What’s going on everybody? Sean Daniel here with Guitar Control. Today is a very important lesson because we are going to make a connection between guitar scales and guitar chords in a key which I think is a very, very essential part in really understanding how the fretboard works and really just kind of knowing how you can maybe add to simple things you already know how to do on acoustic guitar and just kind of make it sound a little more interesting, right?
So, make sure you click the link below, because you’re going to tab out everything we’re doing here. And essentially, what it comes down to is, we’re going to work in the key of C, we’re going to use the six main chords in the key of C, so we’re going to learn all those first. And then, we’re going to learn how to play all seven notes in the key of C, it’s only seven notes, in the exact same location where you’ll play the chords, and then kind of be able to start combining those. Okay?
So it’s really important to know that in the key of C, the most common key in music, there’s only six main chords: three major chords, three minor chords. C major, F major, and G major, just like this.
And then D minor, E minor and A minor.
Okay. Now, if you notice, I never went beyond the third fret, okay? You never go up here just to learn the basic stuff here. Now, there’s a lot of value to learning how these work along the fretboard, which you have other videos by myself and other great instructors on the Guitar Control channel, which is why you have to subscribe, because we talk about a lot of this. But I want to really just nail home the connection between all these chords and then talk about how we can start using those scales to really make music out of it, instead of just being like, okay, I’m just going to memorize the scale and really not know what to do with it.
So, there’s only seven notes in the key of C: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Those seven notes can become cords, like the ones we just talked about or they can just become notes that you play in a scale. So, before we get to the chords, I want to just run through all those notes on the first open to third fret of the guitar across all of the strings, right?
So, like I said, it’s just C, D, E, F, G, A, B. There’s no sharps or flats. That’s why it’s really, really easy to conceptually understand. But it’s important to know how you can play those. Okay? So, on the low E string we have E, F, G. So, all we’re doing is playing those notes in the key of C. We’re starting at the E because it’s E string, right? D, F, G, open one, three. So, at its very simplest, just try to memorize that open one, three, the key of C notes on the low E string. Then once you have that down, forward and backward. And then just maybe add another string, right? So, really just make these kind of bite size references that you can handle without having to kind of be like, oh geez, I have to learn all of this stuff, because it can get overwhelming quickly.
So, the A string is open two, three A, B, C. So, now we have open one, three, open two, three. So, now we’re onto the D string. D, E, F. This is the exact same thing frat wise as the A string open two, three, D string open two, three. Okay? So open one, three, open two, three, open two, three.
Next we’re going to the G string. Open G, right there. A, second fret. That’s all you have to know on this string for right now. Okay, so now I’ll say it to the whole thing. Open one, three, open two three, open two, three open two, to the B string, open one, three, which again, you can match that to low E string. Just kind of make a mental note that these are going to be the same frets, different notes, E, F, G versus B, C, D. And then finally the highest string. And another really easy way to remember that is the low E string and the high E string are the exact same string, just different pitches apart. So, whatever it is on the low E string, it has to be on the high E string. Open one, three.
So, all together, and again make sure you click the link below because I have the tab for all this, it’s open one, three, open two, three, open two, three, open two, open one, three, open one, three.
Really super easy to remember this. Half of the strings are just open one three being both E strings and the B strings. Two of six are just open two, three. And then the other one is just open two, right? So, however you want to check that together to make sure you never, ever forget that it’s really important.
So, now I’ll ask you to do the chords and then let’s start combining. Okay, so the first chord in the key of C, the C major. A couple different ways to play it for sure. I think the most traditional way to play it is ring finger on the third fret of the A string, middle finger, second fret of the D string. Open G, point your finger first fret of the B string. You can play all six if you want. Usually sounds best when the root note is lowest, so the bottom five strings. Okay?
Now, from there we’re going to go to the next note in that key which is a D, C, D. D minor is the chord in the key of C. Open D, middle finger, two G, pinky or ring finger, whichever is easy for you. Third fret on the B string, pointer finger. First fret on the E string.
Now, you may have already started to make the connection that all the notes that we’re actually playing to make these chords we already have played once we go through the scale because these chords are made with notes of the scale.
The third chord in the key of C is E minor. Easiest chord in the book, right? Middle finger, second fret of the A string. Ring finger, second fret of the D string. The four chord is F major. Lot of different ways to play an F major. I think we’re just going to go with this one right here. Forget this bar chord way just to make it easy. Ring finger, third fret of the A string. Pinkie, third fret of the D string. Middle finger, second fret of the G string. Pointer finger, first fret of the B string.
The five chord, what’s the letter after F? G. Right here. Another pretty easy one. Middle finger, third fret of the low E string. Pointer finger, second fret of the A string. Ring finger, you’ve got some options. You can do ring finger, three B, Pinkie, three E. We’re just going to go ring finger three E. Again, couple of different ways to play a G major. None of them are better than others, they’re just different.
And then the sixth chord, C, D, E, F, G, A, A minor. So, take that E minor shape, move it down a string. Pointer finger on the first fret. Okay, so now we can play all the chords, all the main chords in the key of C. C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, back to C. We can also play all the notes in any of these positions. E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G.
So, once you have those two very important pieces of information memorized, where you can kind of just call on them in any order, you’re playing with fire now because you can alter any single one of those chords with any of the notes that we just played. So, for an example, let’s go back to that number one chord, right? C major.
Now let’s focus on just the bottom two strings, the B and the E string. Remember we have … if we just start playing the notes on B you just get that open one, three, open one, three. Now we can inflect a C major chord with any of those. Right now the pointer finger is on the first fret. The pointer finger could be open because open one, three, right? You can put these over a chord. And all of a sudden we kind of have three different chords.
Now, these chords will all have their own individual name if you really want to get into it, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, which I always really was. If we can take your pointer finger off that’s a C major seven, C major when you’re pinky finger is on the third fret of the B string. That’s a C add nine. So, you can think of it as three different chords or you can think of it as one chord kind of being inflected.
We do the same thing by adding the high E string. Okay? So, really just start experimenting. You can do this with all of the chords. Thunder over there. You can use all the chords in the key of C, right? So we have C. You can do the same thing with D. E. F. G. A minor. And it’s all going to lead back to C.
So, conceptually it’s really kind of a fun thing to start just maybe going through a chord scale. And this is why you want to learn scales, especially in a position where you already know the chords because you can start combining them together and just kind of make your playing a little more interesting. So, if you have a song that is just maybe like C to G, just get a little creative and start kind of just experimenting and that key. It’s the best way to train your ear. So, essentially just stay on a C to G.
I really think that’s one of the best ways to really get a better understanding of how notes in a scale work with chords in a scale. This is just one example of a million different ones you try out. I really can’t stress enough just to … instead of really trying to play something how anybody else plays it, just learn where those notes are in a position and then start to combine them with chords that you know and you’ll see your playing really kind of take off. And I think you’ll probably even have more fun playing the instrument coming from a leveraged place of understanding.
So again, make sure you click that link below because all that is tabbed out and really easy to understand. And then check out other videos on the Guitar Control channel by myself, other great instructors and let us know as always, what you guys want to see more of and we will deliver it. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll talk to you soon.