Is the Guitar Fretboard a Mystery to You?
Tired of the hunt-&-peck, trial-&-error, random YouTube approach?
Are you beginning to think there must be a better way?
How about the latest cool song that you’re into? Can you figure it out on your own or do you have to laboriously work through a tab chart you got online that you hope is correct? (It’s probably not.)
Have you ever sat in a music theory class wondering what the rules of the four-part Bach chorale style have to do with the guitar?
Have you ever heard some awesome guitarist play and wondered how anybody could know so many chords?
Or what bizarre scale is he using that sounds so cool?
Do you understand this symbol?
- or does it look like some kind of calculus problem?
IS THE GUITAR FRETBOARD A MYSTERY TO YOU?
My name is Jay EuDaly and I've been a professional, full-time guitarist for over 50 years. My method, Vertical Truth: Chordal Mechanisms for the Guitar, can help you remove the mystery.
What makes my method any different from the plethora of guitar education websites out there peddling guitar lessons? Well, if you really want the complete answer to that question, read A Little Story. It will give you the detailed history of this unique, time-tested & proven method, and why I am the guy to lead you through it.
The short answer is that this method takes you step-by-step through about 1,000 years of music theory evolution and APPLIES IT TO THE GUITAR. As a result of doing this - not just understanding, but DOING - many things happen automatically;
you gain a complete understanding of the guitar fretboard,
you learn how to think about music and the guitar,
you develop good technique and
you train your ear
- to name just a few things that happen organically as you work your way through this method.
You can then apply your knowledge
to ANY STYLE!
To get started, take these first few steps:
Become a Master Guitar School site member - it's free. You will then have access to dozens of free lessons in the "Members Only" area of the website. You will also receive the Master Guitar School Newsletter. Most of the monthly newsletters contain a free lesson. Members are also periodically offered first access and deep discounts (50% or more) on new lesson series downloads when they are first published. For more information go to:
Go through the 5-Lesson Foundational Series. Everything is based on it.
Master the first 2 Major Scale patterns given here. There are 6 Major Scale patterns given in this lesson but only the first 2 are required to get started.
Communicate with me. Let me know what you'd like to see as far as lessons go. My agenda is to rewrite and format my method book, Vertical Truth: Chordal Mechanisms for the Guitar, into PDF/video downloads. That process is underway. You can see what's currently available in the column to the right (or below if you're viewing this page on your phone). I'm also open to doing one-off lessons on any guitar-related subject you want, in any format you want (video, PDF, webpage etc.).
Read the Blog. Blog categories include: Free Lessons, Technique, Music Theory, Stories, Philosophy, Questions and Answers, Rants and Musings, Product Announcements, Gear and more!
The guitar has been a Grand Obsession of mine for over 50 years. I love everything about it. I've been a full-time professional performing musician since the early seventies. I've taught 50-100 personal students a week since the early eighties.
I know what it takes to play, teach and learn. I'm passionate about playing as well as helping people obtain the priceless value that I've received from music and the guitar.
Is the guitar fretboard a mystery to you?
I can help.
Lesson Series Downloads
What People are Saying
I’ve had three primary music mentors: Jay EuDaly in Kansas City, Ray McCarty in Austin Texas, and Max Bennett here in Southern California. I’m forever grateful for their wisdom, patience, and inspiration.
Not only is Jay EuDaly one of the greatest guitar players I have ever heard period, but he is also one of the most knowledgeable guitarists out there. Very few know the neck up and down as well as EuDaly. I call his Vertical Truth my guitar bible. Studying with Jay is the most complete guitar/advanced music education one can find anywhere.
I've been teaching guitar online since 2004 and I can tell you from a LIFETIME of experience that you won't find anyone with a Better Guitar Method than Jay EuDaly! He's my personal guitar coach and I highly recommend anyone from total beginner to experienced pros to spend some time with Jay, you'll be glad you did!
Jay is one of the best guitar players/teachers in Kansas City! Superb player and extremely knowledgeable in music theory which he learned from the late, great John Elliott.
- Earl Steely, guitarist for Funk Syndicate
...the way you lay out the circle of 4ths on the guitar neck is a new revelation to me and I've been searching for this sort of stuff for four years online! I've spent the last 2 weeks practicing the stuff in the free lessons and have enjoyed it on a daily basis. Already familiar with some of the scale fingerings and found the key cycle a brilliant way to run them all! Very smartly laid out and easy to put one thing on top of the other. Feels like very little wasted time practicing and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that! An hour of practice flies by in no time and I actually feel like I'm accomplishing something!
- Frank DiNuzzo
I have been puzzled about the fretboard for decades! Thank you for the most intelligent approach to teaching guitar I have ever encountered! I was astounded to follow your lessons and reasoning, and find that all of a sudden I could see the fretboard as something intelligible and not as a jumbled mess! I know the circle of fifths because of piano but had never looked at the other way as a circle of fourths and how to apply that to the fretboard! Who teaches that??? Only you!
Reasons to Study Guitar
November 21, 2022: Memorable Bar Fights: The first few bar fights I witnessed I was shocked and traumatized. However, I quickly developed a detachment and learned to appreciate them for their drama and entertainment value.
November 20, 2022: Republished: The Harmonic Minor Distinctive: The concept is that we’re starting from the most commonly-known scale among guitarists, the Minor Pentatonic, and altering or adding a single note to get the distinctive sound of whatever scale/mode we’re after.
November 1, 2022: Role Reversal: "We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters." - Yoda
October 24, 2022: Easy Lesson: The Aeolian/Dorian Distinction: Rather than go through a lengthy explanation of what modes are and where they come from, I'm going to approach this from a more limited and practical viewpoint. I am starting from something simple and easy to understand, the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
October 22, 2022: Republished: How I Play Songs I Don't Know: It has been a very common experience of mine that the organist will throw curve balls just to test me. For instance, he'll start a song, not tell me the name of the song or the key it's in and simply expect me to pick it up. Most of the time I can do that even if I don't know the song and have never even heard it before. "How?" you may ask? Well, I'll tell you.
September 19, 2022: Stumbling into the Spanish 8-Tone Scale: During my solo, I stumbled around for a second and, totally by chance/intuition hit upon a symmetrical pattern on the fretboard that worked.
September 14, 2022: New Lesson Series, Blog Links & More! September Newsletter: New Lesson Series, Blog Links, Tune of the Month & More!
September 5, 2022: To Loop or not to Loop?: I'm getting paid to have fun; you can't argue with that.
August 29, 2022: Tribute to Joey D: Anyone familiar with me knows my history with and love of the Hammond B3. Groups built around B3 players who kick bass is my favorite genre of Jazz/Blues but I love the B3 sound in any context.
August 22, 2022: Crafter SA-TMVS Hybrid Acoustic-Electric: This guitar is well-put together.
August 15-19: Launched Going Modal: An Alternative Approach to Modes for the Guitar.
August 1, 2022: Jim Dandy to the Rescue!: In September of 2008 I was playing in a band that opened for Black Oak Arkansas in Platte City, Missouri. The event was a motorcycle rally. “This could be cool!” I thought. Well…
July 27, 2022: Republished: Blues Plus (1): I took a phone call at my teaching studio one day that went something like this; "I’m new in town, I recently moved here from Austin. I got your number from the guitar player at the jam at Jimmy’s Jigger last night. They called a Blues in Bb. I’ve been playing guitar professionally for over 20 years and what we call a Blues in Austin ain’t what you Kansas City guys are doing! There were tons of chords! I was totally lost! It was humbling. I need you to show me what y'all are doing.” I'm going to give you what I gave him; I call it, "Blues Plus."
July 13, 2022: Going Modal! Chromatic Scale: FREE lesson on the Chromatic Scale, Blog links, Tune-of-the -Month and more!
June 20, 2022: 2-Note Jazz Chords: When comping behind a vocalist or a soloist, playing these 2-note chords leaves space for the bass player and the keyboardist to do their thing. Trust me, they'll appreciate you for it!
