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Music Theory

Lead sheets are here.

I’m not a big name worship leader. I’m not a song writer. I don’t sing very well. I do, however, have over a decade of classical piano lessons under my belt, a couple college level theory classes, and years of teaching experience.

I also happen to know that most worship leaders are not classically trained, know very little theory, and/or don’t sing very well either. I can’t help you with the last one, but I can get you through the first part.

So, as I get the opportunity, I’m making cheat sheets and uploading them to Scribd.

Music Theory 101: Basic major scales and chords
A quick look at the basic (“white key”) major scales and chords. Which ones you should or should not use together in songwriting. Which ones do and do not go together for planning set lists. AND a simple, sure-fire way to figure out what key that song is in (because CCLI gets it wrong a lot of times).

Music Theory 102: Basic major chord structure and symbols
A brief look at the structure of some of the more common types of major chords: basic, suspended, seven, and suspended second. Which notes to use for each, and how they are indicated on a lead sheet.

Music Theory 103: Basic relative, harmonic minor scales and keys
A quick look at minor scales and their relative key signatures, and why that’s good stuff to know.

This is a newer project. I’ve had several people ask if I could teach them to play “keyboard” for a worship team/band-type setting. I learned classically, so it took me a while to figure out how to do that and, of course, I couldn’t find much online to help. So as I make lesson sheets for my new students I’m sharing them with you too. No substitute for lessons with a person who is present and can help you, but a start.

Piano Lesson 1: Note Names
White key note names. Here is a page of blank keyboards to help you learn and memorize.

Piano Lesson 2: Sharps and Flats
aka: the black keys (mostly)

Piano Lesson 3: Basic Major Chords
The elements of a major chord and how to build them on a keyboard. “Basic,” here, means, “with the root on a white key.”

Piano Lesson 4: Black Key Major Chords
Major chords that are rooted on black keys. Still constructed the same as other major chords, but a little more confusing given all the sharps and flats.

Piano Lesson 5: Chord Inversions
Rearranging chords and why on earth you would ever want to do that.

Piano Lessons 6: Minor Chords
After Major Chords come Minor Chords. You’ll use these all the time.






5 Comments leave one →
  1. tamihoban permalink
    July 15, 2009 5:36 pm

    Your Music page rocks my world. I’ve been using it every week, and I feel so much better. TheEstherProject gave me my life back again. (how’s that for a testimonial? seriously, though, lex. awesome.)

  2. Jody Hawes permalink
    January 1, 2010 7:40 pm

    I love and have downloaded your Music Theory Sheets as well as the ‘How He Loves’ chart. Thank you so much for sharing these things – what a blessing!

  3. Loretta permalink
    February 5, 2010 2:12 pm

    Oh happiness. It has been (shhh, I won’t say here, how many years it’s been) many years since I’ve had a piano lesson. I’ve always wanted to start up again; apply maturity, a little discipline and see what happens. I will enjoy your lessons.

  4. November 3, 2010 4:20 pm

    You made me one very Happy worship Leader. Thanks!!! love, t

  5. tony otabor permalink
    January 8, 2011 9:52 pm

    this i swhat i have been looking for……great….

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