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Music Theory Elements and Fretboard Pattern Study

for Guitar, Bass, and Mandolin players who canít read music

 


 



 

 

S T I C K

M A N D O L I N

B A N J O

G U I T A R

B A S S

U K U L E L E

V I O L I N

Jump to the Three Minute Introductions

 


Comprehensive and Free Online  Music Tutorials

Blumbergís Music Theory Cipher
for Guitar
and other stringed instruments
 

 

 

The Cipher System is a new method for studying and teaching the elements of  Western music theory and the guitar fretboard (among other stringed instruments).

The Cipher System caters to  people who canít read music. It does this by using counting numbers (representing half-steps or semitones) first to convey the elements of music theory and then to apply that knowledge to the fretboards of all popular string instruments ó the guitar and mandolin families in particular.

But just because the Cipher System uses counting numbers, donít imagine that itís a toy, or that itís only for people who canít read music. The Cipher is a serious tool, it really works, and will be of interest to all stringed instrument students, players, and teachers.

The Cipher is 100% compatible with conventional methods of teaching music and is thoroughly integrated with music theoryís standard materials and nomenclature (itís letters and numbers). The Cipher can be used by children and adults, and no prior knowledge of music theory is required.

You can learn what the Cipher System is and how it works in about three minutes.


 

 

 




Have a look at the 4ths tuned bowed fretted viols!
you might be surprised

 

 

Viola da Gamba (Bowed Guitar)

 

 

Viola da Gamba ó Bowed Guitar!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Guitarists, do you know whoís in the family?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 minute introduction to The Cipher ó Instrument specific versions

 

Guitar

Lefty Guitar

Bass

Ukulele

Mandolin Banjo

Violin Cello

Viola da Gamba

Stick ®

3 minute introduction

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X

X

X

X

X

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or . . . Jump to any of the four site-section indexes:

 

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Introductions Index (where you are now)Introductions Index

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Music Theory Tutorials Index

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Whatís on this web site?

  • Blumbergís Music Theory Cipher
  • General music theory primers
  • Free lessons: guitar, lefty guitar, bass, mandolin, tenor banjo, ukulele, violin, viola da gamba, lute, Stick,  music theory.

The Cipher System

This site documents and demonstrates the unique components that make up The Cipher System. [Blumbergís Music Theory Cipher for Guitar and Other Stringed Instruments].

The complete Cipher System tool-set is available here for free See main menu: Core Cipher Components and More Cipher Components. Also see Other Instruments.

Instrument specific versions of  fretboard components are provided for many instruments, including: guitar, lefty guitar, bass, ukulele, lute, viola da gamba, Stick, and mandolin. The later applies to any four stringed instrument tuned to 5ths including tenor banjo, and even unfretted 5ths tuned string instruments like violin, viola, and cello. (See the Links Table, correlating instruments to topic, at the bottom of this page.) Some isomorphic chromatic keyboard instruments are covered as well, e.g. Chromatic Button Accordion and Janko Whole Tone keyboard.

The method and instrument applications presented here constitute the foundation and framework of The Cipher, a new pedagogical tool, a new integrated suite of music education technologies, suitable for independent study, private instruction, and school or classroom use, children through adults. Thereís enough material here to demonstrate and prove the method,  itís soundness, capacity, utility, and versatility. Music education can now be made accessible to all.

General music theory lessons and primers

Everything on this web site is part of one large music theory and string instrument primer.  But Iíve sectioned off some topics that are more general in nature (main menu: Music Theory Elements) and of interest to anyone whoís just beginning their conquest of music theory ó no matter which instrument (if any) youíre interested in. Most important are the two large lessons on intervals and their inversions, and the sections on chord construction and chord progressions.

Free lessons

If you canít read music, youíre new to music theory, and youíre just beginning to tackle any instrumentís fretboard beyond the first three frets; if you read through the sections bulleted below (for your particular instrument) thereís a good chance in  triggering one of those rare eureka! moments youíll remember for the rest of you life. Youíll probably learn more about your instrumentís fretboard in one session than you ever have or will again.

Guitar

These  guitar fretboard illumination tools, lessons in their own right, are uncommonly worthwhile viewing:

Bass players can use the guitar versions of most topics. There is a nearly equivalent section specific to the bass guitar, however, with key drawings done on a four-string neck. Please see the Bass 3 Minute Introduction first.

Mandolin

Likewise, these  mandolin (violin, fiddle, and tenor banjo) fretboard illumination tools are lessons in their own right, and  are uncommonly worthwhile viewing:

Bass

These  bass fretboard illumination tools, lessons in their own right, are uncommonly worthwhile viewing:

Music theory

Again, there are some general music theory primers in the Music Theory Elements section. The two large lessons on intervals and their inversions are the key to everything. Hereís a list of the topics weíll cover:

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Music Theory Cipher is one of the best stringed instrument teaching (and self-teaching) tools on the planet ó whether you read music or not, and whether you already play a stringed instrument or not.

The Cipher is the missing link. It represents a full one-half of our tool set ó found and brought to life. Itís a literal rosetta stone and unification of both tonal music theory and all fretboard/fingerboard string instruments. Once you see The Cipher, and consider itís implications, realize what it can and will mean for the future of music education worldwide and eternally, I think youíll agree, itís singular.  Whatís more, it can be understood and used by children. No matter which or how many other methods or teachers you use, The Cipher will always be one of our best tools. Itís indispensable ó once we have it. Everything youíll see here, of the Cipher specific content and itís applications, is new and unique, but the Cipher System is so simple youíll shake your head in disbelief. Itís a shame it was overlooked for centuries.

Youíre the first generation to have The Cipher. Given the state of popular music and music instruction methods (circa 2002) Iíd say we could use a new and simpler way to teach music pretty badly right about now.

I  hope you enjoy The Cipher. what you think.

Donít forget, The Cipher can be used with nearly every stringed instrument in the Western world, from guitar, bass, and ukulele, to mandolin, banjo, and even violin (an unfretted instrument), fretted Viola da Gamba, and Stick®. Thereís also an large area just for leftie (or lefty) guitar.

Whatever you do, if youíre a string instrument teacher or player, have a look at the sections on The Five Degree (and Seven Degree) Calculation Line and the Pattern of Unisons and Octaves for the instruments of your choice. (See the Links Table at the bottom of this page.) I promise you itíll be worth your while.

. . . hereís to all the Eureka! you can get . . .

 

 

 

 

 

Any educators among you (of any subject or level) who recognize the merits and utility of The Cipher System as a pedagogical tool I need your support. Please help spread the word and so I know who my friends are. Iím an independent, outside academia, and Iíd appreciate it greatly. Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

Links Table ó String Instrument / Topic

 

Guitar

Lefty Guitar

Bass

Ukulele

Mandolin Banjo

Violin Cello

Viola da Gamba

Stick ®

3 minute introduction

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

String numbers

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

5į or 7į calculation line

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cipher demonstrations 1

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X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cipher demonstrations 2

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Octave Pattern full version

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Fretboard note speller

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X

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X

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X

Triads on the fretboard

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X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Scales on the fretboard

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Chord Progressions

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

Chord Encyclopedia

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fretboard speller PDF

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

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Blank fretboard grids PDF

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

Whole Tone Keyboard

Chromatic Button Accordion

Whole Tone Keyboard

 

. . . and now, for Isomorphic Keyboards too . . !
 Chromatic Button Accordion and Whole Tone (Janko) KB

and then there came . . . Chromatic Isomorphic Symmetrical-Cross-Strung Whole-Tone Harp!
 

 

 

Chromatic Cross-Strung Harp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Equation

 

 

 

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Search this site
Enclose a  phrase with quotes. Example: ďchord formulaĒ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Copyright  Notice
 

 

All  text, images, system components, devices, key terminology* and logos, on this web site are copyrighted [physically at the U.S. Library of Congress]. Reproduction in any form without written permission from the author and creator is prohibited.

[*including but not limited to: The Cipher System, The Cipher, Music Theory Cipher, The Guitaristís Music Theory Cipher, Blumbergís Music Theory Cipher for Guitar, Cipher Formula, The Five Degree Calculation Line, Perfect-fourth Calculation Line, The Seven Degree Calculation Line, Perfect-fifth Calculation Line, Fretboard Navigator, Counting Grids, The Pattern of Unisons and Octaves, Rooting-Center, The Fifth String Pattern Shift, The Third String Pattern Shift, Commonsense String Numbering Order.]

Thank you.

© Copyright 2002  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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