Now Playing
He's Got The Whole
World In His Hands
This arrangement of " He's Got The Whole In His Hands" is for a folk band with
two guitars and bass. The melody is played on lead guitar. It can of course be
sung, while the lead guitar plays fills. The rhythm guitar plays finger style
broken chords. The bottom is electric  bass guitar but could be acoustic bass.
As is often the case in folk music their are no drums. The song is played in two
keys. It starts in C major, changes to G major and goes back to end in C Major.  
Like "Tom Dooley",  this is a simple sounding  folk song and like "Tom Dooley",
it's an old song that became popular again in the folk revival of the 50's. People
can sing it and play it simply by hearing it. Yet musically it also is more
complicated then it seems. The melody is even more syncopated than either  
"Rocking A" or Tom Dooley.  We will begin to learn this song in this lessons.
The song will play once. Click on the player below to hear it again.
Choosing Your Instruments
We have used the piano or musical keyboard as our instrument so far. We've also
started to use our voice. Now it is time to also introduce the fret board with the first
emphasis on the guitar. First we will explain why the piano is the way it is and how it
works. Second we will cover the types of voices and their range. We will help you
discover the type of voice you have and it's range.  Finally we will explain the fret board
and how it works. Review past lessons. Especially,
Scales Steps And Melody and Keys
And Scales, which talk about musical scales and spaces and steps between musical
tones. The next lesson will begin to cover the guitar in detail.
Musical Keyboards
The musical keyboard is an interface just like a computer keyboard. It can open and
close valves to let air cause organ pipes to vibrate and produce musical tones. It can
activate mechanical mechanisms to pluck or strike strings, causing them to vibrate and
produce musical tones. It can work switches to control electronics that produce musical
tones. In this electronic age the interface could be very small but back in the mechanical
age keys for musical instruments had to have some size and length to them. They had to
act as levers and provide some mechanical advantage. Why do we have the smaller
raised black keys? First as you've learned from your scales, we use eight notes with zero
to five black keys substituting for white keys to form different scales. Second your hand
can only stretch open so far.  Your fingers can reach a span of notes of a little more than
an octave. A keyboard with all the notes the same size would be difficult to play. A span
of eight tones with the black key notes stuck in between makes a lot of sense. Our
ancestors thought so too. The musical keyboard has been the same for hundreds of
years. A four octave keyboard, with four octaves of C major is pictured below
vocal ranges for male and female voices
The Voice
The picture below shows the range of the classical
classifications of the human voice. Even though we are not
trying to be opera singers, the classifications are a good
guide for us to use to find our own range and to write music
for others. You will notice that all the female voices are in the
treble clef and all the male voices are in the bass clef. All
melody is written in the treble clef. That means that while
women are singing the exact pitch of the melody men are
singing it an octave lower than written. I am also showing the
grand staff  with the notes from
Whats That Note. Remember
that the c one ledger line below the treble clef staff and the c
one ledger line above the bass clef staff are the same note,
middle c. So notes below c on the treble clef staff are actually
also bass clef notes and notes above c on the bass clef staff
are actually also treble clef notes. For example, the top note
for the baritone  is e. This e is two ledger lines above the bass
clef staff and one ledger line higher than middle c. This is the
same note as the e on the bottom line of the treble clef.
Showing that e in the bass clef is less confusing. It keeps the
voice example  on the same clef.
Your  Voice
For years songs for the people were written for  the  middle voice. The top note for
mezzo-soprano or baritone would be the highest treble clef note you would ever find in a
song. Most songs kept well below that. But from the 60's on, singer musicians wrote their
own songs to suit their voice. Many male rock singers especially, had voices well into the
tenor range and so wrote songs with top notes on the treble clef staff well out of the
baritone range. Don't forget that though I'm talking about melody in the treble clef, men
are actually  singing an octave lower. If you have a baritone voice and want to sing a
song written by someone with a tenor voice range, you are going to have to change the
key to bring the song into your singing range. The second thing to consider for your
voice is it's total range. What is the highest note you can sing and what is the lowest note
you can sing. To find out your total range and what kind of voice you have go to a piano
or keyboard and find the highest and lowest note that you can sing. Match the pitch of
the notes exactly and see where you are in relation to middle c. You will notice that all the
voices are two notes short of covering two octaves. Very few songs would exceed that
note span. So if we change a song into the right key,  we should be able to perform
every song. If your range exceeds that even by one or two notes, consider yourself
Fretted Instruments
Look at the guitar in the picture to the Right. The open strings are
stretched between the nut and the bridge. The tuners tighten
each string to a chosen note. The strings can be tuned to
different notes but the range is controlled by the thickness of the
strings. Thick strings produce low notes and thin strings produce
high notes. You make notes higher than the open string by
making it shorter. On violins and cellos and other stringed
instruments without frets, you have to press the string to the
finger board in exactly the right place to sound a note at the right
pitch. On fretted instruments you press the open string down to a
fret to shorten it and get the right pitch. You can see that with
frets you don't have to be as accurate. The frets which are
mathematically placed select the right pitch. You will notice that as
we get closer to the bridge the frets are closer together. Unlike
the musical keyboard where we have some choice in how we
design the interface on stringed instruments there is no interface.
