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Old 07-26-2016, 04:44 PM   #11
JonR
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Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
Music schools expect attendants to be able to do that.

So I had thought that a musician should do.
Well, music schools are special environments. (In any case, part of the job of a music school should be to give you all that knowledge in the first place - or at least to correct any false info you've picked up.)
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Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
I think most ameteurs which want to be serious at music (analysing and writing music) are curious about what capabilities they should have or what exercises they should do etc.
Yes! I think any amateur music maker should be curious. But how much that should extend into theoretical knowledge is debatable; it's up to the individual.

E.g., as an amateur myself, I've always been curious about theory - to varying degrees. (Not much at the beginning, more so later.) But just because I find the topic interesting. I've never been to music college, and I rarely need to discuss music technically with other musicians (most of the musicians I play with know far less theory than I do). Also, I can't say I've ever found theoretical knowledge - aside from notation skills - to be much use in actual music-making - in either playing, improvising, composing or arranging. (Some may disagree.)

As a topic, it's fascinating in the same way the history of music is, or the science of acoustics, or psychology of music, or music of other cultures. None of it has much to do with learning to actually play better; that's all down to ear and fingers.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:18 AM   #12
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...all down to ear and fingers.
I wish more people trying to be guitarists would realize this, early on, preferably from day one. To me it always made sense from the beginning... all that's needed to learn to play, and really all there is performing on the concert stage.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:13 PM   #13
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Does he or she work with other musicians?
If yes - then absolutely.
If no - then no.

Theoretical labels are at their most helpful when explaining a piece to another musician.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:44 AM   #14
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Theoretical labels are at their most helpful when explaining a piece to another musician.
I don't disagree, but "theory" means different levels for different musicians, so the "labels" may need to be somewhat interpretive or graphic sometimes.

For example, you have a song in F and the verse ends on a C7 to lead into the F beginning the next verse... but you have an idea you want to try.

You: C11.
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: Like Bb major with a C on the bottom.
Bassist: I'll play that C.

You: C13b9
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: Slide the G, B, and E string fingers one fret closer to the nut, don't move the others.
Bassist: C again?
You: Try Gb.

You: F69
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: It works like a major seventh chord, but more subdued - not so brightly happy sounding. You could play it like this...
Bass: Sliding Gb down to F!

Etc...

This is actually a common scenario; pianists tend to know a lot about chords in order to formulate voicing and leading, a lot of bass players intuitively feel the need to step off the roots of some chords but aren't sure where to go, and a lot of guitarists that have the major, minor, and seventh chords comprising most of their playing may be thrown off a bit with extensions and alterations. The musical ideas may need to be expressed in different theory "dialects" in both directions to get it across to everyone. As always, successful musical communication will be the foremost goal.

Last edited by pauln; 08-04-2016 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
Yes. It goes like this: "intervals".
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauln View Post
I don't disagree, but "theory" means different levels for different musicians, so the "labels" may need to be somewhat interpretive or graphic sometimes.

For example, you have a song in F and the verse ends on a C7 to lead into the F beginning the next verse... but you have an idea you want to try.

You: C11.
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: Like Bb major with a C on the bottom.
Bassist: I'll play that C.

You: C13b9
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: Slide the G, B, and E string fingers one fret closer to the nut, don't move the others.
Bassist: C again?
You: Try Gb.

You: F69
Pianist: Got it.
Guitarist: Huh?
You: It works like a major seventh chord, but more subdued - not so brightly happy sounding. You could play it like this...
Bass: Sliding Gb down to F!

Etc...

This is actually a common scenario; pianists tend to know a lot about chords in order to formulate voicing and leading, a lot of bass players intuitively feel the need to step off the roots of some chords but aren't sure where to go, and a lot of guitarists that have the major, minor, and seventh chords comprising most of their playing may be thrown off a bit with extensions and alterations. The musical ideas may need to be expressed in different theory "dialects" in both directions to get it across to everyone. As always, successful musical communication will be the foremost goal.

Agreed (and yes i have had that conversation many times lol) however I could argue that often this very conversation leads to a deeper understanding of the progression for all involved.... except those who know zero theory.

In this particular case the OP was discussing intervals, not so much chord naming, but your point is taken.
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:14 PM   #17
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1) https://youtu.be/T5SmcH11kUk?t=246 (Pinpointed Link)

This guy says a pro musician should have that ability.

2) If you can't spell a chord tones (tone letters) How will you play the chords on piano? How to use different voicings etc?


?????

Last edited by zanshin777; 10-07-2017 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
Should A Songwriter Musician Be Able To Spell Intervalls Fluently? (Up and Down)
I think that a singer would know intervals well, especially 3rds and 5ths for harmony.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
1) https://youtu.be/T5SmcH11kUk?t=246 (Pinpointed Link)

This guy says a pro musician should have that ability.
Yes, because a pro will frequently need to discuss music with other (pro) musicians, and this is the shared language they would use. It saves a whole lot of time and confusion if they all know the same terms and use them correctly.

But there are plenty of musicians (even pros) who work with only partial knowledge of all those terms. They get by in their world.
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Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
2) If you can't spell a chord tones (tone letters) How will you play the chords on piano? How to use different voicings etc?
Well, yes. A self-taught musician may be able to play all kinds of chords correctly without knowing the note names or even the chord names - although it would be surprising for a pianist to not have that knowledge. (Plenty of guitarists are successful enough with very little theory knowledge.)
The problem is when they have to talk to other musicians - e.g., to either give or take instructions as to what to play.

When it comes to "songwriters" (your initial question), again the knowledge they need depends on who they find themselves having to talk to. Songwriters who can't read music are common enough in pop culture. In a professional situation (with other musicians) they may find themselves relying on people who do know - in the way the Beatles relied on George Martin to translate their arrangement ideas into notation for session musicians. But in writing their songs, they only needed a few chord names (not always orthodox ones) to communicate with each other.

Last edited by JonR; 10-08-2017 at 06:12 PM.
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