Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

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Ron Jones
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 3:54 pm
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by Ron Jones » Fri May 12, 2017 3:06 am

I am new to the classical guitar, and aside from those obligatory trumpet lessons in middle school, I am new to music. However, now that my kids are busy with high school, I am keen to learn, and have an hour each day I can devote to this pursuit.

Aside from Lawrence McDonald's very excellent "Conservatory Tutor" set (I've been studying the first few pages to get a feel for his philosophy of use and am very impressed)... and I have Sagreras book one for exercises.

I have this insatiable curiosity, (a compulsion even) to understand both the "how" AND the "why." So... Another help I picked up was "Music Theory in One Lesson" by Ross Trottier. He also has some corresponding videos on his YouTube channel (Ross the Music Teacher) that seem quite helpful.

However, my dilemma is that (as good as Trottier's work is) I am a bit lower on the developmental scale than that. Can you recommend a resource that breaks music theory down "Romper Room Style," so that even a child can grasp the basics? I am not intimidated by my lack of knowledge (I cannot speak Portuguese either, but I know I could learn it), nor will I be offended at a resource designed for a 9-year old.

Thank you!

Ron Jones
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 3:54 pm
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by Ron Jones » Wed May 17, 2017 4:56 pm

I wanted to follow up with a recommendation for others who may be in the same boat. I picked up a copy of "Music Theory in One Lesson" by Ross Trottier. It's a short book (52 pages), and Trottier is an engaging presenter (his YouTube channel "Ross the Music Teacher," has good material).

Unfortunately, somewhere between the Chromatic scale, and the Major Scale, I got lost. Not his writing, Just a function of my ignorance.

After that minor frustration, I went in search of a more remedial text.

What I found (and actually needed) was not a remedial, but a comprehensive introduction, that was structured in a way that I could follow (We used to call this 'breaking it down "Romper Room style"'). I was rewarded with "Basic Music Theory, 4th edition" by Jonathan Harnum (he starts with the staff, the clefs, and rhythm, rather than scales).

It's informative, well written, and fun. Well... It's fun for ME, because I want to learn the things contained therein, and Harnum writes well (but my 13-year old son may not be as captivated).

Best to you.

poc600
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:34 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by poc600 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:04 pm

Hi Ron. Have you tried any of the 'apps' available in the google play store. There are a few music training apps available for free. I always think learning things from different angles helps keep it interesting. Regards, Peter.

Henny
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:47 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by Henny » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:16 am

Set Monahan has a whole serie on YT ,he explained from beginning to advanced : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfC_0PHBteU&t=182s, i am sure you get the idea what you have to do after watching him.

MumpyLama
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:17 am
Location: Canada

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by MumpyLama » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:32 pm

I checked out the YouTube video "Understanding Music Theory in One Hour" by Ross Trottier mentioned in the initial post and I found it very informative and somewhat easy to understand which is perfect when it is all new to you, but I also felt there was a step or two missing for a beginner like me. I noticed that there also is a 2 1/2 hour video on his channel (How to Read Music on Guitar-100 On Screen Exercises & Tutorials) which teaches you to read the notes & play them directly on your guitar. It is suggested as in the Delcamp forum that you learn each lesson thoroughly before moving on to the next (in 10-15 minute intervals) instead of barrelling through the entire video & maybe even straining yourself. This might be useful for extra practice someday.
I also looked into the Seth Monahan videos mentioned in the previous post. The first lesson was very informative and showed how a major scale is formed with the musical alphabet and which formula of whole & half steps is used. It also explained the "Do a Deer" song in the Sound of Music which happens to be about the major scale. I still feel a bit lost though, is there something basic missing about music theory that should be learned first, for it to make more sense?
-MumpyLama
Last edited by MumpyLama on Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bert
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by bert » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:21 pm

+1 on Seth Monahan and there's a lot more to be found on youtube.
Last edited by bert on Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lawler
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by Lawler » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:37 pm

This may or may not pertain to the OP but sometimes music students are well served by focusing, in small progressive steps, on ear training first and theory second.

granularus
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:54 pm
Location: Conway, AR USA

Re: Seeking recommendation: 'music theory for the novice'

Post by granularus » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:56 am

I have many music theory books, including Shearer, Duarte, Christiansen, Ted Greene, Al DiMeola, Lilienfield and Cimino, Fox and Weissman, and similar books for banjo, violin, mandolin, etc, and general books like Imogen Holst. You name it I have. So what do I use - none of these. The book I return to, time after time, is Edly's Music Theory for Practical People by Ed Roseman. It isn't guitar specific - but it you want to know all about music theory, and all the harmony and chord extensions that you have ever heard of - this is the only book you need. It's practical, it's funny, and, it's got everything, notation, scales, ear-training, chord extensions, voice leading, and much, much more.
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