#1
Alright well what do you guys think about me taking a music class in college? I'm going into my first year of college, and I would like to know if it would be wise to partake in a music class? I've been playing for 11 months now I've been playing only rhythm (I'm trying to build a strong foundation in rhythm before I get into lead.) The other thing is that I don't know how to read music. I only know, how to play by ear i'm pretty much a beginner, so do you think it would be wise to take a class or no? What do you think our the pros or cons in this situation I am currently in are? By the way i'm 18 years old if that means anything of importance.
#2
Assuming your school has a decent music program, there are many classes they offer. You will likely learn sheet music in a basic music theory course (my school has "Music Fundamentals") where you learn staff, intervals, key signatures, scales and other basic stuff. They will also likely have ear training classes and lessons for various instruments.

Basically, "music classes" can mean any number of things. But get ready for lots and lots of classical music.
^^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
#3
You should take a fundamentals class if you can't read music (please see rockingamer's post). The big-daddy music theory classes require the minimum of knowledge of reading and interpreting music. Your college should also offer aural classes (ear training stuff) that would be strongly recommended as well.


Cons? The classes will challenge you in ways you probably never thought possible and the competition for music scholarships is pretty cutthroat at best.

Pros? Music is fun even at its worst and you get to learn the tools of composition, so how can you go wrong?
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
#4
Thanks for the replies guys, and honestly I don't mind learning classical music or jazz. If it can help me to become a better musician then i'm all for it. I'm not really looking forward to music theory I hate it
#5
Quote by Black_devils
...it can help me to become a better musician then i'm all for it. I'm not really looking forward to music theory I hate it


Doing something you "hate" won't help you. You'll probably fail and ruin your GPA.

If you want to become a better muso, join a band. It'll be a lot more fun than music classes and you'll improve as a musician. Find something at college you actually want to do.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Quote by Black_devils
Thanks for the replies guys, and honestly I don't mind learning classical music or jazz. If it can help me to become a better musician then i'm all for it. I'm not really looking forward to music theory I hate it

I'll bite. Why do you hate it?
^^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
#7
Every school's music program is different. Since you said "college" instead of "University", I'll assume you're in the United States.

If you're going to a big school (like a Big 10 state school), they'll probably have separate tracks for majors and non-majors. As a non-major, you'll probably be able to take some elective music classes specifically for non-majors, and possibly some freshman level classes with music majors. They may also have non-major instrument/composition lessons available with graduate students.

I went to Indiana University as a liberal arts major with a music minor, and was allowed to take a year's worth of Major-level theory and ear training, plus pretty much any instrument lessons I wanted. Music Appreciation for non-majors is also a fun and easy option, if that's available to you.

Theory isn't too hard if you're willing to study a bit for it. It's all about taking this abstract music stuff and turning it into very concrete concepts - chords, scales, keys, rhythms. It's a lot like how Physics turns the motion of a baseball into a mathematical equation. Except playing guitar is way cooler than calculating trajectories.

And yes, it'll mostly focus on classical music, because that's pretty all music before 1920s, and it's what most music majors are playing. But it's really healthy to learn, because the rudiments of classical music survive intact in all forms of modern music. It's not as if they're going to hand you a Stravinsky score and ask for a dissertation.

If you study and listen hard, you can look forward to some very gratifying moments of musical epiphany when you turn on the radio and instantly recognize the chord changes in the songs you like.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 12, 2013,
#8
Quote by Black_devils
Thanks for the replies guys, and honestly I don't mind learning classical music or jazz. If it can help me to become a better musician then i'm all for it. I'm not really looking forward to music theory I hate it

It'll definitely make you look at composition in a different light. Hell, you might get divine inspiration from it.

However, on the subject of music theory, if you hate it, you'll not want to work as hard and end up fucking over your GPA. Basically, if you don't like it, don't do it.


Though, out of curiosity, why do you hate it?
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
Last edited by Mister A.J. at Nov 12, 2013,
#9
do it, you will learn much more and at a much better pace than if you would do it all on your own

music theory (in a beginner class you will learn about reading music, intervals, scales, triads, a little harmony maybe) is much easier than a physics/biology/chemistry class, don't worry about your GPA. even if its theoretical and you need to do some exercises, you are still studying music, and music is fun.
#10
Well I guess I don't hate "Music theory," But the last time I tried getting into it was really complicated. I want to enjoy music not hate it because of theory, and also I tend to rely on my ears more than anything, but I wouldn't mind learning how to read sheet music. It can only benefit me musically since I already have great ears.
#11
Quote by Black_devils
Well I guess I don't hate "Music theory," But the last time I tried getting into it was really complicated. I want to enjoy music not hate it because of theory, and also I tend to rely on my ears more than anything, but I wouldn't mind learning how to read sheet music. It can only benefit me musically since I already have great ears.

