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Guitar Music Theory
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Guitar Music Theory

Author: Desi Serna

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This podcast features free audio guitar lessons taught by Desi Serna, author of Fretboard Theory and Guitar Theory For Dummies. Learn how scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more get applied to the fretboard and familiar songs. Hear how to best get your playing skills in order. Begin to improvise and compose. Understand why your favorite songs sound so good. ➝ What do you specifically need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit the GuitarMusicTheory.com website to get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level. Discover how to progressively play and sound better—today, in as little as 33 minutes!
155 Episodes
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"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses features prominent guitar work by Slash, including the iconic opening riff and memorable solos. The song uses the guitar scales D Mixolydian mode, E Aeolian mode, E harmonic minor, and E minor pentatonic. In this podast episode, I explain each scale and its use in this quintessential rock anthem. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Answer the questions about your playing at https://www.GuitarMusicTheory.com and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
Which guitar scales, amps, and effects does Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash use? Matt Reviere and I discuss Slash's style and break down his tone in episode 153 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast.  🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Answer the questions about your playing at https://www.GuitarMusicTheory.com and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level. Tone Junkie INSPIRED BY SLASH (HELIX) https://tonejunkiestore.com/inspiredby/inspired-by-slash-helix Tone Junkie INSPIRED BY SLASH (KEMPER) https://tonejunkiestore.com/inspiredby/inspired-by-slash-kemper
Why does Keith Richards use open G tuning, what's the difference between a cheap and expensive acoustic guitar, should songs be memorized, and what are sus4 chords? Get answers to these questions and more in episode 152 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast.  🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In episode 151 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, Carrie Underwood guitarist Matt Reviere and I talk about our favorite Christmas songs. We play together and analyze some holiday classics that are rich in music theory and composition techniques. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In my latest audio podcast, I answer listener questions about guitar modelers, PRS guitars, scales, beginner struggles, slide, Drop-D tuning, and playing acoustic guitar gigs. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
Guitarists often use octave shapes to play rhythm guitar parts, riffs, and lead lines. In this podcast episode, I explain how octaves are formed on the guitar fretboard and which popular guitar songs use them. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
Music with changes or accents that fall on something other than the most predictable beats is said to be syncopated. I discuss this in episode 148 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast. Listen to song examples from Neil Young, KT Tunstall, Herbie Hancock, Adele, and more. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In episode 147 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, I interview Carrie Underwood keyboardist Scott Sheriff. Scott is a veteran touring musician who was also the musical director for Kenny Loggins and the bandleader for Steven Curtis Chapman. Scott has other projects on the side when he's not on the road, including the Huey Lewis & The News tribute act, The Heart of Rock and Roll. I recently began playing with this act and sharing the stage with Scott. This podcast talks about touring, playing live, arranging background vocals, music theory, our love of yacht rock music, and more. 
In episode 146 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, I answer listener questions about chord tones and extensions, the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane, playing with injuries and hand limitations, keeping track of measures while soloing, applying pentatonic scale patterns, reaquiring your chops after time off, and more.    🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In episode 145 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, I have another installment of How Does This  Song Work? featuring "Satellite" by Dave Matthews Band. I discuss the key, scale, chords, and progression, plus explain the 3/4 time signature.  View the video, tab, and neck diagrams on my website here: https://www.guitarmusictheory.com/dave-matthews-satellite-guitar-riff-tab/ 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
Which scales should you learn if you want to play popular styles of music on guitar such as pop, rock, blues, and country? I tell you in this podcast episode and play examples from familiar songs.   🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
The ii chord in music is naturally minor, but here I explain how it often gets switched to major to produce a bright, uplifting sound. This happens in songs such as "Eight Days a Week," "American Girl," and others.  Watch the video version of this lesson on YouTube. https://youtu.be/JylyPkwhn34 Check out the song "Headin' to the Beach" by Carl Wayne Meekins. https://youtu.be/Lc3xvRHBJx 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
The music of Huey Lewis and the News frequently features the modal scale Mixolydian mode. In this podcast episode, I discuss the songs "I Want a New Drug," "Back in Time," and "If This Is It."  View the related blog post, videos, and tabs.  🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In episode 141 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, I answer questions about chord recognition, chord fills, Halfway Gone by Lifehouse, online versus in-person lessons, purchasing a looper pedal, sharps and the circle of fifths, playing faster on an Ibanez guitar, flat sevenths, learning songs, and more.  🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot uses sus2 chords, alternate bass notes, Mixolydian mode, plus half-step and whole-step bends. I discuss all the details in episode 140 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast.    🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
"No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper uses modal mixture, chromatic voice leading, and pentatonic scales. Listen to this podcast episode for a complete music theory breakdown. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do in order to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In my latest podcast episode, I answer listener questions about arpeggios, practicing, strumming and singing, 5/4 time signature, parallel modes, REM's King of Birds, and more. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
My latest podcast episode discusses a useful guitar hack where major triads can be used as minor 7th chord inversions. I also answer listener questions about looper pedals, exercises, stage fright, ADHD, and more. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level. Dare to Be Seen : From Stage Fright to Stage Presence: Command the Stage and Magnify Your Presence in Ten Easy Steps. https://www.amazon.com/Dare-Seen-Performance-Transformational-Hypnotherapy-ebook/dp/B07Z452PZ5  
In my latest podcast episode, I demonstrate the sound of an acoustic guitar with added effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, and others. Learn how to use these effects to spice up your sound on stage and in the studio. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level.
In episode 135 of the Guitar Music Theory podcast, I welcome back Carrie Underwood guitarist Matt Reviere to discuss the genius of Christmas music. Matt talks about some of his favorite Christmas songs and how much modern pop music pales compared to the holiday compositions from past eras. 🎸 What do you SPECIFICALLY need to do to play guitar better? Visit https://GuitarMusicTheory.com - answer the questions about your playing and get FREE custom video instruction calibrated to your current level. Instagram Facebook
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Comments (25)

