#1
Ok I took a class with kid last year at my highschool (guitar 2) and hes absolutely amazing... he can shred fast and clean like no other, play blues and jazz like no bodys business and yet he tells me he knows zero scales and zero theory. At the end of the year I ended up with a 95 in the class and he ended up with a C of some sort... mostly because he cant read the music that we were sopposed to play... do any of you know someone like this; an amazing guitarist that dosn't know any theory and refuses to learn any?
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#3
this kid (zach) dosn't know any.. like I said I really don't even think he knows what a music scale is.. so your a little more advanced theory wise
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#5
I don't see how he can be a great jazz guitarist without knowing basic scales...

A guitarist in one of my bands is pretty good, and he constantly screws up chord names when he tries to show us songs he's written. He's not amazing though, and he knows some theory. I don't personally know any amazing players who haven't got a solid grip on theory.
#6
it can surprise you, dave mustaine didn't know he was playing pentatonics all his career, until he took lessons a few years ago.
#7
If he doesn't know theory, then he's just straight up copying other peoples licks. Or maybe he's just a savant who can play what he hears in his head with amazing accuracy. I don't see why so many people think theory is so hard to learn.
#8
I don't know anyone like that, but I can see someone just noodling around and becoming proficient on certain things they play all the time...
#9
Well he knows damn well what he's playing... that's why he's good, right? He just doesn't happen to know the names or definitions of what it is he's playing. He knows the physical aspect of the theory, not the mental. Make sense?

Happens all the time.
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#10
probably has an amazing ear.
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#11
Quote by redwing_suck
Well he knows damn well what he's playing... that's why he's good, right? He just doesn't happen to know the names or definitions of what it is he's playing. He knows the physical aspect of the theory, not the mental. Make sense?

Happens all the time.

No, it doesn't really make sense. There's very very little theory that actually affects your playing. Musicianship and theory are two completely different aspects of music. I know quite a few good players who don't know theory, a lot of them don't need to know. You tell them what to play, they can play it. They need to improv, they can hear it.

Musicianship is doing it; theory is knowing it. Yeah, you can be a good musician without knowing a whole lot of theory. The funny part is, everything you thought about yourself as being good completely goes out the window once you get into anything formal, or get around people asking for things a lot more difficult than you've ever thought of.
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#12
Quote by psychodelia
I don't see how he can be a great jazz guitarist without knowing basic scales...

A guitarist in one of my bands is pretty good, and he constantly screws up chord names when he tries to show us songs he's written. He's not amazing though, and he knows some theory. I don't personally know any amazing players who haven't got a solid grip on theory.


of course he can, i first learned one scale the blues scale. then i've been searching for other notes that wouylsd also sound good in it, later on I found out that was playoing alot of different minor scales.
I bet this is possible without learning a scale too, andn just know where to play by listening and remember
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#13
I'm curious as to what you consider amazing. Does he write his own licks ? If you stick him in a group with 4 other players could he improvise a solo without hitting a single sour note ? Or does he just play fast ?

There's lots of different levels of musicians. My rythm guitarist doesn't know anything about music. I have to show him what to play . but he picks things pretty quickly because he's been playing for 30 years. He doesn't suck. He writes his own stuff .. and he can improvise a solo if he needs to. But the problem with his playing is that a) all of his stuff sounds the same or very similar ... and b) he can't listen to a cd and learn it... everything has to be shown to him.

The other guys who play for me can listen to a song of mine once over and get it down right away. Or I can hand them a sheet of music and they'll play it. But my guitarist needs to be held by the hand and shown everything and it takes a lot of time. I keep him around because he's a good friend, he loves my music for some reason, we play in another band and he can play everything I need him to .. it's just a lot less convenient because he doesn't know his stuff music-wise.

Yet if anyone heard him play they'd say he's amazing. Because he's been playing for 30 years. He knows how to play fast and sound good and impress people.
#14
My uncle is like that, he knows no theory, and can't read music he's even better when he's drunk. I feel he's better than most famous guitarist( Zakk Wylde, Slash) But 25 year of pure dedication adds up to alot.
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#15
To Garett^^ he can improvise all over the fretboard in a music ensemble, and he can play amazingly fast without hitting a sour note, you just gotta see this kid, its really impressive.
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#16
Quote by FretboardToAsh
of course he can, i first learned one scale the blues scale. then i've been searching for other notes that wouylsd also sound good in it, later on I found out that was playoing alot of different minor scales.
I bet this is possible without learning a scale too, andn just know where to play by listening and remember


Well I know that he knows scales, even if he doesn't know the names. My point was that in jazz one scale will not cover the entire progression.

If someone's ears were good enough, I suppose its possible that they could work out in their head what scales would sound good over the chords. You'll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical, though, as I've never seen it done.
#17
Yeah, my buddy is absolutely incredible but he almost failed our guitar class in grade 10 because he couldnt read music.
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#18
he may be a really good player but not a jazzman if he does not know any theory...
your friend is playing blindly. on the counter balance, some players with theory have no feeling in their playing.... rather have feelings than theory

bangoodcharlote is right.... theory will help him a lot...
#19
Quote by psychodelia
Well I know that he knows scales, even if he doesn't know the names. My point was that in jazz one scale will not cover the entire progression.

