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Neil Dare

The need for theory ?

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Hi. I've been playing properly, I.e. hour plus a day, for about 18 months after always having a guitar for years but only playing open chords and the same few songs. I've got much better since taking it seriously. My finger strength and dexterity have improved immeasurably. My question is this. How seriously do I need to take learning theory ? I know my chromatic scale and my am pent and major scales. I know how maj, min, sus and 7th chords are formed. But I have no intention of performing or writing or teaching....I just love learning songs. I can see how some theory along with interval and ear training can help with transcribing songs. That's probably all I'd use it for. My technique I tend to practice by learning songs with those techniques in...I.e. finger picking, hybrid picking,  palm muting etc, as I feel it focuses my mind more than exercises do. I do enjoy learning some theory once I give in and pick up a book or look online. I just feel like I should learn it rather than wanting to.

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I would say if you don't want to learn it, don't. I'm in a similar position to you. I had an acoustic for years but never really did much other than strum a few chords or play simple songs from books. I got an electric guitar about 5 months ago and know a few scales and a bit about chord formation. I pick up bits and pieces of theory from books and videos, but it doesn't always sink and and stick. I'm thinking about taking lessons,  but don't know if I would get into the theory side.

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