Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse

Announcement

Harmony Central has “soft launched” our new mobile experience this past week. While we have done extensive testing, we know that with a community as large as HC that there will be items that surface that will still need to be addressed. We are asking that you utilize the thread belowto report any challenges you may encounter. Here are the things we request you provide: A brief description of the issue, the device and operating system version you were using, the browser and version, screen resolution, and a screen shot of the display.
Thanks for your patience as we work towards the best experience we can provide to our community.

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/...ablet-feedback
See more
See less

I am completely musically illiterate.

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I am completely musically illiterate.

    Anybody else out there completely uneducated in music and theory? Anyone regret it? Appreciate it more? Do you feel like it limits you or frees you from the rules and structures?

    I've been playing guitar for 15 years and don't even have a single scale memorized. I know major and minor chords and I learned everything else by feel. I took lessons for about a year when I was 12, once it got to reading more than one note at once I was completely hopeless so I dropped it and taught myself once I got the basics.

    I only wanted to write songs and I was in punk bands so I never learned scales or practiced my chops, any successful improvising I can do now is based purely on my ear and estimated guessing of where the next note should be.

    I stopped playing for most of my 20s so I could focus on getting wasted, and this year I picked it back up and want to learn to play for real. Can I be self taught? I got some books and websites and a tutoring program that I've been working with. I've seen some progress the past few months. Anyone learn with this method, or should I seek out some lessons?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Overdone, Overdrive, Over-live, Override</div>

  • #2
    Music Theory and scales, technique, all that stuff are merely tools that help to produce music IMO... Much like any instrument. Nothing more, and nothing less. I've taken lessons from two people. One was awesome and helped me develop my own style with helpful hints and useful exercises. The other tried to force his style on me and I quit after a month. Lessons can be great with the right teacher and a burden with the wrong one.

    It always is helpful to look at different books on the subject, chord books, scale books, transcriptions, etc., even read biographies of your favorite artist(s). Much like CPR, It's better to know something and not need it than to not know something and need it.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Information is not knowledge<br />
    Knowledge is not wisdom<br />
    Wisdom is not truth<br />
    Truth is not beauty<br />
    Beauty is not love<br />
    Love is not music.<br />
    Music Is The Best.</i><br />
    <br />
    - Frank Zappa</div>

    Comment


    • #3
      We are thoroughly post-modern now, so don't view theory as a set of rules, view it as simply standardized descriptions of interaction, which you may apply as your muse requires. You can certainly learn yourself, though a good teacher will signifiantly expedite the process. Start off with the intervals, the base units of musical measurement, which describe the physical distances (in terms of half-steps/semitones) and fundamental harmonic interactions (ie, conventional roles and tonal qualifications) of the 12 semitones into which our system divides the octave. Scales, chords, really everything harmonic in our musical system is built directly from that set or can be understood in comparison, at least, as can quite a lot from other systems.
      Reality is the original Rorschach.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are seeing progress in yourself the past few months, sounds like your doing not bad at all by yourself! Good on ya man!

        Seek out lessons when/if you hit the wall
        <div class="signaturecontainer">Wanna See the Original 70s Fender Starcaster re-issued?<br />
        Sign the Petition!! link below (takes less than a minute, and its FREE! just skip the donation page) Do it!<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="" title="thumbs up" class="inlineimg" /><br />
        <br />
        <a href="http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fender70sstarcaster/" target="_blank">http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fender70sstarcaster/</a><br />
        <br />
        Thanks for all your support so far!<br />
        Signature count = 713!!!<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="" title="thumbs up" class="inlineimg" /><img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="" title="thumbs up" class="inlineimg" /><img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/love.gif" border="0" alt="" title="love" class="inlineimg" /> (26/Sept/2011)</div>

        Comment


        • #5
          i learned one scale in one key and where the notes on the fretboard are in about two weeks.

          my playing improved by 100% after that.

