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#1
Okay. As some of you know, I have been asking many questions and have gotten many answers, all of which have been put into notes and put on blank fretboard diagrams which cover the whole fretboard.

I've been thinking about a good question, one that would ask everything I needed to know, and hopefully get quite a few good answers, and this is it;

How can I use theory to my advantage, and why is it even important to know? I know the notes, and many scales, but how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?
#3
theory isnt important XD well ... it is, but im too lazy to learn that ****! ... and im one of the best guitarists in my skool XD
#5
Quote by LiamBamBam
theory isnt important XD well ... it is, but im too lazy to learn that ****! ... and im one of the best guitarists in my skool XD


Yeah, that seems to be an annoying argument. It's one thing to be a good guitarist, technique wise, which isn't my problem, I've got that in the bag. I can tremolo pick, alternate pick, string skip, palm mute... etc... mostly eveyrthing except sweep picking but I'll save that for later. Can you work with another guitarist to produce good harmony? Or good music?
#6
Quote by LiamBamBam
theory isnt important XD well ... it is, but im too lazy to learn that ****! ... and im one of the best guitarists in my skool XD

I highly doubt that. And if you are, it says a lot about the other guitarists.

Theory is best applied when it comes to songwriting. As for drawing fretboard diagrams, you're wasting your time. Download Guitar Pro. It's got a scale library and a virtual fretboard that displays all the relevant notes to the key you pick.
#7
Quote by Archaon
I highly doubt that. And if you are, it says a lot about the other guitarists.

Theory is best applied when it comes to songwriting. As for drawing fretboard diagrams, you're wasting your time. Download Guitar Pro. It's got a scale library and a virtual fretboard that displays all the relevant notes to the key you pick.


Haha, I bought Guitar Pro. =p

I write them down so that I can engrain them in my head, but as I quickly noticed, you can simply memorize one or two patterns and their movebale from all over. I have used guitar pro numerous times to check my theory problems, though.
#8
Quote by Gizmo Factory

How can I use theory to my advantage, and why is it even important to know? I know the notes, and many scales, but how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?


Play...a lot...with other muscians.
#9
Quote by Gizmo Factory
Okay. As some of you know, I have been asking many questions and have gotten many answers, all of which have been put into notes and put on blank fretboard diagrams which cover the whole fretboard.

I've been thinking about a good question, one that would ask everything I needed to know, and hopefully get quite a few good answers, and this is it;

How can I use theory to my advantage, and why is it even important to know? I know the notes, and many scales, but how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?


theory is just a way of giving names to things that occur naturally in music... you don't NEED to know theory if you have an incredible ear and you already have an internal subconscious sense of everything that's going on within the music... i.e. BB King didn't apparently know what mixolydian mode was in a theoretical sense... but he damn sure knew how to use it... which is arguably more important

having said that.. these things have names, you may as well learn what they are...

why? well, occasionally guitarists have to communicate their musical ideas to other musicians (those that leave their bedrooms I mean).. and music theory and terminology is the common language you use...
#10
Quote by Gizmo Factory
How can I use theory to my advantage, and why is it even important to know? I know the notes, and many scales, but how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?


Because understanding "scales" allows you a greater control of your melodic and harmonic options - both when creating and imitating.

Because it lets you sound like you want to, basically.
#11
Quote by mdc
Play...a lot...with other muscians.


See, there aren't any other muscians. There are guitarists, just not musical ones. I'm in high school my first year of high school, and my peers who play guitar, don't learn theory, or want anything to do with it. So I can't really work with them.

My dilema with that is that my friend from kindergarten, who is practically like my brother, has become my co-guitarist in our band, and he won't learn a single thing about theory, so therefore, I can't work with him at all, he nevers stays in key, he plays great technique-wise, it's just imporssible to work with him... lol
#12
Quote by Archaon
I highly doubt that. And if you are, it says a lot about the other guitarists.

Theory is best applied when it comes to songwriting. As for drawing fretboard diagrams, you're wasting your time. Download Guitar Pro. It's got a scale library and a virtual fretboard that displays all the relevant notes to the key you pick.



bah! i can use scales, i can fınd the key it is in, i can sweep, i can alternate pıck, tremelo pıck and all the rest ... iv written many songs with the bands ın my skool and my own band and they turnd out pretty good. lıke slash and many other great guıtarısts, ı dont c the poınt ın theory
#14
Quote by Gizmo Factory
What I actually meant was... do I just use notes out of the scales in a certain key and then just make music using those as guidelines?


yeh XD
#16
Quote by Gizmo Factory
Okay. As some of you know, I have been asking many questions and have gotten many answers, all of which have been put into notes and put on blank fretboard diagrams which cover the whole fretboard.

