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Thread: Hows does your brain work

  1. #61
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by justFred View Post
    dunno...been noodling with the same bunch for years...goes like the drum dude starts, the bass dude goes and the rest of us just follow the bass...isn't that the way it works unless your doing some kind of set/composition/real fancy music thing???
    But Iíll bet that you look over at the bass player to see what he is playing....thatís how you know what to play or at least where to start.
    Visual communication is still communication.

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    Bull. You play a jam with some friends, does everybody play something and just hope it sounds ok? Or do you say to each other a blues in A? Theory is nothing more than communicating what your playing to other people

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    I’m not in a band now so I don’t have that problem. When I did have a band in a previous lifetime though: somehow we got stuff together. I know for sure we never said “right: this song starts with, or is in, Am” (mostly because nobody knew where that was on guitar or bass). Who knows. Maybe that’s why it took long to do things and why we never became famous!!! LOL!!! Me personally: I know all this stuff on piano (keyboards) but I couldn’t tell you what I’m playing on a guitar at any given time I’ll tell ya. And, well, when it comes to solos I just do it until it sounds right as per your question. Maybe that’s why I am not famous!!! LOL!!!

    P.S.

    Just reading the last two posts yeh: something like that. You know: look at each other and say “OK it starts like this...”. LOL!!!
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-06-2019 at 11:31 AM.

  3. #63
    Ben1962
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterson View Post
    Iím not in a band now so I donít have that problem. When I did have a band in a previous lifetime though: somehow we got stuff together. I know for sure we never said ďright: this song starts with, or is in, AmĒ (mostly because nobody knew where that was on guitar or bass). Who knows. Maybe thatís why it took long to do things and why we never became famous!!! LOL!!! Me personally: I know all this stuff on piano (keyboards) but I couldnít tell you what Iím playing on a guitar at any given time Iíll tell ya. And, well, when it comes to solos I just do it until it sounds right as per your question. Maybe thatís why I am not famous!!! LOL!!!

    P.S.

    Just reading the last two posts yeh: something like that. You know: look at each other and say ďOK it starts like this...Ē. LOL!!!
    So the backing tracks, if it's in Am, do you go around the 5th fret like most people? E is at 12th and so on. And I am not saying you have to start there, but most do. Learn a song, how you play one if you dont know chords? Theory is nothing more than a language. It doesnt even have to be conscious. Play a major 3rd in a minor blues, your brain knows it's wrong in a split second

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    Music theory gets in the way? You supposed to just try every different series of notes till it sounds right? I dont see how knowing Dorian has a major 6th hurts anybody. I think if its too much at once is the problem, not the theory.
    BB King knows exactly two things about ANY scale in music: jack and squat.

    Pick up a guitar. Play a Bmaj barre chord, then a Dmaj open chord, then an Amaj open chord...AND THEN tell me what the next chord is that even almost sounds like it belongs in that progression. Try 'em all, it doesn't take long.

    Then you tell me which mode in the natural scale allows for Emaj to be that next chord! HOW IS IT THAT A SCALE THAT ONLY OFFERS 3 MAJORS IN A CHORD PROGRESSION IS NOW ALLOWING FOR 4 OF THEM...?!?

    Music theory tells one story about how that just happened, and your ear tells you that same story. One is more boring to listen to than the other.

    Bull. You play a jam with some friends, does everybody play something and just hope it sounds ok? Or do you say to each other a blues in A? Theory is nothing more than communicating what your playing to other people
    Meh, you can dumb it down for people. Not only that, but many MANY guitar player simply never jam with other people. In fact, I wonder which is more common; people who NEVER jam with others, or people who do.

    In other words, what you're saying is that music theory is important to you, and how you communicate with those you play with. That's awesome! You learned how to do TWO things that are difficult (wait, let's call it THREE things that are difficult): (1) playing guitar, (2) music theory, and (3) playing guitar with others. There's a HUGE leap that a person takes when they learn the ability to play guitar with others; especially if it's not just "a bunch of guys jammin' and doing the same thing," but, you know, "this guy plays lead, this guy plays rhythm." So, yeah, right on!!!

