You Know Music Theory? Don't Read This

I've been requested to do a video on the basics of music theory starting from absolute zero "I basically can't even spell the alphabet" level.

So here it is. In this video we cover the super basics. We talk about notes, scales, and chords and how they work together.

And no, this is not one of those "epic saga", "learn all music theory in this 3h" video. This is a short and to the point video to get you started.

  • If you are a complete beginner or simply know very little about theory, this video has been made with you in mind. Enjoy!
  • If you know something already, but you are not completely sure you have it right, then this video will probably help you. Maybe it's going to be too basic for you, but give it a shot. Worst case scenario, you know you have your basics covered.
  • If you know a lot about music theory, you have been studying with Nadia Boulanger, you have read your first Harmonielehre when you were 4, you have been teaching for two decades at Berklee... then WTF are you doing here? Begone, this video is not for you.

So here are the superbasics explained in plain language for normal humans:

And now that you know the basics, you may start practicing the basics of theory on your guitar. Here's how to structure your practice so that it's balanced and you can have some time for theory and some time to make music too:

And here's how to practice one of the most basic skills that you need to apply theory on your guitar i.e. how to find the notes on your guitar in real time.

Have fun!

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio