Traditional Note Names

Did you know that the traditional note names can actually say a lot about the note function on a scale?

View the full lesson at Traditional Note Names | JustinGuitar

“G7 = G B D F in the key of C), the B note (Leading note) pulls very strongly to the root note, leading to the root or Tonic…”

I am a bit confused now. Isn’t it that the leading note in G7 chord is F?

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Hi , I was feeling pretty good about the lessons up till now. I just feel lost as to what justin was speaking about the chords and how the follow each other towards the end of the video.
I understand the Power chords being the root note and the 5th note on the major scale.
But now I’m just not understanding about the different ? chords I guess and how this relates.
I’m thinking it has to do with how the chords are made? Just feeling bit confused, right now. Will keep at it and see the following lessons will explain it a bit better.
Thanks for listening :slight_smile:


Agree this lesson creates more questions than answers. I think we are just being made aware that the notes in the scale sequence have different names elsewhere and the origins of these names. Can anyone confirm this is explored further in later lessons?


@Dianez32 and @Kevbo71
Don’t worry too much about the information in this lesson.
Justin states at the bottom, and it is important:

You don’t need to do much with this, but be aware that scale degrees have other names that you might come across!

Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide


Understanding the principle is relatively easy at least for me, but remembering is a whole different matter. Here we are getting a bit more advanced so multiple views and reading required by me to get it fully.

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Disclaimer: I don’t have access to this lesson. With that said, he’s talking about the key of C. In the key of C, the leading note is B. When you’re playing a progression in the key of C you might typically be using chords based off the tonic (C E G), the subdominant (F A C) and the dominant (G B D). In this example he’s using G7 (G B D F). But what he’s pointing out is that one of the reasons the dominant chord (e.g., G or G7) wants to resolve to the tonic (C) is because that G chord includes a B, which is the leading note in the key of C. That B note helps prime your ear for a return to the tonic (C).

He’s referring to the leading note relative to the key.


Jason, is there a theoretical reason why G → G7 seems (at least to my ears) to lead even more strongly home to the tonic? I’m seeing that the G7 includes an F which is the IV scale degree and am wondering if that combined with the VII scale degree is the secret sauce?

But I’m taking a wild guess at this point, so nobody should read that question as a statement of musical theory fact.

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@Yazoo I have corrected my correction. B is the ‘leading note’ in the key of C.

@J.W.C You have it right.


G is ‘dominant’ and does pull back to the tonic because the leading tone has that effect.
Also, G dominant 7 pulls even more strongly back to the tonic chord because it has, in addition to the leading tone B, an F note which pulls strongly to the 3rd of the tonic chord - the note E.
Added to which, dominant 7 chords contain a tritone, are inherently unstable and scream out to resolve somewhere else.

Check the graphic showing two notes from the G7 both of which are just a semitone away from a chord tone of the tonic, giving that strong sense of resolution.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

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Thanks Richard. So I was close but not fully understanding why. That semi-tone interval contributes to the pull. And (of course) G is the 5th of the tonic in C.

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@DavidP - Yep, that’s pretty much it. The sense of “wanting to resolve” can be thought of as the amount of tension or pressure in the chord. In the dominant triad you have some built-in tension from the key’s leading note. In the dominant seventh chord you’re adding even more pressure with the tritone introduced between the third and seventh degree of the chord. As Richard notes, in the key of C the G7 chord has two notes that are pulling strongly for resolution: the B wanting to resolve to the tonic chord’s C, and the F wanting to resolve to the tonic chord’s E.


Can you make the video lessons a little more PRO.I mean it would be awesome to see justin playing at different angles.

This video seems out of place. I don’t see how it relates to what we’ve been learning in this section. What context am I missing?


I think the submediant (VI) is called this way because it’s in the middle between the subdominant (IV) and the upper tonic (VIII) (next octave)
Just like for the mediant (III) that is located at equal distance from the tonic (I) and the dominant (V)

I read that the VII is called the leading tone when it’s one semi tone bellow the upper tonic (like in the case of the major scale for example) while it’s called the sub-tonic when the VII is 1 tone bellow the upper tonic

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4:40-4:50 oh, it’s brilliant! Thanks for not cutting it off from the final video :slight_smile:

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Hello @Ptwannabe73 and welcome to the community.

Think of it as a footnote in a text book. Ot think of it as a short digression from the main direction and focus of the learning path. Justin acknowledges that it is a bit ‘niche’ and is not core, essential learning, more of a little side step to something else for a moment.

I hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide, Approved Teacher & Moderator

Say what?? My brain was doing exactly what your tongue got lost doing there for the moment, but it lasted a lot longer for me. I think I might have to review this multiple times throughout the course. But for now, need to uncross my eyes.

Hi, when I watch this video, I feel as if I have missed something. Am I meant to know what this 1st 2nd 3rd 4th etc chords mean??

I am trying to work out if I missed a lesson or something, but It doesn’t seem so. I was feeling as if it was going along and explaining a lot of stuff, now I feel in the dark again. Perhaps all will be explained at a later date. I really don’t even know what the different I II
III IV V VI VII chords refer to. So it’s confusing.

Hi Paul,

This lesson is about notes and scale degrees, not chords. The method to find the notes of a given major scale is discussed here:

The traditional note names are more likely to occur in classical music and are more akin to the functions in chords (e.g. root, third, fifth, etc.). So, for example, when someone says “play the dominant of the Eb major scale”, you’ll know they mean to play degree V which is Bb.

Hey mate.

In short, you dont need to know all about these classical note theory names. Justin’s just exposing you to them in case you come across them somewhere down the line. Much further down the track, you may delve into them in more advanced theory.

The terms ‘Tonic’ and ‘Dominant’ are pretty common in everday use though, and you will see these often in various contexts.

Cheers, Shane