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NeilES335

Session 7 - Barre Chords on the 6th String

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I'm trying to wrap up Session 7, but I'm not quite sure what should I actually know from the music theory part to confidently move forward. I can spell out all the scales without any thought. Am I ready to move on? Should I know by heart the notes that are sharpened/flattened for each scale?

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Hi, @Stefan , way to go! Session 7 is a big step. The answer to your question really depends on where you want to go on guitar. But I would advise: yes, unequivocally, learn all 12 scales. The flats, sharps, and key signatures. Give it a couple of minutes every day until, as Steve says, you can say them as fast as you can write them, even as you start on Session 8. The payoffs are big. Knowing the scales will demystify intervals and prepare you for spelling any chord in the book. And when you practice all those scales, as in Steve's major scales workout, the fretboard begins to open up. You start seeing notes instead of dots. Go for it.

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Way to go, Stefan. Now to answer your question, while being practical:

Somebody did some research and found that in thirty million songs, one-third of them are written in the four major keys of G, C, D, and A. The most common keys of songs written in minor keys are Am, Em, and Bm. It’s noted that Am is the relative minor of C, Em is the relative minor of G, and Bm is the relative minor of D. Also E#m is the relative minor of A, one of the four common keys. Add to this the fact that G is the most easy key to play on guitar.

If you consider that guitarists often accompany piano, the key of C is the most common key for a piano, but not so much for a guitar. E is easy to play on guitar, but not piano. The key of G is easy to play on both piano and guitar.

What does all this mean? If you memorize the keys of G, C, D, A, Am, Em, Bm, and E#m, you’ll probably be able to play just about any song solo or accompany a piano player. And memorizing eight keys is much easier than putting the entire Circle of Fifths to memory. It’s a practical answer to your question. And let's not forget that wonderful thing called a Capo. Lotsa luck. Best, John

Edited by John Wells
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Lesson 7 has been an eye opener for me.  When I started this course I had been using some of the basic barre chords on both the 5th and 6th strings, but apparently not for long enough sessions to see that I had finger strength issues.  I find that now, after a week (and a sore wrist) I'm more accurate and smooth with my 6th string barre chords (with the exception of the 6 string C's and D's when I start getting tired)...still working on the hand strength issue.  

Another thing I found is that although I've gotten pretty smooth on the 6th string barre chord changes, on the last page of exercises in the resource book, where you combine open chords and barre chords, I find that my open chord changes are pretty rusty now, after getting to a point where they were pretty smooth at the end of session 6.  I'm now thinking that maybe I need to add to my practice warm up chord changes for every chord I know, along with my pentatonic scales, etc.  Is this typical, that you need to keep practicing chord changes for all the chords you know as you move forward in learning guitar?  I'm thinking of starting at A and changing from A to Am, A to A7...through all of the chords, open and barre, then doing the same pivoting from Am, and so on as an exercise, probably one pivot chord per day...60 chord changes (probably one bar per chord) once I include the 5th string barre chords each day.  Does anyone have any insight into whether this makes sense or has another way to keep improving my chord changes?

I "played the guitar" many years ago but only learned a few open chords and some barre chords, I'm realizing now how much practice is required to really play chords well, and how technical chords are in relation to other guitar skills.  It seems to me that if you can master chords, the other stuff will come much easier.

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@ScottH You're progressing well Scott. Many students experience the same. Your hands are building strength as you do this so it's normal they get tired. Try not to use all "grip strength". If you pull the guitar towards you as well as grip, you'll lessen the strain on your hands and wrist. Yes you should still practice open chords as well, while you're learning /practising barre chords. But you don't have to do 60 at a time! Try picking a key and play the chords in open position and then in barre chords (lLike key of C ; C, D, E, F, G, A, B; no sharps or flats, in major then minor, then 7ths) Next day try another key, Switch back and forth from Open to Barre. Try barre chords in a simple song with 3 chords. 

You're right that when you know your chords in a given key, you're on the way. 

Neil

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Thanks Neil!  Makes sense, I had no idea about pulling the guitar toward me, nice.  For the chords, I’ll work the keys like you said, Which will help my scale memorization at the same time, thanks.

 

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2 hours ago, ScottH said:

Thanks Neil!  Makes sense, I had no idea about pulling the guitar toward me, nice.  For the chords, I’ll work the keys like you said, Which will help my scale memorization at the same time, thanks.

 

@ScottH And Scott..  for those simple songs with chords  in a given key, focus on the root ( the "1" chord) the 4th( Major ) chord and 5th (Dominant 7th) chords . This is a very common chord "1,4,5" progression, (especially in the Blues) and you'll find yourself stumbling upon some familiar sounding songs🎸. A lot more fun this way!

(You could also try "1(major), 6(minor), 4(major), 5( domanant 7th)" chord progression, for a '50's, '60''s style pop rock progression.

N

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I have really fell off from this course. But due to this COVID-19 pandemic happening and having a lockdown commencing in South Africa soon. I feel that going back to the course will help me cope through these difficult times.
 

I have recently completed session 6 and I am very excited to get going with session 7.

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@Karabo, good to hear from you.  I think there are a lot of people are using music to help "cope through these difficult times."  For some of us it's listening to it.  For others of us, many of us on here, it's picking up that guitar and trying to create some.  Please keep us up-to-date on how you are progressing.

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I got to a point where I was getting the Major and minor barres to sound good and getting all the strings to sound with the other forms.  However, I'm a little paranoid and indecisive if my wrist is too far forward/bent, but if I try to reduce the amount of bend then the m7, sus, 7 barre chords go back to being muffled.   Does anyone have a good definitive source for wrist position?  Steve mentions to make sure the wrist comes forward a bit and not to have it completely behind the neck and it definitely seems easier to barre the further forward the wrist is, but I don't want to end up with carpal tunnel.

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7 hours ago, S Bach said:

I got to a point where I was getting the Major and minor barres to sound good and getting all the strings to sound with the other forms.  However, I'm a little paranoid and indecisive if my wrist is too far forward/bent, but if I try to reduce the amount of bend then the m7, sus, 7 barre chords go back to being muffled.   Does anyone have a good definitive source for wrist position?  Steve mentions to make sure the wrist comes forward a bit and not to have it completely behind the neck and it definitely seems easier to barre the further forward the wrist is, but I don't want to end up with carpal tunnel.

You might want to try a slightly different playing position with the headstock raised making the fretboard on a 45 degree  angle to your body. This puts less strain on your wrist and make fretting barre chords easier.

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Posted (edited)

This is a great resource for learning the notes on your string.  It randomizes note names and also has an optional timer to automatically switch notes.  I learn all my natural notes on the strings then start with the enharmonic/flat/sharp notes.  I do one note at a time.  5 mins or less a day will give great results after a week or two.  Say em and play em!

https://random.bretpimentel.com/

Edited by Jusca

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