Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guitar Resources: Theory

Music theory as it relates to learning the guitar follows the old proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” If you are going to learn songs by rote, you have learned one song. Learn a few aspects of music theory (music conventions really) such as pentatonic scales and you have the basis for just about every rock song ever written as well as the fundamentals of improvisation. That’s a lot of fish! For me, it has been a great return on a small investment of time.

The instructor I selected when starting out was my best source for introduction to theory. View an instructor like the "Electric Guitar Handbook" I referenced in an earlier post. He or she can provide you with the map and your starting point, which provides your frame of reference for further research.

“The Guitar Grimoire, Progressions & Improvisation” by Adam Kadmon is a reference I picked up recently, which leads you through the building blocks of music theory systematically with clear examples. “The Gig Bag Book of Guitar - Complete” compiled by Mark Bridges is a compact reference to scales, arpeggios, and chords. The Internet is especially valuable here. Search on any term in music theory and you will get a variety of mostly quality references.

I am not advocating that you need to immerse yourself in theory to the detriment of practicing your guitar. But, if you want to start rocking sooner, I recommend from my own experience that you learn the theory basics. The basics are especially important when it comes to learning the guitar techniques behind the music that interests you. More on that in a future post.


Hp 60xl said...

Basic info but really helpful if you are just starting to learn or understand Music theory. But all you need to know is that music theory isn't really necessary in learning any instrument, it's just a plus to it. Anyway, allow me to print this out since it was somehow insightful. Thanks.

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