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125 Ways to Play "Louie Louie" in C

By: Richard Rose (Dub-R)

Uses: Includes:
✔ play a simple C-F-G progression 125 different ways ✔ diagrams of 5 types of 10 different chords (M M7 7 m m7 + dim 9 11 13)
✔ play close harmony, like horn section lines ✔ tricks and progressions (basic and fancy)
✔ re-voice a harmony or progression when ✔ detailed fingering and patterns
using a capo or changing key ✔ technical exercises
✔ learn more slide patterns ✔ Circle of 4ths, 5ths, 3rds (new!)
✔ play any chord in 5 different places and in 5 ways ✔ practical advise
✔ move up and down the neck when playing rhythm
✔ use the whole neck to play a chord progression or solo No reading of music or tab is necessary.
✔ need to know only 5 forms of each chord

** Print to any printer, 24 pages of 8½x11" letter-size white paper. **

secrets@richardrose.com ∞ www.FretboardRevealed.com

Author and Publisher: Richard Rose (1956). Copyright 2005-2015, all rights reserved. “Secrets of Chord Substitutions Revealed,” “Secrets of the Guitar
Fretboard Revealed,” “Secrets of Jazz Arranging Revealed,” “Secrets of Scales and Chords Revealed,” and “Circle of Thirds” are trademarks of Richard Rose, all
rights reserved. Place of Publication: Boulder, Colorado. Year of Publication: 2007.

Thank you Keith Allen and Bennet Friedman for your years of friendly instruction.

Dedicated to Regi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
See my other Secrets Revealed eBooks: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

© 2005-2015 Richard Rose

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Secrets of the Guitar Fretboard Revealed

Table of Content

Foreword............................................................i The Ten G-type Chords..................................12

Symbol Legend................................................ii The Ten E-type Chords...................................13

The Five “CAGED” Chords...............................1 The Ten D-type Chords..................................14

The Basic “C” Scale in Each Position.............3 Proper Hand Positioning...............................15

The “C” Chord in the 5 CAGED Positions. . ...4 The Numbers Translated To Notes..............15

The Full “C” Scale in Each Position................5 Circle of Fifths/Fourths/Thirds.....................16

The Consolidated “C” Major Scale................7 Linear and Diagonal Exercises......................17

The Ten Chords................................................8 Home is Where The Root Is...........................18

The Ten C-type Chords..................................10 Chords As Numbers.......................................18

The Ten A-type Chords.................................11 Does It Sound Good?.....................................19

w w w . F r et b o a rd R e ve al ed .com
My name is Richard and I've been living, Foreword Then at age 17 I went to Blue
breathing, studying, playing, and Bear Waltzes School of Music in San
This book is inspired by guitar teachers in
performing the guitar since 1964 at age 7, Francisco, the first "Rock&Roll College."
general, but especially to my favorite guitar teacher,
and teaching since 1974. I learned from the the late Keith Allen. It was there I learned fretboard and
late great San Francisco guitar teacher His enthusiasm, professionalism, knowledge, music theory, composition; and studied
Keith Allen, my mentor since 1973. I honesty, humor, generosity, kind spirit, tone and with my practice partner Chris Hayes
learned to play guitar and read music at monster technique made him a true guitar hero to me (Huey Lewis & The News), Bonnie Hayes
as a teenager.
age 7, two hours a day plus a lesson a (Bonnie Raitt's composer), Keith Allen
Already blessed with 10 years worth of guitar
week, for 3 years. I later rebelled, quit the playing under my belt, I could read as well as play. I (Steve Miller Band), and others.
lessons, and explored this early-70s new- just needed direction and motivation. Although only a Since 1974 I've been teaching only
to-me music by the Allman Bros, Jeff Beck few years older, Keith was way ahead of me in ability intermediate and advanced players.
and Jimi Hendrix. I would learn the records and knowledge, and more than happy to share both. From playing in loud rock bands to
late at night, note-for-note. They were my This brave new world of guitar was laid before me, musicals like Pippin and Godspell, from
off to the horizon as far as I could see.
new guitar teachers, and I was on fire for blues to jazz, folk to classical, CAGED has
Jimi, Duane, Jeff, Eric, Buddy, Albert, Freddie, Roy,
guitar again. Billy and the rest were Guitar Gods where I come from, made me a better guitarist.
and Keith was the Son through which I came to them.
A professional musician and teacher all his life,
Keith refused to abandon his family to tour, or else
you, too, would know his name far and wide.
In January 2004, Keith joined Duane and Jimi in
the great Celestial Jam, dead of a heart attack at 50.
This book is dedicated to him, in an effort to
document his teachings before those of us left from
those heady '70s get too old to remember it, and too
busy to teach it.
Oral wisdom must be written to survive.

