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Basic Training:

Simple Guitar Chords in 5 Keys


By Rob Pethel

Level 1: Basic Chords in the Key of A

4
4

.. 1 2 3

2 3 1

4
4

.. 1 2 3

..

123

123

132

2 3 1

132

..

123

..

F #min

231

F #min

132

F #min

4
4

123

..

Level 2: Basic Chords in the Key of G

(mute with
side of 2nd
finger on left
hand, strum
all 6 strings)

4
4

..
2

34

132

4
4

..
2

..
2

34

32

2 3

32

23

..

..

E min

132

34

E min

4
4

32

132

E min

23

..

Level 3: Basic Chords in the Key of C

4
4

..
2

34

132

4
4

..
2

..
2

34

32

2 3

32

23

..

..

E min

132

34

E min

4
4

32

132

E min

23

..

Level 4: Basic Chords in the Key of E

4
4

.. 2 3 1

B7

2 1 3 4

4
4

..

231

4
4

..

231

123

C #min

4fr.

321

B7

123

123

213

C #min

4fr.

321

C #min

B7

213

321

..

..

4fr.

..

Level 5: Basic Chords in the Key of D

4
4

..

132

34

B min

2fr.

123

321

..

..

B min
2fr.

4
4

..

132

34

123

321

B min
2fr.

4
4

..

132

34

1 2 3

321

..

Notes&for&the&teacher:
This&exercise&book&is&designed&to&be&used&in&a&variety&of&instructional&settings.&&
It&is&set&up&in&a&horizontal&layout&for&ease&of&use&with&projectors,&interactive&whiteboards,&and&16:9&ratio&displays.&&
Using&a&student&pointer&who&uses&a&drum&stick,&baton,&Ginger,&etc&to&literally&point&to&each&beat&of&each&exercise&on&the&projector&screen&
keeps&the&class&together&and&reinforces&the&rhythm&of&the&pointer.
The&levels&are&strategically&sequenced,&beginning&with&the&key&of&A&(which&uses&many&open&strings).&&
The&basic&chords&are&the&chords&built&on&the&I,&IV,&V,&and&vi&scale&degrees&of&the&respective&key.
The&Gingering&for&the&G&chord&is&not&commonly&published&as&such.&&If&a&student&uses&a&different&Gingering,&it&is&not&a&problem.&&I&use&this&GingerN
ing&for&two&reasons:
o 1)&Sonically,&I&do&not&like&the&sound&of&the&root&and&the&3rd&so&close&to&each&other&in&the&bass
o 2)&Technically,&omitting&the&1st&Ginger&is&simpler
&The&minor&chords&are&in&an&easy&Gingering.&&If&a&student&knows&a&more&advanced&position&(i.e.,&barre&chord),&it&can&be&substituted.
&Each&chord&is&notated&in&a&fretboard&grid
o The&nut&of&the&guitar&is&represented&by&the&thick&horizontal&line.&&
o x&represents&no&sound
o o&represents&an&open&string
o &A&black&circle&represents&a&Ginger
o The&numbers&below&the&grid&indicate&which&Ginger&should&be&used.&&
(1&=&index,&2&=&middle,&3&=&ring,&and&4&=&pinky).&&
This&book&could&be&part&of&a&chord&unit
o Suggested&sequence:
Week&1Nlevel&1
Week&2Nlevel&2,&review&level&1
Week&3Nlevel&3,&review&levels&1&and&2
Week&4Nlevel&4,&review&levels&1N4
Week&5Nlevel&5,&review&levels&1N5
Each&exercise&is&set&up&in&the&4N2N1&approach.&&Using&the&rests&between&the&chord&changes&allows&time&for&the&student&to&prepare&his&or&her&
Gingers&for&the&next&chord.&&Going&from&the&4&strums&per&measure&to&2&strums&per&measure&forces&the&student&to&move&faster&between&
chords.&&While&some&students&may&only&be&able&to&initially&play&the&Girst&example&(4&chords&per&measure),&in&a&weeks&time&he&or&she&may&be&
able&to&the&second&example&(2&chords&per&measure),&and&eventually&the&third&example.
Playing&a&rhythm&on&a&drum,&drum&machine,&or&software&application&provide&a&fun&and&engaging&groove&that&can&accompany&the&chords.
o Keep&the&same&tempo&for&all&3&examples,&and&then&speed&up&the&tempo&after&the&third&example&so&that&everyone&is&the&class&is&chalN
lenged.&&
Add&a&bass&guitar&(playing&the&root)&or&piano/keyboard&for&an&added&element.
Find&songs&in&each&key&to&apply&the&Basic&Training
Use&capos&for&keys&other&than&those&explained
After&Week&5,&do&a&Basic&Training&Marathon,&doing&all&three&examples&for&each&of&the&5&keys.&&This&can&take&between&5N10&minutes&and&is&a&
great&warmNup&for&intermediate/advanced&players.
Have&fun,&and&contact&me&with&any&questions,&comments,&or&requests&for&a&customized&book&at&rrpethel@mac.com

2015

Rob Pethel