I've been thinking about a good question, one that would ask everything I needed to know, and hopefully get quite a few good answers, and this is it;

How can I use theory to my advantage, and why is it even important to know? I know the notes, and many scales, but how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?

I'm pretty sure all your answeres are here ...

..and no, it's not Google
Actually called Mark!

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#17
Quote by steven seagull
I'm pretty sure all your answeres are here ...

..and no, it's not Google


That seems to be everyone's answer to theory. I've seen it so much before, but never checked it out.

Well, for some reason, even though I've never met you, I respect your authority enough to check it out.
#18
You will speak the same language as other more able musicians and thus will be able to progress.
Currently you are living in a small world where you all speak the same limited vocabulary. Step outside that world and try to communicate with others who have more wisdom and knowledge and you will not understand what they are trying to convey to you.

You will be content in your ignorance though.

I'm the best in my school??

I'm the best in my living room... means nothing.
#19
Quote by LiamBamBam
lıke slash and many other great guıtarısts, ı dont c the poınt ın theory

Slash learnt theory. He took classes at school and it was one of the only classes he paid attention and did well in. He didn't consciously apply it but he learnt it. He paid attention and soaked it up. I'm sure it helped him as a musician.

By not learning theory you are just limiting yourself by overlooking an incredibly useful tool to help you understand music on another level.
Si
#20
Quote by RichieJovie
You will speak the same language as other more able musicians and thus will be able to progress.
Currently you are living in a small world where you all speak the same limited vocabulary. Step outside that world and try to communicate with others who have more wisdom and knowledge and you will not understand what they are trying to convey to you.

You will be content in your ignorance though.

I'm the best in my school??

I'm the best in my living room... means nothing.


Don't get the idea even for a second that I don't find theory interesting and useful. I just meant why should your average fellow learn it, what good does it do? Well, no one else aroudn me knows it, so I figure if I'm able to use it and show them how it helped me, maybe they'll learn it and I can actually play music with them.
#21
Quote by LiamBamBam
bah! i can use scales, i can fınd the key it is in, i can sweep, i can alternate pıck, tremelo pıck and all the rest ... iv written many songs with the bands ın my skool and my own band and they turnd out pretty good. lıke slash and many other great guıtarısts, ı dont c the poınt ın theory


you don't see the point in theory? well first it seems as if you are approaching theory is if it is a set of rules. that is a negative. it is a set of guidelines that have changed over time and will continue to change over time.

in your quote you stated, "i can use scales, i can find the key it is in". those two things do apply to theory. the rest of what you said is technical stuff. while scales and key signatures may be fundamental aspects of musical theory, they are not the total range. do you know the modal scales? do you know why they are useful? i would assume not since you and slash don't see the point in theory.

musical theory is both a predictive device and well of ideas for a musician. an understanding of musical theory coupled with ear training and experience will give the musician greater control of their playing and the sound they want to scuplt instead of fumbling around and, inevitably, sticking to the maj/min pentatonics like your good buddy slash.

if you don't see the point it's because you don't want to.
#22
since when did 'what Slash did?' become the foundation of any kind of music education?

are you in it to become a rock star, or are you in it to become a competent musician?

I suppose if being the 'best in your school' is what's most important to you, then yeah... you can afford to be ignorant... you're gonna be a famous rock star, right?

guess what? that's what everyone thinks... we were ALL gonna become famous rock stars i've lost count of the guys who thought they were going to be rock stars when they were at school with me...? guess what... they all gave up music when they didn't become the 'next Slash'... the thing they had in common was that they thought what they already knew was enough and didn't need to learn anything else...

ignorance and creativity don't mix... and never will
#23
I understand your frustration over how other musicians will not learn music theory. This is a big problem when it comes to people learning guitar in the last couple of years because tab is easily found on websites like these. This makes learning guitar on your own a much easier process but it also seems to have knocked away important aspects such as music theory from many musicians.

As for benefits of learning theory I'll make a list:

1. You will be able to play with other musicians who have been classically trained. Without theory other musicians will find that very weird, in fact they will probably find it almost impossible to work with you. Music theory in the foundation for playing and writing music so if you wanted to play with a classically trained piano player it will be very difficult without theory.

