The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical Notation (Guitar Lesson)

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Chris Liepe

The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical Notation

Chris is back with his most information packed lesson to date. In this lesson, you will learn how to read tablature, chord charts and musical notation. All of these tools will drastically help you in your journey to learn guitar.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Basic Electric Guitar with Chris seriesLength: 25:38Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: What is Covered
This lesson covers many key aspects of the guitar that new musicians sometimes neglect. This lesson does not necessarily deal with playing, but supplementary skills that you absolutely need to know. Here is a rundown of lesson topics:
- Review of string names
- Tab explanation and its uses
- Chord charts - different variations
- The basics of reading musical notation
Chapter 2: Review of String Names
Without learning the string names, a true understanding of the guitar is nearly impossible to achieve. This information may not seem useful to you now, but learning this information will build the foundation for movable chord shapes, scales, and many other skills you will learn in the future.

The string names in order from low to high are as follows - E, A, D, G, B, e. In terms of numbers, the strings are labeled (in the same order) 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Every fret has a number attached to it. A string played open is labeled with a "0." A note played at the first fret of the 6th string is labeled with a "1." Now that you know the string names, can you figure out which note is produced at this location?

Chapter 3: Tab Explanation
- The tablature system uses six lines that represent the six strings on the guitar.
- The lowest line represents the lowest (or E string) on the guitar.
- The highest line represents the highest (or e string) on the guitar.
- Refer to the included chart included below.
- A number on one of the lines represents the fret and the string that you are to produce a certain note.
- A "0" indicates that the string is to be played "open."
- The black dots directly above the numbers and strings represent the musical notation version of what is being played. (Musical notation is be covered later in this lesson.)
- Tablature is read from left to right just like a book.
- When notes are stacked on top of each other, they are strummed or played together. When notes are spread out one-by-one, they are played left to right.
- When there is an unfamiliar symbol or drawing in the tab you receive from this lesson set, look for notes on the page itself explaining those markings. As we explore more techniques, more ways of communicating those techniques will be discussed.
- Let's play through the tab in Diagram 1 within the Supplemental Content:

Tab is generally used to communicate musical events over time such as a song, part of a song, or a progression of notes.

Chapter 4: Reading Chord Charts
Chord charts are used to communicate how and where a certain chord is fingered. They do not communicate an order or time line that the notes or chords are to be played in. This can be seen in Diagram 2 within the Supplemental Content

- Chord charts are written as though the guitar is hanging on a wall as though it were in a guitar store.
- The vertical lines are the strings.
- The far left line is the low E string.
- The far right line is the hi e string.
- The horizontal lines are the frets.
- The dots represent where you place your fingers.
- The numbers below the chart indicate which finger you use to fret a note.
- The "0"s above the chart indicate that there is no note fretted, but the string is still played.
- The "X" indicates that the string is not played.
- A number to the left of the chart indicates what the starting fret position is. Ex: A "5" would indicate that the the starting fret in the diagram is the fifth fret.

Chapter 5: The Basics of Musical Notation
- The horizontal lines are called a "staff."
- Guitarists read notes in what is called the "treble clef."
- Note names go from A to G in the musical alphabet.
- Each one of these notes has either a line or a space on the staff associated with it.
- Here are the notes that are based on the staff with the corresponding TAB positions.
- Lines: (Please see Diagram 3 within the Supplemental Content)

- Spaces: (Please see Diagram 4 within the Supplemental Content)

- A handy acronym for remembering the Line Notes is: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.
- The spaces are easy to remember. When read from low to high, they spell the word "FACE."
- Many of the notes on the guitar are written above or below the standard five lines on the staff. To figure out what the name of the note is above or below the staff, simply count up alphabetically (ranging from A to G) from the top line or down alphabetically below the bottom line.
- If you were to count down from the first line (or an "E" note) to the next line below you would first count the space below the line which would be "D." Then the line below that "D" space would be "C."

