#1
I'm not sure if this is the sub-forum to ask but its close enough.

Over the past few months I've been slowly progressing into play more complicated tabs. I feel like I'm fluent with my Power and Barre Chords but a little sour on my picking.

Anyway, I'm beginning formal guitar lessons this Tuesday; and I just want to know if learning theory is something as complicated as it appears (most likely not) and if I should grab a few books as well as learn from my teacher. I feel as though lessons will reinforce my mechanics but not so much theory.

I'm 15, and this summer I'm going to have plenty of spare time to learn and practice now that school is done for the time being. I'm looking forward to understanding theory and progressing my skills at guitar.

Thanks for the help!
#2
Theory seemed pretty complicated to me before I started learning it, but actually getting into it, it's not terrible. If your teacher is worth his salt, you should have no problem with it. Try not to get sucked into the paradigm that modes are the holy grail and once you learn them, you can play like Steve Vai or whatever. I bought into it and got burned (brain-fried and turned off to theory in general for a while).

I'm sure the reputable members of this forum will have better advice for you (I'm looking at you Sean), but here's a layman's advice.
Quote by SonOfPest
Its the Lydian mode; formed in Eastern Arabia when the Persians invaded England.


Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
try the sexolydian scale.
#3
my advice is: start learning theory. it's a little complicated at the start, but it's worthy.
#4
Quote by pccrp
my advice is: start learning theory. it's a little complicated at the start, but it's worthy.


Well, that is my intention, lol.

I just want to know if I can rely on my teacher, get a few books, or hold off (which you answered). I know my song writing will most likely suck without theory.

Thanks for the help though.
#6
There's no real way we can answer that cause we don't know who your teacher is haha :P
I began learning theory through my school orchestra. If you can get involved with something like that I would highly recommend it. Since it's hard to get a grasp on at first, theory is something that you can turn your back on very easily if you have no motivation. Working in a school band with mostly beginners + a few instructors is the ideal place (if possible) to begin, in my opinion.
#7
i just started learning theory recently too, and i think its worth it. Learning diatonic theory was easy and made me understand how the whole music thing works.its not really as complicated as it looks.
#8
Quote by Megalomaniac46
There's no real way we can answer that cause we don't know who your teacher is haha :P
I began learning theory through my school orchestra. If you can get involved with something like that I would highly recommend it. Since it's hard to get a grasp on at first, theory is something that you can turn your back on very easily if you have no motivation. Working in a school band with mostly beginners + a few instructors is the ideal place (if possible) to begin, in my opinion.


Unfortunately my High School has absolutely nothing for school band/music classes. As far as I know, I don't think any tech schools do, but my machining instructor is in a band and made it clear he would be more than happy to help.
#10
Quote by dkeenan
I'm not sure if this is the sub-forum to ask but its close enough.

Over the past few months I've been slowly progressing into play more complicated tabs. I feel like I'm fluent with my Power and Barre Chords but a little sour on my picking.

Anyway, I'm beginning formal guitar lessons this Tuesday; and I just want to know if learning theory is something as complicated as it appears (most likely not) and if I should grab a few books as well as learn from my teacher. I feel as though lessons will reinforce my mechanics but not so much theory.

I'm 15, and this summer I'm going to have plenty of spare time to learn and practice now that school is done for the time being. I'm looking forward to understanding theory and progressing my skills at guitar.

Thanks for the help!



It's NOT complicated, but in almost every instance that I've ever seen it taught and how it's taught, it's made and understood to be complicated, and it's that complication which makes retention the problem.

Few people here can walk up and tell me a Gbmin11 is Gb Bbb Db Fb and Cb, without paper, counting on their fingers or taking 30 seconds or more. Those that use a guitar would butcher it trying to look at their frets and tripping over their fingers. That's the tragedy of theory. Because it's so simple I teach it to 8 year olds, and they can do what I just demonstrated.

However the way its traditionally taught would take a long long long time to retain it, even after you "learned" it.

Your success depends on how well your teacher knows their stuff, and how articulate they are at teaching.

Good luck! I wish I could recommend a book but in my opinion they are all the same.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 24, 2011,
#11
Quote by Sean0913
It's NOT complicated, but in almost every instance that I've ever seen it taught and how it's taught, it's made and understood to be complicated, and it's that complication which makes retention the problem.

