I-IV-V yes or no

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by sdbrit68, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    So, on another forum I belong too. Someone brought up this statement (OP doe snot agree or disagree on importance....lol)

    "I am amazed when I meet players who have been playing 5, 10, 15 years or more, and have no clue what a I-IV-V is"

    Now, naturally it brought up some comments of, yeah, my friend could do all the Eddie Van Halen stuff, but that was it, couldnt do chord progressions

    And the pro theory people " I cant believe it when that happens, its such a basic thing"
    And the anti ' I have been playing since Jesus was a child and dirt wasnt invented yet, and I still dont know what that is and I am a damn good player that can run circles around most people"

    My personal thought, for me, once I looked at a chart and understood where the major chords and minor chords came in, it was a light bulb, wheter a I-IV-V or a I-VII-V or whatever, just being able to try and learn songs by ear became so much easier

    Plus, it was quicker understanding what chords would generally "work" with other chords. To my thinking, it is a must learn, but thats my journey and perception

    Now, granted my perception is based on I count down the days until the next jam and I get to get up on stage. I have no pride, I dont care how silly I look or how I compare to others, I just love to play with the group and being able to jump in on songs I dont know

    What do you think.....................is it just another PITA theory thing players really dont need
    is it a basic right of passage like eventually learning the F barre chord
    or is it a basic thing all players should know, similar to learning chords or even box 1 penatonic ?
     
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  2. Dr. Ron

    Dr. Ron NO GUTS NO GLORY. JUST GIVE IT A SHOT!

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    Your attitude explains why you are progressing into a good musician Mark. The rest is just the
    old story of the human condition. Some people make things happen....some watch things happen...
    some simply wonder what happened. Keep up the good work.
     
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  3. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Southeastern Michigan

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    Some people are happy being a guitar player. Some people want to be a musician. Neither is wrong, neither is right, just do what works for you.

    Anti-theorists, as you call them, usually learned by ear and some can pick the key out on their guitar and have learned what notes sound good etc. without knowing note names or chord progressions. I've played with some that could do it instantly. They don't see a need for theory. I can't argue with them because it works for them and some of them are awesome players. I wish I could play like them.

    I think that it is easier to communicate with other musicians, especially non-guitar instrumentalists, if you have some basic music theory knowledge though.

    It's like tube amps vs. modeling. Go with what works for you. But sometimes when I'm in an irritable mood and an anti-theorist asks me what chords are in the turnaround the keyboardist just played I shrug my shoulders and say "I don't know". :whistle:

    Eric
     
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  4. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    You CAN play well for YEARS without knowing what I IV V is, or ANY theory for that mater.
    I IV V is just another numbering system. I think it's call The Nashville System.
    Like you though, once I understood the SHR and the Nashville system, it's made it easier to communicate with other players (Blues players in particular for some reason) .
     
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  5. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    I see the same discussions come up on other forums that I som on as well. A really common arguement I see is that investing time learning theory somehow means that you are creating music that lacks soul and authenticirty, because that's not how the greats did it. Most if the time, I think that is just a rationalization for not wanting to put the effort into it. My favorite was on a harp forum recently when someone made the comment, "the fact that is called music theory means that it isn't proven fact" as a way if dismissing it.

    My philosophy has slays been that if I'm really into something, I wasn't too learn everything I can about it so that in not just copying what someone else does. Without knowing some basic theory, how can someone understand how their instrument works?
     
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  6. Crossroads

    Crossroads Thump the Bottom

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    My .03 cents (inflation) . Knowing theory is helpful and the more I learn the more it helps.
    But I have to take it in small doses relevant to what I am currently trying to accomplish on the guitar.

    Because I would rather stick needles in my eyes than sit down and study theory.

    When BB King was playing with U2 one of them said to BB "You're just gonna play chords here, right?" BB replied back "I don't play chords, I do this."
    So it kinda of sounds like after playing guitar for 50 + years, BB still wasn't sure what a chord was. But he sure knew how to play.

    In the end if it sounds good to yourself, that's what I'm shooting for. If it sounds good to others that's even better.

    Beyond that theres groupies and beer. :Beer::Beer::Beer:. Oh and the sound guy, yes we love the sound guy.
     
    #6 Crossroads, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  7. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    I had seen an interview with BB, he said he didnt play chords, because he wasnt any good at it, and with those big beefy hands of his, he had a hard time. He also stated he couldnt play chords and sing at the same time, nost sure if it was the truth or not, but he said it

    my thought, learning the root notes is theory
    heck, learning the notes on the 6 th string is theory

    I think even the guys who say they know zero theory actually do, when you say the IV chord is a drop down and the V is right next door, thats music theory to me. as once you know it, doesnt matter the key, you are right there

    Even knowing what what notes are in a two note power chord is basically theory
     
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  8. sloslunas

    sloslunas NM Blues

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    If it wasn't for the standard I-IV-V pattern in blues, I would have given this dream up a long time ago. It is about the only thing my simple mind can understand when it comes to playing music. YMMV...

