#1
Alright, I've been studying Theory quite a bit lately. I nfact I've read three books, practically searched this whole site, read through The Crusade, and went to Music Theory.net.

Here are some of the things I managed to write down in the oast couple of hours, these are all of my scribblings and knowledge about Theory.

Please, Please, please, please read it through, and correct anything you see wrong. I would appreciate it a lot.

Music Theory
-------------------


- Checking up

First and foremost, if you can muddle your way through guitar and don't care about theory, good for you. You are still a great muscian. You just don't know the words for what you're doing. Chances are if it sounds good, then Theory had something to do with it, and it can be improved upon more and more with the usage of theory.

Music Theory is almost exactly like a language. Picture this; a person has an amazing idea but is in a place where everyone speaks english. And he can't speak it at all, he can have the idea for himself, but if he wants to have others help him with it, he can't' ask them to, or explain for them how to help him.

Picture this; a man has an idea and no one can speak at all, how can anyone get their ideas out to others?

Do you see how it translates to your guitar? If you play an awesome riff you made up much guess work, but you want some sort of harmony. Whether you're going to play it yourself, it have someone else do it, you need to know how. The main point is that Music Theory, and Theory on the guitar is tremendously in communicating with other muscians, and knowing how you made that cool riff so you can do something cool again.


1. Rhythms.
------------------


- Notes

- Whole notes last four beats.

- Half notes last two beats. And two half notes equal one Whole note.

- Quarter notes last one beat, and four of them equals one whole note.

- Eighth notes last half of one beat, so eight of them equals one Whole note. Four of them equals one Half note.

- Sixteenth last one fourth of quarter notes, and one half of eight notes. So therefore they last one sixteenth of a whole note. Sixteen of them equal one whole note.

- Dotted notes have the duration of whatever note they are, plus half the original duration. Like a Half note with a dot count for three beats, instead of two. 2 + ( 2 divided by 2 ) = 3.

All rests are the same deal, they all have the same duration as their name suggests and dotted ones, too.

2. The Staff
-----------------------


- Treble
In Western Music, the Staff is a five line arrangement where notes and duartions are placed. Each staff have clefs at the beginning. The Treble clef is at the beginning of "The Treble clef" and the Bass clef is at the beginning of "The Bass clef." If you look, the Treble clef supposedly looks like a stylized 'G,' ( Personally I don't see a G, ) but for the sake of tradition. Just think of the G! Now if you notice, the Treble Clef swirls and circls the second line from the bottom, which is the note G. Meaning if you see a note on that line, then it has the pitch of G.

A note is the duration, the pitch is the letter it's called.

The letter of music are pretty straight-forward. A B C D E F G. That's and then every note ( on the guitar ) has an in between note. This note is enharmonic with it's other name. Each in between note has two names. Depending on what you want to call it, there are times when it actually matters, like when ascending and descending a scale, but call them either sharp ( # ) or flat ( b ). So the in between note of A - B would be A# ( one step, or fret, above A,) or Bb ( One step, or fret, below B. )

They are the same pitch, with different names. The pitches B and C, do not have a sharp or flat, and the pitches E and F, do not have a sharp or flat in between them. So if you were on the sevent hfret on the E string ( B ) and moved up one step it would be C, not B#. Because B# doesn't exist.

same with open to the first fret ( E to F. )

So the notes of the Trebel clef, from the bottom note up, are E F G A B C D E F.

On the first line, it's E, on the space above it, it's F, on the line above that ( where the clef circles, ) it's G, on the space above that it's A, on the line above that it's B and so on.

- Bass
The bass clef does look like a stylized F, and that's the note it circles. Well, partially circles. The line right below the top line is the one I'm talking about. just like usualy, it's goes straight up, so from that line, the space above it is G, and the line above that is A. Just go backwards for the notes from the bottom.

So the notes, from the bottom line are G A B C D E F G A.

- The Grand Staff
Now, if you put them together, and put one line straight in the middle. What do you get? The Grand Staff. The grand staff is just the same as the other two.

