It's difficult for me trying to learn guitar and theory by myself, but its not that I dont have the time and dedication to practice, in fact im extremely stoked every time I study and learn guitar stuff..

My problem is that with so numerous things to study, I don't know where to start especially without a guide or a teacher, and it drives me furious and shit.

Soo I need help by giving out a list of theory/techniques that is important for a guitarist to study(better if it's in order, I want to start exactly where its supposed to start because its better if I polish my basics first).

also, not to sound arrognt but please dont answer philosphy stuff like "just play and it will eventually come to you" or "be like water my friend" stuff, I searched the internet and I always find these kinds of answers, i know that those tips are helpful but its just that I want the SPECIFIC topics to learn for now.

Sorry for the long post, anyways thanks in advance
Start learning the blues. i.e Pentatonic scales, 7th chords, 1 4 5's. These ideas will give you a firm basis in theory
Learn the major scale, pentatonic scale(these types of thigns are really great for finger strength etc, theyre practical but meh..), by 1 4 5 he means like C F G chords... learn the major/minor/7th chords and learn how they are numbered, etc etc (if your just starting guitar, just learning the basic chords, and getting them under you will take you at least a month).

if you're just starting out, like <2 months into it, get Learn and Master guitar, - steve krenz book by hal leonard, it has enough stuff in it to keep you busy for a year, and theyre good excersizes - it will be boring so youll have to find easy songs on here to keep you interested, but theyre good exercises and it will give you a nice intro to guitar because it covers quite a bit of ground...

just what you learn in the first 2-3 months you will be able to play 1000 songs, because most songs are just simple chords. After that it gets alot more complicated..

BY the way, if you intend on continuing to play for a long time, you might consider after learning the major scale, playing tunes that you already know. It will sound dumb but i wish i had done it a year ago, just working out stupid tunes like mary had a little lamb, and row row row your boat.. theres a few hundred melodys everybody knows because they grew up and sang them at christmas or at school or wherever, When i started this playing by ear crap(ive made little progress, but less than i wan) I was amazed when i looked into nursery rhymes, christmas songs, and corny 80's vocal melodies. Its insane how much stupid music you can retain because lyrics are catchy.. But it will be a good headstart for you to start now, even shit like kumbaya takes me 30 seconds to figure out and its an incredibly simple song. It sounds stupid, and its pretty boring and tiresome even working out nursery rhymes, but its helping me alot to turn the way i hum and sing and think about music( because im not a great singer ) into playing it on the guitar. And if you play for long enough sooner or later youll get fed up because the songs you want arnt tabbed out, or theyre tabbed in chord instead of in fingerstyle etc etc.
Last edited by blunderwonder at Apr 4, 2012,
Read these.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Here's the problem:

What you should learn depends on what sort of music inspires you. eg, if you're a classical musician, you need to spend a lot of time on right-hand stuff. A metaller needs to spend time differently than a blues musician than a solo acoustic player.

If you can't afford a teacher and are serious about guitar, then I strongly recommend some sort of course of structured learning. You could go through all the lessons at JustinGuitar.com, which is a good place for beginners. If some of that is too basic for you, you could try one of the pay-for-lessons sites like Jamplay, which are a really good value ($20-ish a month for as many lessons as you can squeeze in) or a comprehensive technique course book like the Hal leonard one.
Be like water, my friend.

It may sound unconventional, but instead of learning the theory to improve your music playing, use music playing to improve your theory. Pick out cool or unusual sounds in music you listen to or play for fun and investigate the theory behind that.

You may need an instructor to help you with the investigating part, but IMO this is a great way to learn theory while keeping the musical applications in the forefront of your mind. Don't just blindly memorize chords and scales and then go, "So I've memorized these doodads. What do I do with them?"

Instead, pick out specific chords and riffs. When you come across something that makes you go "Woah, that sounds awesome! I wonder what it's called?" Then dive into the theory. You don't want to approach learning theory as memorizing what intervals are in the Gbdim#9aug7 chord.
I can't wait till my fro is full grown.
Fortunately I was aware of the hazards of self-learning. I prefer going for guitar classes as instrumentals are not that easy.
Quote by FishStik
You don't want to approach learning theory as memorizing what intervals are in the Gbdim#9aug7 chord.

Gb Bbb Dbb A.....F#? That's redundant to a Gb, and pointless.

How would you suggest an aug 7th? Or were you making up a chord that doesn't exist?

What people seem to miss in these kinds of things is that knowledge and understanding what's going on is empowering if you tie that in to applying it when you learn a piece or study something, and see/understand the big picture, as FishStik well said above, and I agree with most of what he's said. You have to apply what you learn. Those who say you can't write with theory are brain dead. There I said it.

I can write with theory all day because I know what can work, as opposed to looking at a progression or idea and saying "hmmm, what goes here?". What's it like to be able to look at something and most of the time follow what's going on? Pretty damn great.

I have more options than you do because I understand theory, (if you don't). I've long said, just as a starting point on any key I can play with 13 chords just at the triad level. Theory doesn't write the songs, I do, but knowing theory, I can take a song idea and spice it up if needed.

By the same token, just because you know some theory doesn't mean to throw every trick in the book at at just because you (not you as in FishStik, but generically speaking if you don't know theory) can.


Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 10, 2012,
Quote by Sean0913
Gb Bbb Dbb A.....F#? That's redundant to a Gb, and pointless.

How would you suggest an aug 7th? Or were you making up a chord that doesn't exist?
I was worried about sticking that bit in there. Twas a joke.
I can't wait till my fro is full grown.