Keys, scales, and watchamacalits

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > Keys, scales, and watchamacalits

New Member

Joined: 12/27/00

Posts: 3

I've been playing guitar for about 3 years now. All of the music that I play is tablature from Guitar World magazine and from on the internet. I can hold my own when it comes to playing popular cover songs... Offspring, 3 doors down, papa roach, guns n roses.... but I now have the urge to attempt to put new things together. I have played in a high school band and I can read music. I'm near pro at reading and playing guitar tablature. What I can't do is translate written music into guitar,, and the real problem: I'm foreign when a conversation comes to keys. Basically, my music theory is lacking. I couldn't tell you if an A chord will fit in a song in the key of G.. or even what a song being in the key of G means. Besides the little no-help sections that I have read in the back of the popular Grade 1 "Learn to play Guitar" books that attempt to explain keys, scales, and why some chords will fit in some keys... etc.. I have had little success in this matter. If anybody can tell me where to start, I'd appreciate it. I did take lessons a year or two ago, and my instructor wrote me some of the common scales to practice, but I have no clue how to apply this. thanks

Tom

#1

I've been playing guitar for about 3 years now. All of the music that I play is tablature from Guitar World magazine and from on the internet. I can hold my own when it comes to playing popular cover songs... Offspring, 3 doors down, papa roach, guns n roses.... but I now have the urge to attempt to put new things together. I have played in a high school band and I can read music. I'm near pro at reading and playing guitar tablature. What I can't do is translate written music into guitar,, and the real problem: I'm foreign when a conversation comes to keys. Basically, my music theory is lacking. I couldn't tell you if an A chord will fit in a song in the key of G.. or even what a song being in the key of G means. Besides the little no-help sections that I have read in the back of the popular Grade 1 "Learn to play Guitar" books that attempt to explain keys, scales, and why some chords will fit in some keys... etc.. I have had little success in this matter. If anybody can tell me where to start, I'd appreciate it. I did take lessons a year or two ago, and my instructor wrote me some of the common scales to practice, but I have no clue how to apply this. thanks

Tom

Member

Joined: 12/28/00

Posts: 40

Hi Tom!

I now how you feel, I felt the same way when I started.
What worked for me, was quiting the theory for a long period of time and start using my ears even more than I used to. Find out what YOU think sounds cool, listen to alot of music and sort out the cord progression BY EAR, instead of reading the music somewhere.
What often happens when people "only" read music and play by this, they lack in natural musical talent, not that they don't have it, but you need to train this talent and help it come to life in your music expression. Forget theory (for now) and start being more emotional and use/train your musical ear. You'll know your ear is good enough, when you can determine the key for a certain song or even play the cords or rip-off a part of the solo, just be listening.
Try also to record your playing, so you can hear what you're actually producing and in that way, you can say to yourself "that sounds cool!" or "that sucks, even though it looks cool doin' it on the frets!". In time, your on style and inner self will burst through your ****in' amp!!! :)

Fiddles
Trolle

#2

Hi Tom!

I now how you feel, I felt the same way when I started.
What worked for me, was quiting the theory for a long period of time and start using my ears even more than I used to. Find out what YOU think sounds cool, listen to alot of music and sort out the cord progression BY EAR, instead of reading the music somewhere.
What often happens when people "only" read music and play by this, they lack in natural musical talent, not that they don't have it, but you need to train this talent and help it come to life in your music expression. Forget theory (for now) and start being more emotional and use/train your musical ear. You'll know your ear is good enough, when you can determine the key for a certain song or even play the cords or rip-off a part of the solo, just be listening.
Try also to record your playing, so you can hear what you're actually producing and in that way, you can say to yourself "that sounds cool!" or "that sucks, even though it looks cool doin' it on the frets!". In time, your on style and inner self will burst through your ****in' amp!!! :)

Fiddles
Trolle

Member

Joined: 12/28/00

Posts: 40

forgive me spelling... correction "your OWN style.." etc.

Fiddles
Trolle

#3

forgive me spelling... correction "your OWN style.." etc.

Fiddles
Trolle

Member

Joined: 12/28/00

Posts: 40

James is right!
Don't get discouraged bout' theory, cause someday you'll get into it, but it is still my opinion, that if you have a good musical ear, things become alot easier! (and fun):P

Fiddles
Trolle

#4

James is right!
Don't get discouraged bout' theory, cause someday you'll get into it, but it is still my opinion, that if you have a good musical ear, things become alot easier! (and fun):P

Fiddles
Trolle

Member

Joined: 12/28/00

Posts: 40

Hey...why didn't my smilie work?
...well maybe cuz' of the capital P...
here it goes... :p
WOW!

Fiddles
Trolle

#5

Hey...why didn't my smilie work?
...well maybe cuz' of the capital P...
here it goes... :p
WOW!

Fiddles
Trolle

New Member

Joined: 12/27/00

Posts: 3

hey, found a good theory and stuff page... if you are interested in learning what I'm learning,, check out this site

Dansm's Guitar Chord Theory
http://www.dreamscape.com/esmith/dansm/chords/chords.htm

#6

hey, found a good theory and stuff page... if you are interested in learning what I'm learning,, check out this site

Dansm's Guitar Chord Theory
http://www.dreamscape.com/esmith/dansm/chords/chords.htm

New Member

Joined: 12/27/00

Posts: 3

Well hey, if anybody knows of any better sites to help me learn a little theory, send em my way. Also, if anybody can think of a fun way to get acquainted with the frets and what notes they produce, with the exception of the first 3 on every string which I can easily calculate, I think that'll help too. I guess it's my fault that I haven't been playing even the major scale on any kind of regular basis. I'll start that today. Thanks for the help so far..

Tom

#7

Well hey, if anybody knows of any better sites to help me learn a little theory, send em my way. Also, if anybody can think of a fun way to get acquainted with the frets and what notes they produce, with the exception of the first 3 on every string which I can easily calculate, I think that'll help too. I guess it's my fault that I haven't been playing even the major scale on any kind of regular basis. I'll start that today. Thanks for the help so far..

Tom

Member

Joined: 12/28/00

Posts: 40

Well, there is one major trick to knowing your frets (and sound of them): Sing the notes that you play!!!

Also, when you get better, try to sing a series of notes first, then play it afterwards. Try with one note, then two notes etc.

This will also help you with improvising and play what you think. :cool:

Fiddles
Trolle

#8

Well, there is one major trick to knowing your frets (and sound of them): Sing the notes that you play!!!

Also, when you get better, try to sing a series of notes first, then play it afterwards. Try with one note, then two notes etc.

This will also help you with improvising and play what you think. :cool:

Fiddles
Trolle

New Member

Joined: 01/10/01

Posts: 28

Music Theroy

Tells all you need to know. It's not the how, it's the why.
Take my advise, study, study, study.

#9

Music Theroy

Tells all you need to know. It's not the how, it's the why.
Take my advise, study, study, study.