Chapter 6: Musical Notation Continued
- Here's an example with note names: ((Please see Diagram 5 within the Supplemental Content)
- Musical notation not only displays note names, but also time and rhythm.
- The treble clef symbol appears at the far left of a musical score.
- The numbers to the right of the clef sign indicate the time signature.
- If you look at the note illustration just above the clef and time signature you will see a bar divider between the two sets of notes.
This bar divides two measures.

Types of Notes:
- Whole note
- Half note
- Quarter note
- Eighth note
- Sixteenth note

- The bottom number on the time signature tells you which note takes up one beat. The top number tells you how many beats there are in the measure. - Since the number in the example is a 4, the quarter note would receive one beat, and it would be counted as "1,2,3,4... 1,2,3,4... etc." - If the bottom number were a 2, the half note would receive one beat and it would be counted "1,2... 1,2... etc." - In our 4/4 time signature, you would count quarter notes as "1,2,3,4." You would count eighth notes as "1&, 2&, 3&, 4&." You would count sixteenth notes as "1e&a, 2e&a, 3e&a, 4e&a."
- Whole notes take up a whole measure.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Hey guys this is Chris Liepe with

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This is lesson number four in the beginner lesson series.

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Today we are going to be learning how to read tablature, chord charts and the basics of reading musical notation.

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Since this is the way that we will be communicating in this lesson series

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as well as a lot of the other teachers here this is beneficial stuff to know.

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Before we do that let's go ahead and do a quick review of strings, string names and frets etcetera.

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Then we will dive into learning tablature.

Scene 2

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Ok. So string name review.

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On the guitar you've got your sixth string, fifth string, fourth string, third string, second string and first string.

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The sixth string is the lowest string on the guitar.

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The first string is the highest.

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The names of these string are E, A, D, G, B and E.

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All of these are notated as capital letters except for the highest E string which is notated as a lower case e.

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Frets begin right after the nut.

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They start with one, two, three, four and they go this way.

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When you are asked to play first fret for example you are really playing in between the nut and the first fret.

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So you are playing right before the first fret if you are asked to play something on the first fret.

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There is the review of the strings.

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Let's get into the tablature.

Scene 3

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In this lesson it is really important that you follow along with the supplemental materials there is a lot of charts

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that we are going to be referring to and there is a lot of notes that if you are reading along as we're talking about this stuff

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it's going to help it sink in a little bit.

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So tablature.

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There are six lines that represent the six strings of the guitar.

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The lowest line represents your low E string or your sixth string.

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The highest line represents the first string.

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So if you look from the bottom of the tablature to the top of the tablature that is the way the guitar neck is laid out.

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Almost as if you were looking at the guitar neck flipped the other way.

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When you look at tablature you will see that there are numbers that are written on these lines.

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Those numbers represent which fret you are going to play on.

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So if you see a two on the lowest line in tablature you are going to be playing second fret on your E string.

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If you see a three on the third line from the top you are going to be playing third fret on your G string.

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If you see a zero you are going to be playing the string open.

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The reason tablature is so cool is because

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with the help of musical notation you get a sense for how music is played in time.

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So tablature communicates music played over time as opposed to

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chord charts which are just telling you where to place your hands.

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Whenever you are learning a song, whenever you are learning a drill from a lesson or a lick from a guitar magazine etcetera.

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This is going to be communicated in tablature.

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There are a lot of symbols and a lot of squiggly lines and things that happen to communicate other techniques on the guitar.

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We are not going to be worried about going through the whole glossary of that right now.

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It is more important the you understand the string order and the numbering system that gets you to play

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the frets that they are communicating to you to play.

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As we get into more advanced techniques in this lesson series I will be explaining the symbols that

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goes along with those things so that you can effectively read the tablature.

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If there is a new symbol in the tablature be sure to look in both the supplemental material as well as

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look on the tablature itself.

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There will likely be notes explaining if you see a little squiggly line what that squiggly line means over that note.

Scene 4

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Ok. So if you will refer to your supplemental content in the tablature section there is a little example piece of tab.

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Let's play through that slowly together so we can get an ideal of what the tab is communicating.

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So in the little section you've got your musical notation on top

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those are the black dots and you've got the numbers on the bottom.

