i know i should know my theory, but....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bassicallypulse, Jul 29, 2001.

  1. well ok i know some of the general rules of music, i got a basic understanding of modes and scales and fitting them into the chords of a song. But i don't use them as much as i probably should. the way i see it i have ears and i can tell what sounds good. Sometimes i may have to go against the rules to make it sound good. Is that so bad? Am i less of a bassist because i play an off key note? How does everyone else look at this point?
  2. Oh man, I wish Ed Fuqua was here.
  3. (Y) WEll..I think that you can have off key notes, if they lead into the next "correct" note..
    I do that sometimes...Like, do you know White Room? Jack Bruce does some amazing hings with seemingly off key notes..Check out the bass tab for it, apply it to Musicator (or the like) and hear it..
    Mum calls off key's "Jazz"..But i think they are important, to get a bit of feel and (cliche) personality into what you're playing..
    What do you think?
  4. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    i was gonna say the same thing...but opposite.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    The real question is, did you MEAN to play the "off key note", or did it come out by accident? Do you hear these "off key" notes BEFORE you play them, or only after? If you mean to play them, then you have no problem. If you are getting surprised by what is coming out of your bass, I'd take that as a sign that it's time to spend some time in the woodshed with whatever piece of music is acting as a breeding ground for these "accidents".

    We've been through all this before, but remember that theory is just a scientific way to describe SOUNDS THAT HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED. The reason to study it (as far as I can tell) is so that you can learn to develop instant access to any sound you've ever heard in the past that you might want to use in the future. Personally, I take that as a lifelong learning process, but one that rewards me every time I play.

    On the other hand, if you don't want to know what you're doing in scientific terms, and don't care about communicating with others in a common musical language (including shorthand), and don't care about having instant access to all of the music that has been written/recorded in the last 800 years or so, then you don't need theory.
  6. If you play with enough conviction, then it will seem less of a mistake, and your audience with think you know what you're doing - (of course if you're in an exam you might me marked down, but then again, you might be given extra marks for improvisation... it depends on the intent... ;> )

    I once heard Thelonius Monk described as being one of the few musicians who knew "the secret of the right mistake".

    - Wil
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    viva la revolucion
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    More on Monk-
    "...he can make an in-tune piano sound outta tune".
  9. Ha ha! I hadn't heard that one - I can imagine it driving the poor bloody piano-tuner nuts!!!!

    - Wil
  10. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Chris, it's a troll.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yeah, I kinda figured that...but hell, just cause it's a troll doesn't mean that you always have to disembowel it. I mean, it's one thing when some fool like LACETEDDY starts getting personal, and quite another when somebody posts something like, "WhY dO i NeEd To KnOw MuSiC tHeOrY wHaT's WrOnG wItH a FeW wRoNg NoTeS?", y'know?

    On the other hand, if this thread had showed up in DB.......
  12. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    not even a little bit.
  13. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    It doesn´t matter WHAT you play, it´s HOW you play it.
    I am so smart..