#1
So I'm a new member and I'm checking out the first couple pages of topics on the forum. Haven't seen this topic so I thought I might start it. Is there anything wrong with learning to play by learning other's work. Am I missing something by only covering songs and not making up my own stuff?
#2
Of course not. It's important to learn metal songs if you want to make good metal songs, for example. It is specially important also to learn to play solos note by note, so you can learn the phrasing the guitarist uses and then insert it on your own playing.

Bottom line: it's important to do both. Get inspired, learn songs that you like and that you which you have written and from there, make your own stuff. Good luck.
#3
Learning other people's stuff is good for picking up new techniques, learning what notes work together, etc. Once you have the basics down you'll be far better at writing your own stuff.
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#4
My other concern is this: I've been playing for a couple years now on and off again, but the last 6 months or so I've gotten pretty serious as I've learned techniques that I never thought I'd possibly be able to play. I'm at the point where I feel like I should know the notes I'm playing. The dreaded theory. I can learn pretty much any song I want but I won't know WHAT I'm playing. Can theory be avoided, can you progress without it and play merely by knowing which position on the fret board is going to make a certain sound?
#5
Theory can't be avoided if you want to actually learn what's going on, you know what you need to learn so go out there and do it. Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section to get you started.

You can't learn to play just by learning other's songs...that's like learning to paint by numbers or a parrot learning to talk. You're not really learning anything, you're just copying. Songs show you techniques and theory in context and help you understand how you can best make use them
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#6
Quote by speeddown
My other concern is this: I've been playing for a couple years now on and off again, but the last 6 months or so I've gotten pretty serious as I've learned techniques that I never thought I'd possibly be able to play. I'm at the point where I feel like I should know the notes I'm playing. The dreaded theory. I can learn pretty much any song I want but I won't know WHAT I'm playing. Can theory be avoided, can you progress without it and play merely by knowing which position on the fret board is going to make a certain sound?

Check out the Music Theory FAQ and watch Freepower's theory videos - they are on his profile.

Play other peoples stuff and make your own - both are important, and you learn lots from both.

Edit: Its possible to get by without formally learning theory, but why would you want to do things the hardest way possible? There's no need to reinvent the wheel - its much easier to understand theory, learn to apply it, and take it from there.
Last edited by zhilla at Jun 30, 2009,
#7
Can theory be avoided, can you progress without it and play merely by knowing which position on the fret board is going to make a certain sound?




That IS music theory.

That said, check out my theory lessons. Not hard, not scary, promise.
#8
Personally, I spend most of my time mastering new licks by other guitarists or ones that I've accidentally written in Guitar Pro.

I only ever write music if I'm collaborating with my band, or if there's a special emotion I have that I can't find in a song.
So far that's never happened.
#9
I never reallly learned other's songs note for note, but I studied and analyzed certain parts that interested me.