Music Theory for Classical Guitarists

Music theory is the conceptual aspects of how music works.  Like syntax and grammar in language, music theory form the rules and patterns of music.  For most questions about music that start with “why…”, the answer is likely to include music theory. Music theory is a never-ending study, and as such can get very detailed and specific.

Tip: When first starting out as a beginner, theory can be a distraction and actually demotivate us for practice.  It’s better to spend time with hands on the instrument, rather than studying the rules.  If you’re a beginner, click here.

Table of Contents:


Getting Started with Music Theory for Guitar

  • Lessons in Music Theory – This page has many short lessons on the basics of music theory.  It also has quizzes and games for practice and recall.
  • How to Clap and Count Rhythms in Music – In this lesson you’ll learn how to vocalize and count basic rhythms.  This is a foundational skill that all serious musicians should master.
  • Bridge the Gap from TAB to Music Notation – This article explains how to wade into music notation (instead of jumping in all at once).  If you’ve already aced TABs, this is a good option for you.

Chord Theory on Classical Guitar


Rhythm in Classical Guitar Pieces

  • How to Clap and Count Rhythms in Music – In this lesson you’ll learn how to vocalize and count basic rhythms.  This is a foundational skill that all serious musicians should master.
  • The Eight Common Rhythms – A simplification of rhythms.  This chart condenses most rhythms we’ll encounter into just 8 common patterns.  Useful for working out complex rhythms in pieces.
  • How to Use a Metronome in Guitar Practice – Tips on practicing with a metronome.  Includes a link for a free 14-day email course on metronome rhythm practice.
  • All About Triplet Rhythms – Triplet rhythms discussed.  How to count and play, and how to make them more musical.

Musical Analysis and Form in Guitar Music


Other Helpful Music Theory Links


 

All Articles and Tutorials About Music Theory

Below you’ll find all the CGS articles on music theory topics.