          Comment


          • #6
            I know zero theory, and it hasn't had an impact on my playing at all.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><div class="bbcode_container">
            <div class="bbcode_quote">
            <div class="quote_container">
            <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

            <div class="bbcode_postedby">
            <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Echoes</strong>
            <a href="showthread.php?p=43949143#post43949143" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
            </div>
            <div class="message">oh I am a 'communist' in the truest sense...</div>

            </div>
            </div>
            </div> <div align="center"><a href="http://youtu.be/uT6Os6_0zeQ" target="_blank">FOR SALE: G&amp;L ASAT CLASSIC W/OHSC $800 Shipped (VIDEO)</a></div><br />
            <div align="center"><a href="http://lemoncrush.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">++++FREE DOWNLOAD: FIRST SINGLE!!!!++++</a><br />
            <a href="http://www.youtube.com/lemoncrushmusic" target="_blank">LISTEN TO MY ALBUM ON YOUTUBE</a><br />
            <a href="http://www.facebook.com/browse/?type=admined_pages&amp;id=1576086083#!/pages/Lemon-Crush/139224246155493" target="_blank">MY FACEBOOK PAGE</a></div></div>

            Comment


            • #7
              i learned one scale in one key and where the notes on the fretboard are in about two weeks.

              my playing improved by 100% after that.


              I've learned a handful amount of scales and I still haven't learned where all the notes are. It's been about a month..
              <div class="signaturecontainer">MIM 2003 Fat Strat. Must develop chops.</div>

              Comment


              • #8
                I know zero theory, and it hasn't had an impact on my playing at all.


                Ditto. It helps that i only play my own compositions

                Comment


                • #9
                  ...as long as you KEEP ON LEARNING is key. However, IMHO a lesson or two once in a while would probably help keep you on your right track.

                  Good points above!! ...the best -->> careful who you select as a teacher/coach!!
                  <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;ROCK! ...or rock not.&quot; <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/evil.gif" border="0" alt="" title="evil" class="inlineimg" /><br />
                  <br />
                  - I <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/love.gif" border="0" alt="" title="love" class="inlineimg" /> vintage Deans!<br />
                  - am a Kramer FREAK!<br />
                  - Rhoads RULES m/<br />
                  <br />
                  <b>Wanted:</b> <br />
                  <b>Selling/Trade:</b><br />
                  <br />
                  <div class="bbcode_container">
                  <div class="bbcode_quote">
                  <div class="quote_container">
                  <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

                  <div class="bbcode_postedby">
                  <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>jjpistols</strong>
                  <a href="showthread.php?p=38175105#post38175105" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
                  </div>
                  <div class="message">**************** the guitar -<b><i><u> I</u></i></b> bring the flavor</div>

                  </div>
                  </div>
                  </div> </div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I learned the major and penitonic scale. That's pretty easy just a few boxes. I can find any note on any string but I don't just know them all. I have to look at the nut and scale down sometimes.

                    I know all the notes on the first 2 strings though. Just from playing chords.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      (after elem. sch. band-fr hrn) i taught myself guitar w/a chord book and the radio (and a coupla hints from a friend-thnks randy!). didn't know theory, but i knew what the notes did and if i didn't, i did my best to find out. as long as you hear them in your head, you can play them (that's the rub and that's where the practice comes in...). just keep keepin' on and you'll get there!
                      p.s. eventually i did take music courses and learned the names that every body else used for the things that i'd stumbled on. now i can describe my musical rantings...
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      acoustics and electrics of different aspects. some amps and cabs
                      and a multifx...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm pretty much in the same boat as DaleH. I consider myself to be largely unschooled in music theory. I've learned the major and minor pentatonic scales which definitely helped me to be able to jam along with blues based music. I'm not much good within the melodic scales. Still to this day if I'm going up the scale on the b and e strings, I sometimes get lost when I cut across the board to the lower strings. I know the patterns (boxes) of the scales all up and down the fb, and how the connect, but I can lose track of where I'm at when I've gone way up or way down the neck and then cut over. It bugs me that I don't visualize it completely beyond the three scale patterns within proximity. I also don't recognize most of the positions by their note name. I do know them all if i'm thinking about it as I go up a single string, but once again, if I start cutting over and was say on the 10th fret of the 3rd string and someone said, "stop - what note is that?" I'd only be able to say a half step below the one of the 11.

                        For where I have gotten though, understanding the major/minor bluesy pentatonic scales, this has been the best tool I've ever had. Big bang for the buck and in a real easy reference format, i.e. a dial.

                        ""The five most commonly used scale patterns/positions are shown on the music dials for the blues scale, minor pentatonic scale, major blues scale and major pentatonic scale".

