Something has me curious. (Guitar theory)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by WetBandit, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    What part of my post gives you that idea?
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,243
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    A new language? I can barely deal with the one I know. You have no idea how hard it is to constantly search for words and phrases for what I want to say. Wait - I'm over-analyzing again. I should just speak by feeling.

    Gawd I exhaust myself.
     
    Bluego1 and WetBandit like this.
  3. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Location:
    northern CA
    I don't think it has been said yet, at least not simply, the OP also has a good memory for what sounds good, what to do and what not to do. He has good "" that helps him know where to go on the guitar to get a particular sound. Memory is largely to thank for that too but he also remembers what are good options of where to go from there. IMHO. (I don't really know this but I love guessing at things and this is my best guess today.)
     
    WetBandit likes this.
  4. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,458
    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts

    The mathematic relationships in harmony are endlessly fascinating, and so much fun to learn and understand.
    Go for it.
     
    gwjensen and WetBandit like this.
  5. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    736
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    ....all right guys, this is a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and try to keep up...
     
    oceanblue, RodeoTex and WetBandit like this.
  6. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    It could honestly have alot to do with memorization.

    When I first started playing I learned 1 riff.... smoke on the water...
    Because ya know... smoke on the water.

    And after learning that one riff I kind of had a rudimentary understanding of how the fretboard worked, and how notes are separated in semi tones.

    After that, it was me just experimenting with notes and sounds that I found pleasing and that went well together.

    I started recognizing shapes and patterns.

    Of course my overall technique sucked for about the first 10yrs...

    Then I started finding it very easy to pick out my favorite riffs and licks...yet still struggling to put them together effectively.

    Today I think I fair pretty good considering my non existent formal understanding.

    So I think repetition and memorization could be responsible.

    I've been thinking about this for weeks, ever since a friend pointed it out.
     
    DugT likes this.
  7. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Meister

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    339
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    That's why I have such a tough time with music theory. I'm terrible with anything mathematical. It sucks:confused:
     
    WetBandit likes this.
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    15,879
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    To me, music theory has been driven by curiosity. Curiosity begets motivation in this area. The OP is showing some interest in theory, but doesn't say why he wants to tackle it now. If it were just a matter of names and labels (the rudiments of music), it is not too hard to find the info that you want. The problem is that people will look at a page of symbols and memorize the first few. Then the next few. And the next few. And at some point, they hit overload and can't keep on top of the things they are trying to memorize. So, if you want to learn some names, be prepared to review and practice them on a near daily basis for a few years. You can maintain some things with only a minute per day. But it has to be frequent.
     
    Teleguy61 and gwjensen like this.
  9. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere

    I want to learn it now, because I am now having opportunities to play with others and out in public (haven't yet) and I find it difficult to play with others, because I no idea how to communicate.

    If they said song....key of G, I would be screwed.
     
  10. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,683
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    I never understood the idea of being 'self taught'. To me, if you've ever listened to a record or tried to figure out a song you're not really self taught.

    When I was a kid I didn't really have any guitar lessons. My dad played and listened to a lot of music and showed me a few things and off I went. When I got to college I remember trying to break all the bad habits I unknowingly had developed and it was a tough thing to do, but in the long run I'm much better for relearning a lot of what I had figured out.

    Once I learned how to analyze songs it made playing things I never would have attempted fairly straightforward. Also, it made arranging songs I had written a lot easier and more interesting because I knew what chords I could substitute, had a better idea about different ways to resolve things and could play over these changes much more easily.

    To me, I love guitar playing and getting better at it is what I always work to do. Some people just want to play one style or keep it simple and if they enjoy it that's all that matters and it's great.
     
    Teleguy61 and gwjensen like this.
  11. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,910
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    Well, first of all it wasn’t meant unkindly. But, “I can play almost anything, but not have a clue what I'm actually playing…I don’t know what the names of any chords are past the first position, but I use them all and frequently…” Anything means everything. What does almost exclude? All is a big word, there’s no finite amount of chords. Presumably you don’t know how they constructed or the names of the notes.

