Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Musical Theory Abound!!!

 #15714  by phreaker
 Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:28 pm
i can easily jam along with any 20:00 Other One or Morning Dew, and I never learned any scales. Whenever I try and take a stab at one, I can get it easily, but I never actually sat down and learned my scales.

 #15719  by zoppenheimer
 Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:16 pm
Having a general knowledge of music theory definately helps in the learning of instruments, but it's very tedious to teach it to yourself. I'd reccomend taking a theory class at your high school if you guys have a course on that. I just took the theory course at my high school, and it really does help. also though, just play a lot. Not even anything in particular, just fool around, experiment with chords and riffs. If you do that, stuff just comes to you and you get good quick.

 #15734  by tigerstrat
 Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:03 pm
At least beginners nowadays have the Internet!!!

Jeez... as a 16yo just starting out in the mid-80's, there were a bare handful of tab books available, the guitar mags (which always seemed to feature songs from bands I had ZERO interest in, such as Ratt, Motley Crue or Bon Jovi)... and the only really useful reference I had at my disposal: The Advanced Guitar Case Chord Book a narrow, thin little booklet that taught me volumes. That, and taking a few courses in Music Theory once I got to liberal arts college.

It's amazing to me, after going through what I did as a raw beginner, how much INSTANT info there is out there, FREE for beginners of all descriptions.

Now if only the callouses on your fingertips can keep up with the rapid dissemination of knowledge on the Web!!

 #15755  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Tue May 01, 2007 7:30 am
Come on Tiger,

Wanted Man by Ratt is the bomb diggity!!

I know some here might find serious sacrilege with that statement. BUt Warren DeMartini, guitarist for Ratt is pretty nasty.

 #15762  by tigerstrat
 Tue May 01, 2007 2:22 pm
All I said was that my interest in those bands was zero... back when I was just a teenage dumbass.

NOW, I realize how silly I was to overlook such wellsprings of musical fulfillment. And to think that on 9/27/85 I took a free ticket from the sister of a friend to Round and Round-era Ratt AND Runaway-era Bon Jovi at Rosemont Horizon, went, and did not even appreciate the supreme rulership of these rock gods: I just went to check out all the metal chicks.

 #15763  by strumminsix
 Tue May 01, 2007 2:36 pm
I totally dug hair bands and metal bands back in the day! In fact, hearing some good old-school Motely Crew or Metallica still brings a smile to my face.

 #15781  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Wed May 02, 2007 4:10 am
Mmmmm, metal chicks.

 #16780  by jackaroe1276
 Wed May 23, 2007 2:39 pm
I think I might have posted this in another thread but I can't stress it enough to beginners: Rhythm and timing!! Use a metronome, maybe not all the time but when you are alloting specific time to practice, definitely do so. I can't tell you how many guitarists I know that can play lightning fast, much faster than me, but sound absolutely awful because their timing is atrocious.

Also, patience is a must. You mentioned you've been playing for almost 11 months. Trust me man, guitar playing is a lifetime of learning. If you are an avid guitarist your whole life, you'll probably still learn something right up to the moments of your death. 10-11 months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Never think you are too great to learn more, and never think you are not good enough to try something difficult. Playing guitar is alot like life-it's full of challenges, setbacks, accomplishments, and failures. The ones who persevere are the ones who succeed. Also take moments to aprreciate things you can do that you couldn't a couple moths earlier. You'll be amazed at your progress when you do, and you won't feel so overwhelmed when you look forward to the things you can't do yet.

Lastly, this is my one pet peeve. Guitar is NOT about who can play the fastest! The point of soloing is to leave the listener feeling that your solo had a purpose in the song. Sometimes delivering that message requires alot of speed, but sometimes it doesn't. BB King's theory about speaking through your instrument transcends all music styles, not just blues. Try and reocrd yourself practicing leads over rhythms if possible and listen closely to them. Ask yourself if that solo "fit", if it is something people will remember or is it just a solo because you wanted to show off some chops. Some of the most poignant solos in the history of music are extremely slow, but man do they get the point across.

Oops, one last thing which has always been my mistake. Get over your fears! Put yourself out their and let other people hear your gift. If someone cracks you over the head with a tomato, make some grvy and com back stronger next time!!! Good luck!!