#1
Do you guys put learning your theory over learning how to play better? (using all fingers/alt pick/sweep picking, etc)

Or do you study some theory and learn some new techniques (and just have playablity of more difficult music) while applying that theory?


I ask because I have limited time for guitar because school has started up and I need to learn more theory but also need to advance in my playing as well. So with not a lot of time, should I study my theory and practice once I know a lot more? Or should I practice and learn the theory only in extra time?
#2
Depends on which one needs more work. I would say work more on technical ability, because that takes more time and can only be done at home or wherever it is that you practice. Theory can be studied anywhere, on the commute, etc. I would say you have to do both every day.
#4
I have the same problem too, proportionally, every 5 minutes that I study (and not understand) theory, I play 30 secs on my guitar
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#5
I understand the thing about having limited time, not everybody has ten hours a day. But the important thing is to divide your practice time usefully - if you want to concentrate on your theory, maybe spend some more time on that.

That said, definitely don't spend all your time on theory, especially if it bores you - break it up. Maybe follow John Petrucci's advice on "Rock Discipline" and plan how much time you have to practice, and how much time you can spend on each part of that. So if you have half an hour, maybe spend 10 minutes doing theory, and 20 playing?

I've had a problem with applying theory to my guitar, and I've found the best way to do it for me is to study the theory so you understand it, and then apply it straight to your instrument. Get learning where the notes are up and down the fretboard, you'd be surprised how much of a difference it can make when you can actually use the theory you've been learning.

I don't know, hope that helps!
#6
Theory and practice ideally should go hand in hand. For all the theory you know, you should be able to replicate it on guitar in practice.
That said, when you are starting out guitar, it is critical to practise more in order to build up coordination and muscle memory. When you are comfortable with your hands you should definately start focusing on your theory.
#7
Quote by TheNthDimension
I understand the thing about having limited time, not everybody has ten hours a day. But the important thing is to divide your practice time usefully - if you want to concentrate on your theory, maybe spend some more time on that.

That said, definitely don't spend all your time on theory, especially if it bores you - break it up. Maybe follow John Petrucci's advice on "Rock Discipline" and plan how much time you have to practice, and how much time you can spend on each part of that. So if you have half an hour, maybe spend 10 minutes doing theory, and 20 playing?

I've had a problem with applying theory to my guitar, and I've found the best way to do it for me is to study the theory so you understand it, and then apply it straight to your instrument. Get learning where the notes are up and down the fretboard, you'd be surprised how much of a difference it can make when you can actually use the theory you've been learning.

I don't know, hope that helps!


+1.

Don't push to learn too much if you're having a bad time learning it, because that'll only make it harder to learn.
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#8
Keeping a theory book in the bathroom is good. Im limited on time too. I work 50 hours a week commute for 10 thats 60 gone right there. Then i have a girlfriedn living with me so she takes lots of ym playing time as well so i know all to well how it feels. The worst thing is being stuck a wrok (where i am right now on my break) and wanting to play and then getting home sometimes i dont have the energy and i wanted to so bad all day. Try to sneak learning theory like on your breaks or if you have a free period bring a book with you and practice guitar at home would be my advice.
#11
learn a new scale -> proceed to sweep picking that scale

you got to put it to use to make something out of it
#12
I take lessons once a week and that's a good time to focus on theory for me because I have a real, knowledgeable person to ask questions and bounce ideas off of. During the week I read theory stuff online. Now I can start working out chords and scales in my head while doing other things.

I feel like studying theory and playing guitar shouldn't be two separate things though. I try to spend half my practicing time finding scales and chords on the neck or something and the other half learning songs I like from UG tabs. If anyone has any advice on this, that would be great...
Play the music, not the instrument. ~Author Unknown


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#13
Activily listening to songs on the radio is good practice when your at work (if you can) or in the car. By this mean try to identify chord changes and see if you recognise what chords they are playing. I notice the 1 4 and 5 chords in many songs on the oldies station. Also I listen to songs and think of melodys in my head or solos in my head while im working. If you activily listen in this way it can help you by recognising theory and things you know. Listen for scales that the guitarist is using. Try to visualize what the player is doing in your head. Ive listened to songs/riff or licks on the radio and gotten home and played them on my guitar just because i could hear the chords or recognise patterns. This is making good use of little time you have and your ears are your best friend. Sometimes im sitting there blankly staring off into space but im soloing in my mind. The more variety you listen the better as well no matter what genre you play.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Aug 21, 2008,
#14
Thanks for all the responses!
Part of problem I think is, I normally practice guitar (Write origionals and learn covers) during the week with free time and then spend a couple days or two and really study theory but not actually APPLY it to my guitar.

My question is, how would I start to apply my theory to my guitar playing?