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Welcome to GuitarMusicTheory. See how scales, chords, progressions, modes and more fit into your favorite songs. Go beyond guitar basics and get to know how music works on the guitar fretboard. Gain the skills necessary to compose and improvise your own music. What is guitar theory? While music theory pertains to music in general, guitar theory pertains to the guitar specifically.
Typically, this includes only those aspects of music that enable guitarists to find their way around the fretboard, play music, and compose. Without some understanding of rhythm and without developing technique your playing will never take shape.
By learning guitar theory, you equip yourself to play songs, compose your own music, and improvise. Learn more about guitar theory. In music, a scale is a series of notes played in ascending and descending fashion. Scale notes make patterns on the fretboard, which guitarists finger and pick position to position.
Guitar players use scales to play melodies, riffs, solos, and bass lines. There are countless types of scales that can be played on guitar, but did you know that popular music is mostly based on just two types of patterns? Familiar genres of music like pop, rock, blues, and country use scale patterns based on the pentatonic scale and major scale. Another type of scale, the harmonic minor, is worked into these patterns on occasion. If you want to be successful playing popular styles of music, then you need to focus your attention on these indispensable scales.
Learn more about guitar scales. There are literally thousands of different kinds of chords and chord shapes that can be played on the guitar, but did you know that most are related in some way to just five core forms? What does that spell? Each chord form has a related arpeggio pattern. The notes from each arpeggio pattern are used to make all sorts of chord shapes. Lead guitarists use the CAGED system to map out chord tones within scale patterns, and then they target these notes while they solo so that their lead lines are guided by notes relating closely to the chords and progression.
Music is always based on movement. Almost every song is composed using a group of chords that move from one to another. A chord progression is the way in which chords are put together to form a series of chord changes.
Composing a chord progression requires you to understand relationships between chords and concepts involving the way chords lead to and pass from one another. Learn more about guitar chord progressions and playing by numbers. Most music is based in a mode in one way or another and recognizing modes is critical to understanding how music works. Chord progressions, melodies, harmonies, riffs, lead guitar solos, and bass lines are all derived from modal scales in some fashion.
Understanding the modal concept is absolutely necessary if you want to become a knowledgeable, versatile player. The major scale has seven notes, and any one of them can be used as the starting point, or the primary pitch, of a piece of music. The sound of the scale changes depending on which degree is primary. Learn more about guitar modes and modal scales. With a combination of vertical frets and horizontal strings, the fretboard or fingerboard is essentially a grid.
When arranged and played on this fretboard grid, notes, scales, chords, and progressions make shapes and patterns. Guitarists visualize these shapes and patterns in order to navigate around the neck.
Furthermore, guitarists understand how musical elements fit together by fitting their pieces together like a puzzle. In fact, you can build chords, compose chord progressions, and determine correct scales to play simply by relating to shapes and patterns, with little or no regard to key signatures, notes, sharps, and flats.
Even if you take the traditional route of thinking, you still have to translate the music concepts to the fretboard and connect the dots, so to speak. This is why guitarists usually prefer to make use of guitar tablature and neck diagrams over standard notation. Learn more about the guitar fretboard. What do you specifically need to do in order to play guitar better? I can play plenty of songs but I struggle with barre chords. I can play plenty of songs using barre chords—I need help with playing lead guitar.
I want to understand music theory and master the fretboard. I would like to talk with a guitar expert about something else.
Fretboard Theory Video Pro Pack
Are you a veteran guitarist who has played for years, but you're embarrassed to admit you have no idea what you're doing? If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level, compose songs like you hear on the radio, and improvise your own music, then you need Fretboard Theory. Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes, song composition, and more. The hands-on approach to theory shows you how music "works" on the guitar fretboard by visualizing shapes and patterns and how they connect to make music. You get one book with the entire contents of both volumes inside.