Home Forums Progress Review List of things to memorize in music theory

Viewing 67 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #38290
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      In Doug’s Speed & Accuracy course he says: “All of the notes on guitar are made up of these short basic patterns; so why not practice these patterns and get them really fast?” Totally true. Shortcut to better playing, based on just a couple basic fundamental techniques. Sarah’s Easy Modes does the same thing: “All the modes on the guitar are made up of these short basic patterns; so why not learn the basic mode pattern & move them anywhere?” Also totally true and it works.

      This is part 1 of my list of music fundamentals, all music theory is made up of these basic elements. Know these elements and they can be used to know anything in all of music theory. Best to just blatantly memorize & be able to quickly recite from memory in order to be considered solid at music theory. (I probably missed some stuff so I might edit this list later)

      I realized while going thru theory books that music theory is taught as if everyone is eight years old, and that is why it is so hard. “oh, lets only learn 3 note chord names, because students cant handle 4 notes yet..then learn 4 note chords because students cant handle 5 notes yet” ..etc. Sure, in “elite circles” the students are eight years old when they start classical theory..and these peeps grow up to go to Juliard and wear tuxedos and play strict & undanceable music which is a total disconnect from the normal world. If music theory were taught to adults the way adults are taught any other topic, it would be easy. No adult is given only three digits of a full phone number to be told, “ok, if you’re successful working with those first three numbers, then in 3 weeks we can learn the next 4 numbers, and then in two months we can learn the area code, and in six months we can try playing the full phone number on the keypad.” Duh, just do the whole thing at once.. otherwise the instructor is purposely shining-on the student. On day 1 of any fundamentals math class, a student can learn 1+1=2, but also, 1+1+1+1+1 and 2+5.

      Just Memorize stuff. None of actual fundamental theory has any requirement to “be able to read music” at all. Dont use mnemonics, no fancy sayings, just memorize like memorizing a security code to an office building. Do not ask why (wax on, wax off), do not make games. Just memorize by reciting several times a day for months and increasingly build speed.

      Note names in diatonic key of C. CDEFGAB. (thats like, step 1.)

      Ledger line order of sharps on staff. F C G D A E B.

      Ledger line order of flats on staff. B E A D G C F.

      Number of sharps in any of the keys: C G D A E B F# C#
      Number of flats in any of the keys: C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb
      Number of sharps in any of the keys: Am Em Bm F#m C#m G#m D#m A#m
      Number of flats in any of the keys: Dm Gm Cm Fm Bbm Ebm Abm

      Keys counted in ascending 5ths starting with C, the circle of fifths. C G D A E B F# C# G# D# A# E#

      Keys counted in descending 4ths starting with C, the circle of fourths. C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb Bb

      Keys counted in ascending 5ths starting with A, the circle of fifths in minor. Am Em Bm F#m C#m G#m D#m

      Keys counted in descending 4ths starting with A, the circle of fourths in minor. Am Dm Gm Cm Fm Bbm Ebm

      Name notes in ascending minor 3rds, starting with any note. (Major/relative minor calculation and chords)

      Name notes in ascending major 6ths, starting with any note. (Major/relative minor calculation)

      Order of notes on the treble staff in the spaces. D F A C E G B

      Order of notes on the treble staff on the lines. C E G B D F A

      Overtone series (harmonic series) of pitches as intervals, up to the tritone harmonic. Root Octave 5th Octave 3rd 5th m7th Octave 2nd 3rd Tritone

      Overtone series using pitch names, repeat for all roots, example given for C. C2 C3 G3 C4 E4 G4 Bb4 C5 D5 E5 Gb5

      Name the notes in the chord type, for the following 7 note chords, for every root note (example given for C).
      13. C13, C E G Bb D F A
      Minor 13. Cm13, C Eb G Bb D F A
      Major 13. Cmaj13, C E G B D A
      Half diminished 7. Cm7b5, C Eb Gb Bb
      Diminished 7. Cdim7, C Eb Gb Bbb
      Augmented 7. Caug7, C E G# Bb

      All other chords are subsets of the above! Easy.

      Scale formulas in whole, half, augmented steps, for the common scales:
      Major (WWHWWWH), Natural Minor, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, all 7 church modes, major pentatonic, minor pentatonic.

      List all notes in the scale for any of the above scales, starting on any root note, including sharp root notes, and flat root notes.

      Count and tap every possible combination of one bar, 4/4 rhythm using quarter and 8th notes. (i.e. 1,2,3,4. 1&2,3,4. 1 rest 3 4. 1—. etc.)
      Count and tap every possible combination of one bar, 3/4 rhythm using quarter and 8th notes. (i.e. 1,2,3. 1&23. 1 rest 23. 1–. etc.)
      Count and tap every possible combination of one bar, 4/4 rhythm using dotted notes. (i.e. 1,2,&4. etc.)
      Alternate which hands and feet are active for the tapping, in all combinations.

      Do all of the above at increasingly fast metronome speeds, up to 200 bpm quarter note tempo.

      Notice I didnt say “find all notes on the guitar”. Ok, thats actually hard, lol.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38291
      rightonthemark
      Participant

      honestly, all that seems like overload and would be discouraging.

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #38292
      Sarah Spisak
      Keymaster

      In a fraction of the time all of this would take you could learn the names of all the notes on the neck. I teach how to do this. 🙂

    • #38293
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Well, plenty of people complain about learning basic addition and subtraction and simple math problems, or having to write a book report in school. The answer is: do it or be left in the dust. Alternatively a private home instructor can string a student along for 5 years repeatedly re-teaching that yes, 1+1=2 or the notes in A are A,C#,E which is great repeat business for the music educators.

      This condensed thread is basically going to boil down 4 years of music theory according to textbooks into a 1-2 months of memorization, thats a lot of saved time. Regardless pro musicians do it anyways- because all those jazz students are constantly doing these exercises every day in their heads when they practice playing over chords, that is the style of the music. Essentially continual mental note exercises with 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, solved at tempo. Rock guitarists dont play that style (and I don’t want to, it sounds bad to me) so we don’t repeatedly rework the theory exercises when playing.

      I keep coming back to my guitarist jam buddy who spent $3,000+ to go to 2 week music workshops in Nashville including the one run by Victor Wooten. She raved about the food and the nature walks and I asked what she learned and she pulls out her music notebook and flips to an important page and says “ohh we spent a lot of time talking about scales, did you know, the tonic resolves, like, that is what it does, the tonic resolves!” She was very excited to have found this out. Now it’s cool she had a great vacation and I wished I could have joined her to meet all the cool music peeps too but she shouldn’t fool herself that it’s a musicians workshop where she will ‘learn music’.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38295
      rorygfan
      Participant

      This isn’t math, it is art and being creative isn’t it? If you want to read and write standard notation, teach or compose I guess. Back a year or more you were practicing ear training, so assuming if you have mastered that there should be no reason to go deeper with the above if you think about it. You were doing well on vocals too and sight reading. That skill of intervals in ear training has been more my focus and of course improving on my technical limitations and inabilities always.

      Memorizing basic triad chord shapes and the fretboard I agree is more important than instantly knowing say the 13th of a G flat minor chord. I watch Beato rattle off all this stuff since its his career, but it goes in one ear and out the other usually as he goes so fast, it doesnt impress me, ho hum… as long as you know how to figure it out or reference it, why memorize it? sure circle of 5ths, know how to figure out chord upper extensions but you can look at the fretboard and figure it out if you know caged system or your fretboard intervals. If it sounds good and you can master the ability to transmit your thoughts of what sounds good ahead of time to your fingers immediately of the “next note to play” (to quote Larry Carlton), don’t you think it might be a better use of time? If you want to be creative, you should just play and record yourself, stumble and make mistakes rather than thinking too much. My 2 cents.

      So, find a backing track and go jam over it or get your looper out instead!

    • #38296
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Randy Rhoads and Cliff Burton are both legends who had deep knowledge of theory, thats the only reason I need to justify studying it. Metallica fans still today pine about the loss of Cliff. Also the manager of the Beatles, George Martin, is continually said to have been the real reason the Beatles songs are continually loved, and he was a well trained classical pianist composer.

      Learning music theory isnt for everyone but for those who want to learn it, there sure is a lot of nonsense and pretense to wade thru. This thread is a much simpler and faster route. Music theory is really yucky, all the notation is just awful and not modernized, its 500 years old and no system should ever use roman numerals anymore but music still does, for no good reason, and the way it is taught, is like instructing grade school babies, it’s totally insulting for an adult in the modern world to be taught that way.

      I agree “naturals” or those with born talent probably dont need theory or very little of it, they play by ear. I obviously have no natural talent, that is for certain. I’m still trying to do ear training, I failed most of the self tests (tests based on classical music learning grades). I never passed the berklee online class which had a listening test and that pisses me off (especially since I paid for the class). I just don’t have the genetics for ear. So I’m still chasing that angle, maybe this year I can pass. These are the same tests that a high school music kid will take (and pass) after a few years of high school music classes.. so I’m still working to be at least as good as a 17 year old music kid.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38297
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Don’t go there with that Natural thing… Nope. Guitar is by far one of the most challenging skills of all the things I have attempted in many, many hobbies in all my years. Hard work and persistence, so change it up. Don’t beat yourself up on some test, forget about it and move forward it probably was on chord tone recognition (like beatos ear training videos?, playing piano tones…not for me) or notes from some tone module or piano intervals. Use your ear, paper, pencil, guitar and Audacity. Import a song and loop small segments, even down to 1 note even. Then write down note on the tab paper, later reenter on GP6 or 7. Dont waste time now to worry about the timing or note value, just the correct note. I mean, have you attempted to transcribe parts of songs this way to exercise your ear? Watch the procedure here, Look at how he does this, even he is using a trial and error method to determine notes! I never had a video transcription lesson like this, but to demonstrate to you how- I found this just now for you. This somewhat shocked me as this experienced instructor guy is Same repetitive procedure that I have done with my own tin ear!

      Sure memorize the theory above too, but years ago Sarah advised me to transcribe songs (with the tools of the time which were analog control), no easy software like now and it was some of the best advice ever. Your ear will develop logical fret positions to play unknown parts, which string/octave based on its sound, open string sounds, scale forms, etc. once you have the tab on paper, then if you wish figure out the note timing values for GP. The tricky part are ties across a bar, how to fit tripletts in, and tricky synchopation.

    • #38298
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Music theory is independent of the guitar. It applies to all instruments. It doesn’t require having a guitar in the lap. It is (or is supposed to be) the way to describe music to other musicians and definitely a way to write music down like transcription.

      I guess I’m going to have to consider this from a new angle, about rockers & metalheads becoming defensive or reactive, feeling threatened, when hardcore music theory is mentioned, that’s probably a thread for the sociologists or philosophers.

      Good video from Justin Guitar. But these tests I’m talking about, are even the simplified version of what a music school like UCLA gives for auditions for entry into their stuff, I’ll put it in another thread, the skill/talent they presume a kid has to meet, with only pencil and paper, is jaw dropping, Justin’s thing here would not fly. Look up videos on the Trinity School exams, that’s the european equivalent I think, not sure. It’s something like: they play an entire chord progression including licks, now write down all the notes, with correct rhythm, on paper, after listening to it only three times.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38299
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Music theory is independent of the guitar. It applies to all instruments. It doesn’t require having a guitar in the lap. It is (or is supposed to be) the way to describe music to other musicians and definitely a way to write music down like transcription.

      I guess I’m going to have to consider this from a new angle, about rockers & metalheads becoming defensive or reactive, feeling threatened, when hardcore music theory is mentioned, that’s probably a thread for the sociologists or philosophers.

      Good video from Justin Guitar. But these tests I’m talking about, are even the simplified version of what a music school like UCLA gives for auditions for entry into their stuff, I’ll put it in another thread, the skill/talent they presume a kid has to meet, with only pencil and paper, is jaw dropping, Justin’s thing here would not fly. Look up videos on the Trinity School exams, that’s the european equivalent I think, not sure. It’s something like: they play an entire chord progression including licks, now write down all the notes, with correct rhythm, on paper, after listening to it only three times.

