Author Topic: Musicality thread of learning to play, music theory, and never enough practice  (Read 2589 times)

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Philip Cardgage

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Glen

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Learning more theory has taken my composition and songwriting to the next level. I've mostly finished up two songs that I was stuck on forever. Just by... wait for it, moving to some other chords in the key, or a borrowed chord from the parallel minor.

Not learning theory was such a handicap. Praise be my girlfriend and her cousin for opening my eyes to how lacking I was on this front.

I'm a Puppy!

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My music theory professor, who had his doctorate in Music theory always quoted Debussy saying "There is no theory. Music cannot be learned."

That confusing asshole!
que

agrajag

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My music theory professor, who had his doctorate in Music theory always quoted Debussy saying "There is no theory. Music cannot be learned."

That confusing asshole!

so his entire career was a sham then?

Tasty Meat

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Today marks one month since I started learning piano! (Dec. 10) 🎹

Might have a vid of my progress tonight or tomorrow. Today also marked the first time I learned a ""completed"" song, but I'm not quite at speed on the last couple measures yet.

Spent like three hours today practicing lol. I've missed two days in January so far but I've made up for it on the following days.
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I'm a Puppy!

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That's awesome tasty! I'm really proud and envious.


But, there's no such thing as make up practice. It doesn't work that way. Still, way to go!
que

Tasty Meat

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Yeah it's really frustrating. :lol Those three hours were basically half hour chunks throughout the day, I've noticed my playing gets a LOT worse after the 30 min mark haha.
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Tasty Meat

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Actually -- misread your post. I agree! There are no makeup days really. That said, when you're traveling cross-state without your keyboard, sometimes you have to just accept an off day. (I mean mostly practice-wise; on those days I still tore into my music theory book.)
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I'm a Puppy!

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Fun fact: Rachmaninoff wrote his second piano concerto but hadn't learned it and his agent booked him to debut it 3 weeks later in New York.
Which means he had to learn it solely using a practice keyboard while taking a ship from Europe to New York. He arrived 2 days before the concert. This makes listening to it that much more impressive. When he debuted it he had only played it on an actual piano a handful of times.

que

agrajag

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iirc Berlioz was the first major composer who didn't play an instrument, or could not play his own pieces at any rate.

I'm a Puppy!

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iirc Berlioz was the first major composer who didn't play an instrument, or could not play his own pieces at any rate.
He could play guitar. But he was apparently not very good at it.
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agrajag

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sounds like a guitar player

I'm a Puppy!

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que

agrajag

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another favorite of mine I want to share.



he has so much knowledge and so engaging, even people that don't know a lick (har) about music watch his videos.

agrajag

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I love old timey instruments with nylon (or better yet gut) strinfs. Classical guitars, lutes, harpsichords, they instantly transport you go a long gone era.

 :lawd


Tasty Meat

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It seems like I suck 10% more when the camera's on, but that's just one more skill to learn. :idont

My first "complete" song at full speed. :D You can really tell the differences compared to the vid a week ago. I'm really happy with my progress so far. :heart
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Tasty Meat

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Also been listening to chunks of this:



Puts the fear of God into me like little else has.
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agrajag

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well Scriabin did try to initiate the apocalypse and raise the old ones with his music..

I'm a Puppy!

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I love old timey instruments with nylon (or better yet gut) strinfs. Classical guitars, lutes, harpsichords, they instantly transport you go a long gone era.

 :lawd


True story. When I was in college I was approached by the early music ensemble because they needed a lute player and they were asking me to help them. I said OK, and they gave me a lute to use and some tablature. I had to learn to teach myself to learn lute tab (no small feat) and I honestly rather enjoyed it. Not as much as the guitar, but it was a nice diversion. Anyhoo, we play a bunch of concerts and all that then one day I get a letter from the Utah Shakespearean festival offering me a job to come and dress up like a minstrel and play the lute for people at the festival. 

Right after that I put down the lute and never picked it up again. If the end game is becoming a professional m'lady-er I didn't want to spend more time on it.
que

agrajag

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yeah, next thing you know you're an alcoholic living in the trailer behind the renaissance festival

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I once dated this girl who was in an "experimental" band which made her seem all cool and mysterious. One night I went to see her and her band playing a gig in a half empty pub. It turned out it was just her and 3 Yokos hitting things with spoons. I had to be all supportive and pretend she wasn't a total spaz so I could get into her panties, which turned out to be not worth it. The next day she took me to see some chamber orchestra. I was stuck with her and a bunch of beards watching some divs playing cellos like it mattered. Anyway, the point is you don't even need to learn to play anything cos you can just say your avant garde and nobody will say shit.

