#1
can you learn guitar by playing only songs and dont use books and lessons???
#2
Yes, but you will be a much worse guitarist for it.

From a practice standpoint, learning songs lets you see how various techniques are used in a musical context. However, you won't learn techniques by playing songs (though they are, in my mind, the best way to practice the various techniques the you learn).

If you want to learn but don't have a whole lot of money, there are a number of really good online resources. Freepower, one of the old timers on here, has some excellent videos on youtube about basic technique and theory. Justin Sandercore has a webpage (justinguitar.com) which covers a wide variety of basic techniques as well. Both of those are excellent resources which are completely free of charge and I highly recommend looking into at least that, if not looking at getting an instructor sometime down the road.
#3
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#4
Yes, and you will be a much better musician for it.

All the books and theory in the world will not develop your ear. Working out songs from the CD will. It is the hardest way to learn, but the best way to learn.

That is how all the great guitarists did it.

Once you have developed your ear and can work out songs yourself, then a few basic theory lessons will suffice.

At the end of the day, you will not entertain people with theory, only by playing music to them. You can play other people's music to them without any theory, and you only need a little bit to write your own music.
#5
Quote by deano_l
Yes, and you will be a much better musician for it.

All the books and theory in the world will not develop your ear. Working out songs from the CD will. It is the hardest way to learn, but the best way to learn.

That is how all the great guitarists did it.

Once you have developed your ear and can work out songs yourself, then a few basic theory lessons will suffice.

At the end of the day, you will not entertain people with theory, only by playing music to them. You can play other people's music to them without any theory, and you only need a little bit to write your own music.


Simply playing the guitar (or any musical instrument for that matter) and listening to what you're playing develops your ear.

Anyone who makes a statement like "this is how ALL the great guitarists did it" doesn't know what they're talking about right off the bat.

Sure, you can listen to music and ear it out to develop your abilities just doing that but THEORY is the real way to actually understand music and how it is constructed. It really does supplement your learning and you'll find it easier to figure out songs with some decent theory knowledge as well. You'll also be able to take more from what you figure out as well if you analyze it with some decent knowledge of theory.
Quote by Jesus
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#6
Quote by deano_l
Yes, and you will be a much better musician for it.

All the books and theory in the world will not develop your ear. Working out songs from the CD will. It is the hardest way to learn, but the best way to learn.

That is how all the great guitarists did it.

Once you have developed your ear and can work out songs yourself, then a few basic theory lessons will suffice.

At the end of the day, you will not entertain people with theory, only by playing music to them. You can play other people's music to them without any theory, and you only need a little bit to write your own music.




Noob.
#7
the most important thing that you can have (other than rhythm, but that has been covered) is a GOOD EAR. Music is sound!
learn your chords, but not only how they are played, but how they sound! Sing the intervals, really integrate them into your head. Most people don't have perfect pitch, and it sucks, but relative pitch, when it's fine tuned, is just as good if not better.
With a good ear AND knowledge of theory, you will be able to write from your mind, without even having a guitar (or any other instrument) with you. Instead of just dickin' around on your guitar until you find something, you will be able to compose from your mind. Sitting on the train, in school with some free time, etc. are the places where i write all my stuff. And it all comes from being able to hear the way the chords and melody work together in your head.
Master these 3 things if you truly want to be a guitarist:
Spirit: this is your ear/musical sense. When this is mastered, you should be able to play the guitar without having one on you (as in, know what every note/chord with sound like before you even play it on the thing)
Mind: This is your knowledge of music theory. Learn theory! you will be much better if you learn it inside and out, trust me.
Body: This is your technical ability. I feel that a lot of guitarists just strive for this and ignore the other 2, but they are all important.
Mastering these 3 things will give you perfect harmony with your instrument (pun!)
#8
Quote by deano_l
Yes, and you will be a much better musician for it.

All the books and theory in the world will not develop your ear. Working out songs from the CD will. It is the hardest way to learn, but the best way to learn.

That is how all the great guitarists did it.

Once you have developed your ear and can work out songs yourself, then a few basic theory lessons will suffice.

At the end of the day, you will not entertain people with theory, only by playing music to them. You can play other people's music to them without any theory, and you only need a little bit to write your own music.

This is all kinds of wrong, man.

There is a lot to be said for training your ear, but it's not the be-all, end-all of learning. The best way to learn an instrument (any instrument, mind you) is to have an instructor who you can sit down with and make a syllabus of what you want to learn, what goals you have as a student, and how the instructor plans to help you get there. That includes learning technique, theory, ear training, and how to actually play songs (that's what people like to hear, I'm told .

If you look at a lot of the old "greats" like Clapton and Page, you'll notice that they have a lot of gaps in their playing and generally have one "sound" or style (that's not saying they sound bad, just that they're limited in what they can play). Looking popular modern guitarists like Jeff Bonomassa and John Mayer, anyone could tell you that they've clearly gotten instruction of some variety besides just sitting down with a CD player and a guitar. Their playing is a lot cleaner and they incorporate more advanced musical ideas while still maintaining an easily digestible format.
#9
Not a "noob" I'm afraid. 30 years of playing and I stand by what I said.

The "theory" that anyone really needs could be taught in a few hours. The hard thing is learning to play the instrument and to entertain people.

Still I guess the ones who think I'm wrong are struggling themselves to work out parts by ear. It is hard, but just keep practising and you'll get there, then you will see I'm right.
#10
Their playing is a lot cleaner and they incorporate more advanced musical ideas while still maintaining an easily digestible format.


So they have practiced a lot and listened to a lot of other very talented musicians. Nothing in the quote above indicates they have ever had formal theory lessons.

Just listen to others, and play the damned thing until you see blood. Let it heal, then do it again. Slowly and carefully. That's the way to play cleanly and become advanced
#11
Quote by deano_l
Not a "noob" I'm afraid. 30 years of playing and I stand by what I said.

The "theory" that anyone really needs could be taught in a few hours. The hard thing is learning to play the instrument and to entertain people.

Still I guess the ones who think I'm wrong are struggling themselves to work out parts by ear. It is hard, but just keep practising and you'll get there, then you will see I'm right.


By learning theory it makes learning stuff by ear 10x easier, allows you to really explore what sounds good and why much more effortlessly and will make you improve not only as a guitarist but as a musician MUCH quicker.

If you've really been learning for 30 years then if you'd learnt theory youd be twice as good a guitarist as you currently are and TBH if it only takes a few hours to teach the important parts of theory (which it doesnt, how would you know, you dont know theory) then you are just lazy and releuctant to get better as a musicisian. You should stop making a fool of yourself because you're just condradicting yourself.

I agree that learning some elements of theory is pointless and fills your brain for no reason but i lot of it is very helpful.

BTW, all songs i learn are by ear and to be quite frank i rarely have any trouble with it at all.
#12
look guys.i start guitar 3 months ago.i didnt read a book.i just learn songs from youtube.now i have bought a book for beginners.i realize that i have learned most of the book theory before by playing songs.
#13
Quote by deano_l
So they have practiced a lot and listened to a lot of other very talented musicians. Nothing in the quote above indicates they have ever had formal theory lessons.

Just listen to others, and play the damned thing until you see blood. Let it heal, then do it again. Slowly and carefully. That's the way to play cleanly and become advanced


Actually John Mayer learned at Berklee, a world renowned music college, don't even suggest that they don't teach theory.

Joe Bonamassa was taught by danny gatton and learned country and jazz. what're the chances that he learned jazz without learning theory. not a chance at all.

And its not only blues players - what about steve vai, joe satriani and yngwie malmsteen? are you gonna tell me that they dont know theory?

TBH, all of the greats from the 60s and 70s were pretty poor players as well. If they didnt know theory and couldnt play well its obvious that they were wuite simply "born genius". Unfortunately, im not a born genius and neither are you.
#14
Quote by pankar94
look guys.i start guitar 3 months ago.i didnt read a book.i just learn songs from youtube.now i have bought a book for beginners.i realize that i have learned most of the book before by playing songs.


So you obviously picked a book that is too easy for you. and anyway, beginners books only focus on really basic technique. If you get a teacher i promise that he will immediatly fix 10 thing that you didnt realise you were doing wrong. its like that with everyone.
#15
Quote by deano_l
Not a "noob" I'm afraid. 30 years of playing and I stand by what I said.


yes, and look how famous you after such extended experience. maybe the fact that you're old and stubborn ties into that. oh, and don't let the term "noob" fool you; you could play for a lifetime and still have a narrow-mind which impedes progress greatly -- it has nothing to do with quantity and everything to do with quality.

the ones who think you're wrong (myself included) don't have any problems working things out by ear. particularly those of us with perfect pitch. and we still know our theory, and on a profound level.

Quote by TheDuckMajor
I agree that learning some elements of theory is pointless and fills your brain for no reason but i lot of it is very helpful.


the only theory that is pointless is the theory that is misunderstood. if you think something is pointless, you don't really understand it.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#16
You know, if you think about it there are lots of things which would qualify as music theory. According to Wikipedia, "music theory is the study of how music works" and in reality much of the "noodling" people do could be considered "studying how music works". I think the misunderstanding in this thread is because you can think of theory in different ways. You have the purely intellectual approach (studying) and the hands-on approach (playing); the two go hand in hand.

