On Musical Crutches


A Crutch is something you use when you cannot do it yourself.

Notable crutches are:

The Fretlight Guitar

Guitar Pro, which lets you type the notes of a chord in and names it for you

Charts that show you every scale that you can carry around in your gig bag

This ad that I ran across today:

This handy tool shows and explains the patterns on which all music is based. When you understand how music is put together, your can take your musical creativity to new heights. I promise.

The Harmonizer breaks it down for you. Dial the Harmonizer to a key you’re interested in and see modes, scales, chords, intervals, and chord progressions in a way books can’t show.

What are the notes of Bmaj7#5? The Harmonizer shows you. What is the interval distance from F# to C? It shows you that too and much more. Unless you’re already a theory wiz, you’ll want a tool like this.

They call it a “tool” and while I agree in principle, ultimately unless you are using it to check your work, most people will use it instead of having to learn it.

My question is, why NOT become a Theory whiz? It doesn’t have to be NEAR as difficult as it’s been made out to be.

We’ve taught hundreds of people, to be theory whizzes. You don’t need tools or crutches or fretlight guitars or stickers on the fretboard, or some java program to do the thinking for you.  You don’t need a tome of scales and grimoires to play scales and play them dead letter perfect. You don’t need a spinning circle of 5ths. You don’t need a chord book…ever.

I get it, I get why the picture for Learning Music Theory that can be Instantly Applied to the Guitar is so grim…because it can be very hard to find such a course or a book that truly teaches it all, and is at the same time, easy and logical without boring someone to tears.

This is where I think we honestly differ. We teach this stuff every day, and we truly free guitarists to go out and play, no crutches needed. If everyone took this we’d put all these guys out of business, and while I’m not suggesting thats a good thing  (I support peoples needs to make a living)  I also support musical growth, and the ability to stand for ones self and be self sufficient musicians without needing a Jazz Degree to do so.

So without that product or any crutches, I will answer the Harmonizer Ad – A “B major 7 #5”  is essentially a B Augmented which is a B D# and F## and the Major 7 is an A#, there’s your chord. The interval Distance of F# to a C is b5. (My one question to the creator of this, would be, without using this gimmick, would you even know the answer to that?)

While I understand the need for immediate access to information, I’m here to tell you, that you don’t need a Harmonizer, or your chord computers or fretlights.

Our Theory Classes Applied to Guitar will help you answer these and other questions faster than it would take you to type them in Google.