Does Music Theory Pertain to Guitar?


Diego Sanchez

Music theory is a broad concept that encompasses the principles and practices of music, including its structure, composition, and performance. It is often thought of as a subject that pertains mainly to classical music and instruments like the piano or violin.

However, the question arises – does music theory pertain to guitar as well? The answer is yes, absolutely! In fact, understanding music theory can greatly enhance your experience of playing the guitar.

What is Music Theory?

Before we dive into how music theory relates to the guitar specifically, let’s first define what we mean by “music theory.” Music theory is the study of the elements that make up music and how they work together.

This includes things like melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and notation. By understanding these elements and how they relate to each other, musicians can create and perform more complex and interesting pieces of music.

How Does Music Theory Relate to Guitar?

Now that we have a basic understanding of what music theory is let’s explore how it pertains specifically to playing guitar. Firstly, knowing basic music theory concepts such as chords, scales, and intervals can greatly improve your ability to play guitar. For instance:

  • Chords – Understanding chord construction through music theory will help you build chords on your own rather than relying on chord charts or memorization.
  • Scales – Knowing scales will help you improvise solos or melodies on top of existing chord progressions.
  • Intervals – Understanding intervals will help you create interesting melodies by identifying relationships between notes.

Furthermore, learning music theory can help you communicate better with other musicians by using standard musical language. For example:

  • If someone says “play a G major chord,” you’ll know exactly which notes to play because you understand the concept of chord construction.
  • If someone says “this song is in the key of A minor,” you’ll know which notes and chords to focus on because you understand the concept of scales.


In conclusion, music theory is not just for classical musicians or pianists – it pertains to guitar playing as well. By understanding basic music theory concepts, you can greatly improve your playing ability and communicate better with other musicians. So don’t be intimidated by the idea of learning music theory – embrace it and watch your guitar playing skills soar to new heights!