#1
Hey I've been playing guitar around a year now. Mostly just messing around, but I know a few chords and stuff like that. Lately I've been practicing a little each day, mostly messing around looking at note charts, trying to learn notes and such. But I wanted to start taking guitar playing to the next level and actually start creating music. So, my question to the more experienced players here is.. where should I start? Should I start learning music theory, or what? And if so where should I start there? I expect to be a lot of learning before I can actually create my own music.
#2
Yes learn the circle of fifths. Learn the 7 modes. Learn to read music good enough that it will click in your brain like tabs do. Soon enough you will see how amazing of an instrument the guitar really is. You will learn to play every chord from a single hand positions. Learn your triads and arpeggios. But while doing this do not forget to practice your picking techniques your articulation and your left hand techniques remembering slow is smooth and smooth BECOMES fast. Just google some of the things I stated above and you will soon become lost in the world of music theory. Good Luck and enjoy.
#3
You are thinking too much, and in my opinion, expecting to have to learn 'a lot' before you create your own music is going to hold you back.

You know chords right? Play a few of them in an order which sounds good, and bam, you just created music. I understand what you want though, you want a more detailed background of theory so you know what notes sound good together, etc.. etc... That's great that you are eager to learn. But I think its terrible if you think you need to learn a lot to make your own music. You already have what it takes, you can create music now. Music theory is a compliment to guitar, not the answer. You are already a musician.

But, for a start www.musictheory.net will help with theory. Youtube and/or a instructor will help you apply it to the guitar. There you will learn about chord construction, scales, intervals, etc..
Last edited by Kenjisan231 at Apr 14, 2012,
#4
Learn the notes on the fretboard and learn the major scale at the same time. Don't let yourself get stuck into scale shapes or patterns, though I actually like using them as long as you're strict about not getting stuck inside them.

Learn some other basic theory like chord construction and intervals too, and keep learning new chords!

Really learning all this can take a while, so don't be impatient, keep learning them and keep learning new pieces to play. Technique is also an important thing to practice, so find a correct position to sit/stand and keep both hands as relaxed as possible while playing.

When you encounter a difficult passage just practice it slowly for a while, until it's comfortable and then a little faster etc.. If you don't have a metronome, get one and check your timing. Though don't start keeping it on yet, just check the time, turn it off, and stay in rhythm when practicing. And remember musicality.
#5
It's a diatonic scale, which, in short, means that when you write the scale,(Invalid img)
#6
Quote by Rhynotes
Hey I've been playing guitar around a year now. Mostly just messing around, but I know a few chords and stuff like that. Lately I've been practicing a little each day, mostly messing around looking at note charts, trying to learn notes and such. But I wanted to start taking guitar playing to the next level and actually start creating music. So, my question to the more experienced players here is.. where should I start? Should I start learning music theory, or what? And if so where should I start there? I expect to be a lot of learning before I can actually create my own music.

You don't have to learn theory to start writing your own music, you should just experiment with what sounds good. Many great song writers don't know a great deal of theory, but many also do... it'd certainly help.

Are you willing to invest in a book? There's a couple I recommend. If you're the type of person than can go the self taught route, then books are the way to go...
#8
Quote by warriorde52
Yes learn the circle of fifths. Learn the 7 modes. Learn to read music good enough that it will click in your brain like tabs do. Soon enough you will see how amazing of an instrument the guitar really is. You will learn to play every chord from a single hand positions. Learn your triads and arpeggios. But while doing this do not forget to practice your picking techniques your articulation and your left hand techniques remembering slow is smooth and smooth BECOMES fast. Just google some of the things I stated above and you will soon become lost in the world of music theory. Good Luck and enjoy.

Ignore bolded part, that is like building a house on quicksand instead of solid ground. Diatonic theory is what you should be studying if anything. Start with notes on the fretboard, major scale, intervals, chords in different keys, circle of fifths, minor keys & scales, in roughly that order..

Still the very best thing is just to train your ears, music theory is like learning grammar in a foreign language, it's really useful and all, but it just doesn't compare to being exposed to the language a lot (that would be learning songs by ear) so that it becomes second nature.
If you like CCR then that's a really good place to start learning songs by ear, "Have you ever seen the rain" is a great piece to transcribe for beginners and was one of the first songs that I transcribed back in the days. Other easy bands would be ACDC, Offspring, Green Day, and just pretty much anything with simple clean chords or powerchord stuff. Also blues stuff is easy and cool.
You'll Never Walk Alone!
#9
I suggest you get a teacher. If you cant affod it, just try to learn as much as you have time to, from all techniuqe, scales, chords, theory, ear training, sight reading, song learning etc... Also i suggest you start writing music right away. You will learn alot from that aswell, and you dont ned to be a guitar virtuoso to write nice and easy riffs/melodies.
#10
Find a teacher if you can afford it, if not videos or books can help out a lot, and give you a system, otherwise it's easy to just spend a lot of time messing around and not really make as much progress as you could have. Also, playing with other people who are better than you can help out a lot.
If you want to write music it can be helpful to look at other peoples songs and see how they are put together. Also when writing a song don't worry about using a bunch of complex chords, at first, there are plenty of basic 3 chord songs. Then once you have your structure you can make the song more complex.
#11
Thank you for all your replies, I appreciate your suggestions and you guys taking the time to reply in this thread. It has made me rethink my approach to this whole thing a little bit. You have been helpful, thank you.
#12
I'm kind of the ear training nazi on this board, but that's because it's something I neglected for a long, long time, which paid huge dividends for me ... and I've noticed that a lot of inexperienced musicians don't seem to realize that it's something that you can consciously study and improve.

But ear training - rather than theory study - is the key to unlocking your musical creativity.

So ... get Keith Wyatt et al's "Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician" which will, incidentally, teach you a bunch of useful theory. If you want more theory, I like Shroeder's "Harmony and Theory" which works well with the Wyatt Ear Training book. Additional ear training via the functional ear trainer, downloadable for free from Miles.be, will help you, too.
#13
Quote by Rhynotes
Hey I've been playing guitar around a year now. Mostly just messing around, but I know a few chords and stuff like that.


After a year of "Mostly just messing around" I think I'd find a teacher that can help you structure your practice... As has been said, you're making music now, so keep it up...

Theory, while important, doesn't have to be the first thing you learn... It's boring, it's studying and it's work and it's not fun... Learn to practice, keep working on the basics of playing...you'll be learning some theory without even trying...

Just Play

Let the lambasting begin...
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#14
I am piggy backing on the thread starter. I have even less time on guitar but stumbled onto something I think is ok to hear that is original (hell I might record the bit and post it). But I am sort of just tabbing it out so I don't forget it.

But all things considered, you could make music right away, but my thought is that theory education is something to learn and continually learn along side any creative pieces you make.

There isn't a rule that says "stop and learn this before continuing". It's a journey not a race.

I was to the point of almost giving up because I felt there was so much to learn. I have decided I am going to master something (barre chords) and be good at it before taking on a next challenge (master rhythm patterns etc.). All the while I am now learning about intervals and what exactly does I IV V means, etc.

Then a scale or two. Maybe fingerpicking. All the while absorbing theory. I guess I am physically mastering something (fret hand) while mentally improving my theory continuously.