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Bruce Emery

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Music Principles for the
Skeptical Guitarist
Volume One: The Big Picture

1997; ISBN 0-9665029-0-6
136 pages - $24.95

In the First Approach, we see how major and minor chords are grouped into keys (chord families) according to the 1 - 4 - 5 and C-A-G-E-D Systems, with examples from popular music.  Topics include the Big Fifteen chords, using the capo, finding the starting note, tuning, the Rhythm Changes and secondary dominant chords.

In the Second Approach, we start over from the beginning and fill in the details of how to use Major Scales to generate the five C-A-G-E-D chord families and how all 12 key are related through the Circle of Fifths, the cosmic nutshell of the entire musical universe.  Topics include transposing from key to key, dominant seventh chords, triad spellings, the jazz turnaround, back cycling through the Circle, and relative minor keys.  Plenty of examples.

Table of Contents

The First Approach

Notes and pitches
The layout of the notes

Tuning the guitar

Chords and chord quality

The Big Fifteen chords

Playing in different keys

The 1-4-5 system
C-A-G-E-D examples
Chord Families

The 1 and 5 chords

Songs in different keys

The 1, 4 and 5 chords Songs in different keys

"Silent Night" in all 5 keys

Choosing the right key

Using the capo
Quiz time for the 1-4-5's
Finding the starting note
Adding the Minor chords

Songs in the Keys of G and C

"Rhythm Changes" Secondary Dominants
Bunches of useful chords (A-G)

The Second Approach

The Chromatic scale
Layout on the neck

The Major scale

The Key of C

Scale degrees and other keys

The Key of G

Worksheet for Major scales

Traveling by Fifths

Major scale summary

The flat keys

The fretboard and the keyboard

Major scale exercises

Back to Chord Families

The C Harmonized Diatonic scale

Major chords versus Minor chords

Four combinations of Thirds Other

Chord Families

Worksheets for Chord Families

C-A-G-E-D Chord Family summary
Example: "Morning Has Broken"
Full Chord Family summary

Transposition chart

Details of the 1-4-5 relationship

The Dominant 7th chord

Overlapping Chord Families

Chord substitutions

Triad spellings

My Bio
Circle of Fifths
More on Secondary Dominants

Examples in the Key of C

Down by a 5th = up by a 4th

Backcycling through all the keys

C-A-G-E-D Chord Family examples

Mixing in the Minor chords

The Jazz Turnaround

"Morning Has Broken" again

Yuletide Backcycling in a the C-A-G-E-D keys
Starting notes
Shortcuts in terminology

The 4th of the 4th

Major 7th and Minor 7th chords

Minor keys

C Major versus A Minor

Three kinds of Minor scales

Carols in the Keys of Am, Dm, and Em

Appendix 1: Why the number "five"?

Appendix 2: Key signatures

Volume One in a nutshell
One last quiz

Sample Pages

Click on the images for full sized .pdfs

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