The Standard Harmony Rule

Learn more about Guitar Theory Made Useful


  • This Video (MP4)
    This Video (MP4)

    Mac users should use the MP4 version to download the video

  • This Video (WMV)
    This Video (WMV)

    Windows users should use the WMV version to download this video.

  • Guitar Theory Cheat Sheet (PDF)
    Guitar Theory Cheat Sheet (PDF)

    All of the things we've talked about in this series in a nice handy 2 page PDF for you. Print it out, hang it by your music place and you'll be referring to it often.

Leave A Comment And Tell Me What You Think…


  • dave knowles

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    i am 69 yrs old and tinkered about with piano guitar and several other instruments since 12 yr old .i have a collection of about 40 instruments including 19 guitars.(ordered another yesterday ) i am self taught and just play by ear .i only play to relax and amuse myself . i have picked a few chords from books but i tend to just pick out the tune note by note . it sounds acceptable to me but if i was to play with someone else it would go to pot ,i don’t have a clue what key i am playing in etc . i had 2 piano lessons when i was about 12 ,found them boring so didn’t bother anymore . i have bought books and such but quickly lose interest , i just want to get on playing the shadows etc by ear . however , i have watched these few lessons and i think something clicked , it made sense , it wasn’t tedious , wow that’s a first. i now intend to go over them again until it all sinks in . thanks Griff this may have just done the trick after all these years
    many thanks and best regards

    • Ross Emmans

      Reply Reply July 6, 2015

      To Dave Knowles: my history exactly! ( except I only have 7 guitars…..but am only 67, so there’s time to catch up)
      I also plan to learn to play properly, with the help of Griff & his courses.
      Thanks, Griff

      • Jonboy UK

        Reply Reply July 6, 2015

        Hi Ross and Dave
        Oh I feel at last some help !
        I am 70 so maybe we should start a trio

        • Rick Canada

          Reply Reply July 6, 2015

          OK Make that a quartet. I’m 67 and only have a few guitars, but my youngest one is from 1974 🙂
          PS: Thanks Griff amazing stuff

          • Kevin UK

            July 7, 2015

            Hi guys, sounds like we have ourselves a quintet. I’m only 62 (no offence) & trying to resurrect the late 60’s when I purchased my first guitar. Getting better all the time, thanks to the great videos from Griff. Keep it up.

          • Graeme H

            September 26, 2015

            Looks like we now have a sextet. 73 and love every minute of learning music & playing. Only 2 guitars though.
            Graeme – Australia

          • Michael Chappell

            May 25, 2016

            I am too far away to Join in St Andrews NSW Australia but now retired and thanks to all the wonderful BGU Courses that I have purchased since 2013 with only 5 guitars and 69 years half way to 70 years. I was a Semi-Pro Drummer in Bands during the 60’s, so I have the timing & Rhythm but need the lessons. The wife said NO to get a drum Kit so better learn Guitar. I needed a great challenge as all those years in the 60’s played with Guitarists, and everything else and now thoroughly enjoying learning Blues Guitar with such a great teacher Griff Hamlin.

            Michael- St Andrews-Australia

          • Reverend Joe - Texas

            June 4, 2016

            Sure glad to see that I’m not the only “coot” trying to relearn how to do it properly here. 67 years young with my oldest guitar being from 1968 and a fairly new Epiphone flame top in the Les Paul style. Had a black and white Ibanez with gold hardware in Germany in the 70’s but was forced to sell it because Uncle Sam messed up my pay right before a transfer.

            I think the two words I like to hear most from Griff is “That’s okay.” particularly when it comes to just making old fashioned bone headed mistakes. It’s Okay to make mistakes…. as long as you recognize them for what they are and keep moving forward. Being retired military you are trained that there is (usually) only one way to do something…… so when Griff says…. “Hey! If you can’t play that chord this way….. try this way if it feels better for you….. or maybe this other way works….. whatever you choose….. That’s okay!” The only way to make good music….. it to make a lot or really horrible noise along the way. As long as you’re learning and trying to get better…. that’s okay.

          • Mike Greuter

            October 28, 2022

            Hey I’m 78 and been playing since high schools and also have many guitars lets all live on !

        • PUNISHER

          Reply Reply September 27, 2015


        • old guy

          Reply Reply February 10, 2019


      • Chaplain Ed

        Reply Reply March 12, 2018

        Hey Dave Knowles,

        Been playing “with” the guitar since I was 15. Griff is helping we to understand and “play the guitar” to a level I have never before enjoyed. He makes theory interesting. I’ll be 75 in July. I have 2 electrics and 3 acoustics plus a mandolin. Played bluegrass banjo for several years as well.

