Practical Music Theory

A general overview of must-know theory concepts. The goal here is practical, easy-to-understand explanations — all of which provide clarity to your everyday guitar playing.

12 Lessons • 1 hour 50 mins

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Lessons in This Course

The 12 Musical Notes, Explained

An overview of the 12 notes in Western music. These are the building blocks of everything!

Video13:58 PDF2 pages

Major Scale & Notes in Each Key

There are 7 notes in each major key, which melodies and chords in that key are built with – and there's a simple pattern that each key follows.

Video8:48 PDF3 pages

Scale Degrees & Intervals

A quick primer on scale degrees, which are the building block of scales, chords, and melodies within any key. I'll also touch on intervals, a related concept that describes the distance between any two notes.

Video10:46 PDF1 page

Chords in Each Major Key

An overview of the 7 chords built upon the notes in each major key. Again, it's all based on one simple pattern!

Video7:36 PDF1 page

Roman Numeral Chord Notation

An explanation of the Roman numeral numbering system often used to refer to the chords in each key.

Video5:05 PDF1 page

Major vs. Minor Chords

A quick overview of major chords (1-3-5) vs. minor chords (1-b3-5) — including a simple explanation of how they're built.

Video10:38 PDF1 page

Circle of Fifths

Of all the music theory charts & diagrams you may encounter, the Circle of Fifths is perhaps the most useful! Here's how it works.

Video9:38 PDF1 page

The Most Common Chords in Each Key

Video7:04 PDF2 pages

Chord Formula Cheat Sheet

Video9:50 PDF2 pages

Chord Tones Cheat Sheet

Video9:45 PDF1 page

Chord Builder (Paper Cut-Out Kit)

Video5:37 PDF2 pages

Building Chords with Stacked Thirds

Video11:21 PDF3 pages

Print-Friendly Guides Included!

In addition to my video walkthroughs of each topic, I also made hand-crafted PDFs to accompany each lesson in this course. You can download these, print them as many times as you want, and keep them forever. Each PDF can be found on its corresponding lesson page linked above.