The Bass clef goes on the bottom, the notes from the bottom are G A B C D E F G A, then the space right above that A is B, then the line in the middle I told you to add would be C. Perhaps you've heard of Middle C? On the piano? Well, that's what it is, the C in the middle of the two clefs. Or, the middle of the Grand Staff. Anyways, the space above that is D, the line above that is E. And then from that E you go up from the Treble clef, because you're on the Treble Clef.

So the full Grand Staffs notes are G A B C D E F G A B Mid. C D E F G A B C D E F. That's alot of notes, and to make is more comlicated, you've got the Enharmonics on there. But where do they go? Well, they are simply notated with the Sharp and Flat ( # and b ), and it's pretty easy. If you see a E, on the staff, then it has a flat next to it ( b ) then you go down one half step, or fret, and get Eb or D#, whichever you want to call it. Same with sharp, except you raise it.

3. Melody
--------------------


- Half steps and Whole steps
These are, simply put on the guitar, just one or two fret moves. A Half step ( H ) is one fret, and a Whole step ( W ) is two frets.

So when you see the pattern for a Major scale and it says WWHWWWH, then you start on the root note, say E for example, and move up like it says.

So E + W = F# + W = G# + H = A + W = B + W = C# + W = D# + H = E.

So you traveled up to the next E.
E F# G# A B C# D# E

Music is mostly based on the major. So when you see 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 ( formula for the minor scale ) you take the major scale of that key ( letter, like the E major we just did ) and you make the alterations accordigly.

So, for example,
E corresponds to 1, so you don't have to do anything, F# corresponds to 2, so nothing, but there is a flat on 3. So flatten the third degree, or note, and you get G instead of G#. 4 and 5 have nothing, but 6 and 7 are both flatted, so flaten them, giving you C and D instead of C# and D#.

4. Harmony
-----------------------

- Intervals

There are two types of intervals.
Harmonic, and Melodic.
A harmonic interval is two notes played at once, and melodic is two notes played successivly.

To indentify and interval, you have to look for Quantity and Quality.
Now, you've got your intervals.

Unison
Second
Third
Fourth
Fifth
Sixth
Seventh
Octave

All you have to do to find an intervals quality, it count. Count the lines and spaces. For instance, you have a Note on the G line on the Treble clef, and then one on the F note on the top of the Treble clef. You count the lines and spaces, ( Including the one the starting note is on. )

it's 7 all thogether. To therfore the quantity IS 7. No matter what, even if there's a sharp or a flat there. So it's a Seventh, if it were four lines it would be a Fourth, if it was two lines it would be a Second.

The quality is what makes the interval's full name.

You use Minor, Major, Diminshed, Augmented, Perfect to describe their quality.

Perfect is only used to describe Fourths, Fifths, Unisons, and Octaves.
Major and Minor are used to describe Seconds, Thirds, Sixths and Sevenths.
Diminshed and Augmented can describe any interval except Unisons, which can be augmented, but not diminished.

- Chords.

To build chords, you use formulas, and these chords are all started on a scale that is in the key you're playing in.

Say you're playing in C major, then take the C major scale and build Triads, seventhes, ninths and so on from them. You build them with M3 and m3 intervals.

I know the formulas but am being lazy and not going to thirst for knowledge on that, even though that's probably one the most important things about music theory is building chords.

#4
A
First and foremost, if you can muddle your way through guitar and don't care about theory, good for you. You are still a great muscian. You just don't know the words for what you're doing. Chances are if it sounds good, then Theory had something to do with it, and it can be improved upon more and more with the usage of theory.




1) not knowing theory does not mean you have to "muddle" through music. It just means you use your ears/brain. But you are correct in saying that you can still be a great musician. (great musicians don't generally muddle)

2) if it sounds good, chances are it can be justified with a thoeretical concept, but if the music wasnt conceived with theory, then theory does not have anything to do with it.

Theory is a field of study, not a method for writing music.
shred is gaudy music
#5
Quote by Munky
if the music wasnt conceived with theory, then theory does not have anything to do with it.

Theory is a field of study, not a method for writing music.

This seems like a contradiction to me
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#6
Quote by Ænimus Prime
This seems like a contradiction to me



not really...

the point is that if someone writes something using their ears, and has no theory knowledge, theory did not have anything to do with it as implied by the TS.

