#3
F minor. I don't think this information will really help that much though; theory doesn't, or at least shouldn't, tell you what to write. Only your brain and ears can tell you what will sound right next for the song that's within you.
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Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
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#4
Oh ok, I thought maybe it would, like if I knew the scale I used I would know more notes that could sound good with it with experimentation? And how to add some rhythm maybe? Should I just carry on finding things that sound good with it then and ignore the theory?
Last edited by conanwarrior at Oct 21, 2014,
#5
Quote by conanwarrior
Oh ok, I thought maybe it would, like if I knew the scale I used I would know more notes that could sound good with it with experimentation? And how to add some rhythm maybe? Should I just carry on finding things that sound good with it then and ignore the theory?


Well knowing the scale and how to harmonise it might help you add some rhythm parts but you'll need to learn some theory to get that anyway. You've basically used all the notes in the key already, the only one you're not using at this point is the A#. A tip for future reference, if you don't know the key of what you're doing, is to find all the notes you're already using in different places all over the fretboard which will give you something more like a scale pattern than just the riff you're playing.

I would really still advise that you learn some theory so you know what you're doing and how to communicate it to other musicians, but it won't write a song for you. Not really. The ideas still have to come from you. The real ideal is to think of an idea in your head, completely separate from the guitar, and then find out how to play that. Theory and ear training will help you with that second part though so you should definitely learn. Without having an idea in your head and the means to get it on to the guitar you're more or less like the proverbial infinite monkeys at infinite typewriters. And probability is not on your side.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#6
Yeah it might sound obvious (sorry if it is!) but remember that writing a song is literally thinking of a cool sounding lick/riff/solo/entire song or whatever in your head and then learning to play it on the guitar.

It took me like two years to realise this, even after browsing this forum regularly. If you want to jam with other people theory is nice so you know where the "good" and "bad" notes are relative to the key you are jamming in.
#7
Yeah, I know about needing the idea in my head, it is just getting that idea down, and thought the theory side would help me know how to communicate my thoughts to the actual instrument.

I used to make my own music (electronic, using Logic, attended college for it at the british academy of new music), but the thing was, like many others in my class, we was learning the Technology side, not the actual music side. This is the main reason I have started guitar, to actually learn the language so to speak.

Thanks for the idea about finding it all over the fretboard, I was actually trying last night a little bit, figured it out in another area so I could play it, but its easier the first way. .

Where should I start with theory? I feel lost, my thought process is a bit messed up due to something that happened a few months ago, so I may seem a bit dumb, sorry if I do.
Last edited by conanwarrior at Oct 22, 2014,
#8
Theory can also give you entirely new ideas that you probably wouldn't / couldn't initially hear / conceive. It can help you when you get stuck and want to add more structure.

But theory without soul, without musicality, is, well, ... theory.

Theory can definitely help you find your way around the guitar (interval shapes and sounds, which crop up in all larger music structures ... these take so little effort to master, I'm surprised more people don't go down this route ... plus it drastically reduces the learning effort.

Finding all duplicates and octaves of a pitch creates a pattern that covers 12 frets before it repeats, and this gives you basic landmarks. As an exercise, find all the E's from open to 11th fret across all strings. Draw them out anmd notice the string and fret gaps involved. Do the same for all the F's. You'll immediately see it's exactly the same pattern, just shifted up one fret. Etc.

I used to practise playing through the octave pattern, to a metronome, to put pressure on me finding my way around. This is mastered very quickly also.

If you haven't got access to interval shapes, send me a message and I'll email them to you

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 22, 2014,
#9
Thanks jerry, Il do that.

Do I have to stick to one scale or key, thats what is confusing me? Like take a song, say master of puppets for example. All the different riffs in that, are they in the same key, or from the same scale? Is it just similar things re arranged? I can play the majority of that song, but don't understand how the transition from riff to riff sounds so good, is it following a pattern?
#10
Quote by conanwarrior
Thanks jerry, Il do that.

Do I have to stick to one scale or key, thats what is confusing me? Like take a song, say master of puppets for example. All the different riffs in that, are they in the same key, or from the same scale? Is it just similar things re arranged? I can play the majority of that song, but don't understand how the transition from riff to riff sounds so good, is it following a pattern?


Got a link?

The answer is that it depends how much variety you want. Don't ever think that theory is about forcing you to do the "right" thing. It's a shame the word "theory" was ever used. It should have been named "Here's what some excellent composers have done over and over and again, in different ways, that is common (scale choice, chord choice etc)."

Think about it ... would you always cook a meal exactly the same, or add more or less spice, herbs etc? You go overboard (half a ton of chilli in a pot roast) you're going to destroy the character of your meal. But within limits, you just make it different and interesting, yet its the meal everyone knows and likes. There is a lot of truth in this analogy.

And this why, as people get more into music, and are looking for variety without necessarily destroying the genre, that they'll experiment to add flavour (an "incorrect" chord ... or better, a chord that adds some spice, some sense of movement), a chromatic note there, mixing up related scales.

A lot of it is also about disguise to surprise the listener, or to make a simple scale appear far more complex musical structure by adding in chromatic notes.

All this can be learned from "theory" ... end of the day, we're just manipulating musical contexts, and there's not a huge amount of theory to be able to do this. But you need a good sense of rhythm (and knowing where the on- and off-beats are) so stuff can be (de-)emphasised to harshen or soften the blow of the "incorrect" notes.

For some simple examples explaining some of this, check out https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1/tips-for-using-chromaticism.

There's a load of mileage is just spicing up the simple stuff convincingly.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 23, 2014,
#11
Thanks man for helping me. I understand the analogy your using there, I realised you didn't have to stick to it completely, but put it this way, I don't want to start adding to the recipe before I even know how to cook the Chilli lol.

I'm listening to your soundcloud now. By the way, where you from? I can't place your accent .
#12
Quote by conanwarrior
Thanks man for helping me. I understand the analogy your using there, I realised you didn't have to stick to it completely, but put it this way, I don't want to start adding to the recipe before I even know how to cook the Chilli lol.

I'm listening to your soundcloud now. By the way, where you from? I can't place your accent .


I'm a mix... born in London, UK. 3/4's Russian. 1/8th English, 1/8th Irish. Lived/worked around the world, including USA and S.Africa. So my accent is a blend I guess.

Here's to that Chilli con carne :-)

Check your emai, BTW.

I hope you got a sense from the soundcloud track how simple it is to maniopulate intervals (create tension with chromatics, and suitable resolution to the scale note) and hence branch out from straight forward scale and pattern playing.

I also suggest you record snippets of your favourite licks and lines, and try to replicate the rhythym of these (the phrasing), but change the note choices to your own. By slight variation of a phrase's rhytyhm, listener's can latch on more to a solo, as they sort of recognise something is being repeated, and then start anticipating what you might do next .. which you may or may not do :-)

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 23, 2014,
#13
I liked the way you explained using the Chromatic note on the off beat, I couldn't believe how different it sounded on and off! Sounded so wrong when it was on the beat.
I'l give what you have suggested a try.

And yeah, I could hear the English in your voice, I'm from Essex myself, but couldn't quite place the rest .

I'l check my mail, thanks man.