Hi, I'm going abroad for the summer holidays and the chances are I'm gonna have lots and lots of spare time, so I decided to use this time to do something productive - learn basic guitar theory. Now, I know it's fairly simple, just buy a theory book or get online lessons or something, but there's one problem; the chances of me being able to bring my guitar are very slim....

So, is it possible to learn theory without actually holding a guitar? And if it's possible then can anyone recommend any good books I could buy that dont require me to be holding a guitar?
Yeah, it's definitely possible. Always try to apply your theory or at least use it a little (even if it's just on paper) so that way it gets ingrained into your memory and you can use it fluently. After my theory classes if there was something new I wanted to try out then I'd get my instrument when I got home and see how it worked. I'd also write stuff down and experiment a little then when I got back home put it into practice and see how it worked.

Can't help much on the books though
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
Theory is independent of the instrument. There is no such thing as "guitar theory" or "piano theory" just music theory. It may acutally be beneficial to learn without guitar for some bits, it'll stop you just thinking about scale patterns and force you to actually understand what you're playing. That said, it can sometimes be difficult to grasp some bigger concepts without some form of instrument to work it out of for real.

Maybe take something small (which you may or may not be able to play) such as a stylophone (or even something like a recorder would do). This means you can learn theory, apply it and learn a new instrument and set of skills all at once
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
As well as reading and things like that. A Keyboard or a Piano, has the same theory concepts as a guitar does, since Guitar theory is based off Piano theory. So you can also kind of kill two birds with one stone by keeping a portable keyboard around and studying that alongside the Guitar theory books
No you don't need a guitar to learn theorie. Al you nead to know is the following music notes:

C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb and B
I sold my soul for Rock 'n' Roll

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you've just proven that you're the most ignorant fuck on this website...

Thank you
Quote by darknessfan
Whenever I sit down to play guitar, I always need to pee in like 3 minutes. Is this weird?

As you learn your theory stuff, make something on Guitar Pro or something, where you apply what you just learned.
If you are looking for a book to help you learn the fretboard I'll recommend Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino. It's an actual workbook, so you will have to create diagrams and answer questions. It will give you a better understanding of the fretboard. You can see a limited preview of the book at Google Books....

Yeah, it's definitly possible. Still prefferable to have an instrument though, as you want to be able to actualy try out stuff when you learn it to figure out how it sounds.

Do you have a laptop or something? You can play around with guitar pro or something and still be able to hear stuff.
Quote by sickman411
As you learn your theory stuff, make something on Guitar Pro or something, where you apply what you just learned.

i'm a little iffy with that, because guitar pro only notates sharps (unless you specifically notate flats, but if you don't know the rules/guidelines for writing sharps/flats, you could just be putting a hole right through what you're learning, though i doubt you'd suffer from any major drawback).

in all honesty, you're better off writing it yourself on staff paper. it'll be beneficial to you to learn to read music (even if you never learn to sight-read).
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Most definately possible. I do it all the time with a notepad and a pen, even if I have to draw out the tab lines and staff lines. Familiarize yourself with scales, voice leading, chords. The biggest challenge is to put those three together. Just do it.
Quote by evolucian
Steve Vai... 3 years theory... no instrument

Oh really. When would that magical time be?

Edit: You can learn music theory without an instrument, but as said above, you need a way to apply it. Application of knowledge is a step in learning it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Yeah, without actually hearing what you're reading about and letting your ears learn what it sounds like, your study will be far less effective, especially when you finally pick up a guitar.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.