#1
TL;DR at bottom.

So here I am with my fragmented memory of theory - posing the question... "Should I even bother relearning most of it?"

I've never had any plans to play professionally, I'm not much of a shredder, and I find it hard to take only a "part" of an idea at a time. If I go learn something - I want to learn everything about it before moving on.

So if my only goal is to be able to play songs with my cousin, and perhaps jam with him a bit - while it may help being able to figure out what key we're in and what notes would sound best... I wonder if I'd be better off just training my ear and going by that when we jam, rather than worrying about any theory.

For keyboard however... my only real plans is to commit to sight reading. I've tried before but after struggling to find time (as I only got my keyboard about the time I quit playing music) I never really got past finding C, F, A, and E. Would anyone say its a (bit) more important to at least know the basics (EG: Finding the key of a song) or should I not bother? Unlike guitar - I don't really plan to write any of my own music for keyboard. My goal is just to learn songs I find pleasing such as - no plans to play any Chopin.

Things that I have a good enough memory of that a quick recap would bring me up to speed again:
How to construct major/minor scales.
Chord Construction and Chord Progressions
Key Signatures (C = No flats/sharps, F = 1 flat, E = 4 sharps, A = 3 sharps etc.)
I probably know other stuff but would have to read it to actually remember it.

I think I more-or-less ranted at myself in this thread. Probably look like an idiot. So I'll cut it here.


TL;DR
Don't plan to play professionally, just want to play music and jam with my cousin. Should I bother with any theory again or just start playing?
#3
Training your ears takes months - years. Applying what you learn about note relationships etc. can affect your playing immediately.
#4
Quote by WTC117
So if my only goal is to be able to play songs with my cousin, and perhaps jam with him a bit - while it may help being able to figure out what key we're in and what notes would sound best... I wonder if I'd be better off just training my ear and going by that when we jam, rather than worrying about any theory.


So basically if you were to use theory to approach a jam situation the thought process would be something like;

1. What is the key?

2. What scale/s work within that key?

3. Do I have to account for any accidentals?


But without theory it would be more like;

1. Try random note. Does it sound good?

2. Repeat step 1.

3. Repeat step 1.


And you'll most likely end up with the same result at the end. And that's really the main use of theory in a jam situation - it takes the guess-work out of the equation as to which notes "fit" and which don't. You still have the ability to play all the notes in whatever order you want, but you'll have a rough guide as to which notes are "safe" and which are "not safe".

So to achieve a jamming level with your cousin, you'll want to cover major and minor scales, keys and chords and how all these things work together.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
So basically just need to get around to memorizing the keys again...I know the # of sharps/flats in most just forget..... the order that those sharps/flats appear in. <_<''

Off to the books for a bit then.

Thanks for the quick answers. Guess I'll do a quick run around the basics again - but this time try and not go much further. Last time I was too much theory, too little application of theory.