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The very first set of numbers are stacked on top of each other there are two twelves so what that is saying is

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that we're going to play twelfth fret on our high E string as well as twelfth fret on our B string.

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We are going to play them at the same time since they are stacked on top of each other.

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Now you will see there that over the next couple notes it's all the same thing.

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So we are going to play the twelve, twelve, twelve thing and we're going to play that a total of four times.

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After that first section you see that you will only then play the twelfth fret on your B string.

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Then immediately following that you play your fifteenth fret on your B string.

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Then you play your twelfth fret on your high E string.

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As you can tell by how I'm playing through this tab is read from left to right just like a sentence is.

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The numbers alone don't really give you a sense of timing so if you were just looking at the numbers

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you would just be playing these things arbitrarily and that is where the musical notation comes in.

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We are going to get into the very basics of rhythm during this lesson also later on.

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It's very important when you are reading tablature since it isn't always covered with musical notation that you listen to

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whatever source material you are trying to play as you're reading along with the tablature.

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That way you can get the precise timing.

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In lessons that we do here there are always going to be musical notation covering the tablature so you

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can get a little ideal of the time and a little bit better of an ideal of the phrasing.

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That's the basics on tablature.

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Next we are going to cover how to read a chord chart.

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Chord charts are a convenient quick way to communicate a position on the guitar

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but you need chord charts, tablature and musical notation all together

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to communicate a whole song idea or a whole phrase idea.

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In the next session we will be doing chord charts.

Scene 5

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Ok. Chord Charts.

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These are easiest to read if you think of a guitar hanging on a wall and facing you.

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The vertical lines in the chord chart represent the strings.

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The horizontal lines in the chord chart represent the frets.

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If you look at one of them and again refer to the supplemental materials for this you can see kind of a grid.

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The far left vertical line in the chord chart refers to your low E string.

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The far right vertical line refers to your high E string.

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As you read from left to right you cover all of the strings.

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The frets. Starting with fret one go from top to bottom when you are looking at the chart.

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If there is a number out to the side directly to the left.

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Normally what we would call the first fret if there is a number that says five or six etcetera.

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That means that the chord chart starts at fret six.

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So whatever you would think of as normally fret one when you're looking at the chart

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you would actually begin up here at fret six and begin fretting those notes.

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The dots that you see and if you refer to the supplemental materials

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you will see that I have chords E and A already charted out.

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You have already worked on these chords if you are following my lesson series.

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This will be a really good opportunity to get familiar with how the chord chart works.

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The little black dots on the chart refer to where you place your fingers.

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According to this chart we've got a note here on the second fret on your A string,

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we've got a note on your second fret on your D string and a note on the first fret on your G string.

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Those are where the dots are placed on the chart.

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If you notice right above the chart directly below the name of the chord are little zero's above some of the strings.

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What that means is that you are going to play that string even though you are not fretting a note on the string.

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If you look at the A chart you've got a little x directly over your low E string.

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That means when you play this chord you are not going to play the low E string.

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Finally, below the chart you see little numbers.

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Those numbers are which fingers you are going to use to play the notes that are fretted.

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In this particular example I have the fingering of the E chord set up like this.

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Your second finger is going to be playing on the A string second fret.

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Your third finger is going to be playing on the D string second fret.

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Your first finger is going to be playing on the G string on the first fret.

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Then because of the zero's up above the chart you are going to be strumming all of the strings.

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This is slightly different than the fingering I had in the other lessons I was recommending people do it this way.

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Either way works.

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The A chord I have set up on this chord chart to play like this.

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You are not playing your low E string.

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Then you've got an open A string.

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Then with your first finger you are playing second fret on the D string.

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Second finger second fret G string.

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Third finger second fret B string and then your E string is open.

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When we get into bar chords in a later lesson if you have a line

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drawn across one of the frets so it would be a horizontal line in the chart.

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That is saying you are going to take your first finger, usually, and you are going to play across the entire neck.

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We will get into that technique in a little bit but as you start seeing chord charts show up like that, that is what that means.