Great ears will make the aural side of theory a breeze for you. Though, I can understand where you're coming from. If you don't mind a suggestion, don't think of theory as ruining music, think of it as learning how to communicate and understand music better.

Just an idea.
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
#12
Thank you for posting this thread - I have felt like I missed out on something important because I never took any music classes in college. I'm seriously considering going back to take a few classes and this thread is seriously helping me think it through a little more clearly. I appreciate everyone's inputs big time!
#13
Quote by Black_devils
Well I guess I don't hate "Music theory," But the last time I tried getting into it was really complicated. I want to enjoy music not hate it because of theory, and also I tend to rely on my ears more than anything, but I wouldn't mind learning how to read sheet music. It can only benefit me musically since I already have great ears.


What is your goal from taking these classes?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by AlanHB
What is your goal from taking these classes?

My goal from taking these classes is to become better, and make major improvements pretty much.
#15
check out Josh Urban's Crusade in the columns.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=crusade&w=columns

I mention it a lot but it really has opened my eyes into the world of theory which used to be the bane of my learning. Everyone usually assumes we know the basics and then some so they use terms that intermediate musicians would know. Urban brings it to the absolute beginner of theory and in a weird "so uncool it's funny" kinda way. have a go at it mate
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#16
Quote by Black_devils
My goal from taking these classes is to become better, and make major improvements pretty much.


Do you aim to have a professional career in music?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
Quote by rockingamer2
Assuming your school has a decent music program, there are many classes they offer. You will likely learn sheet music in a basic music theory course (my school has "Music Fundamentals") where you learn staff, intervals, key signatures, scales and other basic stuff. They will also likely have ear training classes and lessons for various instruments.

And some schools just lump basic theory and ear training/sight singing all together (typically called something like "Music Theory I", rather than a more specific title), which is BAD, imho. If your school has classes that cover specific things, then go for it. If their freshmen music course is just a catch-all to wash out all the "lazy Freshmen" (in a similar manner to how certain Chemistry programs make first semester Chemistry harder than it needs to be), then don't even bother.
#18
What's wrong with combining ear training and theory? Seems pretty sensible to me.
.
#19
Quote by AlanHB
Do you aim to have a professional career in music?

Yes I hope to, that's where i'm aiming all my intentions at.
#20
Quote by Black_devils
Yes I hope to, that's where i'm aiming all my intentions at.


Then get off the internet and practice!

If you want to be a professional, take whatever courses are available to you, practice as much as you can, jam with others as much as you can, work on technical skills in addition to actual music... make music a real priority in your daily schedule. Challenge yourself every day.

Remember, it's not practice until you can do something you couldn't when you started.
#21
Quote by cdgraves
Then get off the internet and practice!

If you want to be a professional, take whatever courses are available to you, practice as much as you can, jam with others as much as you can, work on technical skills in addition to actual music... make music a real priority in your daily schedule. Challenge yourself every day.

Remember, it's not practice until you can do something you couldn't when you started.

I have a practice schedule which consists of me working on my technique ears, and rhythm for 3 hours. While working on songs.
#22
^^^ Are you in a band? Well connected in the local music scene?

This may seem like prodding, but unless you're aiming to be a teacher, I don't think classes will help you. You just need to get out and start playing. I've seen so many music students fail because they locked themselves in a room for 4 years and came out with zero band experience or connections.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#23
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Are you in a band? Well connected in the local music scene?

This may seem like prodding, but unless you're aiming to be a teacher, I don't think classes will help you. You just need to get out and start playing. I've seen so many music students fail because they locked themselves in a room for 4 years and came out with zero band experience or connections.

I don't even think i'm on the skill level for a band to actually want me to join, but if it so happens that I find one I like i'll join it.
#24
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Are you in a band? Well connected in the local music scene?

This may seem like prodding, but unless you're aiming to be a teacher, I don't think classes will help you. You just need to get out and start playing. I've seen so many music students fail because they locked themselves in a room for 4 years and came out with zero band experience or connections.


I don't know why this would be an either/or proposition - why can't he take music classes AND play in a band?

Part of the value of a music education is the connections you make by playing in ensembles and finding people to play your compositions. Being a non-major will probably limit the opportunities for that, but it won't hurt to make friends with other people who are likely to have careers in music.

