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#1
im askin because there are alot of things that i cant wrap my head around


1. almost every where i look up something, i always see 'it is better to learn theory"

and even if it is the study of music and how it works , hasnt the best music usually if not always been discovered by screwing around with notes and strings


2. i do know scales and modes (its been awhile since i used the shapes, so those are starting to slip away)

i know how to alternate strum, i can move up and down the strings decently for the amount of practice i put in

and im currently investing time in learning the solo for Ride the lightning, which is basically a giant extended pentatonic scale


but the main question is .............do I rEALLY NEED theory.......................wouldnt it do me more good to just experiment with note combinations ?
#2
Quote by fenderstrat730
hasnt the best music usually if not always been discovered by screwing around with notes and strings


No, it hasn't. In fact just about everything apart from classic blues, AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix has an intense amount of theory behind it, not just experimenting.
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#3
"Wouldn't it be better for me to just blunder around in the dark until I figure this out?" I rarely hear this attitude from musicians other than guitarists. You don't hear would-be mechanics asking if it's better to just take things apart and figure it out for themselves. I think that's a sign.

Is theory necessary? No. Some people, in some genres, have played very well without a lick of theory. It's a hard road, though, and there's no reward for taking it.
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#4
it doesnt take a scientist to know that learning something new will indeed be full of "this is bull****, and "i quit" and every other negative term that symbolizes surrender


and itll probably take a helluva lot longer to get to where i want, but its seems trial and error has worked more for me .................


and as for the mechanic comment before.............my grandad is a mechanic, and he fixed cars for 43 years with trial and error........and he always did it right


and as far as the reward goes.......................BEING ABLE TO PLAY AFTERWARDS IS A REWARD.....................
#5
Quote by fenderstrat730
it doesnt take a scientist to know that learning something new will indeed be full of "this is bull****, and "i quit" and every other negative term that symbolizes surrender


and itll probably take a helluva lot longer to get to where i want, but its seems trial and error has worked more for me .................


and as for the mechanic comment before.............my grandad is a mechanic, and he fixed cars for 43 years with trial and error........and he always did it right


and as far as the reward goes.......................BEING ABLE TO PLAY AFTERWARDS IS A REWARD.....................


Very well you sit there and experiment and I'll sit here and know everything that you'll know in a few years without any real effort.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#6
Quote by fenderstrat730

and itll probably take a helluva lot longer to get to where i want, but its seems trial and error has worked more for me .................


that's simply because it's the only method you've ever used.

What's the point in blundering around stumbling on stuff that's been discovered, perfected and documented for you 500 years ago?

Playing a musical instrument and ignoring theory is like trying to learn a language without knowing the alphabet or how to spell.
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#7
ok.......................i havent looked at it like that


but even if i was to learn theory ...........words from a book are not the same as playing it yourself and who or what is to say that theory is 100 % correct every time and since theory is what seems to be rules and proven ways to play or write music
werent rules meant to broken


and say ive just learnt ....................what notes are in a scale.......how would i go about applying that in a solo ............

its easy to say somethin, but its another thing to go do it
#8
later on when you progress your physical abilites on guitar you will be held back, i.e. at the minute if you know no theory you could probably copy other's music and perhaps make up some riff's or even a song, perhaps!. But later on when you want to maybe epxress more and play with others, it starts to get more complex, and well lets just say if you dont know the letters/ words you are using, then how could you write a sentence or paragraph?

start slowly, i found the hardest part (which still is i think) of learning theory is seeing how it all fits together, i mean if you dont have the physical side (being able to hear diffrent and varied notes) it makes it even harder. but just take it slowly and try to relate the theory to playing, maybe learning some chord progressions, record them and then try using a scale over it and see what happens.
#9
so basically in a nutshell...............


come up with a chord progression and use a scale over it ?
#10
well i think that would be a start, thats what im doing at the minute though. i think once i know how to work out key's and chord progressions and what fit's with a scale, then i could progress onto modes and mixing scales and stuff. i mean at the moment im still pretty new to all this, so maybe im not the best person to talk to.
#11
Quote by fenderstrat730
theory is what seems to be rules and proven ways to play or write music


This is part of the problem. People don't seem to understand the idea that music theory is exactly that: theory, not rules or anything, it's just ideas for what already works but that doesn't mean you can't do things the way you want. It just means that when you're done you can communicate with other people about what you've written more easily and it can help you get where you're going.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#12
something else......................i just cant figure out how to mix scales................


i know the patterns but i do not know how to mix them


and as far as chords ......

i do mine a different way..............instead of changing positions with all fingers ......

i just use my index for the root note, 3rd (forgot the name) and pinky for the higher strings ...........all i have to know is the key

whether thats right or not ..........its workin for me at the moment
#13
Please..............stop using such............lengthy.....ellipses...........

1 - Learn the notes of the fretboard.

2 - Learn scales as notes rather than shapes, that way you'll see that scales aren't shapes but sets of notes that exist all over the fretboard.

