Beginning theory

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tremontinator, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Wakester

    Wakester Re Member

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    I tried understanding what y'all are layin' down, but it's all Greek jive to me. Which explains why I failed Greek in school.

    Wait... I didn't take greek, I took Italian.... Failed that too.:oops:
     
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  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Not to be a naysayer, but even most blues players have some knowledge of basic jazz chords (min9ths, min11ths, 13th triads, min7♭5s, etc.). It lends extra flavor to their usual blues playing and can create some interesting rock chord progressions.

    For example, if perhaps you might like, listen to a YT guy named Shawn Tubbs describe various pieces of gear from his YT page. Shawn has all the earmarks of a qualified Nashville player and often does studio work for Carrie Underwood, among other session players. Shawn has some interesting musical ideas that lend to being a better player, if not for simply borrowing his licks, but seeing how his ideas go together... I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    If not Shawn, look for another YT guitarist named Alberto Barrero. Alberto is from Spain and is also a rock/blues/jazz player, but a much more accomplished one because of his style and technique.

    I realize that it would be counterproductive to try to persuade someone to learning more than what they're familiar or comfortable with. Plz read my sig, because that embodies a lot of what the learning process is about. You may not feel comfortable learning new things (the old dog, new tricks mindset), but only if you're open to learning will you make progress towards much more than what you know presently.

    However, if straight up R&R is where you're at, you need not look much farther than pentatonic and Mixolydian scales. Although you'll be limited to what you can play, you'll at least have a basic knowledge of rock and blues.

    FTR, I was the same mindset myself not long before I began lessons with a teacher, who opened my eyes and mind to greater possibilities than just I-IV-V rock and blues tunes. It's a much larger world, music-wise, than to be limited to just I-IV-V tunes...just saying...
     
    #42 CandidPicker, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  3. Matty_B_1966

    Matty_B_1966 Why yes as a matter of fact I do breed pet rocks!

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    Yup!
     
  4. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    I got halfway through that and was entirely too confused to continue.

    And I kept hearing Adam Savage saying "I reject your reality, and substitute my own!" Which is clearly what you have done
     
  5. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    Most blues players. Most. Not all. :)

    I'm not strictly a 3 chord rocker but I know what you meant
     
  6. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    I understand this. I thought to provide you with an idea of what your teacher is beginning to tell you about modulating chords up and down the neck. While the following video is mostly an FX demo, please listen to the intro guitar parts and see if it's possible to determine what Shawn is doing with chord modulation. And although this is not straight up 3-chord R&R, it is a flavor of rock guitar I thought you might appreciate. Note that Shawn is not using standard rock chords per se. Though a lot of beautiful chord shapes I've no clue what he's doing. Just want to open your eyes a little.

    Have a listen to the intro part, and then if perhaps you dig Shawn's music, there is a bunch of other videos on his channel. Enjoy.

     
  7. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    IDK what chord Modulation is bro. Definitely not doing to be able to hear anything

    My ear is more tuned for figuring out rhythm if I have tab. Listening to complex vox Harmony. Separating multiple instruments.

    I have a perfect aural recall (tonal memory)

    And if you play me stuff in a familiar genre, I can hear where it will go.

    Like if you play say 5 chords in a key, I can hear if it's resolved or how many chords are needed to reach comfortable or forced resolution


     
  8. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Well, I tried. ;) :oops: :)

    Chord modulation is essentially almost what you're saying...playing 5 (7, then the octave, really) chords (major, minor, or diminished) in one key. The way you do it is to move up and down the fretboard in whole steps (or half steps when required) "modulating" (which really just means transitioning) to the next chord one whole or half step up. You can also begin up the neck and work your way down. Shawn was doing exactly that in his video and changing it up every so often with a variety of embellishments that keeps his playing interesting.

    Whether you realize this or not, this is a classic form that rock, blues and jazz guitarists use.

    Regards listening, I like to think I have good ears that can hear chord changes and the direction band leaders want you to go. Playing in open-mics certainly did help with that, because at first unless you knew the song implicitly, it wasn't as easy to know what chord changes came next. We didn't use chord charts back when I jammed, though some kind-hearted sax players felt sorry for me and wrote up a few charts so I'd know next time what to expect. Otherwise it was expected that you know how to play a song, play backing rhythm, take a lead once or twice, and know how to sit in the mix and not step on other musicians while they were taking a lead.

    Sometimes, you got a chance to strut your stuff and take a lead in an entirely different direction (changing root key, tempo, put a break into the song, for example). Personally, I didn't have the chutzpah to even try something of this type, because I was only a guest player, not the host or member of the house band.

    And yes, a song almost always desires to resolve to a pleasant tone, simply because an unresolved chord or lead generally creates musical tension (which is desirable sometimes). I can think of a couple jazz fusion guitarists (Oz Noy, Wayne Krantz) who excel at creating musical tension with their angular style and unusual chording. Not rock, though, but someday when you're doing nothing else and would like to hear something unusual, listen to Wayne Krantz' version of 'U Can't Touch This." You'll likely spit out your coffee and say WTH was that...? It is possible with certain genres to not resolve to a pleasing tone, and end a song leaving a "question" or causing the audience to think "Hmmm..." That in itself does the job because it often leads to your next song which may serve as a follow-up to the previous "question."

    Effectively, creating a conversation between musicians that encourages audience participation and talk between songs. When people weren't dancing at our open-mics, they were sharing their thoughts about topics of the day. Whether they liked or disliked the previous song, and how they liked or disliked how the song built upon itself until reaching a satisfying conclusion.

    Yet that causes me to think, what is it about certain songs that helps you feel more part of the music? The bass line? Guitar rhythm? Time signature?

