Build Guitar Skills: Learn Barre Chords & Scales | Taylor Gamble | Skillshare

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Build Guitar Skills: Learn Barre Chords & Scales

teacher avatar Taylor Gamble, Professional Guitarist

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Barre Chords


    • 4.

      Half Barre Chords


    • 5.

      The Capo


    • 6.

      Practice with a Song


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Minor Scales


    • 9.

      The Pentatonic Scale


    • 10.

      The Circle of Fifths


    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Elevate your practice and learn the secret to playing any song in any key! 

Growing up in a musical family, Taylor Gamble discovered that playing guitar could soothe her anxiety, lift her mood, and tap into her creativity. Now a professional musician who’s worked with artists like Stevie Wonder, Ari Lennox, and Victoria Monét, Taylor’s here to help you cultivate your own peace and passion through the practice of guitar. 

In Taylor’s previous classes, you learned the basics. Now, it’s time to deepen your knowledge with techniques and tools designed to make you a more capable, versatile musician. Grab your instrument, and discover some of the most important tools in any guitarist’s repertoire: barre chords and scales. 

Key lessons cover:

  • The basics of barre chords and scales, and why they’re so important
  • Essential music theory you’ll use again and again, like the pentatonic scale and circle of fifths
  • Using a capo to increase your musical flexibility and get the most out of your guitar’s neck 

Plus, Taylor guides you through a song that uses barre chords, giving you the chance to put these concepts into practice right away. Prepare for your living room to become a concert hall!

This class was created with beginners in mind, but assumes you’re already familiar with key concepts like major and minor chords, rhythmic notation, and reading guitar charts and tablature. To revisit any of those skills, review the first two classes in Taylor’s Complete Guitar Learning PathSince learning music takes time, this class is designed to complement your own self-guided practice or lessons. Taylor uses an electric guitar, a pick, a capo, an amp, a tuner, and a quarter-inch cable; follow along with whatever guitar you have access to, acoustic or electric.

