Does guitar tricks teach music theory?
Yes, within their courses, and specific lessons.
There are fairly significant portions of Guitar Tricks courses and individual lessons that are intentional about teaching music theory and integrating theory-related concepts.
I've worked with Guitar Tricks for several years now and have fielded a lot of questions about their program.
One of the most common questions I get from people is whether or not Guitar Tricks teaches music theory.
In this article, I want to try and answer this somewhat complex question in two parts. For those interested in the entire program - and not just the music theory aspect - feel free to checkout my full Guitar Tricks review.
You can also try out Guitar Tricks for free, directly from this page via the button above.
For our aforementioned question, I first want to answer it plainly.
Does Guitar Tricks teach music theory?
The short answer is Yes.
There are fairly significant portions of Guitar Tricks courses and individual lessons that are intentional about teaching music theory. In fact, all Guitar Tricks instructors are well-versed in theory and do a good job of working it into their material.
For example, take a look at some of the titles in this block of lessons:
You can see that there are elements of music theory sprinkled into the coursework.
That's the simple answer.
However, there is some nuance that would be helpful for people wanting a more thorough rundown of how Guitar Tricks covers theory-related topics.
I'll explain it in the next section.
Guitar Tricks is Not a Theory Website
The first thing I believe it's important for potential customers to understand is that Guitar Tricks is not some kind of theory course or formal music education program. Their emphasis is and has always been, guitar lessons.
In as much as music theory can benefit and make their guitar lessons better, music theory is integrated into the Guitar Tricks lessons and courses.
The extent depends on what type of content you're using.
For example, the "Chords & Scales" section naturally covers more music theory than most others.
But the main drive of the program is not to teach music theory.
It's to teach guitar in a functional and effective way, using theory when it's helpful and applicable.
This brings me to my next point.
Guitar Tricks Does Not Have a Dedicated Music Theory Course
In the Guitar Tricks course library, there is no "de facto" music theory course dedicated entirely to that topic.
Certainly, there are courses that touch on theory-related topics and cover them in detail, but if you're looking for theory 101 and 102 type courses, Guitar Tricks doesn't have them. I don't have a problem with this because I would argue that a full theory course is outside the purview of what it means to learn (and teach) guitar.
If you're looking for a full and perhaps generalized theory course that might apply to other instruments, Guitar Tricks isn't going to provide that.
Guitar Tricks Does Cover Necessary Theory
What Guitar Tricks will do is cover the theory necessary to understand the concepts being addressed.
You might call this "applied" music theory.
For example, in the Guitar Fundamentals courses, instructor Lisa McCormick talks a lot about major chords. In the lesson highlighted below, she focuses on the sound of a major chord and the group of videos is categorized as a theory lesson. At the same time, the instruction is extremely practical and usable.
The concept of a major or minor chord is music theory. Yet a lot of what is covered in this lesson isn't just theory, but is closely tied to showing you how to do something with the concepts covered.
In this lesson they're explaining major chords and the "formula" used to get those chords.
The formula is the theory part.
Once that's covered, the lesson shows you how to apply the formula and do something with what you've learned.
In conclusion, Guitar Tricks teaches music theory in part, but is not a fully-functional theory-focused course.
This is a good thing, but a great guitar course should address music theory only inasmuch as it applies to playing the guitar. The instructions in the Guitar Tricks program are all well-versed in music theory and do a good job of communicating the aspects of it that are most helpful.
Again, if you want more info on Guitar Tricks, checkout the review I linked to at the beginning of this article.