Friday, September 30, 2011
This post is for my good friend Darryl. He brought it to my attention that many beginners would have no idea what I am talking about when I say things like b3 or #5. So I created this chart (click to download) to explain the concept behind those terms.
A brief explanation
The notes of the major scale are numbered 1 through 8, then they repeat*.
(see the foot note here)
C is 1, D is 2, E is 3 ... on and on.
In between those notes there is what are called alterations or accidentals... fancy terms for sharps and flats. Between C and D there is an empty fret between. This note could be called either C# OR Db -> they are the same note. The sharp of C is the same as the flat of D. All notes have a sharp/flat between them except for E-F and B-C. So if I typed out a chromatic scale (a scale that includes ALL notes) it would be like so:
C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C
Which is the same thing as:
C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C
So when I say a major chord is just 1,3,5,7 or a Minor chord is 1, b3, 5, b7 or a Dominant chord is 1,3,5,b7, you should understand what I mean. If not hit me up with a question.
*Notes above the first octave are typically named 9 (for the 2nd) 11 (for the 4th) and 13 (for the 6th). The notes 1, 3, 5 & 7 names are typically not changed. These are critical notes of the scale so general awareness of them is pretty important. So the numeric scale really goes.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 9, 3, 11, 5 ,13, 7, 1....
So when someone says #9 they mean raise the 9th note of the scale by one fret. I realize this is confusing at first but you do get used to it.