Suggestions for quickly/effectively learning music theory?

Discussion in 'beginners corner' started by Peter Verity, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Peter Verity

    Peter Verity Member

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    i have no concept of music theory, i simply play by ear and it seems okay sometimes but i know i could craft better music quicker if understoood the language be. So i ask all of you musical sages, what would you say is the best approach? which book(s)? or specific tutorial would be the best place to start?
     
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  3. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    From a Composer's point of view, the 'Circle Of Fifths' can be see as an essential tool :


    [​IMG]


    If you are a Guitar player, the 'CAGED' Method/System can be of great help to understand how to five (5) 'Chord Patterns' overlap with each other :

    [​IMG]

    Then you can visualize that same principle all across the neck of your Guitar...

    In relation with the Books, Methods,..., available, these are so numerous (!) that you can perhaps feel more confident with one rather than another one.

    You can find numerous Books, Methods, Tutorials,..., within this Brother's Site (aka 'AudioZ') under the Tab 'Education' (--> Submenus).
    Feel free to take a look there, and you'll certainly find your happiness 'in a breeze' ! :yes: :winker:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  4. xbitz

    xbitz Rock Star

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  5. Reza73

    Reza73 Kapellmeister

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    Walter Piston music theory book or the askvideo.com tutorials for music theory
     
  6. foster911

    foster911 Guest

    Just read my threads and then freak out.:rofl:
     
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  7. DoubleSharp

    DoubleSharp Producer

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    No books will fully fill the void. Books tend to be aimed at a particular audience, EG Rock or Jazz.

    I'd suggest studying a song you like for 15 mins a day.

    Count the bars, transcribe the Melody and work out the chords. Define what the structure is. Eg, Verse Verse Chorus Verse Chorus.

    What's the time signature ? What type of Rhythm is being used ect ect.

    You don't have to work everything out in one day. Keep a diary and then you can go back to songs you haven't fully analyzed.

    One song, 15 mins day.
     
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  8. muaB

    muaB Producer

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    the circle of fifths....
    what am i supposed to do with it? sure its an overview on the sharps and flats of the tonalities, but what else?
    just print it out and use as decoration in my room?
     
  9. Studio 555

    Studio 555 Producer

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    Well... a lot of things !!!

    Not only an overview... and about 'What else ?'

    [​IMG]

    Certainly more than 'George Clooney' with his 'Nescafé' !!! :rofl::rofl::hahaha:

    In fact, if you follow that logic of the 'Circle Of Fifths', you'll notice that each depicted interval comprised on it makes pleasant 'Harmonies' (here my comment about its role for Composers), thus can greatly help you if you're somewhat 'stuck' with some Chords during the making of one of your Songs. :winker:

    Just take the instrument ('Polyphonic', meaning that you can play Chords) you're used to play (or this that you're the more confident with it) and follow the path of the 'Circle Of Fiths', and you'll understand his usage.

    For instance :
    Start with a 'C' Chord, then 'G', then 'D', then 'A',..., (all these in their Major form) and simply listen. You'll notice (hear) that each played Chord will sound 'harmonically' fine with both, the previous and the next. :yes: :wink:

    It could be an option... nevertheless, if you can verify by yourself the explanations that I write above, you'll perhaps find another usage (more musical) for that 'Circle Of Fifths' ! :yes:

    P.S: By the way... I like 'Nescafé' (with some Milk) !!! :hahaha:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  10. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    "Quickly/effectively?" How fast do you want to learn it? Have someone at Johns Hopkins or Stanford, with funding by DARPA, develop a way to graft knowledge-bearing stem cells onto your cerebral cotex. Or take a class in music theory at a community college - that would be a lot more rewarding and fulfilling than online tutorials which only provide information while not really teaching you much. That would be a few months out of your life, but provide the foundation for a lifetime of richer composition, and also form the basis for greater wisdom about and appreciation of music itself, and of all genres thereof.
     
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  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin Platinum Record

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    Find someone that isn't going to try to wow you with all their knowledge. If you break it down, music isn't that complicated, but some people like to couch it in mystery and wave around their mixolydian modes and contrapuntal motions to showcase their advanced understanding.

