#1
Ok so in my band we have a lead guitarist (myself) and a rhythm guitarist and bassist. Now out of the three of us, I am the only one with a substantial knowledge of music theory, which can be a challenge. I was wondering if anyone has been in a situation like this before, and what might make working with them a little easier
#2
well, how long have they been playing and how do they learn to play songs?

because my bassist doesn't know theory but he can learn to play things pretty quickly, he just needs to hear what I'm playing, however he has been playing for almost 20 years
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#3
My rhythm guitarist has been playing for somewhere around a year and my bassist has been playing bass for a year, but played guitar for a few years before that. My rhythm guitarist mainly learns by tabs, and my bassist by listening to songs, but the issue lies within the problem that some of the stuff they come up with doesn't make great musical sense, or have the same appeal to it that I think it should (we're an original band).
#4
have you tried to teach them theory or asked them to learn some theory?

your gonna have more difficulty explaining why things work or why they don't if you can't explain it. so see if they are willing to learn at least basic theory.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#5
How much music theory are we talking about? If your bandmates can play the same notes as you there shouldn't be any problem.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
The issue I have with them is that they can't improvise or write lines that make musical sense. We are an alternative band, but I lean on improvision heavily and encourage them to do the same, however they know very little theory and do not necessarily have all the chops either, but its more theory. My rhythm guitarist plans to take music theory as an elective next year, but he doesn't care to work on it in private lessons and believes learning theory curbs your creativity, even recording though I've assured him otherwise. My bassist is not the biggest problem, its just that when we do a quick jam, its difficult for him to make up a groove that's in key with what I'm playing.
#7
Well, here's the thing:

Their stuff doesn't work because it sounds bad, not because it "doesn't make musical sense." You're not going to win any converts if you tell them what they're playing is bad because it violates established theory.

But if you bass player can't play in key, and doesn't want to learn, there's not a lot you can do. You just have to keep pointing out that stuff sounds bad.

They have to want to learn.
#8
Quote by musicman14579
believes learning theory curbs your creativity


Obviously we know this isn't true, but is a common excuse for those who don't wish to learn. You need an actual reason to want to learn, and whatever he's playing obviously sounds good to him because otherwise he wouldn't like it, right?

I used to be on the same page as him too, and thought scales were something that dorks played on their violins. However I grew out of that stage once I realised what you could do with scales. But it was a step I made myself, nobody could have "forced" me to make that realisation.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Oh, I've given up on getting my bassist to memorize his fretboard. I now just say "5th fret on A....no that's the E string...yes, playing the 2nd string open is the same thing..." but hey, I can't force him to stop learning to play bass riffs from Final Fantasy
#10
Quote by AlanHB
Obviously we know this isn't true, but is a common excuse for those who don't wish to learn. You need an actual reason to want to learn, and whatever he's playing obviously sounds good to him because otherwise he wouldn't like it, right?

I used to be on the same page as him too, and thought scales were something that dorks played on their violins. However I grew out of that stage once I realised what you could do with scales. But it was a step I made myself, nobody could have "forced" me to make that realisation.


I kind of lean towards this direction myself although its less of "music theory curbs creativity" and more of "music theory without creativity curbs good music" You can have all the music theory and technicality in the world and still make bad music if you don't that spark of creativty.

So TS, work with that, you have the theory, they have the creativity (I'm not saying you don't have that either) but if you are coming up with a chord progression you should know what is going to roughly sound good over that so edge them in that direction, make small suggestions, then the will pick up on what works and what doesn't. It's going to take a bit of time but you have to walk before you can run. Soon without knowing they have even learnt theory they will pick up on what works and what doesn't and start applying that to new songs you work on.

There's having an indepth music theory knowledge (which sounds like they don't want; thats cool) and having a basic music theory knowledge (which sounds like they don't have) to know what is going to work and what isn't.
-Mithaearon-
"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
#11
Quote by Mithaearon
I kind of lean towards this direction myself although its less of "music theory curbs creativity" and more of "music theory without creativity curbs good music"


It's still better than no music theory and no creativity though
Or maybe not... But how little creativity do you need to have to play music with theory --that sounds worse than no creativity and no theory...

Anyway.. to TS, if the bandmates have so little motivation that they can't learn even the basics of their instruments, you're gonna have a tough time.

But for now you can just stop trying to jam, and focus on making music. How about doing everything by yourself for now? Write all the parts and tab them out. Then tell them to practice it at home, and after that practice it at wherever you practice.

If they don't like the fact that you do everything then tell them to make something better and hint at scales and all that. Maybe they'll start finding the motivation, maybe not. But if not, and your serious about music, I'd suggest new bandmates.