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Category : Information Theory

How Much Music Theory Should a Guitarist Know?

I personally believe that one should know the rules before they break them. Obviously it is not good to be overly analytical but it wouldn’t be an entirely bad thing to look at music from an analytical perspective. In order to look at things from an analytical perspective, you need information to analyze. That’s where music theory comes into play. So what I am about to present is not only a case for learning music theory but also what basic components of music theory you should, at a minimum, possess knowledge of.

It is important when you are playing along with a band that you have some idea as to what key you are playing in; especially if you are working on original material. You may be able to learn cover material from listening to a CD but it is also easier to pick up any song whether cover or original if you know music theory. Even more so if you know your way around the different keys.

There really isn’t much of an excuse for not taking the time to obtain some knowledge in music theory. There are free sources of information all over the Internet. Probably the most basic, yet essential, information would be knowledge of the keys, chords and scales.

You should be familiar with the 12 major keys and their relative minors. Having an adequate understanding of the different keys will allow you to be able to transpose a song from one key into another. There are a number of times where I’ve transposed a song from one key to another simply because it was a better key for me to sing in. You may find that to be the case with a number of singers.

You should have an adequate chord vocabulary. There are also a few scales that every guitarist should be familiar with, like the major or diatonic scale as well as the harmonic minor scale and the pentatonic scale in both the major and minor modes.

If you don’t want to spend the money on lessons or books, you should run an internet search for the information you want to obtain. I would first suggest you run a search for guitar chords listed by key. Check out a few sites to see which one offers the easiest approach for learning.

After you begin to learn the guitar chords by key, you should start learning scales. You should also run an internet search for guitar scales listed by key. You may be even more specific than that. For example: you can enter D harmonic minor and you will get a great number of results.

So, in conclusion, I hope that I have not only convinced you that learning music theory would be a valuable asset to your musicianship but that I have also set you off in the right direction towards doing so.

About the Author:
Bob Craypoe is a musician, writer, cartoonist, webmaster and entrepreneur who resides in Northern New Jersey. He is the creator of (a site that teaches the visually impaired how to play guitar), as well as numerous other sites. You can hear his music at:

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My “Nature” Theory

Alright well, here is a little something I noticed while reading up on a lot of “alpha” information, and have been field testing it to the point where its become who I am. It is one of my most important. I do not even want to say routine, because its more a way of life… let me explain.

Men are men. women are women. We know this. Men have testosterone, women have estrogen. Women are attracted to testosterone. Testosterone is most prevalent in in nature! All the alpha males are oozing it in the wild… the lions, the bears, the tigers (oh my). So many men in today’s society have become house cats. they do not work out, they don’t dominate, they are not, essentially, men. this is a problem.

Now, what I like to do is, think about ALL situations I encounter, and think of it in nature. How would I react if i were an alpha male in the wild. because that is all we are… humans are just a different species of animal on this earth.

Humans are just more evolved animals. We eat, shit, mate, fight, kill… Our purpose in life is the same as animals, only add consumerism and religion. I notice a lot of people on this board asking what to do about little things. She did this to me, what do i do? She asked me this, what do I say? How do i ask her about this? when do I call/text? how? when? WHY?

I was exactly like this, analyzing every move i made, and analyzing every move SHE made even more. I realize now almost ALL of these questions can be answered once you think of what would happen in nature, if you were the alpha male. did she say shes busy on friday? well, an alpha lion doesn’t care he has got other women. He will get back to her when he wants. did she say your shirt is ugly, in a very serious way? the lion would’nt laugh and say that shes right, its not even his favourite shirt, the good one is in the wash, but hey, your shirt is sort of cute no, the lion doesnt care, he will insult her right back and put her in her place. and you know what? shed LOVE him for it…

There is such a lack of MEN in this society that when women see this alpha male attitude, their PRIMAL instincts kick in that gut level attraction to the MAN figure… which in nature, is the top of the food chain. As MEN, we all instinctively know what to do. Be confident in your actions, and don’t second guess yourself. Workout out, get your testosterone flowing as nature intended, embrace the MAN inside of you (and let him out) and the answers will come naturally. If you are ever stuck in a situation, do not over analyze it. just be cool, relax, and think WWLD…what would the lion do.


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Driving theory test: Complete information

Theory test introduction:

The theory test is created with two parts; the multiple choice section and the hazard perception section. If you pass one section and fail the other you’ll fail the entire test, and you’ll require taking both sections again. Immediately after you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

The theory test consists of 50 questions in a multiple choice format and you need at least 43 correct answers to pass. All the questions will look on a computer screen which is touch sensible. The questions are designed to be very easy to read, only looking one at a time. It will be possible to skip forwards and backwards through the questions, and can take up to 57 minutes to complete the theory test.

Before you can apply for your practical driving test, you must pass your theory test.

