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> Can Chords Be Replaced By Single Notes?
richardb
post Jan 13 2012, 01:58 AM
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Hi, as I havent learnt to play chords yet, I was wondering if any piece of

music that involves chords can be played with each chord replaced

by some ordinary note cool.gif

or can a chord note only be done with the chord's group of notes played

simultaneously? mad.gif


if each chord can be replaced by an ordinary note to achieve

the same tune how is that done?

do you replace by the chord by say the deepest note of the chord? biggrin.gif
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Dinaga
post Jan 13 2012, 02:15 AM
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The "deepest" note you're talking about is called the root note, and yes, you can say it's the most important note of the chord. But that in no way means you should play root notes instead of chords on the guitar. My advice is, start learning chords now, and it will help you a lot, not just theory-wise, but it will also train your musical ear. The sooner you start exploring chords and ways to play them properly, the sooner you'll become a better player. smile.gif There are a lot of good chord lessons here so why don't you try? smile.gif

I'd suggest you start with open chords and then build your way up.
Instructor Ivan has started chord sessions here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=42379
and I think it's a great way to start learning chords, because you can get constant feedback from the instructor!

Instructor Bear Rose has a section dedicated to beginners and there is a good amount of chords lessons there:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/lessonser...ginners-Corner/

But you can also search the lessons yourself for chords and see what fits you the most. smile.gif

Good luck smile.gif

EDIT: And to answer this:
QUOTE
if each chord can be replaced by an ordinary note to achieve

the same tune how is that done?


Without going into much detail, I'll just say that you can't achieve the same chord tune by replacing it with just one note because a chord is consisted of minimum three notes. That means that you can't fully capture the "mood" of the chord with only one (root) note. For example, chords A major and A minor have the same root note (note A), but they have completely different moods and other theory relationships because of the other notes in the chord. Major chords sound cheerful and happy, while minor chords sound sad.

I won't go into too much detail for now, maybe some of the other guys will have something to add. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dinaga: Jan 13 2012, 03:01 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 13 2012, 08:28 AM
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Hi smile.gif

Dinaga has already summed the situation up very well. The only thing I'll add is try to think of things this way:

You can choose to spend time trying to find a way of navigating round something that you're going to have to do one day anyway.. or you can spend the time now to start learning it.

It probably seems daunting because you think 'There's ALL these chords...' but the key is to not view your goal at once as one big one.. just decide to take small steps. For example, by the end of today you could learn at least 1 new chord.

Also, please don't forget that all of us guitarists on here had to take those small steps as well.. and we still do when learning new things. Giving yourself small, achievable goals is the key to staying motivated, because you can consciously see and hear your improvements smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 13 2012, 09:14 AM
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All good advice here from the B-man and Dinaga! Once you have learned a thing or two about harmonizing a scale, things will become more and more intuitive. If you discover the root (deep note as you called it) note and you know what tonality you're playing in, you'll be able to discover other root notes. Scale harmonizing helps you by letting you know what sort of chords can be associated to what scale degrees, so if you know that the song you're trying to figure out is in C major, and you discover a chord which has the D as root note, you will know that chances are for that chord to be a D minor chord.

Hope this helps and if you need more insight, let me know and I shall gladly develop the subject!


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PeteLucifersAnge...
post Jan 13 2012, 10:16 AM
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you could do so, but only a fool (like myself when i first started) wouldnt start with learning the basic chords (;
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 13 2012, 12:05 PM
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Playing single notes is OK, but these are single notes, not chords. Chord means "3 notes ringing simultaneously", 3 stacked intervals from any scale.

You can take any note from the chord and play it, and take another note from another chord, and play that, and this is the basics of improvisation. But, you need to support some harmony, so usually you play these notes in the context (on top of chords being played).

Well, you could follow root notes of the chords, but there are various types of chords, you can't tell if it's major minor or diminished, which are basic categories.

I advise you to look up into chords, because they are very important, but in the same time, practice following them with the single notes - both ways are very beneficial for you as a musician.


