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Old 11-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
rather_dashing
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Scales or patterns that work based on the key of the song

I know all of the pentatonic and the boxes attached, but are there any other patterns or structures you can play that are guaranteed to go with a song based on the key?
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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Basically, whatever sounds good to you is what "works".

Take what you know and expand on it. You know pentatonic boxes. Now expand that to knowing how to construct a pentatonic scale in a given key. If you know major/minor scale boxes, learn how to construct those scales in a given key. If you can do all that, learn where to find any note anywhere on the fretboard.

When you can do that, learn to listen and plan what you'll play.

When you can do that, there's nothing more that I can tell you that'll get you better.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:47 AM   #3
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You don't make music by looking at patterns or structures, you make music by listening to sounds.

So stop focussing so much on the physical aspects of what you're doing and start listening more
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
Yes, the patterns you need to understand the mapping of the neck are laid out in the 7 shaped of the "modes" The modes are the seven scale forms established in any given key depending on which note you start in in the scale.

There are seven modes:

Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixalydian
Aeolian
Locarian

Example:

C major

CDEFGAB

The first mode is called: Ionian or a standard C Major scale: CDEFGAB

If you are playing in the key of C Major but start in the second note of the scale: DEFGABC you are now playing in the "Dorian" mode. For Phrygian you would start on the third degree of the scale: EFGABCD, and so on until you reach the last scale degree which is the Locrian mode.

Each of these modes has a specific scale shape that. There are seven shapes. If you learn all seven shapes, when you are able to determine which key you are in, you then have a complete visual mapping of the neck to help you with visual improvisation. Once you have an understanding of the neck visually you will slowly turn these scale forms into muscle memory thus allowing you to stop looking at the neck and allow you to develop your ear so you can then use the knowledge you have to listen to the sound around you as Mr. Seagull previously mentioned.

With the modes, if you go to open jam night, and someone "calls a key" you immediately know every single note on the neck that you can play your various pre-arranged licks over.

Hope this helps.


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Old 11-30-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MatthewKane
Absolutely not. I picked up this information from a friend who went to Berklee College of Music. In addition there are a couple hundred thousand pages of information on the internet about the interrelated scale forms of the modes and the mapping of the neck.

I made this graphic to illustrate:

Mapping the neck with modes.


Unfortunately the information you've given is inaccurate in one important way:

If you're playing in a certain key, the modes don't exist. You don't start playing in a mode just by starting a scale in a different place; if the piece you're playing over resolves to A and is minor then you're playing in A minor.

Dividing up the fretboard like that is a decent idea and does have benefits but associating it with modes is a fundamental misunderstanding very common in guitarists.

Also I would question your emphasis on developing your ear later; it should be something you do all the time. Over-emphasis on shapes and muscle memory leads to playing the same sounds and licks all the time without thinking which really isn't what anyone wants, I'm sure we can agree.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:42 AM   #6
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
As I said, this information comes directly from a Berklee College of Music grad, my own guitar teacher, and my years of guitar instruction in my mid 20's. This is a modal form of visually understanding the neck. It took me about 2 or 3 days of practice to memorize the shapes.

Taking 2 or 3 days, or 2 or 3 weeks out of a lifetime of playing to quickly memorize the neck is not going to hinder the development of the ear over a period of 20 years.

I think with the skill level of the OP splitting hairs about intricacies of the modes - which have many more applications than just visual representation - comes down to a matter of when the concept of Occam's Razor is applicable.


I don't think you understand occam's razor... Occam's Razor states that when deciding between a set of hypotheses the one that makes the least assumptions is likely to be the best. Doesn't exactly apply to this situation because there are no hypotheses to decide between.

I'm not splitting hairs about the intricacies of modes, I'm saying to you that involving modes is the opposite of helpful if TS doesn't understand basic diatonic theory. Modes are heavily involved with resolution, strict diatonic chord progressions and many other things; you don't need them to learn the fretboard, especially not if all you're going to use them for is naming things that don't actually exist in the context you're working in. Breaking the neck up in to manageable sections isn't modal, it's nothing to do with modes.

I would also suggest that since all music theory is built on a solid understanding of the fundamentals and if you misunderstand basic scale construction by involving modes then that's a flaw that will only propagate through your musical life and hinder you when/if you try to learn more advanced things.

Why you would decide to take time out of ear training for learning the fretboard when you could concentrate on what you're doing all the time and gain constant experience is beyond me. It's not a mutually exclusive operation.

