#1
Hi. I've been playing guitar for about 15 years and never learned any theory, outside of memorizing some very basic scales. I always regret not having learned this before, but every time I've tried to pick up some kind of "learn guitar" manual I can't get past the first chapter, since usually all of them start from the bottom (such as learning alternate picking) and it gets damn boring. I got pretty good technique and I can play pretty much anything that I'd ever want, I'd just like someone to explain to me how the hell it all makes sense. Any recommendations for books/videos made for people in a similar situation?
#2
Robben Ford vids. He has a depth of knowledge but breaks it down into digestible bits. He does not teach Formal theory but how it applies to guitar. Worth a look.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
If all the guitar stuff starts at the bottom, don't use a guitar book.

Get a theory book instead. Guitar's gotta nothing to do with it.
"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
#4
I was in much of the same situation recently and I picked up some books that really helped with my theory which in turn improved my playing significantly. I would recommend the following books:

Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method) by Tom Kolb

Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino

And to lesser extend (steep learning curve) - A Modern Method for Guitar - Volumes 1, 2, 3 by William Leavitt

And of course, stick with it!
#5
Last one's the only guitar book you'll need. I'd jump straight into jazz and classical theory and use your now pro-level chops and reading ability (thanks Leavitt) to figure out how to make the concepts work for you.
"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
#6
I know exactly how you feel. What happened to me a few years back, was I realized I could play pretty much whatever I wanted, but I didn't know much past a pentatonic scale when it came to theory. SO, what I did (I've learned by ear for as long as Ive played guitar) Was take some of the songs I knew, and started analyzing the different licks, and just looking up what the chords were. A little bit of everything. I started realizing that shapes i had already ingrained in my ear, matched up with scales, and after learning a few basic shapes, and how the notes on the fretboard fit together, it got easy. Scales and modes were already pretty much second nature to me. Chords, I honestly just learned the names of the chords I used (And down the road learned the constructions). So, as I went along, id figure out, HEY, that's a m7 chord, or a 9 chord, or this sweep picking shape is a minor one. Of course, at the same time, I also read everything I could about theory. Basically, you just have to make up your mind that you want to learn it. After about a year of studying theory pretty hard, id figured out as much as Ill probably ever need, and then I started learning sightreading (Which is really only possible if you know at least some theory). Sightreading really helped reinforce my theory knowledge (I do musical session jobs quite a bit, as well as some jazz stuff here and there), and a lot of charts I get aren't always complete, they just have some empty bars, and might say, improvise around a I IV V in A or something of that sort. So, id recommend learning sightreading while you learn theory. That has really helped me fully understand theory. In any case, good luck!!
#7
Quote by etc2702
Hi. I've been playing guitar for about 15 years and never learned any theory, outside of memorizing some very basic scales. I always regret not having learned this before, but every time I've tried to pick up some kind of "learn guitar" manual I can't get past the first chapter, since usually all of them start from the bottom (such as learning alternate picking) and it gets damn boring. I got pretty good technique and I can play pretty much anything that I'd ever want, I'd just like someone to explain to me how the hell it all makes sense. Any recommendations for books/videos made for people in a similar situation?


The good news is that it will very easy for you to learn theory as it will be simply putting names and structure to things you already instinctively know, for the most part.

It all starts with the major scale and how chords and chord progressions are named in relation to it. From there the sky is the limit.