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#1
hey there
i wanted to know if you can write some good riffs and solos without knowing jack about theory? i don't know scales and i don't know how to read music. i never wrote any solo simply becuase i can't but i if i practice alot and learn to play by ear will i be able to write good solos without knowing scales and theory?

thx

oh and when you guys pick up the guitar do you improvise or play songs youve learned?
becuase i never improvise and i just play songs and that gets boring after awhile so i wanted to know if i'm the only one.
#2
Yes you can.

And I mostly improvise and try to come up with new material when I pick up the guitar nowadays.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Oct 1, 2015,
#3
Quote by Kevätuhri
Yes you can.

And I mostly improvise and try to come up with new material when I pick up the guigar nowadays.

can you give me tips on how to get better and how to train my ears?
#4
Well, the obvious is that you should start learning new music by ear. Start with some easy stuff (pop punk, some classic rock, pop), and make a habit out of it. Even if you don't want to learn theory (you should though) learn the names of the notes on the fretboard, it'll only help and it'll help you memorize different notes better, since you could name them and differentiate them better.

An another popular exercise in ear training is to sing every note you play in a melody, it helps your "ear memory" tremendously. You can also start extending the approach to chords, trying to figure out and sing different voices in a chord by ear.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Oct 1, 2015,
#5
I guess you can write riffs without knowing theory. The best way is probably to imagine a riff and then play it. The best way to write a solo is to sing it(out loud or in your head) as you play it.

I mostly improvise when I pick up a guitar. Playing other people's stuff is fun, too!
#6
Quote by imnewhere3221
hey there
i wanted to know if you can write some good riffs and solos without knowing jack about theory? i don't know scales and i don't know how to read music. i never wrote any solo simply becuase i can't but i if i practice alot and learn to play by ear will i be able to write good solos without knowing scales and theory?

thx

oh and when you guys pick up the guitar do you improvise or play songs youve learned?
becuase i never improvise and i just play songs and that gets boring after awhile so i wanted to know if i'm the only one.


You can definitely write riffs and express yourself creatively. I think what ends up happening is you just start memorizing patterns and then listening for them, and people with a "good ear" can do this and get away with it.

At the same time, I'd also say that theory is really important and that it'll help you understand why you're playing what you're playing and give you structures that help all the fretboard movement make sense. I've always thought the most ideal situation is if you can combine a really good ear and a solid understanding of music theory.

So to answer your question: Yes, you can do those things without theory, but I think the lack of theoretical knowledge makes it much more difficult.
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#7
Think of writing music like playing with lego. It's just putting things together. Like cooking, or painting, or taking apart electronic devices, or programming. If you're good at any of these, chances are you can apply the same skill set to writing music.
#8
you won't need to be able to communicate music theory by name (i.e. names of chords, scales, etc.) but you'll need an intuitive understanding of the basic stuff if you want to write anything good, and you can get this by learning your favorite songs by ear and analyzing them.

actually, 'analyzing' is too strong a term, all it takes is for you to be aware of why something sounds good to you when it does, and to be able to dissect and reuse those ideas.
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#9
Quote by robertwilliam9
You can definitely write riffs and express yourself creatively. I think what ends up happening is you just start memorizing patterns and then listening for them, and people with a "good ear" can do this and get away with it.

At the same time, I'd also say that theory is really important and that it'll help you understand why you're playing what you're playing and give you structures that help all the fretboard movement make sense. I've always thought the most ideal situation is if you can combine a really good ear and a solid understanding of music theory.

So to answer your question: Yes, you can do those things without theory, but I think the lack of theoretical knowledge makes it much more difficult.

thanks, i think ill try to learn theory.
can you tell me where to start?
#14
Quote by youremyvitamins
can you summarize what's theory?

Systematic description of music.
#15
Quote by NeoMvsEu
Systematic description of music.

^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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MUSIC THEORY LINK
#16
IMO, theory will NOT help you learn to write riffs.
That is, in the sense of understanding all the jargon, even the names for the notes.

