Music theory

Bluesdog Paul

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
30
Location
Summerville, SC
I'm one of those old-school guys who just picked up a guitar and started whacking at it back around 1965 or so (do the math, that's more than 50 years ago). I never took lessons or was taught theory to the point I still do not read music or could tell you what scale I'm playing, yet I've directed contemporary and Spanish-language church choirs in the past. I guess I was always able to translate what I could hear in my head to actual arrangements and performance.

Having said that, I definitely think learning music theory is a huge benefit to any performing guitarist. There have been times (not many, but a few) where I felt handicapped by not having any formal education in it. I mean, I guess I sort of know theory, but I just don't know what it is I'm doing at times in formal terms. You can't play music actively this long without applying some rudimentary, wood-shed knowledge of it.

So, yes, I would suggest you do learn it, if you have the chance. But, don't get so locked into the technical part that you are unable to simply "jam" and improvise freely, without all the "dots and squiggles" on sheet music.
 

Mattsiatti

New Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
68
Location
Middle East/ uk / Bombay
I'm one of those old-school guys who just picked up a guitar and started whacking at it back around 1965 or so (do the math, that's more than 50 years ago). I never took lessons or was taught theory to the point I still do not read music or could tell you what scale I'm playing, yet I've directed contemporary and Spanish-language church choirs in the past. I guess I was always able to translate what I could hear in my head to actual arrangements and performance.

Having said that, I definitely think learning music theory is a huge benefit to any performing guitarist. There have been times (not many, but a few) where I felt handicapped by not having any formal education in it. I mean, I guess I sort of know theory, but I just don't know what it is I'm doing at times in formal terms. You can't play music actively this long without applying some rudimentary, wood-shed knowledge of it.

So, yes, I would suggest you do learn it, if you have the chance. But, don't get so locked into the technical part that you are unable to simply "jam" and improvise freely, without all the "dots and squiggles" on sheet music.
I ve met lots of great musicians who haven't had training or never learned why things work together or why they don't but they still have a great idea
At the moment I'm overseas in a fairly culturally sparse region, my performance is limited to playing music to my wife's poems and to be honest I'm so happy doing that, but I totally agree with you about jamming. I know I over think what I'm playing and sometimes you know, I can feel inhibited. At the end of the day a jam is all about having a laugh with your mates
 

ReptilianNosewood

New Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
184
I don't know, it's like math, it's just kind of there, beneath it all, whether you know it or not, so might as well know it, you know?

I had the same revelation, it exists regardless of an individuals feelings about it, and ultimately not learning it was me denying knowledge on a suject i am the most passionate about, which i could not live with. Still not a prolific theory person, but its one thing in my life that i am so grateful to have learned.
 

Volteau

the Bard
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
75
Location
San Juan, PR
For me, it's a complimentary thing. For example, I had to write the strings for my album, and so used guitar pro, but in order to use guitar pro, I needed to have some basic knowledge of music theory. Without it, the album would have come out completely different (I'll make a post later with 2 demo singles).
 

Mattsiatti

New Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
68
Location
Middle East/ uk / Bombay
For me, it's a complimentary thing. For example, I had to write the strings for my album, and so used guitar pro, but in order to use guitar pro, I needed to have some basic knowledge of music theory. Without it, the album would have come out completely different (I'll make a post later with 2 demo singles).
Awesome look forward to hearing
 
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