Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Should i learn music theory?


dem00n

Recommended Posts

the cons are......?

 

I say do it... it's interesting and fun to think about.

Cons are that after time you will basicly be playing the same stuff over and over again, it sorta makes u think what sounds good and u will only use the chords that sound good to make music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I went to reply and dumped that one - early onset senility, perhaps - but here's the deal: You are learning music theory simply by playing guitar to much of any performance level. Period. It just ain't in a formal academic environment.

 

When I was teaching guitar, as soon as I had students playing root chord positions I got 'em into transposition. That's "theory," but then so is playing any kinda folk, rock, blues or much of anything else.

 

The question then is "should I take music theory according to the curriculum of school/teacher 'A' or not?"

 

That puts you at the point of you pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.

 

In fact, the Nashville Number system was designed to make transposition easier for musicians - or to hop right in and play form the simplest of "charts." Some of those guys couldn't read music to save their lives, but they knew the theory well enough to hop right in and play professionally in almost any key simply by having those numbers.

 

So... It's not a question of "to learn music theory or not to learn music theory," but rather how do you learn music theory. That's a whole 'nother question for a guitar player or any other musician.

 

m

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cons are that after time you will basicly be playing the same stuff over and over again' date=' it sorta makes u think what sounds good and u will only use the chords that sound good to make music. [/quote']

 

It sounds to me like you don't really understand what music theory is about. Imagine what it might be like for a functionally illiterate person to write a novel, to tell a story that's burning inside them. Now, teach that same person to read and write. Do you think their story-telling would suffer?

 

Music theory gives you the tools to understand and speak the language of music. I can't imagine how that would be stifling to creativity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cons are that after time you will basicly be playing the same stuff over and over again' date=' it sorta makes u think what sounds good and u will only use the chords that sound good to make music. [/quote']

 

I don't understand this objection, because it's just false. Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Varese and Schoenberg are a handful of 20th century composers who knew more theory than most guitarists will ever want to know. They didn't just play "safe" chords, they experimented. Some of them rival any heavy metal group for atonality and generally wackiness. Then you've still got to contend with Contemporary composers. Ligeti "composed" a symphony for 100 metronomes. I just recently listened to a composition by Rhys Chatham. It's scored for 400 electric guitars. Yes, 400. (It's called "A Crimson Grail" btw)

 

Music theory only makes boring people sound more boring. Creative people use the knowledge to their advantage. Theory can help you compose a pop tune or write an atonal monster in 72-TET. Music theory isn't about rules, it's about understanding music.

 

Now, if you just want to play the blues... probably not necessary. Many rock bands get on fine without it. However, if you want to understand music, you should learn the theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well' date=' I went to reply and dumped that one - early onset senility, perhaps - but here's the deal: You are learning music theory simply by playing guitar to much of any performance level. Period. It just ain't in a formal academic environment.

 

When I was teaching guitar, as soon as I had students playing root chord positions I got 'em into transposition. That's "theory," but then so is playing any kinda folk, rock, blues or much of anything else.

 

The question then is "should I take music theory according to the curriculum of school/teacher 'A' or not?"

 

That puts you at the point of you pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.

 

In fact, the Nashville Number system was designed to make transposition easier for musicians - or to hop right in and play form the simplest of "charts." Some of those guys couldn't read music to save their lives, but they knew the theory well enough to hop right in and play professionally in almost any key simply by having those numbers.

 

So... It's not a question of "to learn music theory or not to learn music theory," but rather how do you learn music theory. That's a whole 'nother question for a guitar player or any other musician.

 

m

[/quote']

Hmm, i see now. More thinking to do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like you don't really understand what music theory is about. Imagine what it might be like for a functionally illiterate person to write a novel' date=' to tell a story that's burning inside them. Now, teach that same person to read and write. Do you think their story-telling would suffer?

 

Music theory gives you the tools to understand and speak the language of music. I can't imagine how that would be stifling to creativity.[/quote']

Blame my friends. They told me that after time u could be playing the same thing over and over again because of music theroy. But i asked my self wouldnt that be the own persons fault becuase the lack of new influnces and such.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blame my friends. They told me that after time u could be playing the same thing over and over again because of music theroy. But i asked my self wouldnt that be the own persons fault becuase the lack of new influnces and such.

 

I find myself wondering how many of those friends understand music theory...or actually know someone who does. Perhaps they've convinced themselves of their nonsense in order to avoid doing something that appears so difficult. Think for yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like you don't really understand what music theory is about. Imagine what it might be like for a functionally illiterate person to write a novel' date=' to tell a story that's burning inside them. Now, teach that same person to read and write. Do you think their story-telling would suffer?

 

Music theory gives you the tools to understand and speak the language of music. I can't imagine how that would be stifling to creativity.[/quote']

well said cruzn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cons are that after time you will basicly be playing the same stuff over and over again' date=' it sorta makes u think what sounds good and u will only use the chords that sound good to make music. [/quote']

 

No offense dem00n, but this response shows you have no idea what you're talking about. As JustinH pointed, lotsa folks have studied music theory, including the composers he mentioned. If your assumption was correct, they'd all be making the same safe music. To play the devil's advocate you could also argue that the fact that so much rock and pop music is based on the same 3 chords must mean that *not* knowing music theory condemns you to imitate old tried and true forumlas...

 

My suggestion would be: go for it. What have you got to lose except time (and you're young, right?, so you got plenty of that). You stand to learn something that could be important for you as a musician. I think it would open you up to new options rather than restrict you when it comes to writing and playing.

 

My 2¢.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No offense dem00n' date=' but this response shows you have no idea what you're talking about. As JustinH pointed, lotsa folks have studied music theory, including the composers he mentioned. If your assumption was correct, they'd all be making the same safe music. To play the devil's advocate you could also argue that the fact that so much rock and pop music is based on the same 3 chords must mean that *not* knowing music theory condemns you to imitate old tried and true forumlas...

 

My suggestion would be: go for it. What have you got to lose except time (and you're young, right?, so you got plenty of that). You stand to learn something that could be important for you as a musician. I think it would open you up to new options rather than restrict you when it comes to writing and playing.

 

My 2¢.[/quote']

True. Im going to go for it you are right what do i got to lose?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...