Tasty Meat

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There's always room for self-improvement. :)
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Snoopycat_

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This is my favourite YT music guy. I like Jak because he's coked to the gills and looks like Bill Murray in drag, but he knows his stuff and he's down to earth. A lot of YT music guys are boring or precious as fuck. Ask James James why he only plays boring 70s shit and it's guaranteed she'll have a mental breakdown and threaten to quit.


headwalk

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This is my favourite YT music guy. I like Jak because he's coked to the gills and looks like Bill Murray in drag, but he knows his stuff and he's down to earth. A lot of YT music guys are boring or precious as fuck. Ask James James why he only plays boring 70s shit and it's guaranteed she'll have a mental breakdown and threaten to quit.



this is what i'm talking about. i get nothing out of the modern eductated youtube guitarist who goes into aspergic detail about the pick slant slash uses or whatever while having no emotion behind it. if you're teaching rock or metal, there needs to be a rawness there. a piss stained pair of drainpipes that you haven't been able to squeeze into for a decade and a trembling disposition that tells its own story.

i mean, you don't have to go that far, but you have to understand that it's as much about projection of energy as it is notes on a page.

quite like ben eller for that reason. he splits the difference. he's def of the new school but still gets it.

agrajag

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ITT old rocker man yells at cloud

I'm a Puppy!

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I once dated this girl who was in an "experimental" band which made her seem all cool and mysterious. One night I went to see her and her band playing a gig in a half empty pub. It turned out it was just her and 3 Yokos hitting things with spoons. I had to be all supportive and pretend she wasn't a total spaz so I could get into her panties, which turned out to be not worth it. The next day she took me to see some chamber orchestra. I was stuck with her and a bunch of beards watching some divs playing cellos like it mattered. Anyway, the point is you don't even need to learn to play anything cos you can just say your avant garde and nobody will say shit.
In college there were several times I was asked to perform with the modern music ensemble. 80% of the performances I did with them I was sight reading/just making it up on the fly. They were always like "Oh man, that was soul touching! Such artistry!" 80% of modern/avant garde music  ::)
que

Cindi Mayweather

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Tasty doing good :heartbeat

Stro

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Many if not most of the greatest guitar players of all time never even figured out how to read music, let alone deep dive into theory and shit. Knowing the root 5th augmented minor pentonic platonic sweeping 9th step diminished bullshit and why it sounds the way it sounds and how it interlocks with 14 other notes and chords is fine and dandy, but that doesn't mean you're going to produce good music from it. And if you aren't producing good music with your knowledge, what's the point?

That knowledge makes more sense to have for classical writers and orchestral music. A guitar player doesn't need to learn any of that to still be a great player, imo. You don't even really have to learn scales to be a great guitar player. GOAT instrument for herbs  :noah

agrajag

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that depends on your taste.

According to some very well respected musicians and composers, theory is more of an "after the fact" analytical tool. The real trailblazers create theory. But, all the greats were students of the craft in one way or another.

I'm a Puppy!

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For every guitarist that actually doesn't need theory there's 20,000 playing wonderwall baldy and thinking they're hot shit.

Never understood the "I don't need theory!" people. Unless you're Jimi or Stevie or Randi (who btw he actually knew his theory) why would you not want more insight into your craft?
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Tasty Meat

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agrajag

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For every guitarist that actually doesn't need theory there's 20,000 playing wonderwall baldy and thinking they're hot shit.

Never understood the "I don't need theory!" people. Unless you're Jimi or Stevie or Randi (who btw he actually knew his theory) why would you not want more insight into your craft?

True. At the end of the day, all those theoretical terms Stro ridiculed are just names for musical sounds. If you just want to play blues-based riffs it's fine to stay in the rock bubble, and it's true that you don't need a whole shit ton of theory for that.

A lot of oldschool jazz guitarists have a very simple approach to theory. For example, Jimmy Bruno rejects any kind of modal analysis, he just trained his ear very well and knows how each note will sound over any given chord, how intervals resolve, etc. That's theory in itself, but more like theory in practice and very stripped down.

