#1
I mean does it help with playing or is it a waste of time? I thought i wanted to learn it so i signed up for theory class for the school year but now im not so sure.
#2
It helps you write music.
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#4
It does wonders for playing ability and skill level. It is a major bonus to actually understand what you're playing. It can get monotonous at times, but learning theory is important.
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#5
Instead of waiting for school to start up anyone know where i can learn some now for over break?
#6
i dont know much theory at all but i've learned to play by ear so i improvise what sounds good
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#7
josh urban has good articles teaching music theory, but basicly no, music theory from what ive gathered and ive studied alot of it, is just another BS profession for people to make money teaching off of. sure u can say ur writting music based off of it, but really theres no truth to it, hence "theory". Theres all these little exceptions to all of the rules of music theory that its as if theres no theory at all, the only reason is helps people for writing music is just because ur spending more time writing ur music then if u werent studying music theory.
#9
Yes. Helps me compose songs easier.
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#10
along with what everyone else has said, theory will help you learn songs more easily, esp. by ear, because you'll know where the song is going music-wise and it won't be a big guessing game.
#12
Quote by Lrn2play
but basicly no, music theory from what ive gathered and ive studied alot of it, is just another BS profession for people to make money teaching off of. sure u can say ur writting music based off of it, but really theres no truth to it, hence "theory". Theres all these little exceptions to all of the rules of music theory that its as if theres no theory at all, the only reason is helps people for writing music is just because ur spending more time writing ur music then if u werent studying music theory.

Just ignore this person please. Literally each sentence of this is wrong.

Yes, it helps immensely for composing and improvising, and allows you to communicate effectively with other musicians.
#15
Quote by Lrn2play
josh urban has good articles teaching music theory, but basicly no, music theory from what ive gathered and ive studied alot of it, is just another BS profession for people to make money teaching off of. sure u can say ur writting music based off of it, but really theres no truth to it, hence "theory". Theres all these little exceptions to all of the rules of music theory that its as if theres no theory at all, the only reason is helps people for writing music is just because ur spending more time writing ur music then if u werent studying music theory.

Haha, important rule of the internet: never believe a guy who doesn't have time to spell out "your", because it is two letters too long.

Music theory is good. Yes, there are exceptions, but you have to learn theory before you can break the rules in a way that sounds good (Elliot Smith, basically all Jazz trumpet players). Music theory, basically, will not make you a great musician, but it can show you if you ever had the potential to be one.
#17
Theory is not for everybody. Those blessed with good ears finds theory a hindrance.
Last edited by PanHead at Jul 13, 2008,
#18
Quote by PanHead
Those blessing with good ears finds theory a hindrance.

Nonononononononononononononononononono, not at all. That's ridiculous, because there should be a balance between the two. I have perfect pitch and I find theory immensely helpful.
#19
Quote by :-D
Nonononononononononononononononononono, not at all. That's ridiculous, because there should be a balance between the two. I have perfect pitch and I find theory immensely helpful.


That's fine for you son and there's a lot that do. I know musicians that never used theory nor do they want to know about it. Those musicians plays strictly by ears and they are excellent. I can tell and theory cannot teach you that. They are unique.

After all, music is ear dominated.

By the way, I know theory and read music as well. I needed it to start out and learn how the music are structured. After years of playing the theory faded away and I'm doing it by ear. I even got to the point where I'm not aware of what I'm playing, my fingers has a mind of their own.

I guess that's what you called "The Zone."
#21
Basically, if you know theory and understand it, you can play pretty much any instrument. Once you know how to form musical phrases, all you need to know is how to make the right notes with an instrument. Knowing theory will help you to keep your band in tune, kind of like a conductor with an orchestra. Plus, you can figure out how to play a trumpet solo on guitar, and stuff like that.
#22
I would advocate studying theory strongly. That said, there is a black & white solution to your problem. If you:

are in a band or write your own music or want to: Study theory, it will give you the tools to know what youre doing & how youre doing it when you write a song & also make it easier to write because youll have ground rules & things to work from

if youre more into learning other peoples songs & its probably not as important, & I doubt youd get much use out of anything but the basics
#23
Someone who really wants to learn to play, but doesn't want to learn theory, is like someone who wants to learn to drive without learning to turn left. You can make 3 right turns to get there, but it takes you 3 times as long.
Jam On!
#24
Quote by Hammer Pull
Someone who really wants to learn to play, but doesn't want to learn theory, is like someone who wants to learn to drive without learning to turn left. You can make 3 right turns to get there, but it takes you 3 times as long.


