This page is for sharing charts, MP3s (and notation) for electric and bass guitar in particular. The emphasis is on learning what I call "the guitarchitecture" of the fretboard AND the note names for improvising. Also charts and sheet music for sight reading and chart reading practice....
One of the simplest ways to accompany a 12 bar blues in A on electric guitar would be to use one finger power chords. The upper string is open and the index finger plays the 2nd fret note on the string underneath. It has to be the index finger if we want to build to Status Quo style patterns (and who doesn't?)
The first of these diagrams shows the root and fifth and sixth of A, D and E. Usually the index finger plays in the second fret and the ring finger in the fourth. Occasionally I tell students with very small hands to try the little finger if their hand strength is developed and the position is sound!
If this presents no problem to the student and they can cope with third finger on fret four, they can then try adding the 7th (fifth fret note) with the little finger. Whether you are a beginner or a teacher remember to take things slowly and don't practise beyond the pain barrier. Small hands can be permanently damaged by over practice with faulty hand positions or extreme stretches!
A | A | A | A | D | D | A | A | E | E | A | A || More specific music examples are to follow, but for now just experiment with the chord progression and MP3 above that we used for the bass arpeggios.
More specific music examples are to follow, but for now just experiment with the chord progression and MP3 above that we used for the bass arpeggios.
The first thing you will notice about this chord is that I have drawn it ON ITS SIDE with strings the same way as tablature. I like to do this because it ties the two systems together neatly. I have also made the strings different thicknesses to remind you which way round it goes!
The second thing you'll notice is that I have given all the note names of the chord tones. That is because I think all good guitarists try to understand practical theory and this picture is a visual demonstration of it.
The third thing is that this is a regular chord. If I had a tenner for everytime I have heard of an Uncle saying "rock music is only power chords" I could have a VERY nice holiday right now. An October Holiday in fact!
You would be amazed how many bands use arpeggios of open chords in their introductions and interludes....
When a string is marked X, try not to play it!
This chord is very stretchy for small hands. Listen to what your teacher tells you about thumb position, but if you can't make the stretch on string 5, then simply play a 4 string chord!
This version of the G chord IS correct! The chord of G with a doubled fifth is the very common in modern rock music. It sounds more jangly than the old fashioned G with the doubled third and is actually a more balanced shape. Bands like REM, Oasis, Green Day and many others often use this shape for G. It is especially important in the songs Good riddance (Time of your Life) and Wonderwall.
Practice playing all of these chords separately and then when you feel confident, try playing this rhythm guitar tune I called October Holiday. It has lots of different ways of playing these chords all in one song.
You could try working it out without the dots, but if you do need them:
This scale uses open postion notes to great effect and is good for starting solos or for acoustic players to solo with.
This is the more usual position of the blues scale known and loved by electric guitar players the world over. It falls easily under the fingers in fifth position. Use all 4 fingers, one per fret. The best notes to bend are probably D on string 3 and G on string 2. Always "back up" your bends by using three fingers on the same string to push across the fretboard. It gives you more control and strength and avoids the possibility of tendon strains. (More later, you can ask your teacher to show you, but otherwise see Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Johnson, Vai etc on video for controlled bending!)
To play this, bass players need three positions of the blues scale in A, D and E. You already learned the A position. Here are A, D and E together:
Guitar players will need the following notes:
They will also need four string chords of A7, D7 and E7: