Learning Music Theory Effectively

What is Music Theory

Posted by in Understanding Music Theory

What is Music Theory
Music theory seems to be this nebulous idea of complicated structures and rules that seems impossible to learn. It actually can get very complicated for the music student if taken at too broad a stroke to be comprehended by the mind.

In reality, music theory is a set of principles and rules that allow you to create frameworks for your song and music pieces.

These principles do not need to be difficult to understand if we break them into manageable parts and sections. By concentrating on specific principles, using a bigger to smaller drill in technique, and taking a step by step approach over several pieces you can find out how to learn music theory fast.

The basic Music Theory Principles can be broken down into these basic areas:

  1. Music Notes
  2. Music Rhythm
  3. Music Keys Signatures
  4. Music Scales
  5. Music Chords and Harmonic Systems

These basic music theory elements need are the most practical rules to learn first. Once these are thoroughly understood then you can get on to advanced chords, scales modes and systems.

The objective to start is to learn the fundamental structures in music as fast as possible. Let’s look at each of these briefly so you know what you don’t know.

Music Notes:

Notes are symbols that convey two things. That is time (rhythm) and pitch.

Of course the first things most think about is the pitch or the tone of a note. This played based on an instrument type and register with in a series of available tones.

On paper or sheet music, the staff of lines and spaces is used to convey that the message to a musician of what note tone should be played.

The Master Staff is used to provide all the normal tones that would be played by an entire band. Most notability the piano or keyboard which has 88 tones can use all typical 30 or so notes shown on paper. Of course with a few notations the additional notes can be utilized.

A use of the master staff is in being able to see the distance between notes which is known as an interval. Intervals are an overlooked part of teaching music, but probably one of the basic foundations of truly learning the principals of music keys, music scales, and music chords.

Music Rhythm

Rhythm is timing and many of you get it naturally, but when it comes to reading it you struggle with it as you don’t get the full picture of how it all works together. You may not even learn what a sixteenth note is until you’re several months or maybe even a year into learning music.

Learning to read and play a note for a certain time is critical to your success as a musician. Some get it easier than others, but it’s one all musicians seem to want to be better at.

Music Keys and Scales

Key signatures and scales have one basic formula in common. That is if you talk about major keys, the development of the different key signatures is based on a specific formula, this goes for the major scale as well. Learning the rule allows you to play in any key due to on the base formula.

Other formulas modify this basic scheme that allow you to create minor keys and scales and scale modes, or styles of scales like the blues. Learning the basics and building on it provides you with skill rather than memorization.

Music Chords

Chords are combinations of notes based on a scale. Again we have a formula for the scale and all scale notes make up those chords. Learning to create the chords at this level allows you to learn patterns and combinations that work in any key.

Creating systems out of chords defines how most songs are developed. Knowing the chords that will be used allows you to analyze songs quickly and learn them or compose them at rapid speed.

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