Page 1 of 4
#1
Who are some famous and/or good guitarists that don't know a lot of theory, if any at all? Like intervals, scales, notation etc.
#4
My guitar teacher has met Marty Friedman a couple times and says that he doesn't know a whole lot.
Because deep down, I know you want to:

My Youtube Channel

Constructive criticism is always welcomed.
#6
Quote by Mr. B.
My guitar teacher has met Marty Friedman a couple times and says that he doesn't know a whole lot.



Really? I would have though Marty would be a bit of a theory boffin.
#8
Who are some famous and/or good guitarists that don't know a lot of theory, if any at all? Like intervals, scales, notation etc.


Hendrix


Well... To be honest, he's not a 'good guitarist', he's a ****in' God.
#9
Steve Jones
Pete Doherty
CuSO4

"I don't have an instrument, I don't have a great voice, I just have some nice clothes maybe." paul rutherford
#10
Quote by Gh.
Well... To be honest, he's not a 'good guitarist', he's a ****in' God.


If he was a god, he wouldn't be dead
MY GEAR:
PRS SE Custom 24
Jackson DKA7
Gibson Explorer
MESA/Boogie Express 5:25
BOSS GT-100

BOSS TU-2
Dunlop Cry Baby Classic
BOSS NS-2
VOX Joe Satriani Ice 9 OD Pedal
VOX Joe Satriani Time Machine Delay Pedal
Ernie Ball Strings
V Picks
#11
Chuck Schuldiner
George Lynch

Quote by DimebagRob
Really? I would have though Marty would be a bit of a theory boffin.
lern2edit

Quote by Mr. B.
My guitar teacher has met Marty Friedman a couple times and says that he doesn't know a whole lot.
that's a surprise. Even mustaine said in someinterviews that he knew quite a lot. That's probably because mustaine doesnt know much theory.
GRUPO EN ESPAÑOL

SI BUSCAS BANDA EN LATINOAMERICA O ESPAÑA, ENTRA AQUI
#12
Quote by Koshman32
If he was a god, he wouldn't be dead



half god u ****
#13
Quote by DimebagRob
Really? I would have though Marty would be a bit of a theory boffin.


On his (ooooooollldd ) instructional DVD he explains that up until that time he had no scale knowledge, whatsoever.

I thought that Clapton didn't know a whole lot of theory (he was unable to read notes and there's probably more )

Uhh....Kirk Hammett certainly doesn't play like he has a lot of knowledge of both the theory and the instrument (disclaimer: I do like metallica)

I also think I read somewhere that B.B. King doesn't or didn't have quite the theoretical knowledge
Quote by Demonikk
'Practice amp' = amp you practice with? In my case, Peavey 6505+ and 4x12
I don't do things small


Except children.
#14
Quote by Slicer666
On his (ooooooollldd ) instructional DVD he explains that up until that time he had no scale knowledge, whatsoever.

I thought that Clapton didn't know a whole lot of theory (he was unable to read notes and there's probably more )

Uhh....Kirk Hammett certainly doesn't play like he has a lot of knowledge of both the theory and the instrument (disclaimer: I do like metallica)

I also think I read somewhere that B.B. King doesn't or didn't have quite the theoretical knowledge

Reckon there might be some clips of it on youtube?
#15
Quote by DimebagRob
Really? I would have though Marty would be a bit of a theory boffin.



He does all his stuff by ear. It´s partly why his playing is so quirky.
#16
Eddie Van Halen
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Crate V33 212 Combo
DigiTech Whammy IV
Dunlop Crybaby
MXR Classic Distortion
Ibanez DE-7 Delay
Boss GE-7 Equalizer

#17
Quote by Hereiwas
Steve Jones

that's a good one, Jones is entirely self-taught though apparently producers have said he has amazing timing. i think i remember reading somewhere that both KK Downing and Glen Tipton were self taught, and so was Rory Gallagher.
#18
Quote by Baby Joel
Hendrix


According to many statements from band members including Billy Cox, Hendrix knew theory. He knew the notes of the fretboard, the names of the chords, how they're made up, and scales.
#19
Quote by DimebagRob
Dave Mustaine.


my old guitar teacher told me he saw an interview with mustaine where he fretted a chord, then went "i've been told this was an E."

just... seriously? great guitar player, but how could you make money playing a guitar and not know an E when you saw / heard one?
#20
I think any guitarist worth their salt knows theory, even if they learned it by themselves. Knowledge of what notes go together to make chords and scales is theory, so yeah.
Breaking stereotypes by playing indie on a metal guitar.

Current Gear
- Epiphone Les Paul Standard (Plus Top)
- Crappy Strat Copy (Redecorated, looks snazzy)
- Ibanez Acoustic/Electric Guitar
- Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Watt
#21
Tom Morello. He took one lesson where he learned the C Major scale and then that was it.
Ibanez RGT42DX
Vox AC30C2
Digitech Whammy (FOR SALE!)
Dunlop GCB-95F Crybaby
Boss DD-20
Boss SD-1
Ibanez TS9DX
MXR M-108 10 Band EQ
#22
Quote by Baby Joel
Hendrix


Actually Hendrix is said to have had a pretty good sense of theory.

Quote by guitar99099
Eddie Van Halen


Being taught up piano from a young age and studying at home? Eddie knew quite a lot fo theory.
Quote by stratman_13
It's okay Gabel. You kick ass.



