Asked • 06/28/19

Learn Guitar (and theory) one key at a time?

So I'm trying to learn guitar for like the 5th time in my life. I've taken formal lessons, read books, even been in a garage band for fun but have only managed to memorize chord progressions and melody lines versus "just knowing" what to play . . . . . . and a thought occurred to me that if I could learn the guitar one key at a time it might finally connect with my brain. For example I'd probably start with the Key of E; learn all the chords (at least the most used) and a bunch of progressions, learn the scale(s) and a bunch of licks and then apply it all to learning several songs in the key of E. It seems like a great idea in my head, but when i google "Learn guitar one key at a time" nothing pops up. So my question is . . . is this a really bad idea that I just don't comprehend?

2 Answers By Expert Tutors


Nicholas C. answered • 06/28/19

5 (21)

Berklee College of Music Grad for Music and ESL Tutoring!

Ronald A.

I would like to add the reason to learn one key at a time is to learn how keys work and to avoid the confusion of having to deal with accidentals out of context. So..... You start with the key of C; no sharps or flats. You learn the scale, starting on each of the 7 scale degrees. You learn to spell and play each triad and 7th chord, in all inversions. With the help of your teacher, apply this info to a number of songs in the key and learn how accidentals are applied to add color and interest. Once you know how the key of C works, you know how they all work.


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