3 - Learn how to construct chords from intervals, your knowledge of chords will double overnight.

4 - Learn proper punctuation and grammar, this is a forum not a chat room.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#14
learn them as notes and not as shapes ? please elaborate


and for the record this may be a forum, but last time i checked this wasnt school.........

so grammar really shouldnt matter, as long as u can raed whut im sying.........capisce ?
#15
hey means learn the notes that make up a scale and looked at there position on the fretboard, i think he means that anyway.

that way once you know what notes are in the scale and were about's they are placed you will be able to better understand them, rather than just trying to remember a box shape or diffrent frets.

also i can see where he is coming from about langauge, it just makes it easier for people to read and offer you help. but anyway, no need to talk about this. since you want help with theory!
#16
Quote by fenderstrat730
learn them as notes and not as shapes ? please elaborate


and for the record this may be a forum, but last time i checked this wasnt school.........

so grammar really shouldnt matter, as long as u can raed whut im sying.........capisce ?


Oh just fuck off, just because you're not in school doesn't mean you shouldn't present your ideas or questions with good grammar and thereby indicate some kind of clarity of thought. The only thing I can ever think when I read posts that look like yours is that you're probably an idiot because you can't write properly and the second you try to present some kind of complicated idea the whole thing just falls apart because you can't be bothered to take a few extra seconds and type in a way that indicates some kind of mental lucidity.


Anyway I mean exactly that: scales do not exist as shapes, they are sets of notes.

C major: C D E F G A B (also the notes for A minor)

E minor: E F# G A B C D (also the notes for G major)

That kind of thing rather than just hand shapes on the fretboard.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#17
Learn the notes on the fret board. Then learn how to build chords. Also....Keep up with those scales.

P.S - You do present yourself as an idiot if you type like that. (Just saying it looks better to type properly)
Last edited by RounderIII at Jun 19, 2008,
#18
it depends how good of an ear you've got
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#19
your help is appreciated Zaphod, but you're an asshole...

to he who commented on chords

i have a different way of playing chords

rather than just switching through the shapes, i use my index for the root note, and my ring and pinky for the high strings, so pretty much all i have to know is the key

but i know a few barred chords
Last edited by fenderstrat730 at Jun 19, 2008,
#20
Actually, I think the original poster should just give up music in general and choose a more simplistic hobby such as knitting.
#21
This same argument happens with learning anatomy and art. Sure, you can become a good artist without learning anatomy, but why wouldn't you? It doesn't hurt you, it improves you.

All I can hear from OP is laziness.
#23
i have a different way of playing chords

rather than just switching through the shapes, i use my index for the root note, and my ring and pinky for the high strings, so pretty much all i have to know is the key


Lol, it sounds like all you can play is barre chords.

As for learning chords and scales as notes, not shapes, I could tell you that a G major chord is played 320033. That is a correct statement. A more correct statement though, would be saying: A G major chord contains the notes G, B and D. Anywhere on the fretboard that you can position your fingers to play only those notes and G is the lowest note played is going to constitute a G major chord.

Then you realize that not only is 320033 a G major but so are all these, and plenty of others:

355433
x 10 12 12 12 10
320003
x 10 9 7 8 7
xx5787
xxx 12 12 10
#24
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Please..............stop using such............lengthy.....ellipses...........

1 - Learn the notes of the fretboard.

2 - Learn scales as notes rather than shapes, that way you'll see that scales aren't shapes but sets of notes that exist all over the fretboard.

3 - Learn how to construct chords from intervals, your knowledge of chords will double overnight.
4 - Learn proper punctuation and grammar, this is a forum not a chat room.


hell yes, plus 1000 to the bolded part, i just forced myself to begin learning intervals last night, one of my best choices yet,

a great lesson on UG: here


oh, and to the threadstarter,

how dare you have the nerve to call anyone whos giving you advice an asshole? you arent paying for this, we're helping you for free,

so how about you shut the **** up and appreciate all the knowledge being given to you? k thanks
Turquoise Team Beasts!
#25
Quote by Xj2252bX
hell yes, plus 1000 to the bolded part, i just forced myself to begin learning intervals last night, one of my best choices yet,

a great lesson on UG: here


oh, and to the threadstarter,

how dare you have the nerve to call anyone whos giving you advice an asshole? you arent paying for this, we're helping you for free,

so how about you shut the **** up and appreciate all the knowledge being given to you? k thanks


Do you plan on doing the whole lesson?
#26
lol this thread starter is nuts man...i started playing guitar last summer i believe but i was too arrogant to start on theory so i later decided to get a better feel of the guitar which i did nicely and started theory and i must say, theory has helped me unbelievably, makes it easier to jam with other musicians and understand wat they're speaking about and also helps me compose alot easier.
#27
THEORY OR DIE!!!!