The questions may cover the following topics


Safety and Your Vehicle
Vulnerable Road Users
Safety Margins
Hazard Awareness
Vehicle Loading
Vehicle Handling
Other Types of Vehicle (Motorcyclists, Lorries, Buses)
Rules of the Road
Motorway Rules
Road and Traffic Signs

If you have special needs then at the time of your theory test booking it is important that you state your needs so that the necessary arrangements can be made by DSA.

The theory test can be taken in 20 other languages through the use of a headset giving a voice-over. The available languages are- Spanish, Albanian, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Hindi, Bengali, Turkish, Gujarati, Dari, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Kurdish, Polish, Mirpuri, Portuguese, Pushto, Tamil and Urdu.

You may be able to take a translator, if your language is not offered. The translator must be approved by the DSA and at present can only be accommodated at the following theory test centers- Aldershot, Birmingham, Derby, Birkenhead, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Ipswich, Preston, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Palmers Green.

If you fail your theory test, you may retake the theory test as many times. However, you must wait a minimum of three working days between each test attempt. You must prepare your test vary well before you attempt your theory test will save your time and money.

In most test centres you will get your result and, if you pass, your theory test pass certificate within about half an hour of completing the theory test.

In most test centres you get your test result within about half an hour of completing the theory test and if you pass, you get your theory test pass certificate as well.

You may be able to simply exchange it to a UK licence, If you hold a foreign license. You would need to ask to the Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency. You do not have to take a theory test if you are updating your current full UK licence.

John Graham is involved with in writing useful driving test tips, theory test books, driving theory test questions etc for years. you can get online Driving test preparation material.

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Information Systems Theory 101

“The first on-line, real-time, interactive, data base system was double-entry bookkeeping which was developed by the merchants of Venice in 1200 A.D.”
– Bryce’s Law


Systems work is not as hard as you might think. However, we have a tendency in this business to complicate things by changing the vocabulary of systems work and introducing convoluted concepts and techniques, all of which makes it difficult to produce systems in a consistent manner. Consequently, there is a tendency to reinvent the wheel with each systems development project. I believe I owe it to my predecessors and the industry overall to describe basic systems theory, so that people can find the common ground needed to communicate and work. Fortunately, there are only four easy, yet important, concepts to grasp which I will try to define as succinctly as possible.


Regardless of the type of system, be it an irrigation system, a communications relay system, an information system, or whatever, all systems have three basic properties:

A. A system has a purpose – such as to distribute water to plant life, bouncing a communications signal around the country to consumers, or producing information for people to use in conducting business.

B. A system is a grouping of two or more components which are held together through some common and cohesive bond. The bond may be water as in the irrigation system, a microwave signal as used in communications, or, as we will see, data in an information system.

C. A system operates routinely and, as such, it is predictable in terms of how it works and what it will produce.

All systems embrace these simple properties. Without any one of them, it is, by definition, not a system.

For our purposes, the remainder of this paper will focus on “information systems” as this is what we are normally trying to produce for business. In other words, the development of an orderly arrangement or grouping of components dedicated to producing information to support the actions and decisions of a particular business. Information Systems are used to pay employees, manage finances, manufacture products, monitor and control production, forecast trends, process customer orders, etc.

If the intent of the system is to produce information, we should have a good understanding of what it is…



Information is not synonymous with data. Data is the raw material needed to produce information. Data by itself is meaningless. It is simply a single element used to identify, describe or quantify an object used in a business, such as a product, an order, an employee, a purchase, a shipment, etc. A data element can also be generated based on a formula as used in a calculation; for example:

Net-Pay = Gross-Pay – FICA – Insurance – City-Tax – Union-Dues – (etc.)

Only when data is presented in a specific arrangement for use by the human being does it become information. If the human being cannot act on it or base a decision from it, it is nothing more than raw data. This implies data is stored, and information is produced. It is also dependent on the wants and needs of the human being (the consumer of information). Information, therefore, can be defined as “the intelligence or insight gained from the processing and/or analysis of data.”

The other variable in our formula is “processing” which specifies how data is to be collected, as well as its retrieval in order to produce information. This is ultimately driven by when the human being needs to make certain actions and decisions. Information is not always needed “upon request” (aka “on demand”); sometimes it is needed once daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. These timing nuances will ultimately dictate how data is collected, stored, and retrieved. To illustrate, assume we collect data once a week. No matter how many times during the week we make a query of the data base, the data will only be valid as of the last weekly update. In other words, we will see the same results every day for one week. However, if we were to collect the data more frequently, such as periodically throughout the day, our query will produce different results throughout the week.

Our formula of “I = D + P” makes an important point: if the data is changed, yet the processing remains the same, the information will change. Conversely, if the data remains the same, yet the processing changes, the information will also change. This leads to a compelling argument to manage data and processing as separate by equal resources which can be manipulated and reused to produce information as needed.


