#2
Learn as much as you can, don't limit yourself just because you want to mimic someone
ProTone Pedals: Attack Overdrive
Fractal Audio: AxeFX 2
Engl: Fireball 60
Zilla: Fatboy 2x12
Carvin: DC700
Carvin: Vader 7
Schecter: KM-7 MKii
Schecter: Banshee 8 Passive
Jackson: DK2M
#3
Quote by robinlint
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh7MjXPwF60&feature=PlayList&p=E547894C08405F00&index=1
What theory should I learn in order to write a song like this?



Just learn the music for starters. Then use your theory knowledge to analyze the music.


rather than trying to write a song that sounds like that, I would suggest that you internalize the music you love, and then allow yourself to develop your own thing in the process.

It takes time.


As a general approach, I would recommend viewing theory is a tool for studying/understanding, not a recipe for composition.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 23, 2009,
#4
Quote by GuitarMunky
Just learn the music for starters. Then use your theory knowledge to analyze the music.


rather than trying to write a song that sounds like that, I would suggest that you internalize the music you love, and then allow yourself to develop your own thing in the process.

It takes time.


Theory is a tool for studying, not a recipe for composition.

While i agree with this theory can also come in handy when composing because you know what will 'fit'.
#5
Quote by Ikonoklast
While i agree with this theory can also come in handy when composing because you know what will 'fit'.


You should just hear what will fit, or shouldn't write it IMO.

Theory is a tool that allows you to study music. During this study you will likely develop an opinion on "what will fit", but it will be YOUR opinion, and what you do in your own compositions will be based on YOUR choices.

IMO if you use theory as a recipe you will never be truly expressing yourself. As an exploratory exercise it could be useful, but not as art because you would by bypassing the thing that makes it art.... your own expression.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 23, 2009,
#6
.... Perhaps I should've asked it differently. What scales, chords, intervals, and so on, are used in that song? I want to know those specific scales and chords because I want to write music with it.

And please do not tell me to learn basic theory first. I already know most basic theory.
#7
Quote by robinlint
.... Perhaps I should've asked it differently. What scales, chords, intervals, and so on, are used in that song? I want to know those specific scales and chords because I want to write music with it.

And please do not tell me to learn basic theory first. I already know most basic theory.


See, that's my point. You already know some theory. If you really want to learn what is going in the music You should be the one learning and analyzing this melody. Remember, theory is a tool for analyzing. If you know basic theory, you have that tool. You get better at using tools by working with them.

Also, keep in mind that writing music is about more than just the nuts and bolts..... you need the context, and you can only get that from experiencing the music itself.

Try this,

learn a section of the song by ear. Don't be in a hurry. Enjoy the process

Transcribe what you learned.

Use your theory knowledge to answer your questions.


If you get stuck..... then ask questions.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 23, 2009,
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
See, that's my point. You already know some theory. If you really want to learn what is going in the music You should be the one learning and analyzing this melody. Remember, theory is a tool for analyzing. If you know basic theory, you have that tool. You get better at using tools by working with them.

Also, keep in mind that writing music is about more than just the nuts and bolts..... you need the context, and you can only get that from experiencing the music itself.

Try this,

learn a section of the song by ear. Don't be in a hurry. Enjoy the process

Transcribe what you learned.

Use your theory knowledge to answer your questions.


If you get stuck..... then ask questions.

But what if I want to analyze a song, which contains scales I don't know? For example, when I would learn it by ear, and I can play the melody, but I don't know the scale? How would I find out what scale is used?
#9
Well it's a bit of trial and error at 1st.

For starters, just use your ear. Listen to the note.... find it on your guitar....... keep doing that until you have the 1st phrase.

You can use your other skills to help you out as well. For instance if you understand basic theory, you know what a Major and minor scale sounds like. Use that knowledge to determine which note is the tonic. If you know the Major and minor scale patterns, you should be able to see that the melody falls within one of those pattern.

^Both of those things should give you a clue as to what key the melody is in.

You basically need to get your hands dirty. Put the knowledge you do have to work, and then build off of that experience. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's all part of the process.


Give it a shot. If you absolutely can't figure out what key/scale the 1st phrase is in, I'll help you out. I can tell you that if you understand basic theory, this is something you should be able to understand. And actually this is where you truly "learn" theory..... by putting it to use.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 23, 2009,
#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well it's a bit of trial and error at 1st.

For starters, just use your ear. Listen to the note.... find it on your guitar....... keep doing that until you have the 1st phrase.

You can use your other skills to help you out as well. For instance if you understand basic theory, you know what a Major and minor scale sounds like. Use that knowledge to determine which note is the tonic. If you know the Major and minor scale patterns, you should be able to see that the melody falls within one of those pattern.

^Both of those things should give you a clue as to what key the melody is in.

You basically need to get your hands dirty. Put the knowledge you do have to work, and then build off of that experience. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's all part of the process.


Give it a shot. If you absolutely can't figure out what key/scale the 1st phrase is in, I'll help you out. I can tell you that if you understand basic theory, this is something you should be able to understand. And actually this is where you truly "learn" theory..... by putting it to use.

