If this is not really a forum for beginner questions I apologize and please feel free to delete this thread. If you don't mind answering it, however, it would be much appreciated.
Okay, a little background:
I have been "playing" guitar for about 5 years now. By that I mean I've learned a few chords and a few easy songs. However, I just don't want to be that kind of guitar player anymore. I want to understand the theory. My goal is to be able to play what I feel without having to think about it, as I play to relax (which i know will take much practice!).
Having said that, I've really enjoyed watching some of Peeber's videos. I found it originally after reading that chromatic scales were good practice. I, of course, youtubed this and going through many videos I saw Peeber's. So now I'm starting the syllabus and watched the scaletone form systems part 1 and 1A. While I understand the patterns or "forms," I don't understand any of the theory behind them. What it boils down to is that I would like to learn said theory. Does anyone have a suggestion on the best way to go about doing it? Should I just sit down and read a book on it (and if so, what book?) Or should I just follow Peeber's videos and let the theory come in time? I plan on taking private lessons when I can make time (I work 50+ hours a week and have college 3 nights a week currently) but for now I think working on theory could give me a good head start.
Also, as an aside, when I first started playing, I read in many places that you should keep your thumb near the low e-string to help mute it when needed, but now I see everyone saying that you should keep your thumb behind the neck. I am trying the latter now but after playing the other way so long it seems difficult. Which way do you suggest playing?
Thanks for your time, I know it was a long read.
I know this was addressed to Pebber, but i had a similar experience. I played all through highschool from tabs and chord
charts, knowing enough basic knowledge to get me by. The big thing that helped me theory wise, was learning to read
music. I worked my way through the book one Berklee Modern guitar method, and then having to take music theory lessons
with the college im at...well that really helped me understand the theory.
Although im sure Pebber will have an evern better method.
Actually, I never specifically addressed this to Pebber. I know he's busy. Thank you for your response. :) Right now what I'm doing is first trying to learn all the notes on the guitar fret by using flash cards. That way I can work on guitar even when I'm at work (on breaks). :)
I do intend to learn how to read music. I know the (VERY) basics. EGBDF and FACE for lines and spaces (and they both repeat above and below the staff), but that's the extent of my knowledge. I wish I could take a course in college too, unfortunately I'm under contract to work on electronics classes for another few years until I get my degree.
Again, thanks for the advise. I'll have to look into that book.
A lot of theory can be worked mentally, for example learning the scales in all keys can be done mentally, it helps to go in the circle of 4ths for example C major - cdefgabc, F major one flat Bb - fgeBbcdef - Bb major - two flats etc... Then you can recite the triads ceg, dfa, egb, fac, gbd,bdf etc.. then move on to 7th, 9th, after that do inversions starting on the 2nd and then 3rd note of the triad, egc, acf, bdg. When you are reciting them try to have an established "clock" whatever it is and stick with it using the same pricipals as though you are learning a new song. Then do progressions I IV V - CFG, etc or work out your favorite song in every key.
This is exactly why I started this forum in the first place - I cant get back to private emails right away or for a long time so I was thinking that if you could post it here you could get some answers right away because there are a lot of knowledgeable and sharp guys here and I could get to it later on as well. Most of the time though the guys here already answer the questions better than I can and you get multiple answers as well.
Great explanation Rob. Personally I kick myself late in life for not learning this stuff as a kid. It's always just given me a headache.
The Circle of Fifths was baffling me until I found this: http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/circle.html
And damn now you mention Circle of 4ths, what the heck. One could spend a lifetime on theory and never learn to play or feel music imho. It sounds like the o.p. is bogged down in work and school. I'd suggest he make music classes a part of his curriculum so he will remain diciplined. If not, an easy place to start is the Nashville Number System.
I was asked to help a friend learn guitar awhile back and he was very inquisitive about the theory. Stopping each step of the lesson in order to understand why. I had to realistically let him know I don't know a lot of theory and can't sight read music. It came down to "look do you want to know why or do you want to play guitar" lol. He finally accepted my teachings and enjoys playing in a group now. When he's ready for more advance theory he will be looking up Pebber. After all it was Pebber who on stage would look at me and say "Do this".... My answer? "No, you do that!" It was his way of forcing me to try and take a lead part. I have to say it worked.
As far as his question on thumb placement on the neck, I'll say keeping it behind the neck is a good rule of thumb. But the style of using it on the 6th string has it's merits as well.
Now dang it I've got to go look up Circle of 4ths. Geez you wizards just don't quit. :)
Whoa the Circle of 4ths is even more trippy.... I've got to try that progression. Going from C to F to Bb. Can't wait to get home.
And the theory on playing the scale: "Bingo! The only difference between the C major scale and the F major scale is ONE note. Notice that F major has all white notes just like C. The only difference is one black key and that’s Bb.
So here’s the golden rule.
To get from one key on the circle to the next (going the counter-clockwise direction of C to F to Bb to Eb and so on), just take the 7th note of any scale, lower it a half step, and that gives you the ONLY difference between the current scale and the next one on the circle."
Now I've got a headache again.
Hope this helps - this "circle of 4ths" as I'm calling it is the method by which I learned all the flat keys, circle of 5ths works for the sharp keys. IMO the flat keys sound better in the tempered scale so I tend to go in that direction, a lot of guitar players wind up playing and composing in sharp keys just because of the tuning of the instrument.
