Toto guitarist Steve Lukather spoke in a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar’s Justin Beckner and revealed his thoughts about the music theory, tabs, chords, and many more.
In the conversation, the interviewer asked if Steve believes learning the music theory makes the guitar players stale and takes the soul out of the songs. Without a doubt, Steve rejected this theory and called it bullshit.
Explaining why it is actually a necessity, Lukather mentioned that music theory helped him a lot while writing songs and tabs especially back in the days. He added that knowing the language of music will make you a better musician.
Additionally, Steve pointed out that learning music theory will help you to know what you are actually doing. The talented musician stated that coming up with such a weird idea that music theory takes the soul out of a song could only be claimed by lazy people.
Here’s what Steve Lukather stated about the music theory:
“Bullshit! If anything, it has really helped my playing, especially back in the day when I had to come up with parts on the spot. They’d just give you a chord symbol and count off the tune and you’re supposed to come up with something brilliant on the spot.
Just knowing your common tones, your relative majors and minors, the simple dumb shit you learn right away, I don’t care if you’re a shredder or a classical player, it’s important to know the language.
If you’re planning a trip to France, it might be a smart idea to learn French – to learn the language of where you’re going. It’s easier to just be able to read something than to spend hours having somebody show you how to play it.”
“I could give you a thousand reasons why knowing harmony and theory has helped the writing process, the options, the improvisation. The biggest lie out there is that knowing how to read music or knowing anything about music theory takes your soul away… Bullshit!
On the other hand, would I give, God bless his soul, my brother, Edward Van Halen, guitar lessons? Would I give Jeff Beck guitar lessons? No. My own son plays guitar weird because he didn’t want to take lessons. But he started to come upon something that I would have never thought of, so I just stopped myself.”
Steve Lukather also added:
“And I was like, ‘Carry on. Keep doing what you’re doing. Just don’t become a shredder. There are already too many of them. Write good songs, be a great rhythm guitar player, play melodically, and you’ll always have work.’
So, he listened to me, fortunately, and now it’s working. But saying that music theory takes the soul out of a song is just a lazy man’s way of saying they don’t have the time to put in.”
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