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Playing Notes
(By Tyson)


This lesson is focused on the normal notes an individual would play together. Please note that there are exceptions all around, especially on weird jazzy riffs, and that no animals were harmed in the production of this lesson, but then again... it’s only just begun.


You see, my Padawan, some notes just sound good with other notes, kind of like Barney and Baby Bop belong together, only not. A series of notes go together to form a key and the name of the key is the note that sounds happier than the others to end on. Today, we’ll work with the key of G which is not only suitable for younger audiences, but is used on about half of the existing songs... you’ve heard it if you ever listened to praise and worship choruses.


Here, (in tab) are the notes you can use in the key of G without sounding bluesy or classical.

G---0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12-14-16-17-19-21-23-24
D---0-2-4-5-7-9-10-12-14-56-17-19-22-24            
(*Note - you don't have to play these in any order at all)
A---0-2-3-5-7-9-10-12-14-15-17-19-21-22-24
E---0-2-3-5-7-8-10-12-14-15-17-19-20-22-24

If you just memorize it to the fifth fret, you can write some decent bass lines. The sad part is that not every song is in the key of G. “Oh no!” you exclaim in outright dismay, “you mean I have to memorize all 12 keys?!” Nope. Here’s why not.


If you move every note up a fret, you’re in a different key, G# (or Ab) to be exact. If you move them down a fret, you’ll be in F#. How can this be? You see, the 12 keys cycle over and over again like this:

A
A# / Bb
B
C
C# / Db
D
D# / Eb
E
F
F# / Gb
G
G# / Ab


Then it starts over again and keeps going forever. So if you want to play in the key of B, you’ll move the key of G up 4 frets.


I hope I didn’t confuse everybody. But that’s the intro to playing in key. Your band will appreciate it... trust me.

 



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