All sardines must go!
Definitely, DEPENDING on:
- Your musical goals
- How miraculously amazing your ear is
Theory, including modes, helps fill in the gaps when you’ve got goals that your instincts/intuition/natural ear aren’t getting you.
For example - there are legendary jazz musicians who never knew a lick of theory, but for most mortals, including myself, it’s really helpful to know the dorian mode on a minor 7 chord.
@erg I have the app, it has pretty much everything you need from a scales reference tool. tbh I haven’t actually used it much day-to-day yet but it’s worth a few bucks, even if just to support TB.
I started off thinking modes were pretty important so I spent some time learning them, but the only times I’ve used them since are the rare occasions when I play along with jazz chord charts in irealpro or on youtube. I’m glad I learned them but I don’t consider it as important in hindsight unless you are specifically wanting to play jazz or other improv-heavy music. That said, my favorite warmup exercise is running through the modes of a couple different scales.
for me, what makes theory worthwhile is coming up with new ideas. you can (and many have) just play by ear, my best friend is an awesome guitarist who does just that. but using theory to expand your musical knowledge can give you new ideas, areas to practice and also an understanding of how it all works. for instance, i could, hypothetically, stumble across how cool the notes in a pentatonic scale sound by noodling around on my fingerboard by ear. it might take me 22 years to discover it, but i could. or i could just be SHOWN a petatonic scale, play it, and say, hmmm that combo of notes sounds pretty good, what can i come up with using it?
For me knowing the modes is good primarily for analyzing other music. So now I can listen to “As it is when it was” and think “Oh, the bassline is mixolydian” rather than “Hooky’s playing the wrong note. Hmm sounds awesome though.”
I’m thinking, next time I go out drinking with my friends, I’ll wait until everyone has had a few and then announce that I’m going to pull the coal towards my sardine. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction