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Music Theory: The Basics

Music Theory: The Basics

If you’re brand new to music theory, this is your first stop. A popular progression for beginners coming from Beginner’s Corner or simply guitar players who have never learned the ins and outs of scales, chords, and the language of music–here’s a hint: it’s not as daunting as you think!

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Music Theory: The Basics
  • Why Learn Music Theory?

    You don’t need music theory to be a successful musician. In fact, a lot of successful people didn’t follow traditional paths to build their legacy.

    Jimi Hendrix had no idea what a diminished chord was, Microsoft founder Bill Gates didn’t graduate from college and NFL Hall of Famer Antonio Gates ...

  • Note Recognition and Notes of the Neck

    Memorizing the notes of the guitar neck is something you’ll pick up with experience or something you can make a point to do early on. You’re going to be better off knowing the notes of the neck by heart, and the good news is there are plenty of different methods to use.

    An understanding of half ...

  • Notes-of-the-Guitar-Neck.pdf

    239 KB

  • Chromatic-Scale.pdf

    40.8 KB

  • Introduction to Intervals

    An interval is a distance between two notes. There are several different intervals. We measure these intervals by the number of half steps, whole steps, and their position in the scale.

    You’ll begin to understand this just like you would when learning to speak a new language, so don’t worry abo...

  • Interval-Name-Equivalents.pdf

    181 KB

  • List-of-Intervals.pdf

    138 KB

  • Triads-in-Interval-Form.pdf

    196 KB

  • Note-Recognition-Exercise.pdf

    322 KB

  • The B-C & E-F Rule

    This fundamental is a little strange, but it’s actually very simple to memorize. The B-C & E-F rule states that every note in the natural musical alphabet EXCEPT for B & C and E & F have a whole-step between them. This means that B & C and E & F only have a half-step between them.

  • The-BC-and-EF-Rule.pdf

    60.9 KB

  • The Fundamentals of Chord Construction

    A chord is a combination of two or more notes played at the same time. They’re built on a single starting note called the root. You can create chords from all twelve notes. There are also four basic types of chords in music. For an example, we’ll use G as our root to demonstrate each type of chor...

  • Where Scales Fit In

    A musical scale is a set of notes within an octave arranged by their pitch. The ascending or descending interval relationships among the note pitches define every scale.

    Musical modes are scales derived from a parent scale, in this case, the Major Scale. Each mode is a slight variation of a scal...

  • Major-Scale-Modes-3-Notes-Per-String.pdf

    68.7 KB

  • The Different Sounds of the Major Scale Modes

    The Major Scale contains seven modes, each with their own distinct sound. In this demonstration, you’ll hear the characteristics of the various Major Scale modes and what makes each one unique. Consider this an appetizer to the main course coming in the Music Theory: Level 1 curriculum of Guitar ...