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Author Topic: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)  (Read 28130 times)

Offline T-Block

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Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« on: July 12, 2006, 07:13:21 AM »
I keep seeing people asking the question, "Where do I start?"  Well, you start by learning as much music theory as you can.  Music starts in you mind, so that's where you should start.  Make sure to learn all your black and white notes on your keyboard before you do anything.  If you don't know your notes, you gonna have a hard time.  After that, start with information on scales, progressions, and basic chords.  Here is a little Basic Music Theory page for you:

BASIC MUSIC THEORY

Keyboard make-up

The keyboard uses the first 7 letters of the alphabet:  A  B  C  D  E  F  G 

A piano/keyboard is made up of black and white notes.  The white notes are the regular letters.  The black notes can mean 2 different things.  As u move up the keyboard, from left to right, the black notes are indicated by #, which means sharp.  So, the first black note after F going up the keyboard is F#, and the next black note is G#, etc.  As u move down the keyboard, from right to left, the black notes are indicated by b, which means flat.  So, the last black note before B going down the keyboard is Bb, and the next black note is Ab, etc.  Make sure you know your notes.


Hands and its members

When u sit down to play the keyboard, of course u are using 2 hands, Left Hand and Right Hand.  On each hand there are 5 fingers.  Each finger has a number (same for both hands):

Thumb = 1     Index = 2     Middle = 3     Ring = 4     Pinky = 5


Movement on the keyboard

The first movement is a half step (HS).  A half step is from one key to the very next key, regardless of color or direction.  Here are some examples:  F to F#,  F# to F,  B to C,  C to B,  D to Eb,  Eb to D,  etc. 

The second movement is a whole step (WS).  A whole step is from one key to the very next key w/one in between, regardless of color of direction. Here are some examples:  F to G,  G to F,  B to C#,  C# to B,  Db to Eb,  Eb to Db, etc.

All other movement on the keyboard is a combination of half and whole steps.


Flats (b) and Sharps (#)

Whenever you flat (b) a note, it means to lower that note 1/2 step.  No matter how many flats (b) you see, for each one you lower the note 1/2 step.  Here are some examples:

Bb = B lowered 1/2 step
Bbb = B lowered two 1/2 steps
Bbbb = B lowered three 1/2 steps
etc.

Whenever you sharp (#) a note, it means to raise that note 1/2 step.  No matter how many sharps (#) you see, for each one you raise the note 1/2 step.  Here are some examples:

B# = B raised 1/2 step
B## = B raisedtwo 1/2 steps
B### = B raised three 1/2 steps
etc.


Major scales

A scale is simply a group of notes that start and end on the same note.  There are many, many types of scales involved in music, but the most basic scale is the major scale.  The pattern for forming a major scale is:

 First, pick a note.  Then:   _WS _  WS _   HS _  WS _  WS _  WS _  HS _

Here's a link to all the major scales:  http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,17060.0.html


Scale Degrees

After you have formed your major scale, each note in the major scale gets a number called a scale degree.  The first note is 1, the second note is 2, etc.  Here is an example in the key of C:

C = 1
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7

Now, those are the scale degrees for the first octave.  You can also keep going past an octave and scale degrees increase as well.  Example:

C = 8
D = 9
E = 10
F = 11
G = 12
A = 13

As far as I know, this is as high as the scale degrees go in modern day practice.  The purpose for these scale degrees is to help you with forming different types of chords and naming progressions.


Chord Forming

Chords are built using the intervals of 3rds, i.e. every member of a chord is a 3rd apart. Here is an illustration of how it's done:

1. Lay out all the notes that are used on the keyboard or in a major scale:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G A  B  C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C  D  E 

2. Pick a note that you want to form a chord on and write it down. This note will be your root note:

C

3. Once you got a root note, write down every other note after it:

C  E  G  B  D  F  A

The first 3 notes played together is your basic triad chord.  (C-E-G)
The first 4 notes played together is your basic 7th chord.  (C-E-G-B)
The first 5 notes played together is your basic 9th chord.  (C-E-G-B-D)
The first 6 notes played together is your basic 11th chord.  (C-E-G-B-D)
All 7 notes played together is your basic 13th chord.  (C-E-G-B-D-F)

That's all there is to forming a chord. So, if you want to build a triad off A, you just say A-C-E. If you want to build a triad off B, you just say B-D-F.
 

4 basic types of chords

There are 4 basic types of chords that are the basis for all the chords used in music.  They are major, minor, augmented, diminished.  To add to the diminished chord, there is also the fully diminished chord.  So really I guess u can say there are 5 basic types of chords.  Forming each of these types of chords goes back to the principle of scale degrees.  We use scale degrees so that forming these chords can be universal for any chord in any key.

major:  1   3   5
minor:  1   b3   5
diminshed:  1   b3   b5
*fully diminshed:  1   b3   b5   bb7  *just an extension of the regular diminished chord
augmented:  1   3   #5

For help on learning, practicing, and playing these basic chords, here are some links for ya:

Basic Chord Fingerings:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,16403.0.html

Basic Chords Practice:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,22023.0.html

Other chords:

major 7th:  1   3   5   7
dominant 7th (V7):  1   3   5   b7
minor 7th:  1   b3   5   b7
6th:  1   3   5   6
add9th:  1   2   3   5
9th:  1   3   5   b7   9
11th: 1   3   5   b7   9   11
13th: 1   3   5   b7   9   11   13
*Each of these chords can also be altered by sharping (#) or flatting (b) a note(s) to form even more chords


Chords built off scale degrees (major mode)

This special group of chords will be your main arsenal of chords to use in your music.  If you are stuggling with what chord to play with a bass note, you start with these chords:

1 (I) = Major
2 (ii) = minor
3 (iii) = minor
4 (IV) = Major
5 (V) = Major
6 (vi) = minor
7 (vii) = diminished

Examples in the key of C:

1 (I) = C-E-G
2 (ii) = D-F-A
3 (iii) = E-G-B
4 (IV) = F-A-C
5 (V) = G-B-D
6 (vi) = A-C-E
7 (vii) = B-D-F


Inversions

Look at those basic chords, what if we were to play those same chords, but switch up the order of the notes.  This is where inversions come from.  An inversion is just switching the order of the members of a chord.  How do u invert a chord?  You invert a chord by taking the first letter and moving it to the end.  Depending on how many notes there are in the chord, there can be many inversions.  Here they are:

    3-note chords:                            4-note chords:                                  5-note chords:
root position =  x   y   z             root position =  w   x   y   z          root position =  v   w   x   y   z
1st inversion =  y   z   x             1st inversion =  x   y   z   w          1st inversion =  w   x   y   z   v
2nd inversion =  z   x   y            2nd inversion =  y   z   w   x         2nd inversion =  x   y   z   v   w
                                              3rd inversion =  z   w   x   y         3rd inversion =  y   z   v   w   x
                                                                                              4th inversion =  z   v   w   x   y


Intervals

The term interval refers to the distance between 2 notes.  Here is a little breakdown of intervals used in music:


Intervals of 1, 4, and 5

These three intervals are the only intervals that get the name perfect intervals. Here are examples of these:

C-C = perfect unison
C-F = perfect 4th
C-G = perfect 5th

Now, let's say for instance you decide to raise the last note by 1/2 step:

C-F#

Do you still have a perfect 4th? No, now u have what is called an augmented 4th. Anytime you raise the last note of a perfect interval it becomes an augmented unison, 4th, or 5th:

C-C# = aumented unison
C-F# = augmented 4th (tritone)
C-G = augmented 5th

Now, let's say for instance you decided to lower the last note by 1/2 step:

C-Fb

Do you still have a perfect 4th? No, now u have what is called a diminished 4th. Anytime you lower the last note of a perfect interval it becomes a diminished unison, 4th, or 5th:

C-Cb = diminished unison
C-Fb = diminished 4th
C-Gb = diminished 5th (tritone)


Intervals of 2, 3, 6, 7

These intervals are different from the other 3 cuz they can be major, minor, augmented, or diminshed intervals. First, I'll show the major intervals:

C-D = major 2nd
C-E = major 3rd
C-A = major 6th
C-B = major 7th

Now, to make these intervals minor, just lower the last note of the major interval 1/2 step:

C-Db = minor 2nd
C-Eb = minor 3rd
C-Ab = minor 6th
C-Bb = minor 7th

Now, to make these intervals augmented, just raise the last note or the major interal 1/2 step:

C-D# = augmented 2nd
C-E# = augmented 3rd
C-A# = augmented 6th
C-B# = augmented 7th

Now, to make these intervals diminished, just lower the last note or the major interal 1 whole step:

C-Dbb = diminshed 2nd
C-Ebb = diminished 3rd
C-Abb = diminished 6th
C-Bbb = diminished 7th

After you have reached the diminshed and augmented intervals, if the notes are raised or lowered again, it then becomes doubly augmented or diminished, triple augmented or diminished intervals, etc.


Progressions

For help with progressions, here are some links for ya:

Basic Progressions:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,15720.0.html

More Advanced Progressions:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,15731.0.html

Progressions Practice Routine:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,18903.0.html

Progressions Practice Routine #2:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,31384.0.html

Progressions Practice Routine #3:  http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,36503.0.html

Explaining Progressions:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,18550.0.html

Explaining Progressions part 2:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,31163.0.html

Explaining Progressions part 3:  http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php/topic,33036.0.html
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline MikaSue

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 07:23:25 AM »
This is awesome T-Block.  A good form of reference for beginners and advanced musicians.
Praise God!