Few people here can walk up and tell me a Gbmin11 is Gb Bbb Db Fb and Cb, without paper, counting on their fingers or taking 30 seconds or more. Those that use a guitar would butvher it trying to look at their frets and tripping over their fingers. That's the tragedy of theory. Because it's so simple I teach it to 8 year olds, and they can do what I just demonstrated.

However the way its traditionally taught would take a long long long time to retain it, even after you "learned" it.

Your success depends on how well your teacher knows their stuff, and how articulate they are at teaching.

Good luck! I wish I could recommend a book but in my opinion they are all the same.

Best,

Sean


So would it be worth getting a book? Because these sessions are a half-hour per week. Spending a whole week practicing only what I learned in a half hour seems like it would take that much longer.

With all this free time in the summer, instead of practicing chords 4 hours a day, I want to try to absorb a little theory as I slowly mature to guitar playing.

Thanks
#12
Quote by dkeenan
So would it be worth getting a book? Because these sessions are a half-hour per week. Spending a whole week practicing only what I learned in a half hour seems like it would take that much longer.

With all this free time in the summer, instead of practicing chords 4 hours a day, I want to try to absorb a little theory as I slowly mature to guitar playing.

Thanks


I don't know if it would be worth getting a book or not.

I want to be the last person to discourage anyone for trying to learn theory....so whatever you have available to you, I'm not going to down or denigrate.

Personally, I don't know of any good books, but, to be totally transparent and honest, I want you to understand that my answer is a biased one, because my own approach to teaching is a far departure from these "books". So, I'm naturally not going to think that these books are as good. I don't think most theory books do a very good job at "teaching" anything. But, I may not be the best person to answer that, as there may be many here that love a certain book. So take my opinion with a grain of salt, because it's just that...one guys opinion.

However, that said...if you have a teacher (and it sounds like you do) and you will both be going through a book together, and he can "teach" from that book in such a way as you understand it and can derive a tangible benefit from it, then it's worthwhile.

In the event that you run into a dead end, I do teach online, but whether or not I'd say you are "ready" for it, I couldn't tell you, I'd have to talk to you more about what you know, what your goals are etc. In general, I don't recommend people who are too new to the guitar to start learning theory. At least not without being satisfied that there are other supplemental development provisions in place that are addressing their early/beginner guitar needs.

In your case, I think the fact that you have decided to get lessons/a teacher is a very wise move (providing he can teach...which, just because they call themselves teachers doesn't make it the case) and I'd talk to your teacher about what they recommend.

As I said, if you feel like you ever hit a dead end, you're welcome to contact me and I'll see what I can do to help! I also mentor for free, and you can learn more about that and contact me through my profile.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 24, 2011,
#13
Quote by Sean0913
I don't know if it would be worth getting a book or not.

I want to be the last person to discourage anyone for trying to learn theory....so whatever you have available to you, I'm not going to down or denigrate.

Personally, I don't know of any good books, but, to be totally transparent and honest, I want you to understand that my answer is a biased one, because my own approach to teaching is a far departure from these "books". So, I'm naturally not going to think that these books are as good. I don't think most theory books do a very good job at "teaching" anything. But, I may not be the best person to answer that, as there may be many here that love a certain book. So take my opinion with a grain of salt, because it's just that...one guys opinion.

However, that said...if you have a teacher (and it sounds like you do) and you will both be going through a book together, and he can "teach" from that book in such a way as you understand it and can derive a tangible benefit from it, then it's worthwhile.

In the event that you run into a dead end, I do teach online, but whether or not I'd say you are "ready" for it, I couldn't tell you, I'd have to talk to you more about what you know, what your goals are etc. In general, I don't recommend people who are too new to the guitar to start learning theory. At least not without being satisfied that there are other supplemental development provisions in place that are addressing their early/beginner guitar needs.

In your case, I think the fact that you have decided to get lessons/a teacher is a very wise move (providing he can teach...which, just because they call themselves teachers doesn't make it the case) and I'd talk to your teacher about what they recommend.

As I said, if you feel like you ever hit a dead end, you're welcome to contact me and I'll see what I can do to help! I also mentor for free, and you can learn more about that and contact me through my profile.

Best,

Sean


Thanks for your insight

First lesson is this Tuesday. As you said, a lot of this will depend on if he can teach. Ultimately, my main concern is that he is teaching me to learn guitar, not tabs.