I've been thinking for a while now, there seems to be two ways to go about being a musician, or more specifically, a songwriter or a composer. I mean there are obvious benefits of eventually having a really strong understanding of music theory, you know, even the most complex aspects of it. Because surely it then makes it much easier to realize concepts and know how things work on a really practical level. BUT, I do wonder, is there a point where you just carry on learning for the sake of it? And, perhaps, even lose sight of the goal you had in the first place?

I've only been playing for just under 3 years, but there's definitely been more creativity when I'm thinking about music in a ... well, almost an abstract way, just basing what I do around energy, and what I hear, when the only music theory I have in my head is "key of F.... mm hmmm..... C, A#, Gm, Dm....." and it doesn't get any more intricate musically, but what I do with it then becomes a lot more natural.

Prior to the last 6 months or so, I was very much a "ok let's do this. I'll use this chord.... and then this chord...." and, you know, thinking about my solos before I play them, note for note, anticipating everything because I knew it was clever and followed the principles I'd picked up from whoever I listened to at the time, Metallica or whoever. And, to be honest, nothing happened with it.

Just wondering... anyone else thinking about this?
I'm a very abstract composer. The way I do is listen to it in my mind... compose it in my mind in the way I want it to sound, then locate the notes on the fretboard.

BUT, I also do have a lot of musical theory knowledge so whatever I write this way ends up being musically correct as well... if that's what you're talkin' bout?

Interesting though.
May the Force be with You.
Carmel is hawt
To be honest, "instinct" composing is really best in settings where there isn't intricate orchestration. Rock music is great for it. If you're doing a classical or Romantic-era kind of thing (which you probably wouldn't use guitar to compose with anyway) you are going to want to sit down and puzzle it out, to a degree. It's just the nature of our beast, as primarily rock guys; wacky stuff usually sounds alright.
if I'm understanding the question correctly, I'm all about instinct.
I don't think music should be about rules. If it sounds good, it sounds good. Knowledge is infinite, and the more you know, the more you can do... but you shouldn't limit yourself to using just knowledge, because there's more to music than just technicalities
Quote by Eddie4President
You are amazing. The fact that you have paramore next to disturbed shows how awesome you are.
Here, an awesome medal. It's made out of awesomnite.
:extends medal:

Quote by Fallen_Seeker
Thank you!
I would give you an awesome metal, but
I can't find any awesomnite.
I don't know how to read music or anything and it dosn't bother me. The other day i finished off a song with a guitar part which isn't even in any kind of tuning, just some odd sounding between notes thing and it sounds good to me.

I was speaking to this classically trained girl who plays piano the other day, they were so set it in their ways about the 'correct method' of doing music it annoyed me.
Music is closely related, neurologically, to language. Learning your chords and scales is akin to learning your letters and words and such.

Riffs are like sentences and songs are like whole statements, arguments, or questions. Sometimes whole conversations depending on the length of the song.

Anyway, when you first learned language you pretty much spat out, verbatim, "Tim went to the shop to buy a bone for his dog" and that's how you learned, same way you learn your minor pentatonic scale, for example.

One day you started being able to express more, like "I want the new iPhone!" or something.

Eventually your grasp of language is sufficient to where you can develop opinions and begin to engage in philosophical, political and religious discussions and even create fictional prose and abstract poetry.

When we're kids we're taught (apparently not well enough!!) that there are certain rules to the language, and you follow these basically so you don't look like an idiot.

Your teacher writes a big, fat, red "F!!!" on you paper so that later on you aren't called out on your poor grammar. We complain about it then, but it's better than your boss doing it, or your father-in-law, right?

These rules and conventions, though, apply to learning the language and standardizing communication between, say, a roofing contractor and the roofing team. "Put the shingles on the house" has no room for subjective interpretation.

"Put your heart into your work" obviously does have subjective elements. It's not improper to say that, but if we took it literally, as we were trained as kids, there would be a lot of eviscerated workers spewing gore around the workplace!

Think of writing and music as a developing process as opposed to "knowledge" or "instinct" because, really, it's neither.

Art is not knowledge. Teaching someone is not knowledge. These higher functions demonstrate mastery of the material - and as we all know, mastery is NOT perfection.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Why do I have to use one or the other? Instinct delivers the concept, and knowledge works out the arrangement.

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 75-87
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 4-5
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 92-54
My knowledge is my instinct.
They made me do push ups in drag

I'm gonna have a really hard time if we're both cannibals and racists.

Don't dress as a whore, he'll thump you.

I'm a firework, primed to go off
Both knowledge (the chords and scales and technique) and instinct (the process of improvising and writing) are important in music. Concentrating too much on one or the other is bad.

Instead, start your practice with knowledge by practicing scales and picking. Warm up and refresh your knowledge, then put on a backing track and work on your improv skills.

If you've done your practice for the day and just want to pick up the instrument then try approaching it in a different way. Explore avenues you haven't yet considered.

If you're old enough and substances are not a problem for you try having a beer first. It's not that it will "make your playing better," but the slight relaxation might allow you to think outside the box a little.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

I can play power chords
Quote by Kumanji
How about you don't insult my friend's dead mum, you prick.

Quote by JDawg
Too be he had to be a dick about his crayons.
There is obviously a plus and minus side to each and a more well rounded musician will comprise both worlds, however tedious the time spent to learn what does not come naturally takes.

Me, i'm instinct and love my own music, no one elses. I, of course, will never be successful, good at cover songs, or able to stay in rythym with anyone else but myself but it was never my intention to do those things in the first place.

It all depends on what you find beautiful about music and how you plan on incorporating that beauty into your life, as a musician.

I can totally appreciate Chaingarden and Chronic's reponses; good assessments imo.
Quote by Pagan_Poetry
Sadly this is Ultimate-guitar, not Simple-guitar. We can't help you.