Because of the complex layout of notes on the fingerboard, music theory lessons on string instruments are more difficult than on keyboard. Yet it is just as important for guitar players and other string players to be able to read music and understand music theory in order to develop their musicianship. Beginners can play guitar chords music by learning two or three chords. You can strum chords without knowing theory. With tablature you learn where to place fingers without understanding music fundamentals. Consider this: There are at least three ways of knowing scales, intervals, and chords: 1) as patterns on the instrument, 2) as symbols on the musical staff, 3) as sound. Guitar players tend to connect the patterns on instruments with the sound, but often neglect to connect these with the symbols that represent them on the music staff. This is like learning to talk and understand what you hear but not being able to read and write.
Beyond knowing scales, intervals, and chords, there is the understanding with music theory of how they work together. Reading staff notation is essential to understanding music theory because it provides a means to see harmonic progressions and elements of form and composition. Music notation provides another way of showing and knowing the sound of a progression. It provides a means to clearly map out on paper and understand the vocabulary and language of music.
What is needed in guitar music lessons is a way to make sure that music is being read and not being played by ear. Exercises are needed that remove sound so that music can be played without relying on the ear. MusicGoals Eye and Ear guitar training software can isolate reading skills that may be lacking and develop them. First by removing rhythm, then by offering several activities that present different ways of applying a concept, MusicGoals gets results fast. While this may seem tedious at first to some, the results gained quickly prove the value of this kind of practice.
Music theory lessons provide musicians with the vocabulary, language, and grammar of music. MusicGoals guitar training software can be used to connect elements of music theory with sound, notation, and instrument. MusicGoals Eye and Ear presents a sequence of activities that break down the complexity of music and present the materials step by step. It teaches one to read music and learn and apply the concepts of music theory to the guitar.
MusicGoals guitar music lessons train music theory on the instrument, by ear, and in musical notation. This example of the D Major scale shows how one scale can be played in different positions:
The notation of the scale is much simpler to understand.
In the key of G Major, here is a b minor seventh chord, b, d, f#, a. This is the iii 7 of G Major, the scale tone seventh chord built on the third degree.
In this drill you must construct the scale tone seventh chords in the key of G Major. You are given the Roman numeral, figured bass, and a starting note.