Guitar Website Takes the Mystery Out of Music Theory

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"The problem with the traditional method of studying music theory is that it focuses on the staff and instruments like the piano. My lessons focus specifically on the guitarist's unique perspective and how musical elements look on the guitar neck."

"The fretboard is a grid. No matter how a musical concept looks in writing, on the guitar it ultimately becomes a shape or pattern."

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Guitar theory expert, Desi Serna, understands why so many guitarists have a hard time grasping musical concepts and applying them to their playing. Early on, Serna also struggled to make those connections, even after taking music theory classes and learning how to read standard musical notation. But when he thought he had given up on solving the problem he realized that he had actually found the solution to it.

"The fretboard is a grid. No matter how a musical concept looks in writing, on the guitar it ultimately becomes a shape or pattern." Serna continues, "The problem with the traditional method of studying music theory is that it focuses on the staff and instruments like the piano. My lessons focus specifically on the guitarist's unique perspective and how musical elements look on the guitar neck." Often this means that Serna leaves out material that just isn't relevant or useful to guitar players. "It's easy to get your mind so cluttered with superfluous information that you don't know where to begin or what to play."

Apparently Serna’s method really strikes a chord with a lot of guitar players, seeing how his “Guitar Music Theory Lessons” podcast is one of the most popular guitar podcasts on iTunes. Rolling Stone magazine wrote, "Listening to a lecture with no visual help can be tricky, but Serna’s lessons are clear and accessible." For players who aren't sure where to begin, the first lesson in Serna’s “Guitar Music Theory Lessons” podcast is called “What Is Guitar Theory?”

In addition to demystifying the most important aspects of music theory for guitar, Serna also emphasizes the importance of learning songs. "You must put any new information to practical use in order to truly understand it. This is why I include so many song references throughout my lessons." And many of the songs Serna describes he also posts on YouTube. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin and “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix are among his most popular videos with collective views in the millions. "All great musicians learned first by copying what they heard and saw. Each song a guitar player learns can teach him something important about how to use scales, chords, progressions, etc. After some common application is understood, and a good repertoire of licks and phrases is developed, it's possible to compose, improvise and create a unique style." Serna drives home this crucial point about learning songs by not just telling guitar players where to place their fingers for a song but by explaining what is being used and why. "I like to think of it as a 'behind the scenes' look. I want my viewers to know how things function and go together even if it's just a simple song part."

Serna’s primary website, http://Guitar-Music-Theory.com, has links to all of his free content and social media including Facebook and Twitter. He's online every day interacting with his website visitors, posting updates on his blog and answering questions on his forum. For those guitar players that are serious about their playing and want to take their studies offline, Serna has authored books and produced DVD programs that are for sale at his website and some of the most popular online retailers. His book, "Fretboard Theory," has a five star rating on Amazon and over 130 customer reviews. Serna says, "That book is my best-seller and I receive orders for it from all over the world." "Fretboard Theory" is also available as an e-book download and in digital formats for the Kindle, Nook and iPad. His video DVDs are offered as downloads as well.

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