Music Theory

Music Theory Lessons

Music theory is about learning how music works. It is one of the most empowering things a musician can master, and it’s fun to learn when it’s taught in the right way.

In your lessons with Stuart, you can learn music theory that relates to both popular and classical music.

Popular Music

The guitar is a very visual instrument. Because of this it’s quite possible to use scales simply by thinking of them as patterns on the fretboard.

Sooner or later though, it becomes clear that a deeper understanding of chords and scales is required in order to make further progress.

For pop, jazz and rock guitarists, the main areas of study are:

  • Major key harmony
  • Minor key harmony
  • Chord construction
  • Scale construction
  • Intervals

Learning music theory brings meaning to chords, chord progressions and scales that were once anonymous patterns on the fretboard.

Your knowledge of music theory will open doors to new musical possibilities and dramatically improve your overall musicianship.

Learning to read music is distinct from music theory, and is not usually necessary when learning popular music such as pop, rock, blues and jazz.

Classical Music

To progress beyond performance grade 5, you must pass music theory grade 5 in the ABRSM syllabus.

In classical grades, the emphasis on music theory is primarily:

  • Musical notation
  • Rhythms
  • Clefs
  • Key signatures and time signatures
  • Chord construction
  • Intervals
  • Transposition
  • Melody composition
  • Musical terms

In classical music theory lessons you will learn everything up to and including ABRSM music theory grade 5. You do not need to pass grades 1-4 in order to take music theory grade 5.

Usually you will learn music theory alongside your music performance grades.

Booking a Music Theory Lesson

To book a music theory lesson with Stuart, or to ask a question about taking lessons, send an email using the button below:

Message Stuart

“Learning music theory is like learning how a magician performs tricks. It’s incredibly useful to learn theory in order to understand how music works.”

– Stuart Bahn