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Old 04-13-2013, 05:47 AM   #61
StuartBahn
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Theory can be wonderfully useful in many ways. But as the previous posters have said it's certainly not mandatory. If your fellow band mates have a decent knowledge of theory then it would very handy to be able to communicate to them using the language of theory.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:48 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Macabre_Turtle
This this this. Sure, theory isn't required for a good band. But, it should always be recommended, and a band will be healthiest in a situation where everyone is on even ground. For example, in my last band, I did 95% of the writing, besides where I would tell the other guitarist to write his own lead somewhere. He didn't know any theory. It would have been fantastic if I could just say to him something like "the chord progression is in B minor, but watch out for that borrowed C chord," but instead it had to be left to guess work for him.
Hell, I primarily write prog metal. Would people call me a stupid asshole if I declined to play with somebody whose skill set didn't go past playing some basic punk rock? It wouldn't be fair that I don't want to work with musicians that haven't reached a similar level to me? Why should I be forced to hold back? Granted my example is more about physical skill than compositional skill, but the point is the same.


in the punk rock example, you have legit ground to decline. the genres are different, you wont enjoy it.

in the current example, the grounds for declination are based on level of knowledge of music theory. the bassist thinks that if they are not at his level, he will not enjoy it, so he declined. the TS wants our opinion as to whether this is a declination with any reasonable backing or not.

many of us with experience in multiple bands know(out of experience, granted, and not for a fact) that the bassist is not seeing things correctly. i personally know that writing a good song has close to nothing to do with music theory. my last band had two very talented writers, one who knew tons of music theory, one who didnt know the notes on her fretboard. both wrote amazing music and lyrics.

so basically we're all telling the TS that the bassist doesnt know what he's talking aboutand our argument is especially strengthened by the fact that he's enver been in a band.

yourself being a prog metal writer which is a genre i know nothing about except dream theater rocks, i hesitate to question your judgement of the situation. maybe from your perspective and genre, theory is a rather important indication of musicianship, and by extent, whether one should be in a band or not.
i enjoy nothing close to as complicated as prog metal, and if i were to form a band, music theory knowledge would be the last thing on my mind.

everyones opinion, as i see, differs here and their probably due to the individual experiences they have had. so everyone is just giving the TS their piece of mind. who is to say who's right and wrong? what works for you works for you, and if it works for you, nobody can touch that.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #63
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If your a guitarist all you really need to know is how scales are built, how chords are built, keys and chords of keys.

The guy is just being a loser.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Bigbazz
You don't need music theory, hell I'd need 10 minutes per chord to work out exactly what chords I'm playing half the time, and I don't even think about what modes/scales I'm playing.

To put into perspective, I did learn music theory, could read music and knew what scales/chords I was playing, I even used to teach guitar. I have actually forgotten it due to how little use I've had for it (none) in my music career. Not completely forgotten but rusty enough that I would need to do a lot of studying, which is pointless because I would only forget it again as I have no use for it.

If I was still teaching guitar, I would need it, but havent had a student since 2007. But for the band? I have no use for it.


That's pretty strange dude - you use theory all the time when playing. I have no students either (dont teach) but theory is always in my mind when playing. I can understand not seeking to learn music theory, but to actively forget it is a bit weird. I think what may have happened is that you learnt music theory on a superpicial level, but never applied it to your playing. That would explain why you don't use it now.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:29 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
That's pretty strange dude - you use theory all the time when playing. I have no students either (dont teach) but theory is always in my mind when playing. I can understand not seeking to learn music theory, but to actively forget it is a bit weird. I think what may have happened is that you learnt music theory on a superpicial level, but never applied it to your playing. That would explain why you don't use it now.


It's not that I actively forgot it, its just that I've always played by ear/feel and in my early years learning theory was a side thing for me, almost disconnected to how I naturally play, I had to do it because I was studying music at A-Level and for the grade 8 nonsense (that seemed such a big deal at the time and seems so meaningless now).

But after finishing university and after I'd stopped teaching it stopped being part of my life, I kept playing guitar but as I had always done I played with feel and by ear. Similar to how I can no longer speak my native (welsh) language, even though I could speak it fluent as a child, moved to an english speaking school and it just seemed to fade away without me noticing, but then the Welsh language is never used in my part of the country, so it's natural that I've never had to use it and I genuinely can no longer speak it past a basic level.


