Perfectly Aligning Guitar Frets and Strings with Notes on a Staff

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Igor Polk's Blog

March 21, 2014

Modulations - nice and easy explanation. I do not understand why wiki explanations are so overly complicated. Encyclopedia should not be that special. I am experimenting with modulation making the same sequences over many keys. It is a good tool to memorize keys and their relations. For example, here is a nice piece:

Am E Am Am - one key
Gm A Dm Dm - another key
Dm Gm C F - and stayed in it (I could return back)
H A Dm Dm  
Gm C F H - repeating the last two lines slightly differently
E A Dm Dm  
Dm ...     - and start over in the second key in the same harmonic pattern. Ultimately going through all 12 keys.

This sounds nice and unusual if you are used to a more usual chord flow:

Am E Am Am  
Dm A Dm Dm  
Dm G C F  
B(orH) E Am Am ( H is B flat )



August 25, 2011

I was talking to a piano teacher with high education years of performing and teaching experience. With pride ( yes, with pride ! ) I told her that I can recognize immediately what major and minor key any key signature represents. She asked me: "3 sharps?". I said, I have to look at the signature.. She said "It is childish, you have to know it". "Well", I said, "I know the simple rule, but I have to look at the signature". She said "you have just to remember it".

Hm... I am a guitar player. For you, pianists, three sharps mean three black keys. It is a big deal. For me, a guitarist - nothing very special. Besides, I am only a player, I am not a professional. I do not even need to know the music theory! I just want to take notes and play having good time. Why I have to complicated it? I can just look at the signature and immediately see in what, major or minor key it is, so I can adjust my chords and fingering accordingly. Do I need anything else? Notes are in front of me. The key signature is on every staff. One rule for all key signatures and no memorization... Simple.

And ultimately, can not a simple rule help to memorize it?

August 21, 2011

This is not me... Here is a outside link to teacher explaining music notation for a classical guitar player.

July 26, 2011

I remember notes of the guitar now so well that I continue recalling them in my mind when I drive a car, when I pretend listening to someone, when I sleep. I envision the whole pattern and even play some sequences with notes and chords. Sometimes I look at the diagram C major scale, and say to myself why do I need it for ?- it is so obvious where each note is! I already forgot that thanks to this PAD (nothing else worked for me) I was able to learn these notes !!!

June 21, 2011

I am providing tools for memorization, but it is up to you to memorize it. Here is the good article how to memorize:

"This is how you learn to memorize–your practice recalling, not repeating. This means that simply reading a particular piece of text over and over again is going to be the long road to memorization. You need to let your brain practice recalling the data so it can strengthen the same pathways that will fire when you need to remember the information later on. You can’t practice recalling until the information is at least partially contained in your short term memory"

PADs help you "get the information partially contained in your short term memory".

June 16, 2011

Well, it does work for me ! Of course,
That is why I propose it. My points are:

1. When starting to learn notes, it is always a pain to find where each note is.
2. While there, one does not get a large picture leaning bit by bit.
3. "No colorize-ing is allowed !" Exactly! And it means TABs too and conventional fretboard diagrams with note names.
4. Learning involves fingering. It involves listening to sounds. How one can quickly start moving all around the fret board and not to get used to TABs and so on?

My diagram is the solution to this.
1. Very easy to find notes, even if I do not know their "names".
2. One gets the very large picture - the whole fretboard right away.
3. Standard musical notation !! Nothing else.
4. Look there, play blindly, and develop finger memory as well as ear, while mind is subconsciously is getting used to where each note it.


June 6, 2011

from my letter..

My approach is a different,
I can clarify it. I am not looking for special patterns of the notes on the fret board. In my view, the order of notes there is just for convenience of fingering. For example, the shift in tuning on 2 and 3 strings allows more chords to be taken easier. A simple bar on a fret produces 2 triads. Considering free strings, it is Em on 1,2,3 string, and G on 2, 3, 4 strings. It is true not only for a bar which means notes on a single fret, but for all "groups" of frets.
Here is a chapter about it. It explains that around each third on 2 and 3 strings, there are 4 different triads ( plus 2 more inverted ones ) can be produces.

I am not looking for any musical sense out of positions of the fingers, I am mapping the positions of fingers into standard musical notation, where everything is more or less clear and easy. That is the goal - NOT to think about fingers, but think only in notes. Fingers should find their positions "themselves".


May 31, 2011

One of the great ways to work with PADs is to make one of your own. Take your ( reasonable amount of ) notes, like of a chord or in several measures of music, and colorize them on an appropriate key scale diagram. And improvise with it.


