There are plenty of of sources out there for learning music theory. So why am I bothering writing another one? Before I answer that question let me tell you a bit about my background.
I started playing guitar around the age of 12. I knew a few chords younger than that as my dad has played guitar forever (mainly folk music), so I’d messed around a bit.
When I started secondary school I really wanted to learn guitar. Our school had an independent guitar tutor who visited once a week for private lessons. It was classical guitar based around ‘Solo Guitar Playing‘ by Frederick Noad (awesome books and well worth a read), but I found it really uninspiring and not fun at all. I soon stopped.
But I still had an urge to play. I found visiting music shops fascinating and around 3 years later, I tried my friends electric guitar and got hooked. The feel of the guitar, the steel strings along with the sounds you could produce just lit up my brain. I booked lessons with my friends electric guitar teacher and bought a used squire stratocaster (which awesomely had seymour duncancs and a floyd rose!) and started to learn.
My guitar teacher was brilliant. We mixed theory and practical and it was always fun. We followed the sylabus of the London College of Music which I loved. I was obsessed. I played continuously and continued the theory to grade 3. After a or couple of years, I started playing in a few bands and gigging. At some point I stopped the lessons, and focused more on just playing.
At this point I was fairly good at guitar, but I hadn’t progressed for a while and was just enjoying it. I knew my scales and chords but I didn’t really understand the theory behind it. I got some of it, but I never truly understood. If I had to explain it to someone else, I think I would have struggled.
Eventually, I stopped playing in bands, and just messed around at home. In my early twenties I got married and moved to Canada, at which point I sold all of my gear and stopped playing altogether.
Fast forward about 15 years, and in my mid-life crisis I decided I missed playing. I’d spent a good decade or so focusing on my career and my home. Now as I was getting older I set about focusing on 3 main areas of my life:
- Doing stuff to keep my body healthy
- Doing stuff to keep my brain active
- Doing stuff to satisfy my creative need
So I figured picking up the guitar again would tackle at least the last point. But if I also focused on learning music theory, it would challenge my brain a little as well.
So over the last year, I’ve been practicing guitar again, and also learning what I can about music theory. And that takes me back to my original questions.
Why am I documenting music theory?
It’s simple. I figure by trying to document it in a way that someone else can easily understand I should ensure that I’ve truly understood it myself. I also like the idea of documenting as I go. I’m all about efficiency. So if I’m learning it, hopefully others can use my material to save themselves some time learning it as well.
So there we go. I’ll do my best to keep it simple and pragmatic. If you find it helpful, feel free to get in touch, it’s nice to hear feedback. If you don’t, feel free to ignore it!