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  #16  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:09 PM
bluesfreek bluesfreek is offline
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Learning music theory in terms of chord structure and the notes on the fretboard is not that difficult. Modern western music is simply based on "12 Tones" and learning how certain notes make a major or minor chord and how notes work together to "form" a chord is easy once you "get it". It's not necessary for you to learn to "sight read" musical notation but if you do want to advance "musically" you have no choice but to learn the basics. It's the language of music. It's like speaking words but having no idea why you're saying them. Like a parrot. If you want to play along with other advanced musicians you need a grasp of basic music theory.

Best of luck!
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Last edited by bluesfreek; 02-09-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:19 PM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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Originally Posted by byudzai View Post
What are you goals with the guitar? If you want to be a crazy solo player, learn those scales! If you just want to play well to back up your voice, don't worry about them.

I promise you'll look back at your assertion that you'd "perfected" a song in six weeks and laaaaaaaaaaaaaugh in a few years. No song is ever perfected.
Oh yeah. Why do you think I put perfected in quotes?
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:38 PM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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Oh yeah. Why do you think I put perfected in quotes?
I guess it just caught my attention because I've been practicing a ton, lately, and it's amazing how much deeper I go now into songs that I was sure I had down pat a couple years ago.

Learn 20 new songs and then come back to the ones you're working on now, you'll be surprised and delighted that you can now see a dozen new ways to approach them, a dozen things you can add to give depth, character, expression.

I agree with the overall sentiment here that learning more and more music is the way to go. Every song will teach you something new that you can use to enrich every other song you play.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:40 PM
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nedray nedray is offline
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Sounds to me as if you're at a perfect point to start learning basic theory and there are plenty of resources on YouTube and on various online lesson sites, free and not free. Do you know the musical staff? Treble clef preferably. Learn your notes and locate them on the fretboard. Learn key signatures, time signatures and scales. Learn about chord inversions and substitutions. Learn to find notes and chords all over the neck.

This sounds like a handful, and I guess it sorta is, especially if you're starting from nothing in terms of music theory. But if you really want to be a musician, and not just a guitar picker, this is the way to go. If you really do the work, you don't have to learn other people's finger pick arrangements--you can build your own and improvise on them.

For beginner resources, the old Mel Bay book is a good start. I like the Berklee Modern Method for guitar. It eases you into reading notes, and it has parallel tracks in chord forms. Take a look at Justin Guitar on YouTube because he has built a huge library of free instruction videos with solid advice for most any player. Truefire, JamPlay, and a couple others that slip my mind right now are pay sites where you can buy lesson courses by famous and professional players They all have strengths and quirks, so you have to weed through them to figure out what's worth your money.

Have fun, work hard. Make music.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:42 PM
LikeASir_ LikeASir_ is offline
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Originally Posted by nedray View Post
Sounds to me as if you're at a perfect point to start learning basic theory and there are plenty of resources on YouTube and on various online lesson sites, free and not free. Do you know the musical staff? Treble clef preferably. Learn your notes and locate them on the fretboard. Learn key signatures, time signatures and scales. Learn about chord inversions and substitutions. Learn to find notes and chords all over the neck.

This sounds like a handful, and I guess it sorta is, especially if you're starting from nothing in terms of music theory. But if you really want to be a musician, and not just a guitar picker, this is the way to go. If you really do the work, you don't have to learn other people's finger pick arrangements--you can build your own and improvise on them.

For beginner resources, the old Mel Bay book is a good start. I like the Berklee Modern Method for guitar. It eases you into reading notes, and it has parallel tracks in chord forms. Take a look at Justin Guitar on YouTube because he has built a huge library of free instruction videos with solid advice for most any player. Truefire, JamPlay, and a couple others that slip my mind right now are pay sites where you can buy lesson courses by famous and professional players They all have strengths and quirks, so you have to weed through them to figure out what's worth your money.

