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Old 07-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #1
gary78912
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Unhappy i have been playing for 9 years and i don't know a single thing about notes or theory

This bothers me a lot because I feel completely lost when I try to figure this stuff out. How should I go about relearning the guitar if you will. I need to start seeing the fretboard as notes and not numbers like tabs and shit. I kind of have an idea but If I do not know the notes I don't see the point. I understand the concept of keys and the sharps in them, I know all the modes but I have a few questions on those but that is irrelevant for now. Anybody else ever have this problem? what ways did you find helped you see the guitar differently in a short time? I come up with some pretty creative shit, I do not want to sound arrogant but I am definitely held back by not knowing notes lol. any exercises or something or some sort of advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary78912
This bothers me a lot because I feel completely lost when I try to figure this stuff out. How should I go about relearning the guitar if you will. I need to start seeing the fretboard as notes and not numbers like tabs and shit. I kind of have an idea but If I do not know the notes I don't see the point. I understand the concept of keys and the sharps in them, I know all the modes but I have a few questions on those but that is irrelevant for now. Anybody else ever have this problem? what ways did you find helped you see the guitar differently in a short time? I come up with some pretty creative shit, I do not want to sound arrogant but I am definitely held back by not knowing notes lol. any exercises or something or some sort of advice would be much appreciated.


What have you been doing for 9 years? Just reading tabs? or do you play by ear?

as to your question…. try a method book for learning to read

for learning theory, try taking lessons or a class

Don't be worried about learning it all "fast"…… it takes time. Take it at a pace that's realistic.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:44 PM   #4
gary78912
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Lol just playing songs i like. But i want to take it more seriously since i know i can come up with some good stuff to play. I have lessons saved i understand the concepts i guess the title is misleading i just do not remember the guitar as notes. What can i do to make it easier or some advice for this
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gary78912
Lol just playing songs i like. But i want to take it more seriously since i know i can come up with some good stuff to play. I have lessons saved i understand the concepts i guess the title is misleading i just do not remember the guitar as notes. What can i do to make it easier or some advice for this



Well there are no short cuts…. it IS work and it DOES take time.

That said, I recommend….


Learn to read standard notation in many positions

If you understand key sigs and scales try playing through scales, but think (or say aloud) the note names. Like try C Major at the 8th fret. Play C, Say C….. then D…. then E & so on.
Try that with all 5 patterns…… try it in different keys. Apply method to arpeggios.

When you learn the rhythm guitar parts for songs…. learn the name of each chord, and think of it that way, rather than tabs/numbers
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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You're not alone, man. I've been playing for almost 5 years, and technique wise, I'd put myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced. But theory wise, I'm less than a beginner. Give me a tab and I'll play it almost like second nature. But, for example, point to a certain string on a certain fret and ask me what note that is, and I'll stare at you with these blank eyes. I know notes and I understand the concept of sharps and flats, but if I want to figure out what note a fret gives, I don't have it memorized. I have to stop for a minute and start "counting" the notes from the open note of that string till I reach the fret, and that always gives me trouble when I'm looking to play a scale relative to a certain note..
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:23 PM   #7
gary78912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarMunky
Well there are no short cuts…. it IS work and it DOES take time.

That said, I recommend….


Learn to read standard notation in many positions

If you understand key sigs and scales try playing through scales, but think (or say aloud) the note names. Like try C Major at the 8th fret. Play C, Say C….. then D…. then E & so on.
Try that with all 5 patterns…… try it in different keys. Apply method to arpeggios.

When you learn the rhythm guitar parts for songs…. learn the name of each chord, and think of it that way, rather than tabs/numbers

Ok. So a good idea would be to start with the key of C remember all those modes associated with and learn them as notes? Is there like a chart or something with whole steps and half steps for each string? I noticed like the pattern for the E String but the other 4 are different or something. So for the low E it would be 0 1 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15 17 18. Which in notes is e f g a b d c d e f g... etc. Then its w w w h w w w h right? I forget the pattern but something like that. I hope thats not confusing but the numbers i put were the frets. But the same concepts for the A D G B string.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surphyse
You're not alone, man. I've been playing for almost 5 years, and technique wise, I'd put myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced. But theory wise, I'm less than a beginner. Give me a tab and I'll play it almost like second nature. But, for example, point to a certain string on a certain fret and ask me what note that is, and I'll stare at you with these blank eyes. I know notes and I understand the concept of sharps and flats, but if I want to figure out what note a fret gives, I don't have it memorized. I have to stop for a minute and start "counting" the notes from the open note of that string till I reach the fret, and that always gives me trouble when I'm looking to play a scale relative to a certain note..

Ya man its ****in driving me nuts. I wish i realized how much more fun it is to make your own music when i just started learning. All this wasted potential if i do not start learning this now. Really wish i learned notes first..
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gary78912
How should I go about relearning the guitar if you will. I need to start seeing the fretboard as notes and not numbers like tabs and shit.


You want to see the fretboard mostly in terms of INTERVALS, that is the secret. Of course notes as well too, but a basic and solid understanding of intervals, scales, harmony, and voice leading (to your taste) will open up a lifetime of opportunity to progress as a musician.

I have found that it is very , very easy to become distracted on a particular aspect of guitar while there being better alternatives.

Are you able to notate rhythmically what you play? If not, you should because it shows what you are playing is really ingrained in your head and you know where it falls in the musical time frame.

Classically trained piano players have this stuff down cold. It really is what makes or breaks the potential of a good guitar player.

And also keep in mind, this kind of stuff may seem confusing at first..but you CAN learn it and it actually turns out to be pretty simple believe it or not. Honestly, if you can count and know your alphabet you can learn it.

Last edited by Unreal T : 07-16-2014 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:43 PM   #10
gary78912
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Originally Posted by Unreal T
You want to see the fretboard mostly in terms of INTERVALS, that is the secret. Of course notes as well too, but a basic and solid understanding of intervals, scales, harmony, and voice leading (to your taste) will open up a lifetime of opportunity to progress as a musician.

I have found that it is very , very easy to become distracted on a particular aspect of guitar while there being better alternatives.

Are you able to notate rhythmically what you play? If not, you should because it shows what you are playing is really ingrained in your head and you know where it falls in the musical time frame.

Classically trained piano players have this stuff down cold. It really is what makes or breaks the potential of a good guitar player.

And also keep in mind, this kind of stuff may seem confusing at first..but you CAN learn it and it actually turns out to be pretty simple believe it or not. Honestly, if you can count and know your alphabet you can learn it.

what does notate rhythmically mean. lol I hope that is not a dumb question. like uhh bpm?
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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When you look at sheet music, all the notes on it. That is the rhythmic notation. Like sixteenth notes, quarter notes, rests etc.

I mean , you do not have to ...but it sure does help you gain a better sense of what is going on with what you play , rhythmically. Wouldn't you like to be able to know and transcribe if what you just played was some combination of sixteenth notes, eighth notes, tied notes etc.?

bpm is the tempo or "beat" of which the notes are played and divided against. So if your beat is pulsing at 60bpm and you play one note per beat..you are playing quarter notes. Play two notes per beat..that is eighth notes. Play 4 per beat...that is sixteenth notes. Then you can do 3 notes per beat, 7 etc. It goes on and on. So whatever you play against the pulse you should have an idea of what divisions are being played.

Having an excellent sense of time is CRITICAL in becoming a good musician. It is like the oil in your car...if your car has only a cup of oil ...it is not going to run too long. Not understanding time will hold you back as a musician, it did for me for so long and all I was able to do was noodle around hoping to play something good. Big mistake.

Last edited by Unreal T : 07-16-2014 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:51 PM   #12
gary78912
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Oh i cant read sheet music for shit that is like another language. Like... i understand some of it like i know all the meanings of the symbols and what a quarter note is for example but what the note is like "E" no idea. Like idk if i played a song and like tapped my fingers on wood or something i can tell if its an eighth or sixteenth note if thats what you mean.

Last edited by gary78912 : 07-16-2014 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #13
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Yeah that is what I mean, being able to tell whether what was played was sixteenth notes , eighths etc.

As far as reading music in real time on what the specific notes are...that is another skill which may or may not be necessary for your own personal musical goals.

And as I had mentioned before...you NEED to learn intervals, it is CRITICAL. Intervals are the foundation of music, a major fundamental. And intervals are also found in sheet music in the spacing of the note heads.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:33 PM   #14
gary78912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreal T
Yeah that is what I mean, being able to tell whether what was played was sixteenth notes , eighths etc.

As far as reading music in real time on what the specific notes are...that is another skill which may or may not be necessary for your own personal musical goals.

And as I had mentioned before...you NEED to learn intervals, it is CRITICAL. Intervals are the foundation of music, a major fundamental. And intervals are also found in sheet music in the spacing of the note heads.

Are intervals the same thing i tried to explain before with whole steps and what not?
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #15
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Yes. But you want to visualize the intervals on the guitar. One of the most important is the interval of a perfect fifth. It has a very distinct shape. Also known as the "Power Chord". Play 6th string fifth fret and 5th string 7th fret. That shape is a fifth. You can play that shape anywhere on the guitar and it will be a fifth. Only except is between the G and B string because the way they are tuned. Try playing the same shape on the G and B
string and you will hear a nasty sound. Try third string second fret and second string fourth fret...that is the shame "shape" but they are not the notes A and E...they are A and Eflat...which is called a diminished fifth interval a.k.a the tritone spanning 6 half steps, NOT 7. That sound is considered to be "dissonant" or unpleasant and wanting to move to a more "resolved" place such as the perfect fifth which is only one fret away to make A and E.

