38 Pages of Guitar Music Theory Reference Material I Made In GIMP
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Thread: 38 Pages of Guitar Music Theory Reference Material I Made In GIMP

  1. #1

    Join Date: May 2019
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    38 Pages of Guitar Music Theory Reference Material I Made In GIMP

    I've been studying guitar for about 9 months now, and around 6 months ago I started typing up my hand written notes in GIMP, to make 8.5x11" images I can print up for my guitar binder. A few days ago, I decided to share them on the internet. After some feedback on other forums and discord rooms, I updated them a bit, and here is what they look like now:


    So what's in it?
    • A 7 dimensional circle of 5ths (more on that below)
    • 9 pages of general music theory notes. I originally wrote them in case I ever have to take a break from music for a while and want to refresh my memory. Like, if I got in a horrible accident or something. I kind of printed them up and scribbled on them a lot. I cleaned them up a lot, for public consumption, after I shared them the other day and started to realize just how bad they were. I fixed typos, rewrote whole sections, cleaned up some tables, and added a couple of pages to make them flow better. They should be correct and readable now. I hope.
    • 2 pages of key charts (one for Major, one for minor)
    • 3 pages showing the fingering for every major, minor, and diminished chord. The only odd thing here is the empty dots. The solid dots should be pretty self-explanatory. They show where to fret and what finger I like to use to fret there. The empty dots show optional fretting positions, for if you want to try a different voicing of the chord. If there is an empty dot, the note it produces is written in parenthesis below it.
    • 24 pages of what I call key sheets. Every sheet shows you how to play the scale, and every chord in every major and minor key. Each key is one page. The only new thing here is the scale diagrams. I show the fingering I like to use when I do scales, and I used gray scale dots alternating with black dots to separate the hand positions. Position 1 is black, 2 is gray, 3 is black, and so on.

    When I practice I usually try to pick out one or two pages from the key sheets to practice scales and chords from. I just generally fiddle around trying to come up with fun chord progressions in different keys. If I'm in the mood to try modal chord progressions, I flip to the circle of 5ths diagram, and use that to pick out my chords. Lately, I've been playing with modes more, now that I know all the major, minor, and diminished chords, so I don't have to read the chord charts to know how to play them.

    For some reason, the circle of 5ths diagram seems to be controversial when I show it to people. I mean... I derived it when I noticed a pattern while calculating modes in a spreadsheet. I hadn't seen a circle of 5ths diagram like this before, but I never thought I invented it, because if it's right, I can't be the first to notice this pattern. In case you are curious, I'm definitely not the inventor of this... since I posted this in other online forums, people have sent me links to others who have drawn this diagram before me. So I checked, and the diagram is definitely correct. As I explained above, I use this diagram almost every time I practice, so it can't be useless. Some people really don't like it for some reason, though.

    Anyway... let me know what you think. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

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  3. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Very kind of you to share.

  4. #3

    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: South Jersey
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    Good stuff, thanks for sharing
    "Oh, those jazz guys are just making that stuff up!" - Homer J. Simpson

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  6. #4

    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Ft lauderdale
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    This is really cool. I'm sure there's a sub reddit you can post this to that would really appreciate it.

  7. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I'm going to grab this later, insanely cool for you to do this and share it

  8. #6

    Join Date: May 2019
    Location: Harrisburg, PA
    ME: Weston Dynasty XV3GR
    MA: Classical Yamaha G-180
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    Thanks! Yeah, the /r/musictheory subreddit is one of the places I got a lot of feedback that helped me clean up the music theory pages between the circle of 5ths and the reference tables. Here's that thread.

    The feedback I've gotten from this is so positive, I intend to keep adding to it as I learn more, and I'll probably share a 2.0 version in another 6 months or so.

  9. #7

    Join Date: Jun 2009
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    That's a very healthy amount of work - made available to us all just like that.
    Kudos to you, Sir! My printer will be in need of a new cartridge

    A suggestion: Maybe add something about how to find one's way around the fretboard, that is, where/how notes are located and grouped.
    There's some cool vids on youtube explaining this.
    If I'm not making sense, I'll go poke the tube for a couple examples..

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