#1
My Rythymn guitarist has been playing for around 5 years.
Ive been playing around 2.
Im Much better than him and i want him to improve so we are at a closer skill level.

What im thinking is because he knows ZERO theory.
No scales, understanding progressions, time signitures, modes, nothing.
I keep telling him to let me teach him some music theory but he says he doesnt want to because its going to "make him think" while he plays.

What do you advise?
Everything he makes is in 4/4 in the minor scale without him trying...
Its odd but i want him to get better so we can expand our horizons.
#2
Tell him that if he doesn't learn some theory then you're gonna have to look for another rhythm guitarist. Simple as that. Every guitarist NEEDS to know theory.
#3
maybe just start expanding your own horizons and he will follow, if you write a song in 6/8 major scale hes not going to play a 4/4 minor
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#4
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/
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#5
Quote by Wednesday Bass
Tell him that if he doesn't learn some theory then you're gonna have to look for another rhythm guitarist. Simple as that. Every guitarist NEEDS to know theory.

i call bs... example, danny elfman DOES NOT know any theory and this is the genius that brought us the music in nightmare before christmas.
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#6
Quote by TenaciousLSD
maybe just start expanding your own horizons and he will follow, if you write a song in 6/8 major scale hes not going to play a 4/4 minor

I write all my bands stuff in diminished, locrian, phrygian, neopoltan, and sometimes minor. But he always either thinks it sounds weird or he makes something off scale from it.
And we use odd time signitures sometimes im trying to make a song in 11/8 for our next song. he always is off rythymn unless we spend around 5 6 minutes of me teaching him the rythymn to it.

Its not so much i think he needs theory to be good but hes been playing for 3 years longer than me and cant even harmonise without me telling him what notes work with the progression. Which gets in the way considering were a melodic deathmetal band.
#7
I think people are getting confused on here on the difference between KNOWLEDGE of theory and formal music lessons. Are you seriously trying to tell me that EVH, Slash and the Edge (U2's guitarist) don't know any scales? Or don't they count as theoretical knowledge? Same mgoes for Elfman, you honsetly think he's never heard of a cadence?

Everyone needs theory in music if they want to achieve a good standard, some people can pick it up by themselves, eg Eddie, however, others need a gentle nudge in the right direction. My advice would be for you to try and persuade you rhthym guitarist to learn some theory, you could point out that after a while it just becomes second nature and you don't need to think about it.
#8
[quote="'[BurnTheDusk"]']I write all my bands stuff in diminished, locrian, phrygian, neopoltan, and sometimes minor. But he always either thinks it sounds weird or he makes something off scale from it.
And we use odd time signitures sometimes im trying to make a song in 11/8 for our next song. he always is off rythymn unless we spend around 5 6 minutes of me teaching him the rythymn to it.

May I ask a question, do the songs you write in locrian (very unstable) and phrygian (I have no idea even how you write in diminished or neapolitan) actually sound good?

Because I'm guessing that either they don't sound good or they are actually not in locrian and phrygian.

Also, why do you write in those modes? Do you make something up that happens to be in them or do you deliberately try to write in them? Because it probably should be the former rather than the latter.

And same thing for why you are writing in 11/8, I mean if someone just showed me a riff in 11/8 I wouldn't be able to pick it up straight away. If it was something like 3/4 or 9/8 I'd understand but 11/8 is ridiculously complicated.

I agree that ever guitarist should learn theory. Some guitarists, like the ones mentioned, can pick it up themselves but most normal people need to be taught it.
#9
Quote by Wednesday Bass
Tell him that if he doesn't learn some theory then you're gonna have to look for another rhythm guitarist. Simple as that. Every guitarist NEEDS to know theory.


"I don't know jack shit about theory" - Mikael Akerfelt
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#10
Quote by BelowZero
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/


really?? you really think van halen didn't know any theory? haaa
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#11
Be a little softer on em huh?

I mean i've been playing for 7 years and i'm just now starting to learn my theory because no one ever showed it to me or suggested I learn it. So although I can play pretty well because i've been playing for so long. My musicial knowledge is not where it should be, which I think might be the case with him as well.

Some guitarist's just don't want to learn any theory (that i've talked to) but I find it fascinating and can't get enough of it. My suggestion would be start to show him some theory, but don't label it or call it theory when your teaching it to him. Just be like "hey I wanna show ya something thats pretty cool, it helps me come up with stuff easier" Or something like that.
#12
I read it all. I thought: He's is probably overthinking his music. Then the following got posted:

Quote by 12345abcd3
May I ask a question, do the songs you write in locrian (very unstable) and phrygian (I have no idea even how you write in diminished or neapolitan) actually sound good?

Because I'm guessing that either they don't sound good or they are actually not in locrian and phrygian.

Also, why do you write in those modes? Do you make something up that happens to be in them or do you deliberately try to write in them? Because it probably should be the former rather than the latter.

And same thing for why you are writing in 11/8, I mean if someone just showed me a riff in 11/8 I wouldn't be able to pick it up straight away. If it was something like 3/4 or 9/8 I'd understand but 11/8 is ridiculously complicated.