Keith Allen, R.I.P.

Richard Rose, 2007

RR, Age 9, 1966 RR, Age 21, 1978 i
©©© ©©
Symbol Legend
b = “flat:” lowered, or down towards the nut one fret
bb = “double-flat:” lowered, or down towards the nut two frets
# = “sharp:” raised, or up towards the bridge one fret
natural = no flat or sharp
= corresponds to the fret markers on most necks
= fingers to use for that note
= open string
= root
= regular note, “Just play it, dude”
|| = end of chord progression, go to the beginning or end it

This is an explanation of the diagrams and symbols you will see, in case they
aren't familiar. Since you are an avid student of the guitar, you've no doubt seen this type of notation. There
is no tab or treble clef notation in this book.
In these diagrams of the fretboard, the nut is at the top, the high E string is on the right, and the low E
(bass) string is on the left. This is as if you were looking at the guitar as it stands up on its end.

I chose to diagram the fretboard in this conventional way, a standard method for teaching chords I've
studied the past 40 years.

However, I am not a fan of that style of notation, as guitarists actually don't see the fretboard as if we
are looking at a guitar standing on its end. Instead, we look down on it sideways from its left (for a right-
handed player).

Therefore, the diagram should have the nut at the left, low E string at the top, high E string at the
bottom. That's how guitarists spend years looking at the fretboard. I originally wrote all the diagrams this
way, and I believe it is superior to convention.

Nevertheless, in an effort to reduce potential confusion, I opted for convention over personal
The Five “CAGED” Chords
125 Different Ways to Play “C-F-G”

The guitar fretboard is unique in that it allows the On the guitar neck there are 5 positions, which are
opportunity to describe where on the neck to play a chord connected up the neck in a certain order. These positions
or scale, and which fingering pattern to use. are named by their shape when played in the open (nut)
All instruments call a chord or scale by its root key, say position. They are, in order, C,A,G,E, and D. The diagram on
“C”. And then further, its quality, such as Cm or C7. The Page 1 shows how the positions connect up the neck,
guitar is unique in that we can also say “E-type Cm,” or “D- showing the 5 types of the “C” chord.
type C7.” Each of the 5 types has its own uniquely-fretted chords;
“E-type Cm” states not only that the chord is a “Cm,” but such as Major, minor, Suspended, Dominant, diminished,
also that the chord form to use is the “E type of Cm.” By Augmented, Major7, minor7, 6, 9, 11, 13, and many more.
implication it also states where on the neck to play it, since See Page 9.
a, say, E-type C7 chord can only be played at the 8th fret. That means there are 5 ways in 5 different places on the
So, every chord on the fretboard can be classified by its neck to play any Major chord, and all 5 are connected, or
type, just as every chord has a root key and and quality. On share at least one note in common.
the fretboard, there are only 5 chord types, namely C, A, G, E Where there are chords, there are patterns for scales.
and D (named by their chord forms when played in the Where there are scales, there are solos.
open position, or at the nut). For solos, you can use any scale or combination of
These are the only 5 major chords anyone needs to scales, or an “un-deconstructed just close your eyes and play
learn on guitar. All other chords, say, B-flat, can be learned what you feel” riff (which can usually be reduced to a scale
as one of the 5 types of an A chord moved up a half-step, or anyway).
any of the 5 types of a C chord moved down a whole step (2 Scales can be the Major, minor, suspended, Dominant,
frets). diminished, Augmented, Blues, and more. There are as many
CAGED can be used in the following ways: playing a scales as there are stars in the sky.
simple C-F-G progression in 125 different ways; playing
horn section lines; re-voicing a harmony or progression such Tip: Tune your guitar using an electronic tuner, so you can
as when using a capo or changing a song's key; using the learn the proper sound of each chord or scale.
whole neck to play a chord progression or solo; not getting
in the way when playing rhythm with another guitarist.
Learn these chords and their scales, and the secrets of
the fretboard are yours!

The Five “CAGED” Chords, continued = Root (C)

The flow between positions is one of the tricks to good

rhythm playing and soloing. C chord
Tip: practice playing a scale up and down the neck using C major chord)
the CAGED patterns for that scale.
Tip: practice playing the same chord progression in each of
the 5 positions. A simple 3-chord progression, like “Louie
Louie,” has 125 possible combinations (5x5x5=125).
Notice how the positions are in a pattern of 3-fret A chord
pattern followed by a 2-fret pattern. The fretboard is all A major chord)
about patterns, and that's a good one to remember, it'll
come in handy later.
When learning or writing a new song, make a point of
learning all 5 positions to play each chord. Then Mix and
Match. Move up the neck playing increasingly higher G chord
positions, then back down. Play a higher position during a G major chord)
solo. Even use it to play a solo using nothing but chords,
made more interesting by Mix and Match.
On the guitar neck there are 5 positions, which are G
connected up the neck in a certain order. These positions
are named by their shape when played in the open (nut) E chord
position. They are, in order, C,A,G,E, and D. The diagram on (E-type
E major chord)
Page 4 shows how the positions connect up the neck,
showing the 5 types of the “C” chord.
Each of the 5 types has its own uniquely-fretted chords; E
such as Major, minor, Suspended, Dominant, diminished,
Augmented, Major7, minor7, 6, 9, 11, 13, and many more. D chord
See Page 11. (D-type
D major chord)
That means there are 5 ways in 5 different places on the
neck to play any Major chord, and all 5 are connected, or
share at least one note in common.
Where there are chords, there are patterns for scales.
Where there are scales, there are solos.
= Root (C)
C-type C scale
The Basic “C” Scale A-type C scale G-type C scale
Play this
in Each CAGED 2 fingering, so
3 when you
Position move up the
3 4 neck it's 3 2 3 Slide down
“C” scale, C to C,
easier 3 with finger 1
in each of the 5 positions
5 5 4 5 1 for this note
Here is the C scale in 2
each of the 5 positions, 7 7 7 3
starting and ending on a C. 4
This is the heart of CAGED 9 9 9
as it relates to scales,
especially major scales.
Notice how they are 12 12 12
similar in shape or pattern
to the A, G, E, and D scales
in the open position (at the
nut). E-type C scale D-type C scale
Learn these 5, and you
will know all the major
scales you'll need. Same 3 3
with other forms, like
minor. Soon, we will
5 5
combine them and start
and end on notes besides Slide down
7 1 7 with 1 finger
C. See Page 7. for these notes
Connect them to move 2
up and down the neck. 9 3 9

In this way you can play 4 1 From the

the same lick in 5 different 2 12th fret is
places on the neck, that is, 12 12 3 like starting
in 5 different positions. at th e nut
The “C” Chord in the 5 CAGED Positions
These are the 5 different types of “C” major chords on the neck showing the 5 Positions. In
this case, C is the 1st position, A is the 2nd Position, G is the 3rd, and so on. Learn these cold so
you can quickly go to any of the 5 types of chords when playing a “C”.

= Root (C)


Notice that chords have

some common notes Notice how the C, A, G, E and D
chords go in order up the neck? That's why
the system is called “CAGED.”

The Full “C” Scale
in Each CAGED Play 2 C-type
notes on C scale
Position this fret 3
with this 3 4 Notice this
Here's the rest of the finger # C chord in = Root (C)
notes in the “C” scale, in the scale
each of the 5 CAGED
positions. These are C scales
like in the last lesson, but 7

we are adding starting and

ending on notes other than 9
C, and including all the
scale notes that can be
played in the position. 12
Notice the common
notes in adjacent positions.
Those can provide good
anchors to remember 1 C scale
where you are in the scale notes on
3 2 Notice this
and on the neck. this fret 3 A chord in
Tip: Combine these scales with this 5 4 the scale
to expand your solo range finger
more than 1 octave; 7
moving linearly on the neck
for licks or solos; play the 9
dozens of 2- and 3-note
chords like a horn section or Slide up for these
organ; move to a different notes with
the 4th finger
position for a certain lick; 12

and in general for an

expanded style and sound.

