Guitar Master Class - How to Read Chord Charts
What you'll learn
- You will learn what a chord chart is and why they are important to learning and performing songs more efficiently..
- You will learn how chord charts simplify the structure of a song and make your band rehearsals much more productive.
- You will learn the meaning of all key terms and symbols used in notating music on a chord chart.
- By the time you are done with this course, you will be able to navigate any chord chart to perform the song.
- No previous experience with reading music or chord charts is necessary. You will learn everything that you need to know.
Guitarists are notoriously bad readers, or, in most cases, can’t read at all. It’s just not the way most guitar players learn to play. Because of this, guitar players are usually intimidated by the very idea of reading. Reading a chord chart is the minimal reading skill any musician should have and it’s well within your reach, even if you have never tried to read.
A chord chart is a basic roadmap of a song that musicians can use to quickly learn and perform a song correctly. It is a minimal representation of a song that usually fits on one or two pages. It usually has these components:
Any rhythm figures played by the whole band
Any signature bass, guitar, or keyboard riffs
In this course, we will start at the very beginning and walk through the entire process of learning to read chord charts. Even if you cannot read music, knowing how to read chord charts will help you a lot as a guitar player.
Although chord charts can seem a little intimidating at first, they really are no big deal once you understand how to use them. In fact, by learning to read chord charts, you will find that you can learn songs faster, and your band rehearsals can be much more efficient.
Who this course is for:
- Intermediate to advanced guitar players who want to improve the efficiency of learning songs, and performing live.
I spent 30 years playing professionally in Los Angeles as a guitarist, musical director, and composer in a variety of music settings including network TV, movie soundtrack, studio, concert and club venues. In 2010 I left Los Angeles and moved to join the rich music scene in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. I love it here and am as busy playing guitar now as I have ever been in my life.
My professional experience as an educator includes 23 years of teaching at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California for the Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.) and Baccalaureate programs and various clinics throughout the U.S. In my years at M.I. I wrote and edited courses for G.I.T. and M.I.’s Baccalaureate programs, spent 3 years as G.I.T. Department Head, and 9 years as Vice President and Director of Education.
I served as Guitar Department Head and Director of Academic Administration at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota for 7 years.
In 2018, I began writing the Fretboard Biology online guitar program with the goal to provide a comprehensive program of learning to students around the world.
My musical experience has been eclectic. I’ve enjoyed a career performing Funk, R&B, Jazz, Rock, Afro-Latin, Gospel, Blues and Country. During my career I’ve had the good fortune of performing with some of the world’s greatest musicians and have recently been performing with David Sanborn.
Here is a partial list of the artists with whom I have performed or recorded:
David Sanborn, Brandon Fields, Doug Web, Steve Cole, Don Menza
Bobby Lyle, Ricky Peterson, Scott Kinsey, Steve Weingart, John Beasley, David Garfield, Ellis Hall, Renato Neto, Bill Cunliffe
Stokely Williams, Ellis Hall, Jonathan Brooke, Patty Peterson, Jearlyn Steele, Jeveeta Steele, Kat Perkins, Carol Rogers, Bryan White
Andre Berry, Ernest Tibbs, Billy Peterson, Paul Peterson, Sonny Thompson, Rufus Philpot, Alex Al, Rene Camacho, Rick Fierrabracci
Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Tom Brechtlein, Ralph Humphrey, James Gadson, Michael Bland, Clayton Cameron, Gene Lake, Billy Kilson, Stokely Williams
Truth Serum is a collection of compositions I wrote with no preconceived goal of satisfying or conforming to any particular genre label or template. I just wrote what came to me at the moment. I arranged and performed them with my L.A. band, primarily at the legendary Baked Potato in Los Angeles.
Jazz Guitar Soloing
(Musicians Institute Press). Perfect for seasoned rockers seeking new challenges and jazz newcomers looking for a good start, this book with online audio covers scales, chords, licks, techniques, and other vital jazz improvisation concepts step by step.
(Musicians Institute Press). This book with online audio access takes you step by step through MI’s well-known Ear Training course. Complete lessons and analysis include: basic pitch matching, singing major and minor scales, identifying intervals, transcribing melodies and rhythm, identifying chords and progressions, seventh chords and the blues, modal interchange, chromaticism, modulation, and more!
Fretboard Biology - Level 1
In the book that accompanies the Level 1 Fretboard Biology course, you will establish a foundation in basic theory, chord voicings, rhythm guitar, technique, and soloing, as well as a framework for understanding the fretboard that will help you advance throughout the course.
Fretboard Biology - Level 2
Level 2 continues to build your musical foundation with intervals, the Octave Shape Family Tree, triad supershapes, rhythm notation, arpeggios, Folk and Classic Rock rhythm guitar, voice leading, and soloing with chord tones.
Fretboard Biology - Level 3
Level 3 introduces 7th chord formulas, 7th chord arpeggios, sequence exercises, analyzing chord progressions with 7th chords, money-maker licks over progressions, Reggae and Country rhythm guitar, and in-position arpeggios.
Fretboard Biology - Level 4
Level 4 introduces modal interchange, shell voicings, essential chord tones, Root Maps, inversions, ensemble chords, Funk and Classic R&B rhythm guitar, slash chord symbols, and analyzing chord progressions with inversions and modal interchange.
Fretboard Biology - Level 5
Level 5 introduces Harmonic Minor, reading chord charts, suspended chords, diminished chords, the V-I resolution, the primary dominant, functioning and non-functioning dominants, Latin and Odd-Meter rhythm guitar, and harmonic analysis of secondary dominants.