    I'm going to defend BB King and say that he was somehow able to communicate with his band mates despite his lack of concern for music theory. I'm going to say this because I've heard of him, and his ability to play guitar IN A BAND is why.

    *******

    Answer to the "4 majors in a progression" issue: "Borrowed chords." (Is it "relative modes" or "complimentary modes"....I can't remember. Not only that, but whichever the one is that I'm talking about, I can't remember what the other one even is!!!)
    Last edited by Gransen; 02-06-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Gransen View Post
    BB King knows exactly two things about ANY scale in music: jack and squat.

    Pick up a guitar. Play a Bmaj barre chord, then a Dmaj open chord, then an Amaj open chord...AND THEN tell me what the next chord is that even almost sounds like it belongs in that progression. Try 'em all, it doesn't take long.

    Then you tell me which mode in the natural scale allows for Emaj to be that next chord! HOW IS IT THAT A SCALE THAT ONLY OFFERS 3 MAJORS IN A CHORD PROGRESSION IS NOW ALLOWING FOR 4 OF THEM...?!?

    Music theory tells one story about how that just happened, and your ear tells you that same story. One is more boring to listen to than the other.



    Meh, you can dumb it down for people. Not only that, but many MANY guitar player simply never jam with other people. In fact, I wonder which is more common; people who NEVER jam with others, or people who do.

    In other words, what you're saying is that music theory is important to you, and how you communicate with those you play with. That's awesome! You learned how to do TWO things that are difficult (wait, let's call it THREE things that are difficult): (1) playing guitar, (2) music theory, and (3) playing guitar with others. There's a HUGE leap that a person takes when they learn the ability to play guitar with others; especially if it's not just "a bunch of guys jammin' and doing the same thing," but, you know, "this guy plays lead, this guy plays rhythm." So, yeah, right on!!!

    I'm going to defend BB King and say that he was somehow able to communicate with his band mates despite his lack of concern for music theory. I'm going to say this because I've heard of him, and his ability to play guitar IN A BAND is why.

    *******

    Answer to the "4 majors in a progression" issue: "Borrowed chords." (Is it "relative modes" or "complimentary modes"....I can't remember. Not only that, but whichever the one is that I'm talking about, I can't remember what the other one even is!!!)
    So you do know some theory. Lol. There are many guys that play better than me that dont know secondary dominants, and harmonic minor. But I started late, I dont have a zillion years to do it by trial and error. The other thing, people that dont know theory hit the wall faster imo. My son is a perfect example

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    So the backing tracks, if it's in Am, do you go around the 5th fret like most people? E is at 12th and so on. And I am not saying you have to start there, but most do. Learn a song, how you play one if you dont know chords? Theory is nothing more than a language. It doesnt even have to be conscious. Play a major 3rd in a minor blues, your brain knows it's wrong in a split second

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    I cannot answer you. If I am learning something new it’s from some guitar tutor stuff or I’ll take an original track or DVD and just sound the chords until I’ve got them. Then I’ll take a backing track for the same song and just repeat with it what I’ve just learned. If it’s my own stuff and I’m creating my own backing track then I’ll “fit” the bass and keyboards on the MIDI tracks to what I’m playing on the guitar (or visa versa). For me it’s really only when I’m working on a keyboard that I see “oh this is in Em” for example. And with solos I’m just getting them from DVD or from the tutor stuff (maybe even from YouTube) (or simply by ear or trial and error). Point is: at no point do I know what I’m ctually playing on the guitar. And you do learn somehow that “right: started in this chord and the next progression is going to be here”. Dunno if I’m explaining myself correctly but am trying. Oh and sometimes from tabs. But with tabs. same thing i.e. I don’t look at the part where it says Em. I’m just looking at the position on the fretboard.

    P.S.

    When I refer to guitar tutor stuff I’m talking about stuff that just breaks the songs down and then goes through them bit by bit i.e. no theory involved. Most all of the Dio stuff I’m working on I’ve got from LickLibrary (Danny Gill). Everything is just broken down, you slap small sections on repeat, and just keep going until you get it right, then just stitch the whole lot together. Suppose you could call it “parrot fashion”???
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-06-2019 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterson View Post
    I cannot answer you. If I am learning something new itís from some guitar tutor stuff or Iíll take an original track or DVD and just sound the chords until Iíve got them. Then Iíll take a backing track for the same song and just repeat with it what Iíve just learned. If itís my own stuff and Iím creating my own backing track then Iíll ďfitĒ the bass and keyboards on the MIDI tracks to what Iím playing on the guitar (or visa versa). For me itís really only when Iím working on a keyboard that I see ďoh this is in EmĒ for example. And with solos Iím just getting them from DVD or from the tutor stuff (maybe even from YouTube) (or simply by ear or trial and error). Point is: at no point do I know what Iím ctually playing on the guitar. And you do learn somehow that ďright: started in this chord and the next progression is going to be hereĒ. Dunno if Iím explaining myself correctly but am trying. Oh and sometimes from tabs. But with tabs. same thing i.e. I donít look at the part where it says Em. Iím just looking at the position on the fretboard.
    Sounds good, that's really all that matters

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    Toneologist dpaterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Another take on this maybe:

    Conversely I used to be mates with a dude who knew all his scales and modes backwards and inside and out. Fantastic guitarist. Primadonna and personality sucked. Could never stay in a band because there was always friction between him and those who he considered lesser mortals. But he was a fantastic guitarist!!! LOL!!! Could play Malmsteen backwards and with his eyes closed. But here is how he worked: he would listen to a Malmsteen track, turn it off, then work 99% of the thing out because he knew what scales and modes and keys etc. Malmsteen was playing, and then put it all together. That’s totally different from (my) “parrot fashion” approach if you see what I mean.

    P.S.

    One thing I did learn from him though: a lot of these fantastic guitar solos are really not much more than a “play” on some or the other scale. They (the Pros.) just play ‘em faster and tidier than a mere mortal such as myself!!! Oh and they may know the name of the scale!!! LOL!!!
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-06-2019 at 12:25 PM.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    You can figure out what sounds right in a given musical situation given enough time, the same way that a million monkeys on a million typewriters will eventually bang out some Shakespeare. That's a totally valid way to do stuff.

    BB King has spent his entire life picking up bits and pieces and figuring out what works to play his style of blues. And the sounds he has made on his guitar are awesome. But he can't really play anything else. The knowledge he has is very deep, but very narrow. While I like blues, I also like rock, funk, jazz, ska, reggae, classical, and the occasional bit of metal. It's not possible for me to learn all these genres the way that BB King learned blues because I'd be dead before I mastered two of 'em. I'm way too lazy to do it that way.


    Stuff that theory rocks for:

    Learning a bit of theory helps me find the right chords for a song when inspiration hits. When I didn't know any music theory, I'd often start a cool idea . . . but then get stuck . . . and sometimes give up on the idea forever because I couldn't find quite the right thing to play next. Once you figure out the chords in the mode you're in, you have a short cut to stuff that works rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

    Theory has helped my lead playing tremendously. I can approach complicated chord progressions (or simple progressions with just one unusual chord) in a more sensible way. I know why hitting a particular note at a particular time in the song sounds good, and can more reliably do this.

    I figured out how to play tenor guitar very quickly . . . entirely because of music theory. I was able to take the ideas I already knew, and translate them over to the other tuning pretty quickly. The same is true of harmonica.

    Theory is a help when playing with other people. Not just in calling out a set of simple changes, but in knowing what notes are likely to sound good in a given situation . . . in knowing some chord inversions, how to and how to structure a progression for voice leading.


    Music is supposed to be fun, not suffering. For me, knowing some theory means less time spent banging your head against the wall. There are many paths to the same destination though, so if you are happier doing it differently, more power to you.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    So you do know some theory. Lol. There are many guys that play better than me that dont know secondary dominants, and harmonic minor. But I started late, I dont have a zillion years to do it by trial and error. The other thing, people that dont know theory hit the wall faster imo. My son is a perfect example

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    Secondary dominants...??? I'll have to look that one up. Harmonic minor...??? Okay, I've recently discovered that sitar music works well with the half/whole scale...which I thought was just for jazz and weird anharmonic stuff. Don't EVER passive / aggressively make me learn something about the harmonic minor scale like you just did, because I don't EVER want to associate with jazz music (says a guy with a PRS that has Seymour Duncan Invaders in it)!



    And yeah, everyone who knows the BB King story will agree, he might know the blues, but he's more likely to hit a wall before his peers would; either in the genre of the blues OR if he tries to make a jump to something else.

    How about me saying that Angus Young is a "guitar wizard" and not a "guitar genius," because his style is so one-dimensional...and that's likely a similar issue with your son. You're probably of the mind set that best case scenario, if you're boy doesn't break out of his rut, his absolute maximum potential is "guitar wizard." I've seen teenage chicks on YouTube who are THAT, and extremely "one-dimensional" and often just reciting a tune instead of covering it and making it their own.

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    So the backing tracks, if it's in Am, do you go around the 5th fret like most people? E is at 12th and so on. And I am not saying you have to start there, but most do. Learn a song, how you play one if you dont know chords? Theory is nothing more than a language. It doesnt even have to be conscious. Play a major 3rd in a minor blues, your brain knows it's wrong in a split second

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    Ahhh....contraire. A major third in a minor blues is a staple of the style...
    For example. In Funk #49 by the James Gang. The main riff is a minor third hammered up to major third.
    Technically speaking a traditional 12 bar blues is based off of Dominant 7 chords. That is a MAJOR chord with a flat 7.
    The reason a minor pentatonic works so well is that our ear in the western world has become accustomed to that sound. Plus most players give that minor 3rd a slight bend toward the major 3rd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Ahhh....contraire. A major third in a minor blues is a staple of the style...
    For example. In Funk #49 by the James Gang. The main riff is a minor third hammered up to major third.
    Technically speaking a traditional 12 bar blues is based off of Dominant 7 chords. That is a MAJOR chord with a flat 7.
    The reason a minor pentatonic works so well is that our ear in the western world has become accustomed to that sound. Plus most players give that minor 3rd a slight bend toward the major 3rd.
    No idea what you’re talking about!!! LOL!!!

    To add to my post above though (not in response to your post @Gtrjunior):

    Sad part, in reference to my mate above, is that the last time I heard from him he was broke, holed up in a trailer somewhere, could not get a gig anywhere, spent day in and day out just practicing (mostly scales and Malmsteen type stuff) on his own, honing theory, and had been doing so for years. All that technical knowledge and skill for nought and this after a lifetime. So there’s that.
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-06-2019 at 01:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Ahhh....contraire. A major third in a minor blues is a staple of the style...
    For example. In Funk #49 by the James Gang. The main riff is a minor third hammered up to major third.
    Technically speaking a traditional 12 bar blues is based off of Dominant 7 chords. That is a MAJOR chord with a flat 7.
    The reason a minor pentatonic works so well is that our ear in the western world has become accustomed to that sound. Plus most players give that minor 3rd a slight bend toward the major 3rd.
    Sorry dude, major 3rd in a minor blues is a big nono. Minor 3rd in major blues is the staple. Betcha a beer lol

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    Sorry dude, major 3rd in a minor blues is a big nono. Minor 3rd in major blues is the staple. Betcha a beer lol

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    Yup, I got it backwards....oops!!

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Yup, I got it backwards....oops!!
    All good, old guys like me that suck have to know these things haha

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    Errr... Thought I should just mention maybe: bear in mind I’ve been playing piano, keyboard, and organ for most of my life (for those that are not already aware). Mostly classical piano and organ (J. S. Bach!!!) I might add. Point is: I’m no natural guitarist but this would most certainly account for the fact I “know” how something should sound or fit in or what the next “logical” chord is or should be without knowing exactly what “F” I’m doing on a fretboard. Thought it may help with context mentioning this!!! LOL!!!

    And don’t anybody be fooled. The transition from keys to guitar is a nightmare. One would think not. But it is. Everything is the opposite way around and it doesn’t follow that simply because you can play blisterering stuff with your left hand on a keyboard that you’re just gonna pick a guitar up and be able to play blistering solos!!! I wish!!! Sometimes I think I’d be far better off playing one of them slide guitars (or whatever they’re called i.e. those things that you sit down and play) (because the thing is the “right” way up!!! LOL!!!).
    Last edited by dpaterson; 02-06-2019 at 01:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gransen View Post
    Secondary dominants...??? I'll have to look that one up. Harmonic minor...??? Okay, I've recently discovered that sitar music works well with the half/whole scale...which I thought was just for jazz and weird anharmonic stuff. Don't EVER passive / aggressively make me learn something about the harmonic minor scale like you just did, because I don't EVER want to associate with jazz music (says a guy with a PRS that has Seymour Duncan Invaders in it)!



    And yeah, everyone who knows the BB King story will agree, he might know the blues, but he's more likely to hit a wall before his peers would; either in the genre of the blues OR if he tries to make a jump to something else.

    How about me saying that Angus Young is a "guitar wizard" and not a "guitar genius," because his style is so one-dimensional...and that's likely a similar issue with your son. You're probably of the mind set that best case scenario, if you're boy doesn't break out of his rut, his absolute maximum potential is "guitar wizard." I've seen teenage chicks on YouTube who are THAT, and extremely "one-dimensional" and often just reciting a tune instead of covering it and making it their own.
    My son has killer technique but he refuses to learn any music at all. You know, I think some people make it sound way more complicated than it is.

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    All good, old guys like me that suck have to know these things haha

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    In true thread title fashion, clearly my old man brain does NOT work!! Haha!!!

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    This thread is about how the brain works in regards to practice. Music theory is part of both practice and playing, whether you like it or not. BB King is just really good at ignoring what he must have already figured out by now as far as how scales work; to include how the Pentatonic is merely specific intervals of the Natural scale, right...???

    Frustration is a part of learning.

    Ben1962 just threw me a curveball: "Secondary Dominates." Wikipedia say: "Hey Gransen, you're wrong, it's PARALLEL KEYS that offer the borrowed chord, and you know this!" ("Parallel modes" is an alternate term, right...???) And now I can't remember if and/or how that term relates to relative modes and complimentary modes.

    BUT...what Wikipedia is telling me about Secondary Dominates is that THIS IS THE LINK to figuring out how to CALCULATE which is the parallel key from which to borrow a chord, instead of just looking it up on the internet. I still haven't gotten that explanation.

    Since I don't know how to calculate the parallel key and seriously have tried to learn, I have this frustration that causes a block, and then I'm stuck being stupid.

    And I just did what Wikipedia told me to do, and they say that the secondary dominate of Cmaj Ionian Mode is F, based on their mathematical explanation (with G being the dominate). Then they go on to say that this is how borrowed chords are derived. But I was under the impression that the mode to borrow from in Ionian Mode is Aeolian. That would be the complimentary minor, right...??? So, is Lydian mode then the complimentary MAJOR of Ionian Mode...???

    And how is the complimentary minor calculated...???

    Look, if I gotta borrow a chord, I'm just gonna look up which mode(s) I get to borrow from and go from there. I get HOW it's done at that point (with the same tonic - Cmaj Ionian vs Cmin Aeolian for example), then I just write down all of the notes in each key, and when I've got the same note, but one mode makes that interval a major and the other mode makes it a minor, then it's pretty much "fielder's choice" at that point.

    So, there's jargon involved here, and that jargon causes me to "flub" because I'm not comfortable with my understanding of simply how parallel keys are derived. To the point where I put that one on hold a while back because the reading was making the little hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and the last time that I made the attempt to learn was at least three years ago.

    Up until about 30 minutes ago, I had an extremely limited ability to sit down and listen to someone teach me about this one, and it's because I was totally frustrated by it: "How to calculate parallel keys." Now the dam has broke open. Now I'd be able to sit down and listen to someone teach me. I'm looking at it right now and thinking that the term is "Dominate Third," and THAT'S how a parallel minor is calculated...GO BACKWARDS ON THE SCALE INSTEAD OF GOING FORWARDS. But, I'm also aware that the term "dominate" in music has a specific meaning, and that it might not apply to third intervals. The why and how is where I'm lost in regards to the term "dominate." I hear that term, and I'm thinking Mixolydian Mode, and how the fifth interval is the second most important interval tonally; so "dominate" might not apply to the third.

    How does the brain work...??? Well, I had to step away from the idea of learning something because it became a frustration to me. So, I learned a practical application, and my brain was happier. But, it was still a trigger; to the point where if I'm playing a song with a borrowed chord, I'm aware of the fact that there's a question that I don't have an answer for...and that this lack of information bothers me because I have to use a computer to do something I should know how to do on my own.

    I'm describing "built-in anxiety" here, and how it gets infused into a song that I'm playing.

    And now I'm describing how literally from this moment forward, that anxiety SHOULD be permanently lifted, because I finally have a direction to go. Not only that, but I feel like I found it via suggestion not instruction, and that I get to tell myself that (1) I was wise to be patient, (2) I was wise to be curious and seek information that might be able to translate into wisdom, and (3) that means I had an active part in my own knowledge base. This translates to "humble pride," which to me is easily translated to confidence. I wouldn't have gotten there without Ben1962 and his passive / aggressive B.S. response THAT REMINDS ME HOW PHRYGIAN MODE HAS BECOME MY FAVORITE TO ROCK OUT ON, thus I have no excuse for not exploring other scales like the harmonic minor scale.

    And simply by saying that just now, I wonder if what he meant by "harmonic minor" is related to the "secondary dominate," and THAT'S how the parallel minor deal is found. Makes sense that I might have read "harmonic minor" in the past and just blew it off because I don't like that scale!

    THAT'S how MY brain works...!!! (It's frickin' BUSY in here...!!!)

    *******

    To Ben1962: Thanks...!!! Thanks a million...!!! You do NOT want to know how badly I needed that!!!
    Last edited by Gransen; 02-06-2019 at 01:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Hows does your brain work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben1962 View Post
    Music theory gets in the way? You supposed to just try every different series of notes till it sounds right? I dont see how knowing Dorian has a major 6th hurts anybody. I think if its too much at once is the problem, not the theory.

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    Yeah, that's what I said. It does. For me.

    I took violin classes from the time I was a little kid right up through my teens. I could sheet read, played in the school orchestra etc. I chucked it all in the bin.

    Hated playing the ****in' Violin right through....but I l do love lead guitar.

    And for those who think classical music (and it's often said..Jazz) is the cat's whisker's when it comes to music and musical profficiency, while rock/metal is the 'retarded child' of the music world so to speak. I beg to differ. There are plenty of metal/rock guys who can play circles around those dudes. Take the sheet notation away from your average classical musician and ask them to just play a couple phrases and he/she will be as stumped as the lead guitarist faced with sheet music in the meme up there....so it works both ways
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
    If you let your tone speak for itself you'll find alot less people join the conversation.


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