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Opeth's song writing... naive???

Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by Botfly, May 13, 2005.

  1. Botfly

    Botfly "I Am"

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    Excellent points you guys :)

    Well, thanks for all the constructive responses, this is what this place needed. Anyways...

    I find L0bster's and Lurox's responses to be most helpful. I dunno, as far as I know, alot of you guys probably were trying to make this point, but l0bster was short and to the point, lol.

    You're right, it is amazing the fact someone who has no Musical Theory, can write such beautiful compositions that are very creative. I suppose I should have realized that if it is CREATIVE period, then why must respect have to pertain to knowledge? Besides, I can empathize, I've always been alot more creative than logical.

    These are no doubt, excellent points, but hey, you're gonna get that one-sided response from alot of Opeth fan boys :p
     
  2. Jokke

    Jokke New Metal Member

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    Interesting thread, and also my first post here.

    I think just about any person who has listened to a fair amount of music, is able to separate what sounds good from what sounds bad. And as far as I understand, music theory is based on exactly that. Therefore, I don't really think one need to know music theory to write music.

    I consider myself, or at least I try to be a musician. I'm in the process of learning music theory. I don't know nearly as much as I want, but at least the basics+a little more.

    After seeing that "The Drapery Falls-lesson", I was surprised that Mikael knew so little theory. And after learning a lot of Opeth's songs and seeing how they are built up, I've also seen how the songs tend to "break the rules". What does that matter as long as the music sounds great?
    I guess Mikael just has the music in himself.

    Though, I'm wondering what Opeth would sound like if Mikael knew all the theory ever written. It could be worse, but used cleverly it might be a whole different thing.
     
  3. Mr Samsara

    Mr Samsara Misanthropic Moderator

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    Doesn't Opeth have 2 guitar players? Where does Peter rank in the Opeth formula? Doesn't he have anything to do but listen to the Ålmighty tell him, "Here.... Play this!" Maybe I'm out of my mind.. it would not be the first time that's for sure. Don't get me wrong, I know Mike writes most of the music, but I said most.. I just was thinking if I was Peter, was involved in the creation of the music and considered myself a pretty f'n good guitar player...my ego may get a dent in it reading this thread. Wow, I'm in a weird mood today.. I need to eat before I start to halucinate or something..

    Out.:devil:
     
  4. JoeVice

    JoeVice Member

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    i see what you mean, but you can't judge the outcome of art based on that. what if that random splatterist made something that was in your opinion better than the classicaly trained artist who decided to deviate and try the same thing? would you still like the classicaly trained artist's art better because of his background? i would hope not, and i'm not assuming you do...

    and, the first person who ever played a guitar had no knowledge of it, was that naive? the first person who ever did anything had no knowledge of it. that doesn't make it naive. in my opinion, when it comes to art, being naive means not being true to yourself...not the lack of knowledge in your field.
     
  5. JoeVice

    JoeVice Member

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    oh yah, and a cool minor/major chord thing that opeth does is at the end of a funeral portrait....if i can remember right, the outro riff is based on a melodic minor chord...which is (from the bottom) whwwwwh....it is a scale that begins like a minor chord scale, but ends with the major seventh, like a major scale...

    a major scale is wwhwwwh, and a minor scale is whwwhww...
     
  6. Dreadful

    Dreadful When Man& Machine Collide

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    I stand with the argument that you shouldn't worry if it's naive...you should worry if it actually sounds bad. Music theory is definitely a useful tool and it's great if you can be a great music enthusiast/historian yet still break the rules and do what you want...I however think that someone who has perfect pitch like mikael, or a great ear, can still write music naturally. He just may not know all these conventional chord progression rules...and to me that's fine because the music is more creative and dosen't sound bad. People just think it sounds bad because it breaks the rules they were taught. I honestly don't think they're cringing as if it were nails on a chalk board. Music is played from the soul. Everyone who thinks their songs are good are naive somewhat at least.
     
  7. atilla000

    atilla000 Flemish Guitarist

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    He pretends not knowing theory, but he does know some theory, I'm pretty sure about that. If you've ever learned some Opeth songs it should be clear that he knows his minor scale very well. I'm not saying he really learned the scale by heart, but he might have learned/discovered it by playing guitar. And once you know that scale, you know (imo) some theory.
    I never took lessons and I know at least as much theory as the other guitar player in our band, who took lessons... Anyway, I just don't think that all Mike's riffs are purely based on feeling and other non-theory things (listen to Deliverance...).
     
