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  1. #81
    Toneologist Obsessive Compulsive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    ^Rules? Did I say that? I didn't say that. I was trying to give a starting point to the dude asking 'how to end songs'. Once he has mastered his craft, he can bend the theory anyway he likes. It's just a starting point, you know, a guidance.

    But you can't deny the fact that probably 90 percent of popular songs end in ii-V-I though Even in standard jazz. "Autumn Leaves", Fly me..." etc. are all in ii-V-I. Even Coltrane progression is derived from ii-V-I. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltrane_changes

    So, there you have it.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    ^Rules? Did I say that? I didn't say that. I was trying to give a starting point to the dude asking 'how to end songs'. Once he has mastered his craft, he can bend the theory anyway he likes. It's just a starting point, you know, a guidance.

    But you can't deny the fact that probably 90 percent of popular songs end in ii-V-I though Even in standard jazz. "Autumn Leaves", Fly me..." etc. are all in ii-V-I. Even Coltrane progression is derived from ii-V-I. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltrane_changes

    So, there you have it.
    Chord progressions are overrated

    It's not very complex or time consuming to just try out different chords from a scale to see how they fit.
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    I was talking in terms of theory, not what is fun/ not fun.

    Either that or you can choose to be musically illiterate and play whatever the f&*% you want to play, regardless of theory. Being an idiot is a prerogative, kiddo
    Oh my... You see, I had a very naive question aimed at starting a discussion, devoid of any ill-will. I have no problems labelling myself as a dabbler in music theory and "kiddos" like me (though it's been quite a while since I was a kid) might not have the sort of sophisticated questions like an all knowing savant of music like yourself. If you have any questions at all, that is, because if you knew it all, then you wouldn't have any questions, would you? If that is the case, I truly envy and admire you. I never said that you talked about fun/not fun, nor did I ever say that you were not talking in terms of theory. I was just simply curious of your - or anyone else's - opinion about your suggestion to "always" use a certain progression to end a song.

    But to be honest, it is still kinda nice from you to impart a great deal of wisdom of yours by letting me and anyone else interested know that being an idiot is a prerogative. Your prerogative.

  4. #84
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    Chord progressions are overrated

    It's not very complex or time consuming to just try out different chords from a scale to see how they fit.
    yep..it's matter of less than a minutes work for me, in fact most times I do it on the fly. I think it's only a problem if you play progressive-math-djenty-core-meshuggah-jun-jun metal...

    Theory is basically a great way to over-complicate that which need'nt be over-complicated

    Listen to other players play..listen to a ton of songs/bands, add your own takes on stuff/your own input.. Then follow your ears & just play ..nothing could be simpler ...end of story
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacew View Post
    Chord progressions are overrated

    It's not very complex or time consuming to just try out different chords from a scale to see how they fit.
    It shouldn't be. But in reality guitar players in general are stuck in the blues progression. They freak out when somebody diverts to 'unfamiliar' territory. Or just too lazy to learn new scales to fit certain chords, ultimaltey reverting to the ol' blues scale.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Francois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Yes it is a problem to stay stuck in one scale only.

    Hey ! Hendrix for example used a lot of minor pentatonic and blues scales. But he also used other ones like the dorian mode and maybe some lydian I think and he also went out of the scale (I love the eeire end of Machine Gun on Band of Gypsies for example)

    Onto something different : I took some lessons in India and there they worked like this :
    You play scales for hours to learn to use your fingers properly (this were new instruments for me, not guitar) and only after you go to the next level.
    You may find this boring but those people have a level of mastery that let improvise freely inside the complex frame of their ragas.

    And they have many interesting scales, not just the "exotic scale" found on EHX Ravish Sitar stompbox but at least ten "parent scales" in the north and more in the south.
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Iny experience, scales and theory are kind of like mining gold in California during the gold rush. It requires an investment of time on the front side however once you strike gold you has a source for continuous wealth.

    You could say that's too hard and I have another source of gold or I'm too old to get a positive return on investment.

    However I learn something new about guitar practically everyday and most of it happens when watching TV and running scales.

    In the performance world when you hit something unusual you normally don't have the time to stop and analyze it.

    There was a time when I taped performances so I could go back and figure out what I did.

    However when I'm running scales, paterns and progression my fingers will unconsciously wander into new places and I can stop take a look and say oh there's another way to move into this mode or that was an interesting shift from major to minor.

    If I didn't have the theory and scale knowledge it would be very hard to understand what had happened and to incorporate into future performances.

    Same is true when learning from other players. It's easy to see what someone played on YouTube. But it's harder to remember and reuse if you don't understand why it worked.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    I'd follow Zions good post by commenting that in the end all these minor gold nuggets are mostly a spice.

    It's not going to work without a good song to incorporate it and that requires long hours of playing, trying new things, writing it, recording, rewriting, playing ad nauseaum...

