Book/course recommendations for long time guitarist to finally dive into music theory?

skiltrip

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Been playing guitar for a little over 30 years. I've always focused on songwriting, and play by ear for the most part. I know plenty, but there's so much more I wish I was familiar with. I want to dive into music theory, guitar style, and finally fill in all those blanks I slacked on. What are some really good books or courses for an experienced guitar player who's only glaring weakness is music theory knowledge and putting it all together?
 
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skiltrip

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2,165
I’m the same as you. Finally started studying this year, and have been liking this book very much:

Was just looking at this on on Amazon. the "Dummies" book looks like it could be handy too, but I doesn't seem to involve much actual music staff, which I could tell myself I don't need, but if i"m going to do this, I want to go all in. This book you mentioned here seems to do a much better job involving the music staff (judging from the "Look in this book" shots on Amazon).
 

Echoplexi

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Was just looking at this on on Amazon. the "Dummies" book looks like it could be handy too, but I doesn't seem to involve much actual music staff, which I could tell myself I don't need, but if i"m going to do this, I want to go all in. This book you mentioned here seems to do a much better job involving the music staff (judging from the "Look in this book" shots on Amazon).
I find it to be a good, general book that covers a good overview of theory. I also have Chord Chemistry, but I’m going to wait on that till I get a bit more under my belt. The third book I got is Guitar Fretboard Workbook, which seems cool too
 

guitarjazz

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21,636
Been playing guitar for a little over 30 years. I've always focused on songwriting, and play by ear for the most part. I know plenty, but there's so much more I wish I was familiar with. I want to dive into music theory, guitar style, and finally fill in all those blanks I slacked on. What are some really good books or courses for an experienced guitar player who's only glaring weakness is music theory knowledge and putting it all together?
A keyboard. You don’t need any chops to use a keyboard as a tool.
Walter Piston’s Harmony.
Guitar isn’t an ideal starting place, for a number of reasons.
 

skiltrip

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2,165
A keyboard. You don’t need any chops to use a keyboard as a tool.
Walter Piston’s Harmony.
Guitar isn’t an ideal starting place, for a number of reasons.
I can also work on piano, as I have one in my studio. I'm totally open to working on the keyboard as well. Learning to play piano is also one of my bucket list items actually.
 

Bankston

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16,017
Rik Emmett's "For the Love of Guitar Series" that you can get from his website.

I also like Vai's recent book Vaideology.

Both are excellent at explaining theory as it applies to guitar.
 

Sparkman52

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266
Do you know how to harmonize the major scale with triads and four-note chords? That is the foundation of everything. My advice is to learn this before you dive into any course or book. Maybe take a lesson or two first. A good teacher can explain this in 15 minutes.
 

skiltrip

Silver Supporting Member
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2,165
Do you know how to harmonize the major scale with triads and four-note chords? That is the foundation of everything. My advice is to learn this before you dive into any course or book. Maybe take a lesson or two first. A good teacher can explain this in 15 minutes.
Not on the fly, no.
 

Sparkman52

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Not on the fly, no.
Well the good news is that it's easy, probably plenty of vids out there to explain. If you write songs you probably already intuitively know some of this stuff.

As a self-taught guitarist and songwriter myself I would just add - don't be intimidated by scary jargon, fancy chord names, etc. There are only THREE kinds of chords: Major, Minor, Dominant. That book with 2000 guitar chords? There are really only 3 chords in there, just in various keys and different degrees of complexity.

Good luck!
 

PewterCam

Member
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70
I have a couple of the books listed there but lately I’ve been interested in the YouTuber saumariguitarist’s course. He went to school for music and still teaches guitar. Theory on guitar has been super confusing for me and thinking this would be good.

 

that_brianm_guy

Platinum Supporting Member
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1,053
Do you know how to harmonize the major scale with triads and four-note chords? That is the foundation of everything. My advice is to learn this before you dive into any course or book. Maybe take a lesson or two first. A good teacher can explain this in 15 minutes.
Yeah, this! Broke things wide open for me
 

Northerner

Member
Messages
1,657
Do you know how to harmonize the major scale with triads and four-note chords? That is the foundation of everything. My advice is to learn this before you dive into any course or book. Maybe take a lesson or two first. A good teacher can explain this in 15 minutes.
yes
The keyboard really helps with this but can be a tricky transition to the guitar.
A good teacher can really smooth this path.
 




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