    Steve
     
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  9. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Southeastern Michigan

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    Griff teaches the "How's" and "What's" so maybe the theory is the "Why"?

    Why do those notes make a power chord?
    Not because you put one finger here and the other finger one string over and two frets up but rather because they make a consonant perfect fifth without the dissonance of a third.

    Or even more theoretically it's because the human ear is sensitive to ratios of frequencies rather than intervals and therefore the intervals that sound the most consonant are those with the small integer ratios of frequencies, such as: a unison which is 1:1; an octave which is 2:1; a perfect 5th which is 3:2; and a perfect 4th which is 4:3. Blah, blah, blah, theory, theory, theory... noise, noise, noise, zzzz, zzzz, zzzz.....

    I really enjoy learning music theory and finding ways to apply it (a lot more with composing and transcribing than with playing as it turns out) but I'm over trying to discuss why we should learn theory in forums :Beer::LOL::cry:

    Good luck, I've already got the scars :LOL:
     
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  10. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    That's music to my ears.:)


    Which only shows that the person who said it doesn't know what music theory entails.

    Or what a theory is.

    Or what a fact is.


    Damn! I told myself I wouldn't get into this.:eek::rolleyes:
     
    #10 Paleo, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  11. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    I also always wondered how someone who doesn't know anything knows that they don't need to know something.:confused:o_O

    I guess somehow they just know it.:)
     
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  12. jmin

    jmin San Francisco, CA

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    Yes.
     
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  13. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    As a minor write-in option, I vote vi-ii-iii (or i-iv-v, if you prefer, or 6m 2m 3m if you're from Nashville).
     
    #13 Paleo, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  14. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    that is always a good question
     
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  15. Paleo

    Paleo Where's the root?

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    I know.
     
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  16. TerryH

    TerryH Blues Newbie

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    My only experience of learning to play the guitar is through BGU courses, so for me i-iv-v seems pretty fundamental. I am sometimes a little surprised that people whose playing skills, as far as I am concerned, are off the scale have no music theory. You would think that curiosity alone would make them want to know, at least where the chords come from. But maybe that’s it. They have such a good “ear” and natural musicality that they can get away without it. I wouldn’t know, I’m not in that league.

    I only have a basic understanding of theory, but I can at least work out what the notes are in a scale and find the major and minor chords. Personally, I find it incredibly helpful. I know people say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but in this case even a little knowledge is worth the effort, tenfold.
     
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  17. PCM

    PCM Spring, Texas

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    I agree with you twentyfold :).

    For those of us with minimal "musicality" (me, ie, minimal genetic rhythm, imagination, technique and coordination etc.), my theoretical pursuit got way ahead of skills. It is certainly no substitute for genetic or learned skills but it has definitely helped with a personally slow learning process.

    I highly recommend a music theory journey regardless one's "guitar DNA" fortune.:):)

    PCM
    Houston TX
     
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  18. paparaptor

    paparaptor Central Scrutinizer
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    Paraphrasing from a business management practice, I use "just in time theory."
    I can study any number of things or have them explained, but as long as they are abstract, they just aren't going to stick in my tired old brain.
    But as soon as I find the practical application of something so that it no longer appears abstract to me, it stands a good chance of becoming ingrained in the aforementioned, tired old brain. For me, application takes theory from abstract to concrete, often reviving some old memory that I had long forgotten.

    Theory leads you to application. Application leads to theory. Once the two are linked, creative synergy can occur. This is one of the things I believe @Griff does better than most other musical mentors. He presents theory in bite sized chunks, along with a healthy dose of application to make it stick.
     
  19. paparaptor

    paparaptor Central Scrutinizer
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    I don't think anyone within the forum has posited that idea.
    It's a known fact that some people can learn and internalize music theory (theoretical physics) well before they apply it or even see an application for it.
    It's also quite clear that some people have a hard time understanding and retaining things they do not apply on a daily basis.
    Also, as is proven by your post, people will learn and retain things that they are interested in better than things for which they do not have such an interest.

    Even if some people do have their noses stuck in theory books just for the sake of studying theory, what's wrong with that?
     
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  20. paparaptor

    paparaptor Central Scrutinizer
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    No bait.
    Your thirst for knowledge simply takes you in a different direction than mine takes me.
    There's nothing wrong with that, at least not from my viewpoint.
     
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