#1
Hey everyone. I've been playing guitar for about 2 years off and on. I play off tabs and have only had a few lessons. I'm still pretty sucky at playing but I'm hoping to improve over this year alot. Now I've found myself wanting to learn some theory to better understand what I'm playing (or trying to). I'm not a complete amatuer at music theory as I have been playing piano for a while so understand scales and appregios and stuff like that. However I'm kind of looking for an "all-in-one" kind of book, so I can learn beginner stuff along with advanced stuff when I have progressed to that level. I'd also like it to be fairly comprehensive as in not just a few scales or modes but lots. I saw this book while doing a google searcha and was wondering if any of you had heard of it. http://www.seriousguitar.com/
It looks like what I am after but seeing as it will cost 62$ US to get it to Australia I want to be sure this is the best I can buy.

Sorry for the wall of text and thanks for taking the time to read it.
#2
If you are really serious about learning music theory, I'd suggest staying away from guitar specific theory books. One of my favorite is Aldwell and Thatcher's (I think those are there names) Harmony and Voice Leading. Great book. Make sure you understand everything before you move on, and once you get the book down, you'll be miles ahead.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#3
Quote by The_Sophist
If you are really serious about learning music theory, I'd suggest staying away from guitar specific theory books. One of my favorite is Aldwell and Thatcher's (I think those are there names) Harmony and Voice Leading. Great book. Make sure you understand everything before you move on, and once you get the book down, you'll be miles ahead.


Thanks for the help. What would be the reasons for avoiding guitar specific theory books? Ideally I would like to be able to improvise and be able to recognise chords and scales when playing/learning songs.

Also would this book be learning just by writing stuff out seeing as it is general music theory. I kind of imagined seeing a scale and playing it over and over until I learnt it (like i did with piano).

Would 2nd edition be alright as 3rd edition is about $75 AUD used whereas 2nd edition is only $17 AUD (both shipped from America)
Last edited by Reynolds666 at Jan 1, 2010,
#4
I really like 'Theory For The Contempory Guitarist' - Capuzzo
http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Contemporary-Guitarist-Guy-Capuzzo/dp/0739013068

It has EVERYTHING and shows you how it relates to your guitar playing. As the Sophist said above, sometimes a non-instrument-specific book is much, better. But, IMO this book is the exception.

It even has worksheets in it that you can practise with. I really really like it. I look into it at least once a week!

Quick Look over the Highlights:
  • Basics (reading sheet music and the notes on the neck)
  • Scales/Key Signatures (major/minor relationships)
  • Intervals (self explanatory)
  • Chord intro (chord notation, extended/dominant/inverted/figured)
  • Pentatonic/Blues/Altered-Blues scales (parallel, relative, fingerings, use)
  • Harmonic/melodic minor scales (fingering)
  • Modes (major/melodic-minor/harmonic minor)
  • more on extended/suspended/add chords and use
  • Symmetrical scales (wholetone/chormatic/diminished plus all fingering)
  • altered dominant chords
  • bichords
  • chordal tendencies (ii, V, I.. etc. Soloing over)
  • 12 Bar Blues progression (soloing, substitutions, colouring)
  • More progressions (modullation, non-diatonic prgoressions)
Last edited by mdwallin at Jan 2, 2010,
#5
Quote by mdwallin
I really like 'Theory For The Contempory Guitarist' - Capuzzo
http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Contemporary-Guitarist-Guy-Capuzzo/dp/0739013068

It has EVERYTHING and shows you how it relates to your guitar playing. As the Sophist said above, sometimes a non-instrument-specific book is much, better. But, IMO this book is the exception.

It even has worksheets in it that you can practise with. I really really like it. I look into it at least once a week!

Quick Look over the Highlights:
  • Basics (reading sheet music and the notes on the neck)
  • Scales/Key Signatures (major/minor relationships)
  • Intervals (self explanatory)
  • Chord intro (chord notation, extended/dominant/inverted/figured)
  • Pentatonic/Blues/Altered-Blues scales (parallel, relative, fingerings, use)
  • Harmonic/melodic minor scales (fingering)
  • Modes (major/melodic-minor/harmonic minor)
  • more on extended/suspended/add chords and use
  • Symmetrical scales (wholetone/chormatic/diminished plus all fingering)
  • altered dominant chords
  • bichords
  • chordal tendencies (ii, V, I.. etc. Soloing over)
  • 12 Bar Blues progression (soloing, substitutions, colouring)
  • More progressions (modullation, non-diatonic prgoressions)


OK thanks for the help. Would this cover pretty much everything I would need to know theory related or is there even more advanced stuff to learn on top of this?
It also is alot cheaper then the one I was lookin at and the one recommended above.
#6
well, mate there is always going to be more theory :P

Depends what you want to do... but for just learning to solo well on guitar and how to make complicated chord progressions, and composition it's great.

It covers a bit of everything in my opinion... just. If you want to start discussing coltrane changes, the sciences of sound, orchestration etc.. the advanced theory... You are gonna have to get more specialised books.

I think the book I reccomended is good for what you are looking for. Something that will explain almost all of the questions that pop up and spark debate on this forum.
#8
I wouldn't bother with the fretboard one. Seems like a bit of a waste of money.

The ear-training one would be great, though. But, there are more things online about ear-training (try teoria or learn2hear, they're fantastic)

beware, though. These aren't really 'theory'. More, a shortcut to what you would end up learning by just being a guitarist and putting theory into practise.

I'd say ditch the fret-board one. Dunno about the ear-training.
#9
Yeh the ear training one sounds pretty sweet.
Also thankyou for all the help mdwallin, I hope the rest of the UG community is as helpful as you have been!
#10
Quote by mdwallin
I really like 'Theory For The Contempory Guitarist' - Capuzzo
http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Contemporary-Guitarist-Guy-Capuzzo/dp/0739013068

It has EVERYTHING and shows you how it relates to your guitar playing. As the Sophist said above, sometimes a non-instrument-specific book is much, better. But, IMO this book is the exception.

It even has worksheets in it that you can practise with. I really really like it. I look into it at least once a week!

Quick Look over the Highlights:
  • Basics (reading sheet music and the notes on the neck)
  • Scales/Key Signatures (major/minor relationships)
  • Intervals (self explanatory)
  • Chord intro (chord notation, extended/dominant/inverted/figured)
  • Pentatonic/Blues/Altered-Blues scales (parallel, relative, fingerings, use)
  • Harmonic/melodic minor scales (fingering)
  • Modes (major/melodic-minor/harmonic minor)
  • more on extended/suspended/add chords and use
  • Symmetrical scales (wholetone/chormatic/diminished plus all fingering)
  • altered dominant chords
  • bichords
  • chordal tendencies (ii, V, I.. etc. Soloing over)
  • 12 Bar Blues progression (soloing, substitutions, colouring)
  • More progressions (modullation, non-diatonic prgoressions)


Guy Cappuzzio is very good at what he does, but I found that book to be a bit lacking. Honestly, I've yet to run across a good theory book. They all suggest the same things. I mean theory books are the reason I do what I do today. I'm ever in the search for better ways to understand it and teach it.

As it starts out dry and abstract, my eyes glaze.

But as soon as you add a guitar to it, that's context. I recommend nobody learn theory out of a book and here is why - its abstract. However you can learn theory for the guitar, and when you do you can apply it anywhere.

Case in Point, I have an Academy student, who a little over a year ago started from nothing, and now he's arranging the instruments in his church, went from not playing the guitar at all to playing rhythms and some leads for his church, and knows more than his bass player that was playing for 5 years when my student joined their group.

Practical application, is something I think will really save the day when it comes to theory. He got all of it right, and he's put it to real world benefit.

I do know practical theory, quite well and I teach it, and you've all seen some of my posts. I teach very strong diatonic theory - well I didn't learn from your books, however because I see it now, I can understand those books and approaches, and I can eventoday appreciate and follow the ideas in theory books (like Neapolitan chords, Jazz concepts etc, Plagal Cadences etc.) But that's because I have a FOUNDATION in these other skills, which I feel are taught rather poorly in books.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jan 2, 2010,