Theory to many guitar players is considered dull, boring and perhaps mildly useful at best. As a young teen I could not see what triads had to do with playing Van Halen or Led Zep. I would grin and bear it as my teacher explained a theoretical concept hoping he would just get to the riff I wanted to learn before my lesson was over. I didn’t care whether the song was a 1, 4,5 progression or whether the cadence was perfect or not. It just had to sound good. But then one day I became very curious. I wanted to know it all and the more I studied the more exciting it became. Learning theory was unlocking the mystery of music and it was fascinating.
By understanding chord theory you can work out any chord for yourself. Not only will you have no need for a guitar chord dictionary but you will be able to see how chords connect. At age 16 years when I finally understood chord theory my friends thought I was amazing. I became the ‘go-to’ guy for chords. For example a Cm7 chord is made up of three elements. The pitch (C), the triad (m = minor) and the embellishment (7=adding the 7th note from the scale). Once you understand these elements the chords become easy understand. There are few more steps to the process of course but they are not difficult. In a few sessions you will literally understand how just about any chord is formed. And thats only one of the many benefits of learning music theory.
Theory for Guitarists
We are currently putting together some theory PDFs aimed specifically at guitarists that will soon be available so stay tuned. Below is an extract of one the pages.