I need to learn theory...help please

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I've been playing the guitar for a long, long time. One thing I never really did was lessons (apart from a very short while but they were fairly pointless)

one thing that really annoys me it's that I'm not as good as I should be given they length of time I've been playing. I think part of my desire to be better would be improved by learning theory. I really want to but am not the most patient of people.

Can anyone recommend me a good set of YouTube videos to get me started? There's a lot out there but I've no idea which to try.
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  • ClashmanClashman Frets: 154
    Practice makes perfect.The way I improved is the desire to learn the songs I love
    without picking up a song book or looking on the internet.It taught me a lot having
    a love for Neil Young when I was younger Later a bit of James got my the desire
    back now it's songs like listening to "I can't get used to losing you" or anything that
    was a liitle different  and captured my lobes,If it's not working for you ask yourself why
    Jon 
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  • ClashmanClashman Frets: 154
    You need the right teacher for you as an individual i.m.o check out a simple
    lesson like American pie and take your pick on your ability it won't take long
    to find which Youtube hoster you are comfartable with.If you want to go your
    way..
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  • OnTheRopesOnTheRopes Frets: 41
    edited January 17
    Fretjam cover theory quite well on Youtube in my opinion.
    Also check out David Walliman, loads of good free stuff on there but like most free stuff it is not structured, however I have just signed up for his paid course Guitar Infusions, which is structured. Too early to recommend it yet but worth a browse.
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  • AndyBowenAndyBowen Frets: 12
    I think there are plenty of good YouTube theory lessons. I would also supplement what you learn online with a book. I really rate Harmony and Theory by Keith Wyatt http://amzn.to/2DJtDiN ;

    I use it with my students and it goes through everything in a logical way (something you won't get unless someone has planned videos in a logical way). 

    I find the piano much more useful for learning theory as the intervals are easier to visualise without the crossing of strings on the guitar. 
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  • Main thing is to apply the theory to the guitar otherwise it will never stick.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 756
    edited January 17
    Main thing is to apply the theory to the guitar otherwise it will never stick.

    I completely agree with this.

    It's not a competition.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 79
    edited January 17
    Just go to the Justinguitar site and take his lessons. He takes you up to a good level of theory eventually, and it’s all well embedded in practice. My thought would be to start right from the beginning and doggedly work on up - regardless of how long you’ve been playing. The early lessons may well be easy for you, but you can still enjoy the ride and it will be a useful review and confidence boost. You’ll probably feel challenged soon enough :-).
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2743
    I am reading a book on this subject, How To Read Music. It all seems straightforward enough but I don’t quite get it even with help from the Internet. I will be starting a series of lessons very soon. I find it difficult to understand ideas and concepts from reading but a teacher might/will fill in the blanks. 
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • smigeon said:
    Just go to the Justinguitar site and take his lessons. He takes you up to a good level of theory eventually, and it’s all well embedded in practice. My thought would be to start right from the beginning and doggedly work on up - regardless of how long you’ve been playing. The early lessons may well be easy for you, but you can still enjoy the ride and it will be a useful review and confidence boost. You’ll probably feel challenged soon enough :-).

    His stuff looks good - thanks for the heads up. Yes, I think I need to start right at the very basics, even going over stuff I already know, just to help inbed things more
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11900
    The question is...what bits of theory do you need to know?

    Jumping in with "I need teh theories!!!" is far too open-ended. If you go to a music teacher and ask them to teach you theory, they'll either give you a whole load of knowledge that you can't immediately apply or find a use for, or they'll show you such a narrow application of it that it's not really helping.

    My advice is to break it down into smaller chunks that you can find immediate applications for - or, put another way, break it down into problems that you think theory knowledge would solve. For example:

    1 - Learn the major, minor scale and minor pentatonic scales, so you can work out how they apply to the songs you know.

    2 - Learn how intervals sound, and how they relate to those scales - helps with working stuff out by ear.

    3 - How can you build chords knowing what you now know about intervals?

    4 - OK, now use what you know about the major scale, intervals and chords to understand how modes work, and write a song in each mode to get it solidly in your head.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 756
    edited January 17
    Yes I agree with what @digitalscream said as well.

    I largely view music theory as putting labels on (or categorising) sounds, or using words (or diagrams) to describe sounds. Once you can categorise things you can then reuse them and adapt them to different situations and also hear when they occur.

    You probably do many things intuitively already, but might not have put a label on them in terms of theory.

    It's not a competition.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1116
    One important thing, possibly the single most important thing IMO, is putting theory, listening and playing into context.  This is probably true of everything in life.  See the bigger picture and then plan where you want to go from there, so to speak, rather like cheating with a jigsaw puzzle.

    With that in mind, I would wholeheartedly recommend watching these for perspective, there is plenty of wisdom included:

    the Beatles  (an interesting program)

    There is more useful stuff linked to in this index (caveat: the theory lessons may be a bit intense, depending where you are at)  Dip in and have a look around, take it easy though, paced learning is far more effective than cramming IMO.  And remember, practice makes PERMANENT, so listen well, practice well, and enjoy the ride  :D 

     "Other Resources" index 



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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 1105
    I’m in the same boat , been playing 24 years and I still can’t play a lead line over some chords. 
    Started out with theory using Waay app , major and minor scales I understand now but the circle of fifths and how many sharps a scale has doesn’t make sense to me. I can’t even work out the key of a song. 
    I just want to be able to jam along to a backing track or work out lead lines for my own songs. 
    I fear I know more about guitars than actually playing one. 
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  • Check out a guy called Desi Serna. He did a series of podcast and videos on theory for guitarists.  I found it really clear and easy to understand with lots of familiar examples. He's on youtube as well and I think it led to him getting to write the guitar theory for dummies book.
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  • amarok1971amarok1971 Frets: 276
    edited February 16
    im in the same boat, i had my first guitar lesson last week after 25 years lol. a couple of years ago i did the justin guitar bginner and intermediate courses to to make sure i didnt learn any bad habits all those years ago.. luckily i haven't! i was quite pleased with myself to have breezed through justins courses as i knew most of it anyway. i have decided i need to concentrate mostly on songs and a little theory as i go.

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  • Check out a guy called Desi Serna. He did a series of podcast and videos on theory for guitarists.  I found it really clear and easy to understand with lots of familiar examples. He's on youtube as well and I think it led to him getting to write the guitar theory for dummies book.
    Desi Sernas podcast and books are excellent . He explains everything with reference to the guitar use and uses popular pop/rock songs as examples of where they are used. Ie the Inversions section reference Hendrix and Jack and Dianne examples. Book is pretty cheap on Amazon and he has just released pdf versions from his website.
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