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Thread: Chord Progressions?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    I may be jumping in to a pool of sharks here, but I'll add my two cents none-the-less.
    Nah, none of us here are sharks .

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    I am one of those arrogant youngsters you speak of as well. I like flashy guitar parts...
    I hope I didnít describe new young players/kids as "arrogant", but if I did then I unhesitatingly retract that. If Kids (or older guys) are impressed with shred then they have right to be impressed. And if they want to play like that, then that's exactly what they should do. I'm quite impressed with some of it too (more impressed since spending hundreds of hours trying to do it myself lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    I went through all the noob stages of thinking that having the right guitar, or amp would make me sound awesome.
    Well you're not alone in making that mistake. And every other guitar forum on the net seems filled with guys encouraging each other to keep repeating the same blunder of buying more and more stuff. But it's a way of avoiding facing up to the harsh truth ... namely, the only way to get better is to practice a lot (& you can/t buy that!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    Than later, knowing the right 'scales' or set of 5 ways to play the same notes, **cough** pentatonics**cough**, would give me all I needed to write cool music. Than later the natural minor scale, than the melodic minor, than the harmonic minor, than lydian, mixolydian, etc etc.
    Don't dismiss pentatonic scales too quickly. Despite fashionable comments to the contrary, pentatonics remain one of the most powerful weapons in any guitarists armoury (imho, of course). Sure there are loads of posts here with "newbie" players insisting on trying to play with modes or else attempting to use the most obscurely named scales they can find .... but most of those guys would be far better players if they really got to grips with basic pentatonics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    In getting caught up in all of this, I neglected two very very important things in becoming a profecient musician, and guitarist. Firstly, learning songs. Secondly, ear training.
    Yes, songs are very important, because of course that is the goal for all players in the end. But at risk of repeating myself - I think itís very important to learn songs all the way through, note-for-note. Don't just learn the easy bits, or just learn the flashy solo. I'm not so sure about so called "Ear Training". There are several threads on it here, but a lot of it sounds to me like marketing hype, targeting a gullible audience who think itís some sort of almost ďspiritualĒ magic bullet ... I may be wrong, but I think we all get plenty of ear training if we just practice seriously, learn lots of songs, listen to lots of music, and particularly from transcribing lots of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    Anyway, I guess what my point is, is I wish someone would have been there to tell me all of this from the beginning, instead it took me a year and a hlaf to figure it out.
    Only 18 months? That's pretty good! Took me a decade to realise most of those things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwentinsane
    As far as getting a teacher goes, maybe it will help maybe it won't, but not unless they teach you the right things, when you need them. And really most teachers don't care enough to pay close enough attention to really get that across to you.
    Yep. A teacher is not a magic bullet either. If teachers "don't care enough" then they shouldn't be teaching at all. That's what I was trying to say above, ie it hardly matters at all if the guy is great player, what matters is their ability to "teach", and that's based on genuinely caring about the students problems ... you canít be a good teacher unless you really care about helping the students.

    2:cents of course.

    Ian.


  2. #32
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    I agree with Nickwentinsane regarding ear training. It is the single most important development for me as a musician and guitarist. I am 33 yrs old now and started to re-learn guitar 2 years ago after playing extensively in my teens. For the last 20 months, I have added the Dumb Tune Game, progressively difficult melody playback drills, and chord recognition drills to my daily practice routine, and my improvisation skills have skyrocketed. My brain-to-fingers abilities are light years beyond where I started.

    And you know what? Having a better ear has contributed greatly to my understanding of theory, b/c now I can actually hear the concepts... what a concept!

  3. #33
    Registered User BlakeWard's Avatar
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    SO

    Say someone wants to learn the basics of theory, but has no access to a private teacher (for various reasons.. the point is, theres no teacher involved)
    What is the most efficient way to learning basic and advanced music theory, the articles on this website alone won't do it..