The Full “C” Scale in Each CAGED Position, continued = Root (C)
C scale Slide down for
this note with
3 the 1st finger
Notice this
5 1 G chord in
the scale
7 3
C scale
3 12

7 1 Notice this
Play E chord in C scale
notes on the scale 3
this fret 9 3
with this 4
finger 5
Slide down for
12 this note with
7 the 1st finger

Notice this
D chord in
the scale 12 3

The Consolidated “C” Major Scale
The Full C Major Scale in Each of the 5 CAGED Positions

This is the Basic C scale in each position, the C chord Try playing the Consolidated C Major Scale over the
with the rest of the notes in the key of C added, as well as following Diatonic (scale-wise) chord progressions:
the combination of the 5 CAGED scales on Pages 5-6.
In the key of C, this is the whole enchilada, 12 frets CΔ | FΔ | Dm | G7 | CΔ | Am7 | Dm7 | G7 | CΔ ||
worth. Know it cold. Play it linearly, diagonally, and in all
positions. Practice great leaps between the notes to break
C | F | G7 | F | C | F | G7 | F | C ||
out of the each-note-next-to-the-other routine. C | Dm | Em | Dm | C | Dm | Em | Dm | C ||
= Root (C) Am | Dm | Em | Dm | Am | Dm | Em | Dm | Am ||
Em | Am | Dm7 | G7 | C ||
C | Dm | Em | F | G7 | Am | B° | C ||
Am | F | G | F | C | Dm | Em | Dm | Am | F | G | F | C ||
C-type C scale
Am | F | G | Dm | Em | C | F | Em | G7 | C | Dm | G7 | C ||
A-type C scale Dm7 | G7 | C | Am | Dm7 | G7 | C ||
Dm7 | G7 | CΔ | Am | Dm7 | G7 | CΔ ||
G-type C scale
Tip: record yourself playing the chords and then play along
with a solo using the scale, or have a friend play the chords
E-type C scale while you play the solo, then switch.
Tip: Since the chords stay within the key (no sharps or flats
if in the key of C), the progression is called “Diatonic.”
D-type C scale
7 = dominant seventh (flat 7 or b7)
m = minor (flat 3 or b3)
Δ = Major 7 (natural 7)
º = diminished (flat 3, flat 5, double-flat 7 or b3, b5, bb7)
The Ten Chords
Here are the ways to play each of the main 10 chords in diminished chord: Locrian, Super-locrian, Diminished, Half-
each of the CAGED types. They are Major, minor, Major 7, diminished, Blues, Altered, 8-Tone, Hungarian Minor, Todi.
minor 7, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, Augmented, and diminished. They Cº is a passing chord which resolves to C#, E, G, or A#.
each have a characteristic sound, each are used in specific
ways, and each has a chord(s) to which it resolves. Many chords have strong leading properties. For
Each of these chords has “its” scale, one which when instance, when the ear hears C7, it wants to resolve to F. The
played over that chord, sounds the wail most euphonious. C+ also strongly leads to F. The diminished chord is unique
Suggested scales for each type of chord are as follows. See since it resolves to any of the 4 chords a half-step (1 fret) up
my “Secrets of Scales and Chords Revealed” for more. from any of the chord tones. Cº resolves to C#, E, G, and A#.
Likewise, the Augmented chord also resolves up a half-
Major chord: Major (Ionian), Mixolydian, Lydian, Major step of the chord tones. C+ resolves to C#, A, and F.
Pentatonic, Blues, Enigmatic, Hindu, Jazz Melodic minor, Notice the symmetry of the diminished and Augmented
Double-harmonic, Byzantine, Chinese, Ichikosucho, Purvi. chords: they are the only ones with their chord tones
Resolves to any other chord. Really. equally spaced, 3 frets apart for the dim, and 4 frets apart
for the Aug. That also means the dim repeats itself every 3
minor or minor7 chords: Any minor, Dorian, Aeolian,
frets (stays the same chord) as you move chromatically up
Phrygian, Blues, minor Pentatonic, Diminished, ½ Dim, Jazz
the neck, and the Augmented does the same, every 4 frets.
Melodic minor, Locrian, Super-locrian, Altered, Bali, 8-Tone
Spanish, Hirajoshi, Hungarian (both), Kumai, Mohammedan, Thus, the Cº is also a Ebº, Gbº, and Aº. Same with Aug: a
Neopolitan, Pelog, Todi. Cm resolves to Fm, Bb, Ab, Eb, Dm. C+ is also a E+ and G#+. Use both these kinds of chords to
make difficult changes of keys or chords, like going from C
Major7 chord: Major (Ionian), Lydian, Major pentatonic. to Db via Cº, or C to Ab via C+.
