Some people think music theory robs you of your creativity. Coincidentally, those are the same people who think the Earth is square.
It’s best to just give them a nice pat on the head and not argue.
All jokes aside, music theory introduces an endless network of pathways that you’ll never finish exploring. I like to think of it like the Grid from Tron, with neon music notes flying past, soaring melodies ringing and flourishes of digitized guitars floating throughout the spectrum. Yeah, I’m a nerd. But nerds are people, too.
Creating more interesting chord progressions is an exercise in creativity just as much as it is a test of your fretboard knowledge. The simplest chords are triads—chords that contain a root, some kind of third interval and some kind of fifth interval. With this as our foundation, we can strip down any chord progression to its basic parts and begin to form a game plan to embellish the music.
Like renovating a house, you have to rip everything down in order to build something newer, fresher and more interesting. With a basic grasp of key signatures and intervals, which you can learn all about in my Guitar Super System course, even the most basic chord progressions can be transformed into works of art.
The time has come. Get on your Tron Light Cycle and speed into the abyss of music theory, where the world is neither square nor circular. It’s whatever you want it to be.
Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric website Music is Win. His entertaining guitar-related content receives hundreds of thousands of video views on Facebook per month, and his online guitar courses tout more than 1,500 students with a cumulative 4.7 rating on Udemy. Get in touch with Tyler on Facebook, watch more of his guitar lessons and vlogs on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.