#1
I've spent the past few days lurking around this forum trying to learn as much as I can about theory, but it seems I'm kind of stuck. I know the modes, I know how scales work, I understand the circle of fifths, I kind of know where all the notes are on the fretboard, and I understand intervals. The only things I'm having trouble with are chords, but I figure I just need to re-read a few things and it will make more sense. The only thing I'm wondering is, what's next? I have no idea what to do now. If it helps at all, I'm mostly interested in learning composing techniques to make me sound better, since I'm not exactly content with my current level of songwriting.

Also I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to implement scales and modes into my playing. I mean, I know how they work, and how they sound and all, but I just don't know what makes them so useful. I mean, I hear people talking about "oh yeah, that solo I wrote had some phrygian and mixolydian stuff in it," but how do they put it in there? I don't get it at all
#3
Quote by yomoma21
the simple answer is: USE YOUR EARS


It's also completely useless.

TS: Can you read music? If you can't, you need to learn. I strongly suggest picking up a good introductory theory textbook such as Piston's Harmony. It will get you started on everything you need to know about tonal music.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
There is no next. There is the option of making music that was available to you from the start of you picking up your insrument, and learning theory is crap unless you apply it in some form to understand it.

The "Use your ears" comment may not have been unnecessary. You got to train your ears. Learn relative pitch. Learn how intervals sound. Hear the intervals in all types of chords. Training your ear will help you develop your compositional skills.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#5
Quote by Archeo Avis
It's also completely useless.

TS: Can you read music? If you can't, you need to learn. I strongly suggest picking up a good introductory theory textbook such as Piston's Harmony. It will get you started on everything you need to know about tonal music.

Yeah I can read music fine, just not very quickly.

And Silver I'll definitely try that. I'm surprised I never considered doing that
#7
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
yeah, what kind of noob uses their ears


That's not what I said and you damn well know it.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Feb 18, 2009,
#8
Quote by blacksurgeband
And Silver I'll definitely try that. I'm surprised I never considered doing that

If only I'd follow my own advice...
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#9
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
yeah, what kind of noob uses their ears


TS was asking how he can expand his theory knowledge. 'use your ears' isn't relevant.
#10
Quote by griffRG7321
TS was asking how he can expand his theory knowledge. 'use your ears' isn't relevant.

Theory is useless unless you use your ears to understand what you're trying to learn. Though just saying "Use your ears" doesn't help at all.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#11
Quote by SilverDark
Theory is useless unless you use your ears to understand what you're trying to learn. Though just saying "Use your ears" doesn't help at all.


that's what i meant, i suppose i didn't word it as well as i could have done.
#12
a good place to see alto of theory, harmony, voice leading, chord inversions in practice is study the songs of Cole Porter & Gershwin...(two very prolific composers)

you will quickly see almost every harmonic device used and some of the best melodies ever written..if you can locate some of the original sheet music it will show the key changes, which are used in many of their songs.

though these songs are written years ago..they are timeless and the harmony & melody will always be inspiring to new composers/songwriters...

many of their works are solo guitar friendly and chord melodies are very possible...enjoy

play well

wolf
#13
Quote by Archeo Avis
It's also completely useless.



Using your ears for aural art is useless?

I don't think so

Quote by SilverDark
Theory is useless unless you use your ears to understand what you're trying to learn. Though just saying "Use your ears" doesn't help at all.


It's probably the only answer he hasn't got yet though (especially from here in MT).

It might be the one thing he's missing, that will give the proper context for all the things he's been reading about.


TS:

definitely start connecting the theory to the actual music. Otherwise the theory is "useless" as suggest by SilverDark.

In the end it's what it sounds like that matters. Regardless of how much theory you know, it's your ears/brain that has to choose the notes, not theory.

So what I'm suggesting is to take the time to assess how well you understand the context of the theory you've learned. Try to make the connection as much as possible. Don't move on to new concepts until you have a solid foundation, one in which you truly understand in a musical context.

Also if you really want to get into theory. Get a teacher or take a class. UG has some good info, but it would really be helpful for you to have a good teacher that can guide you.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 19, 2009,
#14
Using your ears for aural art is useless?


I don't recall saying anything even remotely similar to that. Are you completely illiterate as well as petty?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#16
Yeah you will want to work on your ear training more than anything. Start off by identifying intervals and scales by ear. Transcribe some songs. This will make you start hearing ideas in your head then all you have to do is play it. Nowhere in there do you need to know major minor and all that written theory its what it sounds like is what really matters. To help with learning intervals it is VERY important to sing them as well as the scales and the riffs you are transcribing this makes you internalize what you hear.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#17
well, first off you need to be sure you actually know all those things you listed. you need to know them and you need to understand how they work, and fool around with them on your guitar to make sure you understand them.

it sounds to me like you've mostly been reading and not actually trying everything out on the guitar and practicing.