Self-taught guitar singing along

self-taught-guitar-singing-along-featureDear friends

In recent months, many of you have asked me about how to play guitar and sing along music. I promise to answer and today is the weekends and I am free, I would like to start a new catalogue, a series of articles on the singing topic.

Because the guitar qualifications and music theory basics of different people are different, writing a guide on website that is suitable for everyone is not easy. Therefore firstly I will present a framework and from there depending on your level that people will ask more questions and exchange experience.

First look at one track, there are two cases that have the chords written for guitar, or does not write any chords. If there are chords available, it is better, because the left hand problem was resolved and you only need to find ways how to run the right fingers. But usually, songs do not have chords written, and many cases that have chords written, but do not sound really nice!

Therefore before using the guitar, perhaps the first thing that you need to master is how to find the chords used in the article.

The issue of the left hand is in the 3 following posts:

Lesson 1: Find the major sound of the track

self-taught-guitar-singing-along-1Take a look at the key at the top of the tracks, we’ll have 3 cases

a) The key has no sharp or flat symbol: The tone of the track can be Do Major (C) or A minor (Am)

b) The key with sharps: From last sharps, plus a half scale, there will be major sound, and from there it will be counting down 2 notes there will be the name of the gamut respectively that is minor tonic.

c) The key reduction: If there is one flat symbol (Bb), the tone of the track can all be F major (F) or Re minor (Dm). If there is more than 1 flat, the key just before the end point will reduce the name of the major sound and then count down 2 notes, we will have the name of major tonic in minor scale.
Why it is not clear that the tonic is major or minor immediately? Imagine finding a tonic for new tracks is like when you are standing in front of a strange house. You knock on the door but do not know the owner opened the door family is the father (major) or mother (minor)


a) The key has three sharps: 3 sharps in the order as Fa, Do, Sol. Sharp in the end is Sol (G), so tonic of this track (Sol # plus ½ scale is La) La major (A). The father’s name is La (A), the mother (respective gamut) is what? From La, we count down to Sol, and to Fa (F). Is the mother’s name Fa minor? Not really, because look where you will find the key with the symbol F # means all the Fa notes in the article will bring sharps. Therefore this track may belong to Fa sharp minor (F # m)

b) The key has 2 flats: 2 flats are Si (B), Mi (E). The flat before final sign is Si (B), so this may mean the tonic of the track is Si flat major (Bb major) or Sol minor (Gm)

At this point, you have found this music can sound in one of two tonics. (This is similar to knowing the father (major) and the mother (minor) in the family but do not know who … “rules” in the house?)

The next step is to find out what is the tonic? For this you just need to look at the last note of music, if it is this node in the second node, it is the 6n tonic of the track.

a) The key has 2 sharps (Fa # and Do #) and ending in connection Si (B): This track belongs to B minor (Bm) and respective gamut is Re major (D). In other words, in this family, the wife (Bm) rules (!) And the husband (D) only plays a minor role. Usually in minor key songs are sad

b) The key has 3 flats (Si b, Mi b, La b) and ending in notes Mi b (Eb): This track is in Eb major scale and corresponding gamut is therefore is (Cm). In “Family”, the husband (Eb) rules, and wife (Cm) plays a minor role. Music in major scale is usually in the playful, powerful tone.

Lesson 2: Find the chords in the song

self-taught-guitar-singing-along-2Normally, the Vietnam tracks only use 6 chords. Imagine this family with 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. Having found 2 homeowner chords then just find another 4 remaining chords (the name of the fourth child) by applying the rule 1-4 -5 as follows:

For example, tracks of Do major scale (C) mean respective gamut is A minor (Am). If the father is Do, we can find 2 sons’ name by using the 5 fingers of the left hand that counts as follows:

Thumb: 1 Do – forefinger 2 Re pass – middle finger 3 Mi pass – ring finger 4 Fa OK – Pinkie 5 Sol OK

Thus, the side of the father and two sons, and we will have 3 chords: Do (C), Fa (F) and Sol (G)

Through the mother (respective gamut), similar to the above, we will have the name of the mother and two daughters A minor (Am), Re minor (Dm) and Mi minor (E).

