There are essentially two things you need to understand in order to become highly creative and express emotions in music:
- You have to understand the manner in which great guitar players and musicians ‘think’. More specifically, this means determining WHY they choose the specific notes and musical ideas that they do. This is something that you cannot learn if you simply copy the “notes” of your favorite songs and guitar solos. Rather than just playing the same notes as other musicians, you must spend time thinking about the musical emotions you want to express, and what specific musical choices you need to make to achieve that goal. Once you gain this level of musical creativity, you will develop your own unique sound as it relates to the ideas and emotions that come from your mind.
- You must know how specific musical emotions can be created and expressed by making certain musical choices while composing music or playing a guitar solo. Additionally, you need to be able to make your audience understand exactly what emotions you want to express with your music, without having to say a single word. Many guitarists struggle greatly with doing this and as a result they end up limited to only playing the music of others without ever really expressing themselves through their guitar playing.
If you want to truly master musical creativity, you will need to learn how to use music theory. Unfortunately, most guitar players have one of two misconceptions about what music theory IS. Some people stay away from theory because they believe it contains unbreakable “rules” that will limit their freedom of musical expression. Other guitar players think that the purpose of music theory is only to learn abstract ideas about all the nuts and bolts that make up music.
The truth is, music theory is neither of these things. Music theory is the idea of connecting one’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions together through musical expression. It is the ability to explain WHY we feel emotions in music, and how we can continue to use musical creativity to recreate our emotions.
Here are the most important skills you will get from learning music theory:
- Music theory will help you understand exactly why you feel the way you do when you listen to any given piece of music. The best part is that you will then be able to use this knowledge in your own musical expression to make much higher quality music.
- You will no longer have to waste time trying to find the “right notes” when making your own music. You will be able to quickly identify the exact musical elements needed to express your emotions in music. This will put your level of musical creativity far ahead of most guitarists and musicians who simply play around on their instrument until something sounds interesting.
- Music theory gives you all the equipment you need to put together new musical ideas much more quickly, without having to rely on remembering the way something sounds. Having the ability to associate specific feelings and emotions with the musical tools needed to express them allows you to compose and organize entire sections of your music on paper (or by ear) before even playing any notes.
- When you understand exactly which musical choices to make in order to accurately convey a certain musical emotion, you will be able to anticipate how people will interpret your music.