#1
I've been playing guitar for like 4 years or something. I'm quite a good player (in my own opinion, whether others agree is another matter) and I know some theory. Emphasis on the some.. I know the major, natural minor, harmonic minor, pentatonic and other various scales. But then I read some threads on here and I'm completely blank about them.

I understand it's probably pretty advanced stuff but should I know it if I've been playing for 4 years?
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#2
Quote by tomisfatt01
I've been playing guitar for like 4 years or something. I'm quite a good player (in my own opinion, whether others agree is another matter) and I know some theory. Emphasis on the some.. I know the major, natural minor, harmonic minor, pentatonic and other various scales. But then I read some threads on here and I'm completely blank about them.

I understand it's probably pretty advanced stuff but should I know it if I've been playing for 4 years?


The real question is..... Do you want to know it?

If the answer is yes, then get to work.
shred is gaudy music
#4
I believe with theory you can do soooo much more for improvising....for just playing stuff /tabs/rhythm stuff it doesnt matter that much
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#5
Quote by GuitaringMike
yeah but then again i know people whove been playing for about 7 years who still dont really know the major scale



Who really gives two shits what they know about theory as long as they can play. You should just concentrate on actually playing then theory. Its like the guy who talks about building a bridge compared to the guy who actually gets off his ass and does it. The best players were the self taught ones.
#6
Quote by FredDurst #1fan
Who really gives two shits what they know about theory as long as they can play. You should just concentrate on actually playing then theory. Its like the guy who talks about building a bridge compared to the guy who actually gets off his ass and does it. The best players were the self taught ones.


Theory helps alot with composition. Alot of the "best" players know theory.
#7
Or.. For an alternate analegy.

A player who doesnt understand what he's playing, limits himself.

Its like somone who looks a a book, tries to just looks at the words and pictures and tries to get a gist of what is going on, as compared to somone, who understands the alphabet, word construction, who will obviously become a better reader?

I think its not hard for you to understand.

Not saying playing skill isnt important, far from it, playing is how we make the music . But its not the be all and end all.

The best guitar players is a personal oppinion of course.

What do you class as best? Pure Speed/Technique? Theory? Making Music thats appealing to you? Highest technical profficiency?

Anyhow, if you want to make music, theory, will help.
Last edited by Galvanise69 at Nov 6, 2008,
#8
I understand what I'm playing and where it comes from or what I can player over certain chord progressions and so on but it's mainly modes I don't have a clue about. Also all this minor 3rd major whatever stuff in intervals confuses the hell out of me..
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#9
Listen to Dennis D'Amore from VoiVod..

Absolutely no theory or technique at all, plays "wrong" chords and has no sense of time, yet amazing guitar work.
#10
Chill out. If you want to learn more, learn more. There are no guidelines for where you should be at any point. I've seen players who have been playing for 20 years and are terrible, and I have a pupil who's 12 and the lovechild of Hendrix/Rusty Cooley.
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky
The real question is..... Do you want to know it?

If the answer is yes, then get to work.
+1
Addresses the issue beautifully.
Si
#12
Yes theory will help but I have found that knowing alot of theory does not always translate easily while you are playing. I feel the best thing to do is work on your ear. If you are just able to play everything you hear then you dont need to worry whether it is a b9#5 chord or a jewish scale. You just play it.
Originally posted by arrrgg
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#13
To begin, regardless of what you are told about killing your "creative mind" by learning theory, it will do NOTHING but help you. There is no question.

I've found two types of people in this world regarding music theory.

1) People who are stubborn, often worship Kurt Cobain, and think that learning theory is the same thing as conforming to the musical MAN. You don't need THEORY. You just need expression! Don't let them tell you conformity is the answer!

-_-
Say you want to express a certain idea, but cannot mentally begin. Say it's a melancholy scene. Where do you go? The minor (harmonic minor, melodic minor) scales to begin. Might want to pick a flat key as well.

And..

2) The person who realizes theory will actually only enhance their playing, instead of putting creativity shackles on them. It's like trying to be a psychiatrist without any school. Just on instinct. Trust me. I've been playing about 8 years, so I'm still relatively new as well. Do yourself a favor. Start learning it. You'll be amazed, once you have a good understanding of just basic points and once you apply them, how much it will escalate your playing.

Good luck! And remember, never bring a knife to a gun fight. It's better to be equipped.
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#14
Quote by FredDurst #1fan
Who really gives two shits what they know about theory as long as they can play. You should just concentrate on actually playing then theory. Its like the guy who talks about building a bridge compared to the guy who actually gets off his ass and does it.


It's more like "the guy who educates himself about bridge building versus the guy who actually goes out and does it". Of course, these two concepts are somewhat related...
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#15
Quote by Archeo Avis
It's more like "the guy who educates himself about bridge building versus the guy who actually goes out and does it". Of course, these two concepts are somewhat related...

And then of course there's "the guy who's educated about how to build bridges and goes out and does it versus the guy who just goes out and does it".

I know which bridge i'd be using.
Si
#16
Quote by 20Tigers
I know which bridge i'd be using.


The guy who built his bridge from sunshine and puppies? You know, soul?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#17
I Think you don't need to be able to define (for example) every scale.

I do however believe u need to be aware of it.