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Next up is musical notation.

Scene 6

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In standard musical notation you have got five lines and you've got four spaces as opposed to six lines in tablature.

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Each one of these lines and spaces are assigned a note name.

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In the musical alphabet we refer to the notes as A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Then it starts over again.

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You have also got what are called accidentals which means you are taking for example an A and you are raising it or lowering it.

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An incremental amount that is not represented by jumping for example an A to B.

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When you add an accidental you see a little sharp sign which looks like a number sign

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or you see something that looks like a B which is called a flat.

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If you are raising the note a little bit it is a sharp.

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If you are lowering the note a little bit it is a flat.

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We will get into more precise definitions of that a little bit later.

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If you look at the supplemental materials here and follow along you will notice that I've got little examples of musical notation.

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I've outlined the names of the notes that happen on the lines of the staff.

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Those notes are E, G, B, D and F.

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The spaces are F, A, C and E.

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If you look down below those note names and those little black dots that correspond with the note names

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you see the tablature that is represented as those notes.

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My E in this particular case is going to be second fret on my D string.

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That is going to be the E that resides on the first line of the standard musical notation.

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My G is going to be my open G.

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That is going to be the second line of the musical notation.

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My B is going to be my open B.

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My D is going to be third fret on my B string.

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My F is going to be first fret on my E string.

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Playing those notes is really not musical at all but as you get familiar with these notes and reading the tablature

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it is going to be a way for you to check to make sure that you are playing the right notes.

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The spaces. The notes in between the lines are F, A, C and E.

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Those correspond to the guitar like this.

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Third fret D string is going to be the first space on the staff.

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Second fret G string is going to be the A so the second space.

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C is going to be the first fret on your B string.

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E is going to be your open E.

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A handy way to remember the order of lines and the order of spaces

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because in standard musical notation they don't write the name of the note above the note you have to know it.

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A handy acronym to remember the lines is…

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Every good boy deserves fudge or every good boy deserves fun or fireworks.

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Every good boy deserves fireworks is my favorite one.

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For spaces it is pretty easy to remember because the spaces just spell face.

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Now because so many of the notes on the guitar are played outside of those five lines and four spaces you have to be able

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to count above the staff and below the staff to find many of the notes.

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If my top line is going to be F, that is nowhere near the highest note of the guitar.

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There are a couple ways that things are notated in order to cover that.

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The first is if you see right before a phrase or a measure in the staff or in the notation if you see a little eight v a with some

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little dots after it that is going to communicate that you are playing things up twelve frets or down twelve frets.

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Usually you are communicating that you are playing it up.

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Twelve frets on the guitar is referred to as an octave.

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The other way that we do it is that we just simply add lines to the top of the staff and

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create notes that go well below and well above the standard five lines.

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That is probably the most frequent thing that you are going to see in most standard musical notation.

Scene 7

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If you refer to the supplemental content in the note section you will see that I have written out notes

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below the staff and above the staff.

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If you look at that below the staff we have got D, C, B, A and G.

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You notice I am counting backwards in the musical alphabet and then going back up to G or really you are going down

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but you are just starting over in that musical alphabet.

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You will also notice that once you get below the staff there are lines added to keep your place.

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If you are looking at the A there in that example you can see that you've added two lines and then you've put an A

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over that second line, you've put a note overt that second line that's an A.

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That A note would actually be this note.

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A really common note that you play on the guitar that just happens to be below the staff.

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That G would actually be this note.

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Again, another really common note.

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If you look at the second part of that example you see that I've outlined notes above the staff.

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G, A, B, C and D.

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I don't have tablature associated with this section but many times you will see tablature associated.

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This is just an example to give you an idea how most notes look above and below the staff.

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Beware of that when you are looking at tablature in this lesson set and in other lesson sets.

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Next we are going to go over the basics of rhythm in standard musical notation

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because the musical notation is the only way you are able to tell how things are played in time rhythmically.

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Tablature shows you an order to play the notes

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but they don't show you how to subdivide beats or make things sound musical at all.

