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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everybody!
Was wondering where is a good starting point for guitar theory?
Thank in advance!

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Do you know (all of) the notes on the E string?

(i.e., How much theory do you know at this point in time?)
 

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Hello,
First, the following is only my opinion and therefore, you will need to weigh-out the pros and cons accordingly.

Second, I suggest not using the guitar. Instead, obtain a folding piano keyboard made of cardboard, such as the "Frederick Harris Music Company Keyboard Chart - Piano". I recommend this for at least 2 reasons 1) it gets you away from the guitar, at least initially, and 2) the piano is the best place to learn theory.

Next, if at all possible, learn how to build scales. You should also understand why this is so? To me, the acquisition of knowledge should make sense - this makes for wise students.

Then, learn about scales. As you should discover, scales are build on what is referred to as the "Major Scale Form". Again, I love teaching that is foundational in both design and usage. This keeps the learning cycle exciting as well as very practical.

I hope that this information is of help to you.
 

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The absolutely most important single item of music theory is the major scale. Everything else seems to be based on that whether you're talking about scales or chord construction. Everything is just an alteration of the major scale.
I would agree. That said, I don't know my major scales. But I do understand how chord notes and other scales I use relate to it.
 

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What's theory?
 

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Chitmo,
What's theory?
...Merriam-Webster, defines theory as "the general ideas or principles of an art or science" such as "music theory".

I personally find the term theory to be too broad and somewhat ambiguous, so I prefer to use other, more succinct terms.

PS: Not too sure if this comment is "in jest" or not but will answer it nonetheless.
 

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Music theory is only an explanation of what your ear already knows.

The piano suggestion is top shelf!! Learning music theory is a very visual thing that the guitar cannot represent.
Once you see the following lesson with a keyboard, you’ll better catch it.

All scales are sequences of semi-tones ( E TO F OR D TO D# for example) and tones (E TO F# or D TO E).

In a scale for example from C to C, there are 8 notes and only 7 relationships between each note. Tones T and semi-tones ST.

T T ST T T T ST

long and short of it, get a keyboard and see how chords are created and why they sound the way they do.

If in cooking : “la sauce est tout”
Then in music : la melodie est tout”.

Bed time.
 

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Hello,
Before learning about scales themselves, learn everything you can about the letters A B C D E F G A. Observe and make note of what it is that you are looking at - in particular, to what I refer to as "the five minor alterations".

Also, it is important to be aware of duplicate terms and then learn why some terms may be more preferable to use than others. For example Semi-Tone/Half Step, and Tone/Whole Step.

In my teaching, I prefer to consider the whole topic of "theory" from four perspectives - beginning with melody and ending with chords. I consider this a more "pianistic" approach and one which is very foundational.
 

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The absolutely most important single item of music theory is the major scale. Everything else seems to be based on that whether you're talking about scales or chord construction. Everything is just an alteration of the major scale.
To learn scales or not was my question for a long time. I knew the theory, but would not practice them.
A sparkling answer came : "We have to learn scales as quick as possible to forget about them !" Uuuh ?!?!
Yeah ! Once you have developed a strong feeling of scales, you no longer have to think about them : they are there, just at the tip of your fingers.
Brilliant ! I have been working on that for two months now, and as pentatonics got in my hands, the feeling is not that obvious to me. But I feel it is coming, man... yes it comes... ;-)

And scales are basic to chord understanding and construction... and modes unsderstanding as well.
 
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Hello,
It would be nice if Asian_blur would follow-up with us on this posting.
Would like to know how he is doing with this information?
It is not too difficult to suffer from information overload these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey all,
Thank for all thr input. Sorry for the delay in reply. Life is busy haha. I have been playing guitar for few years now mostly just reading tabs. The only theory I know is the musical alphabet and most of the notes on the neck.

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gotta chime in - i too am of the opinion that understanding a major scale is THE place to start. Everything else you'll ever do is based on a major scale - notes are always spoken about in terms of where they live in a major scale. "flat 3rd" means lower the third step of a major scale one semi-tone. "sharp 5th"means raise the 5th step of a major scale by one semi-tone. :) quiz one - what is the difference between a major 7th and a dominant 7th? (some research required?)
Also, for chords, the 1st, 3rd, and 5th steps of the scale combine to form the major chord for whatever key you're in - the 2nd, 4th, and 6th steps combine to make the next chord....notice a pattern developing here? Sorry to go on! You can tell i love this stuff - hope you find the passion too - it must be like primary colours for a painter - that's their major scale - from there its all about subtle shading changes...
 

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Knowing the names of all the notes on fretboard is very useful.

You can get to a point where when you put your fingers down to make chord you instantly know what notes are in that chord, and vice-verse.
 

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Hello,
To begin with, the following information is only my opinion and therefore, you will need to weigh-out the pros and cons accordingly.
When I am introducing scales to students, I ask them initially to pretend that they are "musical carpenters". As such, they require tools. They need to know 1) what these tools are and, 2) how to use them.
Then, as they learn how to actually build scales, they really begin to see the entire structure of the scale itself.
This entire process is built on the asking of questions that pertain to the task of what aspect of scale building they are performing at that particular time.
Granted, this process may appear to take longer, but being foundational in design, when it comes to learning the other scale types, they now have a clear grasp of what it is that needs to be done.
One of my favorite instructors would continually be asking their students, "Does this make sense?" If it does, great!...and if not, determine just what it is that they do not understand and proceed from there.
I hope that you find this information helpful?
 

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Asian_Blur,
Music is a language, so you need to approach music in a similar manner as you would any language.

Languages have structure, and yes, languages also have rules that govern how a language is to be properly used.

As I mentioned previously, learn about what I refer to as "the five minor alterations" to the Musical Alphabet.
 
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