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Fun with music theory

November 26, 2013

For the first four hundred hours of studying music theory, it seems both dry and impossible to understand. Yet, as the water dripping down the surface of the cliff slowly wears away the stone, I think I am beginning to really get it. And believe it or not, it is both interesting and useful.

In order to compose your own music, you pretty much have to be either a creative genius or understand music theory. If you are not the kind of person who just dreams fabulous melodies in their sleep and wakes up to record them, then I guess music theory it is.

May I suggest a handy little tool?

This slim book really helps to make a complex subject much more understandable. It’s funny, the reviews online disparage it as being too short and simple. I have several books on music theory that baffle me. I love short and simple. It has really helped me memorize the chords that go together in music.

Wanna actually have fun with music theory? Here is what I do. I subscribe to Pandora. So when I am driving someplace and am bored out of my skull, I turn on a station I created called, “Memphis Jug Band Radio”. Why? This is the most basic and primitive style of music I can find. Kazoos, jugs, guitars, and harmonicas are the basic instruments. And they play a lot of 12 bar blues.

So, as I am going down the road, I am trying to count the time on the bars and, for bonus points, guess the chords being used. I can usually follow along with the pattern. It sounds something like this.

I am anxious to take the leap and compose something. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist, so I am not content to just spit something out. No, it has to be perfect…(eye roll)….


From → My music

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