For those who know theory...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Kappy, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    At what point did you find theory had stolen your soul? I'm assuming you came to theory being "soulful like David Gilmour or BB King", but then you learned theory (just how much we need to determine) and suddenly your soul was missing. Was it learning all the notes on the fingerboard (not just the E and the A strings)? Was it when you got to 5th position reading in the Mel Bay book? Was it learning about chord subs? It was chord subs, wasn't it?

    I want to know what I shouldn't know to keep my innate soulfulness.

    Thanks!

    Dave
     
  2. Gene

    Gene Member

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    I don't believe this is mutually exclusive. And what one considers soulfulness is not by another.
     
  3. Free

    Free Member

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    There is nothing you shouldn't know! Please know this! Ignorance is bliss, but a lame bliss, an artificial bliss.

    Once one takes a mature perspective on understanding the theoretical components of music having your "soul stolen" becomes a non-issue - I kind of have to laugh at the way you put that. Sure the innocence is lost - thinking that "magic" and pure personality created those songs I loved when very young, and that those songs can be broken down to component notes. Yet, still the magic of music is never lost when one considers the feel each great player puts into it. The mystical nature of FEEL is never lost. The greatest players all have that intangible magic of their feel, etc. That can never be quantified, and that is what gives music magic.
     
  4. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...you shouldn't know that all 14,000 chords aren't in one book...:D

    ...but remember, for extra soulfulness while playing over a maj 7th (you won't know that), you always remember to emphasize the 4th...:eek:
     
  5. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    i was born without a soul, so i can't miss what i never had.
     
  6. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...actually, your clips tell me otherwise Matte...you sound like a force of nature...like a tornado that flattens everything and then the sun comes out and everybody's happy...:D
     
  7. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer
    That's dark. You wanna join my goth jazz group?
     
  8. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I think it was when I learned that there are only 12 notes....before that I was going to be like BB. Gilmour!

    Cheers

    K
     
  9. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I love this 12 note quote, not.

    It's like saying "math, man, there's just 10 numbers, it's all you need to know"
     
  10. rosscoep

    rosscoep Member

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    When I was awarded with the ability to play in return.
     
  11. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    O you're a binary man, are you? :D
     
  12. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    that's just one way of slicing up pitch. turkish classical music incorporates 36 notes per octave.
     
  13. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Nah, old fashioned base 10, but you actually make a good point, as matte is.
    Just cos common music is 12 semitones, does not mean that is the only systme, or that knowing that means you have all there is to know.
    I think that is why the whole "12 note" quote irks me so much.

    "2 numbers man, 0 and 1, that's all there is to computers"

    Thganks to matte, I now know there are 36 notes in a Turkish scale, but I hardly think that completes my necessary knowledge to oplay that music.

    OH, no, I think I just lost my Turklsih music soul !! LOL !!!!
     
  14. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I don't get it...what's not to love? The original question is sarcasm, and the 12 note quote was a little sarcasm to match. I thought it was funny...like 'my options were wide open, I would have had infinite soulfulness until I learned that music was divided up into ONLY 12 notes....man, now I'm so limited by my knowledge of theory'

    Now I feel like I have to give a serious answer. Here's my take. Knowledge of theory doesn't in any way take away from soulfulness in and of itself...BUT, over-thinking can have a definite impact on it. I think it's important to recognize when you're over-analyzing (for me this is just a sign that I haven't 'internalized' the theory that I'm trying to apply). In these cases, if making music is the goal, sometimes you just need to turn off the analytical part of the brain and just let the muse be your guide.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  15. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Yowza, don't feel oppressed on my account.

    It was not your use of that quote so much, as more where I have seen it elsewhere. It's a simplistic reduction of a complex subject, usually repeated in an attempt to portray wisdom.
    I thought your use was pretty cool actually, but typing is such a clumsy form of communication.
    I know dkap was being facetious. :BEER

    I'm cool with the muse being the boss.
     
  16. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    The sad thing is, once I had made that Faustian deal and gave away my Soul for Theory I realized what a chump I was and what a horrible mistake I'd made.

    But then I fugured, hey - if I fell for it, maybe I can give all my Theory to someone else and I take their Soul

    So I log onto TGP everyday trying to find some poor unwitting sucker to pawn my Theory off on so I can get some Soul back

    Do you want some of my Theory?
     
  17. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'll take your theory in exchange for my soul. Dang thing has done me no good, you might as well have a crack at it. My threory is pretty basic too, so there is plenty of room.
    It's actually weird how much stuff I can remember from med school, right down to the jokes lecturers cracked, but music theory is elusive and slippery.

    Which raises the old question.....

    Which music school subject will put a class to sleep more quickly ,

    The History of Music Theory or The Theory of Music History ?

    So, if as I said, the muse gets to be boss, then who does she get to boss around ??
    All those little bits of worker bee theory maybe ??
     
  18. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I got my first guitar when I was about 12 years old, a plywood acoustic with a tailpiece and a floating one piece wooden bridge.
    The coolest sound I could figure out out how to make on the thing was to lay it down on its back on the bed, smack the strings tuned to whatever, and push the bridge around, back and forth, fast, slow, little slants, big slants, circles, write my name, stuff like that.

    Theory stole my soul at the point it was suggested to me that I should probably leave the bridge alone, tune the thing to something and wiggle my fingers instead of the bridge.

    I tried that for about 40 years, gave up, and my soul was immediately returned to me in its original condition. Theory was kind enough to keep my soul safe for me while I wiggled my fingers all that time, thank you very much.

    I'm back to laying the guitar down, tuned to whatever, and basically wiggling the bridge around in little circles, back and forth etc.
    No harm done. No more theory, no less soul, whatever any of that means, and I'm quite content.

    No hard feelings theory, thanks for the perspective, and thanks for taking such good care of my soul while I wasn't using it.
    ;)
    peace sk
     
  19. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    I do ... what flavors do they come in ..?
     
  20. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    It does seem like focusing on theory does cause feel (soul) to suffer. However, I'm envious of the Jazz guys that got their theory together early, moved beyond it, and now have monster feel in addition to total understanding of their idiom. Combining the two looks like it takes incredible effort.
     

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