What will help you write riffs is learning to play lots of existing riffs. There's a "vocabulary" to it, common elements and patterns, which you pick up as you go - by ear and by feel. The more vocabulary you have, the more you will find yourself hearing new ones in your head, because the elements of that vocabulary will start to cross-fertilize in your brain.

AFAIK, there is no theory book dealing with the vocabulary of riffs per se. (There could be, I guess; and some books might deal with it in passing, especially songwriting books.)
You can certainly describe those elements using theoretical terms, and theory is good to know for all kinds of reasons. But not for composing riffs - nor, IMO, for composing much at all (unless it's a vintage classical or jazz genre you want to write in).

When it comes to great songs, some of those who wrote them knew/know lots of theory. Some knew/know almost none. There is no connection there.
But what they did all have was plenty of knowledge of other songs: that's where you learn the vocabulary: by ear, and by experiment.

I'm not suggesting you don't learn theory! I suggest you do. Just don't expect it to enable you to write great riffs.

With SOLOS (improvisation), it's a little different. Essentially it works the same way - the best method is to pick up the vocabulary by ear (from the kind of music you want to play) - but there is a much bigger body of vocabulary to deal with, and some theoretical grounding will help: in particular the study of keys and chords.
In rock and blues you can pretty much do it all by ear, but in jazz that's more difficult.

Needless to say, the better your knowledge of your instrument (finding notes and chords anywhere), the easier it is!
Last edited by jongtr at Oct 2, 2015,
#17
^ Yeah.

Though theory may help you with riff/songwriting in some ways. I mean, if you know theory, it's much easier to figure out what's happening in other people's songs. If you like something in a song, you can take that element and start experimenting with it. With theory knowledge it's also easier to find the things that you like in a song. It's not just "I just like it". It's more like "that chord change was really cool" or "that rhythm gives that riff a nice groove" or whatever.

Many people who write songs and don't know theory still kind of know it - they know it in practice. They "understand" music. They do it by ear.


When it comes to songwriting, you always need to use your ears. Theory doesn't give you ideas, you need to come up with them. So in that sense theory doesn't help. You still need to come up with your own ideas, and you do it by ear.
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#19
I've spent countless hours researching theory and in the end, there's easier ways to write riffs. One good strategy is to have a vision in your mind and listen to songs/compositions that even vaguely relate to said vision. Now get into a program (I prefer Musescore) and write something down. Even if it's mediocre, you'll have a melody that's yours and you can save for later. This is more like studying and keeping inspiration in mind than plagiarism (thus legal). This is just what I do sometimes but it may work for you.

Really learning theory can help but it won't write things for you (that's your job). However I'd suggest you learn basic triads, major scales, ect. Advanced stuff isn't really necessary and many great musicians couldn't tell you what Phrygian is, but could solo tastefully for ten minutes.
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Last edited by RonaldPoe at Oct 2, 2015,
#20
All riffs are written within the context of theory, necessarily. They follow certain patterns, which is what theory is, finding patterns.

Theory is never "how to write riffs" or how to anything, it just isn't that. None of that exists. When you create, it has to be you. Obviously you can learn from others, but there are no rules or ways to write riffs or anything, so there are no real "steps to writing great riffs" you can follow. None. Not even copying others or learning lots of riffs. That won't necessarily help you write great riffs either. Lots of people know lots of riffs and can't write any good ones.

Do you need theory to write cool riffs? Absolutely not. If you can write good riffs without theory, and that's all you want to do, then mission accomplished.

But if you want to name and organize patterns, so you can call on any sound you want at any time, then theory will definitely help for that. Just learning the pentatonic scale alone would be a good step.

There is nothing in music that music theory can't be useful for. It's all real names of real patterns, of real things. But obviously, writing music is more than reading a book and doing what it says. No such things exist.

You want pointers on writing cool riffs? Pentatonic scale. Major scale. I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii^o.

