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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: Simple Chord Theory: Degrees of the Scale

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Okay, now that we've gone through
a bunch of basics here,
from hand positions,
to holding the pick,
to some rhythm patterns already
allow some cool
Luther Perkins style stuff.
We've learned a bunch of major chords,
we just did B7 and F,
which we're gonna start incorporating
here into changing some chords soon.
And having some fun and
starting to play some music here.
So before we get into that, I do wanna
get into a little bit of a fundamental
conversation about
the degrees of the scale.
And a little bit of how we talk
when we say, if somebody says play
a one-four-five, you might have heard that
and you go, well, what is one-four-five?
Is that the frets or what?
Well, what that is,
in the Nashville Number System,
which I'll get into in later lessons,
is based on this concept and
this is known throughout music.
But it's a very simple way to look
at the degrees of the scale and
how that relates to chord changes and
stuff like this.
So you've heard one-four-five,
which if you're in G
the one is G
the four is C
the five is D
and then you're back to the one in G
So if you're playing a bluegrass song or
a country song and
someone says play a one-four-five in G.
You're gonna know they mean G,
C, and D, which is the basic,
most fundamental chord
change in all music.
Blues, country, rock and roll, whatever,
that's your basic foundation for
changing chords in a certain key.
So, bear with me here and
I'll get into how this works.
So, I know we haven't done the major
scale yet but we're getting there.
So the basic degrees of
the scale in G are one [SOUND],
two [SOUND], three [SOUND],
four [SOUND], five [SOUND],
six [SOUND], seven [SOUND],
and then back to one.
So that's
So how that works is,
one is the key you're in, G.
So if you go one [SOUND],
two is A [SOUND],
three is B [SOUND],
four is C [SOUND], five is D [SOUND],
six is E [SOUND],
seven is F sharp [SOUND], and
then [SOUND] G, you're back to one again.
So, that's your,
those are the degrees of your scale.
So if I'm playing in G and
somebody says play a one-four-five,
I'm gonna know one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND],
four is C so
they mean go G [SOUND] to C [SOUND].
So if they say play a one-four-five,
I'm gonna go one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND], that's C.
One [SOUND], two [SOUND], three [SOUND],
four [SOUND], five [SOUND], that's D, so,
I know, one [SOUND],
four [SOUND], five [SOUND].
And then we'll elaborate on this,
I just wanted to introduce this
very basically right now and I know we
haven't even done major scales, yet.
But since we're getting ready
to start changing chords and
I will be referencing the one-four-five
progression, I just wanted to
introduce this concept early on so
we can just start thinking about this.
Cuz it is a great fundamental to be able
to look at changing chords like this.
Especially in some things where
the changes aren't as complex as like jazz
music, or pop music, or
classical music, or anything like that.
We're dealing with country music
where there's not a whole lot
of really crazy chord changes.
So a lot of this Nashville style music
can be described with the degrees
of the scale,
which interpret to the chord changes.
Which like I was saying, like one [SOUND],
four [SOUND], two minor which
would be one [SOUND], two [SOUND].
So the second degree of the scale is
two [SOUND], one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
so that's A.
So if you're in G and
they say play a one-two-four,
that's gonna be G [SOUND], A [SOUND],
C [SOUND], back to the one.
So, that's kind of how that works.
I just wanted to introduce that
briefly because we're gonna start.
The next lesson's gonna be changing
chords, so just to get that kinda
ball rolling with the way
the numbers are used in that facet.
So, and
we're gonna move on to the next lesson.
Okay, we've covered some minor chords,
some major chords.
We've even touched a little bit
on the degrees of the scale and
how that works with changing chords.
And a little bit how that kind of would
work with the Nashville Number System,
I'll elaborate on that
more as we go along.
But just to kind of recap on that
without it getting too confusing.
Basically, the degrees of the scale are
what we talked about being one [SOUND],
two [SOUND], three [SOUND], four [SOUND],
five [SOUND], six [SOUND], seven [SOUND],
and one again.
And then the whole thing repeats,
one [SOUND], two [SOUND], three [SOUND],
four [SOUND], five [SOUND], six [SOUND],
seven [SOUND], one [SOUND].
So that's
And the beauty about that is,
no matter what key
you're in,
the one through the seven works.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
The degrees of those scales stays
the same no matter where you're at.
If you're in G [SOUND], if you go up
to A [SOUND], it's the same thing.
One [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND],
five [SOUND], six [SOUND],
seven [SOUND], one [SOUND].
One [SOUND], two [SOUND], three [SOUND],
four [SOUND], five [SOUND], six [SOUND],
seven [SOUND], one [SOUND].
So that's two octaves [SOUND].
So, the thing I wanted to say
a little bit about that is,
it really comes in handy when you
get a little bit more advanced and
just to have a little bit of
groundwork of this concept.
It is pretty cool.
Because in Nashville,
when we do a session and
somebody throws a chord chart in
front of us, it's a number chart.
And if we're in B flat or
we're in G and we're in A, we're in C,
the numbers stay the same.
So if somebody writes one,
four, six minor,
five, we're gonna look at that chart.
And if the singer wants to change keys and
goes to B flat,
it's gonna be the same chords because
of the degrees of those scales.
A two in G [SOUND] is A.
A two in B flat [SOUND] is C.
Cuz you're going one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND], five [SOUND],
six [SOUND], seven [SOUND], one [SOUND].
So, any key you're in, if somebody says,
play a one to a four in C,
one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND],
you're gonna know that
that's where you go.
So, what I wanted to just kind of
reiterate about that was no matter
what key you're in,
the numbers stay the same, and
it's one through seven and then back
to the, eight [SOUND] is one again.
So, one [SOUND], two [SOUND],
three [SOUND], four [SOUND], five [SOUND],
six [SOUND], seven [SOUND], and
then eight is back to the one.
And we'll get more into that too, but
I just wanted to lay a little bit of
a foundation for that concept,
cuz we'll talk more about that.
We'll get into the minors and
stuff like, a little bit later.
But that's that,
just a little recap on that.
So yeah.