Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:30 pm

regarding growing up now vs then: there are still fantastic musicians a person with drive will want to become like. There are probably the same chances of people in your naborhood who are better than you and a competitive aspirational person gets the hint.

I know myself, I would do the same thing and hopefully if I was an idiot about looking for music theory on the internet there would be someone like I am now advising me to be careful and probably seek a cogent real course. I will have learned some things faster in an advanced vocabulary, probably.
It's the same as if I decided to get into law, there would be some advantages to having it all in one place with hyperlinks, but you're going to have to put in the time in the law library and go to school.

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Karma_tba
KVRian
961 posts since 12 Aug, 2004

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:34 pm

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:25 pm
jancivil wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:50 pm
It's not different than asking: "Am I cheating if I paint-by-numbers instead of using a palette where I mix the colors myself?"

Nothing personal to the OP, whom I do not know, but I really think one should ask themselves why they're in music if they don't really want to even know enough to write your own chords.
For the approbation of one's peers? Something to show, ASAP; but wait, all that pesky study and practice, who needs it?
In the given, specific case it is likely going to be very different than painting-by-numbers. And there are nany reasons why someone could be 'in music' and have no shame in not writing their own chords :shrug:

To the op: Is it cheating? Maybe. Doesn't have to be :shrug:
:tu: :clap: :tu:

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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:37 pm

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:25 pm
jancivil wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:50 pm
It's not different than asking: "Am I cheating if I paint-by-numbers instead of using a palette where I mix the colors myself?"

Nothing personal to the OP, whom I do not know, but I really think one should ask themselves why they're in music if they don't really want to even know enough to write your own chords.
For the approbation of one's peers? Something to show, ASAP; but wait, all that pesky study and practice, who needs it?
In the given, specific case it is likely going to be very different than painting-by-numbers. And there are nany reasons why someone could be 'in music' and have no shame in not writing their own chords :shrug:
Well, let's look at the goalpost, the person wants to have something to show as a track of theirs, but not make the chords and changes happen all by themselves. Yeah, literally there are for instance people who only recreate music from a page playing in orchestras all over.
But they'll have had diatonic and chromatic harmony on the way.

The point is why are you in music with this little curiosity about it; if you're trying to 'make a track' or a song using chords, and you've been in music as a player, playing people's songs (strongly tending to be by people who know how to write their own chords) you'd have some idea via osmosis. And you *should* do, first. Because you aren't creating yourself as a writer in a total vacuum.

There surely is context here, but sure, ignore it in favor of talking.

There is no given, specific case. Please illustrate the point with an actual case, demonstrating how relinquishing the choice is not like painting-by-numbers. OBVIOUSLY: literally, if there is only the one choice (I've never actually painted-by-numbers) there is a difference if it's a multiple choice question. But show me how not doing it yourself is doing it yourself; this is the context and it's pretty clear.

All you did was gainsay with an argument to the literal. When you do that, the impression you create is you can't make the distinction from rhetorical vs literal.

Scotty
KVRAF
1820 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:49 pm

There are many ways to learn your craft. Using most of this kind of software exposes you to concepts related to chord substitution, circle of fifths, key signature and various ways of resolving progressions. That alone is an education and is valuable. I wouldn't hesitate to explore. I'd ignore anyone who thinks they are superior for taking a more traditional path. Life is short and there is more than one way to learn and grow. If this foray into software gives you some insight into musical theory, helps you to express yourself or leads to some happy accidents then mission accomplished in my view. Good luck and have at it.
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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:51 pm

Nice shifting of goalposts
It's as though learning music theory is totally unlike 'know music theory' if only in service of this pose.
and the word cheating, in the OP's self-assessment vanished
I mean have a thought, if they were "using" the tools to explore music theory, wouldn't the whole question be moot?

who thinks they are superior for taking a more traditional path
look up straw man argument and moving the goalposts fallacies


speaking of ignore
Last edited by jancivil on Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Karma_tba
KVRian
961 posts since 12 Aug, 2004

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:56 pm

Scotty wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:49 pm
There are many ways to learn your craft. Using most of this kind of software exposes you to concepts related to chord substitution, circle of fifths, key signature and various ways of resolving progressions. That alone is an education and is valuable. I wouldn't hesitate to explore. I'd ignore anyone who thinks they are superior for taking a more traditional path. Life is short and there is more than one way to learn and grow. If this foray into software gives you some insight into musical theory, helps you to express yourself or leads to some happy accidents then mission accomplished in my view. Good luck and have at it.
:idea: :hug: :idea:

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
12583 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:07 pm

jancivil wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:37 pm
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:25 pm
jancivil wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:50 pm
It's not different than asking: "Am I cheating if I paint-by-numbers instead of using a palette where I mix the colors myself?"

