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Old 11-30-2012, 07:33 AM   #61
Jehannum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula KO
I will give it an honest try. I do realize that with many things you have to go through tedious things before the fun begins.



TS, "music theory" is not synonymous with "scales". Memorising scales is tedious. It's not the same as learning theory.

Theory is about learning the mechanics of music. I feel embarrassed for people who don't know any theory. I feel indignant toward people who say they don't need any theory whatsoever. This attitude inspires the same level of respect from me as an automaton or a coffee vending machine.

You need to know a BIT of theory. Just a bit. The foundations: what are harmony, melody, and rhythm; keys, intervals, chords. From this base you can research a subject more deeply if you ever need to.

Theory's not tedious. It can be very interesting, unless you're the kind of person who always negatively associates learning with authority and restrictions.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:04 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Jehannum
TS, "music theory" is not synonymous with "scales". Memorising scales is tedious. It's not the same as learning theory.

Theory is about learning the mechanics of music. I feel embarrassed for people who don't know any theory. I feel indignant toward people who say they don't need any theory whatsoever. This attitude inspires the same level of respect from me as an automaton or a coffee vending machine.

You need to know a BIT of theory. Just a bit. The foundations: what are harmony, melody, and rhythm; keys, intervals, chords. From this base you can research a subject more deeply if you ever need to.

Theory's not tedious. It can be very interesting, unless you're the kind of person who always negatively associates learning with authority and restrictions.


Memorizing at least the major and minor scales is the first step of learning theory. Language like this that implies scales are useless and not party of music theory is not going to help beginners.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #63
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I think the people who try to discount any kind of theory are the ones who are actually intimidated by it. Understandably so, as learning theory is like learning a new language. That is why it is best to just pick it up in bits and pieces along the way instead of thinking all of it needs to be crammed into our noggins at once. I know just a little bit of theory, but the little bit I do know and understand has proven very beneficial to me. I think theory is what separates the men from they boys not in the sense of skill, but in the sense of overall passion. Anyone who is passionate about music will want to learn and understand theory.

Scales are just one of many tools that are resourceful for any musician. This isn't to say that they should require the majority of our focus, but they are helpful in recognizing certain patterns and then identifying those same patterns in songs. I'm also a huge advocate of figuring them out by ear. Both/and, not either/or. Learning scales will create an almost instant reflex when you encounter the same scale within a song to where your fingers just know where to go. And yes, scale work does improve your technical proficiency as well...and this is true of anything done on the guitar. Scales are not the end all be all, and will not turn the beginner into a superstar by any means...but they are very useful for those who care to rely on them.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Simper-Yut
I think the people who try to discount any kind of theory are the ones who are actually intimidated by it. Understandably so, as learning theory is like learning a new language. That is why it is best to just pick it up in bits and pieces along the way instead of thinking all of it needs to be crammed into our noggins at once. I know just a little bit of theory, but the little bit I do know and understand has proven very beneficial to me. I think theory is what separates the men from they boys not in the sense of skill, but in the sense of overall passion. Anyone who is passionate about music will want to learn and understand theory.

Scales are just one of many tools that are resourceful for any musician. This isn't to say that they should require the majority of our focus, but they are helpful in recognizing certain patterns and then identifying those same patterns in songs. I'm also a huge advocate of figuring them out by ear. Both/and, not either/or. Learning scales will create an almost instant reflex when you encounter the same scale within a song to where your fingers just know where to go. And yes, scale work does improve your technical proficiency as well...and this is true of anything done on the guitar. Scales are not the end all be all, and will not turn the beginner into a superstar by any means...but they are very useful for those who care to rely on them.
Yep, it's better to have a strong understanding of a little bit of theory than to have a weak/false understanding of a lot of theory.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #65
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There's two different schools.

1. The theory nerds that are pissed that someone can play well without an in-depth knowledge of theory. These are the people that have worked their balls off to understand how the Hungarian minor scale works over an Am chord progression. God bless 'em that they know these things.

2. The kids that just work the physical part of playing guitar and are able to rip up and down patterns without having any earthly idea of what the hell they're playing.

In my opinion here is what a working rock guitarist needs in term of theory:

1. Know what notes make up the minor pentatonic and harmonic minor in each key

2. Chord structure

If you know these two things then you know way more than enough to be a working guitarist.

