Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

In Need of Music Theory Advice?!

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • In Need of Music Theory Advice?!

    What book would you recommend for learning things like, chord progression, advanced techniques, and just books to improve my technical maneuverability on guitar overall? 

     

    I know books won't make me better, but they're the closest thing to other musicians I have, and I need some guidance haha, thanks guys.


  • #2

    The only book i read about it was Music Theory for Dummies. It barely scratches the surface, but after reading it i knew way more than i did without it. Not a bad book to start with.

    Comment


    • Opa John
      Opa John commented
      Editing a comment

      Before spending a bunch of money on books that you may or may not get much out of, I'd be spending some time at www.justinguitar.com  Very good site with some free lessons and tons of information.

      I'd also be checking around at local mom & pop music shops and try to find one that sponsors a weekly or bi-weekly open jam session. You'll learn more by playing along with others than you'll ever learn from a book.

      If you could find just one other person to play along with, your abilties will grow by leaps and bounds in a short time. And always look for a pickin' partner that knows more about guitar playing than you do. He's the guy that can teach you some new techniques.

      The best way, of course, is to take lessons from a good guitar teacher........but, it ain't cheap.  


  • #3

    Two books I would recommend to give you a deeper understanding of music and guitar is the Guitar Grimoire Series, specifically the Chord Progressions one and also Idiot's Guide to Music Theory.


    Though the exercises in the book are helpful and will improve your dexterity, these books are not going to contain much actual songs or completed works.  They will teach you the ins and outs of music as it applies to every musical instrument.


    My personal recommendation would be to pick up a guitar songbook of the type of music you wish to play.  Most have tabs along with it if you can't read music, but once you get going with some real songs you'll be well on your way!  What type of music are you looking to learn?

    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-Here's some cool songs I've been working on! Check em out!https://soundcloud.com/aguy3422

    Comment


    • #4
      I definitely don't want to learn tab, yeah it'd help, but I've got a good ear, and I want to nurture it, not hinder it by focusing on tabs. I've read music theory for dummies, it was alright, but didn't go in depth with chord progression. That's what I'm really looking for, the ability to play in all keys, and mesh them together flawlessly.

      Comment


      • #5

        You should look @ Blues guitar unleashed by Griff Hamlin. He offers courses from beginning guitar through intermediate and advanced players. His material is pretty thorough and covers all areas of any players concerns. He also offers you free access to his membership forum where you can interact with other musicians from beginners to advanced players who will gladly help you with any questions or problems you could possibly encounter.(The members forum is a very valuable asset,) I've been playing since i was very young and i'm now 47 yrs. old. I was more of a recreational player until the last few years and then i started studying music theory very intensely. buying any material i could find at book stores and mostly free tutorials from youtube. while these are very helpful they can be very complex for the beginner to understand also. All the more reason you should seek out programs that offer beginning through advanced material. depending on what genre of music you are most interested in may determine who you would like to use as well. I'm a big blues lover, so for me Griff Hamlin is the Guy. David Taub with Next Level Guitar is also good and offers top notch material. as well as people like Dan Denely, Marty Swartz. and as someone else already mentioned Justin Guitar.com... These guys often collaborate with each other and offer great support in what they teach. You can bounce around different youtube videos and sites and get a lot of the same info for free, but if you want to take the best and most efficient route in learning without all the frustrations of figuring out bits and pieces of scattered info you should check out these guys mentioned above. Nothing works as well as the learning system approach that most of these guys have to offer.(systematic approach) is the most valuable, easy to understand and most proficient way of learning music as each level builds off the one below it. Most of these courses will give you the necessary tools ranging from theory, chords and chord progressions, timing development, strumming patterns and techniques, scales, modes, intervals, all necessary components involved in becoming a great musician. Hope this helps. Best Wishes on your journey into the wonderful world of Music. ~Keith Price~

        Comment


        • #6
          Wow thank you travlr423! I'll definitely give them a thorough look through, really appreciate the answer, I'm really in to blues as well do

          Comment


          • #7
            Too

            Comment


            • Verne Andru
              Verne Andru commented
              Editing a comment
              Take a look at Jazz method books as well. They pick up where blues leaves off and take you into some pretty deep theoretical stuff. And don't overlook regular books on harmony, melody, composition and counterpoint. Understanding how to read music is very helpful as the note relationships are more obvious in that format.

          • #8

            You'll have to be more specific.  What style of music are you playing?  Guitar music theory is broken down by type of music.  There are good books out there for every type of music.

             

            BigAl

            Instruments:
            Luthier (Antonio Aparicio AA100) LU105 Classical
            Custom Dreadnaught Solid Hog
            Ibanez Artcore Hollow Body Electric
            Ibanez Solid Body Art100 Electric
            Navarro Flamenco Guitar Solid Cypress b&s, solid cedar top
            Yamaha LJ6 Mini Jumbo Spruce top, laminated Rosewood b&s

            Comment


            • #9
              Blues, but also rock n roll, John Mayer slow, bluesy, the black keys/Arctic monkey type rock n roll, both just really heavy, clever blues/rock n roll guitar is the style I'm working on mastering.

              Comment


              • rainrainwash3
                rainrainwash3 commented
                Editing a comment

                Music Is All wrote:
                Blues, but also rock n roll, John Mayer slow, bluesy, the black keys/Arctic monkey type rock n roll, both just really heavy, clever blues/rock n roll guitar is the style I'm working on mastering.

                John Mayer and Black keys songbooks.  Pick one up, learn his licks and when you read the music you learn SO much about chord progressions, keys, timing, etc.  Tabs are there to help guitarists find the notes on the fretboard quicker.  If you wish to avoid tabs, just black them out and only read the music.  I guarantee if you devote a good amount of practice to the song books you'll see great improvements in your playing!


            • #10
              There's no shortcut around the theory. There are a million books, but you just need to learn it slowly and carefully. Only at that point will the pathways and connections that you seek be revealed. [/Yoda]

              Comment


              • #11
                Also, what's the difference between smooth and ridged guitar strings? is there any difference in sound or not really?

                Comment


                • Freeman Keller
                  Freeman Keller commented
                  Editing a comment

                  Answer to your first question - I play a lot of blues on acoustic mostly by just learning songs.  When I got my electric I wanted to play more jazz/blues things up the neck so I found two books called Fretboard Roadmaps for these styles.   Has been very helpful in thinking about how chords are put together and moved around the neck.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Fretboard-Roadmaps-Guitar-Essential-Patterns/dp/0634001140/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

                  I've also been noodling around a lot with basic major and minor pentatonic scales - again trying to learn my way around the neck.

                   


                  Music Is All wrote:
                  Also, what's the difference between smooth and ridged guitar strings? is there any difference in sound or not really?

                  Are you asking about the difference between wound strings (4 thru 6) and unwound (1,2) or between round wound and flatwound?   If it is the first, the problem comes from the way strings are made - the tension is a function of the unit weight (and some other things) - if you tried to make a solid low E string it would have far too much tension.   D'Addario has the formulas on their web page if you really want to understand it.   As far as flatwounds, they are usually nickel (instead of bronze) and almost always used on electrics because of their feel.   They are considerably more expensive to manufacture.


              • #12
                For acoustic that is.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Oh, yeah, I was just curious about whether or not the strings produced different sounds, but if its gonna put to much tension on my guitars neck, then there's no point I guess haha. I feel like if the neck could support it, the sound would be richer, and I'm big on slides and bends, so I feel it'd be easier on my fingers to have smoother strings.

                  Comment


                  • Freeman Keller
                    Freeman Keller commented
                    Editing a comment

                    Music Is All wrote:
                    Oh, yeah, I was just curious about whether or not the strings produced different sounds, but if its gonna put to much tension on my guitars neck, then there's no point I guess haha. I feel like if the neck could support it, the sound would be richer, and I'm big on slides and bends, so I feel it'd be easier on my fingers to have smoother strings.

                    There is an incredible amount of technology and science in guitar strings - core wire (diameter, whether round or hex), winding wire (composition, flat or round), coatings (or not).   Strings do affect the sound of your guitar as well as its playability, in fact that is one of the easiest things you can change.   In general, composition affects the sound, diameter and construction affects tension which affects playability.

                    One of the things we are in almost univeral agreement about is that we don't agree about strings.   They are cheap (relatively), don't be afraid to experiment.

                    btw - electric strings almost always have an unwould first, second and third, acoustic strings need a little more mass for the third so it is usually wound.   Ironically, the core is smaller in diameter than the first two which is why it usually is the one to break.  It is the lighter guage and lower tension of electric strings that allow them to make the big bends that we can't do with acoustic.


