ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guitar chords and scales

Updated on January 10, 2013

Transferable shapes

I wish someone had shown me this stuff a very long time ago!

What I'm advocating here is to take one or two simple ideas and use them to the max. I'm not in love with theory per se, but I do like to save myself some work!

The guitar is interesting in that the tuning system on the bottom four strings, (that is strings 6,5,4,3 or the lowest in pitch) means that riffs, scales and chords can be transferred easily from one set of strings to the next set.

Example 1: Major scale pattern for G major can be shifted across one string to make the C major scale. Move everything up 2 frets and you have A and D major, up another 2 frets and you have B and E major, and so on up the neck.

So from one scale pattern shape we can easily get 24 major scales!!!

5 Shapes, or Power chords

The same thing applies with 5 chords, otherwise known as Power Chords. I find that classifying chords as to where the root note is really makes everything easier. Starting with G5 - a root 6 chord, fret 3 on string 6 is a G.

Fret 3 = G5 and C5 ( Root note on string 6, Root note on string 5)

  • Fret 5 = A5 and D5 (Root 6 or Root 5)
  • Fret 7= B5 and E5
  • Fret 8= C5 and F5
  • Continue up the neck to get all the other chords.

In the same way, one easy chord shape gives you 24 Power chords. Because we're effectively playing a I to IV chord progression, as used in real songs all the time, this is very useful practice. To get the V chord (most rock songs use I IV and V chords together) just move the IV chord up 2 frets. It will sound like La Bamba, Twist and Shout (virtually the same song!) and many other songs.

Pentatonic scales

Next example is Am pentatonic, which starts in fret 5 as that is an A - take it across one string and you have Dm pentatonic scale. Now the root note is on string 5, and fret 5=D.

Only one octave of the scale is shown, so that it's transferable. If you don't know the rest of the pattern, it's in my other hubs, or you could sing the notes and copy them on guitar.

You can move it up the neck for all the other pentatonic scales.

Notes on string 6: Fret 7 is B.

  • Fret 8 = C
  • Fret 10= D
  • Fret 12= E

Notes on string 5: Fret 7 = E

  • Fret 8 = F
  • Fret 10 = G
  • Fret 12 = A

Harmonic Minor scales

Use this pattern for harmonic minor scales, with the root note on string 6.

A Harmonic Minor. is shown, starting at fret 5.

When the pattern is moved across one string, you have D harmonic minor.

Move it across one more string, and the last part of the pattern changes slightly.

It's because that pesky string 2 is a different interval to the other strings.

Finally, here are some chords with a Spanish or flamenco sound that work well with the Am harmonic minor scale. Great for improvising.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)