Cmaj7 resolves to Fmaj7, Dm7, G, Dmaj7, Cm7. The 11 chord is a smoky and mysterious but beautiful
Dominant chord, which resolves from V to I (G11 to C). It
7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chords: Mixolydian, Locrian, Super-
combines the classic harmony of the V to I with the
locrian, Major, Pentatonic, Blues, Whole-tone, Altered,
funkiness of the gospel-like IV chord resolving to the I, as it
Arabian, 8-Tone (exc. 11th chord), Hindu, Hungarian Major, is little more than a IV chord with a V in the bass. The IV also
Overtone. C resolves to F, Bmaj7, C+, Cº, B9, Bb7.
adds suspension, strongly leading to resolution to the I.
Augmented chord: Mixolydian, Major Pentatonic, Blues, Used mostly in pop and jazz, hear it in a Blues at 1:13 in
Augmented, Whole-tone, Altered, Byzantine, 8-Tone, Goin' Down Slow (Allman Bros).
Enigmatic, Hindu, Hirajoshi, Persian. C+ is a passing chord
which resolves to A, C#, or F.
The Ten Chords, continued
C-type chords A-type chords G-type chords
The 11 chord is a smoky and mysterious but beautiful C A G
Dominant chord, which resolves from V to I (G11 to C). It Cmaj7 Amaj7 Gmaj7
combines the classic harmony of the V to I with the C7 A7 G7
funkiness of the gospel-like IV chord resolving to the I, as it Gsus
C9 Am
is little more than a IV chord with a V in the bass. The IV also
adds suspension, strongly leading to resolution to the I. C11 Am7 G9
Used mostly in pop and jazz, hear it in a Blues at 1:13 in C13 A11 G11
Goin' Down Slow (Allman Bros). C+ Asus
Unless called “add6”, a 13th chord always has the b7 and Cº A+
the 9, but not the 11. The 9th chord always has the b7, Aº
except if “add9“. E-type chords D-type chords
Tip: Try using the funky 9th chord, jazzy 13th chord, or the E D
sexy 11th, in place of a 7th chord. Always use the b7 for a 7th Dmaj7
chord, not the major 7.
Em Dm
Tip: A “tritone substitution” uses a F9 or F13 in place of a B7
to resolve to E. The F is a “tritone,” or b5, from B. Works for Em7 Dm7
any key, is used mostly in jazz and jazzy blues. See Page 31. E9 D7
Tip: Use the Phrygian scale (mode) or the diminished scale E13 Dsus
in a minor blues progression, or a whole tone scale over a 7th E+
chord. See Page 25 for forty-five scales.
Tip: Extensions or altered chord tones, like the b7, 9, 11, or Best for Major: C, A, G, E, D
13, should be the higher notes, not in bass. The 5th (G in the Best for minor: A, E, D
key of C) or the Root (C in the key of C) can usually be Best for minor7th: A, E, D
omitted. Best for Major7th: C, A, G, D
Best for 7th: C, A, G, E, D
In the real world, not all of the 10 chords in all of the 5
positions are useful, either because of fingering difficulty or Best for 9th: C, G, E, D
its sound. Next are the chords you'll find more useful than Best for 11th: C, A, G
others in most playing situations. Best for 13th: C, E
Best for Aug: C, A, E
Best for dim: C, A, D
The Ten C-type Chords Cmaj7
Although ten chords are shown aka:
here, they are only the most popular ∆
ones. There are dozens more. C M7 Cm
Each of the chords has a unique C EG major7 C Eb G
sound, and each has its own unique aka:
scale to go with it. More than one scale min
will work for most chords. Over the minor
minor chord you could play the Melodic C7 b3
minor, Harmonic minor, or Diminished C E G Bb
scales, or the Dorian, Aeolian, or aka:
Phrygian modes. See Page 25. dom7
Also shown are the notes making up Cm7 dominant C13
each chord. The more complex chords C Eb G Bb CE G
naturally have more notes (called aka: Bb D A
“extensions”), thereby providing the min 7
harmonic density. The Aug, 7, 9, 13, and minor 7
11 chords want to resolve up a fourth, b3b7 C9
such as C7 to F. Diminished chords C EG
resolve up ½ step from any of its notes, Bb D
so the C dim (or Cº) naturally wants to
resolve to Db, Bb, G, or E Major chords. C11 Co
Tip: Some of the chords of each type are C F Bb D C Eb Gb A aka:
really harder to play than they're worth, (don't confuse dim
so I've put a star next to the better ones. with a sus diminished
Tip: Not all chords tones must be chord) C+
played, esp. the Root and 5. Some chord C E G#
tones are omitted in these diagrams.
aka: 3

