String Theory 4

Course Number: MUS-262DLCredit Hours: 2

Course Description

In this series, students study the practical application of harmony and theory as it pertains to the guitar neck. Selected subjects include symmetrical scales, whole tone scale, harmonic minor, legato technique and hybrid picking, and drop-3 voicings.  Prerequisite: String Theory 3.

Adam Levy

Levy has created a remarkable body of music over the past 30 years, and his talents continue to evolve today. He was recruited for Norah Jones’ recording of “Come Away with Me,” her multi-platinum, multi-Grammy debut on Blue Note Records. He remained in Jones’ orbit for several years to come, recording two additional albums and three DVDs, and touring the world as a member of her Handsome Band. He also played on Tracy Chapman’s mid-90s masterpiece New Beginning. Levy’s guitar earns the limelight in the bluesy “Give Me One Reason,” which won Best Rock Song at the 1997 Grammy Awards.

Levy is also a respected writer and educator, with the instructional courses Play the Right Stuff (book/DVD), 50 Low-Down Rhythms (DVD/online course), and Rhythm Makeover(DVD/online course) to his credit, as well as numerous articles for Guitar PlayerFretboard Journal, and other top guitar magazines.

Lesson 1: Symmetrical Scales | Whole-step/Half-step & Half-step/Whole-step

  • Overview
  • Construction of W/H and H/W Scales
  • C W/H — Five CAGED Fingerings, with Diminished Triad Anchor
  • C H/W — Five CAGED Fingerings, with Diminished Triad Anchor
  • C H/W — Four Notes Per String
  • C W/H — Four Notes Per String
  • Triads within C H/W (Fingering 2)
  • 7th Chords within the H/W Scale (Fingering 2)
  • Common Symmetrical Lick within the C H/W Scale (Fingering 2)


Lesson 2: Whole-Tone Scale

  • Overview
  • Common Whole-tone Chords
  • C Whole-tone — Five CAGED fingerings, with Augmented Triad Anchor
  • C Whole-tone — Five CAGED fingerings, with Augmented Triad Anchor
  • C Whole-tone — Three-notes-per-string Fingering
  • C Whole-tone melodic pattern (Fingering 4)


Lesson 3: Harmonic Minor

  • Overview
  • Diatonic Triads from C Harmonic Minor
  • Diatonic 7th Chords from C Harmonic Minor
  • Diatonic 7th Chords from C Harmonic Minor — Drop-2 Voicings
  • C Harmonic Minor — Five CAGED fingerings
  • Diatonic 7th Arpeggios from C Harmonic Minor — Five CAGED Fingerings

Lesson 4: Legato Technique and Hybrid Picking

  • Overview
  • Three-Notes-Per-String Major Scale Fingerings
  • Scalar Sequences (Legato Technique)
  • Giuliani Arpeggios (Hybrid Technique)


Lesson 5: Drop-3 Voicings

  • Overview
  • Drop-3 Voicings for Cmaj7, C7, Cm7, Cm7b5
  • Other Inversions
  • Chord Scales
  • Cycle-4 Exercise
  • Cycle-4 Alternating-Voicings Exercise
  • “All the Things You Are”
Hardware Requirements:
  • Desktop or laptop PC or Mac with speakers, running the most up-to-date versions of Google Chrome or Firefox (see “Software Requirements” for more info)

Software Requirements:

Operating Systems

  •         Windows 7 and newer (users on Windows 10 need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  •         Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  •         Linux – chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  •         iOS 7 and newer
  •         Android 4.2 and newer

Supported Browsers

Canvas, our online learning platform, supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. As of March 12, 2016, we support the most recent versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge (Windows only—please make sure your operating system is also current as noted in the computer specifications lesson; you may need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  • Chrome 54 and 55
  • Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh ONLY)
  • Firefox 49 and 50 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 22 and 23 (for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements).

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. Learn how to clear your cache on a Mac or a PC.

Required Components

  • Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas. Please note that some browsers, such as Firefox, may no longer support Flash.
  • The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Screen Size

  • LACM Online is best viewed at a minimum of 800×600, which is the average size of a notebook computer. If you want to view your courses on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512 kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome