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Guitar theory perspective


(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  

Haven't been on GN for years it seems.
Attended a jazz workshop for guitar, vocals, pop songs into jazz songs. my head's full of theory that i took for granted only focusing on the patterns not on what each note was.
guitar is all in the playing. talk is just talk. my head spins, confused at the theory but spent hours today/tonight on it like a beginner. noticing what each note in the chord is. OMG.
the summer audition is coming up as well as various open mic gigs (some are contests to win money) & I have to prepare songs. When do I have time to go back to work on theory? Can I integrate theory in songwork?
Guitar is true multi-tasking - writing lyrics, wrapping melody around lyrics, trying to be different, not following formulas yet making it sound right, making it my unique style and yet playing 'catch-up' all the while with theory.
I'm focusing on Eva Cassidy's style but I have yet to understand what exactly, in theory, she does. All I know is I like the sound of it. I'm waiting for the eureka moment when I'll integrate the style into my own compositions. waiting. waiting. waiting. Also Nick Drake's chord clusters. Joni Mitchell's bizarre tunings.
Music is chaotic method in madness, spiralling from dizzying heights, grab onto tail of para-glider and fly & hope not to crash into something in flight.
Summertime & the top notch hot shots are out everywhere in full flight action. How humbling! I'm so small. Naive. Pathetic. Why did they tell me music wasn't practical when I wanted to take a BA in music? It's so damn hard to 'catch up.' How can it not be practical? Math is practical so why isn't music? They're so similar.
Aaaaaaaaghhhhhhhh! Don't talk just play.
Maybe the workshops only made me insecure. Maybe it's all a trick by a clever teacher-type to deliberately confuse me.
And why do other guitar players not talk like the guitar teacher? about notes in chords, about colourful sounds above the 5th?
I meet tons of guitar players but none talk like the teacher. What a waste of time with them. I could be listening to a real guitar player/teacher r. th. waste time with cocky hot dog guitar players & their ego nonsense.
even just doing this posting is time away from guitar. spinning out of control. falling off skyscrapers.
respectfully yours,

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


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(@coolnama)
Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 595
 

:P nice rant... don't let music overwhelm you take it one day at a time and yeah you can use Theory for composing or if you get stuck in a song.

I understand what you mean with other guitarists that don't explore the colourful sounds beyond the 5th that just gives you a huge heads-up on all of them with the 7th 9th 11th 13th and everything in between :D

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

i'm not a jazz guy and my knowledge of theory consists mostly of a couple classes i took in college, but there is one point i can tell you about. you said you were hoping for a moment of clarity where eva cassidy's style will jump into yours. in my experience, what happens is that after you learn how to play a person's songs, they tend to seep into your style subconsciously. you can intentionally try to use elements, but in general, the more you use something, the more it tends to spread into the rest of your playing. i noticed that after spending a few days on some bach, the structure of my improvisations became very bach-like without any attempt on my part to do so. so what you should do is learn as many of her songs as you can, or barring that, cop the licks and phrasing you can pick up, or at a minimum, listen a lot.


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

Hi Sapho and good to see you again.

Every guitarists knows and uses theory from the moment he or she picks up the guitar. The thing is that most guitarists don't bother to learn what they know or don't know how to apply that knowledge - how to call it us when needed.

On the surface, it does seem like another boulder tossed upon the pile of things to learn, but the reality for most people is that theory is something to reflect on later, something to help solidify ideas and to understand why things work.

When someone tries to focus on everything at once, the usual result is "analysis paralysis." That's when you spend so much time thinking and analyzing that you don't play. Don't go there as it's not helpful.

Instead, just take a little at a time. Think about chord construction first. Learn the notes of the chords you know (one chord a day if you want to) and just observe how the notes of one chord relate to the notes of another. Don't even think about trying to take it all in at once. Making one good observation a day is a great start.

Jason posted an excellent answer - playing and listening are the best ways to start learning by observing. Just don't make it harder on yourself by expecting to find in all in your head overnight.

Ultimately, and obviously with time, patience and practice, much of theory becomes second nature. Within a year you'll be able to rattle off the notes of a C11 chord just as quickly as you can answer "what's four multiplied by six." Trust your brain and, above all, have fun with it. It's only overwhelming when you give it the power to be so.

Hope this helps and looking forward to seeing you more here on the boards.

Peace


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(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  


thanx. now if i can only get this phobic cat to overcome her fear of the big mean wooden guitar.
Why can't she just sit pretty like a dolly and listen sweetly?
She likes music but dreads big mean wooden monsters. OMG.


She's a problem bandmate & my better half so i'm stuck with her. not an option to ignore her. it's the affect on my psych that concerns me. She plays a mean shaker egg, has great rhythm & inspiration for song lyrics. she's not expendable but treats, caged up, pinned down - nothing works. her mind's made up the guitar is a monster.
Other cats I've worked with are mesmerized by mostly my French songs - bird sounds bring out the killer jaw movements to their delight but my own cat is Benedict Arnold.
SOS

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

wasn't "analysis paralysis" a Nirvana b side?

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

google says it's a blitz lunar song, and i can't find it connected to nirvana.


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(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  

I have questions about the following musical innovations, devices & variations of playing songs on guitar:

- chord progressions and use of cluster chords

- use of "cluster chords" - these are chords that have more than the standard 3 notes of a major or minor chord and whose notes tend to be clustered very close together (creating minor or major seconds).

- turn the standard chord progression into its mirror image; the last becomes first, the first - the tonic - becoming last.
In measure after measure, lead us back toward the tonic

I intend to do more 'grunt work' but if someone here can offer some enlightenment - much appreciated.

also
i noticed in a music workshop recently after the instructor asked the group if they had any questions no one spoke a word. Were they afraid to show what they didn't know?
Is that always the case with music amongst musicians?
Are musicians deathly afraid of showing what they don't know?

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


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