Can music theory help hobbyist instrumentalist get better at playing?



Asked by: Brent Mayo

Does music theory help you play better?





The general consensus is that if you want to be a real musician, knowing music theory is a must. People also say that music theory helps us play better be it piano, guitar or any other instrument for that matter.

Does learning music theory make you a better musician?

As well as saving time, a knowledge of music theory basics will help you communicate better with your fellow musicians and allow you to adapt to them.

How does an understanding of music theory make you a better musician?

Music theory, like language, enables us to understand the structure and meaning behind a musical composition. Secondly, music theory allows us to speak with other musicians in a common language. It serves as a short-hand for referring to important points in the music.

Do you need to know music theory to play an instrument?

In a nutshell, no one HAS to learn music theory to learn how to play an instrument. There are literally millions of people who learn how to play an instrument without studying the theory that is behind how and why music works.

Do professional musicians know music theory?





Most musicians know music theory and you can kind of see it in the way they put together their songs especially if they’re professionals like instrumentalists or technicians.

Why is music theory so difficult?

Music theory is difficult to grasp because it uses visual methods to describe what we hear. That’s a big problem for music theorists because our brains interpret music hundreds of times faster than it takes to explain it. This is why music is powerful.

Do all composers know music theory?

Anyone who has studied music history knows that musicians have been theorizing about music for millennia. However, that theory has not always served as the basis for musical training. In particular, many classical composers did not learn “music theory” as contemporary musicians typically understand it.

How long does it take to learn music theory?

To understand and apply music theory, it takes around 6-12 months to learn basic rudiments, and then approximately 3-4 years after that to learn intermediate and advanced concepts. Enrolling in a music school, taking an online course, or investing in private lessons will help speed up the process.

Can I teach myself music theory?

The good news is that you don’t need an expensive teacher or classical conservatory to learn it. You can pick up the important parts of music theory by learning on your own and applying the concepts to your everyday music practice.



Should I learn music theory or an instrument first?

Many people, both young and old, can learn the piano without needing to learn music theory. Music theory is just one part of learning how to play music, but it is not essential to any beginning hobbyist. In fact, the most common method of learning the piano without music theory is to play piano by ear.

How do you memorize music theory?

In order to develop fluency with your music theory, so it becomes something you can use rather than a chore you have to do, you need to: Memorize all key signatures. Understand how chords are constructed and where they fit in a key. Be able to instantly name any interval from any root note.

Does music theory make you less creative?

Music theory won’t sabotage creativity, so long as you abide by a particular conception of what “theory” actually is. Note that this particular conception (which I ascribe to) differs from what some accept to be good theory.



Do rock stars know music theory?

The fact is that most rock musicians know theory. They just don’t have the technical terms for what they’re doing. They learn things by trail and error (not always a bad thing) and then go about applying to their music.

Did the Beatles know music theory?

TIL the Beatles did not know how to read music and George Harrison once said that he thought if he learned music theory it would ruin his ability to write songs.

Did Jimi Hendrix read music?

Jimi Hendrix



He was born in Seattle in 1942 and picked up the guitar at a young age. Although Jimi Hendrix is one of the greats, he actually could not read music, and instead relied solely on his ear and musical intuition to create some of the most iconic guitar solos of all time.

Can Elvis read music?

While he couldn’t read or write music and had no formal lessons, he was a natural musician and played everything by ear. He could often hear a song, pick up an instrument, and play. He often played an instrument in his recordings, and always produced his own music.



Did Paul McCartney learn music theory?

Despite his songwriting success, the 76-year-old admitted he was embarrassed about the fact that he doesn’t understand music theory. “I don’t see music as dots on a page. It’s something in my head that goes on.”

Did George Harrison know music theory?

They didn't understand music theory.

Could Michael Jackson read music?

Jackson couldn’t read or write music at all. Contrary to received wisdom, he could play instruments a bit – he’s credited as playing keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, drums and percussion on ‘HIStory’ – but none proficiently.