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#1
It's not that I don't respect him, it just that he shows no ambition. I mean, one of the things we share a mutual interest in is jamming live. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to want to learn anything about music theory. HE'S BEEN PLAYING FOR 2 YEARS AND COULDN'T TELL YOU WHAT A MAJOR SCALE IS!!!! He thinks he can just read tabs and play around and one day solos will just magically appear.

Personally, I've only been playing bass for about 6 months and I'm just now trying to memorize the circle of 5ths, but at least I'm making progress, ya know? I feel like I should drop him in search of musicians that'll challenge me. It's selfish, but sometimes I just have to put myself above others...

With all that said, does everyone here know at least a decent amount about music theory? Or am I the crazy one here?
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#3
talent is more important than theory..if he has potential just let him work it by himself..maybe it's better for him not to study theory so he plays the way he wants to and not ''limit'' himself to any kind of stupid scale
Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
#4
Not everyone wants to learn theory because it can limit your creativity by giving you certain "laws" to adhere by, on the other hand it can really help with improvisation and general understanding of how to write a song.
so long as he knows his fretboard i dont see why it should be a big deal, as long as what he plays sounds good who cares if he knows theory?
Edit: beaten to my general point by dude above me.
Originally Posted by Chromeproguitar
they make horrible noises in the middle of the night (is it sex?)

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#6
Think about it like this.

Say for instance I show up to his place like "Dude, listen to this sweet lick I heard/made up!" or something like that. And he's like "Cool! Show me that."
I would probably start trying to tell him "Okay, you start with this root and go to the 3rd then the 5th and blah blah blah" and he'd just look at me like I've got branches growing out of my face. At which point he'd say, "Dude, just tell me what frets and all that."
Needless to say, having to break everything down to "3rd fret on the 1st string and so on" gets annoying.
We can't communicate with each other if we're not speaking the same language.
And God forbid we wanna bring a wind instrument into the mix...

EDIT: I never said he didn't have talent. He's amazing. I just think he would be so much better and things would be so much easier for us if he would start learning theory.
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#8
Quote by RonnyMex
Think about it like this.

Say for instance I show up to his place like "Dude, listen to this sweet lick I heard/made up!" or something like that. And he's like "Cool! Show me that."
I would probably start trying to tell him "Okay, you start with this root and go to the 3rd then the 5th and blah blah blah" and he'd just look at me like I've got branches growing out of my face. At which point he'd say, "Dude, just tell me what frets and all that."
Needless to say, having to break everything down to "3rd fret on the 1st string and so on" gets annoying.
We can't communicate with each other if we're not speaking the same language.
And God forbid we wanna bring a wind instrument into the mix...

EDIT: I never said he didn't have talent. He's amazing. I just think he would be so much better and things would be so much easier for us if he would start learning theory.


You're speaking the same language. You're, therefore, by your own logic, communicating. Problem solved.
#9
Quote by Time Seller
You're speaking the same language. You're, therefore, by your own logic, communicating. Problem solved.


Do I really have to break down what I meant by that for you?
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#11
Quote by Time Seller
No. You're speaking the same language.


*sigh* Apparently I do.
You see, I don't mean he can't understand the words I'm speaking. I'm just saying he can't understand what I mean when I use certain theory terms.
We're not communicating using the same terminology.
Get it?
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#12
Quote by RonnyMex
*sigh* Apparently I do.
You see, I don't mean he can't understand the words I'm speaking. I'm just saying he can't understand what I mean when I use certain theory terms.
We're not communicating using the same terminology.
Get it?


I got it from the start.

So don't use theory terms. You don't have to say root, 3rds, and whatnot.

Get it?
#13
Quote by Time Seller
I got it from the start.

So don't use theory terms. You don't have to say root, 3rds, and whatnot.

Get it?



OOOHHH!!! I see.
You were just trying to piss me off!

Good one.
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#14
Quote by RonnyMex
OOOHHH!!! I see.
You were just trying to piss me off!

Good one.


I was pointing out that you hate your guitarist (who you admit is talented) because he doesn't want to learn theory. Brava, ragazza.
#15
Instead of a theory snob, just show him physically what the lick is, and write it down in tab if needs be. It's so much simpler and less hassle. And dropping a frend of yours for someone better is low. Very low. A band, first and foremost, is about having fun with a group of friends.
#16
Quote by Time Seller
I was pointing out that you hate your guitarist (who you admit is talented) because he doesn't want to learn theory. Brava, ragazza.