He said if it sounds good, then "theory has something to do with it".
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 2, 2008,
#7
Quote by GuitarMunky
not really...

the point is that if someone writes something using their ears, and has no theory knowledge, theory did not have anything to do with it as implied by the TS.

He said if it sounds good, then "theory has something to do with it".


Well I said chances are. I mean, believe, I use my ears, all the time. Everytime. But I would sincerley liked to be critiqued on the knowledge of theory above. I mean, is this all correct?

I want to make sure that way when I do use theory in my playing, and so I can play with my co-guitarist, that I'm doing it right. ( Furthermore, so that I can teach my co-guitarist, so that I can work with him. )
#8
Righto, I thought you were saying that something written without theory couldn't or shouldn't be analysed by theory.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#9
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Righto, I thought you were saying that something written without theory couldn't or shouldn't be analysed by theory.


yeah I could have written it better.
Quote by Gizmo Factory
Well I said chances are. I mean, believe, I use my ears, all the time. Everytime. But I would sincerley liked to be critiqued on the knowledge of theory above. I mean, is this all correct?

I want to make sure that way when I do use theory in my playing, and so I can play with my co-guitarist, that I'm doing it right. ( Furthermore, so that I can teach my co-guitarist, so that I can work with him. )


its cool... I think I know what you mean. I just hate when people imply that if it sounds good, you "used theory", or "theory had something to do with it". It has something to do with it, if you studied it, and have applied your knowledge.

I'll try to read more of that...........there is alot to read.
shred is gaudy music
#10
^ ok, so the knowledge people get without studying theory is something completely different then?
it always comes back to the same. they just don't know the names to what they are doing. but it's still music theory.
and you don't 'use' theory. theory is just a shortcut to various years of headaches and experimenting. studying it, that is.
#11
Here you go. I've chopped parts out just for the sake of brevity.
Most errors are spelling and grammar. It might pay to copy and paste this into Word and run a spell check and grammar check.

It looks pretty decent and I learned some stuff by reading it. But I've only picked on the parts where I could see stuff that might be wrong. I've highlighted in red and commented in blue.

Quote by Gizmo Factory

Music Theory
-------------------


- Checking up

...Whether you're going to play it yourself, it have someone else do it, you need to know how. The main point is that Music Theory, and Theory on the guitar is tremendously in communicating with other muscians, and knowing how you made that cool riff so you can do something cool again.


1. Rhythms.
------------------


- Notes
...
- Dotted notes have the duration of whatever note they are, plus half the original duration. Like a Half note with a dot count for three beats, instead of two. 2 + ( 2 divided by 2 ) = 3.What the heck does this equation mean?? What's the point in including it? The words are enough to explain dotted notes the equation just confuses me.

Include triplets. You left them out and they are more common than dotted notes. Well at least in my experience.


2. The Staff
-----------------------


- Treble
In Western Music, the Staff ... and duartions are placed. Each staff have clefs at the beginning...

Because B# doesn't exist.Are you sure? What if I altered the D major scale with a raised 6th? 1 2 3 4 5 #6 7 (D E F# G A B# C#). Or altered the C major scale by sharping the 3rd and 4th? 1 2 #3 #4 5 6 7 (C D E# F# G A B C). How would you describe C# major or Cb major scales?

- Bass
The bass clef does... ... I'm talking about. just like usualy, it's goes straight up, so from that line, ...

...
...are simply notated with the Sharp and Flat ( # and b ), and it's pretty easy. If you see a E, on the staff, then it has a flat next to it ( b ) then you go down one half step, or fret, and get Eb or D#, whichever you want to call it. Same with sharp, except you raise it.

There is no mention of how sharps are arranged at the start of the clef to denote a specific key. There is no mention of using naturals.

3. Melody The following section describes constructing scales. Scales are used for harmony and melody. Calling this section melody is incorrect.
--------------------


- Half steps and Whole steps
These are, simply put on the guitar...

Music is mostly based on the major.-word missing? So when you see 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 ( formula for the minor scale ) you take the major scale of ...

4. Harmony
-----------------------

- Intervals

There are two types of intervals.-Are there two types of interval or are there two ways intervals can be played?
Harmonic, and Melodic.
A harmonic interval is two notes played at once, and melodic is two notes played successivly.

