#1
OK so I've been playing guitar for like 3 years (kinda) and I REALLY want to learn theory properly..

I know scales and stuff like major/minor scales but I don't understand modes or intervals or anything like that. I've already read the music theory FAQ and it's still just like reading chinese to me.

I would say I'm a pretty decent player but I think learning theory would make me a MUCH better player especially seen as how I want to do music at GCSE... and I have to send my forms back tomorow.

What do you guys/girls think I should do?

Can anyone explain it better or simpler or make it so I don't have to read it 10231 times?

Really, if anyone could help me out, I couldn't appreciate it more!
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#2
I ****ing hate learning theory.

But once I learn more of it.

I can run the world.
#3
GCSE Music theory from what I've seen is very simple, and there'll be some kids who won't know any, so you should be in the safe there.

If you wanna learn theory, just take your time through with a teacher, friend, a theory book or even lessons on here

Teachers/friends are always best though.
#4
it bores the hell out of me more than anything. I don't think theres an easy way.
#5
its sooooooooooooooo useful
check out josh urban's column on it, it called the Crusades, it is anything but a waste of time
#6
Craigo, can you recommend a book?

Is the RGT one any good?
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#7
Quote by tomisfatt01
Craigo, can you recommend a book?

Is the RGT one any good?

RGT?

I used this book (my friend is borrowing at the moment so I can't name it) which covers all theory from grade 1 to 6, offering practical and visual exams for keyboard/piano which helped me get a grasp. It wasn't so good for guitar, but I managed to learn my way around.

I recommend anything like that, but is specific to the guitar.
#8
Get yo'self onto the Crusade column by Josh Urban over in the column section of this site
It's a gradual and well structured intro into bits of music theory that you can really use to effect and he's a very nice bloke

And I wouldn't recommend the RGT grade books, they're good for like the specific scales but it's not particuarly indepth in theory terms
#9
Quote by init24
its sooooooooooooooo useful
check out josh urban's column on it, it called the Crusades, it is anything but a waste of time

=1
MASSIVE TEXT
#10
OK thanks I'll check it out and buy a couple of grade books.
Thanks guys.
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#11
Yeah, Josh Urban's column lays basic theory out very nicely. Some of the later ones might be confusing if you really don't know anything, but I'm sure you can benefit from reading the first several columns.
#12
here's how I learned modes.
Think of the major scale as a pattern
1-2-34-5-6-7
let's start with c major as that is the big bang in music theory. If you look at the pattern dashes and numbers there are 12 spots, those are each 1 fret on the guitar or one half step. Each number is the note you play, each dash is the note you skip
so c major looks like this
c-d-ef-g-a-b
at the end of the pattern you go one half step to hit the octave which would be the next c
to change this from a major, (mode 1 ionian) you shift the pattern one step up but start on the same note
mode 2 c dorian
c-dd#-f-g-aBb-
or 1-23-4-5-67-
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#13
each mode shifts the patern one more position
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#14
I've read the section on intervals but I still don't get what's all this diminished 5ths and perfect 5ths what the hell do they mean?
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#15
Quote by tomisfatt01
I've read the section on intervals but I still don't get what's all this diminished 5ths and perfect 5ths what the hell do they mean?


Those are the intervals or spaces between notes as said in the article

A perfect 5th is what forms a power chord, for example the perfect 5th to an A note would be E, a diminished 5th would thus be a D# and a minor 6th would be an F

Start off at the beginning of the series and read it all through carefully, even take notes if you want to, theory is something you can't really jump into unless you have the basics down, something that series does well in guiding you through

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/general_music/the_crusade_part_i.html
Last edited by philipisabeast at Feb 25, 2008,
#16
Quote by philipisabeast
Those are the intervals or spaces between notes

A perfect 5th is what forms a power chord, for example the perfect 5th to an A note would be E, a diminished 5th would thus be a D# and a minor 6th would be an F

Start off at the beginning of the series and read it all through carefully, even take notes if you want to, theory is something you can't really jump into unless you have the basics down, something that series does well in guiding you through


+1
Took the words right out of my mouth
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#17
^ Haha oh how cunning do I feel now

I have to admit though, it took me ages to realise all that modes are is the major scale with a tonal center on a note other than the root of that, and aside from that exactly the same (aside from position if you want it to be)
#18
So if a perfect 5th is what forms a power chord then does that apply to diminished 5th and minor 6th aswell?
Sorry I suck.
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#19
If you reply I'll get back to you later I have to go for a while.