Nothing personal to the OP, whom I do not know, but I really think one should ask themselves why they're in music if they don't really want to even know enough to write your own chords.
For the approbation of one's peers? Something to show, ASAP; but wait, all that pesky study and practice, who needs it?
In the given, specific case it is likely going to be very different than painting-by-numbers. And there are nany reasons why someone could be 'in music' and have no shame in not writing their own chords :shrug:
Well, let's look at the goalpost, the person wants to have something to show as a track of theirs, but not make the chords and changes happen all by themselves. Yeah, literally there are for instance people who only recreate music from a page playing in orchestras all over.
But they'll have had diatonic and chromatic harmony on the way.

The point is why are you in music with this little curiosity about it; if you're trying to 'make a track' or a song using chords, and you've been in music as a player, playing people's songs (strongly tending to be by people who know how to write their own chords) you'd have some idea via osmosis. And you *should* do, first. Because you aren't creating yourself as a writer in a total vacuum.

There surely is context here, but sure, ignore it in favor of talking.

There is no given, specific case. Please illustrate the point with an actual case, demonstrating how relinquishing the choice is not like painting-by-numbers. OBVIOUSLY: literally, if there is only the one choice (I've never actually painted-by-numbers) there is a difference if it's a multiple choice question. But show me how not doing it yourself is doing it yourself; this is the context and it's pretty clear.

All you did was gainsay with an argument to the literal. When you do that, the impression you create is you can't make the distinction from rhetorical vs literal.
I can make the distinction between rhetorical and literal. I also understand suppositional, which, given how little we know of the op, is where your stance has it's foundations.

Will deal with the rest of what you wrote, later. I should be sleeping :tu:

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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:11 pm

I really want to reiterate that people 'in music' that have no care about 'their own chord progressions' will tend to be people PLAYING MUSIC or with some kind of job (I suppose you could teach children piano and not write at all) and tbh I do not imagine the person with this question (& why is there this redundance, 3 threads now?) as anything other than someone who comes to the computer with notions of 'making beats' they'll then attribute to themselves as creator, & absent the real life experience in music as prerequisite. There is a small chance the original post is not what I and pretty much everybody so far thinks it is. :shrug:

ShawnG
KVRian
687 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:20 pm

Personally I have trouble with the concept of “my own chord progression” tbh.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:20 pm

who thinks they are superior for taking a more traditional path.
Also a bit of argument to the person there.
To believe trial and error in a chord plugin is equal to a real, cogent harmony course is just kidding yourself.
It isn't about me or the other person who used 'paint-by-numbers' as a person, what is the path itself?

Life is short
Life is too short for learning a cogent path, it's better to save time and just have a plugin running in a sequencer host, as though every person who approaches it there (one supposes having not done prior to) has a trial and error which is more efficient time-wise than the 'traditional path' provides per se. It's a pretty poor argument and ill-considered.

All of that stuff can be looked at all sorts of ways, and my thinking is that maybe you get your stuff together per se. But it was a move of the goalposts from not learning music theory to using the tools aren't cheating if the point is to learn music theory. And you seem to be claiming your own superiority if you think your ad hominem is good enough to ignore a person.
Last edited by jancivil on Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.


ShawnG
KVRian
687 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:31 pm

But what if the point isn’t to learn music theory? For most, the point is to make music.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:35 pm

ghettosynth wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:22 pm
BB KING CAN'T PLAY CHORDS
So it stands to reason all the songs he wrote needed somebody if not Chord VST to sort it, because 'can't play' means' 'has no understanding of'. slow clap for that

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jancivil
KVRAF
18840 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:38 pm


ghettosynth
KVRAF
12044 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Is using chord plugins and tools cheating if you do not know music theory?

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:50 pm

jancivil wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:38 pm
Oh snap

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-cdd28Ae60
I knew that you were going to post this, I saw it before I posted. I didn't post it because I wanted to watch you step in it and cite it as an example. This does not defend your position. BB King did not dive into theory before ever making music. Frankly, I don't even think that he learned what he does know in order to make music, but simply to communicate.

Watch carefully, he's slow and makes several mistakes that the interviewer corrects him on. BB King was largely an instinctual player. He has stated multiple times that he does not know theory.

Do I think that he can construct basic chords, yes. Do I think that he didn't know the name of that first shape he played before being told, probably. Do I think that for a large part of his career he really didn't understand any of the theory but simply played by intuition, yes, I do. Do I think that his chord knowledge was the pre-computeer equivalent of using a Chord VST, yes, absolutely. He has to think about the neck, watch him, he didn't learn the chords by theory, he learned them by memorizing the fingerings and associating them with the chord name, like a LOT of guitarists do.

Here's a discussion of this video on Reddit. It brings up several interesting point, e.g., how Miles Davis taught theory to Hendrix.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comment ... ow_theory/

The question that the OP should ask is: why does he care if anyone else thinks that something is cheating? That will drive a correct answer to his question. Regardless of judgement from people like you, BB King is evidence that one can have a successful music career, and, be respected as a musician, while not knowing very much at all about music theory.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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