Guitar lessons in Edinburgh

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Welcome to the guitar lessons in Edinburgh blog! Here we've got some lesson material mixed in with some musings on learning music in general. Feel free to join in!


By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Apr 13 2017 02:00AM

Time to get serious about your chords! If you've decided to learn the guitar and you have ambitions of being a virtuoso guitar player, it's not unlikely that you might leave chord playing at the rudementary level. If you're taking guitar lessons in Edinburgh in a rock or pop context then basic open chords and barre chords are going to be your main diet, perhaps with a few dominant 7th chords in there too. This is where jazz chord voicings can really open up your vocabulalry, and speaking as a guitar teacher in edinburgh i can say it's something most students have overlooked. First try taking triads; if you're not sure then that's the 1st, 3rd and 5th of the scale, in this case played as a chord on adjacent strings. So C major would be C-E-G. Then find all the triads/inversions in that position (inversions are when the bass note isn't the root). So that will be either: C-E-G, E-G-C or G-C-E. Finding these triads all over the neck gives you a great sense of freedom and melody with your chords. The next step is 7th chords, and a great way to voice these is to use the drop 2 method. This means taking a 7th chord with the notes stacked in ascending order (for example C-E-G-B for Cmaj7th) and dropping the 2nd highest note down an octave, keeping the other notes the same pitch. Then run these through the four inversions. So you will have:

root position C-G-B-E

1st inversion E-B-C-G

2nd inversion G-C-E-B

3rd inversion B-G-C-E

Some of these voicings sound great and they give you an authority with chords across the neck. These shapes are also the basis for most chord extensions (9ths, 13ths etc.). If this all seems a bit daunting then try something simpler: take your open chords and move them up the neck (including the open strings) using a barre with your 1st finger. You can then take a few strings from these chord shapes and make what we'll call chord fragments; smaller chord shapes that are easier to move around the neck.

If anything here has been of interest, or if you'd like it explained further, don't hesitate to get in touch and book a lesson! Happy playing!

By Guitar lessons in Edinburgh, Nov 28 2016 03:00AM

Know the difference between learning a shape and learning a scale! Most of us have been there at some point; you've learnt a 2 octave shape for a shiny new melodic minor scale and you sit down to try and use it creatively in a solo or riff, but you can't because don't know how to apply it in your playing. This is because you've learnt a shape, not a scale. At Guitar lessons in Edinburgh learning a scale properly is completely broken down into manageable and simple to practice material. This one is for advanced students, or students wishing to take the next step from intermediate to advanced, but it can definitely benefit everyone. Learning a scale properly takes a very long time, ideally it means playing it in as many patterns and permutations as possible (such as groups of 3's, 4's, 5's, triads, 7th note arpeggios etc.) and being able to really hear where the next note is. This is not only trains your ears to hear the scale, it's also a great way to improve technique. Although this can all be contained in that little 2 octave box shape you've just learnt, at some point you'll want to apply it across the entire fretboard, which means learning a box shape for every position on the neck and learning to connect them. This takes a little time and trial and error to begin with, but it's not as hard as it sounds, and once you've mastered it there will be nothing on your instrument that's a mystery. This gets easier and easier, but it's important to stick to the basic stuff to begin with before you experiment with anything more exotic sounding! So before you try pulling out your super locrian scale, it might be better to learn the boring old major scale in a bit more detail!

Doing all of this on your own can be tricky, if you think you'd benefit from a helping hand on this subject or any other then please don't hesitate to get in contact by either using the 'contact' page of this website, or at: Alternatively, you can contact by phone on: 07982240703. Hope this helps!

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