Respond to This

Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

Jason Parker (2612)

Guitar Theory Forum · 11/12/2006 3:10 PM
What theory is useful and what is not? As I posted briefly in a recent thread, I find studying many things to be useless. And it frustrates the heck out of me.

What's the point when you learn something seemingly useless and it opens doors to more seemingly useless theory, and even more seemingly useless theory?

So, in the end, is there such a thing as non-useful theory? ...Or am I wating my time trying to study all of it?
Responses (continued)  [ Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 ]

Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/13/2006 9:19 AM

Rob Bee (569) wrote:

Like a lot of things you can take theory as far as you want. There
are some great bands out there who have no theory training at all
and yet make good music. I'm currently involved in a musical
project in which the main songwriter has had no music lessons at
all - he's taught himself to play guitar. He writes songs simply by
what "sounds right" and it makes for very interesting playing and
had stretched my lead work as I have to cope with numerous "key
changes" per verse and the odd bar in a different time signiture etc.



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/18/2006 12:12 PM

Jason Parker (2612) wrote:

I used to play much like the other fellow in your band when I was in my teens. Now I make it a point to sort of blend both. I know that if I create something with theory, it will not have a wrong note. However, if I go outside that intellect and experiment, I'll play a lot of wrong notes, but I'll eventually come up with the notes I desire.



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/19/2006 8:49 AM

Pete Siegel (2389) wrote:

That's true..how much theory training do you think Lennon/Mccartney had?



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

7/13/2007 2:20 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

I don't know ... we might be surprised. But then, not all of us have the genius of Lennon/McCartney. And what they might have done because they simply experimented or because they were a genius can be done by "normal" people, too, if they analyse the theory behind these great songs. Because knowingly or not, Lennon/McCartney used some theory concepts in their compositions.

Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/18/2006 8:12 PM

Kirk Lorange (4841) wrote:

Know the formula for the major scale (tone tone semitone, tone tone tone semitone) and the formula for making chords (stacking thirds) and you've pretty much learned it all. Everything else -- modes, keys, melody, harmony -- derives from that.

Trust your ear!

Kirk

Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/18/2006 8:24 PM

Dave Magaro (1726) wrote:

The theory that you are willing to apply is the useful theory.

Dave

Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/18/2006 9:44 PM

Charles Gacsi (42523) wrote:

Dear Jason,/i am witing this with only one hand. theory is a way of explaining what some one else has already used and the why. it does not take the place of real talent, knowledge of theory shortens the time in figuring out what and how some one has already done. theory knowledge may reduce spending 500 hours random hunting to perhaps 4 or 5 hours of precise expectations in getting solution. theory covers all of the music problems..not just one. study and you will be ahead in the long run. there isn't a single answer. more like math...different tools = different solutions. charlie



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/18/2006 11:22 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Theory also allows you to compose music which is stylistically correct for a certain genre. It can also provide you with compositional or improvisational options when your usual method seems to have stalled.





Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/19/2006 12:18 AM

Chris Russell (3044) wrote:

myself, I prefer playing "free" music... whether the other players in the room are aware of this or not. hehe.

it seems like most of us end up finding that place where playing from the heart meets mathmatical structure sooner or later.
one cat might spend years playing good stuff from the heart. then look to theory for expansion.
while the next guy might be well versed in music when he learns that he needs to let go a little.

who knows.
whatever works for a guy I suppose

Chris3





Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/19/2006 5:10 AM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

I agree Chris, excellent observation.

I think theory is demonised quite a bit by guitarists. It's not some evil monster waiting to swallow your musicality. It is simply one of a host of devices musicians use to do certain things. Use it if it works for you, don't use it if it doesn't help you - but don't complain about it! That's like saying "I am against knowledge".

I find that if theory is conceptualised the right way, it is extremely easy to activate in real playing and can happily sit alongside your playing without robbing you of your feel or distracting you. If theory is really painful for you and you can't think about it while you play, I would contend that you don't actually know your theory in any meaningful sense. And to all of you who can play fantastically well without knowing theory, I would contend that you are the ultimate expression of theory - you know what to do unconsiously! That is the aim of any musician who wants expression but also wants to be able to play over any sequence of chords that is thrown at them. To me theory is nothing more than knowing what you are doing. Formal theory is a universal langauge for musicians to communicate with. This language doesn't suit everybody so they may use their own language.







Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

11/19/2006 5:49 AM

Chris Russell (3044) wrote:

thanks for pitching in on this discussion Andy, that means alot

we're all using "theory". anyone who can pick a couple note from a blues scale, and put them over a blues prog is using theory.

Jasons question, and it's a great question, is at what point does theory become useless. some great guys have responded to this. does it seem like each and all are suggestion the same thing...
to stop beating himself with the theory stick? so many times a guy is faced with an overwhelming situation, or a teacher he can't connect with, or just plain too much data at once.
all of the "theory" I have came by simple pieces that made playing more fun. or from a great teacher, and I "got it". I want more, theory is fun, but I'm being careful these days to work on pieces that are usefull or atleast supportive.

Chris3





Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

12/6/2006 7:58 AM

Christian Miller (1937) wrote:

I like waht you said there!

Lots of poeple seem to need to work out some theoretical justification for playing the music they hear though - even Charlie Parker.



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

12/3/2006 2:54 PM

Jason Parker (2612) wrote:

Thanks Charles. I'll keep that in mind as I progress. I wondered if some of it would ever be very helpful for the far future.

Thanks also for taking the time to write this using only one hand.



Respond to this

Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?

7/13/2007 3:20 PM

Deidra Grusy (49) wrote:

crap is what ever think is crap
anything you dont like or dislike can be crappy to you maybe not to others

More Responses  [ Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 ]