#1
I only know basic music theory such as reading the notes on treble/bass cleff, major/minor scales, circle of 5th's.

I know the basic chords on guitar and how to solo using pentatonic scales, but i still don't know how to compose music. I don't know where chord progressions come from why this chord sounds good with that chord, and so on. I only know this "three-chord" theory where the first note (tonic) goes with IV and V (sub-dominant/dominant), but i think it's boring!

Anyway, so i got a recording software on my comp and tried making my own music. It sounds nice imo but i had no idea what the hell i was doing. I just started strumming and making riffs and doing some melodies and i didn't use any theory. I just used my ears and decided if it sounded nice or not.

While i'm at it, i guess this is a good time to ask. While making the song, i made my own progression of F-E-G out of nowhere. Is this a valid progression? Is there a right or wrong progression? Every time i come up with my own riff or progression i feel dumb because i just play stuff out of the blue without knowing the theory behind it.


-Thanks.
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#2
Don't worry so much about theory. It will come to you anyway. What you know already surpasses the majority of pro players so keep enjoying what you are doing.
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#3
theory just helps, it doesnt make you the musician, just rely on what sounds good to you
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#4
knowing the theory behind how to hit a home run doesnt guarantee u will hit a home run...u have to practice and get used to the feeling with ur own body. I think its the same with music...who cares about the theory behind it? what really matters in music is...does it sound good?
#5
I'm concerned that you worded it that way. "Should you keep making music even if you don't know theory?" Better yet, how about you continue to make music and learn theory as well? I recommend the Idiot's Guide to Music Theory. It's an extremely good starting point and would answer the questions you've just asked.

Theory doesn't "make" you compose music. You compose music the way you just described it: by playing what you think sounds nice. Theory is just the "why" behind it. So why stop if you enjoy it? Just put a bit of extra effort in and study some basic theory and have fun.
#6
you know very little theory, too little to say you find it boring, as Dayn said, do both.

you made an F, E, G progression? F what? minor/major? whatever it is its still just 3 chords. id recomend getting a teacher, it can make learning theory much easier.
#8
you don't have to 'compose' to write a good song, but you can look at it from a different perspective if you learn theory. If something sounds good, it's valid. If something makes sense in theory, it's also valid, but it might not appeal to anyone. Theory can actually be interesting if you look into more. Don't ask here, just do what you want. Learn theory, then you can see both sides and make up your mind for yourself. making music is fun, and I don't think anyone would write a song and say 'oh damn that wasted my time'
#9
If something sounds good to you then whether you understand the theory behind it or not doesn't really matter.

If you want to learn why it sounds good, go ahead. It won't make you any worse at songwriting, but it might not make you much better either.
#10
If it sounds good, then use it. It seems like your viewing music theory as strict rules and your only allowed to do certain things. And why would not knowing theory mean you cant write songs?
#11
i know pretty much just as much as what you know about theory i would say your progression makes sense tho if it was Fmaj Em Gmaj. cause it would be C major scale. at least thats the way i figure it. basically the only reason i need theory i could figure out scales and make chords if i need i just learned the formulas and havent memorized anything else until i need it. other than that id agree with everyone else and say if it sounds good use it.
#12
Yes, you can continue to compose music without knowing theory. All theory will do is give you a better understanding of where you can go to with what you have. I personally know very little theory, purely enough to know roughly what the hell I'm doing when I choose to write a song. It's just comforting to me to know which way is up really.
#14
I hardly use any theory when writing songs, you should write what sounds right for you, not what the theory tells you sounds right.

But It's great to know theory, at least if you don't want to feel stupid. I know I do when I don't know about something.
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#15
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I only know basic music theory such as reading the notes on treble/bass cleff, major/minor scales, circle of 5th's.

I know the basic chords on guitar and how to solo using pentatonic scales, but i still don't know how to compose music. I don't know where chord progressions come from why this chord sounds good with that chord, and so on. I only know this "three-chord" theory where the first note (tonic) goes with IV and V (sub-dominant/dominant), but i think it's boring!

Anyway, so i got a recording software on my comp and tried making my own music. It sounds nice imo but i had no idea what the hell i was doing. I just started strumming and making riffs and doing some melodies and i didn't use any theory. I just used my ears and decided if it sounded nice or not.

While i'm at it, i guess this is a good time to ask. While making the song, i made my own progression of F-E-G out of nowhere. Is this a valid progression? Is there a right or wrong progression? Every time i come up with my own riff or progression i feel dumb because i just play stuff out of the blue without knowing the theory behind it.


-Thanks.


1st of all, you don't HAVE to "know what the hell you're doing" in order to make music. You said "it sounded nice".......... if it sounds good it IS good.

Any progression is a "valid" progression What matters is whether or not you like the sound of it. So, there are no "right" or "wrong" progressions. Just ones that you like or don't like.

You shouldn't "feel dumb because you just play stuff out of the blue without knowing the theory behind it". If you like what you play, you should be glad of that.


So to answer the question in the title....... YES


that being said, if you "feel dumb" about your lack of understanding, you could always start studying theory. Simple enough solution.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 2, 2009,
#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
1st of all, you don't HAVE to "know what the hell you're doing" in order to make music. You said "it sounded nice".......... if it sounds good it IS good.

Any progression is a "valid" progression What matters is whether or not you like the sound of it. So, there are no "right" or "wrong" progressions. Just ones that you like or don't like.

You shouldn't "feel dumb because you just play stuff out of the blue without knowing the theory behind it". If you like what you play, you should be glad of that.


So to answer the question in the title....... NO



that being said, if you "feel dumb" about your lack of understanding, you could always start studying theory. Simple enough solution.


So... he shouldn't keep making music? Or did you mean to say yes?
#17
Quote by timeconsumer09
So... he shouldn't keep making music? Or did you mean to say yes?



LOL, yeah I definitely meant yes. I was thinking the title was "should I stop making music if I dont know theory"..


Thanks.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 2, 2009,