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SONGWRITING: No Theory Whatsoever

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Published on Jun 1, 2012

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Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers a viewers question...

Q: I'm a music major in college, and I'm learning a lot of theory which is good. But, when I'm writing music I tend to get so wrapped up in keys that I say things like, "I can't use that chord because it's not in this key," and things like that. I feel like it's hindering my progress. Can you help me out?
- Andy, Gorham ME. USA

A: In the past 20+ years that I've taught music theory to students of all levels and ages, this is very typical. What seems to be the case is through the learning curve of amassing information on how music theory is both applied and used when analyzing music pieces, the practicing music student often suffers from what I'll simply refer to as; information starvation. At various stages of the music theory development process, sometimes theory students have just enough information to begin getting a grasp for music structure, form & layout, but not enough to fully understand the big picture. And, therefore this will often cause students to doubt themselves, or doubt what they're composing. It can lead to trouble zones while songwriting due to a lack of being able to think both inside of a key's structure, as well as, easily allow for thinking outside of the key's melody & harmony and do all of this in an effortless way. In the video I explain several ways students can shift their thinking to resolve these issues.

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