Those are the best pointers. That's the frame work. But the magic that is music and what's cool about riffs is never going to be anything so dry. No more than "pencil" is a work of art. Or one technique of how to hold it is.

The creative part is all you. If you want to write cool riffs, that's you, I can't give you that power. It's not an incredibly common power anyway. The theory is just the ingredients. You have to put it together.

Theory is empty, it is not music, no more than words are shakespeare. Nobody can tell you how to write shakespeare, but some fundamental tools could be useful.

It's like that for anything. Theory never helps anyone be good at anything. It has nothing to do with being good or bad. It has to do with teaching you facts about the reality that is music, about how it works, so that you can wield it, and you can make music.

When you learn little things from riffs, and stuff like that, little patterns, it's all just theory except not developed enough to be named correctly. Not classified correctly. Like you might play a riff that is a pattern x, and forever you think of pattern x as "funk song riff", or whatever, but really pattern x, is the pentatonic in one section of your fretboard. You could instead learn pentatonic and be more powerful. Open up new geometries which inspire differently, rather than being held back by ignorance. Doing that would actually be pretty stupid, because what you've done there, is named it. You've created theory, but a really poor version of it, because there is a lot you haven't seen, and you're just blindly naming things.

But there is no rhythmic information there in theory. That's all you. When you play the notes, that's you. There are different sounding techniques you can learn, but how to apply it all is you.

Obviously other music influences everyone, but if you learn your instrument, just hearing some riff someone plays one time on the radio in a car driving by, is enough to add that to your vocabulary. Forget going through tons of riffs and learning them all.

Theory is literally every single riff. Just organized differently. Organized plainly. Like words are in a dictionary. Organizing it creatively is your job though, as a musician. Like writing poetry. But knowing words helps. In poetry it is obviously essential, but in music you press the right buttons in the right order without knowing anything at all about how they are organized, aside from trial and error that let you play that one thing.

The ideas don't come from theory. Theory tells you how to make the ideas sound out of your instrument, rather than remain hidden in your mind.

With theory, you can much more easily and more quickly realize anything you imagine.

Nobody can tell you how to imagine great riffs. You can beg borrow and steal, but that is not how to write great riffs. Not to say that nobody has ever written great riffs that way, I think every good musician has, but that is not the sure fire recipe to writing great riffs.

If you do that, you will learn bits and pieces of things, and be able to play sort of riffs and stuff, as though you could only look at your fretboard with a small little light that only lights up part of it at a time. Only accessing little bits and pieces of a map, which could all be connected.

But obviously you can do whatever you think is best. Then we can compare riffs later

There is no secret. No how. Just a collection of words at your disposal. Writing the novel, is your job.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 2, 2015,
#21
Quote by fingrpikingood
All riffs are written within the context of theory, necessarily. They follow certain patterns, which is what theory is, finding patterns.

Theory is never "how to write riffs" or how to anything, it just isn't that. None of that exists. When you create, it has to be you. Obviously you can learn from others, but there are no rules or ways to write riffs or anything, so there are no real "steps to writing great riffs" you can follow. None. Not even copying others or learning lots of riffs. That won't necessarily help you write great riffs either. Lots of people know lots of riffs and can't write any good ones.

Do you need theory to write cool riffs? Absolutely not. If you can write good riffs without theory, and that's all you want to do, then mission accomplished.

But if you want to name and organize patterns, so you can call on any sound you want at any time, then theory will definitely help for that. Just learning the pentatonic scale alone would be a good step.

There is nothing in music that music theory can't be useful for. It's all real names of real patterns, of real things. But obviously, writing music is more than reading a book and doing what it says. No such things exist.

You want pointers on writing cool riffs? Pentatonic scale. Major scale. I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii^o.

Those are the best pointers. That's the frame work. But the magic that is music and what's cool about riffs is never going to be anything so dry. No more than "pencil" is a work of art. Or one technique of how to hold it is.

The creative part is all you. If you want to write cool riffs, that's you, I can't give you that power. It's not an incredibly common power anyway. The theory is just the ingredients. You have to put it together.