I do both. When theory gets boring, I experiment or just do tabbed stuff. When that stuff gets boring, or more accuratley, I cant figure something out, I go back to the theory.

It cant hurt...
#28
I saw this television program about human savants. The guy they featured could calculate in his head all these equations better than a calculator could. His brain was arranged it a way that he could do all these amazing things with a minimum of training. The thing is though, there are probably 4 other people on the entire planet with ability like that. The same with music. Certainly there are geniuses such as Lindsey Buckinham who don't have any musical training that do quite well. But the odds of you having that innate kind of talent is like a billion to one.
#29
You're too lazy to sit down and understand how your instrument works, you're too lazy to attempt the English language and show anyone who reads your posts respect, but you think that you have the patience and dedication to bang away on bastardized barre chords until you put together something that sounds pleasing to the ear...

Well, good luck to you bud!
You obviously aren't look for help and you are just looking for someone to say "yeah go head, you lazy hero you!". So here I am, good luck chum and don't let any musicians get in your way, keep banging away on those 3 finger minor barrres!
#30
ok im giving in since the more i resist , the more insults i will get and the more pissed i will get which really wont get me any where

so since its apparent that i NEED theory and without it, my abilty as a guitarist will suffer greatly

do all the lessons on this site about chords, scales, modes, and all that count as theory ?

is there a book, or can i learn it from the internet, do i take a music class ?


im just covering all the bases here ...

and ive already posted this in another message since its slow today
#31
I just started learning theory and its done a great help for my acoustic song writeing. I have developed my own sound and i don't just take chord progressions from songs anymore. I tihnk its really helpful. I personaly got a book and my neighbor did music theory in college so she teaches me. I say just go get a big music book it will help alot trust me
#32
Quote by fenderstrat730
ok im giving in since the more i resist , the more insults i will get and the more pissed i will get which really wont get me any where

so since its apparent that i NEED theory and without it, my abilty as a guitarist will suffer greatly

do all the lessons on this site about chords, scales, modes, and all that count as theory ?

is there a book, or can i learn it from the internet, do i take a music class ?


im just covering all the bases here ...

and ive already posted this in another message since its slow today


If you're genuinely interested in music, anything and anywhere will help you. A guitar teacher would definetly be a great idea and this site has some good stuff on it, albeit in kind of a hard to read form Google justin's guitar and cyberfret, as they have some pretty good lessons on there. If you'd really like to do your own thing, then just pick and choose scales and technique lessons and use it to make your own sound!
#33
so the stuff on this site does count as theory then ?


so is that a yes ?


but you're also saying that justinguitar or cyberfret would be better correct ?
#34
Quote by fenderstrat730
so the stuff on this site does count as theory then ?


so is that a yes ?


but you're also saying that justinguitar or cyberfret would be better correct ?


Not better, just more food for thought, so to speak. And yes, the stuff on this site counts as theory....

I have books, magazines, this site, justinguitar, youtube. I look to learn music and better my playing from ANYWHERE! Heck, I even watch the guys playing outside the subway entrance sometimes if Im not running late for work.
#35
It depends... you could look at it as if it were painting/arts... the classical way, or dadaism which screws things up for the sake of art
#36
Quote by Axe Murderer
Not better, just more food for thought, so to speak. And yes, the stuff on this site counts as theory....

I have books, magazines, this site, justinguitar, youtube. I look to learn music and better my playing from ANYWHERE! Heck, I even watch the guys playing outside the subway entrance sometimes if Im not running late for work.

+1 to that, heck, many subway players are skilled as **** but don't get recognized.
#37
i think people here are missing the concept of theory. well for one as someone pointed out, it is a theory, not a law.
but mainly, theory always comes after practice. no-one sat around hundreds of years ago saying ok lets make paralell octaves and fifths bad, exposed octaves or fifths will be weak too etc. they heard what people played and said this was good and this was bad. schoenberg broke most old rules, but still worked within his own rules. you could take metallica if you wanted and put theory onto their songs and learn to write like that, you could write with no theoretical knowlege and put on theory after.
#38
To whoever said Hendrix didnt use theory, I beg to differ.

Id recommend intervals etc, but also looking at certain solos or just songs and really try to find out how they are made and why people play them like that. Its a little confusing at first but once you familiarize yourself with the major scale and pentatonics, its all based around that pretty much. Also based a lot around chords. A lot of the solos involve using the notes of the chords being played in rhythm whether in the scales or just arpeggiating(sp?) other chords.

Hope that helps.
#39
I think it was on this forum that I read something that made the most sense to me about this subject and another poster eluded to it...

"you can learn any instrument without a shred of theory...it might take you 15 years to get to the same place as a 2-3 year person who actually learned/is learning theory though"

...(paraphrased, btw) so you have to decide what road you want to take. I also found that it is more of either "come kicking and screaming or quietly".

Chris
#40
It's not NECESSARY, but it's incredibly useful. You can totally go without it.

But I never would. I'm learning theory.
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