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlakeWard
    SO ... Say someone wants to learn the basics of theory, but has no access to a private teacher (for various reasons.. the point is, theres no teacher involved) ... What is the most efficient way to learning basic and advanced music theory, the articles on this website alone won't do it..
    Well that question is so very broad, that it would be entirely unrealistic to expect a few specific articles here (or anywhere) to teach you "advanced" music theory! As for "basic" theory ... it depends what you call "basic".

    But you don't need to know "advanced music theory" in order to play well as a musician. And I doubt if many of the best classical players would claim to be great experts on advanced theory.

    What you need is enough understanding to really explain to yourself what you are playing or what you are composing, and enough to help you with a clearer insight into your playing.

    That's really quite a basic requirement, and for that you could either study from books, or in fact you can also learn a great deal from forums like this (also try AllAbout Jazz.com). Eg, I learnt a lot from simply reading all the old replies here (read all the old posts from JonR, for example).

    But studying from books, or from replies on this forum, is only half the solution. Because as a practicing musician, you need to apply that knowledge on your instrument. Ie you need to recognise all of that theory and relate it to the sounds and the fingering of the instrument ... eg it's important to learn about intervals from books etc., but then you need to apply that on the instrument itself.

    If you/someone were asking what's a good way to learn basic music theory for guitar(1), then I'd recommend you start by reading the old theory posts here, and then asking questions on the forum.

    Ian.

    notes:-

    1. theory is of course the same for all instruments, but discussions here are mostly in the context of guitar playing.


  5. #35
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlakeWard
    SO

    Say someone wants to learn the basics of theory, but has no access to a private teacher (for various reasons.. the point is, theres no teacher involved)
    What is the most efficient way to learning basic and advanced music theory, the articles on this website alone won't do it..
    What about a college course? Cheaper than private tuition, but still with the necessary feedback from a teacher.
    How practical this is depends on where you are, of course - within reach of an suitable college.

    The word your question hinges on (IMO) is "efficient". You can learn a lot from books (and the internet) but there's no guarantee you will learn in an efficient way. How will you know you've got things right? How will you know if your exercises in harmony, counterpoint or composition are successful (within the terms required)?
    A college course is designed with a progressive structure, ensuring you grasp basic concepts before moving on. (Some websites are designed like that, but what's to stop you dipping in, surfing around, missing some detail?)

    I guess for beginner level theory, the basics, a book or two would do the job -make sure it contains exercises to test your absorption of the info stage by stage. (And 2 or 3 books are better than one.)
    I can't recommend many specific books of this kind from experience, but "Harmony & Theory" by Wyatt and Schroeder is pretty good for low level stuff. (There's one error in my edition, but not too significant, and may have been corrected by now.)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harmony-Theo...7757111&sr=8-1
    "Music Theory" by Tom Kolb (Hal Leonard) is guitar-friendly, also with quizzes at the end of each chapter. (I haven't read it thoroughly enough to spot any mistakes.)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Theory...7757138&sr=1-1

    And don't forget what Ian says: application in practice (in real music) is what matters. You have to be able to understand how each concept works in actual music: to either spot the concept in a piece you hear, or compose a piece (or an exercise) employing it.
    Last edited by JonR; 08-03-2008 at 10:56 AM.

  6. #36
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    I learned all my theory without taking a lesson, it just took a while.

    I would google music theory and read/take notes on what the sites I read had to say, then I would go practice that one concept until I felt I had a thorough understanding of that.

    I feel I know more than enough theory than is needed for the gigs I play, and I didn't have to pay, it just took a bit more work.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZakJenkins
    I learned all my theory without taking a lesson, it just took a while.
    Just to be clear, I wasn't advising that guys should gain all their theory knowledge simply from internet sites. I think you really need a bit more than that, and probably from more reliable sources too.

    User forum's are rather different from information websites. Most guitar/music forums are not strong on theory. But IbreatheMusic is unusual in having several members who are very knowledgeable on theory, and that's the only reason I'd recommend studying past questions and answers here.

