Guitar Theory VS. Music Theory

Taking the first step into learning the music theory journey is surely difficult.

This is because music theory is a vast subject that is very complicated to get your head around.

Luckily, Guitar theory is designed to apply music theory rules to the guitar but making it easier!

1. Music Theory

The musical theory encompasses all instruments and genres, not exclusive to any. It is an exclusive language!

For this reason, it is hard to simply visualize all the theory let alone applying all the knowledge and transferring them to feelings and forming songs.

But, theorists have designed a way to apply music theory that is focused on the guitar only making it easier to compose.

This leads us to guitar theory.

2. Guitar Theory

Guitar theory is a way of taking music theory and applying it only to the guitar.

A guitar fretboard certainly helps in this regard, and in minutes you can be playing advanced music theory just by memorizing shapes and patterns of scales under the umbrella of guitar theory.

This way you are essentially using the fretboard as a pathway, to learning theory.

The only difference is, instead of thinking in letters, sharps and flats. We think in shapes and patterns.

3. Music theory Vs. Guitar Theory

Guitar theory makes learning music theory easier.

However, you still will not want to rule out learning music theory as your skill progressors because music theory explains the meaning behind guitar theory which can be useful when composing. For example, if you find a signature sound, and understand the reasoning behind the sound then you can replicate this for your other songs systematically.

There are also many benefits of understanding music theory when communicating with other musicians that specialized in other instruments. For example, they will not have knowledge about what the CAGED system is? But, they will know the sharps and flats in every key.

However, overall guitar theory makes learning more pragmatic. Making it much easier and more enjoyable for beginner musicians to learn the instrument.


As the basis is understood, we can apply the theory to any other genre or instruments: basses, pianos, or violins, you name it. However, guitar theory is based on patterns of the fretboard only applies to guitar.

But with the company of a musical instrument, in our case, our guitar, the journey is certainly enjoyable and much easier when following the principles of guitar theory.

interesting to note

Our musical theories evolved over time. Musical instruments can be dated back to ancient civilizations. Whether you are using a traditional shofar or a modern guitar, the principle of music theory is transferable to ALL instruments.

Rich Wilde Music

My name is Richard Wilde and go by @richwildemusic on all major social channels. I am an artist, guitar player, and producer. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and have come to learn the "tips" and "tricks" to enhance guitar playing, recording guitar, setting up guitar, and overall get that professional sound.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

link to Buckethead


Buckethead is a well-known guitarist who is widely recognized as one of the most talented and inventive musicians of his age. Over the course of his career, he has released over 300 studio albums and...