#1
So I'm pondering over this question of how does everyone else study theory? I realize that actually playing and building the chords is one way, but I'm speaking more in terms of scale formulas and naming. For example, does everyone here memorize the intervallic formulas of a scale, and then determine from that the formulas for that particular scale's modes and their names, as well as alternate namings? It seems to me this process is one of diligent studying rather than of just playing the scales and building them by other means.

I, for example, take the A harmonic minor scale, knowing that the 7th is what is raised, would raise the 7th note of the harmonic minor, then the 6th note of the next mode, 5th of next, ect, until I get through all the modes. For me, this seems like an easy way to build scales without looking them up, and also a good way to learn by ear, but it seems like a workaround to actually learning the theory.

So how do you study theory?
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#2
Um. I mostly do it studying by ear, analysing music and trying to write it down.

But also composing stuff. Write a melody, and then compose 4 part harmony, making sure you stay within the chords of your mode/key. See how tricky you can make it, without making anything that is inherently ugly.
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#3
My theory is ... hit the strings and guess ... kind of like walking on thumb tacks ... which ones are up or down?

I know its brilliant!
Last edited by Madshredder at Jan 26, 2007,
#4
i study it when i come up with an idea for a sound that i don't know how to make on the guitar. I'll be playing along, and something will come to me, but I may not quite know how to play it right away. I'll sound it out slowly, and then start checking up on theory information, and see if I can figure out what I'm trying to do.
#5
Lol, read, naturally. Read a lot. Read my theory book before I go to bed. Then see how it works on the guitar neck, work out patterns and relationships. Study classical scores too.
#6
I began here on UG. Then I took a theory course (which just ended yesterday, actually) and I am going to be taking a more advanced class next semester.
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#7
I'm doing a basic theory course at the moment actually, although 90% of it is obsolete because I already learned it from the MT forum

When I have an idea for a song and it doesn't come spontaneously I tend to write out what i want to do and work out the theory for it on a piece of paper if I can find one, and if not I'll use the back of a chocolate paper.
#8
I take an AP Music Theory class so I just study the textbook.
#9
hmmmm i tend to study pieces of music that i enjoy and like and see what made that work and relate it to what i already know theoretically. when i was teaching myself i was mostly just reading college leve theory books.
#10
Quote by z4twenny
hmmmm i tend to study pieces of music that i enjoy and like and see what made that work and relate it to what i already know theoretically. when i was teaching myself i was mostly just reading college leve theory books.


Any recommendations? Pretty much all the books I have right now are either technique, aside from the guitar grimoire notated intervallic study of scale book, which is more of a reference.

I'm currently in Electrical Engineering, so I can't really take any music courses...
Schecter Loomis
LTD Horizon
Ibanez RGA121
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Peavey 5150

Quote by emagdnimasisiht
haha
This is the funniest thing i've ever read on UG.
lespaulrocks39, you sir are awesome.
#11
i had one that was very VERY in depth but i let a friend borrow it about 3 years ago and haven't seen it since, sorry, wish i could help. though i can say, perhaps go to a B Daltons or a BIG book store, also if you can go to a college bookstore most assuredly they'll have books on music theory.
#12
My guitar teacher gave me this book that he wrote, which is really just many many notes and tips on theroy, it's around 600 pages. Well I just read that everyday every once and a while he put these little breaks in there were you pratice something it's quite fun.
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#13
The textbook I use for my AP Music Theory class is EXCELLENT, and I highly recommend it.

It is:

Music in Theory and Practice (seventh edition), volume I, by Benward and Saker
#14
^^ added to my wishlist on amazon. Now all I need is money.
Schecter Loomis
LTD Horizon
Ibanez RGA121
Marshall DSL100
Peavey 5150

Quote by emagdnimasisiht
haha
This is the funniest thing i've ever read on UG.
lespaulrocks39, you sir are awesome.
#16
I know just about everything that comes up in these forums, but i work constantly at putting modal playing into practice. Hell, if Miles Davis worked at it for years, i can too, eh?
#17
Quote by yawn
I take an AP Music Theory class so I just study the textbook.

You guys got a textbook?! Lucky! My teacher prints some stuff out for us, but otherwise, it's entirely from his own knowledge.
#18
i practice it through songwriting but im also taking an AP music theory course so thats a major help
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#19
Quote by n0selfesteem
You guys got a textbook?! Lucky! My teacher prints some stuff out for us, but otherwise, it's entirely from his own knowledge.
Well, we did have to pay $60 for it
#20
i started learning theory from reading the threads here in MT. there have been some great threads over the years where i have really learned a ton of stuff. a lot of it was over my head, and still is. occasionally i save really good posts and reread them every now and then. unfortunatly recently i lost a bunch of stuff i had saved. then last semester i took an intro to music theory course. it just blew my mind how much more sense stuff makes when you learn it in order. you can pick up a lot of stuff reading haphazardly, but even though i knew most of what was taught in the course, i now understand it better.

as for specifics, i think analyzing the chords, chord changes, cadences, and key changes in sheet music helped me a lot. you have to first know how to build chords, name them, and what their function is. just looking at a couple of the pieces we studied in my class helped me understand so much better the things i had learned in the past.

the other thing that really helps me is writing music. sometimes i dont even have an instrument with me, i just sit at the computer and come up with stuff in guitar pro or fruity loops. if you know what sound you want to make, you have to use what you know theory wise to make that sound come out. if you have your guitar or piano in your hand you can mess around to find that sound, but when you just have to deal with the notes you have to think in terms of that instead of frets or keys. and just applying what you know helps it stick better in your memory.
#21
Like just practice your scales minor and major all over and pentatonic. Get throgh the first book on theory. Know all your notes on the guitar fret board and read alot. Accutally im gonna do this soon take music theory if your in high school. It teaches you alot im probally gonna go for music theory next year. Ill be a junior i made a mistake not taking it in the sohpmore year,but oh well.