Have fun, work hard. Make music.
Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for.
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  #21  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:42 PM
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Record yourself. It can be very helpful.
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:08 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Originally Posted by nedray View Post
If you really do the work, you don't have to learn other people's finger pick arrangements--you can build your own and improvise on them.
I would probably put that mostly on the back burner starting out as there is the danger of self coddling and more limited horizons.
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  #23  
Old 02-10-2019, 08:41 AM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedray View Post
Sounds to me as if you're at a perfect point to start learning basic theory and there are plenty of resources on YouTube and on various online lesson sites, free and not free. Do you know the musical staff? Treble clef preferably. Learn your notes and locate them on the fretboard. Learn key signatures, time signatures and scales. Learn about chord inversions and substitutions. Learn to find notes and chords all over the neck.

This sounds like a handful, and I guess it sorta is, especially if you're starting from nothing in terms of music theory. But if you really want to be a musician, and not just a guitar picker, this is the way to go. If you really do the work, you don't have to learn other people's finger pick arrangements--you can build your own and improvise on them.

For beginner resources, the old Mel Bay book is a good start. I like the Berklee Modern Method for guitar. It eases you into reading notes, and it has parallel tracks in chord forms. Take a look at Justin Guitar on YouTube because he has built a huge library of free instruction videos with solid advice for most any player. Truefire, JamPlay, and a couple others that slip my mind right now are pay sites where you can buy lesson courses by famous and professional players They all have strengths and quirks, so you have to weed through them to figure out what's worth your money.

Have fun, work hard. Make music.
I agree. You stated you wanted to learn theory. Learn it now. You will never regret it.

I started by learning the entire fretboard. Memorize the position of every note and its relationship to other notes around it.

Learn the Nashville numbering system. My brain works mathematically and assigning numbers to notes and chords helped me greatly. It simplifies music. Learning the Nashville numbering system will undoubtedly introduce you to the major and minor scales, but if you somehow haven't learned them yet then do so now and learn the basics of those two scales. Learn the numbered versions and the tone/semitone intervals between the numbered notes.

Learn all five shapes/positions of the minor pentatonic scale. Play them all over the fretboard. Choose one key a day and connect each position to adjacent positions for that key.

Add the 2nd, the 3rd, the b5th, and the 6th notes to your minor pentatonic scale and you can play rock and blues with anyone.

Do the same for the major pentatonic. Learn the basic major pentatonic shapes all over the fretboard then add in the other commonly used notes, such as the b3rd, the 4th, and the 7th to fill out your hybrid scale.

Realize that you now know more useful expanded versions of the major and minor scales all over the fretboard.

Learn the intervals or numbers that make up the various chords. Now that you know where everything is on the fretboard, experiment with different shapes all over the place. Root on the bottom. 3rd on the bottom. 5th on the bottom and so on. Partial chords, etc.

On and on...

My last bit of advice is to realize that some terms are used differently by different people at different times. Don't let it confuse you if you get to a "Wait, what? I thought ____ meant this," moment. For instance, "intervals" is used in relation to the distance between two notes of a scale, but it is also used to describe a technique of playing two notes simultaneously (or in quick succession) usually a string apart.

Oh, and learning theory will make learning any new songs ten times more useful. So don't delay!!!
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  #24  
Old 02-10-2019, 08:45 AM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Steve Krenz Learn & Master on DVD is a great program for learning and I found it especially helpful as he teaches reading notation along with his lessons. There are some good deals for this right now on eBay.
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2019, 11:10 AM
zmf zmf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedray View Post
If you really do the work, you don't have to learn other people's finger pick arrangements--you can build your own and improvise on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I would probably put that mostly on the back burner starting out as there is the danger of self coddling and more limited horizons.
Ouch! I can relate to this regarding "self coddling". It's an important point. I think I've split the difference between committing to learning the arrangements of others, and creating my own. But I think I erred on the easy way out.

Learn the techniques of the masters. That's where you absorb and master a repertoire of riffs and picking styles. They expand your abilities. If you improvise too soon, and limit arranging to what you already know, you stunt your growth.
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  #26  
Old 02-10-2019, 11:27 AM
calstang66 calstang66 is offline
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This is a great thread for me. I am exactly where the player who started this thread is. However, the initial responses agreed with each other, learn songs, lots of songs, and the requirements in those songs, will force you to learn and build a tool box of valuable techniques and skills. Then, later responses started to emphasize learning theory and scales and read music, "you won't regret it". It's kind of like politics or religion or economics or romance issues, if you ask a question, you get a wide variety of responses, so you decide to struggle thru and learn by trial and failure and successes.

I like the idea of learning songs, this also provides quick motivation to continue and practice more and allows one to perform sooner, more motivation. I'm going to focus on preparing songs for performance in a local cafe, where performers play for 15 minutes per set. With this process, I think you begin to "sense" music theory, and then, when you decide to learn more theory, you are convinced of the value of theory, you can feel it's function and application and value and thus, are motivated to learn and apply theroy.

I say you have to either be very motivated or forced (by parents) to spend a lot of time on music theory.Years ago, there was a popular piano instruction method (Suzuki Method?) where absolute beginners learned songs from the first day, not extremely easy songs) and theory was introduced later, once the student had some "momentum" and confidence.
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  #27  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:00 PM
mawmow mawmow is offline
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According to fingerstyle, there a series of little songbooks "Fingerpicking..." about some repertoires and music styles : You will find valuable pieces in each one of these.

Toby Walker also produced some videos about building solos.

If you want to learn more about chords and scales, Fred Sokolow produced some books.

Currently, I am mastering pentatonic scales : It is a bit easier than mastering full diatonic scales.
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  #28  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:32 PM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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When I was taking lessons my teacher used both Mel Bay and the Modern Guitar Method. They very systematically get you through reading music and basic chord formations.

After that I took a Music Theory class in high school. During a parent teacher conference the teacher made a comment about how a drummer knew what I did.

Dad said I didn't start playing drums in school till my freshman year. But had taken guitar lessons for 4 or 5 years. That class instantly got harder.

Point is you are wanting to learn more. Bravo! Ask around for music theory classes. You will never stop learning. Always a new style or technique to learn.
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:46 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calstang66 View Post
the initial responses agreed with each other, learn songs, lots of songs, and the requirements in those songs, will force you to learn and build a tool box of valuable techniques and skills. Then, later responses started to emphasize learning theory and scales and read music, "you won't regret it". It's kind of like politics or religion or economics or romance issues, if you ask a question, you get a wide variety of responses, so you decide to struggle thru and learn by trial and failure and successes.
It depends upon what one wants from one's playing.

If one wants to "play songs", then simply playing songs, lots of songs, will allow them to do that. You'll only need four chords to play an awful lot of them :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

If one wants more than that, generally, one will need to learn more than that. You'll want ear training, theory, technique. Ear training allows you to identify what you hear and want to hear. Theory allows you to understand why what you hear does what it does. Technique allows you to play what you hear - and vary it - as you wish. For example, so much discussion is dedicated to getting a guitar with a particular sound: technique allows you to alter the sound of the guitar to get a wide range of sounds from the same instrument.

Guitarists are notorious for being on the never-never plan where, for many, no matter how long they play they are perpetual beginners. "Just playing songs" is one of the methods that keeps them there. With two years of "good" instruction, one can play quite well, what many would consider an "advanced" player.

My advice is get a good teacher. Find someone who can and does play what you'd like to play. That is, someone who makes the kind of sounds coming out of his or her instrument that you would like to come out of your instrument when you play. Then study with him or her. That is the most direct way of accomplishing that. A good teacher is one who helps you get to where you want to be as quickly and easily as possible: he or she has already achieved what you want to achieve and can provide a progressive, explicit method for you to do the same.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:54 PM
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Take in as much music theory as you can, get to know the fretboard, learn to play and improvise using all sorts of musical styles and genres, start training your ear and jam to backing tracks and play with others.

Lots of YouTube intermediate to advanced lessons on all of the above.

The journey never stops!
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