#1
I've been writing stuff and it sounds pretty good. I have about 4 songs but it's starting to get a little repeatitive... slow build up... same riff going on and the drum speeds it up. I want to write more interesting things.

Do I need to know music theory and scales and all that to make good songs that switch up a little. All the modes and everything would probably help right?

I just want to write something a little different.
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#3
Depends on what you define as "better".

But generally speaking, yes you do.
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#5
You don't need it but the more you know about theory the better you will be in terms of writing stuff.
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#6
it'll make it easier and faster

and give you more ideas of things you could do
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#7
If you have a good enough ear you don't need to know any theory. You would just play what you hear and not worry if it's dorian or jewish. I would advise you to work some on theory but do twice as much ear training.
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#8
Quote by Led man32
If you have a good enough ear you don't need to know any theory. You would just play what you hear and not worry if it's dorian or jewish. I would advise you to work some on theory but do twice as much ear training.


Ear training is something that you will learn as you learn music theory. Yes, it is more important, but wouldn't rather be able to compose faster due to theory, instead of sitting there hitting random notes until you find something that sounds good?
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#9
The short answer to your question would be no, you do not need to know music theory in order to compose music better. Technically, you need not know any formal knowledge of music to be able to compose it.

On the other hand, having an understanding of music theory could offer you new perspectives you might not have acquired on your own. Taking a course on classical music theory could open you up to new harmonic structures or whatnot, as learning jazz music theory could inspire you to include more unconventional rhythms in your music. I say if you feel that learning music theory will help improve your music, then I say go for it.
#10
You don't NEED it. But I would definitely learn it. People always see theory as a set of rules that you HAVE to follow, and they supposedly choke your creativity. However, I see it as a whole new world of possibilities. And that's what it is. It tells you why things sound the way they do.
#11
Quote by Jehuty
You don't NEED it. But I would definitely learn it. People always see theory as a set of rules that you HAVE to follow, and they supposedly choke your creativity. However, I see it as a whole new world of possibilities. And that's what it is. It tells you why things sound the way they do.


That's another point I want to touch on. People say that, but how many of those people actually have had music lessons? Look at people such as Joe Satriani and John Petrucci (or all of Dream Theater, for that matter). They studied theory. Does it really seem like they're struggling for creativity? Especially compared to those that have no theory knowledge at all?

Also, many people know theory, whether they realize it or not. Anybody ever play 12-Bar Blues?
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#12
I'd say Dream Theater is struggling for creativity, because they are possibly the most boring band on the planet. But I digress...
A wise man once said that the key is to learn all the theory you can, and then forget it and just play the guitar. While that's a noble goal, for the purpose of composing, theory can help. First of all, if you learn some jazz theory, you'll be introduced to 7th chords and all their wonderful extensions, which isn't something you'll see too often in pop music formats. So it'll expand your horizons. Also, just by knowing what notes you can use in a certain key, you'll have some shortcuts available, rather than having to try out every random combination of notes you can find. And lastly, it's said that you have to know the rules to break them. This is true for music as well.
#13
Theory helps you compose better.

For example, starting and finishing on the root chord sounds good.
Including various scales and modes, and using relative minors as well as their respective majors etc.

That's just a little snippet.
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#14
theory is good so you know how and why what you write sounds the way it does and it can help you findfaults in demos before you can perfect it
#15
Marty Freidman said (I don't remember exactly how he said it) that people were way too caught up with trying to learn scales and modes and other theory when they don't have to. I don't know jack **** about theory but I am still able to come up with music, some people may like and some people won't. As long as what you create sounds good and you think people may like it then use it.

Don't think you HAVE to learn theory if you don't want to.
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#16
Unless you're writing avant garde atonal jazz freakouts, which you're probably not, pretty much every song you write will use established theory, whether you know it or not. Actually learning theory, especially chord extensions and how intervals relate to each other, just allows you to identify what you're doing and put what's in your head into music without as much trial and error. I'd recommend it.
#17
Quote by Banana Man
I've been writing stuff and it sounds pretty good. I have about 4 songs but it's starting to get a little repeatitive... slow build up... same riff going on and the drum speeds it up. I want to write more interesting things.

Do I need to know music theory and scales and all that to make good songs that switch up a little. All the modes and everything would probably help right?

I just want to write something a little different.


Well, i certainly understand what you mean, where sometimes you think it's almost the same thing, but it's easy to write a different song.

You pointed out what makes them the same, so one thing you Could do, would be to simply begin hard, then work it back down, then back up, or have slow drums the whole time, or just keep the same intensity for the verse and chrous, then the 3rd verse could be all hardcore or something. There are millions of ways to make songs sound different.

But also, i think that it helps if from the beginning of the song, you try to write a song differently, don't let yourself fall into some pattern. If you write lyrics, try writing lyrics with a melody, then guitar, etc, then sometimes try to begin with a riff, build a song, then lyrics over the top.

If you set yourself out in the beginning to make a "different" song, it's much, much, easier.

hope i helped,

A.D
#18
It depends on what style of music. Some genres are more dependant on theory then others.
It also depends heavily on your ear, how good you are at picking up stuff naturally. If you are doing well without theory, just keep going!

Though if you want to be an unreal solo player, the theory is essential.
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#19
Quote by 11thHour
It depends on what style of music. Some genres are more dependant on theory then others.
It also depends heavily on your ear, how good you are at picking up stuff naturally. If you are doing well without theory, just keep going!

Though if you want to be an unreal solo player, the theory is essential.


How so? Almost all music uses theory, whether the composer realizes this or not.
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Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#21
Quote by Black Star
How so? Almost all music uses theory, whether the composer realizes this or not.


Yeah but that isn't what he was trying to say. He was saying basically "Dream Theater depend on theory more than Fall Out Boy"
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#22
Quote by shadesofanger
Yeah but that isn't what he was trying to say. He was saying basically "Dream Theater depend on theory more than Fall Out Boy"


Once again, how so? Dream Theater just uses more obscure aspects of theory, but they still use the same amount of theory, nonetheless.
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Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#23
Quote by Black Star
Once again, how so? Dream Theater just uses more obscure aspects of theory, but they still use the same amount of theory, nonetheless.


"more obscure aspects of theory"

That is what I was trying to say, and was what 11thHour was getting at.
Quote by hostilekid
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Quote by GoldenBlues
So I was wondering, are black people capable feeling love? I mean can their brains comprehend that kind of emotion, or are they not programmed that way.
#24
Quote by shadesofanger
"more obscure aspects of theory"

That is what I was trying to say, and was what 11thHour was getting at.


But it's not "more theory". Theory is just as important in both cases. That is what I was getting at.
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Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#25
I think the point he was trying to make was 'Pete Wentz wouldn't know a G#7 b5b9 chord if it hit him in the face, but he doesn't need to. They're playing simpler stuff than Dream Theater, and thus there is less theory involved (i.e. if you never use a 7th chord, you don't need to know about them).'

Theory is still important, but all they use are the basics. So if you want to play pop-punk, you can get by with less understanding of musical theory.
#26
Quote by Samzawadi
I think the point he was trying to make was 'Pete Wentz wouldn't know a G#7 b5b9 chord if it hit him in the face, but he doesn't need to. They're playing simpler stuff than Dream Theater, and thus there is less theory involved (i.e. if you never use a 7th chord, you don't need to know about them).'

Theory is still important, but all they use are the basics. So if you want to play pop-punk, you can get by with less understanding of musical theory.


I never denied any of that, but that's the point. 11thHour said that it depends on what style of music you play as to whether you need theory or not, which is what sparked the argument.
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Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....