Photograph via snooOG

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

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  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

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25,768 Subscribers


Do you practice visualization?

While away from your instrument do you regularly practice visualization and would you like to share your process?

05:04 UTC


New Learning Tool: Drop 2+3 Voicings!

Drop 2+3 Voicings

I'm back again to share another new feature that just dropped (no pun intended) at Chord Chemist.

Previously we'd featured a tool for "Drop 2" and "Drop 3" seventh chords. Now you can work on the oft-neglected "Drop 2+3" shapes as well.

The app is totally free to use. Enjoy!

Happy practicing!

03:23 UTC


why is this guy not using maj7 chords in this progression?

In the following YT video the guy plays E7, A7, B7. I'm confused because the E7 & A7 7th notes don't fit within the E major scale. Why is he playing these chords, instead of Emaj7 & Amaj7? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kurgOIcTCIE

I asked chatGPT to be sure I'm correct and it confirmed my logic with the following reply:

To find the 7th chords in the E major scale, you'll need to add the 7th note to each of the diatonic chords. The E major scale consists of the following notes:

E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D# - E

Now, let's add the 7th note to each of the diatonic chords:

E Major 7 (E - G# - B - D#) - I7 F# minor 7 (F# - A - C# - E) - ii7 G# minor 7 (G# - B - D# - F#) - iii7 A Major 7 (A - C# - E - G#) - IV7 B Dominant 7 (B - D# - F# - A) - V7 C# minor 7 (C# - E - G# - B) - vi7 D# minor 7 flat 5 (D# - F# - A - C#) - viiø7 These are the 7th chords that naturally occur within the E major scale. You can use these chords to create more complex and colorful chord progressions in the key of E major.

16:22 UTC


Blues question from a noob

I'm pretty new at guitar, but love blues and want to improve and become a more competent player.

If I'm playing the A minor pentatonic over an A minor backing track, do I stick with the Am scale (Starting on 5th fret, 6th string) or can I deviate away from that? Also, can you mix chords in when playing around the scale?

any other advice is appreciated as well!

13:57 UTC


Creating 2 rhythm guitar "harmonies"?

Sorry in advance. I'm not even sure I'm using the right terminology here.

I'm curious to know/learn how to put together a melody in which two guitars are harmonizing chords. Not necessarily picking lead fills or anything, but I see a lot of musicians playing rhythm (chords) while another guitar will be also playing rhythm (chords). Often one or both will be Capo's, sometimes playing what appear to be the same chords whether open or barred.

I've tried playing with a buddy and capo'ing at different intervals, while remaining in the same key, i.e. playing the 3rd or 5th degree chords in the key, but it doesn't sound right. Thanks in advance for the help

01:18 UTC


I made an ebook to learn to write guitar solos


If you've played your guitar for a while and now struggling to get started with writing music yourself - I made an ebook for you to start writing your own guitar solos.

Get it here for $5: https://loofcorp.gumroad.com/l/howtowriteguitarsolo

I have more than 12 years of experience in playing and recording music. I started studying music school at older age (after 15) and I spent a lot of the time struggling to understand principles of composing guitar solos. For that reason, I made an ebook that teaches precisely that - how to write guitar solo, how to compose your own melody.

I tried to create a book that would have some inherent music theory, but consist of practical advices on how exactly can you write melodies and guitar solos.

The book covers:

  1. Come up with a melody and motif for a solo;
  2. How to develop this melody, how to make it interesting, how to spice it up;
  3. How to wrap this melody with chords;
  4. Useful exercises to practice guitar solo writing as a skill.

I am planning to improve this book based on the feedback, so please leave the feedback and once I'll have enough feedback, I'll process it, update the ebook and will send you the updated one for free.

Book: https://loofcorp.gumroad.com/l/howtowriteguitarsolo

12:26 UTC


Explain me like I am five please: what is the correlation between the tuning and the key, and how does a capo modifies that?

09:23 UTC


what do i do to get good at remembering fretboard notes

19:49 UTC


I made an app to practice guitar seriously. What do you think about it ?

I started the guitar 3 years ago. I wanted a simple app to note my exercises and turn them into a daily routine. The existing apps did not convince me (too complex, often requiring a subscription), and, as I'm an audio developper, I created my own. The app, named Music Routine, aims people who want to practice their instrument seriously. It lets you create a list of personal exercises, with a tempo and duration. So when you find a good exercise anywhere on the web you can add it to your routine or save it for future use. It also provides statistics regarding the time spent on practicing.
Any feedback is welcome (idea of features, UI improvements …), that would help a lot!
Available here :
iOS : Music Routine on Appstore
Android : ​​Music Routine on Google Play

12:44 UTC


The guitar physics of the A chord

A quick YouTube short of how the the A chord is constructed from the natural harmonic series.