      So, your goal has changed from learning guitar to composing music on standard notation for others to perform? If so, then great go for it, but there is certainly alot more than that list above. You need to learn about all different instruments tuning, articulation, orchestration dynamics, brass, woodwinds, precussion, jeeze… spend many years studying if you have the ambition, well that is admirable really. Tech though in a few years AI will it take over perhaps creatively?

      Why compare gifted kids exams at UCLA to yourself?

      Defensive? Huh? Who? Not sure of your target audience for this post then. General theory obviously shouldn’t be dismissed, and never said that. My point is that I thought you are steering in the wrong direction if your goal is to be a better guitarist. The depth and degree you suggest in the list above is overkill especially for an intermediate or beginner guitarist I think it is overwhelming. I wonder here, do genius level guitarists Gilmour, Gilbert, Satriani, Vai and creators use much of that being creative? Analyzing music logically and explaining it versus just doing it are way different. Or did these guys memorize and forget all of it after developing their ears? Good question. Or say maybe say someone like a Danny Elfman doing film scores, probably a graduate of a university too? Back to Beato, he rattles off all sorts of theory stuff explaining what is going on in a piece of music and I find it interesting and instructive. But does it stick in my head? Sure some of it does. But some of it seems very uninteresting.

      Take many fields there are the “technicians” and “scientists”, but named differently depending on their field and industry. There is an educational and experience divide between them, and for my career working with both imo- practical thinkers, pragmatism and getting the job done rarely is by a scientist. Many scientists are overschooled and skip the hands on experience, buried in writing papers and dreaming theories up.

      So what is your ultimate goal with music or guitar? Play live? Record? Compose? Write scores?

    • #38300
      rightonthemark
      Participant

      Defensive? Huh? Who? Not sure of your target audience for this post then. General theory obviously shouldn’t be dismissed, and never said that. My point is that I thought you are steering in the wrong direction if your goal is to be a better guitarist. The depth and degree you suggest in the list above is overkill especially for an intermediate or beginner guitarist I think it is overwhelming.

      i was sort of thinking the same thing.
      especially considering this is a metal method guitar lesson forum.
      many of us are interested in theory as it pertains to playing guitar.
      things that will make us better and more fluent on the instrument.
      even that has varying degrees and purposes.

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #38302
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      This goes way back to when I first had to play in a gig out in the desert. Myself & my fellow neighborhood guitarist were trying to rapidly (like, within 15 days) learn like 25 songs to play for the vocalist who hired us to play as her classic rock band. We ended up cutting some songs out and I think played 18 or something. Using music theory is always going to be faster than trial & error. But we didn’t even know basics like what scale or key a song was using and as typical, internet tab was only half-right. The vocalist had said “I have a songbook of all the songs so you will easily know how to play them” then showed up with a stack of printouts from ezchords dot com [facepalm!]. The vocalist had paid top local studio musicians to “record her songs” (actually, write most of it, except lyrics were hers) and she had paid to have 2 music videos professionally done, so she thought she was hot stuff.. she also bragged “I dont know anything about music or music theory, music just comes to me” and then she would sing off-beat and not know what key a song was in. I guess she thought myself & my friend would come in, “play just like the typical pro” she was used to, so to speak, but, there’s a big difference between my skills and a pro studio musician’s skills (hopefully the gap which is getting smaller).

      It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it.

      In the Justin Guitar video, I believe those skilled kids would do it completely by ear. i.e. they would hum the melody, and simply write the notes down on paper. No guitar or piano or anything needed. Sure they might use a guitar if they had it, but that would also be more time consuming and to their skill level, unnecessary.

      I also believe that metal would be in much better shape if more guitarists used this stuff. We complain about the state of rock and how young bands sound all the same. Guaranteed that Maroon 5 does not know any music theory. Randy Rhoads did! So did Robby Krieger, when he joined The Doors (the first song he ever wrote: Light My Fire) along with the other members like Manzerek being accomplished jazz players yet still heavy metal heads (except Densmore who apparently was always square), and it is said that at least one of their songs literally started the punk sound. So what’s the next thing after finishing the Basic Course and Sarah’s classes? To me it should be some deep details about music, but the way that the subject is taught today, all ivory tower, makes it impenetrable.

      And also, I have found tons of incorrect information about music theory on internet pages about theory and on forums, for example a couple weeks ago, I randomly replied to something on reaper forum, and there was a response a page long to my short comment which had many basic theory flaws in it (of course, from a user who replied saying he had “studied theory”), actually last year I would not have known the statements were incorrect. Again it is not that it is hard stuff. It is just too much bad information, too much Beato-style junk, and no actually correct substance. Back when MAB released his Star Licks program, the same situation existed for playing guitar – tons of bad information and mysticism. Don’t forget that there was a guy actually selling imitation Iommi “finger thimbles” so metalheads could “play just like Iommi’s sound”. Both MAB and Doug solved this, created the most successful guitar lesson programs in history, and elevated all guitarists’ playing to extreme levels. I believe the same bad-understanding or lack-of-good-materials problem exists today about music theory. Part of that is because the notation methods for music are horribly bad too, and the ‘elites’ dont want to improve it.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38304
      bdickens
      Participant

      Music Theory is great. It is a very valuable thing to learn and absolutely no one should be discouraged from doing so.

      However, I had 4 semesters of music theory in college and honestly I have forgotten most of it and actually use even less.

      Byron Dickens

    • #38305
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Do you remember what textbook you used? I had been trying to go thru the most often recommended and assigned one, a really thick hardcover by Walter Piston, that I got at a library book sale for $1.00. It was so confusing. Then I finally figured out from looking at other textbooks, that Piston is the only one who uses roman numerals improperly, and on purpose. He always uses upper case. So I kept trying to figure out why for example the 2 chord is II in his “legitimate” textbook yet is called ii everywhere else. What a drag, I wish I had never tried studying it, all because he had a hair up his elitist butt about not using lower case.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38306
      rorygfan
      Participant

      This goes way back to when I first had to play in a gig out in the desert. Myself & my fellow neighborhood guitarist were trying to rapidly (like, within 15 days) learn like 25 songs to play for the vocalist who hired us to play as her classic rock band. We ended up cutting some songs out and I think played 18 or something. Using music theory is always going to be faster than trial & error. But we didn’t even know basics like what scale or key a song was using and as typical, internet tab was only half-right. The vocalist had said “I have a songbook of all the songs so you will easily know how to play them” then showed up with a stack of printouts from ezchords dot com [facepalm!]. The vocalist had paid top local studio musicians to “record her songs” (actually, write most of it, except lyrics were hers) and she had paid to have 2 music videos professionally done, so she thought she was hot stuff.. she also bragged “I dont know anything about music or music theory, music just comes to me” and then she would sing off-beat and not know what key a song was in. I guess she thought myself & my friend would come in, “play just like the typical pro” she was used to, so to speak, but, there’s a big difference between my skills and a pro studio musician’s skills (hopefully the gap which is getting smaller).

      It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it.

      In the Justin Guitar video, I believe those skilled kids would do it completely by ear. i.e. they would hum the melody, and simply write the notes down on paper. No guitar or piano or anything needed. Sure they might use a guitar if they had it, but that would also be more time consuming and to their skill level, unnecessary.

      I also believe that metal would be in much better shape if more guitarists used this stuff. We complain about the state of rock and how young bands sound all the same. Guaranteed that Maroon 5 does not know any music theory. Randy Rhoads did! So did Robby Krieger, when he joined The Doors (the first song he ever wrote: Light My Fire) along with the other members like Manzerek being accomplished jazz players yet still heavy metal heads (except Densmore who apparently was always square), and it is said that at least one of their songs literally started the punk sound. So what’s the next thing after finishing the Basic Course and Sarah’s classes? To me it should be some deep details about music, but the way that the subject is taught today, all ivory tower, makes it impenetrable.

      And also, I have found tons of incorrect information about music theory on internet pages about theory and on forums, for example a couple weeks ago, I randomly replied to something on reaper forum, and there was a response a page long to my short comment which had many basic theory flaws in it (of course, from a user who replied saying he had “studied theory”), actually last year I would not have known the statements were incorrect. Again it is not that it is hard stuff. It is just too much bad information, too much Beato-style junk, and no actually correct substance. Back when MAB released his Star Licks program, the same situation existed for playing guitar – tons of bad information and mysticism. Don’t forget that there was a guy actually selling imitation Iommi “finger thimbles” so metalheads could “play just like Iommi’s sound”. Both MAB and Doug solved this, created the most successful guitar lesson programs in history, and elevated all guitarists’ playing to extreme levels. I believe the same bad-understanding or lack-of-good-materials problem exists today about music theory. Part of that is because the notation methods for music are horribly bad too, and the ‘elites’ dont want to improve it.

      You didn’t mention your end goal really. Once you memorize all that stuff then will you feel accomplished? If so, go for it. You compared the gifted kids to Justin trial and error, like how does each compare to learning? Children are much better at learning say a language than adults. Trial and error gets the job done and when you repeat it over and over there tends to be less error and more through-put. Sight singing as a goal, would be beyond great if you can achieve that.

      There are all sorts of reasons other than knowing music theory why things are the way they are, we have been through those quite a few times Pop, Rock, Metal music and any others state now are multiple factors that affected where we are today. Corporate hit making teams creating music that sounds the same, The audience has been conditioned to accept rap and wimp rock as being great, the audience size severely shrunk at least in the US, the “rock star” dream is not the same as 70’s-80’s, digital distribution while convenient does not help, concerts are the money makers not Albums, radio and MTV are no longer relevsnt, Rock music isnt a central focus for the center of a young persons universe like it used to be- when Kanye sells 100 million whatever in his short career speaks for itself.

      Tab even published in printed books is incorrect. But useful to get started. Like a jazz fake book (tab I have seen numerous times where the key signature is correct) The jazz player can sight read and improvise simply because he memorized chord tones as well as being fluid on the fretboard.

      Ivory tower teaching? That’s a good one. Maybe lack of innovation, peer pressure by snobby traditionalists, lots of reasons. This past decade has seen lots of “disruption”, so maybe something new in music theory learning will be introduced. Then again the guitar “industry” is driven by a continuous stream of newbies who buy all the stuff and it sits and collects dust. But YT certainly proves there are plenty of talented people around the world playing guitar.

    • #38308
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      That is exactly right. There are so many guitarists.. many of them amazingly good. Do I need to compete against that? Maybe not. Can they write a track like Dan Mumm? Nope. Metallica hasn’t written a good album in twenty+ years. Metal needs more good songwriters or guys like Cliff. It seems bands go into a studio and the producer puts together the pieces, not the musicians. Metal needs less cookie monster growl vocals and instead good melody & lyrics which inspire the circle pit. I’m also surprised by the number of long time gigging musicians I run into locally who haven’t really learned anything ‘new’ since they were 19 years old playing The Rolling Stones when the albums first came out.. they can play all those songs amazingly well but if I ask, have you written anything yourself I might check out, or recorded anything, or can you play something I wrote if I give you the sheet and maybe record? They say: nah I’ve never really done that or been into that. Actually the jazz players are almost the worst for this in a way, because if it’s not called ‘jazz’ they don’t feel it’s worthy, yet they don’t write charts, I guess they do everything by neck patterns and by ear. My neighbor the jazz drummer had choice complaints about the jazz guitarists not being able to provide him with charts or anything for him to practice & rehearse with, now he refuses to play with those guys because he says it is a waste of his time and not fun if he doesn’t know how to improvise over their originals. The guitarists need to learn from these stories.

