MUSIC THEORY GRADE 1
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Module ID: PMT1
In this grade you will:
- Understand Tones and Semitones
- Understand Sharps and Flats
- Understand Octaves
- Learn the notes in the Note Circle (from memory)
- Learn the Open String Note Names (from memory)
You’ll be pleased to hear that this first grade is very easy! Most people should be able to complete this stage in a couple of weeks - some in as little as a few hours if they already have some knowledge of theory or are super smart.
We’ll be looking at some practical exercises to help you remember the most important bits of information. This is to prepare you for Grade 2, where you’ll use what you’ve learnt here to work out the name of every note on the guitar neck. And that’s a pretty big deal.
The Note Circle
This is the Note Circle. It shows the names of the 12 notes (or pitches) that are used in Western music. They are the very foundation of the theory of music and so...
Tones And Semitones
Each step around the Note Circle represents the interval of a SEMITONE (shown in blue) which is equal to a one-fret step on the guitar. Every fret on the guitar ...
Sharps And Flats
A sharp sign (#) raises the pitch of a note by a semitone and a flat sign (b) lowers the note by one semitone. You can remember this easily by remembering that if you ...
Note Circle: By Rote
It’s a pretty old school approach, but I’ve found that most students find it useful to write out the Note Circle a bunch of times. It might seem a bit over the top, ...
Note Circle: Speaking Out Loud
Another very effective way to try and learn the Note Circle is by saying the names of the notes out loud. Start without the sharps and flats by saying: A - B - C - ...
Note Circle: With A Jam Buddy
If you are lucky enough to have a jam buddy to practise with, you can help each other learn the Note Circle by testing each other. It’s really simple but really effect...
Open String Note Names
Knowing the names of the notes of the open strings of the guitar is very important. We’ll be combining these with the note circle in the next grade. The focus here i...
Your Open String Note Mnemonics
Making up your own mnemonics for the Open String Note Names is a good idea. I always encourage students to make up their own, as well as using mine, as it will help yo...