#1
i'm new to all this, i'm expecting a lot of hate, hah.

but yeah i mean i've started for around 6 months now,
and i'm comfortable with just picking it up and learning what i want to learn really..
as for not knowing or learning theory.. is that a bad thing?
i mean someday i wouldn't mind being in a band or whatever, that'll be a long time til that happens.
but learning guitar theory and such seems like just a bore to me,
sorry if i'm being ignorant on all this, but i don't think i need to learn it, or want to learn it at all,
i just wanna pick up the guitar and play what i like and better myself in terms of skill and whatnot.
is that a good thing?/bad thing?

your opinion?
how does music theory help you?
#2
I'm much in the same boat as you, at least I was until I started trying to write stuff. It's so much easier once you've got a good idea of chords, scales etc and can just pick and choose what you're going to use and where, it's not essential but it makes it easier. It also makes explaining your stuff or teaching it t people easier due to that extra level of depth and understanding.
#3
It's not bad, but it is not nearly, not by a long shot, as good as it could be with theory.

By the way, what kind of answer do you think you will get on a forum dedicated to music theory?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#4
how does music theory help me? i'm a musician. it's like a question if knowing chemistry makes you a better chemist. you don't NEED it, but it sure would make your job easier.

is it bad that you're only learning guitar without learning theory? in my opinion, yes, because what you're doing is you're only learning a certain section. but there's no real answer, because it's not good or bad. it's only better or worse -- it has to be comparative. the answer there would be that it's worse for you.

if you want to join a band as a hobby, you honestly won't really need it. it'd make you better if you knew how to apply it, but you won't really need it. anything more than that and you'd be taken as a joke if you didn't know things like that.

either way, i'd take a little more time just playing the guitar before you make the decision to learn or not to learn. you've only been playing 6 months - that's just enough to get your feet wet.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#5
I'll get my comment in before the zealots on opposing sides of the theory/no theory fence start pointing at each other and shouting "Burn the heretics!!"....

You're playing. You're enjoying it. Keep doing what you're doing and damn what other people think. Thats rock and roll. One day you might want to explore a deeper understanding of music... but that doesnt seem to be today...and thats fine.

Scuse me while I go throw a television out of a hotel room window. I suggest you do the same
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#6
Iunno, I taught myself pretty much the whole time. I'm 18 now, and I got my first bass (vintage '64 P bass <3) when i was 11, with no formal training with a very limited knowledge of scales and such. Now I'm in a band I'm really proud of with 7 original compositions, that are kind of complex.


Tl;dr

I just taught myself, go for it man.
#8
Quote by PwnyExpress
Iunno, I taught myself pretty much the whole time. I'm 18 now, and I got my first bass (vintage '64 P bass <3) when i was 11, with no formal training with a very limited knowledge of scales and such. Now I'm in a band I'm really proud of with 7 original compositions, that are kind of complex.


so what you're saying is that you're producing music at a rate of 1 composition/year? i'm not at all taking a shot at you, i'm just trying to get this from an objective standpoint.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by AeolianWolf
so what you're saying is that you're producing music at a rate of 1 composition/year? i'm not at all taking a shot at you, i'm just trying to get this from an objective standpoint.


Well, we've been together for a year. I think that 7 originals is pretty good considering our age. Of course i had old riffs that we had put in to songs, that happens in any band. But really we've done 7 songs over 1 year...Not really seeing the relevance of it, considering composition and playing skill are pretty different mind sets in general. There's some amazing players who play in studios, to written music, but when it comes to just jamming on a good riff, they can't do it. Just different ways people think of things.

And, i'm pretty comfortable with my playing skill, and that's all that really matters in the end - helps that my band sounds great
#10
Lemme jump right in and say idk a damn thing about music theory
I know a few scales and whatnot but that's about it. On top of that I'm self taught so really I'm learnin what i want to learn.
I've been in several bands not really knowing what key i play in. What scales ect.
I honestly think its an individual choice on whether or not you choose to learn and drool thru someone teachin you music theory. My advice on that is to find a teacher that interests you on youtube or something.
But honestly i don't think you absolutely NEED to know it.

I don't even know how to read music and here i am able to write my own songs and melodies.
I think that it'd be a nice thing to dabble in when you've found yourself at a plateau of your guitar playing. If that makes sense.
#11
Quote by PwnyExpress
But really we've done 7 songs over 1 year...Not really seeing the relevance of it, considering composition and playing skill are pretty different mind sets in general.


well, yeah, they're different. theory makes one much easier, whereas it has little to no effect on the other.

7 in 1 year isn't bad. it's better than the bands i know of that don't know theory. they often struggle at piecing riffs together and just come up with things that aren't really coherent.

Quote by PwnyExpress
There's some amazing players who play in studios, to written music, but when it comes to just jamming on a good riff, they can't do it. Just different ways people think of things.


whereas i won't (and can't) deny this, i WILL say that there are much fewer of these people than people who don't know theory and can barely compose a song with one or two interesting parts.

all i know is that, as a musician, i want to have as much skill as i can, in all areas. to each his own, i guess.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jun 7, 2011,
#12
it depends what you want to do.
i would say even if you don't want to write, theory is IMMENSLY helpful as an instrumentalist. it helps with improvising, memorizing (its easier to memorize of the IV V I bVi V I chords in C then it is to think of F, G7, C, Ab7, G7, C, as knowing them in relation to each other lets you memorize them as one unit, rather then 6. likewise if i know how the Ab is functioning, and how the F and G are functioning, I can substitute different chords that will sound good with the rest of the band, and keep the progression basically the same, but different enough to be a bit more interesting and fun) and performing music (Im learning a piece for piano atm, which has some chord voicings which are completely impossible on guitar, but I can intelligently re-write bits of it, and know what notes are best to omit, hopefully without completely desecrating the piece, much better then if i didn't know theory). if you want to be any kind of creative musician, theory will only make it easier. if you can't be assed to learn theory, its no skin off my apple--but really, its pretty easy once you start getting into it, and can be incredibly useful and (once you get past the basics) fun. a different kind of fun then playing guitar, but still fun.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#13
Quote by AeolianWolf
well, yeah, they're different. theory makes one much easier, whereas it has little to no effect on the other.