    • June O'Reilly

      Reply Reply September 26, 2015

      at 54 I’m in the same boat, 5 guitars been playing since 1977 and just got an electric Gibson Epiphone when I was blown away by Rory Gallagher a couple years ago, but gave up really paying attention until I found Griff\s 4 note solo and again it all clicked instantly I understand more that 3 years of high school musical theory ! way to go Griff

    • Ed Baxter

      Reply Reply September 26, 2015

      Hi Guys,
      I’m also and ex-pat UK guy of 69 yrs and started playing a kit made nylon string when I was 14. No lessons, just Bert Weedon’s “play in a day”. Big Shadows and Beatles fan and like Dave, I play solo and freak out when a semi-pro friend asks me to play with him. Now I have a much better appreciation of how to hear the changes and keys. thanks to Griff for the easy to understand ‘theory’ lesson.

      • Legoge 47

        Reply Reply September 27, 2015

        I am 68 and that boat is getting pretty full (If it gets any more full we might need an aircraft carrier to hold us all!) . I started about 7 years ago and have an Epiphone SG electric and an Epiphone DR100 acoustic. Have been trying to teach myself to play with different books, websites, a local teacher and finally found Griff and this BGU website. I just play to amuse myself but I’ve never tried to play with other people. I have found the recent lessons helpful and hope to get better as a result of the lessons.

        • PUNISHER

          Reply Reply September 27, 2015


    • LOU from OZ

      Reply Reply September 27, 2015

      Another bit of geriatric feedback. I have always loved popular/blues music and over the years have gathered a collection of harps to tinker with in my spare time. So on retirement a couple of years ago decided to buy my BC Rich bass,mainly because I couldn’t rely on these old fingers. But since discovering your site I have gained so much confidence and incentive that I now have four guitars plus the bass (even bought an Irish whistle) simply on the strength of the information and encouragement passed on by you. I can’t believe how my harp expertise has improved along with guitar application. The office is a mess and my wife hates you. Thanks and keep it up mate. LOU

    • Gary Ingraham

      Reply Reply October 10, 2015

      Wow, what a bunch of old dudes. I’m only 66 (as of a week ago tomorrow). Keith Richards ain’t got nothin’ on us, baby. Griff’s lessons have been invaluable to me. I first picked up the guitar at 17, learned chords and a few strums. Tried a few lessons a few years ago, but they never seemed to help. Griff’s videos have changed the way I think about the guitar. I’m excited about playing again. Thanks Griff.

    • Al Heyes

      Reply Reply March 12, 2018

      Hi Dave
      Your namesake Davey Knowles from UK is worth a quick “Google”!!!!!

    • Bernard

      Reply Reply March 12, 2018

      May I join in? 63 (born in the year of the Strat) and only half a dozen guitars.

      • Bernard UK (west London)

        Reply Reply March 12, 2018

        May I join in? 63 (born in the year of the Strat) and only half a dozen guitars.

    • Timothy O

      Reply Reply March 13, 2018

      Hey Dave, just call me “The Kid”. I’m 60 and want in this international super group! Been playing on and off since 17 (age not year!). Have “just” 5 electrics and 3 acoustics. (Three American Std Strats – my 74 Les Paul Custom that way back when I used to use in a band, my G&L Tele knock off which I love – the L being Leo Fender, my Dove, Martin and my first acoustic Yamaha) I Got re-married last year and the band generously let me sit in with them for a few songs (used my black strat of course to go with my tux!). Great stuff here on the board and in Griff’s courses. Almost took the shot for his live event – next year!

    • . Garry

      Reply Reply March 20, 2019

      LOL there are more me’s out there then I thought. I have finished the Beginning Blues course and am on lesson 6 in BGU. BTW I will be 77 in June. One moment of satisfaction was when I started playing along with the radio a couple week age and actually thought I knew what chord was next. . Not perfect but a rewarding experience. Griff and his students are folks I am proud to be associated with. Living to play and playing to live….

      • Dwight

        Reply Reply January 5, 2021

        I am Dwight or Ancient Of Days from little ole Indiana, sounds like we are trying to reform Chicago only with guitars, Griff has helped me make sense of everything I didn’t grasp over decades, I wish ya’all the best, let’s rock it on down.

