Understanding Theory?

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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Cmnaround » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:27 pm

Tennessee Jedi wrote:
Octal wrote:What about those of us who like books? What would you recommend?

Image
Just google his name .... lots of awesome stuff
Chord Chemistry is a excellent book .... Ted Greene ....
I just got done doing a round of lessons. Its about getting better as a musician .... gotta keep growing !
Once in awhile you get shown the light .....



Dudes - no way - I never thought I would run into anyone who has this book. I picked it up at a flea market like 20+ years ago thinking it would have to be good because it had hippie looking dude on the cover. There is a lot of good stuff in there about chords but it is a tough read.

Check out this book called The Art of Playing Rock Guitar by Richard Daniels. I got it from amazon for less than 20 bucks. He covers theory really well, in depth and in an easy way to understand and relate to playing on a guitar. A lot covering modes of scales which is really helpful for getting the concept of myxolydian and all other variations. I highly recommend -any one else have this one too?
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Pete B. » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:01 pm

I learned alot of theory basics very quickly from this guy, who is from the Phish tribute band Phix:
Modes Workshop:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/mode_workshop_home.htm
Practical Music Theory:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/theory-intro.htm
Here is his Main Page with many helpful links:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/

Also, The CAGED method of solo'ing out of the Chord Forms is a DeadHead staple I wish I learned when I was your age:
I found this CAGED page easy for me to learn from (ignor all the ads):
http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/major-caged/index.php
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Mick » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Pete B. wrote:I learned alot of theory basics very quickly from this guy, who is from the Phish tribute band Phix:
Modes Workshop:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/mode_workshop_home.htm
Practical Music Theory:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/theory-intro.htm
Here is his Main Page with many helpful links:
http://www.highcountryguitar.com/

Also, The CAGED method of solo'ing out of the Chord Forms is a DeadHead staple I wish I learned when I was your age:
I found this CAGED page easy for me to learn from (ignor all the ads):
http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/major-caged/index.php


When I was a young man, I used to play trumpet. I took 4 years of musical theory, had private lessons, played in inumerable orchestra/band things, all with total frustration. I recall that when I had finally had enough and quit, everyone looked at me like I was crazy because everyone seemed convinced I was good at it.

My wife is a somewhat accomplished piano player, and when we bought our house, her parents gave us their baby grand piano. Eventually I sat down and tried to learn to play that. It lasted over a year, and I quit again in frustration. I just didn't get it.

In 2006, an abandoned guitar landed at my house, and my then-8-year-old son and I decided to try to learn to play it. Between my son's coaching, and the stuff at High Country Guitar, and a few corrections from the folks on this board, I finally figured out scales, modes and keys, and a big light bulb went on. I finally understood the basics of what was going on with a song, and the whole thing became so much more predictable, and therefore, easier. I recommend it.
Mama Mama many worlds I've come since I first left home.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby heavynylon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:27 am

Mick wrote:When I was a young man, I used to play trumpet. I took 4 years of musical theory, had private lessons, played in inumerable orchestra/band things, all with total frustration. I recall that when I had finally had enough and quit, everyone looked at me like I was crazy because everyone seemed convinced I was good at it.

My wife is a somewhat accomplished piano player, and when we bought our house, her parents gave us their baby grand piano. Eventually I sat down and tried to learn to play that. It lasted over a year, and I quit again in frustration. I just didn't get it.

In 2006, an abandoned guitar landed at my house, and my then-8-year-old son and I decided to try to learn to play it. Between my son's coaching, and the stuff at High Country Guitar, and a few corrections from the folks on this board, I finally figured out scales, modes and keys, and a big light bulb went on. I finally understood the basics of what was going on with a song, and the whole thing became so much more predictable, and therefore, easier. I recommend it.


Just out of curiousity, what did the four years of music theory cover, if not scales, modes, and keys?
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:34 am

You'd be surprised. A lot of theory classes will spend 2 full years on four-part Bach Chorale voice-leading, barely mention keys, and never touch on modes.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Poor Peter » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:56 am

Take a theory class just as the others have said. Try your local junior college. I took two semesters and it took my playing to a whole new level.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Mick » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:10 am

heavynylon wrote:Just out of curiousity, what did the four years of music theory cover, if not scales, modes, and keys?


I didn't understand any of it, so I don't remember what it was they were trying to say. Even if I had understood it, that was 35 years ago or so, so I doubt I would remember much. As it was, you could have asked me the day after I quit what they were covering, and I couldn't have told you.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Counterstriker » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:41 pm

Turns out I can't take theory next year :/ the class is full.. I'm just gonna buy a some books you guys suggested and attempt to teach my self, I'm pretty determined to learn it haha so hopefully I can
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Octal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:50 pm

Sneak into the back corner of the class and take notes, and then take tests with a fake name?
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby glocke12 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:52 am

Best way to improve your chops, learn theory, and develop your ear is to take some jazz lessons, taught by someone trained in jazz. They will teach you everything you need to know to be an accomplished player and soloist. Also, most college/universities have classes in jazz improv, try to get into those...

As far as reading goes, I wouldn't say it is essential, there are plenty of decent players out there who do not read, but being able to read can take your playing to a whole new level..
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby paulkogut » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:14 am

I'm going to put a vote in for reading. A small amount of consistent work can really pay off in the long run, and a lot of it (learning to count rhythms, recognize key signatures, etc, etc) can be done away from the guitar.

There's been any number of Jerry interviews where he speaks of reading through classical etudes and method books. I think having access to that type of material is key to breaking out of the blues/rock/pentatonic box a lot of people might feel trapped in. Try some Bach violin music, and don't think that the sixteenth notes mean you have to go fast, Bach works at any tempo.

Studying with a jazz guitarist can definitely help with some theory and improvisation parts of the puzzle. If you're in Philly, are you familiar with Jim Dragoni? A good jazz player, also a big Dylan fan, so might be more open to jamming in a Dead context than some. http://www.the-music-studio.net/index.htm

PK
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby zambiland » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:43 pm

The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick. Definitely the best guitar method book I've found for learning theory as it applies to the guitar. I learned most of the material from a student of Mick and Charlie Banacos, so perhaps my perspective is skewed, but I think this book with a teacher familiar with the material would get your theory brain in gear in a matter of a few months. I went through 8 semesters at Berklee (yes, including a degree, perhaps a mark of shame more than honor as all the good students get gigs before they graduate) and after started studying with Ross Adams. In 8 weeks I advanced light years beyond where I was after 8 semesters at Berklee. I didn't slack at Berklee, they just weren't that organized. What was most frustrating is that my GPA was good enough to get me into law school 25 years later, but I still felt like I didn't learn a damn thing. Doing the work is supposed to result in competency.

If anyone is in Boulder/Denver, I do take on students using this method.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby zambiland » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:46 pm

PS Forget about scales, it's all about chords. Scales are a static experience of the harmony that chords give you. If you treat every note as a chord tone or tension rather than as a scale tone, it will give your playing a lot more meaning. Practice everything using thirds.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby tcsned » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:36 am

zambiland wrote:PS Forget about scales, it's all about chords. Scales are a static experience of the harmony that chords give you. If you treat every note as a chord tone or tension rather than as a scale tone, it will give your playing a lot more meaning. Practice everything using thirds.

Good point. I was lucky that my high school theory teacher forced us all to memorize the circle of thirds. It really helps to be able to instantly recall the 1-3-5-7-9-11-13 ... of any chord.
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Re: Understanding Theory?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:02 am

zambiland wrote:PS Forget about scales, it's all about chords. Scales are a static experience of the harmony that chords give you. If you treat every note as a chord tone or tension rather than as a scale tone, it will give your playing a lot more meaning. Practice everything using thirds.

Right now I am writing out major scales and looking for the 3rd - I think I know the 3rd but I want to know where it is.Instead of rambling on while I play I am trying to be more thoughtful in what I play.
My whole solo techniques is chord shapes. Now I am tying to learn the scales that lie within them ....
:-)
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