The Essential Guitar Guide

Site News and Information

The expanded edition of the guide has grown from the original 13 pages to a whopping 50! The new version features Dynamic HTML applications designed to illustrate different music theory concepts and to help you learn as you work through the guide.

These applications include an interactive fretboard map, a program to display any scale, chord or arpeggio on the fretboard, a random note generator to test your relative pitch, a JavaScript metronome to use when learning the fretboard, an application to help you learn the major scales for every key, and a Mode Calculator.

Java/JFC Swing Guitar Toolkit Update
Version 1.0 Coming Soon

Screenshot of the Toolkit Metronome

The Essential Guitar Guide Toolkit now has over 100 beta testers, and version 1.0 will be released in the New Year. The toolkit is written entirely in Java using the latest user-interface toolkit named 'Swing' (a screenshot of the Metronome component is featured on the left). This toolkit can run on any Java supported operating system, including Windows 95, 98, NT, Macintosh, Unix and Linux.

The Guitar Toolkit features a fretboard which can display over 130 different patterns for Chords, Scales and Arpeggios, a Metronome you can use to practice the patterns with and a Chord Calculator which allows you to work out what notes each chord type is built from.

I have had a great response from people asking to be beta testers, and am now preparing to release version 1.0 of the toolkit. Thanks to all those people that applied and have given feedback.


The Toolkit requires minimum JDK1.1.5 to run (JDK1.1.7 recommended) and the Java Foundation Classes (Swing) libraries (now bundled with JDK1.2). There will be a bundled version of the Toolkit, including auto-installer, when the first version is released.

All Java downloads are free and can be obtained from JavaSoft. I have also created a bundled package which contains the toolkit and Java classes required to run the program.

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Last updated 9th September 1998.
Copyright Dale Churchett © 1995