                        http://www.musicdials.com/gsolo.html



                        the reference numbers in the white boxes change as you turn the dial to your desired key.



                        I don't need the dials anymore because I've learned it, it's just that I still need to work on always knowing where the scale pattern is no matter where I end up on the neck and no matter what key I'm in.
                        I don't think that would be as much of a problem for me if I understood the theory of note progression better and had all the notes on the fretboard memorized.

                        The back of those boards always contains cool bits of theory too.



                        The back of the Guitar Solo Dial shows you:
                        How to play rock and blues solos
                        Four scales in each key
                        Playing scales
                        Note fingering
                        Notes on the guitar neck


                        And they have other dials as well
                        http://www.musicdials.com/guitar.html
                        A '57 Classic, MIJ from USA parts.
                        HCEG Existentialism: I buy guitars, therefore, I am.
                        Well Dick, it's got a good beat, and I could dance to it, so I give it a 10!
                        I have opinions of my own,strong opinions but I don't always agree with them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is there a different between the harmonic minor and the relative minor? I kind of hate how open they are with the terms. I.E: from what I remember from various reading materials they called A minor C major's relative minor or harmonic minor.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer">MIM 2003 Fat Strat. Must develop chops.</div>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have no idea where some people think it's OK to know no theory at all. It's fine if you're the only songwriter in your group and you're expecting other people to emulate you, but people like that are extremely frustrating to work with for people like me and will be replaced at first opportunity unless they're contributing in other valuable ways because they slow other people down. I want to be able to say, the chord progression is D major, C major, F major, G major, and have you figure out something you can play. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should work.

                            I think it's not that important to know modes and all that crap because let's face it, most people won't need it. But when you play a note, you should know which note you're playing. Conversely, when someone tells you to play a note, you should be able to play that note. You should also know the other places where that note can be found on the fretboard. That's not the theory you think of in terms of classes, but I just think it's practical knowledge that any serious guitarist should have or seek to have. I've been playing guitar for just over four years now and I know what note I'm playing and I know at least five different ways to play a C major chord, so what's everyone else's excuse?
                            Electrics: Fender '73 Mustang RI, Epiphone Inspired by John Lennon Casino, Gibson 60s Tribute Les Paul Studio, Daisy Rock Retro-H Deluxe, Squier Hello Kitty Strat x2<br>Acoustics: Taylor 316CE-LTD, Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT<br>Basses: Squier Badtz Maru Bronco Bass, Aria CSB-300, Fender Mustang Bass RI<br>Amps: Vox TB18C1, Vox Pathfinder 210, Peavey Transtube Envoy, Ampeg Micro VR Stack<br>My Band: <a href="http://mittensband.com" target="_blank">http://mittensband.com</a>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have no idea where some people think it's OK to know no theory at all. It's fine if you're the only songwriter in your group and you're expecting other people to emulate you, but people like that are extremely frustrating to work with for people like me and will be replaced at first opportunity unless they're contributing in other valuable ways because they slow other people down. I want to be able to say, the chord progression is D major, C major, F major, G major, and have you figure out something you can play. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should work.

                              I think it's not that important to know modes and all that crap because let's face it, most people won't need it. But when you play a note, you should know which note you're playing. Conversely, when someone tells you to play a note, you should be able to play that note. You should also know the other places where that note can be found on the fretboard. That's not the theory you think of in terms of classes, but I just think it's practical knowledge that any serious guitarist should have or seek to have. I've been playing guitar for just over four years now and I know what note I'm playing and I know at least five different ways to play a C major chord, so what's everyone else's excuse?


                              No, when you play a note you should know what SOUND it's going to make. That's what playing guitar is about, it's not about looking at the fretboard, it's about what noise your guitar is going to make. I would consider myself a higher tier guitar player, I'm not amazing but I'm pretty damn good. But I don't know **************** about music theory. I'm not saying that music theory wouldn't help, I know it would, I just play guitar because I love playing guitar and when I have to "study" it becomes a chore and something I lose interest in.

                              I've just seen so many guitar players get stuck in music theory, it becomes one big formula. Like when playing a solo instead of feeling the solo out it's like "ok, I can go here and then go here and bend here". I'm not trying to deter anyone from learning music theory, I just think in the end it comes down to talent, a good ear, and practice. That's going to determine whether you're a great guitar player or not.

                              Comment



                              Working...
                              X