Finally: I'm not alone in this view. Almost every knowledgeable person on this forum will tell you the same thing. Involving modes in learning basic scales is at best confusing and at worst damaging to a student's overall learning.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:53 AM   #8
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The scale shapes are also called "modes." But you aren't playing modally when you play those shapes. They are all shapes of major scale. You are playing the major scale, not the modes. For example if the progression is C - F - G - C and you are playing the "dorian position" (second shape of the major scale, in this case starting with D), you are still playing C major scale. You can play in all of the positions and you are still in C major so you are not playing in B locrian or E phrygian. And that's really confusing. I mean, there's nothing wrong with calling the shapes with the mode names because they really are the notes in that mode. But it's very misleading. People think "now I'm playing modally" when they play over a C major progression with the "lydian shape" starting with F.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
As I said, this information comes directly from a Berklee College of Music grad, my own guitar teacher, and my years of guitar instruction in my mid 20's. This is a modal form of visually understanding the neck. It took me about 2 or 3 days of practice to memorize the shapes.

Taking 2 or 3 days, or 2 or 3 weeks out of a lifetime of playing to quickly memorize the neck is not going to hinder the development of the ear over a period of 20 years.

I think with the skill level of the OP splitting hairs about intricacies of the modes - which have many more applications than just visual representation - comes down to a matter of when the concept of Occam's Razor is applicable.

And yes the modes do exist in keys. If you are playing in the key of E Minor, playing an E Aeolian in the key of G major most certainly lands you on the exact notes you need to play to stay in key.

"Playing E aeolian in the key of G..." This is exactly what I was talking about. You are playing the G major scale in a different position but it's still a G major scale, not E aeolian in that context (because the key is G major). E minor and G major aren't the same thing. The scales share the same notes but the keys are different and sound different. (E minor key center is E and G major key center is G.) "Aeolian" in this case is just the name of the position, which IMO is pretty stupid.

Modes aren't scale shapes, they were "keys" before major and minor. They were used in pre-17th century back when there was no tonal music. Modal music doesn't have harmony like tonal does.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Good debate i guess...... I know the major and the modes, but i dont like how you can translate them by key. Is there anything else like the pentatonic that is dependent on key?
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Do you even know what a key is?
If not, you need to go back to basic and make sure you understand functional harmony among other things, before you'll have much, if any usage of what is being discussed here. When properly understanding this you'll probably find that you won't need formulas, and that they might seem to limit you more than they help, at least that's my experience.





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Old 11-30-2012, 11:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MatthewKane
This reminds me of a time I saw Petrucci at a guitar clinic about 20 years ago. A guy stood up, said, "With Jimmy Page, I noticed he used micro-division of tonal forms, or quarter, and eighth tones to mathematically represent his emotions. How do you feel about this?"

Petrucci laughed and said, "I just always thought he was a sloppy player."

Occam's Razor: The simplest solution is the best solution. The OP asked if there were scale forms he could learn to play over keys. Yes, the modes.


That example follows Occam's Razor but you don't seem to actually understand why: the razor states that in attempting to explain something, the one that makes the least assumptions is likely to be true. The first person in your example assumes a method, assumes a lot of knowledge, assumes that a mathematical framework for expressing emotion exists and many other things. Petrucci's explanation is likely to be true because it only assumes that Page's technique was sloppy, which isn't even an assumption because it is something that can be proven empirically.

The modes aren't the simplest way of dealing with the issue of learning to play over a certain key because they add extra names and terminology that are not needed. It is simple to define the consonant tones in a key because all you need is the scale that relates to the key. Example: A minor... the A minor scale; the notes ABCDEFG. That's about as simple as it gets.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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I really wish people would stop propagating mode names as fretboard positions. It's possibly the dumbest, most useless and most misleading thing I've seen in the sphere of guitar playing. When I become the dictator of the world the punishment for this will be life imprisonment.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
To each his own. I passed the audition process through an external instructor for Berklee College of Music myself a couple of years ago, and have never really had this issue - or this conversation - raised when instructing and speaking of theory with other college educated guitarists in the last 15 years of professional guitar playing. I generally don't deal in traditional major and minor scales, though, rather preferring to compose in dodecahedral tone set forms. I appreciate your contributions to the conversation.

etc. etc. etc.

Or is he now confused as hell and his guitar is in the corner of the room collecting dust while he plays XBox?