Okay, let's try this again.
I realize that he is talented. I realize that he doesn't have to learn theory to be a good guitarist. I realize that you can just get on stage and start playing really fast and people will think you're sexy.
But, if you plan to bring other instrumentalists into the mix(ie: the rest of the band), not having a universal method of communicating can get really ugly. REALLY ugly.

Like, the "people getting annoyed and finding other people to play with" kind of ugly.
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#17
Quote by RonnyMex
Okay, let's try this again.
I realize that he is talented. I realize that he doesn't have to learn theory to be a good guitarist. I realize that you can just get on stage and start playing really fast and people will think you're sexy.
But, if you plan to bring other instrumentalists into the mix(ie: the rest of the band), not having a universal method of communicating can get really ugly. REALLY ugly.

Like, the "people getting annoyed and finding other people to play with" kind of ugly.


First of all, you seem to be (no offense) an 'elitist' theory snob. I've already pointed out that you 'hate' your guitarist for a seriously juvenile reason. And next,

I feel like I should drop him in search of musicians that'll challenge me.


Then get out of the band yourself. He hasn't even done anything particularly wrong, except refusing to learn music theory. And from what I've gathered from your post, you haven't actually encouraged him to learn it.

Etc.

And as for your 'universal method of communicating', please don't get condescending. I play in a band that has gigged at the largest carnival in my state, and we're about to headline a huge indie rock festival. We've recorded two albums, and one demo EP.

There's nothing wrong with just telling him what notes you're using. And worse come to worse, (if he doesn't know where the notes are), there's nothing wrong with pointing out where the notes are located. If you can't spare that amount of time, I'm sorry to say that you have a lot to learn about music. Have some patience.

And please, please, grow up. Kicking a talented guitarist (and a friend) out of your band simply because he doesn't know the circle of fifths is a bad idea. Everyone has their flaws. Encourage him to learn theory. Help him out. How would you feel if the rest of the band decides to kick you out simply because you don't know enough scale patterns?
#18
Quote by Time Seller
How would you feel if the rest of the band decides to kick you out simply because you don't know enough scale patterns?


He's gunna tell you he knows them all, so that situation would never occur...

Seriously, TS, if you're unhapy playing with this guitarist, then leave. But if you wanna keep playing with him, compromise, perhaps you could speak his "language"? Asking him to understand theory when he doesnt is not gunna work, but you can surely take the pain of speaking in uneducated, philistine terms like 3rd fret etc.?

Alternatively, do as some of us do and use your extenseive theory knowledge to write his parts, then he can sound exactly how you want...
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#19
Quote by Ouch_needles
He's gunna tell you he knows them all, so that situation would never occur...

Seriously, TS, if you're unhapy playing with this guitarist, then leave. But if you wanna keep playing with him, compromise, perhaps you could speak his "language"? Asking him to understand theory when he doesnt is not gunna work, but you can surely take the pain of speaking in uneducated, philistine terms like 3rd fret etc.?

Alternatively, do as some of us do and use your extenseive theory knowledge to write his parts, then he can sound exactly how you want...



Kudos to the guitar-writing-for-him part. Doubt he'll like it though. Guitarists are generally very finicky bout stuff like that. :p
#20
Quote by Time Seller


Kudos to the guitar-writing-for-him part. Doubt he'll like it though. Guitarists are generally very finicky bout stuff like that. :p


Hah, yeah, rhythm guitarist seems to get that a lot more in my case,

But yeah, to counteract that, i try and write my lead's parts much harder than i reckon he can play, which usually gives good results, cause he always rises brilliantly to the challenge.
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#21
look at it this way, how would you like it if he tried to force his musical approach on you? what works for you might not work for him and vice versa. don't be a dick about it because you know theory and he doesn't.

theory isn't necessary to write good music talent is what's needed to write good music and if he has talent then quit your bitching
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#22
Quote by Time Seller
First of all, you seem to be (no offense) an 'elitist' theory snob. I've already pointed out that you 'hate' your guitarist for a seriously juvenile reason. And next,


Then get out of the band yourself. He hasn't even done anything particularly wrong, except refusing to learn music theory. And from what I've gathered from your post, you haven't actually encouraged him to learn it.

Etc.

And as for your 'universal method of communicating', please don't get condescending. I play in a band that has gigged at the largest carnival in my state, and we're about to headline a huge indie rock festival. We've recorded two albums, and one demo EP.