    • PAUL

      Reply Reply December 31, 2020


  • Greg williams

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Great way to learn songs
    Good stuff!!

    • Keith Serxner

      Reply Reply May 28, 2016

      60 years old, 16 guitars, including one I built from Carvin kit (easy!). I bought my newborn grandson a 3/4 squire. I hope he bangs on it, plays with it, and is never afraid to dig in. Oh…and I have something to play for him when I visit.

  • Brian Hughes

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Been stumbling around guitar for years and your lessons have crystallized and organised some stuff i had absorbed but didn’t quite know what do with. I like the way your lessons make it seem so logical. Many thanks.

  • George

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Good day brother,how are you and your family? Am George by name, an upcoming Guitarist from Nigeria,thanks for meeting you. Sir,I will like to have more lesson materials from you sir,so that I will build myself. Once again,thank you sir.

  • Yvonne

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Been studying guitar and bass for 6 months with a private teacher. Have made more progress in understanding how to put it altogether with your explanation and videos. Thanks. No longer with the teacher

  • Jim

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Your Cheat Sheet is the best handout Ive ever seen Thanks Jim

  • Karl

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    I am a Ukulele player but watch your videos. You offer so much that covers music as a whole. I have no musical background but I am learning. Thanks for the music theory lessons. They sure will help.


  • ALAN

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015


    You are the best instructor for guitar I have ever viewed. Keep it going! I really enjoy your easy to view theory and how it all fits together.

  • Tom Benton Sr

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Griff, you make it so easy. One thing though. I thought a diminished chord was 1, b3, b5, bb7. Am I wrong?

  • Chris Gardner

    Reply Reply July 5, 2015

    Surely the chord formed from the fifth degree of the major diatonic scale should be a dominant seventh rather than the dim7 you have listed on the cheat sheet?

  • jimmy

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    ya know,a few years ago i started noticing the relationships between chords,such as G-C-D and i noticed that other sets of chords had the same relationship,,i discovered i could play the same songs using different chords,in different keys,,i thought i was on to something and now,with these lessons,youve put a name to what i thought i was on to,,,thank you griff,,this ;lesson set me way ahead of where i thought i was in my playing,,,i recommend you and your lessons to all my buddies that play whenever we sit down to play together

  • Tom Benton Sr

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    Griff could you touch base on chord substitution?

  • John Moore

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    Hi, Griff, basically a good lesson, but I don’t understand why you don’t explain how the “standard harmony rule” has it’s very basis in the scale structure. Each chord built on a each tone of the scale (any scale) consists of 2 triads–the tone you are building on, skip the next tone in the scale, play the next tone up, skip the next and play the one after. To clarify, the chord built on the tonic (I) would be scale tones I,III,V. These 3 notes are called “triads” and are either Major or minor, depending on the number of half steps in the intervals. In the triad built on I in a major scale, the lower triad– I to III — has 4 half steps and is therefore a Major triad. The second, or upper triad has 3 half steps and is a minor triad. A Major triad with a minor triad added is a Major chord. A minor triad with an added Major triad is a minor chord, 2 Major triads together make an augmented chord (not found in the Major scale, but does occur in other scales or modes) and 2 minor chords make a diminished chord. Knowing this, you can take any scale or mode and create the harmonic chord structure for that scale. Just remember to only use the notes that occur in the scale when building your chords out of triads and you will know which kind of chord to play in the chord scale of any scale.

    • Jeffrey Goblirsch

      Reply Reply May 25, 2016

      Thanks for the different twist, on progressions. Always another way to look at something! Been playing 10-11 yrs, but seems like I barely climbed the Mountain, to get to the top! To keep up with beat & rythum is a chore! Just got a looper, should help!

  • Chris Gardner

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    Having just watched the standard harmony video again….and was offended to hear that you believe few teachers teach the notion of standard harmony as an aid to understanding the range of chords within any key. I have been teaching this both in major and minor keys for thirty or more years. Added to that, it is an essential component of the RGT (Registry of Guitar Tutors) syllabus. Love your videos and teaching style, Griff, but not all guitar tuition happens west of the Rockies!

  • patrick

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    Hi Griff. I’ve bee collecting your Emails and videos for years always believing someday I will have time to go back to them. There are many. Thanks. I like this video as I studied music theory on my own back around 1970 – from books. I enjoyed the mathematics of the scales. When I got a keyboard which I can’t really play and mostly use for back up rhythms and program to make up my on songs I also found it useful to work out musical theory ideas. I remember playing the chords just as you have in this video. It’s interesting when you get to the B dim. as it sounds really cool in the Key of C chord progression – the notes being B, D and F. I recall hearing that the Beatles used diminished chords quite often. They do have an interesting sound. I think there is an Elvis song with a B dim. but can’t recall which one. Maybe I will find it.