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richardb
post Jan 13 2012, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (Dinaga @ Jan 13 2012, 01:15 AM) *
The sooner you start exploring chords and ways to play them properly, the sooner you'll become a better player. smile.gif There are a lot of good chord lessons here so why don't you try? smile.gif


any suggestions then of music which has as few different chords as possible and where the chords are as

easy as possible also?


when music has chords what kind of proportion of the notes are chords?

can it be any proportion?

or is it lots of single notes with an occasional chord, or is it all chords?

a chord would seem to be a different form of sound than a single note,

the chord sounds diffuse or vague where the single note is clear and precise,

if both kinds of notes occur then the nature of the sound is also changing

could that be say single notes for the main singer and then chords for

the background choir?



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Dinaga
post Jan 13 2012, 04:18 PM
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OK let's start from the beginning smile.gif

QUOTE
any suggestions then of music which has as few different chords as possible and where the chords are as
easy as possible also?


A looooot of music! smile.gif You really need to explore the internet on this one, but here's some suggestions for cool chords songs from the top of my head:

Uriah Heep - Lady in Black
Pink Floyd - Wish you were here
Dream Theater - The Spirit Carries On

QUOTE
when music has chords what kind of proportion of the notes are chords?
can it be any proportion?


Yes, it can be any proportion but of course for different types of chords there are different rules!
A major chord contains the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale. A minor chord contains the 1st, flat 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale.
These are the alpha and the omega. When you master these, go for the rest biggrin.gif The first thing you need to do if you want to learn chord theory (and theory in general!) are the intervals. You can find a lot of theory material on this, and you can also learn a lot from the GMC Guitar Grimoire, which you received when you subscribed here. smile.gif You have LOADS of useful stuff there!

However, I'd suggest you first learn to play all open chords, and then dive into theory of how they are made. smile.gif

QUOTE
a chord would seem to be a different form of sound than a single note,
the chord sounds diffuse or vague where the single note is clear and precise,
if both kinds of notes occur then the nature of the sound is also changing
could that be say single notes for the main singer and then chords for
the background choir?


Yes, exactly. smile.gif The chords are the background music - the rhythm, while single notes are the melody. That's why you need both. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dinaga: Jan 13 2012, 04:21 PM


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richardb
post Jan 16 2012, 01:36 AM
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its not that I want to avoid chords, but I bought my guitar about a month ago,

and I have learnt about the A minor pentatonic scale, and

done all this practising of the A minor pentatonic boxes, but havent yet

learnt ANY music at all, nothing. I didnt buy the guitar to learn theory mad.gif but

to play music biggrin.gif theory is just a means to an end

I havent learnt about major scales yet.


The problem is that it looks like I will learn more and more advanced theory and
never get to actually play any music!

there is a famous story about the guy who gets piano lessons. in lesson 1 the
instructor teaches him how to set up the chair.

lesson 2 he learns how to set up the music stand

lesson 3 he learns how to set up the metronome

lesson 4 he learns how to exercise his fingers before starting

lesson 5 he learns how to turn the pages of the score

etc

he has lesson after lesson, but he NEVER actually plays the piano,


at school there was a guy who was learning the piano, I told him I
thought the piano looked impossible to learn, he said
actually you can play music with just 3 notes.

he showed me that you can play "mary had a little lamb" with
just 3 notes.

experimenting with my guitar I managed to determine the notes
which are:

EDCDEEEDDDEEE
EDCDEEEDDEDC

(not all with the same timing)

thus just with C D E you can play music,


which means you can play that with any box of the A minor pentatonic
scale.


Since beginning this and another thread I eventually remembered that
I had a book of music that is used in many schools here.

Looking through the book many of the songs dont involve chords,
eg "morning has broken", Cat Stevens did this as a pop song eg:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TWd3skb-Rw

its possible his version uses chords as he seems to have modified the tune a bit.
and when I googled on the tune, some people arent using the same notes as
in this book!


Unfortunately I am not compeletely sure how to convert classical notation
into the ABCDEFG notation, if I can do that then I can convert the latter
to the guitar by looking at a diagram of the notes of the guitar frets.

the christmas carol "away in a manger" also doesnt involve chords,

"O little town of Bethlehem" doesnt involve chords,

"praise my soul" doesnt use chords (lyrics: praise my soul the king of heaven),

"hark the herald angels sing" by Mendelssohn doesnt use chords,

literally each song I look at doesnt use chords. I havent found any which use
chords so far! (I am assuming that a chord in classical notation is multiple notes
on the same vertical line?)

Thus I think it is misinformation to say that you need to know chords to do anything.

remember that some instruments such as flute cannot do chords (I think)
as they are like a single string guitar, thus a lot of music wont involve
chords!

the problem now is how to convert the classical music notation to
say ABCDEFG notation,

the music in the book seems to be all religious songs as its meant
for the songs sung at school assemblies,

call me a modernist, but I think EVERY lesson should have a piece of
actual music.

learning theory without playing music is like making money but never
spending any!

perhaps this book is a special edition where they redid the chords,


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Dinaga
post Jan 16 2012, 07:08 AM
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Well mate, I gave you an insight why theory is important, but I can't make you learn theory if you're against it so much.
If you really want to escape from it and just play music, then do it, but sooner or later you'll see what we were talking about. Theory isn't preventing you from making music, it is helping you make music. But I see you're finding excuses of why you shouldn't learn certain things, while it would be easier to just learn them.

I'm not saying you should learn all theory there is and then start playing, for a beginner it's actually the best to keep playing what you like the most so it is more fun and motivating, but learning one chord a day isn't that big of a job and it benefits greatly.

Yes, you can try to learn guitar without chords, theory and just use three notes for everything but sooner or later you'll hit a brick wall and end up repeating yourself. Everything will sound the same. That's where theory comes handy, it makes everything have sense.

But good luck whatever path you choose. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dinaga: Jan 16 2012, 07:24 AM


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Alexiaden93
post Jan 16 2012, 07:20 AM
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OK let's stop "running around the porridge" as we Norwegians say in our language. Learn theory, it's as important if not more important than playing the guitar, because not only will it MASSIVELY help your guitar playing in itself; it will change how you hear and think about music entirely. The only limit you will have is in your hands, but in your head and using your ears you can imagine anything there is to imagine in the realm of music.

By the way, my main instrument is piano, and I can pretty much play most songs just by listening to the song and processing it in my head. Most of the time I don't even have to listen to the song over and over, because most music is predictable once you know music theory. It's a bit more difficult for guitar, but the principle is the same. If you learn music theory, you will not be limited to having to learn all the songs note by note. You will learn MORE, in SHORTER TIME and actually understand what you are playing which opens up for improvising and actually creating your own music, maybe even composing. That's what playing an instrument is about, not just learning five positions of a pentatonic scale, although that is of course an easy shortcut to playing "great" solos.

The best approach to learning music theory is by constantly applying it to your playing. Make your fingers used to the various chords and more importantly, make your ear used to it. It's all about your ear. But application is key.


Do yourself a favour and learn music theory.

This post has been edited by Alexiaden93: Jan 16 2012, 07:27 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 16 2012, 08:25 AM
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Hi, I know what you mean.. all the preparation but no playing wink.gif

As the guys said, some theory knowledge will only help you in the long run but for now it's not so necessary.

You are correct that a lot of hymns and famous carols are played with single notes.. but they are also deliberately simplified. If you listen to the original versions there are usually multiple harmonies and chords.

You don't have to change anything that you already do, just add to it smile.gif

I highly recommend looking at Bear Rose's series, Beginner's Corner, which will get you playing chords without filling your head with loads of theory.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/instructor/Bear-Rose/

99% of people who are still new on their guitar journey come to GMC, see those lessons and then are soon telling us how much progress they've made.

Give one of them a go and tell us how you get on smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Jan 16 2012, 08:25 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 16 2012, 09:31 AM
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I agree with Ben and I must add that theory is actually the grammar of music smile.gif if you don't know grammar you can't use a language properly, am I right?

