/r/Guitar_Theory

Photograph via snooOG

A place for guitarists to ask questions and discuss music theory concepts.


Subreddit rules

  1. No off-topic posts. This is a subreddit for music theory, especially as it applies to the guitar.

  2. No link farming. If all of your contributions here consist of promotions for you blog, you will catch a ban. You can promote your content only if you engage with the community in good faith.


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Beginner's resources

/r/Guitar_Theory wiki

General music theory websites


Related subreddits


/r/Guitar_Theory

27,383 Subscribers

1

NAFT

Is playing in almost fifths tuning with the lowest string extending down to E1(say 0.74 gauge) is hardly a new concept of chordal playing (fingerstyle or strumming)? Just to illustrate the standard can mirrored from E2A2 d3 g3 b3e4 to E1B1 G2 d3 a3~e4 with a minor6th interval from B1-G2 as inverted from the maj3rds standard.

Understandable that Violins or other fifths sounding instrument like a Mandolin, harkens to a tradition of music half a millennium ago when gaining extended range was the reason for shifting from fourths type of tuning. Violins are tuned in fifths because this harmonic relationship produces the richest set of overtones. Gambas, which are tuned in fourths, have a somewhat less resonant series of overtones. Fifth-tuned instruments have more frequency peaks, stronger frequency peaks, and higher frequency peaks.

Apart from the not so normal inversions and less access to the 3rds, chords can be full sounding with a root deep bass sounding note when fully triggering the strings on open chords. Open voiced sounding chords are also a characteristic of fifths or near fifths tuning.

Has this ever been fully explored in modern music before? I mean violins can play modern music but as a lap instrument you can play on the fly, having this fifths/minor6ths tuning is worth a try?

0 Comments
2024/04/26
12:35 UTC

4

when is the perfect time to mix using minor and major (pentatonic) scale during solo/improv

Im a self learned guitarist, I learned guitar scales, soloing/improv just by discovery in the 90s while living in a remote province (with little to no internet connection), and its when i moved in the city in the early 2000s that I learned that the scales have names (the modes) and the relation between them.
But back then I was using the approach that, if a song root chord/tone is a major (or a happy/lively sound) the perfect scale to use is major, and if its a minor, then ofcourse its a minor scale.

Pentatonic is just stripping away some notes and we are just left with 5 notes (hence penta).
Then I discovered that guitarists like Brian May solo over the actual chord changes (ex: Crazy little thing called love) and not based on root chord.

Now I see blues people like Clapton or SRV, mixes Minor and Major in their solo and improv. It opened a canned of curiosity in me.
When do you think is a perfect situation that mixing them is applicable? I assume blues uses like 7th chord tone hence mixing them works or something? Can somebody expound on this?

13 Comments
2024/04/26
00:09 UTC

2

sus chords

when the sus is unspecified it is a sus 4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 Comments
2024/04/24
05:50 UTC

1

I’m looking at Silent Planet’s tabs…

I don’t understand the GFA#D#GC tuning: is it like an 8 string tuning with the 2 high stings taken off?

3 Comments
2024/04/23
19:09 UTC

0

Newbie Question: Can anyone help explain the guitar sound in The Clean's "Someone"?

Hey guys,

I'm learning guitar but I wonder what's the name for guitar part that is repeated throghout the song?

Is it a guitar riff or a lick? It's definitely not an open chord. https://youtu.be/0s53yZLPfDU?si=afGJjk7rvAPrwwmd

2 Comments
2024/04/17
15:29 UTC

2

lesson 4.2 Guitar Theory Basics

Here is Lesson 4.2 on how to apply the Musiclabs234 system to your existing learning pathway. This is not intended to replace your existing learning path but to supplement your online, in person or self taught journey.

Here we see how and when to put the two missing notes from the pentatonic scale back into the pattern.

I hope it helps someone, have a good Saturday.

https://youtu.be/Kwf_Qmza6Ng

0 Comments
2024/04/14
18:23 UTC

6

Guitar Solo Transcription - Phish: Reba (10/31/1994) -

Note for note transcription of Trey Anastasio’s solo on Reba from Halloween 1994. Did this by hand and should be close to 100% accurate. This is an absolute masterpiece and worth learning regardless of whether or not you like Phish. Particularly the last 2-3 mins. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/8txItFvR_ws?si=Z7W9hfsqCXKaLpw1

0 Comments
2024/04/05
04:53 UTC

2

A Journey To Major Pentatonic Guitar Scales

Learn how to play the Major Pentatonic guitar scale and master the fretboard.
https://guitarfreaksblog.com/a-journey-to-major-pentatonic-guitar-scales/

1 Comment
2024/04/05
04:17 UTC

1

In "Be my baby" by the Ronettes, do the backing vocals sing chords or just the root?

