Runboard.com
You're welcome.
Community logo






runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

 
diamond sea Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 12-2011
Posts: 60
Karma: 0 (+0/-0)
Reply | Quote
Theory for Young Shred/Prog/Fusion Guitarist


First of all, hello everyone! It has been a while!

I haven't been teaching guitar of late but I am teaching a private student this summer. He is just 13 but is a pretty impressive and dedicated electric guitar player already, a fan of Satriani, Vai, and Lifeson. (I love Lifeson/Rush and like things by the other two.) He improvises fairly well when I play a basic chord progression. He can read music a little but doesn't sight-read on his instrument that much. He is mainly interested in learning theory and composition from me. (I have a PhD in composition and have taught theory at uni for years.) He'd like to be able to compose in the style of the artists he likes, ideally, but is open to learning in general. He knows about the basic scales, modes, chord structures.

I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on books, methods, and/or resources that might be appropriate in this situation. I do own a bunch of books from Berklee but I don't have any of them with me this summer. I've started the student on learning diatonic triads and basic progressions but I doubt that Bach chorales and CPE voice-leading rules (what I'd typically teach at uni) are really what he's looking for. Going too deep into CPE prolongation patterns etc may lose him too, even if it's interesting stuff. A grounding in the basic progressions and melody-writing principles is probably useful, though. I'm not even sure that a typical jazz theory method would be what he's looking for. He's a rather academic-minded student and would probably be happy to apply himself to a challenging and rigorous course of study; I'm just looking for suggestions on what might work best, especially since I'll only be here for a couple of months. Does anyone know of good theory/composition resources for this aesthetic?
6/17/2016, 11:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to diamond sea   Send PM to diamond sea Blog
 
zen guitar Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 02-2010
Posts: 389
Karma: 1 (+1/-0)
Reply | Quote
Re: Theory for Young Shred/Prog/Fusion Guitarist


Well maybe it's a bit late and you've already figured something out, but in my experience you can't teach rock guitarists like you teach music majors. Yes they may get serious enough eventually to got that route, but usually in the early stages that is the worst thing you can do. You need to approach teaching rock improvisation using the chord scale approach, i.e. learning all the basic scales (by shape / box / position etc..) and teaching just enough theory so they know how to figure out what scale goes over what chords. The focus also needs to be heavily on learning rock songs & solos, not doing Sor studies. Four part voice writing is only for the absolutely dedicated and mature musicians who are at the college level. There are always exceptions though. Usually I probe my students interest levels and aptitude at theory and the more interest and aptitude they show, the more I give them. Who knows, maybe you have a young Bach-like student who would take to part writing immediately. But I wouldn't make that the main plan, maybe just test the waters a little and see where it goes. The kid should first off be really interested in composition and be able to do some basic composition WITHOUT part writing, before starting part writing. In my opinion part writing is really an advanced composition technique, even though it is taught in 1st semester music theory classes. And I think it should only be taught once someone can already write and harmonize simple melodies and wants to take it further.

Wish I could recommend some good books, but to be honest I've never seen any really truly good books on the topic of rock guitar improvisation. Yes there are hundreds of them out there but every time I've bought one I found the exercises were less than or about equal to what I could make up sitting at my computer for 15 minutes. But it can be nice to have a bunch of tabbed exercises already written out for you. I usually pull bits and pieces from a large group of random books I own, or just base the lesson plan on the song & solo of the month.
7/18/2016, 7:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to zen guitar   Send PM to zen guitar
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)