Just like in any real-life situation, success is a mixture of the two. I've never been in a situation where having a plan or at least some intellectual understanding of what was going on wouldn't be helpful. At the same time, I also have never been in a situation where having some hands-on experience and having a "feel" for things wasn't helpful.

Studying things is what gives you the ideas to actually apply in a practical way. Listening intently to a CD is no different, although it is less linear and not as direct as the "booklearnings" to be had.
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#17
Quote by JimDawson
Just like in any real-life situation, success is a mixture of the two.


</thread>
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#18
Quote by TheDuckMajor
Actually John Mayer learned at Berklee, a world renowned music college, don't even suggest that they don't teach theory.

Joe Bonamassa was taught by danny gatton and learned country and jazz. what're the chances that he learned jazz without learning theory. not a chance at all.

And its not only blues players - what about steve vai, joe satriani and yngwie malmsteen? are you gonna tell me that they dont know theory?

TBH, all of the greats from the 60s and 70s were pretty poor players as well. If they didnt know theory and couldnt play well its obvious that they were wuite simply "born genius". Unfortunately, im not a born genius and neither are you.

Boom! Headshot!

look guys.i start guitar 3 months ago.i didnt read a book.i just learn songs from youtube.now i have bought a book for beginners.i realize that i have learned most of the book theory before by playing songs.

Buy another book that has more difficult material, then, or get an instructor. Like I said, you can learn to play just by listening and figuring stuff out by ear, but having an instructor or instructional materials of some variety or another will help you greatly, especially when you're looking at more complicated music. The two resources I suggested earlier are the best you can do besides getting an actual teacher.
#19
I've seen at least 1000 of these threads already, so i'm not gonna even think of posting the same response for a 1000th time.
#20
If you only learn songs, then you're not able to apply musical concepts from one song to the next, because you're not learning them.

Playing songs does not develop your ear. Ear-training develops your ear. This can be a part of learning songs.

Do you need to be able to play songs? Yes. Do you need to understand what you're playing? If you want to be a musician, and not just a hack, then yes.

Any great guitarist (not just famous), but any guitarist worth a damn understands what they're playing.
#21
If you were planning on moving to another country that speaks a different language you could either...

a) Just go there and try to pick it up. This will probably take a long time and your vocab would be limited to that of the people you converse with.

b) You could study the language first. You would learn a lot quicker, more correctly and have a larger vocab. You'd understand why you say things as well as how.

c) You could move there straight away and study whilst practising in conversations. This would probably be the quickest and most fun way to learn it.

Music is a language too..........
#22
Quote by SpiderM
If you were planning on moving to another country that speaks a different language you could either...

a) Just go there and try to pick it up. This will probably take a long time and your vocab would be limited to that of the people you converse with.

b) You could study the language first. You would learn a lot quicker, more correctly and have a larger vocab. You'd understand why you say things as well as how.

c) You could move there straight away and study whilst practising in conversations. This would probably be the quickest and most fun way to learn it.

Music is a language too..........


Seriously? B is by far the slowest way to learn a language and there really isn't much difference between A and C.
#23
I'm not actually sure what the metaphor is supposed to mean. If you literally transpose that advice to music, you'll develop a ton of bad habits. If you just get a decent instructor and/or take advantage of online resources here and at sites like justinguitar.com, you can ignore any pretenses of metaphor and just get to playing.
#24
Quote by Geldin
This is all kinds of wrong, man.

There is a lot to be said for training your ear, but it's not the be-all, end-all of learning. The best way to learn an instrument (any instrument, mind you) is to have an instructor who you can sit down with and make a syllabus of what you want to learn, what goals you have as a student, and how the instructor plans to help you get there. That includes learning technique, theory, ear training, and how to actually play songs (that's what people like to hear, I'm told .

If you look at a lot of the old "greats" like Clapton and Page, you'll notice that they have a lot of gaps in their playing and generally have one "sound" or style (that's not saying they sound bad, just that they're limited in what they can play). Looking popular modern guitarists like Jeff Bonomassa and John Mayer, anyone could tell you that they've clearly gotten instruction of some variety besides just sitting down with a CD player and a guitar. Their playing is a lot cleaner and they incorporate more advanced musical ideas while still maintaining an easily digestible format.


I have to agree with Geldin. Unless you are one of those lucky people for who playing an instrument comes easily and naturally, you need to attack it from many different directions. That means a balance of learning by ear, theory and exercises. You'll be a more rounded player for it and ultimately enjoy it more as you'll find yourself progressing. I spent about the first five years just trying to learn from records and in the end got stuck. Having some lessons and reading some books got me out of that rut.