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I'm looking to learn more on music theory. I purchased the AB guide to music theory which I can see I will look back and say is a great book but I find it inaccessible as a new beginner and without the tutor guidance to go with it.

I have searched online and I see there is a wealth of informative YouTube videos and websites that explain various music concepts but I find that one answer to a question leads into another and I end up completely out of depth. Hence I am looking for some structure to my music theory learning that I can complete at my own pace. I am a slow learner so I would rather an online format vs a personal music teacher.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

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I don't have any youtube recommendations since I don't have a good idea what level you are. You say beginner, but does that mean you don't know the difference between major and minor yet. Or does that mean you have the basics down and are getting into how cadences and jazz harmony works.

In any case, I can tell you that using a piano is immensely helpful. Otherwise, the concepts are too abstract. When you can see and hear the result rather than just read about it, things will click in your mind a lot better. You don't even really need any piano skills to plink out chords other than learning the names of the keys.

I do know where you're coming from though. I had to teach myself harmony as well from books that were way over my head at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't have any youtube recommendations since I don't have a good idea what level you are. You say beginner, but does that mean you don't know the difference between major and minor yet. Or does that mean you have the basics down and are getting into how cadences and jazz harmony works.

In any case, I can tell you that using a piano is immensely helpful. Otherwise, the concepts are too abstract. When you can see and hear the result rather than just read about it, things will click in your mind a lot better. You don't even really need any piano skills to plink out chords other than learning the names of the keys.

I do know where you're coming from though. I had to teach myself harmony as well from books that were way over my head at the time.
I started in March as a new beginner. I have taught myself to read basic music. I think I'm looking to expand my knowledge on things like chord progression, harmony and any other tools that will help me to improvise. I keep picking up the circle of fifths and then put it down again so that's about where I'm at.
 

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I started in March as a new beginner. I have taught myself to read basic music. I think I'm looking to expand my knowledge on things like chord progression, harmony and any other tools that will help me to improvise. I keep picking up the circle of fifths and then put it down again so that's about where I'm at.
Don't give up on the circle. Just bite the bullet and memorize it like you did your multiplication tables as a kid. Quiz yourself when you drive or when you're trying to go to sleep. The circle is extremely useful.

Chords are also like multiplication tables. They must be memorized. When you're improvising, you don't have time to calculate the 3rd or 5th of a chord. You have to be able to recall it instantly without thinking. Start with the circle, and you'll have all your 5ths (and 4ths if you go around the circle backwards). When you know the circle of 4ths, that also gives you all your ii-V-I progressions (any 3 adjacent notes on the circle). Next, learn triads (major and minor). Adding 7ths and 9ths is easy since they're just a step down (half step for major) and up from the root. A month of drilling those basics, and you'll have a solid foundation. Then you can go back to the youtube videos for the why and more in depth study.
 
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