Steve Lukather said the idea that people should avoid taking music lessons was the “biggest lie out there.”

The Toto guitarist accepted there were exceptions, but he argued that learning music theory made it easier to work with other artists, rather than stifling creativity, and made more creative opportunities available.

“The biggest lie out there is that knowing how to read music or knowing anything about music theory takes your soul away – bullshit!” Lukather told Ultimate Guitar in a recent interview. “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.”

He stated that “knowledge is power” and continued that some people “didn't want to do homework – they wanted to learn 'Enter Sandman' and jump off their faux Marshalls.”

However, he agreed it wouldn’t be worth trying to give lessons to people like Eddie Van Halen or Jeff Beck, and went on to admit that he’d given up attempting to teach his son but offered advice instead.

“He didn't want to take lessons," he explained. "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."

Lukather noted that "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.”


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