      The stereotyping joke goes like this. A producer walks by a recording session and hears a guitarist ripping out amazing licks so he runs in the room and hits the Record button and says, “Wow! Play that again!” The guitarist says “ok”, and plays something different. The producer says, “no no, play those phrases you played before! They were amazing!” The guitarist says “ok” and again plays something different. The producer gives up and leaves. Because the guitarist doesn’t know what he’s playing, so he can’t repeat what he played a minute ago.

      I was lucky enough to go to a George Lynch clinic. It was awesome. And that’s the understatement of the decade. But, he said he wished he knew more theory, and knows absolutely none. He’s really up there in age now. All these years he has seemingly been 100% dedicated to music, he is a die hard musician, guitarist, even luthier. Why didn’t he just spend the time earlier, if he says he should know more, or spend the time in the early 2000’s when nothing good was happening in metal. Nearly everyone says: learning theory will not handicap playing, won’t prevent creativity, it only enhances it. I would be willing to bet that he would have played for Ozzy for a while, if he had been as good at theory in those years, as he is at shredding. I wouldn’t want to be a jerk at a clinic to ask Lynch “so why didntya invest time to study theory after all these years??” but it would be very interesting to know why he has avoided it for so long, or why any touring pro guitarist has avoided it. MAB actively makes fun of the squares teaching theory in his interviews and live streams, it’s painful to learn it from the ‘institutions of learning’.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38311
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Why do you want to compete? Art isn’t a competition. Its not just Metallica, its many bands. There are very few EVH’s who can compose as many great songs as he did and melodies over a long career and without knowing theory.

      Interesting in that you mention importance of melodies as a couple years ago you were questioning me about that. So I guess within your studies and listening you now have more of an idea of what is possible. So give me a few example of great melodies you have discovered lately.

      I was watching a video, I think it was Bonamassa Nerdville interview but the point was about how many great melodies Neil Schon has written in his tunes. I was never a big fan of them, but thinking about this as far as creating memorable melodies, it is certainly is true.

      I don’t know why being able to exactly reproduce a solo in the studio without playing along overdubbing or doubling it has anything negative to be said about the musician. Rory was famous for live performances and non-exact note for note solos but what set him apart from other guitarists is improvising from his library of licks the mixed and matched. I have 50-60 audience made audio recordings from venues all over, and it’s amazing to see how cool some of them are. The studio recordings never were as good as his live stuff imo.

      I watched a George Lynch clinic outside San Diego area on youtube, it was interesting and nice to see the crowd enthusiasm. Again, here is a creative guy that has a good ear or conceptualizes well his music. Why would he need to know theory with that ability? I am sure he knows enough theory to get by with. Could he pass the test you posted? Probably not writing the score, but I bet he could play on guitar immediately.

    • #38407
      bdickens
      Participant

      Do you remember what textbook you used? I had been trying to go thru the most often recommended and assigned one, a really thick hardcover by Walter Piston, that I got at a library book sale for $1.00. It was so confusing. Then I finally figured out from looking at other textbooks, that Piston is the only one who uses roman numerals improperly, and on purpose. He always uses upper case. So I kept trying to figure out why for example the 2 chord is II in his “legitimate” textbook yet is called ii everywhere else. What a drag, I wish I had never tried studying it, all because he had a hair up his elitist butt about not using lower case.

      That’s quite the display of hubris, there, for you to sit here claiming that Walter Piston is wrong on music theory when his is the definitive text on the matter.

      Anyhow, you’re really barking up the wrong tree in more ways than one.

      Firstly, music theory as taught in school is that of Common Practice, or what we think of as “Classical Music” which actually encompasses the Baroque through Romantic periods. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_practice_period

      Once you move outside that, Common Practice really doesn’t make sense. Move back to Renaissance or Medieval music: Common Practice theory does not apply. Move up to 20th century composers?: Common Practice theory does not apply. Blues? Metal? : Common Practice theory does not apply. The music of other cultures? : Common Practice theory REALLY does not apply.

      As far as the “incorrect information” you bemoaned elsewhere, your incessant search for the “One True Way” is going to doom you to a lifetime of frustration. ‘Cause there ain’t none such. There’s often more than one way to describe the same thing and a lot of it boils down to context or even *gasp* personal preference.

      Byron Dickens

    • #38408
      A.C.
      Participant

      I spent two yrs. in college studying theory. What I learned is that, at least as far as modes and scales go, I just didn’t know the name of what I was playing. But as far as use, I was good to go. To quote my theory teacher’s, who was also a jazz pianist, response to someone who was stone cold on being a theory snob,”Theory is a set of rules. While they are helpful in learning and application of what to do over certain melodies, they are just that. They are a set of rules. Rules are meant to be broken. if they weren’t, then everyone would sound the same, and there would be no stylistic individuality”.

      So many of my favorites did or do not replicate every solo, note for note, night after night. They probably couldn’t pass the above quiz. They also probably couldn’t care less. I watched a video of Jordan Rudess picking apart Petrucci’s earlier live solo for being so “diatonic”. What he did was basically pick apart the very thing that made it great. I actually prefer earlier John to the latter for this very reason. His playing had more “style”, or at least to me, his playing spoke to me more in his early days.

      As far as helping me? Well, I did the time, learned it, use what I like, and ignore the rest. I visualize my fretboard much like Lynch in that I see shapes, know what those shapes sound like, and use them. It doesn’t matter if they are technically correct or not. If I hear an overtone in a chord, that’s what I go for. In rock and roll it’s so much easier to get away with that because there is more “implied” tones than actual “played” tones chordally speaking.

    • #38409
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Well yeah, Piston is incorrect. Everybody uses lower case for roman numerals for a minor chord, except Piston. No one else seems to say chords go like I, II, III, … except Piston. So yup, he made a big mistake in his choice there. And his mistake confused me for a year! I don’t like roman numerals because I find them hard to read, but at least use them like everyone else does. As well as that he basically dismisses all of modes and says, ‘only major and minor are used in western music’. Which is also a big mistake from what I can tell because even if he is talking about that old period of music, it seems to be a flawed point too, there was music with modes just not in church. It seems like a lot of current textbooks are having to unwind the stodgy-elitist-old-white-guy positions of previous era’s textbooks because of trying to get rid of that prior generation’s style of cultural-superiority. The newer books I’ve tried to read thru recently do not take these attitudes. But there is one huge confusion in this new textbook, it keeps calling a I64 as a V, something about “it sounds like a V so we will notate it as a V64”, totallllly confusing and it’s the only textbook I found in the library which does it that way. It’s like everything is upside-down in that book topic.

      I was talking to my jazz guitarist neighbor about how a bunch of theory doesn’t seem to match up in practice. He said the same thing I’ve heard elsewhere, basically “Well it isn’t supposed to be exact, and that lets you interpret it, and that’s where the creativity is”. Mostly saying, well okay, just because the chord says “II” instead of “ii”, everybody kind of knows what the 2 generally means, so you just interpret it in your own way, and that’s art. Ummm I’m not on board with that. Make art, that’s fine, but write what it is correctly, not write it incorrectly and make an excuse that the msitake is OK because it will just be interpreted by the player later. The same way I hate incorrect internet tab’s, fix the mistakes in the tab, don’t say “well it’s a good starting point for creativity, it shouldn’t be correct.” I haven’t talked to him for a while, last year he got genuinely pissed at me, that I’d insist “all musicians in bands should write charts.. how else is anyone supposed to rehearse what they’re supposed to be playing?” and stuff, because he doesn’t do that for any of his originals, he took it really personally, like, got red in the face, kind of extreme. (Funny thing is, one of his drummers agreed with me, wishes he wrote charts for the band, so its not like I’m wrong, lol) I think in reality he doesn’t know how to write charts, even though he says he uses Band In A Box all the time, and instead of asking his bandmates for help writing charts, he just developed a bad ego problem about that chunk of music theory.

      I’m not sure I’ve talked to any local musicians who said “I wish I knew less.” Even young guys I talked to at open mics, who were making beats (mostly for rappers) by using MIDI and software etc, even they said, “I only write in MIDI.. or I take loops and cut them up, make them all messed up.. yeah I wish I knew how to read music..” Even George Lynch has said it, “I wish I knew ….. yeah I just play.” Well, I wish I knew why he doesn’t know. Couldn’t he memorize the stuff on my list and then suddenly know most of it? I think so? What did George Martin contribute to The Beatles which made them so phenomenal? I think a big chunk of it is in my list, at least the basics.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38410
      bdickens
      Participant

      Really, man, you should do some basic research before putting your foot in your mouth.

      “Typically, uppercase Roman numerals (such as I, IV, V) are used to represent major chords, while lowercase Roman numerals (such as ii, iii, vi) are used to represent minor chords (see Major and Minor below for alternative notations). However, some music theorists use upper-case Roman numerals for all chords, regardless of chord quality.[2]”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numeral_analysis

      [Emphasis mine]

      So here you are, admittedly confused by all this, just getting started, and you’re going to try to tell us that the author of one of the definitive textbooks on music theory is wrong? That’s just rich.

      Get over yourself.

      I saw Roman Numeral analysis done both ways in school. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Doesn’t matter. Wait ’till you run into the Nashville Number System. Or Figured Bass.

      Far from dismissing the modern modes, Piston discusses them in Chapter 5. After giving an example from Brahms’ 4th Symphony, he notes “Instances like the above, of the use of modes other than major and minor, are fairly numerous… but are by no means frequent enough to be called common practice.” (Harmony, 49)

      Earlier, upon introducing the concept, he says of the modes “… Several of these scales are central to the pretonal music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; we will study them in detail in Part Two… in connection with their reappearance in nineteenth-century music.”

      Incidentally, the modern modes are NOT the same as the Church modes, which are not the same as the Greek .

      I’m telling you, if you can ever learn to tolerate ambiguity and to live in the world of what is instead of what if, you will have a much happier and more productive life. Your Jazz guitarist neighbor has the right attitude.

      Byron Dickens

    • #38417
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Why is it such a big deal if I think Piston is a wrong? The world standardizes. Every good discipline standardizes. Piston chose wrong. “Some music theorists” from wikipedia, they are also wrong. What’s more, there’s lots of musicians who agree that Piston’s way is “the old way, we do not do it like that anymore, ever.” I’m not going to worship Piston. Especially when he made a clearly poor choice to begin with, by picking symbols which are ambiguous. Who knows what other poor choices he made, if that is done so early on. There’s only one practical reason why he might have chosen that, and it was because typesetting for music was really hard until recently (somewhere there’s a good article on music typesetting that said they were still using etched plates or something even until the 80s), so it was very expensive and probably quite a bit of work to make both lowercase and uppercase (“ii” and “II”) along with staff. Quoting wikipedia proves nothing if I can point to multiple other modern music textbooks which explain, with real world examples, in their author notes why they use lowercase and why only using uppercase is wrong, or why other aspects of notation are no longer acceptable, aka: now considered wrong. You can think anything you like, it doesn’t bother me. Common language is better, geez, trying to figure out music during a rehearsal while the clock is ticking on a paid studio room, expensive, I don’t want to waste time if someone argues “no it’s two minor” and someone else says “no it’s two major” because either the chart was written ambiguously, or there is no chart. I sat in on some jazz rehearsals. The band leader got pissed when someone used M (capital M) instead of the triangle on their chart because according to that guy, he doesn’t put up with ambiguous symbols which lead to avoidable mistakes. In my rehearsal of the one song I was playing with them, I played 4 bars of the intro instead of 8 (the chart said 8) because we had practiced it that way twice before the band leader came in, and he didn’t know that, he stopped me and said “YOU screwed it up. DONT do that again, this is going to be LIVE.” I didn’t argue or complain, I played it correctly to the chart like he obviously wanted (opposite of what the band had rehearsed before, without a correct chart). That’s the real world, and I need to ‘get over myself’? Hardly…! I don’t like jazz, but I know which way of working is better. Quote wikipedia all day, it doesn’t make it work in the real world.

