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Using Music Theory VS Instinctively Playing

    Music Theory I cannot proclaim to be good or bad. I personally am self-taught even out of the range of normal tuning. However, I have been asked my take on Theory and instruction by lessons VS. Going a road less traveled.  I do remember an interview with Larry  Coryell where he had stated he kept in his guitar case a note reminding him every time he took up his guitar that simply read “Make Musical Sense”.  
    I’ve looked at documentations of tablature, sheet music, and read by sight notations. I’ve run across the concepts of the Circle of Fifths In an almost Mandela-style presentation. I am simply set in my ways after 46 years with a guitar in my hands and music in my ear. So I would lean in the direction of my views on Alcoholics anonymous. If it works for you that is fantastic. For some, it just doesn’t translate.

    My Personal view on Music Theory VS Instinctively Playing

    My Larger view is it might possibly deny a person the mystery and treasure hunt of the instrument. I learned by ear. Literally sitting down next to the stereo with a guitar and spending hours a day finding those notes and riffs until I learned them. Once I learned enough to experiment with The guitar on my own and discovered the ability to improvise the Magic of the guitar sank in. 
    I suppose it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there. If you are more capable than I to understand where to even begin, it may serve you well in studying the I dare say Mathematical Science of the structures. If it makes you insane and you are considering throwing the guitar out a 15 story window and jumping out behind it, then consider thinking outside the norm. 
    The guitar especially is a symbol of anti-establishment, at least in the Rock music sense. So the established rules may not suit you by the general nature of it.
    Learning as much as possible and then forgetting it all and just playing has been spoken of by many a Jazz musician. 


    The only Circle of 5ths I could ever grasp had the Label Jack Daniels on them. Yet to each his own. No Judgement nor discouragement would I give to anyone wanting to educate themselves.
    Perhaps a 50/50 split of both proper learning combined with personal exploration is a good way to go, as you don’t miss out on something that breaks through to the ultimate “AHA!” moment for you.  
    No matter your approach and decision, follow the notes on the neck and the one in the case and make musical sense. Without that, it matters not how you learn if you are not playing something a listener could follow. 
    I met a fellow musician many decades ago who said in relation to the complication “sometimes talking about music is like dancing about architecture.”   

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