  • Hamlet

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    Gracias, x tus esfuerzos por ayudar a quienes deseamos dominar el instrumento

  • Paul Warner

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    I think any kind of musical theory is important, very important, including learning how to read sheet music. What makes a scale, what makes a chord and how do you derive making a chord you are looking to make, what scales go with what keys, having a list of songs you can play as you are trying learn more stuff pertaining to the instrument you are playing, and so on. The list is long in getting to the point you can claim you are a musician. Of all things I find the most difficult, especially in reading sheet music, is time. There is a count for the bass, and a count when you are playing the treble cleff, and understanding the notations and their time is the most challenging thing musically I have taken on….

  • Ron

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    I am 69 and love playing guitar but i have got to say i wish i was young again and had some one like you to teach me
    i can understand your method easily. thank you..

    • Legoge 47

      Reply Reply September 27, 2015

      You and me both Ron!

  • Juan Santander

    Reply Reply July 6, 2015

    You are the best teacher that I ever had .


  • stevieod

    Reply Reply July 7, 2015

    Hey Griff,

    I totally enjoy your method of instruction, no intimidation, no judgement, just pure knowledge and information. If I had a teacher such as yourself back in the day, I would be a much better guitarist than I am now.

    Thank you so much Griff, I know you’ve heard it before, but it is a very heartfelt appreciation for what you do.

    Best regards,


  • John G.

    Reply Reply July 7, 2015

    Thank You, Griff.your short lessons are most informative.I appreciate you. John G.

  • Bob B

    Reply Reply July 7, 2015

    Excellent lesson for beginners; it is clear and concise, but not so much information that it overwhelms the learner. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into these free, downloadable lessons.

  • Randy S

    Reply Reply July 7, 2015

    Iv been watching your videos I live in Colorado and work for the state had a bad accident a year ago and my doctor told me that playing the music was very good phirpy even thou I told him as I’ll tell you I’m just a plunger but your video are so helpful and I wish you lived near I would love to take livelisens from you Aney way as soon as I get out of this brain injury and all the stuff that goes a long with it . But for now I wanted to give you a big THANK YOU
    So much ho you know what I at a show in Wyoming with Johnny western his guitar player Jen Hover told me to ware all black at thire next show and he would interlude me to Johnny Cash witch he did and Johnny Cash set down at my table with his wife June and son John Jr and I will always remember that I also met Chirley prid brother Eddie Prid so I play a lot of thire songs also Eric Clipton Blues wile I plunk along as I listen to thire songs maybe I’ll get to meet you too but I will keep watching your videos agine Thank you

  • Aye Jay

    Reply Reply July 7, 2015


    my mum bought me a guitar and i hope to make some money in the street to pay for the internet lesson. I read some of your blogs and they teach me infinitely. I have a question about your ‘theory cheat sheet’…

    How do I incorporate Min7 or Dim7 chords? Say I play in C Major using a [I] , [V], [vi] progression. Can I use Dim7 chord instead of a Maj Chord [G Dim7 ???]… I don’t know…

    I like playing Blues, here is a cool easy blues progression using open chords…. E Maj Chord, G Maj, E Maj, A Maj, B dom7 Chord,,,, hope u like..,,

  • lester

    Reply Reply July 8, 2015

    thanks for your usual lesson on how to do it properly Griff.Im thinking of joining
    your nursery classes so many granddads to look after me! religously
    following your guides Griff,million thanks.Les

  • Kenneth Little

    Reply Reply July 13, 2015

    Many thanks was looking at my cheat sheet,..watching pausing watching counting off on my fingers…waiting for the Eureka moment,..when BANG it hit me..also mature guy only 63yrs young lol..due to bad shoulder injury havn’t worked in many yrs..but to keep my sanity..sing in a duet come band called Rusty Bolts..Golden Arrows out of our reach..think about it..ha ha.., love live open mic music writing songs etc..have four on soundcloud two on youtube..ah well fame will come one day..ty ty ty now I understand THEORY and it’s progression,…yours in thanx Ken (Cowboy) Little. Esssex England.

  • Toni g.