2. You will be able to write music with alot less frustration. If you learn to correctly apply your music theory song writing will become alot easier. If will turn from shooting in dark to a complected craft that you have the tools for, which is theory.

So thats all I can think of right now, I hope this helps.
#24
theory...
look at this picture:

a non theory savvy guy has a melody in his head, and he wants to play that. now, because he doesn't know theory and didn't train his ear, he doesn't know what he's really listening, and doesn't know how to play it. in order for him to figure out the first note, he has to play almost every single note in the fretboard till he finds it. to figure out the second note he has to play like 10 notes to figure it out, and so on. and then he wants to build a rhythm section. he creates the melody in his head once again, but because that one melody is with chords, he takes even MORE time than before to figure that out, and probably it won't come out the way he had thought of it.

now, if he knew theory, he probably could have written his first melody in about 5 minutes, instead of hours. and he could have written the rhythm section in about 10 minutes, instead of taking even more hours, and he would have it written it correctly too.

so that's pretty much the use of theory, cutting on the time you take.
yes, it does take lots of time to learn, but it dramatically increases the chances to write something new. take john petrucci and jordan rudess for example. or even al di meola. those guys are about the most progressive guys around. how do they create so many rhythm sections and lead sections? they must be naturally talented of course, they've gotta be very creative. but if they hadn't known their theory, they would never be able to take so much stuff out of their head, and actually play/write it. it would take them their whole lifetime to write an album so progressive.

so the hours you lose in learning theory, you gain in months of writing, or even years!
#25
Quote by RCalisto
theory...
look at this picture:

a non theory savvy guy has a melody in his head, and he wants to play that. now, because he doesn't know theory and didn't train his ear, he doesn't know what he's really listening, and doesn't know how to play it. in order for him to figure out the first note, he has to play almost every single note in the fretboard till he finds it. to figure out the second note he has to play like 10 notes to figure it out, and so on. and then he wants to build a rhythm section. he creates the melody in his head once again, but because that one melody is with chords, he takes even MORE time than before to figure that out, and probably it won't come out the way he had thought of it.

now, if he knew theory, he probably could have written his first melody in about 5 minutes, instead of hours. and he could have written the rhythm section in about 10 minutes, instead of taking even more hours, and he would have it written it correctly too.

so that's pretty much the use of theory, cutting on the time you take.
yes, it does take lots of time to learn, but it dramatically increases the chances to write something new. take john petrucci and jordan rudess for example. or even al di meola. those guys are about the most progressive guys around. how do they create so many rhythm sections and lead sections? they must be naturally talented of course, they've gotta be very creative. but if they hadn't known their theory, they would never be able to take so much stuff out of their head, and actually play/write it. it would take them their whole lifetime to write an album so progressive.

so the hours you lose in learning theory, you gain in months of writing, or even years!


Ah, a good post. That's more or less what I was looking for, I know plenty of guitarists who just do endess guesswork, trying and trying and playing until they get what they wanted. I've been able to create some pretty decent sounding meoldies and harmonies with just the very basic theory I know now.
#26
Quote by Gizmo Factory
my peers who play guitar, don't learn theory, or want anything to do with it.


It's great that you stand out from the rest in the sense that you're interested in music theory. You're at an advantage there. Just make sure that you divide your time between "head in a book option" and "playing guitar" sensibly. I'd say 70/30 - 70 being on the guitar and jamming it out. Let the theory sink in bit by bit, otherwise it'll end in confusion.

he won't learn a single thing about theory, he plays great technique-wise

Probably cuz all of his time is spent "playing guitar" - but then he doesn't have a clue what he is actually playing right? - because - no theory.

How can I use theory to my advantage, how can I apply this to the fretboard and music with a pleasant outcome?


Well, that's for you decide. That's what makes every musicain unique (not just guitar players).
#27
Quote by mdc
It's great that you stand out from the rest in the sense that you're interested in music theory. You're at an advantage there. Just make sure that you divide your time between "head in a book option" and "playing guitar" sensibly. I'd say 70/30 - 70 being on the guitar and jamming it out. Let the theory sink in bit by bit, otherwise it'll end in confusion.


Probably cuz all of his time is spent "playing guitar" - but then he doesn't have a clue what he is actually playing right? - because - no theory.



