Hi. I've been playing guitar for a while but I was never serious about learning the theory and understanding the songs that I was covering. I want to learn those types of things now. The internet is packed with lessons and explantions on this and that concerning guitar theory and how it is applied but I have no idea where to start or what the logical thing is for me to learn right now. I have even checked out the FAQ threads on this forum but I can't seem to figure it out.

I know that music is based off the major scale. Right now, I'm busy trying to learn the positions of the major scale so that I can use the full range of the neck of my guitar. So far, that's going pretty good, but playing the major scale on a backing track in G major, for example, gets pretty boring and it all sounds more or less the same. I also know how to play the pentatonic scale, but only in one position on the neck.

What should I learn next to improve my playing?
Reading through all the scales helped me out a lot, and I recently got a copy of the Guitar Grimoire as a gift and I love flipping through it. Get a few books on the matter and really dig in. One thing that has opened my eyes is not limiting myself to using just one scale and one key. Just experiment with different things.
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Have a look at our guitar Academy in the link below, or contact me through this site. I can't tell you if this is the EXACT next thing that you should be doing, but it may be an option that is worth considering. We specialize in the areas of music theory, advanced fretboard navigation, and improvisation applied for the guitar, and have helped many here in similar situations to your own.

I'd have to discuss with you your personal goals and get a better overall picture of what you are lacking to make a firm recommendation, based around your goals.

If you really are on the self taught road to theory, don't learn positions on the guitar - that is backwards thinking. Instead, learn to SPELL every major scale out (you are right, the major scale IS the backbone of theory, so I agree there) and then, learn the notes on your neck in real time. How can you apply theory to the guitar if you cannot even say, play or instantly find the notes on the neck?

Can you imagine if I asked you to play a G Minor 9 arpeggio (or maybe even play the 9th in a G minor situation), for an approach note or to add a tension melody opener via chord tone soloing or whatever, and you didn't know where the note was? Knowing theory is only part of it, if you cannot apply it to the guitar, you'll be working sideways towards your goals, because it takes you 10 seconds to work out where the note is. Does that make sense?

That's why we start every prospective student out by helping them master finding the Notes on the Neck of the guitar INSTANTLY, because if you seriously want to know how to apply things to the guitar, it all starts there. There are no shortcuts.


Last edited by Sean0913 at Feb 9, 2012,