#1
Gday, i have been playing guitar for about 3 years now, i play most of the day, everyday. Anyway i can play all my favorite songs quite well, and I know where all the notes for the major scale are all over the fretboard, but thats it. I can play songs awesomely, but when i try to jam with a band it sound crap, cos i dont know anyting about music theory.

My goal is to be able to say "I would like to play da di da di da da da" and then just be able to play it if u know what i mean. And also to be able to go all over the fretboard, staying in the same key, and understand the relationship between all the major scales (I see that they are all the same pattern, just starting at different places, but it confuses me deeply)

Anyway, i understand now that i need to learn music theory, where should i start? Is it vital to memorize what every note is on the fretboard? If so ill start with that. Where to next?

Thanks for your help and advice would be great.
RG's & Mesa's
#2
Yes, memorize the fretboard. Also, check out the theory sticky at the top of this page. Congratulations on deciding to learn theory, it's a great idea.
#3
learn every note of the fretboard
then learn the circle of fifths.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."-Duke
#4
Also, if you're attempting to learn theory correctly by reading posts on this forum, please ignore all posts by Takendergib, save for the comedic value of these posts.
#5
If you want to be able to play all over the fretboard then learn the major scale all over the fretboard. You dont necessarely have to instantly know what note any fret is just remember each fret moves up a half step. 1st fret E string is F and 2 fret is F#. And if you didnt know already E# and B# arent used.
#7
Quote by :-D
^Actually, they are used in some contexts, it's just uncommon to see them. They DO exist.

I know they exist but it is easy for begginers to understand if you say they don't.
#8
Understand how scales work, and how you can build chords from that. Very important for writing stuff.

I believe I saw someone pointing out the theory topic which is stickied on the top of this page somewhere.

Good Luck!
#9
Quote by e32lover
...to be able to go all over the fretboard, staying in the same key, and understand the relationship between all the major scales (I see that they are all the same pattern, just starting at different places, but it confuses me deeply). Anyway, I understand now that i need to learn music theory, where should i start? Is it vital to memorize what every note is on the fretboard? If so ill start with that. Where to next?
Memorizing and then knowing at an intuitive level the names (meaning the enharmonic names, including the E#s, Fbs, B#s and Cbs) of every fret on your instrument is foundational.

Then I'd suggest getting a real understanding of intervals. You need to know how they're named and why they're named that way. You also need to know how they co-exist on your fretboard. In other words, you need to know where, for example, a minor sixth lies from where you now are, in both directions. Again, this is foundational, in my opinion.

You're working with scales, and that's good. You state that they confuse you, though, and that's bad. Much if not most of scale work is brute-force practice. You're seeking a subconscious-level knowing of where the scales lie on the fretboard. From there, you can move into the modes and how they relate to the chords you're leaning on the parallel track...

You've obviously learned enough chords to be able to play the songs you want to play. The next step is to learn your diatonic triads, and later their extensions, thoroughly. I'm sure there's a thread or two in this forum covering this topic. In any case, please believe me when I tell you that, when you can move to the various diatonic triads, then the full chords, then their extensions all over your fretboard, and then are able to combine that with your understanding of intervals, scales and modes, you're going to be a soloing wizard.

There's always more. Certainly the Circle of Fifths is very important, but in my opinion your need for that knowledge will flow from your increasing grasp of fretboard knowledge, intervals, scales and modes, and the diatonic chords.

Again, this is all my opinion, but I do base it on many, many years of playing and teaching. Probably the best approach is to put yourself under the one-on-one guidance of a good teacher. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.

gpb
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
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For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#10
Mesmerize your fretboard via the scales and modes, thats how I'm learning theory
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#11
Quote by gpb0216
Memorizing and then knowing at an intuitive level the names (meaning the enharmonic names, including the E#s, Fbs, B#s and Cbs) of every fret on your instrument is foundational.

Then I'd suggest getting a real understanding of intervals. You need to know how they're named and why they're named that way. You also need to know how they co-exist on your fretboard. In other words, you need to know where, for example, a minor sixth lies from where you now are, in both directions. Again, this is foundational, in my opinion.

You're working with scales, and that's good. You state that they confuse you, though, and that's bad. Much if not most of scale work is brute-force practice. You're seeking a subconscious-level knowing of where the scales lie on the fretboard. From there, you can move into the modes and how they relate to the chords you're leaning on the parallel track...

You've obviously learned enough chords to be able to play the songs you want to play. The next step is to learn your diatonic triads, and later their extensions, thoroughly. I'm sure there's a thread or two in this forum covering this topic. In any case, please believe me when I tell you that, when you can move to the various diatonic triads, then the full chords, then their extensions all over your fretboard, and then are able to combine that with your understanding of intervals, scales and modes, you're going to be a soloing wizard.

