3 Reasons Why You Should Know Some Music Theory

Music theory. You know, it’s the way we understand how music functions and operates. If we’re honest, it can be kind of boring. It can be dry and tedious. For some, it can just be plain scary and nonsensical.

I love playing music, but I can’t say I fall head over heels for music theory. Maybe you’re like me.

However, understanding a little bit of music theory for guitar can only help us and make us better off as guitarists and those who compose or write songs with the guitar. Here are some reasons why.

1.) You Gain a Better Understanding of the Guitar Fretboard.

Music theory helps us understand how the notes on a guitar fretboard connect into the music we play. When we have a little bit of understanding of theory, the notes on the fretboard aren’t just merely notes, but there is actually a connection between them, and they relate and function together in a particular way. If we understand how the notes connect and relate to one other, how much more easily can we then creatively express ourselves through our guitar playing.

2.) You Gain a Better Understanding For How Chords Function.

Different chords have different characteristics such as major, minor, augmented, or diminished. It’s in a better understanding of music theory that we understand how different chords are characteristic to different scales and how those chords function in those scales. In our understanding of music theory, we also learn how to pull from our understanding of the guitar fretboard and form our own guitar chords.

3.) You Gain a Better Understanding of How to Craft Guitar Solos.

Believe it or not, good guitar solos are not necessarily just a bunch of random notes based on some pentatonic guitar scale. A good guitar solo will be crafted based upon a solid understanding of how those notes in the solo relate to one another and how they relate to the chord progression of the song. It’s hard to create a sick guitar solo if you don’t know how to put the pieces together.

How Important Is It Really?

The things above can only help you as a guitarist. There are many who have never had a lot of musical training but are excellent guitarists. However, learning some of the basics of music theory can be a nice boost to take your guitar playing further.

If you’re looking to dive into a little bit of music theory, a great first stop would be to check out our music theory┬ásection on our blog. You may also want to check out an online guitar lesson course that will teach you many guitar techniques while integrating that with an understanding of theory. I can’t say learning music theory is a party, but it’s definitely worth it.

About Brett McQueen

Brett McQueen is a musician, songwriter, and the founder and editor of Guitar Friendly and Ukulele Tricks. Learn more about him here and follow him on Twitter at @GuitarFriendly.