There's nothing wrong with just telling him what notes you're using. And worse come to worse, (if he doesn't know where the notes are), there's nothing wrong with pointing out where the notes are located. If you can't spare that amount of time, I'm sorry to say that you have a lot to learn about music. Have some patience.

And please, please, grow up. Kicking a talented guitarist (and a friend) out of your band simply because he doesn't know the circle of fifths is a bad idea. Everyone has their flaws. Encourage him to learn theory. Help him out. How would you feel if the rest of the band decides to kick you out simply because you don't know enough scale patterns?



I'm not asking that he learn the circle of fifths, but it would make me really happy if he could locate and name ANY note. Of any kind.

When I say he's talented, I mean he can play well alone. He can actually play very well alone. The problems arise when we try to do something together.
I mean, we can talk about "rules and restrictions" all we want, but if I'm playing a C and he's playing a C# it gonna sound terrible.

And I have tried to encourage him to learn it. Countless times.
That actually brings up another reason why it kinda makes me mad. If I start talking to him about it, he starts going on and on about how I tell him the same things over and over again (which I wouldn't have to do if he tried at all).
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
#23
It really depends. The least minimum is knowing what to play that sounds right when a style, a key, a chord, an interval, a time signature, or a note length is called out.

From there on, music is really like cooking.

If it isn't obvious to him that playing a C# on a C chord doesn't sound right, move on, don't waste your time. Don't think you can cure tone-deafness.
Last edited by ColdGin at May 21, 2008,
#24
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Instead of a theory snob, just show him physically what the lick is, and write it down in tab if needs be. It's so much simpler and less hassle. And dropping a frend of yours for someone better is low. Very low. A band, first and foremost, is about having fun with a group of friends.

+1

A band is a team. On a team you help out.
#25
Well my guitarist doesnt know any theory.
And I know its and bobs.
We seem to communicate through showing each other what to play.
If your guitarist doesnt want to learn theory thats his problem, not yours.
And as for adding new instruments to the mix, you can be the middle man as you 'know your theory' you can communicate between your guitarist and other instrumentalists.
If you dont wana do that it isnt worth you doing anything because nothing comes with out effort.
#26
Quote by ColdGin
It really depends. The least minimum is knowing what to play that sounds right when a style, a key, a chord, an interval, a time signature, or a note length is called out.

From there on, music is really like cooking.

If it isn't obvious to him that playing a C# on a C chord doesn't sound right, move on, don't waste your time. Don't think you can cure tone-deafness.

This. And all the others.

If he can't hear the difference, he's not talented. Simple.
#27
I've been playing bass for more than 4 years and I hardly know any theory. My guitarist is always like "I wrote this in a Lydian C-minor 7th dominant key" and stuff (I made that up), and I just wing it. Some of my basslines even turn out to be pretty good. As far as I'm concerned, theory is just a bonus that some people have.
#28
Quote by Time Seller
This. And all the others.

If he can't hear the difference, he's not talented. Simple.


Beethoven was deaf. He couldn't hear anything, yet produced some of the greatest music known to man.

Yes, I know he was probably a theory wh*re, but it still kills that rather ignorant comment you made.
#29
If you're just explaining how to play something, I don't see why it would be necessary or more efficient to talk in intervals. It's much easier to say 'play the fifth fret', especially for someone with little knowledge of theory.
#30
Quote by Froggy McHop
If you're just explaining how to play something, I don't see why it would be necessary or more efficient to talk in intervals. It's much easier to say 'play the fifth fret', especially for someone with little knowledge of theory.


Yup. It's the quickest way for most people to relay musical ideas within a band. Unless it's chords. Not everyone knows where a C is, or what the 5th in the C Major scale is. But everyone who plays knows what "5th fret on the E string" is,
#31
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Beethoven was deaf. He couldn't hear anything, yet produced some of the greatest music known to man.

Yes, I know he was probably a theory wh*re, but it still kills that rather ignorant comment you made.


No, it doesn't. Beethoven wasn't deaf from birth. Look it up if you still haven't realized that.
#32
Quote by Time Seller
No, it doesn't. Beethoven wasn't deaf from birth. Look it up if you still haven't realized that.


I know he wasn't deaf from birth. However, I very much doubt he knew everything about musical sounds before he started going deaf. It is also very possible that when he became deaf, he became reliant on memory of sound, which can degrade. So what he heard in his head may eventually have sounding nothing like what he wanted something to turn out.
#33
I don't even know where to start here....