Theory is empty, it is not music, no more than words are shakespeare. Nobody can tell you how to write shakespeare, but some fundamental tools could be useful.

It's like that for anything. Theory never helps anyone be good at anything. It has nothing to do with being good or bad. It has to do with teaching you facts about the reality that is music, about how it works, so that you can wield it, and you can make music.

When you learn little things from riffs, and stuff like that, little patterns, it's all just theory except not developed enough to be named correctly. Not classified correctly. Like you might play a riff that is a pattern x, and forever you think of pattern x as "funk song riff", or whatever, but really pattern x, is the pentatonic in one section of your fretboard. You could instead learn pentatonic and be more powerful. Open up new geometries which inspire differently, rather than being held back by ignorance. Doing that would actually be pretty stupid, because what you've done there, is named it. You've created theory, but a really poor version of it, because there is a lot you have seen, and you're just blindly naming things.

But there is no rhythmic information there in theory. That's all you. When you play the notes, that's you. There are different sounding techniques you can learn, but how to apply it all is you.

Obviously other music influences everyone, but if you learn your instrument, just hearing some riff someone plays one time on the radio in a car driving by, is enough to add that to your vocabulary. Forget going through tons of riffs and learning them all.

Theory is literally every single riff. Just organized differently. Organized plainly. Like words are in a dictionary. Organizing it creatively is your job though, as a musician. Like writing poetry. But knowing words helps. In poetry it is obviously essential, but in music you press the right buttons in the right order without knowing anything at all about how they are organized, aside from trial and error that let you play that one thing.

The ideas don't come from theory. Theory tells you how to make the ideas sound out of your instrument, rather than remain hidden in your mind.

With theory, you can much more easily and more quickly realize anything you imagine.

Nobody can tell you how to imagine great riffs. You can beg borrow and steal, but that is not how to write great riffs. Not to say that nobody has ever written great riffs that way, I think every good musician has, but that is not the sure fire recipe to writing great riffs.

If you do that, you will learn bits and pieces of things, and be able to play sort of riffs and stuff, as though you could only look at your fretboard with a small little light that only lights up part of it at a time. Only accessing little bits and pieces of a map, which could all be connected.

But obviously you can do whatever you think is best. Then we can compare riffs later

There is no secret. No how. Just a collection of words at your disposal. Writing the novel, is your job.

wtf is pentatonic scale?
and wtf is this I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii^o?
#22
Quote by youremyvitamins
wtf is pentatonic scale?
and wtf is this I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii^o?


I'm not going to go all into it and explain it here, but these are definitely things any guitarist that wants to do more than just be told what chords to play and them strum them, should learn.

So, if you want to songwrite, ear out music, improvise and all that, then these are definitely things you'd want to know. In fact, that's like 90% of everything you'd need to know, unless you go into some styles of music like fusion and stuff like that which require more knowledge of scales and how they interact relative to chords, rather than keys.

There are lots of online resources that can teach you those things. there are lots of ways to know the pentatonic scale, and lots of ways to know the numerals on your fretboard. It's 3 seconds to say, and pretty quick to show you if we were sitting with a guitar or a piano even easier, but it is long to write.

These things will not be things you learn, and now you are magically great at writing music. They are names of sounds so that the relative nature of tones in music is named and organized in a way so you can easily access them on your guitar, instead of looking down and seeing just frets, you look down and you see how to play the ideas you hear or think of.

This will take time and practice to be proficient at it. But while you're doing that, you can poke around and discover riffs and learn riffs.

Every time I learned anything new on the guitar, any shape, any definition, I always messed around with it and either wrote a whole song or a bunch of riffs.

You can write a cool riff with basically any small collection of notes.

But it's one thing to mess around with some notes and create a cool riff, and another to look at a blank canvas imagine something specific, and draw it out. Both are cool, I find, and both can create cool music, and I do both from time to time, but for me, what is important on guitar, aside from physical ability, is to learn how to be able to execute any idea you have quickly and without hesitation so you can be fully honest.

