Let’s Talk

Why do upcoming producers/beatmakers/musicians, etc. think it’s ok not to know music theory and/or how to read music. Me being a person that’s been playing the saxophone since I was in the 2nd grade & now that I am in my 2nd year of college as a music industry major, I think it’s very essential in having longevity in the music industry as far as the music is concerned. But you will be surprised at the many people that major in music and can’t read it. Playing by ear is cool… it makes me fall in love with music all over again because I can learn something without seeing the notes but that can only take one so far, in my opinion. Can Y’all Talk 2 Me ?!!!!??!!! Let me know if I’m missing something or are y’all just gone fake it until you make it. Give me your opinions and feedback on this.


8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk

  1. I play keys, drums, and bass by ear and I know how to read. I’ve done both since I was 10. What you need to understand is the difference between a producer and a beatmaker. Beat makers are limited to a very small range of styles and arrangements because they do not understand theory. Producers are far more versatile because they can use different progressions and dynamics from what they’ve learned and incorporate it into they’re own music. Often times producers use live instruments where beat makers don’t have the ability.#MyPointOfView

    1. Believe me, I know the difference. Some ppl that are beatmakers are well aware of theory and know how to read music. I was once one of them!!!! But there are some MAJOR producers that have no clue of what the hell a B flat major seventh chord is but may have it one of their tracks and don’t know it. That’s my issue. And my other issue is ppl that major in music but can’t read it and that’s because in high school you can pass w/o learning how to, which is sad but I’ve seen it done.

  2. iconyers

    Very few people really understand the concept of building a strong foundation. With the advances in technology in Music, as well as many other things, it gives people the illusion that they can create without knowing the basics. Though a few pre-recorded loops, effects, etc… a beat is a few clicks away.

    With this ease of creation it’s easy to think you can skip the “boring” task of learning… And the audience accepting these types of creations all but confirm that a desire and protools is all that is needed to create a hot track, learning is the basics is optional.

    I do respect the self taught artist out there, but I fear that a lack of inovation is the likely outcome when people think they can create without knowing the basics and history of what they are creating.

  3. Sorry for the late response and first asking that everyone send your prayers out to DJ Rock Steddy and the rest of our family. His dad is in the hospital and we’ve been there all day/all night.

    My standpoint is that it’s all a matter of personal taste. I can read music and play by ear too, but for me and this is just ME, eventhough the ability to read music is a plus, you in essence make yourself a slave to whatever is on that sheet music and I’m too much of a musical rebel for that. This is almost one of those “Prince or Michael Jackson” topics. There is NO right answer. I also think that the amount of creativity that goes into a song is directly affected by end INTENT of the producer. If your intent is to make a song only to make a buck then you’ve already stunted your growth. If you go into with a clear vision and concept then the possibilities are endless whether you can read music or not.

    Instead of giving a guitarist a piece of sheet music and saying “play this” I find it better to “mouth off” some different ways i’d like to hear it played. People have lost the concept that music is a feel, it’s so much more than just flats, sharps and rest notes. The fact is that everything bears witness and people that make great music, there’s no denying it PERIOD because you HEAR it, and adversely we ALL know when something was just thrown together.

    Lastly the point I want to make is that everything has it’s purpose and eventhough I love a mean transition/progression as much as the next person, sometimes the most effective method is the most simple (sometimes). Again it’s all about the feel that you create with your sound choice and your mix and master. I think that’s an art that’s become just as important as being able to know how to read music….The use of reverbs, delays, filters etc. in the right places and moderation can turn something simple into something remarkable! Good music will forever be good music!

  4. Simply put! No one cares anymore. If it can make money then… Hey! Sad but it is what it is. You just keep doing what u doing. Learning is a very essiential key to making music. The more u know the more u have under your belt. Only thing about this is, is that your knowledge of what u know (theory) doesn’t make money. (not the real deal money)Not taking up for these folks who are ignorant to theory but I believe it’s what actually make them creative. They take the small thing they know and becuz it’s The only thing they know they study it and recycle it geniusly! Don’t get me wrong, I play 19 instruments fluently (sight reading and by ear all keys) and an additional 7 good enough to get a session by etc. , but it’s becuz of me not using half of the stuff I know which makes a creative piece. It bugs me as well but there is genius in it in some form or fashion.

  5. I don’t really know any of the individuals that commented on the post, but I do think J DAV hit the nail on the head. I have experience on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve learned to play keys by ear and I’m currently learning the guitar. However, I’m classically trained (13yrs experience) on the violin. I feel that it’s important to have more of a balance. In the end, I’m more about creating a quality masterpiece than focusing more on the details of how it was made (and it be crap).

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