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Memory and discomfort

Dan Shipway

Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    693
    101
    9
    This is a post I feel like I should've probably made a while ago but better late than never.

    Recently in conjunction with learning and improving my technique I have been trying to learn more theory. Through the time I have been playing I have mainly been learning songs so never grasped basic theory like fretboard layout or the CAGED system and major shapes.

    I have been struggling a bit and It seems like a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other or the other scenario is I learn shapes but then when put into practice my knowledge falls apart as im not focusing on playing the scale and learning it. I was hoping someone might be able to share advice on how they practice theory and how they remember it all since I feel like lot of the reason it doesn't stay with me is due to not having the right practice methods in place


    The other two points I was going to make surrounded muscle memory and pain coming from practice.

    The first point is to do with muscle memory. Im usually quite good at muscle memory but I can at times switch my brain on and start overthinking and I was curious to know how people deal with this as it often makes me trip up when im trying to play but hands and head start to go out of sync

    Lastly and I feel this is a point which is important to bring up before I start doing more physically demanding exercises, when is pain/discomfort coming from poor technique and when does it come from muscles being trained to work in a new way? I have been working on middle, ring and pinky finger strength and I get strain when I try to control them and limit "flail" but I wasn't sure if it was down to poor technique or a lack of muscle in the fingers?

    Thanks guys!
     

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
    614
    5
    1,532
    27
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    14
    Hey man!

    So I think the trick to internalizing theory is to put yourself in a situation where you are actively using it. Music Theory is essentially a language, so if you want to use it fluently it all comes down to speaking it. From experience, learning to improvise is a great situation to where you benefit from understanding how your fretboard works.

    I could give specific advice on how to practice , but it's really tricky without knowing exactly what your understanding is so far, as it might just come out as jargon depending on where you're at 😊

    I always reccomend Rick Beato's YouTube channel to those looking to get a basic understanding - (and also a completely advanced understanding too!):
    Grab a notepad and pen with the above video & you'll definitely start to fill in some blanks Theory wise. Then it's just a matter of translating it to the instrument 🤟

    In terms of recurring strain or pain when you play - this can be a tricky one to place without seeing you play, but usually if it's hurting you, it's best to stop and regroup. Sometimes if you're doing a repetitive exercise like a legato type run, you can get that burning in your hand, which is just your hand reacting to being pushed to its limit. It's definitely best to keep an eye on it though! I'd say never to push yourself too much into discomfort when you practice 🤟
     

    Dan Shipway

    Slim Shady
  • Nov 11, 2019
    693
    101
    9
    Hey man, thanks for advice! As far as theory goes, I have a document I started with stuff like the circle of fifths, names of intervals, chord formulas etc from the beato video and stn school and I'm currently working on fretboard layouts and major scales. Ive got some blank templates to fill out etc too as well as some backing tracks so hopefully with the advice you have given, in addition to all that, I should get off the ground.

    As far as discomfort goes, there isnt shooting pain just aches and as you mentioned, a burning feel so I will make sure to keep an eye on it but I think its not too harmful
     
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    Mauro FILHO

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Nov 11, 2019
    43
    139
    This is a post I feel like I should've probably made a while ago but better late than never.

    Recently in conjunction with learning and improving my technique I have been trying to learn more theory. Through the time I have been playing I have mainly been learning songs so never grasped basic theory like fretboard layout or the CAGED system and major shapes.

    I have been struggling a bit and It seems like a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other or the other scenario is I learn shapes but then when put into practice my knowledge falls apart as im not focusing on playing the scale and learning it. I was hoping someone might be able to share advice on how they practice theory and how they remember it all since I feel like lot of the reason it doesn't stay with me is due to not having the right practice methods in place


    The other two points I was going to make surrounded muscle memory and pain coming from practice.

    The first point is to do with muscle memory. Im usually quite good at muscle memory but I can at times switch my brain on and start overthinking and I was curious to know how people deal with this as it often makes me trip up when im trying to play but hands and head start to go out of sync

    Lastly and I feel this is a point which is important to bring up before I start doing more physically demanding exercises, when is pain/discomfort coming from poor technique and when does it come from muscles being trained to work in a new way? I have been working on middle, ring and pinky finger strength and I get strain when I try to control them and limit "flail" but I wasn't sure if it was down to poor technique or a lack of muscle in the fingers?

    Thanks guys!
    Hi man! My suggestion is back to the basics, in case, to the moviments of the wrist and fingers. You don't have to make high tension to play, you will be tired much faster. i am studying pick slanting, angle your pick in case your up or down a scale. Most Important of all, pay attentin if you play inside picking, or outisde picking. Cheers!
     
    You know this is actually a great post. I feel for me one way I learned theory and it actually stuck with me was learning the piano. Guitar is great, it actually really is a wonderful instrument but I feel like the piano really puts it into pieces for you. Such as the white keys versus the black keys. It makes it easier to visualize I guess.
    I definitely am not Adept with the crazy double harmonic scale yet, but as far as basic major minor and some other in-depth theory I'm pretty okay with. But I will say one of the biggest ways it finally stuck with me was applying it to the piano. Even if you have a small keyboard and you just start with the basic scales every day for like 10 minutes it really makes a difference. Because then, you break down the scales. So for instance, when you start learning let's say a basic minor scale like a minor. You start realizing that once you get to that third note you realize that's where the c starts which essentially then from that point on it's a c major scale. This is a basic part of it of course, but you get my point. From there you can build your theory from that base. All the other scales make sense and triads make sense, and then cord building makes sense and then you understand when to flat, double flat and so on. I know this is kind of a lame answer but I really do think that perhaps using the keyboard to some degree will really help! Much luck buddy
     
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