well this next year at my school im taking ap music theory and im wondering if anybody has ever taken a class like this and how usefull it would actually be.
Edit* its a high school
Classical Guitarist
Quote by SimplyStrings
You better know your hardcore theory. That's college level stuff.

Not really. They start you off nice and slow. The only real prerequisites are that you can read music. So if you can't do that, or you only read tab, learn standard notation.

My AP Theory class was all kinds of useful. I'd recommend it to anyone. You don't have to be a musical genius, provided your teacher is good he/she will work with you and get you where you need to be.
"I love music, it's not like math. In music, 2+2 can equal 5, if it's a pretty enough 5." -Samuel R. Hazo

"Alle menschen werden bruder- all men become brothers"
-Ludwig Van Beethoven, from his 9th Symphony.

I got a 4 on the test. It isn't that bad. I took it before I played guitar, I got a 5 on the non aural stimulus and a 3 on the aural, if I had taken ear training seriously I could have done better. Oh well, I had 2 of the best teachers (husband and wife pair) http://www.jeremythompsonpiano.com/jeremy%20thompson%20website_003.htm

But just suck up for the analyzing, it will probably serve you very little purpose.

But pay close attention to intervals and chord construction, don't get caught up in the voice leading rules as much (I mean, do good on the test man, thats the purpose, for as far as application goes) but know the "theory" behind it if that makes sense.

Once you know the rules, it is easier to break them to get whatever you want to come out of your guitar. a good ear is awesome, but theory is just another way to achieve it.

PAY CLOSE CLOSE CLOSE CLOSE attention to chord constructions, it is very very simple once you get the concepts, but it is DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO GUITAR PLAYING.

So yeah, just my experience. Have fun, soak it up, it can suck at times, but man, if your teacher is good it will be sooooo rewarding.
i took it. i liked the class because i wanted to learn more about theory, but i bombed the test cuz i didn't really care about the credit lol. my class didn't have much focus on modern theory but once you learn the basics it's easy to apply it to other situations. christmas treeing and random singing got me a two on the exam
Quote by MrJulius
I got a 4 on the test. It isn't that bad. I took it before I played guitar, I got a 5 on the non aural stimulus and a 3 on the aural, if I had taken ear training seriously I could have done better.

I did the ear training constantly, and still did the same. 4 overall; 5 on written and 3 on aural. IMO, the aural last year was absolute BS. The melodies were way out of the ballpark compared to what previous years were given.

It pissed me off not getting a 5 because I've studied music on almost every instrument family for almost 10 years now. Slap in the face from AP. Whatever, got me exempt from Theory and Aural I in college.
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I got a 4 on the test this last year. The written theory is pretty easy, but the aural theory is the hardest. Make sure you can transcribe stuff by ear pretty well, know the sounds of intervals, etc. The sight singing is easy too.
i just started getting into music this year at my high school and took basic music theory and AP music theory and it was manageable. i ended up with a 4 and i will agree with these guys that the aural parts are the hardest, so get attached to your intervals
i could play like eric clapton if i had his gear...anyone could
i took it because i wanted to learn not to pass the test. i ended up getting a 4 on the test because i knew the stuff i wanted to know, ie chord structures and i did learn counter point to an extent. The ear training may be tricky but it is something that is used in playing every day. congrats on everyone else who passed
Yup, I took an AP Music Theory class my Sophomore year, and oy lemme tell you, IT'S GREAT!

I learned so much in that class, I'm very grateful it was available for me at my school. Alot of it is very classical based, grand staff music sight reading etc etc, but don't worry it's all capable of being transposed and applied with every instrument.

I went into the class not knowing much, so have no worries about getting lost either, just pay CLOSE ATTENTION. Many kids I know took the class with me thinking it'd be a cakewalk, and ended up flunking out.

I ended up doing fine in the class and decent in the exam. I didn't pass the singing part though.

EDIT: The oral part is by far the most difficult. Which stinks because we spent the least time on it, once again no fear not. The oral part is only 10% of the exam, Part-writing is 40%, the rest is Music Theory.
Last edited by musicjohnny at Jul 19, 2009,
well i can read standard notation kinda but only it in first position lol. and i dont know much theory im taking in hopes of learning theiry and getting very good with my ear.
Classical Guitarist
Don't slack off just because it's music. You will have work to do, but I found my high school theory class to be rewarding.

If you want the credits, be sure to work on ear training and sight singing on your own, too.
I guess it depends on the teacher.....I took it for a while in highschool - but I expected the class to start at the beginning (I had no prior music theory knowledge) - so I couldn't understand the concepts the teacher was talking about in the beginning. All the other students were in the school band (which was led by this teacher, so they all knew each other already, and I was the outsider who didn't know theory). I eventually just stopped going to the class and gave up on learning theory.

Started teaching it to myself years later, and was able to grasp the basics after a couple of hours of reading - realized it wasn't as complicated as my old arrogant, snooty teacher made it out to be....which made me hate him even more...

So, in other words - you might want to learn the basics before you start the class....and hope you get a good teacher and not somebody like Archeo Avis.

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Last edited by Guitartist at Jul 20, 2009,