Music Theory for Guitarists

Date Monday 11 September 2023 until Monday 04 December 2023
Time 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM
Price£102 | £96
TutorGary Lutton

This course has already started. Contact The Crescent if you wish to join this course

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Music Theory for Guitarists

Music Theory

This 12-week course will help you to advance your knowledge of music theory through practical guitar-based approaches. Two main strands will be explored: harmony and melody.


We will explore:

  • Diatonic harmony: major/minor chords, 7th chords, 9th
  • Non-diatonic harmony: secondary dominants, modal interchange, chromaticism.
  • Theory to practice: learn seminal chord progressions from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and the Beatles


We will explore:

  • Diatonic ideas: scales, modes and arpeggios native to a given key (e.g. C major)
  • More exotic sounds: altered dominant and diminished scales.
  • Improvisation skills: putting these ideas into practice.

Though there are no formal requirements for this course, students should possess some music theory knowledge and instrumental ability. E.g. students should be familiar with some basic scales (i.e. pentatonic, blues) and have the ability to play both open chords and barre chords.

No prior knowledge of things like ‘modal interchange’ or the ‘altered dominant scale’ is required.


About the Tutor

Gary Lutton is a final-year PhD researcher at Ulster University and a lecturer in music at Belfast Metropolitan College. His research focuses on developing a new improvisatory vocabulary for fingerstyle guitar, integrating theories from cognitive psychology and flow.

Gary has been a lecturer at Belfast Met for 4 years and frequently gives workshops at Ulster University, in local schools and at community events.

He is a touring musician in the UK, Europe and the US, winning Sky TV’s Guitar Star (2015) and placing 3rd in global competition Six String Theory (2014).

Gary is also a founding member of US-based record label Fretmonkey Records and co-ordinates the Belfast Guitar Night, a bi-monthly event featuring guitarists from around the globe.

Age Range16+ years

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