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Old 31-03-2018, 12:43 PM   #81
Oreironstar
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Music theory courses can be handy but as they're set up to deal with a specific area of music, i.e Classical and Baroque for the most part, they're of limited use in gaining an understanding of music from different eras with its own unique approach.

Very few people if anyone uses Bach chorales as the model for harmonies, for example, unless they're doing a pastiche of Bach. Which is exactly how most music would sound, if musicians adhered to the criteria set out in text books.
I wasnt really making that point mate....i think ill get me coat
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Old 31-03-2018, 12:58 PM   #82
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This is the stumbling point for sure and holds up alot of folks
Much the same as most studies , absorbing the "rules", so you have a point to refer to is very helpful, yet if you dont look beyond those rules for alternatives that point you back to those rules OR open up exceptions to those rules, your confining your experience to someone elses
Even musicians/folks who cannot/do not understand music theory use this pattern when they learn by ear/eye only...they just arent able to explain it clearly as they often dont realise the process themselves

The rules are there and can be used to figure out your own patterns
On occasion I've forayed into learning music theory, only to find that it merely put names to things I already knew. I've mostly stayed clear of it. I can see that there are a few things I would gain by learning music theory, however I'm hesitant 'cos I might lose more than I gained.

I think it depends on the music being played. If were in a jazz band improvising on standards it might help to have some theory to roll with the key changes, but in rock and roll I can mostly do all that by ear.

I like finger-picking on the guitar. I got a tablature book on finger-picking ('cos I can read tab) in a bid to improve, only to find that the most advanced technique in the book, cross-picking, was already my natural style.

I noticed with my brother, a pianist, that despite the fact that he has learned music theory to an advanced level and has been a music theory teacher that he is nowhere near as good as I when it comes to playing in less conventional time signatures for instance. A theory course takes you where the course leads, it would incorporate such things as part of the course, but it wouldn't focus on them as a matter of personal interest. That's up to the musician. And if unconstrained by a designated course one is perhaps more free to roam and develop and experiment with such personal interests. Still, I'm not gonna say it's a better approach, just different.

.

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Old 31-03-2018, 01:26 PM   #83
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It's funny because a lot of pop music, simple as it might sound, is more advanced and can teach you more than the books, and quicker.

Some of it is nearer to the way chords were used in late Romantic and Impressionist music, whilst the theory books take you back to Bach and Mozart. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but you'd have to do many years of theory exams before you even get to the people who really pushed the boundaries of tonality. Yet you can get that kind of knowledge from listening to Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder. Even Steeleye Span, to continue the '-Ste' thing.

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Old 31-03-2018, 01:42 PM   #84
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It's funny because a lot of pop music, simple as it might sound, is more advanced and can teach you more than the books, and quicker.

Some of it is nearer to the way chords were used in late Romantic and Impressionist music, whilst the theory books take you back to Bach and Mozart. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but you'd have to do many years of theory exams before you even get to the people who really pushed the boundaries of tonality. Yet you can get that kind of knowledge from listening to Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder. Even Steeleye Span, to continue the '-Ste' thing.
Yeah, I don't think you'll learn Hendrix or Coltrane from a book. Would a book tell you how to play electric guitar with the amp turned up to 11, which is quite different to how you'd play it at lower settings?

It's interesting what you say. Not having studied music theory I wouldn't particularly know what it focused on, but I can well imagine that being so.

As an aside, have you seen Ken Burns ten part documentary series on Jazz? Well worth the watching.

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Old 31-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #85
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I wasnt really making that point mate....i think ill get me coat
I was just adding my spin on the subject.

I've encountered lots of musicians that have got all the grades which includes theory exams. Ask them to write a 3 minute pop song, or just to write something full stop, and they're floundering.

This is the inherent problem with learning music theory to the exclusion of putting the books to one side, although some of the exam boards are now including more aural-based practical musicianship.
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Old 31-03-2018, 02:15 PM   #86
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Yeah, I don't think you'll learn Hendrix or Coltrane from a book.

