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#1
There are many damn good muso's (particularly guitarists) out there than can't/wont take the time to learn the fairly simple art of music theory. I've always looked at knowing at least basic theory as being an advantage to any musician.

Do you think it's a necessary? Or do you think with things such as tablature and Guitar Pro's etc, it's no longer an important part of being an accomplished musician/guitarist these days?

What's your thoughts?
#4
I learned how to, but never really practiced it.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#5
Its not necessary - like you say, many great guitarists know little/no theory. Learning theory (even just the basics) is a good thing tho, understanding music helps create it.
#6
I know theory and can read music,although ive got to sit and work out the notes its not automatic.


Two different things man.


Anything you learn in music can only be a good thing.
#7
Pretty much the same with me deniz, I can look at a score of music and read and understand it well, but I lag in being able to pick up some sheet music and just start playing along. Specially to really complicated pieces. But I'm learning..
#8
Well music is compulsory until the end of this year for me so I don't really get a choice. But I think it does help if you actually understand WHY you are playing something.
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#9
Quote by Surrysounds
Pretty much the same with me deniz, I can look at a score of music and read and understand it well, but I lag in being able to pick up some sheet music and just start playing along. Specially to really complicated pieces. But I'm learning..

Theory is very important especially if you want to master the instrument. I'd wager the only musicians who don't know more then basic theory are mainstream rockers and pop stars. You're certainly not going to be in a jazz or prog metal band...
#11
in my opinion in order to be an accomplished guitarist you should be able to read music because tab doesnt show everything you need to be able to play... you cannot play a song that you've never heard before using tabs... however using sheet music you can play a song that you've never heard before because it shows timings and such... but dont get me wrong... im not saying that i think you are a terrible player just because you cant read music... but i think you should if you wanna be an accomplished player
#12
It is necessary to become a REALLY good musician and composer. But if all one is doing is playing covers or easy stuff, then it isn't really necessary.

I can read tabs but I'm very slow at reading sheet music. That will change soon though because I am learning to sing and I think I'm start Cello soon. xD

EDIT: Oh and I know who to read the rhythms and all. That is critical to any instrument. It's the notes on the staff that confuse me
#13
i cant read or write music and dont even know any sortof theory

I rea dup about keys and ntoes and ****, i dont understand i basically work on the principle if it osund sok together it probably is ok together and is in key etc
#15
"You're certainly not going to be in a jazz or prog metal band...(if you can't read...)"

Thats for sure.. Or a session musician for that matter.

But I think one of the most important aspects about getting the theory/reading down packed is being able to pick up any score of music and start playing, whether you've heard it or not. You can't do that with tab. The basics of it aren't to hard to learn, but 2 years into my degree, it's getting a bit complicated.

Another thing is the aural.. My old man (been playing classical piano for decades) has next to perfect pitch, but it obviously doesn't run in the family.. That takes a bit more time to work on imo.
#16
Quote by AcsticRckr89
in my opinion in order to be an accomplished guitarist you should be able to read music because tab doesnt show everything you need to be able to play... you cannot play a song that you've never heard before using tabs... however using sheet music you can play a song that you've never heard before because it shows timings and such... but dont get me wrong... im not saying that i think you are a terrible player just because you cant read music... but i think you should if you wanna be an accomplished player


but most guitar music books/guitar pro tabs etc show both tab and sheet music in paralell, so you can read the notes off tab, and read timings off the sheet
#17
I'm one of the only guitarists, in fact probably the only guitarist. i know that can actually read music. I was taught it when i started to play the piano when i was seven, but for some of my friends who have been playing guitar longer than me have no hope reading usic. It's really depressing, i had to spend a quarter of an hour explainign to one friend how E can be both higher and lower than C, i ended up drawing a out a keyboard for him. The only fireds of mine who can read music are ones who have played the piano.

I think it may be to do with that fact that everybody often shuns tradition - they reject classical music, thinking it's non creative, they reject reading music becuase they thnk it's rigid.

What do you think?
Quote by DrewsGotTheLife
yea man, who ever doesnt like pantera or think they suck doesnt like metal, end of discussion, they changed the freakin world n made history, so don't be sayin they suck, have respect, same goes for machine head n lamb of god cuz their good too
#18
Quote by Surrysounds
"You're certainly not going to be in a jazz or prog metal band...(if you can't read...)"


That may be true, but it doesn't keep me from writing my own. I'd be way more limited if I knew nothing of theory.
#19
I had to teach a guy which notes where on which line in music today, and yes it was a guitarist.
Although to be fair I only know that because I play the clarinet, and reading music is essential to play the clarinet as all the music you play will be new to you, where as guitar players can just hear a song on the radio, and search for the tab on UG
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#20
freddaahh - You may have a point there fred, but tbh I think if tab wasn't around, more people would be learning their theory. I started learning piano around the same age you started, but gave up around the 11-12 mark and forgot all I learnt. Took private guitar lessons when I was about 14 for a while and the teacher gave me the choice of going over Mel Bay or learning some crappy songs via tab I was into at the time. I chose the latter which was pretty stupid!
#21
"That may be true, but it doesn't keep me from writing my own. I'd be way more limited if I knew nothing of theory."

Ha no sorry that part I added in brackets wasn't in reference to anyone or an elaboration. I added it so you'd know what quote I was commenting on.
#23
the edge can't, + u can pretty much get by on tabs
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.
#25
Apparantley, Hendrix never learnt. No idea if thats true, but it wouldn't surprise me.
#27
I definitely helps, but it isn't mandatory with the advent of tabs and guitar pro


It really helps if you want to transcribe, let's say a piano piece to guitar, that's when it helps a bunch
hue
#28
Quote by Surrysounds
There are many damn good muso's (particularly guitarists) out there than can't/wont take the time to learn the fairly simple art of music theory. I've always looked at knowing at least basic theory as being an advantage to any musician.