So, if I accidentally hit something, I can have that make me think of something, and I can immediately build off it.

But to be honest, it still happens to me that I have ideas that I need to poke around to find, even though I got pretty good at just "speaking my mind".

For you, I'd start with the pentatonic. I find that has riff country written all over it for beginners. Learn the pattern, and exploit it. Toy with it. It is not meant to be played in any specific order. It is a collection of notes, just like words in a dictionary are just a collection of words. But it is a class of notes.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 2, 2015,
#23
Theory is not needed to write riffs and solos. I recently dropped the bridge of my guitar about one millimeter. I plugged it in, cranked it up, and fiddled with the tuning pegs until I got some nice power chords. I don't know what tuning it is in, but it sounds great, and I can follow along in songs while improvising.
#24
Quote by m3rsonary88
Theory is not needed to write riffs and solos. I recently dropped the bridge of my guitar about one millimeter. I plugged it in, cranked it up, and fiddled with the tuning pegs until I got some nice power chords. I don't know what tuning it is in, but it sounds great, and I can follow along in songs while improvising.


Obviously. But if you don't know theory, then you can't play like I can.
#25
Quote by fingrpikingood at #33621346
Obviously. But if you don't know theory, then you can't play describe it like I can.


FTFY.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#26
Quote by NeoMvsEu
FTFY.


We can whip a backing track out and play over it, and compare to see what's what if you want.

Or we can compare songwriting, or riff writing. Whatever you want.

I play the way I play and I know exactly what it took to get there, every step of the way. You might not like it, it is probably not to your taste, but you still could not play the way I play without knowing theory.

I know what I took from theory, what theory empowered me to do. I also know that some other people have different ways of looking at theory, and know different things in theory that lets them do things I can't do. But of course, art is not about "what you can do" it is about the art you do do. If you think all I can do is talk music, and can't make any, it's not a difficult thing to test.

I even have a link in my signature that goes directly to an original that I performed and arranged and produced completely solo. There's a solo in it too.


If you want to be highly skilled at guitar, to really wield it, and own it at a certain level, you need to know some theory. More than just what a major chord is, or what E major is, but even that is already theory. It is possible to know lots of theory and not be a very accomplished musician, but for certain abilities for actually playing music with freedom and full honesty on a whim, you need some theory. There are lots of things like that. Lots of things I could count off in my head that if you don't use theory, then you can't do this, or that, or that, etcetera.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you are not very skilled at guitar. Which is why you don't realize that.

You could make cool music without theory. Music I would listen to and buy. A lot of great music is sort of simple, not easy, but just kind of strumming chord changes with a melody over it. But you can't play like I can without any theory.

EDIT: Sorry, my signature linked to a Michael Jackson remix I did where I found his accapella track and just put my own backing track on it.

I thought it was linked to another track, which I've since put in my signature.

That's not the greatest example, because it is songwriting and not solo improv guitar, but I have some solo improv guitar tracks on YouTube also.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 3, 2015,
#27
You can do stuff entirely by ear, you'll just be painfully unproductive. You're also likely to "re-invent the wheel" and spend a lot of time coming up with things that you could have learned very easily by studying a little. And then there's the very real risk of not realizing you wrote the same chord progression a dozen times, only in different keys.
Last edited by cdgraves at Oct 3, 2015,
#28
Quote by fingrpikingood
We can whip a backing track out and play over it, and compare to see what's what if you want.

Or we can compare songwriting, or riff writing. Whatever you want.

I play the way I play and I know exactly what it took to get there, every step of the way. You might not like it, it is probably not to your taste, but you still could not play the way I play without knowing theory.

I know what I took from theory, what theory empowered me to do. I also know that some other people have different ways of looking at theory, and know different things in theory that lets them do things I can't do. But of course, art is not about "what you can do" it is about the art you do do. If you think all I can do is talk music, and can't make any, it's not a difficult thing to test.

I even have a link in my signature that goes directly to an original that I performed and arranged and produced completely solo. There's a solo in it too.


