I continue to learn music theory – it helps to “expand my horizons” on guitar. Below is my Top 5 resources for learning guitar fretboard, ear training and studying theory of music in the part that has the most practical impact of my playing: harmony and chords theory.
- A good book about guitar fretboard.
I have read a bunch of book reviews on acoustic guitar forum and on Amazon, and picked MY book – one that fits my level of playing and my style the best. Here it is – Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino (affiliate link to Amazon.com). It is concise (80 pages), very well written and easy to read, has variety of exercises and very practical. I highly recommend it.
- Fretboard Grids.
The book has fretboard grids for exercises, but I wanted extra sheets to practice more. I drew my grid version in Microsoft Excel and printed out a bunch of them. Then I converted Excel file to Adobe pdf format and attached to this post. Enjoy! Fretboard Grid (pdf) (262)
- Software for Ear training.
I use EarMaster 5 software package (Amazon affiliate link) for ear training. It was very useful for improving my recognition of intervals and chords. This software has a ton of exercises for guitarists (and not only for guitarists), is very well organized, highly configurable and intuitive.
- MP3 Files.
Another great resource I recently found is Mobile Ear Training blog post and a set of the mp3 files from Joe Walker’s site “From the Woodshell“. I like to do ear training exercises while I am in a car or just walking. In addition, Joe’s web sites are great resources for guitarists. Thank you Joe!
- Music Theory Bible.
During my childhood, I played piano for 3 years. Then I played it occasionally just for fun. I knew the basics of music theory, but I wanted to have a reference book that I can use as a basis for building up my theoretical knowledge. Again, based on recommendations from members of the Acoustic Guitar Forum, I have picked The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine (Amazon affiliate link again). It is not so easy to read, but this book provides exactly what I want – a full-scale course about Jazz Harmony and Chords Theory.
That is it. In my past 10+ years of most conscious playing, I have used many books, software and approaches, but those five are my current favorites. You can find more resources on my Resources page.