I think theory should be looked at as an educational tool, not a rigid template for composing music.

Stro

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For every guitarist that actually doesn't need theory there's 20,000 playing wonderwall baldy and thinking they're hot shit.

Never understood the "I don't need theory!" people. Unless you're Jimi or Stevie or Randi (who btw he actually knew his theory) why would you not want more insight into your craft?

Mostly because it's boring and turns music into a mechanical process.

"A lot of oldschool jazz guitarists have a very simple approach to theory. For example, Jimmy Bruno rejects any kind of modal analysis, he just trained his ear very well and knows how each note will sound over any given chord, how intervals resolve, etc. That's theory in itself, but more like theory in practice and very stripped down."

That makes sense to me and I feel like really that's more than good enough for most players, and actually the natural way to learn it over time on your own without really needed to actually study up on theory itself. If you stick to it long enough you'll likely just kind of figure out most of this stuff and likely in a more intuitive and memorable way than studying definitions and vocabulary.

I'm a Puppy!

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Yup. And it takes different kinds. I understand that I dissect pieces and like to follow theory and all that. But that's why I stay away from composition. I'm too held by rules by the way my mind works. That's fine. I can take someone's piece and make it mine. Others can go and create new. I just can't stand though people that are like "I don't need theory!" and all they can come up with is the same insipid stuff everyone else who thinks they don't need theory comes up with. Just as much as I can't stand the people that are like "Well, I learned in theory class that I should write it this way..."
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Stro

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I just kind of feel like there's a hyper focus on theory over the past few years in online discussion, in the internet sense of anything you do has a million tutorials on how to do it the "best" way and people get too tied down to that being the way it has to be done. Especially when it comes to creative endevours like music, writing, or even cooking. Get this rigidity outta my face  :donot

agrajag

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For every guitarist that actually doesn't need theory there's 20,000 playing wonderwall baldy and thinking they're hot shit.

Never understood the "I don't need theory!" people. Unless you're Jimi or Stevie or Randi (who btw he actually knew his theory) why would you not want more insight into your craft?

Mostly because it's boring and turns music into a mechanical process.

"A lot of oldschool jazz guitarists have a very simple approach to theory. For example, Jimmy Bruno rejects any kind of modal analysis, he just trained his ear very well and knows how each note will sound over any given chord, how intervals resolve, etc. That's theory in itself, but more like theory in practice and very stripped down."

That makes sense to me and I feel like really that's more than good enough for most players, and actually the natural way to learn it over time on your own without really needed to actually study up on theory itself. If you stick to it long enough you'll likely just kind of figure out most of this stuff and likely in a more intuitive and memorable way than studying definitions and vocabulary.

Actually a lot of like I mentioned, old school jazz players will agree with you. A lot of them resent the modal approach (which scale and mode should I play over this chord) and call it unmusical and the two approaches do have different characteristics. But these differences really boil down to improvisational playing.

Actively studying music does help a lot if you want to compose stuff beyond popular genres.

agrajag

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I think modal harmony is the term I am referring to. It is the preeminent approach to soloing in the jazz circles nowadays, but the older bebop guys reject it and focus on chord tones. The modal harmony approach was developed in music conservatories.

headwalk

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getting circa 2003 musicianforum flashbacks.

Stro

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Shut the fuck up you stupid cunt

Glen

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I got most of the first page of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude down. It's pretty straightforward aside from being in Db.

I studied ahead a little bit and practiced the heavy part on the second page with those hard-hitting chords, and goddamn that shit is so dope. Makes you feel powerful. I can't wait to be able to play this entire piece.

Guitar is also coming along pretty well.

Andy, how's your piano coming along?

Tasty Meat

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Music theory is coming along a little bit, although I'm rushing through some of the memorization stuff (like all the key signatures) for now -- a cheat sheet over the course of a few months will likely be how I learn those.

As for practice, life's been crazy so I've been missing it, which is on me. What's also stunted things is I accomplished my first real goal and so I'm sort of in search of the next one.

Whatever it is, after I complete it, I intend to get a teacher afterwards.

Great reading your progress man. :)
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Glen

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Even 15 minutes a day is better than zero minutes.

Tasty Meat

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Even 15 minutes a day is better than zero minutes.