It will only help you better express your ideas, not under any circumstance limit your creativity, so give it a go, step by step..and yes, Bear Rose's series are a very good recommendation for a healthy start wink.gif

let us know how things are going

Cosmin


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thefireball
post Jan 16 2012, 02:51 PM
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Chords is the first thing I ever learned on guitar. This way you CAN make music right away. You can play simple songs with just three chords. I HIGHLY recommend you check out the link in my signature that will lead you to my 3-year guitar evolution. You can see what is possible in three years. I know that if I had known, or learned, theory it would have been an even quicker progression. Perhaps the video will inspire you though. wink.gif Good luck with your endeavors. I know I need to get to some more theory myself. happy.gif


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richardb
post Jan 17 2012, 03:07 AM
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QUOTE (Dinaga @ Jan 16 2012, 06:08 AM) *
Well mate, I gave you an insight why theory is important, but I can't make you learn theory if you're against it so much.


I'm not against theory but I intend to keep my feet firmly on the ground with actual
music and not have my head drift up into the clouds and lose all connection with reality,
The guitar is all about music, its not about theory.

the most important thing when you design a plane is that it can land safely,
in particular at all points of the flight you need to be sure you can land
the plane from that point, you dont want to run out of fuel 20 kilometers
above some jagged mountains. You must always remain connected to reality
even if you drift up to lofty heights, at all times you must have a way to
land the plane, even if the scenery is fantastic.

the same is true for theory, the most important thing with any musical theory
is you can "land" the theory "on" some enjoyable music. if you cannot
illustrate ALL your theory with real music then you have lost contact
with reality and the theory is a delusion of grandeur.

I am all for theory WHEN it helps me play actual music, which it hasnt so far,
I am sure it will but I am beginning to wonder! tongue.gif
This is because I spent a long time as a student of science based subjects
in the english education system,
and it was a conveyor belt of theory, year after year of theory,
beginning when I was about 13 years old, 9 years later at 22 all I knew
was theory, I still hadnt learnt any genuine application at all,
I refuse to repeat this experience ever again,
neither with the guitar nor with anything else. Even now I know a lot
of theory from then, but I know virtually nothing about applying that theory.


theory is like the apex of a pyramid, but the base of the pyramid is real music,
without the base the apex is a worthless stone. without an apex a pyramid
remains an impressive edifice, the apex merely emphasises what we already
know that its an impressive work. That is the case with theory, theory
is just an efficient perspective of application, without application a theory
becomes pure abstract nonsense.


The theory-centric approach is to have a warehouse full of pyramid apexes but no pyramids.

birds could fly millions of years before the theory of aerodynamics
was developed! To this day scientists havent been able to
create machines which can fly like a mosquito or bird,
a mosquito can dodge raindrops, but there is no theory.

a bird can fly to the far end of a different continent and return through
any weather to the exact same rock

in fact the americans began to study flying insects to get ideas for
designing their fighter planes because they realized the insects
were far ahead of their aerodynamics professors, the fly depends
on turbulence where aerodynamic theory is mainly about nonturbulence.
Basically the fly was over the heads of the theorists!

their theorists had to take lessons from the fly


during the second world war, the british used pigeons to
carry messages to France because there wasnt any technology
to match, the pigeon could get through all the defences
undetected.

do you know the story of the naked emperor?

thats what happens if you allow yourself to be blinded by theory

Lets say you want to audition for a guitarist for a band,
100 guitarists apply, all queued up with their guitars.
mellow.gif cool.gif mad.gif rolleyes.gif dry.gif wink.gif ....


you interview each in turn, one says he was the top student
at the royal school of music mellow.gif , another says he can play all the
chords cool.gif , another has the guitar used by Pink Floyd mad.gif , another
says he is the grandson of Jimmy Hendrix rolleyes.gif , another says he
is the guy who invented the major scale dry.gif , another says he
invented the treble clef wink.gif etc.

How do you decide which guitarist to select?

well, you do a David Hasselhoff, you tell each guitarist:

I dont care about that, play the guitar and IMPRESS ME


whoever plays the most impressively gets the contract,
DOESNT MATTER IF ITS SINGLE NOTES
DOESNT MATTER IF ITS NOT
DOESNT MATTER IF THE GUITAR IS OUT OF TUNE
DOESNT MATTER IF DIFFICULT CHORDS ARE AVOIDED

A more specific example of how to give each theory apex
a practise base:

for example: A minor pentatonic scale is ACDEG (1)

first box is:

