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  #501  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:02 PM
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Arrow Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

"If I go to IKEA and buy a shitty fucking chair, that I need to put together, I don't really wanna look at the instructions. I kinda just want to figure it out, because at the end of the day, when I'm sitting there in my shitty IKEA chair, I feel proud that IKEA didn't tell me how to put it together." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixo-MQ0u6SA
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  #502  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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Originally Posted by O.B.gene View Post
"If I go to IKEA and buy a shitty fucking chair, that I need to put together, I don't really wanna look at the instructions. I kinda just want to figure it out, because at the end of the day, when I'm sitting there in my shitty IKEA chair, I feel proud that IKEA didn't tell me how to put it together." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixo-MQ0u6SA
My bad.

Would it make you feel better if I concede Dave doesn't understand 4ths, 5ths or 7ths?

I'm sure you'll feel better if I acknowledge he just randomly mashes his hands on his guitar and it's all trial and error/random chance.

Dave is a musical ignoramus.

Does that concession make you happy?

Let's move on.
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  #503  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

He would understand anything thrown at him, i'm sure of it.
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  #504  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

I highly doubt that the theme on this record is the same chord progression in every song, or something that comes close to that. Would also be a real handicap as a songwriter, knowing you have to do that. Also, I don't know where the term ''secret theme'' comes from, because I've only read about that in this thread. Or I missed something.
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  #505  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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I would understand anything thrown at him, i'm sure of it.
But you think he wouldn't.

Dave Grohl: musical savant ignorantly stumbling onto chord progressions ... that's what you're implying.
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  #506  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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But you think he wouldn't.

Dave Grohl: musical savant ignorantly stumbling onto chord progressions ... that's what you're implying.
He's capable, absolutely. But I also do think, yes, it's a little bit more "oh this works" than being aware that 'parallel harmonic relationships' is an actual thing. So far, he's a multi-millionaire that hasn't needed to know.
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  #507  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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He's capable, absolutely. But I also do think, yes, it's a little bit more "oh this works" than being aware that 'parallel harmonic relationships' is an actual thing.
He may not know the terminology, but he has put it into practice since the days of Pocketwatch. One of the reasons I fell in love with his songwriting is his choosing the less likely chords to pass through, a very oblong manner of progression construction. It always works, especially since he also intuitively understands relative minor keys.

It is this confounding of harmonic expectations while still "following" the rules that make the harmonic language of his best tunes as interesting to me as Lennon or Gershwin.
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  #508  
Old September 2nd 2017, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

I love the chords he'd use on 'Foo Fighters' and the fact he didn't shy away of using the fuzzy distortion pedal at the same time, ie 'Oh, George' and 'Exhausted'
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  #509  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

Yes I always heard Dave say he has zero formal musical knowledge. He may be exaggerating for effect and probably did pick up some things along the way, but it's pretty clear he's not particularly interested.

It makes sense, that's the good old diy punk ethic he uses for everything, whether building his own basement studio or directing videos. It's worked pretty well for him so far.

Now what he does have, is a great ear, amazing musical instincts, and a lot of experience.
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  #510  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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I love the chords he'd use on 'Foo Fighters' and the fact he didn't shy away of using the fuzzy distortion pedal at the same time, ie 'Oh, George' and 'Exhausted'
Same here. Exhausted is a PERFECT example, haha, that's what I was thinking of when I wrote that! :

I wish Dave got some credit for his unsung originality. New chord progressions are exceedingly difficult to compose and he does it consistently. But it's the Foos so he'll never get acknowledgment.... From a composer's standpoint, it strikes me as unfair, that's all.
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  #511  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

Most people in rock bands don't have a great knowledge of music theory or can even read notes, but if you've been playing your instrument for a couple of years, you should already have enough basic knowledge to write a song just by ear. I had to study music theory for almost ten years, and it helped me understand my instrument better, but even without all that theory I could have written a song just as good (or just as bad).
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  #512  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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Most people in rock bands don't have a great knowledge of music theory or can even read notes, but if you've been playing your instrument for a couple of years, you should already have enough basic knowledge to write a song just by ear. I had to study music theory for almost ten years, and it helped me understand my instrument better, but even without all that theory I could have written a song just as good (or just as bad).
I tend to agree with you: music theory is kind of like killing a butterfly, mounting it & then claiming to be a biologist. You may "intellectually" get it, but it doesn't automatically make you proficient. Think of all those English Final dissertations where the authors can't compose clean prose while discussing writing.

