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#1
how did he right all his music? i always hear that you have to know theory and stuff to wright a good song. so i was just wondering if all his songs go along the theory rules and still sound good? like being in key and stuff
#3
Put his fingers where ever, and just bent or slid up until the note sounded good. It works
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#5
Might as well ask how Van Halen did it, too. He was way more "self taught."

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#6
being in the right key isn't theory. It's just common sense. You could write stuff with key changes. Hendrix was as good as he was because he helped introduce a sound that people really like. There isn't a formula that will make you hendrix.
#7
Quote by TheVelvetGlove
i always hear that you have to know theory and stuff to wright a good song.



You heard wrong. Most likely by a person that is in the process of studying theory.

Quote by TheVelvetGlove

so i was just wondering if all his songs go along the theory rules and still sound good? like being in key and stuff


Sure, his music could be analyzed from a theoretical perspective. Im sure most of that analysis would be over his head. He was a very creative and talented person, but did not formally study theory.

many artists learn music with a "hands on/ears on approach" and are quite successful with it. When your a student of music theory, and you spend alot of time studying, its hard to accept that some people make music without that knowledge.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 7, 2008,
#8
He had a naturally good "musical ear." He was a guy who probably had absolute pitch, meaning if he heard something he could play it back. Many people do have this and it is more of an effort of hard work and determination than anything natural though so if you feel discouraged, don't because with enough practice and application you can pretty much do anything.
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#9
Quote by TheVelvetGlove
how did he right all his music? i always hear that you have to know theory and stuff to wright a good song. so i was just wondering if all his songs go along the theory rules and still sound good? like being in key and stuff

you dont really need a theory background to make a song. if you can put into song what you hear in your head, then whats the problem? even with theory, there are exceptions to the rules. you can always bend and break them if you want. they are more like guidlines than rules for that matter.
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky
its hard to accept that some people make music without that knowledge.
They know the material on some level. It's not coincidence that Hendrix's stuff fits nicely into pentatonic boxes. However, I doubt he knew the nomenclature at the level of many members of this website, which is necessary for communicating with musicians.

Hendrix figured out aspects of theory by himself. However, I suggest you allow yourself to learn what musicians have been figuring out for the last 500 years rather than try to do it yourself.

Quote by MetalMusicianAl
i remember him saying he saw music as colors and ****.
That would be the Lysergic acid diethylamide.
#12
Quote by TheVelvetGlove
how did he right all his music? i always hear that you have to know theory and stuff to wright a good song. so i was just wondering if all his songs go along the theory rules and still sound good? like being in key and stuff


Theory describes music. It's impossible to follow or break the "rules" of theory.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
They know the material on some level. It's not coincidence that Hendrix's stuff fits nicely into pentatonic boxes. However, I doubt he knew the nomenclature at the level of many members of this website, which is necessary for communicating with musicians.



I dont know what he knew exactly, but Im sure he knew some chord names, and possibly scales as well. However I would say he communicated well enough to work with other musicians, probably better than most of the people here that "know more nomenclature" then him.

You don't necessarily have to know theory terminology to communicate an idea to other musicians.

Also when someone talks about studying music theory VS not studying music theory, it can be assumed that the "not studying theory" means formally. Its not referring to general knowledge (note names, scale names, chord name....ect), and its not referring to someone that plays by ear and makes sense of it on their own.


Quote by bangoodcharlote

Hendrix figured out aspects of theory by himself. However, I suggest you allow yourself to learn what musicians have been figuring out for the last 500 years rather than try to do it yourself.


I would suggest you study what your inspired to study, and play what your inspired to play.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 7, 2008,
#14
1. Think of a melody
2. Write it down
3. Add to it
4 Write lyrics to it
5. ????????
6. Profit
#15
Quote by MetalMusicianAl
i remember him saying he saw music as colors and ****.


That's an actual condition. It's called synesthesia. It varies from person to person...where one person might see a bB as blue, another might see it as gold.
It's more that when they hear a note, they also see a colour as accompaniment. Synesthetes don't actually (usually) realize that this is unusual...they feel that everyone can see these colours, and without them their perception of music would be greatly unenhanced (is that the right word?).
It's a natural ability...it seems to be transmitted genetically. I don't think it has anything to do with drugs...

