YTread Logo
YTread Logo

Music theory concepts ranked by importance

Dec 23, 2021
This video is sponsored by skoove piano learning app as someone who makes

music

theory

videos on the internet. I've been told countless times in the comments section that you don't need any

music

theory

, you don't need to know anything about music. theory to play music to write music and that's true, you don't really need to know any music theory to write a song to play music, you could even go up to a piano and not know what the notes are called and put them together in an order that like it and you have written the song there knowing nothing about music theory, but I think anyone who has learned some music theory will agree when I say that even knowing only some basic theoretical

concepts

can go a long way in expanding your potential as a musician, Particularly when it comes to communicating your ideas to other musicians, knowing some fundamental

concepts

of music theory can go a long way, but the point is that you don't need to know all of music theory to do that, you just need to know some of its most important aspects. important ones don't need to get stuck in micro tonality and the harmonic spectrum when all you're trying to do is communicate a chord progression, so that today what I want to do is I want to rank music theory concepts by their

importance

, I want to move from need to know things to nice to know things and I thought that a good format to do that would be the list of levels, something common in YouTube, where you have the bottom level. f the least important things the least important music theory concepts and then the top level is super the most important the most fundamental things to know about music theory and what we're going to do we're going to go over various theory concepts and put them on this list about how important they are so let's start with one of the most fundamental things in music theory something so basic and rudimentary you probably don't even think of it as music theory and that is knowing the names of the notes that you are able to identify in your instrument this is an a this is a b flat this is a c sharp if you don't know the note names then you're going to have quite a bit of a hard time doing something more advanced like chords or scales so let's put the note names in the part top, the most important thing to know in music theory and something almost everyone will know, even those who claim you don't need theory, so we've talked about The names of the notes, but now we are going to talk about chords, notes played together, and more precisely, triads, three-note chords, so we are talking about major chords, minor chords, and also augmented chords and diminished chords, and I could even Extend this to your 2's and your 4's. and I think most people will agree. that triads particularly major and minor chords are very fundamental to playing music if you want to perform any song or even write your own song you will need to know some essential chord types this will go up in level s like Well one of the most important thi It's important to know what triads are, but let's talk about some types of chords that are maybe a little less important.
music theory concepts ranked by importance
What about 7th chords, so 7th chords are still very common and important and they're also very useful, but they're not as common as triads and in a way that you can substitute a 7th chord for a triad for example if a song asks you to play c7 if c7 was in a song and you didn't know it you could play c major instead and still be able to do a pretty good version of that song so for that reason I'm going to putting seventh chords in level A. I still think these are very important things to know because they are one of the most common chord types in all of western music. really but you can get away with without them if you really want another chord concept is inversions so when you play a chord but the root note isn't on the bottom so if you had c major for example, and instead of c being the lowest tone, it actually had one of the other notes as the lowest tone like e or g and this would sometimes show up as c slash e or c g and these kind of like seventh chords can be substituted for more basic triads, so if a song asks you to play c e you can play c and you'll get quite a bit out of that you'd certainly lose a character in there that you might have wanted but you'd still be able to play the song without inversions so I'm going to put inversions in the as well category a, very important, really quite fundamental but not essential not absolutely Essential, we've talked about triads, seventh chord inversions, but what about fancier chords, things like nines, elevens, agr egar 13 flat, nine, all that kind of stuff, that's what we call upper chord extensions, anything that goes beyond the octave beyond the eighth degree of the chord? and this kind of thing is not only still replaceable, but you could still put triads in their place if you didn't know how to play it like with the other options we talked about so far but with upper chord extensions, you could even swap them out for 7th chords, so for example if you are asked to play a c9 and you don't know how to do it you could play a c7 instead and it would have a very similar effect which is why I'm going to put them in the count here so they are chords , but let's move on from chords, let's talk about something that's more of a skill than knowledge and that's ear training, so ear training is when you identify things about music just by using your ears you don't have to read it you don't have to be say so you could listen to a song and say it adds up to three four or has the chord progression c f g or something like that it doesn't necessarily have perfect pitch perfect pitch would be the best form of ear training but we're talking more about what's called relative pitch, which is like perfect pitch, but you need a reference note to figure out what you're hearing, I think ear training is one of the most important things you can have as a musician, Of course, you could spend your entire career just reading sheet music, reading chords, and never having to use your ears to figure out what the music is doing, but that's going to be hugely limiting and narrow the path. that you hear music the way you conceptualize music, so even having a basic ability to identify things about music using your ears is incredibly valuable, so I'm going to put that at s level and continue my training, let's talk. about intervals, so intervals are the spaces between two notes, two given notes, so if we had the note c and we had the note g, the space between them is a perfect fifth and the reason why knowing the names and sounds of the intervals is valuable not only is it Will it help you to choose them from the songs when you are listening to them?
music theory concepts ranked by importance

More Interesting Facts About,

music theory concepts ranked by importance...

