My philosophy of teaching is to teach according to how the student learns. Every guitar/bass/ukulele student I have takes lessons because they want to play the songs they like. So I have learned to use songs as a vehicle to teach certain principles. For example - Amazing Grace is written using only the notes of the Pentatonic scale - so I use it extensively to teach about Pentatonic scales. One reason Ben is so appreciated by me is that he uses songs as vehicles to teach. Great, isn’t it?
When it comes to theory, the same thing applies. Music theory is the language of musicians. Now there are different subsets in any language - idioms, slang, regional differences… the same thing exists in the musical world. There is general core knowledge all practitioners of English need to know… the Alphabet, basic grammatical things etc. But go to Philadelphia and you will hear slang and accents that are different… but its still English.
Music is no different - there is a core knowledge every player needs to know - notes, rests, key signatures, for example. But within different musical communities there exists variations and more specific language for that instrument or community. The classical community, for example, might have more need to understand the modes… same with the jazz community. If you are a country or bluegrass player, modes not so much. Pentatonic scales. minor scales and major scales meet almost all of our needs. That doesn’t mean we or they are “less than” - its a matter of what meets OUR needs or THEIR needs. I will address my bluegrass or country students’ needs differently than I do the needs of my jazz students.
Having said all that… I believe knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you will become. I know modes, and it has added value to me as a player. And it can have value in our bluegrass and country world… but the truth is - that is probably one topic that will be WAY down the list of what I want to teach… unless anybody here wants to learn how to compose Gregorian Chants… what? nobody?
This is going to be a great little forum. I am looking forward to our conversations.