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music theory

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posted on May, 31 2007 @ 11:16 AM
anyone here study theory?
surely if you play an instrument you do.....hopefully anyway.
just curious if there are others besides myself that pour over theory when they get the chance.

i used to play guitar till it got too hard on my back cause of my injury so now i just guys?

some peoples theory goes deep and there are others that really have none and they just play.

posted on May, 31 2007 @ 11:51 AM
I know just enough theory to get in serious trouble and look like a fool when I try and discuss it.

I barely understand modes, scales, inversions etc.

I do know that a minor6 chord saves my butt everytime i get lost.

My approach to playing is to listen carefully, try and anticipate the changes, and

My current intrest is in gypsy jazz, ala Django, but that blues box is a hard habit to break.

Thanks for this thread B78
God knows I can use any information that comes my way!!

Currently I'm backing up a blues/guitarist/singer/songwriter on upright bass and I sure feel comfortable in the sideman role. Iv'e only been playing URB for a little over a year but I think I have finally found my musical niche.


[edit on 31-5-2007 by whaaa]

posted on May, 31 2007 @ 12:41 PM
yeah, if after a year you're already getting into modes and actually playing, you're doing good man...
why did you choose that instrument?

i went after guitar of course but because of my back i have been hitting th ekeys a bit lately but it's rough...

can you read music? that is something that is invaluable bro, especially if you are going to be 'communicating' with other musicians.

edit* django was the question. i have been getting more into jazz and 'jazz fusion' lately.

check out the frank zappa cd 'hot rats' might dig it

[edit on 31-5-2007 by Boondock78]

posted on May, 31 2007 @ 02:25 PM
Actually I have been playing sax, guitar, bass guitar, flute, blues harp and singing the blues for over 20 years now. The URB is just recently my current endeavor. Solo, many different bands from metal to blues, Rockabilly, lots of country and western, and currently a duo or 4 piece when the venue permits. Oh yeah, I am a big time Zappa admirer, since "Freak Out"

Yeah, I can read music and chord charts and have done a little studio work for and ad agency and some independent film stuff.

We are a house band in a little bar, play the casinos and small festivals here in the Rockies and Texas. Only one CD and truthfully have never really made any
money in the music business. Thank God my real profession [designer/craftsman] allows me plenty of time to pursue my passions.

I just really love the blues and the people that play it. However hauling around amps, PAs and all the other stuff is beginning to takes its toll on my old bones not to mention the alcohol and other things that a lot of musicians encounter. As I mature, I find that the music and an occasional Corona is about all I need to make me happy.

Please tell me your background and experiences. You have no idea how much I admire keyboard people.

posted on May, 31 2007 @ 02:34 PM
hey boondock,

I'm a theory guy my self. graduated Berklee. So i'm right there with you in learning as much theory as possible. plus reading music is pretty important too.

trying to teach the major diatonic system to a bunch of beginner kids learning bass. they want to know how to play punk lines which do lots of 3rds and basically follow the major scale chords at each degree. so I figure if they want to write bass lines like the dude in rancid or whatever thats a good place to begin.

as for me. I'm still working through the melodic minor diatonic system. Damn superlocrian!

I'm also a big fan of exotic eastern european scales. napolionic minor, turkish minor etc. cool scales. like the raised 11 but the minor everything else.

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 08:27 AM
you guys are above me thats for sure.
i just started messing with the keys cause we just bought a house and low and behold, there is a piano in the basement. i have just been messing around till i can decide if i want to buy a synth which i think i am going too.
i played guitar for a couple years when i was like 10-14...took lessons and then put it down. picked it back up a few years ago but i have degenerative disc disease. i have already had a couple surgeries for it, need another one and the guitar playing is on hold. i always played sitting down but it still got to be too tough. i sold all my electric gear and kept an acoustic to pluck away at/compose with but i don't like it as much...thats why i have been thinking about getting a synth. i have a lot of stuff switling around my head and i need to get it written down.

i was never in a band or anything but i would do internet collabs. i posted at a couple music forums and the people there are very cool. someone would toss out a drum track and one of us would snatch it and lay down a guitar part over it and then someone else would snatch it and lay down something else.

since i stopped actively playing i started looking to theory more.
my favorite scale is the blues scale but i like some of the moe 'exotic' scales too.

i got into the blus scale cause well, if you know your pentatonics then you know your can sqeeze a lot out of it...
i basically study theory now for my own writings/compositions and it helps me understand franks music's awesome that we have some musicians here....

edit* hey bassplyer, i envy you....i wanted to go to berklee or the git....o well

[edit on 1-6-2007 by Boondock78]

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 11:59 AM
smart move studying the pentatonic scales. Pentatonics one of the oldests scale systems. I'm not sure but I think they came from the asiatic region way way back when and then were adapted by the greeks or something. Who knows. anyways. most vocal melodys and songs follow pentatonics. Pentatonic scales are one of the more natural scale degrees for the human to sing in. so most modern stuff is written melodically around pentatonic ideas. Blues is a good example of how one can use pentatonics while soloing. really break down half the solo riffs these guys are doing and you'll see it's alot of pentatonic stuff.

