#1
Hi, I've been a long-time reader but just recently decided to make an account for myself because I'm kind of lost. I want to start learning music theory (specifically for guitar improvisation and composition) but I just do not know where to start. My knowledge of the fretboard notes is somewhat decent and I know the pentatonic, blues, minor and major scales. But with all the material on the net I don't know how to get involved in more serious musical theory. My guitar technique is good but I want know what I'm writing and how to write it. For example, writing lead guitar parts/solos over a chord progression - which scales/modes should I use, how should I approach phrasing and stuff like that. All in all, if some of you can guide me where/what to start learning so I that I can start writing/improvising better lead parts, I'd appreciate it.


P.S. I'm talking about lead parts for genres such as melodic death metal, heavy metal with neoclassical influences, Marty Friedmans solo works and at times more of a melodic thrash kind of style.
#2
Quote by worcease
Hi, I've been a long-time reader but just recently decided to make an account for myself because I'm kind of lost. I want to start learning music theory (specifically for guitar improvisation and composition) but I just do not know where to start. My knowledge of the fretboard notes is somewhat decent and I know the pentatonic, blues, minor and major scales. But with all the material on the net I don't know how to get involved in more serious musical theory. My guitar technique is good but I want know what I'm writing and how to write it. For example, writing lead guitar parts/solos over a chord progression - which scales/modes should I use, how should I approach phrasing and stuff like that. All in all, if some of you can guide me where/what to start learning so I that I can start writing/improvising better lead parts, I'd appreciate it.


P.S. I'm talking about lead parts for genres such as melodic death metal, heavy metal with neoclassical influences, Marty Friedmans solo works and at times more of a melodic thrash kind of style.


Genres aside, if you have the understanding of what's going on, you'll also have the technical analyses skills to deconstruct the styles you are in. A triad is a triad, whether its a diminished run, or an inversion in Neo. Knowledge can be applied to whatever it is that you are interested in.

What is out there on the net, ranges from Berklee College of Music, to some guy that doesn't even have his facts straight. I'll give you some ideas, and my recommendation would be ask questions, and make an informed decision that way.

Many people reccommend http://www.musictheory.net/lessons - I don't. The chief reason, is because I disagree with the traditional method of teaching theory. However it is free.

A UG member and well respected gentleman, Mike Dodge has some free music theory lessons on his site. It's self study/paced, and it is free. The guy is solid. Google him for the website info. I don't know it offhand.

That's it for the free side.

I have an online guitar school, the link is in my sig. If you have any questions, or want to learn more, feel free to contact me, and I'll get you a course catalog, and answer all of your questions. From your description of what you seek, what we teach could very well be a good fit.

http://online.berklee.edu/ - I think few would argue with the quality of education, and it too is not a free place, but from time to time they offer free courses, so you might find something. Also they have specific courses, for example, Songwriting.

Good luck, in your search.

Best,

Sean
#3
Quote by worcease
For example, writing lead guitar parts/solos over a chord progression - which scales/modes should I use, how should I approach phrasing and stuff like that. All in all, if some of you can guide me where/what to start learning so I that I can start writing/improvising better lead parts, I'd appreciate it.


P.S. I'm talking about lead parts for genres such as melodic death metal, heavy metal with neoclassical influences, Marty Friedmans solo works and at times more of a melodic thrash kind of style.


99% of basic metal uses ( in addition to the blues scale):

1) Aoelian mode (i.e. natural minor)
2) Harmonic Minor
3) Phrygian Mode ( + harmonic minor variant - the name escapes me, but it has a natural third whereas Phrygian has a flat 3)
4) Diminished scale ( these are usually used in passing)

Neoclassical can get complicated, since they can jump to different keys, and uses pretty much everything, however most tunes revolve around the scales/modes mentioned above. I just listened to some of Marty Friedman
's Dragon Kiss album and he's jumping around to different keys a lot ( though in a very obvious manner). It's not complicated if you simply break it down into sections.

The choice of scales and modes will depend on the chord progression.

The first thing you need to do is learn how to analyse chord progressions to find out in which key and mode they are built upon. This is the first step. Learn the major scale and how chord progressions are named in relation to it's intervals ( i.e. find out what II, V, I means - there are probably countless lessons online for this).

Then write out a chord progression for a tune you like in that style and analyse it. If you get stuck post the progression or the tune on this forum and someone will likely be able to help you sort it out.