A - - C
E - - G
C - D
G - A
D - E
A - - C
5 6 7 8 : fret number

(2)

the song you learn in kindergarten "Mary had a little lamb" is

E D C D E E E D D D E E E
E D C D E E E D D E D C (3)

(1) and (2) are theory, but now the theory is fleshed out with some
real music (3) which a lot of students will ALREADY know. doesnt matter
if the music is a bit naff,

A student presented with the above can then firstly practise the box of the scale (2)
and then figure out how to play (3) on this, because they already know the song
they can get the timing right. If someone doesnt know the song, they should learn
to sing the song first, and then use that to get the timing right.

but if the student learns box 1, then learns box 2, ... up to box 5,

then starts learning about chords, THAT IS A TRAVESTY!

the student should find a new teacher because this teacher is a pilot
who has forgotten about the little technical problem that he will
have to land the plane eventually.

you are learning how to crawl, then learning how to walk, then learning how to
run, then learning how to sprint for the 100m, then learning how to fly from
Road Runner cartoons, but you havent yet APPLIED
the walking, that CANNOT BE RIGHT!

THEORY IS THE SERVANT OF APPLICATION

first you learn to crawl, then you APPLY the crawling to crawl around the house.
then when you have that mastered, you learn to walk, and you APPLY the walking to walk to kindergarten,
to walk to the sofa, etc. Now when you have that mastered you learn to run,

MOST OF THE TIME you will in fact walk, usually you only run if you
are about to miss a bus or train or interview.

its the tortoise versus the hare, the hare focusses on the theory because it seems faster,
the hare focusses on the application, which seems slower,
but after a month the tortoise can play 10 pieces of music and the hare can only play
scales.


It is anachronistic to put theory first, historically THEORY ALWAYS emerges AFTER
PRACTISE, eg the biggest scientific discovery ever was the universal theory of gravitation,
but that began from the astronomer Copernicus's huge collection of observations of the planets and
stars. Gradually over a long time many different scientists eg Galileo processed that data
and arrived at many rules the planets were following. After a really long time
Isaac Newton managed to unify the many rules into one rule which is called
the universal theory of gravitation, which says that an object of mass m1
attracts an object of mass m2 at a distance of r by a force of G * m1 * m2 / (r * r)
where G is an absolute constant. This one formula explains the moon orbitting the earth,
the earth orbitting the sun, the sun orbitting the milky way galaxy, asteroids, comets,
etc

Galileo was thrown in prison by the pope for saying that the earth revolves around
the sun contrary to the bible. But today even the vatican accepts what Galileo said!

Galileo found that if everything moved around the earth as dictated by church dogma
the rules were extremely complicated, but if everything moved around the
sun the rules were much simpler, he inferred that the planets must orbit the sun
and NOT the earth, but he was then called a heretic.

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richardb
post Jan 17 2012, 04:11 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jan 16 2012, 08:31 AM) *
I agree with Ben and I must add that theory is actually the grammar of music smile.gif if you don't know grammar you can't use a language properly, am I right?


nope!

I dont know anything at all about english grammar but I KNOW if something is correct or not WITHOUT having
to think about it! grammar would really slow me down to the point of nonfluency.

the correctness is determined entirely by whether it sounds right, NOT by applying any rules at all, no rules whatsoever.
I instantly know if something is wrong, far faster than trying to apply some lousy grammatical rules.

the modern approach to language learning is in fact to de-emphasise grammar because for example the
best learning of language is by children who have no idea at all about grammar!


also for energetic communication of english you need to push the grammatical rules a little bit
beyond the breaking point,

basically if you follow english grammar too carefully the language loses its power of expression,
english is only powerful if you know when and where to break the rules

this is why slang develops eg "it sucks bigtime", because the grammar book just cannot
express such intense meaning.


you have to basically surf the grammar, and you can only do that if you learn from usage
and throw away your grammar book!

the BEST courses on learning languages are the "Teach yourself" series by Hodder and Staughton,
each lesson begins with a dialogue, you hit the road running,
and its totally contextual. They cover all aspects of a language including nonstandard scripts,
and they de-emphasise grammar.