Well, that's for you decide. That's what makes every musicain unique (not just guitar players).


I agree 100 percent. I mean I practice everday for at least a half an hour. And I usually spend all my time when I have the guitar in my hands playing, just playing random or learnt things without theory being used at all, although recently I've been using many scale shaps, and I think I'll just keep doing that, until I learn how to apply thoery more. I don't think it;s slowing me down.

I mean, I can still play Through the Fire and the Flames at 400 BPM.
#28
Theory is helpful to learn because it saves you a lot of experimenting you would have to do to learn all of that by yourself.

For example, I was trying to make a chord progression and I wanted to have a dissonant chord. Due to theory (and some experimenting) I knew that having a minor and major 3rd, as well as a major seventh (I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly, the notes in that chord were C#, F, C, and G) would be dissonant. If I didn't know theory I would have to experiment a whole lot more.
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#29
Quote by Gizmo Factory
Don't get the idea even for a second that I don't find theory interesting and useful. I just meant why should your average fellow learn it, what good does it do? Well, no one else aroudn me knows it, so I figure if I'm able to use it and show them how it helped me, maybe they'll learn it and I can actually play music with them.

Big fish small pond.

good luck.
#30
Quote by Gizmo Factory
That seems to be everyone's answer to theory. I've seen it so much before, but never checked it out.

Well, for some reason, even though I've never met you, I respect your authority enough to check it out.

The articles in the crusade are more about adressing the ins and outs of why theory is useful and the practical applications of it rather than the theory itself, that's why I always recommend them...anyone who's read and understood them shouldn't have any questions with regards to why theory is useful.

I don't see the point in going into any more detail than that because the articles themselves explain it far better than I could
Actually called Mark!

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#31
Quote by Gizmo Factory


I mean, I can still play Through the Fire and the Flames at 400 BPM.



Oh right I didn't know that.

You win at Guitar. You should now move on to something else.
#33
funny how people keep posting stuff without reading the previous posts. they're just repeating what has been said already.

even funnier how through the fire and flames is so easy to play :P
#34
Quote by RCalisto
funny how people keep posting stuff without reading the previous posts. they're just repeating what has been said already.

even funnier how through the fire and flames is so easy to play :P


Well, I haven't actually looked at that song at all. I just figured it'd be a funny joke since everyone thinks that song is so fast, and crazy.
#35
^ yeah... might be impressive if they could play it.

Quote by Gizmo Factory
What I actually meant was... do I just use notes out of the scales in a certain key and then just make music using those as guidelines?


Well, yes, most of the time. But to reduce theory to that is the same as saying (as my little sis once did) that playing guitar is just "putting your hands on the strings and going plonk plonk plonk".
#36
You need to have some kind of idea in your head of what it is you want to do before you even go near a scale, or even the guitar.
Actually called Mark!

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#37
Quote by LiamBamBam
bah! i can use scales, i can fınd the key it is in, i can sweep, i can alternate pıck, tremelo pıck and all the rest ... iv written many songs with the bands ın my skool and my own band and they turnd out pretty good. lıke slash and many other great guıtarısts, ı dont c the poınt ın theory

Slash's favourite and best subject at school was Musical Theory.
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#38
Quote by Gizmo Factory
Haha, that's what I figured. Can someone elaborate on like a usage of it for me? Just show me a little good sounding riff that they made with theory on their guitar, or something. You can send it to me if that'd be cool. =p


usage of music theory to sound good? well good is relative, what i like, you might not. but listen to any song in my profile, they all used music theory for the composition and even the solos.
#39
Quote by LiamBamBam
theory isnt important XD well ... it is, but im too lazy to learn that ****! ... and im one of the best guitarists in my skool XD



This is exactly why I hate guitarists. You may be really fantastic at playing other peoples music, probably pretty fast (assuming because of guitar mentality) but I'd bet that you have a lot of trouble writing music.

The bottom line is, knowledge is never a bad thing, so learn some theory. It explains why notes relate to each other the way they do, why chords work, why things sound the way they do. So instead of know HOW to play that super fast minor pentatonic run that so ground breaking and original, you'll know WHY, and be able to change it however you want.
Those with closed minds bring on themselves nothing but limits.
#40
Quote by LiamBamBam
theory isnt important XD well ... it is, but im too lazy to learn that ****! ... and im one of the best guitarists in my skool XD

Those Aug 08ers can be quite cocky.
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