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Joined: 04/07/00
Posts: 14
Hmmm... any way of doing something expressess, consciously or unconsciously, a theory of how that thing should be done...

It seems to me that there are a few theories of how music (particularly guitar) can be learned or done, each more or less suitable for a particular person than another, and each with its particular advantages and disadvantages. I also think that the advantages and disadvantages even out in the long run: All roads lead to Rome, etc.

You can Learn songs, you can Learn theory, you can learn by ear, by paper, by instruction, inductively or deductively...

To further complicate things, there are some people naturally gifted with musical ability, and others naturally gifted (or maybe cursed would be more apt) with tenacious curiousity...

The practical use of theory is to provide an agreed upon language that musicians can use to describe what they are doing, how they want a song to go etc. Good communication requires clear definitions.

Reading tablature is a direct application of theory...

Anyway, I would say that SOME theory is both unavoidable AND indispensable. You can't help but learn a little theory in the course of learning to play, no matter how much you may fight it. You might not even realize what you know but just act on that knowledge almost instinctively.

But I don't think that ya gotta become a space cadet to play music, after all, the real test is gonna be how well you can play or how well you can write, not how well you can bull**** Whatever paths gonna get you there with the biggest grin is the one you should take.

Anyway, I really dig theory, scales, modes, chords, names, patterns, history, the ideas behind the words behind the notes. I want to know WHY. WHAT and HOW are good, too.

Learning the modes, not the modes themselves, but how they actually work, what makes them modes, really opened doors for me. That and the Circle of fifths.

I would say that knowledge of those two things is essential for any flavor of improvisational musician.

The better you get, the more you forget... dont think, do... blah blah blah

But anyway... anyone answer the other question? About harmonic minor scale?

Sharp, Flat, I'm the one with the axe.
Sharp, Flat, I'm the one with the axe.