In fact. thats something I should teach this one kid tomorrow for his lesson. pentatonics. thanks for the idea.

this other kid to get his finger technique going I'm going to teach him the mario brothers theme song on bass. lots of good inversions for the kid to study while applied to an actual song. helps take the classroom into the realworld a little. helps the student anchor the idea better subconciously so that it makes more sense. It's like a picture is worth a thousand words an so it is in education. Plus some of the fingering for the song is tricky for beginners.

A good way to learn the dorian mode is to play the song good times AKA rappers delight. THe bass line part is verbatim E dorian in the key of D major. conversly it's also a study of the 2-5 chord change in relation to the major key tonic. IF you can memorize hopw that bassline sounds then you can always identify the dorian mode.

As for remembering scale degree for ear training. a perfect fth. other than some really nice pravda vodka or something. would be the first two notes of star wars. that first interval. a perfect fourth would be the main interval change one hears when they listen to the song here comes the bride. A perfect 7 can be remembered by remebering the first 2 notes of the origional star trek theme. etc..

also. the super man theme song is based around the lydian mode. the sharp 4 really ads tension that gives the song a forward momentum. remeber how that sounds and you'll have a general ide of when you are hearing a song writen or centered around the lydian mode. at least it gets you used to how it sounds when used melodically. Satch likes lydian and mixolydian alot.

hope i didn;'t screw up and get my fact wrong.

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 12:17 PM
I teach drums and read both percussion notation and string notation.
I love the study of music theory.
I feel like pythagoras
I have been drumming for 35 yrs
I play all music styles.
From Buddy Rich to Neil Peart.

4 way independance
stick twirling
all that stuff
I also play left hand hi hat, right hand ride which is very rare.
I play both traditional grip and match grip on the left.
I can do it all

my hero thomas lang

[edit on 1-6-2007 by junglelord]

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 12:28 PM
pretty sick credentials on the technique there jungle. As a bassplayer I can completely appreciate your post. That stuff makes a differnce to me when I'm jamming or playing with someone. Infact everytime you see a crappy show. it was usually because the drummer wasn't in the pocket. think of the difference a good drummer makes. it's the most crucial thing a lot of guys I know look for when looking to pick band mates. a great drummer.

I know that one very high level session drummer in the industry loves the whole UFO/Conspiracy subject. Talkes about it whenever someone else seems to be into it. I wonder if he knows about ATS. someone should tell him.

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 02:29 PM
jungle, you ever get into frank zappa? he was heavy into percussion?
drummers like terry bozzio, vinnie coliuta, chad're a drummer so you should know those names...

as far as percussion like vibes and such, ruth underwood..know her?

i don't know how to imbed this but here is a very short clip i chopped together of ruth playing a section of stinkfoot that was part of rollo and this section is called rollo interior. all second chords.
after years away from the music, she gives a short demo.

sorry i don't know how to imbed it.

i never got too far away from the pentatonics and the major scale. of course blues like i said and dabbling in different things but not playing with others(i always played alone) you do get kind of limited. you play in pain all the time and it just gets rough. in another life guys sound pretty sick....keep rocking

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 02:55 PM
vinnie coliuta, steve gadd, gene krupa, louie bellson, and so many others.
I think Vinnie is a god.

He's just so sick, his technique is so great!

I think that the saying everyone notices a bad drummer is so true.

Hold the pocket, keep the meter...its all about time.
All the chops in the world mean nothing if its got no pocket.
It dont mean a thing if it aint got that swing

thanks guys

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 03:11 PM
Vinnie is the man. his time is perfect.

Like Victor said. "You ain't got no groove if you ain't got no pocket!"

Whats up with Matt Chamberlin. any fans of his work?

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 04:51 PM
Personally, I'm quite infatuated with theory, but I rarely find myself applying it to my actual playing since most of what I do involves Improvisation and listening. I'm a self taught multi-instrumentalist and can play everything from Lute and Oud to Violin and Mandolin. I have been playing since I was a kid (I can't remember when I started if that tells you how young I started). I spend about 90% of my time playing Guitar and 10% of my time playing Violin. I'm pretty much just into Jazz (Swing & Bebop primarily) and that's why my opinion on the amount of Music theory someone needs may be a little different. There is a certain point where I just have to forget everything I have ever learned and just play it as the ideas come. However, this does involve a certain amount of applied theory no matter what one plays as playing in the wrong key doesn't go over too well unless I'm going all out on some Free Jazz (ala Ornette Coleman). Music and art have always come fairly easy to me for some reason which is why I don't dedicate a lot of time to theory as some may. I'd venture to say if someone has a good ear then they probably don't need as much theory as someone that doesn't.

I have also always believed that studying theory very deeply depends on the type of music you play or are interested in. In classical, I would say I highly reccommend wrapping your fingers around a good theory book. For something like the Blues or something Blues based I think simply ear training would suffice. For Jazz, I think a lot of both is appropriate and probably why I play Jazz of both worlds.

