hey guys, i've been playing about a year and so far i know the basic theory, but want to start learning more. But with as much stuff as there is, where should I start now? Thanks in adance.
i know the notes on the fretboard, sharps, flats, that stuff. I knowwhat a major scale is, and an octave, and that stuff, but not really into depth.
I don't really know what you mean by you know "basic theory", but here are a few essential things that every guitarist will need to know no matter what:

  • A few basic scales, like your major, minor (harmonic & natural), pentatonic, and blues. Those are very mandatory scales.
  • Knowing your modes doesn't hurt either. There are only 7 of them... how hard could that be to learn?
  • Key signatures. Which keys have so-and-so number of sharps and flats. Very helpful thing to know.
  • Every major key's relative minor. You can get this info and your key signature info all in the very handy Circle of Fifths
  • KNOW YOUR INTERVALS. Very essential for spelling chords, harmonizing, etc. There's a very handy column right here on UG about this called Identifying Intervals
  • Know the formula for forming your 4 most common triads. Simple: Major=Root, Major Third, Perfect Fifth. Minor=Root, Minor Third, Perfect Fifth. Diminished=Root, Minor Third, Diminished Fifth. Augmented=Root, Major Third, Augmented Fifth.

Those are pretty basic theoretical things to know. They're simple, but if you know and memorize those, you'll automatically be gobs better than the next guitarist that doesn't know those. Good luck in your playing, and hope that helps!
Something I wrote a few days ago:

Learn the major scale. It is the basis of all music. Everything is based off of the major scale

Since I am sort of bored and want to have something for further use.

The Major Scale

Music is based off of the major scale. As you can see, it is important to know. The major scale follows a basic series of whole steps (two frets on guitar) and half steps (one fret on the guitar). Using these intervals off of a certain starting point, we can find the major scale! It follows this pattern: Whole Whole Half Whole Whole Whole Half (WWHWWWH).

I will use C major as an example, because it has no sharps or flats.

C is the root note.
One whole step (two frets) from C is D
One whole from D is E
One half step from E is F
One whole step from F is G
One whole step from G is A
One whole step from A is B
And one half step from B is C (our starting note).

So the notes in C major are C D E F G A and B.

Let's try one more.

F major!


F major is: F G A Bb C D and E.

Wait a minute...why can't you write F major using sharps? Likewise, why can't you write any of the sharp/flat keys using flats/sharps?

If you did this, it would look like this (using F major as an example):

F G A A# C D E

One thing about major scales and scales in general is to make sure that you only use one of each letter per scale.


You can alter these notes, but only one of each letter per scale. The scale has to be diatonic.

The Circle of Fifths

This is a device used to determine the notes of each key in the major scale. Here is a lovely picture of it. Take it, hold it, and love it.

Now, as you can see, C is up at the top and is in the middle. That is because it has no sharps or flats. As you move clockwise, you will move into the sharp keys. As you move left, you will run through the flat keys. By sharp and flat keys, I mean that is how you would write the scales.

C major: C D E F G A B
G major: G A B C D E F#
D major: D E F# G A B C
A major: A B C# D E F# G#
E major: E F# G# A B C# D#
B major: B C# D# E F# G# A#
F# major: F# G# A# B C# D# E#
C# major: C# D# E# F# G# A# B#

I've bolded every new sharp written in each key, progressing clockwise through the circle of fifihs. As you can see, the sharps are added in this order:


This can be remembered with the acronym:


This is where the sharp keys end.

Now for the flat keys, going counter-clockwise.

F major: F G A Bb C D E
Bb major: Bb C D Eb F G A
Eb major: Eb F G A Bb C D Eb
Ab major: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Db major: Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Gb major: Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb
Cb major: Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb

I've bolded the new flats this time. the order is reverse of the order that you add sharps, B E A D G C F. Which can be remembered with the acronym:


I know this is hard to take in at first, but give it time and don't rush into it. It'll come. It's like a language. The more you use it, the easier it'll come eventually.

The Minor Scale

Here is the minor scale. While the major scale has a happy sort of feel to it, the minor scale sounds a bit more saddening.

The minor scale formula is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7. The way these scale formulas work is that you take the major scale and you line up each scale degree with the coresponding degree in the formula. You then modify the appropriate degrees.

So, let's try this with A minor. This is the relative minor (more on this in a bit) of C major, so it has no sharps or flats either.

So, taking the A major scale and lining it up with the minor scale formula...

A   B   C#   D   E   F#   G#
1   2   b3   4   5   b6   b7

Modifying the appropriate degrees...

A   B   [b]C[/b]   D   E   [b]F[/b]   [b]G[/b]
1   2   b3  4   5   b6   b7

And now that that is done...we have our result, the A minor scale!


Harmonic Minor Scale and Melodic Minor Scale

This is simply a variation of the minor scale. To turn the minor scale into the harmonic minor scale, you just raise the seventh degree of that minor scale a half step/semitone.

The A harmonic minor scale: A B C D E F G#.

To turn a minor scale into a Melodic Minor scale, you raise both the seventh and sixth degrees of the minor scale by a half step/semitone.

The A Melodic Minor Scale: A B C D E F# G#.

Many people tend to only use the Melodic minor scale while ascending and the [natural] minor scale when descending.
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