I agree that ever guitarist should learn theory. Some guitarists, like the ones mentioned, can pick it up themselves but most normal people need to be taught it.


Be easy on your rhythm guitarist man. He might not be the technical player you are.
#13
Quote by 12345abcd3
May I ask a question, do the songs you write in locrian (very unstable) and phrygian (I have no idea even how you write in diminished or neapolitan) actually sound good?

Because I'm guessing that either they don't sound good or they are actually not in locrian and phrygian.

Also, why do you write in those modes? Do you make something up that happens to be in them or do you deliberately try to write in them? Because it probably should be the former rather than the latter.

And same thing for why you are writing in 11/8, I mean if someone just showed me a riff in 11/8 I wouldn't be able to pick it up straight away. If it was something like 3/4 or 9/8 I'd understand but 11/8 is ridiculously complicated.

I agree that ever guitarist should learn theory. Some guitarists, like the ones mentioned, can pick it up themselves but most normal people need to be taught it.

Yes the songs, riffs, ect. I write with those modes do sound good and they are correct. i work with diminished and neopolitan a lot and diminished is actually very easy to write with. Neopolitan is the only case where ive written in that mode on purpose. I tried it and its just Phrygian with the 7th interval sharp.

The count for 11/8 that im using isnt too complicated.
2 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 2

Im just tryin to get him to learn theory so he can work off of me easyer.
When I Write songs that require any technicality at all he tends to find it too complex.

I havent mentioned that the sole reason he is like this is hes more into Industrial metal (dope as an example) as im more into Technical death, melodeath, and progressive metal.
#14
Quote by BelowZero
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/


Except Eddie had played piano for many years prior to playing guitar, and has said himself he owes a lot of his theory to that.

Also Slash states in his auto biography that he took a musical theory course in school.
#15
Quote by BelowZero
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/


This is complete bullshit. EVH may or may not have ever had any lessons, but that doesn't matter because he was into classical piano before he started, so he obviously knew theory. Slash may not have been taught initially but he puts a lot of effort into picking up theory, different techniques, scales, classical sequences, etc. from books and such. Angus Young isn't very good, The Edge is worse, and Jerry Cantrell is not bad, but you're making it seem like it's actually important to read tab where most musicians frown upon it.

You should always learn theory. The arguments against it are all complete crap. He's not going to have to think about his playing if it's written beforehand, or GASP if he actually know what he's doing.
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#16
Quote by BelowZero
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/


Ummm... do you know how much shit Eddie went through to become a good guitarist? He was not born with a guitar in his hands. He would practice ALL NIGHT and he didn't advance nearly as quickly as young players do today, who all have websites like this readily available to them to learn music theory and proper technique.

Think about what 'music theory' is. It's learning what sounds good together. It's about staying in key, and knowing which notes go where. "Music theory' is just a "guide", where notes and keys have been transcribed into words and symbols so you can learn what goes with what. He had to learn by trial and error, by ear, and by just plain luck for years until it became natural to him, until he knew what a fret would sound like before he played it and whether or not it would be in key or not. Also, he didn't know the proper way to practice technique either. It took him YEARS to advance to a level in guitar equivalent of what a young guitarist today could achieve in 1-2 years.

By the way, Paul Gilbert was the same way. Before he was taught music and proper technique, all he played were staccato and palm mute power chord riffs. Slash DOES know theory. I remember watching a video of him yesterday talking about the Sweet Child solo, where he explained that he used Eb harmonic minor and pentatonic minor to write the solo. He knows what he's talking about musically, just not at an advanced level.
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#17
Who care's if he plays in 4/4?

I think that just cuz U add a F# in a song that's supposed to be C major, if it still sounds awesome, then who the hell cares?
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#18
Quote by Sonicxlover
This is complete bullshit. EVH may or may not have ever had any lessons, but that doesn't matter because he was into classical piano before he started, so he obviously knew theory. Slash may not have been taught initially but he puts a lot of effort into picking up theory, different techniques, scales, classical sequences, etc. from books and such. Angus Young isn't very good, The Edge is worse, and Jerry Cantrell is not bad, but you're making it seem like it's actually important to read tab where most musicians frown upon it.

You should always learn theory. The arguments against it are all complete crap. He's not going to have to think about his playing if it's written beforehand, or GASP if he actually know what he's doing.


You, sir, are out of your depth. To mention that Angus Young and The Edge are lousy guitar players.....why? Because they have their own style and way of playing that is totally recognizable? Maybe because they don't shred all the time, or play solos with melodies, rather than a thousand notes? Or they don't use enough crazy scales? And you don't like it? I'm betting that's what it is, and that's narrowminded and ignores that music is about moving people, not impressing them.

As for learning theory....there are two ways to learn it....by ear and trial and error, or with books and lessons. Anyone who says Angus, Eddie, Slash or whoever does not know theory because they weren't taught it, or say they don't know any, does not know what they are talking about. Here are short summations of why this is:

Angus solos in pentatonic key based on the chords: "You Shook Me All Night Long", "TNT"; Slash plays in relative minors against major key rhythm guitar parts (Sweet Child Of Mine); Eddie plays riffs based off of a I-IV-V-vi chord progression: "Panama".

