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Thread: Theory?

  1. #1
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    02.29.08 @ 03:42 PM
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    I do not consider myself a "good" player but I enjoy noodling around. I never had the dough to upgrade my gear...I'll bet some of you guys would laugh your ass of at my flat top and squier strat. The thing is, I've kinda hit a wall that is about 5 years thick...not learning anything that really boosts my ability as a player. I've considered taking a Music Theory class but I don't know if its a waste of time or not. Any of you guys had Theory? If so, did it profoundly influence your understanding of the guitar or music in general or was it a waste of time? Just curious.
    believe the lies...there is no truth

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    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Yes and yes.

    Theory is the language of music. The more you understand it, the better you are able to speak.

    I had about 5 years of theory and while it was tough to say X piece of theory enabled me to do Y; I found that theory provided me a map of what is possible.

    My suggestion is to find a good teacher and start from the ground up. As far as actual theory classes at a college or university, I'd hold off on that. Those are pretty dry and are generally not tailored to what you particularly want to do.

    If you find a good teacher and tell him, or her, what you want they'll guide you through the learning while keeping it fun. When I was taking lessons my teacher would work with me for 1/2 hour or so on the theory side, and the 1/2 hour on things that I immediately wanted to learn, like certain solo ideas picking technique, etc.

    A lot of people say it has to fun or itís no good. Learning theory can be frustrating and hard work but with the proper teacher it can be a big source of inspiration as well.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Dude, take it. Knowledge is a good thing. You will
    meet other musicians and it's good to give your brain a workout. If I had to do it over again I'd take basic keyboard too because it will cut the time you do homework in half.

    Here's what you get out of it:

    You'll learn to read music.

    You'll learn chord structure that will help your playing immediately.

    You will learn chord progressions and how they work which will help you in song writing.

    Once you can read basic sheet music you can learn your favorite songs in half the time because of sheet music. You can also show the other guys in your band their parts too so you learn more songs faster and better.

    You will get some discipline, and that's always good.

    Look, it's going to be a challenge and in places it's going to be hard but it's so worth it in the end. I took good notes and I still have them and refer to them once in a while.

    Also who knows, maybe you will want to go to some place like the Berkely College of Music in Boston or G.I.T. or Grove in Hollywood and being able to read and having some theory will be a big help. Maybe you'll continue on as a music major and go on to teach music in school..who knows.

    Do it, you're a fool to pass on this.
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  4. #4
    5150 TheCaboKid's Avatar
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    06.24.15 @ 01:26 AM
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    Theory is important. Alot of guys know how but they don't why. When I bought The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Deyner about twelve years ago, my playing improved 1000 times. Again its not just how but why. Get this book! It has everything you need to know.
    "Well, he's an intelligent, well-read guy. But it's like he can't connect the dots somehow." (EVH Guitar World, March 1998).

    GP: "Did you use a pick for "Spanish Fly"?

    EVH: "Yeah, except for the part near the end that sounds like Montoya or something."

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys
    believe the lies...there is no truth

  6. #6
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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    Originally posted by TheCaboKid:
    When I bought The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Deyner about twelve years ago, my playing improved 1000 times.
    I had been struggling for about a year trying to learn more than a handful of open chords, then I borrowed a copy of this book from my uncle. Fifteen years later and I still have it. It is absolutely indispensible. It presents everything from scales to harmony in such a matter-of-fact way that everything becomes so simple. Basically, it's the book I learned to play from.

    I've made this point before, but it bears repeating. Theory is too often approached as being complex, difficult, even mysterious, when in fact it's actually pure logic. Understanding how a chord or scale works is a matter of simple mathematics. If you can add 4 to 3 and make 7, you can understand how a major chord works. The biggest mistake people make is looking for complicated answers instead of simple ones, and they end up not seeing the woods for the trees.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  7. #7
    Little Dreamer
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    02.24.06 @ 08:22 AM
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    I agree with everyone. Ya gotta learn the rules so you can break 'em! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

 

 

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