I've already figured out some melodies, both minor and major, with music theory. Here's a link to a thread which describes what i've learnt so far (i haven't been active on UG for a few months): https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1219323

But what I meant was, what if I figure out a melody of a song by ear, but it doesn't fit into any scales I know? For example, melodic minor, or the gypsy scale. How would I find out what scale is used?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 23, 2009,
#11
Quote by robinlint
I've already figured out some melodies, both minor and major, with music theory. Here's a link to a thread which describes what i've learnt so far (i haven't been active on UG for a few months): https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1219323

But what I meant was, what if I figure out a melody of a song by ear, but it doesn't fit into any scales I know? For example, melodic minor, or the gypsy scale. How would I find out what scale is used?


Heres the thing. In your OP, you asked "what theory do I need to write music like this", then you went on to say that you know basic theory.

What I'm saying, is that if you know basic theory, you already know enough theory to analyze this piece. It's not melodic minor, it's not the gypsy scale. its something you already know.

Now to write music like that, you need more than the theory. You need experience with the music in context.

That's why I suggest that you spend some time figuring out that melody.

Your looking for recipes, when you should be obtaining and utilizing tools..... and then using those tools to develop your own understanding of what's going on.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 23, 2009,
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
You should just hear what will fit, or shouldn't write it IMO.

Theory is a tool that allows you to study music. During this study you will likely develop an opinion on "what will fit", but it will be YOUR opinion, and what you do in your own compositions will be based on YOUR choices.

IMO if you use theory as a recipe you will never be truly expressing yourself. As an exploratory exercise it could be useful, but not as art because you would by bypassing the thing that makes it art.... your own expression.

I agree that theory shouldn't be used to write music but theory can be a useful aid to use while writing music.

For example, if I want to modulate to the relative minor then because of theory I might think "maybe using the dominant would be a good way to modulate", I would then play it and if I like how it sounds I would keep it.

This way you are using theory to think of what might sound good then listening to it to decide whether it does sound good or if you want to keep it or not, so you are still creating the music yourself.

Of course if you already know exactly how it should go in your head then you don't need theory, but if your not quite sure where to go next than theory can suggest things that might sound good .
#13
Quote by 12345abcd3
I agree that theory shouldn't be used to write music but theory can be a useful aid to use while writing music.

For example, if I want to modulate to the relative minor then because of theory I might think "maybe using the dominant would be a good way to modulate", I would then play it and if I like how it sounds I would keep it.

This way you are using theory to think of what might sound good then listening to it to decide whether it does sound good or if you want to keep it or not, so you are still creating the music yourself.

Of course if you already know exactly how it should go in your head then you don't need theory, but if your not quite sure where to go next than theory can suggest things that might sound good .


"lets see what it sounds like if I use the dominant to modulate".. Of-course.... That's part of learning & development. That doesn't conflict with, or change my point though.
shred is gaudy music
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
"lets see what it sounds like if I use the dominant to modulate".. Of-course.... That's part of learning & development. That doesn't conflict with, or change my point though.

We seem to have had some miscommunication yesterday. I made the initial post waaaaaaay too short. I haven't described what theory i've learnt so far, and as a result, UG members tell me that I shouldn't use theory as a book of rules, that I shouldn't "just learn the scales", and things like that.
The thing is, i've been using music theory very much lately, but haven't posted anything about it on UG. For example, i've used music theory to figure out melodies in songs fairly fast. And then use the melody line to find out the chords. And to improvise lead on top of chord progressions.
Of course, this is still the basics of music theory. And i don't mean to brag. But it seems, if I don't list what i've learnt in threads about music theory, that I get answers aimed towards a person who hasn't learnt that much, if any, music theory.
The reason i've not posted this in the initial post, is because i've had this discussion already, on the same day I posted this thread. (Click this link to view it) (I need some sort of solution to keep people I ask these questions to up to date on what music theory i've learnt)

So please, stop the discussion about using music theory as a rulebook. Don't worry, i don't do that. I use music theory mostly for improvising, and figuring out songs.

My actual question, was:
I've found this song, but I haven't analyzed it yet. It seems really theoretically complex. I hear a lot of medieval and classical sounding scales in the song, and I want to know what scales they are, so I can figure out songs that are like this one, and write songs using these same scales. Can you guys help me figure it out? Thanks.

And GuitarMunky, I agree that I should be figuring out that song. But, upon hearing it, i thought it was so theoretically complex, that I asked here. I'm looking for the tools (scales) to figure out the song. Not the recipes to write a song that is like that one.
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 24, 2009,
#15
Try learning it by ear and transcribing it like Munky suggested - you don't need to know what scales etc are used to start doing that, and there's a good chance you'll recognise the scale pretty early in the process anyway.

I tend to try jamming over songs to start with to get my head around what the root is, and what scales seem to work over it (and hence are most likely used in it) so I have a start point for transcribing them.

If you can transcribe it you'll get a much better understanding of what is producing what sounds in the song, so you can use those ideas yourself.

Try taking the guitar and theory out of it slightly sometimes as well, and just using your ear - if you want to write something like that what do you hear in your head? Have you got a melogy or a rhythm line running through your head? If you have, try singing it and recording that, then work it out on your guitar and write it down, and use your theory to work out whats going on