#1
I have been playing guitar for just over a year now. I have had an electric since October, and i play it just about every day. I would say im good; i can play a few songs that some would say are intermediate (Sweet Child O' Mine, save the second half of the solo...). But that is besides the point... it's not good that i dont know anything about musical theory, is it? Is it an absolute necessity to know it? or is just helpful?
#2
I find that music theory really helps when making up random solo's and chord progressions and stuff. It's not necessary, but it certainly helps.
#3
It helps a lot when improvising, but isn't an absolute must if you're only playing for fun, rather than writing your own material and hoping to get signed, and whatnot. I only have a very basic understanding, but I get along fine.
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#4
if its nothing more than a hobby, i would say go for the basics. if you want to play in a band someday, or write your own music, i would delve deeper into it.
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#5
i just know the basics right now, and i've been playing about the same time as you... you should at least learn the basics, like notes and scales, because that will help you in your playing a bit... but until you want to be in a band, don't worry about all of the other stuff
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#6
to be honest, i think every kid/young/new guitar player should learn thoery on there own, as i did (teach how you were taught).
#7
you dont need to know anythign about theory when you cot a paul stanley apocalypse. you can just walk up to any random girl and say hey babby look at my sexy guitar and then u can play like shit but ittl all be good cuz the guitar will look kool then you can have some hot dirty sex and then get married and youll forget about guitar completely and have 17 children and live happily ever after.=) but ya theory is important if you plan to get anywhere with guitar.unless your anywhere is a girls vagina.
#8
I think the guitar is pretty much the only musical instrument where some players are arrogant enough to think theory is unimportant. With any other musical instrument it's essential, tabs make things a bit easier for guitarists and you can get by without learning standard notation. However you can't actually learn to play the guitar without some theory knowledge...you can learn to play certain things parrot fashion, and you can learn techniques but you won't understand what you're doing. It's like trying to speak a foreign language without taking the trouble to find out what the words mean.

you dont need to know anythign about theory when you cot a paul stanley apocalypse

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#9
Musical Theory in my opinion is fairly necessary, at least to a Key degree, and all modal scales, the Circle of Fifths and Fourths, as well as Chord Construction and Cadences.

To be able to jam properly, to be able to know what you need to do when writing a riff or solo (its alot quicker when you know) these are just fairly basic things that you need to know to be able to "play well", (which in my opinion includes knowing your instruments theory and ins and outs) but dont think of it as a chore, i find it incredibly interesting (hard at times) but with all that aside, it is completely up to you and what you ant to do with your guitar.

Themitch
#10
I didn't get an Apocalypse for it's looks. It was a good-reviewed guitar at a good price (i got it on sale for about $250, down from $600). In retrospect, i would've gotten an Epiphone Les Paul, but i still do think this guitar is great. But again, that is besides the point...

I am in a band actually, and i do know SOME theory, but that is basically limited to chord progressions, a couple pentatonic scales, and the major scale. I can find a fret and say what note it is (E string 4 fret is G#, A string 2 fret is B, etc. etc.). But is it worth getting lessons for musical theory with my skill? I agree with Sp0kr that i would rather teach myself, but how so would i actually do that? The lessons here could at least give me scales to learn, but after that, what?
#12
I've read about it and don't understand most of what I read. Or I get it, but don't see how it helps in any way
#14
Quote by Msu_Man04
I agree with Sp0kr that i would rather teach myself, but how so would i actually do that? The lessons here could at least give me scales to learn, but after that, what?


something I learned the hard way: any theory that you don't use in you're everyday playing(or your playing style) - you're gonna end up forgetting.

so go with what you need. simple chord harmony like triad thoery, key signatures, major/minor scales/modes(construction&positions), and arpeggiation can really solidify your improv. beginner books(even if you don't play on a beginner's level), sights like http://www.etheory.com or http://www.thecipher.com can help out.

to really start learning stuff like sight reading, transposition, chord comp, substition/voice leading, orchestration, etc, - you'll want a traditional music teacher or a conservatory.

something else I learned the hard way: the older and BETTER you get, the more pride is gonna get in the way of learning theory basics: like reading music. It was NOT fun to start reading music like "Joy to the World" when I could rip a mean solo.
#15
Think of theory like this:

Playing a guitar is like driving a car.

You can drive a car not knowing how the engine works, the brakes work, etc. You get in push the pedal down and go. To stop you press the other pedal. On a guitar this is the same as "put your fingers here play this chord."

But, if you want to race in Nascar (let's say the Indianapolis 500) like a race car driver you need to know how the car runs. Why the engine is tuned the way it is. What makes the car shift left, when to apply the brakes at the right time, etc. All the professional drivers know exactly what makes a race car act the way it is supposed to--without this knowledge they would not be able to drive at excessive speeds and not kill themselves on a regular basis.

You can play a guitar not knowing how or more importantly why the sounds are made, but if you want to be really good you have to know why. Yeah, some guitarists who are famous never studied theory, but they knew it. (They knew theory from years and years of practice.) They know "theory" because after playing for so long they understood what works with what. If you asked one of these guitarists what notes to play in a solo if someone plays an A minor chord they will be able to tell you. And they will tell you exactly what notes you will learn if you studied theory.

You can take an extra decade of practice if you want to learn theory and not call it theory if you want, but it's just the longer road.

If you just want to play chords and sing along with your favorite band you can do that. If you want to know why your favorite band is playing some chord with another chord or why the guitarist is playing a certain solo then learn theory.