No one here is disputing the fact that theory is important in playing music. Perhaps if one were to read what I wrote this "controversy" could've been avoided. Here's exactly what I referring to; (posted 12-26-2007)
"Take two musicians that have the same level of music theory knowledge and the one that plays with emotion and feeling will always be the more enjoyable musician to see perform. Theory filled robots who play with no emotion give me the same absensce of excitement I would occur from observing a person push a button on a well programmed sequencer. It takes talent to know what to program but it's just not moving to this musician.I am more moved when a performer's true love what they are doing is apparent in their performance."
See, I believe in theory. I started my musical career studying classical guitar and 24 years later I know the importance of strong knowledge of theory. I continue to expand my knowledge of music theory on a regular basis to this day. I have to do this because I teach guitar and some of my students are rapidly catching me, several have surpassed me and I have no problem with that. I did my job, maybe too good.(haha) I also know this; Many musicians in my area which I reside can play circles around me, beat me in a game of rock-n-roll trivia, and score higher than me on a musical theory aptitude test. Many of these said musicians are sitting at home playing their guitars in front of their computers or going to see other musicians gig and feeling bitter and cheated all the while. They'll say things like, "that guy sucks, that should be me up there" or "I'm way better than him, this place needs to hire me." Why is this one might think? Well I'll tell you. Some of might not agree but it's the cold, hard, truth. These angry, bitter musicians are playing for the wrong reasons. Music isn't so much about showing another musician up or displaying a great technical ability on one's instrument than it is to play and perform to people and show people that you truly love what you're doing.(after your theory is learned) That's where the "playing from the heart "comes into play and it is not a "bunch of crap" as someone stated earlier, it's real people and it's why musicians get repeat business at clubs, resorts, insert venue here. Real human emotion and a strong passion for your music will take you places that you never though you could go. I'm not talking about physical places neccessarily, but it will help more so than those emotionless, bitter, mad at the world, at-home guitar playing virtuosos. Two musicians (of the same musical level )go into a club and one tells a club owner how good he is and how much theory he knows. The second musician tells the same owner how much he loves performing to a crowd and as much as he loves the buzz from a rowdy, enthusiastic, large tipping crowd, that pales in comparison to his genuine love for music as a whole. That's real and that's from the heart. Who do you think is gonna get the gig?....... So in summary, no one likes and is gonna hire an egotistical jerk with a large knowledge of music when a polite, humble, passionate musician with an equal knowledge of music is going for the same gig. Geeez, just be cool dudes/dudettes............
There's a ying and a yang if you will. Sure one needs to put the horse before the cart (theory knowledge then playing from the heart) but a horse can only carry so much....................
Peace and Guitars,
Give everything but up.