I am a beginner, but taking lessons and practicing consistently with determination. I'm getting down basics, but the word "theory", as applied to the mechanics of learning is confusing me a bit. Is the term used as a generality for all that encompasses the idea of playing music- chord progressions, varying scales, reading and understanding music, why notes sound a certain way, etc...- or is it more specific to something beyond the understandings of this beginner? I know this may sound like a dumb question to some, but common sense has a way of eluding people in certain situations... Cheers mates.
theory is basically taking stuff apart to understand why it sounds the way it does. It's confusing for a beginner.

When I was just starting out, I didn't even know about theory. I just played songs, and I knew a lot of chord names. That was out of necessity, because I had to name them somehow.

I only began to learn theory recently, after 5 eyars of playing, from guitar magazines.

I suggest yuo get the hang of the guitar first, then try some theory

You can learn it any time you feel ready. If you don't get it, play some more.
The good thing about theory is that you can learn it as and when you need it. For anything you learn to play there's an associated bit of theory that allows you to understand, and therefore use it, better. For example, chords are constructed from the notes of the major scale. If you take a little time to familiarise yourself with the basics of the major scale and chord construction you'll understand chords a lot better and be able to work out differnent voicings and inversions really easily.

You don't need to learn everything about theory from the start, but if you take that little extra time doing a little theory groundwork it helps you advance much more quickly.
Actually called Mark!

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