= forms used most often (aka: “also known as”) aug

The Ten A-type Chords

A Amaj7 A7
A C# E A C# E G# A C# E G
aka: aka:
∆ dom7
M7 seventh
major7 dominant

Am Am7 A9
aka: aka:
min min 7
minor minor 7

A11 A13 A+
(don't G B F# aka:
confuse with aug
a sus chord) augmented

= forms used most often (aka: “also known as”)
A C Eb Gb
The Ten G-type Chords

G Gmaj7 G7
aka: aka:
∆ dom7
M7 seventh
major7 dominant

Gm Gm7 G9
aka: aka:
min min 7
minor minor 7
b3 b3b7

G11 G13 G+
(don't aka:
confuse with aug
a sus chord)

= forms used most often (aka: “also known as”) Go

G Bb Db E
The Ten E-type Chords

E Emaj7 E7
E G# B E G# B D# E G# B D
aka: aka:
∆ dom7
M7 seventh
major7 dominant

Em Em7 E9
aka: aka:
min min 7
minor minor 7
b3 b3b7

E11 E13 E+
(don't confuse D F# C# aka:
with a sus aug
chord) augmented

= forms used most often (aka: “also known as”) Eo

E G Bb Db

The Ten D-type Chords

D Dmaj7 D7
D F# A D F# A C# D F# A C
aka: aka:
∆ dom7
M7 seventh
major7 dominant

Dm7 Dm D9
aka: aka:
min 7 min
minor 7 minor
b3b7 b3

D11 D13 D+
(don't CEB aka:
confuse aug
with a sus augmented

= forms used most often (aka: “also known as”) Do

D F G# B

Proper Hand Positioning =fingers to use

Classical guitarists know where

best to position the hand during a
scale. It's similar to piano, namely the
crossover point for fingerings. F Major Scale
Looking at the fretboard linearly
(from nut to bridge), play an “F” Start with
scale on only one string. In so doing hand here
the hand should easily go to the 3
Positions, as shown below. The Numbers Translated
It helps break the “stuck in 1
position” rut we can get into, and Move
to Notes
makes linear movement more to here In the key of C, the numbers
natural and spontaneous. correspond to:
Tip: practice big jumps up and down
1 =C b6 = Ab
the neck, like Jimi, SRV, and Johnny
Winter. Then here. b2 = Db 6 =A
Tip: try playing diagonally; High E on Now go 2 =D b7 = Bb
the 12th fret to Open Low E, 3
back down b3 = Eb 7 =B
in reverse
octaves. Then reverse: Open Low E 3 =E b9 = Db
to High E 12th fret. How you get from 4 =F 9 =D
one to the other is the Art. Use your #4 = F# #9 = D#
ear, use your heart, use what you b5 = Gb 11 = F
learn here. 13 = A
5 =G
This exercise also reminds you of
the Major scale's intervals, namely:
+5 = G#
whole step, whole step, half step, Note: there are no “10th” or “12th”
whole step, whole step, whole step, chords, the 10 is “E”, the Third in
half step. A whole step? On guitar C; and 12 is G, the Fifth.
that's a step (or interval) of 2 frets,
thus a half step is a 1 fret interval.

