music education and creativity


mamamalabass
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Joined: 01/05/02
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mamamalabass
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Joined: 01/05/02
Posts: 31
01/12/2002 8:29 pm
How important do you think knowing scales, modes,sight reading and writing on a staff ect. is to being creative?I have a friend who thinks you only need the basics and a good ear.He feels that too much of that stuff gets in the way.What do you guys think?
# 1
Raskolnikov
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Raskolnikov
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01/12/2002 8:39 pm
I think it depends on who you are. Some people thrive on theory, others are stifled by it.

People who are [u]too[/u] into theory tend to think "you can't do that, it's not in this key." Well, yes I can do that, and I will do that because it works in this context. Some of the most interesting music I can think of throws traditional music theory out on it's ear and goes it's own way. I think if you feel an uncontrollable need to write a note as A-flat-flat, you need to loosen up: it's a G, get over it.

Theory especially helps me out with rythmic work: it's kinda hard to play in a screwed up time signature when you don't know how to count it. This is one of the areas I feel I need a lot of work, and I try to explore from time to time.
Raskolnikov
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Careful what you wish for friend
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# 2
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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01/12/2002 9:03 pm
knowing theory has helped me develop things that I heard in my head, and write them down, such as polyrhythms... Without my knowledge, I think it would have taken me more time to figure it out. But I learned it when I was 18, so I had already developed my hear ,taste and creativity. I now use it as a tool, and it's very effective.
# 3
Led Zeppelin
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Led Zeppelin
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01/13/2002 12:14 am
No. Some of the best and most famous songs have been based on random chord combinations.
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# 4
Raskolnikov
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Raskolnikov
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01/13/2002 12:33 am
What I usually find happening is somebody will come up with a simple idea that is very creative, destinctive, and catchy. If it catches on, people make that idea more and more complicated. Now eventually people get sick of the whole idea, about that time somebody else comes along with a simple, creative, catchy idea that sounds totally different...

There seems to be this perpetual cycle of simplifacation, expansion, then resimplifacation in music.

It's really interesting for me to think about.
Raskolnikov
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# 5
Lordathestrings
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Lordathestrings
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01/13/2002 3:13 am
I play what I 'hear' in my heart. Knowledge of theory comes in handy when I want to describe that to someone else. If I can't sit down with someone and show then a lick or a chord progression, then I need to have a written language that will convey it to them in terms we both understand.

As for the scales, keys, and such. I'll admit the only time I dip into that is when I'm stuck, and I need some pointers on what chord(s) will fit a progression I'm working with. I generally 'hear' a song before I try to write it down, and I'm basically learning to play it by ear, just as if I picked it off the radio.
Lordathestrings
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# 6
Parrot Head 1970
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Parrot Head 1970
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01/13/2002 4:44 am
I wont mirror the boys/girls above other than to say that if you know it all, (or a better part of it) you can add to it.

As was said some of the greatest songs are written on a basic chord set. Theory created expansion. With theory you can take three chords to ten while retaining relative simplicity. Theory enables you to know who, where, why and what the party is all about. Then it allows you to invite all of the people that you know that weren't invited.

As I've said before it's not the B all and End all of everything but, if you have the will to learn it all, you'll understand it all.

All the best!!!!!! :cool:
# 7


Joined: 04/15/24
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01/13/2002 6:09 pm
Till yesterday I never knew in what key I played in.

It never stopped me from creating songs and solos. I think I have a good hear. I didn't at first so if you don't think you have one, it comes with practice.

The best songs I created came up in a jam, by myself with a 4 track recorder. I always tape myself when playing. It's now natural, I sit down and decide to improvise and TRY new things. It's in these quick 30 minutes recorded jams that I come up with the best results.

When I play I just know when it's not right. It doesn't sound right.

Like Raskolnikov said, "you can't do that, it's not in this key." That happened to me while jamming with a accomplished studio guitarists. It just shutdown my creativity. The best advice I can tell someone is "let it flow". Just play forget the key forget all of this for just a moment. You'll be amaze of the results. Unfortunately, you'll need to understand some theory when the time comes to mix your riffs with the other band members or adding other guitars to your riff.

Guitar is just like life, there's more than you way of doing things and get to the same result. Find the one best suited for you.
# 8
Incidents Happen
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Incidents Happen
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01/13/2002 6:18 pm
theory is only good if you use YOUR best instincts and sometimes throw the theory book out the window. It gets old and dull if you follow the theory all the frickin' time. unless your really good.
# 9
Zeppelin
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Zeppelin
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01/13/2002 9:22 pm
If you have a musicial hearing, or whatever the term is , you'll use the major or the minor scale by the end somehow, no matter what.
BUT saying that basics and good hearing are enough, is just not true. Most of the musicians who didnt know any theory and wrote good music, learned hundreds of songs by hearing, so by that way maybe they didnt know how to name the scales, but they sure did know them, and used them. Also many of them had perfect pitch, like yngwie malmsteen, which of course made their life even easier...
I think that you dont have to learn all the theory, because you wont even use most of it, but you must learn the basics of it. In my opinion to say that you dont need theory at all is like saying that you dont need to learn how to bend strings or to slide....

"They think im crazy..
but i know better.
It is not I who am crazy.
It is I who am mad.."

ren hoek
# 10

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