Anyone want to ask questions why her daughter was 2 Re minor (not Re major) and Mi major (not Mi minor) must be aware of the notes in one scale and the name of the intervals. In the scale Am, the notes are A-B-C-D-E-F-G # -A. The name the first daughter started in the 4th notes (counting La Si Do “Re”) Chords Re has 3 overlap notes are Re Fa La (D F A) and the note Fa does not have sharps. D-F interval is the length of 3 minor, so the first daughter named Re minor (Dm). Meanwhile the name of the second daughter started at Level 5 (counting La Si Do Re “Mi”). Put 3 pitches up together at Mi (E) will be E – G # – B (notice the G # in the gamut A minor) and for interval E G # is the length of 3 majors, the second daughter should be named Mi major (E)

You have no time to learn deeply, then if you want to find 6 chords for songs just remember Rule 1 – 4-5, roughly (remember that “roughly” only) is:
a) 3 chords follow major tonic (father & 2 boys): 1-4 -5 (all major)
b) 3 chords follow minor tonic (mom & 2 girls): 1 minor – 4 minor – 5 major

Example: Find the 6 chords used in the first track that has 1 sharp:

a) This track may be in G Major (G) or Mi minor (Em)
b) Use the 1-4-5 rule under G branch will have 3 chords G, C, D
c) Use the 1-4-5 rule under the Em branch I will be Em, Am, B

These 6 chords are G – C – D – Em –Am – B

Here are 6 basic chords of each song that newcomers need to master playing. From the “root” chords, people add and change to form hundreds and thousands of chords that you can find in the music book.

One variation that is kind of chord 7, was established by placing a fourth note on 3 basic notes of the chord (ie will have 4 notes in level 1-3-5-7). Within the framework of finding chords lesson by way of “instantly”, you only need to remember one small following point:

For more euphonic sound, name of the second son and second daughter (D and B in the example above) can be converted into chords 7. Thus it can be contemporarily completed finding names of 6 family members, and as the example above, these would be 6 chords:

G – C – D7 – Em – Am -B7

Lesson 3: Set the chords on the tracks:

self-taught-guitar-singing-along-3Knowing 6 chords used in the track, the next question is how do you know when to change chords? There are a few basic rules below:

1) Usually with Vietnamese music tracks, each beat bar used chords, change in beat 1, the first beat. For all 4 beat rhythm song can sometimes take 2 chords in 1 beat bar, change in beat 1 and 3.
2) The tracks begin with the tonic and the bar at the end of the tonic
3) Depending on how the tonic (major or minor) that the chords of the father or mother holds the majority. A song starts at scale A minor (Am) is almost 2 daughters (Dm and E7) will follow. Mother and daughters sing the chords Am-Dm-E7 then the father and 2 sons (C- F-G7) at the time … could speak out … for a change! But as tonic is Am then the song must return to Am-Dm Am E7 to terminate.

If you master the basic theory of music, then just look at the notes in each bar you can know what chords it belongs? In the case studying guitar singing along “Express”, the only way is to “explore” as follows:

1) Find a record of basic chords for guitar. You do not need the thick books, you just need a basic page, printed a few dozen chords are enough
2) Use guitar to play that 6 chords until it sounds fine and familiar
3) Start with the tonic in the first bar, sing at the next and compared with 6 chords to see which one sounds most convenient.
4) Remember that in accordance with the first 3 tips listed on this third article and avoid chords haphazard conversion.

In short, you just need to follow some basic rules of 3 lessons above are able to find the basic chords and the “cure” of about … 90% of Vietnamese songs.

In this section we have discussed the chord position, ie the problems related to the left hand. In the next post, I will write more about the rules for the right hand.


Three short lessons above present the “pocket” rules help yourself “burning stages” to find the chords used in 1 Vietnamese track quickly.
If you want to further understand why there are rules, they must return to the basics:

1. Interval: Take the basic notes in music that are coming out in the order: Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol-La – Si – Do (end by Do to fulfill 8 notes). From Do to Re is interval 2, Do to Mi is interval 3 … Do – Fa (4), Do – Sol (5). Generally, the distance is the distance between two notes. There are many types of intervals: major and minor, sharp and flat, depending on the distance between the two pitches. For distances, they must know the unit called “half scale”

