Starting The Journey

By starting this course you are embarking on a wonderful journey of understanding. I’ve made this course as easy as I can but everyone will hit difficulties at some stage - I certainly did when I was first learning this stuff. A little perseverance when things get hard is all that is needed: take a step back, and try and get your head around the logic. Figuring things out yourself is often a lesson unto itself, and will reward you in more ways than I could ever teach you.

Most people seem to be somehow scared of theory, and this fear creates a mental block on the subject before they start. This course is going to be fun, educational and practical, and if you open yourself to the journey it will be more enjoyable and you will learn faster. You are bound to reach points where it seems hard, but try to relax and just take it one step at a time. Try not to be scared! :)

Since the first edition of Practical Music Theory I have noticed that there is a diverse range of people using the course, from complete beginners through to advanced players that just never got to grips with theory. I am trying to keep this new edition thorough and complete for all users by continuing to base the lessons on practical application rather than theory for theory’s sake.

It is important that you question yourself and the theory all the way through - this is part of the process of truly understanding the concepts involved. Music theory can be a little mathematical at times, but don’t let that scare you. Just take it easy and make sure you’ve fully got to grips with each concept before you move on to the next.

The two most important things to remember are:

If it sounds good, it is good.

Even if the theory says something should work, if it doesn’t sound good, it’s not. If the theory says something shouldn’t work, and it sounds good, it’s still good. Great music knows no rules; but sometimes, knowing the rules can help you deliberately break them and get away with it!

Make music, not theory.

Don’t let theory get confused with making music. Music comes from the heart, theory from the head. Let the theory move from your head to your heart before you let it out. :)

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