Scene 8

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In the world of note reading it is important to understand note values and time signatures.

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The relationship of the note values to time signatures is going to give you the rhythm that you are going to be playing

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when you're strumming, soloing, etcetera.

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If you look in the notes you will see a little picture that has a four over a four

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and then directly to the left of it, it looks like you have a glorified and symbol.

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This is the symbol for the treble clef which is what the guitar plays out of.

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Go back to this four over four section on the picture.

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The top number represents how many beats there are in a measure.

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If there is four you are going to count to four before starting over.

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If there is five you are going to count to five before starting over.

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You will hear a lot of people if they are strumming the guitar the might vocalize one, two, three, four.

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One, two, three, four.

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Each grouping of four in that case is considered a measure.

01:11.222 --> 01:17.824
In a four over four time signature you are going to have four of those beats per measure.

01:17.824 --> 01:24.044
The bottom note refers to which note gets the beat.

01:24.044 --> 01:30.407
We are going to be going over the different types of note values in a second and that will make a little more sense to you.

01:30.407 --> 01:35.863
If you look at the notes you will see we have got a couple different types of notes.

01:35.863 --> 01:39.837
Actually more than a couple you've got quite a number of different types of notes.

01:39.837 --> 01:44.215
There are even more than what is listed here but these are the common ones that you will see.

01:44.215 --> 01:46.532
First we have got a whole note.

01:46.532 --> 01:51.459
A whole note is a circle without a stem.

01:51.459 --> 01:58.366
The whole note in a four, four time signature is going to take up the entire measure.

01:58.366 --> 02:10.915
So if I am counting to four and I've got a little pulse, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, ONE, two ,three, four.

02:10.915 --> 02:16.471
The whole note is taking up the entire measure it gets four counts.

02:16.471 --> 02:19.711
The whole note is taking up the entire measure it gets four counts.

02:19.711 --> 02:20.949
You've got the whole note.

02:20.949 --> 02:27.033
You've got the half note. Which is a circle with an open center with a stem.

02:27.033 --> 02:33.249
You've got a quarter note. Which is a black dot with a stem.

02:33.249 --> 02:39.834
You've got an eighth note. Which is a black dot with a stem and a tail that comes off of it.

02:39.834 --> 02:46.660
Then you have a sixteenth note. Which is a black dot with a stem and two tails that come off of it.

02:46.660 --> 02:54.831
In the four, four time signature, we are saying that the quarter note because of the four.

02:54.831 --> 02:58.426
The quarter note is going to get the count. The quarter note is going to get the beat.

02:58.426 --> 03:03.796
In a four, four time signature there are four quarter notes within a measure.

03:03.796 --> 03:13.485
So if I am playing quarter notes to this pulse, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

03:13.485 --> 03:21.146
I would be doing one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

03:21.146 --> 03:25.425
Half notes are twice the value of a quarter note.

03:25.425 --> 03:30.604
So if I am playing half notes to that same general pulse, it is going to sound like this.

03:30.604 --> 03:37.211
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

03:37.211 --> 03:41.991
When you go below the quarter note value in a four, four time signature

03:41.991 --> 03:44.391
because remember the quarter note is getting the beat.

03:44.391 --> 03:48.909
One, two, three, four.

03:48.909 --> 03:56.090
So if you're playing faster notes than that and you are dividing the quarter note up that is called subdividing the beat.

03:56.090 --> 04:05.669
Again, the quarter note gets one beat so you are going to subdivide so you will divide in half the quarter note

04:05.669 --> 04:07.632
and you are going to get an eighth note.

04:07.632 --> 04:12.467
Those are counted in a four, four time signature like this.

04:12.467 --> 04:25.456
One and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and.

04:25.456 --> 04:31.752
So you've got this one and thing that helps you keep pulse as you are counting.

04:31.752 --> 04:36.611
Sixteenth notes are going to divide the eighth note in half.

04:36.611 --> 04:46.034
Those are counted one e and uh so if you are going to play a whole measure of sixteenth notes it's going to sound like this.

04:46.034 --> 04:47.817
One E and Uh
Two E and Uh

04:47.817 --> 04:49.652
Three E and Uh
Four E and Uh

04:49.652 --> 04:51.188
One E and Uh
Two E and Uh

04:51.188 --> 04:52.859
Three E and Uh
Four E and Uh

04:52.859 --> 04:59.842
What makes music cool is that you are taking a pulse, you are taking a tempo

04:59.842 --> 05:07.992
and you are doing different combinations of note values to give you rhythms.

05:07.992 --> 05:14.380
If I randomly choose a couple different note values and play this note I could do something like.

05:14.380 --> 05:20.783
One, two, three, four.
One and uh two, three e and uh four.

05:20.783 --> 05:24.151
One and two and three e and uh four.

05:24.151 --> 05:32.607
What I am doing is I am choosing a combination of whole, half, sixteenths, eighth notes and I'm creating a rhythm.

05:32.607 --> 05:38.118
In one of the next lessons we are going to be specifically studying strum patterns

05:38.118 --> 05:40.799
and different variations you can get out of that.

05:40.799 --> 05:47.128
It's very important that you understand this idea of rhythm in musical notation to get that.

Scene 9

00:00.000 --> 00:05.735
There are the basics on reading tablature, chord charts and standard musical notation.

00:05.735 --> 00:10.280
Feel free to message me questions on the site. I'm happy to answer them.

00:10.280 --> 00:15.209
Feel free to bring any of this stuff up on our live Q. and A. sessions that we offer.

00:15.209 --> 00:18.368
Either with me or with any other instructor.

00:18.368 --> 00:24.101
We will see you for lesson five. Where we will be going over your first scales.


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

joemayer08joemayer08 replied

Not to be too anal about this, but as just a thought to give a better impression. The PDF has a lot of typos in it, mostly letters that have been omitted. Cleaning it up would impress a bit the image of Jam Play. Meaning only the best.

ShahrilShahril replied

Chris, I think the Time Signature notes in Supplemental notes contradict with what you say in the video. Between top number and bottom number

Paul TPaul T replied

I agree. The notes are wrong.

bigseidbigseid replied

Whats up with the supplemental content? I did not see anything about the 12 fret E string? Is just shows the E and A chords?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

there IS an issue with this lesson where the images are not showing up in the "about section" so you'll be missing all of the examples that I refer to if you are just looking there. If you go to the "supplemental" section and download the PDF, you should be able to follow along there just fine. Also, In the PDF, the last two video scenes are included in the last "chapter" in written form. We are working on the images right now and hope to have this resolved shortly.

mikepagmikepag replied

Chris Im trying to figure out why i can't watch the videos it says my browser will not support them

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied

Hi, send an email to [email protected] They can help with technical issues. Thanks!

jmason7jmason7 replied

I have been playing guitar on and off for 34 years and I have never had lessons as good as yours. I have always played rhythm. I felt weird taking beginner lessons, but if I would have had a teacher like you when I started I would have been playing like Satriani decades ago. This site is awesome, I've learned more in 2 days on this web site then I did the 1st 20 years of playing.

wolfsbloodwolfsblood replied

didnt see tab about 12th fret nor anything on notation

rico123rico123 replied

Honestly, it would be easier with charts and pics incorporated with 3 cord practice, please lets try it.

imranqimranq replied

haha damn i am confused now

glenn383glenn383 replied

why would the "D" be 3rd fret of B string instead of open D string

kps521kps521 replied

Enter your comment here.

kps521kps521 replied

im not seeing anything in the content about notation, i checked the PDF also, nothing

mdobrowneymdobrowney replied

Tab in in lesson is missing

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

the only thing included with this lesson is a downloadable PDF found in the supplemental content section

murrayizmurrayiz replied

Is there something that we are supposed to practice for this lesson? Or is it just information that will be used in lessons to come??

singhsingh replied

The pictures on the "About this" tab are broken

singhsingh replied

The pictures on the "About this" tab are broken

dlmarqdlmarq replied

you are not showing the page of standard notation on your supplemental content

hilcomariahilcomaria replied

Chris, not sure, but isn't this lesson missing one or two sections (about time notation)? I can view section 1 trhough 7...

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

look in the notes section rather than the tab section. so look in the "about this lesson" section at the bottom. There is a written explanation of time sigs there.

hilcomariahilcomaria replied

Thx, I see. But I think its missing from the actual videolesson...

the divthe div replied

not getting all the supplemental content on my computer just the chord charts

hickokcpahickokcpa replied

The supplemental content doesn't display the example tabs.

paulhpaulh replied

on lesson 4 i could not find an 8va.. in this lesson even though you talked about it.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

you may find what you are looking for in the "notes" section.

hereticsound666hereticsound666 replied

there are no tabs for this i am an intermediate player but its hard to know what hes talking about when he is referring to something i cant see.

hereticsound666hereticsound666 replied

wait, nevermind thats in the notes

speedster125speedster125 replied


cassie89cassie89 replied

I don't see the "tab" with two 12's stacked ontop of each other????

canadianbuddycanadianbuddy replied


mtalbotmtalbot replied

I have seen a few tabs that are written 3 3 5 3 5 strings 1 to 6 can you tell me how this is supposed to work with fingers, 'cos I'm confused on how you get your fingers around this thanks

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

is this a tab in this lesson? If so, which one?

gibstratgibstrat replied

you have some nice guitars chris, that ibanez was sweet and now this nice tele, cool man

jam4jkjam4jk replied

can't we differentiate same notes on same string just by musical notation (with out tab) ? like note E open and at 12 fret. also how do i know if it's a note A on 6 string or open 5 string?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

the primary purpose of tab is to tell you where the note is played on the guitar. you may be able to tell just by phrasing and different notes surrounding the notes, but tab is the key to positioning. i think I understood your question, but feel free to re-post if I didn't

westwingwestwing replied

I don't understand how to read the notes above and below the staff. I don't know how to figure out which string and fret to play?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

west wing. This lesson doesn't cover specific fret positions for notes to play, rather just covers how to identify notes using tab and musical notation. standard guitar notation has both notes and tab. The tab shows you the specific position and the notes show you the timing. Does that help?

Tyler.RughTyler.Rugh replied

Sorry for the mix up on the Lesson notes guys. I have fixed the problem and you should be able to download the PDF file for this lesson.

febuilesfebuiles replied

Can't see any notes either

mattmaymattmay replied

Can't see any notes ?

chikeebabechikeebabe replied

Well, that was a brain scrambler!!!!! LOL I felt I understood the basic tab & chord charts. I need to look at the notes above and below the staff a few more times to really understand it. Again, I felt Chris did a great job explaining all this.

xchris92xxchris92x replied

Was there supposed to be a rhythm scene or was it just notes.

jboothjbooth replied

Note, the "notes" for the lesson can now be found in the supplemental content in PDF format, for easier printing.

Basic Electric Guitar with Chris

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris will guide you through the world of electric guitar in this series.

Introduction to Your Electric GuitarLesson 1

Introduction to Your Electric Guitar

Chris Liepe talks about the absolute basics of the guitar, including tuning, the guitar parts, and proper technique.

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Playing Your First ChordsLesson 2

Playing Your First Chords

Chris Liepe introduces you to your very first 2 chords, E and A. Since this is your first chord lesson, Chris also introduces a backing track for you to slowly play along with. Practicing in this manner...

Length: 28:54 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
3 New Chords: Complete the CAGED MethodLesson 3

3 New Chords: Complete the CAGED Method

Here in lesson 3, Chris teaches the C, G, and D chords. Once you have mastered the chords taught in this lesson and the previous lesson, you will have learned the CAGED method of remembering open chord...

Length: 12:22 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical NotationLesson 4

The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical Notation

Chris is back with his most information packed lesson to date. In this lesson, you will learn how to read tablature, chord charts and musical notation. All of these tools will drastically help you in your...

