Guitar Theory Lessons You Can Actually Understand
I'm glad you've shown interest in guitar theory
lessons, because that suggests you understand how important
this knowledge is, not only to your
guitar playing but your overall
understanding of music.
These lessons will help you connect your fretboard, chord and
and deepen your understanding of how music works on guitar. This is
crucial if you want to improvise confidently and come up with ideas in
Many guitarists don't bother with this stuff, and
I can only say they don't know what they're missing out on. I'm sure
results will prove most rewarding!
The problem is, a
lot of guitar theory lessons out there are poorly explained and
overcomplicated. I've made it my goal to teach guitar theory in a way
that focuses your learning on only the most important concepts,
explained in plain English. I'll introduce you to some
terminology, but it will be backed up with clear and simple
Theory Lessons Contents
please make sure you've been through the fretboard
to guitar theory?
Take the foundation
Learning theory is far easier when you
know the major scale.
It's arguably the basis of western music, and the scale against which
harmonies can be referenced. This lesson
gives you all the details and provides you with clear diagrams of the
major scale in different positions.
Introduces you to the theory
behind how root notes work in
forming guitar chords. An essential primer for the guitar theory
lessons on chord construction below.
How to construct chords, from
basic major and minor triads to more advanced, extended chords. Take
your knowledge of the major scale (above) and use
it to discover a wealth of chord voicings on the fretboard, not just
the plain old ones you're used to. Easy-to-follow, nothing overwhelming
here but very rewarding indeed. Also in this series...
on from the chord theory series above, learn how to construct chord
inversions on the fretboard, giving you even more chord voicing
options. Also in this series...
lesson will help you understand the concept of harmonizing scales and how you can
pull chords from scales. In short, it brings together your knowledge of
chord theory and scales into one system. Triad Harmonization
Learn how to build economical triad shapes in any key by harmonizing
the major scale in 3 positions on the top 3 strings of the guitar. This
will help you to explore more melodic expression with your chord
Shows you how to identify a
"starting point" for your
soloing by connecting scale patterns to chord shapes. This is about
using your knowledge of those basic barre/movable chords from the
chords section and superimposing scale patterns on those same
Ever wondered where sharps and flats come
This lesson explains how sharps and flats are formed in scales and
chords. It should also help you understand how important the major
scale is in music theory in general.
Learn how to identify and
use passing tones in
scales. These are tones you should avoid emphasising (e.g. holding
onto) in your solos. Includes a backing track and ear training
exercises to help you pick out the passing tones in the example scales.
Learn how to build meaningful
musical phrases from scales in your solos. This series will show you
how to explore scales with purpose and beyond the linear meandering
that so many players get trapped in when starting out with scales.
is about moving a collection of notes to a new pitch. This lesson looks
specifically and transposing chord progressions to a new key using 3
First learn how to build arpeggios block
by block, then learn how to
weave them into
your guitar solos. This series introduces you to the world of
arpeggios, how to construct them and how you can use them to enhance
your solos and create
more meaningful lead phrases.
of the Major Scale
Series which looks
at the 7
modes of the major scale. Each lesson takes you
through the individual
"flavour" and characteristics of each mode, with jam tracks to help you
experiment with your own ideas. Finally, we learn how the modes work
together as part of a larger musical expression.
Learn the chord-scale system -
the connection between
chord and scale tones. This series guides you through the process of
selecting scales for soloing over different chord types.
Also in this series...
How to Solo Over Chord Changes
Gives you a clear process for playing melodies (lead) through
chord changes. Very important, as most songs use more than one chord!
Connects your knowledge of chord shapes, arpeggios and scales to chord
progressions. See also...^ Back to Top
Ask Your Guitar Theory Questions Here
This is where you can ask any question regarding guitar theory or music theory in general.
Theory Related Questions From Other Visitors
Click below to see submissions from other guitarists. Feel free to comment on the answers provided and help expand the topic...
Scales Over Diatonic Vs Non-Diatonic Chords
Mike, your website is fantastic, and the way you explain things too.
In order for you to understand my question easily, I'll immediately start with …
Solo Analysis: Remember When by Guthrie Govan
Landon Asks... I have been recently getting into playing lead and it just feels like I am stuck with pentatonic shapes and licks and blues scales, all …
Why learn the natural major and minor scales?
Hi! I have been playing guitar since about 6 years. Taking classes in Holland, with a strong focus on Latin music, especially Atahualpa Yupanqui (Argentina). …
When to use Relative Scales
I know about relative scales, i.e. in the major scale, the 6th interval becomes the relative minor and, in the minor scale, the minor third interval becomes …
Neo-classical scales in diatonic chord progressions
I am not sure if my Q is correct or not... forgive my ignorance.
Is it possible to use neo classical scales for soloing in diatonic chord progressions …
Replacing the diminished chord in a major chord progression?
I've been playing guitar for a while, but I'm just beginning to pick up theory (particularly chord progressions, with which your site has been extremely …
Methods for Changing Key
Is there any particular method to changing keys within a song? I noticed that or read it's good to change in the 5th position, e.g. C to G, but I was listening …
When to play modes
This is the greatest and funniest guitar lessons website I benifited from during all my career. What puzzles me is: 1 - how do I know when a song is in …
Finding the key of songs
Question: Can you please share some ways to find out the key of the songs and how to find out the chord progressions by using melody lines in scales. …
Learning all the notes and intervals
Question: I've been playing for a while but I have been teaching myself and just learning songs. I'm now in a band and realise that I am far behind in …
The diversity of harmony and melody
Question: I've gone through most of your lessons and have enjoyed them thoroughly. But what has been confusing me for a while is the following...
Scales and progressions unique to styles of music
Question: Is there a certain scale or chord progression that is unique to different styles of music? And if so could you give some examples? Thank you. …
Working Out the Chords to a Song
I guess many of us guitar players have been in a situation in which friends expect us to play a song immediately (I do not mean the simple I-IV-V progression!). …
Knowing Which Key You Are In
If I play a progression such as A minor - E minor - C major, am I in the key of A minor or C major?
Key is defined by the chord to which …
Time Signature in Staff Notation.
When writing notation of the classical guitar after the treble clef time signature symbol is written.
For example: 3/4, 4/4, 5/8, 6/8
Ideas for writing songs
I've been playing a long time, and in spite of that I still have problems comming up with something worth-while beyond just 2, or 3 chord progressions. …
The guitar fretboard has 2 E strings on the low E you label go's E F# F G ,but on the A string it Go's A B flat B C Why are some flats and some sharps? …
Mastering the notes on guitar
Question: I am trying to master the notes on guitar is there an easy way?
Try breaking it down as detailed in the fretboard lessons . …
How Do You Change Between Keys?
When soloing how do you switch between keys to make it sound good? I'm not sure where to move to make the solo sound good.
Suggestions Key changes are …
Click here to ask your own question
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