Basic Music Theory
It is used by all the top musicians to chart and record every genre of music whether out of Nashville, LA, New York or wherever! Artists and musicians alike know that music is all about the numbers, that's the way God created it, and no doubt used by the chief musician himself Lucifer for all of his evil intentions, however what he intends for evil God turns it around for our good!
It is what you learned in elementary School do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do (The major scale or Ionian mode) please notice that what starts in Do, ends in Do. There are eight notes in the scale; a complete scale is another octave higher in each key. The first key we will study is the key of C. 1 represents the key you are playing in or Do...C, and is the root of the key. 2m (minor) or Dm (in the key of C) the 3m or Em (minor in the key of C) so on and so on till you get to the 8 (or return to Do) Please note: the 1 (C), 4 (F), and 5 (G) are dominant and is the basis for which all music is derived (Written in a major key) the 2m (Dm), 3m (Em), and the 6m (Am), are sub-dominate and are used to enhance the melody, according to the chord progression, or the arrangement of the song itself. Now the seventh note in the scale can be either augmented (raised usually a half step) or diminished (lowered a half step) the steps are measured like this; a major scale starting in C goes seven steps. (Remember that you are starting in C therefore the step between C and D is also a whole step). *Scales A succession of tones ascending or descending according to fixed intervals.
C Dm Em F G Am B C
W W W H W W H <
Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do
1 2m 3m 4 5 6m 7 8
Relative Minor Scale: (The 6th of the Major scale share the same notes)
A B C D E F G A
W H W W H W W <
Major Pentatonic Scale: (five notes) Tonic/Root note-2-3-5-6.
Do Re Mi So La
C D E G A
Minor Pentatonic: (Relative minor or 6th of Major scale) Tonic/Root-2-flatted 3rd (Dim. one half step lower) -flatted 5 (Dim. one half step lower)-6
Do Re Mi (Dim.) So La (Dim.)
A B C E F
Below is the chart that is used for transposition (changing from one key to another) a song that is played in the key of C can be played in any of the 8 keys listed using this chart. For example a song (or a chord progression) can be easily transposed by using the numbers. A song played in the key of C using C (1), Am (6), F (4), and G (5), then back to C (1 or Do) (remember? it starts in Do and ends in Do) it can also be played in the key of D (major) using the same numbers 1, 6m, 4, and 5, then back to Do or D (The 1) Confused yet? it can be confusing I know, but keep reading over this and you will begin to get the picture. Play it and it will sound the same in every key. It's all in the numbers!
C Dm Em F G Am B C
D Em F#m G A Bm C# D
E F#m G#m A B C# D E
F Gm Am Bb C Dm E F
G Am Bm C D Em F G
A Bm C#m D E F#m G A
B C#m D#m E F# G#m A# B
C Dm Em F G Am B C
Understanding sharps and flats:
Sharps: F First C Charlie G go D down A and E eat B breakfast.
F# has 6 sharps, C has none, G has 1 sharp, D has two, A has three sharps, E has four, B has five.
Flats: B Boys, E eat, A all, D donuts, G girls, C cant, F find,
B flat has 2 flats, E flat has 3 flats, A flat has 4 flats, D has 5 flats, G has 6 flats, C has none (there is no such animal as a C flat ) and F has just 1 flat.
This is how we find out what key a song is written in. Knowing how many sharps or how many flats are used after the G clef in musical notation gives us the key signature of that particular song.
Tab. (abbrev.) simply put is an easy to read system of music notation for fretted instruments utilizing a graphic representation of the strings with numbered fret positions, rather than a conventional staff with notes. (Ok maybe not so simply put) In use in various forms since the sixteenth century, tablature has served to make published music for instruments such as the guitar, lute, banjo, and mandolin accessible to players who don't read standard music notation. Many repertoire and method books on folk, blues, and rock guitar include tablature or a combination of Tab and standard notation.
Guitar tablature uses a system of six lines each of which represents a string on the instrument. The bottom line corresponds to the sixth (E) or lowest sounding string. The remaining five lines represent the other five strings, (A, D, G, B and E) from the lowest to the highest sounding string. To avoid confusion there is no direct relationship between the guitar's strings and the lines of a conventional staff.
Like chord diagrams and regular notation, tab requires that the student spend a little time getting used to the relationship between what is on the paper and what's on the guitar. Once you get your bearings, tab will likely prove convenient and useful. A number is used in tab to indicate at which fret the designated string is to be played. For instance a 0 would mean play the string "OPEN" a 1, indicates the first fret position a 2 designates the second fret and so on. It becomes apparent then that any succession of notes can be obtained by positioning a series of numbers on the appropriate lines.
The intervallic structure: An interval is the difference in pitch between two tones. There are 12 notes in the intervallic structure, whereas the Major scale only has eight. memorize the "Intervallic Structure" below. Read from left to right. The tonic or the root is the key signature. Small case m is minor and big case M is Major. P stands for perfect e.g. the perfect fourth in the key of C is F (The fourth note in the scale) The perfect fifth is G (The fifth note of the scale) Augmented (Aug.4) raised one half a step. Diminished (Dim. 5) lowered by a half a step. This holds true for every Key.
Tonic/Root m2 M2 m3 M3 P4 Aug. 4F# P5 m6 M6 m7 M7 Octave C
Key of C C# or D flat D D# or E flat F (P4) F# Or G flat G (P5) G# or A flat A A# or B flat B Tonic/Root up one octave C