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#1
sup guys

preatty much just wanted your views on theory, i mean, i know its the basis of most music but for the 1 and and a half years i have learnt theory it really hasnt done much for me!

i have wrote around 15 tracks for a new album and i can honestly say that i have used minimal amounts of theory in writing those songs, the extent of it would be finding a root note to start a sweep/solo but i never really look to scales when finding chord patters or my big riffs.

in my opinion music is restrained by theory as you get people basing a whole 3-4 minute song off 1 scale! whereas just picking up a guitar, playing something that sounds good and building off that is a much wider AND easier way to write music, but thats just my opinion . . . . .
#3
i would say that theory is good . Because it makes things easier . . . I wud've written more but got to go .
#4
Theory just explains what happened. Every two notes create an interval. If you play something that sounds good, it can be explained. Theory doesn't write music, it explains it. And you realize those 15 tracks you wrote were based off of one scale? The major scale.
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You are EXTREMELY WRONG! I have played it. I own an 18W and it would be an awful stereo amp, it's way too bright, breaks up too easily and so on. Secondly, why would a guitar store sell an hifi amp.
#5
I don't think you really understand what music theory is, or it's purpose. Even if you did not pay attention to music theory and wrote a song without using it, someone could still take that song and write a 2,000 word piece analysing it using music theory. Why is this? Because music theory in essence is a method of analysing music, not writing it.

Now it would be very interesting if you put up your songs and it used standard chords and scales which go together according to western music theory. If this was the case (and it probably is), if you knew your music theory better it would have taken the guess work out of it.

Edit: And Mr7string, most songs utilise just one scale....probably including your own. Please upload some songs of yours.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
All knowing theory means that you know your shit. If someone doesn't wanna do that, then be my guest. If you went to a local music theory class, they'd make you use your ears to work things out. And knowing to use your ear well is priceless.
Pamposh’s final question before drifting into a state of transcendent ecstasy was, “But Master, if everything is an illusion, then why does anything matter?”

To which the master replied, “It may all be an illusion, but it’s a very real illusion.”
#7
Quote by mr7string

in my opinion music is restrained by theory as you get people basing a whole 3-4 minute song off 1 scale!


Whence have you got this nonsense that theory tells you to stay within one scale?????
Last edited by Slayertplsko at Jul 1, 2010,
#8
yeah i understand that theory is just a way of explaining music but i dont understand why it is presented to be some 'essential' part of music, i have never understood why people are so intent on learning to explain music, why not just pick up your instrument and make art!

this is the only thing that confuses me, music is art and shouldnt need to be explained!
#9
Quote by Slayertplsko
Whence have you got this nonsense that theory tells you to stay within one scale?????


i didnt say that, i say people learn a few scales then take one and write a really crappy/reppetative song from it eg. a lot of pop punk!
#11
Quote by mr7string
yeah i understand that theory is just a way of explaining music but i dont understand why it is presented to be some 'essential' part of music, i have never understood why people are so intent on learning to explain music, why not just pick up your instrument and make art!

this is the only thing that confuses me, music is art and shouldnt need to be explained!

It just reminds you how to make colours. Would a painter not want to know that red and blue make purple? Theory does not limit anything.

edit: You realize theory is limitless, right? Any note can be used at any time.
Quote by Gabel
You are EXTREMELY WRONG! I have played it. I own an 18W and it would be an awful stereo amp, it's way too bright, breaks up too easily and so on. Secondly, why would a guitar store sell an hifi amp.
Last edited by ripple07 at Jul 1, 2010,
#12
i'm trying to learn theory i'm having such a hard time with it tho <@.@>
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#13
I know a dude who's ace in music theory.He can write the sole instrumentalisation of a song on a piece of paper,grab a cello or a guitar(plays both) and make it work and sound great because he knows his shit.
The whole structure of the song is in his head,he 100% gets it and does't even need to experiment before he writes it because he KNOWS what that sound in his head is and how to replicate it.He occassionaly makes changes in the music he makes but for the most part,he goes for it one-take.How the **** does music theory limit him?
#14
Quote by mr7string
i didnt say that, i say people learn a few scales then take one and write a really crappy/reppetative song from it eg. a lot of pop punk!


I'm sorry but your arguments don't make much sense, most songs are based on just one scale, regardless of genre. I'm looking forward to your music to see if it doesn't stick to traditional scales, chords, keys and melodies.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#15
Theory is important. You aren't thinking about it as a songwriter. You are thinking about it as a music listener.

The average music listener doesn't care about music theory or how a song is written. They only care that it sounds good. They have no idea that the beautiful mechanical device "music theory" exists within what they are listening to. And it's a shame.
#16
Learning theory just creates a load of muso shredders who can't write songs and have zero feeling!!1

Why do people associate knowing theory with knowing lots of scales?


Quote by c_foster88

The average music listener doesn't care about music theory or how a song is written. They only care that it sounds good. They have no idea that the beautiful mechanical device "music theory" exists within what they are listening to. And it's a shame.


You can't listen to theory... it can't be beautiful either, clever yes, beautiful, no.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Jul 1, 2010,
#17
its good....or bad depending on how you look at it.

there are many great guitar players who didn't know theory.
but there are many who do.

i like to say bad b/c I don't like studying.
I think its boring........but its good.
confused?
.
#18
Quote by griffRG7321

Why do people associate knowing theory with knowing lots of scales?


They like to improvise in the right key of a song. Some scales work best with certain chords as well.

Scales are important, but I mainly focused on chord theory when I learned. When I first seen an Emaj7 and Esus2 chord, I wanted to know why these types of chords had the names they did (maj7, sus, m, etc) so I set out to learn.
#19
Quote by AlanHB
I'm sorry but your arguments don't make much sense, most songs are based on just one scale, regardless of genre. I'm looking forward to your music to see if it doesn't stick to traditional scales, chords, keys and melodies.


well obviously it will stick to some because like iv been told, any music can be explained, and my argument isnt that i think i can write songs that dont stick to theory its that i think its better to write without it and play what sounds good to your ears instead of thinking 'right i have a riff, now lets get a progretion over this scale, and now lets write a solo using this scale' it just kinda gets boring to me, the only thing that i ever really think hard about is arangment of time signatures in a song. i play a lot of Djent/meshuggah'ry type stuff so time signatures play a massive part in my songs
#20
There is absolutely no argument against music theory. People that say blah blah it will hinder your creativity and so on are absolute idiots and have no ****ing clue how it really works. Once you begin to learn theory you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. There is enough stuff on the net to turn you into a theory master if you have the will, so go get started!
#23
Absolutely. You do not have to know theory to produce some catchy material. You should still learn basic theory, though. If you have been influenced to pick up guitar by someone else, how much they know about theory will influence you as well. My main influence for guitar is John Mayer. The dude is a beast at theory and it's obvious if you look at his music.

Check out the official tab book for "Room for Squares". Take a peek at "St. Patrick's Day". The song has over 30 chords in it and they aren't just your basic stuff, either. We're talking some chords that would make someone scratch their head.

It's stuff like that that made me think theory must be important to writing music so that's what influenced me to learn. And if you want to, it'll just click.
#24
Ofcourse you should write music without thinking of music theory to much. If you choose a scale and then build a song in it, thats the wrong way around. You should just pick up your guitar and find something that sounds good. But then music theory can help you identify what scale your creation is, it helps you be able to progress the song into a verse a chorus a brdge or whatever because theory explains you where your at, what chords you can use, what kind of progression you have and what you can do with it, what you do is all your choice.

Plus, when you are going improv with a bunch of other musicans its helpfull to know theory because you dont have the freedom to just f*ck around until something sounds good, you WANT to be in the right key, over the right progression during your irmpov or your gonna buzz it.

I always try to imagine Music theory as a map that explains you where you are during improv or songwriting, but never as a rulebook. Use it when you are not sure where to go.
#25
Quote by griffRG7321
Learning theory just creates a load of muso shredders who can't write songs and have zero feeling!!


This is simply untrue. Shredding has absolutely nothing to do with theory, and the reason is that they learned a few shapes and run mindlessly through them. This is not theory, that's quite the opposite.

Quote by mr7string
i think its better to write without it and play what sounds good to your ears instead of thinking 'right i have a riff, now lets get a progretion over this scale, and now lets write a solo using this scale'


''This fret here, let's try. Nice. Now this fret. No. Perhaps I'll try this one? Better. Okay and now this fret on this string. WOW! Now this one. Nope. Let's try this one and see what it does.''

I'm not against using this method for writing short riffs, but man I wouldn't advise anyone to score a whole symphony that way!
#26
Quote by griffRG7321
Learning theory just creates a load of muso shredders who can't write songs and have zero feeling!!1
That's completely incorrect. Steve Vai knows a huge amount of theory, are you saying he can't write songs and his playing has no feeling?
#27
Quote by JackMorris
That's completely incorrect. Steve Vai knows a huge amount of theory, are you saying he can't write songs and his playing has no feeling?


