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Unread 08-17-2004, 10:29 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by lespaul59
I feel rerally stupid asking this but I believe the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. Also I'm not up to date on all the great learning tools out there. What is Fretboard Logic? All of my local shops just have books that are basicly Beginner Guitar, How to Play Rock Guitar and such so I tend not to pay much attebtion to this type of stuff. Like I've been looking for a Flemenco guitar book in my local shops for at least 8 months.
FBL is a set of books and videos and serves as essentially the Master Work on what can be called Guitar Mechanics, which are the specifically guitaristic concerns that we as Guitarists contend with when creating music on Guitar. These issues, while used to express ideas that manifest in the world of Music Theory, are completely and totally seperate from the principles that govern Music Theory. In short, for the Guitarist, these principles of both Guitar Mechanics and Music Theory are not one and the same, but do, however, work in tandem with each other.

In terms of guitar, what most people call theory is really two things lumped together:

Classic (or Proper) Music Theory [to recoin a term] and Guitar Mechanics.

Guitar Mechanics are the elements of guitar playing on a mechanical level. Stuff like how to finger or create chord forms, box patterns for scales, arpeggios and modes, lead patterns, and so on. All the questions/posts/threads about how to create/play certain chords, or how to play a riff, and things of that nature are matters of Guitar Mechanics.

Music Theory (classically taught in schools, et al, and considered to be "proper") deals with the specific notes of chords (as opposed to the tones generated at a specific fret/string intersection which we aurally recognize as a specific note) and their major, minor, perfect, augmented, or diminished relationship to other notes of the same chord, the various notes/tones that occur in a specific key, effective choices for chord selection for chord progressions (see chord prog thread), and so on.

So, for a guitarist, Guitar Mechanics is how you play all the tonal materials we use - chords, scales, arpeggios, and so on - and Music Theory is what we do with them - songs, instrumentals, concertos, and so on.

Now, because you have to know how to play these chords, scales, arpeggios, lead patterns, and so on, before you can actually apply them, it follows that you would want to master Guitar Mechanics before tackling Music Theory. In fact, for all practical purposes, that's all you really can do, or else you will just be an academian with an interest in Music Theory and a lot of head knowledge, but no ability to translate it into music.

And, besides, that's the biggest roadblock I see on here, and with startling regularity. Someone is trying to learn a song, and they get caught on some way to play a certain chord, or what inversion to play it in and so on, and that trips them up.

So, if you haven't master Guitar Mechanics initially, then you will constantly revisit it, over and over again, until you finally master it, as you work your way thru Music Theory. Also, not having mastered Guitar Mechanics can stunt your Music Theory growth by creating blind spots in your playing, as you try to translate Music Theory stuff into something that you can play on your guitar.

So, my suggestion would be, in addition to whatever excellent Music Theory book that the Nates recommend to you (do you guys realize how many Nates we have on here? ), get the only book that I have seen published on the matters of Guitar Mechanics, Fretboard Logic SE.

BTW, the logical question would be, "Why Guitar Mechanics? Do pianists have to learn Piano Mechanics?" Well, the answer to that question is "Yes and No".

The pianoforte is a direct desendant of the harpsichord, and the harpsichord was first invented as a compositional tool so that anything written on the music page could immediately be played with no mechanical translation or "interpretation" necessary. It was an attempt to make a Harp push button simple in terms of playing, and to give maximum range and possibility for harmonic material. (Then the pianoforte introduced the dynamic of subtlety and light and shade, being able to play softly ("piano") or strongly ("forte"). The "forte" was then later dropped from the name.)

So, in essence, because of the one-to-one relationships with each note occuring once on the music staff and once on the keyboard, there are not issues of mechanical translation.

So, in a sense, as far as the piano and keyboard instruments in general are concerned, for the Pianist/Keyboardist, Music Theory and "Piano" Mechanics are one and the same.

IOW, if that little black dot lands on a specific line or space in between those lines, there's only one key that you can play in response to that, or group of keys in response to a group of notes making up a chord.

On a guitar, it's different. Each note occurs not once, but many times, with the majority of them occurring 3 to 6 times. And then, while there is only one way to play a specific chord on a piano (give or take inversions), there are five distinct, different, universal ways to play that very same chord in terms of chord forms. And a guitarist who hopes to master his instrument needs to master these forms, or else he will be limited in his playing to one specific application of a chord, and may find himself traveling up and down the neck needlessly, just because of a lack of knowledge of the fretboard.

Also, FWIW, these issues of mechanics really don't apply to monophones, because the entire fingering convention is designed to create one note, like with a Flute or a Sax, and they don't play harmonic material, like chords. They can play thru chords, as with arpeggios, but they don't play chords in terms of simultanious notes.


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Unread 08-18-2004, 11:41 AM   #32
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I'm glad we don't get paid by the length of our posts, because we would all be serving drinks to Chesh on the side to make a living.......
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