#1
I've been playing guitar for about 3 years. and I contacted some people to form a band. It's sort of a heavy band and we play in B tuning. I have never played in this tuning before, what do you guys recommend i learn in order to make song our selfs? I'm pretty good at making up riffs ect, but music theory, not really...

I have never played in a band before.
#2
You don't need music theory to write songs. Just jam. Pull out some riffs you like and play off what everyone else is doing. If the other guitarist or bassist has a cool riff, learn it. String some riffs together into a simple structure.
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brot pls
#3
Learn the notes of the fretboard and how to play scales/arpeggios up and down and different positions.

Learn songs by bands you like, specifically if they play in B tuning. Use your ear to learn them. They'll give you ideas if you really dissect each song's rhythmic structure, chord progressions, form, and motifs.

EDIT: Practice your timing when playing with others. Listening is your greatest feat.
We're all alright!
Last edited by Mathedes at Jul 2, 2013,
#4
Quote by Mathedes
Learn the notes of the fretboard and how to play scales/arpeggios up and down and different positions.

Learn songs by bands you like, specifically if they play in B tuning. Use your ear to learn them. They'll give you ideas if you really dissect each song's rhythmic structure, chord progressions, form, and motifs.

EDIT: Practice your timing when playing with others. Listening is your greatest feat.


I'm learning the notes right now. So I should learn like every scale for every key? Isn't this gonna take ages? I remember like a year ago or something I tried to learn scales but it was just too boring...

My psychical playing skills are pretty decent though.
#5
Quote by Mathedes
Learn the notes of the fretboard and how to play scales/arpeggios up and down and different positions.

Learn songs by bands you like, specifically if they play in B tuning. Use your ear to learn them. They'll give you ideas if you really dissect each song's rhythmic structure, chord progressions, form, and motifs.

EDIT: Practice your timing when playing with others. Listening is your greatest feat.

That won't help with song writing. Listening to any band he enjoys, and some he doesn't, will help with song structure, regardless of what they're tuned to.

I'd start with some really simple structures with some simple parts. Maybe play the tempo on a metronome before you start the first few times to really internalize the beat. Once you play some of the simple stuff, you can get a feel for where you'd like to go next.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#6
EDIT:
Quote by BladeSlinger
That won't help with song writing. Listening to any band he enjoys, and some he doesn't, will help with song structure, regardless of what they're tuned to.

Yes it will. In any chance he needs to improvise/write a solo, he needs to know where he can get his notes. The same goes for any melodies or if his really heavy band decides to have chorus-y arpeggios.

There is no reason to say why this won't help him.

Quote by guitargod133
I'm learning the notes right now. So I should learn like every scale for every key? Isn't this gonna take ages? I remember like a year ago or something I tried to learn scales but it was just too boring...

My psychical playing skills are pretty decent though.

I recommend the scales for four major and minor keys with 1-4 accidentals. The reason I say to learn these scales is to reinforce your learning of the notes. To make it interesting, sing the scales with/without your instrument as you learn them. It'll help your aural memory.
We're all alright!
Last edited by Mathedes at Jul 2, 2013,
#8
Quote by Mathedes
Yes it will. In any chance he needs to improvise/write a solo, he needs to know where he can get his notes. The same goes for any melodies or if his really heavy band decides to have chorus-y arpeggios.


I recommend the scales for four major and minor keys with 1-4 accidentals. The reason I say to learn these scales is to reinforce your learning of the notes. To make it interesting, sing the scales with/without your instrument as you learn them. It'll help your aural memory.

Who said he's even going to have solos? You can write all the solos you want and know all the scales or arpeggios but that doesn't mean you know how to apply them. I've known quite a few scales and arpeggios on saxophone from my seven years in band. I had no clue how to apply them. I knew what key they went to but it never gave me any knowledge on song writing. My two semesters of harmony and one of aural in college never gave me any songwriting knowledge. It is not the same.


Even then, this guy isn't musically literate. Unless you have an understanding of basic chord theory, those scales and arpeggios won't do much. You won't know anything about progressions or how to make inversions, which is essential for the basics of chord progressions with theory in mind. His riffs most likely won't be specifically scale based and he won't be proficient enough to apply them in a natural sounding way. It will be scales as riffs. He'd have no sense of how to solo over some thing except with the tonic. He couldn't modulate without knowing the circle of fifths.

Telling someone to learn scales and arpeggios when they ask how to write songs won't put them very far ahead. It will teach them how to play scales. The skills needed to apply the scales, which take a while to learn, will overwhelm them to the point where they probably stop writing or forget their original intention. Starting off with fundamentals is where you start. He's never played in a band. He has to learn to lock in with a drummer and toy around with some sounds before organizing them. Learning a major and minor scale, maybe an harmonic minor, would be good to warm up and flavor his playing until he's more proficient in writing.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
Last edited by BladeSlinger at Jul 2, 2013,
#9
Quote by Mathedes
Learn the notes of the fretboard and how to play scales/arpeggios up and down and different positions.


This won't help with songwriting, as mentioned. Nor will it help with improvising as you said. If someone starts playing and ask him to improvise, he will be sitting there looking for the root so he can start playing his scales and such. It's much better to work on the ears and play from there. I'm not saying ignore theory or anything like that, i am saying sound first, then analyze it.

