#1
So I was considering working through the Berklee Guitar Certificates/Degree to get a strong base, but I also know I tend to learn best through one on one instruction, and for the price of tuition, I could afford a lot more books, ect. to learn the desired theory. I would be giving up the recognition, and credits, but anyhow.

I currently take an hour long guitar lesson each week, but I feel like cramming the theory into the lesson takes away from the performance/guitar instruction.

I'd love to hear a few of your suggestions or courses, or even online/skype music theory instructors that can not only sit with me and help me clarify issues, but then to continue me forward, provide drills and "tests" for recall, ect.

There was one user on here at one point that ran a little music school, but life got in the way at the time, and I think I may have burned that bridge, unfortunately, though I do plan to recontact them.
I have no problem paying for guitar lessons, and am pleased with my instructor, but I want to start working my theory muscles and could see a lot of benefit for me to sit down and work through such a topic with a dedicated instructor/lesson.

As far as my current level of understanding goes, I can construct chords, build modal scales, I get caught up in cadences, progressions, creating modal progressions, ect.

Thanks.
Last edited by Shallon Dark at Apr 4, 2016,
#2
Quote by Shallon Dark
As far as my current level of understanding goes, I can construct chords, build modal scales, I get caught up in cadences, progressions, creating modal progressions, ect.

Thanks.


If you understand all that, you're off to a good start already. However, the usage of the phrase "modal progression" leads me to believe you still have ways to go... tbh, if you're not into jazz, stop worrying about modes. They probably add nothing to your skillset if you're a rock/pop guitarist.

In my opinion, if you just want to play guitar in a band, in genres like pop, rock, country or metal, you don't really need formal education. It could still be useful, but you don't necessarily need to know the terminology and the formalities. So if you're into genres like that, I might not dish out the money for tuition to get a bunch of information that's useful but not really necessary. If you know your intervals, how to build chords and scales out of those intervals, and how to build progressions and melodies from those chords and scales, you know most of the stuff that's relevant. You can learn all of this from online courses and books if you have common sense, if you just know how to apply it to your playing. I have little experience with this however, so I hope someone else can recommend you a good online teacher or a course.

As a side note, start thinking about theory (if you're not thinking like this already) not as a way to write good songs, but as a way to explain and understand music. Theory helps a bunch, sure, but actual, concrete writing experience you get from learning songs and writing music as much as you can. Theory just speeds this process up and makes it all around easier to grasp.

In before a more experienced user comes and completely trashes my opinion

If you want to become a classical composer or a jazz musician, yeah I'd probably recommend a teacher.
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Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Apr 4, 2016,
#3
Just to claify the phrase "I get caught up in" isn't to mean I am so enthralled by it that I can do those things for hours, but rather those are where I begin to show points of confusion.

And yes, the majority of the time you do not need the advanced theory for rock and what not, but I do like to dabble a bit in Jazz, and I enjoy attempting to analyze and understand what is going on, but when you don't know it all yourself, it can be difficult at times to see if you are assessing correctly.
#4
Hi Shallon Dark,

I just wanted to let you know that I did just receive your email about rejoining as an Academy Student (and yes I can confirm that you did take and pass the Notes on the Neck Course and found a copy of your Certificate on that, so you would not have to repeat it again) and I will be getting in touch with you to go over this request, and see where I can help out. Thank you for reaching out, and hopefully we can figure out the best way to bring you back.

No bridges burned, my friend...life happens.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 4, 2016,
#5
Shallon, Sean,

My company is very close now to running our first traunch of user trials on our software, emuso(TM), intended for students, teachers, and technique practice. Sean, I know you, and would welcome your feedback. Shallon, based on the concepts used in emuso, an 8-year old girl, with no musical experience at all, was sat at a piano, playing a scale, and chords from that scale, in 6 minutes ... and she did this in two different keys of her choice, without knowing a single note name. No music notation involved (initially). Teachers can create highly interactive lesson material (but the lesson authoring tool is in its early stages), based on video and interactions triggered at various times within the video that cause, e,g, chords (progressions) to appear on a virtual interactive instrument (guitar, piano, bass, ...). The video can be stopped so these chords etc can be interacted with, including tasks and tests, including edited to make something new, saved off for later, and made available for others (e.g. shared learning). Practice-wise, up to your imagination ... e.g. create a rhythm for playing out string-skipped arpeggios (or licks) and then apply rhythmic displacement, and/or different time signatures ... and play along at 200 bpm 1/16ths ... if you want a gruelling practice session. Again, such sessions can be saved and shared.

My theory understanding is good, so I use emuso myself more for rhythmic ideas and time practice. My biz partner knew very little about the underpinnings of music ... now his theory has improved a load, and his playing with it ... which his buddies are all commenting on ... so he's getting some nice gigs now.

Of course, anyone else interested, feel free to send me a message ... there won't be many places initially.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Apr 5, 2016,
#6
Hey Jerry,

You know me brother! I'm here to help any way I can. Just say the word my friend! I don't think anyone here would question your knowledge and understanding of things!

Shallon, I haven't forgotten you mate, just been swamped with students most of the day!

Best,

Sean
#7
No worries man, I know you have a hefty student load. When you're free I know you'll make it back around to me.

Shifting the beat and rhythm is a tricky endeavor, and a strategy I hadn't heard about for a long time. A program that introduces the idea and helps implement it early on has a great feature for sure!
Last edited by Shallon Dark at Apr 5, 2016,
#8
Hey OP, if it doesn't work out with Sean for whatever reason, feel free to shoot me a message.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#9
Quote by Shallon Dark
No worries man, I know you have a hefty student load. When you're free I know you'll make it back around to me.

Shifting the beat and rhythm is a tricky endeavor, and a strategy I hadn't heard about for a long time. A program that introduces the idea and helps implement it early on has a great feature for sure!


I should have made clearer ... the reason for that message is that emuso + lessons teaches all the sort of stuff you mentioned ... and hence an invite to be a user-trialist shortly. It's targeting modern music genres, the musical tools available for improvising and writing in these styles, and is aimed to help learners build their skills quickly.

Let me know.
#10
Got him sorted now, we are all good!

Looking forward to seeing what youve done, Jerry!

Hey Xiaoxi - I remember you had started quite an ambitious teaching approach - hows that going? You were still in the early stages of it when I last looked. Sounds like you've been making some more progress since then?

Best,

Sean
#11
Quote by Sean0913
Hey Xiaoxi - I remember you had started quite an ambitious teaching approach - hows that going? You were still in the early stages of it when I last looked. Sounds like you've been making some more progress since then?
It's going well! I'll shoot you a PM to elaborate.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#12
You certainly don't NEED to take an online course to get better at theory. And honestly in my career, I've never met a bandleader, artist, or label that cared where I went to school.

If your current instructor is knowledgeable in theory, add it to your lesson. Understanding theory will enhance your performance in ways straight-up performance drills won't.

For example, a cadence is a formula for how a phrase ends. There are several that have been used over the centuries and more are being created by clever musicians. If you can learn to recognize the cadence of any phrase, you can apply suitable expressive techniques to enhance the effect. Theory applied to performance.

The same holds true for chord progressions and creative uses of modes. Many examples of previous approaches already exist and are well documented. Learn those approaches and you're good to go. After that, it's up to each student to listen, drill, and develop their knowledge.

It may be worth adding another lesson to your weekly schedule. If you're paying $50 per lesson, that's $2500 -- twice as much as a Berklee course but for 4 times the number of lessons.

Whatever path you take, definitely stick with it. Theory is awesome and knowing it will help your performance more than you know.

Good luck!