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I play various midi controllers and synths including the great op-1, a three octave jenco celeste, a turkish oud, and a yamaha fg-180 red label acoustic guitar like my favorite artist elliott smith. I'm a front-end javascript software engineer in my profession. But it also helps me create various tools for music. My interest is music production and I'm working towards creating an album. I came to this site to learn all I can about music theory.

My theory on music

Music has been apart of me throughout my life. I took piano lessons for four years as a kid, was the lead singer in a highschool band, recorded and produced random teenage angst songs, ditched the piano for guitar for ten years in which I took lessons from random teachers off craigslist. And now I came back to piano/synths for learning theory and production and getting real serious about this shit.

I've made many mistakes throughout that time the biggest of which was using sheet music and tabs which led me to over a decade of painfully playing music. My biggest takeaway is this: Don't ever use anything that tells you how to play something. That includes sheet music, tabs, Synthesia, youtube videos that show you what to press. You're cheating yourself from "talking" music, from feeling music. This goes for every musical genre including classical. Work through the process of figuring songs out by ear by the scale and its chords from day one. I can't tell you how crucial this is. You will start hearing the music around you and notice patterns. Not to mention being able to play any tune that's in your head or anything you hear. Also you're better off using a piano or synth over a guitar for studying theory.

When we're born we're taught for years to speak and listen first and foremost. The act of talking is essentially improvising the English language. Music should be taught the same way. You should be able to play anything you hear by ear and improvise on it, including complex classical pieces. Which the more you play by ear, the more you realize that none of it is really complex. Of'course a deep understanding of theory (scales, chords, etc) is essential.

Also, it's better to not even look at your instrument as developing muscle memory is a crucial exercise, much like touch typing on a computer keyboard. Playing music should be as inherent as whistling. I've noticed great artists such as The Beatles never bothered to learn to read music, and in my opinion it's what enabled them to become great musicians since they mastered playing by ear, chord theory, and improvisation.

That said, I do respect any sheet music provided as answers to theory related questions. After all, it is the written language of music. In the previous paragraphs I mainly talked about how to go about learning songs and getting a feel for music in general. Which imho can only be done playing by ear.

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