There's always more. Certainly the Circle of Fifths is very important, but in my opinion your need for that knowledge will flow from your increasing grasp of fretboard knowledge, intervals, scales and modes, and the diatonic chords.

Again, this is all my opinion, but I do base it on many, many years of playing and teaching. Probably the best approach is to put yourself under the one-on-one guidance of a good teacher. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.

gpb
^^/thread. That is the best explanation of "where should I start" that I've ever read. Make sure to ask questions about that post if anything is confusing e32lover. And DO follow that advice.
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#12
you can go to musictheory.net, they have some really good instructional lessons there, ear trainers (which I do often) for chords, scales, and intervals.

Also, I'd suggest learning the basics first. Learn the major scale, how it works, and learn intervals. Then move on to the circle of 4ths and 5ths, chord progressions, melodic dictation, etc.
Theory takes a lot of work, but once you learn it, and apply it to your music, you'll be a better musician altogether.
Quote by steven seagull
There are no boring scales, just boring guitarists.

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#13
Quote by SOAD_freak777
I know they exist but it is easy for begginers to understand if you say they don't.


No, you wouldn't want to completely deny the existence of perfectly valid notes.
#14
Q:Anyway, i understand now that i need to learn music theory, where should i start? Is it vital to memorize what every note is on the fretboard? If so ill start with that. Where to next?

my answer : (in no particular order )
1:learn the thoery relative to what you are playing writing ,
2:study for a thoery exam ,
3:find a teacher who specialises in thoery to help you .
4:enjoy the process of learning it !
Damien Redmond - "Grade 8 electric guitar" -"Grade 5 theory "
"Licentiate Diploma of the London college of music "
#15
Quote by gpb0216
Memorizing and then knowing at an intuitive level the names (meaning the enharmonic names, including the E#s, Fbs, B#s and Cbs) of every fret on your instrument is foundational.

Then I'd suggest getting a real understanding of intervals. You need to know how they're named and why they're named that way. You also need to know how they co-exist on your fretboard. In other words, you need to know where, for example, a minor sixth lies from where you now are, in both directions. Again, this is foundational, in my opinion.

You're working with scales, and that's good. You state that they confuse you, though, and that's bad. Much if not most of scale work is brute-force practice. You're seeking a subconscious-level knowing of where the scales lie on the fretboard. From there, you can move into the modes and how they relate to the chords you're leaning on the parallel track...

You've obviously learned enough chords to be able to play the songs you want to play. The next step is to learn your diatonic triads, and later their extensions, thoroughly. I'm sure there's a thread or two in this forum covering this topic. In any case, please believe me when I tell you that, when you can move to the various diatonic triads, then the full chords, then their extensions all over your fretboard, and then are able to combine that with your understanding of intervals, scales and modes, you're going to be a soloing wizard.

There's always more. Certainly the Circle of Fifths is very important, but in my opinion your need for that knowledge will flow from your increasing grasp of fretboard knowledge, intervals, scales and modes, and the diatonic chords.

Again, this is all my opinion, but I do base it on many, many years of playing and teaching. Probably the best approach is to put yourself under the one-on-one guidance of a good teacher. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.

gpb


For me all those things came really fast, and made lots of sense, EXCEPT for the notes of the fretboard. I still take a couple seconds to name alot of notes.
#16
Quote by CortFan1
Mesmerize your fretboard via the scales and modes, thats how I'm learning theory
I would suggest not learning the modes until later.
#17
Quote by CortFan1
Mesmerize your fretboard via the scales and modes, thats how I'm learning theory


I think I'd recommend memorizing it first, actually. Then you'll be able to mesmerize it with your playing skills!
#18
WOW thanks heaps for your help guys. I have put stickers all over my guitar with the names of the notes, and I think im well on the way.

So, I understand from the many replies above, the first thing I should do is learn every note on the fretboard, and learn the major scales so fluently that i can play them in all the different places, all over the guitar in all keys.

That should keep me busy for the next month or so, then i will move on the other suggested areas. Does that sound about right?

Thanks heaps, much appreciated.
RG's & Mesa's
#19
Quote by :-D
I think I'd recommend memorizing it first, actually. Then you'll be able to mesmerize it with your playing skills!


I see what you did there.

isaac_bandits: Hah, I'm pretty much the same way. I know the low A and E strings and the high E and B strings perfectly. D and G line up the same as E and A so I just do the quick 2 frets over check.
#20
If you mean being able to learn a song by ear, you need to develop relative pitch. Relative pitch means being able to determine what intervals are occuring within music. An interval is how big a jump in pitch there is. If you arpeggiate a power chord you would be playing a perfet fifth interval. To play a third you would start on C and play and E. A minor third would be starting on C and playing an E flat.

Look up relative pitch on google.
The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.-John Cage