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Introduction to the Concept of ScalesLesson 5

Introduction to the Concept of Scales

Chris Liepe is back in lesson 5 with an introduction to scales. In this lesson, you will learn how to play up and down simple scale patterns.

Length: 13:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Barre and Minor ChordsLesson 6

Barre and Minor Chords

In this lesson, Chris introduces minor chords and barre chords.

Length: 25:23 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Strum Patterns and Time SignaturesLesson 7

Strum Patterns and Time Signatures

Chris Liepe lays down some grooves in this lesson! He provides instruction on rhythmic strumming patterns and time signatures such as 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
All About IntervalsLesson 8

All About Intervals

Intervals, Intervals, Intervals! Chris Liepe explains what they are, where they are found, and how to play them in this lesson.

Length: 14:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Intervals Pop QuizLesson 9

Intervals Pop Quiz

Sharpen your pencils and grab your guitar. It's pop quiz time. Chris Liepe adds to his beginner lesson series with a quiz on intervals. This is a hands-on lesson that will undoubtedly improve your ears....

Length: 15:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Triads: Everything You Need to KnowLesson 10

Triads: Everything You Need to Know

Chris Liepe breaks through his 10th lesson with a detailed discussion of triads. Dig in and take these triads for a ride!

Length: 24:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal Mini SeriesLesson 11

Effect Pedal Mini Series

This lesson begins a mini-series on effects pedals. Chris breaks down routing and how effects work with each other.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: CompressionLesson 12

Effect Pedal: Compression

The compression effect pedal is one of the most misunderstood pedals around. Chris Liepe finally sheds some light on the subject. By explaining all the different options and sounds this pedal can create,...

Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Gain Stacking with Overdrive and DistortionLesson 13

Gain Stacking with Overdrive and Distortion

Chris Liepe is back with the 3rd installment in his Effects Pedal mini-series. He explains the concept of "gain stacking" by combining an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal.

Length: 7:54 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: DelayLesson 14

Effect Pedal: Delay

Chris Liepe adds yet another lesson to his effect pedal-mini series. Here he covers the delay pedal. This effect that operates on the principles of time and rhythm. Use this pedal to add depth to your...

Length: 19:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: ChorusLesson 15

Effect Pedal: Chorus

Chris Liepe quickly demonstrates the chorus pedal with some 80's style licks. This pedal can create a deep and rich addition to solos or add the illusion of multiple guitars.

Length: 3:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Understanding Key SignaturesLesson 16

Understanding Key Signatures

Key Signatures! How do they relate to one another? Chris Liepe explains them in lesson 16 of his beginner series. Getting familiar with your key signatures will help pull everything together that has been...

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Harmony BasicsLesson 17

Chord Harmony Basics

Chris Liepe demonstrates how to take a key signature (the set notes within a key) and stack 3rds on top of a root note to form chords. With the help of a modulating backing track, this should be a fun...

Length: 30:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Technique Basics: Alternate PickingLesson 18

Technique Basics: Alternate Picking

Chris explains and demonstrates the very basics of alternate picking. He also provides simple exercises to develop the technique in your own playing.

Length: 16:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique Basics: Legato PlayingLesson 19

Technique Basics: Legato Playing

Chris details and demonstrates the fundamental movements and suggested left hand position for legato playing -- specifically hammer-ons and pull-offs. He also provides exercises for developing the technique.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique Basics: Palm MutingLesson 20

Technique Basics: Palm Muting

Chris talks about proper palm muting and discusses potential snags when first attempting the technique. He offers a number of exercises and patterns to help palm muting become a part of your rhythm playing.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Technique Basics: Hybrid PickingLesson 21

Technique Basics: Hybrid Picking

Hybrid picking can add a fresh dimension to your chord and rhythm playing. In this lesson, Chris briefly covers how to get started with hybrid picking and offers two exercises that you can use to apply...

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major Scale Positions in G (Part 1)Lesson 22

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 1)

Chris talks about what it means to play in position and teaches three of the five "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Major Scale Positions in G (Part 2)Lesson 23

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 2)

Chris continues in his teaching of the five basic "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 11:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chris Liepe

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud instructors.

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