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Why you learn music theory

Music Theory
bodom  
24 Mar 2008 09:47 | Quote
Joined: way back
Canada
Lessons: 4
Karma: 5
I was just wondering why each of you are intrested in music theory. For myself I like to learn it because, well it made me 10x better at guitar, also Im the kind of person who likes to break things down and build them back up agian. What I mean is music theory in itself is like a hobby of mine that benifits my own self intrest as well as my guitar playing/knowledge. Please keep in mind Im not trying to start fights here. If you feel like you dont need theroy or its a waste of time please say so but explian why YOU think so. Debating is good and it actually helps see two sides. I myself, who loves theory, beleive that you dont actually need it to become a great player. I do however beleive it really helps you get there faster, in most cases.
les_paul  
24 Mar 2008 10:08 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 3
Licks: 2
Karma: 11
I want to learn musical theory because I think it will help me to be better on guitar and also it will make learning other instruments a little easier as well. I don't think that everyone needs to know a lot about theory to be an awesome guitarist, some people are just born with an amazing musical ability. I saw an interview with Eddie Van Halen and he said that didn't know anything about theory or scales or anything he just knew what notes sound good together on a guitar. I wasn't born with this amazing musical ability or ear so I want to know as much theory as posible.
Doz  
24 Mar 2008 10:11 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Karma: 10
I figure that having more knowledge on anything can only be a good thing. I just want to better, and to be able to keep up with other musicians.
JustJeff  
24 Mar 2008 10:43 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
You have to be careful though. Most academic music theory courses are more focused on classical music and composition than modern: there is a huge difference in the two.

