#1
K so I've been playing for 9 months and I myself am proggressing well with lessons but im just wondering...how did all the great guitarists like Dimebag Darrel,Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eddie Van Halen learn theory without taken a lesson in their life.
Like I know you could use the internet and stuff but at that time they obviously didnt have internet so how did they do it?

Thanks?
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#2
Do they really know theory? Well, guitar has easy shapes on the fretboard you can learn for many types of scales so they could employ a lot of skills that would make it sound like they know theory without really learning it. They could've just used whatever sounds good. But maybe they did know theory, I don't know. One thing you have to consider is that they played for 25 hours a day so all that experimenting would have led them somewhere.
#3
they did know theory, they may not have taken lessons, but they learned it from books and stuff, and maybe jamming with more knowledgable guitarists.
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#4
i donno this all seems kind of odd. anyone know anything else?
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i've had my eye on the mesa boogie line, my price range is under $600.

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maybe you could buy a picture of one for 600, and just pretend for awhile...

#5
Quote by DoctrDrew116
Do they really know theory? Well, guitar has easy shapes on the fretboard you can learn for many types of scales so they could employ a lot of skills that would make it sound like they know theory without really learning it. They could've just used whatever sounds good. But maybe they did know theory, I don't know. One thing you have to consider is that they played for 25 hours a day so all that experimenting would have led them somewhere.
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#6
Yes you can learn theory on your own. In fact in one of the Christopher Parkening books he quotes a famous composer about the fact that in the end we really have to teach ourselves.
In otherwords a teacher can show you and spell out the lesson ......but it is still up to you to learn it and practice it.

You can learn some theory on your own, but it will take dedication, and the ability to comprehend. I would start out with basic theory and learn that much till you have it down (apply the theory to the instrument or instruments you play). There is a ton of basic theory on this site.

K so I've been playing for 9 months and I myself am proggressing well with lessons but im just wondering...how did all the great guitarists like Dimebag Darrel,Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eddie Van Halen learn theory without taken a lesson in their life.
Like I know you could use the internet and stuff but at that time they obviously didnt have internet so how did they do it?



They didn't learn it in 9 months. I remember when Dimebag was doing cover tunes in the early 80's, at some local bars in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. He did not get that good overnight. He worked long and hard at it with many hours of practice.
Last edited by gtr1960 at Mar 16, 2007,
#8
Yngwie also played Violin and Lute.

EVH knew piano if i can remeber

DD stuck to pentatonics major and minor. Not a difficult thing to learn. HArd is making it sound good. Meh.
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#9
Read about John Frustiante from RHCP. He just played and played and played at some point he was quoted to say that spirits told him he would be a rock god. I think we are either born with ability that needs honing (look up synethesia) or you are doomed to emulate sound through reading tab and painstaking lessons on chord theory. I was born to struggle to emulate and not create...but is still love to play.
#10
i think one often overlooked aspect is that usually those "greats" have an incredible ear... usually naturally. and that guides everything.

i find that the best musicians in history usually have the very best ears (ability to understand music on an aural level as opposed to just reading tab, etc).

also, those that didn't take lessons may have checked out theory books too.

Bruce Arnold has some good ones (be prepared to work really hard though)... you can find them on amazon.

moral of the story: if you don't want to take lessons, get some good books and MAKE SURE to also develop your ear.

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#11
Learning theory is really up to you. You can get along with out it, and if your anything like me, you'll find out you know a lot more theory than you thought after a while.
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#12
Buy books and stuff.

But I'd say it's more worth your time to get a teacher, it'll make sure you don't make any obvious mistakes.
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#13
K so I've been playing for 9 months and I myself am proggressing well with lessons but im just wondering...how did all the great guitarists like Dimebag Darrel,Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eddie Van Halen learn theory without taken a lesson in their life.
Like I know you could use the internet and stuff but at that time they obviously didnt have internet so how did they do it?

Thanks?

Before 1991 the Internet was called "books".
Actually called Mark!

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#14
Dime talks about how he learned in Riffer Madness:

"(his dad was) a really well-rounded musician and he taught me a lot," Darrell states. "He showed me a few different chord inversions and a major scale, a minor scale and the pentatonic blues scale too. I also learned how to pick things off records from him. I used to bring him albums and he'd pick out riffs and show them to me." ....

... "In addition to jamming for hours on end, Dime would also learn by watching and talking to the guitarists who frequented his dad's studio and the local music store. 'Sometimes I'd ask 'em to show me the hot lick of the day or I'd just pay real close attention to what they were doing,' he reveals. 'Then I'd take it home, dick with it to see how many ways I could stretch it. Doing that would always lead me into some new shit. That's how I learned, by twisting stuff around and trying to turn it into my own thing. Sometimes I learn new things by trying to play something, making a mistake and finding the beauty in it!'

" 'I'm not heavy on theory or reading music books,' he continues. 'And, like I've just told you, I only know two or three scales' "

What I get out of this is that he learned the "old-school" way: by copying as much as he could.

Theory is good but practice is better.
#15
I'm gonna put another two cents in

What I get out of this is that he learned the "old-school" way: by copying as much as he could.


That works well if your gonna play rock music, and have our own band, and become a rich and famous rock star. But if you wanna play like Steve Via, or Satch, or do sesson work, (actually get paid) or set in as a fill guitarist around town with whatever band needs someone(actually make a living with music) you might want to consider learning at least the Nashville number system, or just basic chord and modal theory.

You go to set in on a Jazz gig and start playing only minor and major chords and maybe a few 7th's you might get fired. laughed at , and asked to get off the stage after the first set.

So it is all relative to what you want to do....some guys are happy with a few chords...some guys wanna be the next John Williams or Steve Via . You are the one to decide that. The earlier post about the ears ...right on,.. and as your knowledge of music is expanded your ear learns to hear .....That's why music conservatories start you off right away with ear training.
Last edited by gtr1960 at Mar 20, 2007,
#16
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I just kid. You can buy a shitload of books on theory, and there are a lot of free online resources (like this site) that have oodles of info. If you can learn all the main scales, and all the modes of those scales, as well as some decent chord construction, you'll be on your way...
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#17
I agree - it all depends what direction you want to go in. If you want to do jazz or session work, you'll need to know more/different things then if you just want to rock.

Even Dime, for all his self-proclaimed ignorance, knew the basics of chord construction, intervals, rhythms, etc. At least, judging by what he talks about in his book.

But if you do want to rock, what's even more important is to *learn* as many songs, licks, riffs, as you can. Learn them, absorb them, try to relate them all to each other. You won't get anywhere studying theory just by itself.

That's what I mean by "old-school"
#18
A question:

Is music theory adjusted or different for application to a guiatar or is theory universal for all instruments? Thanks for the reply in advance.
#20
well you learn theory from playing, it becomes sort of second nature.. like when you're just picking do re mi and you notice that sometimes you have to go two half steps and sometimes just half step up.. that's where it begins baby.. *sniff*
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