    Personally I can say I yet haven't got a single track truly finished. And have about 30 of them, always finding something great new ideas that just doesn't fit in.
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  9. #89
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Also depends on how you're playing. The best stuff is usually the stuff that just pops into your head as opposed to something whose theoretical progression you've sweated over for months. . Whether it's a riff or a solo..chances are it will sound way more natural & flow better this way than if you're sitting about calculating what theoretically goes with what or comes next. Your ears are your best friend & learning to rely heavily on them is actually the biggest step up in guitar playing that nobody will tell you about. That's what makes you respond the most easily/naturally/quickly & takes you where you need to go with the minimal conscious thinking & (bollocks) theoretical calculations & permutations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois View Post
    Yes it is a problem to stay stuck in one scale only.

    Hey ! Hendrix for example used a lot of minor pentatonic and blues scales. But he also used other ones like the dorian mode and maybe some lydian I think and he also went out of the scale (I love the eeire end of Machine Gun on Band of Gypsies for example)

    Onto something different : I took some lessons in India and there they worked like this :
    You play scales for hours to learn to use your fingers properly (this were new instruments for me, not guitar) and only after you go to the next level.
    You may find this boring but those people have a level of mastery that let improvise freely inside the complex frame of their ragas.

    And they have many interesting scales, not just the "exotic scale" found on EHX Ravish Sitar stompbox but at least ten "parent scales" in the north and more in the south.
    I'm from India, (Bangalore in the south). Can't claim I know much at all about Indian classical music (which is a shame 'cause there's lots I probably could've learned from it) though I do jam a few of the scales and stuff occasionally for kicks. But yeah, what I often think is there's a lot of similarity in my playing & the way I went/go about stuff to that approach. I was lucky enough to do things more or less the same way myself ..ie I learnt scales & exercises, got my fingers moving & then never consciously thought about any of that stuff again...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Also depends on how you're playing. The best stuff is usually the stuff that just pops into your head as opposed to something whose theoretical progression you've sweated over for months. . Whether it's a riff or a solo..chances are it will sound way more natural & flow better this way than if you're sitting about calculating what theoretically goes with what or comes next. Your ears are your best friend & learning to rely heavily on them is actually the biggest step up in guitar playing that nobody will tell you about.
    There are two sides to this, though. Part of the role of music theory is to strengthen your ear, and to open them for new possibilities. My experience is that very few people who have not studied it but just play what pops into their head go beyond doing things that can be explained very simply from a theoretical perspective. Doubly so if they are proud of their ignorance.

  11. #91
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Sweet try. But I call bull**** wherever it may be

    Theory does'nt strengthen your ear ..an over-reliance on it weakens it (like using a crutch unnessesarily to walk). My experience is the exact opposite. People who do nothing but spout tons of unnessesary theoretical nonsense usually surprise you with their playing (and not in a good way..). If I were to guess its some form of over-compensation. Who cares?

    In my case I'm comfortable with my 'ignorance' (ie having a different approach) Nothing is simpler than having stuff pop into your head & being able to translate that down to fingers in real time. You should try it ..it's great fun
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Sweet try. But I call bull**** wherever it may be

    Theory does'nt strengthen your ear ..an over-reliance on it weakens it (like using a crutch unnessesarily to walk). My experience is the exact opposite. People who do nothing but spout tons of unnessesary theoretical nonsense usually surprise you with their playing (and not in a good way..). If I were to guess its some form of over-compensation. Who cares?

    In my case I'm comfortable with my 'ignorance' (ie having a different approach) Nothing is simpler than having stuff pop into your head & being able to translate that down to fingers in real time. You should try it ..it's great fun
    You're taking this way more personally than intended. Before this I had no idea about your approach to playing, or pretty much anything about you, really. If theory does not help develop your ear, then virtually every accredited institution teaching music is wrong (well, western music, anyway – I can't speak with certainty about other traditions), as these fields are usually taught in a very integrated way – in my opinion for good reason. I should perhaps add that guitarists generally learn theory very poorly. Scales, for instance, is only a tiny fragment of theory, yet this seems to be what people focus much of their time on. Once you start looking beyond this, and looking into the different types of dissonances and the ways to resolve them, functional and extended harmony, counterpoint, the construction of melody, melodic/harmonic groupings, rhythmic studies, form etc. I would say that you probably can't help but strengthen your ears. Just like theory is not just scales, ear training is a lot more than plucking chords by ear.

    For what it is worth, I frequently translate ideas in my head to my hands. What would make you think otherwise? But learning theory has shaped the way I hear things, and opened me to ideas and concepts I was previously oblivious to. What is more, I can also use theoretical concepts as a way to explore ideas. To take a relatively simple example, a lot of music I listen to use movements between perfect fourths and fifths to tritones. One day I decided to try to chart the way these are used in the examples I was thinking of, and to see what other ways I could use them. In most of these cases, the tritone was used as a passing tone or an auxillary tone to a power chord that worked as a stand-in for a normal triad from the scale at work; in other words as a diminished auxillary dominant. However, I also found that once the idea was used as secondary dominants to more distant harmonies, the feeling of the chord changed dramatically. I also looked at how the same permutations could be used to resolve to different harmonies (the diminished seventh chord is a symmetrical chord, and its identity is therefore best understood after its resolution), to create different effects. Finally, I looked at how one could stretch the concept out over a longer span of time, and use the diminished-fifth concept as a way of organizing both chord progressions and melodies.

    I suspect you will brand this as "unnecessary theoretical nonsense", and to an extent I agree that it is unnecessary. There is, after all, nothing here that I couldn't have come up with by ear, at least in theory. At the same time, I developed a lot of new ideas from this this relatively simple thought experiment, which in turn have seeped into my own ideas, so there have been tangible musical benefits to me. I certainly do not claim to be a musical genius in any way, but I find those skills to be highly worthwhile, and to be of great benefit to my musicianship.

    Oh, and having a theoretical foundation allows me to explain ideas such as these to other people far more efficiently than I would otherwise, but that is another aspect of the discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    There is, after all, nothing here that I couldn't have come up with by ear,
    Honestly...that's the only part of your post I wholeheartedly agree with. None of this is personal..it's a difference of opinion worded strongly

    agree that guitarists in general tend to take as much theory as they require & usually that's limited to scales and exercises...that's because it's all they want ...it's what I did. And it's served me fine.

    I prefer playing my guitar to theorizing about stuff that I will rarely if ever put intp practice ....or will put into practice far more quickly & efficiently just by following my ear anyway. From my perspective, the ideal end goal of every musician is to be able to play whatever the hell he/she wants to & be able to follow the voice in one's head without ****ing things up. Personally, I don't need more theory to do that. Not saying I play flawlessly or that there's no room for improvement but it's an approach I think has got me going exactly where I'd like to go & I'm very happy with where I am. ..so no regrets or complaints.
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Sorry but I can't let this go

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    really. If theory does not help develop your ear, then virtually every accredited institution teaching music is wrong
    It does'nt ...not at all. In fact just the opposite as I said earlier. For instance the vast majority of western classical musicians can't play a thing by ear if you take away their notation. Case in point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Sorry but I can't let this go

    It does'nt ...not at all. In fact just the opposite as I said earlier. For instance the vast majority of western classical musicians can't play a thing by ear if you take away their notation. Case in point.
    Citation needed. To invalidate the pedagogy of virtually every higher institution of musical education out there demands a little more than your anecdotes and assertions.

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    Steve Vai and John Pertrucci are Berklee guys....pretty sure nobody sane would say that their knowledge has impeded their creativity.

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    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Citation needed. To invalidate the pedagogy of virtually every higher institution of musical education out there demands a little more than your anecdotes and assertions.
    Luckiy for you you got a cold hard fact then vast majority of classical musicians + no notation = end of song.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Steve Vai and John Pertrucci are Berklee guys....pretty sure nobody sane would say that their knowledge has impeded their creativity.
    Hey, whatever works for them They can do waht they please as can anyone. I'm not the one making retarded statements like you'll be stuck in the blues scale without theory/theory will give you magic ears/without theory your ignorant or w/e...

    In the end when your out there improvsing....(which both those guys always do ..and that goes for most other well regarded guitarists too...anyone from Gilmour to Yngwie to Howe) ..ie actually in the act of playing you're relying on your ears the most - by far...

    ...& I'm sure that goes for both those (Vai/Petrucci) guys too.



    Here's what they're NOT thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    movements between perfect fourths and fifths to tritone was used as a passing tone or an auxillary tone to a power chord that worked as a stand-in for a normal triad from the scale at work; in other words as a diminished auxillary dominant. However, I also found that once the idea was used as secondary dominants to more distant harmonies, the feeling of the chord changed dramatically. I also looked at how the same permutations could be used to resolve to different harmonies (the diminished seventh chord is a symmetrical chord, and its identity is therefore best understood after its resolution), to create different effects. Finally, I looked at how one could stretch the concept out over a longer span of time, and use the diminished-fifth concept as a way of organizing both chord progressions and melodies.
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music theory question

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Hey, whatever works for them They can do waht they please as can anyone. I'm not the one making retarded statements like you'll be stuck in the blues scale without theory/theory will give you magic ears/without theory your ignorant or w/e...
    Nobody is saying any of those things – I am certainly not.

    As far as improvising, it is true that one will usually be guided by ear. Again, however, it is commonly accepted in pedagogy that theory strengthens rather than weakens the ear.

    One might, as an interesting aside, mention that Billy Sheehan once said that his understanding of theoretical concepts would usually fall into place during live gigs. The whole logic behind modes in particular supposedly came to him during a performance. The acts of theory and performance (including improvisation) are not so distinct as one might think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post

    Here's what they're NOT thinking
    If you have any problems with my ideas, I would appreciate it if you approached them directly. This sort of ridiculing mind-game is both unproductive and unbecoming.
    Last edited by Sirion; 06-01-2019 at 09:17 AM.

  20. #100
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    Nobody is saying any of those things – I am certainly not.



    If you have any problems with my ideas, I would appreciate it if you approached them directly. This sort of ridiculing mind-game is both unproductive and unbecoming.
    I'm mentioning things that (the gist of which) have been said in this thread.. can't remember who said what & it's not important..

    And I think I've been very forthright in expressing my views about your ideas.
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
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