It sounds like rocket science to most guitar players, and about as hard to apply too.
However while many players are obsessed with using nothing but their ear, others are getting clued into the secrets of this knowledge.
You see, everyone uses chords and guitar scales already.
The pentatonic scale is everywhere in the guitar magazines and the tabs of the greats.
Major, minor, 7th chords, and several others appear even in the simplest of songs.
This is the product of “theory,” yet these concepts are accepted as fact and essential to learning the instrument.
But here’s another big point (hence another paragraph spacing)…….
You’re not using all the tools to your advantage.
There are more possibilities of combining chords and scales together into music than you’ve ever imagined, and part of the reason is that many players don’t see anything beyond these two concepts….
Time signatures, new musical keys, intervals, suspensions, appogiaturas, and the whole art of musical harmony are vastly unexplored at least in rock, blues, and country music!
It’s like we’re choosing to use only 7 letters of the alphabet to speak an entire language!
So how do you get started in guitar music theory???
You can click that link if you like, but as a beginner (and probably a girl), I’ll give you some personal advice……
1) Learn what intervals are, and how they make chords and scales
This is a criminally ignored aspect of music theory that explains how the whole system works.
If you’ve ever tried using a modal scale, or a maj7 chord and failed……
This will help you understand why.
A mixolydian mode is different from a major scale because of the intervals that make up the notes.
A maj7 chord is different too for the very same reason.
Go ahead and google “intervals on guitar” if you want to look more into that.
2) Start breaking down the notes of each chord you’re playing over, and compare it to some scales you’re thinking of using with it.
I’m assuming that you’re interested in soloing over chords, but this will help if you’re a budding songwriter looking for instruction in theory too.
Many players have no idea what they’re doing, and their music shows.
The chords don’t change into each other smoothly, or interestingly enough, and the parts just don’t match well. But I’m speaking generally without examples.
That’s enough about using music theory for guitar.
If you can start doing those two things I just told you, you’ll have a better understanding of the fretboard for lead guitar, songwriting, or just learning more music to play.
Thanks for reading!