Being a guitar player has it’s advantages. Among them, we’re uniquely able to use our visual skills to organize music on our instrument. That’s what our books mean by “Seeing Music”. Let’s have a look.

Below are two chords, A Major and B Major. One employs the open A string and one does not use any open strings. Notice the similar the shape of the two chords. See how both have a few notes adjacent, the same fret on different strings? Imagine drawing a line between those notes, like a connect-the-dot puzzle. Both chords kind of make an “L” shape, right?

These are both barre chords and this is one of the awesome things about barre chords: they can be moved up and down the neck to create new chords. Give it a try, playing these two chords, and listen for their similarity. Notice that each note of this B Major is exactly two frets higher from a note in A Major. That makes both chords easy to remember. Pretty sweet!

This method of understanding the principles of guitar music is what Seeing Music books are all about. We identify with our world in a visual way and now you can learn guitar in a visual way, too. Two great books that will teach you this method are “Beginners Guitar Jumpstart” and “Seeing Music on the Guitar“. The first one is a complete method for learning guitar from Day 1. The second, “Seeing Music on the Guitar” covers basic music theory and teaches how to build more advanced chords, as well.

Leave a comment, and let us know how you see music.

A and B Major Barre Chords
From Beginners Guitar Jumpstart, playing A Major and B Major barre chords