The list for all these artists goes on and on, and how they know their theory, even if they "don't". Their music, when you break it down, shows plenty of signs of music theory knowledge, even if it does not have to do with writing songs in 11/8 in Neapolitan mode with a difficult rhythm part.
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#19
Quote by BHowell
You, sir, are out of your depth. To mention that Angus Young and The Edge are lousy guitar players.....why? Because they have their own style and way of playing that is totally recognizable? Maybe because they don't shred all the time, or play solos with melodies, rather than a thousand notes? Or they don't use enough crazy scales? And you don't like it? I'm betting that's what it is, and that's narrowminded and ignores that music is about moving people, not impressing them.

As for learning theory....there are two ways to learn it....by ear and trial and error, or with books and lessons. Anyone who says Angus, Eddie, Slash or whoever does not know theory because they weren't taught it, or say they don't know any, does not know what they are talking about. Here are short summations of why this is:

Angus solos in pentatonic key based on the chords: "You Shook Me All Night Long", "TNT"; Slash plays in relative minors against major key rhythm guitar parts (Sweet Child Of Mine); Eddie plays riffs based off of a I-IV-V-vi chord progression: "Panama".

The list for all these artists goes on and on, and how they know their theory, even if they "don't". Their music, when you break it down, shows plenty of signs of music theory knowledge, even if it does not have to do with writing songs in 11/8 in Neapolitan mode with a difficult rhythm part.


Okay, first of all, I never said that Eddie or Slash didn't know theory. In fact it's the opposite, I said they DID know theory. They're both excellent guitar player. Also to say I'm narrowminded is just idiotic. One of my favorite solos is Cortez the Killer by Neil Young, which technically is awful but there's an incredible amount of emotion and melody.

I could care less whether someone shreds or not. Angus Young may have his own style but unfortunately that's all he can do. And to say that the Edge isn't a lousy guitarist is just ignorant, there's very little redeeming him. To the first bold text, no it's not. It's about knowing exactly what you're doing and the science of music, and Angus Young has absolutely no idea what he's doing. To the second bold text, so what? It's hard to find a guitarist who CAN'T do that. The point I'm trying to drive home is that while certain guitarists may not have the OPTION of learning theory, given the option you should always take it because it's important to know what you're doing.
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#20
^^^^Oh, I get it now. Knowing how to play the pentatonic scale and create good solos with it means you're not a good guitarist, because......well, everybody who learns the pentatonic scale is an amazing guitar player. We should all avoid learning a scale regularly used in rock music because everyone can use it to write great music, no problem.

Angus Young has just been faking having any idea of what he is doing for 40 years and gotten away with it because of his school boy costume. Thanks for enlightening me on that.

And The Edge sucks because he only needs to use a few notes and a delay pedal to create something memorable, without a second guitar to help him out when he plays riffs or anything else. That clever use of arpeggios, or changing to a different chord in the later part of "Bad" to totally change the feel and emotion of the song, just by slightly altering a repeating riff? Everyone else can do that without trying. Thanks for letting me know.

Do I agree you should learn theory? Yes, 100%.

Do I think that there are way too many musicians who are snobbish about it and use it to blast other players whose passion and musical intensity is a lot greater than their technical knowledge, ultimately making them more exciting and original players? Yes, I also believe that 100%. Thanks for proving that to me now too.

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#21
Dudes (Sonicxlover and BHowell) calm down. The TS asked for our advice, he didn't want to start a debate. It doesn't matter who knows how much theory.

My advice to the TS is to suggest that he learns theory, but don't force it on him. Still try to expand your style and continue writing in odd time signatures and modes, and if he can't learn how to grow musically, then I would say get a different rhythm guitarist.
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#22
Quote by Junior#1
Dudes (Sonicxlover and BHowell) calm down. The TS asked for our advice, he didn't want to start a debate. It doesn't matter who knows how much theory.


I'm sorry bro.

Anyway things she should probably know are how to play every basic open chord and barre chord/know what chords he's playing, the notes on the E string and maybe the A string, at least one position of the major minor and harmonic minor scales, and of course universal things like knowing what you're doing rhythmically. Other than that it's up to him.
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#24
Quote by BelowZero
many famous guitarist never learned properly.

I dare you to walk up to Eddie Van Halen and say,

"hey lemme teach you some theory so you can be good"

EVH never had one lesson in his life. so to the kid that said its necessary for every guitarist. EVH is doing mighty fine without it...

however some guitarist did recieve teaching, bring in, Randy Rhoads. Slash was never taught. Angus Young never learned PROPER theory. U2's guitarist was never taught. Alice In Chains guitarist doesn't even know how to read tab.

I'd just let him be.

btw if he's bad.. just give him the boot :/


EVH bases his tapping off of inversions of arpeggios all the time. Sounds like he's using theory to me.
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