#1
Hi All,

Long post, a bit whining, but very important to me…..

Need some serious help. Over the years, and in periods, I’ve tried to learn how to play guitar. Alone or whith different teachers. (My sloppy parents never put me to music school as a kid, though). I've done this, admittedly, not too seriously, not for very long periods at a time. And so far this has been very frustrating. It always focused on learning to play different songs, which I to some extent have managed to do. And somehow I was expected to learn “music” in the process. But – to me this has rather been like learning to recite 16 different Chineese poems by heart. Without understanding one single word of Chineese, and then being expected to “know = speak” Chineese. I can (or could, rather) play a number of songs, but only do just that – over and over in the exact same way – BUT NOTHING ELSE. This is not “knowing music” to me. Maybe I don’t just have the musical talent to - by myself - convert this knowing of songs to the ability to understand, perform and create (= improvise) other musical pieces.

And – I do not sing. Can’t take one tone in correct pitch. Never could….

What I do is listen to and love music. I’m perfectly able to hear songs I’ve heard before "in my head", I can – and do – follow melodies and harmony changes in a tune when I listen to it. I know what will come in the next bar and the next again (i.e. how it will “sound”, not what chord or note&hellip. And I LOVE music.

So I’m now very much motivated to put some serious time and effort into learning to play, but I’m also very frustrated and doubtful ‘bout my own ability to succeed. It’s like I think “It’s no point. This is not for me. I just don’t have the ability…”

Now – finally – to my question.

Can someone give me a hint on what I need to learn, and in what order.

I realize that I obviousely must:

- Learn to find my way around the fretboard. Which notes are located where… (Tab is one thing I do know)
- Learn the scales (pentatonics and others). All 5 boxes in all keys (but, are some keys more relevant than others for e.g. blues, rock….?)
- Learn the cirle of fifths and how to transpose
- Learn chords and chord changes
- Learn harmony
- Learn rhythmic patterns
- Develop my ear traing
-
-

I have just started to work through a DVD based course by David Taube: “Next Level Guitar”, and it seems to have some structure to it and is reasonably pedagogic. 12 DVD’s in all.

But – can some of you good people give me some advice on how to best proceed. Maybe give me a hint on some good internet based schools, books, etc. I’m not afraid of theoretical studies, on the contrary I like to know why (not only how) this or that should be done. I'm into blues and classic rock, and focused on electric guitar.

Or – should I just forget about the whole thing, sell guitars and amps and start collecting stamps instead….?????


Most thankful for any help!


__________________
Peter
Sweden
#2
First step to becoming a real musician. Forget everything you THINK you need to be a real musician. You're putting limits on yourself that no one will enforce except for you.

Devin Townsend - Not a word of theory
Jimi Hendrix - Limited theory knowledge if any
James Hetfield - Many will claim he does know theory, but it's only what he's picked up through playing and what Cliff taught him

These guys didn't need theory to write amazing music. They just wrote what sounded good to them.

The theory should come after the song in my opinion. Theory can explain what you've done but the sound in your head should be what writes it.

So stop thinking about what you're "lacking" and just do it man. If you try and "learn" music you'll never get anywhere or if you do you'll end up writing music on a technical level but not on an emotional level. Which to me, is kinda the whole point, unless you want to be a wanky shred guitarist.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Nov 21, 2011,
#3
ok, serious stuff here.

well, one thing i learned about scales is: you don't have to learn them in every key.
for some reason i learned all the notes on the fretboard first (without sharps and flats, just the notes).
which is actually quite nice, because when you know all the "normal" notes on the fretboard - you know how to play c major and a minor.
apart from that i learned the circle of fifths and the circle of fourths (which is NOT the same :P)
a combination of this knowledge will provide you with all the common scales you need to know.
after that i learned the modes and how they work, which is actually pretty easy once you figured it out.
hint: try looking through the lessons here, there are a few good ones.
once you're done with that, you can learn the other "usual" scales, like harmonic/melodic minor and so on.
if this still doesn't satisfy you: there a LOTS of exotic scales out there

well, this is for the theory part.

the second (actually the more important part): ear training.
you CAN (!!) try to learn all the intervalls one at a time, which lots of ppl do.
i did it simple by learning songs by ear, without using any tabs.
at first it was quite frustrating, but after a while, you'll get used to it.
actually this really helped my playing, so i could figure out the melodies whithin my head just by knowing how they should sound.

