Theory and the greats

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Kiwi_Neil, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    For me, practice and experiment are the same thing. The great thing about practicing the guitar is that any application of "theory" - and its nexus with the imagination, is followed by a continual rite of passage into practice, performance and change - they become fluid.
    Practice and theory are loaded words. For many of us there is so much diversity in practice , from the tried and true application of certain principles to get the job done, to the realm (especially in improvised music) where one actually doesnt know whats about to happen next.
    As I get older I spend much more time in the latter.
     
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  2. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know that I can move the one and only scale I know to different positions on the fretboard, and a different note in the pattern becomes a new root note, but I have no clue what any of that stuff is called. I just know that it sounds good.
     
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  3. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

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    100% on that Sutton. The old guys had no formal theory education early on. They worked hard, listened to others, and played a lot of gigs with each other. You can't do that without learning something along the way......................"varietal kumquat"....I love that!

    And Genius, I can relate to what your saying. I don't know a whole lot of guitar stuff either, by comparison. But I've been listening to, and watching great guitarists for most of my life. And I've picked up a lot of information along the way from many sources. Even more now with the internet. And at the risk of sounding like I'm "tooting my own horn", I play and sound pretty good. I'm happy!

    I suspect that someone with a vast knowledge of music theory is likely somewhat better positioned for bigger things. Congratulations!

    Dave:)
     
  4. daddyplaysbass

    daddyplaysbass Tele-Holic

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    I play many demolished chords when I play.
     
  5. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Me too! But I try to keep them to a minimum, as some might have suspected.:)
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My favourite mode is A-holian.
     
  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    So help me out here if you can please....it's a kind of 'chicken and egg' question, but does being proficient with the theory side of music help 21st century musicians make music...or do they make music that sounds 'right' and therefore IS right, and it just so happens that this 'right' sounding music fits neatly into our theory models?

    That's a great question. I can't answer for all or even many 21st century musicians, but I can answer for myself. In the days before the internet, many of us spent hours trying to figure out the chords to songs we wanted to learn. Now we can download lyrics and chords pretty easily. At least in country music, I started finding chords I never heard of. Some of that was the Nashville notation as opposed to what I learned while learning to play in the '60's. But some was new ways of voicing chords and some chords I never used before at all. I began paying attention to chords and harmonic structure more and more and forced myself to learn some of the theory behind what I was doing. My voice is lower than most so I frequently have to transpose songs. That means I can't voice the chords exactly like on the download. I learned how to voice chords to my own tastes and found myself using non-standard voicings more and more.

    I play mostly finger style accompaniment to my vocals. I work in a simple bass line and solos over the chords. On one piece I break with the 4/4 time of the song and play the solo in 3/4 time. I also mix up the chords a little for some solos. That can force changes in mode. I've stopped needing to have a note in the chord on the first and third beats of a measure. I attend music workshops where I can, especially those outside my comfort zone. A jazz workshop changed the way I think about ending songs.

    This is a lot of words to say that learning theory changes what you think sounds 'right' and makes your playing much more interesting and engaging. How can you make a 3/4 time solo swing in the middle of a 4/4 love song? No one listening even realizes that there was a change in time but they like the result. No one knows that starting your extro solo in a country song on the second step of the scale sounds jazzy but they like it.

    During the day I'm an engineer. There are those who find beauty in math and at its most rudimentary level, music is the mathematics of rhythm and pitch. Why something sounds right can be explained mathematically but it is felt in the mind and soul.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  8. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting. I liked reading what you are saying. You are quite descriptive regarding the adjustments made to your style, and your effective use of specific theoretical components, to aid you in moving forward on your guitar playing journey. In the end it seems, that you've had a specific goal in mind, and you've attempted to take whatever theoretical input was necessary to acomplish that goal.
    Also, I think that was quite eloquently put, the statement you made in your last line. "it is felt in your mind and soul." I agree, because if it's not for that, what's the point?

    Thanks for that my friend..............................Dave
     
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