#1
I've recently been trying to take my music and playing more seriously than I have and I have a basic idea of what i can add a song I already know, but I've heard music theory can help me to understand how music works and stuff like that? What's the best way to go about learning this? I've heard the for dummies books are pretty good but I have no idea where to start. Any help?
#2
...The "Music theory for dummies" is actually good, so it can be the right choice to start.
Dealing with theory books you have to keep in mind something, by the way, that is music theory is useful only if you use it.

That is, everytime you learn something, play it. The major scale and its armonization can be explained in a 3 pages .doc, but it's completely useless to pass to the next topic if you haven't tried to play using a major scale yet.

Read a few pages then practice for days what you have just learned.
#3
Thanks for the reply. Is music theory .all about notes and all the different symbols? Because I have literally no use for that
#4
Quote by theianmacphee
Thanks for the reply. Is music theory .all about notes and all the different symbols? Because I have literally no use for that


Clarify what you mean about "notes and the different symbols". If you're talking about reading standard notation, it's useful to know notes in that regard. If you're talking about knowing the notes on the fretboard, that's extremely important. Or am I missing what kinds of notes and symbols you're talking about completely?
#5
Quote by theianmacphee
I've recently been trying to take my music and playing more seriously than I have and I have a basic idea of what i can add a song I already know, but I've heard music theory can help me to understand how music works and stuff like that? What's the best way to go about learning this? I've heard the for dummies books are pretty good but I have no idea where to start. Any help?


Have you ever considered getting a private teacher?

I don't know of any good theory books.

You're absolutely right, I think its a tremendous benefit to understand what is going on with music and then open a number of possibilities for the creative side of things.

Another option, I'll put out there, is that we teach Music Theory for the Guitar online. We don't teach notes and the different symbols (sightreading is not a part of it) It's not free, and I personally think that it's the best way to learn (But its my school so I'm obviously biased)

I also mentor people like yourselves and help provide some direction for those who are studying by themselves and need a little help...and that I do for free.

Kudos for trying to learn! If we can help, drop me a line.

Best,

Sean
#6
Quote by stickfigurekill
Clarify what you mean about "notes and the different symbols". If you're talking about reading standard notation, it's useful to know notes in that regard. If you're talking about knowing the notes on the fretboard, that's extremely important. Or am I missing what kinds of notes and symbols you're talking about completely?

I know where everything is on the fretboard I mean reading music like ill never be in a situation where I have to do that
#7
Quote by Sean0913
Have you ever considered getting a private teacher?

I don't know of any good theory books.

You're absolutely right, I think its a tremendous benefit to understand what is going on with music and then open a number of possibilities for the creative side of things.

Another option, I'll put out there, is that we teach Music Theory for the Guitar online. We don't teach notes and the different symbols (sightreading is not a part of it) It's not free, and I personally think that it's the best way to learn (But its my school so I'm obviously biased)

I also mentor people like yourselves and help provide some direction for those who are studying by themselves and need a little help...and that I do for free.

Kudos for trying to learn! If we can help, drop me a line.

Best,

Sean

Hey man I just went to your link, it says it costs 30 dollars? Doesnt seem free to me...
#8
The AB Guide To Music Theory - Part 1.

Any book you use you should have guidance from a teacher who knows what they're on about for you to ask questions on anything you're stuck on/have a hard time understanding. This could be a private teacher or the music teacher at your school/college, even a respected regular on here if they have the time and are willing to help.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Jul 16, 2011,
#10
Quote by theianmacphee
Thanks for the reply. Is music theory .all about notes and all the different symbols? Because I have literally no use for that


my first bit of advice would be get this idea out of your head. i know people seem to have a phobia (meaning an irrational fear) of this, if you want to take it seriously and learn theory, your going to have to learn notation. not many theory books that's say play the fifth fret and then the other riff. well, not many that are any good.
#11
Quote by theianmacphee
Hey man I just went to your link, it says it costs 30 dollars? Doesnt seem free to me...


Let me help you by reiterating what I said:

"Another option, I'll put out there, is that we teach Music Theory for the Guitar online. We don't teach notes and the different symbols (sightreading is not a part of it) It's not free, and I personally think that it's the best way to learn (But its my school so I'm obviously biased)

I also mentor people like yourselves and help provide some direction for those who are studying by themselves and need a little help...and that I do for free."

Try the second link. As you see, I disclosed that my Academy isn't free.