      And actually, my jazz guitarist neighbor lost his drummer, this is a jazz drummer who is good (i.e. reads drum tab, writes jazz music, taught at jazz drum school long ago), probably the best in the local area for “dad band” jazz. The drummer told me: “I won’t play with him anymore, I’m into making music, I’m not a metronome, if he’s not going to write charts so I can play real music, I’m out.” Which explains why my jazz guitarist neighbor has been playing with his friend-but-2nd-rate-drummer for the past year+. That result speaks for itself, but if you want to say, ” Your Jazz guitarist neighbor has the right attitude” that is fine… if you believe I need to “get over myself”, well, you can believe whatever you like..

      Roman numerals themselves are a poor choice. They’re hard to read. I heard something last year that was facepalm-able, it was in a music history context. The notation was created during the time the art world was worshipping roman art and architecture (and purposely distancing from what they considered too-ancient, not-scholarly-enough greek). So that’s probably why (no one is entirely sure) the music scholars chose roman numerals rather than something easier to actually write. So music notation is politically motivated. Here we are 400 years later and still stuck with IV’s and V’s. Imagine if musicians picked something smarter, like greek letters, like physicists did (probably after physicists fought over which was easier to read and write!)…none of this confusion would even exist anymore.

      Btw, the 2nd-rate-drummer I mention above? I ran into him in town recently and after he asked what I’ve been doing, I mentioned I was looking for a drummer to record some of the songs I wrote. I mentioned, I have the drum tab from the songs, the song charts, or I could give the wav file if he wanted to record these by ear, all of these are from what I have written in Guitar Pro. He said: “Aww, I can’t read drum tab.. I wish I knew more about that and could read music, if you’re studying theory that’s great, I wish I knew more theory. I just learn by playing by ear, just repeatedly play it.” So yeah, basically the same things I’ve been saying all along, but keep thinking I need to change my attitude, I guess… Drum tab only a recent concept, which many drummers can’t read, and still isn’t standardized.. but imagine how many hours of painful drum map editing in a DAW would be eliminated if the drum notation were completely standardized. No more “ok this software puts the kick on this note.. and this drum vst expects the kick on this other note…”.. confusion and a waste of time, leading to annoying busywork to fix it. Just like writing “ii” as “II” is added confusion and waste of time, if what is meant is really minor 2.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38426
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Maybe instead of roman numerals, emoji’s. Why would anyone waste time ton’s of time writing painful, complicated midi drum grooves anyway? Where are all the midi files online? Used to be Plenty of freely shared non commercially produced midi files. Just cut and paste, duplicate. Plenty of WAV drum samples and grooves to choose from now in libraries but those I purchased way back and they are not with the overbearing license terms now.

    • #38427
      rightonthemark
      Participant

      …I visualize my fretboard much like Lynch in that I see shapes, know what those shapes sound like, and use them.

      that’s pretty much how i visualize the fretboard.
      i used to see complete scale boxes and i still do to some degree.
      but recently i started to focus on smaller chunks.
      and then just like with the complete boxes i see how they connect to other shapes.
      makes it easier to move around while improvising.

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #38431
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Maybe instead of roman numerals, emoji’s.

      My criteria is that being able to verbally communicate music should be a big priority. As well as being able to type it. It is nuts for a musician to say something like this: “It’s one six four five four four three five seven one” … That’s just no way to communicate.. It’s no wonder that when asking a music teacher anything, they immediately go to the guitar or to their piano, “Oh, it’s just (plays their instrument) and then it goes (plays their instrument) and then (plays their instrument)” … Literally there is no way to communicate what it is without playing it, then everyone wonders why music is impervious to understanding.. so musicians blow the whole thing off and say “Well it doesn’t matter because music is done by listening and feeling anyway!” That’s just a big excuse. It’s year 2020 and still can’t type on a computer keyboard or even ipad, a “one six four” and by that, it means I6/4 but obviously those characters should be stacked like a fraction.

      I don’t know what would happen if a greek alphabet were used, but it couldnt be worse than what exists now. Some basic chord can’t even be easily written on a chart without squeezing all the letters together because it is so complex to write viio6 or just slightly more complex like viio6/V or whatever. Wouldn’t it be so much better to use the letter psi and say “it goes to psi”. (Very quirky that the forum won’t let me type the letter psi without rejecting this message)

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38436
      bdickens
      Participant

      Why is it such a big deal if I think Piston is a wrong?

      Because you don’t know what you’re talking about, but here you are pontificating as if you are an expert.

      The world standardizes. Every good discipline standardizes.

      You are so right. Windows. And MacOS. Oh yeah , Linux. BSD….

      “Some music theorists” from wikipedia, they are also wrong.

      Why? Because you say so?

      What’s more, there’s lots of musicians who agree that Piston’s way is “the old way, we do not do it like that anymore, ever.”

      Like who?

      Quoting wikipedia proves nothing…

      It proves you don’t know what you’re talking about. While my committee might not let me use Wikipedia as a source for my doctoral dissertation, it is generally pretty accurate .

      …if I can point to multiple other modern music textbooks which explain, with real world examples, in their author notes why they use lowercase and why only using uppercase is wrong, or why other aspects of notation are no longer acceptable, aka: now considered wrong.

      Well, then, please do so instead of bloviating.

      .

      ..trying to figure out music during a rehearsal while the clock is ticking on a paid studio room, expensive, I don’t want to waste time if someone argues “no it’s two minor” and someone else says “no it’s two major” because either the chart was written ambiguously, or there is no chart.

      A REAL musician – the kind you like to go on and on about – would automatically know that if we are playing in the Major mode that the II chord is minor. Putting a major chord there would make it an altered chord, in which case the alteration would be notated.

      My criteria is that being able to verbally communicate music should be a big priority. As well as being able to type it. It is nuts for a musician to say something like this: “It’s one six four five four four three five seven one” … That’s just no way to communicate…

      And why not? Musicians have been communicating that way for hundreds of years. You’re the only one who gets all wound around the axle about it.

      It’s no wonder that when asking a music teacher anything, they immediately go to the guitar or to their piano, “Oh, it’s just (plays their instrument) and then it goes (plays their instrument) and then (plays their instrument)” … Literally there is no way to communicate what it is without playing it, then everyone wonders why music is impervious to understanding.. so musicians blow the whole thing off and say “Well it doesn’t matter because music is done by listening and feeling anyway!” That’s just a big excuse.

      Don’t ever, EVER, form an interest in any of the musics of other cultures. Your head will explode.

      You ought to change your name to Don Quixote….

      Byron Dickens

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by bdickens.
    • #38438
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      I don’t really know what your problem is. Go take a vacation. If you want to hero-worship Piston that is your business. In the real world I would never, ever be a jerk to someone who is having a difficult time learning a subject, lets say shop class, and say “oh, you don’t understand english measurements and fractions, everybody else knows that, and you have no right to complain that metric should be used instead.” If you commonly tell people “oh go get a clue” when they rightfully complain that a subject is purposely made difficult for no reason, it would be 100% in line with your responses here. I guess you don’t realize how elitist you are being. “Ohh if I learned it, and these other musicians learned it after decades, then you should to, and not complain about the way it is purposely made more difficult than it should be.” Meanwhile you have the same problems that I have specifically outlined here, you can’t communicate verbally what theory is either, because it is nearly impossible, yet you’re blind to this. How you reach a conclusion like “you dont know what you’re talking about” is simply you being a bully. Go look on any one of the dozen MOOCs on music theory to read thousands of messages from people around the world who are trying to learn music theory yet struggle because the notation is confusing. I have had trained musicians tell me that the two chord in phrygian is II which it is not, it is bII, and these musicians were being paid to sit in on gigs, and formally educated. Musicians themselves don’t even know what they’re talking about most of the time yet blow it off “oh it doesnt matter, we just play, oh, everybody knows that awkward mistaken notation isn’t really how it goes.” Just tons of excuses all around. I don’t have to look far to see I am right and my opinion is incredibly common sense.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38442
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Just to be one million percent clear on this ridiculous argument about the notation of minor chords needing to be lowercase, and using uppercase is incorrect, here is a page from the study guide for the AP music theory exam, which says that roman numerals must be capitalized properly (i.e. use lower case for minor, uppercase for major, otherwise the notation will be wrong and the answer will be marked wrong). Piston uses all uppercase for roman numerals for both major and minor in his textbook which is completely incorrect and misleading, period, end of story. Do it Piston’s way and the result will be failure on the music theory exam. No one does it Piston’s way anymore, probably haven’t since the 70’s-80’s, therefore his incorrect notation adds confusion.

      roman-numerals-requirement

      And even with the above, if still there is aaaaaany doubt about how confusing music theory can be with this disregard for common sense, call up some real-life music theorists around LA and ask them if they would accept someone writing “II” for “ii”. They would clearly expect proper lowercase for minor chords. Call up the music department at UC Irvine, Department of Music, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, 949-824-6615 and ask, tho I’ll summarize what they will say. I have talked to many highly trained musicians (i.e. masters degrees in classical music from prestigious universities, who are paid classical music performers) in the past year or so of digging into music theory. Or should I say, I pester musicians I meet with questions, who mostly agree with common sense points I ask them about. These include classical performing musicians during community ‘symphony’ concerts and 1-on-1 conversations after classical symphony performances, for example at one of the top concert halls in the world (really it should be seen to be believed.. the acoustics are phenomenal), Soka performance center south of LA, and the classical musicians are the same professors who actively teach at UC riverside, CSU northridge, UCLA, USC, all these top-ranked places around los angeles, write their own textbooks, etc, and they have directly told me, after I ask them what textbooks they study and why: no, we do not use Piston anymore, one reason being that the notation is confusing. One composer-lecturer-award winning music theorist gave me a stronger opinion and essentially said he hates Piston’s notation and even though he uses some pages of the Piston book, he never teaches from the book anymore. But oh bring it on about how I “dont know what I’m talking about” … not.

      Now the Twilight Zone aspect is this: musicians should be open minded, right? Because they’re in the creative art where they’re constantly trying to invent new songs or tones or find new sounds? And rock musicians especially are non-conformists who reject the status quo? So they should welcome innovation or new ways of looking at music, and be very ready to reject mistakes from the past.. right? Actually in practice it seems musicians (especially internet musicians) are some of the most close-minded people I have talked to online, fragile and easily threatened when their world view is challenged. Especially when it comes to music theory, any suggestion that the system doesn’t work well, will start tons of trolling and flames. I started a thread on reaper forum assuming some computer programmers there might be forward looking and want to innovate and use software for this, but no, it turned into a snowball of dozens of nonsensical replies essentially boiling down to: “You can’t threaten my learning of music theory! And even if there were a better way, no one would use it! I’ve been playing jazz guitar for 40 years and I ain’t needed that yet!” It seems jazz players might be the worst offenders, which is totally ironic given that jazz is supposed to be the most ‘open’ of music styles. As a whole, it is completely ridiculous and baffling, so if anyone wants their eyeballs to bleed by reading the thread on reaper forum: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=2170135 but I don’t recommend reading it. Just more fodder which reenforces why music theory is confusing, should be simplified, and made consistent. Gigging musicians themselves actively engage in a kind of subterfuge against others learning music theory.. kind of unbelievable.. though I believe it in retrospect, because after all, legendary blues musicians even including B.B.King actively promoted the ideas that people have to be born with blues in order to play it (otherwise “you aren’t playing the real blues”), or have to make a deal with the devil to be musical, etc etc, in an effort to protect their own profession and gigging opportunities (all for $$$). Somewhere on the forum here there’s my post about an amateur musician on the songwriting contest forum, who got so frustrated with my questions about correctly using modes, along with dozens of other songwriters there, and later misinterpretation of my feedback on her song, that she wrote her next song about me, “I’m going to kill you, and wish you were dead” (??! so ridiculous that it ends up being funny). All because I insisted that the musicians there explain how to correctly write music using modes, without any fudging or hemming & hawing. Instead of admitting “We don’t know how to do that” or “I don’t know the answer”, their response was rage.