Meet Your Teacher

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Taylor Gamble

Professional Guitarist


Taylor Gamble is an expert guitarist based in Los Angeles. As a touring musician, she's played with artists including Ari Lennox and Victoria Monet, and performed on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and NPR Tiny Desk, and most recently Fox’s show ‘Alter Ego’. Taylor also teaches, sharing her technique and passion for the guitar via the popular Fender Play YouTube series. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: For yourself on the fret board. My name is Kayla G, and I'm a professional guitarist endorsed with vendor musical instruments. My love for guitar began at the age of 11 and has brought me to screens and stays as a live performance with artists such as Stevie Wonder, our Linux, Victoria Monet, and more. In this class, I'm unlocking a secret to play any song in any key. We will start by learning how to borrow a chord and use the CAPM. Then we will move on to the scales and the formula to be able to play in any bar chords are for any level of player may be on in their journey, will be using guitar amp, a quarter-inch cable, as well as the tuner. I'll be showing you all of what I consider the most foundational concepts on guitar that help you quickly sound proficient on your instrument. If you've ever felt like the guitar is too confusing, I will give you the shortcuts are great sounding guitar in the bunk, your doubts at the end of this class, you'll be able to play bar chords and scales, allowing you to utilize the neck more freely, ready to learn. Let's get started. 2. Getting Started: You know your case gourds, also known as your open position chords. But get ready to open your mind up to an entire new world of chords in sounds. Barcoding will help you to be able to unlock the entire fretboard and be able to play any chord you want effortlessly. That's right. Barcoding is a simple trick. I've got up my sleeve to help you unlock the entire fretboard. Grab your guitar, quarter-inch cable, AMP and a pic, get tuned up, and let's get started. 3. Barre Chords: So let's jump into it. What is a bar chord? It is a chord that requires one finger to press down on more than one string at a time. So what do I mean by that? Let's look at a B major chord, for example. As you can see, my index finger is the one finger that's pressing down on all of the strings except for the low E string. And then my ring finger is pressing down on the D, G, and B strings all at the same time, thus creating this effect. There's a familiar chord shape within this chord that I think you might know once I show it to you, a major, that's right. The only thing I did was slid my image up two frets and then added my first finger, it's a bar, the other strings to create a B major. Next chord is literally played anywhere on the fretboard. And it's always going to be known as a major chord. Now, how do I know what the name of these chords are? It is defined by my root note. Now the root note is the pitch that establishes the tonality of a musical key, cord, or scale, simply by knowing that I'm starting my a major shape on an a. Let's me know or can be not always, but can be a key indicator. This is my root node a. A establishes and defines the chord in which I'm playing. This is why those cage scores were so important. Those seven shapes literally help you be able to play whatever it is that you want anywhere on the fretboard. Let's try E major, for example. Now, we're going to move to a G major, but this time we're going to bar the G major. So all I want you to do is move this shape up three frets. So we're going to go one to three because we're going to need our index finger. We're going to remove our index finger and change the shape in a way that allows us to be able to bar the fret behind our shape. And we're going to strum from the low E string on down. What you just did is called a modulation. And what a modulation is just shifting up or down a key. So you took the route from me out of that key and you shifted it up. It's a GI. Cage cores give you a framework for how major and minor chord should look across the fret board. They take the guesswork out of trying to figure out what fingers do I put down and simply minimize it to being able to identify what the root note is. If you can identify the root note, you can play the chord so we know the concept of barn. But how do I actually bar? Well, this definitely takes time and practice and a whole lot of patients, it can come easy. It may take a little bit of time, but with these tips I'm about to give you, you'll be borrowing and no time. Number one, thumb support the relationship between your index finger and your thumb is so important. Your thumb helps to back your index finger and being able to bar that cord. So what I want you to do is I literally want you to take your finger and just bar two strings. It is definitely going to take more effort than just playing one string. By doing this, you are establishing a relationship between your index finger and your thumb. Now, I want you to try doing three strings. For strings, five strings. And finally, all six strings. Do this until you're comfortable with barring all six of the strings. Once you're comfortable with that, then add the cage chord shape that you would like to apply. So in this case, we have our E major shape. The next thing I want you to do is check your wrist positioning. Your wrist is so important when it comes to playing guitar. And it definitely is going to come in handy when you're borrowing these chords. Your wrist is automatically going to tense up a little bit when you're trying to first bar, however, by keeping your shoulders relaxed and allowing the thumb and the index to do most of the work. You're definitely going to achieve some bar chords. Last but not least, be patient with yourself. It is all k. This movement is not normal, so you have to get used to it to be able to build up what's called muscle memory. Your fingers will become more catalysts as well as stronger in