Example|:

If u learn the sound of a lydian scale, but you can't name it's scale notes/formula from the top of ur head, then it's cool. You know the essence of it's sound then. If you just learn theory, but u don't use it in ur compositions, then what's the point? We have wikipedia for that which is: faster, probably more accurate and free.

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#18
We have wikipedia for that which is: faster, probably more accurate and free.


Oh ye of limited imagination. Knowledge of the lydian mode is the music theory equivalent of knowing that oxygen is listed somewhere on the periodic table. I has teh mad chemistry skillz.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#19
I am no doubt (actually I already HAVE) stealing that for my sig.
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#20
Quote by Archeo Avis
Oh ye of limited imagination. Knowledge of the lydian mode is the music theory equivalent of knowing that oxygen is listed somewhere on the periodic table. I has teh mad chemistry skillz.


U didn't read my whole post.

Ur post implies exactly the opposite of what i wrote. I said It's useless to just know lydian mode as a mode, instead of knowing how to use lydian in a actual musical context.

Seriously I said Being the "wikiguy" (knowing theory by it's names but can't/haven't used it in an actual musical idea), is a waste.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Nov 7, 2008,
#21
Quote by tomisfatt01

I understand it's probably pretty advanced stuff but should I know it if I've been playing for 4 years?


Actually, I'd say most of what you read around here is just basic music. Nothing advanced
at all.

The thing is, most rock and blues (which I think people around here are most interested
in), is just rock-bottom, basic music. There's not really a whole hellava lot you really
need to learn. Where most people stumble is converting learning to knowing and how
things fit into the big picture. So, they end up thinking it's astro-physics when it's
actually just basic arithmetic.

I think if you're going to apply yourself to doing something, you should at least take the
time to try and learn the fundamentals of what you're applying yourself to tic. It's just
another piece to the puzzle.
#22
Quote by edg
Actually, I'd say most of what you read around here is just basic music. Nothing advanced
at all.

The thing is, most rock and blues (which I think people around here are most interested
in), is just rock-bottom, basic music. There's not really a whole hellava lot you really
need to learn. Where most people stumble is converting learning to knowing and how
things fit into the big picture. So, they end up thinking it's astro-physics when it's
actually just basic arithmetic.

I think if you're going to apply yourself to doing something, you should at least take the
time to try and learn the fundamentals of what you're applying yourself to tic. It's just
another piece to the puzzle.



Well what's your idea of basic, just to give me and idea of what other people think basic is?
Sorry if that didn't make sense.
And I don't listen to rock to be honest. More into metal, Vai, Satriani kinda stuff.
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Last edited by tomisfatt01 at Nov 11, 2008,
#23
Quote by Archeo Avis
The guy who built his bridge from sunshine and puppies? You know, soul?

i trust the guy who built his bridge with the most "feeling"

"man i can tell, he really felt it when he built this BRIIIIIIiiiiiiiiddddggg......... *SPLAT* "
#24
Quote by tomisfatt01
Well what's your idea of basic, just to give me and idea of what other people think basic is?
Sorry if that didn't make sense.
And I don't listen to rock to be honest. More into metal, Vai, Satriani kinda stuff.


Most of the music comes from the major scale. That's 7 notes. Based on those 7 notes
7 chords are formed. A song in a key will almost always have chords based on those
7 chords and furthermore you'll tend to see only a very few important sequences over
and over again. Rock and blues seldom does a lot of key changing. The 7 notes in
the scale have 7 scale degrees of which the 1,3 and 5 form the core harmony. If you
can quickly find the 1,3 or 5 of any chord, and know the key you're in, you have the
basis for playing over pretty much anything. Keys are either major or minor, but minor
is still built from the major scale with a bit of additional consideration.

That's about it in a paragraph. Naturally it needs to be filled out a bit, but I've seen
literally everything you're likely to ever need to know about theory to play
rock/blues/metal covered in about 20 pages. The only real trick is understanding how
that small amount of information relates to music. The information itself isn't very
long or complex.
#25
Quote by FredDurst #1fan
Who really gives two shits what they know about theory as long as they can play. You should just concentrate on actually playing then theory. Its like the guy who talks about building a bridge compared to the guy who actually gets off his ass and does it. The best players were the self taught ones.


There's technique and then there's theory. Do you suppose these great players got to their level of playing just by learning technique? Of course not. They may not have had formal training but they still learned theory either way through listening to other musicians.

It's much more likely for a bridge to remain stable if it's made by someone who knows what they're doing.
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#27
To be honest the major and minor (all versions) scales cover huge amounts of music and not just basic stuff.

For example the second movement of Haydyn's Symphony no. 103 (we're playing the symphony is orchestra) just modulates between C minor and C major, with not a mode in sight. But is it an incredible piece of music? Definately.

There are always a few threads on the first page about modes, usually started by people who know nothing about them and make the common mistake of 'playing D dorian over a C Ionian progression'. These people would benifit much more from learning the uses of the major and minor scales a lot more, instead of trying to leap into modes which aren't used that much anyway.

The same thing goes for stuff like complex time signatures, if someone can't understand and use 12/8 properly then it won't help them singificantly to know where the accented beats are in 57/64 (a bit extreme, but the point still holds true).

So I suggest learning what you might think are the basics really well, because they are really useful and if you haven't learned them properly you haven't a chance learning more complicated stuff.