Lecture 4: Key of A

Hello, and this is the key of A.  We’ll start out with of course, the A chord.  Let’s just go ahead and play these real quick.  So we’ve got A, okay, which uses your – preferably your middle, ring, and pinky finger down here on the second fret.  And then we’ve got E7, which is the – an E is with this finger missing – the ring finger’s missing, and then we’ve got D, which is carried over from the last lesson.  So what’s cool about this is that you can use whatever you learned in the last lesson in this lesson, so it just builds, and you start to see yourself make progress a little faster.  It gives you sort of a little better sense of accomplishment.

So if this is the video you’ve watched, watch video 1 before you watch this one and that way, you’ll be able to integrate whatever it was you learned in the first video in this video.  So let’s go over the key of A.  Let’s name the notes of the key of A, and let’s go over a little bit about the process – I know, this is going to get redundant a little bit and you probably are going to be like, “gosh you know, you’ve told me this enough times”, but I’m going to go ahead and we’re going to talk about the process of extracting a key, and if you want to really learn about it, check out our music theory video section.

It goes into the extraction method, and how to find out what notes are in any key ever, okay – and that is in the European diatonic scale.  Of course, we’re not dealing with, you know, Middle Eastern scales, or Hungarian minor scales, or anything like that - but that’s a little down the road.  But just like all the other videos on this site, we’re going to be adding new things.  There is a musical oddities section that’s currently under construction – probably not anymore – but if it is, it’s going to contain altered scales and exotic stuff in there, and just general weirdness.

Okay, so let’s go ahead and get started.  The key of A once again is extracted by using the template that’s created by the key of C.  Two whole steps, then a half step, and 3 whole steps, and a half step, and if you download your PDF for this video – and by the way, there are 4 audio tracks that you can download in the description of this video up there to the right of this video.  If you click on the link, you’ll download a zip file – you have to unzip it, and then there’s 4 MP3 files in there that you can use to play at 4 different speeds to play this progression.

And these progressions are universal – you can play them forwards, backwards, you can start in the middle, go to the end and then come back around front and you know, do the first line or whatever, but that just allows you to play it at different speeds.  I’m going to play at pretty much mediocre speed – not too fast, not too slow.  But there’s one in there that’s [?], it’s like 130 beat a minute.  Alright, so let’s go ahead and get started – I’m going to think we’re going to get started here if I don’t stop talking.

Key of A.  The key of A is based on whole step, whole step, half step, and then 3 whole steps and a half step.  It’s A, whole step to B, whole step to C sharp, half step to D, whole step to E, whole step to F sharp, whole step to G sharp, and then back to A again.  And the 1, the 3, and the 5 of an A major chord are A, C sharp, and E – per your study guide for this video.  And then the minor version of A minor, of course you just take the 3rd and you knock it down.  So you take C sharp and you flat it back to a regular C – so imagine that, you’re flatting a black key[?], and usually people refer to those as the sharps and the flats, well that’s a common misconception in music, and can interfere with your understanding.

So be sure to get it that you can flat a black key[?] back to a natural key.  You can even flat a C back to a B natural, because they’re right next to each other.  Or you can sharp a B – you can do B sharp would be equivalent to C and so on.  So there’s lots of tricky language in music, but just don’t forget that black keys[?] aren’t the only sharps and flats, okay?

Alright.  So let’s take a look at some pathways first between A chord – this is the hard part.  This is the part that’s not included in a lot of lessons online.  People want to take the time out to really show how to get from one chord to the next.  And sometimes you know, it’s just a leap of faith.  But I’m going to show you how to get from one chord to the next.

Okay, here we go.  This is A, and let’s go ahead and use these 3 fingers – not these 3, these 3, okay?  Let’s use these and let’s go ahead and do an A.  And without really playing anything, let’s just try and go to D, okay?  So first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to use our index as our leader, okay?  Index usually leads.  When you get better, all your fingers can kind of serve as leaders, but the index can lead.

The first thing we want to do is come here to the note on the 3rd string that is part of the D chord, which is right here at the top of this triangle over on this side, okay?  And this is kind of a jump, okay?  We’re not really having any room to rotate here, but this is just a good habit to get into is going back and forth like this.  Go from D, back to A, back to D, to A, and so on.  And do this without playing anything, okay?  Don’t play it, and then you know, when you feel comfortable, then start going between the chords, okay?

Now let’s do the same thing going from D – or I’m sorry – from A to E7.  So here, right – and since we’re playing it this way, we’ve got this guy back here that can jump in on this string back here where we need him, okay, and then this finger goes over here.  So we’ve got A to E7.  And remember, don’t play anything, just go between the chords, okay?  Just do this a little, okay?  And check out our exercises section – we’ve got a lot of helpful ways to get things done quickly as far as physically orienting yourself, as well as strengthening exercises and so on.  So what we’re going to do is go through this progression now, and go ahead and download the PDF for this video – key of A, and here we go.

One, two, three, four – let’s go again.  Now your progression – if you’re a beginner – might not sound as good as mine did, but keep in mind I’ve been playing for 25 years, so you know, that’s a long time.  And you’ve got you know – you’re going to get good quick just keep – just hang in there, it gets easier.  I’m going to incorporate things you’ve already learned into stuff for the future, and things will sort of snowball and you’ll find yourself getting better pretty fast – especially if you utilize the theory section and really understand what you’re doing.  I think it provides you with a good basis for exploration, as well as interest and everything that’s offered.

Lecture 4: Key of A



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