Flame away, boys and girls.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:42 AM   #66
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There's not "two different schools" at all, if anything what you've posted there is simply two extreme ways of approaching the situation that sit at opposite ends of the scale,
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by deepfat
1. The theory nerds that are pissed that someone can play well without an in-depth knowledge of theory. These are the people that have worked their balls off to understand how the Hungarian minor scale works over an Am chord progression. God bless 'em that they know these things.


Nobody is pissed off that people can play well without theory. People are pissed off that people think or say that theory won't help them. I couldn't give less of a shit if somebody knows theory or not. But pretending it wouldn't help them is a big irritation.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #68
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theory isn't simply a studious understanding of the inner-workings of musical logic. having a deft ear, when paired with experience, solid instinct, and some common sense, will allow you to subconsciously break down music to a point where you personally understand it and can take what you need from it in order to enhance your playing as well as your general knowledge of music.

"learning theory" comes with experience, not with pounding textbooks. some people can tell you the function of a specific chord on a progression by simply looking at it, while some people can hear it in context and understand what it's doing. naturally you should attempt to understand all you can about your craft if you take it seriously, but there's nothing at all wrong with either leaning as long as you can take in a context and understand it in a musical sense.

preferably you can do both at equal ease, but everybody is different and music is far too ephemeral a skill to look at in raw academics and absolutes. do what works best for you, but understand that nothing can be hurt from learning and experiencing all you can. i listen to more music recreationally that doesn't have a bass or guitar playing than music that does, but it works for me and i enjoy it, and that's what matters.

people who approach extremes generally don't have theoretical knowledge academically or artistically, though, so that guy's probably either trolling or dumb
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:08 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
There's two different schools.

1. The theory nerds that are pissed that someone can play well without an in-depth knowledge of theory. These are the people that have worked their balls off to understand how the Hungarian minor scale works over an Am chord progression. God bless 'em that they know these things.

2. The kids that just work the physical part of playing guitar and are able to rip up and down patterns without having any earthly idea of what the hell they're playing.


no, that's just one school. both of those examples are part of the train of thought that i like to describe as "useless". in either situation, the results are poor, because of the thought process (in the first) or idiocy/ignorance (in the latter).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
In my opinion here is what a working rock guitarist needs in term of theory:

1. Know what notes make up the minor pentatonic and harmonic minor in each key

2. Chord structure

If you know these two things then you know way more than enough to be a working guitarist.


a working rock guitarist, perhaps. rock guitar is among some of the easiest shit. doesn't make it bad, but playing rock isn't really indicative of someone's playing ability (unless it's all someone can play, which indicates not only an extremely closed mind, but fairly poor musicianship overall).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
Flame away, boys and girls.


why would we flame? you've posted truths.

you simply have an inaccurate understanding of what you're talking about.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
no, that's just one school. both of those examples are part of the train of thought that i like to describe as "useless". in either situation, the results are poor, because of the thought process (in the first) or idiocy/ignorance (in the latter).



a working rock guitarist, perhaps. rock guitar is among some of the easiest shit. doesn't make it bad, but playing rock isn't really indicative of someone's playing ability (unless it's all someone can play, which indicates not only an extremely closed mind, but fairly poor musicianship overall).



why would we flame? you've posted truths.

you simply have an inaccurate understanding of what you're talking about.


Who cares if rock is easy or not? It's what at least 95% of kids want to play when they pick up the guitar. I don't look at it as "closed mindedness". I don't want to play jazz, for example, as it's not what inspires me. I don't want to play classical guitar as it's not what inspires me.

Hendrix was a blues and soul guitarist. Does that make his muscianship poor? He's regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever. Same with Page. Same with Jeff Beck. Are you saying that their musicianship is poor because they are regarded as great rock guitarists? I'm not understanding your logic.

Not everyone has the time or inclination to learn theory through and through. I'm certainly in that ilk. I've learned enough to get by and be able to play what I want. At the end of the day that's all that matters. For the record, I'll take Hendrix (musically illiterate) over Vai (theory master) anyday in terms of their music.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by deepfat
For the record, I'll take Hendrix (musically illiterate) over Vai (theory master) anyday in terms of their music.


hendrix wasn't musically illiterate and vai isn't a theory master

thanks for skipping my post about how music theory isn't about being able to sightread to show off
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Hail
hendrix wasn't musically illiterate and vai isn't a theory master

thanks for skipping my post about how music theory isn't about being able to sightread to show off


Sure Hendrix was musically illiterate. He couldn't read it or write it and that's common knowledge. YouTube an interview with Zappa...he literally said that Hendrix was musically illiterate.



