Friday, December 14, 2012

Musicians who drown in Music Theory

Hi all!

So long I haven't write an update! but anyways there's so much to talk about right now; Christmas, new gear, new projects, ideas, and so on. I will start with this interesting topic that's I've been focusing on.

Ok, let me start with a little story, when I was getting into music and learning guitar I feared music theory at the time, I just wanted to play, do finger exercises, focusing on technique and not wanting to get into anything that was theoretical, you know stuff like, formulas, scales, intervals, harmony and so on. Don't get me wrong I was a immature musician back then, now its the other way around, now I love music theory and overall music harmony. Now let me explain something, as a composer and songwriter I've found that the more I get music theory in my head, the more my head clouded with musical terms, note choices and extensive harmony, drifting me away from getting great moments of inspiration and muse, in other words, getting obsessed with musical theory killed most of my creative and unique writing. Let me put an example, this way you can understand me better: I wrote something in a mayor tonality, it was a melody and I was harmonizing it, I discovered that I was playing a minor 7th rather that a mayor 7th, evoking a Mixolydian type of sound, obviously as you may know, I didn't knew what was "Mixolydian", well, yeah but I didn't was focused on that at that time. The melody sounding in my head was with that minor 7th, I said to myself: "this is wrong, this is not the mayor scale, I'm hearing a bad clash of notes and the theory is telling me that this is wrong".

This is just a basic example, but there are a lot more! anyway, don't get me wrong, music theory is good, is the language that we as musicians speak in communicational terms and it is a good "presentation card" for us too. But, to much of it can close inspirational doors for you, so if you are looking for a unique, free and "out of the box" approach to your music, this will be bad. Yeah right, we know that all in excess is bad, even music theory and harmony, but think about it!

From my experience, I can tell you that the inspiration is important but the thing that you must focus on the most is your ear, your ear is the most important thing!! I know a lot of musicians who are just drowned by theory and musical harmony, they have blistering technique and all that, but they are people who tells you "hey, this chord cannot be in there, in page 132 of the "Music Harmony" book tells that this is wrong!" and believe me, it's totally stupid to say that, they are just theoretical robots and they're like religious people who live just citing things from the bible, so, I pretty much recommend that you focus on your ear, and listen the things in your head and try to do them with your instrument!