Quote by Mathedes


Learn songs by bands you like, specifically if they play in B tuning. Use your ear to learn them. They'll give you ideas if you really dissect each song's rhythmic structure, chord progressions, form, and motifs.


This on the other hand is solid advice, even though i believe he should learn whatever he likes, regardless of tuning. He can still apply it to B tuning.

Anyways, the things i suggest you do are:

1) Learn songs you like by ear. The ear part is very important, cause by learning by ear you become better at getting from hearing a sound to be able to recognize it and play it on guitar. It also helps you develop ideas easier. You might for example be able to hear a guitar part or something in your head, but since you haven't developed your ear enough you can't complete the process to get it OUT of your head. Learning songs by ear is also a very natural way of shaping your own style and sound. It's all about the ears man.

2) Similar to the previous post, i suggest you start practice improvising. And i mean really improvising, not playing patterns you already have under your fingers. I mean like playing a chord (whatever chord, major/minor/diminished/augmented/sus etc) and then singing or humming a phrase over it, and then instantly trying to copy it on guitar. You will be incredibly bad at this at first, just like everyone else, but the more you do it the better you get. And then you will be able to come up with ideas and trying them out much faster and easier. As with the previous post, it's about getting that step in between idea -> ? -> guitar.
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#10
Quote by BladeSlinger
Who said he's even going to have solos? You can write all the solos you want and know all the scales or arpeggios but that doesn't mean you know how to apply them. I've known quite a few scales and arpeggios on saxophone from my seven years in band. I had no clue how to apply them. I knew what key they went to but it never gave me any knowledge on song writing. My two semesters of harmony and one of aural in college never gave me any songwriting knowledge. It is not the same.


Even then, this guy isn't musically literate. Unless you have an understanding of basic chord theory, those scales and arpeggios won't do much. You won't know anything about progressions or how to make inversions, which is essential for the basics of chord progressions with theory in mind. His riffs most likely won't be specifically scale based and he won't be proficient enough to apply them in a natural sounding way. It will be scales as riffs. He'd have no sense of how to solo over some thing except with the tonic. He couldn't modulate without knowing the circle of fifths.

Telling someone to learn scales and arpeggios when they ask how to write songs won't put them very far ahead. It will teach them how to play scales. The skills needed to apply the scales, which take a while to learn, will overwhelm them to the point where they probably stop writing or forget their original intention. Starting off with fundamentals is where you start. He's never played in a band. He has to learn to lock in with a drummer and toy around with some sounds before organizing them. Learning a major and minor scale, maybe an harmonic minor, would be good to warm up and flavor his playing until he's more proficient in writing.

You split way too many hairs bud.
We're all alright!
#11
Quote by Mathedes
You split way too many hairs bud.

Just writing out the logical conclusion of your suggestion. Learning scales and arpeggios is useless in songwriting unless you apply them. You need a variety of skills to apply them correctly.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#13
I'd say, listen to what you like and analyse it. I would always recommend Guitar Pro for analysing, as it allows you to see every detail of the harmony, and, please don't become one of those songwriters who refuses to use common chord progressions like vi IV I V because they're 'false', or what have you, and if you're just learning to write a song, don't attempt tempo or meter, or even key changes (unless it's a simple Chorus one tone up change), because you run the risk of making random, inconsistent songs.
#14
Its you ears and influences and your imagination. If bb king was a sperm and grew up influenced by jazz, he would prolly been a great jazzer. Music theory will help you categorize shit and develop your ears.
#15
Quote by CelestialGuitar
I'd say, listen to what you like and analyse it. I would always recommend Guitar Pro for analysing, as it allows you to see every detail of the harmony, and, please don't become one of those songwriters who refuses to use common chord progressions like vi IV I V because they're 'false', or what have you, and if you're just learning to write a song, don't attempt tempo or meter, or even key changes (unless it's a simple Chorus one tone up change), because you run the risk of making random, inconsistent songs.

I don't agree with the bold part. Or yeah, I kind of agree with it because it's easy to make it sound forced. But sometimes it makes the song really flow.

Write what you hear in your head. Sometimes modulation fits some parts really well and if you hear a modulation there, do a modulation. Same with tempo/time signature changes. If it fits the song, do it. But don't do it just for the sake of doing a modulation, time signature or tempo change. It'll just sound forced.

Also, if it's a vi-IV-I-V that you hear, use it. But if not, don't use it. It's so simple. It's stupid to force yourself to use that kind of progression if you don't like the sound of it. That chord progression is really easy to make sound cliche. That's why I don't use it really often. But music has so much more to it than just chords.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#16
I'll side with the others in saying that you don't need to learn music theory,, to play and write in a band situation, but I think it sure helps a lot.

Let's use an analogy. Imagine walking in the dark groping for a door handle to see where a door takes you. You will find door handles, but youre at the mercy of luck, and your hands finding something that works, and most likely you're going to use a lot more of your own time to get there.

Departing from this analogy, what you won't do, even once you find it, is know what your doing or understand how and why it works.

Imagine however you're NOT in the dark, you're in a place where many more doors are easily visible to you, and many you might not have found on your own. You can move to a door and then back out to the place you started, and try another door. Also, some doors lead to other doors that will get you where you want to go.

Which of these options sounds the most attractive to you?

Best,

Sean