#1
I'm not sure if anyone has had this "problem" of sorts before, but here goes. I have written a couple riffs, which I think are pretty cool. The problem is, I don't what scale they're on, which means I have trouble writing parts for it. The riffs were the product of thought, or something like that. Basically, the riffs kind of "came" to me, like I figured them out in my head (which is probably why I think they're cool =P). I finally figured them out, but any tips for the future, because this seems to be one of the ways I'm going to be writing.
#4
Or play your riff in the background and find out which note feels like the root (the note which you play that fits best and sounds like the end). Chances are it either major or minor. So once you have found the root (home note), play both major and minor scales and find out which one fits.
#5
Honestly, if you're coming up with "cool" riffs even without knowing what key they're in then I would consider not finding out. I sometimes find scales are limiting and that I accidentally concentrate too much on fitting the next part of the song into the scale then actually hearing what sounds good.
(Make sense? Sorry if it doesn't... I got 2 hours of sleep last night x.x)
Jesus loves you.
#6
Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to learn theory. Theory is in no way restricting if you know what it actually means. It describes a set of conventions and nomenclature that we use. It do not dictate what you play; it described what you played.

Anyway, I like the theory lesson in my sig.
#7
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to learn theory. Theory is in no way restricting if you know what it actually means. It describes a set of conventions and nomenclature that we use. It do not dictate what you play; it described what you played.

Anyway, I like the theory lesson in my sig.


Not to start an argument here, but I find that when first learning theory, I felt that it sort of limited me, because since you learn it on your own, I thought everything had to fit into theory. Now, I've learned that it goes music then theory, not vice versa. I still recommend learning it, but unless you're careful, you might fall in the rut I did

Once again, not to start an argument.
#8
If you have to start with "not to start an argument," you're going to start an argument. If you learn theory properly with what I said in mind, all it does is explain what you played and what has often sounded good in similar situations when you get stuck.
#9
Quote by Austyn6661
Not to start an argument here, but I find that when first learning theory, I felt that it sort of limited me, because since you learn it on your own, I thought everything had to fit into theory. Now, I've learned that it goes music then theory, not vice versa. I still recommend learning it, but unless you're careful, you might fall in the rut I did

Once again, not to start an argument.


You already started the argument loool.

On a different note, then it's not the music theory limiting you, but it is YOU that is limiting you.

Staying out of the rut is easy.

COMMON SENSE

play w/e you want, even if it's out of tune and played with ur feet or w/e. It's just a tool.


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#10
I say, know theory, but make sure you watch for the rut.

Like Prof. Satch says - 'Theory and technique should be the foundation, then come freeform expression'

Or something like that.
#11
Theory can't limit you if you just know that it describes what you've played and what would be common to follow what you played; it does not dictate what you play.
#12
Quote by Norphin
I'm not sure if anyone has had this "problem" of sorts before, but here goes. I have written a couple riffs, which I think are pretty cool. The problem is, I don't what scale they're on, which means I have trouble writing parts for it. The riffs were the product of thought, or something like that. Basically, the riffs kind of "came" to me, like I figured them out in my head (which is probably why I think they're cool =P). I finally figured them out, but any tips for the future, because this seems to be one of the ways I'm going to be writing.



you could find the right notes to solo with the same way you found your chord progression....... with your ear/brain.

or you could post the chord progression, and maybe someone here can help you figure out what key it's in.


Quote by Austyn6661
Not to start an argument here, but I find that when first learning theory, I felt that it sort of limited me, because since you learn it on your own, I thought everything had to fit into theory. Now, I've learned that it goes music then theory, not vice versa. I still recommend learning it, but unless you're careful, you might fall in the rut I did

Once again, not to start an argument.



yeah, that's actually quite common. When people first get into theory ( and sometimes long after that), they often tend to look at everything within the narrow scope that they happen to understand (or think they understand). I think the key is to understand that theory is a tool that helps us understand what's been done with music. like you said music first then theory..... that's how I see it as well.

Quote by bangoodcharlote
Theory can't limit you if you just know that it describes what you've played and what would be common to follow what you played; it does not dictate what you play.


if you choose your next chord/note based on what theory tells you would be "common", isn't that kind of like letting theory dictate what you play?

I agree though, theory doesn't limit you. people limit themselves when they have a misunderstanding of what theory is and/or when they restricted their compositions based on what they perceive to be theoretically "correct".
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 1, 2009,
#13
Quote by GuitarMunky
if you choose your next chord/note based on what theory tells you would be "common", isn't that kind of like letting theory dictate what you play?
Sort of, but theory isn't forcing you to use what is common. If you play something that makes a lot of sense from a theoretical standpoint, that is okay. I've been confused when writing music and just thought about what makes sense in the situation from a purely theoretical standpoint and I've often found something good.

I know you know all that, so the post is more of a response to what you said for everyone else to read.
#14
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Sort of, but theory isn't forcing you to use what is common. If you play something that makes a lot of sense from a theoretical standpoint, that is okay. I've been confused when writing music and just thought about what makes sense in the situation from a purely theoretical standpoint and I've often found something good.

I know you know all that, so the post is more of a response to what you said for everyone else to read.


well, theory doesn't "force" you to do anything (how could it?) but, what you just described is using your theory knowledge to dictate what you write. I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing, I'm just calling it for what it is.