the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings with a playing pattern that focuses on the 2nd , 5th and 7th frets.





SECTION TWO:
In the second section of this rock riff, I’m taking the overall template of the riff into the; 4th, 3rd and 2nd strings while still playing the general pattern that continues to focus on the 2nd , 5th and 7th frets.

However, the fingering shape of our chords has become staggered between frets on the neck, (due to the tuning difference found between the guitars 3rd and 2nd strings). The chord that we’re focusing on now has changed to, “D.” Here’s the breakdown…





SECTION THREE:
In the final section of our rock riff, I’m taking the overall template of the riff into the lower strings using the; 6th, the 5th and the 4th strings. The layout and structure is heading back to the original pattern (that we had used with our first chord of “A”).

This time, we’re covering the sound of the “E” chord and we’re still continuing to focus on the 2nd , 5th and 7th frets. The fingering shape of our chords is also the same as what we were using off of our original “A” chord as well. Here’s how it functions…





VISIT THE WEB-SITE FOR MORE...
Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at creativeguitarstudio.com and sign up your FREE lifetime membership...

Later on you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying all of the professionally organized guitar courses that I've created for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube.

Thanks again and we'll catch up next week, for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."

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RHYTHM GUITAR 011: Jazz Rhythm Guitar

August 10, 2018:
RHYTHM GUITAR 011:
Jazz Rhythm Guitar

 
 NEW  The eleventh lesson of "Rhythm Guitar" covers Jazz Rhythm Guitar. Examples of the most common jazz rhythms are introduced. Syncopation, and off-beat accents are the focus.

The lesson eleven material is organized around syncopated, (off-time) rhythm punches. The rhythms within this lesson will include the famous "Charleston" rhythm, and the "chained" dotted quarter-note feel. I've also set-up examples that utilize the single and double measure up-beat feel.

A bonus for BASIC and PREMIUM web-site members are the (9) MP3 play-along tracks that will help with learning each rhythm example. 



Paid Web-site members (BASIC and PREMIUM), can watch the associated video lessons and download the detailed PDF handout, along with the MP3 clap /strum play-along tracks...


Join the member's area to download the PDF handout and MP3's. Study all of the examples with full access to both video lessons. Be sure to spend some additional time on learning the "Rhythm Jam Challenge" piece that I performed at the start of the lesson in the "Part One" video...

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:



PART ONE (free on YouTube):  Example one  focuses on the down-beat and up-beat (stress and accent) of one dotted quarter-note alongside of an eighth-note (played on the up-beat of two).

This groove is a repeating feel that applies a collection of popular jazz harmony chord changes off of major, minor and dominant seventh chords. An altered dominant 7th (b9) chord is also added in the progressions final measure for greater tension
.

PART TWO:  In example two, a series of dotted quarter-notes are the primary focus. The overall groove is a consistent syncopated feel that encompasses a recurring "beat and a half" of time. 




PART THREE:
In example three, a two-bar groove applies a mix of similar syncopated accents.

In measure one of this two-bar phrase, the attacks fall on the up-beats of 1 and 3. However, on measure two, the feel slightly changes with the first attack still occurring on the up-beat of one, but the second attack falls upon the down-beat of three
.
 

PART FOUR:  In example four,  the up-beat jazz groove is simplified into a single-measure statement and targets the accent attacks upon beats "2 and 4."

The example four groove places emphasis upon the up-beat of each and every second and fourth beat. It is advised to strum downward or use the technique described in the video lesson as "Comping."



Daily Deal: Washburn Jazz Series J3TSK


 

Paid members can download the handout along with the MP3 jamtracks in the members area at: CreativeGuitarStudio.com

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Absolute Beginner - Jazz Guitar Chord Lesson

If you love the sound of jazz and its unmistakable harmony, then this lesson will be fantastic for you. In this post I'll run through a popular Minor Key jazz progression that covers some of the most popular easy to play jazz chord voicings...




On this lesson, I’ll be teaching you each of the chord patterns that you will see and hear me play in the jazzy chord progression I perform at the start of this video.

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These are some of the most popular jazz patterns for guitar players, and if Jazz is a new style for you, these chords (and how they're applied in this progression), will be an excellent place to begin. This lesson will hold as especially valuable if you are just learning about jazz guitar…

The Chord Patterns:

Bars 1 - 4:






Bars 5 - 8:



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The downloads will include detailed chord diagram images that will show you exactly how to fret each of the shapes I just played.

Once you build up some skill with these examples, you’ll start noticing a whole new level of ability and control for starting to use jazz chords on guitar. 




VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...And, as always, if you enjoyed this lesson, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube, until next time, take care and we'll catch up again on the next lesson. Bye for now!

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GUITAR TECHNIQUE 010: The Art of the String-Slide

August 05, 2018:
GUITAR TECHNIQUE 010:
The Art of the String-Slide

 
 NEW  This unique Creative Guitar Studio course  explores exercises for increasing dexterity and coordination between the hands. The goal of the course is to increase awareness, mobility and control.


Lesson 010 of Guitar Technique offers the opportunity to expand knowledge and practical skill for the art of using position sliding technique on the guitar fingerboard.

This string-slide lesson contains six exercises that are designed to help players achieve smooth and accurate string slide movements along and across the fingerboard.

The exercises break down several applications of this technique that include upward and downward slides, along with slides that move along and across the strings shifting through several positions. 


Part one and part two of the lesson introduce string sliding with diatonic single and multiple string slide exercises. In parts three and four exercises demonstrate examples of both upward and downward string slides, (along with using string-slides combined with legato technique).
 

Paying members of the Creative Guitar website can watch both video lessons and download the PDF handouts, and the MP3 play along tracks...




Join the member's area to download the PDF handout and start study of these exercises. Study all of the examples with full access to both video lessons...

