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I have fun playing guitar, learning songs or licks and solos from songs is fun and all but I really don't know much about these pieces of music and why they sound good. Sometime I want to be able to write music, mainly centered around electric and acoustic guitar but I need help finding where I need to get started.

I want to gain a understanding of music theory, especially guitar related. I want to be able to know how to name a note, name a chord, name a key (understand key s in general), and just learn why and what things sound good together in general. At the moment I don't understand many of things things, but I want to be able to so I can really learn about the guitar and learn how to use it.

It would be great if someone could point me in the right direction or explain some minor things about learning this theory, may it be online reading material, viewing material, or even a book I suppose.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: As stated above I know very little at the moment so the things I've listed above are examples of things I would like to learn, I really just want to learn any theory that can help in writing music and really understanding a piece of music (applicable to guitar), which I know is a lot, but I would like to learn.

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Why don't you start with this site: musictheory.net/lessons –  Dom Jun 5 at 21:57
    
@Dom Thanks, I'll take a look. –  APott Jun 5 at 22:01
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Also as the question is now it is really broad. There is a lot of material that music theory covers. If you want to learn about specific aspects of music theory or have a specific question, we can give you a much, much more precise answer. –  Dom Jun 5 at 22:19
    
@Dom Yeah, it is quite broad. I only needed pointed in the right direction though, I think your link will definitely get me started with theory. –  APott Jun 5 at 22:23

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Learning theory is a major task, but if you are serious about it you will succeed. Here is what I would suggest:

a. Find professional lessons in your area

This is my first suggestion because when you are first starting learning music theory some of the concepts can be really hard to grasp or understand. Having someone knowledgable is very helpful at first because they can answer questions immediately. If you don't know of anyone in your area who teaches I suggest checking Craiglist, Care.com, Takelessons.com, etc...

Note - Take caution when you contact someone on these site. Make sure you meet them in a safe place the first time.

b. Find online instructor

This option is basically like the first one but not as good because the teacher can't actually be in your presence to move your fingers to correct finger positions or other similar advantages to being person to person. Here are some sites that will help you find an online teacher Takelessons.com, Udemy.com, Thezoen.com, etc...

c. Find online courses and resources

This option does not allow you to get feedback immediately, but you can still learn a lot if you are driven for success. Here are some sites that can help

Note - there a lot more online resources. This list is only a couple of them.

d. Buy a book and practice daily

This option is similar to option c, but instead you can have a physical copy of something in front of you to make notes on and bring anywhere to practice. Here are a couple books that could get you started.

e. Google about it and read every online source possible

This step may sound a bit vague, but it is basically how I got started. Although you can find a lot of uncreditable resources, you will also read a lot of great things.

Best of luck! And remember that if you don't have a teacher you can always ask the people of Music.stackexchange.com to help you with theory questions.

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Wow, Thanks! Lot of good stuff there I will look into. Thanks a lot! –  APott Jun 6 at 1:43
    
@APott No problem! Here is another site I just found with some good information. musictheorysite.com –  MattCamp Jun 6 at 1:44
    
Might I also add chrisjuergensen.com/lessons.htm which I think is an excellent introduction to music theory for beginner guitarists. I found it very useful and went on to even buy his book. –  user1953384 Jun 6 at 11:09

There is no such thing as Guitar theory. There is the basic Music Theory that every musician should learn but they it is not specific to any instrument.

I want to gain a understanding of music theory, especially guitar related. I want to be able to know how to name a note, name a chord, name a key (understand key s in general), and just learn why and what things sound good together in general.

A good teacher will be able to teach you all of these things. Music Theory is basically an investigation into what sounds good. The rules and laws if you will are just some of the inalienable facts the musicians and the theorist of the ages has discovered about the sounds you ears can hear.

It would be great if someone could point me in the right direction or explain some minor things about learning this theory, may it be online reading material, viewing material, or even a book I suppose.

I would recommend visiting a music shop in your areas and asking around if they have a list of teachers you can contact. I'm not convinced that you can replace a teacher in this instance. It is just good being able to sit down with a teacher and go trough the work.

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You may want to explore my collection of chords and supporting information. What makes this uncommon (unique?) is the fact that this collection of guitar chords illustrates and functionally identifies the component chord voices, rather than just indicating a marker to "put your finger here". This collection is almost completely comprised of movable chords -- chords which may be readily transposed from key to key. On the other hand, it does not contain open string chords (because they typically don't transpose).

This collection is an evolving work in progress. I am confident that it can provide a beginner with an excellent head start on guitar studies. It does not yet explain chord progressions or harmony, but it does contain some links to these things available here and elsewhere on the web. Enjoy.

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That first answer was really good. One thing I'd suggest specifically for the guitar is to learn all your chord shapes and positions. For example, if you move the D chord up 2 frets it becomes an E chord. Don't forget any open strings you play. So if you play the open D string on that D chord and want to make it an E chord you will have to fret the D string at the second fret. This is great to know because you will start to understand how the notes relate to each other, instead of fishing in the dark through scales or only playing predetermined licks you've learned from others. You can actually play leads anywhere on the neck by playing on and around those chord shapes in relation to what the rhythm section is doing. If you emphasize the chord notes in harmony with everyone else you don't even need to be the best shredder in the world and you will sound amazing.

Learning the fundamentals is great for song writting and jamming. It has exploded my guitar playing and I am progressing faster all the time. So stick with it, even if the language is a little archaic, It's what every instrument is built off of and is super fun to play around with.

After my piano playing friend couldn't translate into my guitar mind I got a book for guitarists from a music shop and it was great. We both speak the same language now

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Once you are familiar with music one essential part of improving ist to pick the music that catches you and start to transcribe by ear what you are listening to. Improve your pitch, not everybody has a perfect pitch but if you know some scales in major and minor (and those blue notes that do not seem to fit in there) you will love to transcribe and understand music!

Slow down the pieces with DAW`s like Reaper and then you are able to identify nearly everything that the musicians on a record play. I started playing guitar at the age of 16 - and transcribing music was essential to invent something on your own.

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