How To Make Theory Interesting
sumitnxt
Aug 19 2013, 07:07 AM
Learning Apprentice Player
Posts: 210
Joined: 22-August 12
From: India
theory always overwhelms me. whats the best way to approach it so that it becomes enjoyable than boring.

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Darius Wave
Aug 19 2013, 08:19 AM
Instructor
Posts: 5.762
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
for me it was always doing some theory over the thing I actually play. starting from analysis of the things I was alreadyable to do...then doing some steps further but always while playing. If I was learning scales I didn't work on all of them at the same time. I was giving myself about 6 months to create my own licks and tips for one single scale. When I learn my students I always tell them that most of all, the notes layout on the fretboard is a must and they don't have to learn it the hard way. Yhey just have to keep the rule "always think what's the name of the note You actually play - if You don't know...stop playing and check it". It gives better results than learning "theory terms for the school exam". Theory is so wide topic - there is no easy way on this but You won;t get bored when You experiment with single parts of it.

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The Professor
Aug 19 2013, 09:41 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
Hey,

That's a common problem, so you're definitely not alone! One thing I highly recommend is that you never learn theory for the sake of learning theory, you always apply what you learn directly and immediately to the guitar and your music.

This could mean analyzing a favorite song to learn how the chords work and why they sound good, then writing a chord progression in a similar fashion using those guidelines that you worked out.

Take any scale you learn, figure out the intervals and why/how the scale is build and sounds good, then put on a backing track and start soloing with that scale right away, or write a melody riff that uses that scale you just learned.

If you just learn theory to learn theory then it will probably be boring. But, if you learn a bit of theory, then apply that knowledge right to the guitar and your music, then it's fun and will encourage you to check it out more.

Here are some articles that mix theory and playing in a practical way, check them out and see what you think



Learn To Solo Over Your Favorite Chords

Applied and Practical Music Theory Exercises

Building Common Chord Progressions

Guitar Soloing Challenges

Music Analysis Challenges

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sumitnxt
Aug 19 2013, 10:21 AM
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Posts: 210
Joined: 22-August 12
From: India
thanks a lot matt and darius

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The Professor
Aug 19 2013, 10:30 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
No problem, if you ever have any more theory questions, or any questions at all, feel free to post them and we'll help out as best we can!

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 19 2013, 01:30 PM
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From: Argentina
Great feedback by Darius & Matt. I think that both ideas are very effective to make learning theory more interesting and the key here is something that sometimes we miss. The reason why we learnt theory is to understand what we are playing, and listening to , in order to expand our musical language and make our music richer. So, if we don't experiment and learn how to apply each new topic that we learn, it has no sense to learn music theory and we get bored.

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klasaine
Aug 20 2013, 02:23 AM
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From: Los Angeles, CA
Great advice from Darius and Matt!

I would also recommend not worrying about 'learning a lot of theory' all at once.
Like learn what the I IV and V chords are and try to find them in some of the songs you play and/or write.
Or just the major scale in all 12 keys (in your head as well as on the guitar).
Don't move on until you know it well enough to confidently and competently explain it someone else.
There's no time limit - go at your own comfortable pace.

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sumitnxt
Aug 20 2013, 05:52 AM
Learning Apprentice Player
Posts: 210
Joined: 22-August 12
From: India
QUOTE
Great feedback by Darius & Matt. I think that both ideas are very effective to make learning theory more interesting and the key here is something that sometimes we miss. The reason why we learnt theory is to understand what we are playing, and listening to , in order to expand our musical language and make our music richer. So, if we don't experiment and learn how to apply each new topic that we learn, it has no sense to learn music theory and we get bored.

thanks gabe. will try to take out time not only to learn to play but to understand what i am playing.
QUOTE
I would also recommend not worrying about 'learning a lot of theory' all at once.
Like learn what the I IV and V chords are and try to find them in some of the songs you play and/or write.
Or just the major scale in all 12 keys (in your head as well as on the guitar).
Don't move on until you know it well enough to confidently and competently explain it someone else.
There's no time limit - go at your own comfortable pace.

thanks klaisaine. I like the idea to not move on until you know it well enough to confidently and competently explain it to others.

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