the long run, you'll build up more dexterity to be able to switch between these cores more fluidly. And you'll find yourself more confident the more you practice. Now before you joined me in the next lesson, I want you to familiarize yourself with the E major shape as well as the E minor shape and the a major shape, as well as the a minor shape. Now, keep in mind that a major and a minor might be a little bit easier because it's one less thing you have to bar. But again, give yourself time. Be patient, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Half Barre Chords: Alright, so we know what barcoding is, but what if we're not ready to borrow the entire core? It is okay, because I have a method for that too, and it is called the half bar chord. Now remember, a chord is just three or more notes sounding together to make a harmony. If we only need three notes, that means that we don't need to play all six strings, right? With the half bar chord, you're able to achieve the same message with just minimal effort. So what do I mean by half bar chord? I want you to play your E major shape. I want you to slide it up a half step or one fret. Remember, we're changing the positioning of our fingers to make it so we're able to use our index finger to bar. So what I want you to do is I want you to only bar the B and high Eastern. Then I want you to remove your pinky and bring your ring finger down one string. This is what's called an F half bar chord shape. This shape is also movable anywhere around the fretboard. So we have an F, G, and I can keep going from there. You can play this anywhere on your fretboard. And it is still considered a major chord shape. Beautiful, isn't it? Yes. Takes the pain away. Okay, so what if I want to play a minor shape? All I would do is remove my middle finger and then bar the three strings, which is the G, B, and high E string, and play from the D string down. That simple movement changed the entire dynamic of my cord. Remember, a major and minor chord are defiled by their chord quality. And the difference between a major and minor chord is literally one note. Keep that in mind because that's going to help you in case you ever forget. Onenote can literally change everything. Let's try are a major shape. This time, I want you to shift it up a whole step. And your index finger is going to go to Fred's behind your shape. Now, this chord can be played two ways. You can play it as irregular, a major shape using your middle ring and pinky finger. Or you can borrow the cord with your ring finger like this. And this case it's whatever works for you. So we're going to do the same thing that we did with our f half bar shaped. And we're going to remove the a string and only play the high E string on the second fret. Strumming from the D on down. Or you can play it like this. Alright, so what if I want to play an, a minor shape? Simple. All you're gonna do is make an a minor shape. Move it up a whole step. And we're going to remove the a string and only play the second fret of the high E string. So remember, we have a major, or in this case we're playing B major, but this is the a major shape. And then this is the B minor shape. Okay, I hope this really, really helped you. Here's some questions that you can ask yourself to make sure that you're playing the bar code properly and your notes are coming out clearly. Number one, is my thumb and index finger properly supported? That means is my thumb placed behind the neck in a way where I'm able to properly support my index finger to be able to press down on the strings. Number two, how does my wrist look? Am I comfortable in my tenths? Am I allowing my risk to position itself in a way that gives my thumb enough strength to bar. Next, ask yourself, are my fingers properly placed on the fret board? Are they on the fret too far behind the fret or sitting right next to the fret. In order to achieve clear notes. Then I want you to ask yourself which chord shapes are my weakest. Being able to point out your weaknesses allows you to be able to know what it is that you need to be practicing. That 15 to 20 minutes a day can be spent doing which you don't feel comfortable doing rather than what you already do. And last, I want you to try playing your bar chords and a different position on the fretboard. Typically playing them higher on the fretboard is a little bit easier than playing it lowered. Now, I want you to practice these shapes on the upper part of your fretboard. At the 12th fret, your notes begin to repeat as they were in the beginning. The 12th fret is literally an octave away from the open chords. So practice your cage chord shapes. Then take that same shape and move it to the bottom of the neck and try to achieve those same shapes from the first fret to the fourth fret. As always, keep on practicing and bar on. 5. The Capo: All this talk about barcoding makes me a little tired. And I know sometimes when you're practicing your fingers might need a little bit of a break. So in those times, I like to use a cable. Now, a Khenpo is a client that's fast and across all of the strings, that helps you to raise the tuning by chosen amount. So what do I mean by that? Now remember how we talked about your first finger borrowing across all of the strings, and then you forming the shape. This allows you to be able to cheat in such a way where you don't have to bar, you just simply clamp it down like that and play your chord shapes. We have E major, E minor, a major, a minor. We can even play D major if we move up two frets. We've got our C major shape. We move up four frets on the low E string. We can achieve our G shape. This device also helps to further take the guesswork out of trying to achieve your major and minor chords. It also is easy and fun if you want to sing along to a song and you don't want to worry about having to bar, simply just place a Caple on your desire for it and play along. Now, if I wanted to modulate or move to a higher or lower key, all I would do is simply take the K50 and fasten it on my desire for it. Or if I want to lower it. See