This Week on the Guitar Blog...


Speed Learning for Guitar
This week's "GuitarBlog" covers getting better at the way that we learn and memorize song parts, (both physically and with the shapes on our guitar neck). Individual success with this will obviously vary from student to student. But, one thing is for sure - every time we learn a new idea we process information in a, "personal pattern," (using a specific learning order and sequence). This means, generally, if we can't quickly memorize and consistently nail down a guitar part during a performance, we're likely not applying enough learning methods, or the correct learning sequence /style of learning. The solution is using a two part process that will; #1. involve several different learning strategies, and #2. have us designing a new group of learning sequences that cause the riff (or the lick) to become more highly aware to our senses. This will ultimately cause us to become more alert and responsive toward the guitar part that we are trying to commit to memory.


RELATED VIDEOS for "Speed Learning for Guitar":
Top 5 Guitar Practicing Tips


The Speed Practice System


For more resources on the topic of Harmony and Theory, visit the course pages at Creative Guitar Studio / Harmony and Theory.


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I have hundreds of lessons here on my Blog site... Many have FREE MP3 Jam Tracks as well as PDF Lesson Handouts. Use the Search Box (up in the top right navigation menu) to find video lessons & blogs. My most recent guitar lesson videos are below... Enjoy and please consider a donation to help support this Guitar Blog & the Creative Guitar Studio online lesson projects.


Recent Video Lessons



November 20, 2015:
Dorian and Reggae Music


In this guitar lesson, I am going to run through examples of how the Dorian mode can be used within Reggae situations and how you can begin working Dorian mode ideas into your next Reggae jam session. Watch the video lesson to find out more, and Download the FREE MP3 JamTrack and PDF lesson handout for the practice examples.

Dorian and Reggae Music


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Guitar Blog Q and A



Your EmailQ: Hi Andrew...

I just wanted to say thanks for making your Understanding Music Intervals lesson. You taught me in 15 minutes what my private lesson trombone teacher in school couldn’t teach me in more than 5 years of weekly lessons... just wanted to ask a question about the dim7.  


It seems to be an interval only in name since when you play it, it would sound as a major 6?  At least taking your example as C to B as a 7th, B flat as a minor 7th and then B double flat as a diminished 7th... effectively that makes the played interval C to A or a Major 6th, if I’m trying to identify the interval by ear.


What context can you use to make the decision on something you’re just listening to, to try to identify? Lastly, I noticed that the symbol you use for double sharp has dots in it but I was never taught a symbol with dots.  Is that a Canadian vs. United States difference?  I can’t seem to find the symbol you drew on a quick Google search.

- Nathan




A: Hi Nathan...

Thanks, glad that video helped you. The Dim.7 and the Ma6 are what is known of as, Enharmonic. The difference between naming them will come to front and center if you wanted a distance of a 6th or a distance of a 7th.


Generally, this would come up most often when constructing chords, arpeggios, or various scales and you’re using several intervals together. For example, the Ma6 would be applied in the context of constructing a triad or arpeggio of major or minor quality. But, the Dim. 7 would be applied when constructing a Diminished chord, the Diminished arpeggio, or harmonizing the Harmonic Minor scale’s seventh degree, (which would be the Dim. 7 chord).


Keep in mind that although intervals are taught in theory as the distance of one note to another, they are generally used inside of situations where there are more than two notes. So, as you assumed in your question, their names are dependent upon the context in which they are used. As far as simple listening to note distances, (when perhaps analyzing a song by ear), I’d say 9 times out of 10 I’d name this particular distance as a Ma6.


Lastly, in regard to that double-sharp symbol... That type I had drawn was what would be called Manuscript Style. I found it in a Books.Google search for Theory and Technique for Music Notation. The book by Mark McGrain (page 37). Modern software such as Finale does not show the double sharp in that manner, just as an X.


Thanks for writing in. - Andrew Wasson


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