But if you wanted to transpose the song, the singer might say, 'Can we turn this song up to a major third if you know what a major third is if you know what? interval then you won't have a problem doing it and it's that kind of thing where knowing the interval names is a very fundamental aspect of music so once again that's going to go up in the A here now when you talk about theory musical. I think a lot of people think about scales, so let's put some scales on our list of levels and start with probably what most people would consider to be the most important scale, the major scales, if you know your major scales, if you know how touch them all 12 of the major scales on your instrument which is almost like pre-learn songs because a lot of songs are major scale based or heavily based on the major scale so if your fingers and mind are already used to playing those notes on that collection then it will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes you to learn new songs and it will also make you a better improviser because having the major scales on your fingers means you can start instantly. provide a song that's in that major scale, so that's why I'm going to put major scales on the top level right at the top because I think they're one of the most important things you can know and with that in mind let's talk about another type of scale the pentatonic scales and also the blues scale because the blue scale is like a variation of the pentatonics the pentatonic scales the major pentatonic and the minor pentatonic are generally considered the entry level scale for guitarists the main scale used by guitarists and the Most of the things they do and the main reason for that is that they are so versatile that they are slightly simplified versions of the major and minor scale and I think you can get a lot of distance out of the pentatonic scales and I think that has been proven by all guitar players. , so let's put that in the help here because I think you can get a lot out of those and another common type of scale that you may be thinking about.
music theory concepts ranked by importance
There are already the minor scales and I say scales because there are three minor scales, there really is the natural minor, the harmonic minor, and the less common melodic minor, and knowing all three scales, particularly the natural minor, has the same benefits as knowing the biggest. the scale allows you to pre-learn songs if you're playing a song in a minor and you've already practiced the scale in a minor, your fingers will already know the kind of movements and places to go, so minor scales, just like other scales, they're really very important and I'm going to put them here to help, so we've got three types of scales so far, what other types of scales could we have?
music theory concepts ranked by importance
There are the modes, so that's your mixolydian. scale your dorian scale phrygian scale and i think the thing is with the modes is you don't really need to know the modes to perform songs even if a song uses say the doric mode you can think it's more in the minor scale with a raising d sixth with a variation, so if you already know the major and minor scales, then you can get away with not knowing the modes, but the modes really stand out when you want to improvise and write music with the flavor of those modes.
Knowing the mode of the major scale is helpful, but it won't be as helpful as our other scales, so I'll put that in mind here, and when we talk about modes, we usually talk about the modes of the major scale, it's Phrygian, Dorian, Mixolydian, but the modes can be of any scale, you could have the harmonic minor scale modes or the melodic minor modes, um, and I think these modes, these kind of extended modes, aren't as important as the major scale modes because they appear less frequently and, like the modes of the major scale, are like variations of the typical major and minor scales, and of course these modes can be useful for the same reason that the other modes and scales are useful.
They allow you to evoke a certain flavor in your writing and your improvisation, but these scales come up much less frequently so I'm going to put this in the seed here, it's useful to know but certainly not essential and as an extension of that. I have exotic scales so this is sort of all the other scales we haven't mentioned so full tone scale octatonic scale bebop scale really any other scale that doesn't fall into the categories we've seen. now they're almost like the miscellaneous scales and the reason they're miscellaneous is because they're less common, they're not going to show up as often so I'm going to put them here in the seed because they're useful for evoking certain flavors but certainly they are not essential if you have always been interested in learning to play the piano then you can get started right now with skoov scoove is an easy to use interactive app that can teach you real songs from classic artists like the beatles alicia keys and elton john start your free trial today with the link in the description so that's enough about scales let's talk now about one more skill and this is transpose so transpose is when you change the key of a song and it doesn't mean a key change like when you change of key during a song, that's what's called modulation transpose is when, before you start playing the song, you rewrite the music in a new key quite often when you're playing a cover it's valuable to be able to change the key because the likelihood of your singer's range matching the original singer's range is pretty unlikely, so you want to have the option of being able to change the key and see whether it sounds better in that key or not, so it's an important skill. it's not essential so i'm going to put it in the account here and following on from that are key signatures so key signatures is something that really only applies to sheet music so if you're reading notation if you're not reading notation ion if you're someone who doesn't really read cheap music, knowing which signatures isn't really important at all, but if you're reading sheet music, reading key signatures is very important, you basically can't read sheet music without it, so those two polar priorities make me think i should probably put it in the account here so next is another skill and it's roman numerals parsing roman numerals and what that means is knowing in any given key what chord progressionit's relative to that key so if you were to say the chord progression c f a g minor and we're in the key of c then you could describe it as 1 4 6 5 and explain it with roman numerals and why roman numerals are useful if you It allows us to think of chord progressions in the abstract regardless of the key they are in because a 1 4 6 5 will sound pretty much the same whether it is in C major or E flat major.
It is not the particular chords in the progression that are important, but their relationship. to each other and that's what r Oman numerals are useful for so I'm going to put roman numerals into the account here because I think particularly when it comes to using your ears it's an incredibly valuable skill now the next concept is again very much related to sheet music reading and less related to playing music by ear and its note values, so knowing that this note is a half note or what we British would call a minimum and this concept generates You're mostly limited to reading sheet music if you're reading sheet music it's the note values ​​that tell you how long to hold a note because it's telling you the rhythm but the other thing to keep in mind is that reading the rhythm read the values ​​of the notes on the sheet music is probably less important than being able to read the pitch being able to read the notes on the staff and this is because if you are learning a song you know very well or even a song you just heard a couple of Sometimes you probably already know how the rhythm goes and when you read it from the sheet music you're basically just reading the pictures, the rhythm comes to you intuitively because you've heard it before, so with that in mind I think it's an important concept, but not the most important one so i'm going to put it in rhythm here the next concept is pretty similar actually where it's very related to sheet music it's articulation so articulation is the way pa articulate in that you play a note whether you play staccato or legato and there are two cases where articulation is relevant the first would be if you are in some kind of rehearsal room and someone suggests oh can you play that part of dicato and obviously you want to know what staccato means to be able to do that but the other aspect of articulation is knowing what the symbols look like on the page knowing that this dot means staccato or a line like this means legato so this is something that I think it's of medium