effortless. Now if you want to give that index finger a break and keep practicing, just slap a cable on and rock out. 6. Practice with a Song: Now I mentioned before, one of the best ways to be able to transition between chords is by learning a song. That's right, we are learning another song. This song has more of an R&B feel to it. So if you're feeling it, let me know first things first, we're gonna look at our core charts. Familiarize yourself with your core charts before moving on to the tabs. As this is going to help you be able to easily identify what notes it is that you're playing on. Each measure, both the core charts and tabs located in the class resources, and they're there to help you whenever you need it. Okay, so let's get started. First things first, we are going to play an, a minor shape. We're going to shift it up literally three frets. That's a lot. That's a whole step and a half. That is known as a C minor chord. Next in our progression, we have a G minor chord. So all we're gonna do is we're going to remove our middle finger, shift up a string, strum from the E string on down. Remember we're utilizing those techniques that we learned to help us easily transition. Pay attention to what it is that your fingers are doing and you're going to know where you're going. Now we're going to shift that same shape down a whole step. So down two frets Here we go, 12 to an F minor shape. And last, we're going to play what is called a B flat major chord. And all that is, is just shifting these fingers down one string. We're going to make that a major shape. Remember you are more than welcome to bar like this using your ring finger or play the a major shape using your middle ring and pinky and were strumming from the a string on down. So let's try playing that progression together. Ready? We've got our C minor. Next is our G minor. Next we're shifting down to our F-minor. Then we're coming back up, but straight to our B-flat major. And we're going to repeat that chord progression enough times until we have it down fluidly. That's right. So once you have your chord shapes down, What's next? Next we're checking for rhythmic notation, right? So we're checking for those whole notes, half notes and quarter notes. In this case, we have a whole note that we're starting off with using RC minor chord. So here we go, 1234. In the next bar we have another C minor, but this time we're only playing it for a half note, so just two counts. Okay, So that sounds like this. My 234, again, 12. And then we're going to move to the G minor shape for a half-note again, 12. And then we're moving back to the F minor shape for a whole note, 1234. And then we're shifting up to that B flat major shape. One to hold it for a whole note. 34, very nice. So let's try that again. 12341234. 12341234, very nice. And that is the entire progression. I want you to practice this and practice it enough until you are confident to be able to play different strumming patterns are picking patterns while you're playing. Okay, so what does that mean? That means that we're going to try instead of just playing whole notes, try implementing some strumming, some plucking. So let's try that. So we could go to 34. You can literally try anything, switch it up, have fun as always. Now this tab is located in the class resources along with your core charts. So please do me and yourself a favor and have fun with it. I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Scales: Does that sound familiar? This is what we call a scale. Scale is seven notes that come together in a sequence of frequency and pitch. Scales are important because they help us to be able to play fluids solos, as well as melody lines. They're also important because they help keep us in key. The starting point for our scale is contingent upon the pitch or key that it is in. So what does this mean? It means that we are going back to that root node and identifying the starting point at which we're going to play what we know as our scale. So how do I know where the root note is? If you don't know your notes, of course you can't find your key. So one way to do that is by knowing our note names. So how do I know where my notes are on the fret board? First, we got to know the basis of theory. Now, in Western civilization, music is comprised of 12 notes. Now I'm going to bring up a piano. If you notice on the piano, it is made up of 12 notes that are repeating. We have an a, we have an A-Sharp, also known as B-flat. We have our B. Now we have a C, we have a C-sharp, also known as D-flat. We have a d, we have a D-sharp, also known as E-flat. We have an E, we have an F, We have an F-sharp, also known as G flat. We have a G, and then we have a G-sharp, which is also known as a flat. And then what happens is it repeats and we go through it again. The white keys are our natural notes. They're not sharpened, nor are they flattened. The black keys are sharpened or flattened. What do I mean when I say flat and sharp? Flat is when a note is lower than its natural note. So an example, we have B, and then we have B flat, which is a half step down from B sharp, is when a note is higher than it's natural note. So when I say a sharp, I mean a, and then going a half-step up to a sharp. The same concept applies to your fretboard, except the notes may seem to be a little out of order, but no worries, I have a trick for that too. We want to start with our low E. Next, we're going to look at the piano and we're going to see what comes after E. There is no black key between E and F, which means that there is no E sharp or flat. We're just gonna go straight to F. Next is F sharp or G flat. Next is G. After that, we've got G sharp or a flat. Now we're gonna go straight to our open string and play a. Then we're gonna play B-flat, also known as ASR. Then we're going to play B. Then we're going to play C Again, no black key and between the B and the C, So we're going straight to C. C sharp, or D flat. D flat. No black keys, so F-sharp. Now remember, I mentioned to you that mean, I mean these are the same. So you can