Make key signatures super simple

loopfinding

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I realized when I was 12 that the guitar lays out so many pertinent facts and concepts in a very simple way that very few instruments can.

the fact that most new musical works incorporating keyboard are written partially or wholly on the computer these days, where the piano is pretty much relegated to an input device, and where keyboards are just controllers made out of plastic and buttons, it makes more sense to use the jankó keyboard. it's pretty guitaristic as far as transposition and fingering.
 

ASATKat

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Took me a while to figure that the fourths and fifths of the scale get you help you figure the sharpsand flats I think... Took picking up a tenor sax to get to that point. As far as I’ve found there ain’t a pentatonic box on that thing to noodle on.
Did you notice going from 5th string to 4th on the same fret is the interval of a 4th. Going from 5th string down to the 6th string on the same fret is the interval of a 5th.

So they are the same thing, only upside down and backwards to each other.
Reciprocal. Ying/Yang,

the 4th says "go forward, joy and happiness", and the 5th says "stop, rest, hold up, maybe even caution".
 

gentrywhite

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You make it much harder than it needs to be imo.

Think about it until it is easy and practical, or continue with what you learned as a12 year old.

Also, keep in mind what you learned at 12 was standard classical theory. Old.

The first day in Jazz theory my Berklee schooled teacher and killer sax player told us, "toss out all your classical theory, we're starting over"
I never looked back.
Cool! I tell my students the same thing when we switch from classical to Bayesian statistics.
 

kbold

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I like simple too.
This is how I think of it on the fretboard:

1664234329914.png
 

Volcanicash01

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Ear is the #1 tool, I put all this crud aside when I play. Lots of people tell me I play emotionally, thanks (I record and post in Twanger Central's backing track challenge, so people hear me, if they want. and I'll add, emo takes over for my slowhand technique, mostly fast stuff I just couldn't do. That thing you're born with, quick twitch nerves.

Quick twitch nerves are phasing out in our evolution. Like the appendix. The goal of nature is to devolve down to just the brain kept in a jar full of this jelly like stuff, with a Tele strapped to it.
Good for you mate! So do I. I just get up there and ROCK! Been doin it since my first gig in Manchester in the 50’s. I was 11 then. Still Elvis had just arrived! My first real electric was a Futurama 111. Still got it. rockin’ in France these days.
 

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Larry F

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I have recently framed my Nick Manalof chord wheel (which renders it useless). But when I was starting out, it clarified many questions that arose in my playing.

But like Ken, I soon just memorized it. I don't get why people get into fights over the best way to represent it.

But don't make any mistakes in this endeavor, or the house of cards will come crashing down.
 

AAT65

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If you back up, I think something more important than learning key signatures is to know the note names on the fretboard... learn them so well someone can touch your neck at random and you can call out the exact correct note name (naturals, sharps and flats.)

Here's a chart I give to all my students...

JHGS Fretboard Map (Large) (JPG).jpg



I would say learn your notes, and learn one simple do-rae-mi major scale (over all 6 strings) and you'll be good for the next bit of info...
This I agree with 100%, and as well as letting you communicate with other musicians and work out where to slide your chord shapes to as GearGeek says, knowing this sort of thing (as I mentioned above) also turns your guitar into an “interval calculator”. When you know that a 4th is “up one string” or a 5th “up one string and up two frets” (or indeed “down one string” due to the reversibility of 4ths and 5ths) you can visually calculate the 4th of any note (& you can learn the other intervals very quickly too).

I like simple too.
This is how I think of it on the fretboard:

View attachment 1033460
Exactly!!!

I'd also suggest for new players... totally skip anything and everything to do with theory... unless you want to be bogged down learning Chinese... Learn how to play first and you'll have a common form of reference if you ever do need to know anything about theory...
I don’t think you should learn too much theory early but it’s perfectly possible to mix theory in as you learn to play. That’s how I was taught and without attending a formal music theory class beyond the basics of notation reading I could answer all the questions in the paper for the Royal College of Music Theory Exam which two of my kids took when they reached Grade 7 on their respective instruments.

