Do I need to know any more theory or do I know enough?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
RELATED
PRODUCTS
User avatar
EdwardGivens
KVRist
191 posts since 4 May, 2022 from drippy, rainy wet western Oregon, USA.

Post Sun May 28, 2023 10:18 am

i need Help wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 6:00 pm
More importantly, can you write the music you hear
[dramatic pause]
in your heart?
❤️❤️❤️
the rhythm is fairly simple.


I listened, but all I heard was my tummy rumbling. I'll check Walter Piston and get back to yuz

FranklyFlawless
KVRian
518 posts since 24 Oct, 2022 from Abbotsford, British Columbia

Post Sun May 28, 2023 4:28 pm

HREQ wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 10:27 pm but I feel like I know enough already, I've literally went over the same subjects so many times over the years, but I just keep looking up more and waste more time, watching videos, etcs. I was fine not knowing anything before and just making music TBH. Now I feel like I must watch endless youtube video saved watchlists of things, same with mixing/mastering btw, MWTM etcs. I guess I do enjoy researching it for a bit, but then it becomes an obsession, and I get frustrated "why am I wasting all my time on this? I could just be in daw having fun" etcs, but now I'm just rambling and I feel like this topic is stupid now lol

why I made this topic? I don't know. Maybe to see how much other people know who make songs here, maybe to validate I know enough already, maybe to be scolded for asking a stupid question. TBH I hate the internet and endless resources available, I wish I just had a workstation keyboard instead of a daw.
Take a break from researching then. Set a rule for yourself to follow, and a goal to achieve on your DAW. Disconnect from the Internet.

Roman Empire
KVRian
993 posts since 1 Apr, 2002 from Spain

Post Sun May 28, 2023 5:40 pm

Another take on this could be to have you sharing some of the songs you´ve made. If they represent what you want with your music and reflect that you know what you´re doing, then there´s no need to learn more. Personally I´m always a sucker for more theory because in my world, the better you understand what you´re doing, the more creative you can be.
But of course there are people who know nothing about theory, who learn through playing and aspire to be the next Rachmaninov, but I´m not that gifted at playing - my fingers are stiff and old.
Best Regards

Roman Empire

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
24509 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Mon May 29, 2023 11:43 am

The first thing here is not music theory techniques, it’s develop your ear. Learn to immediately recognize intervals.
Picking stuff off records is great, but one may need a remedial kind of course (software maybe but guidance from a person is obv. a richer experience); but really basic stuff, eg., the interval as shown in known examples in music.


If the OP were ready to just get in the DAW and do the damned thing they’d be doing that. I think my experiences are lost on them, but for the world, do some music before “researching”. You don’t learn to swim from reading or research.
Last edited by jancivil on Wed May 31, 2023 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChristianArredondo
KVRer
5 posts since 31 May, 2023

Post Tue May 30, 2023 7:44 pm

Once I learned enough music theory, it began to somewhat hinder my ability to think creatively. I was fixated on trying to understand what chords I was using, and what chords should go together, and the theory behind my songs.

It doesn't hinder me anymore, but it definitely was for a time. Nowadays, music theory is very handy for jamming out with friends, I don't even need to think about it. Music theory can help you write music with others, but you don't need it to be a good songwriter. Plenty of my friends don't know theory, and they come up with awesome grooves that I wouldn't even imagine, because they don't even know the rules they are breaking, they are just playing what sounds good.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
24509 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Wed May 31, 2023 5:18 pm

Well, if one grasps that music theory is not a recipe or a guide, but knowledge about how things are known to have been constructed so far (and principles extrapolated out of it that apply further, ideally enough to be able to make one's own principles), it can't be a hindrance to creativity.

I rarely think while writing. On occasion (twice, certainly that I recall if only because I reviewed some things recently ;)) I want a transisitional bit and will construct something vertical based on my experience with intervals which is out of a music theory experience; but I don't quite remember what most of it is, note names, nothing. I don't analyze my own music.
But I am able to proceed with freedom - if not ultimate freedom, a goodly amount of it - because I internalized concepts, aka learned it and forgot it.

The people that object to learning it (at least in fora like this*) have a woefully mistaken conception that one consults like a textbook in order to do anything.

(* I know people that will have found it a waste of time/don't need to verbalize or define what they know by their ear and its connection to their musical brain, which is far beyond most of us.)

