Speaking in an interview with Replay Guitar Exchange, Megadeth members Kiko Loureiro and David Ellefson revealed their advices on music theory.

Kiko said:

You don’t need to know the theory to be a good musician. If you don’t like it don’t do it.

I think it really can destroy you as well. When you’re starting out – if the teacher starts saying whatever names and you don’t play, waiting for somebody to teach you names – it’s boring.

So first play and then if you feel like, ‘I wanna know the names, I want to understand why this chord sounds so good,’ then you can learn it.”

Ellefson added:

“The large part of theory is kind of the scientific explanation of the spirit of music, the music that comes to us that you can just play at any moment.

I really learned that in my years as a musician – being in a room, when someone starts to write a song, then another guy says, ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ and he jumps in with some drums and someone else will come in… There’s this spirit in the room that is unexplainable.

Kind of like when you go to a concert and you hear a song and everybody’s rocking together. There’s something about that is just unexplainable. That’s kind of the human spirit that we have.

I remember reading about The Beatles, they started to learn as they were making records. They started to understand theory a little more so they could communicate with orchestra musicians and other musicians.

It’s maybe like speaking a foreign language, it’s also nice if you can write it down a little bit so you can communicate it with other people. But yeah, really just the spirit of music – that’s why we’re all here. We didn’t get the sheet music and sit down. We’re here because there are songs and music that we all play that bring us together. The explanation is secondary to just how it happens.”

You can watch the entire interview from below.