#1
I was thinking recently about my playing.

I've been playing for roughly 8 years, only seriously for the last 18 months or so.
I'm not too shabby technically, but where i lack is my theory. I don't even know the notes on the fretboard quite yet (getting there fast though).

When i've been improvising lead over the years, i've made many many mistakes as concerns notes. Playing wrong notes, playing dissonant notes against the wrong chords, not resolving against chords etc.

I've slowly eradicated this from my playing. So my question is have any of you guys started like this?

Because i personally think not knowing the notes has developed my ear for music first, and now i'm learning notes my note choice and phrasing will only get better. What you think?
#2
Well, I play since 2.5 years and I don't know so much about theory, but I know which notes sound good together because before guitar I used to play keyboard and I have learned how to build major and minor chords.

So I think that you should learn at least minor/major scales and how to build a chord. For example, let say you have to solo over a D chord. The D chord is made by three notes: D, F# and A, and these notes will sound good over the chord. But if you try for example a G#, it will sound bad. I hope that you know at least this.
#3
yeah i think you are right... however youll never be able to achieve certain theorical things, that you would only learn fro,m the real theory... another thing is that you wont be able to understand what other people are talking about in musical theory, since perhaphs you know that and dont know how it is called, etc...

IMO, it is important to learn a bit of Musical Theory by the book

My own example:

I started playing violin at the age of 8. with LOTS of theory... at 12, i stopped and started guitar... i knew LOTS of musical theory at that moment and i was able to learn guitar by my own means. i needed a professoor only after a couple of years and only for most technical stuff. now i seriously play also bass, drums and keyboard, plus guitar and violin... BTW, i did the same as with the guitar with the keyboard!

Ivan!

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Last edited by ivan_2894 at Feb 3, 2009,
#4
Quote by Poglia
Well, I play since 2.5 years and I don't know so much about theory, but I know which notes sound good together because before guitar I used to play keyboard and I have learned how to build major and minor chords.

So I think that you should learn at least minor/major scales and how to build a chord. For example, let say you have to solo over a D chord. The D chord is made by three notes: D, F# and A, and these notes will sound good over the chord. But if you try for example a G#, it will sound bad. I hope that you know at least this.


Hmm yeah i know i'm not trying to be a dickhead but i don't need help, more of a discussion really. I know some basic theory, just not the actual notes on the guitar.

I just think rather than approaching it in the theoretical, mechanical way first, i've approached it in a musical way from the start. I think this has probably developed my ear first and foremost and now i can apply the theory i'm learning to what my ears already know, if that makes sense.
#5
These days most everybody learns by ear. I've been playing for 32 years and that's how I started. Since you know your way around the fretboard, picking up theory should be easy, and it will show you your weak points and bad habits. It is a discipline that I think will enhance your playing enjoyment.
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#6
Quote by damskippy
These days most everybody learns by ear. I've been playing for 32 years and that's how I started. Since you know your way around the fretboard, picking up theory should be easy, and it will show you your weak points and bad habits. It is a discipline that I think will enhance your playing enjoyment.


Well yeah i do know my fretboard, i just can't instantly tell which note it is (for instance if someone points and goes 'what's that note', me = )
#7
I think that learning by ear is great. Thats how I learned to play bass and now my ear for music is good. Although I kind of have to disagree with some of the comments above, a lot of people don't learn by ear today. Now a lot of people just use tabs to learn a song and really don't work through things for themselves. Now that I know notes, scales, chords, etc. I know the reason that something doesn't sound good to my ears. Theory is still my weakest link though. To each his own I guess, but the ability to listen to something and pick out notes and differences between subtle chord changes is definitely an advantage imo.
#8
No I never had this.

I did hit bum notes and had very poor technique, but I always knew when I played wrong notes over chords, because it just "didn't sound right".

I also for a few months thought I as losing my mind, because I played out tune, only to figure out my guitar wasn't in-tonated.

I did however not naturally hear if I was playing either a 3rd or a 5th of a chord when soloing on top.

I also had a natural tendency against using Pentatonic minor clearly as a box.

I often found myself playing mixolydian, because I liked that more then straightforward pentatonic. Although I still play pentatonic I'd like to end on major 3rd's and major 6ths whenever I can

I learned by ear, because tabs were often incorrect or I didn't had a computer near me to figure it out. I also play/played with other musicians a lot and if I heard a lick I liked I'd aurally "steal/copy" it.


Tl;tr
So yeah in a sense, I have the same as you. I'm learning theory too what I Aurally already understand.

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#9
i learned the notes when i was learning the guitar. Now i don't even think about them i just play them if you know what i mean
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#10
Quote by Dylan360
i learned the notes when i was learning the guitar. Now i don't even think about them i just play them if you know what i mean

m yeah, this is the state i wish to get to, but i know it's gonna take a lot of listening and hard work!

xxdarrenxx i know what you mean, although i like to just resolve to the root note of the chords, boring i know but i have a tendency to chuck loads of vibrato on it. I'm sure as i get more technically advanced i will start throwing other's in there too, because root note is a bit 'safe'.
Last edited by Ikonoklast at Feb 3, 2009,
#11
I started playing about 30 years ago. To some extent, no matter what you do, you're going to hit a lot of "clams" as you start. I've always improvised using some basis in a scale/key. It never made too much sense to me to just try hitting random notes by simply what sounds good. I wanted to always be able to improvise over anything, if I didn't understand at some level what the song was doing, it would be a lot harder transferring the ability to improvise over one thing to another.

That being said, I never made a concerted effort to memorize note names on the fretboard. I don't think it's all that essential to improvising. The fretboard has a regular geometry WRT to scales if you know how to look at it. Everything you need can be found in this, especially VERY quickly when improvising, like roots, chord tones, scale degrees etc...

The last thing is, if you're pushing your limits and putting the pedal to the metal, you'll probably ALWAYS make "mistakes". It's just with skill and experience you get better at recovering from them or even USING them to explore a new line or idea.
#12
Quote by edg
The last thing is, if you're pushing your limits and putting the pedal to the metal, you'll probably ALWAYS make "mistakes". It's just with skill and experience you get better at recovering from them or even USING them to explore a new line or idea.

Yeah, I read about this in... damn, I forgot the book, but it's by Kenny Werner (or Warner, some pianist) and he said to try to play a wrong note so you can use them to create interesting lines.
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#13
Theres only 12 notes man, just take it one string at a time.

I started playing just like you, i think most people start out that way that don't start have lessons right away.
#14
well i can help like stated above you have the basic music theory

then there is gettin into how chord progression sound with the circle of 5ths, dominate 7th chords leading to the root chord. non tone progression etc just do some research maybe take a class of it in.

if you goin to learn by ear you should have someone sit at a piano then play two notes either together or not. start off with minor 2nds and major 2nds then to 3rds etc. then while your add it you can do like melodic dictations like the play a little 4 bar song and you have to write it down. start off with like 4/4 stuff then go to 3/4 etc. but when you doing that make sure you only doin like 2nd and 3rds if your still workin on your 2nds and 3rds, then keep goin and add more keep comin back to previews ones to keep fresh on them too



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