Well, let see. Yes you should drop your guitarist and seek out other "talented" musicians. If you are so immersed in theory, I would happily suggest you team up a jazz combo consisting of a jazz guitarist who is a 30 year veteran and a drummer who went to Berkeley. Then we'll see how far your 6 months of theory get you. I'm in that situation now and despite the fact I have playing music longer than you have graced this earth, I am treading water big time. The upside is that every practice I suck less, I'm learning tonnes and they are both the most giving and patient beings on the planet.

My point? Either learn some generosity and patience or get the **** out of the band. Les Claypool once said you learn from playing with musicians who are less and more talented than you. Its a valuable lesson you need to keep in mind as you go through your musical life.

And yes, Beethoven was not born deaf; but some of his most moving music was created when he was deaf.
#34
Dont really see why everyone is attacking Ronny. His friend's inability is limiting his progress, and this the TS has every right to expect him to at least work on it. Anyone can wank on their instrument alone, but when your ignorance [loaded term, i know] hampers your current musical relationship, and curtails and future ensemble possibilities, then it becomes a problem.

Do you guys not realize this makes it impossible to convey a simple thing such as a chord progression? The whole reason the terminology/jargon exists is to make it easier for all those involved. Imagine if you were a blues guitarist and you had to spell out EVERY WALKING BASSLINE NOTE instead of telling yer man "12-bar quickchange in G, no 4th"

EDIT: to my knowledge, he could still differentiate between notes. Pretty sure he sawed off the legs to his piano and put his ear to the floor or something, but I'm nearly positive the man wasnt absolutely deaf
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#35
I think what disturbed me Ren, was the slightly elitist tone of the first post.

I agree, using musical theory "short hand" can make a band communication situation easier. But learning different ways of communication can lead to better understanding of music as well. And you can have groups and combos where there are varying levels of musical comprehension and make it work. But it takes work and patience. My husband and drummer does not read a note of music--not even a drum chart. But he's one of the most natural drummers with in the rock genre I have ever met. Time signatures? He's not even there. But we manage nicely thank you through communication and listening.

Which honestly, the bass player and guitarist of this thread need to both learn to do. Communicate effectively and listen to each other. Maybe they do need to go their separate ways after all.
#36
Just a few questions

1)Are there other members of this ensemble?

2)if yes, are they competent in theory or prefer the guitarists method?
#37
Dude he's your friend... why would you dump him for someone you might not like? I could never have a band with someone I didn't get along with. Who cares if he doesn't know theory? Before I learned any theory I new what notes to play and what notes not to.
#38
I had the same problem. I was in a jam band (still am) but the guitarist we found didn't know how to jam. I gave the guitarists one of my old chord and scale books. When he didn't learn it, I found a new guitarist.
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#39
As a guitarist, you are a lot more free in your playing when you KNOW you theory. If you go on stage, forget a solo and you don't know a single scale, you're screwed! Make him learn the basics, or get rid of him!
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#40
Okay, here's the story.
I met my guitarist friend about last year. We were sitting on his porch and all of a sudden he pulls out his guitar and starts playing a piece of "Bat Country". Up until then, I had no idea he played guitar, so I was amazed.
"Yeah, but I really wish I had a bassist to play with.." he said with a frown. Instantly I wanted to play bass, so I bought a Dean starter kit at GC. For the next few months, I would practice with him and he would teach me something every now and then. We learned a few Coheed songs together and decided we wanted to start a band.
About a month down the road, I started looking into bass lessons online and started learning all I could. That's where all the trouble started.
I learned something that I thought would be really useful to him, so I told him about it (don't recall what it was).
"Well.. I kinda wanna do my own thing, ya know?" he'd always say. "Alota guitarists have never had lessons, so it's cool. Don't worry about it, man."
I didn't think anything of it until I played with a keyboard player I met at work. He got me started on a few theory concepts that I just knew my friend would be all over.
"Nah man.. I'm cool." he said again. I was a little disappointed this time, as I was trying to teach him about something that would help with jamming, which is what we decided the bands key feature would be.
And the rest is history. So, there isn't technically a band yet. He's my best friend and I'll always hang out and jam with him, but as a bassist, I really want to seek out people who I can learn from because I'm pretty much a beginner myself. That's all...
Lather. Rinse. Maim.
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