Music Theory For Rock Musicians

Music Theory For Rock Musicians

During the times that I played in various rock bands one thing that always amazed me was how proud rock musicians were about the fact that they ‘knew nothing’ about music. It was like knowing something about the theory of music was a bad thing. There was the feeling that real rock musicians didn’t know anything about music theory and that was good. There are many reasons why some musicians feel that learning theory is a bad thing that I talked about in a past post. One of the reasons why rock musicians feel that theory isn’t useful to them is because they think that it just doesn’t apply to what they’re playing. There is in fact lots to learn about rock music that is easily explained and easy to learn. Whenever I teach, I always ask the student what kind of music they listen to. If they’re into rock I will take a different approach than if they were into jazz.

Rock Music Theory You Must Know

The problem with music theory is that it’s a huge subject. It’s too big to tackle for most people. There are so many facets to theory that it’s hard to even apply it to your music. That’s why I find out what style of music they’re into and apply the theory to that. There are things that are done over and over in rock music that can easily be taught and explained. There are other things in music theory that happen in other genres that are interesting but don’t apply to rock music. Most of us start off with learning some scales. Usually you’ll try to learn a couple, see how fast you can play them, and it’ll end at that. Learning scales is just the first step. You must learn how they apply. You must learn how they apply to rock. Although it doesn’t sound like it, rock uses the same basic scales that all other popular music does.

First of all, the melody that the singer is singing is a scale. Rock doesn’t go too far with this. It’s either major, minor or pentatonic. It doesn’t sound like a scale to us because we’re used to hearing scales played up and down literally. Most (not all) rock melodies are quite simple and don’t jump aroung much. Most of the time a single note is repeated before going on to another. There is also tons of inflections, slides and bends that we naturally do when we sing. Scales really come into play when we study guitar solos. Most of the time the guitar player will use one scale to solo over the entire song. Chords follow the same general direction as scales. Rock music usually try to keep things simple. They will change chords on a regular basis throughout the song. Once they establish a rhythm pattern, they will usually stick quite close to it. Most rock music will rarely go beyond the major and minor chords. Rock likes to use added 2nds, 4ths and 6ths along with a few dominant 7th chords.

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