#1
Hi there,

Just finished my job before i go off to uni and i plan to knuckle down and get a bit of theory under my wing! I don't know masses but i know bits and pieces. I've read through the FAQ and the crusades and i can see the tasks ahead:

1) Intervals
2) Chords
3) Scales
4) Modes

in somewhat of that order?

My best plan so far is this - can anyone guide me with what i should learn and the best ways to learn it:

Try to memorize the fretboard
Learning Intervals: ear trainer software...
scales: learn note names fo all scales?
modes: wait until i know scales.
Chords: learn the note names of as many chords as possible.

Thanks in advance
#2
musictheory.net helped me alot, got alot of that down in a week except modes :/
#3
Fretboard is the huge thing. There's sofe software out there that might help. Fretboard Trainer (program) and Fretboard Warrior (training game), for examples.
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#4
thanks for the fast replies!

Do the software things translate well over to the actuall guitar then - wasn't too sure how well knowing the notes on the screen will transfer to knowing them ont eh fretboard.

I've started using musictheory.net - it's a really great site - even has a fretboard trainer on it
#5
Assuming, just for a minute, that you are a complete beginner; I'd work through the crusades slowly and concisely, googling anything else you don't quite understand. Concentrated on intervals, major scale and chord formation based on the major scale. Learn the notes on the fretboard and learn intervals on the fretboard. Start doing ear training for intervals. Put you knowledge of the major scale into practice.

There are going to be lots of ways for you start learning theory and I'm sure a number of people will disagree with the approach I've outlined. However you do it though, don't take on to much at one time and don't rush. I guess you could learn about modes, but I don't recommend you do until you have a really at least a good understanding of intervals, the major and relative minor scales, and chord construction.
#6
Check out Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino. It's not really about universal musical theory, but more about finding your way around the fretboard. When you're done reading it you'll be able to create your own chords and scales anywhere on the fretboard. Excellent book.
#7
Learn the major scales.. then apply the circle of fifths..
While doing that learn the intervals on guitar and the major scale on guitar..
From there you'll slowly learn all the notes on the fretboard.. but IMO this is probably the most benifical way..
because sitting there picking out what fret/string is what note is, IMO, a waist of good practice time.
I'm not saying you shouldn't learn them, I'm just saying there are more benificial ways of doing it!!
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#8
Quote by chrispantling
Hi there,

Just finished my job before i go off to uni and i plan to knuckle down and get a bit of theory under my wing! I don't know masses but i know bits and pieces. I've read through the FAQ and the crusades and i can see the tasks ahead:

1) Intervals
2) Chords
3) Scales
4) Modes

in somewhat of that order?

My best plan so far is this - can anyone guide me with what i should learn and the best ways to learn it:

Try to memorize the fretboard
Learning Intervals: ear trainer software...
scales: learn note names fo all scales?
modes: wait until i know scales.
Chords: learn the note names of as many chords as possible.

Thanks in advance


Personally, I wouldn't bother with modes yet.

Once you know the Major and minor scales & harmony, I would spend some quality time listening to and analyzing music. You want more than just a checklist... you want a meaningful understanding, and that means getting your hands dirty so to speak. You need to spend some quality time experiencing the concepts in the context of music.
shred is gaudy music
#9
Quote by GuitarMunky
Personally, I wouldn't bother with modes yet.

Once you know the Major and minor scales & harmony, I would spend some quality time listening to and analyzing music. You want more than just a checklist... you want a meaningful understanding, and that means getting your hands dirty so to speak. You need to spend some quality time experiencing the concepts in the context of music.



Thanks for all your replies guys it's very much appreciated!

Spent a few hours today listening to trying to correctly name interval afterr interval. Got a bit better but sitll many mistakes - is this a good thing to be doing?

GuitarMunky - I know this could potentially be an hard to answer question but how do i know when i "KNOW the major and minor scales"?

Thanks
#10
Quote by chrispantling
Thanks for all your replies guys it's very much appreciated!

Spent a few hours today listening to trying to correctly name interval afterr interval. Got a bit better but sitll many mistakes - is this a good thing to be doing?

GuitarMunky - I know this could potentially be an hard to answer question but how do i know when i "KNOW the major and minor scales"?

Thanks



could you analyze a song that's in a Major or minor key, and tell what key it's in.... what the chord progression is?

