I really want to learn some basic theory
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Music Theory & Composition Questions & comments about composition, arrangement, and music theory. Music rules and how to follow or break them.

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Old 26-06-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
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I really want to learn some basic theory

I'll start by saying I have a minor learning disability, and sometimes reading these books just confuses the hell out of me. I haven't really read anything that has just clicked. I hate having to compose all my songs strictly by ear, and moving stuff around until it sounds okay at best.

Can anyone suggest a book/web page that puts stuff into laymans terms, or is slightly easier to understand than most of them out there. I don't know if I'm just reading the wrong books, but I never understand much of what's in them. Having ADD as well probably doesn't help with my attention span.

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Old 26-06-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

Really depends on what you're reading - a lot of books on theory are written by classical musicians and are confusing as hell, and not necessarily applicable to what you're doing.

Perhaps it would be better to find a piano teacher who's willing to help you out with some theory lessons - I am honestly terrible at theory but with the help of a good teacher and a lot of time invested I have a fairly strong understanding of the basics. The other benefit of this is that you learn how to work within the piano roll more easily.
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Old 26-06-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

Other than only reading or watching something, I'd also like to suggest getting a keyboard. You can gather a lot just by hitting a key and then finding another before or after it that sounds good in a progression(sorry if I assumed too much, sounds like you're mousing/moving midi notes).

I'd already been playing for a while when I watched this but I found it interesting none the less. I haven't watched the rest of the videos he's done though.


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Old 26-06-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I have a midi keyboard, sadly it's only 2 octaves, but that would be fine for just simple chord progressions I would presume. I'll give this video a watch, thanks! If anybody else has any good links/videos please do post!

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Old 26-06-2013, 01:14 AM   #5
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

look up Lypur on youtube..easy to learn and has some humor..

read and read and study..no real shortcuts.

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Old 26-06-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I found Ravenspiral's Guide to Music Theory really straightfoward. Just google it, it's free.

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Old 27-06-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

You say you've got a learning disability, don't like books and want basic music theory?
Here is your man:
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Just scroll through the videos, he has an hour and a half series covering all the basics and its clear and easy to understand. Not only does it have the common basics but it has other well kept secrets like call and response (yes I am aware that is my name) and rhythmic motifs. Enjoy!
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Old 27-06-2013, 12:30 AM   #8
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

the first thing you need to learn is how what the major scale is and how to harmonize it.

google: harmonize major scale
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Old 27-06-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I found Ravenspiral's Guide to Music Theory really straightfoward. Just google it, it's free.
+1
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Old 27-06-2013, 11:54 PM   #10
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

Basic music theory is the back bone to great music! Your music just sounds better when you understand the nuances of structure and musical organization
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnkvolcno View Post
the first thing you need to learn is how what the major scale is and how to harmonize it.

google: harmonize major scale

i googled this, and i dont quite understand how this helps... it seems to me like it just helps you label the chords either major or minor. so in a chord, when any note gets flattened from the original scale, it becomes minor? is this helpful by letting you know that the note that has been flattened needs to be brought up a semitone for it to sound major?
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I'm the same way when I comes to learning. I like simple easy to understand terms. I dot want you to throw lingo at me I don't understand. +1 to the raven spiral book btw

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #13
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

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i googled this, and i dont quite understand how this helps... it seems to me like it just helps you label the chords either major or minor. so in a chord, when any note gets flattened from the original scale, it becomes minor? is this helpful by letting you know that the note that has been flattened needs to be brought up a semitone for it to sound major?

so, can any1one help me out with this?
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:41 AM   #14
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I started with the Pentatonic scale.

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Old 02-07-2013, 01:39 PM   #15
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

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Originally Posted by I Am Me View Post
i googled this, and i dont quite understand how this helps... it seems to me like it just helps you label the chords either major or minor. so in a chord, when any note gets flattened from the original scale, it becomes minor? is this helpful by letting you know that the note that has been flattened needs to be brought up a semitone for it to sound major?
I'll try and help. First of all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by I Am Me
it seems to me like it just helps you label the chords either major or minor.
nope, only when you flat the third does a chord become minor. The third is what gives a chord its minor or major "color"


The reason harmonizing the major scale is helpful (very helpful), is that it gives you a group of chords that will sound good together. You can more or less throw them in any order and it won't sound bad. There's a lot more to music theory, but like I say, this is the most basic element.

It is kind of tough learning music theory, but you're just going to have to keep reading stuff. Don't just give up after reading one article. Try reading (and messing around with your keyboard while reading) for 15 min a day for a couple of weeks before you give up.

try this video it seems pretty good



people play video games and fart around on facebook for hours every day, if you put that kind of time into music stuff you'll be a whiz in no time.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:36 AM   #16
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I found Ravenspiral's Guide to Music Theory really straightfoward. Just google it, it's free.
+1 again. i found this very helpful, along with some of the youtube videos that have been mentioned. i would read the guide, if it still hasnt stuck watch some of the youtube videos and if still hasnt really helped you could message them for a more simplified explanation or get yourself a teacher.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #17
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I've always hated music theory =/
Just like language, when you 'know' you misspelled a word, based on some strange language rule that you instinctively know from speaking that language since you were young.

With me it's the same with music. I have a hard time putting letters and numbers to sounds, but can still read notation and play by ear.

It's still really useful for composition though, learning a chordal progression that affects a person in a very specific way, etc.

EDIT And Chaotix stop making excuses. You can do anything if you dedicate yourself to it, us humans are amazing creatures. Almost as amazing as dolphins.

Last edited by Wulfsok; 05-07-2013 at 08:28 PM..

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Old 07-07-2013, 07:08 PM   #18
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

I just finished Music Theory 2 at my university and my professor pretty much told me i was top of the class, she loved me haha. If you have any specific questions or anything you can let me know though. Anything from Basic chords to melody and harmony progressions. I love theory
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #19
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

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I just finished Music Theory 2 at my university and my professor pretty much told me i was top of the class, she loved me haha. If you have any specific questions or anything you can let me know though. Anything from Basic chords to melody and harmony progressions. I love theory
explain to these goobers why it's important to learn how to harmonize the major scale.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #20
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Re: I really want to learn some basic theory

Well pretty much if you know your way around a basic major scale you avoid obviously being out of tune, but more importantly staying away from uncomfortable dissonance. A good suggestion is to start with Cmajor for instance, literally just all the white keys you see on a piano. Make sure you start on a C though, because otherwise it can change the scale completely.

Also, if you want a cheap shortcut for Chord progressions or you dont know much about it. Consider just using the 1st and the 5th in the scale. In the c major scale these are the C major(CEG) and G major (GBD) chord. Just maybe a tip to help get started writing. Any other specific questions though?

Last edited by AirRake; 07-07-2013 at 09:32 PM..

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