Guitar theory or scale book recommendations?

Discussion in 'Music, Theory, Tab and Such' started by kniah, May 5, 2019.

  1. kniah

    kniah Squier-Meister

    191
    Jan 30, 2019
    Waltham, MA
    I'm looking to pick up a book to dig more into the music theory side of guitar. Anyone have a favorite that they would recommend? This would supplement other forms of learning such as online (I'm a little old skool and enjoy paper media). Thanks in advance!
     
    wonkenstein, Big tuna and dbrian66 like this.
  2. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    Europe
    What is your level?
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  3. kniah

    kniah Squier-Meister

    191
    Jan 30, 2019
    Waltham, MA
    Fairly basic. I've only been seriously playing for about a year. I've got a basic understanding of the modes and the whole step/half step patterns and how they shift. But it still feels rather disjoint and I feel like some pieces are missing. I'm looking for a method or strategy to reinforce the concepts and tie it all together. I wouldn't mind something that starts fairly basic since I am learning this on my own.
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  4. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Grouse hunting
    th7SJIY3P5.jpg

    I have a copy of one and it is a good book.
     
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  5. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    Europe
    The book "Guitar Tabs, Learn to read tabs in 60 minutes or less" by Guitar Head is handy and as short as a booklet. But you might already know what's in it..
     
  6. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    Europe
    kniah likes this.
  7. kniah

    kniah Squier-Meister

    191
    Jan 30, 2019
    Waltham, MA
    Thanks for the endorsement of the Dummies book! I have their Bass Guitar for dummies and was pretty happy with it. Also have watched some of Desi's Youtube lessons and found them useful. Ordering!

    Thanks for the heads up on The Art of Chords! Can't find much on it but the few Amazon reviews look promising. I'll give it a look!
     
  8. Big tuna

    Big tuna Squier-holic

    May 6, 2014
    east Tn
    I have been learning theory for 40 years and wish i had went to a good teacher or even a small college to take courses on music theory. Reading a book just didn't work for me. Discipline is my biggest enemy.
     
    squierplayer likes this.
  9. MrYeats

    MrYeats Squier-holic

    Age:
    64
    Dec 28, 2017
    Padre Island
  10. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    Europe
    Honestly, I'm a beginner and it's imho too advanced for me at the moment but one of my friends loved it (it was a recommended book on the show "Acoustic Tuesday" on Youtube), so it really depends on your current level.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  11. Roccobagadonuts

    Roccobagadonuts Dr. Squier

    Sep 8, 2010
    Remulak
    If u want to "tie it all together" then id suggest focusing on the 7 "traditional" modes... And their order... U want to burn those 7 into the hands and head. Once someone does that they will then "see" the fretboard "in key"... So for example if someone starts playing a rhythm u will be able to play within key on top of them from the 1st fret to the 24th... If someone tells me "hey this is in G" I don't start doing improv on top and actually think about which notes on the fretboard are which while doing it... If making stuff up at the moment improv lead style quite often there is really no time to actually think about individual frets and which notes they produce... But if u "see" the fretboard as the traditional modes and in their specifc order... U can then just wail away within those modes moving up and down the neck and always remaining in key... No need to think is this fret an A or a B... Which is good since while making stuff up u might only have 100th of a second to give such things thought...

    The 7 traditional modes... In their order...

    1- Ionian - aka Major Scale
    2- Dorian
    3- Phyrgian
    4-Lydian
    5-Mixolydian
    6-Aeoelian - aka Minor Scale
    7- Locrian

    So if Joe Blow was playing rhythm in the key of G he would be using the notes G A B C D E F#...

    If I then started improv on top using the traditional modes...

    G Ionian(Major scale) - G A B C D E F# - Low E string root note at 3rd fret
    A Dorian - A B C D E F# G - Low E string root note at 5th fret
    B Phyrgian - B C D E F# G A - Low E string root note at 7th fret
    C Lydian - C D E F# G A B - Low E string root note at 8th fret
    D Mixolydian - D E F# G A B C - Low E string root note at 10th fret
    E Aeolian(Minor scale) - E F# G A B C D - Low E string root note at 12th fret
    F# Locrian - F# G A B C D E - Low E string root note at 14th fret

    And from there it starts all over again as u keep going down the neck...

    G Ionian(Major scale) - G A B C D E F# - Low E string root note at 15th fret
    A Dorian- A B C D E F# G - Low E string root note at 17th fret
    B Phrygian- B C D E F# G A - Low E string root note at 19th fret


    So for example if someone was to have the 7 modes memorized in order... They could rip up and down the neck always hitting notes that are in key but never really giving much thought about which fret produces which note... Which is a good thing because if im wailing away at light speed and making it up at the moment as I go there really isn't much time to give such things much thought...
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    BlueSquirrel and VealCutlet like this.
  12. DJGranite

    DJGranite Squier-holic

    Feb 7, 2012
    maine
    The Guitar Grimoire was always a good resource, stuffed with information on Scales, Modes, Chords etc.
    Might be worth a look.
    I found it can be a bit hard to assimilate all the info... there is so much.
    Its been around for awhile,(80's anyways) and there is probably an updated version nowadays
    Hope this is helpful
     
    BlueSquirrel likes this.
  13. Merv_j

    Merv_j Squier-Nut

    Age:
    42
    784
    Aug 6, 2017
    Lincoln uk
    Try 'The Guitar Handbook'. A really good book, easy to read and goes more in depth as go get further in, so you can start simple and end.... well, not so simple.
     
    BlueSquirrel likes this.
  14. rolie

    rolie Squier-Meister

    181
    Apr 12, 2019
    Southern California
    I know basic music theory. Is there a book that focus more on intervals and melodies? Like Bach stuff without having to get a phd in it? Something tab friendly lol.
    How do I sound like bach without spending 5 years learn complex music theory. Or rules of changing keys? It seems so easy when artists do it. Or should not even try to change keys and just play whats sounds cool and not worry about it. I feel boxed in theory a bit and being locked into patterns.

    Most theory books cover the same ground or its so archaic and I can't really read sheet music to relate it guitar.
    I don't really solo but I play diads and rarely triads. I feel iv'e mastered the 2 note intervals. So bored of power chords and blues soloing. I feel my playing got better when I just played two note intervals.
     
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  15. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic

    Dec 21, 2018
    Europe
  16. kniah

    kniah Squier-Meister

    191
    Jan 30, 2019
    Waltham, MA
    Thanks again for the recommendations everyone! Just wanted to give a quick update for anyone interested - I ordered a copy of Guitar Theory for Dummies by Desi Serna that @strat_strummer recommended and it is exactly what I was looking for. Lots of diagrams explaining concepts in different ways to help illustrate connections. I've gotten through 2 chapters so far and am learning a ton.
     
    strat_strummer and BlueSquirrel like this.
  17. Count

    Count Squier-Meister

    448
    Dec 28, 2009
    Australia
    I second "The Guitar Handbook" by Ralph Denyer, if you can find a copy. It covers music theory, playing techniques, maintainance and a whole lot more. My wife is a pianist but borrows my copy for the theory part expecially chord structure. She reckons that the handbook is better and more understandable than any piano theory book she has ever seen.
     
  18. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Grouse hunting
    Its a great book isn't it?
     
  19. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    Berklee Guitar Method, Book 1
     
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