#1
Hey guys. I've been playing guitar for 10 years, and string bass for 6 years through school. I read notes for bass but not guitar, just tabs. I have basic music theory down like steps, note numbers (scales), chord formation, key signatures etc

Where should I go to learn to read treble clef for guitar and more music theory? Any websites or books? I'm a beginner in theory but I'm afraid beginner books will be far too simple for me
#2
If you know the basics in theory, make sure you also know them in practice. What I mean is ear training. Listen to songs and try to figure out the chords by ear and that kind of stuff. You don't really need to know a lot more stuff than the basics. After that it's just applying the knowledge. Of course there's more "advanced" stuff. But with the basics you can get pretty far - and really, if you're good at the basics, understanding more advanced stuff is easy.

Music is sound so use your ears!

And if you for example learn about chord construction or functions or whatever, remember to play them on your instrument. Remember to listen to the sound. That makes understanding it so much easier. I took theory classes, and for a long time I could do all the exercises without problems but I didn't really understand it in context. I didn't really know how to use all the knowledge. But one year we started playing stuff on piano (on voice leading classes) and that was an eye opener. That's when I understood how everything works. Because it had a context. It wasn't just random theoretical exercises - it was actual music. Before that we never played anything on any instrument. We did everything on paper (we did have some listening exercises though).

I decided to learn to read some sheet music on bass - I'm not great at it but I can do some of it.

I would suggest first playing in one position and then moving to the next position and that way learning to read music in all positions. Just start slowly. Start with the first four frets. Once you can play in that position, move to the next position. I would say first learn to recognize the open string notes.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 7, 2015,
#3
Quote by MaggaraMarine
If you know the basics in theory, make sure you also know them in practice. What I mean is ear training. Listen to songs and try to figure out the chords by ear and that kind of stuff. You don't really need to know a lot more stuff than the basics. After that it's just applying the knowledge. Of course there's more "advanced" stuff. But with the basics you can get pretty far - and really, if you're good at the basics, understanding more advanced stuff is easy.

Music is sound so use your ears!

And if you for example learn about chord construction or functions or whatever, remember to play them on your instrument. Remember to listen to the sound. That makes understanding it so much easier. I took theory classes, and for a long time I could do all the exercises without problems but I didn't really understand it in context. I didn't really know how to use all the knowledge. But one year we started playing stuff on piano (on voice leading classes) and that was an eye opener. That's when I understood how everything works. Because it had a context. It wasn't just random theoretical exercises - it was actual music. Before that we never played anything on any instrument. We did everything on paper (we did have some listening exercises though).

I decided to learn to read some sheet music on bass - I'm not great at it but I can do some of it.

I would suggest first playing in one position and then moving to the next position and that way learning to read music in all positions. Just start slowly. Start with the first four frets. Once you can play in that position, move to the next position. I would say first learn to recognize the open string notes.


Thanks! I am taking theory classes next year but I really needed to learn it sooner because of my Jazz band music. You know, F#m7(b9, #5) and other easy chords...
#4
OK, so you want to learn about jazz. Do you understand chord construction (for example if I asked you to name the notes in G7b9#5 chord, could you figure it out)? I think that is really important. And you need to learn a lot of chord voicings.

I would also learn about chord functions and keys. I mean, a lot of jazz is about ii-V-I progressions played in different keys. So learning to recognize those is pretty important. That way when you improvise, you don't feel lost.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
Quote by MaggaraMarine
If you know the basics in theory, make sure you also know them in practice. What I mean is ear training. .


Completely agree. being able to use your ear correctly is for me the most important thing in playing any instrument. Besides my studies i work i do some tech support for the ear training software EarMaster, which you might want to check out. It designed to help musicians practice ear training and music theory in general. You can try a free trial on their website www.earmaster.com . There is also a bunch of other options for smartphones and such.

In collaboration with EarMaster i also did a video with professional musicians and students who discuss the importance of ear training. Check it out if you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2Im2GjDpPE
#6
I would also suggest just learning to play songs by ear. To some people ear training softwares may be a bit boring. And when you learn songs by ear, it improves your ear and at the same time you learn to play new songs.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#7
Take a jazz standard and
1. learn to play its chords (with tensions ,inversion, substitutions)
2. learn the melody (play the head in chord melody is even better)
3. analyze the harmony to find the key centers
4. play arpeggios of its chords
5. learn the guide tones (this is very important)
6. improvise on it using the key centers and the guide tones

you dont need to be a master of harmony knowledge to play jazz, jazz players tend to make jazz more complicates then it is. if you dont recognize a progression you can always play the chord tones on the strong beat and fill in scale\chromatic notes on the weak beats.

jazz is hard work just learning the all the arps, learning to find the nearest chord tone or guide tone to the next chord will give you lots to work on.
#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
OK, so you want to learn about jazz. Do you understand chord construction (for example if I asked you to name the notes in G7b9#5 chord, could you figure it out)? I think that is really important. And you need to learn a lot of chord voicings.

I would also learn about chord functions and keys. I mean, a lot of jazz is about ii-V-I progressions played in different keys. So learning to recognize those is pretty important. That way when you improvise, you don't feel lost.


I know how to figure it out but it would take up to and over a minute.

I'll def look into that ear training stuff! I have a pretty good ear already (I usually tune by ear) but there is most certainly room for improvement.
#10
Learn how to play primary 7th chords in every key:

Maj7
Min7
m7b5
Dom7
Dim7

That's a good starting point, with that and a knowledge of chord construction you will be able to at least survive a chart.

High school, or college, if I might ask?

Also, check this out (a crash course in CST):

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1658192

Feel free to hit us up with specific examples from your charts. Many of us, myself included, are high school/college jazz band veterans.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp