Author Topic: Musicality thread of learning to play, music theory, and never enough practice  (Read 1138 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?
slick

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.

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.

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.)

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.
slick

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.
que

agrajag

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sounds like a guitar player
slick

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.
slick

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

slick

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

Tasty Meat

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Also been listening to chunks of this:



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

agrajag

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

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
slick

Snoopycat_

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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. :)

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
slick

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
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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.
slick

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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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.
slick

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..."
que

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.
slick

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.
slick

headwalk

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getting circa 2003 musicianforum flashbacks.

Stro

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Shut the fuck up you stupid cunt