Suggestions for a long time player / newbie?


markm0926
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markm0926
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01/22/2014 12:39 pm
Wondering if anyone else is in my situation. (and/or looking for tips!)
I've been playing for over 30 years, but know nothing about scales, majors, minors. And all this type of stuff.
I know most of the important cord names, open and barre. Never really practiced scales.
I know I can play and learned from tabs and playing songs. I play in a cover band, have a ton of songs under my belt and do gig out pretty often. So I must have done something right to get this far.
So I am just diving in here to start to learn some theory.
What a great site!
Anyway, today I was able to get 20 out of 20 on the fretboard trainer trying to learn all the note names. I'm still pretty slow at it and have to count my way around to know what note I'm looking at.
Think this is a good place to start before going onto scales?
Any other suggestions for a long time player new to theory?

Thanks!
Mark
Main Gear: Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul Sig T, Martin Acoustic, Mesa 5:25+, Orange OR15, Carl Martin Quattro
# 1
Henrik Linde
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Henrik Linde
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01/22/2014 2:33 pm
Markm0926,

Knowing your fretboard is a great way to start your journey into music theory and scale knowledge. Once you know a bit more of the fretboard and can connect the dots, so to speak, it'll open up a lot with scale patterns and chord voicings.
Another thing that's really good to do as a bit of an exercise is to pick a random note, let's say F#. Then you try to find every F# and it's octave on the fretboard.
Then just do that with all 12 notes. Once you get a bit deeper in this you'll have a better starting point for soloing w scales or arpeggios. Because once you know where the root of the scale is, you'll start to be able to see the rest of the patterns as well.
Hope this helps.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Henrik
# 2
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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01/22/2014 7:14 pm
Hi Mark. I'd recommend you get the Guitar Fretboard Workbook. Its quite different from most other texts out there. It will teach you exactly what you're asking about... how notes form the patterns of scales etc on the fretboard. You'll probably move through it fairly quickly, and find the first few chapters enlightening.

In terms of learning scales, the biggest thing I have found is that you need to USE them as you learn them. Being able to play a scale across the entire fretboard won't help much if you don't have a clue how to actually use that scale in a piece of music. You're better off learning just one pattern, restricting yourself to a small area of the fretboard, but using that pattern to make melodic memorable solos... then when you have a good feel for the scale, expand your knowledge to include other pattens.
# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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01/22/2014 10:29 pm
Originally Posted by: markm0926
I've been playing for over 30 years, but know nothing about scales, majors, minors.
...
Think this is a good place to start before going onto scales?
Any other suggestions for a long time player new to theory?

Hey, Mark!

Learning your fretboard is definitely a great place to start! If you haven't already, I encourage you to work through Guitar Fundamentals 2. It starts with theory for beginners (intervals, scales, chords theory).

www.guitartricks.com/course.php?input=2

Later on, it works through how to practice scales in order to develop your knowledge & skill together. This is an important aspect of studying theory: to know how to apply it, to use it to understand how & why the things you do with your fingers actually make the sound you want.

Hope this helps! Have fun. :)
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4
maggior
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maggior
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01/23/2014 1:07 am
Originally Posted by: Slipin LizardHi Mark. I'd recommend you get the Guitar Fretboard Workbook. Its quite different from most other texts out there. It will teach you exactly what you're asking about... how notes form the patterns of scales etc on the fretboard. You'll probably move through it fairly quickly, and find the first few chapters enlightening.

In terms of learning scales, the biggest thing I have found is that you need to USE them as you learn them. Being able to play a scale across the entire fretboard won't help much if you don't have a clue how to actually use that scale in a piece of music. You're better off learning just one pattern, restricting yourself to a small area of the fretboard, but using that pattern to make melodic memorable solos... then when you have a good feel for the scale, expand your knowledge to include other pattens.