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:



PART ONE:  
Exercise 1a, Second string slide study traveling upward. This exercise moves the string slide along the second string with intervals added as travel tones on the first string.

In exercise 1b, Second string slide study traveling downward. This time additional "travel-tone" intervals are added below on the third guitar string.

PART TWO:  Example two focuses on shifting position laterally as well as, going across multiple string groups vertically. Two exercises provide ways of developing the smoothest application of string sliding along and across strings.

The riff in example 2a, applies an upward movement sliding position on the 4th to 2nd string group. Several strings are alternately used for achieving multiple position changes across the neck.

The riff in example 2b, changes direction to incorporate a downward string slide concept that smoothly changes positions along the fingerboard from 10th to 2nd fretting positions.




PART THREE:
Exercise three incorporates a blended approach to using string slides across multiple positions. Since so many positions are crossed over, care must be taken with respect to all applied fingerings.

The run in exercise three uses the 5th through 2nd guitar strings. Lowest note is a fifth fret 6th string "A." The highest tone is located up at the tenth fret of 2nd guitar string.


PART FOUR:  Exercise four will additionally include legato technique (hammer-ons and pull-offs) with the string-slide concept. The mixing of string-sliding with legato adds a new challenge to the overall skill level required for performing the part.

This key of "G Major" exercise functions from the fifth fret of 4th string all the way up to the 1st string twelfth fret. The distance is substantial, so be sure to practice the line up to a point of memorization prior to building speed.

Daily Deal: Washburn Jazz Series J3TSK


 

Paid members can download the handout in the members area at: CreativeGuitarStudio.com

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7 Ways to Play Lead Guitar with More Emotion

Learn seven techniques that can be applied immediately to you help make a guitar solo come across with a lot more feel and emotion... 

These techniques can include everything from; the tonality you choose for the solos key, the playing techniques used, the dynamics applied and even the variations that can be created with respect to the feel of the solos rhythm.




To help you become better at performing guitar solos with more emotion, I’ll not only provide you with a solo to study, but I’ll also breakdown several ideas to help you become better at playing guitar solos with more emotion on this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider…

WATCH THE VIDEO:


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STUDY THE EMOTIONAL SOLO:



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- The 7 Ways to Play Guitar with More Emotion -


#1). STATE OF MIND
Starting from a place of emotion within you can be a great way to play more emotional music. Believe it of not, your state of mind will determine a lot with respect to how emotional your guitar solos will become. 

Think of emotionally charged experiences, amazing memories and times that stand out as highlights in your life - then tap into those overwhelming emotions. 

Doing this puts you in the "zone" to create a great deal more feeling in your musical performance, and from your musical ideas.

#2). USE DYNAMICS TO INFLUENCE
It kind of goes without saying that how loud or how soft you play makes a big impact on your listener. The more that you pay close attention to dynamics, the more your music will start having better emotional control. 

And, more control means better music that will relate to your listener in a more emotional way. 

Dynamics are all about how loud, or how soft your playing comes across during your solo. Therefore, the lesson to walk away with here is never go monotone. Have an ebb and flow to your sound. It will really help enhance what you play.




 #3). PAUSE AND REFLECT
If you listen to musical parts that are performed by a horn player, you’ll notice that horn players have to take time to breathe. 

Even though guitar players don’t need to take a breath, it’s important that we take pause across our lines to help give the listener time to reflect. 

So, remember to "take pause" in a few select areas across a melody. It will make a big difference to how your listener relates to your music.

#4). PLAY OFF-TIME (AROUND THE BEAT)
If you study jazz musicians, one of the techniques that you’ll pick-up off of a jazz player (very quickly), is that they tend to play “off-beat” in a lot of cases. 

They’ll use more dotted; quarters, and eighth-notes, and they'll tend to perform sixteenth note rhythms more syncopated. 

Jazz players will tend to perform parts quite off-time and around the beat, rather than on them. So, if you’d like to add a new rhythmic direction to your melodic flow, doing this technique of playing “off the beat” is a fantastic performance skill that will start adding a lot more emotion to your overall guitar soloing and to your playing style in general.




 #5). TARGET CHORD TONES
When a chord is in play, it can be very powerful to work toward directing your melodic lines into that individual chords constructed tones. 

These tones can include the chords; root, or its third, or the chords fifth chord tone. And, once you begin doing this, it will make a huge difference to how connected your melodic lines will work when interacting with everything that relates back to the underlying harmony. 

This is a very powerful skill to learn to use as a soloist when you want to create more emotion in your guitar solos.

#6). PHRASING DEVICES
The use of phrasing devices like; slides, bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs and vibrato will go a very long way when it comes to making a guitar solo sound more human. 

More often than not, the thing that a seasoned guitarist notices very quickly about an inexperienced guitar player, is that the inexperienced guitarist tends to play solos that sound kind of robotic and almost mechanical. 

Once you start to add phrasing devices, a lot will change with the way the solo comes across to the listener. A solo with nice phrasing tools will start to flow in a far more connected /human sounding way.




#7). GEAR INSPIRATION
The last point I want to make has to do with your equipment. It is really common for a player to get inspired by new gear. 

This goes for whether you’ve purchased or rented a new; amp, a new guitar, some new piece of recording equipment, or perhaps a new effects pedal (of some kind). New stuff, brings on a creative zone that inspires and motivates.

New music gear will almost always translate to a serious source of inspiration. And, when you’re inspired, your playing will tend to come across as more emotional as well.




VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at creativeguitarstudio.com and sign up your FREE lifetime membership...

Later on you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying all of the professionally organized guitar courses that I've created for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more.

Thanks again and we'll catch up next week, for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."

___________________________________________________

GET GOOD NOW - JOIN THE MEMBERS AREA


Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes