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Do I Have To Learn Music Theory?

If you are a musician, if you play some instrument or if you are passionate about playing an instrument but did not start yet…

If you are anyone of these cases then most probably 99.9% you asked yourself this question at some point!

Do I have to learn music theory?

Do I need music theory to play guitar?

Do I have to learn music theory?

Well, there is a short answer for this which is NO 🙂

You can play music on your favorite instrument without actually learning any music theory.. But..

I have been playing music since childhood till the age of 19 when I started to learn music theory basics. In this post I will tell a few facts that will show you that the best answer for that question must be YES 🙂

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My Youtube channel has been my place for creativity for the past 10 years. I offer music lessons and backing tracks for musicians and instrumentalists who love to improvise. Make sure you give it a look if you are passionate about guitar and music.

Here is a few reasons WHY music theory can be VERY useful to you as a casual or a serious musician.

  • Music Theory is NOT hard. It does not have to be academic, it does not have to take long years to study. You don’t need to read huge books or spend long hours.

With technology, internet video and infographics learning music theory has become much easier in the past 20 years.

  • Learn the music theory you need. Music theory studying does not mean that you have to learn everything! Music theory is a HUGE topic that could take a life time to learn. It is almost unlimited and if you are passionate you could spend your life learning a new thing everyday. However, what you actually need to learn are a few simple topics like notes, chords and scales.
  • Music theory will boost your playing and take your skills to the next level. It will show you clearly the steps you need to take in the direction of your passion. Whether you are a casual player or a musician who intend to take music seriously, your targets will become more clear with learning simple basics of music theory.
  • Music theory is a International language, that will help you communicate easily with other musicians, bands and other individuals involved in making and producing music. Music theory basics will also help you research and find more information and tutorials about things you want to improve and learn to enhance and take your playing and productions to the next level.

  • Music Theory for non instrumentalists. Music theory basics are useful even if you don’t play any instrument. If you are a DJ or electronic music producer, music theory basics will help you produce that kind of music as well, most of music production programs (DAWS – digital audio workstations) are based on those music theory basics you need to learn, like understanding notes and how they appear on a music keyboard or a piano, major scale, basic chords and other scales like the minor scale, pentatonic minor..etc
  • Music Theory is not sight reading or Notation, A lot of people quickly turn off the option of learning music theory because they have been forced as children to learn notation and sight reading.

While this is only a useful part of learning music, but it is not the only door you could open to learn music theory. In fact you can learn many useful music theory basics and applications without learning notation and sight reading. You can focus only on what helps you to play better, compose the songs you are passionate about or improvise solos of the music playing inside your head.

Don’t get me wrong now, Music notation/sight reading is a VERY useful tool for learning music, but it is not the only tool and it is not a must.

In a future post I will talk about the basics of music theory that you need to know as a guitarist. basics that will supercharge your progress, boost your playing and take your skills to the next level.

For now here is a playlist of some video backing tracks guided with on-screen scales and improvisation tips

Keep rocking

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