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music theory is stupid and i dont need it

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by heltershelton, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Apr 2, 2016
    Ohio
    Who do you refer to as breaking new ground? Not arguing anything, I'm just curious.
     
    mshivy likes this.

  2. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 23, 2015
    Ghost Dog Heart
    It's just all so much easier that way. Why bother with theory ?
    Why bother banging your head against the wall without it ?
    no -brainer, imo
     
    davidKOS, Ebidis and heltershelton like this.

  3. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Apr 2, 2016
    Ohio
    I think I fall into this category. I learned a lot of theory the first few years I played, but I forgot how to articulate most of it as time has gone, but I can still play most of it (I could play all of it if I had time to play as much as I did way back when :)).

    My thoughts, which you shouldn't take all that seriously, are that you need to learn as much theory to get you where you wanna get to in order to make the music you want to and then you need to practice to the point where it's reflexive. Hank Williams played basic "cowboy chords" and played them great and made great music. Joe Pass played amazing and technical chord inversions and studied and practiced his butt off to the point where he could play it without thinking in the same way ole Hank didn't have to think about moving from C to G7. Both great musicians who studied theory and practiced it in order to make the music they wanted.

    Joe Pass could teach you how to play though. :)
     
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  4. BuddyGuy

    BuddyGuy Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    41
    62
    Sep 8, 2017
    Cleveland
    I'm very new, been playing less than a year, and I'm very old (41). My teacher infuses a little theory in each week with technique. It helps me understand what guys are doing in a solo and gives me more options when I'm doing my own.
    As for "Music is win," have you guys noticed how cute his wife is? Sadly he doesn't respond to questions on Facebook or YouTube.
     
    Nate D likes this.

  5. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    That is not in opposition of my point at all. My point was simply that theory does not kill creativity. Your bandmate has a knack for coming up with cool riffs. That is great, and not everyone has it, but do you really think that if he learned theory, that his particular knack would suddenly disappear?
     

  6. montemerrick

    montemerrick spiritual birthday, April 1 Strat-Talk Supporter

    for awhile it can...

    to the new student, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.
    to the newly enlightened, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers
    to the master, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.

    the middle bit can be tricky.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Nate D likes this.

  7. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 23, 2015
    Ghost Dog Heart
    Some people think that. Personally , I think I'd be tying my mind to my behind if I took that approach.
    There's so much more to music than what I would come up with if left strictly to my own devices.
    But with some tools meant for the job ?.... again, a no-brainer decision , for me. The most talented person
    I know of plays by ear , no theory, and comes up with some amazing stuff ; definitely a world-class
    knack for coming up with cool riffs, but he limits himself with the idea that his creativity would be diminished
    somehow by theory . I see it the opposite : a highly talented person could do even more-amazing things with
    a full set of tools, not less-amazing things. A shame, in a way, really...
     
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  8. Bluestrat83

    Bluestrat83 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    34
    530
    Jan 17, 2016
    Ecuador
    Theory is not necessary but it opens a lot of creative doors. It can be a long path tough, at some point you'll think that you are getting worse at music and that's the point were people think it's stupid. To me it's worthy unless you have and innate ability to absorb language and a great ear, and there is some people like that but it my experience they are the 1% of the total population of musicians and those eventually do learn theory eventually while touring the world when they are 17 years old lol! the rest of us have to learn harmony and theory basics, transcribe a lot. There might be shortcuts but they usually make the whole path longer.
    Now one thing I always say in this kind of posts is that even if you have the right books or resources it's hard to really understand everything and apply to the instrument without guidance... there is a lot of info in Internet there are lots of books but why there's people still having a hard time with this? To me finding a good teacher is essential because he/she will follow your process and he will ask and answer the right question, your teacher will be with you till you learn and understand things and that's something that the other resources won't provide most of the times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  9. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    One big benefit to learning some theory that I didn't expect was that it has helped improved my repertoire, because it's easier to commit a song to memory if you actually know all the notes or the scale that the riffs, melody, chords, etc. fall under, as opposed to just remembering what fret they happen to be at. It really helps from a memory standpoint.

    The other thing is that if you know the notes from having worked it out on guitar, you can walk over to a piano and bang it out somewhat easily, since the notes are more plainly evident on a piano. If you just know a song by neck positions, you can't even begin to do that.

    Also, if you know the notes, you can pickup a baritone guitar and transpose rather easily by just becoming familiar with where the notes are on a baritone guitar. Otherwise you have to do a lot of head math, counting how many frets you have to go this way or that way to map to a regular fret board.
     

  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    I find this to be a catch 22; if the person needs to be told what I did, they usually don't know music theory, either. If they know music theory, they've got skills and they don't need me to tell them what I did.
     

  11. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    Here
    People who don't know music theory are like people who can talk but not read or write.
     
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  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    That can depend. I know music theory, but that does not necessarily mean that I can listen to you play something one time and know exactly what you did right off the bat.

    However if you play it through once, then tell me (just for example) "It's in A flat, and it's I, V, vi, IV, and the B section is V, IV, I," then I get it. Very quickly.
     
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  13. felis

    felis Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 27, 2013
    Antwerp/Belgium
    Indeed, a 'good' teacher learns to; read, interact with, and transfer to, the student.

    Education from a strict personal or standard comprehension, is a reason why some teachers/books/internet/forum make it for various people difficult to comprehend (and this not only goes for music theory).
     
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  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    .

    Exactly.

    LOL. I hear faint rumblings from the cornfield. :D
     
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  15. duzie

    duzie Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    56
    326
    May 1, 2016
    northwest nj
    Thanks fezz for continually preaching the basic building blocks on this site
    Occasionally I have a light bulb moment when reading them
    I'm thick as a brick but really appreciate your posts ...
     
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  16. rudos1

    rudos1 Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 16, 2013
    Boston
    I feel you on this, as I am a box guy. I literally envision the scale boxes in the position for the key or chord I am playing over at least to start out my improvs after that I try to let it rip...
     

  17. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Apr 25, 2012
    New Jersey
    I think the vast majority of players are like this; even those who claim to know theory. I'd love to say I know exactly what note I'm playing at any given time or it's intervallic relationship to the chord behind it but I don't. I wish I did. I know some scales and modes and their shapes and use that as my starting point. From there I'm using my ears and instincts. This works for familiar progressions but perhaps not as well for more complex and jazzier progressions. This is where I think a bit more theoretical knowledge comes in handy when attempting to speak on the fly.
     
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  18. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    35
    602
    Apr 7, 2016
    USA
    No offense, but in your example...your explaining something you lacked that another person had. It wasn't because of your knowledge of music theory. Imagine what the kid could've done if he DID know theory
     
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  19. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 23, 2015
    Ghost Dog Heart
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

  20. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Strat-Talker

    488
    Jan 5, 2017
    Almost heaven
    I can always rely on you :)
     
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