Pop Music Theory


1: Introduction
About these Pop Music Theory lessons.
2: Practicing Songwriting
A plan for growing your skills.
3: Pitch Names
How we name the white-key pitches.
4: Letters Game
Practice the white-key pitch names.
5: Sharps & Flats
How we name the black-key pitches.
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
Intro to pitch distance; needed for scales.
7: Steps Game
Practice your Half-Steps & Whole-Steps.
8: Scales
Scales are the foundation for understanding the pitches a song uses.
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
Intro to the most fundamental scale, the major scale.
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
Practice the Major Scale 1-2-3 lesson.
11: Major Scale 1-5
Add degrees 4 & 5 to your major scales.
12: Major 1-5 Games
Practice the Major Scale 1-5 lesson.
13: Chords: Major Triads
Intro to chords, a basic building block of songs.
14: Major Triad Games
Practice the Major Triads.
15: Minor Triads
Another important chord type, needed for diatonic chords.
16: Minor Triad Games
Practice the Minor Triads.
17: Major Scale 1-8
Finish your major scales; needed for diatonic chords.
18: Major Scale Games
Practice the Major Scales.
19: Keys
A song's "home pitch" is essential to understanding its chords.
20: Roman Numeral Chords
How a song's chords relate to its key.
21: Scales Above 8
Extend the scales past degree 8; needed for diatonic chords.
22: Diatonic Triads
A set of chords used in many songs.
23: Using Diatonics
Ways to practice and use the Diatonic Triads.
24: Tonic Function
Intro to the effects of the different diatonic triads.
25: Subdominant & Dominant
The effects of the non-tonic diatonic chords.
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
Study the diatonic chord functions in actual songs.
27: Natural Minor Scale
Another important scale; the basis for minor keys.
28: Natural Minor Games
Practice the Natural Minor Scales.
29: Minor Key Triads
The common chords used in minor keys.
30: 7th Chords
The Major 7th, Dominant 7th, and Minor 7th chord types.
31: 7ths Games
Practice the 7th Chords lesson.
32: Suspended-4th Chords
A popular "special effect" chord.
33: Time: Beats & Measures
How we keep track of time in music.
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
The chord-based hook, a common first step in creating a song.
35: Melody: Chord Tones
Intro to melodies.
36: Written Notes: Treble Staff
The musical staff is the foundation for written melodies.
37: Treble Staff Game
Practice the Treble Staff.
38: Note Lengths
How written music shows how long each note lasts.
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
How we write odd-length notes.
40: Rhythm: Rests
How we write the silences between notes.
41: Key Signatures
How written music shows different keys.
42: Syncopation
Emphasizing weak counting points, common in pop rhythms.
43: Pentatonic Scales
5-note scales used in many pop songs.
44: Hook Melodies
Adding a melody to hook chords.
45: Hook to Chorus: Rolling Stone
Expanding a hook into a whole chorus.
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
Introduction to rhythm in melodies.
47: Non-Root-Bass Chords
The "slash chord" chord symbol.
48: Embellishing Tones
Melody notes that aren't chord tones.
49: Diatonic 7ths
Adding 7ths to the diatonic triads.
50: Pitch & Frequency
Intro to the science of pitch.

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