Music Theory For The Guitar

The guitar is arguably one of the most popular musical instruments in the world. Not only are there different types – acoustic and electric – but they can have different numbers of strings. They are the primary instruments in many genres of music and people spend years perfecting their skills. A great many of these people are self-taught in that they simply picked up a guitar one day and learned a song. Then, they learned another and another. Since it’s relatively easy to master, the guitar is a good starting point to learn music.

To play the guitar, there are a few things you have to know. Chord construction is very important. Chords consist of three notes. One of the notes is the “root” chord. To construct chords, you have to place notes together correctly, which can be a bit difficult until you understand how to do it. You also have to understand harmonies. On a guitar, harmonizing occurs when you play a note that’s right above or below the one currently being played.

If you want to move beyond just playing, you have to understand intervals. An interval is a relationship between the pitches of two separate notes and they can be either harmonic or melodic. Harmonic intervals, also known as vertical intervals, occur when two notes are played at the same time. Melodic, or linear, intervals occur when the notes are played successively. Here is more information on learning the guitar.

Music Material

Guitar Resources: Links to places where you can find acoustic guitar music.

Guitar Sheet Music: A listing of sheet music for people who want to play the guitar.


Major and Minor Guitar Chords:A: $12 Discusses all the major and minor guitar chords.

Guitar Chord Finder: Shows you what a chord looks like on guitar.


Guitar Harmonies: Explains all about guitar harmonies and their uses.

Songs for Harmony Exploration

Songs to Practice: Provides information on songs that are good for practicing harmonies on guitar.

Chord Patterns Appendix

Guitar Chords: Demonstrates guitar chord patterns.

How to Correctly Tune Your Guitar

Tuning Your Guitar: Shows multiple methods of tuning your guitar.


Guitar Voicing: Provides an explanation about voicing (i.e. the way you decide to play a chord).

Learning the Fretboard

Secrets to Learning the Fretboard: Discusses a number of ways to learn the guitar’s fretboard.