In the same respect I don't need theory in my band, I play with a group of very talented and capable musicians, all of us have studied it music theory to some degree in the past, we write a lot of music and never do we discuss the theory of it or talk about it in theory terms. The only exception is timings and time signatures because of how they relate to the feel of a song.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #66
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Why are people so obsessed with knowing stupid useless tidbits of harmony & analysis (as you call "music theory") information? Most bands could write perfectly decent pop songs without knowing anything about the seven modes of the Melodic Minor scale. In fact, that information is even useless in classical circles because classical music, as most popular music, is based on harmony and voice leading and not "chord to scale theory" which was a popular jazz idea in the 1950s and 1960s.

If you really want to deepen your "theory" knowledge, learn some rules of voice leading (as most popular music exhibits terrible voice leading) and chromatic harmony (like secondary function chords, etc.). These are things that will actually enhance tonal music rather than distract from it, which is what playing rote scales will do. I never understood why "The Chord Scale Theory" in jazz infiltrated popular music so much. It doesn't work well in most genres IMO.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #67
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@Bigbazz; So basically at some point you knew all your theory up to a grade 8 level, but never actually used it in your playing.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:12 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by AlanHB
@Bigbazz; So basically at some point you knew all your theory up to a grade 8 level, but never actually used it in your playing.


I knew grade 8 theory at a fuzzy level, knew my modes, scales and chords and could read music (though that wasn't my strong point), the thing is I was good at studying for exams. When I did my driving theory I passed with 100% but even before I had passed my practical test I had forgotten a lot of it because I wasn't actively thinking about or using perhaps 50% of it for the practical part.

Maybe I'm just different to other people and have a bad memory, I easily forget things I'm not actively thinking about and I don't actively think about music in theory terms when I'm playing. If you started playing a chord progression I could play over it and follow you without issue, but if you asked me what key or mode I was playing in I would not be able to tell you without stopping and really thinking about it, going over the notes to find out. Sure pentatonic/major/minor which is at a very very basic level, but anything further would take some serious thinking on my part.

But my point is that it doesnt matter, it doesn't hold me back as a musician or stop me from being able to create the music I want. What I'm thinking about when playing is more what note I need/want to do next and how I'm going to play it, how it's going to flow into what comes next, focussing on the technique. I can think about a note and play it without having to think in "theory" terms or thinking about scales simply due to muscle memory of the fretboard.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #69
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may i edit this sentence please


...dammit.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #70
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You need to know as much theory as your bandmates expect you to know. When it comes to ensembles, it's all about picking the right people to play with.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macabre_Turtle
Somehow I doubt this bassist was given an ad that said "Join a basic rock band!" If he doesn't want to play that kind of music, then he doesn't want to play that kind of music, but he was probably told nothing more than "hey, I know a guy that's looking for a bassist, you should check him out." Hell, plenty of bands don't choose a genre until they have most of the band put together.

True, but most guitar players who are looking to play complex music would tell the bass player at the beginning of his audition something like, "Hey, we're looking to play complex music here. Can you handle that?" It doesn't sound like TS did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbc_sublime
If your a guitarist all you really need to know is how scales are built, how chords are built, keys and chords of keys.

Actually, that's all a basic rock guitarist needs to know. On the other hand, if you're a prog metal guitarist or a Jazz guitarist (particularly if your Jazz ensemble uses guitar as more than a rhythm instrument), you'd better know a hell of a lot more than that...

What genre you play can determine what amount of theory is needed.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:00 PM   #72
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@Bigbazz; no worries, you didn't use theory on a practical level, I understand now thanks.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #73
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@ Crazy Sam

Yeah he knew beforehand that we were gonna play normal Rock music like Rage Against the Machine, A Perfect Circle, etc. Not exactly Dream Theater-esque complexity

I left most of the message out, but he was a major dick. He did apologize later on so I appreciate that, but still. I'll post the whole thing if anyone is interested
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:27 AM   #74
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@ Crazy Sam

Yeah he knew beforehand that we were gonna play normal Rock music like Rage Against the Machine, A Perfect Circle, etc. Not exactly Dream Theater-esque complexity

I left most of the message out, but he was a major dick. He did apologize later on so I appreciate that, but still. I'll post the whole thing if anyone is interested


If he apologised I'd say let it rest and move on.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:41 AM   #75
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I'd be happy with people that can read music with some degree of proficiency because then they at least know what the hell key they are in and you don't need to hold their hand on new material.
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