Where to start... I'm a n00b with capable fingers.

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by ovlott, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. ovlott

    ovlott SS.org Regular

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    Jul 31, 2013
    Toronto, On, Canada
    Alright, so I wasn't too sure how I should start this, and forgive me if there is a good thread that would suit my needs, but basically I've been playing guitar for around 5 or 6 years now, and I'm completely self-taught. However, I pretty much know jack squat about music theory, and am finally coming to terms with the fact that I should educate myself on theory to better my playing and writing.

    I feel I have a lot of various picking techniques down (hybrid, alternate, tremolo, down-picking, raking, economy etc.), and I write and perform songs in my band currently, practice/record to a click, and have even composed a few solos, so it's not like the ability to play isn't there, but more so the understanding of what I am playing is missing. When people ask me about what I am doing, I have to resort to listing out the fret and finger positions, instead of saying "oh its this note" or "this chord".

    I want to understand all that, and be able to apply it effectively. I have a good ear as well, and can often sound out chords or notes in a few seconds while listening, but again, I don't understand exactly what it is I'm playing aside from "it sounds like this".

    Now this is where I REALLY don't know where to start, haha. So I figured I'd turn to you guys. If you guys can suggest where and what I should start learning/focusing on that'd help me tons! I'm totally lost and I just want to avoid things that I already have an understanding of (like the picking techniques noted above for example), and focus on what I really should be grasping if that makes sense. I'm fine if certain things overlap with each other as that I expect.

    One big issue is I've watched various random vids on theory, but I feel I don't have the attention span to remember anything because I can't understand them, I'm all "show me what you're doing Rick Graham, because it sounds cool!" So any advice on that is welcome too.

    Links to videos, books, articles and anything else are welcome!

    So, take me away SSO, take me to the land of music theory! :D


    I'm a n00b with capable fingers pls help.

    *Edit* I've looked at the Music Theory Resource thread and it's all a foreign language to me still, so yes, I literally know nothing.
  2. HoneyNut

    HoneyNut Regular

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    Apr 2, 2014
    I'll be quoting a member from a thread similar to this one.

  3. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA

    This book.

    Learn the major scale, the natural minor scale, and the harmonic minor scale first and foremost. Don't worry about modes yet.
  4. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Nov 2, 2012
    ^whatever Mr. Big Noodles would advise.

    + I'd add my personal contribution: Fretboard Mastery by Troy Stetina (nice guitar-applied theory book, to pair with a good academic music theory manual)
  5. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Sep 18, 2012
    I don't have anything to add accept to reinforce what the others have said. just learning the major and natural minor scales up and down the neck will open up a whole new world. Paul Gilbert's intense rock has some great major licks that help you know the scale and won't bore the more experienced players.
  6. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    May 7, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Give my ebook a go. There's a link in my sig. I'm always happy to help if you hit any snags with it. :)

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