A "perfect fifth interval" has that shape I just demonstrated. Technically it spans a total of 7 half steps. So you can play a fifth a variety of ways on the guitar. Anywhere you can play an A in the bass and an E above it...you will have a fifth interval.

So, now you are familiar with the perfect fifth and the diminished fifth intervals.

Last edited by Unreal T : 07-16-2014 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #16
gary78912
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Originally Posted by Unreal T
Yes. But you want to visualize the intervals on the guitar. One of the most important is the interval of a perfect fifth. It has a very distinct shape. Also known as the "Power Chord". Play 6th string fifth fret and 5th string 7th fret. That shape is a fifth. You can play that shape anywhere on the guitar and it will be a fifth. Only except is between the G and B string because the way they are tuned. Try playing the same shape on the G and B
string and you will hear a nasty sound. Try third string second fret and second string fourth fret...that is the shame "shape" but they are not the notes A and E...they are A and Eflat...which is called a diminished fifth interval a.k.a the tritone spanning 6 half steps, NOT 7. That sound is considered to be "dissonant" or unpleasant and wanting to move to a more "resolved" place such as the perfect fifth which is only one fret away to make A and E.

A "perfect fifth interval" has that shape I just demonstrated. Technically it spans a total of 7 half steps. So you can play a fifth a variety of ways on the guitar. Anywhere you can play an A in the bass and an E above it...you will have a fifth interval.

So, now you are familiar with the perfect fifth and the diminished fifth intervals.

ok so is this relevant to what I was saying? Im not following. I also find if im listening to a song I can almost guess the key it is in without knowing and kind of improvise over it for a little bit? I struggle to find the notes in it but idk I think I might be playing in key without knowing wtf im playing. going to test this theory and actually get the names of the notes and see if it matches up with the notes in the song.

Last edited by gary78912 : 07-16-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #17
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Hate to break your heart, but there really are no shortcuts or exercises that will suddenly make you proficient at theory. It's something you have to learn yourself from the ground up. Telling you any shortcuts will only hinder your progress in the long run.

Do you know how to create a major scale? Do you know how to create major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords?

I've seen you mention "modes" in one your earlier posts. If you didn't say YES to my statement above, then you really have no business worrying about modes yet. In order to progress smoothly in theory, you really need a SOLID foundation. For whatever reason, legions of people (especially on this website) overlook this fact and try to take shortcuts. It doesn't work that way.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:08 PM   #18
gary78912
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Originally Posted by b00m
Hate to break your heart, but there really are no shortcuts or exercises that will suddenly make you proficient at theory. It's something you have to learn yourself from the ground up. Telling you any shortcuts will only hinder your progress in the long run.

Do you know how to create a major scale? Do you know how to create major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords?

I've seen you mention "modes" in one your earlier posts. If you didn't say YES to my statement above, then you really have no business worrying about modes yet. In order to progress smoothly in theory, you really need a SOLID foundation. For whatever reason, legions of people (especially on this website) overlook this fact and try to take shortcuts. It doesn't work that way.

I wouldn't say I am looking for a shortcut. I am just looking for methods other people have used to remember the notes. I am use to tab and it is really ****ing me up lol. I mean.... modes do not seem too complicated. how can I not get into modes now if I want to be able to play in key? each of the 7 notes of a key has a mode attached no?
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:51 PM   #19
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1. Learn the musical alphabet as it appears in notation, because it will make you understand how the notes relate to each other in space and time.

2. Write out the musical alphabet on manuscript using sharps when ascending, and flats when descending.

You can pick up your guitar now.

3. Understand how to tune your guitar by using unison and octave methods. 5th and 7th fret regions respectively. That is something any good teacher will get you to do within the first, if not the first couple of lessons. It gets you accustomed to your instrument.

4. Memorise the low E string, but only the natural notes. So frets 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12.

5. Memorise the A string, but only the natural notes. So frets 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12.

6. Fill in the gaps.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #20
gary78912
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Originally Posted by mdc
1. Learn the musical alphabet as it appears in notation, because it will make you understand how the notes relate to each other in space and time.

2. Write out the musical alphabet on manuscript using sharps when ascending, and flats when descending.

You can pick up your guitar now.

3. Understand how to tune your guitar by using unison and octave methods. 5th and 7th fret regions respectively. That is something any good teacher will get you to do within the first, if not the first couple of lessons. It gets you accustomed to your instrument.

4. Memorise the low E string, but only the natural notes. So frets 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12.

5. Memorise the A string, but only the natural notes. So frets 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12.

6. Fill in the gaps.

I never learned how to do that I think my teacher wasn't that good lol. I can fill In the blanks do you think I should just write down the individual strings myself or is there something online? wow I am such a lazy piece of shit lol. I think I just need motivation haha.
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