7 in 1 year isn't bad. it's better than the bands i know of that don't know theory. they often struggle at piecing riffs together and just come up with things that aren't really coherent.


whereas i won't (and can't) deny this, i WILL say that there are much fewer of these people than people who don't know theory and can barely compose a song with one or two interesting parts.

all i know is that, as a musician, i want to have as much skill as i can, in all areas. to each his own, i guess.


It's not that I didn't want to learn as much as I could, it's that i honestly didn't have the drive to teach myself theory, and no teachers to do it professionally. Now, I have a friend who teaches me a bunch of stuff from his college courses, and I'm going to learn piano for college.

I also agree that the number of players who can't pull a song out of their asses is staggering, but if you have even a small spark of talent that shit should come natural to you - it did for me!

Oh yeah, and I kinda left out that my dad has always played (since he was 8, hes almost 55 now) and i've grown up in a musical background, family-wise. My parents have been in rock bands since before I could remember! That probably had some effect, too.
#14
I like to think of it like linguistics. Kids learn to make noises, then words out of those noises, then sentences out of those words. After that they learn to read and write. Music education can follow the same path - make noises, then chords, then strings of chords, and after you have those under your fingers, when you explore theory and music deeply, you'll have an experiential understanding as opposed to a purely academic one.
#16
Quote by hn.dlvalentez
i'm new to all this, i'm expecting a lot of hate, hah.

but yeah i mean i've started for around 6 months now,
and i'm comfortable with just picking it up and learning what i want to learn really..
as for not knowing or learning theory.. is that a bad thing?
i mean someday i wouldn't mind being in a band or whatever, that'll be a long time til that happens.
but learning guitar theory and such seems like just a bore to me,
sorry if i'm being ignorant on all this, but i don't think i need to learn it, or want to learn it at all,
i just wanna pick up the guitar and play what i like and better myself in terms of skill and whatnot.
is that a good thing?/bad thing?

your opinion?
how does music theory help you?


Good for you man, and no there's no creed set or rule that says you need to learn theory. Learn it when its personally meaningful to you. I get a lot of inquiries about my lessons from guys that have only just started playing in the last year or so, and I usually will tell them all to wait another year or so.

There's still so much that you should be doing, I think its best to take a few years learning the instrument, songs, chord changes etc. I don't generally take anyone thats not at least strong in the basics, because the basics are that important. Get the chords and songs and strums, and have fun learning what you like. I'm not saying don't learn theory (because I certainly am a big believer in it) but there will be time for that later when you've been playing for a while and want to understand more about what you are doing.

For now just keep playing and enjoying what you are doing. Don't let anyone suggest differently or try to shame you about it.

Best,

Sean
#17
Quote by Sean0913
Good for you man, and no there's no creed set or rule that says you need to learn theory. Learn it when its personally meaningful to you. I get a lot of inquiries about my lessons from guys that have only just started playing in the last year or so, and I usually will tell them all to wait another year or so.

There's still so much that you should be doing, I think its best to take a few years learning the instrument, songs, chord changes etc. I don't generally take anyone thats not at least strong in the basics, because the basics are that important. Get the chords and songs and strums, and have fun learning what you like. I'm not saying don't learn theory (because I certainly am a big believer in it) but there will be time for that later when you've been playing for a while and want to understand more about what you are doing.

For now just keep playing and enjoying what you are doing. Don't let anyone suggest differently or try to shame you about it.

Best,

Sean


This is the most reassuring thing ive ever read on this board. Ive been playing 8 months now but I know much more theory than I can actually use given my limited ability atm. Yet because of the way some people talk about theory here Im always thinking I dont know enough to start writing my own music yet. I think my perception of why music theory is useful may be a little scewed.
#18
you have only been playing for 6 months dude. music is something you put a lifetime into. You dont have to rush nothing or do anything you dont wanna do. Im sure there will come a time when you are motivated to learn music theory, Youll learn it then.

Things you should focus on now tho are.

Correct practice and guitar techniques.
Learning music by ear.
enjoying it.
notes of the fretboard
chord vocabulary

Its not bad to not learn music theory only playing for 6 months.
#20
Coming from a "folkie" background, I've known dozens of players who simply learned enough to accompany the songs they like and that's it.
They are perfectly content to be able to play basic chords in several keys and to accompany songs with simple strumming patterns.
Sure, it's limited, but it works for them.
It has also worked for thousands of musicians through history.

For these guys, it's about the song rather than the guitar. My wife did that; she learned to play the guitar in a rather simplified manner as she got tired of trying to find someone to play the songs she wanted to sing!
Many thousands of "roots" musicians have had successful careers or a good time with no theory background whatever.
All depends upon what you want to do and what you want to accomplish, and that may well change as you go along.
#21
Quote by hn.dlvalentez

as for not knowing or learning theory.. is that a bad thing?


it's only bad if you want to learn it or want to do something that requires knowledge of music theory.

if your goal is to play music on your guitar and enjoy it.... you're fine.


I find that most people develop an interest in theory as they get more experience playing. I also find that people do better when they are motivated by genuine interest and not out of fear of doing a "bad thing".
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 10, 2011,
#22
If it did'nt bother you ,you would'nt have asked,so scratch the itch ,start learning ....