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Guitar Tricks Blog: Music Theory

Posted September 5, 2019

Guitar Blues Scales Crash Course

guitar blues scales

The guitar blues scales are 6-note scales similar to a pentatonic minor scale but with the addition of an extra note. What are the notes of the blues scale? And How do you find the blues scale? The major blues scale pattern is 1 - 2 - b3 - 3 - 5 - 6. There are major and minor blues scales and they’re used in blues music but are often used in other genres as well. We’re going to break down the difference between pentatonic and blues scales here, so continue on for all the de

Posted July 18, 2019

Phrasing - Musical Phrasing Explained!

phrasing - musical phrasing

Phrasing is how a guitar player presents their notes and licks within music. Usually musical phrases are short licks or notes, each separated by space, and are full of dynamics and emotion. B.B. King was a master of the blues and also used phrasing to create his signature sound. 

Posted July 2, 2019

Fingerstyle Guitar Dynamics - Brought to You By ELIXIR Strings

Dynamics are, according to the Guitar Tricks guitar glossary, “the loudness or softness of a piece of music. Latin words such as 'forte' (f - loudly) and 'piano' (p - softly) are used to indicate this within music notation. This is an effective and simple way to add emotional expression into your playing. It can work in both lead and rhythm play.”

You can use dynamics to emphasize certain parts of what you’re playing like a bass note or the treble notes. Seasoned g

Posted March 27, 2019

Am Chord Guitar - Explained!

The Am chord on guitar, or also known as the A minor, is a triad composed from the A major scale. The most common ways to play it is in the open position, at the first fret, or as a barre chord in the fifth position. Since it’s a minor chord, it is often used in slow or mellow songs thanks to its dark sounding tone. 

Posted March 6, 2019

6 Jazz Chords Super Easy to Learn

Jazz chords are chord voicings that are commonly used in jazz music. Technically there are no chords called jazz chords, but instead, jazz musicians generally like to use extended chords like 7th major and minor chords, dominant and diminished 7th chords, minor 7th flat 5, and 9th chords. 

Posted February 22, 2019

Dsus4 and Other Suspended Chords Explained!

Suspended chords like the Dsus4 guitar chord, or an Asus2 are chords that can add some extra color or tension to an otherwise normal chord. To get a suspended chord, we replace the 3rd with a nearby scale degree, the 4th or 2nd. These chords are a lot of fun to play and usually only require the guitar player to lift or add one finger. 

Posted February 13, 2019

Chord Progressions and What You Need to Know

Chord progressions are the backbone of every song. From pop and blues to metal and punk rock, and much more, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with these simple concepts if you ever want to write your own songs or understand your favorite songs a little deeper. 

Posted January 18, 2019

Pentatonic Scale Essentials Guitar Lesson

The pentatonic scale is one of the most popular guitar scales due to its simplicity and versatility. It’s called the pentatonic scale because there are only five notes in the scale, as opposed to the usual 7 notes in most others. “Penta” means five and “tonic” means notes. Read on to find out why this scale is so popular! 

Posted November 16, 2018

Bm Chord - Songs - Guitar Tricks

When first learning how to play guitar, it’s important to apply what you learned to actual music, or songs. Guitartricks has a huge song library you can browse, all featuring varied chord progressions, barre chords, and more. In this article, let’s focus on a couple of songs that feature the Bm chord.