Ehsan Ebadi

This course is the best course for a basic and complete introduction to guitar theory. Desi Serna has presented a very valuable and complete work in this collection. Thanks. Good luck, Mr. Desi Serena ​

Nov 20th
Reply

Randy Nordquist

Desi, I love your podcasts! I have learned so much. I have been playing guitar for about 8 years but never really explored what I could do beyond open and bar chords! I have ordered your book Guitar Fretboard Theory to continue learning. Thank you! Randy

Apr 9th
Reply

Marc Watt

look at Jack white. almost deformed small hands... and he can play

Oct 23rd
Reply

Jim Watts

This is a GREAT guitar podcast. Desi is a born teacher and he has mastered the tools of internet instruction. Highly recommended! Only one caution: may lead to increased guitar-playing and expanded musical enjoyment.

Aug 27th
Reply (1)

Preeti Sharma_Career guide

Very nice article! I'm Preeti, I write for educational blogs. I make a collection of wonderful educational blogs from where I could take inspiration for writing. This article really inspires me though it is a little different from my domain but nonetheless it is a good writing. I sometime write for a education site blogs www.clearexam.ac.in Let me know your thoughts if I could contribute to your blog too.

Apr 10th
Reply

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Apr 9th
Reply

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Very nice article! I'm Preeti, I write for educational blogs. I make a collection of wonderful educational blogs from where I could take inspiration for writing. This article really inspires me though it is a little different from my domain but nonetheless it is a good writing. I sometime write for a education site blogs www.clearexam.ac.in Let me know your thoughts if I could contribute to your blog too.

Apr 9th
Reply

Jim Watts

Great episode! Thanks!!

Feb 27th
Reply

Jeremy Campfield

This is great stuff. In looking at scale diagrams, there doesn't seem to be consensus on what those position names mean. You mention 'Position 1' with first note E has second note G... yet I've seen diagrams showing only two frets on string 6 for position 1. What is the purpose of giving the positions numbers, and where can I find diagrams for the positions you are referring to? Thanks!

Jan 17th
Reply

M Morr

yes the person with small hands can get a mini guitar the frets are closer together. It is designed for kids and people with small hands. it is a thing and something people with small hands needs to look into. they are pro guitars and awesome. again...it is a mini scale, scale is about 22.5 and they come in 24 frets.

Sep 17th
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M Morr

this was an amazing lecture. thank you. just what I needed to hear.hekps me with align my music goals... applies to a career crisis as well

Jul 13th
Reply

M Morr

hi Desi. I gave up guitar in 2016 because I had terrible swelling in hands and joints. including thumb. I finally got it sorted. not arthritic. it was finger tenosynovitis ( trigger finger) from years of computing, driving and guitar. I now do hand therapy, take Meloxicam ( not for everyone) and apply diclofenac sodium cream. I don't like meds but I can play now!!! it was so bad that I would not be able to play. now ok. many musicians get it ... some know what it is, some never figure out what it is. some are plain arthritis. saw an article recently about a musician that has this..and has to resort to singing when the flare up happens.

Jul 13th
Reply

M Morr

pretty interesting. I thought learning music through podcast? to my surprise I am learning a ton. so cool and thanks all the hard work you are doing. I am growing.

Jul 11th
Reply

Non Ficsean

we're what, 3 questions in? and all I keep hearimg about is your courses. why did you bother with a Q&A? shameless man

Jun 23rd
Reply

Non Ficsean

sounds like a commercial not a Q&A

Jun 23rd
Reply

Preston Heath

I was worried that I wouldnt be able to follow you without a visual medium, but you explain it in such an accessible way. Thank you so much!

Apr 7th
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Alarick Mueller

this is sooooo helpful

Mar 26th
Reply

Kalvin Clauer

like this podcast but this episode was disappointing. only played 2 modes and I have no idea how they work. obviously you dont just play one chord for a whole song. what about the song causes it to center around a given chord creating a mode? can you do another explanation?

Mar 17th
Reply

kevin ryan

Great podcast been trying to learn this in work the audio actually helps as opposed to video because you have to imagine the fretboard in your head which mikes the content more memorable.

Feb 14th
Reply

Vipin Sharma

nice

May 14th
Reply
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