If you want to be highly skilled at guitar, to really wield it, and own it at a certain level, you need to know some theory. More than just what a major chord is, or what E major is, but even that is already theory. It is possible to know lots of theory and not be a very accomplished musician, but for certain abilities for actually playing music with freedom and full honesty on a whim, you need some theory. There are lots of things like that. Lots of things I could count off in my head that if you don't use theory, then you can't do this, or that, or that, etcetera.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you are not very skilled at guitar. Which is why you don't realize that.

You could make cool music without theory. Music I would listen to and buy. A lot of great music is sort of simple, not easy, but just kind of strumming chord changes with a melody over it. But you can't play like I can without any theory.

EDIT: Sorry, my signature linked to a Michael Jackson remix I did where I found his accapella track and just put my own backing track on it.

I thought it was linked to another track, which I've since put in my signature.

That's not the greatest example, because it is songwriting and not solo improv guitar, but I have some solo improv guitar tracks on YouTube also.

If I wanted to kill myself I'd climb your ego and jump to your IQ
Last edited by youremyvitamins at Oct 3, 2015,
#29
Quote by fingrpikingood
Obviously. But if you don't know theory, then you can't play like I can.


I can play very well, and have figured out how to do divebombs without a whammy. I can also match wahs without a pedal. All of this has been accomplished without learning theory. Try playing along with Hammett in Suicide and Redemption if you think you are good.
#30
Quote by m3rsonary88
I can play very well, and have figured out how to do divebombs without a whammy. I can also match wahs without a pedal. All of this has been accomplished without learning theory. Try playing along with Hammett in Suicide and Redemption if you think you are good.

Can't tell if srs.
^^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
#31
Quote by rockingamer2
Can't tell if srs.


Completely serious. I can play by ear very well because I was in my school's band for several years, and I never counted rests, I waited until another instrument hit a certain note pattern to start. At the end of my fifth year, I was playing Master of Puppets with a trombone.
#32
Quote by fingrpikingood at #33621360
Self-aggrandizing straw men

And this is why people can't stand some musicians.

In case it wasn't clear for you (it apparently wasn't):
  • I am all for learning theory.
  • I play piano mainly. Other instruments are a plus.
  • Again, theory is systematic description of music.
  • It includes melodic details.
  • It includes rhythmic details.
  • It includes harmonic details.
  • Anyone can take ideas from music without learning or even knowing how to describe it.
  • You are stuck in your little prolix ideas of what theory is.
  • You should build your arguments before you have to tear them down with edits.
  • You come off as worshiping the part of theory you know.
#33
I'm used to people who don't know about theory talking all sorts of nonsense, but now MT gets people who do the same while knowing 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
#34
Quote by NeoMvsEu
And this is why people can't stand some musicians.

In case it wasn't clear for you (it apparently wasn't):
  • I am all for learning theory.
  • I play piano mainly. Other instruments are a plus.
  • Again, theory is systematic description of music.
  • It includes melodic details.
  • It includes rhythmic details.
  • It includes harmonic details.
  • Anyone can take ideas from music without learning or even knowing how to describe it.
  • You are stuck in your little prolix ideas of what theory is.
  • You should build your arguments before you have to tear them down with edits.
  • You come off as worshiping the part of theory you know.


Theory might be itself a description, but the parts I learned allow me to do certain things that are impossible to do without having learned that part of theory.

There are lots of ways to make great music knowing little to no theory.

But to play the way I play, you need a certain amount of theory. Maybe you are not interested in playing how I play, and that's fine. I am not saying I am in any way better than anyone else.

There are lots of people that know more theory than I do and can do things I cannot, and I respect them, am glad they did those things, and am glad I got to hear them.

They are capable of doing things I simply can't do. But I am also not interested in learning those things, because I don't necessarily want to do those things. It's not my style.


