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You ever feel like a toppled ship left stranded on the sea? Maybe thats a bit dramatic. Maybe it isn’t though. When we are trying to get ahead in life, sometimes, most of the time, things don’t go our way. Its only when we persevere that things become clear.

Whenever I feel frustrated I put on some music, shred a little or paint a little. A lot of the times I’ll resort to a new composition. Either in painting or musically. Most of the time its songwriting that I go to. A new chord progression, riff or melodic idea can really change my mood around. Im not in it for the fame. Im in it for the high. I get high off of creating and writing songs.

Thats why I decided long ago that I would learn everything about the guitar I possibly could especially songwriting…cus its all about songs isn’t it? The more I know my chords and options in a key the more I’m able to perfectly express myself…my mood and my sentiments.

Here are the chords in Eb Major and the relative minor key of C Minor. In the future you will see more complex, more interesting chords within these progressions.

For now, try and get used to the basic triads, power chords and possibly 7th chords in these keys.

Dont forget to apply what you learn. Applying what you learn means you are really learning it. Not applying what you learn and learning for the sake of learning won’t get you anywhere. Pick a progression or 2 and riff on it for a total of 5 minutes or more… non stop. Then go and do another 5 and then another 5 all the way up to 25 minutes or even longer. Dont put a time limit, just practice, just play to your hearts content.

This is an idea I got from listening to the NO Guitar is Safe podcast by Jude Gold when he interviewed Rustey Cooley. Badass!

Here are the progression examples:

 

Eb Major

Notes in the Eb Major Scale are as follows:

Eb F G Ab Bb C D

Progression Examples:

  1. Eb Ab Cm Bb7
  2. Eb Cm7 Bb
  3. Eb Bb7
  4. Eb5 Ab5 G5
  5. Fm Fm7 Bb7 Eb
  6. Eb Ddim Cm7 Bb7
  7. Eb Cm7 Fm Bb7
  8. Eb Ab Ddim Gm7 Cm7 Fm Bb7

Mix this key with Cm (relative minor) and you can get some really cool sounds. In fact, you can do this with all of the keys.

Classical Music Listening examples:

  • Franz Schubert – Impromptu in Eb Op. 90 no.2 by Franz Schubert
  • Concerto in Eb Major by Franz Liszt
  • Overture to the Magic Flute – by Mozart
  • Paganini’s 14th Caprice

Optional Assignment: Write 5 new progressions in this key on paper. Play through those as well. This will make you more comfortable playing around in this key. Its a tough one that stumps guitar players all the time.

 

C Minor

The Notes in the C Minor Scale are as follows:

C D Eb F G Ab Bb

Progression Examples:

  1. Cm Ab Ddim  Gm7
  2. Cm7  Ebmaj7 Cm7 Bb Fm Gm Cm
  3. Cm Bb7 Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 Gm7
  4. C5 Eb5 C5 Ab5 G5 G5
  5. Cm Fm Gm Bb7 Eb Ab Ddim Gm
  6. Ddim Cm7 Gm7
  7. Cm7 Fm7 Bb
  8. Cm7 Fm Bb7 Eb Ab Ddim Gm7 (Neoclassical Progression)

This is the key of Beethoven’s 5th symphony.

Classical Music Listening examples:

  • Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5
  • Cello Suite No. 5, BWV 1011 – Bach
  • Étude Op. 10, No. 12 (Revolutionary) – Chopin
  • Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, No. 1 – Chopin
  • Rondo Op. 1 – Chopin
  • String quartet No. 8 – Shostakovich

Optional Assignment: Print out the score for one of these pieces and study it. You can download them at www.IMSLP.org for free.

Getting into this habit will open up your world about the possibilities of music!

Talk soon,

Mike