    Maybe you’re too modest and your friend is right. Double the years you’ve played taught me how little I know. Working with someone that does understand music was very helpful to me.

    I hope your musical journey expands and you learn how and why you’re able to do whatever it is you do and discover the unending possibilities that lie ahead when there is some understanding.
     
    WetBandit likes this.
  12. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    I didnt think you meant it negatively, I was genuinely curious what gave you the impression.

    Perhaps I should have worded or explained my opening post better.

    I was basically saying that I use alot of the chord shapes and scales that someone who knows what they are doing would use.... I just so happen to not know what I'm doing.

    I could show you what it is I'm doing, but I couldn't explain it or tell you in anything resembling musical jargon.

    I suppose I'm really interested in learning more formally the relationship between different things on the fretboard, instead of just guessing what might sound good.

    I could never sit down and say I'm going to write a song in a given key because I wouldn't know where that key is, or what it consists of.

    Basically I want to be able to understand the things I already seem to know.

    Its kinda like have tools and knowing how to operate them, without having a clue what to use them on.
     
  13. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,910
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    Learn how to harmonize scales, it's eye opening.
     
    P Thought and Teleguy61 like this.
  14. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Harmonize scales, what do you mean?
     
  15. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    145
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2019
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I believe what he means is the studying of intervals. If we are in C major, where the notes are C D E F G A B, and we assign numbers to them starting with C as 1, then if we were to play the C major scale in "thirds", that would mean you play up the scale but each note is accompanied by the note that is a third up. Ex: C-E, D-F, E-G, F-A, G-B, A-C, B-D. Basically, there are 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 7th intervals. Practicing any scale in all of these intervals (in every key ;)) does absolute wonders for your flexibility in scales and keys across the neck.

    Playing scales in intervals helps you look at one scale across 2 strings simultaneously, or you can practice intervals across one string as well which helps the note-scanning skill necessary to read the neck well.
     
    WetBandit and Teleguy61 like this.
  16. Miguel-martinez

    Miguel-martinez TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2019
    Location:
    Colombia
    The way I see it you are not playing, you are repeating, but the cool thing is that you have half the work done already, if you start to study music theory you will enjoy music and your instrument even more
     
  17. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,910
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    You know what a step is in music? Two semi tones are a whole step on a guitar a semi tone is one fret. A major scale:

    W W H W W W H steps. Whatever the first note is the key. Bear in mind numbers are used to denote scale degrees do ri mi fa so la ti do.

    C D E F G A B C

    Basic chords are root third and fifth, (In a minor chord the 3rd is flat, A diminished chord has a minor 3rd and flat 5th)

    The 3rd degree the C major scale is E the 5th is G

    If you write out a second row starting at E (go E to E) and a third starting at G and look at the notes in each column you’ve made. Play them on your guitar and you’ll hear a major arpeggio minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished.

    You can do a 4 part harmonization by adding the 7th. B to B

    This works with all scales
     
    WetBandit, Teleguy61 and gwjensen like this.
  18. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,759
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    District of Chicanery
    I like studying theory for its own sake. I like reading about it and working stuff out on paper. The fact that it's improved my playing/phrasing is icing on the cake.
     
    Larry F and WetBandit like this.
  19. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,771
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Yea that makes total sense, and I'm certain I've been doing that, I just never knew it that way.

    Its kind of like finally assigning a name to a face.
     
  20. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    254
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    Location:
    Denver
    I played gigs for over a decade before going to school to learn the theoretical stuff. Understanding theory has definitely made my playing more potent. I can really tell when I go back and play the styles of music I grew up playing. I was solid before, but now I can carry a band. I don’t think I’d have that confidence if I didn’t understand music theory.

    You can communicate really complex musical ideas quite quickly with musicians who can read. I admit that standard notation is an imperfect system for guitar players, but it really helps when you deal with people who play other instruments.

    I tend to view musicians as either primarily street or primarily academic in their skill sets. Lotsa good ones in both camps and a few that manage to blend the two.
     
    gwjensen likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.