Some of my favourite songs were written by guys that knew little to no theory. I'm sure a lot of people here can play ok without theory, I played without theory for a long time, I know what it was like. I also know that was so stupid and naive of me, and I've learned things that empowered me to play the style I wanted to play. I became much more powerful since, in the way I wanted to be powerful.


Just put up a backing track that is acoustic guitar friendly, and we can compare and see the differences. I could point out to you specific things.

I am me, I learned some theory, I know exactly how that affected my guitar playing. I was there for every step of the way I improved. I know how I did it. The way I play now needs what I learned. That's just the way it is.

Lots of people can do lots of things. None of those things are playing the way I play without having learned what I learned.

I don't see why you think it is sensible to tell me how I was able to benefit from what I learned. I am me, I was there. I even chose to learn things specifically to be able to do some of the things they let me do. That's why I play like I play now.

Just like you play the way you play because of your philosophy and the things you've learned.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 4, 2015,
#36
Quote by fingrpikingood at #33622333
*grapples with straws*

Dear Terence,

Your words are too strong in two ways.
- They are too strong to be true. "Impossible"? "I am not saying I am in any way better than anyone else" and " do certain things that are impossible to do without having learned that part of theory"? Let me repeat. Theory is systematic description of music and has nothing to do with technique. People can play your stuff fine if someone tabs it out or has enough aural experience. That has sweet nothing to do with acquiring theory knowledge.
- They are too strong for a bruised ego. You are being incredibly defensive over such a little detail.

It's good that theory helped you develop as a musician. But other people are not you. They do not necessarily have to learn the way you do. You fail to realize this and must resort to fallacious verbose attacks.

I'd suggest you take a break from this thread until you're of clearer mind.

Signed,
Neo (does not wish to be publicly named)
#37
Quote by NeoMvsEu
Dear Terence,

Your words are too strong in two ways.
- They are too strong to be true. "Impossible"? "I am not saying I am in any way better than anyone else" and " do certain things that are impossible to do without having learned that part of theory"? Let me repeat. Theory is systematic description of music and has nothing to do with technique. People can play your stuff fine if someone tabs it out or has enough aural experience. That has sweet nothing to do with acquiring theory knowledge.
- They are too strong for a bruised ego. You are being incredibly defensive over such a little detail.

It's good that theory helped you develop as a musician. But other people are not you. They do not necessarily have to learn the way you do. You fail to realize this and must resort to fallacious verbose attacks.

I'd suggest you take a break from this thread until you're of clearer mind.

Signed,
Neo (does not wish to be publicly named)


I don't play from tabs or sheet music I improvise off the top of my head. You don't need to know theory to read tabs obviously. But you need some to play how I play, I.e. improvise the way I do, not from tabs.

To play how I play, to do what I do, you need some theory.

Lots of people are different. Sure. Lots of people can play music in lots of ways that don't need theory. And some of my favourite songs are written that way. But if you want to play the way I play, you will need some theory, plain and simple.

Just to reiterate, I used to improvise before knowing any theory. What I learned since then made more powerful for improvisation and let me do things I could not do before.

I'm not saying you need theory to improvise. I'm saying you need some theory to play how I play. The theory I learned.You will have to focus on theory differently to play like Joe pass did, and differently again to play like BB King did.

The way you approach theory gives you different approach or visualisation of your fretboard. It's not simply names of things in a classroom. It links you to your instrument.

You can carry on thinking whatever you want though. It makes no difference to me what you know, nor what you are able to do with your guitar.

It's that way though, whether you choose to believe that or not.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Oct 4, 2015,
#38
I will talk to you when you get your head out of your own delusions.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#40
Quote by m3rsonary88
Completely serious. I can play by ear very well because I was in my school's band for several years, and I never counted rests, I waited until another instrument hit a certain note pattern to start. At the end of my fifth year, I was playing Master of Puppets with a trombone.


Sounds more like a lack of self-sufficiency. Playing in rhythm completely on your own is a fundamental skill for any musician. And pseudo-divebombs are a fun technique, but they don't improve your understanding of harmony, melody, or rhythm.
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