    For me, it was about how other musicians "spoke" to one another and the "conversations" we had when we were onstage. While I'll likely never remember any specific conversations, my years as a guest guitarist backing a prominent local band talent who sang, played rhythm and lead were enjoyable ones while they lasted. Unfortunately, the venue that hosted our Thursday jazz & blues jam folded in 2014 when the host was forced to retire from the gigging circuit because of health issues.

    Nowadays, every so often, I still find time to visit another open-mic several towns away and jam with the folks there. Although my chops are in bad shape now, I have faith that with some effort, it will be possible to re-learn some of what was lost from my previous years of practice, and experience a renewed enjoyment of jamming with fellow musicians once again.
     
  9. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    I knew it was going to sail on some folks. I'm not sure what you're trying to insinuate tho, we all make up our own reality. Are you offended because you believe your version of reality is the correct one?

    I didn't reject anything, but you just did and without even understanding what was said :)
     
  10. marooned

    marooned New Member

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    Learn the basic minor pentatonic scales in the 5 positions and practice moving seamlessly between them....that's enough to get through most tunes once you figure what key your in. Need a major version?....count down three frets and use the minor shape there. For example Cmaj you count down three frets and it's the Am shape you use, but you have to resolve any licks around the C root note not the A.

    From there I'd try and learn the CAGED system, which when you break it down relates to the same 5 shapes as pentatonic but adding in the missing notes from the major/minor scale. Learn the basic 5 bar chord shapes, these all relate to each scale shape,C,A,G,E,D.
     
  11. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    I was trying to be funny. Nevermind
     
  12. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    https://www.google.com/amp/s/tomhess.net/WhyTheCAGEDSystemHurtsYourGuitarPlaying.aspx/amp
     
  13. marooned

    marooned New Member

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    You’re missing the point of “beginners theory” here...I know there’s 7 modes to each major or minor scale but if you map out the 5 pentatonic positions on the fretboard it covers everything from the open string to the 12th fret.Once you have the basics down you can easily combine shapes to make three note per string patterns etc.
     
  14. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    Pentatonics really do seem to be the Kings of scales
     
  15. Axis39

    Axis39 New Member

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    It's a good place to start... The notes are usually pretty safe.

    I will say that when I started playing with the woman I mentioned earlier in the thread, I had to completely rethink how I approached playing fills and solos. Her style is more a Piedmont style... Her tonality, although Blues, is heavily Major sounding. I couldn't rely on Minor Pentatonic stuff to play and sound correct. I had to adjust to a Major tonality in my playing. So, I tend to start with Major Pentatonic shapes, find the melody, then steal chord tones, running fragments of arpeggios, and little grace notes to spice things up... And still sound like Blues.

    In other words, you can learn all the scales you want.... But sometimes you just gotta listen. But, the only good that listening will do is if you put in the work practicing and hearing what you practice. Vicious cycle, this music thing. :D
     
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  16. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    Fact. Unless you exercise the knowledge, you lose it. I took some basic theory and remember very little because I didn't use it for a long time.
     
  17. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    I'm just looking for basic understanding
     
  18. Skeeter

    Skeeter New Member

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    Sorry to say, but you should try the jazz he is pushing you. I happen to like jazz (but you don’t need to), but it was only when I took jazz lessons that I fully understood music theory and how it applies to guitar.

    Part of it is, to even be a functional jazz player, you have to learn the scales, modes, chord theory, etc.. to understand how jazz plays around with the standard “western conventions”.

    So I remember spending like 2-3 mos. just watching my teacher explain things via writing on a whiteboard. If you focus, and don’t get afraid of just the terminology (Phyrgian - ahh!!) then basic modes and chord theory isn’t as complicated as it might seem.

    I’ll give you an example. You said you can tell what key a song is in by which chords are major or minor right? This diagram of the major scale (upper case: major, lower case: minor, a ‘-‘ is a full step, a ‘/’ is a half step):

    I - ii - iii / IV - V- vi - vii / I
    So in key of C, this is C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bm (back to C).

    So that’s the doh ray me... major scale, which you should be able to see, play on your guitar.

    Now for each of the chords in the key represented by the Roman numeral, there is a corresponding “mode”.

    So we’re still key of C and its 7 notes, ok? Each mode is composed of the same 7 notes, only the first note changes corresponding to which mode you’re in. And by “first”, I mean both the note the mode starts with, and more generally the note your phrases resolve to and around.

    So, if you start playing from the Dm (ii chord), that mode is called Dorian, iii - Phrygian, IV - Lydian, V - Mixolydian, vi - Aeolian - vii - Locrian.

    And each one has scale patterns to learn on the fretboard, but they are still using the notes in the key of C.

    Alright, well so how do we use these fancy names? Well we’re still in C, same 7 notes, but say the progression is based mainly on a vamp of Dm (ii) - G (V). Then, play D Dorian and you’ll notice it sounds better than just mindlessly playing around in C major. Again it’s the same notes as C major, just starting with D: (D, E, F, G, A, B, C).

    Ultimately, this stuff is just a common terminology to use amongst people and there are plenty of ways to look at the same ideas.

    I studied jazz so I could play over anything, with some of my own style, in ROCK bands. Learning all this type of stuff along with advanced chord theory, inversions (you really should spend time on those imho), altered scales, etc.. allowed me to find my own voice as a lead player.

    Don’t be afraid of jazz, it’s useful because a lot of the “standards” use classic chord progressions, that maybe aren’t so present in today’s dumbed down music. So it will challenge you to play over a variety of progressions, and situations, etc...
     
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  19. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator Banned

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    I'm not trying to diminish the importance of jazz. I'm just an extreme music snob like you can't believe.

    Very black and white, hot or cold, up or down. There's no middle ground with me
     
  20. marooned

    marooned New Member

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    Most jazz players are trying to diminish :p
     
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