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Learning Scales and Chords

Beginners
btimm  
4 Jan 2011 11:54 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
Just a question for my curiosity more than anything. I finally have some more time to dedicate to learning about the guitar and music theory in general. I bought a book/DVD about learning jazz, because I enjoy that genre of music, but also because I figure if I know jazz theory, it should be fairly simple to understand the theory of other forms of music.

It goes over the major and minor scale and some of the patterns involved with these scales. It also discusses scales with seventh chords, eventually leading into progressions and improv.

I really want to learn these fundamentals before I progress any further, since in my early stages of learning I have just been focused on getting familiar with the guitar, learning some chords and practicing to get my finger and hand strength down.

My guess for you is this: how long did it take you to really know your scales, fret board, and chords (major, minor, variations of the 7th chords) like it was second nature? Like all across the fretboard? I understand people learn at different rates and how much you play per day will have an impact, but I am just curious. Thanks!
RA  
4 Jan 2011 12:49 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
Man, I'm still doing it. Honestly I really don't think it ends, but the basic stuff takes at lest four years probably more, I really don't know. I find the "D" position (I use CAGED with add bits as my layout) to really be annoying.

as for types of chords, as in what the are the steps for a a certain chord. I know them but they all follow the same basic patten (they're built on thirds)

as for books I would really look into, Ted Greene's "Single note soloing" it is all about positions and such and really getting to know your scales. Remember knowing your scales is the only way to know your chords (on the guitar it's a must). That being said all of Greene's books are great but you would want "single note" first. Also if you haven't already learned to read notation you should get on that if your going to be learning from books. you don't need to be a great sight reader (I am *** at it unless it's in beat per minute then I'm the best), but you got to be able to read it.

then it wouldn't hurt to have "The Jazz theory Book" is a bit expensive but worth it if you want to spend the money, but as before you have to learn to read if you can't already. It's not going to show you how to do anything step by step but it will show the scales/chords and how the relate and give examples in songs (he states listen to such and such on such album). It is really just a theory book not aimed at any instrument in particular yet the nation is written as if for the piano (grand staff).

next point it wouldn't hurt to get to know the piano.

single note

http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Guitar-Single-Note-Soloing/dp/0769209726/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c


jazz theory

http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/1883217040/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294166869&sr=1-1


also check out Greene's site

http://www.tedgreene.com/


that and one more thing get your self a real book and start learning standards.
macandkanga  
4 Jan 2011 15:00 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
One of the things I still have'nt done yet is to learn/memorize every note on the fretboard. This is essential to theory and/or sight reading. Why I have'nt done it myself yet, I don't know!
Empirism  
4 Jan 2011 16:29 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
I dont know either, my learning curve is quick for some stuff aaand very slow in other stuff.. so... I think if you sit down and start to memorize every note on the fretboard, practise it 2-3 hours a day memorizing those notes... mmmm... soz man, that is the stuff I hated when I was in the school haha, but im sure you learn it... other thing is, are you thinking fast enough when playing that there are any use of that you know what note on the 7th fret 3rd string is...

what I done I use as Carl called "safe positions", in few useful like C, D and A. and learn scales in the shapes and boxes rather than full scales make it more easier to memorize.

Cheers
Emp
case211  
4 Jan 2011 17:13 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
I am going to be completely honest here:

I've never learned 7th chords.

There I said it. haha

I usually came back to the basics of the 5 position pentatonics to help me "unlock" the rest of the fretboard in any key that I might not have known at that time. I don't know every single key by heart(some just don't sit well with me honestly...) but that's how I learned to navigate the basic outline of each key and then after I was comfortable with that, I would fill in the "blanks" with whatever note happened to be removed for the base pentatonic.

After doing this I sort of found that I really like the tones and moods of only a few keys(when I played). They happened to be B minor/D Major, A Minor/C Major, and D Minor/F Major. The moods with those keys really is something that I like to use in my writing. Strange I know, but for example, E Minor has never really sat well with me :/ just feels off to me...dunno why though haha

But after doing that and studying and learning the instrument through both my Junior and Senior years of High School(yes I was the nerd listening to music and studying theory at lunch), everything sort of clicked.

Something just sort of happened and all of a sudden I was able to 'hear' my song ideas in my head with solos, drum fills, everything. I think the catalyst was recording multiple "songs" a week. Nothing really interesting, it was just practicing playing along with a basic drum track and basic rhythm playing(really helped out my timing).

Factor all that in with growing up musically by having pressure placed on me being the sole guitarist(lead+rhythm) in a very bad band, made me really start to get better overall.

league  
4 Jan 2011 22:09 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 10
I literally learned all of my theory from a book called "Guitar Chord Guru"
I just wanted to learn chords to make songs, but my curiosity led me to read a few pages about theory and just from reading and trying it on the fretboard.

I fully grasped basic theory in about 2 weeks. as far as scales I learned pentatonics from the now extinct guitar player magazine. Every other scale and or chord I learned from this site. It usually takes me about 4 hours to get comfortable with a scale.
Admiral  
5 Jan 2011 03:08 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
I started on this topic probably 2 Years ago and faced the same task, in the end I didnt get much further than the Ionian, Phrygian and Aeolian mode. A bit of harmonic minor probably. And If I look at my improvising and the improvising of others with these scales i feel like a little child trying to hold up with adults. To properly learn how to use a scale, and to fully understand them will never end (Think of the white belt level at Zen Guitar!) I think its better to learn one scale on a quite decent level before moving on to the next one. And remember when learning scales: Learn the intervals!! not just the "dots".
Same goes for the chords. It all depends on where you want to end? What are your aims? Do you want to play on open Stage nights in a Jazz club or just for yourself at home? How much time do you have available?
I dont know about others but I think you need to invest quite a bit of time of your day to make good progress. But hey, nothings impossible! haha Do it!
coleman  
5 Jan 2011 05:29 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
United States
Karma: 8
dude its easy!!! you just gotta make the effort! it took me to learn the modes of the major scale a few months, but there are lots of ways to use those scales and it may take a while to figure that out. chords are easy to learn as well it's just memorizing, seventh chords since there is only three types( major,minor,dom.)don't take very long to learn. but it's pointless to learn any chords or scales if you don't learn how they function in music.
Empirism  
8 Jan 2011 00:56 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Admiral says:
Think of the white belt level at Zen Guitar!!


Man! I really liked that one :)

Admiral  
8 Jan 2011 12:01 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Empirism says:
Man! I really liked that one :)


haha, probably you like it because I quoted YOUR lesson...^^...no, jokes, I also like it because it is just so true, you never know enough!


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