#1
If I learn music theory will I be able to read notes and all that stuff??

How much time would I take to learn music theory ? ( I learn kinda fast)

Is there a GOOD book to learn music theory??
#2
Quote by blackhorsemen
If I learn music theory will I be able to read notes and all that stuff??
You will be unable to learn music theory well unless you learn "to read notes and all that stuff".
How much time would I take to learn music theory? ( I learn kinda fast)
How long is a rope? No matter how fast or how much you learn, there will always be more music theory to learn.
Is there a GOOD book to learn music theory??
There are many good books. My personal favorite for beginners is Basic Materials in Music Theory by the late Paul O. Harder.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#3
gpb0216 basically has it down to a "T" but, i disagree on one thing. You can learn theory without learning to read notes, simply use tabs (for things such as Scales and the modes of scales) but i would reccomend learning to read BOTH because it can only beifit you so anyone that hands you a piece of paper with music on it, you can play it.
#4
My personal favorite for beginners is Basic Materials in Music Theory by the late Paul O. Harder.


^^there you go.....go with that one
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#6
Quote by Devon_555
...You can learn theory without learning to read notes, simply use tabs (for things such as Scales and the modes of scales) but i would reccomend learning to read BOTH because it can only beifit you so anyone that hands you a piece of paper with music on it, you can play it.
This topic is of particular interest to me, and so I hope you'll forgive me for exploring it a little more.

I have been teaching the guitar (and piano) for many years and have worked with literally hundreds of students. These wonderful folks have ranged from absolute beginners of almost every age to quite accomplished players preparing for college-level work. This experience has led me to a very firmly-held conclusion that it is simply not possible to learn music theory to any degree of depth without a solid proficiency in reading standard notation.

Tab can and does get your fingers to the correct intersection of string and fret, but that's just about all it's able to do. I believe one of the reasons we see so many "what's this chord" threads accompanied by simple tab graphics is because this and the previous generation of guitarists has neglected the study of theory - we guitarists think it's just too hard to learn standard notation.

Yes, you can play a major scale after extracting the sting/fret intersection sequence from a tabbed "theory lesson". But if that's all there was to it, why do we keep seeing thread after thread asking the same scale questions? I don't think we can assume that every single one of these "what's this scale / what's this chord" threads is the work of someone who has never visited UG before and doesn't know his or her exact same question has already been asked 500 times.

On the other hand, learning to read standard notation at even the most rudimentary level will allow a musician to clearly see and understand the architecture of scale, chord and melodic relationships for the rest of his or her life.

Once I saw a stand-up comedian in Atlanta do a routine that included a very funny skit about his lack of musical ability. He said he had very talented jazz-playing friends who would get together to jam and invite the comedian to listen. Without fail, in the middle of an improvisation the players would all suddenly laugh uproarously because of some musical joke that was completely obvious to the players due to their grasp of jazz theory but was completely incomprehensible to the comedian. At this point he pulled out one of those K-Mart kiddy xylophones with the painted bars and said something like, "What I get is 'red, blue, red, green, black, green, red' while he tapped out London Bridge.

I'm sure you're falling off your chair laughing at this point, but it really was funny with his body language and facial expressions, not to mention that I'd had about five beers by that time.

Anyway, the point is that I think about that comedian's musical cluelessness and his painted kiddy xylophone everytime one of my students tells me he or she thinks they can learn music theory using tab. I just don't think it's possible.

That's all, folks.
gpb
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
Last edited by gpb0216 at Sep 8, 2006,
#7
You can learn music theory as you learn any music. Watch for the old i - iv - v
combination (1, 4, 5) aka (Do Fa So) aka (C F G) aka (Bb Eb F)

You can be thinking theory at any level. Taking time to consider a chord in the context of where it came from and where it is going is a good start !

Ex

C - C7 - F - Fm - C/G - G7 - C

The C chord is lead into the F chord by using a dominant 7th (flat 7) This is often called a secondary dominant since it does not occur naturally in the key of C yet it is being used as a transition chord to F.

The F chord ( iv chord) is colored by flattening the 3rd. This allows it to be sustained for an extra measure yet adds interest.

The C chord over G is a standard 'prequil' to the ending of a song. And G7 to C is the ending. The G is this case IS the dominant of C major so it is not called 'secondary'.

What song is this ?
100s of songs use formulas such as this. Look at the chords in the music you are working on right now and analyse the path of harmony.

Does this get you thinking or is it just plain scary and apparently unnecessary?

As a theory guy I sometimes find the harmony of tunes that were created by people with no background in theory to be the most interesting!!

Theory is useful but you may find it limiting your musical choices if you pay too much attention to it :>

RayDay
#8
If all you want to do is read notation go with Berklees Modern Method for Guitar
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We can do it if we work together!
#9
If you learn kinda fast, take this. I swear you'll come back with questions, but IMO it explains everything well and in-depth enough!

Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book.
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#10
Get the Guitar Gremoire, its on my lap right now actually hahaha. but yeah the book has so much information on theory, and its not boring either, its kinda like a learn for yourself. so all the scales and modes, keys and chords/chord progressions will have to click in your head, then soon enough you will be like.... OHHH THATS HOW IT WORKS!!!
~Bwandon
#11
Do you want the theory for guitar playing, or for more extensive uses?
"If faith is the answer we've already reached it
and if spirits a sign, then it's only a matter of time"
#12
Quote by gpb0216
This topic is of particular interest to me, and so I hope you'll forgive me for exploring it a little more.

I have been teaching the guitar (and piano) for many years and have worked with literally hundreds of students. These wonderful folks have ranged from absolute beginners of almost every age to quite accomplished players preparing for college-level work. This experience has led me to a very firmly-held conclusion that it is simply not possible to learn music theory to any degree of depth without a solid proficiency in reading standard notation.

