Why learn music theory? It makes your knowledge of the guitar transportable. Discover a cool sound in one place on the fretboard and quickly figure out how to play it in a different position or key. Instead of just memorizing where to put your fingers, see the underlying patterns. Understanding the logic behind the music you love will make you a better, more versatile guitar player.
Using a triadic approach to mapping the fretboard can help you break out of ruts and develop a deeper understanding of the guitar and music in general.
Here are some of the evocative sounds you can create using chord voicings with notes that are close to each other—just a half step or whole step apart.
In this advanced guitar lesson, meet the melodic and harmonic minor scales and then explore the harmonies that can be generated from them.
Here you’ll learn how guitar notation evolved into the sophisticated tool it is today, how it’s prepared for publications like AG, and most important, how you can use it to learn new music, whatever your style.
In this acoustic guitar lesson, Gretchen Menn breaks down the basics of scale formation and shows you how to apply that knowledge to the fretboard.
Guitarist Gretchen Menn offers beginner's tips on how to familiarize yourself with the guitar fretboard and learn the fundamentals of music theory.
The whole-tone, natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales on acoustic guitar can bring intriguing mystery and bittersweet emotion to your music.
Here are some tips on understanding the power of modes and pentatonic scales (major and minor), and how to fit them into your own playing on acoustic guitar.
Here's how to make the minor pentatonic scale, aka the blues box, work in almost any musical situation.
The basic concept for seventh chords is simple enough: any number following a chord indicates the note that is to be included in the basic triad to form a more colorful harmony.
"Many guitar players have an aversion to anything that smacks of music theory," Gretchen Menn says, "My aim is to show you that having a basic understanding of the fundamentals will benefit you as a guitarist, a musician, and a creative soul."
Scales are great for warming up and improving technical proficiency. Challenge yourself with new scales and patterns.
A step-by-step guide to using the fundamentals of music to unlock both the fretboard and your creativity.
If you have a solid foundation but want to learn more about reading charts, then this lesson, based on an actual lead sheet, is for you.
In this guitar lesson we study the fundamentals of diatonic harmony to understand the theory, then apply it to the fretboard to build chords and use them in progression.
The guitar is a wonderfully flexible instrument that allows for full, rich harmonies with easy fingerings. Yet so many guitarists stop there.
Learn the major scale’s modes and how to use their distinctive sounds to create melodies and chords on acoustic guitar.
The pentatonic scale is everywhere. Its characteristic sound is useful in a wide variety of genres.
If you’re going to spend any time learning scales, why not really learn them? Why not own them? In the long run it'll be a valuable use of your time.
Playing melodies in parallel sixths evokes the sweet sound of classic Memphis soul. Here's how to use sixths in a variety of musical ways
Learn to use moveable chord shapes: a simple concept that can generate scores of chordal ideas while expanding your knowledge of the fretboard
The scale is known for its ambiguous, dreamlike quality and has been used to great effect by composers such as Claude Debussy and jazz musicians like Thelonious Monk.
Learning to transpose—the act of moving music from one key to another while keeping its basic structure intact—will make you a better guitarist.
Because one of the things that makes something “easy” on the guitar is the presence of open strings, let’s see how many standard-tuning open-string notes can be found in flat keys.
This workout starts with a C-major scale played in broken thirds. This might be tricky at first, but take it slowly!