  8. atilla000

    atilla000 Flemish Guitarist

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    Conclusion: your left nut knows some theory.

    A band that hardly knew some theory is something like the sex pistols.
     
  9. the_drip

    the_drip Martriden K

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    It is naive to a certain point. Mike has said before..he doesn' tknow music theory, he just plays what sounds good to him.
     
  10. atilla000

    atilla000 Flemish Guitarist

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    Any references? :)
    Mike's songwriting techniques are still better than those of the SP. And these techniques are also a part of music theory. :p
     
  11. FRUGiHOYi

    FRUGiHOYi "Since 1981"

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    They use plenty of major chords, I don't know what you are smoking.
     
  12. Dreadful

    Dreadful When Man& Machine Collide

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    1 in every 10,000? you gotta be kidding me...that's not what I heard...I thought it was at least maybe 1 in every 10 people. I may be wrong...but that's fucking rare if it's 1 in every 10,000.
     
  13. Jokke

    Jokke New Metal Member

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    Heh.. I guess having perfect pitch can be a pain in the arse from time to time, though..

    ..just imagine cringing at each and every out of key note. :erk:
     
  14. JoeVice

    JoeVice Member

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    what red is to an apple, an E is to the low and high string on a guitar...that is what perfect pitch is like...people that have it (from what i have heard) explain it as if they literally assign a letter to a tone as if it is a color...it is that easy to them...that is insane! i have pretty trustworthy relative pitch...i have been playing guitar for a while, so i have ebgda pretty much engrained in my head, but i have to go through somewhat of a conscious mental process to recognize them without hearing a reference note.
     
  15. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    I don't know how to read music, or know the names of chords or notes, but that doesn't mean I can't be creative or change the way I play in my music.... :/ I'm programming drums and synth on the laptop now but you could check out a cover I did of bloodbath - buried by the dead..... on the bloodbath forums.... http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=297
     
  16. BurningSky

    BurningSky rxbandits.com

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    My guess is that Mike does know some decent music theory. You can tell from his solos and such, especially something like that solo in Blackwater Park. You don't whip out solos like that just from trial and error, and if you do, you'll be playing for a while with alot of errors. And people keep bringing up the fact that he didn't know what the chord was called in Drapery falls. I know some music theory, but if i played that chord and someone asked me what it was, I wouldn't have a clue, but if i actually wanted to know i would find it its an Am9 chord. My guess is that he has bits and pieces of theory he's learned along the way, just like a lot of guitarists really. I can't imagine him saying to the guys when hes teaching them a song "yeah, it starts out on 7 on the A string, then goes 9 to 9 to 8 to 7 on down the strings" He would definitely know enough to communicate key sigs and stuff like that (probably).

    As for their music being naive, what kind of statement is that? You don't need to have some huge understand of music theory to be able to write great music. That said, if you have a great understanding of theory, I don't think that disallows you to be able to write great music either. Composition is an art of its own, and all the knowledge in the world can only help you so much. The point of theory anyhow is to organize all we've learned about music so that it is easily accessible. It can save you some time if you know it, but you play for how things sound, not how they are written.
     
  17. JoeVice

    JoeVice Member

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    i disagree, the perfect pitch must have happened last time i went camping. the wind was probably blowing 40 mph, and it rained...our tent didn't even budge.
     
  18. Sanzen

    Sanzen Noonish Is My Robe

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    LOL! I love puns!

    Ive got one: OK, so back when I was born, my dad played a lot of classical music. Around 6th grade, I started taking piano lessons and discovered that I could name any note my teacher played at random, and in fact had perfect pitch.

    hey guys??? am i right? haha!
     
  19. Kottke

    Kottke vaseline machine gun

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    Clemens throws a splitter, not a sinker, if I could be so bold as to nitpick.
     
  20. Slynt

    Slynt Lord and Liar

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    I used to play in a band where I was the rhythm guitarist. While I love to write music, I have limited theoretical competence compared to the lead guitarist. Sometimes we had huge fights in the rehearsal room because I had made something and he said "you can't *do* that", and I said, "but I'm doing it!"

    In the end, I wrote 80% of the music - our difference being me good at writing material and he good at understanding music and using his theoretical knowledge to create things.
     

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