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  • Demetri Besougloff

Blog #10: "Root 5 Power Chords" putting all this theoretical knowledge to good use.

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

For information about private lessons and questions, please visit me at Demetri4.com.

Here is the YouTube link to the video that goes with this blog: http://bit.ly/3uCX9lx


Blog #10 I am introducing the "Root 5 Power Chord" and the notes on the A string.

Objectives: 1. Learn the natural notes on the A string. 2. Learn to build the "Root 5 Power Chord." 3. Recognize that the note on the A string is the "Root 5 Power Chord's" name.

To understand the guitar, start with the names of the open strings. Open string: Open is the full length of the string. Open string names: The strings, starting closest to your knees (1) and moving to your chin (6), are numbered --high E-1, B-2, G-3, D-4, A-5, and low E-6. To remember the names of your open strings, use the acronym --Easter (1)-bunnies (2)-get (3)-dizzy (4)-at (5)-Easter (6).


The next challenge is to learn the natural notes on the fretboard --A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. For example:

  • The string closest to your knee is "high E." When we push against the 1st fret, the string becomes shorter and produces the higher note, F.

  • The second string open is B. When we push against the 1st fret, we get the note C.


Check this blog's end for a fretboard (fret) definition.


Today, we will be concentrating on the fifth string - A. The fifth string open is "A."

Looking at the Circle:

  1. We start by adding the correct note name to each number on the "Root 5 Power Chord" circle.

  2. The numbers inside the Circle are the frets on your guitar.

  3. There's a blank dot at the top of the Circle.

  4. On the Circle, the note names repeat when moving past the blank dot.

For example, the A string's 2nd fret (dot #2) is B. Continuing clockwise around the Circle past the blank dot to dot #2 (14th fret), we get the note B again. These two B's are an Octave.

Octave: the distance between one note (like B) and the next note bearing its same name (the next B that's either higher or lower). The octave is important because fret #12 and the open string (#0) have the same note name. So use #12/0 to recognize the blank dot on your Circle.

Write the note names on the "Root 5 Power Chord" page in your workbook: First, begin by placing the letter "A" (fifth string open) above the blank dot at the top of the Circle. Next, add the number "12/0" under the same dot. Now, beginning with A at the #12/0 fret, move clockwise two dots and

  • place the note B at fret #2

  • C at #3

  • D at #5

  • E at #7

  • F at #8

  • Gat#10

  • We are finally moving two dots back to "A" at fret #12/0. Great job!


Check this blog's end for a brief introduction to chord shapes and an explanation of the letter dots (natural notes) and blank dots (chromatic notes). However, we will concentrate on only the natural notes today.



Now, begin to play. The numbering of the fingers we use to fret the notes are: • The 1st finger is the pointer.

• The 2nd finger is the middle.

• The 3rd finger is the ring. • The 4th finger is the pinky.


1. Playing a single note. Being careful to play the correct fret, place the 1st finger on the "A" string's 2nd fret. Then, with the other hand, pick only the A string -say and play B. Move your first finger to the • 3rd fret - say and play C

• 5th fret-D • 7th fret-E • 8th fret-F • 10th fret - G • 12th fret - A • finally, on the 14th fret -say and play B We begin playing here because the "Root 5 Power Chord's" name is on the fifth string.

Using the Circle as a guide, play the notes ascending and descending as comfortably on the fretboard as possible. You may only be able to reach the 10th fret on your guitar, and that's ok. Great job!

Give yourself enough time to gain command before moving to the next exercise.

2. Playing two notes (power chord). We can move further into the "Root 5 Power Chord" by adding the fourth (D) string to our exercise. • 3rd finger is on the D string's 4th fret.

• 1st finger is on the A string's 2nd fret.

Start by playing the A string and then the D. Next, pick only those two strings together -say and play B. You are now playing a "Root 5 Power Chord." Focusing on the first finger and keeping both fingers two frets apart, move your first finger to the • 3rd fret -say and play C

• 5th fret-D • 7th fret-E • 8th fret-F • 10th fret - G • 12th fret - A • finally, on the 14th fret -say and play B Remember, you may only be able to go to the 10th fret. Great Job!


3. Playing three notes (power chord). We can move further into the "Root 5 Power Chord" by adding the third (G) string to our exercise. • 4th finger is on the G string's 4th fret.

• 3rd finger is on the D string's 4th fret.

• 1st finger is on the A string's 2nd fret.

Pick only those three strings together -say and play B. Focusing on the first finger and keeping the other fingers on their relative frets, move the first finger to the • 3rd fret -say and play C

• 5th fret-D • 7th fret-E • 8th fret-F • 10th fret - G • 12th fret - A • finally, on the 14th fret -say and play B Great Job!

Demetri

There is much more to learn about the "Root 5 Power Chord."

Next, Blog #11: The "Root 6 Power Chord."


For information about private lessons and questions, please visit me at Demetri4.com.

Here is the YouTube link to the video that goes with this blog: http://bit.ly/3uCX9lx

Demetri's notes: Chord shapes give us the freedom to do various things on our instruments. For example, an open chord uses the nut to play open strings. A chord shape replaces the nut with the first finger. Using the first finger to retain the open chord shape gives us different chords as we move up the neck. These chords are impossible with open strings. Here's another example, we can play the same chord in different places on the neck by changing the chord shape. There are many other reasons to embrace chord shapes. I plan on dedicating an entire series to the subject.


Fretboard: The fretboard is on the neck of the guitar. The neck is the long skinny part sticking out from the guitar's body. The fretboard is where we place our fingers to find the other notes. We push our fingers against the frets (metal wires) embedded into the fretboard. Pushing against the fret, in turn, changes the length of the strings. Shortening the string makes the sound (pitch) move higher (towards the woman's voice range). As a note moves higher in pitch, it moves clockwise on The Circle through the musical alphabet.


The Natural Note Circle: The spacing on the "Natural Note Circle" is --C-D (2 dots) apart, D-E (2 dots), E-F (1 dot), F-G (2 dots), G-A (2 dots), A-B (2 dots), and B-C (1 dot). Definitions:

  • Natural notes: are the seven dots with letter names on the Natural Note Circle in your workbook.

  • Altered notes: are the five blank dots on the Natural Note Circle. These altered notes are called chromatic.

  • Chromatic notes (blank dots): The Natural Note Circle is very helpful in visualizing the relationship of a natural note to its chromatic. A chromatic is a note altered by an accidental.

  • Accidental: is a symbol (sharp "#" or flat "b") that indicates the altered note is a 1/2 step higher or lower than its natural note.

  • Sharp (#): a sharp sign indicates the altered note 1/2 step higher.

  • Flat (b): a flat sign indicates the altered note 1/2 step lower.




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