either skip the fourth fret and go straight to the open string, or you can play the fourth fret and jumped straight to your first fret of the B string. Otherwise, you're gonna get the same note and jump straight to the first fret, which is C. C sharp, or D flat, D, D-sharp, E-flat, E, F, F sharp, G. Then we have a flat or a G-sharp. That's a lot to remember. And knowing that it does go and order up to a certain point is definitely going to help you be able to memorize or be able to go through your notes one-by-one in sequence. So remember, I promised you that I will give you a tip to be able to know where your nodes are. If I wanted you to be able to identify a another, be on the fretboard between frets one through four. What would you do? Well, I will find my B. I know this is a right, that's open. A. If I come up a half-step, sharp or B flat, and then if I come up another half step, that's my being. So identifying a note that is closest to another note can help you with this. Now here's another tip on identifying a different B. All I want you to do is go up a whole step and then shift down to strings. Hey, congratulations, you found your Octave. Now this works anywhere on the fretboard when you are between the E and a strings, the DNG strings to find relationships between those notes. Now what if I told you to find an, a flat that is the same note, but a higher frequency, meaning it's at an octave, then I would tell you to find your A-Flat. What's closest to A-flat G, I would do is add my index finger to the first fret. And this time I want you to shift up three frets, 123. And then I want you to shift down to strings again. 12. Same note, different frequency. Now let's go backwards, shift up two strings, go back three frets, and then use your pinky to play that octave. And again, you have found the octaves. Now, octaves are a great way to be able to identify your notes quickly when you're in doubt. I tell my students typically to work on the E and a strings only. Then work on your D and G strings. Finding relationships between the strings will help you with fretboard memorization. Now that we know are nodes, let's talk more about major scales. So I want you to find g. So we have a low E, F, F sharp. Jean. Very nice. Now there is a scale formula to help you easily identify your G major scale. And for right now, I just want you to focus on the top three strings. And then we'll add the bottom three strings. Okay, I want you to start with your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string. That I want you to move up a whole step with your pinky to the fifth fret. Then I want you to play the a string second fret with your index finger. Then we're going to move to the third fret with our middle. Then we're gonna move to the fifth fret with our pinky. Then we're going to move to the second fret of the D string with our index. Then we're going to move to the fourth fret with our ring. And then we're going to finish off with our pinky on the fifth fret. Want to cycle through that again? Fred. Fred string, second fret, third fret, fifth fret. String, seconds. Fourth, friend. Fifth fret. Very nice. I've got a tab for you in class resources to help you with memorizing that. But now let's add the other three strings. Now, all this is, is just the notes repeating, but the form looks a little bit different. So we've gotten this far. What's next? We're going to play the G string, second fret with our index. Then we're going to play the fourth fret with our array. We're going to play the fifth fret with our pinky. Now, we're going to play the B string, third fret with our middle. We're going to play the fifth fret with our pinky. We're going to come to the high E string and play the second fret with our index. And then we're going to finish it off with our middle finger on the third fret of that same string. So let's play that together one time. Here we go, starting on the fifth fret, second, fourth, fifth, third of the B, fifth, second of the high IQ. Third of the high IQ. Okay, let's try it backwards. Second. Here we go. When you stretch into that fifth of the G, coming down to the forth, coming down to the second, and back to the fifth. So let's try combining it if you think you've got both of those, okay, we're starting on the third fret of the low E string. Here we go. Let's go backwards. Very nice. Now I want you to practice that the tab is also located in the class resources. And I want you to meet me back here in the next lesson where we're going to discuss minor scales. 8. Minor Scales: So we know our major scale. And what is the opposite of a major, a minor, just like our core shapes, scales also have what's called a minor scale shape. And today I'm going to show you exactly what that is. Now we're going to use our G minor this time. And the reason why I want to stay in the same key is I want to show you the minor differences. You like what I did there. I know the minor differences between the major scale and the minor scale. So remember when I was talking to you about arcade shapes and how the difference between a major and minor is literally one note, that note is known as a flat third, each node in each scale has a number assigned to it. So in the case of our G major scale, there's literally a number that is assigned to each note starting on G, that'll be one. Your next notice to next notice 3456, seven. And then we have our octave, which it repeats. So that will also be our one. Finding the third note in the scale is as easy as 123. So what do I mean? 123? So if I told you to flatten that third note, what do I mean? Take it down a half-step. So that would sound like this. It gave you a completely different perspective on your scale, didn't it? I know it did me. It made me feel a little bit different, a little eerie, a little sad. So instead of reaching back and playing this third note right here, we're going to simply just play the sixth fret of the low E string. So starting from 123. Then all we're gonna do is we're going to work up from there. We've got four, which is the third fret of the a string. We've got five, which is the fifth fret. Going back to that sixth fret, we're going to skip to the D string and play the third fret. We're going to play the fifth fret. That is it. That's your minor scale. If you shift up two strings and back two frets, you've got the octave. So again, we've done it on the first three strings. What about the bottom three strings? So we left off on the fifth fret. Right? Now all I want you to do is just shift back and go to the second fret of the G string. This is a little bit of a reach, but again, with practice, it can be achieved. So let's try it again. We've got our fifth fret. We're shifting back to the second fret of the G string. We're going half step up to the third fret. Whole step up to the fifth. Remember we're leading with our index finger back into the position we were before. Okay, next we're going to play half-step up six fret. And then we're ending on the high E string. Third fret. Very nice. Let's try it slowly one time, starting from the third fret of the low E string, feel free to pause anytime in practice this, and then come back and try it with me so we can play it together. Here we go. Six friend, skipping a. Remember we're shifting back on the high E string. Third fret. Very nice. Now, as always, let's do it the other way. Here we go. Now we're leading with our pinky this time to the fifth. And we're going back into that position. So you're going to want to stretch your ring finger to get that fifth fret of the D string. Okay, Remember we go into the third friend, Pinky on the sixth, third, six, and the low E string fifth. And we're ending on the third of the low E string. Great. Now see how much of a difference OneNote can make. I want you to practice this. This also is a tab that's located in class resources. Practice this scale. Get it down in your fingers. Practice shifting from this third position back to the second position and meet me back here so we can go into the next lesson where I'll show you the most essential guitar scale that you'll ever needs to know. 9. The Pentatonic Scale: Okay, So you know the major scale. We know our minor scale, but what about the pentatonic scale? The pentatonic scale is the most essential skill that you'll ever need to know as a guitarist. So many guitars use this scale to achieve great solos and have been using it for decades. And today you're going to learn it. So what is the pentatonic scale or the minor pentatonics yields to be more specific. It literally sounds like this. Using any of these notes went in a certain key will help you to be able to achieve phenomenal solos and impress all of your friends. So let's see what it consists of given the name penta, meaning five. There's only five notes in this scale versus just the seven notes you need to know in a major or minor scale. So let's see what those five nodes are. We have the first note of the scale, the flattened third note of the scale. Then we also have a flat seven, meaning the seventh note of our scale is going to be flattened or lowered half a step. Now, let's actually play the minor pentatonic scale. Again, we're using G as an example, as this scale can also work anywhere on your fretboard. So we're starting on the low E string, third fret. This time we're skipping straight to that flat three. Okay, or the flat third. We're moving to the a string third fret with our index. Then we're going to play the fifth fret with our ring finger. Okay, so already we've got the first, the flat third, we've got the, got the fourth, the fifth. So now we've got the six on the D string, third fret. Then we're getting to that flat seven right here on the fifth fret. Then we're going to the third fret of the G string. We're going to go to the fifth fret. Then we're going to go to the third fret of the B string. We're skipping to the sixth fret of the B string. Go into the high E string, plan that third fret. Then we're staying on a string and go into the sixth fret. So we've got third, third, third, third. Now there's no shame in just remembering that shape is such an easy shape to achieve to where I feel confident that you'll be able to be playing solos in no time. Okay, so let's try that going the other way. We left off on the high E string, sixth fret. We're going to jump back to the index finger on the third fret of the B string on the sixth string, fifth, third, D string, fifth, third, a string, fifth, third. We've got the low E string six. And then we've got that third fret that we're finishing it off with. Let's try it slowly together. Again. You are more than welcome to pause at anytime and practice any of the things that I'm saying to you as I know I'm moving at a consistent pace. This stuff takes time. So do what works for you. Okay, So let's start on the third fret. Here we go. Come in back, 553. And just like on the high E string, we're playing this six and then the third. See how easy that was? Oh my God, I could feel it in my bones that you're gonna be playing awesome solos in no time. So practice that there's a tab in class resources with the minor pentatonic scale attached to practice this more efficiently, I want you to play a G minor chord. And I want you to practice playing this scale over that chord. Now how do you do this? You can simply take your phone, go into your voice recordings, record over and over and over again using a metronome and play this scale over that chord. This also can be achieved with your major scale by simply playing G major. You'll be able to hear exactly what it would sound like if you were playing in that key, you know what to do. Practice to the metronome and meet me back here so I can give you a mini tour of the circle of fifths. See you next time. 10. The Circle of Fifths: We know our major, minor and minor pentatonic scales, but now we're going to learn what notes are actually in those scales. There's a method that musicians use in order to know exactly what notes we're playing. When we decide to play, say, a G major scale, there's something called the circle of fifths that helps you to be able to know