And really, I'm not sure what music school lets students graduate without extensive ensemble and performance experience. Outside of Theory/Aural class, music majors spend pretty much all their time preparing for ensemble rehearsals or performances.
#25
What I mean to say is:

You want to be a professional musician but haven't even started any form of a professional career yet.

You want to study music theory at college but haven't been interested enough to study music theory by yourself.

It just sounds like a recipe for failure. A waste of time and cash.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#26
Quote by AlanHB
What I mean to say is:

You want to be a professional musician but haven't even started any form of a professional career yet.

You want to study music theory at college but haven't been interested enough to study music theory by yourself.

It just sounds like a recipe for failure. A waste of time and cash.

What's your problem seriously? You must be a really pessimistic person, and how do you expect me to become a professional after only 11 months of playing? Have you ever heard of a great, guitarist going pro after 11 months of playing? Most likely not i'm still trying to build a great foundation with my rhythm skills, so I can become an amazing lead guitarist. The most legendary guitarist were all self taught naming a few, Jimmy Page, and Jimmy Hendrix. They had no idea about theory or scales yet they could play their asses off. Also Learning an instrument takes time I never really had an interest in learning music theory, but If it would help me become a better musician then I'll learn it. Everyone that has posted so far has encouraged me to actually take classes, but for some reason you have to banter me seriously what's up with the doubt? I'll never drop the guitar I've always wanted to be able to play it, it has been a dream of mine since forever. And I promise you that I wont fail at what I love doing i'll keep going without a doubt.
Last edited by Black_devils at Nov 14, 2013,
#27
you can take classes without majoring or going too serious into music. you're a beginner.

you're cooking betty crocker box brownies and trying to become a pastry chef. it doesn't happen overnight.

find a solid major you'll enjoy with something to offer you at the end. music should be a side thing - i wouldn't even worry about making it your minor and just try some electives out and see how you like it. you can absolutely make music and take lessons and classes while simultaneously pursuing a more fruitful, stable, or otherwise feasible career. you have a lot of your weekends to play out and make crappy garage band music - take advantage of that.

don't be a cliche fine arts student with no background running into a brick wall of debt, a lack of real world skills, and no job experience to fall back on when you have to drop out. there were a lot of those at the domino's pizza i spent a month or two driving for in my freshman year of college. don't end up as a 23 year old delivery boy driving your mom's minivan for less than minimum wage, TS
#28
Quote by Black_devils
What's your problem seriously? .........


I'm not attempting to stop you from playing guitar - far from it! However I do not think that it should be something that you personally should consider studying formally.

I am not sure why you make reference to Page/Hendrix, when they are great examples of people who did not pursue studying music formally and made great careers from playing guitar. They basically worked their ass off in bands from a very early stage to achieve that.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#29
Quote by Black_devils
I don't even think i'm on the skill level for a band to actually want me to join, but if it so happens that I find one I like i'll join it.


I was in a band less than a month after I started playing. I strummed power chords mostly. No-one seemed to complain, the level of technical skill required to be in a band is minimal. The key is how you work and play with others.
.
#30
Quote by AlanHB
I'm not attempting to stop you from playing guitar - far from it! However I do not think that it should be something that you personally should consider studying formally.

I am not sure why you make reference to Page/Hendrix, when they are great examples of people who did not pursue studying music formally and made great careers from playing guitar. They basically worked their ass off in bands from a very early stage to achieve that.


I understand where you're coming from with college classes, but given the current situation i'm faced with. I can't really join a band, and I don't know a single person that's actually interested in playing an instrument. My question to you. Is, it bad if I can't join a band currently would that greatly affect my progress trying to be a, musician? As soon as I can join one i'll jump on the chance, but for right now I can't. I need to find a job, and there's a lot more things that I need to do. (I don't really want to put my personal life out there) So what do you think?
Last edited by Black_devils at Nov 15, 2013,
#31
Quote by Hail
you can take classes without majoring or going too serious into music. you're a beginner.

you're cooking betty crocker box brownies and trying to become a pastry chef. it doesn't happen overnight.

find a solid major you'll enjoy with something to offer you at the end. music should be a side thing - i wouldn't even worry about making it your minor and just try some electives out and see how you like it. you can absolutely make music and take lessons and classes while simultaneously pursuing a more fruitful, stable, or otherwise feasible career. you have a lot of your weekends to play out and make crappy garage band music - take advantage of that.

