What’s happening, everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here. Today is one of my favorite lessons, because it involves kind of clearing up some techniques that a lot of people get really confused by. What we’re going to do is we’re going to take two chords, and then we’re also going to take a piece of a scale, and a piece of an arpeggio, and tie them into some kind of musical exercise that you can do, that you can build off and use your own creativity, and maybe just kind of demystify some of the fret board learning stuff.
Right? So, make sure you click the link below to grab the tab for this, but the whole thing is essentially going to sound like this.
We have two chords, and then a couple of ideas, just different idea that you can use for any chord, really, but it starts out super simple. E-minor, the people’s favorite chord. Open E, two A with your middle finger, or whatever. Some people like doing the like this.
Some people like doing it like this. I feel like this way is kind of the discount way to play E-minor. Playing it middle finger first then ring finger is the classy way. Do whatever you want; no judgment. This is just classier.
Ring finger, second fret on the D string. All six, okay? The way we’re going to strum it is going to sound like this. One, two, three, four. Okay? It’s a little bit dynamic, how we’re doing it, instead of just … we’re getting a root note, E, on the one.
The A string, which is the fifth of the chord, on the two. One, two, three. The three is a downstroke, and then four-and is a down and an up. One, two, three, four-and. Or, down, down, down, down-down. It’s like, oh yeah, cool. That’s fine. That’s E-minor.
Really easy to do, but I want to do something a little bit different, and the first thing people try to look up when they want to improve their guitar chops is maybe how to play scales, why you even need scales. A lot of times, the pentatonic scale is the first thing that they do, but they usually learn it in different positions.
It’s always the same position, like that open one that we just played, or maybe if they learn the A-minor pentatonic. We’re going to take this shape and we’re going to apply it to the seventh fret of the A string, which happens to be an E.
So, seven A is an E note, just like open E. That’s just the same note a pitch higher, an octave higher, right? We can play that pentatonic shape that you probably already know. Seven, 10, on the A string. Seven, nine on the D string. Seven, nine on the G string.
Okay? Just like that. Now, it’s the same thing as doing this. Open three, open two, open two. But that’s going to be in the same position as an open chord that we already learned, so one thing that this is forcing us to do is getting outside of maybe the very familiar box.
And then we’re going to climb up the scale: A string, seven, 10; D string, seven, nine. I’m playing seven on the G string, and then I’m going back to nine on the D string. One, two, three, four-and. Now, you’ll notice, like, how did I get there so fast between the and, the four, and the one? The downbeat is going to be seven A.
Well, the cool thing is you can actually abandon this chord early. One, two, three, four-and. Okay? What I did there is four-and is really just a down-up. Now, the cool thing about E-minor is if you just play the top three strings, those are all in the chord, so you can go down, up.
And in fact, that’s a good exercise just to do on its own. Down, up. Down up, one, two, three. Down, up, one, two, three. Just like that, to kind of get the flow of it, but the whole exercise as going to be tabbed out is going to be a … because it’s going through the pentatonic scale. The E-minor pentatonic scale.
And then pivoting and going backwards, which is something that you’ll do in a lot of different solos, okay? It is kind of musical. Not super musical, but it is the scale. You’re practicing your scale. You’re doing it in a musical context, because we’re taking it in rhythm. One, two, three, four-and. One-and, two-and, three, four.
One, two, three, four. One-and, two-and, three-and, four-and. One, two, three. You can add any combination of that. However you want to slice up those notes, right there, one, two, three, four, five, six, six different notes that you have at your disposal. Just work on kind of writing it from a open chord, to the notes down here, to kind of get in a different position.
You’re using kind of different techniques as far as chord strumming, and then maybe single note, and playing with your pick, or your thumb, however you’re doing it, and then back to the chord. The next thing we’re going to do is you’re going to do the same thing, kind of, but with a different chord and a different mindset.
After this, one, two, three, four-and. One-and, two-and, three, four. We’re doing a different chord. Okay, so we’re going to a G-major chord. Right here, middle finger, third fret on the E string, pointer finger second fret on the A string, B and G strings are open, ring finder is third fret on the B string.
You could also do this one, where your ring and your pinky are on the third frets of the B and E string, respectively, or you could just do open B, three. It doesn’t matter; they’re all just different types of G-major. None of them are better than the others, except for this one, which I’m using, which makes it classy, so that’s why we’re using this G-major.
Same strumming pattern, but now we’re going to add this to it. All right? What I have here is a G-major arpeggio. An arpeggio is when you play the chord one note at a time, so instead of strumming it or playing an open chord arpeggio, we’re going to take them single notes at a time. The G on the D string is this guy, right here.
The fifth fret. We’re going to go five, seven, nine, and I want you to use these fingers. The pointer, the ring finger for the seventh fret, and then take it two frets higher with the ring finger. The reason you want to do that because that lines your pointer finger up with the seventh fret on the D string, which is a D note, so the notes here would be G, A, B, D.
Technically, a G chord is G, B, and D notes, in any order, in any arrangement you want. That’s going to give you G-major chord, but the reason this is a nice arpeggio is because we have this A note that transitions us to the B and then we’re going to go back.
So, G, A, B, D, B, A. Or, fret-wise, five, seven, nine, seven G, nine D, seven D. Super slow would be … back to G. Just like before, I abandon the chord on that last upstroke to get into the position, and then you go back to the E-minor. Maybe two times on E-minor, to G. Notice how I’m kind of sliding it back.
Sliding it back always kind of makes it sound pretty cool too, so something else you might want to incorporate in your playing. Not necessary. It’s just one thing I do a lot. Really, the point here isn’t just to play an E-minor and then the E-minor pentatonic scale, or just a G-major and then the notes that make up a G-major chord.
It’s really to kind of visualize different things that are really the same thing. An E-minor chord opens up this sequence or pattern of different notes. A G-major chord can be extended with this pattern of sequence of notes. Because E-minor and G-major go together all the time, so do these positions, right? In fact, right there, when you do that arpeggio, you’ll notice the last three notes, one two three four.
This arpeggio can run you into this shape, okay? So, five D, seven D, nine D, seven G, now I go from the arpeggio back into the scale, nine, seven G. Nine, seven, D. 10, seven, E. Walk that back into an E-minor chord. Okay?
A million different things you can do with this. This is just maybe one way to kind of help visualize that E-minor isn’t just here. A scale, it isn’t just here. These are the same things. A G-major isn’t just here. Its notes aren’t just here. They’re the same things, just played a little bit differently, and once you can start playing things differently, you’ll never, ever get bored playing guitar. I think your playing is going to expand.
Because you can kind of, maybe take different creative chances going higher up on the fret board, and kind of using some of these tricks and tips to your advantage. Again, make sure you click the link, because we tabbed everything out, and then make sure you check out other videos by myself here on the Guitar Control channel and other great instructors, and let us know what kind of content you want to see next, and we will deliver it.
Thanks so much.
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