Mike Moxcey ©2005

Music Theory

Music theory isn’t some esoteric philosophy of music; it’s just a study of the underlying principles we use to make music. Granted, some aspects of the theory are extremely advanced and not useful, but many of the basics improve your understanding of music and are really useful when experimenting and improvising. It’s like math. You don’t need to know fractals or tensor calculus, but addition and multiplication are required for every day life. I’m only going to cover a few of the basics to get you started. You can go on and spend a lifetime studying music (or just spend a lifetime playing without studying any sort of theory about it).

The one skill you will need as a singer and player is Transposing—being able to change from one key to another. You can already do that to some extent if you can play a song using one of the numeric chord charts. If you can play the same chord chart in two different keys, you are transposing!

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