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Ouija's beginners guide to Chord Theory
#44 Posted : 6/19/2010 12:19:59 AM

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Great read :D
Thanks for that.
I'll be sure to check it out some more in my free time (Currently at work :P).

Managed to understand it quite well up till the Chords and Tapping section.
But I think that might be because I can't sit there and nut it out for myself on the guitar.
Or it might be I'm not too sure exactly what tapping means, it may sound really dumb, but I've not heard the term used really. (is it possible to get a clarification? as to me at the moment, I think of hammer ons and pull offs haha)

Cheers again!
#45 Posted : 6/19/2010 3:20:07 AM

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Guitar tapping is just hammering on and pulling of using both the fretting hand as well as the strumming hand in conjunction with each other, allowing for entire chords to be played along the length of one string (you could only reach the first few notes if you only used your fretting hand). For tapping examples look at these...


Eric Mongrain

Andy McKee

Dominic Frasca


Andy James

Tapping Lesson

Kristofer Dahl

Basic Tapping Lesson

Intermediate Tapping

Advanced Tapping Lesson
#46 Posted : 6/19/2010 4:07:47 AM

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Ahhh, I should be able to follow that bit now :D
Thank you once again :D
#47 Posted : 7/23/2010 9:13:43 AM

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thanks for such guide.

>>Let the unknown remain unknown [happy life]<<
#48 Posted : 9/23/2010 1:41:55 PM

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yo ouija, thanks! this is awesome! only problem is; i'm at work and all the pics are blocked =[ =[ =[ =[ =[ makes it a little trickier
this world is made of
#49 Posted : 2/4/2013 1:46:32 AM

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Thanks Clap
#6 Posted : 2/15/2013 12:12:21 AM

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Originally Posted by: Ouija Go to Quoted Post
metalmike550 wrote:
awsome guide ouija!! i dont know crap about theory or reading chords. i just play. im going to study this guide alot. thanks again man!!

Well. If you go away from the guide grasping the simple idea that there are only five chord shapes on a guitar that get barred, abbreviated or have their shape altered according to some simple rules, you'll of progressed past most of the guitarist i've met. Lol. Most of them just mimic/parrot what some guitar TAB tells them to do, without grasping any real fundamentals of music. It's a bit like showing someone, who's illiterate, how to type their name on a keyboard. They memorize it, and on the surface appear literate, but since they don't really understand why those symbols, pressed in that order, spells that word, they can't actually adlib or improvise. I call it 'Parroting', because a parrot gives the illusion of being able to speak English, but doesn't really and can't improvise new phrases.Music is like that.

If you don't know your chord theory, or scales, then more often than not, you have to 'hunt and peck' at notes randomly until you find a sequence that sounds 'right' (thrashing around in the dark until you accidentally hit the right notes, or cheat and use a TAB). Those guitarists that study their chord/scales and theory, and understand the deeper relationships between them, have no such trouble. Once they find the first few notes of a song, they are reasonably sure where all the other notes are gonna be, and why.

My nephew drives me crazy with this. He has a load of AC/DC PowerTab printouts that he's memorized. He can play you a whole load of AC/DC riffs. His mother is very proud and utterly convinced he can play guitar. I hold a different opinion.Snooty

He has absolutely no idea what chords he's playing (or bits of chords in most cases), what notes, what key, what scale, how to transpose something or what other notes he could use instead. Or, unlike Angus Young himself, any idea of how music works. He can't improvise to save his life. He's like a jukebox that can only repeat blindly without understanding. Drives me crazy.

God help him if someone shows him how to drop D his guitar and get a powerchord by simply rubbing is finger up and down the top three strings. His chord technique is the laziest (and bizarrist) i've ever seen.

IMO, the first year of two of guitar playing should be restricted to simply learning the basics. Chords, chord theory, scales, scale theory, picking technique and simple left hand/right hand co-ordination. There's time to learn 'tunes' later on, when you've got enough skill and knowledge to understand what the h.e.l.l you are doing.

Rant over.Silence

This is not a rant -- it's pure genius and makes absolute perfect sense. I am going to study this thing. You are now MY Yoda master.
I fully expect you to comment on my first post about needing help please. :)
#51 Posted : 1/6/2015 2:45:41 PM

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Ouija, I was very happy when I came across this post. I am probably almost the opposite of most people here. My theory knowledge far outstrips my ability to actually play. I’ve been frustrated by all of the guitar teaching materials I’ve tried so far, because they all seem to assume that you have zero theory knowledge, and that you prefer to keep it that way lol. So many beginner instructions are just like “this is how you form an E chord” and that’s about it. Rote memorization of chord shapes. They don’t even tell you which strings are which notes, if the chord is an inversion, which note/string is the root, third, fifth etc. And no explanation of why chord shapes change as they pass into the higher strings. It’s just… remember this.

I was hoping you (or anyone) could give me a good recommendation for a system, website, book etc. that has some kind of hybrid theory/tab approach. Because I want to understand what I’m playing from a theory perspective, but let’s face it – if you want to learn how to play a riff to some pop/rock/metal song, chances are you’ll find it most easily in tab, and often probably only in tab. There just aren’t many people out there (as far as I can tell) transcribing Tool, Radiohead, Sabbath and Wolf Parade songs into theory-based chord charts that explain the different inversions/voicings being used. Tab kinda sucks, but to ignore the wealth of tab out there is also narrow-minded, imo. There is a lot of good info out there, even if tab as a whole is a flawed system that enables shallow learning.

So I want to have my cake and eat it too. I was hoping that someone might know of some theory-savvy axe-wielder out there that has already done a lot of the work for me. If I can’t find that, I’ll be forced (sigh, lol) to develop it myself. If I end up doing it myself, I’ll figure out a way to take tab, input it into an Excel spreadsheet, and have it automate a lot of the work of figuring out “what note is that?” for me. And hopefully even tell me the chord root and quality (major, minor, diminished, root or inversion etc.). Yes, I know I could sit and slog through it myself, and eventually I hope to get to the point where I can just glance at tab and be like “E minor, 2nd inversion, root and third doubled above,” but for now I will find it extremely useful to have this bit of a crutch to make it easier for me.

#52 Posted : 1/20/2015 6:31:11 PM

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Hello Ouija! I has just joined the forum, and just started to play the guitar.
I am a retired starter so I will never be much good, but I enjoy the challenge!
Just wanted to say that your Guide is the most comprehensive I have seen, and I thank you for this effort.
It has helped me to see a little further down the tunnel of music!
Thanks again,
#53 Posted : 7/25/2015 12:21:40 PM

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