And it MIGHT have helped him with composition. But I can see it being an obstacle to me, as well.


NB: Just for the record, synesthesia isn't limited to musical notes, keys and modes (That's right...different chords etc. make different colours as well). It can also be associated with days of the week, letters (from any language, as long as the synesthete knows they're letters), numbers, words etc.
It varies from person to person. Not really that rare though.
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#16
Hendrix probably learnt theory from all the guitarists he played with but not in the way we know it.

Hendrix probably worked out or was taught as he jammed with other guitarists what set of notes goes well over this chord, what chords work well together, and how to change the chords and the scale while making it sound good (like a key change).

These are all things you will learn if you study classical music theory but they can also be learned the way Hedrix did (but you have to be quite talented). However, you probably won't learn theory, the way Hendrix did, if you sit in your room playing linkin park and sneering at people who do learn theory.

As Bangoodcharlotte said, theory is what musicians have worked out in the last 500 AND THAT INCLUDES WHAT HENDRIX KNEW.

Hendrix probably couln't have gone and played something classical very well because all Hendrix's theoretical knowledge was about the style of guitar playing that he had been doing and no more.

So you can write music without studying theory but as you get better at song writing you will learn stuff you could have learned in theory. For example, before i started learning music theory properly i found out that the chords C,G,F and Am sounded good in a chord progression without knowing that they were in the key of C. And that G,D and C sound good before i knew they were in the key of G.

Because of this i think that all sucessful songwriters must have known some theory, but they may not have studied it they may have just worked it out themselves.

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#17
We are all writing English here, but how many of us know all the grammatical rules behind the sentences we write?... but that doesn't stop us writing reasonably good and understandable English.

I guess some people play and make music like that... they can do it, but they don't always know why they do it that way.

Having said that, I'm sure Hendrix knew at least some theory, even if a lot of it came naturally to him.
#18
Hendrix new plenty of theory that he picked up from the people he jammed with...stop looking for shortcuts and excuses because they aren't there.

Quote by geetarmanic
We are all writing English here, but how many of us know all the grammatical rules behind the sentences we write?... but that doesn't stop us writing reasonably good and understandable English.

I guess some people play and make music like that... they can do it, but they don't always know why they do it that way.

Having said that, I'm sure Hendrix knew at least some theory, even if a lot of it came naturally to him.


We all know plenty about the rules of grammar...we know what a nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are at the very least and when to use them. We know the order in which to arrange words and we know how to use conjunctions and pronouns even if we don't know the exact terms for precise words.

It doesn't matter if you know the exact terms for those grammatical concepts, or whether you were taught them formally or simply assimilated them over time - fact of the matter is you still know them. Theory is no different, but it's going to take a lot longer to simply assimilate because even the most dedicated musician uses language far more than they play music. Chances are it's going to take you several years to simply blunder into things that have already been discovered and written down for you by people far more learned than any of us.

Why waste several years in the hope that something will magically make sense, with no guarantee that it ever will, when you could simply learn it in a few weeks?
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#19
Quote by steven seagull

Why waste several years in the hope that something will magically make sense, with no guarantee that it ever will, when you could simply learn it in a few weeks?



just about sums up learning any subject, and its the reason we go to school..
#20
You know, I think hendrix did have a formal knowledge of theory. Anyone noticed that some of his solo's are in a strict pentatonic pattern? He probably learnt it of a friend
#21
There's different levels of theory knowledge, and I think it eventually builds into a person's mind naturally after playing and getting to know the fretboard and where things go. I don't know the names of half the scales I use, but they sound good to me anyway. :P
#22
Quote by geetarmanic
We are all writing English here, but how many of us know all the grammatical rules behind the sentences we write?... but that doesn't stop us writing reasonably good and understandable English.

I guess some people play and make music like that... they can do it, but they don't always know why they do it that way.

