#1
So I already know a little (major and minor scales,major and minor chords, I understand the numbering of the notes in a scale) but I realized I don't know nearly enough. So uhh any advice on what to learn? I'm pretty much a beginner to theory.
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#2
intervals > how chords are built up > the circle of fifths > harmonic analysis/chord functions (like tonic, subdominant, dominant etc)
#3
The major scale and chord construction would be a good place to start. Intervals before these two as San Jose mentioned, but you have to hear them to understand and that takes practice.
Quote by jpnyc
You are what they call a “rhythm guitarist”. While it's not as glamorous as playing lead you can still get laid. Especially if you can sing and play.




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#4
Well let me ask the real question. How much theory is required to be able to communicate with other musicians?

Also, I can probably find all this information already somewhere on this website?
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
Last edited by Rawshik at Jun 4, 2011,
#7
if you know the scales, intervals, and how to name a chord you should be able to communicate an idea with a musician.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#8
I don't know how to name a chord and I don't know the "circle of 5ths." Is there a place on this website where people have already discussed this?
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#10
Quote by Rawshik
Well let me ask the real question. How much theory is required to be able to communicate with other musicians?

Also, I can probably find all this information already somewhere on this website?


Major scale and chords. If you know which chords are in which key, you can pretty much do anything. Its the very basics of theory actually and there are a lot of great lessons on this site.
Quote by jpnyc
You are what they call a “rhythm guitarist”. While it's not as glamorous as playing lead you can still get laid. Especially if you can sing and play.




Beer is the solutions to the world's problems.

#11
First I learned to read music. There will be plenty of people here that will tell you that you never need to learn how to read music in order to understand theory, and that is true, but I think it is a good idea to learn as it makes it easier (in my opinion) and there are a multitude of other advantages to knowing how to do so. It honestly isn't that much harder than tablature.

The books I used to teach myself how to read music and theory, were the Master Theory work books. It applies to no specific instrument, as it is theory based. There are 6 workbooks in total. I love these things. They are a great investment in my opinion.

You can buy all the books separately if you wish or you can buy the set.

http://www.jwpepper.com/574749.item
http://www.amazon.com/Kjos-Master-Theory-Books-book/dp/B002N3418O


Also, let me just tell you first hand, there is a LOT more to theory than just notes, scales, and chords.
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Last edited by Funcoot at Jun 5, 2011,
#12
Quote by Funcoot
First I learned to read music. There will be plenty of people here that will tell you that you never need to learn how to read music in order to understand theory, and that is true, but I think it is a good idea to learn as it makes it easier (in my opinion) and there are a multitude of other advantages to knowing how to do so. It honestly isn't that much harder than tablature.

+1. Learning to read standard notation, even in the most basic sense, just makes everything easier and opens up more doors for you.
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#13
intervals
circle of fifths/key signatures
reading notation

them go onto tertiary harmony (when you understand intervals you'll understand chords)

so intervals lead into chords. chords lead into harmonic function.

for example first you discover that E to G# is a M3. and G# to B is a m3. and B to D is a m3.

then you discover that those intervals/notes make up an E7.

then when the E7 follows Cmaj and precedes Amin you realize it's a secondary dominant of the Amin (V/vi).

it all builds upon itself.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Jun 5, 2011,
#14
After learning the basics, which shouldn't be too difficult, but make sure you put in the hard work because a good foundation is essential, learn your arpeggios, arpeggios are king for learning about chords and how things are formed. And as primusfan said, it all builds up onto itself, arpeggios lead to modes which lead to more complex harmonies etc etc
#15
It's beginning to sound like a lot more work than I'd like.
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#16
intervals
circle of fifths/key signatures
reading notation

for example first you discover that E to G# is a M3. and G# to B is a m3. and B to D is a m3.


Isn't that the chemical formula for LSD?
I've started to learn the basics and so far its not too bad. Had a look at the circle of fifths, which looks as mystical as it sounds, but i can't seem to get my head round it.
Any help explaining, minus the jargon?
#17
I learned the circle of fourths but the circle of fifths is just that backwards, or vice versa.

So, with the circle of fifths, each note in the cycle is just a fifth away from the note before it. Starting on C (major, which has no sharps or flats) you go to G major (F#). Then to the fifth of G major, which happens to be (D major, 2 sharps, F and C). And so on and so forth.
When you get to B major, scales start to overlap (well they do everywhere but no one really acknowledges B # major or C double sharp major ), for instance B major and Cb major are the same thing, except in the key signature Cb major has 7 flats and B major has 5 sharps. Enharmonically, they're the same scale, (Bb = A#, Eb = D#, Ab = G# etc).
So in terms of the circle of fifths:
B major = Cb major
F# major = Gb major
Db major = C# major

When you move to Db (C#)major from F#(Gb) major, it's accepted that you use scales with flats, so instead of Ab major being G# major with 6 sharps and a double sharp, you write Ab with 4 flats (B,E,A,D). Then a fifth away from Ab is Eb major, with 3 flats. And keep going until you hit C again.

The circle of fourths is that whole thing but backwards and starting on a Bb usually.


EDIT: just incase, a fifth is an interval with 5 tones in between each note (including the starting note). It sounds like the beginning of star wars, the beginning of twinkle twinkle little star and the last post used in the Australian army.
Don't get the circle mixed up with modal theory.
Last edited by Bass First at Jun 6, 2011,
#18
Thanks, thats the best explanation I've read so far, helped clear that up for me. I realise 5th intervals are a useful interval to know and much used and everyone has mentioned to learn it, but why is the circle so relevant, especially for fifths?
#19
It's just a tool for figuring out key signatures and learning about how scales intertwine with each other.

Say you get a last minute gig where you're only told the key, but you don't know the key, sit down and go through the circle until you reach the key.

It's relevant for fifths because the fifth of any major scale is the tonic of the next scale with the next sharp.

An easier way to remember this when starting would be to look at the scale, go to the fifth of the scale, raise the 7th of the original scale and you would have your next key signature.

eg. C major (go to the fifth) > G, (raise the 7th of C major, which is F, which becomes F#)> G major has an F#

The circle of fifths is no more important than the circle of fourths, classical players usually learn the circle of fifths whilst jazz, mostly wind instruments, learn the circle of fourths.

I guess people hold the circle in such high regard because once you know the circle you know all your key signatures apart from most of your modes.
#21
Quote by Rawshik
Well let me ask the real question. How much theory is required to be able to communicate with other musicians?

Also, I can probably find all this information already somewhere on this website?


Depends on what you want to communicate, and how fluently and efficiently and to whom… at the end of the day how much you need to learn, is up to you.

You already know a lot more theory than your giving yourself credit for… everyone knows most of the basic aspects of theory they just can’t read/write them. If you can keep time, hum a melody, make pretty much any noise what so ever. Your doing something that Music theory describes. Remember Music thoery describes music no more no less. The exact same way grammer describes langauge, but it doesnt define it.

There is no reason not to learn and master every aspect of your craft. But keep in mind nobody knows everything about music theory, NOBODY!!! But on the same note there is no rule saying you have to learn it either. Guys like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix are musically illiterate. They can’t read or write the music language. But they can still communicate to other musicians.

Your ultimate goal is to be able to speak the language “i.e. play”… learning theory is like learning grammar and learning to read and write. You technically never have to learn to read or write to be able to communicate with others. But it sure makes it a hell of a lot easier. Each person has to find a happy median for themself, becuase how much theory and what aspects of it, that are right for me... may not be right for you.
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Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Jun 6, 2011,
#22
Okay thanks for all the replies, guys! I will definitely be studying it this summer in my time between working on technique.

Do I have to learn all the notes on the fretboard first?
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
Last edited by Rawshik at Jun 6, 2011,
#23
It would probably help xD

Learn your basic arpeggios, then add 7ths, 9ths, and 13ths. This is fun

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