Bad analogy.
#25
wow some of u (you, sorry did i make you cry?) are completely ignorant. I said you dont need to learn music theory, tons of great artists dont have knowledge of music theory, but if you all read what i said, studying it helps write music. For example, lets say you play guitar, which many of you do, and you take piano class in school. Taking piano class in school will help you write songs for guitar simply because you are surrounding yourself in music more then if you took a math class over the piano one.
#26
Sure, a lot of really great guitarists didn't learn theory. Jimi Hendrix never learned theory. That said, I think it's safe to assume none of us are Hendrix. A few bright individuals can get along without it, and it works fine for them. Most of us aren't that gifted, and have to work harder to make the same achievements (not to say they didn't work hard).

Think of theory like a map. Sure, you can get around town without one, and eventually get pretty good at it. However, you can get around much easier and faster when you know where you're going! Theory isn't a set of iron clad rules. It's basicly what other guitarists over the ages have figured out works. Knowing keys, intervals, and scales will CERTAINLY not hurt your playing, and it's ignorant to say otherwise. Ask yourself, how can MORE knowledge be a bad thing?

Not to beat the analogy horse, but theory is the language of guitar, and if you're gonna live in Italy, better learn Italian, dig?
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#27
Quote by PanHead
Theory is not for everybody. Those blessed with good ears finds theory a hindrance.


wrong

Just look at Jordan rudess, the man is a theory wizard and has a perfect pitch
Even Paganini was known for having a perfect pitch too, but his compositions were not simple and they are often analizated by musicians
#28
Quote by Lrn2play
Taking piano class in school will help you write songs for guitar simply because you are surrounding yourself in music more then if you took a math class over the piano one.

I'm not sure I see how this analogy relates to...anything, really. You're arguing that studying music will help your musical skill more than studying something that's not strongly related to music. Okay, what exactly does that prove?

Garou1911: Hendrix DID know some theory, a lot of people just choose to ignore this. Even if he didn't know the technical names for what he played, he knew what he was doing from years of experience. It's not coincidence that he popularized the use of altered dominant chords in mainstream music, or that his leads fall largely into the pentatonic minor scale.
#29
Quote by :-D
Garou1911: Hendrix DID know some theory, a lot of people just choose to ignore this.

Thanks for the correction, I'm always glad to be corrected on my misconceptions.

However, I think through nitpicking you're missing the point that I'm agreeing with you. You don't have to prove to me that you know your stuff, that's somthing you have to be content with. I've read several of your posts and I can tell you're speaking from experience, but so am I. Let's not miss the forest for the trees, shall we?
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Randall RH200 Head
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#30
I'm not trying to prove anything to you, this isn't a penis-waving contest or anything; I wasn't nitpicking, I just didn't understand what point you were trying to make with that statement.
#31
Quote by Lrn2play
I said you dont need to learn music theory, tons of great artists dont have knowledge of music theory

That's the point I was trying to make, in a nutshell
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Washburn Bantam bass
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#32
I think the only important question is, is it possible that mastering theory could make anyone a worse musician? If not, then the worst-case scenario for anyone who sets out to learn theory is that you'll end up having wasted some time. As time-wasting activities go, I can think of far worse ones.

I'm going to master theory. If it turns out I wasted my time (and I already know that won't be the case--even in the past few days I've learned things that probably never would've occurred to me if I'd just tried to wing it), then I'll just have to console myself by remembering that I did not spend those several hundred hours rotting in front of the TV, or becoming an ultra-chief-wizard whatever in WoW. Perspective.
#33
Quote by d3mon slay
Instead of waiting for school to start up anyone know where i can learn some now for over break?


yea, type in "the crusade" in the columns on the ug search. its by josh urban, its what taught me my theory. then go to ricci adams musictheory.net, both of them i use every day pretty much for refereance now since ive been on them for 4 months. theory really is important if u wana understand music further and wana make your own stuff.
#34
Quote by :-D
this isn't a penis-waving contest or anything
Hehehe, you said penis.


Anywho, theory is immensely beneficial to learn if you plan on being a serious guitar player. To not learn it would be like trying to communicate with a German guy without knowing how to speak German. Theory is the language used to communicate ideas to other musicians.

However, theory is pretty hard and no matter jow much you like the guitar, learning it isn't always fun. If you merely plan on being a 4-chord player for parties and impressing girls, learning something like the modes of the melodic minor scale will be useless and a waste of time.


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#35
Theory is hard to describe. It really helps you write, compose and improvise. But then again, you can know a billion scales but if you play like Tom DeLonge they won't help much
#36
The main reason you want to learn music theory is to save time.

Underneath theory, there are concepts and a language.

This comes as a necessity for performing musicians for the reason that you can't spend hours locking everybody's time just to get yourself understood to try out things. Needless to say a band isn't going to learn many songs if you have to show each player the parts you want them to play.
Last edited by ColdGin at Jul 17, 2008,