Offline booseb

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2006, 07:06:39 AM »
thanks so much. ur such a help. i have 1 question though. how do we form runs for these progressions

Offline T-Block

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2006, 03:37:39 PM »
Runs come from scales.  So, you have to experiment with the different types of scales to come up with runs.  Progressions won't help you here.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline jonesl78

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 10:53:11 AM »
This is some really good stuff!!!  You just shared hundreds of dollars, maybe even thousands of dollars in music lessons.  God bless you bruh!!

Offline Cherri

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 01:20:10 PM »
Yes it is..
What can I $ay Juanita Bynum is my cicerone.

Offline mrs.smith

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2006, 09:26:59 PM »
THANKS MR.TBLOCK!  :D my ADD self even figured most of this out :)  I've never been able to explain how I played- I have just been plunking along.  I'm trying to learn more of the chording and theory-THANKS!  Be Blessed ;D 

Offline vtguy84

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2006, 09:31:32 PM »
Thank you T-Block
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Offline ctbone1963

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 08:00:37 AM »
Thanks T-block....this is a blessing....I am a newbie...but have been taken lessons by ear for about 8 months....if you only knew what kind of blessing this site is to me.....I have a church wanting to pick me up but I turned them down.....not that I can't play but I want to come before him in full garment (parable of the wedding feast)...this site was a GOD send...and I am playing and  learning an arsenol of songs and things to prepare me for the task master hands....thank you so much and may GOD bless you and others from the site.

Offline vtguy84

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2006, 08:02:06 AM »
Thanks T-block....this is a blessing....I am a newbie...but have been taken lessons by ear for about 8 months....if you only knew what kind of blessing this site is to me.....I have a church wanting to pick me up but I turned them down.....not that I can't play but I want to come before him in full garment (parable of the wedding feast)...this site was a GOD send...and I am playing and  learning an arsenol of songs and things to prepare me for the task master hands....thank you so much and may GOD bless you and others from the site.

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Offline T-Block

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2006, 12:52:34 PM »
You are all welcome, I'm happy to share my knowledge with each of you!!!
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline Val215

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2006, 09:21:49 PM »
Thanks T-Block. I will always consider myself a newbie....too much information...shew!!! :D
Check me out on Facebook at Virtuously Gifted and on Instagram at virtuously_gifted

Offline T-Block

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 11:52:46 AM »
I've also got a Progression Practice Routine #2 posted.  Here is the link to it:  http://forums.learngospelmusic.com/index.php/topic,31384.0.html
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline PianoWizard

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2006, 10:12:03 AM »
Welcome to the LGM family "ctbone1963"....be blessed.

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Offline PianoWizard

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2006, 01:34:13 PM »
Thanks for this post "T-Block"......I'm sure that there are and will be plently of people waiting for this info...... :D

PianoWiz...

Offline Virtuenow

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2006, 08:38:23 PM »
Thanks T-Block!  This is my first post here, but you inspired me and I pray for you (and corresponded from another board several months ago)!

Question:

I just finished learning the scales and fingering for single note scales (2 octaves).  It took forever and I felt like quitting at some points, but prayer brought me thru. 

Now what do I do next?  Should I :

1.  Learn the root position chords in every key w/inversions & fingering or
2.  Should I learn the major scale chords with fingering and inversions??? 

If the answer is that I should learn the major scale chords (major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, minor, diminished); where do I find the fingering for these chords (i'm looking for the post).

 

Offline vtguy84

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2006, 09:47:03 PM »
Thanks T-Block!  This is my first post here, but you inspired me and I pray for you (and corresponded from another board several months ago)!

Question:

I just finished learning the scales and fingering for single note scales (2 octaves).  It took forever and I felt like quitting at some points, but prayer brought me thru. 

Now what do I do next?  Should I :

1.  Learn the root position chords in every key w/inversions & fingering or
2.  Should I learn the major scale chords with fingering and inversions??? 

If the answer is that I should learn the major scale chords (major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, minor, diminished); where do I find the fingering for these chords (i'm looking for the post).

 

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Offline bishopcole

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2006, 11:19:14 PM »
Welcome to LGM


DITTO!!!  WELCOME!!  Bishop Cole
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Offline allonesound

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2006, 08:31:38 AM »
this helped me when i first got here and i know it will help the new people too!!!
To get something I've never had.... I have to do something I've never done. *Salvation will pay off*

Offline PianoWizard

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Re: Basic Music Theory (Re-post for newbies)
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2006, 12:16:03 PM »
Welcome to the LGM family "Virtuenow"........be blessed.

PianoWiz...
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