Guitar Lessons

A collection of guitar lessons with the way I understand music. Designed to help guitarists go beyond tabs and memorizing songs to really understanding how everything works together.

The in-key pattern

In common music, most notes used are in-key. Then, chords (multiple notes played at a time) are built from these in-key notes. There are only twelve notes in music, but they repeat in octaves. Only seven of these notes are in-key. Below is what the pattern of in-key notes looks like. Scroll horizontally to view the entire pattern. This pattern repeats infinitely up and down so the ends connect.

The in-key guitar pattern

We can apply the in-key pattern to the guitar. Each dot on the fretboard below is a note that in-key. This entire pattern repeats up and down so the ends connect. The pattern is not specific to any note or fret number - it can be shifted up or down depending on the key you are in. Scroll horizontally to view the entire pattern. Tap a Degree and Type to highlight specific notes or chords inside the pattern. The most common chord progressions in typical songs use primarily the 1, 4, 5, and 6 degree chords. Most common songs will resolve back to the 1 (Major) or 6 (Minor) degree chord. Once you find the root of a song, you can play any of the notes in the entire in-key pattern and it is likely to sound good.