Don't tell me you're a ****ing teacher. I pity your students.

Appeal to authority - even if it is James Hetfield or some **** from Berklee College - is not an argument. All that after banging on about Ockham's Razor.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:55 PM   #14
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looks like i HAVE to respond now.

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Appeal to authority - even if it is James Hetfield or some **** from Berklee College - is not an argument. All that after banging on about Ockham's Razor.


all i have to add is that this is, logically speaking, an extremely valid viewpoint. 20T made a reference to the other thread about how the system in question has been attributed to such great names like leonard bernstein. i could have argued that the system i utilize has been attributed to such great names as bach, mozart, and beethoven, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that anyone could simply counter with the "music has evolved since then" argument, which is completely bullshit (music has absolutely evolved, but decidedly modes have not evolved, unless anyone wants to tell me the major scale is different than it was in haydn's day). music has evolved past modes. people have simply found a way to make them relevant (perhaps inadvertently so, but it's not germane at this point).

anyone is also welcome to tell me that "because it worked for someone famous, it's obviously the best and most correct way" -- at which point, i won't even come in and counter your argument. it should be obvious enough to everyone here that anyone using such an argument does such a sufficient job of proving their own idiocy that they don't need me to point it out.

i've said it before, and i'll say it again - there are two types of music: tonal and atonal. if i write something using the notes D E F G A B C and i resolve to D, the piece is in D minor. could it be said to be a modal piece? or be said to be in D dorian? assuming there are no accidentals, then yes, that is absolutely true - it could be said to be modal, and it could be said to be in D dorian. but ultimately, it's just diluting the fact that the piece is still tonal. what people like to call "modal" music still falls under the category of tonal music, in that it has a tonal center. it's really that simple. if i am playing a piece in a major key that strictly remains diatonic, it could be said to be in the ionian mode (or the major mode). but the second i utilize a D# chromatic passing tone to get to E in the key of D major, i have broken the confines of the mode, and the music is no longer in the ionian mode. it can now only be described as being in a major key (unless someone wants to try and complicate things further and tell me that i'm not in a major key, but simply switching from D major to C phrygian dominant).

even the jazz greats that wrote compositions that push the envelope of tonal music do not eschew it completely. jazz works in that realm can absolutely be described as being tonal. keys will change (and sometimes quite rapidly), but tonal music absolutely allows for such an occurrence. there are times when analyzing such a piece would be easier, less confusing, or otherwise neater using CST rather than a key-based approach, and that is the truth. however, this has nothing to do with modes, but scales. it is not chord-mode theory, it is chord-scale theory.

modes have nothing to do with positions of the fretboard - they're two completely separate ideas. whether or not a mode is being utilized has nothing to do with any physical aspect of playing guitar -- it has to do with the harmony and overall context of the music going on around it.

for a simple ii-V-I in C, it is possible to think of playing over it using D dorian, G mixolydian, and C ionian. first off, let me say that even if this approach were considered, this would not make it modal. i think that's pretty obvious to everyone. but let me get to my real point - the complete driving factor behind my school of thought is efficiency. why should i think of using three scales over three chords when the entire thing is so neat that i can simply use one? this is a basic example, but if you make things more complex, it will still stand true. note how i said that there are times when using CST will be preferable to sticking to a key-based approach. this does not mean that those complex pieces are not in a key (or keys, as it were), simply that it may be neater to analyze them using chord-scale theory. to speak figuratively, you will not be looking at the piece in its true form, but converting it in a way that makes sense to you. think of it like listening to a song in a foreign language. say you pop gangnam style on and you spontaneously make up nonsense lyrics based on what you hear. you have something, but it is not the original work.

there is much more to the issue at hand, but i don't feel a prolonged discussion about any such matter to be necessary.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rather_dashing
I know all of the pentatonic and the boxes attached, but are there any other patterns or structures you can play that are guaranteed to go with a song based on the key?


THe major or minor scale that matches the key of the song.

However, it has to be emphasized that music doesn't flow from a pattern on the fretboard, it flows from your ear and brain. While everybody spends a small amount of time learning patterns as patterns, you want to move as quickly as practically possible to NOT thinking of a scale as a collection of "guaranteed" safe notes, but rather as a collection of notes that have their own individual relationships to the tonic note.

That's how you make real music.

