Over 40 and Still Don't Know Music Theory

When it comes to the study of music there are music theory mistakes that can affect any musician of any age, and then there are those mistakes that are even worse when you get to be 40 years or older...

In this lesson, I’m going to discuss the "5 biggest" music theory knowledge mistakes that you can make. Plus, I'll break down how they are amplified (as you get to be a little older in age). Then, I'll offer up "5 ways" to start fixing those mistakes so that you end up learning the best possible foundation for music theory.

Today I have an extremely helpful video for you. And, it’s not only for those who happen to be over 40 years old. Although if you are over 40 and you’re finding this video, it’s probably more out of necessity, and you’re likely frustrated with your lack of theory knowledge and you need some help.

Also, if you’re under 40 and you follow the advice and information I’m giving in this video, you won’t end up getting older - feeling a sense of urgency - to study it when you are at the point of frustration because you don’t know it.

See, music theory has a starting point and if you skip that starting knowledge, you’re going to find yourself missing critical ideas for performing music (which if you don’t have, will end up holding you back).

Missing knowledge can make you feel like you’re not as good at your instrument as you could be. So, let’s get things rolling here with 5 important starting points that are required when first learning about music theory.

The first idea that you need to comprehend when it comes to learning about music theory is the concept of the “Musical Key.”

A “Key” in music is essentially the notes of a scale. In music theory we tend to focus on the key as being the collection of notes found in the major scale.

And, that leads us to our second Music Theory idea...

Our second idea is all about, "Learning the key (as a scale), on the guitar."

For an example of this I’m going to use the Key and the Scale of “C.” And, we’re going to learn what the “C” scale (and key), actually looks like on the guitar fingerboard.

The “C Major” Scale built off of the 5th string’s 3rd fret:

The “C Major” Scale re-located off of the 2nd string’s 1st fret:

When it comes to the next idea when learning about Music Theory, you need to understand “where” musical range and its effect comes into being on your instrument.

This topic of, "musical range and its effect," all boils down to knowing what’s referred to as “Key Signatures.”

The key signatures are important to us because we use them to construct songs within a different musical range across the different areas of our instrument.

Once you learn that the very notes which form a musical key are actually derived from a scale, and you learn how they sit upon your guitar, the next step is to learn the relationship of a scales notes and how those notes can be combined to build our next topic, which is understanding, "chords from any key organized on the guitar."

Building chords that relate to a key on the guitar is not very complicated. In fact, I’m going to show you exactly how this works right now.

If we start from the Root of, “C” and travel every second note through the scale of “C Major” we establish the, “C Major,” chord tones.

Obviously, the “C Major” chord is impossible to play on a single string, but by stacking the notes vertically it can make chords easier to perform when the notes are laid out ordered across the string sets, string by string.

Example: "C Major" chord:

Example: "D Minor" chord:

Example: "E Minor" chord:


I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from my Tee-Spring store, I’ll send you free copies of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” Handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS, (from my "Over 40 and Still Can't Play a Scale" video), I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the "F Major" scale.

As an EXTRA BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown featuring all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.    


Just as we had used every second note off of the scale to play the chord tones that exist within a chords of a key, we can do the exact same thing with the other notes of any keys scale.

When we do this, we end up with our next importent music theory idea, which is what’s referred to as, “Harmonized Keys.”

The collection of chords that exist inside of a Key can be Harmonized and that’s pretty much the "secret" behind creating all Music!

From the notes of a Key, we can build all of the chords that directly relate to that key and then we can use those chords to start either analyzing song structure (existing pieces), or writing songs, (composed /original songs).

When we harmonize a key, we focus on the notes of the key, (which we’ve already learned form our keys scale)… like we saw from our work with the key of, “C Major.”

When we can build chords from each note, That produces the keys harmony. In the key of “C” the chord harmony is; “Cmaj., Dm, Em, Fmaj., Gmaj., Am, Bdim.”

The best part about knowing this is, when we change over to a different key, the chord types that we have as we move through the steps of a new key do not change, only the notes change. So, you only need to memorize each chord step, because that step-wise flow of chords will never change;

Major, Minor, Minor, Major, Major, Minor, Diminished

No matter what key that you’re in, this order of chords always remains the same.

If you haven’t found yourself a diagram of the key signature wheel, please get one. My Key Signatures and Barre Chords handout has the wheel that you’re seeing below, and it’s an excellent version to have.

But, even if you don’t get mine, make sure that you get one to follow each time that you practice, so you can study every key in our musical language.

Once you learn the scale tones that exist within a key and you also learn the chords that are a part of the key, you can then start analyzing any piece of music that you’re learning.

Knowing this stuff will help you better understand every new song you learn and this information will allow you to write songs that you want to compose.

The best part of all of this is that you’re going to know so much more about what’s going on with the songs you learn. It’ll make the study of songs way easier! Plus, on top of all this, you can also start using the notes and the chords from any key to begin composing your own original music.

It’s not a lot of information to take in and when you do take it in and learn the notes and the chords of every musical key, your skills of musicianship will take your knowledge for music and the Guitar up to a whole new level.



Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes