Guitar Theory Made Simple
Guitar Theory Made Simple

Drop in jam night

Email sent: May 4, 2021 11:19am

Picture this:
it's a hot summer night... the sun has just
gone down, and a
few of the regulars are trickling in for a bit of a jam session.

The Players:

- Frank: "The Machine" He's played for 30 years, and knows his
guitar like it's part of his hand. The natural leader.

- Tom: "The Kerplunker" pretty solid with what he knows; most of the time he can keep up with Frank.

- Doug: "The Kid" he's 54, but just picked up the guitar last year. (hence the name). Has a wicked G-C-D but easily gets lost when the others switch keys.

In the distance a coyote howls at the moon.

Doug pulls his acoustic out of its case, and Frank jokingly looks over and says "Hey, when are you finally going to learn how to PLAY that thing?"

Doug makes a wise crack to avoid answering and begins tuning.

Frank and Tom are talking, and start playing something, just as he finishes tuning. Doug didn't catch the name of the song, and asks them... "It's in E" says Tom, expecting Doug to jump right in.


Has this ever happened to you?

You see, what both Frank and Tom expected Doug to understand was the concept of how chords work together in families - called keys.

Talking to each other, they know that if the song is in E, then they're dealing with only a handful of chords:

E, A, B, C#m, F#m and G#m.

Unless there's something tricky going on in the song, 9 times out of 10, these are the chords that will come up.

The know that with only 6 chords to choose from, playing along - even without hearing the song before - becomes a much simpler exercise.

Understanding (and I'm not talking about MEMORIZING) which chords belong in each key is a fairly basic bit of guitar theory that comes in incredibly handy in common situations like this.

Click Here for Guitar Theory Made Easy

Okay, back to the story...

Doug is clearly lost, so Frank stops playing and patiently walks through the 4 chords that are in the song. After 5-10 minutes, Doug has a better handle on things and the jam gets going...

If you've ever found yourself in this slightly awkward situation of being expected to know something fairly basic about your guitar like which chords work together in a particular key, then you'll know it can be a bit embarrassing.

It seems so simple, and yet you just don't have a clue how Frank and Tom seem to know the chords intuitively.

If that's you, then my 2 hour lesson on guitar theory is going to unlock all kinds of great things on your guitar.

Click Here for Guitar Theory Made Easy

Keep on strummin'!

Cheers, Jonathan Boettcher


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