learning theory after learning an instrument
By - moon_head1291
It would do no harm to begin from absolute basics - such as you can find here: https://www.musictheory.net/ - but in the context of a band there's a lot of theory you don't need, and some you need which sites like that won't give you. (I.e., rock music has its own sets of "common practices", some of them common to classical music, some of them not.)
I'd suggest a guitar-friendly resource such as [this] (https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/music-theory-made-simple-0-index-toc.1371119/) - you can easily dip in and out there, according to which concepts you need to polish up on. If you want a book, there's [this] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/B00L76A5J2).
I think it'll be easier for you to learn theory, as a person who already plays an instrument, because you have something to connect it to immediately
I don't have a specific resource to point you at but will say I find these few things made intermediate functional harmony and theory actually make applicable sense for me.
1. Harmonizing scales & studying their modes
(mainly the major scale, for intermediate, since it will cover 90% of what you need, like when people say 'this is in e minor'. Its just the 6th position (E) of G major as the tonal center, all the same chords and scale notes.)
Excluding the octave there's 7 notes in the major scale.
The chords of the major scale always diatonically (notes in that key) harmonize into these positions.
so in the case of G major on a guitar.... The notes being:
steps between each note/chord position:
and the relationship between each harmonized chord in a major key always having a specific tonality... major or minor... like this
The diatonic chords in G major or E minor are always:
2) Then apply some Nashville numbers system to communicate with others easily. In its easiest form each note just becomes a roman numeral representing it's scale position and major or minor value.
These represent your harmonized diatonic chords and allow us to exchange ideas in every key efficiently.
a I-IV-V in G major being a G-C-D chord progression.
a i-iv-v in E minor being Em-Am-Bm....
The E becoming the first position we relate the other chords from but always from the relative major of G's harmonization.
So most western music can be communicated as an iteration of its major scale harmonization.
Being efficient in these ideas with every mode really cemented Intermediate concepts and application for me.
Hope it helps! 🍻
Well, one way to start is by asking questions like "my guitarist tells me a song is in E minor, what's that mean?" on forums like this!
But the resources JonGtr gives are also solid.
I recommend picking up a keyboard since the notes are laid out in a linear, easy-to-digest manner. Then work your way through the *Alfred’s Piano for Adults* book.
What’s with this book particularly ?
I play Guitar for about 10 years and bass now for a year, and let me tell you how much better it feels since I started with basic tablature reading and reading now into the very basics of theory. The only thing I knew was what scales are (what they are not how they are used, applied, work, etc). I still have a long journey before me and a lot to learn but it is very fun. You will notice the theory behind some Songs you allready played. Dont give up, dont be intimidated and take your lessons. Also don´t overdo it. Just step by step. I usually play 1 to 4 hours daily and only take about 10 to 15 miinutes with theory. Then I doodle arround too much on my instruments or just play songs I want to learn. You can do it, it will take some time and practice
You can try to play written pieces for like cello suite from bach, even if it’s super slow, just for the sake of using notes and theory.
I've recently stumbled onto two Youtube channels that have help a lot with this: 'Scott Paul Johnson' and 'Music Theory for Guitar' channels. They've been really helpful with what you're asking about. This will help you take your example of "The song is in E Minor" and have the knowledge to do something with that.
Others have already suggested some great theory resources to learn music theory as a whole.