My Favorite "4-Step" Key Signature Exercise [KILLER LESSON!]

Are key signatures something of a mystery for you? Are you missing out on the knowledge of every keys sharps and flats? Do you know how to produce the harmony for all of the keys? If any of this knowledge is poor or (heaven forbid) non-existent, you need to start learning your keys right away!

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Many guitar players are unaware of how the modes operate. And, far too many guitarists are confused on how all of the; keys' corresponding chord qualities relate back over to the key signature. These mysteries also exist around the process of harmonic analysis too.



If these topics have been a serious issue for you then I've got good news, I'm going to help you by offering up a solution to all of this. I'm going to give you a great 4-part exercise that will not only help you get to know the notes of all your keys, but, you'll also learn the chords that correspond. Plus, you'll also learn about the related; modes, the arpeggios, and the pentatonic scales for every degree of every key.

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The first idea that will function as our "initial start" to begin our 4-part study through key signatures will involve establishing the Major tonic as a triad chord.

We'll be using the key of "A Major" across all of our examples, so our tonic chord will of course be an "A Major." From there, we'll build the scale of the tonic chord, which will be the "A Major" scale. But we'll refer to it in our exercise here as the "Ionian" mode.

The second step of our exercise will be that of performing the Pentatonic scale for this degree, which in our case will be the "A Major" Pentatonic.

The 3rd step of our exercise will be performing the 7th arpeggio related to our tonic chord. That would be the "A maj7."

Finally, in the 4th step, we'll perform the 7th quality chord related to this scale step, which is, "A maj7."

TONIC DEGREE EXERCISE: "A Ionian"


Now that you understand how this 4-part exercise works with the tonic of the key, we're going to carry on doing this with all of the other notes of the key...


2ND DEGREE EXERCISE: "B Dorian"


The second note in the key of "A Major" is the note of "B." The chord is "Bm" with the associated scale being "B Dorian," the Pentatonic is "B Minor Pentatonic," and the arpeggio is "Bm7," along with the same 7th chord.

3RD DEGREE EXERCISE: "C# Phrygian"


The third note (in the key of "A Major") is the note of "C#." The chord is "C#m" with the associated scale being "C# Phrygian." The Pentatonic is "C# Minor Pentatonic," and the 7th arpeggio is "C#m7," along with the 7th chord of the same name.




 4TH DEGREE EXERCISE: "D Lydian"


The fourth note in the key of "A Major" is the note of "D." The chord is "D maj" with the associated scale being "D Lydian," the Pentatonic is "D Major Pentatonic," and the 7th arpeggio is "Dmaj7," along with the same name 7th chord.

5TH DEGREE EXERCISE: "E Mixolydian"


The fifth note in the key of "A Major" is the note of "E." The triad chord is "E maj" with the associated scale being "E Mixolydian." The Pentatonic is "E Major Pentatonic," and the 7th arpeggio is "E dom.7," along with the 7th chord of the same name and quality.

6TH DEGREE EXERCISE: "F# Aeolian" (F# Natural Minor)


The sixth note in the key of "A Major" is the note of "F#." The triad chord is "F#m" with the associated scale being "F# Aeolian," mode. The Pentatonic is "F# Minor Pentatonic," and the 7th arpeggio is "F#m7," along with the 7th chord of the same name and same quality.

7TH DEGREE EXERCISE: "G# Locrian"


The seventh and final note in the key of "A Major" is the note of "G#." The triad chord is "G# dim." with the associated scale being "G# Locrian," mode. The Pentatonic is "G# Diminished Pentatonic," (1 b3 4 b5 6). And, the 7th arpeggio is "G#m7(b5)," along with the 7th chord of the same name and same quality.



Once you develop this exercise, it will likely take you 5-7 min. to complete every degree within a key. And, once you develop it into your study routine, you can do it every day with a new key, (until you memorize all of the keys).

Not only will you memorize all of the keys, you'll also memorize all of the; notes, the correct pentatonic scales for every scale step, the diatonic arpeggios for every key, and the corresponding chords that go along with them all.

It's an excellent study of key signatures (and everything else that relates to them). Plus, it can help every guitar player accomplish a very thorough understanding of diatonic harmony as well. It's a KILLER exercise!



If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com. My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next lesson. Bye for now!

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2 comments:

  1. just wondering why you choose to use the F/Diminished Pentatonic scale - was it just a flavor thing to step outside the key signature there or was there any other reason to?

    ReplyDelete