i discovered how useful theory is to having an all around more benificial process towards songwriting, soloing, and understanding music in general.

so thanks to the many talented people of this website, i have found a very knowledgable source for furthering myself as a musician.

now the one thing that i find a problem, how do i continue to learn if i dont know what to learn.

so far i have set myself up with a (relatively)small amount of study material, but i need to know if there are any gaps in my quest for knowledge.

as of now, i know:
these scales: major, minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor(personal favorite), the 7 modes of the major scale(yes i know some of these coincide), Major pentatonic, minor pentatonic, hexatonic and chromatic. i have studied the two(?) different systems of how the scales are formed(steps and intervals) i have box positions and other such visual aids.

intervals, but i have not yet dedicated a sufficient amount of time to understand them aurally.

chord construction as it aplies to the major scale and its modes, along with inversions, and how to put together extended chords (I.E. G13 etc.)

i have a basic understanding of the circle of fifths, and how it applies to the major(not minor, i couldnt find a good explanation for minor) scale.

my main goal is to further myself as a musician, but i am also helping my younger and older brothers understand music theory.

i know alot of you knowledgable enough to brave the MT forums are truly genious, i just hope that my plight is worth your time.


WHITEGUYEDIT: websites you know of, lessons on ug, helpful threads, and if none come to mind, tell me the name of the thing that you believe i should learn, and i can research it to the best of my own ability
Last edited by thatwhiteguy69 at Aug 2, 2009,
Music theory is a very broad subject and if you don't know what to learn, how should we know? Do you have any goals other than to "further yourself" as a musician, because being a "musician" is also a very broad term.
A musician could be someone who composes, analyses, conducts, arranges, sequences, produces and performs music. If you were a composer, I would recommend a very different learning to if you were a performer.
For instance, most performers don't need to know counterpoint or how to construct a (non improvised) melody, but most composers (who aren't performers) wouldn't need to know guitar technique or remember chord shapes or how to improvise.
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Last edited by demonofthenight at Aug 2, 2009,
aha well put. i will clarify

the style of music i like to do is metal. composing sounds like i need a much better ear and mind for how the notes will come out before i even begin to play them. one of my goals is to perform, and i am in the process of getting a band together with my friends. my main style of writing is usually improv put towards a final product. i understand the BASICS of how to overlay a lead part over a chord progression, but the progression is not particularly in my goal to come up with. i mean, im a lead, the knows the theory of rythym, but i cant play a chord to save my life.

i desperatly need to improve my soloing skills, but i just cant seem to do it. i understand the idea of it, just everything i come up with comes out like crap if i try to play beyond the 12 fret.

umm i think my train of thought has currently hit a brick wall as far as answering your question in depth goes, but if there is anything you would like me to clarify, please ask
You said you were in a rut with your soloing. I would therefore highly recommend learning the 5 pentatonic shapes and how to connect them using the CAGED system, and then being able to locate the CAGED arpeggios/chords inside the shapes. This has helped me tons in being able to mix pentatonic licks with arpeggios (and I don't mean Yngwie-style sweep arpeggios, I mean slower more melodic ones), which makes your soloing much more interesting. Good luck!
thanks, im actually about to go invest some time in learning chords right now.

and the caged thing is something i have always wondered about



EDIT:as far as my soloing goes, im looking for a shred type style, becuase my older brother is studying up on his blues, and im studying up on my speed metal, and we are gonna try to combine it into a all that remains-esque combination that will have similiar transitions from absolutley rediculous metal, into a very melodic, pretty soothing type sound
Last edited by thatwhiteguy69 at Aug 2, 2009,
Then your ear is what you need to be working on. It's not enough to know what a scale pattern is or to have memorised the theory behind it - more importantly you need to understand how it works in practice, you need to know what the intervals sound like and how the notes of that scale interact with what you're playing over. That doesn't happen overnight and it can't be taught, it's just something that comes to you with practice - the more you study and work with a scale the better you understand it.

Sound is what's all important in guitar, never lose sight of that.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

Last edited by steven seagull at Aug 2, 2009,
thankyou stevenseagull, loved your book by the way, you totally make hawks look like pus$ies.

and as important as i know the sound is, i currently dont have a tuner, so my guitar is relative tuned. i know training your is important, but training it to the wrong notes is probably fatal.

i do understand the theory behind the scales for the most part, like what sound types you get out of them, i just have the usual problem:i have the most awesome songs in my head, i just cant get them to come out when i have the guitar.

my birthday is coming up, so ill splurge and get myself a good chromatic tuner, along with some aural training software, im sure it will help.

and myung-trucci, thank you very much for making me practice my chords, you were right, it did help my lead playing. im not sure how but i managed to jump 4 bps with just downstrokes, and 3 bps with my up strokes, and 6 with alternate picking.

ummm one question tho... some of the areas on my picking arm have gone numb... is that bad? i mean i did stay up all night practicing chord construction and learning how to play them in drop d. but parts of my arm going numb has never happened before?
To be pefectly honest absolute pitch isn't actually as important as relative pitch - the ability to identify a note by sound is very helpful, but nowhere near as useful as simply being able to judge how the pitch will change when you move from one note to the next.

If you get yourself in the habit of mentally noting the difference in pitches, ie the interval, when moving between two notes or whwn playing the two together then that will be the same for any key. A major third will always sound like a major third, the first two notes of the bassline in Sweet Child of Mine are a major third apart. Obviously you can have a major third in any key, but the difference between the two pitches is always the same regardless of what the two notes actually are.

Besides, if you need a tuner....

Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

Last edited by steven seagull at Aug 2, 2009,
Besides, if you need a tuner....


ugh... you are being very helpful, but my computer is so old your cellphone has more memory than this doggamn thing.

and even if i could run the tuner program, i dont have speakers or a mic.

seriously tho steven, i do appreciate your help
transcribing is something i just cant seem to do for the life of me, plus i dont really have access to any music i like currently: i lost my ipod, and my computer is an archaic piece of junk with no speakers