music theory w/o previous music experience?

<p>I signed up for ap music theory next year, and err, long story short, I have minimal musical experience+skills. I do play the guitar but do not have ANY "basic" musical skills (ex. sight reading, relative pitch...etc)</p>

<p>Should I be worried and start self-studying something in the summer? Any recommendations would be great :]</p>

<p>How can you play the guitar without skills like relative pitch and reading music?</p>

<p>You're in for a hard class, I recommend buying a prep book or, at the very least, talking with your guitar teacher / learning how to play guitar properly.</p>

<p>Can you read sheet music?</p>

<p>If not, then don't even BOTHER.</p>

<p>Can you clap rhythms? Can you read at least treble clef? If you answered no to both of these questions, you're in for a hard class next year.</p>

<p>Mastering a musical instrument is no easy feat, considering this is AP too</p>

<p>Pick up the first few levels of keyboard theory. Get those workbooks, do them. Start relating guitar to whatever's on paper. Listen to more instruments.</p>

<p>It will be hard without prior experience in music. With 11 years of piano, I know it takes time to get the theory down.</p>

<p>thanks folks I guess I am in for a tough year TT_TT
but hey, at least it's senior year so a slight drop in gpa due to music theory wouldn't really matter much eh?</p>

<p>So how does learning keyboard theory (maybe with an instructor) and perfecting my sight reading skills over the summer sounds?</p>

<p>Senior year still counts, don't fall for senioritis and those common myths!:O
Sight reading is not the most important thing. This is THEORY, not playing. Learn the basics first: scales, enharmonics, chords, keys, time signatures. You can learn more by buying theory books from ABRSM (they're really good).</p>

<p>Very good. Another really helpful thing to do is learn scales, they're really easy on the guitar because of the movable shapes. Also, you know those chords you learn as a beginning guitar player like E, D, A, C, and G? Learn what notes are in those chords, then learn as many more chords as you can and learn what notes make up THOSE chords as well.</p>

<p>You don't really need to be able to sight read on an instrument to be good in AP Theory btw. Work on becoming fluent in both treble and bass clef, including knowing the key signatures. Memorize what those chords I just told you to learn sound like, and more importantly look up songs that use simple progressions with them (like C F G) and internalize how those chords sound in that order.
Cuz honestly music theory (at the AP course level) comes down to knowing scales, harmony, tools that composers use in their writing (like inverting a melody or using tones that aren't part of the underlying chords), and of course being able to hear all of that.</p>

<p>i took ap music (well they didn't call it ap, but it was the equivalent class) this year with minimal music theory/music performance experience. i've always had a good ear but i'd never been trained musically (not even a little). maybe it was my course specifically, but i didn't have too much trouble doing well down the stretch and I'm pretty sure i ended up with a five on the AP. </p>

<p>work at it during the class and you'll be in great shape! the people that struggle on the ap are the long-time musicians that self-study. they always run into theory/harmonic dictation problems. </p>

<p>you'll do fine!</p>