    It's probably a by-product of the fact that we don't have gear discussions here. Because I think that probably leads overall to a more mature membership and to more serious players who realise the need to understand more of the theory behind their playing.

    You can say the same for AllAboutJazz.com, and you can look there in particular at posts from EdByrne & several others. Although personally I find replies there tend to be more curt & more cryptic, as if they are not really trying to explain things in the clear and helpful way that you find here.

    But I think it's really essential to get a least a couple of good books for theory reference.

    Ian.


  8. #38
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    Conceptually, music theory is pretty simple. The hardest part, imo, is memorising all of the terminology. Musical jargon and high falutin explanations are probably the reason theory is considered impenetrable for the casual learner.

    Teaching yourself does take a while. You can never be sure what to prioritise. Most of the people I know ended up learning kinda backwards- (actual songs>chords>keys>scales>intervals). I think if you were to start off with intervals (the lowest common denominator) you can't really go too far wrong. Intervals are so simple to understand, but can explain anything, no matter how complex. They also ease you into a very clean view of the musical concept that will give everything you already know the same clarity. From that basis go on to study scales, chords, keys and the rest.

    Also, learn by actual definitions rather than internet 'lessons'. This way you'll avoid all the misleading and incorrect potholes around the net. When you have a basic grasp of the theory of music and some of the conventions, then go on to look at video lessons, read forums and articles.

  9. #39
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc8p
    Conceptually, music theory is pretty simple. The hardest part, imo, is memorising all of the terminology. Musical jargon and high falutin explanations are probably the reason theory is considered impenetrable for the casual learner.

    Teaching yourself does take a while. You can never be sure what to prioritise. Most of the people I know ended up learning kinda backwards- (actual songs>chords>keys>scales>intervals). I think if you were to start off with intervals (the lowest common denominator) you can't really go too far wrong. Intervals are so simple to understand, but can explain anything, no matter how complex. They also ease you into a very clean view of the musical concept that will give everything you already know the same clarity. From that basis go on to study scales, chords, keys and the rest.

    Also, learn by actual definitions rather than internet 'lessons'. This way you'll avoid all the misleading and incorrect potholes around the net. When you have a basic grasp of the theory of music and some of the conventions, then go on to look at video lessons, read forums and articles.
    Excellent points!

    Ambiguous (or plain incorrect) uses of terminology are usually what confuse people about theory.
    All theory is really doing is trying to give names to the sounds you already know (beginning with single notes, working right up to compositional forms and structures).
    Trouble is, people grab the names and apply them in different ways (usually to explain things to themselves the way they like it). That's fine until they try and talk to other musicians...

    You can understand the theory (well enough to apply it practically in any music you want to play) without knowing any of the jargon at all. Most folk, blues and rock musicians work this way. (OK, they might know chord names, but their jargon vocabulary generally stops there...)
    As I've said many times before - - it's like the grammar of a language. You can "speak" without knowing whether you're using nouns, verbs, adjectives, participles or what tense you're in. You just know how to "make sense", through years of listening and absorbing the rules that way, organically.

    But if you do want to learn the jargon (and why not?) jimc8p is right:

    Start with NOTE names;

    Then INTERVALS (names for the various combinations of 2 notes). You will need to know the diatonic scale here (IOW, the W-H arrangement of the natural notes ABCDEFG).

    Then CHORDS and SCALES.
    A triad is composed of 2 intervals, and a scale of 7. (So yes, scales are pretty complicated, potentially. Luckily we only use a tiny handful of types. Major, minor... er, that's about it.)
    The names of chords derive from the intervals they contain (usually just the most significant interval).
    The names of "major" and "minor" scales also derive from intervals (specifically the 3rd).

    In a sense, everything is intervals.
    Melodies are successions of intervals.
    Intervals are what give melodies and chords their characters.
    Intervals contribute consonance and dissonance (often in the same chord).
    Every note we hear only makes sense when compared to others - ie, when it forms intervals with others.

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