Thanks for the help
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#20
Quote by tomisfatt01
So if a perfect 5th is what forms a power chord then does that apply to diminished 5th and minor 6th aswell?
Sorry I suck.


No the perfect 5th note from the root note is what forms the power chord (or 5th chord, same thing) I only included minor 6th and diminished 5th to indicate those being the notes next to that perfect 5th

There's 12 notes and the method of naming the intervals indicates which note you have depending on the root, give those lessons a read though, deff
#21
here's how I learned modes.
Think of the major scale as a pattern
1-2-34-5-6-7
let's start with c major as that is the big bang in music theory. If you look at the pattern dashes and numbers there are 12 spots, those are each 1 fret on the guitar or one half step. Each number is the note you play, each dash is the note you skip
so c major looks like this
c-d-ef-g-a-b
at the end of the pattern you go one half step to hit the octave which would be the next c
to change this from a major, (mode 1 ionian) you shift the pattern one step up but start on the same note
mode 2 c dorian
c-dd#-f-g-aBb-
or 1-23-4-5-67-

That D# should be written as Eb, to keep the mode diatonic.
I have to admit though, it took me ages to realise all that modes are is the major scale with a tonal center on a note other than the root of that, and aside from that exactly the same (aside from position if you want it to be)
That is not ALL they are. There is much more than that to learn about and use modes. Also, the position is completely irrelevant.

People, please, if someone doesn't have an in-depth understanding of the major scale, intervals, chord construction and progressions DONT try to teach them modes (especially if they don't ask!!).

TS, along with The Crusade articles, I suggest you also read through and learn the 'music theory' link in my sig. They cover much the same information, but in different ways. If you have a specific question after reading these, feel free to ask here.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#22
^ I wasn't implying that that is ALL modes are, I was simply referring to how they are basically constructed, not how they're applied, used within music and the many variations; and that statement was towards Valo Rhoads, not the TS
#23
Quote by philipisabeast
A perfect 5th is what forms a power chord, for example the perfect 5th to an A note would be E, a diminished 5th would thus be a D#

Technically a D# is an Augmented 4th. Enharmonics are complex. You've got the idea but need to polish up your finer points. Keep working on it though, it'll all make sense one day.
#24
^ Correct, it would appear that I did in fact balls that up, but either way, the TS should start at the beginning and get the foundation stuff before he moves on to higher ground
#25
Yeah stop posting all this confusing stuff I'm only just starting that stuff sounds a bit complex. lol
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#26
I agree people here explain it in the most confusing way possible, but it is also the only CORRECT way to explain it.

I think of it as theres the major scale, all the modes are just basing/revolving major scale on a different note.
#27
I think the best thing would be for me to just thoroughly read "The crusade" columns
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#28
meh, i would have never been bothered to read all of these essays on music theory people have posted. I learned how to play the guitar by surrounding myself with musicians better than myself.
#29
There's hardly any musicians I know where I live, let alone better than me.
And I'm better than most people in my school and the only 2 people better than me are dick headed Trivium wannabees...
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#31
I have a teacher I just haven't yet asked him about it.
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#33
I wasn't implying that that is ALL modes are

Yet you said
it took me ages to realise all that modes are is the major scale with a tonal center on a note other than the root of that, and aside from that exactly the same



Tomisfat, you should ask your teacher about it. If you would rather use your lesson time for other goals, then maybe it would suffice to read 'the crusade' and the 'music theory' link in my sig, and ask your teacher about anything you don't understand.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums