Theory and Practice (WORTH IT OR NOT?)

Music Theory and Guitar Practice Routines are often considered as the "be all and end all" of musical training. But, are they? Yes, I'd have to agree. Because once you develop your basic theory and combine that with a solid practice routine, your skills for music and for playing guitar will skyrocket. I've witnessed this hundreds of times...

The main problem with why players neglect these two important areas has to do with the initial period of low reward.

Theory is always a little confusing at first, and being consistent with an "honest" practice routine takes a massive amount of dedication and diligence!

In this post, I'll show you one of the most important elements of music theory that you need to learn as soon as possible, and I'll discuss the benefits that come from establishing a serious practice routine, as well as, the rewards of sticking to it.


"2" Important Concepts:
One is more music based and the other is more focused upon your guitar practice approach. The first idea has to do with music’s chord movement strategy. 

Chord Movement is a system that (when learned) helps a musician better understand almost every piece of music that they'll ever listen to (and work at learning on the guitar), forever!

The second idea is the approach that you’ll use to practice everything you ever play on guitar, including that “chord movement strategy,” and really anything else that you ever work on.

So, let’s get right into this, by learning the first part of the lesson, dedicated to the principle behind the very important topic of chord movement within a key…

Learning all about the basics behind chord movement is probably one of the most important things that anyone who’s serious about practicing music could ever study. 

And, the good news is that it can be studied the easiest by simply using the circle of 5ths to practice the whole idea.

The Circle of 5th's:

You can isolate the chords into their keys off of the circle of 5ths. And, once you know how to isolate them, (which is actually very easy to understand), you can start putting them into practice! 

Which is a lot of fun, because that involves making up chord progressions and listening for these chord movements across literally every song that you’ll learn going forward into the future.

So, let’s do a quick theory lesson on this topic to demonstrate /explain to you how easy that this chord movement strategy really is.

Step 1). Pick a Key. For this example, we'll pick the key of "C." After picking the principle key, relate it to the each key name on either side of your principle selection.

This means that the key of "C" would also include "F" and "G" (the keys next to your principle selected key). 

Along with those, you will also include each related minor, (Dm, Am, Em). However, we will not be associating the, "F" and "G" and the Dm, Am, Em, as "keys" in this case. They will be thought of as chords related to the principle.

Step 2). We've now isolated all of the popular chords that are found within our key. We can write songs with them, we can create chord progressions and we can learn new pieces of music in the key far easier than ever before. 

All due to now being more aware of the chords that are associated to the key we've selected.

Now, that you understand the basic idea behind chord movement within a key, let’s move onto discuss practice approach.

So first, let me state up front that the main reason for why I feel this particular topic of guitar training stands as one of the most important, is centered around one core fact. 

If a practicing musician does not have a foundation that they can follow (when practicing guitar), musicians are going to have a very slow learning curve that will rob them of both their time and of their energy.

So, here’s a way to nail down a solid study approach. Think of every new thing you set out to practice as having three areas you’re going to push it through.

(1). The first area is a knowledge of the idea
(2). The second is associating how it works on the guitar
(3). And, the third is building the physical skill to play it

Let’s get into this, and run through a few examples of how to break down this concept…

Knowledge of every musical part that you’re working on comes down to having a clear vision of what the design of any chord or scale idea will look like on the on the guitar neck.

It can also include any theoretical principles that are important to what you’re learning as well. So, let’s say, that you need to learn a chord progression that applies the chords of; “C, F and G.”

The first thing that you'd need to know is the look and construction of those chords. Know the fingering, know their notes, and know how you’ll start working through the movements of one to the next.

Know the fingering so, that you could draw the shapes on a piece of paper. And, then when you begin practicing the chords, work in time frames, isolate movements, associate notes, learn related fingerings.

All of this builds a very high level of awareness. Finally, the last area is all about the motor-skill development.

You’ll need several days of work on any new playing concept. You’ll need to focus on having relaxed movement, and repetition, and you’ll definitely want to incorporate working with a metronome to build the endurance.

If you apply this type of diligence to learning new material, your skills will improve much faster, and the entire experience will feel a lot more relaxed.

Well, as you can tell, I’m a big believer in knowing how to develop these two areas.
#1, basic chord movement strategy (in music theory it’s called harmonization of a music key), and #2, having a methodology for you practice plan.

These areas are ones that involves a solid sense of knowledge, a high physical playing level of awareness, and a system for building all of the skill with each of the movements necessary to (over time) establish excellence with you motor-skill development.

If you’d like to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher - visit my website and start looking through my Guitar courses.

There are dozens of lesson plans all with very detailed videos along with PDF worksheets that you can download and print out to start learning more about the guitar.

The lessons are all well planned they’re easy to follow – and they all work in a very organized way so that in the end, you’ll increase your knowledge of guitar, and you’ll be able to start incorporating higher end guitar skills for the music that you enjoy. 

If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

The result is the most comprehensive guitar course that covers every aspect of beginner to advanced playing ideas to help you improve your playing.

If you join my site as a Premium member, you’ll receive a FREE copy of my popular Guitar Technique eBook.

My Guitar Technique eBook is 28 pages of jam-packed exercises, drills and studies for mastering all of your technical skills at playing Guitar.



Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes