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Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques Discussions on Theory, member submitted lessons, practice regimens and everything else.

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  • 1 Post By jack5150
  • 2 Post By InfinityCollision
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Unread 08-05-2012, 06:42 AM   #1
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Learning resources for self-taught guitarist

I feel as though I'm stuck in a rut and my playing isn't getting any better, I'm sure many of you can appreciate this feeling. My fingers constantly fall into the same positions and I find myself playing the same old stuff.

My problem is that I know virtually no theory. I've memorised various scale shapes along the neck, and have a decent ear which helps me use them at the right time, but that approach leaves a lot to be desired in the way of writing music. I want to be able to identify what I'm playing, what key I'm in, intervals, how to build the various chords, and all the scales/modes etc. All that good stuff

Recommend some good learning resources for a guy like me. I have countless ideas, but need to learn the theory help facilitate them... getting them out of my head, through my fingers, and into world.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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1- musictheory.net - You'll be here awhile
2- There's a guy who posts here under Solodini that has a great ebook directed at guitarists. I finished it awhile back and it was a good read.
Adam Satur's Books and Publications Spotlight

If you want to learn some difficult practice material:

3- Paul Gilbert instructional material
4- Rusty Cooley instructional material

Accept the consequence of risk
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Unread 08-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks, Lagtastic. OP, it sounds like what you're looking for fits with what I was trying to provide in writing my book. Give it a go.

The ebook is available for free download from the link above (which is also on the Facebook page for the book (in my sig). If you share the post on the Facebook page which mentions the free download (by clicking the share button below the post) and mention that it's available for free download, I'll give you a couple of free Skype lessons. There's also the print copy available to purchase at the same link.

If you face any difficulties with it then just PM me and I'll happily help you.


Check out my book: "Playing Guitar Musically: A Guide to Creativity on Guitar & Bass"
Buy the full book here. eBook - 5. Physical copies also available.
http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/4063031-post14.html
PM me if you want to discuss it or just fancy a chat.

I also give lessons over Skype, Bandhappy and within the Lothians.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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Damn OP, i am having a similar problem. I am playing ten years and i am actually growing ashamed at my lameness on this most expressive of instruments. My playing is stagnant. Like Lindsay Lohan's career stagnant. I feel like i basically have to relearn guitar.

Soldini i am going to check out your work. I hope it can help open up my playing a bit.


As i am here. Sweep Picking.... For me its the white whale. Unfortunately it is like my own hands have decided to mutiny on my brain. Every time my brain gives an order my treacherous hands disobey.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. (I do not mean to hijack OP, if you feel otherwise i will edit)
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Unread 08-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #5
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See the theory resources posted above. You'll be working with those for a while, and there's plenty of material beyond that point.

Parallel to that, grab some music and jam over it. Start simple and work into music that challenges you harmonically. If necessary, slow yourself down to avoid getting back into the same old licks. Record yourself doing this, and then play it back and examine what you liked and didn't like about your lines. Developing your ear in this way is a big help in writing your own music and goes hand-in-hand with theory studies. You may not necessarily have the vocabulary to explain why something worked at a specific point in time, but you can still keep it in mind; after all, theory is meant to explain how a given idea works rather than dictate what you can and cannot do.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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Just as a side note to the posters above, don't forget to apply the theory you learn as you are learning it. When I first began learning theory stuff, I made the mistake of just learning the formulas and all that...but its more important to be able to use what you learn in actual music.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 01:26 AM   #7
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If you want to compose and create riffs and songs then I find it very helpfull to have a quick setup like logic or pt with a little cheap sound card so you can quickly get your ideas down. Then make a habit of for example every two weeks go through the ideas and see if anything can be fitted together. Regarding the theory then I suggest writing all the specific things you want to know down and take little steps every day on each. I do this myself and it really works. But if you just think of all the things you dont know it can become overwhelming

Get the FREE 2 hour Shred Guitar Program The Secret Of Playing Fasthttp://www.nielsvejlyt.dk
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Unread 08-08-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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Appreciate the replies guys!
It certainly is frustrating when it comes to jamming, I'm sick of guessing what comes next... and my ear isn't always right haha. It can get embarrassing when you're with guys who know their music.
I don't even know all the notes on the fretboard. Like most self taught kids I've dissected songs over the years, figured out shapes of various scales, and just developed my ears through trial and error. It's time to step things up and really take my playing to the next level!
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Unread 08-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Im in the same position your in. I've read excerpt from solodini's book,(I need to get the full book), and that was very helpful. I recently downloaded an ear trainer so I can learn how the different intervals sound and that has helped me a ton with just teaching my ear what to look for. So that would be a good thing to do, just to get use to hearing the intervals. I also found that playing the major scale while comping the root note helps you hear the relationship between the root and that interval as well as helping memorize the shapes along the whole neck.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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Downloaded Solodini's book, it's great! What ear trainer did you download?
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Unread 08-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #11
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Any other books about music theory applied to guitar?
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Unread 08-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack5150 View Post
Downloaded Solodini's book, it's great! What ear trainer did you download?
It's called Ear Trainer Lite. But any ear trainer that you find in your phone's app store should work fine. This one allows you to practice hearing the different intervals, both ascending and descending from many different notes. So it's just not stuck on one key, it's constantly different.
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Unread 08-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack5150 View Post
Any other books about music theory applied to guitar?
Guthrie Govan's Creative Guitar books are really nice, I got them for my birthday a couple of months ago and I love it. He's a phenomenal player too, don't know if you've heard him yet but he's great.

Most important thing is to use your ear and just have fun with it. The only way you're gonna get good at something is to do it a lot, so play with your friends, teach, put on the radio and try and play along.. PLAY music! There is always something you can improve on, be it techniques or creativity.. Especially the latter is very important, and actually surprisingly fun!

Essentially, my advice is this: use your ear (it's what the audience uses as well!), have fun with what you do and write lots and lots. I got bored of doing mindless exercises for hours in a row, and instead have started writing my own licks and riffs. I'm getting better and better at it, and at the end of the day, it's made me a much better musician and a happier person.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 06:38 AM   #14
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Thanks guys. Watching live music and jamming with guitarists who put me to shame keeps me motivated, as does new gear. Ditching my rig for an Axe FX 2!


ChronicConsumer... Guthrie is amazing, I'll definitely check those books out!
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Unread 08-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #15
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A trip to your local library can often unearth interesting stuff. Don't limit yourself to the guitar books either - try to keep an open mind. On the other hand, don't overwhelm yourself either.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #16
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This guy is great. He offers online masterclasses and has designed some great lessons.

Wallimann - YouTube

His premium services can be found here: Guitar Playback - Guitar Backing Tracks, Video Lessons, Guitar Jam Tracks
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #17
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The Guitar Grimoir "Scales and Modes" is a must have.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:40 PM   #18
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these are really good resources! Thank you for sharing guys!
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