I'm working through this book now. It has a novel approach and will quickly give you the ability to do exactly what Henrik is talking about. I'm in a situation similar to yours and it is quite enlightening to start being able to connect the dots.
# 5
markm0926
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markm0926
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01/23/2014 10:23 am
Thank you all!
I just ordered the book.
And dove into guitar fundamentals last night. Great instruction there!
Looking forward to continuing on from here!
Thanks again
Main Gear: Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul Sig T, Martin Acoustic, Mesa 5:25+, Orange OR15, Carl Martin Quattro
# 6
maggior
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maggior
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01/23/2014 2:51 pm
Good deal. You are on your way!!!

Just to be clear - suggesting the book isn't a dig on GuitarTricks. Everybody is different, but when learning something like scale shapes and fretboard note locations, I need to be fed the material in very small bites and along with written exercises to pound it into my brain. Just listening and reading about the material isn't enough. The same holds true for learning to read music. For me anyway...though I suspect others are in the same boat.

I love guitartricks and the instructors here are awesome, but sometimes it's helpful to suplement the material here with other resources.
# 7
markm0926
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markm0926
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01/23/2014 3:03 pm
Originally Posted by: maggiorGood deal. You are on your way!!!

Just to be clear - suggesting the book isn't a dig on GuitarTricks. Everybody is different, but when learning something like scale shapes and fretboard note locations, I need to be fed the material in very small bites and along with written exercises to pound it into my brain. Just listening and reading about the material isn't enough. The same holds true for learning to read music. For me anyway...though I suspect others are in the same boat.

I love guitartricks and the instructors here are awesome, but sometimes it's helpful to suplement the material here with other resources.


Not taken that way at all.
I am ready to sign up here for the next year and beyond, just because of the excellent instructors and songs!
I am just like you slow and steady. Since I learned how to play from books and tabs, I figured having this book to supplement my lessons here would be a big help.
Thanks again
Main Gear: Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul Sig T, Martin Acoustic, Mesa 5:25+, Orange OR15, Carl Martin Quattro
# 8
maggior
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maggior
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01/23/2014 3:20 pm
No problem - glad to help.

My comment was directed more toward guitartricks instrutors who chimed in on the thread, as well as anybody else that reads this thread. I've suggested (as has SlipinLizard) this book numerous times and I just didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression.

It's a great community here and with tons of great material to learn from.

Have fun!!
# 9
Ramon L Candido
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Ramon L Candido
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01/24/2014 5:01 am
Getting 20 out of 20 is a perfect score, what you need is the 5 patterns of the major scale / pentatonic scale / CAGED system. Knowing this will make your practice of the scales a breeze. To me rhythm or strumming is important while lead guitar like blues or rock is secondary. The message of the song and melodies is what makes it to the top charts. I am just a mere beginner but I know the 5 patterns because of previous books and pdfs from various authors. This 5 patterns are here in Guitar Tricks ( i'm sure of it), suggest you start with the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 , save the text lessons on pdf format for review. I am just starting on Country Style 1 and my timing is off.

retired employee 2012 , widower 2015 , Three grandchildren , Study Guitar .

# 10
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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01/24/2014 6:22 am
Originally Posted by: maggior
My comment was directed more toward guitartricks instrutors who chimed in on the thread, as well as anybody else that reads this thread. I've suggested (as has SlipinLizard) this book numerous times and I just didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression.

It's a great community here and with tons of great material to learn from.


Ditto. For anyone interested, or wondering what's up with this "Guitar Fretboard Workbook"... its not a text like "here's how to play guitar...". Its a very concise text, with written exercises aimed specifically at understanding the fretboard, and how to construct scales, triads, chords, etc... It covers the "CAGED" system, albeit in a different way... MIT/GIT updated from the CAGED system some years ago, to an octave based system that is arguably more streamlined.

Some people found the CAGED system confusing, (I was one of them). The octave system is a little more straight forward. But in the end, its exactly the same thing. I've even seen the 5 patterns written with slight variations, but it all makes sense because its all part and parcel to the same concepts.

