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#1 2008-06-05 19:23:32

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Welcome to the Theory Forum

So, lots of folks have lots of questions about theory, ranging in complexity from "What is theory?" to "How do I build a minor 9th if I'm playing in Locrian mode?"

The first you can probably get some help here with.  The second you might be on your own.  big_smile

Anyway, as Per has made me Earl of Theory, I'd like to see this become somewhat of a self teaching area.  I have in mind to set up some basic primers on things (This is a scale, this is a chord, this is how they relate, etc...) but if anything, I'd like to focus on how it can apply to your playing, right now, and make you a better musician in the long run.

Best regards.

Jerome


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#2 2008-06-05 21:43:38

geoaguiar
Honoured Member
Registered: 2007-03-24
Posts: 1108

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Agreed. That is definitely the right track. I've been playing for years and, like a lot of people I know, real understanding of theory eludes me. A lot of us play it because it sounds "right" and have some exposure to theory. What I'd love to get out of this forum is "when I play GCD you should solo on this scale". I've always done that by ear. I've never "understood" my way around the fret board just sort of "heard" my way around. Does this make sense?
Anyhow, I'm glad Per decided to put this section up and I'm equally glad your moderating it. I'll be looking in often.


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#3 2008-06-05 21:54:37

06sc500
Senior Member
Registered: 2007-04-25
Posts: 551
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

geoaguiar wrote:

Agreed. That is definitely the right track. I've been playing for years and, like a lot of people I know, real understanding of theory eludes me. A lot of us play it because it sounds "right" and have some exposure to theory. What I'd love to get out of this forum is "when I play GCD you should solo on this scale". I've always done that by ear. I've never "understood" my way around the fret board just sort of "heard" my way around. Does this make sense?
Anyhow, I'm glad Per decided to put this section up and I'm equally glad your moderating it. I'll be looking in often.

Same exact thign with me, I understand a little bit of theory, but I make my way around the fretboard by ear.


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#4 2008-06-05 22:37:11

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

OK.  I'll write up a couple of topical threads and post them here.    If you guys have anything specific you'd like discussed beyond this, let me know.

So, by request

"How to pick a scale to play over a chord progression."

Will be first.

"What are scales?"

and

"How are chords formed?"

are probably the next two up.

Any suggestions?


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#5 2008-06-05 22:43:30

Tim0473
Senior Member
From: San Antonio, Texas
Registered: 2007-06-12
Posts: 353
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

geoaguiar wrote:

Agreed. That is definitely the right track. I've been playing for years and, like a lot of people I know, real understanding of theory eludes me. A lot of us play it because it sounds "right" and have some exposure to theory. What I'd love to get out of this forum is "when I play GCD you should solo on this scale". I've always done that by ear. I've never "understood" my way around the fret board just sort of "heard" my way around. Does this make sense?
Anyhow, I'm glad Per decided to put this section up and I'm equally glad your moderating it. I'll be looking in often.

Jerome

Geo and 06 are exactly right ... when it comes to playing a chord progression like GCD, for example, I dont know where to solo or even begin practicing ... I've heard about soloing on a scale for a specific "key" but didnt know where to start


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#6 2008-06-06 10:08:37

admin
Moderator.
Registered: 2006-02-26
Posts: 753

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Good luck with the new forum!

It is really fantastic if you make tutorials as the ones you are suggesting. If you do this, please consider marking the threads by using something like "TUTORIAL: title..." in the title. After posting it, you have (as an administrator) the option of making it "sticky". That way it always stays on top of the list.

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#7 2008-06-06 17:40:55

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

admin wrote:

Good luck with the new forum!

It is really fantastic if you make tutorials as the ones you are suggesting. If you do this, please consider marking the threads by using something like "TUTORIAL: title..." in the title. After posting it, you have (as an administrator) the option of making it "sticky". That way it always stays on top of the list.

Sticky power for the win!


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#8 2008-06-08 04:45:10

topdown
Margarator
From: Madeira Beach, Florida
Registered: 2007-12-06
Posts: 2773

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Jerome - Your posts and graphics are awesome - you explain things in such easy to understand terms. This theory section is a great addition to the forum!

I'm thinking a "basics" lesson might be a good idea. Like what notes does it take to form a chord and what makes a minor, a 7th, etc. What is a suspended chord - that kind of thing. This might be a good topic for a "sticky" as there are a lot of beginners here.

Just offering a suggestion - I know it took me a lot of searching and practicing to just learn the basics. Would have been nice to have a "go-to" beginners lesson thread.

Thanks for all of your efforts!


Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

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#9 2008-06-08 21:00:04

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Yep!  That stuff is coming.  I want to build on scales as the foundation, though.  Understanding scales is critical to understanding chords.  All chords are built from scales in one degree or another.

I also want to get the "practical" side of things out first, which is why the scales thread was done the way it's was.  That is a "here is what you can do" kind of thing.  Next will be the "here is why you do it that way" side of it, that will really be about the theory of scales.

So, the next things coming up will be..

1.  Scales Primer (done)
2.  Minor Scales Primer (built in the same way as scales primer)
3.  Scales Theory (covers key signatures and other notational things)
4.  Chord Primer (how chords are built, etc...)
5.  Chord Theory (How chords progress within a key)
6.  Creating Music with Chord Progressions

These will all come up as I have time to build them.  I'm using Visio to build the fretboard charts, and I'm really liking the way it is coming out.  I've got a template with a blank fretboard, and I'm adding new patterns (scale patterns, chords, etc) all the time.  If someone has some web space available, I can put that on line, too.


