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  #11  
Old 03-30-2012, 11:32 PM
Tweed Demon Tweed Demon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majordelt View Post
To the OP... Not to poo poo the importance of theory. However, It's just a theory.

The very best thing you could do for yourself is listen to a bunch of blues greats and just start copping their licks one at a time until you know them inside and out.. Then apply this info at as many jam sessions as you can, be it with friends, backing tracks, jam nights, whatever..You will start to choose when and where you use what you have learned. Developing your own unique placements. You will in effect be learning a new language..This is the beginning. It becomes really addictive from this point. you will just keep on learning and getting more excited.. Screw the why part..you cant hear those explanations when your playing. Focus to much on that and you will develop a very mechanical sounding thinking style of playing.. Music is emotion. Just get right into the meat of it.
Good Luck Bro..
I couldnt agree more with this.
About 15 years ago I was really feeling guilty about not studying and applying theory as much as I should- so I took some lessons from a great teacher who studied under Joe Pass. I learned a lot of stuff that looks good on paper, but you really dont need, and a lot you realize you're already using. You dont have to know the reason why, you just have to know. Of course this is just the opinion of a weekend guitarist. Maybe you need that stuff to get to Carnegie Hall- then again SRV played there and he didnt sight read.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:38 PM
Em7 Em7 is offline
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quote=Tweed Demon;1128521]I couldnt agree more with this.
About 15 years ago I was really feeling guilty about not studying and applying theory as much as I should- so I took some lessons from a great teacher who studied under Joe Pass. I learned a lot of stuff that looks good on paper, but you really dont need, and a lot you realize you're already using. You dont have to know the reason why, you just have to know. Of course this is just the opinion of a weekend guitarist. Maybe you need that stuff to get to Carnegie Hall- then again SRV played there and he didnt sight read.[/quote]

I did not begin to learn theory in earnest until after I had been actively playing guitar for over a decade. Learning theory will not make one a guitar player, but it will make one a better guitar player when integrated with practical experience. Playing teaches one how to play something whereas music theory teaches one why things fit together.

I agree with Ronnie's assertion that concentrating too much on theory can make one sound mechanical. I do not know if I would have stuck with guitar as long as I have if I had learned theory first. Learning music theory can be a daunting task that does not have an immediate payoff. However, what I like about studying music theory are the eureka moments that occur when practice meets theory. That's when true insight occurs.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2012, 11:57 PM
Powerslave Powerslave is offline
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Guys

From initially sitting idle for a few days, this has become a fascinating and informative thread. I'd like to thank everyone for chiming in. It really is appreciated.

Some of this has sank in on the first couple of readings, whilst some of it is going to take a lot longer - there's quite a lot to take in, and will require having guitar in hand!

I fully acknowledge and appreciate the points about not trying to become "robotic" in playing (that is, becoming shackled by theory).

My question came about originally as the penny had suddenly dropped that a potential "tension" existed between (for example) the C# and C for the A7 and Am pentatonic, respectively. Rather than saying, "Ok, it's an A7 - now, what am I 'allowed" to play'?"

I looked back at a beginner's guitar book which I'd worked through a couple of years ago. The minor pentatonic is introduced, and then demonstrated with a simple solo built on a dominant 7th 12 bar blues in A. Looking back with my question in mind, I noticed that the bars over the A7 chord avoided the use of the C note.

As an aside, the mention of the second and 6th notes came from a recollection that I had from a brief spell of lessons which I took with an old jazzer who would speak about grabbing extra notes from outside of the scale (again, all about not trying to get "boxed in").

Once again, fascinating - thank you!

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