Music Theory though, in its principles, is essential for a person to learn. To actually take lessons though is not needed. All you need is a demand for knowledge.
deefa  
24 Mar 2008 10:58 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
I learn theory on a "need to know" basis. If something that I'm trying to achieve requires some basic 'theoretical' knowledge I'm happy to sit down and learn it. Otherwise I'm happy to let 'gut instinct' do the work.
bodom  
24 Mar 2008 11:02 | Quote
Joined: way back
Canada
Lessons: 4
Karma: 5
Lessons can help and hurt it all depends on who is teaching you, and what they are teaching you. I first started off taking lessons from a guy who taught me out of some book. You can imagine how pumped I was about learning the song yankie doodle. He could have been the best guitar player in the world but he sucked at teaching. So I quit because I lost intrest, no surprise. Then I heard from a friend about this other guitar teacher. He had a waiting list, so I lucked out when a student moved away. This teacher opened my eyes and mind to guitar. He showed me this thing called theory. There was no yankie doodle in his teaching it was what I wanted to play. So he started to show me the music theory behind bands like Metallica, megadeth, etc. Alot of the stuff he showed me those bands probly didnt even realize themselves. But it sounded good. He showed me why it sounded good/worked. So some techers will make it boring and unintresting. Others will make you look at it in a whole new light.
JustJeff  
24 Mar 2008 12:18 | Quote
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United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
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les_paul  
24 Mar 2008 12:24 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
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Karma: 11
I have tried to learn on my own but music is very confusing to someone that doesn't understand what they are looking at to begin with. I am going to start taking lessons and I would advise anyone else that is having trouble on there own to do the same because if you hit a road block on something and you kind of sit in one spot for to long you will eventually lose interest.
Doz  
24 Mar 2008 12:56 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Karma: 10
Everything is easier with someone guiding you. I've never had a guitar teacher though - but I want to get one. Just need the spare cash really...
Notim  
24 Mar 2008 17:03 | Quote
Joined: 08 Dec 2007
United States
Karma: 9
Outstanding!
Notim  
24 Mar 2008 17:04 | Quote
Joined: 08 Dec 2007
United States
Karma: 9
And sometime you can teach with out saying a word.
league  
24 Mar 2008 18:04 | Quote
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United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 10
I like theory because I could show off to other people how I taught myself and what I can teach them. Other than that it's just brain candy.
Guitarslinger124  
24 Mar 2008 19:48 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
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Karma: 38
Moderator
I used to play a lot of stuff, I still do, that i hadnt the faintest idea what the hell i was playing. so i studied a little theory on my own until i knew just what it was i was playing. now ive found, that if i understand how and why something works, it makes it easier for me to play it. theory has helped me improve 110% as a guitar player.
Notim  
24 Mar 2008 20:24 | Quote
Joined: 08 Dec 2007
United States
Karma: 9
Shred on.
Guitarslinger124  
24 Mar 2008 22:50 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
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Karma: 38
Moderator
couldnt have said it better!
mattmurray  
26 Mar 2008 15:29 | Quote
Joined: 18 Sep 2007
United States
Karma: 5
Once I mastered all of the modes of the major scale, I passed up other guitarist friends of mine by a substantial amount... I played for 2 years before I learned any theory, and during that time I developed a good ear for it. But now that I know all of the scales I don't take as long to write stuff, I automatically know a set of notes that will work. It's extremely helpful.
bodom  
26 Mar 2008 17:59 | Quote
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Canada
Lessons: 4
Karma: 5
Thats an awesome point mattmurray. Thats what I try to explain to people when I tell them they should learn theory. Knowing the Keys and scales and how they work helps eliminate all those bad sounding notes.
blackholesun  
26 Mar 2008 19:29 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
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Moderator
I think I started to learn it because there was a lot of stuff about chord structure which I had no idea about. I had been having piano lessons for years but my teacher had never discussed theory other than the difference between major being happy and minor being sad. I gradually got bored of the stuff I was learning on piano so I bought some song books with the vocals and piano/keyboard part written as well in notation. There were lots of funny chords though, chords I had never seen before, 7ths, 9ths, suspensions, etc, so I decided to teach myself what they all meant. I think it's useful when you are talking to other musicians about your stuff, and also for increasing your range in terms of what notes you can play whilst sounding ok. I don't think it limits you at all in terms of what you can play and what you can't play. You could still learn theory and then say "F*ck that" and play what you want. I think it's like learning a language to be able to converse with other people. Say, if you are a English-speaking poet, and you want to write in French, then you are going to find it a lot easier and your work would be a lot better if you learnt a bit of French first. It expands your horizons, without limiting them.
les_paul  
26 Mar 2008 21:42 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
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I think it is good to spend time learning theory as long as you don't spend so much time studying theory that you start neglecting practice. You will end up with all this theory and no idea how to play it, but this applies more to the beginner than someone who has already honed there skills on the guitar.
marsdemartini  
15 May 2008 23:28 | Quote
Joined: 15 May 2008
United States
Karma: 1
Why?
Because kids in SamAsh and Guitar Center need to be taken down from their cover songs that they play in the store
GuitarBoy666  
16 May 2008 04:59 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
Karma: 2
I only learn scales and stuff. I am too stupid to know where to start, or what more to learn, or to even understand this shit. Some of y'all have explained it to me time & time again, but i still don't get it and it's pissing me off. lmao
SouthernGuy82  
30 May 2008 22:18 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
United States
Karma
I have been playing for about 3 years almost and I cant play lead. But yet my fingers are fast enough I just cant play lead worth a crap. I listen to a backing track and all I seem to do is play the note of the chord there in. I can play the scales but for some reason I cant do anything with them. I am stuck messin around with the basic chords just playing different stuff. I can play a little of Metallica, Ozzy, Staind, Eagles, Skynard, 3 Doors Down, Green Day. But when it comes to playing lead I just cant do it. Any ideas to what would get me that next step. People keep telling me just to practice but thats all I do and its not getting me anywhere. The wierd thing is I flew right past my dad on guitar and he has been playing for years and years. He can play lead better than me, and he isnt really that good. Does theory have something to do with why I am stuck in this huge rutt? And one other thing I know a guy thats been playing just as long as me and he playes Eruption like he created it. Now that just pisses me off.
BodomBeachTerror  
30 May 2008 22:22 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
i wouldnt mind learning it... i am MUCH to lazy tho
SouthernGuy82  
30 May 2008 22:26 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
United States
Karma
I should have made my previous statement a topic to help others, because I am sure I am not the only one with this problem!
Doz  
31 May 2008 10:45 | Quote
Joined: way back
United Kingdom
Karma: 10
Southerguy: yeah, maybe you should get some theory under your belt. Learn what scales go with what chord progressions and then you'll be safe to play all the notes. Keep things simple at the moment - but try to be a bit creative.
lopata  
22 Jan 2014 16:08 | Quote
Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Karma
i think music theory is very important...but i can place my fingers anywhere on the guitar and see how does it sound even thought that isnt a note...if you play only by using music theory you cant write unique songs cuz the music theory tells you what to do...if you dont listen to it you can find a lot of fine sounds...as i said the music theory is necesary too but i also think that sometimes all waht you have to do is to stop using music theory and to start listening yourself...the music theory gices to you limited options ....this is what i think
nullnaught  
22 Jan 2014 22:29 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
That is a complete misunderstanding of music theory. You learn the rules and how to break them. :)
thatguitarguy  
1 Apr 2014 17:41 | Quote
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
I learned the small amount of music theory I know so that I wouldnt have to keep going online to come up with new chords, arpeggios or scales.
pxm  
2 May 2014 09:47 | Quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Sweden
Licks: -3
Karma: 4
I love musictheory and harmony !!!! Its lots of fun....


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