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The Harmony Wheel, designed around the circle of 5th's
format, incorporates every note in Western music, and their relativity to
each other, as well as illustrating quite succinctly how our Major keys
interact with our relative minor keys, and how our ancient greek modes are
in actuality, just different ways of interpreting our modern scales.
How our consonant chords are formed , triad building of
our consonant chords and how we form our harmonies, via 3rd's 5th's 6th's,
major and dominant 7th's, 9th's, 11th's, & 13th's. These functions are
illustrated via our "Modes of Operation Wheel", and all notes
and chords in all keys are easily located via our color-coding which makes
transposing a breeze and virtually instantaneous.
No note- reading is necessary, which makes the Harmony
Wheel an ideal addendum and companion to any tablature sight and suited
most favorably to the guitar, an instrument where oftentimes great talent
and chops are not synonymous with the ability to sight-read and, for the
beginner, the music absorbed off the many varied tab sights, too often is
not accompanied by any real knowledge or understanding of theory, thus making
the recipient somewhat of a parrot, merely copying what he has learned and
unable to incorporate the new material into his knowledge and stylistic
The Harmony Wheel bridges this gap most effectively with
its overview of all the notes in every major and minor key, modes and pentatonic
scales, and along with chords formed by the scale tones in their consonant
triadic construction and with accidentals giving understanding to the theory
aspects of what they are doing and with the color bands around the wheel,
just following the notes around to any given key, thus finding the same
note relative to any given key and reconstructing whatever they have learned,
teaching the user of the wheel much in practical and applicable music theory,
as they can then deconstruct, rebuild, dissect and understand "why"
they are playing what they are and can then assimilate the knowledge into
their own stylistic approach to music.
Improvisational teaching aid:
With every note in our major and minor scales, along with
our modes and consonant chords, the student has everything they need to
craft thoughtful, inventive melodically sound and dynamic passages.
Again, once the student realizes that as long as he plays
within the appropriate key, using the correct scale, that frankly, every
note he plays will "fit" automatically according to essential,
basic harmonic principles. He will also realize that the modal patterns
are part of the bigger picture, all playing into the patterns formed by
the major scale, as are our pentatonic scales (5 note scales derived
from our 8 note major & minor scales), and will become increasingly
aware that all of our Notes in every key are the same "notes"
relative to each other, only occupying different scale degrees relative
to the different keys.
As to constructing harmonies, drone tones, and orchestrated
guitar parts, students will realize how it all relates back to whatever
scale and key they are using, and recognizing "blue notes" (flatted
3rd's, flatted 5th's, & 7th's,) that they can play "smokin'
As to Jazz and playing through different keys, one can
see how different chordal patterns from key to key are relative to each
other along with their accidentals, common tones, and via a higher more
holistic understanding of how chords are formed, common tones, and creating
different tone centers play into truly novel and stimulating changes to
play through, thus giving rise to more inventive and seemingly more complex
textures which support the essential "head melody"and melodic
Becoming familiar with positioning all up and down the
By becoming familiar with the "3 Essentials"
of Octave, Scale Degrees, and Chromatic Musical Alphabet, as stated in the
Harmony Wheel enclosed instruction manual, the student realizes that all
soloing consists of the same 12 notes either Higher or lower of the octave
they are in, and as such opens up the neck very quickly for the student
also helping them become aware of the same patterns of notes reoccurring
all through the fretboard, thus providing a strong foundation for confident,
Realizing the guitar's similarity with piano/keyboards:
As a very effective tool to help the student wishing to
branch off to piano/keyboards, the Harmony wheel as a tool of its kind within
its price range, it is highly likely that it stands without equal in a class
all its own especially when used in conjunction with a competent teacher
and/or book, as it illustrates the entire concepts of voicings, inversions,
tetrachords, finger picking, moving bass lines, pedal tones, harmonies played
in 3rd's, 5th's, 6th's, etc. against drone strings, or dropped "D"
or different tunings, to name just a few.
By virtue of its overview approach to harmony theory, it
explains via schematic form just what is going on relative to the movement
of melodic ideas (either single note or harmonies) over chords, and
how, in finger picking our lowest three strings are representative of our
left hand on piano and our higher 3 strings are representative of our right
hand on piano, the thumb and index being in essence our left hand and our
2nd, 3rd, and pinky being our right hand.
As the student becomes more aware of this similarity, and
realizes the play of scale tones over consonant chords, or conversely the
movement of chords around one nonmoving pedal tone, amazing tonal possibilities
open up to them.
Also, once grasped that our chords are not box-like diagrams
on a guitar grid, but the product of triadic configuration, the idea of
all the different sounds made possible by voicing the tones differently,
this skill at once becomes very easily understood, and not only is it made
very clear how the student can double on the piano/keyboard but also take
a fresh new piano-like approach to the guitar itself with very exciting
options and tremendously "fuller sounding" guitar sounds, very
important for acoustic guitarists.
As to classical guitar, very often fingered similar to
piano voicings (transcribing of Master's works where 90% were composed
on piano) the Harmony Wheel can prove itself a very valuable tool to
help the classical player get the most out of their sight reading,
again by providing a theory schematic, so to speak, for what is accurately
happening via the scale tones.
Creating Guitar Harmonies and chord construct:
Imagine wanting to put together complex guitar harmony
lines like the Allman Bros.? Or construct rich sonic tapestries in a two
guitar duo or trio gig?within minutes??? The Harmony Wheel is most assuredly
your teaching tool of choice for that application.
Either by the triadic harmonies made easy to see and understand,
or the modal perspective of starting on a different scale tone and playing
to the octave by 3rd's, 5th's etc., or by making use of it's color band.example:
red, yellow, blue is a I, iii, V melody. It's 3rd harmonies are therefore
yellow, blue, and purple. It's 5th's harmonies are comprised of blue, purple,
and orange. IT'S REALLY THAT EASY!!! With the Harmony Wheel.
Moving on to chord construct once the student realizes
that all major and minor chords are triads and that accidentals are the
notes outside whatever scale and key we are in, 2nd's are 9ths, 4th's are
11th's, 6th's are also always 13th's and by flatting or sharping them we
have all manner of wonderfully stimulating textural possibilities.
Also, by changing the tone center we also change the spelling
of any chord by changing their tone center and thus especially in jazz applications,
we change the name of the chord as we build it.
These are just some of the creative teaching applications
of the Harmony Wheel as it pertains to guitar. It is especially useful as
an addendum to any teaching system , as has been illustrated by virtue of
it's universal overview as to how all of the many applications of harmony
theory all essentially work together. All in one compact wheel.
If any questions remain regarding the Harmony Wheels basic
use, you can contact me, Robert Creveling. I am the Harmony Wheel's creator,
feel free to write me at Robert Creveling c/o Ducks Deluxe - P.O.Box 35677,
Las Vegas, Nevada. 89133 - U.S.A. Thanks for checking it out!! Hope this
helps you understand the immense world of music a little better!! - Remember,
practice makes perfect!! Later, Dude