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Old 11-02-2009, 01:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i think it really depends on the level of theory being discussed.

from my perspective there's basic theory and advanced theory. everyone should understand the basics and it really shouldn't take more than about an hour to grasp. the advanced stuff is for more technically oriented musicians.

as for the basics, major and minor chord shapes, pentatonic scale, barre chord theory and basic note/chord transposition.

then if you want to get into the advanced stuff like modes, triads, and unconventional scales then by all means do it up. i have yet to 'get' why it would be necessary. the only time i felt really inclined to learn advanced theory was when i was still getting off on learning the technicality of the instrument as opposed to just playing it.
It takes MUCH more than an hour to learn all the major and minor chords - the only area I concede is that it might take an hour to get to grips with the pentatonic.

Even barre chords take a while to master.

Triads are hardly advanced - they are the chords we play, and you cannot call yourself a guitarist or pianist if you can't play triads.

On other instruments, triads are the basis of arpeggios, which along with scales are the fundamentals of music writing.

All of these basics are music theory that must be learnt.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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bollocks. it's the difference between knowing after an hour and doing after however much practice the individual needs.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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bollocks. it's the difference between knowing after an hour and doing after however much practice the individual needs.
What?

That makes no sense.

You're saying that all you need to do is spend an hour learning every chord there is, then you can play, with practice.

With all due respect, THAT is bollocks.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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no. what i'm saying is that you can learn the basics in about an hour. once you have that knowledge you need to practice it, but you don't 'need' someone to hold your hand remind you how to put your fingers to form the C shape everytime you pick up your guitar.

from the theoretical side of things the knowledge is easy to obtain. i'm talking the 8 most common chord shapes, 1 scale, and the reasoning ability to understand how to move the shapes up and down the neck.

so that's 8 diagrams, 1 small tab, and about 2 paragraphs. if it takes anyone more than an hour to understand the knowledge contained within those pieces then they're probably still stuck on learning how to tie their shoes.

with that minimal '1 hours worth' of knowledge that gives you the shapes for A, C, D, E, G, Am, Em, Dm. the pentatonic scale. along with the understanding of how to move those chords around the neck, using B and F as the simplest examples of how to apply the theory behind transposing shapes.

at that point, you're pretty much good to go. there's obviously more that can be learned but as far as understanding the basic theory behind playing the guitar that about covers it. with that simple knowledge you can play any chord anywhere on the neck with the ability to determine what that chord is on your own. (max 2 weeks of practicing for the better part of an hour per day)

i'm not saying triads, modes, and the multitude of other scales possible are worthless, but most definitely dependent upon the basic knowledge and theory i describe earlier.

basically the 1 hour deal gives you what you need to play the instrument for fun, like a campfire jammer. quite frankly the only other people i've EVER seen discuss the higher level theoretical stuff (especially when it comes to playing guitar) are either shredders, composers, or hung up on the technicality of the music they enjoy.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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then if you want to get into the advanced stuff like modes, triads, and unconventional scales
Damn,I never even heard of those.Do you know them and do you think its necesarry to learn those to be a great guitar player?
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Damn,I never even heard of those.Do you know them and do you think its necesarry to learn those to be a great guitar player?
yes and no. it's one of those things people do without knowing they're doing it. some people feel the need to know it, other people just like to do it. neither way is wronger than the other.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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no. what i'm saying is that you can learn the basics in about an hour. once you have that knowledge you need to practice it, but you don't 'need' someone to hold your hand remind you how to put your fingers to form the C shape everytime you pick up your guitar.
Not every time, but in my experience, many people find the C shape quite hard to master - and the F shape trickier still, never mind B7, so they need "hand-holding" for the first few weeks of learning.

I would suggest it would take most people an hour to get to grips with learning maybe E and A major and minor, and to be able to shift between the two, with D major and minor not far behind.

C and G tend to take longer to master - maybe your experience is different, but unless you live in an area populated by natural guitarists, I would suggest it's unusual.

Then there's B7 and D7, both quite tricky and an hour's worth, and you've spent 4 hours learning chords that will enable you to play in 4 keys.

Those are just about the basics for rock and pop.


Now you have to spend the time learning how to change between the chords - and most people I've come across require frequent reminders.

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from the theoretical side of things the knowledge is easy to obtain. i'm talking the 8 most common chord shapes, 1 scale, and the reasoning ability to understand how to move the shapes up and down the neck.

so that's 8 diagrams, 1 small tab, and about 2 paragraphs. if it takes anyone more than an hour to understand the knowledge contained within those pieces then they're probably still stuck on learning how to tie their shoes.
Personally, I'd be astonished if they learned all that in an hour. I'm reckoning on weeks.

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with that minimal '1 hours worth' of knowledge that gives you the shapes for A, C, D, E, G, Am, Em, Dm. the pentatonic scale. along with the understanding of how to move those chords around the neck, using B and F as the simplest examples of how to apply the theory behind transposing shapes.
As I said earlier, C and G are not straightforward chords to learn.

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at that point, you're pretty much good to go. there's obviously more that can be learned but as far as understanding the basic theory behind playing the guitar that about covers it. with that simple knowledge you can play any chord anywhere on the neck with the ability to determine what that chord is on your own. (max 2 weeks of practicing for the better part of an hour per day)
Amazing, from someone who earlier suggested that theory is irrelevant!

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i'm not saying triads, modes, and the multitude of other scales possible are worthless, but most definitely dependent upon the basic knowledge and theory i describe earlier.
Triads are chords. Chords are triads (unless they have more than 3 different notes!).

Some modes are very useful to learn, like the omni-present Phrygian in metal.

There's tons of other theory besides modes which is useful to perk up basic playing; suspensions are commonplace and useful to know, even for beginners.

Try playing "American Pie" (a campfire staple, surely) - it uses one. You don't really need to know what it's called, but the simple act of raising and lowering the 3rd is effective and easy to learn.

Another theoretical staple is the tritone - Heavy metal hardly exists without it.

Finally, for any budding soloist, the pentatonic or blues scale is simply a must.

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basically the 1 hour deal gives you what you need to play the instrument for fun, like a campfire jammer. quite frankly the only other people i've EVER seen discuss the higher level theoretical stuff (especially when it comes to playing guitar) are either shredders, composers, or hung up on the technicality of the music they enjoy.
I still dispute that it'd take an hour to learn 8 chords. 6, maybe, but I reckon C and G are beyond most people who have picked up a guitar for the very first time.

There's plenty of "mid" level theory to learn - it's not a simple split between "The Basics" and "Advanced", and I'd suggest that the pentatonic scale fits into the campfire remit.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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anyone else want to play with the troll? i've got to work tonight and the top 10 video games thread seems more interesting than this.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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im new to this site ive been playiing for three years while playing competitive soccer and only leared chords no scales or chord progressions but ive always enjoyed playing and recently started writting my own songs and my feinds told me it was good i wanted to get an opinon from a higher source so i called a local producer and with just a sheet of lyrics i played him a song he said it was good and told me that 10 bieng able to play on the radio i was at a six ive played at the local 806 at open mic night and everyone seemed to like my songs any advice on what to learn next to really understand the gitaur better
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You cannot actually play without theory. Theory is always not only relevant to music, but inseparable from it. Even if you deduced the theory yourself through many sessions of playing by ear.
I don't think that's entirely true. How much theory did Muddy Waters understand?

And there are a lot of other examples. You don't have to know anything about theory to hum a tune. And someone with no knowledge of theory can make up a tune a whistle it, and come up with "Don't worry, be Happy"

(Although McFerrin is a bad example)

But still, you can learn 3 open chords & be Jewell.

Knowledge of theory matters when you're trying to orchestrate, or harmonize.

My advice, download powertab, it's free.

And then just search for the songs you want using powertab as a tag.

Another good one is guitarpro. That one is cool because you can turn the tab off, and just have standard notation, if you want to learn the notes. That one isn't free, but you might ask around. Some people have a copy they save for friends that don't have it. I know I have one saved somewhere.

And there are also a lot of backing tracks out there. When I can post links I'll show you stuff that will help you. It's not as good as playing with a band, but it's better than nothing.

And when possible, use a metronome. Just search for free metronome and you'll find em online.
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