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Introduction

Music theory consists of conventions and terminology developed over many hundreds of years related to sound and its notation for notes, harmonics, chords, scales, intervals, rhythm, harmony and expression. Guitar theory is simply music theory applied to the guitar.

Music theory is generally taught with the aid of a piano, and if you're a guitarist, you generally miss some very important concepts that apply uniquely to our instrument. We believe that guitarists should learn music theory on the guitar and not on the piano. We show our reasoning here and begin our explanation with the following rule:

Guitar vs. Piano

Guitar is easier to start playing than piano -

yet more difficult to truly master.

The reason for this is that most guitarists start out by strumming chords. Most Rock or Folk songs can be played using three chords, which can be learned in short order. The problem comes when you attempt to play notes (by ear or notation), chords, scales, intervals at different positions on the guitar. It becomes apparent that the guitar is more complicated than you would think, given your ability to quickly strum the chords of a song.

First of all, there are many factors that make the technique of the guitar difficult:

In addition to the problems associated with technique, there are other factors that make guitar theory itself difficult and unique:

If you are an aspiring guitarist, then it is for these reasons that you should study guitar theory and not music theory on a piano. Virtualoso Guitar was specifically designed to teach and test you on these guitar specific elements of music theory, in an environment containing high quality sampled sound, realistic 3D virtual guitar and interactive sheet music notation. The knowledge that you will gain from this testing will help you greatly in your quest to master the guitar.


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Previous: Preface