Why The Guitar is a MINOR Instrument

I’ve often said that guitar is a minor instrument; however the other day someone called me on that and asked me to explain it. Playing guitar is harder than playing video games with ELO BOOST services, specially the ELO Boosting from P4rgaming. .

You see, that’s why the minor guitar scales sound best (in my humble opinion) on the guitar.

Not that other scales don’t sound good, but the minor ones sound great, and they have the added benefit of just lining up great, fingering-wise.

Have you ever noticed how the minor pentatonic or diatonic scale pattern has that row where all the notes on the one fret are used?

That’s not by accident folks!

So, WHY is the guitar minor?

Well, look at the notes of the standard E tuning: E-A-D-G-B-E

What chord do those notes form? (Didn’t think that was a chord? Gotcha.)

Well, the E, G and B form an E minor chord. The second E is a repeat, so we don’t worry about that. The D is a 7 in relation to the E, which means that so far we have an Em7 chord.

That just leaves us with that pesky A…

Well, A is a perfect fourth of E, and as such it can still work in the chord. The only weird part is that given its low octave, it muddies the sound a bit. (Try an Em7 with a higher A over top, and it will sound great).

So that leaves us with an Em7+4

Hence why the guitar is a minor instrument.

To learn more about the number system that governs all this stuff on the guitar, checkout my Unlocking I IV V course – that’s the kind of stuff you can have a handle on in no time flat.

You can find it here.

Dissecting a G Major Chord

Have you ever wondered why a chord is what it is?

In this video I’ll teach you the notes that go into a G major chord, as well as C major. You’ll see that major chords are built on the I, III, and V notes out of the scale. One of the things to watch out for is that when you change chords, you change root notes. What I mean by this is on the G major chord, the G is the I, and on the C major chord, the C is the I.

I explain all of this in a lot more detail in the Unlocking I IV V course, however hopefully you’ll be able to learn something from this video too.

Let me know your thoughts on this kind of teaching video – it is my first experiment using a tablet to relate guitar theory, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it!

Check it out:

Click here for the Unlocking I IV V Course

The Difference Between Major and Minor Chords

Have you ever wondered what makes a minor chord different from a major chord? The difference boils down to a single note, which is the 3rd. The other two notes we put in every chord – EVERY chord – are the root note and the fifth. Those two notes are the same regardless of whether we’re talking about a major chord or a minor chord.

There are two types of thirds, major thirds and minor thirds. So, if you’ve got a minor third in between the root note and the fifth, you end up with a minor chord.

Major and minor thirds are the color notes, and they make great harmonies. Learning to use those thirds can really help your guitar playing, and that’s part of what this lesson is about.

If you’re not familiar with the scale degrees, and how they can be used like numbers, you might want to checkout my lesson on Unlocking I IV V, as it explains that in detail.

How To Create Your Own Guitar Chords

In this video, you’ll learn how to create your own guitar chords, simply using open chords you already know, and a basic scale. The example is in the key of G, so our open chords are G, C, D and Em, Am and Bm. The relative minor scale is E minor, so we’ll use the E minor diatonic scale.

There’s nothing super complicated about this technique; basically we’re just adding notes from the scale to the chords to create new sounds that we don’t have in the basic chord forms. This technique can produce some cool ideas for song writing, jamming, or improvising.

To learn more about how chords are created, I recommend checking out my Unlocking I IV V course.

Tips For Changing Keys In A Song

Have you ever wondered how to go about changing keys in a song? Possibly in the last verse, or in a bridge, or something like that?

If you’ve ever tried changing keys in a song before, it’s possible you’ve run into the question of which chords to use while doing that.

The trick that I teach in today’s guitar lesson is quite simple, but requires a little bit of knowledge of guitar music theory. The basic idea is that you use the V chord of the key that you’re starting in as the “push” chord for going to the next key. Then you can change to the I chord from the next key, and you’ll notice that the old V chord has now become the new IV chord! It is because this chord is shared between the two keys that you can use it for changing keys in a song, and it will always sound great.

In my Unlocking I IV V course I dig into this concept a lot more, and if you’ve gone through that course before you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is just one example of how numbers can actually be very useful in transposing music, because the example I gave above doesn’t require any note names, and yet it is applicable to every single key. To make this more specific, we can give names to those chords….

In the key of G, your I IV V chords are G C and D. The key you would shift up to from G is A, and the I IV V chords there are A D and E. Immediately you can see that the only shared chord is the D… So if you use the D chord just before shifting to the A, your ear isn’t going to complain.

Try changing keys in a song by using one of the other chords and you’re likely to draw some very strange looks from your audience!

Click Here For The Unlocking I IV V Course