Worrying about modes is silly. Yes, I'm in favor of learning the fretboard but the mode-names way is confusing and out-dated. (Nearly everyone uses the CAGED system these days). But ultimately, learning the shapes is a part of the road, not the destination. The destination is making music with your mind, which means training your ear.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
THe major or minor scale that matches the key of the song.

However, it has to be emphasized that music doesn't flow from a pattern on the fretboard, it flows from your ear and brain. While everybody spends a small amount of time learning patterns as patterns, you want to move as quickly as practically possible to NOT thinking of a scale as a collection of "guaranteed" safe notes, but rather as a collection of notes that have their own individual relationships to the tonic note.

That's how you make real music.

Worrying about modes is silly. Yes, I'm in favor of learning the fretboard but the mode-names way is confusing and out-dated. (Nearly everyone uses the CAGED system these days). But ultimately, learning the shapes is a part of the road, not the destination. The destination is making music with your mind, which means training your ear.


i just realized that while i gave clear and outlining definitions, i didn't actually help TS, so let me do so by saying that this post is pretty much dead-on.

ultimately, all of this theory stuff is 90% pointless if you don't have the ear to match it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #17
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:05 PM   #18
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a couple of things i feel i need to bring up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
The "appeal to authority" argument is something used by Redditors to validate academically unverifiable opinions. I'd love to see an attorney in a court room use the appeal to authority argument against a credible expert witness and see how far they get. As a documentary filmmaker if I were to cite "appeal to authority" in one of my films I would be instantly discredited.


you're 100% correct. but here's the thing, he's not the one using the "appeal to authority argument" -- you are. by claiming that your teacher is a berklee graduate (and therefore insinuating that your teacher [although he probably was skilled, i've never seen an unskilled musician come out of berklee] had all the correct information and knowledge by assuming that everything berklee teaches is 100% correct), you're appealing to authority. also, don't tell me that every teacher knows exactly what they're talking about, even at a higher institution. the institutions of religion have been around for thousands of years and just by their very existence, some (if not all, but that's a debate for another time and place) must be completely incorrect. everyone around here knows i'm an atheist, so i won't get into that.

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I suppose we could handle this in the way they handled things in Six String Samurai and just get our guitars out, have another person contribute a backing track. You use your method of writing, and I will use mine, and then see where we both really are on the totem pole of guitar playing. I'll restrict the use of traditional theory in my submission, while constructing the solo 100% visually.

I'll even restrict myself to using three fingers to give you a fighting chance.


no one is saying that the patterns and the visual methods don't work - in fact, they're a necessary component of the physical aspects of playing guitar (even if you don't learn them explicitly, you're bound to arrive at them conclusively sooner or later). they're simply saying that they're not modes. it's kind of false - i mean, if you play a major scale, you're by definition playing an ionian mode, but that doesn't make the music you create modal by any means. once the bush has been beaten around satisfactorily, that's the point that's really being made.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MatthewKane
Guy 1: Two plus two is four.

Guy 2: No, Two plus two is five

Guy 1: Well, my math teacher has instructed me that two plus two is four.

Guy 2: Appeal to authority!

Guy 1: OK, well, I'm kind of broke can you loan me a two plus two dollar bill?

Guy 2: Sorry bro, I can't. I got fired out from my job because I kept clocking an hour early during my five hour shifts.


There's a mathematical proof that 1+1=2, I'm sure that could be extended to 2+2=4. The appeal to authority doesn't render something false, it is a call for actual proof.

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As far as the challenge: it stands. This guy has been picking at me for two days, even reporting one of my posts because he felt I was "advertising" which is another laughable statement. I want him to take all his vast book knowledge and then translate it into actual technique. If he can't then he should probably shut the **** up and learn something about what it really takes to master the guitar.


I love that you think this is somehow personal.

I reported that post because by the rules of this forum you were advertising your youtube channel, your thread was locked so the staff agree with me. You then said something inaccurate so I picked you up on it. I'm not picking at you and frankly I find it laughable that you think I've picked up some kind of personal vendetta against you in the space of two days.

I should probably also mention that ability is not a prerequisite of criticism and at no point did I say that I could play any better than you. I didn't mention anyone's actual playing ability.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:41 PM   #20
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For the record, my resume is all work done on national television projects. My YouTube channel is used for housing my various reels. I have a rather decided distaste for YouTube and the false sense of credibility that it gives independent filmmakers and YouTube users.