                • #14
                  I can give it a try yeah, for sure, song books, I'll have to grab a few. Also, what do the gauges do? My strings are light phosphor bronze 12 - 54 gauge, can i ever get thicker/thinner strings? If so, what would happen? Sorry for all the questions, just soaking up some knowledge haha.

                  Comment


                  • Freeman Keller
                    Freeman Keller commented
                    Editing a comment

                    Music Is All wrote:
                    I can give it a try yeah, for sure, song books, I'll have to grab a few. Also, what do the gauges do? My strings are light phosphor bronze 12 - 54 gauge, can i ever get thicker/thinner strings? If so, what would happen? Sorry for all the questions, just soaking up some knowledge haha.

                    Its a balance between tension and playability.   You need a certain amount of string tension to drive the top - basically more tension will drive it harder and will be a little louder (as long as you don't change composition you shouldn't hear any difference in tone).     Too much tension will damage the guitar.   The manufacturer has designed the top (thickness, bracing, scalloped or not) with a certain tension in mind - that is usually what works best for a given guitar.   Exceeding the tension by too much may void warranty.

                    Acoustic string guages are pretty standardized (except for DR) - "lights" are usually 0.012-0.053 or 54 and are spec'd by many manufactures on smaller bodied or lightly built guitars.   They will have about 165 pounds of tension.   Mediums (0.01300.056) are often spec'd on dreads and jumbos - they have about 190 pounds.   Heavy gauge strings (0.014-60 or so) have about 215 pounds of tension and are usually used on very long scale or down tuned instruments.   There are "extra lights" - 0.011 - 46 or something - a few people like them but they are pretty wimpy.   Electric strings are typically 0.010 or smaller (as are lights for a 12 string).

                    Lighter strings are easier to fret and bend, and if you play plugged in they will make your accoutic feel more like an electric.    For most of us, however, lights on a smalll body or mediums on a big one are about right.

                    All this goes out the window if you use altered tunings....


                • #15
                  Thank you so much, just helped me out so much, I'm thinking if buying elixir light 12-54 strings, I've read they're smoother, and I wanna give it a try, because I'm a huge fan if sliding, and ridges squeak, it's a sound I'm fond if mostly, but it isn't always welcome.

                  Comment


                  • Freeman Keller
                    Freeman Keller commented
                    Editing a comment

                    Like about everything else associated with these little wooden boxes, people's opinions about string are all over the board.    Elixers are a case in point - they were the first coated string and were either loved or hated by almost anyone who trie them.  

                    First, a couple of basics.   Strings come in two main compositions of the alloy used for the wound parts - called PB for phosphore bronze and 80/20 for that alloy.    The general feeling is that PB is a  "warmer" sounding string, while 80/20's are "bright".  You can use that to (slightly) change the overall sound of your guitar.   OK, Elixer, along with almost every other manufacturer makes both - the package will say.

                    Second, we have already discussed guage or size - basically the heavier the string, the more tension, will be slightly louder but harder to fret and bend.  

                    Third, Elixers are coated strings - they have a very thin layer of Gortex material (the same as the membrane layer in a water resistance coat).    They make two thickness of coating, the original thick one is called Polyweb - you can see the coating.    The coating cuts down string squeek significantly and dramatically extends the life of the strings - lots of people get 3 months or more out of them (which helps make up for their cost).    However the coating will frayafter a while and look kind of fuzzy, and some people feel it dulls the tone.   Some simply don't like the slippery feel.

                    So Elixer came out with a lightly coated string called the Nanoweb.   It has less sqeek than an uncoated string, lasts a long time, doesn't fuzz or feel slippery, and costs about twice what a normal set does.   I find all of this acceptable (others don't) and light guage phosphor bronze Nanos are my string of choice - I've experimented with others but keep coming back to them.

                    A long time ago I did a little experiment and posted clips of different strings on the same guitar without telling people what they were.   It generated some very interesting discussion.   Unfortunately the links to the clips are broken and frankly I'm too damn lazy to redo it, but you might enjoy reading the discussion

                    http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Acoustic-Guitars/String-Test/td-p/9367897

                    Last comment - string are relatively cheap, don't be afraid to experiment and make up your own mind.   Let us know what you think.



                Working...
                X