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www.aclosesecond.com

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#10 2008-06-10 00:57:42

Montana W.
Member
Registered: 2008-03-29
Posts: 93

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

umm... this might sound stupid but it is a serious question

wat is theroy?   hmm

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#11 2008-06-10 04:04:35

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Montana W. wrote:

umm... this might sound stupid but it is a serious question

wat is theroy?   hmm

I've sat here for five minutes trying to come up with a concise answer for that, and honestly, I'm a bit stumped.  So that makes it a good question.  big_smile

So I'm throwing up my answer.  Anyone else that has one, please step forward and be heard!

Music theory is "the rules" that you would use to write songs, play your instrument, improvise, and do the other things we as musicians do.  A random jumble of tones does not make a song, any more than a random splattering of paint makes a picture.   Just as a painter knows how to use color and line to create an image, a musician uses theory to choose notes for harmony, and melody.

So for example, when you sit down at Grandma's house and she starts banging out Christmas tunes on the piano and wants you to play along, she might say "This song is in the key of G."  Theory would guide you as to what notes and chords would be appropriate for that key, and help you play along with the song even if you've never heard it before, as it will follow those same rules.   

Now, do you need theory to play?  No, you don't.  Will it make you a better player?  I think so.  Will it help you learn to play faster?  I'd state categorically yes.

Sometimes those rules seem a bit arcane, or confusing, so this forum was created to help us understand and apply it to our playing.

Did that help, or should we get another batter in the box?  smile


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#12 2008-06-10 04:29:15

Montana W.
Member
Registered: 2008-03-29
Posts: 93

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

hey its Montana W. the one who asked about music theory. yeah that was a good explanation,  so theory is just like instead of playing a random buch of notes and chords on teh guitar u play in the same key so u get a tune isatead of  just a buch of noise. like in the keyof g u just play all the chords and notes in that key to make it sound like a song or to make a solo. like rules that u go buy like on a game.  is that it or is that like really wrong?

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#13 2008-06-10 04:59:17

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

That about sums it up.

The nice thing about it is once you get it, it's immediately apparent how useful it is.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#14 2008-06-10 06:51:23

tonydr
Senior Member
From: New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-06
Posts: 144

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

A good bottom up description of theory. 

From a top-down point of view, any related collection of ideas and facts when considered together can define a theory.  As such, I always like to think of music theory as a set of ideas about playing that can be used as the basis for creativity.


That's alright, I got my guitar
-Jimi Hendrix

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#15 2008-06-17 06:45:37

ziggystardust
Member
From: Sydney West
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 78

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Hey Jerome - you will make a great administator - All the best -


"It's all about the Calluses, once you got them, you can't get rid of em!"

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#16 2008-06-24 08:35:12

gitaardocphil
Honoured Member
From: BELGIUM
Registered: 2007-01-27
Posts: 3395
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

100% correct. How many of us, chordians, did STUDY MUSIC THEORY?
I play sins 30 years and still I can't read notes, even tabs.


- GITAARDOCPHIL SAIS: TO CONQUER DEAD, YOU HAVE TO DIE   AND we are born to die
- MY GUITAR PLAYS EVERY STYLE = BLUES, ROCK, METAL, so I NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY IT.
Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.

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#17 2010-12-13 08:09:17

drhatchettman
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

I have to say that most of the charts I’ve looked at on Chordie are not correct.  Every thing from the wrong keys,  wrong chords, wrong voicing, and lyrics.  From what I gather, most people that post charts on Chordie are guitar players.  Most of the guitar players I've worked with never learn anything about theory.  They feel they don't have to.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Music theory is the nuts and bolts, the building blocks, and the foundation of all things music.  The best thing anybody could do is to take music theory courses at your local community college, instrumentalist or vocalist alike.  It's cheep and you can learn everything you every wanted to know about theory.  If you can't do that at least learn some basic keyboards.

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#18 2010-12-13 08:47:41

drhatchettman
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Here's a little memory tool you can use for a major scale.  There are 8 notes in a major scale, do=1, re=2, mi=3, fa=4, sol=5, la=6, ti=7, do=8.  There are half steps between 3 and 4 and 7 and 8, all the rest are whole steps.  A whole step is two frets on the guitar and two keys on the keyboard.  Once you have learned the fingering for one key (on guitar not so for the keyboards), you can use the same fingering for all 12 major keys.

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#19 2011-11-25 19:10:34

gharris008
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-11-20
Posts: 1

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

I am writing to suggest that song submitters try to be more careful of the chording they use when submitting songs. I am not sure if this is really
a problem of the submitters or the transpose option,but when a song is written in the key of E Maj. or is transposed to the key of E Maj. and there
is a VIm chord in the progression it should be written as C#m and not Dbm. Even though the pitch is the same, it does make a difference how it is
written. Thanks

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#20 2011-11-28 19:01:31

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: Welcome to the Theory Forum

Well, Chordie is a search engine that transforms songs found elsewhere on the net, so they aren't "submitted" per se.  They are just found and digested.  The tranposing tools you mentioned aren't that smart about key, which leads to the problem you note.  It just counts half tones and not much else.

Thanks for the input.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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