not a wall of text here, but i hope i could help.
What?
#4
Quote by ChemicalFire

Jimi Hendrix - Limited theory knowledge if any


going OT here:

according to many top guitarists, hendrix knew very much about theory.
but somehow it always "falls under the table" because he was playing so much "from his heart"
no one ever said you can't have music theory in your heart
What?
#5
Quote by jesus3000
going OT here:

according to many top guitarists, hendrix knew very much about theory.
but somehow it always "falls under the table" because he was playing so much "from his heart"
no one ever said you can't have music theory in your heart


This is true, I think the main point of my post is that it shouldn't be the main focus of your song writing, I find a lot of younger musicians concentrate to much on learning how to play at a millions miles an hour and all the notes in the Lydian Mode in all keys and forget to actually write songs.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#6
Quote by ChemicalFire
This is true, I think the main point of my post is that it shouldn't be the main focus of your song writing, I find a lot of younger musicians concentrate to much on learning how to play at a millions miles an hour and all the notes in the Lydian Mode in all keys and forget to actually write songs.



absolutly agree with you here.
one thing my guitar teacher told me:
when he was young he learned all songs by ear, cuz there was nothing like tab books or internet.
as far as he told me, it really helped him with his ear training.

when i tried this for myself, it turned out: he was right :P
What?
#7
Quote by ChemicalFire
This is true, I think the main point of my post is that it shouldn't be the main focus of your song writing, I find a lot of younger musicians concentrate to much on learning how to play at a millions miles an hour and all the notes in the Lydian Mode in all keys and forget to actually write songs.


To be fair, shredding a scale in a useless mode is not the same as not knowing any theory.
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#8
Quote by Reisgar42
To be fair, shredding a scale in a useless mode is not the same as not knowing any theory.



of course it isn't.

consider this: when you want to learn how to cook. what would you do?
1. study lots of cookbooks without even going into the kitchen
2. go into the kitchen, mix stuff together and hope it works
3. go into the kitchen WITH a cookbook and cook with the help of the book

all of these three options are OK.
but i guess i'm not the only one thinking that option 3. is obviously the best.
What?
#9
Theory is just another tool in the large toolbox that is a musician, remember its how well you use those tools not how many you have. That said some tools are more important that others,(personally) if I had to say ear training and knowing your fret-board is probably the most essential skills to have from the list you gave.

Guitar is all about how much time and effort you put in, it doesn't matter if your a genius or a slow learner. Even a genius guitar player will come off as average at best if he only practices an hour or 2 a week.

Then again I'm still a scrub so I would defer to the more wised players
#11
Freepower gives excellent advice.

Find a instructor that teaches music, not one that teaches songs, then it is up to you to concetrate your efforts on following up on what your taught and always ask questions if your unsure.

A good teacher makes a world of difference.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#12
Discipline yourself :P and me methodic.

What i mean by it: Practice everyday and divide your learning into sections according to your goals, i would definetly set aside at least 30 minutes a day for music theory, then try to combine it with excercises in your practice schedule that let you apply your knowledge.. if you feel overwhelmed by this, it is indeed a good idea to get a teacher that makes a practice routine for you, consistency and a strategy are the key for smooth progress.

Good luck
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#14
Why advold learning theory , the knowledge of knowing what you ate doing will only benefit your playing, try learning the RGT grades.

I played for 12 years not knowing much, a few pentatonics chords etc. I took my guitaring seriously 5 years ago. I brought grade one... Took my grade 8 a year later,my guitar playing went through the roof. It changed my outlook.

Honesty it's worth putting in that hard work

Kev
#15
If you try and "learn" music you'll never get anywhere or if you do you'll end up writing music on a technical level but not on an emotional level. Which to me, is kinda the whole point, unless you want to be a wanky shred guitarist.
#16
Hey Peter,
I would first of all - find out what your goals are. Do you want to be a jazz musician, songwriter, rock musician, classical player...? You have to be clear on what you want first. Without a clear goal in mind (even if that might change along the way) you will wander around aimlessly lost in mountains of things to study and all possibly multi-lifetime occupations...
When you have an idea where you want to go, I deeply recommend getting a really, really good teacher, because such a person can save your years of frustration. A good teacher will guide you according where you are right now and - make adjustments along the way - especially in times of a mental crisis (brick walls etc...), which every constantly practicing, recording, expanding musician will meet.
Don´t just look at the price when you look for a teacher, I would find ways to finance it in some way - but get the best you can get!
You can learn stuff on your own sure, but not in a planned, designed way that will lead to your goal as fast a possible.
Chances are high that you take bits from Youtube and other pages, learn this and learn that, but seeing no point and connection between everything you learn and...quit because you´re not satisfied with the progress you´re making.

Best wishes,

Derk

Derk