      Meanwhile, there is a lot of continual research going on about music theory, it is not stuck in the mud like the “ivory tower online experts” make music out to be. Ironically, the progress seems to be in other disciplines outside “the music department”, which means the research is published in better journals, like peer reviewed math or physics journals. So while every-day gigging musicians claim that there is no way to innovate music theory, that the system works great as-is, etc etc, there are smarter people in STEM fields actively engaged in creating new types of music theory. (Many of these I’ve posted about before) It also seems like there is a movement in music education in the past couple of decades to reject the “old guys” like Piston because their teachings are so culturally biased to focus only on ‘white’ european music (as I said, completely dismiss the topic of modes).

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. roman-numerals-requirement.jpg

    • #38444
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      The other aspect of theory is that it seems to be dismissed by rockers like this

      “Blues? Metal? : Common Practice theory does not apply.”

      I don’t know exactly what this “Common Practice” totally means, but when I was learning Neil Young songs (because..I thought they’d be easy), and didn’t understand why they started on the chord they did, or why the songs flowed so well even if they are only simple chords, or didn’t understand why he chose the melody notes he did, all the songs could have all been explained using music theory. All the chords he uses: 100% music theory. All the melodies he uses: 100% music theory. All the transitional notes he uses between chords: 100% music theory. All the bass lines in the songs: 100% music theory.

      Does punk rock follow music theory.. probably no, because as previous threads on this forum this has been discussed before, and the chord choices are made based on guitar geometry, not by expected music theory. Does blues follow music theory.. Yes, it sure does.. (except I can’t find any theory which explains bends, because music theory is biased towards keyboards like piano, and there are no bends on piano, and apparently The Church didn’t want vocalists to bend notes either, for political reasons).

      Does metal follow music theory.. I don’t know.. But Yes.. if it is neoclassical metal, for sure.


      Dan Mumm – “Apocalypse Light” – (Official Music Video) 2020

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38447
      rorygfan
      Participant

      While you are memorizing things, you might look into Schoenberg who was Pistons teacher or influencer and delve into atonal 12 tone music. There is no major or minor quality, it has a grid system and structured. Maybe that is why he uses capital letters for all? Maybe this explains why some movie soundtracks are so annoying by design and intentionally.

    • #38449
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Definitely the 12 tone is important, in the apps there are sections on transcribing 12 tone rows, it is rather insane from a beginner perspective, but an expected skill to have, i.e. transcribe 4 measures of what are what seem like random notes (except they are really chosen to be the most non-normal choices from prior notes, which is even crazier). UCLA seems to expect that level of skill from their typical music students.

      This is an amazing youtuber breakdown video about classical songs stolen/re-used rock, it includes a Queen song too.


      14 Songs That ‘Rip Off’ Classical Music

      In most cases the bands did not know the music theory, they just copied note-for-note. (but wouldn’t it likely be a better song if they knew even a little theory to rework it?)

      I wish all youtubers were that good at their music theory videos (actually showing staff and notation, as if that detail is so hard to do?).

      And another great video breaking down, what The Beatles really knew, & didn’t know, about music theory.


      How much music theory did The Beatles know?

      It would have been incredible if someone could have gotten The Beatles together in the 70s-early 80s, in the same room, to really go over song-by-song in detail, what they used or took from where, and how it related to music theory. But there is $$$ involved if they admitted “well Martin wrote that whole part” because of copyright royalty stuff.. (even if they could set aside ego to say, “umm actually I didn’t really write that part”) which is too bad. And if music theory is “sooo easy, anyone can learn it” then why for example in the video’s interview, didn’t Ringo learn to ‘notate/verbalize’ rhythm properly, by decades later, in his solo era – something any teenage jazz drummer is supposed to be able to do, anytime, on the spot – my main answer is that music theory is so annoyingly presented, almost purposely cryptic, that musicians just say ‘forget it, I’m just going to play by feel’. That is exactly what Ringo says. Maybe The Beatles could have gotten together to work on theory for a year or two, and then have written the greatest music theory book of all time.

      The very interesting thing about Schoenberg is that long ago I was asking on the music MOOCs, “how come notes aren’t just numbered, 0 to 11, since there are twelve notes..not this hard-to-count ABC#DEF#G# and enharmonic stuff.” And “Why is the 5 called dominant? There seems no point in that.” In blues & metal, the dominating-theme tone is more like the tritone (b5), not the 5. I didn’t know anything about Schoenberg then. Now I have read some of his book and about his theories, one of the first things he says is: “Why is the fifth even called the Dominant, what’s it dominating, nothing!” Essentially saying, music theory is dumb for calling it the dominant. Then he basically calls the note names dumb, and says it would be better to use numbers. Huh, amazing coincidence, another guy (hailed as a genius, now, and originally called a lunatic, and flamed by many) who says music theory is confusing and bogus and should be revamped, in fact much of it should be totally scrapped.

      UCLA seems very, very focused on Schoenberg because he taught there. But I don’t think Piston used uppercase because of that. He doesn’t explain why he uses all caps. Piston explains that there is a convention to use lowercase for minor. But then he goes ahead and always uses uppercase. (What the !?).

      I don’t like the 12-tone music though. I like neoclassical metal, like MAB, and Dan Mumm are playing, it just sounds good. Why spend all that creative energy to write something that purposely sounds like junk. It’s like an artist painting a used toilet then putting it in a museum.. yeah, okay, it’s still a dirty toilet. It is good for horror movies and soundtracks like that, which need to sound like a toilet.. or for appreciating like a math problem or something.. but for headbanging and good songs? Ehh.. its not for me.

      For writing melodies and stuff, the really useful part of music theory comes in the description of melodic intervals (the names, like escape tone, suspension, etc). Not just what the intervals are, but how/where to use them. One bizarre thing is that it is sooo hard to simply find a correct table which lists all of them. (Piston does not have that either, and neither do other textbooks.) It definitely took me a long time to find a fully notated table of them. Maybe I can post the page later. And different texts call them different things, and some textbooks seem to lump some of them together (“oh, we wont call it a free tone because that’s too overwhelming, even though its more accurate, so we’ll just call it an appoggiatura”). I doubt elon musk would hire a musician (“oh, a new lithium battery discovery? we’ll just use nickel, because phosphate is too confusing”)..lol..

      I’ve found a lot of mistakes in various music theory pdf’s around the internet, on pages from piano instructors.. for example one page I was following for a while, had a pdf which had incorrect notes for one of the piano scales (on a piano instructor’s “student study materials” web page!) …dont get me started on wikipedia’s flaws.. Imagine, practicing a piano scale for several sessions then realizing that it must be incorrect even though it was a teacher’s material.. ridiculous. It makes me wonder how much music theory piano teachers really pay attention to at all, especially as they are paid peanuts, and like every millennial these days, just “googles for the answers” when needed.

      Its hard to tell but I think schools like UC’s and CSU’s seem to be using this textbook for the past decades+ : (I should have started with it instead..)

      Benward, Bruce. Music Theory and Practice Vol.1-2, 8th Ed

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38452
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Those videos were well done and I would imagine many more examples of classical melodies being used. If he or other people put that effort into writing new music even using some classical parts it would perhaps reach more regular listeners and people instead of limiting his audience to musicians watching his videos.

      Having keys named by numbers instead of letters would add more confusion don’t you think? Say if you were calling B The 2nd tone of the 2nd key seems as though it would complicate it further ie: “2/2”. The numbers in this usage are relative reference from the base frequency whereas letters are absolute reference to frequency of the sound, which is absolute. Using letters as Absolutes instead of variables as in math also seems whacked to conventional systems. So thinking in the abstract, imagine how complicated it would be if music was being written with frequencies instead of letters, then you get into physical offsets (2nd is 1/2 multiple of 9th, octave lower) and were written as frequencies and multiples like in electronics. Then music would be even more esoteric like math, and easier to understand phonetics not used.

      I do believe the elitist attitude or “protecting my profession” mentality exists in music as in most all knowledge transfer or lack thereof in occupations so maybe applies here as well. Doctors and Lawyers and all their Latin origin names are imo simply to complicate, and not in “laymens” terms so that you need to pay them to “translate” their language.

      Have you heard of solfege? (System on interval recognition)

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by rorygfan.
    • #38455
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      There’s one important part of that beatles theory video to mention, @ 05:00. McCartney says, the guys took buses to get all the way across the city in order to meet some guy who knew how to play the chord B7, which they didn’t know, and they really wanted to know. Imagine that.. taking buses all the way across the city and back again, to learn a single guitar chord. Of course if they knew how to count in 3rds (one of the main things on my “just-memorize-this” list) then they could have done it easy, and figured out any other voicing of B7 anywhere on the neck too. Or even any other chord. I remember hearing this McCartney story several times, it is one he told in many interviews.

      From my perspective a better way of learning music theory would be to first derive all chords by counting them in 3rds, and play chord progressions and immediately put these into song forms (verse, chorus, etc), spending a lot of time on this exercise. That is the opposite of how music theory is taught now. Right now every textbook does the same thing, it says, these are notes, this is staff, these are notes on staff, then intervals, etc etc, “now look at Bach and try to figure out all the notes and chords,” all very “low level” stuff, and reverse engineering… not creative and it takes months to get to a point where a textbook puts several chords together, then many hard months more to get to any examples of song forms. Who the frick wants to study complex Hadyn in chapter 2 of a textbook, no one, and that’s forced on everyone already in just chapter 2? MAB has a very similar story to this, the one where his first guitar teacher assigned him chords to learn, and MAB says, “why practice these chords in that order? Can’t I play them in this other order, and then I’ll have a song to play?” Duh. Very backwards instruction from that first guitar teacher.

      Solfege, ahhh what stories I have about that. Because, 2handband always claimed that it was a good goal to study sight singing. What a crazy lack of consensus there is on solfege, so hard to get proper direction on it. Some use moveable do, some use fixed do, some use ti, some use te, using the internet is definitely not trustworthy. I found some textbooks on solfege + singing but they went from being kiddie level on one page, to being virtuoso level on the next page, completely unusable. I finally found a book that has a slower learning curve after digging thru the UC assigned textbooks, it’s called ‘Sight Singing’ or something, by Berkowitz (blue cover, yellow title font). It’s good, I went thru most of section 1, but it is friggin hard. It uses solfege in “the american way” and in moveable version. The problem comes with music theory textbooks which will use moveable version on one chapter and then the next chapter suddenly uses fixed do because it shows examples with major chords sung on their scale degree, like vii is sung starting with ti. Friggin confusing and a totally different formula for what vowels to sing. They only show the trivial examples, never complex ones. And then there’s the problem of modes, which apparently no one really uses it for, so the whole system falls apart. Like, ok, do re mi fa sol for major scale. And there is solfege for chromatic scale (which is different vowels for going up, vs. coming down). So now sing solfege on melodic minor, it gets whacky. Then try singing it on phrygian scale. It is just not done, no one I’ve asked knows how, but one classical orchestra guy told me, something like, do ra, but then I forget, he recanted this, and said “just sing everything on Ah.” It is pretty much like that with all theory when scratching more than just the surface. Sure, there’s a million blogs or lesson books explaining how to do whatever in C major. But pick any other key, lets say, Bb, and there are few correct examples, and tons of incorrect examples. I sing a lot of solfege exercises.. almost every day, ever since I have worked on vocals years ago. And still after all this time, only marginally good at it. I have a feeling that singing “do, fa, do, fa” is a better way to learn the sound of an interval than the alternatives that piano instructors try to teach, “roooot, per-fect four-th, rooooot, per-fect four-th”.. which is just awkward to sing as an exercise.. But based on my results I don’t know if it really works..

      The app I’ve been using actually uses a mix of fixed do and moveable do, depending on the exercise! Sooo frustrating. In one context it is an ok answer to have “do me sol” and in another context it wants “ti re fa” (or whatever.. because that answer’s melody starts on 7th or is an inversion or whatever)..

      I don’t know what counting notes using 12’s would look like, Schoenberg flavored, but every kid is taught to count in evens and odds without trouble. (2,4,6,8,… or 1,3,5,7,…) That is simply memorized. I don’t know if counting notes to 12 would be harder than that. There are historical examples of cultures counting easily in 12. Many forms of money are historically counted in 6’s or 12’s (like British money? pence and stuff?). There’s papers that say it is easier to do any simple math in 12, because there are more factors of 12 (easily divide by 2, 3, or 4, or 6, etc). It is called dozenal math or base-12 math.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38456
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Solfege confusion like this, in the quiz app. I just don’t sing these when they’re different from what I know, so I don’t confuse myself. But it is very hard to find the ‘correct way’ if there’s no ‘one single standard’.

      solfege-major

      solfege-harmonic-minor

      solfege-melodic-minor

      I don’t know why it does it this way… I just ignore it.. because every app and every book seems to apply different rules..

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. solfege-major.png

      2. solfege-harmonic-minor.png

      3. solfege-melodic-minor.png

    • #38460
      rightonthemark
      Participant

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #38462
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Good video, he summarized it well at 08:30 where he says, a player can learn music theory in much less time, to apply what they hear onto the neck, compared to pro players who don’t know theory but spent thousands of hours using trial & error & experimentation to find out what sounds good at what position. I guess that is the hope, at least.

      My guess is that since guitar seems just physically harder to play than other instruments (especially basic piano), learning guitar has to focus so much time on basic finger movements to make music. Learning theory is constantly postponed until later. That is what I did anyway, because I wanted to play first, but also I had to learn theory eventually because my pitch sense is not good enough to know what fits by ear. Spending tiny bits of time memorizing the theory list can be a good way to absorb it because the work can be done without a guitar, it is just rote memorization work, like learning new foreign language words or something like that.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38469
      PaulWolfe
      Participant

      Interesting discussion.

      I see the name Randy Rhoads referenced a few times and wanted to add my 2 cents…

      Randy’s mom and dad owned a music school. His mom was a classically trained, orchestra caliber trumpet player. She insisted that all of her students learn theory from the start. By most accounts, Randy just wanted to play guitar and figure stuff out but his mom insisted he know theory. He started on guitar at 6-years-old but had been immersed in music since birth. Later in life he found he liked learning theory… Could be a love of music or just a result of his bond with his mother.

      At any rate, I believe theory is great if you’re into it.

      I get where your head is with this stuff superblonde, I spent years reading about theory out of a love all things Randy Rhoads.

    • #38479
      slash
      Participant

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38480
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Slash, are there parts of that video you found particularly useful?

      At 11:15, Beato says he sells coffee mugs with the scale formulas of “all the modes” on the coffee cup “So when you’re drinking your coffee in the morning, you can be reviewing them while you’re drinking”. Which is a practice of memorization.

      It is what musicians really do: memorize formulas constantly. Whether they admit it or not. Subtly stated in Beato’s video is his agreement to my point: just memorize this short list of stuff.

      Beato says somewhere between 4-6 min mark, very rapidly in passing, “Modes are subsets of scales.” And that’s about it. Hmmm, true or not?

      Based on the way he explains it, modes are subsets of the major scale (he doesn’t directly say that, though). That adds confusion for the metalhead, who plays in minor most of the time, and basically I never practice the major scale. So the question is, “Can all the modes be created from the minor scale, and if so, why not do it that way, instead of always referencing the major scale?” Although Beato kind of bashes ‘classical music instructors who can’t think in modern terms’, all of his concepts he talks about in the video are derived from classical anyways. There’s nothing wrong with theory which was worked out 400 years ago, it’s still valid, it’s more like, those classical music instructors never properly learned the classical theory to begin with.

      Perhaps also ask, “Ok, you say, Lydian has a #4, but why don’t musicians instead say that Lydian has a b5.” Maybe the answer is explainable differently if starting with chords and building a set based on the notes in the chords, rather than the other way around “ok let’s write a set of notes which we call a scale, or a mode, and figure out which chords work with it”.

      At 29:00 he mentions Allan Holdsworth, who used theory to invent his unique sound, it’s a good reminder that a good way to innovate a sound as a guitar player is to use theory to find something which is unique sounding and then fully develop that sound.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38481
      slash
      Participant

      18, 19 min in… the Toy Story part where he recognizes the Lydian mode and he says its important to recognize the modes by ear. Also around 24 min he talks about the debate between modes and scales and he says modes are scales…

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38482
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Another interesting thing he explains somewhere in the first 1/3rd of the video is the original definition of the word scales, which is simply, like a ladder, so, steps of things. From that standpoint, sure, modes are scales, because they are both just steps of notes. I think it is somewhat more than that, since the mode is always in reference to another sound, the sound of the overall scale or in reference to the sound of the underlying bass note. It’s something I brought up when going thru Doug’s new course weeks on modes (weeks 26-32) and Sarah’s Easy Modes, that a mode really sounds like nothing distinctive, unless it is played over top of the chords from the main scale.

      Anyway, musicians all make mode formulas relative to the major scale, so in reality, those are the formulas to be memorized in order to talk to other musicians or to read/write music based on how music is described everywhere.

      In that sense, “Scales are these formulas: ….. . Modes are these formulas: … .” and that is really ‘what they are’, nothing more, nothing less.

      A coffee mug with the formulas is a good idea, an easy way to review & memorize every day. Or a card to keep in the wallet and re-read through, any time being stuck idly waiting around for something, like standing in line somewhere or whatever.

      I’m still working on hearing all of them by ear and guessing the correct mode. Some are easier than others and it seems to take daily listening practice for many months, which I still haven’t done. That is also a type of memorization, rote memorize the sound of each one.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38498
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      After thinking about that Beato video for a couple days, I believe he is wrong and misleading by suggesting ‘modes are scales’. They are just not. This is because you can have a mode of a scale but you can’t have a scale of a mode. It makes sense to have “5th mode of C major”. It makes no sense to have “5th scale of Phrygian”. A mode is always simply an offset of a scale and always relates back to the scale it came from.

      How come Beato says he gets so many comment-questions “What are modes vs scales?” from classical musicians or music instructors anyways? That to me indicates that modes are not taught properly to classical music theory people. Which is exactly what I was complaining about with the Piston textbook since he dismisses the modes even though they are an incredibly important concept. Piston chooses to cherry pick from tons of music which doesn’t use modes. No one would ever respect a woodworking class where the instructor says “We won’t ever talk about what a millimeter is, because our genre uses inches.” Beato chooses to confuse viewers with clickbait titles and vague explanations, sometimes he has good ideas, but overall he is confusing, which only leads to people wanting to buy his Beato book in the hopes they can be un-confused by his confusion, very convenient for him, huh?

      This link is a good online textbook of music theory: http://musictheory.pugetsound.edu/mt21c/frontmatter.html
      Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom
      Robert Hutchinson

      It doesn’t use a million flowery words to explain stuff. It defines concepts using tables which is very straight forward.

      The huge limitation of all music theory material apparently in the entire world is that it forces reading of grand staff and forces piano playing, both are not necessary for music theory. Theory is independent of those things, music theory is dealing with notes and how notes relate to each other, it should not require staff and should not require thousands of hours of practicing piano hand-shapes.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38500
      slash
      Participant

      After thinking about that Beato video for a couple days, I believe he is wrong and misleading by suggesting ‘modes are scales’. They are just not. This is because you can have a mode of a scale but you can’t have a scale of a mode.

      I think he knows that technically modes are not scales… What I hear is that he is saying it really doesn’t matter, don’t get hung up on it. That’s my interpretation anyway, right or wrong that’s what I take away from it.

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38501
      A.C.
      Participant

      Wow. I would have NEVER thought that the subject of theory would get to be such a heated debate. I had another thought, but all of the arguments for, against, videos trying to back up opinions, etc., etc., etc., sort of made me lose my train of thought. With that being said, I think I am going to sign out, eat my lunch, and think about the next song on the album. WOW!

    • #38502
      slash
      Participant

      So I keep seeing this add on YouTube and I thought of this thread…

      Skip Guitar Theory – Do This
      The Great Guitar Theory Trap…
      Little do they know they’re falling into the most damaging guitar-learning trap of all time…
      You may even start to question whether you should just put the guitar down for good…
      Most people go to their graves with their music still locked up inside them…
      THINKING your way through all that theory, expecting it to magically make you PLAY better, is climbing up the wrong ladder!
      I’ve taught Music Theory Graduates, a guitarist with over 5 DECADES of experience, and even a performer on BROADWAY
      And sure, they “knew” a lot about music when it came to talking about it…
      But they couldn’t PLAY their way out of a paper bag! But when it comes to guitar, for some reason everybody and their brother has been fooled into thinking you have to be a genius to “get it.” HA!
      Nobody cares to hear how much you KNOW about guitar, they want to hear you PLAY the darned thing!

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38504
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      I would guess that advert is from someone selling playing lessons. The ironic thing is that everyone “says” they would love to learn more theory but then an instructor selling lessons disses the idea of learning theory and those saying they’d love to learn more theory end up skipping any effort at learning it.

      There was a cool straight-up interview with Dave Mustaine about a week ago, interviewed by one of the young guitarist youtuber guys (I forget his name right now but he is a good musician and interviewer). Mustaine said about Kiko: ‘he’s great because he can show me stuff, stuff I didn’t know, he has a classical theory background, and can explain to me what I’m playing, and tell me that a chord doesn’t fit, I wish I knew more about this. I have trouble explaining what I am playing.’

      So if Mustaine is saying, he wishes he knew more theory, then hmmm who has the better opinion.. Mustine vs a youtube advert..

      Knowing what chord to play for the right purpose, if knowing theory, and knowing when to break the rules of theory, takes about five seconds. Playing 10 different chords by trial and error to figure out which one sounds best might take 5 minutes…or could take 5 months..

      Giving away all the answers for how to easily learn music theory once-and-for-all, does not sell and re-sell lessons. Better to confuse customers, not explain modes properly, then continue to sell and re-sell “What are modes, anyway? Buy my book to find out” lessons..

      However the disclaimer still applies which was in my original list. If someone is not good at doing homework then just don’t bother with it and instead just play. Not everybody should go to college for example and pushing everyone to study textbook stuff when it is not their natural talent is not correct, many people are great talents at vocational work. In comparison I am terrible at playing by ear or transcribing even after spending hundreds, thousands(?) of hours at getting better at it, because of so much advice “oh you’ll get better just keep at it”.. in reality I should probably give up on it and invest my time more productively on either just playing or working out the theory of songs.

      My first vocal instructor many many years ago, said she had performed once on Broadway (since the advert brags about that). She did not have all her marbles in place and definitely could not explain music theory (or teach singing that well either, even though I bought her book) but apparently she had been “a performer on Broadway”.. I ended up as a worse singer after that actually..

      What I hear is that he is saying it really doesn’t matter, don’t get hung up on it. That’s my interpretation anyway, right or wrong that’s what I take away from it.

      That is a good interpretation of Beato’s attitude. For me I don’t relate to it. I don’t build a countertop which has a wobbly leg and then say “ahh it doesn’t matter that much, don’t get hung up on it.” It seems like the overwhelming attitude of the general music community. Probably what it really translates to is this, I’m not trying to be insulting, but just cut to the point: “I don’t understand how this works, so I’m going to gloss over it and say it doesn’t matter.” Metal would be far better off if the musicians raised their standards. Doug and Metal Method certainly did that, for playing technique. MAB likes to say, and it’s correct, that Speed Kills raised the bar for everyone’s playing, made everyone better, technique-wise. So did Doug’s Basic Course. But music theory has not been done in the same way. Especially the jazz guys seem to learn theory halfway, if even that, and then say “meh, it’s jazz man, it is improv, there’s no rules” or whatever. From that standpoint, if Beato, or any other big youtuber, says something in a theory video which is unclear, or confusing, or wrong, then he should have 100+ viewers call him out on it. No one should accept mediocre stuff about theory. Just like no one accepts a bend that sounds wrong in a big youtuber’s video, they would get instantly trashed for it.

      As a metalhead I absolutely hate the way metal is disrespected and a lot of that could be the lack of attention to theory. Anytime I talk to my jazz playing neighbor or run into local musicians I recognize from open mic or whatever. “Oh what are you playing these days? Oh.. metal. You play guitar.. You ever check out Pat Metheney? When you outgrow that metal stuff, you could learn a lot.. you ever listen to Steely Dan?” Yeesh. As if Tool is not equal to or better than those guys. And awards shows? Metal should be winning tons of songwriting awards, and it’s important to do so. The ivory tower types are still keeping Metal down.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38505
      A.C.
      Participant

      First off, let me say that maybe, just maybe you actually ARE overthinking all of this. I am not meaning to be negative about where you are at or demeaning in any way. I think after seeing and reading much of your responses, that you have kind of fallen victim to a lot of hype, making things seem harder than they actually are to sell things/keep people checking out their monetized how to videos on certain sites, etc.

      I used to think that all of this “theory stuff” was a mystery, only to be taught by some sacred mage, and only to be understood by the most adept of genius. It’s simply not the case. Modes used to seem like this “magical thing”, but broken down to the simplest terms, they are nothing more than a scale modified to work within a certain interval of a chord. That’s it. Period. What made me a better player was jamming with other guitarists from different musical styles and learning as much as I could from them. I would purposely go to music stores and wait for people that were WAY outside of my metal interest as a youngster to seek out more knowledge. The best education I got was from jamming with country guys, blues guys, and jazz guys. Classical was something to be listened to and absorbed as most classical guys I knew were sight readers, not guitarists like we would think of. It wasn’t until watching recitals in college that I figured out that if you took the music from in front of a lot, not all, of them, they would be as lost as last year’s Easter egg.

      I know this sounds cliche, but I say keep at it. Study your intervals, but study them within the context of chords on a guitar. That’s what helped me. Using the old I am going to play a root on a piano, and then play a random note and expect you kids to know the interval just didn’t work for me. Once I found a CONTEXT by which my brain could figure it out, it was fine.

      Also, play a progression, record it, and try soloing over it. If you know scale shapes and modal shapes, try everything, but listen back critically to see why this works, or this doesn’t. I know that seems lengthy, but sometimes the best thing you can do is just work it until it clicks. I spent upwards of 6-8 hours a day as a preteen, and teenager practicing guitar. I know that’s a lot and as adults most of us don’t have that kindo of time. I get that. But sometimes, it exactly TIME that helps a roadblock as does time away from it as well.

    • #38507
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      It depends on the level of what ‘musician’ means to you. For many local musicians I talk to, ie the bar band guys, they are happy to play the Stones and have been doing it since they were 14. That’s totally fine. I ask them if they modify the songs or make medleys or anything, they say, no. That’s their choice and they’re happy with those jams. Things change dramatically if you look at what the “AP test” or UCLA expects for a “musician”. (Thats why I was saying either in this thread or a similar thread, that there is a huge disconnect between general player types and the degreed-musician types.)

      The rubber meets the road when going to a jam and no one can figure out even how to write a chart properly. When my neighbor jazz drummer wants to jam, he will no longer play with the guy who can’t/doesn’t write song charts, because he says he wants to ‘create music’ and improvise which requires a chart, he does not want to be a human metronome.

      Anyway, my original list is simply a way to cut thru the b.s. Just memorize the stuff on the list and the results will be positive.

      I think everyone on this thread is basically in agreement that theory is good to know. Except for bdickens who got tweaked about Piston writing incorrect chord notation, who knows why, because nearly every reference or real-life example I find on theory explains how theory itself is misleading or confusing. I don’t know why anyone would argue this is not the case when it so clearly is. Like this example. A few days ago I googled for cadences because I’m trying to write a new song, thought I’d try a different type of chord progression, and this article popped up. It observes that cadence in music theory uses “inconsistent formulations and misconceptions that have regularly led to discrepant applications” and tries to describe a consistent method instead. Also known as: music theory is confusing. Should a bar band care? No.. this doesn’t apply to playing a Stones cover. Is it important when trying to use theory to write a chord progression and cadence.. Yes. It’s not some crazy idea that a theory about a subject should be consistent, with clear notation too.

      cadence2004

      Devin Townsend had a funny interview a few years ago where he admits he knows no theory, wanted to explain to his bandmate to play a different type of chord in a new song, and he says, “I told him to play a different chord, he asked what chord, I said, I don’t know, play the round one. Play the one that sounds round. Thats the only way I relate music.” Hmm, that is not a sign of a system of music education which works.

      Also, play a progression, record it, and try soloing over it. If you know scale shapes and modal shapes, try everything, but listen back critically to see why this works, or this doesn’t. I know that seems lengthy, but sometimes the best thing you can do is just work it until it clicks. I spent upwards of 6-8 hours a day as a preteen, and teenager practicing guitar. I know that’s a lot and as adults most of us don’t have that kindo of time. I get that. But sometimes, it exactly TIME that helps a roadblock as does time away from it as well.

      There’s different ways to ‘do music’, one of them is like that. Free improv, trial and error, jamming, experimentation. But there is also the other way, the theory way. Here’s the funny thing. The improv method requires this: “listen back critically to see why this works, or this doesn’t”. Go listen to some amateur music on soundcloud or something… most of it sounds horrible (and my stuff too). Because the catch-22 is that hearing what works requires good ears. Writing music by theory though, does not require good ears because the theory works on it’s own (of course, as long as the theory is understood without confusion). That is why sometime back last year, I wrote a challenge on a thread, to write a solo without listening to it, or imagining how it sounds: i.e. use only theory; but, this created an argument of its own, because that concept, of using theory and not using ears, was apparently so foreign as to be ego-bruising. ROTM did it though, with quite a good solo as a result.

      It isnt really overthinking it to suggest that musicians should use correct and common notation. The guy who wrote the paper above says his purpose too: understand music better, and listen/enjoy music better:
      “Ultimately, I trust that a more precise and focused conception of cadence will have the heuristic value of sharpening our listening experience and encouraging us to make more subtle distinctions among a wide variety of harmonic, rhythmic, and formal phenomena.”

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. cadence2004.jpg

    • #38509
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Why do you even listen to random generated stuff on soundcloud? Why not learn from that music like you mention Mustaines songs. Focus and learn from whst songs you enjoy, as examples- then reverse engineer thrm. Listen and pick it apart. For example Beato mentioned the complexity of “Bridge over troubled water”, I never thought about or analyzed it’s structure but thought he had a point as he was comparing it to this current pop formulaic boring stuff.

      By jumping so far ahead I think you might remain stuck like you seem to be with an academic study and pressing for answers immediately. Think of some other skills people learn. Didn’t you work in coding/tech? The first project you did wasn’t required you learn all the C++ functions first. You wrote a short routine of some do loops and thst was sn assignment. Then you add on to that code. It grows into addressing peripherals, shared libraries, timing, all sorts of concepts depending upon the functionality. When you first learn to drive a car you start with a beater and don’t get the keys to a Lamborgini to take out on a track either. Pilots learn in ground school of course first, but they start out perhaps in a Cessna 172 single engine and trainer. Like many things memorizing stuff and hands on techniques work hand in hand- class room and practical applications. I used to instruct technicians years ago in my unique field, all over the US, and a few countries around the world. All my previous training was hands on, hours of experience and later with experts. I was lucky to have learned “OJT” not formally. I took formal classes and had to pass various complex written and practical exams in my career. Rarely did I use theory in the work. I found the vast majority of “academic” instructors focused on teaching students all the math because they knew that theory but didn’t really know the true operation and complexities of the systems and instrumentation like I did. Same with the incompetent academic only mathematic modeling guys with Doctorates writing papers for govt funding, they never worked in industry. They in conversation or lectures would rattle off formulas and theory, but couldn’t even find the equipments power switch! Unbalanced. Textbook writing psychology is to make the reader and purchaser buy thick books so you feel there is “value” the thicker or heavier it is.

      That Cadence book to me was written by some academic. Boring and confusing. Music Applications and context of how theory or rules are applied should not be in the abstract, but in specific don’t you think? Build on the skills you have now instead of being stuck. So, apply what you know now to specific learning- why not pick a song(s) or solo that Megadeath did, and tear it apart. Put it in standard notation on GP6. Next wait a day, return to the song and see if you can sing/hear the notes after you have entered them without it being played, and as you do that you should improve your visual to aural skills. Then, analyze the scales used, the harmony, etc.

    • #38511
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      The berklee MOOCs on songwriting uses soundcloud for the student submissions. Part of the assignment is to give feedback on others’ work. I gave lots of feedback in the MOOCs a few years ago with the hopes that I could get feedback on my own, but that didn’t happen and I have given up reviewing anything from others now. The point is that the typical ‘singer songwriter’ out there, needs to learn more. As I mentioned.. tens of thousands of people on MOOCs who post their struggles to learn theory easily proves that there needs to be more basic, straightforward theory material, of real theory not watered down theory, and not the ivory tower “ok lets look at Haydn on piano grand staff as example #3”.

      I can do everything that I put on my list and I consider it the short list of very basic stuff. I cant do it very fast, not at tempo. A jazz bassist or guitarist is able to count notes in a scale to at tempo. Speed matters. I don’t want to play jazz and don’t want to, but the fundamentals of what jazz players do is to work through the memory exercises every day for hours, and that benefits any playing or songwriting. They don’t call it memorization though, even though it is. I think they call it “playing over changes.” Everything on the theory list can be practiced without the guitar in the lap.

      There could be more on my list but it is the very basic stuff. It is like the general high school skill level list, not the AP high school level list. For example I didn’t include the handful of other chords like the N chord.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38512
      slash
      Participant

      I agree, the more you know the better but I think everyone here can agree its more important to MASTER the instrument than understand theory. You only have so much time/energy/willpower/discipline to spend on Music/Guitar… some have more time than others… What’s your priority?

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38513
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Hasn’t everyone who has completed Doug’s Basic Course, and Sarah’s excellent lessons, and MAB’s Speed Kills, in essence “mastered” the instrument? Most every technique is covered and the very useful neck patterns are learned.

      I guess there is nothing missing from my list then? Or is there? I think it is the complete list of basics.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38514
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Mastered the instrument? Even the “masters” haven’t mastered it. The guitar is a lifelong ambition for those who truly love it.

      As far as theory You can always add more things, like I mentioned when Joao stopped by here a couple months ago- Inverted melodies/Reverse harmony. You might memorize all the Subdominants, Parallel modes, memorize all common chord progressions those I don’t believe were in your list. You could add much more to your list if you studied jazz. Btw have you seen Ted Greenes stuff or have you looked at it?

      As far as technique it depends on your goals and a lifelong challenge with lots more to learn. Mastering the instrument means different things to different players. Sweep and high speed picking for say one group. But other techniques used in other styles might not be mastered and so in the future could be new challenges say like Slide, Flamenco, Fingerstyle and hybrid picking. These are not necessarily the interest now though to say Metal players, but maybe in their future. So there are always more areas to explore.

