"GUITAR EXPLAINED VISUALLY"

Video samples of HyperTab demo file, recorded direct from computer screen (actual size larger).

Select a video sample:

See descriptions below.

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HyperTab video samples

When you watch the video samples of chord and scale shapes (above), you see the shapes in the left column below. This is what you see if you just think "chords and scales". Notice how these don't really show you much about the licks and riffs in the music.

Now check out the "building block" videos. This is the same music, but with HyperTab's Shapes control set to "building blocks" instead of chords or scales. Some of the shapes you'll see are shown below.
These are what chord and scale shapes don't show you.

bar chord "building block" shapes
1-7

Basic, basic blues, but beginners won't find it in their big book of chords (it's a riff, not a chord). A simple example of how chords are often just the framework.

13-16

A common riff technique: picking open lower string (usually palm muted), alternating with shapes on adjacent strings. Here those shapes are just barres. Main riff in "I Don't Know" (Ozzy/R Rhoads), "Let It Go" (Def Leppard); without open string in "Gimme 3 Steps" (Skynyrd)

19-20

Add a few more notes to the first shape above and you get another common "boogie" shape used in rock as well as blues. "Pride and Joy" (Stevie Ray Vaughan), "Bring It On Home" (Led Zep version).

 

bar scale "building block" shapes
1-7 no real (useful) scale shape

Barre ring finger, then index finger two frets lower, then hammer-on. Real basic lick (Chuck Berry, SRV's "Love Struck Baby"), but no obvious scale. (Major pentatonic, best guess, is pictured under lick; although 2 of 5 notes in lick aren't in the scale).

15 Barre index finger, pick and bend 3rd string. The solos in "Good Times Bad Times" (Led Zep), "You Really Got Me" (Van Halen), and "Highway to Hell" (AC/DC) all start with this lick.
17-18 Two notes connected with line = "double-stop": can play both at the same time (like a chord). Bend one for an "oblique bend". Very common. Examples: opening lick in solos of "Enter Sandman" (Metallica) and "Walk" (Pantera); last lick in "Purple Haze" solo (Hendrix).
19 Slide along third string into double stop. Notice this moves you outside the scale shape box. Very common. Opening lick in "Wish You Were Here" (Pink Floyd) and "Have A Drink On Me" (AC/DC); heard at length in "La Grange" solo (ZZ Top).