    Reply Reply July 15, 2015

    Thanks for explaining the standard harmony rule, it makes things easier to understand

  • Pete from Philly

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    Your generosity never ceases to amaze me. Thank you so much for this series on theory. You have opened up a whole new world to me, Griff. As I’ve struggled the past 2yrs with shortcuts, lessons, forcing the “learn one song” thing, I put myself on the right path when I came across BGU. And now, as the budget allows, I’m going to take advantage of your Theory Made Usefull course. I’m going to really focus on these fundamental music lessons you just put together.
    I read many of the comments and you gotta be proud of the gift of music you bring to so many. I know I appreciate it. I’m 51 and love playing the guitar. And I get a litter better every time I pick it up. Thanks Griff. Hope I can meet you one day.

  • Nancy

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    U are very gud’ enjoyed listening too you’ thank you for your Tyne & your lesson.

  • tony

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    Absoultly watch this more han one time . Watch all the others as well again. I have played guitar for many years and did not know this material . Although I can pick things up by listening and been told I know what sounds good . This info is priceless and I know when it totally sinks I will be able to play so much better. Thanks Griff .

    • tony szydlo

      Reply Reply December 31, 2020

      This video is one of the most valuable lessons . This is the last day of 2020 . Hoping next year will be a better one for everyone. Thanks for this great video Griffin . If I type Griff the computer says I am not spelling it correctly without the in .

  • Mike

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    Another great video Griff. I learned this via a story. Not sure from where but it goes like this. Every key is a family of 7 chords. Mother, 2 sons, 2 daughters, Father and stepchild. All major chords are feminine and minor chords are male. The root chord is Mother and she represents home. She is always followed by her 2 mamas-boys who are in-turn followed by the 2 daughters who are watched-over, closely, by the father (the relative minor of the mother) who is followed by the step-child (diminished chord) who tends to always stay close and resolve to its’ mother. The mother and father work together very well. The sons tend to prefer their mother and the daughters seem to gravitate toward the father who reports back home to mother. The whole family loves going home to mother. The step child always wants to resolve to the mother but stands in-between mother and father creating a dis-harmonic tension between them. So… the family circle is Mother, oldest son, youngest son, oldest daughter, youngest daughter, Father, step-child, Mother.
    And they lived happily-tense everafter.

  • jim

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    This is why Griff is the best! Lots of great licks, clear instruction, and just enough theory to make us all dangerous guitar players!

  • MIke Slear

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    Genius and simplicity! Great combo Griff!

  • Bob

    Reply Reply September 26, 2015

    Sorry about all caps, it’s just that it all makes sense now.
    Thanks Griff!

  • Mark Bolan

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    It’s like lifting the fog. Awesome explanation

  • Brother Lindsey

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Griff, on sheet 2 you have 14 keys. If I’m correct, you can delete Db & Gb . I hope I’m being helpful !!!! Thanks for all your help !!!

    • Don

      Reply Reply September 28, 2015

      Yes Db & Gb could be deleted, but I think Griff just wanted to list them as being enharmonic keys.

  • Anthony O'Mahony (Ireland)

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Hi Griff, Thanks for the videos, theory very well explained. Am working my way through BGU. Cheat Sheet now hanging on my studio wall!

  • Jim Pyron

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    As soon as I finished watching the lesson I downloaded and printed your “cheatsheet”. Though I took some music theory in college and know the cycle of 5ths and 4ths it’s great to have a simple diagram to demonstrate the whole she-bang. As I always say, YOU ARE THE MAN and the best teacher I ever had!

  • Terry

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    I’m sure I’m showing my ignorance here, but there is something on the cheat sheet I don’t get.
    On the second line of the Standard Harmony the 7th family of chords are shown. However the V chord is shown as Dim 7, yet throughout most of BGU we play a 7th chord as the V chord. Is this the difference between Dominant 7 and Major 7 chord families? Could someone please explain?

  • Ian Stobbart

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Hi Griff
    As always you explained it so the lay man can understand ,brilliant thank you ian

  • will

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    does this mean – (for clarification) that in a minor key the lll, Vl and Vll are major chords, the ii is a minor7b5 and the i, iv and v are minor chords ??

  • Dee Dee

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    I love the help with the cheat sheet and videos, they have helped soooo much!

  • Mel Davies

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Hi Griff,

    Just a few words on your teaching videos. They are so relaxed strait foreword that i purchised five easy blues solos.

    I’m 69 yrs old and i live in Lanzarote, have not touched my guitars that often since the 60s but i intend to start now.