    • #38515
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Ah, that stuff is on my “music theory list part 2 – intermediate level”. This list is only the basics of theory, just like the basic course is the basics, though each thing on the list can be used to create all that later-intermediate stuff from the fundamentals. I havent read Ted Green’s stuff I don’t think. As for jazz my list includes counting notes up to the 13th for chords, which means being able to name almost any chord, and the common rhythm patterns so that covers a lot of the jazz basics too. I suppose on youtube there are videos “what makes jazz jazz?” which is a whole controversy itself which jazz players don’t ever explain but to me can be described as “play a bunch of dissonant sounding chords on off beats”.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38516
      rightonthemark
      Participant

      sorry…had to do it 🎸🎶

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

    • #38517
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      While we’re at it with the jazz thing. Might as well show Adam Neely if getting uppity about Piston’s choice to use dumb, nonstandard roman numeral capitaliZATion rulEs. Neely has a youtube video “the five influential music theory books” which contains nonsensical ranting (and that is not even the Jazz part) except for the one big fact that his video shows music theory is still evolving and is not written in unchangeable stone like internet musicians claim, these modern theory books usually point out dozens of problems or limitations in the way theory is notated and taught.

      At 2:50 he disses Kostka, a music theory textbook author, labelling the textbook “yuck”. Kostka’s textbook is one of the top 5 most used music theory textbooks in the past couple decades. Neely calls the book dry aka uninspiring. I have that book and skimmed some of it, at least it is written in straight language, not a flowery academic style, and it uses consistent notation too.


      The 5 Music Theory/Composition Books That Most Influenced Me

      Yeah great, study these Neely favorite books for two years in order to write music that sounds like five cats howling at midnight. “But it’s jazz, man!”

      “Tonal Harmony (Kostka)
      Grade Levels: 9-12
      For more than two decades, Tonal Harmony has been the leading text for AP Music Theory students and music majors. Used at nearly 800 schools, Tonal Harmony has been consistently praised for its practicality and ease of use for student and teacher alike. The straightforward approach ….”

      Regardless of Neely’s dissing of the theory book, note the grade level given: high school. Everything on my list of basic music theory so far is in the first 1/3rd of the “high school” book. Not even towards the middle of intermediate high school level material.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38521
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Example of why theory is worth some effort. Before & after comparison.

      Here’s the song I wrote “before working hard on music theory” and it took me a really long time to write. I used a lot of online stuff including hook theory to figure out what sounded like the best sounding melody, plus reviewed Doug’s course, the songwriting course, and Sarah’s Melodic Principles.

      The song has a ton of weaknesses.. it is good as a first ever song but basically boring imho.

      Here’s the song I wrote recently after working hard on music theory, plus re-reviewing Doug’s songwriting course and Sarah’s Easy Modes.

      The newer song has a compatible bass line, better chords, different sections, solo in modes which I can say “it works”, it has a lot of good musical stuff to it. It isnt a top hit or anything but it is much better in comparison. And overall it took a couple weeks with steady progress vs tons and tons of head scratching for a couple months like, “uhh I don’t know what to do for the next part or what bass notes to write”.

      Since music theory books (real music theory books, not jazz or pop books) force everyone to read grand staff, know piano, and then have misleading, inconsistent terminology, learning theory requires a lot of hard work and confusion. Which is totally unnecessary but there does not seem to be an alternative even in 2020. Music theory is still stuck in the rut of elitism attitude which MAB makes fun of amazingly well with his ‘stuffy british professor’ imitations. All that can be bypassed with a short list of theory stuff to simply memorize and apply to music. In the same amount of time spent watching yet another 30+ minute non-definitive & confusing Beato or other youtuber video on modes, all the metal-sounding modes can be worked out on paper completely and accurately.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38523
      slash
      Participant

      Vai gives his perspective on how important theory is @ 1:29:00 (Is Paul McCartney a hack?)

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38524
      bdickens
      Participant

      “Theory is not his boss, it’s his tool…”

      “He [Jeff Beck] doesn’t even have to know the names of the notes….”

      Byron Dickens

    • #38525
      rorygfan
      Participant

      Nice video comments from Steve, thanks Slash.

      “ear training is where it’s at” : Steve Vai.

      So there you go. Connecting your ears to your fingers.

      • This reply was modified 2 days, 14 hours ago by rorygfan.
    • #38527
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Steve Vai’s “30 hr guitar practice” included a couple hours of theory. When I saw Vai’s article I wished he would have said what he was referring to because saying “music theory” means a lot of different things to different people.

      steve-vai-30-hour-guitar-practice-theory1

      steve-vai-30-hour-guitar-practice-theory2

      Vai went to berklee or GI so unlikely he studied classical theory, he studied jazz theory. Satch similarly. Jazz guys always seem to fall back to “just go by your ears”. It is disingenuous for an instructor to tell a typical student, “Look at McCartney, he didnt know this or that, he just learned a new chord and wrote so and so…” because does anyone here consider themselves to be a musical prodigy like McCartney? Not me that is for sure. Anyone really want to compare themselves to Jeff Beck in terms of talent abilities? Also not me.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. steve-vai-30-hour-guitar-practice-theory1.jpg

      2. steve-vai-30-hour-guitar-practice-theory2.jpg

    • #38530
      slash
      Participant

      Nice video comments from Steve, thanks Slash.

      “ear training is where it’s at” : Steve Vai.

      So there you go. Connecting your ears to your fingers.

      This series is full of gems 😉 I’ve listened through episode 5 this week, good stuff on theory, ear training, techniques, publishing and life lessons.

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38531
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Whoa, two hour live stream, more than five episodes, where’s the concern about “dont have time to learn this theory stuff”?

      It is awesome that our heroes do long livestreams and they’re cool entertainment but consider: if Vai spent the same time preparing educational material to present in a concise way, he would be able to say things once and once only, in probably less than 10 minutes total. Which is what Doug does.. spends a ton of time refining a single lesson to present in a very trimmed-down and perfect format. I didn’t buy the Vai lesson book so I don’t know what is in it, didn’t he write it in the 90s? I assume it is like jazz books.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38534
      slash
      Participant

      VAIDEOLOGY – Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players
      Named Guardians of Guitar 2019 NAMM top pick!
      Published in 2019 according to Amazon

      I don’t own VAIDEOLOGY… could be interesting though…
      I don’t recall saying I didn’t have time to learn this theory stuff… as far as watching the Alien Guitar Secrets… I’m mostly listening to it casually while doing other things…

      Great perspective on the path to guitar at 25 min.

      "The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad" - Willie Brown
      Tip #4 Learn to Play by EAR!

    • #38535
      rorygfan
      Participant

      SB, I sometimes think you are not open minded enough on the big picture of being creative. I have invested numerous hours learning music theory. I know enough to be useful. I have chosen to ignore parts of your list because it does not apply to my situation in the past or at the moment. My situation probably is more similar to most than your situation. I learned the circle of fifths as an 8 year old kid playing clarinet. It never really helped me play in a rock
      band 8 years later. My feeling with some information is I can pick up a reference book as needed. You are composing in gp6 for piano and other instruments so in your case perhaps it will help you to say know all the flats in Gb major and the flatted 13th note, etc. 5 years from now you might forget them though since you don’t use them, so was the time invested worth it? Only you can decide.

      Using a reference guide applies to the same with many other skills being self taught my entire life. What I said above applies to me in being pragmatic and application specific oriented. Why would I care to memorize that entire list when I could look at a reference guide in print or as such as starinng at fretboard patterns I have memorized or of a scale?

      This relates to my learning a second language at way advanced age. You cannot learn to speak a language by memorizing a 3” thick dictionary. Nor can you learn to write in another language by reading about it. I have learned more from being around others speaking and interacting than all of the studying and memorization I have done. In 10 years and taking numerous hours of formal in person lessons, classroom, tutorials and tutoring work, I hope to pass a written test. Being far from fluent, I can still tell jokes and communicate and have fun with it. You need read in another language and use a dictionary for words you do not know. You also listen to others speak, you speak yourself and mispronounce words or use incorrect conjugation… but you just do it, you always make mistakes, you correct them and repeat the process. Sentence structures you learn as you go. Trial and error works for some of us, recall the transcribing link above I posted.

      The ear development process Steve mentions is very valuable if you want to use a guitar to create melodies, or even dissonances. Being able to record them immediately on a digital device saves time and enthusiasm when you are in the “zone” too. Then if you want to document later it on GP6, you can. Thats my process. It sounds like you want to sit down in front of your computer instead of a guitar and create. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that approach, that was my original question to you to ask yourself, what is your goal?

      As far as being succinct unfortunately that doesn’t sell books or provide “perceived” value in educational courses, therefore why there are educational industries or thick textbooks with esoteric language. One of my most useful spanish books was written in 1957 and reprinted many times. Its 1/4 of an inch thick and cost $7. The other 28 books I bought are full of filler words and less useful to me.

    • #38536
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      I would say guys like Vai and many others are minimizing the value of theory that they know & had previously memorized. Anybody can say “meh I don’t use math” yet everybody spent 2nd grade thru 10th grade five days a week for at least an hour, doing some kind of math and it is ingrained. No one has to look up what “2+3” is, it is memorized and all the operations have become automatic. With music, Vai admits, he had music class in high school for several years, in that time, a ton of stuff became automatic for him. So 30 years later if he says “meh, I don’t use that” then it is better to look at what he is able to create and look at what tools he is really using, rather than rely on what he says he uses as his tools.

      When I’m handed a piece of sheet music in a choir group, I (or at least 1 other guy) has to know on the spot what key it is in, in order to sound the key pitch. By not memorizing just this one thing, key signatures, which is on my list and I’ve now memorized, has previously ended up wasting 30 minutes of valuable meeting time, when none of the dozen guys knew what key the song was in either, or how to read bass clef too (to find their starting note). Memorizing is simply required for some fundamental things in theory. This is just another example of many I’ve already posted… Not only memorizing, but having the ability to respond with the answer fast. Speed counts. Music is done at a tempo. There’s no time to grab a reference list or google on a smart phone for the answer, especially in between chords…

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38537
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Wasn’t much into Metallica’s “S&M”. But Sons of Apollo with orchestra though – this is hot stuff. Orchestration music theory !


      Sons Of Apollo – Dream On Live with The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony


      SONS OF APOLLO – Labyrinth (Live at the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv 2018)

      Bumblefoot is the best 😀

      Hot blonde on violin too lol
      😎

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38538
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      VAIDEOLOGY – Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players
      Named Guardians of Guitar 2019 NAMM top pick!

      Quote from vai’s own web page about his book Vaideology :

      “Then there are those who have a strong desire to master the language of music, but the whole process seems overwhelming and intimidating. And some may even feel embarrassed that they are virtually musically illiterate and have a quiet but insidious belief in their head that they just aren’t smart enough to comprehend it. Whatever you believe will be true to you… until you change your mind about it. Some people can be very critical and may tell you that, if you understand music theory, it will compromise your ability to “play from the heart”. I would recommend not buying into that premise. ” https://www.vai.com/vaideology/

      I was thinking of an older book from Vai though.. Maybe I’m thinking of his official “guitar workout” book (I never got a copy) written after that original “30 hr guitar practice” GW article.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #38541
      superblonde
      Keymaster

      I agree, the more you know the better …. You only have so much time/energy/willpower/discipline to spend on Music/Guitar… some have more time than others…

      Time is a frequent theme on this thread. Not having enough time to practice or study theory. Actually I started this thread to save everyone time. Memorize what’s on the list and everything about theory will become much, much faster and easier. Memorizing takes only a few minutes per day but has to be done regularly many times per week for many months to get the benefit. Memorizing is also what pro studio musicians do constantly anyway, by repeatedly practicing runs over chords, especially keyboard players – they don’t call it memorization but that’s what it is. Slogging through the textbooks trying to figure out why one textbook says this and the other says that, or some textbooks don’t explain anything about a concept at all, that wastes a ton of time and the result is going in circles. So many internet threads and videos about ‘what are modes anyways? are they scales?’ is a huge amount of wasted time, when the real focus should be on various ways to write music with them, the threads end up going in circles too. Time and priority is definitely important. All the sites & material & methods for learning music theory wastes tons of time and many steer people wrong, the berklee MOOCs are an easy example of it.

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

Viewing 67 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.