D.R.22
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
498 IQ
#1
Hi guys I really want to learn guitar and music theory because I think it is essential in order to play and write music. I was wondering if there are any really good videos, e-books, books or anything that would help me learn on my own or you would strongly recommend a teacher?
J-Dawg158
UG's Resident Dhampyr
Join date: Nov 2008
154 IQ
#2
I learned a lot from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Music-Theory-Book-understanding/dp/1440511829

It's not guitar specific, but it does teach a lot of the core principles of music theory in an understandable way.

There is also www.musictheory.net which is good.

Honestly though it's kind of hard to beat a good teacher, and by "good teacher" I mean not just some young hot-shot shred head(unless that's what you want to be like), but a really knowledgable and well-rounded player that can easily explain things.
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steven seagull
not really a seagull
Join date: Oct 2006
1,064 IQ
#3
theory isnt't a technique - moved to MT
Actually called Mark!

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TheNameOfNoone
Buckethead's Right Hand
Join date: Mar 2011
2,144 IQ
#4
I learned most of my music theory in Guitar Pro. I even learned to read sheet music.
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D.R.22
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
498 IQ
#5
Thanks for the replies & how did you learn with guitar pro? I have watched a couple of Lick Library videos and they are quite helpful!
TheNameOfNoone
Buckethead's Right Hand
Join date: Mar 2011
2,144 IQ
#6
My mistake, not "most of my music theory", I meant to write "basic music theory".
Over time of learning songs, licks and solos in GP I started to notice some patterns in the solos, and that's how I learned my first scale. Guitar Pro also has many scales tabbed on the whole neck, and you can transcribe tabs into sheet music and vice versa.

...yeah, I forgot to mention, my music theory knowledge sucks.
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HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#7
I'm a big fan of Shroeder and Wyatt's "Harmony and Theory."

Combine that with ear training and "The Guitar Fretboard Workbook" and you'll have a really solid foundation.
macashmack
Maskcashmack
Join date: May 2011
3,359 IQ
#8
Learn to read and write standard notation, and transcribe a ton of songs without any instrument.

I've been trying to do this lately, and i can tell you, It's so ****ing hard but i know when i can do it easily, i have reached a level and gained a skill that not even most musicians have, and then i can transcend all boundaries that currently exist in my musical adventure.
guitluv1
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
10 IQ
#9
Some very very basic theory knowledge can help you immensely. Especially if you are mostly a rock or blues player. Those styles require very basic theory knowledge for the most part. Of course rock especially is quite a broad genre with a lot of advanced areas. You can find that basic knowledge on virtually every guitar site in the world, including this one.
Sean0913
Music Theory Life-Hacker
Join date: Dec 2009
813 IQ
#10
Quote by D.R.22
Hi guys I really want to learn guitar and music theory because I think it is essential in order to play and write music. I was wondering if there are any really good videos, e-books, books or anything that would help me learn on my own or you would strongly recommend a teacher?


Hey,

First of all, kudos for wanting to get out there and learn and understand theory. We teach that, and if our link can help, or I can answer any questions, please let me know.

That all said, I want to be fair about something that you said.

Guitar theory is NOT essential to play and write music. Many players learn by just playing and exploring pitch collections, and then using their ear and what sounds "good" to them, are able to write wonderful music.

I was watching a clinic by Guthrie Govan in which he explained that at first he just played what sounded good, and then later learned what scale it was, and later after, learned the theory behind it.

He made a wonderful point when he said, that doing this allowed him to explore the sounds and do as he wished, before the theory "boxed" him in, and so that when you learn theory, its important that you go out and play with it and apply it and try it all different ways.

Theory CAN show you more doors than you might have otherwise found on your own, but its up to you to explore those. For example, theory tells me how a lot of times when I'm in a diatonic jam with someone and I wanna liven it up a bit that I can throw in a bVII, or turn it modal on them, by vamping intentionally over their "major scale leads" a short modal loop, and temporarily twist their tonal center around, like in C superimposing a G Mixo vamp, and have 'em sounding like Emerson Lake and Palmer. Fun stuff.

Like "dude...how did you all of a sudden start sounding so dark and exotic???" (while I'm cheekily twisting their progression to Phrygian)

By the way, MT I know I used the word "modal", but trust me I'm a professional...I know what I'm doing!

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Oct 11, 2012,
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#11
Quote by Sean0913

Guitar theory is NOT essential to play and write music. Many players learn by just playing and exploring pitch collections, and then using their ear and what sounds "good" to them, are able to write wonderful music.


One trap here:

If you're going to focus on learning "by ear" make sure you actually have a good, well-trained ear.

(Warning: for many musicians, training your ear is a lot harder than learning theory. Theory is easy).

That is to say, make sure you can play exactly what you hear in your head. Make sure you can listen to a piece of music and quickly figure out how to play it on your instrument.

This will take work and time. But playing by ear is ultimately NOT just about playing what sounds good - it's about being able to really hear what you're doing with your instrument.

I know that sounds silly - how can you not really hear what you play on your instrument, but a simple example can demonstrate the problem. Play "twinkle twinkle little star" - you know this song very well. Do you struggle at all to find the notes to play it?

Then get to work.
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
Join date: Feb 2008
722 IQ
#12
Quote by HotspurJr
Play "twinkle twinkle little star" - you know this song very well. Do you struggle at all to find the notes to play it?

Then get to work.

Playing the melody is the easy part. Try harmonizing it with chords that make sense.