If someone's ears were good enough, I suppose its possible that they could work out in their head what scales would sound good over the chords. You'll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical, though, as I've never seen it done.


I think it also matters what taste in music you have, such as me listening a lot to metallixa at the time came up with minor scales such as aeolian and pryghian. but if you listen blink 182 you'll probably get major stuff.
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#20
the guitarist in my band was just like that. An incredable player. Didnt know theory or anything. I anaylsised his playing once and he was playing in scales and using common chord progessions and modulations just he had worked them out by ear.
#21
Doesn't Marty Friedman formerly of Megadeth claim to know no theory? And yet he is an incredible guitarist. Whether his claim is true or not im jubious though
#23
Quote by JimmyStradlin33
Doesn't Marty Friedman formerly of Megadeth claim to know no theory? And yet he is an incredible guitarist. Whether his claim is true or not im jubious though


I'm pretty sure that's incorrect, I have a lesson where over one song (I forget the song, unfortunately) he says he's using the Kumoi Pentatonic or something, and describes how the large intervals lead to the sound in the solo... it sounded to me like he knew his theory.
#24
Quote by Shorrock
the guitarist in my band was just like that. An incredable player. Didnt know theory or anything. I anaylsised his playing once and he was playing in scales and using common chord progessions and modulations just he had worked them out by ear.


well there it is, you can come up with scales on your own. you probably just won't know the names, as did your friend
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#26
I'm pretty sure Dave Doesnt know theory, i was watching this thing and he had to almost guess the name of the blues pentatonic. That would be shocking if marty didnt know any, though Kumoi pentatonic sounds pretty badass
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#27
Quote by casualty01
read: wes montgomery

Cas-


Hmm, well it appears I stand corrected.

I'll have to read more in-depth, though; I want to see how he approached soloing without reading music.
#28
it was just "one of those things" man .... hewas just a genius. he was like beethoven bach or mozart. just looked at the guitar, fiddled with it, and it made sense.

he never had any lessons training or new any names of anything. he just "did it" ... sure theoretically he was playing stuff that fit, but he also did **** that didn't "fit" at the time and became standard sit. but regardless... he knew fuck all about anything lol. just played what he heard knew and felt.

not by any means am I recomending this approach, but I'm just mentioning it due to your earlier post.

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#29
Well in my whole musical experience I've never had the fortune to know a guy who had enough innate ability to overcome a serious lack of musical education (well except maybe a few drummers lol.... nothing against drummers though).

Plus, when it comes down to it, I'm a math guy, and I always think of things analytically and I expect people to do the same. This seemingly "natural" playing (even though I know its got to be the result of a lot of work) just baffles me a little... but I guess its much more possible than I thought.
#30
Quote by casualty01
it was just "one of those things" man .... hewas just a genius. he was like beethoven bach or mozart. just looked at the guitar, fiddled with it, and it made sense.

he never had any lessons training or new any names of anything. he just "did it" ... sure theoretically he was playing stuff that fit, but he also did **** that didn't "fit" at the time and became standard sit. but regardless... he knew fuck all about anything lol. just played what he heard knew and felt.

not by any means am I recomending this approach, but I'm just mentioning it due to your earlier post.

Cas-


Some guy came out with a chord book without names although I can't remember much about it. It was just, learn these shapes for jazz.

was that wes montgomery?
#31
Quote by JimmyStradlin33
Doesn't Marty Friedman formerly of Megadeth claim to know no theory? And yet he is an incredible guitarist. Whether his claim is true or not im jubious though


As far as I can tell, it isn't so much not knowing theory, it's not caring about theory in Marty's case. Though I read in an interview that he didn't know that he was playing the Phrygian mode, so it could be at least somewhat true.
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#32
Haha, well I used to make up scales before I met my teacher. Then I thought I was all that and I'm like "Hey, check out this scale I came up with", and then he'd be like "Uhhh, kid, thats just an A-Minor Lydian" and I'd be all "Oh "...But I guess I'm the only 17 yr old I know who can pull off 6 string sweeps ...Theory is just boring to learn ...But I really want to master it one day...
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#33
Quote by redaxe
Theory is just boring to learn ...But I really want to master it one day...
It doesn't have to be. Theory is only boring if you can't see immediate uses for it. Or if all you're doing is memory work etc.

When you "come up with a scale" on your guitar .. you're learning theory. The best way to make it interesting is to learn small bits at a time and come up with ways to use what you learn right away.

For example .. check out this Satriani video .. http://youtube.com/watch?v=WrAA-MPDJM0&search=satriani .. he explains how he just takes one simple root note and then starts using different modes over it to get different sounds. It's very very simple .. but it's a great example of "theory in action" .. and it's certainly not boring.
#34
Before i went to an arts school, i knew no theory at all, but i could solo pretty good. Everything was jsut shapes and forms to me. Not notes. But yeah, when i went to this art school, there was this amazing kid there, who could play so fast, and shred your ass off, but he didnt know how to read music or barely any theory.
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