exactly what you're playing and when to play it. So the acronym that I want you to familiarize yourself with is fat cats go down Alleys Eating Bacon. I know it's silly, but I learned it when I was younger and it never left me sent. So I'm hoping that it never leaves you. What does that mean? F, C, G, D, a, E, B. This is the order of which the sharps and flats go and how you know how many sharps and flats and what sharps and flats In your scales. So let's take C major for an example. C comes second, and the sequence, however, C has no sharps and no flats, is simply just C, D, E, F, G, a, B. And then we're back to C. Now, we're gonna move on to G. Now here's where the fun begins. G has one sharp. That sharp is F. So that's going to sound like G, a, B, C, D, E, F sharp, G. Now let's move on to D. D has two sharps, F and C. That's going to sound like this. D, E, F sharp, G, a, B, C-sharp, D. Now let's try a major. So a has three sharps. You got it? And what are those sharps? F, C, and G. You see what's happening here? Yes, it is a circle. All of these notes come to form what we call the scale. So what's NRA major scale? A, D, C sharp, D, E, F sharp, G sharp. A. Very nice. Now let's do E. E has four sharps, F, C, G, and D. So let's apply that to our plane. And if you've been practicing, you know your note names by now. So we'll be able to find these notes more efficiently. Let's go back to our G major scale. Now how many sharps are in G0? One exactly. And what is that sharp? F sharp. Let's start with our third fret of the low E string are lovable G. Then we have a as our second note. We've got B, we've got C, we've got D, we've got E. Now we've got F sharp. This is where we have to implement what we know from the circle of fifths. If we know that the third fret is f, then we also know that the fourth fret is F sharp. And then if we go a half step up, we're back at G. This takes some time to be able to memorize. However, once you get it down, you'll never doubt yourself. Even if you have to take some time to slow down, just slow it down a little bit and actually recognize what it is that you're doing. What notes are you playing? You'll be able to quickly identify which notes you should be playing while you're playing. Let's try C. We want to start on C. Okay? Moving into D, E, F, G, a scene, no sharps, no flat. We now know the circle of fifths using our natural notes. Now what if those notes are flat or sharp? How will we know what's in, let's say an, a flat major scale. We simply reverse the circle and go the other way. This time, we're going to start with B, and naturally it's going to now become B flat. Now, looking at our circle of fifths. What is the first flat that we're going to incorporate an a B flat chord. Now of course we have B-flat already. However, what's the next note in the sequence of B, E, a, D, G, C, F is E. So now we know that if we were in B-flat, then we would play B-flat, C, D, E flat, F, G, a, B-Flat, C is the same concept. Except for this time you get to actually start with the very first letter, which is B flat. If I were to tell you to play E flat major, what would that look like? Of course, we have B-flat, E-flat. So what we have next? A flat, Great job. Now, what about if I told you to play the a flat major scale? I think you're getting this concept. It's making a lot of sense, right? Exactly. In all we would do is take this scale and apply it to our fretboard. Now, if I go beyond the fifth fret, what happens is, is that this A-Flat becomes a. And then I can find B-flat right here on my sixth fret of the low E string, all I have to do is shift up to the sixth fret of the low E string, okay, and apply that same major scale shapes that we've been using through the fretboard. This time we're calling out our notes. Okay, so we've got B-flat, E-flat number, we got B-flat and E-flat, F, G. We've got a, and then we're back to our octave. This technique can be applied in any situation, the circle of fifths allows you to know exactly what sharps and flats are in a major scale. Now of course, we already know if we wanted to make any of these keys minor, we would flatten what the third note exactly and apply that same scale shape to our guitars. So now you know what the circle of fifths is. You are able to know exactly what nodes are in a scale, whether they're flat, sharp, or just plain old natural. I love this because it allows you to be able to communicate with other musicians because you'll know what key you're in, you know what chords are playing. If asked to take a solo, you could do it without really thinking too hard. Practice taking your time and learning exactly what notes are on your fretboard. Go beyond the fourth fret this time, try to create your own mnemonic devices to be able to remember exactly what nodes are where on the fretboard, record yourself, hear yourself back. Practice trying to be able to hear the difference between a major and a minor scale. As always, practice, practice, practice, practice. I can't say it enough. And I'll see you soon. 11. Final Thoughts : It's official. You have begun to learn music theory. By breaking down these fundamental concepts, you'll be able to easily form building blocks in order to understanding more complicated content, thus making you a better musician. I want you to download the PDFs of the major, minor and minor pentatonic scales. Practice playing the scales over the songs that were already provided and you learned in previous lessons. I want you to have some fun experiment with these scales. I just want you to get more comfortable with hearing these nodes over various cords. And I want you to, using the formulas that we know and the circle of fifths, write out your major and minor scales and upload them to the project gallery. As always, I want you to enjoy yourself. This is fun. This is the building blocks to freedom and creative expression. Share this with a friend, tried teaching another friend which you've already learned sometimes just by teaching, we end up learning. Have fun, enjoy yourself. And I will see you in the next class.