Guitar Music TheoryApplying Music

Theory with Your Guitar

guitar-chordsWhether you play the guitar,

banjo, bass, or any stringed instrument they all have one thing in common. 

What’s that you ask?

It’s that every instrument has to deal with the laws of music theory.

So no matter what you play you should know the music theory associated with rhythm, notes, key signatures, scales, harmony, and the rest.

I see where students or beginners search for theory for a specific instrument like guitar. 

But what is guitar music theory? 

What I think people are getting at when they search for guitar music theory is how do learn music theory using their particular instrument. 

Or how do I apply the music theory to my guitar. Or even specific techniques on playing such as a preferred partners provide.

Much of what you see with in this site is geared towards general theory and it is applicable across all instruments. 

In general you begin to play an instrument by learning how to play notes and then add a bit of theory as you go. 

This is a very common practice and actually a tried and true method of teaching. It is the ability to learn a bit at a time and add to your knowledge. It works just fine, albeit slowly. 

I have explained in other articles the ability to get a big picture of theory can and will help you accelerate your learning of the music that will take you beyond the normal track of playing and put you into a creative mode.

Learning Theory Provides a Great Jumping On Point

So learning the foundations of music theory and applying that with your specific technique for guitar will make you a better player and musician by giving you abilities to keep up with other musicians and understand why certain things are done with the music.

What if you really wanted to move into jazz?  You had better know the guitar music theory down cold. I can tell you from experience, that you will sound like all the others unless you know what you can and can’t do effectively while improvising.

But that’s taking on advanced theory, which will be added to the site as we finish up the foundation series.

What Are You Learning Right Now?

kid-playing-guitarLet’s Play

Whether you are reading notes or using guitar tabs they are based on the fundamentals of music theory. Where possible our theory lessons and workbooks will show specific fingering or fret information associated with the theory being taught.

What about technique?

Let’s touch on the technique issue. Like I said on the home page there is no replacement for a teacher that can work with you one on one. However, there are those that can teach you via the new technology through audio recordings, video, workbooks, and web sites .

How does this work

Let me give you an example of how this might work. Say you were a student of mine and we wanted to explore how plucking a string in different ways produces different sound.

We would take some time to on a web page to explain the fundamental actions of producing these plucking techniques. We would show photos and enhance them with annotations showing the motion and directions of fingers and hands.

From there we may have some video and audio demonstrating the technique. We might even create an entire dvd and workbook course for you to buy and learn at home.

The requirement is that you have to provide your own feedback. And that’s not easy. But there is a trick you can use and that is called the recorder. Using a simple tape or mp3 or flip video recorder you can listen or what you are doing and evaluate how well your are doing. 

You might even ask friends to help you decide if you are getting it.

More on guitar styles:  Guitar Styles