An information system is a collection of processes (aka, “sub-systems”) to either collect and store data, to retrieve data and produce information, or a combination of both. The cohesive bond between these components is the data which should be shared and reused throughout the system (as well as other systems). You will observe we have not yet discussed the most suitable way to physically implement the processes, such as through the use of manual processes, computer programs, or other office technology. In other words, at this stage, the sub-systems of the system simply define logically WHAT data must be processed, WHEN it must be processed, and who will consume the information (aka “end-users”), but it most definitely does not specify HOW the sub-system is to be implemented.

Following this, developers determine a suitable approach for physically implementing each sub-system. This decision should ultimately be based on practicality and cost effectiveness. Sub-systems can be implemented using manual procedures, computer procedures (software), office automation procedures, or combinations of all three. Depending on the complexity of the sub-system, several procedures may be involved. Regardless of the procedures selected, developers must establish the precedent relationships in the execution of the procedures, either sequentially, iteratively, of choice (thereby allowing divergent paths). By defining the procedures in this manner, from start to end, the developers are defining the “work flow” of the sub-system, which specifies HOW the data will be physically processed (including how it is to be created, updated, or referenced).

Defining information systems logically is beneficial for two reasons:

* It provides for the consideration of alternative physical implementations. How one developer designs it may very well be different than the next developer. It also provides the means to effectively determine how a purchased software package may satisfy the needs. Again, the decision to select a specific implementation should be based on practicality and cost justification.

* It provides independence from physical equipment, thereby simplifying the migration to a new computer platform. It also opens the door for system portability, for example; our consulting firm helped a large Fortune 500 conglomerate design a single logical payroll system which was implemented on at least three different computer platforms as used by their various operating units; although they physically worked differently, it was all the same basic system producing the same information.

These logical and physical considerations leads to our final concept…



An information system can be depicted as a four level hierarchy (aka, “standard system structure”):

LEVEL 1 – System

LEVEL 2 – Sub-systems (aka “business processes”) – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Procedures (manual, computer, office automation) – 1 or more for each sub-system

LEVEL 4 – Programs (for computer procedures), and Steps (for all others) – 1 or more for each procedure

Click for diagram:

Each level represents a different level of abstraction of the system, from general to specific (aka, “Stepwise Refinement” as found in blueprinting). This means design is a top-down effort. As designers move down the hierarchy, they finalize design decisions. So much so, by the time they finish designing Level 4 for a computer procedure, they should be ready to write program source code based on thorough specifications, thereby taking the guesswork out of programming.

The hierarchical structure of an information system is essentially no different than any other common product; to illustrate:

LEVEL 1 – Product

LEVEL 2 – Assembly – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Sub-assembly – 1 or more for each assembly

LEVEL 4 – Operation – 1 or more for each sub-assembly

Again, the product is designed top-down and assembled bottom-up (as found in assembly lines). This process is commonly referred to as design by “explosion” (top-down), and implementation by “implosion” (bottom-up). An information system is no different in that it is designed top-down, and tested and installed bottom-up. In engineering terms, this concept of a system/product is commonly referred to as a “four level bill of materials” where the various components of the system/product are defined and related to each other in various levels of abstraction (from general to specific).

This approach also suggests parallel development. After the system has been designed into sub-systems, separate teams of developers can independently design the sub-systems into procedures, programs, and steps. This is made possible by the fact that all of the data requirements were identified as the system was logically subdivided into sub-systems. Data is the cohesive bond that holds the system together. From an engineering/manufacturing perspective it is the “parts” used in the “product.” As such, management of the data should be relegated to a separate group of people to control in the same manner as a “materials management” function (inventory) in a manufacturing company. This is commonly referred to as “data resource management.”

This process allows parallel development, which is a more effective use of human resources on project work as opposed to the bottleneck of a sequential development process. Whole sections of the system (sub-systems) can be tested and delivered before others, and, because data is being managed separately, we have the assurance it will all fit together cohesively in the end.

The standard system structure is also useful from a Project Management perspective. First, it is used to determine the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for a project complete with precedent relationships. The project network is then used to estimate and schedule the project in part and in full. For example, each sub-system can be separately priced and scheduled, thereby giving the project sponsors the ability to pick and chose which parts of the system they want early in the project.

The standard system structure also simplifies implementing modification/improvements to the system. Instead of redesigning and reconstructing whole systems, sections of the system hierarchy can be identified and redesigned, thereby saving considerable time and money.

This analogy between a system and a product is highly credible and truly remarkable. Here we can take a time-proven concept derived from engineering and manufacturing and apply it to the design and development of something much less tangible, namely, information systems.


Well, that’s it, the four cardinal concepts of Information Systems theory. I have deliberately tried to keep this dissertation concise and to the point. I have also avoided the introduction of any cryptic vocabulary, thereby demonstrating that systems theory can be easily explained and taught so that anyone can understand and implement it.

Systems theory need not be any more complicated than it truly is.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at

(For Milt and Les).

Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.

He can be contacted at:

Copyright © 2009 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Lecture 1 of the Course on Information Theory, Pattern Recognition, and Neural Networks. Produced by: David MacKay (University of Cambridge) Author: David Ma…

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