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flea theory or not

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Bassist519, Jan 24, 2004.


  1. Bassist519

    Bassist519 Guest

    Feb 6, 2003
    Albany,New York
    ok, flea says that he can improvise and have perfect sounding bassline in songs without knowing theory. Do you think this is true? I mean can someone really just memorize the entire fretboard and just kno exactly what they want to play and just play it. im sure he knows at least something about theory... what do u guys think?
     
  2. Wildside

    Wildside

    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    you probably can if you work hard enough at it. Eventually you'll get familiar with what frets make what sounds, even if you dont know the note names. That said, I don't understand why you'd want to go that route. In my opinion it's much easier to just learn a little theory and apply it than to spend 4 hours experimenting with different note combinations hoping one sounds right.
     
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    In doing that, he is using music theory, he just doesn't know it (or call it that). Knowing the fretboard and what notes work together as a bassline is a type of music theory.
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You don't need theory in order to play, you don't need grammar to speak either, right?

    But theory is a very, very valuable tool to "know" what you're saying/playing or how you can play something.

    Theory is your friend. ;)
     
  5. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'd guess he knows a lot more theory than he lets on, the guy is a first rate trumpet player and was in the LA Junior Philharmonic as a violinist when he was young and his stepdad was a pro jazz musician. I would venture that he's got a pretty good idea what will sound good where regardless of whether he calls it "theory" or just playing what sounds good, he knows more than he lets on.