Contrary to popular belief, far not all musicians have spent years studying music theory or spending a fortune on specific musical training. Most of the stars we can hear today (and for decades!) have not studied musical theory at college. It makes people wonder how exactly they could achieve that musical accuracy and give birth to the beautiful melodies that we adore.
While it’s possible to learn how to play piano or get better as a self-taught guitar player, one must remember that we have famous musicians who have no idea how to read music. It shows that it’s not about knowing how to arrange an orchestra or instruments in the mix but having an ear that would let them hear things and perform by singing and playing in key!
Famous Music Artists Without Education: Is It Worth Years of Studying?
Think about Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Elton John, David Bowie, or the skills that have been shown by Eddie Van Halen. What’s the thing that unites them all? They didn’t have any musical education and learned all they knew via trial and error by using their natural-born talents.
It’s hard to believe that this legendary guitar player and performer had no musical education if we take a look at how accurately he can perform and combine his skills with world-famous artists. Would the years of studying be of help? According to Clapton, it is worth it as it would help him to read notes and feel confident when he has to work with musicians who prefer to use academic knowledge.
This self-taught prodigy probably needs no introduction as it is hard to find a piano player and a singer who would always perform in the right key and add special vocal harmonies during the recording process. Sir Elton said that he has been so good at the piano since his childhood that no music teacher could give him that special extra that would help him. The teachers would affect his freedom to improvise and find the right notes. He often said that it was the exploration that has helped him to perform, not the strict rules that he always tried to avoid. Speaking of researching, it’s not the same way with college studies as you have to approach custom research paper writing at GrabMyEssay online. This is where you have to obey the rules as it’s the only way to get things done right!
It’s hard to find a famous music artist who would be able to produce unique sounds and become a father of blues music that reflects the history of the United States. B.B. King always dreamt of learning music theory or how to read notes, yet he had no opportunity for that. As a solution, he listened to the radio and all the possible vinyl records he could find.
Just like Paul McCarney, he had no musical education per se, yet he tried to learn from others by playing along with them. For example, George Harrison constantly showed Lennon how to play chords, so it was a sort of learning for John. Of course, the limitations did not prevent him from becoming one of the world’s legends with his unique vocals and guitar style. John often said that music theory could be helpful, therefore, it’s vital to take every opportunity that comes your way. As a student, you may start a college blog and learn how to share what you learn as it will help others to achieve success.
Speaking of the musicians that could play, sing, and do all the work in the studio, we have Nirvana’s singer who had no music education, yet he knew how to compose a song and arrange things. As a child, Cobain considered taking guitar lessons, yet it was a great failure due to all the pressure.
Should I Study Music Theory?
Actually, you should because music theory is not only about your ability to read notes these days! You will also learn about the tricks that music producers use or see how to record your sketches correctly at home by keeping everything right. Music theory may not be the most important thing as you create a wonderful song, yet it will help you to sort what you know and avoid the most common mistakes when you are getting creative. The choice is always yours!
Andrew Mazur is an avid music aficionado who combines consulting in education, technology, and entertainment. When he is not exploring online learning and the best ways to survive as a student, he loves to travel and listen to music. Follow Andrew to get inspired and take your learning further.