How much theory...



  • Studied jazz piano and guitar for a number of years so I know it. Most of it is useful in jazz, but not all that applicable to rock music where you don't have a lot of altered voicings. Aside from the #9 chord (the purple haze chord), and the diminished / harmonic minor stuff in shred, the harmonies don't fit in a rock context.

    Also, most people use modes as a way to play the same scale all over the neck. What makes a mode different is the melody notes you focus on. If you are playing ionian roots, thirds and fifths while in the lydian position, you are playing ionian, not lydian. So most people think they are playing modally and they are not.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I've gone thru different phases . I took a few lessons as a kid ( 14 yrs old ) But I learned alot from older guys thru high school . I was very lucky to attend a high school with a world class music program .( One of my classmates went to Julliard .)

    I was self taught until I met a brilliant and exceptionally talented teacher when I moved to Baltimore . Part of my studies with him included theory but only as it applied to guitar playing . I did tons of ear training that helped my understanding of theory . I have a basic understanding of theory and how it applies to soloing and playing over different chord voicings . The greatest contribution was ear training . Today I can tune by ear pretty much EXACTLY to pitch . I can hear all the intervals , apply most of the modes , chord inversions and scales forms but I can not read standard notation .
  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,114
    I guess I know what would be considered a lot of theory.
    I am not self taught, I started taking lessons immediately after I got my first guitar and studied with a bunch of different teachers before I went to GIT.
    For me harmony and theory is a necessary tool for making music, without it I would be completely lost.

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