I totally agree with the idea of supplementing your resources. I was a full member of Guitar Tricks for well over a year, and got a lot out of it. I still would refer to texts on some subjects, and even watch YouTube videos on others... why not utilize everything that's available to you? I guarantee that you'll get more out of the GT Fundamentals videos when you've just gone through the first couple of chapters in the book (which won't take you long... it gets more challenging further on).

On that note, I'll also mention to anyone that a great example of "cross-resourcing" or whatever you want to call it is studying modes... to understand modes, it helps to do a bit of everything... some reading and theory work on paper, watching some video explanations, learning how to play modes, and then applying them over a variety of backing tracks. So there's a little bit of everything in the mix... that's what is working for me at least!

So yes, we are recommending this book specifically to help you get more out GT, not as a substitute for the lessons that are offered.
# 11
markm0926
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markm0926
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01/26/2014 1:14 pm
Received the book just yesterday.
What a great suggestion!
Only into the first few pages and you guys were right. Very enlightening!
A perfect way to supplement the lessons here.
Thank you!
Main Gear: Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul Sig T, Martin Acoustic, Mesa 5:25+, Orange OR15, Carl Martin Quattro
# 12
Anders Petersen
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Anders Petersen
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02/12/2014 8:53 am
Hello, I hope it's not against the rules to post this.
I have found this simple lesson to be very beneficial in learning the note names of the fretboard.
Short and efficient.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTE355VslW4&feature=player_embedded
# 13
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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02/12/2014 6:23 pm
Originally Posted by: Anders PetersenHello, I hope it's not against the rules to post this.
I have found this simple lesson to be very beneficial in learning the note names of the fretboard...


Oooo... that's a good one! Ok, that's it, I am going to include that in my daily practice routine and I'll let you know how it goes in a month or so.

A few things to mention/clarify...

-the part where he talks about octave patterns actually being detrimental to learning the fretboard, I agree. But I believe that the idea in "The Fretboard Workbook" is that the octave patterns are shown as a foundation for building scales. I could be wrong (I'll check in the book later) but I'm pretty sure Barrett teaches that you should learn the entire fretboard by heart, not by using the octave patterns to identify notes. That's just a way to get started, not an end solution to knowing the whole fretboard. So anyone working through the Fretboard Workbook who watches the video, don't let that put you off.

-at the end of the video, the guy talks about just knowing where the notes are..."how do you find G on the third string, I don't know, I just KNOW its here..." I think that is a critical point he's making. However you learn the fretboard, you just have to instinctively know where each note is without having to work out some rationalization in your head. He's right; that takes too long, the process has to be instantaneous.

I think Sebastberg has the fretboard down cold. I've been working on it lately myself. The exercise in the video look great. Thanks for posting!
# 14
maggior
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maggior
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02/12/2014 8:52 pm
OK, I have to check this out myself. I find there are areas of the fretboard I know cold, but others I have to interpolate using octave patterns. That's even before working with the guitar fretboard workbook.

It may be silly, but I also find I have to think too long sometimes going through the alphabet backwards. On the spot, I'll think 2 frets below an G is an A, not an F. Just not really used to thinking of the alphabet backwards. That's improving though :-).

I can pretty consitently get a perfect score on the fretboard trainer in about 1:20, so I'm getting there!!
# 15
Slipin Lizard
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Slipin Lizard
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02/13/2014 5:15 am
Originally Posted by: maggiorOK, I have to check this out myself. I find there are areas of the fretboard I know cold, but others I have to interpolate using octave patterns....

...I can pretty consitently get a perfect score on the fretboard trainer in about 1:20, so I'm getting there!!



I'm in the same boat. Regarding the trainer, I haven't used the one on GT, but I did use the one on Fretboard Master (www.fretboardmaster.com) which is quite good. It can be customized just to show specific strings which is kind of neat.