It's not about sight reading, I agree, although that's part of it. That said, being able to understand how what you're playing all fits into the puzzle is the only real benefit of understanding theory.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:09 PM   #73
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How is that a lost interview if it's right here?
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:18 PM   #74
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How is that a lost interview if it's right here?



Good point. Not sure.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by deepfat
Sure Hendrix was musically illiterate. He couldn't read it or write it and that's common knowledge. YouTube an interview with Zappa...he literally said that Hendrix was musically illiterate.


compared to Zappa he might've been musically illiterate. Reading and writing aren't all there is to it by far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
That said, being able to understand how what you're playing all fits into the puzzle is the only real benefit of understanding theory.


edit: And that should be more than enough motivation for most people to learn theory... "Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive" is something I've seen on these forums several times. And it's entirely true: theory isn't a rulebook for music, but rather a language to describe its different elements with.

Last edited by CryogenicHusk : 12-05-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:36 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by deepfat
Who cares if rock is easy or not? It's what at least 95% of kids want to play when they pick up the guitar. I don't look at it as "closed mindedness". I don't want to play jazz, for example, as it's not what inspires me. I don't want to play classical guitar as it's not what inspires me.


well, that's you. it's a type of closed-mindedness, voluntary or not. if you don't want to do something, you're closing yourself to it. rationalize it however you want, and it leads rather smoothly into the next point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
Hendrix was a blues and soul guitarist. Does that make his muscianship poor? He's regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever. Same with Page. Same with Jeff Beck. Are you saying that their musicianship is poor because they are regarded as great rock guitarists? I'm not understanding your logic.


page and hendrix are sloppy players. good players, iconic players, great guitarists - but compare their musicianship to the classical and jazz greats whom you have no interest in, and the obvious conclusion is that their musicianship is...well, i wouldn't say poor, not by a long shot. but inferior, definitely. i don't know if i'd class beck as being there, though -- personally i think beck is much better than the other two.

they do not have inferior musicianship because they are regarded as rock guitarists, they have inferior musicianship because they have inferior musicianship. perhaps the reason you can't follow my logic is because you're inferring points i never made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfat
Not everyone has the time or inclination to learn theory through and through. I'm certainly in that ilk. I've learned enough to get by and be able to play what I want. At the end of the day that's all that matters. For the record, I'll take Hendrix (musically illiterate) over Vai (theory master) anyday in terms of their music.


personally, i'm not a fan of either hendrix or vai.

if you've learned enough to get by, to enjoy yourself, than that's fine. after all, what can be said against that?

just that it's not a valid excuse to make judgments on topics you voluntarily choose not to delve deeper into.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
if you've learned enough to get by, to enjoy yourself, than that's fine. after all, what can be said against that?

just that it's not a valid excuse to make judgments on topics you voluntarily choose not to delve deeper into.


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Old 12-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #78
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Who needs music literacy when you have the power of rock???

Oh, Hail, you slippery bastard.

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:49 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Akula KO
I still maintain that it is possible to make new guitar music just by taking what you've learned through observation, taking techniques you have learned and improvising and developing it into something new.

Thanks.

I completely agree. Though expanding on what you said I think it should be noted that music theory is the observation by and of our collective musical culture throughout history.

So on the one hand you have the collective observations of all the great music makers, music teachers, and music lovers throughout history all yours for the taking to do with what you like. And on the other hand you can choose to rely solely on your own musical observations to get you by.

Coming back to your point though. Music theory is not essential to creating brilliant world changing music.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:58 AM   #80
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I completely agree. Though expanding on what you said I think it should be noted that music theory is the observation by and of our collective musical culture throughout history.

So on the one hand you have the collective observations of all the great music makers, music teachers, and music lovers throughout history are yours for the taking to do with what you like. And on the other hand you can choose to rely solely on your own musical observations to get you by.

Coming back to your point though. Music theory is not essential to creating brilliant world changing music.


i mean, ultimately, this is the endgame. i can't disagree with any point asserted here.
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