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theory over rated

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by helterschecter, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. GeoffT


    Aug 1, 2011
    Not sure what you're even talking about with the mailman. I said (or at least thought I did) that there ARE performers in other countries who have acheived the same amount of appeal/popularity as Dylan and Lennon who would be considered equals for similar reasons, yet we have never heard about them because of the language difference not because they never developed the talent. The appeal is mostly the lyrical content and the connection to those lyrics.

    I don't think I said hip hop lyrics were irrelevant, they are very important, just less definitive of the entire genre than the rhythms. There is a reason that James Brown and Chic and great funk bands are sampled a thousand times more often than say Metallica or Yes (not to dig on either, just what came to mind when I thought what is the opposite of hip hop) - crazy good, funky rhythms. Just because it's created on computers doesn't mean it's computer generated, it uses lots of real life samples and takes people to program the beats, harmony, and various other assorted sounds (the computer and sound generating programs are just the instrument they choose to use). At it's core it's about the rhythms but there are acts out there that rise to the top of the genre because of the lyrical and emotional responses they evoke, for the same reasons Dylan and Lennon did.

    I am not saying that melody/harmony are more or less important than any other part of music, such as lyrical content or rhythmic content. They all work together and can be used in varying degrees to create great music. Therein lies the beauty of music, it can move people in many different ways using each of the various elements.
  2. helterschecter


    May 2, 2011
    I'm hearing a lot of if you know a note such as a c on your bass you are using theory. Personally I don't know how knowing where the notes are is theory? Theory is something that can't actually be set in stone. To me a note would not be theory and would be absolute. Since you can put a electronic tuner on your bass and it will confirm that what note it is. and I don't see how knowing the root of a cord is theory either because its just the single note of a chord.I also don't understand how it is theory if you keep a beat or rythem. A leaking sink can can keep a beat aswell. But I do understand what I would consider theory. Such as what notes sound good together and what rythems are usually used for certain types of music. But to consider every thing theory just doesn't make sence to me.. maybe I'm wrong
  3. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Huh? So theory is guesses? The major scale, for example, is a given, and quite set in stone.

    The 'only a theory' mindset that is being taught in science classes etc today is buggering up thinking.

    Accepted theories are the best explanation for observation available.

    I doubt our harmony system is set to completely unravel anytime soon.
  4. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    In order to study how music works, you need tools, like names of things, descriptions, etc. The word "theory," in this case, is not used as it is in science. It's not something that is being guessed about. Maybe we could call it the "philosophy" of music instead. Or, better yet, the "mechanics" of music. Sure, a C-note is a C-note, but how it reacts to, say an F-chord is also a certainty. That's objective. How we want to use it or think about it can be subjective. Yet, the laws of physics as they apply to how sound is formed and how different sounds react to each other is as set as bedrock. How we like to categorize such things is what gives us different styles of music.
  5. Exactly. It's not theory vs fact, it's really more theory vs practice.
  6. Gaius46


    Dec 15, 2010
    Thank you. Misunderstanding what the word "theory" really means is one of the few things that really annoys me.
  7. I think people mis-understand the word "theory". to me, if you play by ear, and you learn harmonies...and what notes fit together and relate to each other. then you're practicing "theory". it doesn't matter if you learned it from a formal education or if you've developed it yourself. your still practicing "theory".
    Having said that, learning it through practicing with books or through teachers probably can get you through a lot of lost time and needless struggling and give you the information necessary to communicate with other more formally educated players and .
    I think theory is a tool for playing instruments just like playing by ear, learning what instrument suits you, type of amp etc. anyway, that's how I approached bass playing.
  8. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I have always know Flea had an open mind, and was up for self improvement. He is doing what I am doing...taking lessons on a professional level...meaning, classical and jazz. There is nothing but good that will come from this!
  9. Whew..No time to read all pages..just my 2 cents, then I gotta run...
    OK..It all depends on the musical knowledge of others you are working with. It's all about communication: If you have little music theory knowledge, then you can best explain like this.."Dudes..I got this thing and it kind of goes like this..."

    A little more knowledge and..Dudes! I got this thing ..It's in A..

    More.. OK... This is a 3 chord turn around in A minor with a middle section in E, then down to C....

    When you are dealing musicians with all having better than basic music theory, communication becomes even more detailed; chord charts with some written figures. I wouldn' t expect any more than this, unless I was playing jazz, where it would be that much as a minimum or classical, where it is expected to be completely written out.
    My 2 cents..zon6c-f
  10. helterschecter


    May 2, 2011
    Thank you all for your input. I didn't realize this thread would be so popular. I guess for now I will just practice playing music untill I get to where I feel I need to learn more theory. thanks again
  11. If you want to improvise around those songs and add fills you will need to know what notes to play and where to find them.
  12. xxpigxx


    Nov 4, 2007
    I personally have never looked into theory too deeply. I had two years of piano lessons when I was 5 or 6. I was in band in Jr. High, and made all-state all four years if high school (played Euphonium/Baritone).

    I know what sounds good, and if I don't know certain chords, I will figure them out. I am lreatty good at knowing what will work and what won't. And if all else fails, root note ftw. lol

    I suppose one day I will look more into proper theory. For now, I go with what sounds good, through trial and error if need be.
  13. theory and song writing should go hand in hand imho

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