18watter video demo

My band

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#23
James Hetfield doesn't know theory very well. I remember watching an interview with him and he talked about trying to record with the symphony for Nothing Else Matters and he said he had no idea how to transcribe it for them because and he doesn't know any of the notes.
#25
James Hetfield
MyGear
Schecter Hellraiser (EMG 85/81 + 18v mod)
LTD SC-207 with EMG 707
Peavey 6505 Head
Some random Peavey 4x12 slant cab
Boss Chorus Ensemble + Boss DD-3 + Dunlop Crybaby Wah + Boss NS2
#26


Gary moore



Jeff beck



Teh Hendricks chaps

Anyway....

these three chaps are my key influences and they 'seem' or appear in interviews etc.. to lack strict knowledge of the fret board.
#27
How coincidental that I'm listening to Little Wing now.

Jimi Hendrix was stated many times before this.
James Hetfield was mentioned, he plays what sounds good.
Cobain wasn't too guitar-savvy, but I find his lyric writing talent makes up for that.
Dave Grohl can solo and knows keys and chords, but I don't think he knows much beyond the basics.
I don't think SRV knew much about theory either.

There are loads of great uneducated guitarists.
Gear List:
'97 Gibson Explorer w/ Duncan SH-4 and SH-2
Fender Jazz Bass 'Crafted in Japan'
Yamaha Acoustic Guitar
Vox AD30VT w/ VFS2
Roland Cube 30 Bass
Modded "St. Louis" Wah
Dunlop .88 Tortex picks
#28
But I agree with the majority of what people are saying, and that's that you must know something to be as good as they were. However, it may seem possible, and it just might be that they don't know, I can't imagine any of them going that far in their careers without encountering a band or a situation where theory, and some knowledge of it, wouldn't be pertinent
#29
Quote by FallsDownStairs
According to many statements from band members including Billy Cox, Hendrix knew theory. He knew the notes of the fretboard, the names of the chords, how they're made up, and scales.

he couldn't read music. i doubt he knew the fingerings for every different mode and arpeggio on the guitar...if you have a passion for music, you will teach yourself a little theory by just listening for intervals.
#32
Quote by grades231
he couldn't read music. i doubt he knew the fingerings for every different mode and arpeggio on the guitar...if you have a passion for music, you will teach yourself a little theory by just listening for intervals.


Just because he doesn't know modes like Satch, Vai, or Johnson or any other virtuoso, doesn't mean he didn't know theory. Also, just because he can't read sheet music doesn't mean he doesn't know theory.

Have you looked at his rhythms? That's why he was so famous in my opinion, he could manipulate and voice chords like no ones business and mesh them together, and he has on many occasions played arpeggios in his playing.
#33
Quote by soul.power
Tom Morello. He took one lesson where he learned the C Major scale and then that was it.


No, he studied theory while he was at Harvard. He said it himself on that lesson-interview thing

edit: he also taught lessons for a while iirc
Gear:
Guitars
ESP LTD M-1000 Deluxe w/ FR
Hamer XT-series SATQ
Fender Stratocaster
'75 Fender F-35 Acoustic
Amp
Vox VT15
Pedals
535Q Crybaby Wah
Last edited by ChecKxMaTe77 at Aug 10, 2009,
#34
Mikael Akerfeldt admitted tht he didnt know a lot about tunings, theory, and other crap in the Yngwie Malmsteen Guitar World.
Don't steal.
The government hates competition.
#35
Quote by Slicer666
On his (ooooooollldd ) instructional DVD he explains that up until that time he had no scale knowledge, whatsoever.

I thought that Clapton didn't know a whole lot of theory (he was unable to read notes and there's probably more )

Uhh....Kirk Hammett certainly doesn't play like he has a lot of knowledge of both the theory and the instrument (disclaimer: I do like metallica)

I also think I read somewhere that B.B. King doesn't or didn't have quite the theoretical knowledge


Kirk does have a lot of musical knowledge. Hence why Load/Reload were odd. He went to college for traditional Jazz training.

However, James Hetfield, I'm pretty sure doesn't know a lot of musical theory.
#37
Quote by soul.power
Tom Morello. He took one lesson where he learned the C Major scale and then that was it.


I think he does though. He was a guitar teacher at one point.
Quote by Telestar
Trust me man, it's Smoke on the Water. Deep Purple only wrote one song.
#38
Matthew Bellamy apparently only had 6 months of guitar lessons.....but then again hes a classically trained pianist.
Gear
Tokai Love Rock
Vox AC4
Danelectro Transparent Overdrive
T.C. Electronic Nova Repeater
Stomp Under Foot Violet Rams Head
#39
I'm sure you all know this..

but these people who don't need the "theory", still have the "theory". And that is a damn good ear. You wouldn't catch any of these guitarists playing random **** (not very often, anyway)They are all gifted. Hendrix knew how a melody worked. Maybe he couldn't give you some wanky jazz-head speech about it, but he could sure as hell play it. So he knew what he was doing, in SOME way or another!

Just because you know the technical names for something does not make you good at theory, and just because you don't know the technical name for something doesn't mean you don't have any idea what you're doing.

A lot of people ask this question because they want reassurance that they can do the "no theory" path. And that is absolutely fine if you have a good ear and KNOW what sounds good and what sounds like ****. Problem is, some people need to study the theory in book fom, and some don't.

Also just because someone is self taught at guitar...does not mean they don't know theory.
Last edited by ChrisBG at Jul 12, 2009,
#40
Chuck Schuldiner's been mentioned a few times.

He technically did know theory, but didn't know he knew it. . sorta, like when soloing he used "his own scales" but this was pretty much always the harmonic minor (or something similar).

And plenty of these guitarists know theory, do you think Hendrix could've played blues standard sounding songs without knowledge of the chords, scales and intervals?
Same with SRV.

The only people you can accuse of not knowing theory are the guitarists that trudge out power chords and when they solo just play a few notes which they think might go with the rest of it, and they'd still know a lil (not accusing all power chord playing easy soloers to know nothing BTW).
Page 1 of 4