    Thanks again Griff

    [ my first try at replying ] mel.

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Brilliant Griff – simply brilliant. I get it now – it’s an ‘aha’ moment for me. It’s suddenly starting to click together – before it was fragmented but not anymore – & that makes me want to play every day. So thank you Griff – thanks a million!

  • lessdrop

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Just noticed the bells on the university clock go 1,5,6,4-6,4,5,1-1,5,6,4 before it gongs the hours. Anyone know what.that dity means or what music it’s from?

  • Wilson Brown

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Hey Griff, you got a typo on the cheat sheet, sheet 1 at the bottom. The V chord is a dominant 7 chord (Dom7), but you have it shown as a Dim7 chord which implies a dimished 7 chord. But that is incorrect. Just thought you should know. W.

  • John Brown

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Thanks for these latest load of lessons, Griff. After tinkering with guitar for about 55 years ( I’m 69 now ) I think I’m finally moving out of the beginners box !! With your help of course 🙂

  • Alan #2

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Man !!!!

    The accolades for you are really something and you should be very proud. I just hope it translates to people buying your products. You see my father was a musician and a pretty good one, but it didnt pay all of the bills, so i know how hard it can be to make a living. He eventually manged other musicians, Clifford Brown, being one of them and a couple of other jazz folks. i have played music off and on for years, my axe was a trumpet of course, and then guitar but never wanted to be a pro after listening to stories from my father and his friends, its a hard life, but i have digressed. Love your lessons great stuff keep it up and i hope it gives you a living that surely deserve

  • Tom G.

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015


    I’ve completed the Lesson 1 and Lesson 3 Exercises from the
    “Guitar Theory Made Useful” 3 part series. I was wondering if you were
    going to supply the answers to these exercises or did I miss them
    along the way. I’ve checked several times.


    Tom G.

  • Jeff Aucott (U.K)

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Hi Griff
    Thanks for ‘Guitar Theory Cheat Sheet’ Great ! ! The only problem is that I am a ‘Piano and Hammond SK1’ player…
    I am not a guitarist….BUT I am still able to adapt your ‘sheet printouts’ ….superb ! !

  • Douglas Allen

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Yes I do, thanks for the great lessons.

  • Keith Serxner

    Reply Reply September 27, 2015

    Grif, Thank you so much for this post. I am working my way through your “Blues Guitar Unleashed” course. I took lessons for 10 years and often my instructor and I often simply sat and discussed theory. Now I live in a small town and cannot find an advanced teacher. Your courses and videos keep me going!

  • joyce o.

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    i’m going on 76, and you explained the scales, better than i heard anyone explain it like you did,
    thank you griff. i do enjoy the lessons a lot,

  • Carolyn

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Wow! I thought I was the only old lady learning to play guitar. Actually, I played folk music in college with my sears silver tone. Now I’m into blues. I always look forward to these lessons.

  • kenneth

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Thanks mucho Griff, useful information. This knowledge really comes in handy when you know a song in a certain key and then someone says let’s play this song in a different key. You probably don’t want to say something like “Well, I can only play it in this key.” Thanks again.

  • kingbee

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Griff, thanks for the theory cheat sheet. What I find most useful for me is page 2. It is very reminiscent of “Ron Greene’s Chord Dial”, which also had the diagrams for fingering the chords (wish I could find it now) I used to have. This theory lesson gives me a clearer picture of why certain chords go together the way they do and in what order. Its the “why beyond the how” . I’ve almost finished the ABGU course, having a little holdup on St. Louis Blues, almost got it all under my fingers, a lot to remember for that song. As I said before, no more attack of stupid at the guitar store for me.

  • Tom

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Outstanding! What a wonderful way you teach. Very understandable

  • Bill

    Reply Reply September 28, 2015

    Hi Griff:

    All 3 videos contain extraordinary instruction; your teaching style is informative and rewarding. Thank you for posting the goodies and also making useful handouts available to us.

    I’ve seen other versions of your Guitar Theory cheat sheet before but didn’t understand it. Now, together with these videos, the information on these sheets has become clear to me. Hopefully, that has been the experience to others as well.

  • carlos r sampayo

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    griff thanks a lot for the videos. there are very helpful and handy to have. love your teaching.