Having said that, I'm sure Hendrix knew at least some theory, even if a lot of it came naturally to him.


I do...but I also have Bachelor's in English...I shouldn't count. Heh.

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#24
I'm pretty certain JH was Bipolar/Manic-Depressive (what they used to call Bipolar)

If you've ever known a Bipolar person they can be great fun, their ideas are amazingly complex, in fact a lot of geniuses are bipolar - including Einstein.

They have moments of incredible cognitive ability, and it's likely Relativity was dreamed up during a Manic state.

Likewise, Hendrix wrote a lot of his stuff when his brain was supercharged with Mania. Hence his stuff is just untouchably awesome.

He paid for it with overwhelming depths of despair and hopeless depression, though.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#25
I think Eric Clapton learnt to play the blues by listening to Muddy Waters records and figuring out what he heard through trial and error. Certainly, when he hooked up with John Mayall, he would just sit with Mayall's extensive blues record collection and figure out what he heard. I suppose once you've done that for quite a while, you start to figure out patterns and such.

I would think, though, that when Clapton or Hendrix needed to communicate with other musicians, they probably had to learn and use the names of the notes and chords they were playing.
#26
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
I'm pretty certain JH was Bipolar/Manic-Depressive (what they used to call Bipolar)

If you've ever known a Bipolar person they can be great fun, their ideas are amazingly complex, in fact a lot of geniuses are bipolar - including Einstein.

They have moments of incredible cognitive ability, and it's likely Relativity was dreamed up during a Manic state.

Likewise, Hendrix wrote a lot of his stuff when his brain was supercharged with Mania. Hence his stuff is just untouchably awesome.

He paid for it with overwhelming depths of despair and hopeless depression, though.


Good God, no. You can't just go around diagnosing dead people with bipolar disorder without having had a chance to interview them extensively.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#27
Quote by bangoodcharlote

That would be the Lysergic acid diethylamide.



I'm afraid I have to completely disagree with that.


Hendrix did see emotions as colours and applied the same to music. Bold as love is a prime example. He also used these colours to communicate with his engineers(Kramer mostly) who understood what he wanted this way. On bold as love, he said he wanted his guitar to sound like it was underwater. The effect was produced using some new form of phasing for that time(don't ask me, I don't know much about the technology). This isn't directly compositional but it does represent how Jimi might have seen things in his head.


Also, there is a "thing" for the lack of a better term in some peoples brains that make them associate keys, sounds with colours. It's not the same for everyone and it's definite that not every human being posses this quality but I think it's an interesting way to see things.


#28
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
I'm pretty certain JH was Bipolar/Manic-Depressive (what they used to call Bipolar)

If you've ever known a Bipolar person they can be great fun, their ideas are amazingly complex, in fact a lot of geniuses are bipolar - including Einstein.

They have moments of incredible cognitive ability, and it's likely Relativity was dreamed up during a Manic state.

Likewise, Hendrix wrote a lot of his stuff when his brain was supercharged with Mania. Hence his stuff is just untouchably awesome.

He paid for it with overwhelming depths of despair and hopeless depression, though.


That's an interesting theory.


Hendrix wrote his songs by picking up a guitar and playing it.
The same damn way a million and one other people write their songs.
Ultimately it just doesn't matter whether Hendrix knew theory formally or not. Obviously he knew what sounded good, and that's that, as they say.
#29
Why is Hendrix always considered the anti-thesis of a theory-trained musician?
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#30
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
I'm pretty certain JH was Bipolar/Manic-Depressive (what they used to call Bipolar)

If you've ever known a Bipolar person they can be great fun, their ideas are amazingly complex, in fact a lot of geniuses are bipolar - including Einstein.

They have moments of incredible cognitive ability, and it's likely Relativity was dreamed up during a Manic state.

Likewise, Hendrix wrote a lot of his stuff when his brain was supercharged with Mania. Hence his stuff is just untouchably awesome.

He paid for it with overwhelming depths of despair and hopeless depression, though.