May 7, 2011

The PADs are an excellent for improvisation, for example: C blues scale. You look at it and play along, great! In contrast to other types of diagrams, you effortlessly get used to musical notation by the way of your playing.


May 3, 2011

The purpose of this diagram and other PADs is to simplify familiarization with guitar and memorization of standard musical notation for guitarists which is known to be difficult.

By the explaining that, I give some clues to familiarization with music through musical structure of the guitar based on standard musical notation which is much more powerful than notations used widely like TAB. In whole multitude of guitar books, all diagrams of this sort are like TABs: they show note names on strings, but do not create direct visual association with a graphical presentation of a note on staff. On the contrary, I present it in the way where this association plays a major role, therefore creating direct mental association between a graphical presentation of a note and its position on the fretboard.


May 2, 2011

Carl Linnaeus Invented The Index Card


March 14, 2011

Here people discuss how difficult it is.


February 24, 2011

New kind of diagram is presented for your review. 2 triads over C major scale. As the first case I have choose Am and Dm. You can see both triads over C major scale colored with red and blue. The common note A is purple. Please, tell me what you think. By the way the remaining notes are notes of G major triad which has one note D common with D minor, and no common notes with Am.

February 19, 2011

"Chords over scales" are added:

Chords over C major scale: C, G, F, Em, Am, Dm, Bdim
Chords over A minor scale: Am, Dm, E, G, C, F, Bdim

These are PADs to practice improvisation from chord positions. Finding any note from a chord position and a chord position from any note is essential skill. It trains fingering intensely.

January 28, 2011

Of course music is the world of sounds and vibrations crystallized into notes, melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. For listeners, this is quite sufficient world, and no special education is need to listen to music, enjoy it, and even be an expert in some musical area.

However, being able to play a musical instrument requires more. One has to be able to produce a note. With fingers in the case of a guitar. And in order to learn music, all these melodies and harmonies, one has to communicate with other musicians. Of present and the past. That what music notation is for. Not only other guitarists, but also, for example, with piano players. Being able to recognize by ear what others are playing, but also to read the written music. All that tells about the domains a literate musician should be able to operate:

All senses are involved: ears, eyes, tactile ones, and mind. Memory is involved. An advanced musician lives not only in the world of sounds, but int he worlds accompanying it: tactile world, worlds of musical symbols and their logic.

There are 12 relations between each of these domains:

  "Fingering" "Ear" and "Internal ear" "Notation" "Logic"

Listening to music, and playing along.

Looking a written music, playing it.

Playing by the note name, chord name, or improvising in a key.

"Ear" and "Internal ear" Knowing before-play what sound is produced at a specific finger position on a specific string. And chord.   Looking at the notation and imagining sounds Imagining sounds by note and chord name.
"Notation" Playing music and visualizing the note symbols played. Listening to music and writing it down.   Given a chord name, writing its symbols.
"Logic" Playing a note or a chord and knowing its name, harmony, and key it belong within the piece. Listening music and telling what key, what chords and sounds are. Looking at a notation of the musical piece, and telling underlying logic of this: what key it is in, what chords correspond to certain bars.  


The "Perfectly Aligning" diagrams are of great help to study guitar !

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Home | Top | What is PAD: Perfectly Aligning Diagrams | How the method was developed | Basic chord fingering chart | Table of PADs in the Book: chords and scales, transposition table | Musical structure of guitar starting with C major scale | Essential guitar scale pattern on the fretboard | Notes along the fingerboard: note C | Grouping of notes across the guitar strings into fret groups | Notes along the strings | Thirds intervals on the Guitar. Exercise | Guitar Triads and Tetrads (Chords), Diagonal Structure, Exercise | Chords and Inverted Chords on a Guitar Fret Group. Exercise | PAD Chord Charts | Working with other keys, C blues scale and A minor scale and key | Importance of Key Signatures | Guitar Ear, Fingering, Memory Training with Visual Musical Notes Presentation | The book | Success without memorizing | Blogs, Forums, Groups

Available PAD in the key C - Am: Help | Home | Explanation | Musical Structure of Guitar | Success without memorizing | Forums, Groups
Notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B
Triads of C major scale: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim, tetrads: Bm7b5, G7
Triads of A minor scale: E, other: A
C blues scale C7, F7, G7
Chords over C major scale: C, G, F, Em, Am, Dm, Bdim
Chords over A minor scale: Am, Dm, E, G, C, F, Bdim
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Key words: guitar, chord, scale, chart, classical, note, tablature, book, fingerboard, fretboard
Design and Copyright © 2011 Igor Polk.    Published by Yes San Francisco, LLC on 2011.01.11