Where we place our fingers on instruments with no frets or where
we place the frets is dictated by math and physics. Below the
picture of the guitar,we have a fret diagram of the first position on
the guitar. Above the nut, the white horizontal rectangle, we have
the open string notes. The vertical lines are the strings. The fatter
lower strings are to the left and the thinner higher strings are to
the left. The horizontal lines represent the frets. Behind each fret
we have the note you get when you press the string against that
fret. Middle c is circled.
Piano And Guitar Compared
Below we have our four octave keyboard with the range of the guitar notes shown, in
relationship to middle c. You can see that the lowest e note is three notes higher than
the low c on our key board. Each string takes us up three notes, until we get to the third
string which only takes us up two. We get to middle c and the d above it on the second b
string. The first string takes us the rest of the way. On some guitars, you would only
reach the high b on our four octave keyboard. On some you can get a note or two
higher. On the piano, you can play up to ten notes at one time using your left and right
hand. You can play notes that are right next to each other at the same time.  Since you
can spread your arms out, you can play low notes with your left hand while you play high
notes with the right hand many octaves away. On the guitar all the notes are fingered
with the left hand, while the right hand with either a guitar pick or the thumb and fingers
plucks the strings to sound these notes. On the standard guitar with six strings you can
only play six notes at once. You cannot easily play notes next to each other at the same
time. The total pitch range that your six notes can cover is just over one two octaves.
Below the keyboard is a guitar diagram showing the notes on the strings. I only show the
notes going higher on the first string because the other strings repeat the notes of the
higher strings in front of them. Even though music for the guitar could be written on the
grand staff like piano, it is actually written an octave higher than it sounds in the treble
clef. In the next paragraph, I discuss this in detail.
Tuning The Guitar
Musical keyboards come already in tune and stay in tune. A real piano with strings will
hold it's tuning for a long time but will eventually need tuning. This is hard enough to
require the services of a professional piano tuner.  Even if you buy a guitar and they
tune it for you, it will soon go out of tune. You have to be able to tune your own guitar.
Most guitars come with a pitch pipe. There is a reed for each open string for standard
tuning. You blow in the right hole and tune your string to the exact pitch of that reed. You
have to make sure you don't tune to a higher octave. That will break the string. There
are electronic tuners that give you a visual indication of when you are on pitch as well as
giving you the sound. You need to learn how to use your ear for music anyway. Learning
how to tune your guitar is a good place to start. Free guitar lesson 1 "
Guitar Basics"
includes instructions on tuning your guitar. It also includes a midi guitar tuner. It also
begins to teach you a the basics you need to begin learning to play guitar.
What's Next
Now that you have had a brief introduction to the guitar, in the next lesson I will go into a
lot more detail. The guitar is a fantastic instrument. Like a piano it can accompany a
singer or solo instrumentalist. It can like a piano play a full arrangement. It can even be
used strictly as a solo instrument. A piano or keyboard can be played in different styles
but still feel like the same instrument. A guitar can be played in so many ways and styles
that it often seems like different instruments.
©2004 - 2009
Piano,  Guitar, Voice
classical guitar with frets labled in fret diagram orientation
note letter names for lines and spaces on the grand staff
Using The Lessons
People that come to these pages through search engines enter on different pages. I
would recommend that to get the full benefit of these music lessons, especially if you are
a beginner,  you visit every page at least once. This is a totally new approach to learning
music. The focus is on "
How Music Works". That page that you miss could be the one
that contains the key information, that you need. These pages are full of music tips and
music info that you probably won't find anywhere else. Free musics lessons one through
five "
Music Is Easy", Schools Of Music", "Natural Music Tones", "Sharps And Flats" and
Music Is Easy" teach you the basics of how music works. I use the piano or keyboard as
a learning tool. In the first five free music lessons, we don't use music. You learn to play
the teaching songs with a text system and keyboard pictures. Using  some degree of
reading music makes learning music much easier. Free music lessons six through eight
Reading Music Is Easy", "What's That Note" and "Timing The Notes" introduces music
notation. They show how you don't need a high level of skill reading music but that some
level of skill makes it much easier to learn. They teach you the secret of using lead
sheets to make learning songs easy. This lesson free music lesson 9 "Piano, Guitar,
Voice" is the last in the basic series. It is the transition lesson to lessons that focus on the
different  instruments. You will continue to expand both your musical knowledge and
apply it to your instrument.
guitarfret diagram with natural notes labled
piano or keyboard notes for tuning open guitar strings
natural notes on the guitar
Piano And Guitar Compared
Below I have sheet lead sheet music for "He's Got The Whole World" for both guitar
and piano. Notice that the music for the guitar is written one octave higher than the
music for the piano. Below I also have the midi sound samples for these lead sheets.
Listen to them and notice how even though they are written in different octaves, the
pitch is exactly the same. Whereas music for piano is written on the grand staff bass
and treble clef, music for guitar is moved up an octave to be written entirely on the
treble clef.
Guitar Lead
Piano Lead
Learn to play songs by and in the in the style of
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