TOTO Guitarist STEVE LUKATHER - "The Biggest Lie Out There Is That Knowing Anything About Music Theory Takes Your Soul Away; Bullshit!"
November 29, 2020, 2 months ago
During a conversation with Ultimate Guitar's Justin Beckner, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather talked about tabs, music theory, and more. Following is an excerpt.
On learning music theory
Lukather: "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. And I was like, 'Carry on. Keep doing what you're doing. Just don't become a shredder. There's 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. It's people who want to go from A to Z and the rest of it doesn't matter - things like playing in time and learning how to tune your instrument properly.
"Learning music theory only helps you communicate with other musicians and it opens up so many more options in your brain, more than just playing in a box. I thought it was the best thing I had ever done. I even learned stuff in my harmony and theory classes in high school that I used to take so I could study music rather than learning regular school shit. It helped me a lot.
Knowledge is power. Learning stuff isn't a bad thing. Your students probably didn't want to do homework - they wanted to learn 'Enter Sandman' and jump off their faux Marshalls."
Read more here.
Metal Master Kingdom spoke Lukather aaabout his new solo album, I Found The Sun Again, and the recent passing of Eddie Van Halen. CHeck out the interview below.
On the passing of Eddie Van Halen
Lukather: "It's hard to talk about because the wound is still very deep. I'm very honored to have been Ed's friend, really a friend, not just a guitar buddy; I had a beer with him, 40+ years with him. I know all the guys (in Van Halen), I love all the guys. I was just on Sammy's (Hagar) show, he was beautiful to me, Mike's (Anthony) always nice to me. With the brothers, I have always stayed very close. I've been in touch with Al more than anybody, and Janie (Eddie's widow) sent me some wonderful pictures of Ed and I when we were younger that she found somewhere. And I've been in touch with, talked to Wolf once, and I'm gonna leave him alone. He's got his mom. This is a hole in my heart that won't go away.
He was a real friend of mine; we didn't get together and talk about guitars and stuff unless we wanted to play each other something new or brag about our kids. And really, we spent the last half of our relationship bragging about each other's sons because they both play. ´We always had that in common, the sons and the guitar. We have a lot in common out of the gig that has nothing to do with music. I love the man.
There's nothing to argue about how great he was as a musician - I don't have to. Who's gonna argue with him? He was one of the greats to ever pick up rock 'n' roll guitar, changed everything! And he was my friend, and I miss my friend more than anything, and I miss the roar of one of his vehicles scaring the shit out of my neighbors. And then the lunacy, the way he laughed, and the way he fucking hugged me whenever he came by...
The last thing I have on my phone is just a heart that he sent me. It's hard for me to talk about because it's an open wound, but I imagine how it's with family. My heart goes out to everybody in the Van Halen family."