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How much has music theory helped you in your music career?

General Chat
Reinhardt  
24 Feb 2011 13:02 | Quote
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
South Africa
Karma: 8
Well, it has never helped me before, i only know patterns and notes stuff like that? whats your experiences guys?
JustJeff  
24 Feb 2011 14:52 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
... when I was learning music theory, it was the most creative moment of my music career. Some of the ideas I explored during that time are still pertinent to my playing today.

It was an integral part of my learning experience.
nater2  
24 Feb 2011 17:31 | Quote
Joined: 28 May 2009
United States
Karma: 4
I would never shove it down someones throat if they didn't want to learn it but if you want to get serious I would strongly suggest it. I agree with JustJeff, it will help you express your creativity a lot.
shreadhead96  
24 Feb 2011 17:41 | Quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
United States
Karma: 3
it really helps me when im writing a chord progression and melodies
Domigan_Lefty  
24 Feb 2011 17:55 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
F#, a wah pedal, and some dj-like scratching.
nullnaught  
24 Feb 2011 18:32 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
It helps in just about everthing i do. As far as career. Doesnt that imply your making a living off of it?
Empirism  
24 Feb 2011 22:52 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
In my case... It really depends on what perspective to look at it... Ive never studied theory systematicly, but I chose thories that help MY case as much as possible. And I think there is an Holy Trinity. Major scale, Minor Scale and triads. "mastering" these is very important to just anyone who are even thinking of composing.

What helped me to actual playing, I dont know. Can "Music theory" even affect it... maybe if you can improvise that holy trinity, I dont see no other way the Music theory can help your "playing"

Learn your theories
Emp
coleman  
25 Feb 2011 05:44 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
United States
Karma: 8
yeah especially since i've started to study jazz.

i could write music without it. i use it as a tool to help me create the vibe and type of tonal qualities i want. it is very important especially if you are looking for a career in music. the way i see it if you love music you might as well learn everything about it you can.
btimm  
25 Feb 2011 08:33 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
coleman says:
way i see it if you love music you might as well learn everything about it you can.


This is exactly what I think too. I mean, if you enjoy learning about music and you love to play, then learning the theory shouldn't just be something that is going to help your playing, it is something that will lay a solid foundation that allows you to explore your creativity and is also enjoyable. That might be the engingeer in me though, I like to know why things work they way they do.
MuseFan  
25 Feb 2011 08:49 | Quote
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
United Kingdom
Karma: 4
extremely good for improvs :P
Afro_Raven  
26 Feb 2011 04:19 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Lessons: 1
Karma: 20
Moderator
After seeing this question asked a thousand and one times on this site, my response has become pretty standard:

Stop trying to find excuses or reasons from other people to not learn theory. Just do it. Then you can decide for yourself if it's worth knowing!

Afro
Empirism  
26 Feb 2011 04:58 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Hey! you copy pasted that! XD...
JustJeff  
26 Feb 2011 08:05 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
Then again, just to play devil's advocate, this guy is not trained at all.

Reinhardt  
26 Feb 2011 09:31 | Quote
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
South Africa
Karma: 8
Awesome replies guys! Yes i am making a living of my music, never really got into learning music theory, i just play scale patterns and write solos in my head but I will definatly start learning music theory! Will probly have to get lessons.
Thanks guys
Any recommendations for a beginners guide book to theory or dvd??
JustJeff  
26 Feb 2011 10:09 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
Enroll in a 3 credit music theory course over the summer at your local cummunity college. That would probably be your best bet to get your foot in the door. That's what I did.
BodomBeachTerror  
26 Feb 2011 11:48 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
Ive done grade 1 and 2 rudimentary music theory, and none of it is really applicable to guitar at all
harleyofdoom  
26 Feb 2011 15:46 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Karma: 10
I didnt bother with consciously learning music theory until fairly recently.
and I have found that in many cases people who develop their theory too
far in advance of their practical ability can stifle their creativity and get
trapped in the box of looking at music in an overly formulaic way (if you
get too deep into the theoretical study of anything you start to forget what
it looks/sounds like from the outside) . That said every piece of theory I
have picked up that has had a basis in my pre-existing practical ability has
been helpful.

you could be an amazing guitarist and know next to no theory
you could know all the theory in the world and be a crappy guitarist
(this is less likely)

but if you ever want to: seriously compose music, be in a band, explain a
riff to someone who plays any instrument other than guitar, fully understand
not just how but why the riff you just played sounded good then some
theory knowledge is the way to go.

its a mixed bag really but i think its a vital step on the path between
hobbyist and aspiring musician
DannyEss  
27 Feb 2011 14:13 | Quote
Joined: 19 Oct 2010
United States
Karma: 1
In the beggining I did not learn theory or at least I did not know that I was learning theory. Learning a scale and knowing what chords sounds good with that scale is some level of theory. This site has a great resource on this topic. I had the oppotunity to go to a music accademy about 5 years ago and the floodgates opened when I was introduced to basic theory. Later I was intoduced to more advanced concepts. In a band setting it is very difficult to explain concepts to the other members without the theory. The theory has help me to do improv with the band and when I travel across the US and sit in Jazz band settings. You need to develop you ear to hear the chord progressions to recognize in bars 3,4 and 5 you are in the key of bla bla bla and be able to solo over the band.

There are many great guitarist that have tremendous ears and playing abilities without the theory. I beleive you will become a better player by the study and will open the door for composing (chord subsitution, chord borrowing, etc.)

Concerning where to start depends on your budget. If you can afford it, attend the local comminutity college. Most community colleges have courses on music theory. Some private guitar teachers can focus on music theory if you ask them. Lastly, their are a ton of resources on the Web.


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