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Author Topic: A theory on Theory  (Read 9233 times)
mishicoco
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2010, 02:40:14 PM »

There is no such thing as Bass theory.   Shocked

OK, there is theory applied to Bass however, in a broad view, what I keep discovering playing live is that the more I know the application of Theory in percussion, guitar, voice, piano, arranging and orchestration, the faster I learn my instruments theory application.  In fact, our instruments role...when successfully applied...is actually a blend of all the "other" instruments in a performance context.

Since playing live regularly started for me a few years ago, by attrition I had to get handle on treble clef, arranging and the other performers theory application, or fail.

I'll stop there and read from you all....please chime in.  Oh and you "ear" players  feel free to include your take and your theory on theory.

-D
         i believe that bass is where harmony and rhythm become one ,or it is the link between the rhythm and the harmony the glue and the foundation that the other musicians will use for their creative endeavors in a song. i also think that all the elements of the rhythm of a song should be felt ,indirectly or directly in the bassline IE whole notes quarter notes eighths halfnotes and tripletts etc if music was a caR bass would be the transmission ,from the steering wheel to the wheels, although some would say  the engine ,i would say maybe   thats the drummers job i also beieve that  the bass can  do  hornlines along with  the basslines and like you  said play  other instruments parts as well . bass can also  harmonize with the vocalist like pino paladino used to do with his ballads,paul young (everytime you go away)elton  john(the one) chris deburg(the lady in red)to name just a few , oh i forgot oleta adams( get here ,im getting chills! Cheesy
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dieselbass
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2010, 04:39:26 PM »

I'm with Ed.  Seems like theory is good when mixed in with practice.  I IV V is fine, but if you don't know where they are, M, m, aug, dim blah blah blah it can make it tougher.  I still have so much to learn but am enjoying the ride immensely.  should go practice some of this now that I've flapped my yap.
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Child of God
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Posts: 149



« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 04:11:18 PM »

I suppose you don't HAVE to know theory.  But certainly as a bass player it can help immensely.  When the guitar/piano play one of those crazy (but beatiful) GMaj7 chords, you can play just the root...sure.  But maybe the style of the song would be better reinforced by using that 7th.  And that's a major role of being a bassist!

Certainly I would reccomend every musician at leas learn some basic theory.

Just my 2 pennies.

Carl
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Whom have I in heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73: 25&26 (NKJV)
dieselbass
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2010, 05:07:55 PM »

Just purchased "Music theory for Dummies" and really enjoyed parts of it.  I find some theory helps if you're trying to do something different to the end of a song or figure out which chord is missing causing that weird transition.  We have a three guitar players that all have strong music backgrounds with and can really change a song to give it a personal stamp without changing the lyrics.  Lots of fun..  This has driven me to work through some of this stuff.  Also makes some songs a little easier to sound out when learning and easier to remember how to play.  That said, I know a bassist who plays by ear and lays down the bass thunder for God in a huge way.  really supports and propels the song. 
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fret not
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 05:29:27 PM »

I agree that every musician understands some level of theory, whether they're aware of it or not. To me, theory is just an explanation of the principles that make music work, and techniques for applying those principles. To me, theory gives me some guidelines and structure for practice time. If I apply the principles when I practice, and practice till it becomes natural, I will be able to perform more creatively, without having to think about what's going on at the theoretical level. It's like what I told our drummer, who is fairly new:  techniques are what you practice so you don't have to think about them anymore.
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Child of God
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2010, 05:58:56 AM »

"...techniques are what you practice so you don't have to think about them anymore..."

I like that Wesley!  I need to take that to our worship team this week! 

Carl
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Whom have I in heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73: 25&26 (NKJV)
ii-v
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WWW
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2010, 12:51:42 PM »

Wesley, this is well said. Theory is supposed to be natural. Many rules in the English language are natural to those who speak English as a first language. This should be the same for musicians and theory. I do not think about what I am playing while playing it. The music I have been influenced by and my understanding of it merge into my playing, like a conversation.

Theory is also a great filing cabinet for your brain. Without the labeling of theory, I cannot imagine knowing tunes I know after not playing them for years. Recalling a progression is a lot easier than trying to remember individual notes. 

The part about theory discussions that is tough for me is the idea emerges that studying theory is hard, which in fact it isn't. When broken down properly students of nearly any age or background can understand it. Perhaps it is time consuming, but not difficult.
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FreddyK
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 02:08:32 PM »

Of course, there were certain rules that were applied to creating bass lines (i.e. basso continuo) that could be considered theory.  However, it is correct that theory is theory, and it encompasses everything.   Yes, whenever you are creating any bass line, you are using theory in some manner, even if is only a root-V bass line.  Sometimes, though it is nice to know what types of scales and intervals will work over a particular chord; i.e. a whole tone scale can be used with an augmented chord. Remember, that if you there are members of the worship team who do not know as much theory as you, if you try to use complicated theory terms without explaining them, it will not enhance anyone's worship experience:-)  But if you explain why something works in simple terms, many musicians will appreciate it.

-Fred Korkosz
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