A good example of what goes wrong if you use grammar, is that english uses a different tense (I ate) from german
(I have eaten). Because of this, people from the one language always get the tense wrong for the other language.
I only learnt this when I spent a lot of time in Germany, and started to learn when I had used the language incorrectly
from peoples reactions.

where the english person says "I ate some bread today" the german says "I have eaten some bread today"
(heute hab ich etwas brot gegessen)

in english you would only say that under special circumstances, eg if I asked:

have you eaten a lot of bread today?

you could reply:

no I have only eaten some bread today

but if I asked:

what did you do today?

you would reply:

I ate some bread

you would NOT say: I have eaten some bread,

this kind of subtlety can only be learnt from listening to usage, not from a grammar book.


basically grammar is a theoretical artefact and is NOT real, furthermore linguists have found that
grammar basically changes gradually with time, people start preferring a different tense to express the
same meaning. most languages start to move towards using participles (eating) in preference to declension (eats),

eg english prefers a participle for the present tense "I am eating" where german prefers
a participle for the past tense: "I have eaten" (ich hab gegessen), also german tends to
use passive tense where english uses active:

in english you would say: the medicine cured my illness

but germans NEVER say that, because technically the medicine's action is passive,

although technically incorrect the english usage is far more powerful,
which is exactly the point that you have to break the rules to get the power!

eg you could say: this music is melting my brain,

which flouts many rules of german, english is a very direct language,







some languages in fact only have 1 form of the past tense,

also languages like russian and latin dont use articles, they use relative pronouns instead of
the definite article which is more efficient.

where english uses: "I saw a cat, the cat was in the garden"

russian will use: "I saw cat, it was in garden"

latin will use: "I cat saw, it in garden was"

(something like that!)


english uses a participle for the present tense: I am going
german uses a declension: I go

english has many forms of the past tense:

I ate, I was eating, I have eaten, I have been eating,

you cannot tell from the grammar which is correct, because different languages use different forms
for the same usage,

you can only learn correct usage of english from hearing and reading the language being correctly used.


One further point: usage is far more sophisticated than grammar,

EVERY example usage involves MANY rules of grammar.

eg:

"I went to school yesterday"

that involves many rules of grammar:

word order: subject verb object adverb

verb declension: I went

personal pronoun: I

tense: past tense

case: I is nominative, school is probably dative

adverb: yesterday is an adverb of time (I think!)

you would spend an hour trying to say that from a grammar book!

eg the adverb "yesterday" is at quite a distance from the verb it qualifies "went",
I dont even know how you would explain that grammatically, dont know, dont care!

but I know which places you can use the adverb, simply because correct usages sound right,
incorrect usages sound wrong, thats all there is to it. actually the secret to correct english is
that it sounds right, if incorrect usage sounds better than correct usage you should use
the incorrect usage! It also depends on the accent, something which sounds good with one
accent sounds bad with another accent, which is why british english is different from american
english. its very important when learning any language to learn the accent well, because
once you have the accent correct a lot of stuff is determined just from the accent.


By the way all this grammatical terminology is from learning german, we were never taught english grammar.

anyway, the person who learns via REAL examples experiences far more grammar than the
person who tries to learn grammar


one other thing, if you visit Germany one of the most useful expressions is:

ich moechte

which is the polite way to ask for something in a shop, but grammatically that is quite complex

because it means "I would like", if you said "I want" that is regarded as rude,

its some form of conditional future tense, "would" is the past tense of the future verb "will"

which is very complicated grammar,

but you need to learn a lot of grammar before you learn "I would like",

the person who disregards grammar would learn this right at the start and not think about
the grammar,

some people say "ich haette gern" instead of "ich moechte" but that is also
equally complex,

How does this relate to music?

well, all that matters with music is that it sounds good!

the reason why a lot of the best pop music has been made by amateurs is because
they arent sidetracked by theory and focus just on whether it sounds good!

eg I found when practising the boxes of A minor pentatonic that sometimes I
would accidentally fret a note outside the box and sometimes this would
sound REALLY interesting, like something from some all time classic track.

it pays to think outside the box!



This post has been edited by richardb: Jan 17 2012, 04:36 AM
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thefireball
post Jan 17 2012, 04:40 AM
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All this explanation is really unnecessary. wink.gif


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Alexiaden93
post Jan 17 2012, 04:56 AM
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Learning grammar before learning to communicate is indeed a bad way to learn language. You must always learn by using the language, or as I said, by application. However, despite language and grammar being a very good and valid analogy for music, you shouldn't over-analyse it, because nobody said music is exactly like language; it isn't.

It seems like you are advocating learning music solely by application, without going through the formalities, which you probably relate to "music theory". The truth is that music theory doesn't have to be learned just using text, as I said the ideal way of learning music theory is by combining your hands, ears and head to connect all the knowledge in a personal and systematic fashion. Learn music theory in one way or another, but in the end, whenever you understand something, it is in fact music theory. The reason why you want to learn the terminology is because it becomes both easier for you, and for others with whom you communicate to understand whatever theory you are speaking of.

Music theory is all about thinking outside the box. The more you know about music theory, the more you are able to deviate from common clichés that you hear in common genres.

Furthermore I'd like to challenge your rebuttal of Ben's and Cosmin's argument about grammar. You say you don't need grammar as long as you have a pragramatic approach to learning the language, but let me tell you this. You can never claim to have mastered a language, no matter which one, until you know the proper grammar. Sure you can communicate with random people on the street (sure you can play some pentatonics and impress some blonde girls with large breasts), but you will never be taken seriously on a higher, professional level. Trust me, you're only tricking yourself into taking a shortcut, and as Ben already said, you will have to go through music theory at some point, otherwise you will just be repeating yourself.

You have now heard several professional musicians, and several students, and one person (me) who happens to be fluent in 4 languages, and I can tell you, you will never be respected by the "right" people if you don't know grammar (or in the case of this argument, music theory). Absolutely EVERYONE, including me, including all the people I mentioned, who have tried to convince you, have been in your situation. Should we take the shortcut? Is it really necessary to learn music theory? The answer is YES, and nobody who has studied music theory, whether it be at the beginning, middle or end of their musical journey, has ever regretted it.

I'm not sure how many people besides me are interested in writing essays as responses to your question, so make the most out of what you get. But realise that none of the people who encourage you to study music theory have any personal benefits related to persuading/convincing you to do so. So far I can't see a single person who has agreed with your view, which is a very complex and thought out, but ultimately wrong one.

I hope you will make the right decision, although as I previously mentioned I couldn't really care less, because your decision doesn't affect me. I just want you to be happy, just like everyone else who has taken the time to reply. smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 17 2012, 08:58 AM
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Mates, we live in a free world and everyone can see things as they wish smile.gif me and Ben are only trying to offer a little assistance here and there so that the path on which other people are walking should be as pleasant as possible. But then again, pleasant can have diverse connotations for each and everyone of us. I for one have always been a curious fellow and I wanted to learn all the time, from everyone and everything, but it doesn't mean that my approach should be taken word for word.

Sometimes, hitting our head against the upper part of the doorway can make us realize more things on our own, than just trying to follow an advice which we don't really believe in just because everybody says that is the right thing to do.

In fewer words, experience, is the thing which we may gain on our own and things learned by experience are the ones sticking with us for the rest of our lives. Go ahead and try as many things as you like regarding guitar playing and making music and you will most surely find everything you were searching for and hoping to achieve smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 17 2012, 09:31 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jan 16 2012, 07:25 AM) *
Hi, I know what you mean.. all the preparation but no playing wink.gif

As the guys said, some theory knowledge will only help you in the long run but for now it's not so necessary.

You are correct that a lot of hymns and famous carols are played with single notes.. but they are also deliberately simplified. If you listen to the original versions there are usually multiple harmonies and chords.

You don't have to change anything that you already do, just add to it smile.gif

I highly recommend looking at Bear Rose's series, Beginner's Corner, which will get you playing chords without filling your head with loads of theory.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/instructor/Bear-Rose/

99% of people who are still new on their guitar journey come to GMC, see those lessons and then are soon telling us how much progress they've made.

Give one of them a go and tell us how you get on smile.gif


Richard, not sure if you missed my post ? I said ignore the theory for now, it will come later but it's not necessary to be able to play and feel the music - the theory side will gradually be understood later. For now, I recommend to learn some chords and keep the music flowing smile.gif




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