It's interesting what you say. Not having studied music theory I wouldn't particularly know what it focused on, but I can well imagine that being so.

As an aside, have you seen Ken Burns ten part documentary series on Jazz? Well worth the watching.

.
If you grew up in the 20th century or the current one as a musician, you'll have heard music that's more harmonically advanced, or has at least a very different approach to harmony, than the music someone in Bach's time would have heard. Even though some of what Bach was doing is still being used.

I enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary, it covered a lot. It's just that Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch are so dismissive of 'jazz fusion', which is a shame.

Howard Goodall's documentaries on music were a step in the right direction. They were on Channel 4 about a decade ago. Leonard Bernstein's 'Harvard Lectures' too were very good. I'd recommend both.
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Old 31-03-2018, 02:22 PM   #87
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On occasion I've forayed into learning music theory, only to find that it merely put names to things I already knew. I've mostly stayed clear of it. I can see that there are a few things I would gain by learning music theory, however I'm hesitant 'cos I might lose more than I gained.

I think it depends on the music being played. If were in a jazz band improvising on standards it might help to have some theory to roll with the key changes, but in rock and roll I can mostly do all that by ear.

I like finger-picking on the guitar. I got a tablature book on finger-picking ('cos I can read tab) in a bid to improve, only to find that the most advanced technique in the book, cross-picking, was already my natural style.

I noticed with my brother, a pianist, that despite the fact that he has learned music theory to an advanced level and has been a music theory teacher that he is nowhere near as good as I when it comes to playing in less conventional time signatures for instance. A theory course takes you where the course leads, it would incorporate such things as part of the course, but it wouldn't focus on them as a matter of personal interest. That's up to the musician. And if unconstrained by a designated course one is perhaps more free to roam and develop and experiment with such personal interests. Still, I'm not gonna say it's a better approach, just different.

.
Yes i understand the point your making here and i agree
I kind of explained my take on this a few posts back i guess
When i songwrite or create something fresh for myself....i like to understand it so i can share it easier
Very few people write great pieces purely in their head without making notes or examining progressions as they go
Understanding it musically and the reason it progressed that way is part of the song or sound to me
Other musicians can play it by ear maybe easily yes
BUT i have it written down, tabbed or notation(for sight or sound) I can see where my progressions went on paper and move it that way too
Its just another arrow for the quiver maybe but its most useful
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Old 31-03-2018, 02:29 PM   #88
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On occasion I've forayed into learning music theory, only to find that it merely put names to things I already knew. I've mostly stayed clear of it. I can see that there are a few things I would gain by learning music theory, however I'm hesitant 'cos I might lose more than I gained.

I think it depends on the music being played. If were in a jazz band improvising on standards it might help to have some theory to roll with the key changes, but in rock and roll I can mostly do all that by ear.

I like finger-picking on the guitar. I got a tablature book on finger-picking ('cos I can read tab) in a bid to improve, only to find that the most advanced technique in the book, cross-picking, was already my natural style.

I noticed with my brother, a pianist, that despite the fact that he has learned music theory to an advanced level and has been a music theory teacher that he is nowhere near as good as I when it comes to playing in less conventional time signatures for instance. A theory course takes you where the course leads, it would incorporate such things as part of the course, but it wouldn't focus on them as a matter of personal interest. That's up to the musician. And if unconstrained by a designated course one is perhaps more free to roam and develop and experiment with such personal interests. Still, I'm not gonna say it's a better approach, just different.

.
Surely then you realised to yourself that Tab was just telling you where to put your fingers?
It doesnt tell you the sound progression....do you hear the sound progression tho? yes im sure you do....understanding basic music theory would help you move that sound not just through your fingers..but through your understanding as your fingers move
maybe
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Old 31-03-2018, 02:44 PM   #89
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Surely then you realised to yourself that Tab was just telling you where to put your fingers?
It doesnt tell you the sound progression....do you hear the sound progression tho? yes im sure you do....understanding basic music theory would help you move that sound not just through your fingers..but through your understanding as your fingers move
maybe
Yeah, they are just tools to be used as & when. I'm not precious about it.

