I have always found music theory to be rather dry and boring, and consequently never learned much of it. I used to play piano, an instrument which you can easily handle as a kind of musical typewriter, but it seems to me that with guitar, some theoretical knowledge can actually be very handy, though I can't quite work out in what way. It's just a kind of strong intuition.
Anyway, instead of trying to plow through dry-as-dust theory books, it occurred to me that it might be more meaningful to go through some actual pieces of music and see whether I can make sense of it. I quickly found that the theory books have the advantage of everything fitting neatly into the theory. With "real" pieces of music, I often can't make any sense of it whatever.
Part of the problem is that with simple pieces, the harmony very often consists of no more than two notes at a time, which strictly speaking isn't even a chord, but it seems to me that very often, there is a kind of implied harmony, and with at least some such chords I can still make some sense. Some of them seem ambiguous, i.e. without a third they can be interpreted as either major or minor chords, but this is not too much of a problem.
But what is this, for example (in the key of C)?
How does one go about identifying a chord, and what do you do when you can't identify one? Do all chords have names (at least in tonal music)? And can all of them be identified as belonging to one specific degree of the key that the piece is in?
I am also unclear on what to do with this sort of figuration:
Should one treat it as broken-up chords? But of so, which ones? How does one identify them?
And last of all, what exactly is one supposed to learn from this exercise? As I state above, I have a strong intuition that I am on to something here and that it is supposed to be meaningful, but I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for! What exactly is meant by "analyzing a piece" and what is gained by it?