Example:

Find a YouTube video that has 7,000,000 million views over a 90 day time frame. Then, turn on your television and watch an episode of Frontline on PBS. That episode of Frontline generates 7 million weekly viewers. The numbers YouTube generates are misleading, and frankly, they are undesirable to me at this stage in my professional life.

If I were in fact advertising my YouTube channel, why do I have videos that only have 3 or 4 views? I have two fan sites with over 1,600 fans, my blog is generating about 100 - 200 views a day depending on the content. On top of that I am well known for personally promoting my work through personal interaction and touring.

I was most certainly not trying to promote my YouTube channel, and your lack of understanding of the methods of promotion for national projects led you to assume that I was self promoting.

YouTube is a joke to me, seriously.


You posted an unsolicited link to your youtube channel. That is advertising by the site's rules. Again: the moderators of the forum agreed with me, else your thread wouldn't have been locked.

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I'm not claiming to be some big shot either. I starved, struggled, sacrificed my family and friends, my stability, my financial security for what I have. I remember being stuck in an RV in El Centro for 10 days in 110 degree weather in a McDonald's parking lot with not even enough money to buy one double cheesburger to split between two people.


Don't care.

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You made an assumption about me, reported it, and then the mod delivered another unfair, and completely untrue assumption - that I was somehow bothering people in music stores when - in fact - I was actually sitting there trying to decompress from just getting attacked with a knife by two Rainbow Kids 30 minutes before I walking into the store, minding my own business when no less than three people walked up asking about that scale.

I really don't appreciate being treated like that, or the insult that it's somehow not possible for people to be genuinely interested in my playing skills. In addition to suggesting that I am so unknown and in need of attention that I would have to resort to trolling music store customers and employees for attention. I have 1,600 people in my face all day, everyday. When I go to the music store it's to spend time by myself. Now when someone in a music store asks about the run I cam direct them to that video, and then have more time to enjoy my very limited personal time.


All I assumed was that you were posting a link to youtube and it wasn't in reply to or asking a question. Nothing more. If you have a problem with the mods take it up with them. I also don't care about what you were doing before or after; that has no relevance here.

I would, however, suggest that if you want personal time you take it somewhere that isn't a public space. Seems to me you'd have considerably fewer people bothering you if you did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
You said you "pity" MY students. How is that not personal? Again, if you think you know something about the guitar, the mechanics of playing guitar, and have the nerve to be the first human being in my whole entire life to ever "pity" the thousands of people I have met over 300,000 miles of travel while working as a professional filmmaker, and film composer, the get your guitar out, and let me hear what it is you're claiming I should be instructing to the people who endlessly come up to me when I am trying to be left the hell alone for five minutes of my day.


Look back over the thread. I didn't say that, take that issue up with Jehannum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum
My statement as a working professional guitarist is that you could learn what I taught in my response, never learn a lick of theory for the rest of your life, have an extremely talented ear, and go further professionally than someone who pours over volumes of theoretical information.


I'm sure you could... but I don't care, you'd still be wrong in your continued use of the word "mode".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum
Show me with your guitar not your mouth, and I will do the same in return. If not, back off of me, let me make posts, and please refrain from insulting both my career, and my experience by claiming that I would somehow take a giant step back in my professional journey and begin "promoting my YouTube channel."

The most interesting thing in your response is you saying "I accused you of doing something, and even the mods agree." I believe that would be an example of you "appealing to authority."


That would be a good point... if that part of this was a logical argument. You. Broke. The. Forum. Rules. This isn't conjecture on my part, it's not something you can argue with because there is no logical backing to this to argue with: it is solid fact. You are not allowed to post links to outside websites unless it is answering or asking a question. You were doing neither, thus a rule was broken for which your thread was locked. This is like arguing with someone who's telling you that a judge has passed sentence on you: the sentence has been passed, whether you like it or not.

The appeal to authority is a logical fallacy generally of the form "X says Y, therefore Y is true". I'm not saying that someone is saying that you broke the rules therefore it is true, I am suggesting that you broke the rules and the fact that your thread was locked is evidence for this. This has happened many times before as well; we get people posting all kinds of videos here, from random backing track jams to actual adverts to lesson material... I report them when I see them and they always get locked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewKane
Screw theory, you don't need it.


Nope. It sure helps though, I like understanding what I'm doing.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Ittei
Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Foo
A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.


Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr : 11-30-2012 at 05:50 PM.
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