Why You're Wrong About Music Theory

Sep 04, 2021

“BUT THE BEATLES DIDN’T KNOW MUSIC THEORY!”. So? Steve Jobs didn’t graduate college, does that mean it’s better not to go to college?

On average, people with college degrees make nearly twice what those without college degrees make. 

So I’m going to say, on average, it’s not better to avoid college.

Correlation does not equal causation. Just because someone eats brownies and has a six pack doesn’t mean that brownies are a great way to get a six pack. It doesn’t even mean that brownies don’t actively work against you having a six pack.

Randy Moss is the greatest deep-threat wide receiver in NFL history, but his work ethic and attitude were criticized his entire career. I guess he was better off not working hard, right? No, just ask Jerry Rice.

Just because you are good, great, or even the greatest without doing the right things, doesn’t mean it was good not to do them. 

If your favorite artist really doesn’t know theory and really is a great songwriter, imagine how much better they would be if they did.

Has anyone in history ever said, “I wish I didn’t learn music theory”? 

Has anyone in history who actually knows theory ever said “Music theory didn’t help me as a musician and songwriter”? 

I’m guessing not, but if you can find one let me know.

I’m sure no nurse says “Well thank GOD I never bothered to learn about pneumonia”

I’m sure no artist ever says “I’m so glad I didn’t ever bother to learn how to blend colors”

Stop being proud of your ignorance. 

You don’t get “street cred” for being lazy and ignorant. Being a songwriter without knowing music theory is not a badge of honor.

It’s a badge that says “I don’t give a rip about my craft because I’m too lazy to learn the basics of what intervals, chords, and keys are”

I hope the plumber you hire to install a bathroom prides himself on never learning to install a toilet.

Has anyone ever said “don’t practice your scales”?

In fact, is there a single melodic instrument for which you can take lessons where scales are not an integral part of practicing?

WHAT DO YOU THINK SCALES ARE.

MUSIC. FREAKING. THEORY. Your “C major scale”? That’s the key of C major. 

So you might accidentally know some music theory. OH NO, YOUR STREET CRED OF BEING A LAZY, IGNORANT SONGWRITER WHO SOMEHOW PULLS IT OFF. IT’S GONE.

Comment below and let me know when it was helpful to not have knowledge in your field. Tell me when it was good for you, as a baseball player, to not bother to learn base running strategy.

Tell me when it was good for you, as a contractor, to never learn to install trim.

I make better eggs today than I did a year ago, because I gained knowledge.

I make better meats today than I did a year ago, because I learned how to marinade.

My wife takes better photos today than she did a year ago, because she learned how to use light and manual mode on her camera.

And I write better songs today than I did 10 years ago, because I wasn’t lazy and I learned music theory.

Now, I can’t ever imagine the horror of going back to that bleak ignorance that restricts creativity and promotes frustration.

If you’re finally ready to slay your ignorance…

If you’re ready to learn the 4 main pillars of music theory (Intervals, Keys, Chords, Chord Progressions)…

I have good news. I have a free guide so you can free yourself to write even better songs tomorrow than you did today by learning the 4 main pillars of music theory.

And taking that step to learn is something to be proud of. 

Grab the free guide here or directly below!

And if you are an awesome person who sees the value of learning, but know someone who prides themselves on their ignorance, share this post with them.

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