Hi guys, I don't have a very good ear so I hope you can help me. In "Be my baby" by the Ronettes, when the backing singers start singing at 0:19, do they sing just the root or maybe vocals are layered and they are actualy playing chords? If so, which is the chord progression?

5 Comments
2024/04/04
19:04 UTC

2

Lesson 4.1 Pentatonic scales

Good day all, hope you are well.

I have posted video lesson on the pentatonic scale shapes and extensions. Maybe it will help someone.

No licks, tricks or technique discussed or shown. Just how to memorize the shapes and create extensions from the base.

Any feedback appreciated.

https://youtu.be/tm\_DSDIskXQ

6 Comments
2024/04/01
19:27 UTC

2

On the Hungarian Minor Scale

Hi I cant post on r/musictheory for some reason so Ill post here. I primarily work with Guitar and I am trying to make chords using the Hungarian Minor Scale, however I am getting conflicting information. In interval format, is the Hungarian Minor 1, 2, 3b, 4#, 5, 6b, 7, or is it 1, 2, 3, 4#, 5, 6, 7#? I know that the Hungarian Minor is derivative of the Double Harmonic Scale, so I am assuming that one is one and one is the other. Also, I am having trouble with the chords. Ive been using triads but some of them dont work. Should I try a different chord type? Lastly, are you able to put the scale in different keys, even though some notes don't have a flat or sharp. Thanks

6 Comments
2024/03/29
20:42 UTC

7

I need help with chord progressions in regards to composing

I want to compose my own music with the guitar and its quite frustrating to figure out oh this chord is a minor and this is a major in a key and having to look at notes. I want to know what all the chords are in a key instantly and just focus on playing music rather think about the chords types in a key. I know 1,4,5 is major and 2,3,6 is minor and 7th chords and all that jazz. How should I practice or what should be my practice routine to get this fluency?

PS. I am self taught guitarist. Any help will be highly appreciated

11 Comments
2024/03/28
16:37 UTC

5

How should i go about creating a bond with the fretboard

I was wondering what i should do to create a closer bond with the fretboard, as i am able to get though improve well enough, but i would like to be able to think of melodies and then play them without guess work. What should i do to work on this and eventually achieve my goal?

7 Comments
2024/03/25
06:57 UTC

6

Can I call an B/E an Emaj9?

So recently I've discovered that chords like b/e or e/a, are actually maj9 chords too. however youtube guitar teachers never refer to them as such they just say is a slash chord, what do yall make of this?

11 Comments
2024/03/18
18:08 UTC

1

Final chord for 5 colours in her hair by mcfly

Trying to figure out the final chord in the song, after the final repetition of the riff they play a chord to fade out, having a hard time finding the voicing for it. It sounds like a G6 but I'm not certain!

0 Comments
2024/03/17
19:57 UTC

4

Beato Ear Training

Hi, guitarists. Anyone tried this Beato Ear Training? Is it worth it? Beatoeartraining.com

10 Comments
2024/03/17
17:22 UTC

2

Absolute and Relative Pitch?

Mozart and Beethoven were renowned for their “absolute pitch,” a characteristic that often sparks envy among musicians. Today, we’re diving into the intricacies of absolute and relative pitch. What exactly are they? Is absolute pitch a natural-born talent, or can it be developed with practice? Are there any downsides to having absolute pitch, or does it come with only benefits? And could it be that relative pitch offers more advantages in certain situations? Let’s explore these questions:

  1. Understanding Absolute and Relative Pitch

Absolute Pitch:

*Hear a note and instantly name the pitch? That’s absolute pitch. No reference needed. *If you can nail the pitch 70% of the time, you’re in the absolute pitch club. *This skill isn’t just for music; it applies to all sounds, even the songs of nature. *It’s rare, though—less than 0.1% of people have it.

Relative Pitch:

*Can’t name that note alone? No worries. With a second tone, you can figure out the interval. *The good news? Almost anyone can develop relative pitch with some training. With absolute pitch, you can identify a single tone’s pitch and also the interval between two tones. It’s a package deal—having absolute pitch means you’ve got relative pitch too. But without a second tone, relative pitch can’t stand alone; it’s all about comparing intervals, not naming notes.

  1. Challenges of Absolute Pitch?

While absolute pitch is often viewed as a musical superpower, it’s not without its kryptonite. Here are some disadvantages of this rare ability:

*Distraction Dilemma: Imagine trying to focus, but every note in the background music shouts its name at you. That’s the reality for those with absolute pitch. It can turn a symphony into a cacophony of distractions, especially when multitasking with work or study. *Transposition Trouble: Shifting the key of a song? For those with relative pitch, it’s like moving the whole musical block together. But for the absolute pitch crowd, it’s like relearning the song in a new language. This can make adapting to transposed music a real headache. *Tuning Trials: A few Hz off can ruin the whole concert for someone with absolute pitch. They can hear the slightest detune, making them the ultimate perfectionists when it comes to pitch accuracy.