don't be a cliche fine arts student with no background running into a brick wall of debt, a lack of real world skills, and no job experience to fall back on when you have to drop out. there were a lot of those at the domino's pizza i spent a month or two driving for in my freshman year of college. don't end up as a 23 year old delivery boy driving your mom's minivan for less than minimum wage, TS

Dude i'm not majoring in music if anything I just wanted to see if I could take a few classes. And see how it would go I'd like to join a blues band thought music has always been a passion of mine I can't help who I am bro.
#32
I agree with the others -- learning music theory has helped me find an entirely new perspective with music. It helps me connect ideas more easily. Also, I love classical music now. Who would've guessed? Anyway, the jazz stuff (to me) is pretty boring and I don't think I'll ever enjoy it.

And the band thing - It'll really help finding connections in your music scene, it may be more important than actually learning theory. Even if you plan on doing the whole solo musician thing, knowing people will help. A lot. I honestly wish that I got involved with my area's music earlier, but at the same time I'm glad that I'm taking it slow "getting involved".

You really don't have much to lose by taking the classes. Your limitiations only go as far as you set them.
#33
Quote by Black_devils
What's your problem seriously? You must be a really pessimistic person, and how do you expect me to become a professional after only 11 months of playing? Have you ever heard of a great, guitarist going pro after 11 months of playing? Most likely not i'm still trying to build a great foundation with my rhythm skills, so I can become an amazing lead guitarist. The most legendary guitarist were all self taught naming a few, Jimmy Page, and Jimmy Hendrix. They had no idea about theory or scales yet they could play their asses off. Also Learning an instrument takes time I never really had an interest in learning music theory, but If it would help me become a better musician then I'll learn it. Everyone that has posted so far has encouraged me to actually take classes, but for some reason you have to banter me seriously what's up with the doubt? I'll never drop the guitar I've always wanted to be able to play it, it has been a dream of mine since forever. And I promise you that I wont fail at what I love doing i'll keep going without a doubt.

The gist of what Alan is trying to do (I think) for you to ask yourself "What do I want to do with music and how will I achieve it?" Saying you want to do it professionally is really a non-answer because that could mean any number of things.
^^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
#34
Building your rudimentary skills (chops, ears) will take a few years no matter what, but the "professional" part has mostly to do with your approach to musicianship, not just how well you can play.

"Professional" means your skills need to be useful to someone else. It's an entrepreneurial thing, figuring out how to make your skill actually pay. Having a solid foundation of musicianship is absolutely necessary, but you have to put real effort into giving yourself direction.
#35
Quote by cdgraves
Building your rudimentary skills (chops, ears) will take a few years no matter what, but the "professional" part has mostly to do with your approach to musicianship, not just how well you can play.

"Professional" means your skills need to be useful to someone else. It's an entrepreneurial thing, figuring out how to make your skill actually pay. Having a solid foundation of musicianship is absolutely necessary, but you have to put real effort into giving yourself direction.

I understand that it takes year to develop chops, and great ears. I have a question though I have this practice schedule it's 2 hours long I practice 5 days a week, and take weekends off while developing a new practice schedule pertaining to things I need to work on. Do you think 10 hours a week is good? It's quality practice time, and I've made vast improvements with my technique, and what not. Like I said before i'm just trying to build a strong foundation on rhythm before I even consider learning lead guitar. Starting on, Monday I'll be working on Barre chords A lot of people have told me that learning Barre chords will take my rhythmic playing to the next level. And that's what i'm trying to be is a great rhythm guitarist before I can make a transition to working on my lead skills. I want to get to the point where 5 years from now I won't have trouble improvising on the spot. and not to mention just holding down complex rhythmic grooves, or lead guitar runs. What i'm trying to say is in the next 5 years I want to be a well versatile guitarist, and then set out to composing my own music. I can understand what everyone has posted previously about joining bands, but like I've stated before there's no way I can join a band given my financial situation.


I'm 18 right now, and I've been looking for a job so I can support my aspirations in life, but it's really hard to find a job I've been applying everywhere it's hard, but I wont give up. That's more of one of the reasons I can't join a band not to mention I don't know any one single person that actually plays an instrument in my local area. I honestly don't even think there's a music scene where I live the only music scene that I can really mention would be more of Hip Hop vibe. Everyone's a rapper now a days not a guitarist that's what all the kids are interested in today so it's rare to find one person that's actually into instruments or has any interest to start a band. Honestly i'm just in the process of training my self to be the best possible musician that I can be, and I wont let anything stop me.
Last edited by Black_devils at Nov 16, 2013,