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
24509 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Wed May 31, 2023 5:29 pm

EdwardGivens wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 10:18 am
i need Help wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 6:00 pm
More importantly, can you write the music you hear
[dramatic pause]
in your heart?

the rhythm is fairly simple.
Yeah, the heart as a separate entity from your ear or mind is a silly damned idea.
Compare "Music is emotion"; ohhhk, except when it isn't. And emotion is just a word for certain things that go on in your brain. The emotional energy (the personality, et al) located in the frontal lobes is why they liked to lobotomize 'crazy people'.

Same as 'what you hear in your soul'. Your soul if quantifiable or replicable is going to appear as your mind. Mysticism and purple prose notwithstanding.

User avatar
Bombadil
KVRAF
9610 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Somewhere near the Morgul Vale.

Post Thu Jun 01, 2023 3:17 am

Mysticism and Purple Prose.
Why you picking on Led Zep again?
"Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?"
-Pink Floyd.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
24509 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Thu Jun 01, 2023 10:25 am

:lol:

I actually like Zep.
I think Page as a guitar player is one of the more overrated on the thing, ever.

but it fits & the riffs, the songs and especially the production are ace. I don’t focus on lyrics usually. https://youtu.be/35HoabXm41E

mjudge55
KVRist
264 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Thu Jun 01, 2023 12:43 pm

jancivil wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 5:29 pm
EdwardGivens wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 10:18 am
i need Help wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 6:00 pm
More importantly, can you write the music you hear
[dramatic pause]
in your heart?

the rhythm is fairly simple.
Yeah, the heart as a separate entity from your ear or mind is a silly damned idea.
Compare "Music is emotion"; ohhhk, except when it isn't. And emotion is just a word for certain things that go on in your brain. The emotional energy (the personality, et al) located in the frontal lobes is why they liked to lobotomize 'crazy people'.

Same as 'what you hear in your soul'. Your soul if quantifiable or replicable is going to appear as your mind. Mysticism and purple prose notwithstanding.
I just assume people's best intent on that stuff and figure they're being metaphorical, talking about being genuine, instinctual, vulnerable etc. I do chafe at the notion that music must be artless though ...

Back on topic, and I'm ready to get beat up from any side for this, but even as someone who dabbles in theory and loves it (when time allows), I must take stock of the fact that throughout the eons humans have been making music, most did it without the aid of much theory. So a question like "do I know enough" doesn't land with me. It's like, are you no longer curious about theory and has your music stopped sucking? Okay then, move on, you're in good company. I get it if you're just playing in a hardcore punk band or whatever you're more or less wasting valuable time going down this rabbit hole when what you probably need to do is dress right, make sillier/heavier copies of the songs you love, get your band's live show together and make some friends in the scene so people will mosh. Priorities.

At the same time, it does trouble me how anti intellectual we've become, as if theory was some dark art that corrupts. You can learn most of what a working musician needs to know about theory while reading on the toilet. It's folk knowledge, not even as difficult as trigonometry. Is trigonometry corrupting?

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
24509 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:41 pm

of course we're making fun making the metaphoric 'heart' literal. I personally just don't find that better than 'what you hear in your head', like one's head is <the heart. It was kind of impertinent IME.
So a question like "do I know enough" doesn't land with me. It's like, are you no longer curious about theory.
exactly but I don't like saying it early. (To me it's possibly a sign of being incurious, per se. Or as you imply, intellectually.)
If the goal is to make pop, or most (not-art-) rock music you don't need 'modal interchange' or to have experimented w. or studied counterpoint.
Or any of it. If you're McCartney you don't need it to have done it and done it so well theory people marvel at its sophistication. So we're at the basic, 'we cannot answer what one needs' and the rest commentary on the nature of the thing.

I agree strongly with what you wrote.
NB: I don't care about learning trigonometry because I don't have any evident use for it to be a musician/composer. "There's no calculus in music" - Frank Zappa. It's arithmetic one has sussed by the 3rd grade really.

mjudge55
KVRist
264 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Thu Jun 01, 2023 2:46 pm

jancivil wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:41 pm of course we're making fun making the metaphoric 'heart' literal. I personally just don't find that better than 'what you hear in your head', like one's head is <the heart. It was kind of impertinent IME.
So a question like "do I know enough" doesn't land with me. It's like, are you no longer curious about theory.
exactly but I don't like saying it early. (To me it's possibly a sign of being incurious, per se. Or as you imply, intellectually.)
If the goal is to make pop, or most (not-art-) rock music you don't need 'modal interchange' or to have experimented w. or studied counterpoint.
Or any of it. If you're McCartney you don't need it to have done it and done it so well theory people marvel at its sophistication. So we're at the basic, 'we cannot answer what one needs' and the rest commentary on the nature of the thing.

I agree strongly with what you wrote.
NB: I don't care about learning trigonometry because I don't have any evident use for it to be a musician/composer. "There's no calculus in music" - Frank Zappa. It's arithmetic one has sussed by the 3rd grade really.
I have a young daughter and I'm looking forward to an experiment where I relearn math as she learns it. I'm curious if I'll feel differently about it now that I'm not stuck in my culture's weird "mandatory poison" attitude about it.

vurt
addled muppet weed
103715 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Fri Jun 02, 2023 12:44 am

mjudge55 wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 2:46 pm
jancivil wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:41 pm of course we're making fun making the metaphoric 'heart' literal. I personally just don't find that better than 'what you hear in your head', like one's head is <the heart. It was kind of impertinent IME.
So a question like "do I know enough" doesn't land with me. It's like, are you no longer curious about theory.
exactly but I don't like saying it early. (To me it's possibly a sign of being incurious, per se. Or as you imply, intellectually.)
If the goal is to make pop, or most (not-art-) rock music you don't need 'modal interchange' or to have experimented w. or studied counterpoint.
Or any of it. If you're McCartney you don't need it to have done it and done it so well theory people marvel at its sophistication. So we're at the basic, 'we cannot answer what one needs' and the rest commentary on the nature of the thing.

I agree strongly with what you wrote.
NB: I don't care about learning trigonometry because I don't have any evident use for it to be a musician/composer. "There's no calculus in music" - Frank Zappa. It's arithmetic one has sussed by the 3rd grade really.
I have a young daughter and I'm looking forward to an experiment where I relearn math as she learns it. I'm curious if I'll feel differently about it now that I'm not stuck in my culture's weird "mandatory poison" attitude about it.
if it's anything like when i was helping my son with his homework, it's bloody hard
they changed the teaching methods, so despite him and me getting the right answers, he would have to redo it, as they no longer work from units up through tens, hundreds...
made no sense to me tbh. and maths was one of my better subjects at school.

mjudge55
KVRist
264 posts since 8 Sep, 2005 from Seattle

Post Fri Jun 02, 2023 10:18 am

vurt wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 12:44 am
mjudge55 wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 2:46 pm
jancivil wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:41 pm of course we're making fun making the metaphoric 'heart' literal. I personally just don't find that better than 'what you hear in your head', like one's head is <the heart. It was kind of impertinent IME.
So a question like "do I know enough" doesn't land with me. It's like, are you no longer curious about theory.
exactly but I don't like saying it early. (To me it's possibly a sign of being incurious, per se. Or as you imply, intellectually.)
If the goal is to make pop, or most (not-art-) rock music you don't need 'modal interchange' or to have experimented w. or studied counterpoint.
Or any of it. If you're McCartney you don't need it to have done it and done it so well theory people marvel at its sophistication. So we're at the basic, 'we cannot answer what one needs' and the rest commentary on the nature of the thing.

I agree strongly with what you wrote.
NB: I don't care about learning trigonometry because I don't have any evident use for it to be a musician/composer. "There's no calculus in music" - Frank Zappa. It's arithmetic one has sussed by the 3rd grade really.
I have a young daughter and I'm looking forward to an experiment where I relearn math as she learns it. I'm curious if I'll feel differently about it now that I'm not stuck in my culture's weird "mandatory poison" attitude about it.
if it's anything like when i was helping my son with his homework, it's bloody hard
they changed the teaching methods, so despite him and me getting the right answers, he would have to redo it, as they no longer work from units up through tens, hundreds...
made no sense to me tbh. and maths was one of my better subjects at school.
Yeah I've heard that and part of my experiment is to see if the curriculum is as convoluted as I've heard or if it's something that makes sense if you come up with it. In the US we have this (death cultish? perpetual?) narrative that our civilization is crumbling with K-12 ed as ground zero so that seems fun to look into.

lfm
KVRAF
6251 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Thu Jun 15, 2023 8:53 am

Tim Shoebridge's take on theory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpletz2WqdM

Return to “Music Theory”