To indentify and interval, you have to look for Quantity and Quality.
...
All you have to do to find an intervals quality- quality or quantity? , it count. Count the lines and spaces. F...
You use Minor, Major, Diminshed, Augmented, Perfect to describe their quality.

Perfect is only used to describe Fourths, Fifths, Unisons, and Octaves.
Major and Minor are used to describe Seconds, Thirds, Sixths and Sevenths.
Diminshed and Augmented can describe any interval except Unisons, which can be augmented, but not diminished. How about elaborating on why an interval is perfect or major/minor, or how you get from one to the other?

- Chords.

To build chords, you use formulas, and these chords are all started on a scale that is in the key you're playing in.

Say you're playing in C major, then take the C major scale and build Triads, seventhes, ninths and so on from them. You build them with M3 and m3 intervals. I'm not 100% on this but aren't thirds used in tertial harmony and fourths used in quartal harmony? Overall this section is very limited in useful information. Maybe just leave this section out and build on it as you learn more about it or find time to add over the next few weeks.
Si
#12
Quote by RCalisto
^ ok, so the knowledge people get without studying theory is something completely different then?
it always comes back to the same. they just don't know the names to what they are doing. but it's still music theory.
and you don't 'use' theory. theory is just a shortcut to various years of headaches and experimenting. studying it, that is.


no, its not music theory.
music theory is a field of study (the study of music), not the music itself.

btw not knowing music theory does not mean you will have headaches or have to resort to experimenting. You have ears, and you have a brain. The study of music certainly can be very beneficial, but many musicians find success with little or know formal theory knowledge.


to the TS:

it looks like your on the right track with the basics. I don't agree with everything in your 1st paragraph, but that doesn't really matter. You're perspective may change as you become more experienced. Keep studying!
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 2, 2008,
#13
^oh that's amazing. the knowledge people get from years of playing music can't be called theory at all. because they discovered it by themselves, and not from books.
though, it's exactly as written on the books.
neat. they could write new books with their newly acquired knowledge then, and just call the books 'musical knowledge: not theory'
#14
Quote by GuitarMunkey
I just hate when people imply that if it sounds good, you "used theory", or "theory had something to do with it". It has something to do with it, if you studied it, and have applied your knowledge.
Quote by RCalisto
^ ok, so the knowledge people get without studying theory is something completely different then?
it always comes back to the same. they just don't know the names to what they are doing. but it's still music theory.
and you don't 'use' theory. theory is just a shortcut to various years of headaches and experimenting. studying it, that is.
I suppose it could be called a shortcut but music theory, once learnt, needs to be proven through your own experience, which is gained over years of experimenting with music.

Music theory is nothing more than observations concerning the underlying principles and rules that govern effective musical structure, made by musicians throughout centuries.

Linguists have done the same thing with language. They have made observations into the underlying principles and rules that govern effective linguistic communication.

Just because someone speaking a language doesn't know or understand principles of syntax for example, doesn't mean they aren't applying those same rules of syntax to construct an effective sentence.

By no means does one need to learn the linguistic observations of others in order to be a great orator. Similarly one does not need to study traditional music theory to be a great musician. They both have to learn how to effectively connect with and influence people. Chances are they will also both have years of experience observations into what techniques and structures work and what don't.

However, I agree with RCalisto here, when either construct an effective phrase they are applying the underlying principles that govern effective language or music respectively. Whether they can explicitly explain what they are doing in theoretic terms doesn't mean they aren't using the same ideas and structures.

(thinking about it though perhaps GuitarMunkey is saying that theory is the study of, and description of these ideas and structures and not the ideas and structures themselves. In which case the disagreement is a matter of semantics.)

A six year old will use rules of syntax to construct sentences. They never learn these rules explicitly they pick them up because of the way our brains are hardwired to understand language, and through experience. They don't need to be able to describe the rules explicitly to use them but they most definitely apply them.

As they go through school and learn these structures more explicitly, combined with years of experience, they become better communicators.

The same applies to musicians.

On a personal note - I don't understand why people wouldn't want to learn music theory. I love music and want to know everything I possibly can about it. But I guess that's not for everyone.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 2, 2008,