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Old 06-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
Fallenoath
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Am I learning the right things?

Hey guys,

So, Ive been trying to study music theory and lately I feel Im at a point where I dont really feel like Ive learned much. I started with having literally no knowlege of theory so I know that I know way more then when I started but I dont feel like I've got it to a point where I can compose a nice song. I make little jams all the time but they are never full songs. More like "chops". Composing a full song is just hard for me for some reason.
I have a basic understanding of The Overtone Series, major and minor triads, major and minor scales, Major/minor pentatonic scales, and of course intervals. Im just now getting into learning how to create chord structures.
Im really asking should I feel like I have a much better understanding of music by knowing these? Or do I not know enough yet to be able to fully understand it? I feel like by knowing these things I shouldnt be having as much problems writing a full song since most people dont even need thoery to write.

I guess Im just really unsure on how to properly practice and master these and what to do after chord progressions. I feel like I should have a better understanding of theory by now. I did not learn the notes of the fretboard and I cant read music. Perhaps if I do these first thoery will make more sense to me? What would you recommend I learn/practice to get a better full understanding of thoery?

Note: When I said I dont know the notes on the fretboard I meant I dont know them off the top of my head but I can easily figure it out. Its just not instantaneous.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
Erc
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Learning to read music will open many doors to you. Also, learning voice leading and counterpoint can open up many musical doors as well. I recommend you learn the 2 in that order. (it would be hard to understand counterpoint without knowing how to read.)
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:08 AM   #3
mattrusso
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If you don't know the notes on the fretboard and you can't read music, theory isn't really helpful. You might have studied it on paper, but there's nothing connecting the words to actual music for you. I would suggest you learn to read music (more important than learning theory at this point) and try your best to get a better handle on the notes on the fretboard (reading will really help with this). Once you have a basic understanding of how to read music and/or a good grasp of the notes on the fretboard you'll be able to connect the theory you know to what you hear and play. I suggest you try playing all (or most) of the theory examples you read in order to be able to hear them as well as understand them theoretically.

To answer your first question, I would say being really solid on chord construction is what starts to open up the bigger picture in terms of theory. After that you can really start learning shit about harmony.

Erc's suggestion to learn about counterpoint is a good idea as well, but you should have a solid (if only very basic) understanding of tonal harmony before you delve into that. Voice leading is also essential, but most people learn about it when they learn basic harmony.

Last edited by mattrusso : 06-26-2013 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:22 AM   #4
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Hey Fallenoath, great post.

It sounds like what you are lacking are the means to start putting things together. Knowing the Notes on the Neck, in my opinion is the way to do that if you're a guitarist.

Can you go into what you mean by "chord structures" You mention that you know what triads are, and then mention chord structures. It also kind of sounds like you are piecemealing your theory together. That is you are learning things in somewhat of an order, but there are pieces missing that would connect one thing to the next.

By the way, I do offer mentoring for free, so if that's something that interests you, feel free to read up on how that works and PM me, and I'll see what I can do to assist with filling in the gaps.

Best,

Sean
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:34 PM   #5
Fallenoath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
Hey Fallenoath, great post.

It sounds like what you are lacking are the means to start putting things together. Knowing the Notes on the Neck, in my opinion is the way to do that if you're a guitarist.

Can you go into what you mean by "chord structures" You mention that you know what triads are, and then mention chord structures. It also kind of sounds like you are piecemealing your theory together. That is you are learning things in somewhat of an order, but there are pieces missing that would connect one thing to the next.

By the way, I do offer mentoring for free, so if that's something that interests you, feel free to read up on how that works and PM me, and I'll see what I can do to assist with filling in the gaps.

Best,

Sean


Hey, Sean

Well, I guess I meant "Progressions" not structures. I know that a triad is pretty much the most basic chord correct? Which is a 1-3-5 for Major and Minor scales right?? I'm at the point where I'm learning to form Major and minor Chords.


Yes, I am no doubt learning things in pieces. I'm not sure how else to since that is how I personally learn things I guess. But yeah, Id say I'm missing a few pieces to the puzzle. And the more I'm reading suggestions I'm thinking its because I don't read music and haven't mastered the fretboard. This will be what I do next. And then I will go back and review everything. I already went out and bought a basic book for reading. Its absolutely a collection of the most boring songs ever but I can see where it will help me in the long run. Thanks to all those suggestions. If anyone wants to add anything else please do!
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
laroon
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Fallenoath -

There are many websites devoted to teaching theory. Maybe checking them out can supplement what you have now.

It sounds to me you are on a good path here and want to learn more. So by all means keep up the good work.

As for putting things together to make songs, it's all about experimentation. So maybe you don't know all the pieces to the theory puzzle. You can use what you know (and use it any way you can create), learn what you don't know, and invent the rest. That last one is how you get your own sound.

And don't be afraid to ask on here for help. This community is pretty sharp.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #7
LTaces
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Have a read through this article, it really helped me focus on what I needed and wanted to learn.

http://musictheoryforguitar.com/lea...rightorder.html

He's also got some good free e-books too.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
metalmetalhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallenoath
Hey guys,

So, Ive been trying to study music theory and lately I feel Im at a point where I dont really feel like Ive learned much. I started with having literally no knowlege of theory so I know that I know way more then when I started but I dont feel like I've got it to a point where I can compose a nice song. I make little jams all the time but they are never full songs. More like "chops". Composing a full song is just hard for me for some reason.
I have a basic understanding of The Overtone Series, major and minor triads, major and minor scales, Major/minor pentatonic scales, and of course intervals. Im just now getting into learning how to create chord structures.
Im really asking should I feel like I have a much better understanding of music by knowing these? Or do I not know enough yet to be able to fully understand it? I feel like by knowing these things I shouldnt be having as much problems writing a full song since most people dont even need thoery to write.

I guess Im just really unsure on how to properly practice and master these and what to do after chord progressions. I feel like I should have a better understanding of theory by now. I did not learn the notes of the fretboard and I cant read music. Perhaps if I do these first thoery will make more sense to me? What would you recommend I learn/practice to get a better full understanding of thoery?

Note: When I said I dont know the notes on the fretboard I meant I dont know them off the top of my head but I can easily figure it out. Its just not instantaneous.


Music theory is really slow at first. I suggest learning C major and A minor In every way. Because the notes for C major are C D E F G A B C, A minor is A B C D E F G A
they are relative to each other. That means they share the same notes.

Look at it in the interval format. In C major or A minor they are the same
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1. FILL in the blanks by learning the chromatic scale.
1 b2 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 7 1. 12 notes correct?

In alphabetic format its A Bb B C Db D Eb E F Fb G Gb A. Or you can start from C either way. C Db D Eb E F Fb G Gb A Bb B C It fits the interval format to a T Notice 3 4 and 7 1 Are E F and B C.

Sharps are raised notes You can work it out either way. A A#/Bb are the same note. this applies for every note. But I wrote it out very basic.

IF you learn the chords A minor and C major everywhere that will help You apply the PENATONICS. After that, They will help you apply the full scale EVERYWHERE. Not just a 7 note run here and there. I suggest writing these things down. Working them out yourself and exploring theses things in detail. Theres no short cuts.
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Last edited by metalmetalhead : 06-29-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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