  1. A Comparative Advantage of Relative Pitch

While Eastern music education often emphasizes the development of absolute pitch from a young age, Western traditions lean towards nurturing relative pitch. This distinction leads to a higher prevalence of absolute pitch in the East. But why might relative pitch be considered advantageous? Those with absolute pitch perceive notes as standalone entities, while those with relative pitch employ a comparative method, fostering a more cohesive understanding of music. Consider a C major triad in a C major piece:

Absolute Pitch Response: “This chord is made up of C, E, G.”

Relative Pitch Response: “This is the tonic triad, built on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th scale degrees, acting as the foundational chord of the piece.”

Although individuals with relative pitch may not identify exact pitches, they can swiftly interpret the chord’s role using scale degrees. This integrated approach, honed through years of practice, is invaluable for improvisation and composition, offering an intuitive grasp of musical structure.

Conclusion: It’s estimated that only one in five musicians possess absolute pitch. Notable figures like Wagner, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky achieved greatness without it. While absolute pitch offers clear benefits in areas such as music dictation and transcribing by ear. Relative pitch brings its own set of strengths. Most contemporary music adheres to established scale systems, so lacking absolute pitch is not an obstacle to your music career. For those gifted with absolute pitch, there are unique challenges and areas for growth in musical thought processes. And for someone like me, without absolute pitch, this exploration is also to make myself calm.

Join my Patreon for more articles! #WPL Guitar

1 Comment
2024/03/13
13:00 UTC

13

"Must know" basic music theory ?

In your opinion, what are some basic music theory "must know" skills to learn on the guitar to be able to become a decent player, and in what order?

For example learning all the notes on the fretboard, how to construct chords, major scale, pentatonic scale and so on ?

Do we need to understand music theory to be able to play the guitar in a fairly decent manner?

12 Comments
2024/03/10
02:51 UTC

4

Lesson 3.0 basic Guitar Theory

Here we use our knowledge from lessons 1 and 2 to build the entire major scale across the fretboard.

We touch on the CAGED system as well as interval patterns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT5y0FmZDuo

How do you view the fretboard? in intervals or notes? or both?

Can you build the entire major scale across the fretboard like this?

0 Comments
2024/03/09
19:10 UTC

6

Lesson 2.0 basic Guitar Theory

Basic Guitar Theory Lesson 2.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CBhJEPYwCg

Here we lay out the Fmaj scale on one string and play VERY SIMPLE scale degrees over the Fmaj drone track. Even if you have NEVER PLAYED BEFORE you can do this, even if you can't fret an open chord properly you can do this (it's only one string)

Notice there is a YouTube link in the description for the drone sounds to play over.
Pluck each note and listen to how it makes you FEEL. Don't make up a riff, don't worry about timing too much just feel it. What does each scale interval make you feel.

Then we take a first look at "Chord Tone Targeting" where we take the notes that make up the Fmaj chord and try to "land on or target" those notes when finishing a line... or when the Fmaj chord comes around at the end of a chord progression.

Yes it's 20 minutes long. All my video's are long.. if you think you will learn guitar from a 20 second tiktok then all the power to ya :)

In the next lesson you will learn how to build the major scale across the entire fretboard without a book, pdf etc. Just using the knowledge you gained from Lesson 1.0 and 2.0

All the best, hope it helps!

0 Comments
2024/03/08
19:26 UTC

2

What are the chords used in this song?

Hi, I've been listening to the acoustic version of No One Else by Weezer, but unfortunately there's no tab for this specific version, all are for the electric version. This song has 2 acoustic guitars playing I think, one is the original chords and the other is playing some pretty pretty chords which I can't work out. So if any of you have a musical ear and can tell me what chords please let me know. I really wanna play this myself!

The song - https://youtu.be/uVbQaV3Z_7w?si=8nK-bhen3_TGqNSh

Thanks.

12 Comments
2024/03/06
21:46 UTC

10

Basic music theory for guitar video series

Hi all, I am building a video series on Basic Guitar Music Theory. These videos are intended to focus on the "why" and not so much the "how" in other words no technique is discussed and no video's of me playing endless riffs :) There is enough of that out there.

I have gone through the effort to pre-scrips about 25 video's and gone back over the first scripts to adjust them making sure that it's done in the best order I can.

I hope perhaps these videos can help others as I enjoy making them.

I will answer questions here the best I can but also look forward to others answering and discussions!

If you order the comments by newest at the top you will get the latest in the series of videos.

If you want to enter the monthly draw please visit www.musiclabs.ca

Here is lesson 1.0 (I will add the rest of the lessons in comments, please feel free to discuss!)