Can you do this consistently and without struggle?


When you're very familiar with those relationships and have spent a considerable amount of time with them in a musical context (rather than just formulas in a book or on a web page), then moving on to modes will make more sense. also regarding modes. I found that too often people get into them pre-maturely. I do understand that it's alluring.
shred is gaudy music
#11
Ah! Makes sense!

I just want to break out of the minor pentatonic box shape i'm stuck in and start knowing which notes i'm playing and why they sound good. Were did you start theory wise? Learning the fretboard or intervals etc?

p.s.
Modes are the last thing on my mind at the mo. I know everywhere says to learn them but as you say until i know my scales properly they are on the back burner :P
#12
Quote by chrispantling
Ah! Makes sense!

I just want to break out of the minor pentatonic box shape i'm stuck in and start knowing which notes i'm playing and why they sound good. Were did you start theory wise? Learning the fretboard or intervals etc?

p.s.
Modes are the last thing on my mind at the mo. I know everywhere says to learn them but as you say until i know my scales properly they are on the back burner :P



Well, I started in a class in HS. it was a basic theory class.

we started with:

Intervals

scale construction

chord construction (triads)

the concept of Tonic and Dominant

Simple Major and minor chord progressions


For anyone about to study theory, I can't stress this enough....

being able to read standard notation, and having a repertoire of music will greatly increase your ability to understand music theory. This implies that you should have a certain amount of experience on the guitar already before studying music theory.

In my class there was a clear difference between those who could read and had some experience and those that did not. A night and day type of difference.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 14, 2009,
#13
Hmm i understand being able to read notation would be helpfull - i've tried for a time to learn but never found my footing. What do you mean by repetoire of music though?
#14
Quote by chrispantling
Hmm i understand being able to read notation would be helpfull - i've tried for a time to learn but never found my footing. What do you mean by repetoire of music though?


Well, you should have a number of songs (hopefully alot) that you can play well, and by memory.

What this does is give you a point of reference for all of the concepts you will be studying.

reading about a concept in a book is one thing. Hearing it in context really brings it to life.

I always found that when my teacher would bring something up, I'd be like "oh yeah, that's like in this 1 song I know". Then I could hear the concept. I had something tangible that I could attach that concept to. It was more than just a fancy word or formula on the page.

regarding reading..

Think of it this way. How hard would it be for a person that can't read their spoken language to make sense of a grammar lesson? I mean since you can speak the language, you might get some of the concepts, but it won't be as meaningful or deep of an understanding as it would be if you could actually read the language. If a teacher was to give you an example of a particular concept, they are probably going to write it down. Being able to read that is obviously going to give you an advantage. Music theory is no different. Musical concepts are often best presented in the notated language.

Can you learn theory without being able to read? To a certain extent, but from what I've experienced, those that can't read generally have a more fuzzy, shallow understanding than those that can. (as with anything, there are always exceptions of-course)
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 14, 2009,
#15
You sure have great way of putting things - i have a much clearer picture in my head now of what i need to learn and why! I've known deep down i should learn to read notation i just never knew where to start. Can you recommend any sites with sheet music that's aim at the beginner like me?
#16
Quote by chrispantling
You sure have great way of putting things - i have a much clearer picture in my head now of what i need to learn and why! I've known deep down i should learn to read notation i just never knew where to start. Can you recommend any sites with sheet music that's aim at the beginner like me?


Glad to have helped.

I don't know any sites that would help you with this, but there may be some out there. I'll be adding a standard notation section to my site, but not for a few months at least. It will basically be a method book online.

I would try any of the standard method books. They're not always the most inspiring musically, but they do the trick...

Mel Bay
Hal Leanord
Joe Fava..
ect.
shred is gaudy music
#17
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well, I started in a class in HS. it was a basic theory class.

we started with:

Intervals

scale construction

chord construction (triads)

the concept of Tonic and Dominant

Simple Major and minor chord progressions


For anyone about to study theory, I can't stress this enough....

being able to read standard notation, and having a repertoire of music will greatly increase your ability to understand music theory. This implies that you should have a certain amount of experience on the guitar already before studying music theory.

In my class there was a clear difference between those who could read and had some experience and those that did not. A night and day type of difference.

man in my class we just did small stuff like intervals, a few scales and a little on harmony... your lucky
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