Just my 2 cents.

PS- Good topic...nice to see something halfway serious in the "music" forum for once!

[edit on 1-6-2007 by Jazzerman]

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 05:22 PM
yeah I love the song Donna Lee. Of course I jacked the arrangement for the bass from jaco but still it's a great song. I love the bebob style of music. it's really theory intensive if you break down and analyse everything they are doing.

Me I play a little bit of Cello. Stringed instruments are the bomb. But sometimes I love the freedom the phrasing of a sax players when they get to solo. man they just sound so free.

Nothing more euphoric than playing a funk song with a full horn section backing you.

anybody big into classical theory and figured bass. or are most people of my persuassion and feel modern jazz theory is much more articulate and less cumbersome.

I personally hate figured bass. just write out the damn inversion. 1st, 2nd or 3rd. I can figure it out without cryptic fractions to interpret at the bottom of the clef.

also, who here thinks Dream Theater although kick ass have way too many key modulations through out all their songs. to me it's like John had some riff he wrote the night before came into band rehersal and wanted to interject it into an already written song.

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 07:39 AM
jazzman, i definately agree. imo though, one does need some theory behind them if nothing more than to communicate with others and understand what is going on...i mean, lok at EVH...not exactly my fav guitarist but the dude obviously has chops and his theory is not that deep.
a lot of musicians that have deep theory write a lot more complex music...not necessarily better on the ears, just more complex. a lot of people, don't understand or like it if there is too much going on or it is not in 4/4 know what i mean?

whoever is talking about guitars with a rocking horn section, i can turn you on to all kinds of zappa that you hopefully would like....
he buried stuff into his compositions. lots of percussion/horns..
ever hear one called 'the gumbo variations'?
might just be one of the most beautiful songs i have ever heard.

you are also right that drummers/bassists are often over looked unless you mess up.
glad to see people like my boy vinniw coliuta.
can we post putfile links here? i can put gumbo on putfile for you all to stream it....if you're into jazz, you will LOVE it

edit* i have not heard too much by dream theater...i know john petrucci has it on the guitar but i'm not into the group. i liked seeing petrucci on the G3.

[edit on 2-6-2007 by Boondock78]

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 08:43 AM
anyone familiar with Porcupine Tree?

Gavin Harrison is the master of Rhythmic Illusions.

[edit on 2-6-2007 by junglelord]

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 09:58 AM
Hey junglelord, I've been playing the drums for about 5 years in mostly alternative rock bands, but from the onset I've played with the common (I don't know what you call it) grip rather than that funny one on the snare. I have a question; what it the purpose, or the benefits of that grip? Ive tried using it, but I feel absolutely no control.

Other than that music is pretty much my life, I'm a guitarist but never really learned to read music. Nowadays with the ready availability of tablature online and software such as guitarpro I never felt the need to learn. But I feel I have reached a ceiling in my abilities, or at least technical abilities and am desperate to understand some music theory on guitar. I don't want to learn to read, I just want to understand scales and modes and all that stuff better. I have a pretty good ear and it's served me well so far, but alas!

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 10:11 AM
modulus, guitar pro is a godsend man..thats what i write all my stuff with....matter of fact, it will show you scales and that too.

fire it up, you'll see where you can click on scales, pick your scale and it will show the notes on the fretboard in red.

the thing with tabs is, they are hardley every truly accurate you know? you have people tabbing music out by ear and uploading it to tab sites and gp5 files and while yeah, they are close, they might not be dead on.

tabs also don't show you the note duration so unless you are playing with the song or have heard the song before, you can't do much with tabs.

there are all kinds of online theory lessons, beginner lessons for guitar.

learn the fretboard(where all the natural notes are, then you can add in the incidental/accidentals...'sharps and flats i mean'), learn your major scale and from there, you can pull stuff out of it.....everything is based off the major scale.

learn the major and then say, drop this note and now you're playing that same pent which is based off the major and add the 'blue note' and now you're playing within the blues scale.
guitar pro is a great you have the tabliture archive? i don't have it anymore but i can get it for you....bout 50k tabs

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 11:03 AM
traditional grip is based on military marching snare drum, due to the position the snare drum has when marching.

I used to be in a marching band.
I was taught traditional and only went what you call common (matched) on the left when I was 16.

Traditional grip has a lot to do with circular movement and orbital motion which is about swing and big band.

Rock has more of a linear feel to it and orbital motion is not as evident like AC/DC.

Led Zeppelin and John Bonham being the exception to todays linear rock as a more orientated blues and swing with orbital motion using matched grip.

Buddy Rich showed the traditional grip was more then adequate.

[edit on 2-6-2007 by junglelord]

posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 02:31 PM
Boondock: I didn't know GuitarPro had scale charts, thats awesome! I'll definitely check that out. I know the fretboard fairly well in terms of where neatral notes are and flats etc, but scales and stuff... also, how does one tell which key a song is in? And if, for example, a song is in A, how does one know which scale can work with that?

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