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guitar descriptions

guitar descriptions

Because musicians who play guitar by ear often don't read printed

music they have to rely on a well developed memory for sound.

Apart from being able to (a) recognize musical form, (b) predict

they chord changes, (c) discern the chord qualities.

Trying to describe sound is a bit like trying to describe color,

just as no two people see color exactly the same way, on two

people hear music the same way.

It's interesting to watch when one a guitarist hands a guitar to

another guitarist how the second guitarist will make slight

adjustments to the intonation of the guitar to suit how they

'hear' music.

With that said here is a couple generalizations to get you

thinking of other ways to describe sound. The important thing is

to use some way of describing sound that has meaning to you.

We want to have a clear and simple description of what we are

hearing so that when we hear these sounds again we will be able

to recall the 'feel' of these sounds.

So rather than using technical or theoretical descriptions we

will use everyday words to describe the sound of each chord.

Chord qualities ...

Major:

chord name - major

chord symbol - C

chord description - happy

Minor:

chord name - minor

chord symbol - Cm

chord description - sad

Dominant seventh:

chord name - dominant seventh

chord symbol - C7

chord description - restless

In the above examples the letter "C" has been used for the chord

symbol, any letter of the musical alphabet can be substituted for

the letter "C".

Written using the letter "G" as a substitute for "C". this chart

would look like this...

Chord qualities:

Major:

chord name - major

chord symbol - G

chord description - happy

Minor:

chord name - minor

chord symbol - Gm

chord description - sad

Dominant seventh:

chord name - dominant seventh

chord symbol - G7

chord description - restless

We could also re-write the descriptions of each chord like this:

Chord qualities...

Major:

chord name - major

chord symbol - C

chord description - bright

Minor:

chord name - minor

chord symbol - Cm

chord description - dull

Dominant seventh:

chord name - dominant seventh

chord symbol - C7

chord description - roaming

or like this ...

Chord qualities:

Major:

chord name - major

chord symbol - C

chord description - positive

Minor:

chord name - minor

chord symbol - Cm

chord description - negative

Dominant seventh:

chord name - dominant seventh

chord symbol - C7

chord description - connecting

See how different words were used to describe the same chords,

the important thing is to find words that will help to recall

these chord qualities.

As you discover better words to help you mentally file the sounds

remember to update your list, this is your own contribution to

your learning. It is essential that you hear the different qualities of each

chord, pick a key and play the three chord types.

Start by playing ...

C, then Cm and finally C7

Take your time and listen to each chord carefully, strum the

chord once and let each chord ring for four beats.

As you play each chord try and think of word that will help to

describe the sound you are playing and hearing.This is the best

way to accelerate your ability to play guitar by ear.

Starr Labs Ztar MIDI Guitar Description Video 1

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