2. Scale and half scale: Look on the guitar fret board, you notice that from the note Mi to Fa and Mi to Do, separated only by 1 key, also between other notes is 2 keys. Such a key gap like that is “half scale” and 2 keys are “a scale”

3. Do major tonic: Use the guitar to play 8 notes Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol – La -Si – Do and pay attention to the distance between the notes. We will see the distance as follows: c, c, nc, c, c, c, nc or for the reader to be easy to remember: 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, 1, ½. Eight notes can be viewed as consisting of two groups of four notes (Do Re Mi Fa “and” Sol La Si Do “separated by 1 scale (between Sol and La). Each group had 4 note 1 1½ scale structure

4. Align the major scale. 8-note sequence in the order of consecutive pitches is a gamut, and chain pitches of 8 starting with Do sounds really nice. People use 8 pitches with intervals distance like that (1 1 ½ – 1-1 1 ½) as a model of a “major scale”

5. Create 1 major scale from the other notes: Try creating one major scale starting note Re. Use the guitar you will see immediately

a. Re – Mi: 1 Scale> OK
b. Mi – Fa: half scale> not OK, to be increased to Fa # to have 1 scale
c. Fa # – Sol: half scale> OK
d. Sol – La: 1 Scale> OK
e. La – Si: 1 Scale> OK
f. Si – Due: half scale> not OK, must increase to Do # to have 1 scale
g. Do # – Re: half scale> OK

6. Re major scale will bring 2 sharp sign (at Fa and Do). When playing 1 song in Re major scale, remember all the notes Fa and Do must have sharps. Just that way, you’ll find the key (with a few sharps and flats) of all the other major scale (remember: 1 1 1 1 1 ½ ½)

7. How to create chords? Try to use gamut Re major. On each note, overwrite another 2 notes: Do Mi Sol, Re Fa# La, Sol Si Re, Fa La Do# … Gather these 3 pitches to form 1 “chord” (remember, the separated 2 pitches we have defined as “interval”). Calculated from the root, this chord includes 1 interval 3 (Re Fa #) and 1 interval 5 (Re La)

8. Rule 1 – 4 – 5: When moving from chord to another chord has its own rules for the nice sound. Most fundamentally moving from one chord (the tonic) passing chords at Level 4 and level 5. These three chords go together nicely and there are a lot of tracks from the beginning to the end user just around these 3 chords only. When you play better, we will discuss more about the other motion

9. What is the interval 3 major 3 minor? Three notes Re Fa # La forming the chord Re major. Let the interval 3 Re Fa # include 2 scales called interval 3 major. Now if decreasing Fa # the note down to Fa (ie only 1 and a half scale), the distance of Re Fa is called interval 3 minor. On the guitar, play 3 notes Re Fa La, it seems sad to hear that (compared to chords Re major Re Fa # La) Just change the distance from the major to the minor (decrease half scale) that the chord moved from joy to gloom.

These are just the very basic theories, which I gather into nutshell. Beginners will find it very difficult to understand, but really it was not so bad! This is only a beginning knowledge only.

If you want to have a few more “pocket” rules to find out what note do the chords have, I suggest what you should memorize these 2 … “magic words” of the following:

Fa Do Sol Re La Mi Si
and read backwards is:
Si Mi La Re Sol Do Fa

Just memorize, I will show how to use later.


Gradually I’ll talk about the different types of chords, you should not be rushed. Now I just started with two types of major and minor chords and the next will come aug (augmented), dim (diminished) and 6th, sus, etc

The important thing is that you need to feel the feelings that each chord created. Currently we have only just begun and we only know that major scale makes the music happy and the minor scale makes it sad. But so, too sketchy! The vibration of human is not only “happy” or “sad” but also countless other states between these two extremes.

Knowing how the kinds of chords constructed, including which notes is easy. But it must be clear that to express these types of chords, or give us the feeling of something, that’s the hard part.

Grasp the idea of each chord, then we have to discuss the harmonic motion, this means from chord to chord to sounds nice. It may sound complicated, but really we’re going through step by step, it is not that difficult

Generally, from the beginning to now, we still hung around the left hand. If you are tired, you do not need to read, but just watch the chord name on the music sheet and you’re done!

With the hard work you’ve read this far, I think you have enough knowledge for yourself to find the chords for one simple tracks. Good luck.

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