Tell me, how many of you have undergone formal music training? Is finding proper arrangment for your song something you can come up with easily? Can you tell the difference between diminished and augmented chords? Can you alternate between scales, modulate the 5ths, use the right cadences, etc without much thinking of it? Or do you go by the “belly-feeling”, the trial-and-error method – and do you wish, then, that you knew the theory by heart so you could concentrate only on pure music?
As for myself, the love for music did not come to me before I was 18-19, so it was too late to go to a music school. Many years I tracked by ear, but eventually I felt limited by it, so I started picking up some theory on my own. Can’t say it was easy, but after a while, my tunes improved significantly. I’m now learning piano and guitar, and I hope that one day I’m good enough to roll in some conservatory… even if I’m in my thirties by then
Tell me, how many of you have undergone formal music training?
I have, but not at concervatory/university level though.
More like roughly up to the starting point at those places.
I have recently picked up a book about jazz harmonizing,
which I’ve found highly interesting and useful.
Can you tell the difference between diminished and augmented chords?
Tell you or tell the difference when I hear one?
A diminished chord has a minor third and a diminished fifth,
an augmented chord has a major third and an augmented fifth.
And yes, I can probably hear the difference
Can you alternate between scales, modulate the 5ths, use the right
cadences, etc without much thinking of it? Or do you go by the
“belly-feeling”, the trial-and-error method –
If you work only “by rules” it is first of all boring, and it produces boring music.
So I prefer learning some pieces of theory, which applies to whatever
I want to do, and then forget it You don’t have to learn every detail,
it’s often enough to pick up the main lines and use your ear and creativity.
and do you wish, then, that you knew the theory by heart
so you could concentrate only on pure music?
There is no such thing as “the theory”. All kinds of music theory
only describe guidelines for how to accomplish a certain task.
When writing a baroque fugue and a jazz composition completely
different guidelines apply.
I don’t really know any musical theory at all, just wing it I suppose… Tho I’d like to learn to play the piano & guitar and learn better improvisation. Would help my composing skills tremendously!
modulate the 5ths
what do you mean by that?
Well I took piano lessons between the age of 6 and 13, that’s the only formal training I have. Then I gave it up because I didn’t like to just play music, especially from scores. Creating and improvising is more my cup of tea What I still find useful though is the knowledge of scales and chords. But I know it more by heart nowadays and don’t care too much about the theory behind it.
I know about diminished (dim) chords, but haven’t heard about augmented chords before although I can hear it inside my head when you describe it How about minor third with a diminished second (is that the correct term?)… what are those called?
Personally a D sus4 is my favorite chord
Could have been a bit too rough translation, anyway, by that I meant the moving from one scale to another through the circle of 5ths progression.
If you work only “by rules” it is first of all boring, and it produces
Don’t take it too literally I suggested that if you know the rules, you can free yourself from trivial technicalities – e.g. instinctively press the right keys to produce the right chord, instead of figuring it out every time by trial and error. This is the skill I missed in my early days of tracking… and even now, there’s still a lot to learn. However, learning is fun…
Tell you or tell the difference when I hear one?
It was just a rhetorical question, but thanks for answering that anyway
I don’t think augmented chords are as widely used.
A diminished second becomes just another notation for a unison, ie the same note as the root Example: C-D is a major second, C-Db is a minor second, C-Dbb is a diminished second, but Dbb is the same note as C!
I went in a music class for many years when I was younger, there we mostly learned to play instruments and learn scores, scales anc chords but besides that it wasn’t much theory. When I started high school I chosed between art, theater or music school, I chosed theater!!! But we had some music training there aswell, even if it was more vocal training and stuff like that… but after high school I totaly made a turn in my career and decided to take a master degree in engineering… anyway, that is another story
However,even if I have some traing from school, today it feels like I’ve learn most of the interesting parts of the theory on my own, and it feels like I still have MUCH to learn before I’m satisfied …
No Artistry is a hard work independent on how educated you are, sometimes it even harder when you are educated cause then you put higher claims on yourself.
The one does not exclude the other. Even if I can play chords, scales and all that without to think much I almost always use my “belly-feeling” when I compose music To try and test new things is almost the most important part of the creation in my opinion. The theory shall only be a help in the back of the head, it shall not be a reason for not testing new things… If you only compose after the “precepts” you will only do boring music…
Gash, do not remind me of it… I’ll shortly turn 28 so I’m soon there…
I did not even have music at school, but started to learn some things myself and by asking friends of mine when I was about 16 and started doing music … I know the names of the notes, I know what a chord is although I cant name any if you show it to me except for the minor and major chords and thats about it … cant read notesheets too.
Infact that I had also musical training at school (5 or 6 years back) and forgot all the stuff again I can say um… nothing. Just tracking by ear. This is really problematic if you get to chords then
one of the true heroes didn’t, as far as I know, get any formal
musical training… Im talking about mr. Jimi Hendrix
He came up with new fingerings of chords, scales and whathaveyou
and all by “belly-feeling” and ear… He was passionate about music (and some other stuff too…)
I think that’s the most important thing…
I go with Twileks comment;
The one does not exclude the other. Even if I can play chords, scales and all that without to think
much I almost always use my “belly-feeling” when I compose music<
you need all the weapons you can get your dirty hands on to win the war, sort of…
I went to guitarschool for about a year some 10 years ago. Really comes in handy for…knobnibbing and airguitar solos.
Seriously though, if you’re not playing a live instrument there’s no need for knowing much musical theory. As long as you have the talent you can amaze and dazzle. Let the ears guide you!
Eh what? I suppose you do not know much theory yourself, or am I wrong? The biggest parts of music theory is about composing music, not about how to play instruments…
Did I state otherwise? You didn’t get my point. Read that sentance again.
I do not know if I missunderstand you but to me it sounds like “if you are not playing an instrument you will not have much need of music theory”… and if that is what you mean that is nothing else than nonsense. As long as you are into any kind of music-creation, even if you play an instrument or not, it is always good to know music theory… it is probably much easier to learn to play an instrument without to know the theory than it is to learn to compose technical and musically complex creations without the theory… (but that does of course not mean you can’t be a virtuoso in composing without to know anything about the theory… )
There we go
Look, all I’ve learned from others than myself is chordprogression on an electric guitar. That’s all I knew about musical theory before I picked up my first tracker. The rest is self learned, which most certainly is the best way to learn what goes and vise versa.
You’re more likely to succeed playing by ear in a tracker than in, say, an otchestra or a choir, where you have to follow a set chourse. I.e., you have to know the exact way to act. You don’t need to know about chordprogression, timesignatures etc. to create a good song in Renoise. You experiment with chords, composition of sounds, tweak effects, pan left/right, speed up/down etc. It’s self learned. That was my point.
By all means though, open a tracker for the first time with musical experience and you will certainly climb the ladder heaps quicker.
Anyone new to music theory might want to check this link out for a few of the basics explained:
25 free lessons
May be of use to some. If anyone has got any links for music theory that they would like to reccomend, I would definitely be intrested if you could post them here (free material appreciated ).