Steve vay and yngwie molmsteeve and joe satriany and the rest of those muso shredders have no feeling its all showing off!!1!1

They can't write songs, they just improvise over backing tracks and say "hey look at me i know lots of scales derp derp"

Quote by Slayertplsko
This is simply untrue. Shredding has absolutely nothing to do with theory, and the reason is that they learned a few shapes and run mindlessly through them. This is not theory, that's quite the opposite.




Nope your wrong, theory is knowing lots of scales like lydian #5 and bepop phyrgian half cadence dominant.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Jul 1, 2010,
#29
I think certain aspects of it can be a hindrance to those who do not understand its purpose. As AlanHB said, theory is descriptive, not proscriptive...but plenty of beginner - intermediate musicians, 'specially us guitarists, do not seem to realise that. How many guitarists learn that one box shape of the minor pentatonic and then proceed to widdle indefinately with it, without learning anything much further? Way too many, as we all know.

I've got a solid grasp of basic theory and how it translates to the fretboard, and it has helped me immensely in many ways. But I can't help but think that in certain ways it has limited me too. If only I understood more, much more really, then it could REALLY help me. But after getting the basic stuff down, let's say, understanding and being able to harmonise the major, minor, harmonic and melodic minor scales, knowing how to construct any chord and understanding at least to an extent how they interrelate, and all the other 'basic' stuff....shit gets complicated. And tbh, at least for the moment I don't have the willpower to really delve into all that, it's so dauntingly huge. I know that if I studied hard that eventually I would see some great results, but for the moment I'm ok where I am, which is composing and improvising using a lot of 'guesswork', though still founded in that basic stuff.

The problem is that it feels a lot like I'm on some intermediary, insufficient rung of the theory ladder. And that feeling sucks. It's surely true that only the very gifted and very dedicated (i.e. not most of us) get the full benefit of learning theory. The rest of us less so.

I'm getting bored with trying to argue this but hopefully you get my drift.

As a footnote, I think it's probably true that many great guitarists only sound they way they do because of their unconventional approach and they fact that they didn't learn theory. Food for thought.
#30
It helps by knowing what will sound good. If you know about the V-I movement then you won't have to guess on how to make your piece sound finished.

It's also handy when playing with other musicians. If 3 jamming guitarists know theory and one doesn't the one who doesn't is more likely to make it sound unfitting than the others.
#31
+1
and also, with theory you can more easily find the creative things you hear in your head on your instrument
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#33
Quote by griffRG7321
Steve vay and yngwie molmsteeve and joe satriany and the rest of those muso shredders have no feeling its all showing off!!1!1

They can't write songs, they just improvise over backing tracks and say "hey look at me i know lots of scales derp derp"


Nope your wrong, theory is knowing lots of scales like lydian #5 and bepop phyrgian half cadence dominant.


Steve Vai plays without feeling? You sir are ignorant. Go read his Martian love secrets course and watch him play. That man has more feeling in his left pinky than most musicians out there today..theory headed or not.
Quote by thematthill5
The man speaks truth.


Quote by Scutchington
That was probably the first time I've ever laughed at the "over 9000" meme.
#34
Quote by The_Mariner
Steve Vai plays without feeling? You sir are ignorant. Go read his Martian love secrets course and watch him play. That man has more feeling in his left pinky than most musicians out there today..theory headed or not.


Dude it's spelt Steve vay ...
#38
I'm not against music theory I just don't have the time to study it so I take shortcuts. I learn here and there and from others. I may not have the best understanding but I can still write to other peoples music and come up with material in my band that everyone can write to, so I'm not worried about it...it's gradual.
#39
Quote by JackMorris
Guess not then :/ It's spelt Vai, look it up if you wish.


Someone's obviously changed it, i've met vay in person and he told me how it's properly spelt. I had to get out of there though because he kept shredding and saying "griff look what i can do!".
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Jul 1, 2010,
#40
Quote by SeeEmilyPlay
I'm not against music theory I just don't have the time to study it so I take shortcuts.


I guess what most people here who actually know music theory are saying is that music theory IS the shortcut. You don't have to learn it, but through guesswork 99% of the time you'll come up with the same result as if you referred to music theory in the first place.

But this seems like a pointless argument, TS has obviously made the thread with no intentions of being convinced that music theory has any worth, even though he's probably abiding by it's rules any way.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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