#1
Hello all,

I've listened to Dream Theater for the better part of 8 years, the same amount of time I've been playing bass. I'm practically a disciple. However, I've never attempted to learn one of their songs...not because I can't read tabs and figure it out, but because I don't WANT to read tabs and "figure it out"...if I can't identify what's happening musically, I don't want to learn it.

I am intensely interested in understanding the theory that goes into crafting these songs. That being said, my question is: What types of things should I keep in mind when reading their complicated tabs and listening to their music? Should I be thinking about modes, or just keeping my mind wrapped around a certain scale and watching what they do with it? I really cannot tell what the HELL is going on in this music.

For the record, I'm currently interested in being able to play through the entire second disc of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
All your bass are belong to me <3
#2
Dream Theater has a tendency to stay in a few scales and modes per song, so if you can figure out parts of the song, it becomes easier to figure out the rest. The problems arise when you try to figure out one of the "epic" songs that are longer than ~10 minutes. Sometimes those can go all over the place. Another thing to keep in mind is that Dream Theater has reoccurring musical themes, especially in the Alcoholics Anonymous songs.
#4
Quote by AllYourBass
Hello all,

I've listened to Dream Theater for the better part of 8 years, the same amount of time I've been playing bass. I'm practically a disciple. However, I've never attempted to learn one of their songs...not because I can't read tabs and figure it out, but because I don't WANT to read tabs and "figure it out"...if I can't identify what's happening musically, I don't want to learn it.


learning to play their music can be a big help in determining "what's happening musically".


Quote by AllYourBass

What types of things should I keep in mind when reading their complicated tabs and listening to their music?

that these guys are gods and that you'll be one 2 since you're into them so much.
JK thats what alot of DT fans do though.

Quote by AllYourBass

Should I be thinking about modes, or just keeping my mind wrapped around a certain scale and watching what they do with it? I really cannot tell what the HELL is going on in this music.


try just listening for starters. study theory.... when you have developed enough knowledge, you'll be able to put 2 and 2 together. (it'll take awhile though)

Quote by AllYourBass

For the record, I'm currently interested in being able to play through the entire second disc of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.


start with 1 song. listen to it, learn it, memorize it, play it, enjoy it. When you have the background....study it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 2, 2010,
#5
Have you seen the John Myung instructional video? There a few bits of stuff you could pick out of that. John Myung is not the most interesting man alive but you never know if you learn something new.
#6
Quote by GuitarMunky

start with 1 song. listen to it, learn it, memorize it, play it, enjoy it. When you have the background....study it.


Hmm, I like this approach. Perhaps playing/feeling it will enhance my perception and understanding of it. God knows I listen to it enough.

Sometimes I wish I could take a song and convert it into a one-octave song...that is, refine the entire thing to 12 pitches. It'd be like caging a cougar. Still ridiculous, but at least I can see the beginning and end of the fence

Pillo, I'll look into that DVD!
All your bass are belong to me <3
#7
There's a few clips of it on youtube, so you should definitely check it out. Aside from that, do what Munky told you, look at the chords and the notes within each of the chords as well as the fingerings obvious patterns you might pick up.

Although Myung's stuff is normally meticulously written, bassists (even more so than guitarists since the bass has more freedom to improvise) usually have a set of preferred fingerings, licks and patterns of comfort within the fretboard so sometimes learning a single song can reveal a lot about the bassists regular choices for everything they play.
#8
Sorry TS, I don't have any more constructive advice than has already been said above. I just had to tell you that your name is the most awesome reference ever, if it is indeed a reference and not just a coincidental misunderstanding on my part.
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