Yea, I think this is pretty speculative, and there isn't any documentation that this is true is there? haha Hendrix got pissed off when people categorized him when he was living and now you are labeling him "bipolar" and attributing his talent to the 'disorder' after he died, based on what seems to be pure speculation?

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#31
Quote by zipppy2006
Yea, I think this is pretty speculative, and there isn't any documentation that this is true is there? haha Hendrix got pissed off when people categorized him when he was living and now you are labeling him "bipolar" and attributing his talent to the 'disorder' after he died, based on what seems to be pure speculation?

Classy.



+1

attributing his talent to this disorder is very misleading, whether he actually had the disorder or not.

Quote by KryptNet
Why is Hendrix always considered the anti-thesis of a theory-trained musician?


hes not really. Hes just very well known.
#32
Quote by KryptNet
Why is Hendrix always considered the anti-thesis of a theory-trained musician?

Because of idiots who feel that just because he "played with uber emotion", he couldn't have possibly known theory. For some reason, people equate theoretical knowledge with standing like a robot and just running through scales.
#34
everybody has a natural sense of theory. you can sit there and write a symphonic thats technically 'breaking theory' but hey, its just THEORY its rules meant to be broken. then again you can do what a lot of people do, write a song in key without knowing what a key is. i started off naturally writing in minor scales, my guitarist wrote in locrian/phrygian with chromiatic stuff mixed in, it just all depends.

theory doesnt write the music, it explains it after-the-fact.

its very hard to argue this point to the 'old school rockers' that get all upset over the technically driven youths of today, its hard making them see that even though soandso didnt know what 7/4 was or what a pentatonic minor was they still know what they were doing, and whether or not they knew the name of it they were still using it.
#35
Quote by Sabaren
everybody has a natural sense of theory. you can sit there and write a symphonic thats technically 'breaking theory'

No. That's impossible. You can't "break theory" because it's simply descriptive. You can break standard musical conventions, but not theory itself.
#36
Quote by :-D
No. That's impossible. You can't "break theory" because it's simply descriptive. You can break standard musical conventions, but not theory itself.

+1

I guess you can "break" modal theory because it's so rigid, but as far as the major scale goes every note on the guitar is accomdated for within its framework no matter what key you're in and what backing you're playing over...it's equally descriptive of the notes you don't play as it is of the ones you do, and that's why it's infintely preferable to describe things in terms of the major scale and modes are best avoided save for very specific situations.
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#37
^ that was my point, abit somewhat sarcastic my point was you dont need to know theory to write a song because its NOT a set of hard rules.
#39
synesthesia...did i spell it right? i think it helps when you can feel your music with more than just your ears, if you can really get into it, chances are other people will too. i think he must have just written in a completely absorbed state with a tape recorder next to him maybe. although there is more than one thread daily about theory VS feeling, i will put my two cents into this one. although a lot of people seem to take sides (and think that sides exist) between theory and feeling. i think i can shift through the nonsense and say that most people on the feeling side assume people on the theory side play by formulas or something and assume that knowing what you are playing means you wont be as creative, this argument is partially true, if you think in theory instead of feeling the sound when you write, you will most likely sound like you are running scales or just plain boring or just a flurry of random notes. if you think about what to do next when you play, you leave no space in your mind for your creative instincts to tell you what to do next. if you actually relax and play for the playing, you can be way more creative. on the other side, the theory people think the feeling people are idiots, and they know that theory expands your musical ability and probably notice that all the non theory people sound like -0-3-5-0-3-5 all the time, because they sure arent creative either.... whats the secret to great creativity then? experimenting!!...duh the only way to come up with new things is to try new things, and if youve said "but i dooo" by now, take a closer look, how much do you really, do you usually do things you see in tabs, do you usually play in your scale boxes, do you think in fret numbers, do you think about other things entirely? that is not going to have a creative outlook unless you get really lucky. youve gotta turn that ol' brain off your theory will be good for knowing what the next note is gonna be on the fretboard for the feeling you want, and your feeling is going to make you know what the next note should be.
but i could be wrong . and im sorry about the wall of text but if i can help someone with a narrow mind break free its worth the read
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