Best guitar Music theory book

  • not really a kemper question. But as im playing through a kemper, it is :P

    After years of ignoring theory, Im trying to get to grips with music theory.

    I know theres loads on you tube but i like old fashioned books.

    Be nice to find a comprehensive book thats easy to use. And understand With tabs.

    Keys chords scales modes notes.

    I thought about the biato book but apparently its fairly advanced from the beginning.

  • Theory is theory and there are hundreds of books. You won’t find “tab” as you will be learning to read music along with theory. Theory books are not musical for the most part, so you should also get some simple books for reading music to put to practice what you learn.

    Here are a few books that I have, hope they are still in print.Though I did go to music college as well but these will get you started. You might need an instructor at some point to fill in the blanks and help to make sense. There are online courses with instructors you can do as well.

    Theory: Berklee Music Theory book 1

    Dick Grove Basic Harmony and Theory volume 1

    Musicians Institute Harmony and Theory essential concepts

    Reading: Berklee series Reading studies for guitar

    Berklee Series Melodic Rhythms for guitar

    William Leavitt The Guitar Phase 1

    I have many others as well, lots based on jazz. Have fun on your adventure

  • You don't need tab for theory. IMHO, it's actually better if you don't. Theory is relational and the guitar is an *awful* place to figure out those relationships. Arguably the most difficult instrument to sort out theory with.

    Tab isn't going to tell you squat except where to put your fingers. That's superficial and gets you nowhere.

    To me the first order of business for theory is the major scale. Then, how chords are constructed out of that. I would highly recommend checking out Karen Ramirez' Youtube channel. She's retired now, but here lessons on theory are some of the best and easiest to understand I've ever found.

    Here's one: Chord Structure: Scales and Key Signatures - Karen Ramirez

    Her videos are lumped together, but I started by looking at the oldest and finding headings that made sense. You'll learn more in ten minutes listening to her than any book you can find.

    Another online resource I highly recommend is Justin Sandercoe. His website is insanely deep - and nearly ALL of it is free.

    Music Theory 1 - Justinguitar

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

    Edited 2 times, last by Ruefus ().

  • I've dabbled in music theory a few times and personally I've found:

    1) Its not complicated, its just hard graft. You have to understand the intervals and keys and memorise them (as having to reference stuff takes ages/not practical). That is your basis behind modes, harmony etc.

    2) There are very few books or videos that bridge the gap between theory and practice. So ground yourself in the theory and then transpose onto the guitar. I don;t think there are many short cuts to this.

    3) There are a few rules but ultimately some things that aren't supposed to work do...therefore theory isn't the holy grail but one part of the story - I guess its the dictionary in my analogy :). It opens up options ( rather than my limited pentatonic world :) ) and flexibility in your playing.

    I assume you asked for tab to help you relate it back to the guitar...and I think that's the tab has no basis in theory its probably counter productive ( as you need to understand the fret board). You can get scales obviously in tab but that is just the start and doesn't answer the " what chord sequence will that work over".

    As a self confessed duffer in theory, its one of my biggest regrets not to spend more time on it...too stuck in my ways now. I wish I knew what key I was playing in half the time...

  • i have always found the Joesph at fundamental changes books quite good and i have a few of them

    lots of tab examples in the books and scales and chord diagrams etc

    again, i think it requires multiple reads and effort for it to sink in