As an upcoming guitarist, I find it so hard to place what chord I am to play next wen singing and playing or when playing to a piece, all I did was to gamble. I play a GMaj where I am to play an FMaj, play an FMaj when I’m supposed to play a CMaj. Etc…..

I asked lots of questions from my then tutor who assured me that with time, practice and patience I will get to understand where the music is heading towards by ear.

Actually he was right, but it worked better with familiar  songs i already known.

I kept following this trend until I discovered a break through.

I would have called this a shortcut, but it’s nothing near a shortcut.

The concept I discovered is the Strong beat emphacy

 What do I mean by the strong beat emphacy?

In a very simple term, in conventional music, we have a bar or measure. Each bar or measure is the stipulated amount of time for which a beat lasts.

I will be focusing on the most popular beat which is the *4/4* beat I.e 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4. Etc

The 1 and 3 beat are referred to as the strong beat. While beat 2 and 4 are referred to as weak beats.

If we are completely new to the strong beat, weak beat emphasis, I suggest that we visit the drums posts for deeper understanding. Back to our Major discussion which is  How to know what chord to play next without gambling.

The reality is that one of the greatest attributes a great musician (guitarist) should possess is having a well tuned hearing ability.

Being able to discern and interpret sound being heard into *Solfa notations* as fast as possible if not instantaneously.

The question is *how does knowing the solfa notation of a song gives us the ability to know what chord to play?*

It’s quiet simple, let’s take a popular gospel song *i just want to say* using the solfa notation

For better comprehension, I will be using just the 1-4-5 chords on the key of C, before expanding to other chords later. Note:the notes that falls on the strong beats 1 will be in bracket.

In other words, as earlier said. Beat 1 and 3 are strong beats, but beat 1 comes first, and the notes that falls on it can be chosen or decided on to be used over the entire bar or measure.

_We will revisit this analysis after the song_

 I just want to say    M R D T (L)

*Baba o*   D M (R)

*Ese*    D (M)

*e e e e*     R M R (D)

*I just want to say*   M R D T (L)

*Baba o*    D M (R)

*Ese*     T (D)

 Looking at the above song, we will notice that the notes that falls on the strong beat 1 are all circled.

Now let us analyze how this notes determines the chords to be played.

NOTE: we are using the 145 chord on the key of C at First.

 *I just want to say*   M R D T (L) *FMaj*

*Baba o*     D M (R) *GMaj*

*Ese*     D (M) *CMaj*

*e e e e*     R M R (D) *CMaj*

*I just want to say*     M R D T (L) *FMaj*

*Baba o*        D M (R)   *GMaj*

*Ese*   T (D)    *CMaj*

Looking at the above analysis, the question should be how do I kw the exact chord to be used on the *circled notes* I.e *strong beat 1.*

Its quiet a simple analysis, all we need to know are the notes of our chords.

*CMaj*  CEG – D M S

*FMaj* F L D

*GMaj* S T R

Now, looking at the above circled notes, comparing the notes to the chord used, we will notice that wherever we see *(L)* I used *FMaj*, reason being that among  the three 3 chords, it’s only *FMaj* that has the note *(L).*

The same applies to *(R),* I used the *GMaj* chord because only the *GMaj* has the *R* note.

We can as well look closely, we will understand the concept better by reviewing and reanalyzing the concept.

 Finally, why do I choose to use the *145 chord* to start with?

As we all know, the 1 chord is the C, 4 is F and 5 is G.

1= D M S

4= F L D

5= S T R

combining all the above notes together, we have the *Major scale*


Reason why the 145 chord can virtually harmonize almost every song. Because it contains all the Major notes which are most used in Western music.

Feel free to drop your questions and it will be attended to.