A Brief Introduction to Music Theory - Notes

While I've been helping you guys alot with tabbing, I think its time to help develop your musicianship (and also to rest my hand, which is getting really tired from having over 15 hours of rehearsals for Christmas & New Year services), beginning with some brief notes on notes, keys, and chords from a workshop I conducted in my church half a year ago.


Although theory is not essential, it helps to understand how the music you play works at an intuitive level. Without going into anything too complex, this post, the first in a series on music theory, outlines the basics on notes, followed by keys and chords (in subsequent posts) – the main components in music.

1) What Are Notes?
Notes are the individual pitches that you hear when you pluck a single guitar string, and are the smallest units in music. Music therefore comprises of sequences of notes played simultaneously at a certain speed. There are altogether 12 distinct notes in music. These notes have names. Not names like Bill and Sam, but the following:












Because the above series may be confusing, it helps to look at them on a piano:

The black notes are referred to by the white notes around them

Instead of having 12 names to remember we only have to remember the white notes – 7 notes. All 12 notes repeat over and over again, at higher or lower pitches, in the same sequence. Therefore, after the last B of the sequence comes another C but at a higher pitch than the previous C. Then comes a C#, D, D# and so on. The difference between a normal C and the next higher C is called an octave.


straford george said...

thanks man, GBU

gb_d0m said...

This really helps a lot..thanks..

Gphenomena said...

Thank you so much. you are changing lives. How? When I play and minister to people, it'll be all thanks to the theory I've got under my belt. so God bless you. Keep up the great work.