Circle of Fifths, Fourths and Thirds

Circle of Fourths this way

C Circle of Fifths this way
F G The Circle of Fifths is one of the truly magical
things in music. Going around the circle clockwise is

Each key this way is one more #, until C#

Each key this way is one more b, until Cb

Bb/A# D the Circle of Fifths, and counter-clockwise is the

Circle of Fourths. As you see, either way you hit
every key, and still end up back at C. The Circle of
Circle of Fifths Fourths is often used in jazz, such as the
Eb/D# A
(and Fourths) progression C E7 A7 D7 G7, and in turnarounds.
The common jazz progression called “II-V-I” is the
Circle of Fourths, and is the jazz version of blues' “I-
Ab/G# E IV-V”. The song “Hey Joe” is the Circle of Fifths. Try
playing both Circles as a chord progression.
Db/C# B/Cb
C (1)
This is my invention, the “Circle of Thirds.” It illustrates
how chords are just stacked Thirds. This example is in A (13) E (3)
the key of C, of course. C E G creates the basic C chord
(Eb for minor, G# for augmented). Adding the B creates
a C7 (if Bb, or Cmaj7 if natural B). Adding D creates that G F
funky C9 chord (Db makes it Cb9, D# makes it C#9). Circle of Thirds
Adding an F creates a suspenseful C11 chord. Finally,
adding an A gives a jazzy C13 chord. In practice, you F (11) G (5)
can play just a C7 in place of the 9, 11 or 13. An 11
chord is played without the 9, and the 13 chord wants E A
the 7 and 9 join it, but not the 11.
D (9) C B (7)
Linear and Diagonal Exercises
=play in this order, 1-24

Linear exercises are good for warming-up fingers,

increasing speed and perfecting your tempo.

Tip: reverse it in all directions, and try alternating

fingers (1324, 4231 and 123443211234). The one on
the left is good for practicing hammer-ons, and the
right good for pull-offs. Playing every fret on every
string this way (starting at the low F) is a good way to
check a neck for buzzes and bad frets.

Diagonal exercises are a good way to improve

picking and fretting precision.

Tip: these are wild and fun. Reverse it in both directions

(back and forth and up and down), alternate fingers
(1324 and 4231) and alternate strings. Play it evenly,
fluidly and with swing like a solo.

Home is Where The Root Is
When soloing, the most important
note in any scale is the Root, the tone Chords as Numbers
that's the key of the part you’re playing One way to express to
over (not always the key of the song, others which chord to play in a
since the solo might be in different key). chord progression is with
The Root is home. Start and numbers. It makes it easy to
especially end a phrase or solo on it. Solos communicate which chord is
can be otherwise harmonically-wild, as next while the band is playing,
long as you end on the Root. That way either by shouting “Four!”, or
it'll sound like you “meant for that to by holding up 4 fingers (for the
happen.” IV chord), 5 fingers for the V
Use all the notes of the Root on the chord, or 1 finger for the I
guitar, for instance, there are seven C chord. In the key of C, the
notes within the 12 frets. See below. chords are:
All the C notes, II = D (Dm)
the Root in the
key of C. III = E (Em)
IV = F
Memorize and use V = G (G7)
them all.
Tip: Shorthand for “starting at
7 Start a solo high the beginning” is to point to,
and end low, touch or tap the top of your
or vice-versa. head. It came from jazz, where
the beginning of the song is
Or play the same called the “head."
lick in different
12 octaves.

Does It Sound Good?

You are the sole judge of what sounds good or not. No one
else knows better than you how well you sound. Therefore,
play just for you, not for the cute girl in the front row, or your
buddy in the back, or anyone else. They have no idea if you are
playing well, but you sure do.
When I play on stage, my aim is to give myself chills like I
would get when I saw my heroes, like Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan,
Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, Charlie Baty, or Buddy
Whittington, for the first time. That same sense of excitement,
awe, and joy. They inspired me to study and play harder.
So now when I play, I do it primarily for me, to entertain
myself. I try to give myself chills, every solo. Everyone else gets
to vicariously enjoy it as well. But in the middle of a solo, I'm
trying to make myself laugh and be surprised, by stretching a
little farther or playing something I've never played before. No
one else will know if I succeed at that. But I will.
That's the only way for me to ensure I play at my peak.
Otherwise, the problem is that everyone else will enjoy it even
if I don't play inspiringly, but I won't. I know what I'm capable
of, and I know when I either fall short or exceed it.
So if I try impress the cute girl in the front row, I won't play
to my full potential. But if I try to impress myself, then I'll play
to my full potential at that moment, and then some.
And she, and everyone else, will surely be impressed
because of it.