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Music theory lessons

Cliff Smith Music Theory Lessons - Acoustic guitarist writing standard music notation on manuscript paper
Cliff Smith Music Theory Lessons - classical guitar sheet music notation

Music theory lessons online via Zoom

Music theory lessons are online via Zoom. Music theory lessons will benefit you as a musician. Regardless of which instrument or style of music you play. I give classical and popular music theory lessons to pupils who play any instrument, not just the guitar and ukulele.

I have a degree in classical music and have studied and performed popular music for most of my life. I am also an experienced transcriber, improviser and songwriter. I teach most aspects of music theory, from beginner to advanced level.

Here is one of my series of FREE music theory lessons for guitarists.

Topics covered

  • Rhythm
  • Melody and harmony
  • Keys, scales and chords
  • Reading music
  • Songwriting
  • Transposition
  • Aural
  • Exams

Shopping list

Music theory lessons shopping list:

  • An open mind
  • To stop telling yourself things like, “I can’t read music”
  • A pencil and eraser
  • You may also need to download and print some FREE manuscript paper from my Resources page
  • You may need a metronome

See my Recommended Equipment & Services Page for further advice.

General music theory lessons

Understanding keys, scales, arpeggios, modes, extended chords, harmony etc will help you enormously with your improvisation, soloing and songwriting.

Perhaps you understand a lot already but do not know the ‘proper names’ for things? I can help you.

Music reading lessons

I can teach you how to read and write music or help you to improve your current sight-reading ability.

Ukulele for guitarists

If you can play the guitar already, making the transition to the ukulele is simple. You already know all of the chord and scale shapes, but will need to think about them in a different way.

The skill that you will need is to be able to transpose at sight. I can teach you the formula which you need to learn to be able to do this.

To play a G chord on the ukulele, you play a guitar ‘D shape’. Can you figure out the rest?

Music theory for songwriters

Need an objective opinion on your songs? I can help you with chord progressions, structure, arrangements, lyrics etc.

Music theory exams

Are you sitting your London college Of Music (LCME), Rockschool (RSL) or Associated Board (ABRSM) Music Theory Exam? I am familiar with each syllabus, and can teach you what you need to know in my theory lessons.

Even if you do not wish to sit the exam, the above syllabuses provide excellent structure for the study of music theory. I recommend that instrumental pupils study music theory to grade five at least.

Aural exams and transcribing

I can also help with the aural part of your exam, or with general ear training and transcription skills.

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