Guitar keys. What are they? How are they different from car keys? Will they unlock the door to guitar music theory?
Yes. A basic understanding of them will definitely unlock doors with your guitar playing. How? You'll recognize the basic patterns that happen in most music. You'll eventually even be able to recognize those patterns when you hear them. You'll start developing the ability to play guitar by ear and have a deeper connection to the music you play.
So, what are they? Strictly speaking there are 12 keys altogether. Just like there are 12 frets on a guitar before it repeats. Or 12 keys on a piano --7 white and 5 black.
For our purposes of music theory for guitar, guitar keys are the keys that allow you to play the least amount of barre chords :-) These would be keys that relate to basic open position chords. C A G E D and Ami Emi Dmi.
Simple. I like simple. It doesn't mean that we can't play guitar in other keys. It just means that these keys are guitar friendly. They have more open strings and your fingers will line up with the dots more often :-)
Before we go further