Is Music Theory Essential for Beginner Bass Players?

Picture a scientist peeking through his microscope; examining a fine specimen called music. That is music theory. It is the science behind music. As for bass players, learning music theory at the beginning stage of their career will help create the foundation of controlled and dynamic musical capabilities. Creativity can only do so much and learning by the ear is not enough to create a wonderful masterpiece. Memorizing certain notes and charts offer a very limited working space for you. It will make you rigid and tentative. Always remember that when you’re on stage performing with your band, unexpected things can happen like a forgotten note pattern and mis-timed melody. These unforeseen events or twists while playing your song will ultimately test how well you can adapt and pull it off.
Early on your bass playing, you can get away with simple chord patterns and major notes. But to really get on top, you need to mess around with the big boys. Simple harmonies and progressions will not take you anywhere. The bass playing technique of Paul McCartney seems simple when you listen to it, but try to analyze it even further and you will soon realize how complex those scales are (Drive My Car, Dear Prudence and Something).
Learning music theory will widen your musical knowledge. It is not enough that you familiarize yourself with modern musical patterns, jazz and bluesy bass lines; explore the possibility of learning “exotic” chord patterns of the East such as: Persian scales, Ragas, Arabian scales and Hungarian Major Scales. In effect, you will be able to cater to different types of genre and culture while incorporating your own uniqueness.Studying music theory will help you discover what kinds of patterns, modals, structures and rhythms these cultures employ. While some music or genre doesn’t employ the use of bass guitar; there will always be an instrument which serves as the bass’ counterpart. World music is a perfect example of genre which employs both native and modern instruments. Blending in with different kinds of instrument while supporting the whole song is only possible provided that you have a good grasp of concepts and ideas about its framework; something that is possible by studying music theory.
Music theory is as important for bass players as basketball clinic to basketball players. You may have the physical quality to become the next big superstar since Michael Jordan, but if you lack the fundamental skills of shooting, dribbling, defending and passing then your physical gifts will only be wasted. Be serious about your bass guitar playing by being a student of your craft and it will totally empower you.

READ  In School Deferment: Ensuring You Defer Payment Until Your Education Is Completed