09:34 UTC


beginners guide to write your first guitar solo

Hello everyone! I made a book about writing guitar solos, melodies and basic chord progressions.
Book involves explanations on how to create a melody, how to develop it and how to apply chords for it. It is a super beginner friendly, this book is for someone who already learned how to play guitar to an "ok" level (played maybe ~20+ cover songs) and now want to learn how to compose melodies (either guitar solos or vocals).
It also involves basic exercises to practice melody writing.
Here is a Gumroad link to the book: https://slightlyinteresting.gumroad.com/l/howtocompose

15:42 UTC


Guitar trap music producer

Hey everyone! I’m a music producer that specializes in hard guitar trap beats, such as this one. I have played for around 15ish years but am totally self taught. I was wondering if there are any specific scales I should focus on for a HipHop/trap sound? I appreciate any advice!

19:12 UTC


How do I improve at guitar

feel like I'm not improving at guitar I constantly just noodle randomly stuff I don't have a good practice routine YouTube doesn't help I usually just use books or PDFs but I don't know how to improve I like hard rock music but I feel like I can't improve

I can't afford lessons so I'm self taught.

19:40 UTC


How to think about borrowed chords when improvising

Sorry for the vague title, not sure how to clearly express this idea.

I've been playing guitar for a long time and over the last couple years I've dedicated a lot of time to learning basic music theory with the goal of being able to understand the fretboard, quickly identify which notes are available to play in a given key, find triad shapes, and improvise up and down the neck on the fly. I play with a group of friends and we play out once in a while, mostly playing pretty easy popular songs with straight-forward chord progressions.

I have reached a point where I can very quickly hop into a song I've never played before, and as long as I know the key it's in and it uses primarily diatonic chords from that key, I can have fun with it and add value to the performance. This is a HUGE milestone for me and I am so grateful that I have reached a level to be able to do this. It's taken a long time but it is very rewarding.

With that said, there are many songs that do not use all diatonic chords and will incorporate borrowed chords. I notice that I have trouble applying my same methodology and quickly adapting to the chord changes when songs incorporate borrowed chords. It throws off my positioning on the fretboard and understanding of which notes are available to play and which to avoid.

Two examples of this are Creep by Radiohead and Not the Only One by Sam Smith. Both of these songs have extremely simple chord progressions that are easy to play and repetitive, but I am unsure how I should think about this from a music theory perspective in a way that allows me to visualize the fretboard and which notes are available to play.

Looking at Creep, it is in G Major, but it uses a major III chord instead of the diatonic minor, and also alters the IV chord to a minor to close out the progression. I am trying to understand how I should "think" about this song when playing along. Should I be in the "G Major" mindset? Is there a specific scale I need to learn and then memorize across the fretboard just for this scenario? Am I overthinking it altogether? I'd really appreciate some advice here. My long term goal is to have a firm understanding of music theory for the purpose of being able to join in on open-jams and play along with other musicians.

16:42 UTC


Pentatonic scales

Hello I am trying to learn the major and minor pentatonic scales – any advice please?

02:57 UTC



When I play an A note on the high E string and then mute it, the open A will start vibrating and subsequently making another (ghost) A note. This does happen to other notes that corresponds with an open note. Please help.

1 Comment
02:52 UTC


Free android ear training app

Hey everyone!

I would like to advertise my android app for ear training. Name is "The Ear Gym". Search for it on Google play store, you won't regret it! It's 100% free! No ads and no in app purchases

You will find in it tons of interval, chords, scales, rhythm, harmony etc... exercises

All I ask is, if you like it please leave a review on the Google play store.


12:37 UTC


What can I do to write riffs in the style of Nirvanas Bleach?


00:59 UTC


Lets Discuss Suspended Chords

Suspended chords (Sus chords) are fantastic chords that are often overlooked when making songs. I have made a video discussing what they are and how to use them, however here is a summary.


By replacing the third of a chord with the second or fourth we can get a ‘Sus 2’ or ‘Sus 4’ chord. These two chords have their own unique sound. Sus 2 chords can be described as dream-like/open/light whilst Sus 4 has a slight feel of tension.


Also, by replacing the 3rd, a Sus 2/4 chord is neither major nor minor.