Do you think it's a necessary? Or do you think with things such as tablature and Guitar Pro's etc, it's no longer an important part of being an accomplished musician/guitarist these days?

What's your thoughts?
Of course not. Beneficial, to be sure.
Meadows
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I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#29
Quote by denizenz
Theory is very important especially if you want to master the instrument. I'd wager the only musicians who don't know more then basic theory are mainstream rockers and pop stars. You're certainly not going to be in a jazz or prog metal band...


Sorry, but wtf?

Paul bloody McCartney can't even read music.

Neither could Hendrix.

Do you think the person who invented the guitar gave a fuck about making a whole theory based around it? I think not.
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#30
I can't read music to save my life, but I'm always nose-deep in my basic theory book, and cause I know basic theory I can write music.

I write decent music without knowing theory though, I basically just put what sounds good etc... together, what bits of lead will sound good over what chord progression etc...
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#31
Quote by as_i_lay_dead
but most guitar music books/guitar pro tabs etc show both tab and sheet music in paralell, so you can read the notes off tab, and read timings off the sheet


In my opinion to be an accomplished player you must be able to play classical as well as rock... alot (although not all) classical music books do not have tab especially those written for mulitple instruments... also its just easier to read sheet music only instead of having to switch between tab then look up at the statard notation for the rythms and then back and forth between the two...
#32
Quote by denizenz
I know theory but can't read music well...they aren't synonymous you know?


Me too.
I'm pretty good with theory but don't read music. (Although I intend to learn it because really, any musician should at some point.)
I play by my own rules. And I have one rule; There are no rules... but if there are, they're there to be broken. Even this one.


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#33
Quote by AvengedThrice
Sorry, but wtf?

Paul bloody McCartney can't even read music.

Neither could Hendrix.

Do you think the person who invented the guitar gave a fuck about making a whole theory based around it? I think not.


I agree.

Tabs and sheet music are just a way to "represent" music, in my opinion.

I know a bit of theory and I can read tabs; so, I just come to UG and learn new songs.

I'm happy this way, it's just for the fun anyways
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Has a Surf Music band
#34
Quote by Surrysounds
freddaahh - You may have a point there fred, but tbh I think if tab wasn't around, more people would be learning their theory. I started learning piano around the same age you started, but gave up around the 11-12 mark and forgot all I learnt. Took private guitar lessons when I was about 14 for a while and the teacher gave me the choice of going over Mel Bay or learning some crappy songs via tab I was into at the time. I chose the latter which was pretty stupid!


Why thank you, and how did you guess my name?
Quote by DrewsGotTheLife
yea man, who ever doesnt like pantera or think they suck doesnt like metal, end of discussion, they changed the freakin world n made history, so don't be sayin they suck, have respect, same goes for machine head n lamb of god cuz their good too
#35
Quote by freddaahh
Why thank you, and how did you guess my name?



Took a random guess..
#36
Quote by AvengedThrice
Sorry, but wtf?

Paul bloody McCartney can't even read music.

Neither could Hendrix.

Do you think the person who invented the guitar gave a fuck about making a whole theory based around it? I think not.

I hate to open this can of worms but, they weren't technically sound guitarists and their music isn't that complex. Hendrix changed rock guitar but his music and technique don't do anything for me.
#37
Musicians who cant use the search bar.

I don't want to be a penis to the TS but there are posts like this one every week.

Slash, blah, Hendrix, Lennon and McCartney, blah.
Last edited by Pabli7o at Sep 19, 2007,
#38
Quote by Pabli7o
Musicians who cant use the search bar.



At least back up a lame post with a thread.
#39
Hendrix, Mustaine and Slash don't know theory.... so how could you say you need it to be an established musician?

You don't.
#40
Quote by AvengedThrice
Sorry, but wtf?

Paul bloody McCartney can't even read music.

Neither could Hendrix.

Do you think the person who invented the guitar gave a fuck about making a whole theory based around it? I think not.


Right-o. Let's correct you. I wasn't going to enter in to the heated debate on the importance of sheet music, but what the heck, your post gave me the urge.

Reading music = Being able to identify ,understand and play, what is on the piece of paper. Be it Blue Bossa's lead sheet or Beethoven's Fifth.

Sight-Reading = The same as above but completely on the spot with none or very little previous knowledge of the piece. And by this I don't mean what it sounds like, I mean it's scale and so on. It's easy to sing a tune, but unless you have perfect pitch or very very good ear, it's going to be hard to get something like a key completely out of it.

Theory = Ah, see here is where it gets interesting. Reading music =/= theory, but at the same time reading music = theory.

Explanation: Yes, the notes, rhythms, dynamics etc all fall under music theory, so yeah, it's part of music theory. But telling a G from a C from F# is not all music theory. For that matter, it's a basic as you can go. There are soooo many more aspects, you have chord progressions, understanding their relation, you have scales, intervals and chord formation, you have harmony, you have improvisational knowledge, and this could go into things like re-harmonization.

My point is, that music theory, isn't all based around the reading and you can be a bitching guitarist like Stevie Ray Vaughan, with barely knowing the notes, but knowing how a scale works, where you can place it and interchange it with what to make it sound a certain way. Stevie Ray and Hendrix's knowledge of chords, was amazing. Astonishing really. Even listened closely to Little Wing? Red House? The chords Jimi uses while soloing and playing rhythm aren't your average C-A-D are they? And what about Stevie, well, he couldn't read music, but listen to Stang's Swang, and he is a bitching jazz guitarist. If he were still alive, it would be scary how good he could get.

Now, onto the original question of the thread, yes, I think it's necessary to have a knowledge of THEORY, and helpful to have ability in sight-reading.

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