Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 12-13-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
tukk04
UG's Neil Young
 
tukk04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Feel versus Theory

When improvising a solo or even playing in general, do you use theory and concisely think about what note should come next or do you feel your way through? Do you believe one way to be better, both to have their place, or a combination is best?

I've been getting into jazz lately (I normally play grungy stuff and folk) and I'm finding that starting with a root or octave and feeling my way through a solo using "wrong" notes as transitions or sliding/bending into a better fitting note is more natural to me than purposely incorporating "correct" scales, so it's also a matter of using your ears or using your knowledge to decide what to play.
__________________
Reverbnation
Facebook

Soundcloud
tukk04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
Vlasco
Turn of the century man!
 
Vlasco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hatfield, PA
They're not mutually exclusive; once you've got a good handle on theory it becomes something you use on feel. It takes a lot of intellectual experimentation and exercises to get there but the end result isn't an exercise.
Vlasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
GS LEAD 5
Registered User
 
GS LEAD 5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calcutta
I think that 'feel" is just something that people use to define "intuition". I've notice that while composing, after repeated tries at it on Guitar Pro, by repeated I meant a few months, writing a solo becomes less selecting random notes to see what they sound like, and more like you know instinctively what effect adding that note, or changing this note is going to have on what you are writing. I guess that same thing affects improvising on a guitar....with practice, you know what interval sounds like before you hit that note, and so you can move out of strictly using scales and using accidentals more often without making a complete hash of it all.
__________________
Gear:
ESP/LTD H338
Digitech RP500
Peavey KB4



DSP's FTW

You Liek Digitech?
8>7>6. ERG'S FTW.
GS LEAD 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
Artemis Entreri
Panned
 
Artemis Entreri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
I play what I feel with applied theory. I've studied it for so long that I've internalized it to the point that I don't have to think about the implications of chords and I don't have to play soething before I know what it's going to sound like. I just hear it and do it.
As for jazz, the "correct scales" don't REALLY exist. Of course there are commonly used ones. But it's more about changes through time and following the chords (and more importantly, bass) than playing scales.
__________________
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Artemis Entreri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
tukk04
UG's Neil Young
 
tukk04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
I play what I feel with applied theory. I've studied it for so long that I've internalized it to the point that I don't have to think about the implications of chords and I don't have to play soething before I know what it's going to sound like. I just hear it and do it.
As for jazz, the "correct scales" don't REALLY exist. Of course there are commonly used ones. But it's more about changes through time and following the chords (and more importantly, bass) than playing scales.

Well that's how I feel about it, but I don't know more than some basic theory. I go by what sounds good and sounds like it fits, kind of just skipping the "internalizing theory part".
__________________
Reverbnation
Facebook

Soundcloud
tukk04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
ouchies
UG's OG
 
ouchies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA, Central New Jersey
You can know theory and not know that you know theory. For example, knowing what it sounds to resolve a sus4 to a 3rd and playing it on guitar b/c thats what you hear in your head would be an application of theory.
__________________
Tearitup
ouchies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
tukk04
UG's Neil Young
 
tukk04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouchies
You can know theory and not know that you know theory. For example, knowing what it sounds to resolve a sus4 to a 3rd and playing it on guitar b/c thats what you hear in your head would be an application of theory.

So, basically using theory by ear?
__________________
Reverbnation
Facebook

Soundcloud
tukk04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
AeolianWolf
Tonal Vigilante
 
AeolianWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York City
Quote:
Originally Posted by tukk04
So, basically using theory by ear?


that's the most useful way to use it.

you're actually using theory - you just don't know how to describe the concepts you're using.

playing in what you call "correct scales" isn't really using theory - in fact, it can get boring really fast unless your phrasing is really good.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister A.J.
Dude, AeolianWolf knows what he's talking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elintasokas
Dude, AeolianWolf knows what he's talking about.
i smell a theme.
AeolianWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
Artemis Entreri
Panned
 
Artemis Entreri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by tukk04
Well that's how I feel about it, but I don't know more than some basic theory. I go by what sounds good and sounds like it fits, kind of just skipping the "internalizing theory part".


Well the difference is I know what "fits" and I can choose to go by that or not. That gives you the control to play the expected and the unexpected. The internalization means I'm not simply grabbing notes that sound good because they sound good but I'm using them for a specific purpose which I know before hand and which evolves throughout the piece.
__________________
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Artemis Entreri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
HotspurJr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tukk04
Well that's how I feel about it, but I don't know more than some basic theory. I go by what sounds good and sounds like it fits, kind of just skipping the "internalizing theory part".


Most of the time - and maybe you're the exception - when guitarists say this, I usually find they are spectacularly uninteresting soloists. Obviously, there are exceptions, but this tends to be the sort of thing "shape players" play.

You need to achieve an intuitive mastery of your instrument. However you get there is fine, but you need to know exactly what the notes are going to sound like before you play them.

Studying theory is a part of how most players get to that level of intuitive mastery.
HotspurJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 02:39 PM   #11
tukk04
UG's Neil Young
 
tukk04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Most of the time - and maybe you're the exception - when guitarists say this, I usually find they are spectacularly uninteresting soloists. Obviously, there are exceptions, but this tends to be the sort of thing "shape players" play.

