The Trooper Guitar Tutorial
Nate Richards here – let’s jump in to this The Trooper guitar tutorial with tabs linked below, as well as tabs on screen.
Nate Richards talks about what makes a song in a mode in this music theory lesson.
So, what exactly is a mode? Let’s start with the Major Scale – which is the overarching parent scale in all Western music. To be brief, the Major scale has 7 notes that climb up the alphabet one letter at a time (a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-etc), and we number them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. The G Major scale is the key I used in the video, and the notes are G-A-B-C-D-E-F#, numbered G-1, A-2, B-3, etc.
A mode is a variation of the scale note order, and each variation comes with really fancy Greek name (these scales are very old, dating back well over 1000 years used in Gregorian Chant sung by monks – they thought the Greeks invented music so they gave all of the notes and scales Greek names). Take a look at the scale variations below and see that the idea is simply a circling around the same notes – the only difference is the starting note.
(BTW – modal theory goes way, way beyond this initial stage. But, this is a start at the general concept. Each mode eventually will become it’s own little world within the solar system of the Major Scale, with each mode having it’s own idiosyncrasies, chord progressions, emotions, colors, and applications).
I – G Ionian: G-A-B-C-D-E-F# (a.k.a. G Major. “Ionian” is just the Greek term referring to the Major Scale)
ii – A Dorian: A-B-C-D-E-F#-G
iii – B Phrygian: B-C-D-E-F#-G-A
IV – C Lydian: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B
V – D Mixolydian: D-E-F#-G-A-B-C
vi – E Aeolian: E-F#-G-A-B-C-D (a.k.a. E Natural Minor, or the “Relative” minor)
viio – F# Locrian: F#-G-A-B-C-D-E
This is just a start, and you are not expected to be an expert on modes at this point – that takes a long time of lessons, study, practice, and experience.
If you’ve made it this far, you might be confused and wondering what this all means. Here is a good follow-up video to this one to try applying the modes, and hopefully you will start to see how they work. Below that is yet another video from another angle:
In this lesson, I show you how to play Since U Been Gone on guitar, a pop-rock hit by Kelly Clarkson. This is a classic pop-rock song, with a surprisingly heavy guitar riff. Some of the chords in the riff are reminiscent of the legendary intro in the Master of Puppets opening track, “Battery.” Yes, that’s right. I just compared a Kelly Clarkson song to an old-school Metallica song.
Here are a few tips to help you learn this song:
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The Holidays are approaching! Here’s how to play Happy Xmas on guitar by John Lennon! Easy guitar chords!
I really like this song because it hits a few great guitar topics, while at the same is a holiday song that is relevant to the season. John Lennon makes great use of suspensions (sus2 and sus4 chords), which gets more mileage out of a chord progression with minimal chords. For example, he can make an A chord interesting for a long period of time by not just strumming the A chord over and over – he varies the sound by using suspensions in an interesting way.
What is a suspension? All chords are make up of 3 notes – 1-3-5 (Root-3rd-5th). A suspension is when the 3rd of the chord is replaced by the 2nd (sus2) or the 4th (sus4), so the chord tones would be 1-2-5 or 1-4-5 respectively. So, a suspended chord is neither Major nor minor, since it doesn’t have a 3rd to qualify it as Major or minor.
In contrast, an add2 or add4 chord is when all 3 notes are represented in the chord (1-3-5) and a 2nd or 4th is added within or on top of the chord. So, an add2 chord would be 1-2-3-5, and an add4 chord would be 1-3-4-5. Each of those offer some colorful dissonance to the sound to spice things up a bit.
Here are some tips:
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Nate from Richards Guitar Studio shows you how to play Hello by Adele on guitar for real. These are the actual piano voicings arranged for guitar. Yes, a bit more advanced than the easy version – but totally worth it because the chords sound so cool! Instead of the standard guitar chord voicings we are all accustomed to, these have a very rich, resonant sound, utilizing think harmonies in the lower register of the guitar. Get ready to stretch!
Overall, the goal is to stay totally relaxed so that you can express the quiet, calm, contemplative, nostalgic mood of the song.
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