Music Theory Made Easy

Gain a greater understanding of music theory.

This music theory course is designed for all music students. In my experience most people studying music often skip over theory as they just want to make a meaningful ‘noise’. However, many are like the pilot who loves flying, but doesn’t understand all the instruments and dials in front of him – a scary prospect!

This music theory course will move you beyond ‘pub knowledge’ to a solid grounding in the crucial elements that underpin all music. The course has been written to enable you to take the world standard Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music’s Grade 5 theory exam at the end of the course.


Lesson 1 – Chords

Whilst I have dealt with chords as part of my other courses, dealing with chord theory requires a little bit more understanding, particularly when it comes to inversions.


Lesson 2 – Intervals

Simply put, intervals are the distance between two notes. Understanding and recognising intervals is an extremely important part of gaining a better understanding of music theory.

Lesson 3 – Transposition

With the exception of the C-Melody Soprano and Tenor, (of which I’ve met one player of each in twenty three years of playing the saxophone), the saxophone is a transposing instrument.

Lesson 4 – Clefs

As sax players we only ever use the treble clef, but those of you who play other instruments such as the piano will know that there are other clefs.

Lesson 5 – Scales

Underpinning all of these theory videos are the major scales. In this lesson we explore how to combine our knowledge of the clefs, key signatures and the major scales in order to answer the questions set on scales.

Lesson 6 – Time Signatures

In this video I show you how to answer questions on irregular time signatures.
‘Irregular’ or ‘odd’ time signatures are those that are usually 5 or 7 beats in a bar. This is pretty straightforward and is something you should master quite quickly.


Lesson 7 – Voices in Score

‘Voices in score’ is one of those theory topics that, as a saxophonist, you have every right to ask: ‘Why?’
Yet ours is not to reason why, ours is just to do or …

Lesson 8 – Chords at Cadential Points

Cadential points in music are like punctuation in grammar. They let you know when a phrase needs to pause, like these commas, and when it comes to an end, like this full stop.


Dan Forshaw

I'm passionate about creating inspirational experiences through music and other arts. A life changing experience under the influence of the music of John Coltrane lead to study in New York and London. My thesis was on the Theology of John Coltrane as expressed through A Love Supreme. I perform across Europe with various jazz groups and teach through my innovative website, I'm a total Apple Geek, Cricket, Rugby, F1 and Football fan and I'm learning to listen opinions before giving my own!