June 15, 2022: Going Modal! Diminished: Going Modal! FREE lesson on the Diminished scale, plus blog links & Tune of the Month (Jeannine)!
June 6, 2022: Pretending to be Danny: "This," I said to myself, "is the guy!"
May 30, 2022: How I Sabotage My Music Career - And Why
May 23,2022: Integrity & the Music Biz: The agent told me the concept was to be that of “a kick-ass band of superior musicians who don’t care what they look like." So...not caring about what we looked like was because we cared about not caring about what we looked like! The concept was right down my alley because caring about what I looked like was just an act I put on so I could get gigs; I really didn’t care about what I looked like. So for this agent I had to pretend to care about what I looked like so I could act like I didn’t care about what I looked like…all the while really not caring about what I looked like. Stupid shit like that happens all the time in the music business when you care about what you look like. Now I’m getting kind of old so how good could I look…really?!
May 16, 2022: 2-Note Blues Chords: If you play through the 12-bar Blues form using just these 2-note chords, you should be able to "hear" the form. You'll be staying out of the keyboard players' way and you'll be staying out of the bass player's way. They will appreciate that!
May 2, 2022: The Norvells: The backstory on the Norvells and how they wound up in the club that night will take some telling that involves the Kansas City mob, a porno movie theater, a massage parlor and the band, "Cloud".
April 18, 2022: The Harmonic Minor Distinctive: The basic concept of this "Modal Distinctives" series is that you can get to the distinctive sound of a mode without learning the whole mode, or getting all confused by modal theory, but by adding, or altering, a single note of the most commonly-known scale among guitarists; the Minor Pentatonic.
April 4, 2022: Jam Tales: Off Broadway: This is the true story of singer Jim LaFortes’ infamous jump from the Broadway Bridge into the Missouri River.
March 28, 2022: Picking Peril: “Dude! Did I see you give Mama Ray the finger on live TV?”
March 21, 2022: You Just Have To Laugh: David wanted to talk about my history, my family and how I’ve maintained healthy relationships with my wife, kids and grandchildren AND maintained a successful music career. So there’s more personal stuff than I usually share publicly. I wanted to talk about what I’m focused on now - MasterGuitarSchool.com and the conversion of my teaching method to the internet environment. We covered it all, and more on Davids’ podcast!\
March 14, 2022: Jam Tales: Roland Allen: I thought he was an interesting guitarist/singer – very soulful.
March 9, 2022: Going Modal: Melodic Minor! Free lesson on the Melodic Minor Scale, blog links and Tune of the Month!
February 28, 2022: Into the Mystic: There is something very deep and primal about music. Beyond the industry, beyond all the theory, beyond the feeling, beyond the physics, beyond everything you can say or think about it, there is something deep and mysterious about it.
February 14, 2022: Blues Plus (4): Bop Blues, A.K.A. the Charlie Parker Changes, with variations
January 31, 2022: Blues Plus (3): Walkdown, the Walkup & Stormy Monday.
January 28, 2022: Jay on David Naster's podcast, You Just Have To Laugh. David wanted to talk about my family and how I’ve maintained healthy relationships with my wife, kids and grandchildren AND maintained a successful music career. So there’s more personal stuff than I usually share publicly. I wanted to talk about what I’m focused on now - MasterGuitarSchool.com and the conversion of my teaching method to the internet environment. We covered it all on Davids’ podcast.
January 27, 2022: Blues Plus (2): The I-VI-II-V Turnaround and Tritone Substitutions!
January 17, 2022: Blues Plus (1): I took a phone call at my teaching studio one day that went something like this; "I’m new in town, I recently moved here from Austin. I got your number from the guitar player at the jam at Jimmy’s Jigger last night. They called a Blues in Bb. I’ve been playing guitar professionally for over 20 years and what we call a Blues in Austin ain’t what you Kansas City guys are doing! There were tons of chords! I was totally lost! It was humbling. I need you to show me what y'all are doing.” I'm going to give you what I gave him; I call it, "Blues Plus."
January 12, 2022: Going Modal! The Money Note (Part 2): Monthly Newsletter: FREE lesson on modes, blog links, new product launches and more!