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Music theory doesn’t have to be boring

Sheet music/score

For some musicians, learning music theory can be the very worse thing about their passion. For anybody that isn’t a musician, it’s easy to see why this could be the case: the word ‘theory’ just makes you want to yawn when you see it, doesn’t it? Fortunately for any of you that are fully fledged, or even budding, musicians, it doesn’t have to all be about sitting down with your head in a theory book. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours memorising scales, chords, and key signatures.

There are far more interesting ways out there that improve your musicianship that involve both learning and having fun!

Learn to play other instruments

If you’re a singer, for example, using wind instruments can be very beneficial when it comes to improving your musicianship, believe it or not! But it’s oh, so true: wind instruments build stamina and breath support, both of which are essential to those blessed with the ability to sing. But, as with anything, talent is nothing without hard work, so for any talented singers out there: work on your musical theory by utilising wind instruments!

But if you’re already too far gone in your musical life to be able to pick up a new instrument just like that, and you’ve already seen the how-to-guide on learning music but had no joy, maybe it’s time to consider different ways of attempting it? For those of you who have struggled with the more conventional ways of learning to play an instrument, i.e. having lessons or being tutored, maybe it’s time to start thinking outside of the box a little bit? Using online facilities is a great place to start. There is a whole plethora of lesson videos that can be found on sites such as Youtube, and there are many websites that can help you with the minor details of an instrument, such as Bold Music.

Analyse those that have gone before you

Find the sheet music for one of your favourite songs and analyse it until you’re sick of it. Look out for aspects in it such as: tempo markings, key signatures and chord types. And then, when you’ve done that, sing it, but don’t the lyrics on the correct pitches. This is going to improve your theory and musicianship immensely, even if you think it’s time consuming. As a performer, knowing the music you’re singing or playing inside and out is key.

But don’t just listen to the things you like to listen to normally, because your ears will have become used to the sound, Try listening to material that will be new to your ears. In particular, it is recommend that you attend as many concerts as you can that involve vocalists, choirs, orchestras and big bands, in order to train your ear on what all the different voices and instruments sound like. The only way to really develop your musical ear, and to start working toward perfect pitch, is by listening to the different instruments.

So, there you have it. Two sure-fire ways to get you on the right track to cracking that musical theory that has so far had you too scared to even attempt it.

Photograph by Unsplash

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