You need to achieve an intuitive mastery of your instrument. However you get there is fine, but you need to know exactly what the notes are going to sound like before you play them.

Studying theory is a part of how most players get to that level of intuitive mastery.

Well thanks, I would hope I'm the exception but I doubt it.

I use to rely on the box for improvising in key but I'm finding that reckless abandon and correction works for me, at least to my judgement. To anyone else I probably suck.
__________________
Reverbnation
Facebook

Soundcloud
tukk04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
HotspurJr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Work on your ear. The idea should be that you know exactly what sound your guitar is going to make before you make it.

That's the goal. Few people are 100% there. Practicing stuff like singing lines, then playing them, will help. Transcribing helps. Anything that develops the mind-fretboard link.
HotspurJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2012, 03:54 PM   #13
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
well guys i think we can safely say we finally found a topic we can agree on and productively help the TS in without blowing a gasket
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 03:43 AM   #14
El_Lobo_1
Drunk And Very Disorderly
 
El_Lobo_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Columbia, Mississippi
use both. learn your basic modes, scales, and such so you have a platform to build on.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by arsonite
I flash my ridiculously white teeth at you in contempt Sir!



Quote:
Originally Posted by son_of_bodom
OT: variety is the spice of life, my genitals don't discriminate on the basis of religion.
El_Lobo_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 05:34 AM   #15
JimDawson
Storywriter, Guitar nerd.
 
JimDawson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
I have heard some people say that when it comes to writing or improvising you have to learn to let go of what you've learned.

Wouldn't say that's totally true, but I guess the moral of the story is that you should at some point have these concepts down to the point where you can create more things which "sound right" rather than overthinking it and going in circles like I do sometimes.

My $.02
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I ****ed ereythang up...

Last edited by JimDawson : 12-16-2012 at 05:36 AM.
JimDawson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 10:40 AM   #16
Xter
Plays Guitar Way To Much
 
Xter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Lobo_1
use both. learn your basic modes, scales, and such so you have a platform to build on.


Don't listen to this guy. He obviously doesn't know theory and/or is ignorant to the subject being there is two shiz storms in MT going on about Modes.

Modes = Useless knowledge in any manner. Train your ear.

And don't start with scale modes. It's just different intervals and doesn't mean anything. It's the equal to one of those "exotic" scales. Just different intervals between the notes.
__________________
Gibson Les Paul Custom (Aged White)
Custom Kramer Baretta
Custom Fender Strat
Epiphone Black Beauty
Epiphone AJ
Marshall JCM900 4201
Blackheart Little Giant
MXR Dist. +
MXR Six Band EQ
MXR Phase 90

Last edited by Xter : 12-17-2012 at 10:43 AM.
Xter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 10:45 AM   #17
griffRG7321
Forever Bulking
 
griffRG7321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Darkplace Hospital
Theory is descriptive, you can't write using a descriptive tool.
__________________
Quote:
Mario 'Big Dawg' Williams: "I come to you, venerable master, in order to be introduced to the rules and principles of music"

Barbeesha Latoya Jackson: "Awh hell naw mutha fuka, u wanna learn da art of composition all up in here?
griffRG7321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #18
Freepower
v It's Back! :D
 
Freepower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin
Quote:
I've been getting into jazz lately (I normally play grungy stuff and folk) and I'm finding that starting with a root or octave and feeling my way through a solo using "wrong" notes as transitions or sliding/bending into a better fitting note is more natural to me than purposely incorporating "correct" scales, so it's also a matter of using your ears or using your knowledge to decide what to play.


To be honest, a lot of the "correct" scales are basically a way of describing exactly what you're doing - when jazz players say "bebop scale", "blues scale", "lydian" - it's pretty much using the funny notes to get to the good ones.

You should always be developing your ears and your knowledge of theory - they reinforce each other! In my experience, the guys with the best ears have great theory knowledge and vice versa.

(not to say there isn't a pile of fairly clueless guys with decent ears )
Freepower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #19
Blind In 1 Ear
Git-Man
 
Blind In 1 Ear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by tukk04
When improvising a solo or even playing in general, do you use theory and concisely think about what note should come next or do you feel your way through? Do you believe one way to be better, both to have their place, or a combination is best?

I've been getting into jazz lately (I normally play grungy stuff and folk) and I'm finding that starting with a root or octave and feeling my way through a solo using "wrong" notes as transitions or sliding/bending into a better fitting note is more natural to me than purposely incorporating "correct" scales, so it's also a matter of using your ears or using your knowledge to decide what to play.

you don't USE theory, theory explains what you have done. then you can take advantage of what others have done and apply the ideas to your playing. it has nothing to do with feelings.

you'll progress faster if you learn what others have done rather than figuring it all out for yourself. why not take advantage of hundreds of years of musical development? why be ignorant on purpose? and no one said it's one or the other. i still take chances, make mistakes, try new things off the cuff, experiment, but i'll also try to learn stuff from theory as well. the key is to take those concepts, apply them, then mess with them and find new ways of using that concept.
__________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/timmy47?feature=mhee

check out my youtube page for some songs.
Blind In 1 Ear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 08:42 PM   #20
:-D
hi
 
:-D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Earth
any answer is wrong regardless of what it says
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archeo Avis
You just won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockaholic97
Thanks! I wish everyone on Ultimate Guitar could be more like you!
:-D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:52 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.