As mentioned on another thread I first learned guitar from songbooks with chords in. I knew the songs and the chord diagrams showed me where to put my fingers. It's a good way to learn the rudiments as you also learn about song structure and chord progression. Once I knew most of the conventional chords I ditched the songbooks and started making up my own chords.

I learned how to read Tablature specifically to learn 5 string banjo. It's so different to guitar or mandolin that I was struggling to get my head around it. Again once I knew roughly what I was doing I ditched the tab and started to improvise.
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Old 31-03-2018, 03:01 PM   #90
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Yeah, they are just tools to be used as & when. I'm not precious about it.

As mentioned on another thread I first learned guitar from songbooks with chords in. I knew the songs and the chord diagrams showed me where to put my fingers. It's a good way to learn the rudiments as you also learn about song structure and chord progression. Once I knew most of the conventional chords I ditched the songbooks and started making up my own chords.

I learned how to read Tablature specifically to learn 5 string banjo. It's so different to guitar or mandolin that I was struggling to get my head around it. Again once I knew roughly what I was doing I ditched the tab and started to improvise.
The Banjo
Its always pleasing to my ears , even when just tinkered with
I myself tickle guitars mainly although i have an assortment of nice instruments including several Guitars, Keyboards , bass guitars a cajon,blues harps ... and my youngest daughter has a violin i try to get noises out of from time to time
Do you know of a group of guys called Bears Den? They use the Banjo really well in my opinion...as someone was pointing out earlier...sometimes an instrument kinda defines a groups sound...Bears Den i think had this going on with Joey Haynes influence...its mesmerising at times to me

I give you this for 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv3SHHAti0I

And to close the talking crap for me....and back on to the topic i close with another Bears Den track which at the time...offered up some originality in my music world: peace:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGXBR1wR-mo

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Old 31-03-2018, 03:22 PM   #91
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The Banjo
Its always pleasing to my ears , even when just tinkered with
I myself tickle guitars mainly although i have an assortment of nice instruments including several Guitars, Keyboards , bass guitars a cajon,blues harps ... and my youngest daughter has a violin i try to get noises out of from time to time
Do you know of a group of guys called Bears Den? They use the Banjo really well in my opinion...as someone was pointing out earlier...sometimes an instrument kinda defines a groups sound...Bears Den i think had this going on with Joey Haynes influence...its mesmerising at times to me

I give you this for 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv3SHHAti0I
Yeah, that's nice. Great banjo sound. The banjo has such an ancient sound for a relatively modern instrument (although the banjo's forebears are ancient of course).

Nice array of instruments you play there. I also dabble with fiddle and trombone, not to any great standard though. I know my way around a keyboard but wouldn't call myself a player as such. It's mostly stringy things with me - guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin. I also play drums & percussion though. And sing, sorta.

I have a hankering to buy & learn Crumhorn, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Lol.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:58 PM   #92
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Bearing in mind that music grows out of a people's culture and other dynamics, if anyone wishes to point to non-musical shaping factors that affect creativity/originality, feel free to do so.

The only thing I'd request to keep things on-topic, is that it must be factors that can be shown to have directly impacted upon the craft of music-making, and thus originality, in a substantial way.

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Old 05-04-2018, 01:03 PM   #93
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MUsic is crap and unoriginal because all songs come from higher dimensions...and the conduits to those dimensions are withering.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:46 PM   #94
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I'll just quote this again which I posted earlier:

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Bearing in mind that music grows out of a people's culture and other dynamics, if anyone wishes to point to non-musical shaping factors that affect creativity/originality, feel free to do so.

The only thing I'd request to keep things on-topic, is that it must be factors that can be shown to have directly impacted upon the craft of music-making, and thus originality, in a substantial way.
By the mid-1970s, music and other arts provisions were cut from the funding of many inner city schools. Drummer Cindy Blackman (worked with Lenny Kravitz, Santana and a host of jazz greats) talks about it in the first three minutes.



Ironically, at first it didn't affect the creativity of the young people that no longer access. They used the resources immediately available to them - the spoken word, their parents' record collections, an innovative approach to the turntable, walls as canvas - to create hip hop.

The lack of ability to play instruments wasn't a creative obstacle for a long time, but I believe a good deal of hip hop and its derivatives suffered because the instrumentalist was no longer in the equation creatively. I'll also add, one of the results of hip hop was that melody went out of the window. When I hear grime, I'm often struck by how monotone many of the rappers are. Very little variation of vocal tone. Many great emcees have a sense of melody in their delivery.

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Old 07-04-2018, 02:58 PM   #95
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I agree with what he says about great individuals growing out of a creative community.

However, unless someone's in a position to make a living via their creativity, as a step towards it, it's best to find a job that allows the free time and financial support to then follow the muse. And then work towards making 'following your muse' a full-time career.

In the 70s, there was a big squat scene out of which punk emerged in London. A little before then, you hear of bands such as Traffic all living in the same house and developing their music together.
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:46 PM   #96
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I don't think Hendrix could read music, he learnt the basics jamming with other musicians.


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Yeah, I don't think you'll learn Hendrix or Coltrane from a book. Would a book tell you how to play electric guitar with the amp turned up to 11, which is quite different to how you'd play it at lower settings?

It's interesting what you say. Not having studied music theory I wouldn't particularly know what it focused on, but I can well imagine that being so.

As an aside, have you seen Ken Burns ten part documentary series on Jazz? Well worth the watching.

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Old 11-04-2018, 04:32 PM   #97
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I don't think Hendrix could read music, he learnt the basics jamming with other musicians.
Miles Davis told a story about when the two of them jammed together. Miles said something about a diminished chord, to which Jimi responded with a lost, confused look. When Miles played it on the piano, Jimi imitated it immediately.

He wasn't aware of the names of chords and that kind of thing, but was highly knowledgeable at an innate level.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:41 PM   #98
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Been watching old top of the pops mainly from 80s but there clearly are records that stand out from the pack as having advanced production/sounds/arrangements/technology that changed the game. Even "Have I the Right" produced by Joe Meek in early 60s was the first record to have stomping feet on it, created by stamping on the floorboards in his toilet (Joe Meek was first producer to have a recording studio in his house) this technique was latter used by many other bands such as Slade.
So how pop music developed is very organic and comes from experimentation and new technology.
A lot of great productions were done on what would be considered primitive equipment. I'm sure it's because much postwar pop music was in a state of flux, and less limited by formula. The more imagination in a record, even using simple devices, could then increase its commercial appeal.

Eventually by the mid 80s, it all began to get formularised and predictable sounding, i.e. chart music productions, even though there was still good songs being released.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:44 PM   #99
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In the past, there used to be a lot more gigging spaces for bands. It’s impossible for a band to get anywhere to gig now. There used to be a time when many pubs had at least one band night in the week. And the reason for this decline is that gig venues sold less alcohol, because the people tended to be there to hear the band. Once the band started playing, alcohol consumption dropped like a stone. To do bands now, it is necessary to organise local bands to perform at a community centre in the afternoon or early evening, durin a week day, which is not a bad thing, but it is much harder to organise.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:55 PM   #100
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In the past, there used to be a lot more gigging spaces for bands. It’s impossible for a band to get anywhere to gig now. There used to be a time when many pubs had at least one band night in the week. And the reason for this decline is that gig venues sold less alcohol, because the people tended to be there to hear the band. Once the band started playing, alcohol consumption dropped like a stone. To do bands now, it is necessary to organise local bands to perform at a community centre in the afternoon or early evening, durin a week day, which is not a bad thing, but it is much harder to organise.
The club circuit was where artists learnt their trade in front of a real audience. Or no audience at all - which is character building you don't get when on Britain's Got Talent with millions of viewers, and a studio audience providing the canned applause.

Actually there's been a change of sorts where pubs/bands are concerned. Only a year ago the Musicians' Union published statistics to say that live music on a weekend actually INCREASED sales of alcohol. Though I'd hazard a guess that most of those bands are covers/tribute acts, rather than original.
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