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Chord Chemistry 101
by Keni Lee Burgess
Note: These lectures are intended to clarify and suppliment my instructional videos CDs. Series 5 (4 string Cigar Box Guitar) will directly reflect the examples presented in these lectures, but due to the fact we are working in Open G Tuning, CD 2 and CD 4 are also applicable.
This series of lectures on musical theory is applicable to any tuning or any stringed instruments regardless of the number of strings on the instrument. For educational purposes, I will use Spanish Tuning (aka Open G Tuning) as a standard, and cite examples played on a 4 string fretted Cigar Box Gutiar. The guitar is tuned from low to high D g b d. I am using strings D g b e from a standard pack of medium strings. For reference purposes, the strings are numbered 1-d, 2-b, 3-g, 4-D The thinnist string is closest to the floor.
Open tunings basically reduces the instrument into a one key instrument. The scales, chord progressions, and musical theory are clearly displayed across the fingerboard (like a piano) unlike a conventionally tuned standard guitar that uses a compromised tuning to facilitate playing in all 13 keys.
The goal of these lectures is to provide a firm foundation in building, understanding the organization, and use of basic chords. It is my opinion, that learning this information will provide an opportunity to study the fingerboard in a step by step process that will reveal how chords are connected together to arrange songs. Using the Major Scale as a reference point and learning to see the fingerboard as one interconnected whole will make this process easier.
I would strongly suggest, after reading the lecture, pick up the guitar, and find all the information on the guitar for yourself. Feel free to read ahead, but most of the real learning will take place as you continue to apply and experiment with the information.
Note: These pages will be constantly edited to improve clearity of instruction. Your questions and feedback are greatly appreciated.
Enjoy, Keni Lee