Don’t be! Understanding the theory of music is very worthwhile, in my opinion. No, it’s not a must, in order to play guitar well, but it certainly opens up your doors, so to speak. Being able to understand how chords, scales, intervals, etc work is very useful, for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is that you may want to play with others one day. Perhaps in a band. Then you will likely need to know a little bit of music theory, so that you can communicate with each other. Someone might say, “play a D minor 7 after the A7, and can you after bar 3 make sure you start the melody on the minor third, and not the root?” That’s the kind of stuff musicians talk about, so it is very worth while learning the basics of music theory.
Some reasons for learning music theory
- To enhance general understanding of music
- To help you be able to read music
- To help you learn how to play an instrument or sing
- To assist you in composing music
- To be able to communicate with other musicians
- Music is a truly universal language; a language that transcends boundaries, cultures and races. Keep in mind, that once you have written a piece of music, any musician can play it, at any time VIOLIN lessons Mount Waverley.
I want to share with you two very good books for music theory. In my one-on-one teaching, I use the book Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (see below) to teach my students the fundamentals of music theory. This is a very good book, and it covers quite a range. Still, it’s easy to digest, and a great resource to have close by. I highly recommend it.
The other book, Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna, teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes and more. Hands-on approach to theory gives you total command of the fretboard and music’s most critical elements by visualizing shapes, patterns and how they connect. This book overlaps with the previous one to some extent, but the areas on visualizing is very worthwhile studying, and really, really good.
These are great starters, but if you still find theory confusing, you would probably really benefit from a few lessons by a music teacher.
Ricci Adam’s Music Theory
As you are learning from books, and perhaps from a teacher, I strongly encourage you to check out musictheory.net as well. This is a FREE website with a ton of great lessons, exercises and tools. It’s one of the most popular music theory websites on the web today. And the amazing thing is that it is all free. Can’t go wrong with that.