Thing is, I got so good at the game, could name all the notes it threw at me without making mistakes. But for some reason, it just didn't translate to the guitar. I was still pretty much "blind" when it came to naming notes I was actually playing.

I have done as Sebast suggested, taking scales or licks and naming or singing the notes as I play them... that seems to help a lot. I've also started creating flash cards in Anki. I don't try to figure the notes out. I flash the card, and if I don't get it instantly, I show the answer and move on. My thought is that I'm trying to build up instant recognition. If you show me A on the E string, or D on the A string, I immediately know it... there's nothing to work out. I just know that is the note. I think that has to be the end goal for the skill to be useful... you just have to be able to instantly know what note you are on at any given time. So with the flash cards, I'm trying to train myself that when I see a dot on the fretboard, I just immediately recognize it as note "x" because, well, that's what it is! No extrapolating, just instant recognition. It shouldn't be too hard.. I dated a girl that worked at Safeway back in the early 90's, and she had to memorize 100's of key codes for products. She learned them quite quickly.

Here's hoping! :)
# 16
maggior
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maggior
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02/13/2014 4:47 pm
Slipin -

I'll definitely check out that fretboard trainer. I find myself wishing I could limit the GT trainer to a specific region of the fretboard where I have trouble.

Yep, the ultimate goal should be instant recognition. It's like kids learning math facts - repetition to develop instant recognition.

I can see saying the note as you are playing it will help. When I did the lesson on the solo for Day Tripper, the instructor said "OK, we are going to start on a B and we'll get that here on the D string." Just because he said that, that is now one of the notes I can instantly recognize. If he just said "OK, the D string on the 9th fret", that would not have happened.
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maggior
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maggior
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02/13/2014 5:11 pm
Ah, it has a mode for "find the note". That's actually when I need more!!
# 18
Anders Petersen
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02/15/2014 10:49 am
Originally Posted by: Slipin LizardOooo... that's a good one! Ok, that's it, I am going to include that in my daily practice routine and I'll let you know how it goes in a month or so.

A few things to mention/clarify...

-the part where he talks about octave patterns actually being detrimental to learning the fretboard, I agree. But I believe that the idea in "The Fretboard Workbook" is that the octave patterns are shown as a foundation for building scales. I could be wrong (I'll check in the book later) but I'm pretty sure Barrett teaches that you should learn the entire fretboard by heart, not by using the octave patterns to identify notes. That's just a way to get started, not an end solution to knowing the whole fretboard. So anyone working through the Fretboard Workbook who watches the video, don't let that put you off.

-at the end of the video, the guy talks about just knowing where the notes are..."how do you find G on the third string, I don't know, I just KNOW its here..." I think that is a critical point he's making. However you learn the fretboard, you just have to instinctively know where each note is without having to work out some rationalization in your head. He's right; that takes too long, the process has to be instantaneous.

I think Sebastberg has the fretboard down cold. I've been working on it lately myself. The exercise in the video look great. Thanks for posting!


You're welcome.

I think most people start the learn-all-the-notes-process by learning the fretboard patterns. I did as well, but I think it is way too slow to be useful in a practical context. :-)
# 19
maggior
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maggior
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02/15/2014 5:45 pm
Originally Posted by: Anders PetersenYou're welcome.

I think most people start the learn-all-the-notes-process by learning the fretboard patterns. I did as well, but I think it is way too slow to be useful in a practical context. :-)


I've seen other videos by this guy. I remember because he has the same studio monitors I have (well, mine are the cheap 5 inch versions...).

I like his approach. Patterns help, but as he says it doesn't work in real time.

There is still value in knowing patterns though in case you completely blank out...you have something to fall back on. I like the "root shapes" because they fall into chord shapes I already know.

I've been working on a daily routine of learning the notes on the freboard. I'm going to modify it to his method and approach.
# 20

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