A comp student gains nothing from studying progressions if they don't listen to what works and what doesn't. It's very easy to do what someone has done before, put it that way. Music schools are filled with obvious clichés and overt homage.

But at the same time, that doesn't make musicological scholarship unimportant or invalid.
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  #513  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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But at the same time, that doesn't make musicological scholarship unimportant or invalid.
Knowing music theory will enrich your life either way. But if you want to write a symphony you kinda have to know what you're doing obviously and what's it's all about. But to write a pop or rock song you don't need great knowledge of music theory. Simple things, like knowing which chord progressions work and which scale to use for a guitar solo, is basic knowledge that (almost) everyone who has been playing for a couple of years will know just by ear. That's why a lot of pop, rock musicians will know a lot by ear but don't ask them to explain or go into detail, because they will have no idea.
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  #514  
Old September 2nd 2017, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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Knowing music theory will enrich your life either way. But if you want to write a symphony you kinda have to know what you're doing obviously and what's it's all about. But to write a pop or rock song you don't need great knowledge of music theory. Simple things, like knowing which chord progressions work and which scale to use for a guitar solo, is basic knowledge that (almost) everyone who has been playing for a couple of years will know just by ear. That's why a lot of pop, rock musicians will know a lot by ear but don't ask them to explain or go into detail, because they will have no idea.
All true ....

.... so why do some fall into trite cliche while others find fertile creative ground?

It's the difference between "getting it" and paint-by-numbers. I think most good composers/songwriters know when they've got harmonic paydirt, even if they couldn't technically explain"why" it's so.

The best of them are consistently fresh.
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  #515  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:11 PM
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All true ....

.... so why do some fall into trite cliche while others find fertile creative ground?
It's true that if you have a lot of knowledge of music theory, it will broaden your horizon musically speaking and you can be more creative. If for example you're a guitarist and you stick to playing power chords your whole life, it will be harder to stay creative, I suppose.
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  #516  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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It's true that if you have a lot of knowledge of music theory, it will broaden your horizon musically speaking and you can be more creative. If for example you're a guitarist and you stick to playing power chords your whole life, it will be harder to stay creative, I suppose.
You get where I'm going with this. There are things you can do to force creativity (banning obvious progressions/switches for starters) .... again, I'm not sure how much is intuition and how much is intellect, but i firmly believe Dave is no musical simpleton.

Rope, Arlandria and Aurora (just to name a few) are way too sophisticated to be blind happenstance.
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  #517  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:24 PM
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You get where I'm going with this. There are things you can do to force creativity (banning obvious progressions/switches for starters) .... again, I'm not sure how much is intuition and how much is intellect, but i firmly believe Dave is no musical simpleton.
Neither do I, I mean, he's no Billy Corgan, who was tested as a musical savant as a kid, or something like that. But he's a great musician.
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  #518  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:27 PM
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Neither do I, I mean, he's no Billy Corgan, who was tested as a musical savant as a kid, or something like that. But he's a great musician.
Corgan actually relies on common progressions more than Dave ... but, to each their own.
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  #519  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:32 PM
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Corgan actually relies on common progressions more than Dave ... but, to each their own.
Nah man, musically speaking, especially early Smashing Pumpkins stuff was on a whole different musical level than the Foo Fighters. There are a lot of bands I love that are musically more interesting and, I guess, more intellectual than the Foo Fighters... it's like Nate has said in interviews often, the rule in the Foo Fighters is to keep it as simple as possible. But that doesn't mean Dave isn't a good musician, he obviously is.
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  #520  
Old September 2nd 2017, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: 'Concrete and Gold' out Sept 15th

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Nah man, musically speaking, especially early Smashing Pumpkins stuff was on a whole different musical level than the Foo Fighters. There are a lot of bands I love that are musically more interesting and, I guess, more intellectual than the Foo Fighters... it's like Nate has said in interviews often, the rule in the Foo Fighters is to keep it as simple as possible. But that doesn't mean Dave isn't a good musician, he obviously is.
Not to be dismissive, but "Today" is "Sweet Child Of Mine" on valium, "Cherub Rock" is an exercise in E major, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" is a grunge reduction of "Enter Sandman", and I could do this with almost every hit of theirs.

We are wandering into opinion land, sy I'll just say the hallmark hits of Smashing Pumpkins aren't paragons of originality.
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