I'm only going to include these links as an FYI as to why certain keys sound one way or the other, to each his own regarding keys. It's not necessary to know this stuff to play music.
Thanks for all the great information so far. As far as I can see the fourths and the fifths are both on the same circle which is nice. This will give me some theory to work on. Also I need to learn my fretboard still (in progress) and I've been working on some chromatic exercises every day. I've got a lot of information to keep me busy for a bit. I need start on practicing scales one of these days as well. Feel free to throw more of that great information out there and I'll be sure to look at it if you do!
RE: Music Theoryin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:12 pm
by beatlesfreak311 • 4 Posts
Here's my 2 cents:
If your looking to learn music theory, I highly recommend Theory and Harmony by Keith Wyatt and Carl Schroeder. I've just begun working with it to learn more advanced harmonic theory, and it's just great. It'll take you from 0 to advanced, but you gotta put in the effort. It's a workbook, and trust me when I say that it's worth doing every exercise if you want to learn the material.
Also, make sure to apply what you learn immediately. It might seem like an obvious point, but it took me 2 years to finally make the connection between a scale and a solo.
Has anyone tried this book out? http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Rudimen...m/dp/1554400112
I recently bought it and am going through it slowly. It seems very thorough, but it is pretty dry stuff. It's also more of a general music theory book rather than specific to an instrument, so I'm wondering if there is something better.
I also picked up http://www.amazon.com/Solo-Guitar-Playin...l/dp/0825694000 which I've found to be quite good in terms of teaching music notation while you practice. It starts off slow but it gets to some nice solo songs. My only problem, which is more about not having a teacher currently, is about when to progress. I think that's my biggest problem in general. I get to a certain point and don't know if I should just keep going or not due to my abilities (ie. should I be able to play this song full speed, or just get consistent at a slower speed then move on?).
The following contents have been linked to this post:
RE: Music Theoryin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:38 am
by uderoche (deleted)
As far as music reading is concerned, I don't think it gets any better than the Berklee Modern Method by William Leavitt. He even wrote a "Phase 1" and "Phase 2" book for beginners who aren't quite ready for the Modern Method books yet. For what's it worth, I highly recommend these.
The real answer to this question is that people need to go out and get more than ONE book. You need as many sources as possible. Jaco Pastorius used to go to the public library and check out book after book after book on theory, composers, music etc. There is no PANACEA ONE BOOK WILL MAKE YOU read music. This does not exist. READING music and Learning theory properly takes YEARS and DECADES to accomplish. I myself have several DOZEN books on theory, thousands of pieces of sheet music, several DOZEN books on Jazz Theory and Arranging and Hundreds and Hundreds of Guitar instruction books and dozens of diffrent real books. I have over 100 books on music theory. This is what you must do - use it ALL.
cool thanks pebber - ever get into paganini? I also used to have a book of irish fiddle tunes which were great for the simplicity of their composition and also presented some major challenges for picking studies.
Itzhak Perlman was by FAR the best!
I think Jason did the best interpretation of Paganini for the guitar. These other guys.....even Malmsteen didnt come close to the emotion of the compositions. Well...ok Malmsteen did...but he is in a league of his own!
“A World Without String Is Chaos”
RE: Music Theoryin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:07 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
Oh man, I have had a love affair with Paganini ever since I was a kid and discovered him through Yngwie (of course).
Frakh is right on! NOBODY can touch Itzhak as far as the 24 Caprices are concerned. I had that exact version on cassette back in the day. A friend of mine had Midori doing her version on CD and we would compare them side by side. NO COMPARISON! Although, truth be told, all of that stuff is intense and if you can play it, you are definitely a master musician.
Honestly? I never much got into hearing the Caprices on guitar. It gets lost in translation for me. Although, I do have a cd of Eliot Fisk doing them on classical guitar and that to me would be the best "guitar" versions. Even still, doesn't do it for me like the violin.
Joe Stump? I don't know what to think of this guy. Looks like Yngwie, hair like Yngwie, strat like Yngwie.
A friend of mine ran into him in a bar in New Orleans and he said, "I'm like the American Yngwie."
I guess somebody had to be
Not many people know this but Paganini was also a very much world class guitarist. The problem was that during his time the guitar wasnt as much a popular instrument as the violin was and it was relegated to a category of a "parlor" instrument rather than a "legit" instrument. Hector Berlioz was also a guitarist foremost and as such he was subsequently snubbed by most all other composers due to him being a guitarist and not a pianist. He sure showed them didnt he? Paganini was reported to spend as much time on the guitar as he did the violin. On the corollary, Hector Villa Lobos was a world class guitarist but he did NOT want to be known as a guitarist - he was infatuated with gaining fame as an OPERA composer more than anything else. Go figure. There exists a rare few guitar compositions by Paganini. Nicolo was the second best virtuoso of his time second only to the great Franz List who he was close friends with and they played a lot of concerts together in fact. No one could touch Liszt and they to this day can barely do it.
RE: Music Theoryin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:53 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
I was never much a fan of the Romantic composers, however, this was definitely the period that gave birth to the virtuoso and I love Chopin, Liszt, and Paganini...but not really their orchestral music. I remember hearing the 24 Caprices and was blown away so I ran out and bought a tape of Paganini orchestral music and thought it was horrible. Beethoven is the exception for me. He wrote my favorite opera Fidelio. The only opera he wrote I believe. I also love Wagner for his chromatic stuff...but that was more late romantic.