Mentoring is free. Academy isn't.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jul 16, 2011,
#12
Quote by theianmacphee
I know where everything is on the fretboard I mean reading music like ill never be in a situation where I have to do that


As mentioned by gavk, knowing how to read music will do wonders for you when learning music theory. It might not be something you particularly enjoy, but knowing it will come in handy.
#13
Quote by theianmacphee
I know where everything is on the fretboard I mean reading music like ill never be in a situation where I have to do that


if you want to do anything with music except hitting it big with a band, you're going to need to be able to read. if you ever want to teach music outside of your attic, you're going to know to read.

if you somehow manage to do both of those things for a living, you won't need to read. but i don't need to tell you that the probability is pretty low.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#14
Quote by AeolianWolf
if you want to do anything with music except hitting it big with a band, you're going to need to be able to read. if you ever want to teach music outside of your attic, you're going to know to read.

if you somehow manage to do both of those things for a living, you won't need to read. but i don't need to tell you that the probability is pretty low.


Wow AW, long time since I've posted in a counter argument to anything you've written, and I'm not really arguing anything now, just sharing my perspective as a teacher. And, basically, I'm just interested in your thoughts.

I have long maintained that there are few places where reading music is important for a guitarist, and it's attached to some goals:

1. If you plan on going into music school
2. If you plan on studying Classical Guitar or Jazz or becoming a Session Musician for pay.
3. If you plan on composing using a program using notation
4. If it's personally meaningful to you.

Am I wrong on this? I can sight read, but I never use it. I can and have taught it but I see its value for guitar as questionable in most cases, especially considering the time it takes to become good at it.

Your thoughts?

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jul 16, 2011,
#15
Quote by Sean0913
Let me help you by reiterating what I said:

"Another option, I'll put out there, is that we teach Music Theory for the Guitar online. We don't teach notes and the different symbols (sightreading is not a part of it) It's not free, and I personally think that it's the best way to learn (But its my school so I'm obviously biased)

I also mentor people like yourselves and help provide some direction for those who are studying by themselves and need a little help...and that I do for free."

Try the second link. As you see, I disclosed that my Academy isn't free.

Mentoring is free. Academy isn't.

Best,

Sean

Sorry about that sir that was wishful thinking on my part.
#17
Quote by Sean0913
Wow AW, long time since I've posted in a counter argument to anything you've written, and I'm not really arguing anything now, just sharing my perspective as a teacher. And, basically, I'm just interested in your thoughts.

I have long maintained that there are few places where reading music is important for a guitarist, and it's attached to some goals:

1. If you plan on going into music school
2. If you plan on studying Classical Guitar or Jazz or becoming a Session Musician for pay.
3. If you plan on composing using a program using notation
4. If it's personally meaningful to you.

Am I wrong on this? I can sight read, but I never use it. I can and have taught it but I see its value for guitar as questionable in most cases, especially considering the time it takes to become good at it.

Your thoughts?

Sean


my thoughts aren't too different from yours -- but in all other cases aside from the two i gave, sight reading only has benefits. especially for all the people who want to play as a session guitarist -- a session guitarist who can't sight read is like a restaurateur who can't cook. the business won't stay open for long, if you know what i mean.

i think guitarists who want to pursue a career in music absolutely need to know to read (even if not at sight), because otherwise they don't know music as whole -- they only know guitar (or any other instrument they may play). knowing to read opens up doors to viewing music as holistically and diversely as possible -- and (let's be real here) -- if you only know one (or two) genre(s), you're basically just a one (or two) trick pony.

i do agree, however, that sight-reading isn't that useful of a skill when weighed against the time cost required to get good at it.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#18
i agree that theory will help u but dont u like to leave a bit of mystery there,id hate to know what every note is gonna sound like b4 i play it.
#19
Quote by austhrax
i agree that theory will help u but dont u like to leave a bit of mystery there,id hate to know what every note is gonna sound like b4 i play it.


that doesnt make sense to me
#20
Quote by chud123
that doesnt make sense to me


in other words id hate to know what every note and chord would sound like b4 a i play it,might work for some but i would find that very boring.
#21
Quote by austhrax
in other words id hate to know what every note and chord would sound like b4 a i play it,might work for some but i would find that very boring.


is that the excuse you use not to train your ear? that'd be like an artist who refuses to look at his palette while painting -- just picking random colors and paying attention only to the canvas. i'll level with you (primarily because i do enjoy good abstract art) -- you can probably get one or two really good works like this, but you won't get much further than that. of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

and don't even get me started on improvisation.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.