    Ask someone humble to explain the most basic concepts like they were trying to get a 5 year old to understand it, not someone that's going to try to impress you. There's no need to chuck someone blindly into the deep end and watch them struggle trying to wrap their head around something that's easily understandable if you just use a metaphor or two and a little simplification.

    Once someone explains the elementary concepts in an understandable way, then keep branching out to the more difficult. The basics will build a good frame for understanding the rest. Remember, music is something that almost everyone understands on an instinctual level. Music theory is just formalizing what you already "know" in some form.
     
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  12. Goodie

    Goodie Newbie

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    Go to busyworksbeats.com. You will start applying the theory right away. They have a course, most of it free on you tube, called Music Theory in a Day. I know, I did not believe it either. It doesn't hurt to check, right?
     
  13. Goodie

    Goodie Newbie

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    1. www.busyworksbeats.com
     
  14. subGENRE

    subGENRE Audiosexual

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    Yes start with major and minor and relative keys. Then modes and inversions and how they work with each other. Circle of fifths is a little advanced when starting out, but when you do understand it, a door opens.....

    I became so excited when it finally "clicked" in my head that I almost got it tattooed on my left calf muscle. A bass cleff on the right one.

    I still want to do it, I will one day soon.
     
  15. Backtired

    Backtired Rock Star

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    Years ago I read a lot and learnt a lot from the books of Michael Hewitt, one of them being Music theory for the computer musicians
    But this was nothing. Most of the things I learnt, came from actual making songs and mistakes and doing stuff by myself

    It's not going to be quick, but good luck
     
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  16. The Teknomage

    The Teknomage Rock Star

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    Try this guy out. He goes at a nice pace, if you play keyboard he has a piano course that has music theory in it. He's the only person of the online tutors, that I've seen that could explain the circle of fifths in a way my non musical theoretical brain could understand.
    http://howtoplaypiano.ca/learn-music-theory/
     
  17. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    This fella used to like experimenting with his ear and was also trying to learn basic theory. He's banned at the moment, but should be allowed back shortly. I think you two will get along great :)

    https://audiosex.pro/threads/music-theory-on-piano-roll-question-for-ableton-and-fl-studio.23465/

    This girl was also fascinated with music theory, but she suddenly disappeared just before you came along.

    https://audiosex.pro/threads/daydreamers-guide-to-music-theory-for-the-common-producer.26363/

    It's a pity really, as I think the three of you would make a good music theory team together :wink:
     
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  18. Peter Verity

    Peter Verity Member

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    thank you all, i also liked the other thread arguments as well, im feeling like im either a computer being that everyting feels like zeroes and ones and all information is logical or its a moment of connected to the universe and i see whats right about each of your perspectives. ^_^ i will get my research on, look into all suggestions, and also play by feeling which is what comes naturally and see where all take me.
     
  19. Peter Verity

    Peter Verity Member

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    i should have specified and said quickly balanced with effectiveness, and what i make isnt seemingly fitting into the classical approach of music but my heart lives in music of centuries past.
    honestly, im half joking when i say this but.... i would love for it to be grafted to my brain, the only way i have ever learned anything is just by watching someone do it and i have it down ususlly instatly, like a sponge, so i think thsts why im having such a difficult time tryin to comprehend it when its not really like learning to throw the perfect spiral with a football, which was something i could naturally do apparently. and there is apparently a really great college here with all these redwoods around so i will tske your advice and see if the teachers here are any good. thank you
     
  20. LHO

    LHO Member

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    Yo Pete, check this out! It's easy and if you don't want to spend $, I'm sure you can find it somewhere elsez.
     
  21. peghead

    peghead Producer

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    I've been composing music all my life.. also have a Music Degree in Composition.
    Never EVER used the Circle of Fifths. Useful tool to have as a reference, perhaps, if you are already pretty knowledgeable in music and you're stuck with ideas and need a push in some direction, but damn useless if you have no knowlege of theory.
     
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