Are you curious about music theory and how it can improve your guitar playing? Maybe you’ve been looking into Atlanta guitar lessons and want to be sure that you properly communicate your overall expectations with your teacher. This article details several ways that learning music theory ultimately benefits your guitar playing.
While the benefits of learning music theory are extensive in nature, there are three primary reasons why music theory is such an important tool for musicians: it improves your communication with other musicians, makes it easier to learn chords/scales, and allows you to improvise more freely.
Improved Communication With Musicians
Music theory is considered to be a language amongst musicians because it allows them to communicate the logistics behind what they’re playing in a simple and direct manner. When guitar players are well versed in music theory, they are able to freely communicate what they intend to play with other musicians who might be playing along with them. For example, when musicians gather at a studio to record, they need to be on the same page in terms of what they’re playing for the sake of time and efficiency. Music theory comprises the terminology behind the music, giving the musicians the ability to accurately label what it is they’re playing on their instrument and communicate that with other musicians.
Imagine a person who is great at oral communication, but unable to write. They would still be able to communicate with others, but they would be limited by their inability to translate oral communication onto paper. When a guitar player is able to communicate the music theory behind what they’re playing, they make it much easier for other musicians to comprehend what they’re playing and get on the same page.
Easier To Learn Chords/Scales
When a guitar player has even a basic understanding of music theory, they are far better equipped for learning chords and scales in order to become more proficient on their instrument. To better explain this concept, let’s consider the alternative. If a guitar player has no grasp on music theory, they’re essentially learning through trial and error. Making a chord on the guitar becomes more complicated when you’re having to figure it out by ear. How do you know which notes pair well with each other? What chord am I even playing right now? These questions would be unanswerable without music theory knowledge. Same concept applies to scales.
Learning scales provides you with the fundamental building blocks that make up music theory by teaching you the relationships that the notes have with one another. If a guitar player spends time learning the “why” behind the “what”, they will be able to learn scales much faster – making them more efficient on their instrument. Our Atlanta guitar teachers are equipped to use engaging methods to teach music theory so it feels more empowering and less like a chore. Keeping things light and fun increases the likelihood that guitar players absorb music theory and its many benefits.
Being Able To Improvise More Freely
Musicians can all agree that being able to improvise on your instrument is one of the most fulfilling abilities that a player can have. Like dancing to a beat or painting abstractually, allowing your mind to wander into unknown territories by simply following instincts creates a sense of happiness brought about by unadulterated creative expression. When a guitar player is equipped with a base knowledge of music theory, they have the key to unlock the full potential of their instrument, allowing them to focus more on the feeling and less on the technical aspects of their playing. They can move up and down the guitar, following their inhibitions, without wondering if what they are playing is “right.”
The ability to improvise is something that takes time to achieve, but it is a process that will move along much faster if music theory is involved. It ultimately gives the player a map of their instrument, increasing the confidence with which they play. If a guitar player is jamming with a band that is playing in a certain key, knowing music theory lets them jump right in on the action instead of having to find their way around the guitar before they can play along. Music theory is important, but it isn’t the only aspect of music that one should focus on when learning guitar.
Do I have to learn music theory to be a good guitar player?
Absolutely not. There are many phenomenal guitarists out there who don’t know a single thing about music theory. However, music theory should be considered a tool that will only improve your playing – meaning there is no reason not to learn it. Music theory makes up the bones of music, so learning to speak the language will only benefit your guitar playing.
All of the guitar teachers working for Lessons In Your Home have a solid understanding of music theory and are experts at teaching it in a way that is easy to digest, even for beginners. They can either come to your home to teach or can also provide online music lessons. Our virtual music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child. Contact us today to find an instructor near you who will help your child master their skills.
By Caleb Hicks