Tab can and does get your fingers to the correct intersection of string and fret, but that's just about all it's able to do. I believe one of the reasons we see so many "what's this chord" threads accompanied by simple tab graphics is because this and the previous generation of guitarists has neglected the study of theory - we guitarists think it's just too hard to learn standard notation.

Yes, you can play a major scale after extracting the sting/fret intersection sequence from a tabbed "theory lesson". But if that's all there was to it, why do we keep seeing thread after thread asking the same scale questions? I don't think we can assume that every single one of these "what's this scale / what's this chord" threads is the work of someone who has never visited UG before and doesn't know his or her exact same question has already been asked 500 times.

On the other hand, learning to read standard notation at even the most rudimentary level will allow a musician to clearly see and understand the architecture of scale, chord and melodic relationships for the rest of his or her life.

Once I saw a stand-up comedian in Atlanta do a routine that included a very funny skit about his lack of musical ability. He said he had very talented jazz-playing friends who would get together to jam and invite the comedian to listen. Without fail, in the middle of an improvisation the players would all suddenly laugh uproarously because of some musical joke that was completely obvious to the players due to their grasp of jazz theory but was completely incomprehensible to the comedian. At this point he pulled out one of those K-Mart kiddy xylophones with the painted bars and said something like, "What I get is 'red, blue, red, green, black, green, red' while he tapped out London Bridge.

I'm sure you're falling off your chair laughing at this point, but it really was funny with his body language and facial expressions, not to mention that I'd had about five beers by that time.

Anyway, the point is that I think about that comedian's musical cluelessness and his painted kiddy xylophone everytime one of my students tells me he or she thinks they can learn music theory using tab. I just don't think it's possible.

That's all, folks.
gpb


Ive always been under the impression that reading music notation and theory were 2 different things? I mean do you really need to know how to read music to understand that the root ,3rd and the 5th make up a major chord or if you flatten the 3rd you get a minor chord? I have always seen them as 2 different things. But it is an interesting discussion and I am more than happy to be corrected.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#13
I see them as two different things as well. You don't need to know how to read standard notation to understand theory, at least I can't think of anything at the moment. It will definitely help you in a band type setting, but I'm not so sure about music theory itself.

I overlooked reading music at first and I guess that is the reason, but boy, to I regret that, since I am in an orchestra now. Which is why I read as often as I can now.
#14
Quote by radiantmoon
Ive always been under the impression that reading music notation and theory were 2 different things? I mean do you really need to know how to read music to understand that the root ,3rd and the 5th make up a major chord or if you flatten the 3rd you get a minor chord? I have always seen them as 2 different things. But it is an interesting discussion and I am more than happy to be corrected.
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
I see them as two different things as well. You don't need to know how to read standard notation to understand theory, at least I can't think of anything at the moment. It will definitely help you in a band type setting, but I'm not so sure about music theory itself.
Just as Latin is the language of law and medicine, and mathematics is the language of physics and the other physical sciences, standard notation is the language of music theory. If you don't understand this, it means only that you haven't yet truly tried to learn music theory. You can grasp the rudimentary aspects of theory without being able to read standard notation, but you will never get very far below the surface without this skill. I apologize to those people who take offense at this statement, but it is the truth and bears repeating:

Standard notation is the language of music theory, and knowing how to read standard notation is absolutely essential to learning the deeper aspects of music theory.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#15
Quote by gpb0216
Just as Latin is the language of law and medicine, and mathematics is the language of physics and the other physical sciences, standard notation is the language of music theory. If you don't understand this, it means only that you haven't yet truly tried to learn music theory. You can grasp the rudimentary aspects of theory without being able to read standard notation, but you will never get very far below the surface without this skill. I apologize to those people who take offense at this statement, but it is the truth and bears repeating:

Standard notation is the language of music theory, and knowing how to read standard notation is absolutely essential to learning the deeper aspects of music theory.


well could you maybe give me an example of this. like how notation and theory interact.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.
#16
Quote by radiantmoon
well could you maybe give me an example of this. like how notation and theory interact.
Thank you for requesting examples. The relationship between standard notation and theory is extremely important and I want to do my very best to establish that linkage for you and the rest of the UG audience.

My challenge, though, is that I'm in graduate school and my discretionary time is at an absolute premium. There's simply no way I can take the time right now to explore this topic the way it needs to be explored.

So, bear with me, please. When my schedule lightens up a little I'll post what I hope to be some good examples for you. I'll call the thread Standard Notation and Music Theory: What's the Link?, or something like that.

Thanks for your patience. And remember, it's easy to practice your instrument too little, but it's impossible to practice it too much.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#17
Quote by gpb0216
Thank you for requesting examples. The relationship between standard notation and theory is extremely important and I want to do my very best to establish that linkage for you and the rest of the UG audience.

My challenge, though, is that I'm in graduate school and my discretionary time is at an absolute premium. There's simply no way I can take the time right now to explore this topic the way it needs to be explored.

So, bear with me, please. When my schedule lightens up a little I'll post what I hope to be some good examples for you. I'll call the thread Standard Notation and Music Theory: What's the Link?, or something like that.

Thanks for your patience. And remember, it's easy to practice your instrument too little, but it's impossible to practice it too much.


my life is dedicated to improving and learning more on the guitar so I will look foward to you contributing something, hopefully in the near future.
radiantmoon is the toughest person I know. He inflects a sense of impending doom upon any who look upon his stone-chiseled face. The children run out of fear, while the men run for they know that the stories are true.