Lesson 1.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYw40WEM3mw

Lesson 2.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CBhJEPYwCg

11 Comments
2024/03/05
22:55 UTC

4

Mastering C Major Triads on the Guitar

C Major Triad is composed of C + E + G or E + G + C or G + E + C. Basically, as long as you have C E G, you can form a C Maj Triad. We give a name to each different order of the C Triad, respectively: C + E + G = C Triad E + G + C = First inversion C Triad G + E + C = Second inversion C Triad Of course, if the chord is composed of four notes, the third inversion will appear, which I will elaborate more in the next article! When you understand the basic concepts above, please pick up your guitar and follow the steps in the photo above: 1️⃣ Learn the fingering position(Shape) of each triad 2️⃣ Know clearly what notes you are playing? Which inversion is? Example: The first chord is G + C + E (Second inversion C Triad) 3️⃣ Practice slowly with a metronome

When you pick up your guitar to practice in the future, remember to do this exercise until you are completely master it, and then you can move on to different chords such as F or G! If you want to read more, please join my Patreon (hit collections) 👈🏻for English Speakers

2 Comments
2024/02/29
11:31 UTC

6

One Important Tip to beginner guitarist

[You have to accept that you can’t play well when you literally start playing a song or learning a new technique] even you slow down to 30bpm and still struggling but remember it is temporary. Repetition is the key to improve anything even tiny bit of each day, you will be transformed to another level after a month therefore be patient and trust the process. What do you think, please leave a comment if you have any important messages to beginner guitarist. #WPLguitar

3 Comments
2024/02/24
12:37 UTC

5

Confused about diatonic 1-4-5 vs. Dominant 1-4-5 progression

I'm a bit confused and hoping for some help to better my understanding. Hopefully I can write out my question in a way that is intelligible.

In a 12 bar blues 1-4-5 type of progression where you can play strictly dominant chords I understand that I have several options when soloing. Say I'm in A Dominant Blues, I can play A minor pentatonic over the whole thing. I could focus on the arpeggios for each of the chords focusing on the chord tones etc. What my ear likes to hear though is resolving the Minor 3rd of A to the Major 3rd of A when crafting my lines. That's kinda like mixing major/minor pentatonic I suppose.

When I get to a diatonic progression, technically the 5 chord is only dominant. The 1 and 4 chord would be maj7. So if I were in A Major again in a 1,4,5 progression should I be able to play e minor pentatonic and resolve the minor third to the major third like I did for the blues progression? Can I mix major and minor pentatonics over the 5 chord in diatonic progressions.

I guess it's more about the context of the chord progression then anything else.

I hope this question makes sense. Thanks!

10 Comments
2024/02/22
16:18 UTC

7

The Caged System

Hello!

I am a 30yo intermediate guitar player. Been playing for too long now without developing myself further, and I feel like I've been stuck in one place.

I see a lot about the Caged System, and how learning it and understanding it will unlock a whole new world of possibilities for playing the guitar.

I see some ads here and there about it, online courses and such

Anyone have any experience in learning it in adulthood, and any recommendations on courses I could check out?

I am very dedicated, and am willing to sit for hours a day to learn. How long would it approximately take to understand it ?

Thank you !

31 Comments
2024/02/21
21:27 UTC

1

How to practice Sweep Picking from the 6th string?

Recently, I want to achieve sweep picking technique and have already figured out from 5th string in 70bpm to do Am from 12 fret > G > F > Em > Dm then walk back up. At the meantime, I try to extend the scale but feel struggling to start from 6th string. Do you have any similar experience? I would love to hear how did you get through it?

2 Comments
2024/02/21
10:54 UTC

6

How can I create a self guided learning path.

I am trying to put together a, for no better name, class that I can work through to learn guitar theory. I have been taking guitar lessons for about a year and a half and have progressed a bunch but have not learned much theory. I played piano for a while as a kid and have a bit of knowledge retained from that but not much. I want to focus on a progression that would be helpful in my playing. So maybe learning scales or what makes up parts of chords and what it means to have a number added to them. Any help or links to help that I could put together in a logical progression would be amazing.

6 Comments
2024/02/20
21:22 UTC

4

What can you see on Circle of Fifth/Fourth?

Here is what I know currently:

  1. Relationship between Major and Minor
  2. Clockwise is 5th
  3. Counterclockwise is 4th
  4. Tri-Tone 180 degree (i.e. C>>>F#)
  5. 7th note (before the Tri-Tone note)

Please share in comment, I would love to learn more from y'all!!

3 Comments
2024/02/20
13:32 UTC

2

How do you warm-up before you practice guitar?

I usually climb the entire neck and play different scales all over the neck with metronome before I practice any songs. What’s about you?

8 Comments
2024/02/19
16:25 UTC

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