Guitar Instruction Fifths
Learn the progression of fifths in this free guitar lesson
- Guitar Instruction - Fifths
- Fifths In C G D
- Fifths In A E F Bb
What are fifth's you say? In this Guitar Instruction tutorial, we will get into the theory of how fifth's are constructed and show you most of the fifth's for each of (7) scales, included C, G, D, A, E, F, Bb.
The reason we won't explore the remainder of the keys is these 7 are the predominate chords and scale that you can play in the open positions. The other thirds can be attained by the use of a Capo.
All of these guitar instruction files were authored in eMedia's Guitar-Pro. This is the favorite tab and notation authoring software for us here at Ultimate Guitar OnLine. It is filled with features and is simple to use - even without a manual. It is compatible with PC and Mac. We use it on the Mac here and it is a pleasure to use. To see a full review click HERE. Otherwise if you would like to try a free copy of it, you can download the demo HERE and use it for 15 days.
First, let's start off by looking at a couple of basic scales. We will look at the scale of C Major and G Major in the illustration Below. Please note that a scale does not need to start off with the root of the scale name. What this means is that usually the C Major scale would start off with a "C" note. You can start off with any note in the scale as long as you are true to the note positions. In these 2 examples below, we DO start off with each scale's root note - those being a "C" in the C Major Scale and a "G" in the G Major Scale.
The "Tab Notes" In blue pretty much sum everything up as to how to construct the fifths.
Fifth's are very easily played with fingerstyle guitar methods. That is because you can span strings to pick very easy with the left hand. That is not so easy with
a flatpick. The best method of playing the fifths with a flatpick is to use the "pinch" methods. Do this my holding the flatpick in a normal way with the thumb
and index finger of the right hand. Then with the middle finger of the right hand, pick the upper note of the fifth, while picking the lower note of the fifth with
the pick - or pinch the notes together. Thus the word pinch to perform this action. This will take a lot of guitar practice to get this method nailed down, but once attainded it becomes very easy to master it.
Another question that quite often comes up during Guitar Instruction is this. You have shown the fifth's most of the way up the neck only on the 1st and 3rd strings. What about the remainder strings? Yes, it is true that there are fifths all the way up the guitar neck on each pair of strings. This is really beyond the scope of this lesson and will be addressed in a more advanced Guitar Instruction Article.
Just remember the key elements: each fifth pair only has four notes separating them, not matter what scale you are using. You can simply lay out each scale and circle the fifths - or if you know the scale for memory you can work it out on the fretboard.
Also, just about every fifth is played on strings that are one string apart - in other words the 1st and 3rd string, 2nd and 4th string and so on...
Memorize each of these fifth scales and this will require quite a lot of guitar practice on your part, but believe me you will be rewarded later on in your musical career.
The simplest way to explain fifth's is that they are notes that are in "harmony". Kind of like singing three part harmony, only we are using just two of the parts. When we play Triads, we combine thirds and fifths thgether to form 3 notes together or true 3-part harmony.
- Also note that the left hand fingering shown here is for guidance only. There are several ways to finger many of these fifth's and we have even shown you some variation within these documents. Some guitar players may find it easier to play chords with different fingers than shown here and you are certainly welcome to explore that idea.