View Poll Results: Do you use theory and scales in your guitar playing?

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  • Yes

    78 70.91%
  • No

    32 29.09%
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Thread: How important are scales and theory in your guitar playing?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnor View Post
    I'm self taught and play strictly by ear/feel. I can play all sorts of chords and scales but I don't even think/care about the names of them. I just know where to put my fingers to get the sound that I want.[This approach works with women as well ] This frees up my mind to concentrate on my singing and allows me to sing and play things at the same time.
    You know, I spent about 10 years studying theory in depth. It doesn't seem to get in the way of my singing.


    The basic concept with theory is that you learn everything you can, and practice it until you can do it in your sleep. Then, as soon as you get on stage, you forget all of it. Of course, you have to practice that part, too. To be sure, though, I'm not sitting there when I play thinking, O.K., this next chord is the V7 of II, and then we are going to play a II9, a flat II#9, to the I. I'm just playing.

    On the other hand, if I need to tell a bass player the form and the chord progresion quickly, it is a lot easier to just say, "rhythm changes in Bflat." than to sit there and say, "put your finger here for two beats, here for two beats," etc......


    Light

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Light View Post
    The real problem is thinking of theory as a series of rules - its not. Its a language,

    That's a great way to state it. I guess theory was derived because someone said, "That sounds good. Why is that??" and sat down to work out the why's and then came up with the annotation.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Light View Post
    On the other hand, if I need to tell a bass player the form and the chord progresion quickly, it is a lot easier to just say, "rhythm changes in Bflat." than to sit there and say, "put your finger here for two beats, here for two beats," etc......
    get a bass player that can HEAR the right notes.
    Interesting AND informative.

  4. #14
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    I'm going to re read this thread again before I commit. There is so much good stuff in there that I'm still digesting.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ez_willis View Post
    get a bass player that can HEAR the right notes.
    You beat me to it.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnor View Post
    You beat me to it.
    it ain't rocket surgery. people make music and recording way more complicated than it needs to be.
    Interesting AND informative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ez_willis View Post
    it ain't rocket surgery. people make music and recording way more complicated than it needs to be.

    Agreed, same goes for guitar repair. Nothing mysterious about it.
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  8. #18
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    As light said, everyone uses it whether or not they're aware of it.

    For professional musicians its essential imo as a tool of communication.

    For musicians like me who write and perform their own music, its a very helpful tool. So many times i've been writing a part, knowing already that i'll be harmonising it diatonically in thirds, and knowing exactly how to do that. Having to sit their working it out "by ear" is certainly an option. But i'll take the quicker one thanks.

    The only thing i dislike is the people who play "by ear" and who seem to hate people who know what they're doing theory wise. I don't see the need. Ultimately, for me at least, the aim is to get the music thats in my head, out into peoples ears. I don't care how that happens.
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    Like a lot of musicians, I learned to play by ear. I don't see anything wrong with this approach but it does put some restrictions on ones playing. After years of fumbling and stumbling along I decided I wanted to know why some things work and some don't, that is when I began to study theory. Understanding a bit of the "why" didn't help my dexterity but it certainly has helped me to make a number of improvements to my playing. I now conect aspects of music that I did not believe possible before learning a little bit of theory. I still don't understand a lot of theory but every time i learn (and understand) something new it seems to open a new area in my playing.
    The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. [url]http://www.soundclick.com/sixfeetover[/url]

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