Also notice the cycle of 4ths is used, not the cycle of 5ths.
The cycle of 5th has its own usage and rap.
I don’t see a distinction—a fifth in one direction is just a fourth going the other way, and what you call the “circle of fourths” I call “the circle of fifths going round the other way”. 😀
 

ASATKat

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This I agree with 100%, and as well as letting you communicate with other musicians and work out where to slide your chord shapes to as GearGeek says, knowing this sort of thing (as I mentioned above) also turns your guitar into an “interval calculator”. When you know that a 4th is “up one string” or a 5th “up one string and up two frets” (or indeed “down one string” due to the reversibility of 4ths and 5ths) you can visually calculate the 4th of any note (& you can learn the other intervals very quickly too).


Exactly!!!


I don’t think you should learn too much theory early but it’s perfectly possible to mix theory in as you learn to play. That’s how I was taught and without attending a formal music theory class beyond the basics of notation reading I could answer all the questions in the paper for the Royal College of Music Theory Exam which two of my kids took when they reached Grade 7 on their respective instruments.


I don’t see a distinction—a fifth in one direction is just a fourth going the other way, and what you call the “circle of fourths” I call “the circle of fifths going round the other way”. 😀
That's true, almost. The circle of 4ths is an essential part of music's essential nature. For example, the famous doo wop progression found in so many '50s pop songs were made mostly of 4ths,
II: C Am Dm G7 :II
The basic 12 bar blues has the I7 moving to the IV7, and then the V7 moves to I7, both moves are 4ths.
Not many songs move in 5ths. Hey Joe is the one I'm most familiar to me.
II: E C G D A E :II

So there is a huge difference harmonically speaking.

There is a way to highlight the 5th in these progression and that is "the 5th of". For example in the I7 IV7 V7 or A7 D7 E7 can be looked at from the nature of the 5th. The D7 is preceeded by its V7 A7, The A7 is preceeded by its V7 E7. This is called "the 5 of D is A, the 5 of A is E.
I think the "5 of" is better for analyzing and for "back cycling" after the back cycling is figured out, the musician plays to the cycle of 4ths.

I know this is very confusing and it has everything to do with the subject of harmony, something you can do with progressions, a very important part of music language.

I'm not going to explain back cycling, there is tons of stuff online about that can explain it better than me. Look it up.

Back cycling

It is confusing, and not at all what you want to be thinking while playing. It's part of practicing theory at home. Leave it at home.

This is one of the most dreaded parts of learning more advanced jazz theory and many people tap out after two pages reading. It's also in classical music but uses a more ancient language. First day of college jazz class the teacher said "put down your classical theory, we are starting all over". It's funny because classical theory was a prerequisite for this jazz class, I don't know why but I'm glad I know both just for being able to say "I know both".
 
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AAT65

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That's true, almost. The circle of 4ths is an essential part of music's essential nature. For example, the famous doo wop progression found in so many '50s pop songs were made mostly of 4ths,
II: C Am Dm G7 :II
The basic 12 bar blues has the I7 moving to the IV7, and then the V7 moves to I7, both moves are 4ths.
Not many songs move in 5ths. Hey Joe is the one I'm most familiar to me.
II: E C G D A E :II

So there is a huge difference harmonically speaking.

There is a way to highlight the 5th in these progression and that is "the 5th of". For example in the I7 IV7 V7 or A7 D7 E7 can be looked at from the nature of the 5th. The D7 is preceeded by its V7 A7, The A7 is preceeded by its V7 E7. This is called "the 5 of D is A, the 5 of A is E.
I think the "5 of" is better for analyzing and for "back cycling" after the back cycling is figured out, the musician plays to the cycle of 4ths.

I know this is very confusing and it has everything to do with the subject of harmony, something you can do with progressions, a very important part of music language.

I'm not going to explain back cycling, there is tons of stuff online about that can explain it better than me. Look it up.

Back cycling

It is confusing, and not at all what you want to be thinking while playing. It's part of practicing theory at home. Leave it at home.

This is one of the most dreaded parts of learning more advanced jazz theory and many people tap out after two pages reading. It's also in classical music but uses a more ancient language. First day of college jazz class the teacher said "put down your classical theory, we are starting all over". It's funny because classical theory was a prerequisite for this jazz class, I don't know why but I'm glad I know both just for being able to say "I know both".
Oh yeah it’s very confusing. What a shame you’ve lost me. Bye!!
 

ASATKat

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Oh yeah it’s very confusing. What a shame you’ve lost me.
I wish I could say your confusion is all my fault, but it's not, back cycling has been around for a long time.

You may find it confusing, but I wouldn't be surprised that you have played through back cycling many times.

The Harlem Globetrotters theme music is mostly backcycling.
 




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