There are some great guitar tracks that use Sus chords. Yellow - Coldplay (Intro), Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams (Guitar Solo), Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen (Intro).


What do you make of Sus chords, have you used them in any interesting ways in your playing?


Link to video - https://youtu.be/YSRieGpu_FE

17:04 UTC


What is the key of for the progression: | Am | F | E7 | ?

Hi folks,

I stumbled onto a 3 chord progression that sounds interesting. But I cannot figure out what the key happens to be. I have looked at All-Guitar-Chords and Oolimo and it doesn't fit on their charts. I will keep digging but thought I would ask the hive-mind too.

Am | F | E7 is the progression. Since the E & F are together as major forms then I thought it was in the Key of B. The Am should be a diminished if so. Also the E chord is played as a dominant and I am not used to dominant 4th chords.

I like the sound of this so far and would like to know my options for additional chords, embellishments & associated scales. Knowing the key would be a great start.


19:56 UTC


What’s your approach to learning the fretboard?

Do memorize one string at a time? Do you learn all the notes in a single fret? Do you focus on sections of the neck, like frets 1-5, then move to 6-12 when you’ve memorized it? Or some other theory-based method?

14:40 UTC


Are Bb Mixolydian and C natural minor the same scale shape?

If I am improvosing over a chord progression wherein C minor is the root, can I use the same scale shapes that I would typically associate with Bb Mixolydian but just use the C root within those shapes as home?

12:28 UTC


How do I start ear training

Hi I’ve been playing guitar for almost three years now, but haven’t really touched any serious ear training. Mostly because I’m not sure how to start. Does anyone have any rough guideline or have a suggestion on any order I should learn certain topics like intervals chords etc. And what are some good sources to use?

04:54 UTC


confused over the chords used in YT tutorial video.


@3:11 it states we're in the key of B major. @3:25 it states the I chord is B7 (B,Eb,Gb,A). The 7th note of B7 is the A note.

The notes in the key of B major are: B,Db,Eb,E,Gb,Ab,Bb

There isn't an A note in this key, so how can we be in B major key if we use B7?

If we're in the key of B major shouldn't the tonic chord be Bmaj7 (B,Eb,Gb,Bb)?

I'm wondering if they're possibly using the B7 as the V chord in the key of E major, but if that's the case shouldn't they be using Emaj7, instead of E7?

11:08 UTC


What guitar should I buy?

Alright so I’ve been looking to start playing guitar again and do covers of old r&b/soul songs like “I aint mad at cha”, “dont leave me” , session 32, etc and I have been researching a lot about different guitars but I’m not sure which one to buy. I want a acoustic guitar, preferably a acoustic electric guitar. I would prefer if it to have a cutaway but that doesn’t matter to me if its other guitars without it that sound better. Im about 5’3-5’4 so a shorter guitar is what I’m looking for. My price cap is $600 dollars though. I want something that really sounds good and has a good feel. Can anyone help me out?

04:29 UTC


Guitar scale doesn’t sound good on backing track?

Pianist here learning to play guitar. I just learned the A major scale on guitar. To practice i i searched up a backing track in A major, but when i play over it, it sound completely off. What am i doing wrong? Thx

21:59 UTC


Reignite my passion for guitar.

So guys, i know this is one of the question that is evergreen, but i want mine to be very specific. I had a couple of rough years lately, i suffered with anxiety and that brought me to almost quit playing guitar and the joy that comes with it. I was feeling bad and of course i had 0 energy, playing guitar wasn’t fun anymore. Now im trying do to better, i want that part back in my life, but in order to do that, i wanna start fresh and do a program, tracking the progress with time. I wanna improve my playing overall, so im talking about harmony (huge Collier fan), technique, timing, accuracy, everything that is music and guitar centric. Could i ask you about books that covers different topics, in order to schedule a good routine and a good program?

(Before someone asks, i cant afford a private teacher right now, or taking class, and i really wanna avoid youtube and get various sources to explore all the content that i want to improve)

00:08 UTC


Is Drop Db the same as Drop C#

Serious question lol

21:35 UTC


Ive been playing for 2 years now but i still havent ventured outside the pentatonic

I could play some pretty fast pentatonic licks and ive been practicing spider runs but pentatonic is getting kinda repetative. How do i get started on learning other scales?

08:37 UTC


Explain Tuning: F Bb Eb G Eb g

Explain Tuning: F Bb Eb G Eb g


4 notes


5 Notes


4 Notes


8 notes up/ 4 notes down


4 Notes


Used by Justin Bieber Sorry

1 Comment
19:22 UTC

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