Sept. 17, 2021

043 - Music Theory, Where to Begin?

Music theory is one of those subjects you either love or hate. Some people like to know the ins and outs of playing, while others just want to play. 

Understanding music theory will help you become a better musician and speed up the process of learning because you will understand what you are doing rather than stumbling around in the dark.

In this episode, we are talking about getting started with music theory and will look at the musical alphabet, which is the foundation of everything to come.


What is Music Theory?

Music theory is the term for understanding how music works.

Why is it important?

You'll be able to understand what you're doing. Music is very structured and follows a series of rules, now rules are there to be broken and certain genres of music are created by breaking the rules but knowing the rules will help you see how music works.

For instance, by understanding basic chord structures you can work out different chords without having to memorise loads of different shapes because you can adapt the shape you already know. 

Where do you start?

Students approach Music theory a lot like ear training with an as and when approach meaning they learn as they go along or as needed.

The important thing is to learn the right sort of theory so Popular music theory instead not classical theory and to make it relevant and practical.

The main areas to study are:

  • Scales & Keys
  • Chords
  • Rhythm notation
  • Harmony
  • Transposition
  • Knowledge of Popular Music

Before we dive into those six areas the first thing to get down is the Musical Alphabet.

There are 7 notes in the Musical Alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F & G. Five of these notes have sharps, A#, C#, D#, F#, G#. 

So when put together we get the 12 notes of the musical alphabet:

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#

If you would like to study further I recommend the Popular Music Theory syllabus by the London College of Music, below is the link to get more info.

https://popularmusictheory.org/

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