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    Hi Griff,

    I would like to congratulate Dave Knowles for his great effort learning by ear and now 69 Years. What a great achievement. But Dave now you have found Gold!! you have found Griff Hamlin the best Guitar or Blues Guitarist Teacher that we all follow. His method is so easy to follow and his courses are so easy to purchase and learn from that in the end you will simply become one of the most advanced guitar players in the BGU Forum. I will be 69 years soon this year, but I have not had the chance that you have had, I only started in Jan 2013 and have 5 electric guitars, I could get a Les Paul but that is all I need to get the Blues sound and Griff to know what and how to play the sounds that he masters. You get attached to the main Guitars and their sound, once you get the sound its hard to beat what Griff has in Guitars.
    All the very best.
    Michael- Sydney Australia

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    Hey Griff,
    Great lesson. Even though I started back in Jan 2013, I have tinkered on the guitar back to the 60’s even though I was a semi -pro Drummer in a Band with 7 day gigs but never really played anything other than chords on an acoustic around Beatles and Beach Boys. But since I met you back in 2013, I have quite advanced to intermediate level and marching through your courses such as BGU V 2 , Pentatonic Scales & Technique etc and others plus these very helpful video lessons. Now advancing to a stage now in retirement that I can do a few hours per day pending on the shopping plans of my wife.

    I now have my own DEN for Guitars – Amps _ etc / Music / Laptop Large screen and sound system to follow your VIdeo lessons and LEARN.

    Michael- Sydney Australia

  • Dave McKenna

    Reply Reply September 30, 2015

    Fantastic stuff Griff! This really brings the music universe down to Earth. I have been struggling for several years to compile this info all together but find myself bouncing around from one source to another and getting frustrated in the process. Thanks for putting it all together and filtering out the trivia. I am anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail.

  • jean

    Reply Reply September 30, 2015

    This caught my attention. Nice way to make theory look simple.

  • Steve Steele

    Reply Reply October 1, 2015

    I have been unable to download the cheat sheet offered in the segment on guitar theory. Is there another link that might give me better luck. I click on it and it does nothing. Thanks

  • Keith Mitchell

    Reply Reply October 2, 2015

    WOW! Talk about the light coming on above my head!! Another ancient learner with very little musical theory . Fab lesson Griff thank you!

  • Eddie Martin Jr.

    Reply Reply October 5, 2015

    I play by ear since 1958. Learned rhythm, then lead on 6 & 12 string guitars. Then came 4 string bass, dobro and double neck pedal steel. Played in a few bands, then formed a Friday night round robin (show up & sit in) that lasted 13 years. 36 years clean and sober, so I don’t care to play the bar scene. I have lost the desire to play at all for the past year, even in church. How do you rekindle the fire once it dies? Even playing my one and only CD doesn’t excite the urge.

  • Tom

    Reply Reply October 8, 2015

    what a great cheat sheet! Thanks for all you do Griff. As always you illuminate the path ahead.

    Best Regards.

  • Gena

    Reply Reply October 27, 2015

    I am a middle age Latina woman who pick up the guitar 15 years ago. Took a year and a half of the Guitar lessons. As a schoolteacher we are limited on funds and so I pick up books and a couple of free on guitar lessons. I enjoy Justin guitar .com and Griff. These are the only ones I personally recommend to my friends, family, and students. But Griff out did himself with this free music theory Like many I do get board when someone tried to explain to make it scale music theory and afterwhile I just tune out. This guy did an outstanding explanation of music theory and as a teacher I have to teach students with various learning styles and I found this Lessons can reach all types of learning styles. Thank you for making it free Actually now I am comfortable with scales and a little knowledge of music theory. Gracias

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply May 25, 2016

    Hey Griff,

    Thanks for your offer with 40% off. Timing is not good for me right night having just had my Cataract surgery on both eyes over the last two months and in recovery mode both financially and physically. I will certainly purchase this course as soon as I can as it is a MUST HAVE and looks really great.

    Michael-St Andrews -Australia May 2016

  • If only I’d known the info in this lesson 50 years ago. Thanks, Griff, this lesson was super helpful.

  • Steve Ambrose

    Reply Reply May 25, 2016

    You make so much more sense than my music teacher 45 years ago – now I believe that they really did not want us to learn back then!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply May 26, 2016

    Thanks Griff you are one very generous person.
    Question I have is there are plenty of songs that do not use the 1,5,6,4 progression. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that there must be other progressions or chord keys as well. For example there are songs that go G D C. Doesn’t appear that this progression or chord combination fits to this pattern. Just trying to figure out what I’m missing.

  • jim

    Reply Reply June 1, 2016

    Thanks so much for doing these videos. This one REALLY helps me. No one else takes as much interest in helping students like you do. I tried a teacher before on a one to one basis but I just memorized a bunch of bits and pieces and when those get forgotten then I learned a whole bunch of nothing. I have progressed so much from just buying your courses that I really enjoy everything I can learn. I have even ventured out on my own and bought play a long books with just Tab and cd (example Credence clear water ) and through your courses can actually play some of that music. Thanks again jim

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  • Dave Hofacker

    Reply Reply March 12, 2018

    Hi Griff, Great teaching.!! You always make it so easy to understand!! I have been playing since I was 17 and just turned 66. Played in alot of groups but was usually the bass have been learning to play the guitar better! I knew some theory but could never quite grasp it all. What you have taught in these lessons has really helped!! I have 8 instruments—2 acoustics( one an Ovation 1989 model) 3 basses( a Carvin 4 string, an Epiphone 5-string Thunderbird,a Peavey 5-string) and Fender Strat 2012 model,a Ibanez RG series and a Music Man guitar. Like you had to figure alot of songs out by ear before there were tabs and people like you teaching over internet. Love your teaching!! Keep on keeping on!!

  • Bill

    Reply Reply March 12, 2018

    Griff doesn’t the circle of 5ths play into this idea, I like the way you explain it and it really works.

  • Kevin O'Sullivan

    Reply Reply March 12, 2018

    You’re right on the money yet again! I have learnt so much from all your lessons (and your paid for courses) I can’t begin to express how much this has done for my guitar playing. Yet you make it so clear and immensely helpful. The sign of a great teacher.
    Thanks a million Griff

  • Geoff

    Reply Reply March 13, 2018

    Hi guys,
    I am with you all too. 70 and just retired in the UK and been only tinkering with just 4 guitars since I was 12.
    Griff’s tutorial was a revelation to me too. I now avidly follow his daily transmissions.
    Maybe we could form the first internet band!!?

  • Michael Lunny

    Reply Reply March 13, 2018

    I’m 65, I started give years ago to learn how to play the guitar. Griff has made it easy to learn the basic and beyond. This lesson makes it clear on how it all works. Thanks Gtiff!

  • John

    Reply Reply March 13, 2018

    Another old head here, 7guitars,64 hagstrom 2 oldest . Nice to see all the older folks still playing.

  • Gary Neal

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    Wow! I have learned so much in the three years I have been taking your courses. The theory is soon powerful I want to try it. As I am just finishing my third course now and have two more just waiting I will have to wait but believe me this one has really opened my eyes! I am really enjoying this as a restart at age 57. Thanks a million Griffin!

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    Reply Reply April 30, 2020

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  • jesse fleming

    Reply Reply May 4, 2020

    I’ve learned so much musical theory from you, Griff and l am so grateful. I love knowing that there is method to the madness of music, So learning keys is great, but how about a lesson on how to construct a progression. I know the I, IV, V and a couple of others, but I know there are more, so how does that work?

  • Barry

    Reply Reply July 22, 2020

    Griff, This is great stuff for us newbie guitarists. Thanks so much!

  • Clark Everett

    Reply Reply December 31, 2020

    Griff, thank you so much for that. A light bulb just went off that is going to take me to the next level. I get it.

  • James King

    Reply Reply December 31, 2020

    Looking through my “Theory Goggles”. I love that! I’ve learned so much from these vids (and the ones I actually bought!). So, if there’s a ‘standard harmony rule’, is there a non-standard harmony rule, too? I wrote a song with the chord progression: C-D (Major)-F-C, C-D (Major)-F-G-C for the verses. I used the D Major because nothing else sounded right. It worked because I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that. Since then, I’ve struggled with how to explain an exception like this. Any thoughts? Anyone?

  • Ken Gold

    Reply Reply December 31, 2020

    Hi Griff
    Was just wondering if you could have a lesson on vocals. Just some basic tips for singing better. It always sounds good in the shower but needs help out in the real world.

  • Ray Kopp

    Reply Reply April 18, 2021

    thanks griff, learning from you makes it all worth while, . slowly but surely I am getting thereand thats what counts. thank-you

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    Reply Reply November 6, 2021

    What a great lesson. I feel this opens up more possibilities to be able to not only play other songs but also to come up with my own tunes…. Thanks


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    That was an outstanding video Griff. thanks so much !!

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    Griff, you are the Pied Piper of Hamlin! Thanks for all these wonderful lessons.

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