My lack of keyboard has been an issue more days than not, although that balance could flip this weekend I think... :-\

You're totally right tho.
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Tasty Meat

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Also tried playing on an actual piano for the first time tonight... holy fuck I need weighted keys so bad what the fuck
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Glen

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Also tried playing on an actual piano for the first time tonight... holy fuck I need weighted keys so bad what the fuck

Yeah dude, for sure. Weightless keys are nothing. You might as well be playing air piano, except that it does make an actual sound. You need weight for dynamics and proper tactile feedback.

Glen

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I never thought it would come to this, but I'm learning a John Mayer song, Why Georgia. Never thought much of it, but I saw a friend playing it, and it has this percussive beat technique that I decided I have to learn. I have the intro mostly down at full speed, but the timing between that and the "lasts all afternoon" riff isn't quite there yet.

I probably won't learn the full song since I only care about the technique. On the other hand, it might be a hit at parties.

After that I'm probably going to learn a second John Mayer song, Stop This Train. It has the percussive beat with the thumb combined with a simultaneous downward flick of the fingers, which is kind of nuts, though it would be no sweat for Masters Puppy and Agrajag no doubt.

After that I'll probably learn a third fucking Mayer song, Neon, because that riff is pretty fucking sick, and it's maybe the only thing of his that I actually like.

agrajag

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I am not good at fingerpicking and doing percussive things with my thumb.


Tasty:

Dufus

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I need to buy a guitar case for my acoustic. How do I make sure it fits properly?

I think I found a suitable case for my guitar with some googling. But I still feel like I have to ask. I dunno anxiety or some shit. :doge

Also how fucked am I for having kept my acoustic out in the open in bedroom/living room for almost a decade?

Glen

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I can pretty much play through Raindrop Prelude now. Next steps are to clean up all the little mistakes and timing issues, and also memorize it.

Once that's done I'll start trying to add my own feeling to the piece.

Dufus

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i prolly shoulda asked my question in the random talk thread

nothing but basic piano bitches itt :nope

Glen

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I'm firmly Intermediate at the piano, dick.

Glen

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I can play through Mayer痴 Neon intro with what I think is the right fingerpicking pattern at about 60% speed now. This giant-thumbed motherfucker is going to break my hand.

Cindi Mayweather

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So like, I want to get started on my classical guitar stuff. I don't have an acoustic or classical guitar yet but have my trusty tele here. Can I learn classical guitar (baroque, flamenco, folk) on my telecaster?

Yesterday trashuman posted this great video of Nancy playing a solo to Heart's Crazy On You live, and as said earlier in this thread, I LOVE folk, baroque, flamenco, classical inspired guitar styles and I've been listening to folk rock all day. I've finally got the motivation to get started thanks to that video, which is here:



I guess I can get started learning those arpeggios Puppy posted.

Cindi Mayweather

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This video gives me hope I can hack learning classical without a classical guitar until I get one.



Just gotta remember guitars are just tools.

Glen

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He's using a pick, so of course you can do that, and you can learn finger picking on an electric as well. Some flamenco strumming patterns would likely hurt your fingers if you tried to play them on steel strings

Cindi Mayweather

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Yeah, I really need a classical guitar. :(

It seems this book is good for self learners.

https://www.amazon.com/Solo-Guitar-Playing-Book-4th/dp/0825636795/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=frederick+noad&qid=1551415137&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I'll have a teacher check up on my progress every few months. Need that classical guitar first.



Guitar is the most beautiful instrument (my opinion). :uguu

Cindi Mayweather

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Open tunings are fun if yr bored of standard tuning on guitar. Chord shapes are different and it also works well for slide playing if you池e into that. Capos too. Lots of possibilities

Glen

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Working on some modes. Dorian is sick for lead over certain types of progressions. I知 also using Phrygian for fills and the lead part to a song I wrote the rhythm parts to awhile back.

I could also see myself using Mixolydian over some stuff I致e written that uses more 7ths. There痴 apparently a Mixolydian/blues hybrid scale that could be useful.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 05:15:10 AM by Glen »

Glen

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Where the fuck is Andrex? This thread died with him gone.  :(

I started working on this piece. Probably my favorite Chopin.



The phrases with 11 right hand notes over 6 left hand notes are kind of tough.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 02:20:45 PM by Glen »