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-   -   What is the point of learning music theory? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1587420)

LeeAlacoque 02-09-2013 08:35 PM

What is the point of learning music theory?
 
I was just reading up on some basics. I got to scales and I still don't know why I should know this stuff. Major scale is WWHWWWH, minor scale is WHWWHWW. The same thing but starting at a different spot. I don't get why this is important or why it would help me. All I can tell is that this order of notes sounds like they go together

mdc 02-09-2013 08:41 PM

I wouldn't worry about it mate. Just play music and enjoy it. Some ppl just aren't theory orientated.

Besides, you're in to metal, so who gives a fuck? Actually, metal players know a decent amount of theory lol.

supersac 02-09-2013 09:02 PM

music theory is basically an the study of what sounds go toghether you dont need it to be honest but it doesnt hurt to be able to explain what youre doing especially when youre playing with people

PSimonR 02-09-2013 09:11 PM

If you want to be a "rock star" then it really does not matter, you will either be successful or, more likely, you will fail.
If you want to be a professional musician and earn an living from it, you really need to learn a whole lot of theory - and why not - it won't hurt you and will make it a lot easier to work out how to play stuff.

cellofreak42 02-09-2013 09:14 PM

If you plan on getting really advanced at any instrument, theory will help you know how to get around the neck/keyboard/whatever, and it will also help you if you plan on writing music of your own. Also, it really helps to be able to discuss theory with other musicians and actually know what you're talking about. So yeah. :)

Macabre_Turtle 02-09-2013 09:17 PM

Do you just want to learn other people's music for fun, or do you want to make your own? Because if you want your own, the advantage some good music theory can give you absolutely unmissable. Yes, some great musicians manage to make great music without knowing theory, but even those musicians would be so much more if they actually bothered to study up on their craft. Ignore those that say you don't need it. Don't hold yourself back just because theory takes a bit of study time.

Jacques-Henri 02-09-2013 09:25 PM

I like to know theory to help me understand why the music I write sounds good.

rybread3 02-09-2013 09:29 PM

It was said in other words above, but I saw this, so I have a response. Music theory is great for a few reasons. One, it's good for being able to tell if a tab or lesson is accurate, because you'll be able to tell if a note being played is out of key. Learning stuff by ear, because you'll be able to detect a scale or rythmic pattern easier than without a background in theory. Lastly, when you write something, because there's less chance it will suck.

~Rybread3~

rockxwl 02-09-2013 09:36 PM

Because with theory you can explain what you're doing to others and because you can form the structure of a song in your head.

travislausch 02-09-2013 09:40 PM

Trying to become a musician without learning theory is like becoming a Pulitzer-winning author without a proper grasp of the English language. You might manage to do it, but you sure as hell won't know what you're talking about, or be able to easily communicate your ideas to other musicians. Music is a language, and learning the vocabulary, grammar, and spelling help with understanding why music works the way it does.

AeolianWolf 02-09-2013 10:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeAlacoque
I was just reading up on some basics. I got to scales and I still don't know why I should know this stuff. Major scale is WWHWWWH, minor scale is WHWWHWW. The same thing but starting at a different spot. I don't get why this is important or why it would help me. All I can tell is that this order of notes sounds like they go together


because there's a big, big, big difference between playing music and understanding music.

it's the sort of thing that makes the difference between a high school 5 paragraph essay and a treatise by a literary master.

AlanHB 02-09-2013 10:55 PM

Basically so you know what sounds good instead of guessing.

cdgraves 02-09-2013 11:17 PM

Learning your scales isn't exactly "Theory". It's on the level of basic spelling and grammer. Just as you don't have to be a trained Linguist to speak a language decently, you don't have to know a bunch of theory to play guitar. BUT having a standard level of literacy will certainly help you develop.

Akherousia 02-09-2013 11:21 PM

The more you understand the mechanics behind something, the more efficient you can be with it. Additionally, learning theory takes the 'luck' out of the equation and incorporates a tangible foundation of knowledge to work with rather than relying solely on intuition.

It's not absolutely necessary if you're just playing as a hobbyist or in a moderately serious band, but theory can't really hurt you so I don't see any reason not to explore it further. Once you start to get more familiarized with it, you'll start to make connections and it'll spark additional creativity while widening your capabilities as a whole. So really.. why risk depriving yourself of that? :shrug:

LeeAlacoque 02-10-2013 12:19 AM

So I've gotten to key signatures now. As far as I can tell this is just a way to simplify writing. I thought keys had something to do with what notes were in a piece of music?

I might want to make my own songs someday but I still don't see how this is going to help. By the way, I'm using the lessons on musictheory.net. Maybe they're just not in-depth enough or something?

TheHydra 02-10-2013 12:27 AM

Music theory is a reptilian invention designed to subjugate mankind by draining its most important means of expression, music, of all inherent emotional value. Do not attempt to learn it, whatever you do.

Akherousia 02-10-2013 12:27 AM

^The best way to learn something is to utterly submerge yourself in it.
I recommend grabbing every book (physical or otherwise), documentary, and online resource you can possibly get your hands on and just diving in. MusicTheory.net is pretty simplistic in its approach (though I wouldn't call it a bad site) but even if it were the most extensive it's still a good rule of thumb to approach a new subject from as many angles as possible.

People have a habit of avoiding that approach because we hate being taught things we 'already know' but this is crucial in the learning stages, it's repetition that helps us properly solidify something into our memory.

LeeAlacoque 02-10-2013 12:34 AM

Also, something I've been wondering is, is there a science to music? Like why certain combinations of notes sound good to the human ear? And why is all music made with the same notes? What if I moved the frets on my guitar to 2/3 their normal lengths?

AlanHB 02-10-2013 12:47 AM

^^^ Probably conditioning - you probably wouldn't have the same thoughts on traditional Indian songs or Gregorian chants.

And the answer to your frets question is that the resulting notes on the frets would fall in between the notes which make up western scales.

AeolianWolf 02-10-2013 01:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeAlacoque
I might want to make my own songs someday but I still don't see how this is going to help


i suggest you try. you'll fall flat on your face without theory unless your ear is phenomenal.


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