importance

because the way you play a note, the articulation is important, but it's not as important as hitting the right note at the right time, so I'm going to put this on the seed here, let's talk a little more. about some rhythm stuff let's talk about time signatures now you don't have to know what the time signature of a piece of music is to play it a bit like I was saying before if you know how a song goes because you've heard it before However, you can intuitively feel with the meter and the pulse that you don't necessarily have to be counting in your head or out loud what the beat is that might only be relevant with more advanced beats more unusual beat like five four or seven four that said that It's very helpful to know what the time signature of a song is, it can give you that confidence to know that I'm playing it right, but I think perhaps the most valuable thing with time signatures is knowing that they're there as an option.
I think most people who write music default to some of the more common signatures. people have a t habit of writing in particular signatures and if you're aware that five four is a thing, if seven four is a thing, it might motivate you to try writing in that signature and that could be a great way to stimulate some new ideas so all said i'm going to put it on the seed here now continuing down the rhythm line let's talk about irregular groups so tablets are when a certain number of notes are squeezed into the space that a different number of notes would normally fit and most the most common type is by far the triplet so the triplet is when three notes are compressed into the space that two notes would normally occupy and as with all these rhythmic concepts you can play a tablet without knowing how it's called, in particular the triplets, the triplets appear a lot. in popular music and if you know how the rhythm of the song goes you don't need to know that it's called a triplet when the most important thing is to know what a triplet is when you're reading them off the page if you're reading sheet music and you see a tablet, well, you need to know what that concept is, you need to know what you're supposed to do with it because otherwise you're going to get completely stuck, so it's important if you're reading sheet music. it's not that important if you know how the song goes let's put it in the middle of the table on the seat here the next concept we're going to talk about is rhythmic selfish which might sound weird and is probably a weird name for something that actually you already do proper edge rhythmically is when you describe where the beat is in the bar using a particular set of words so for example imagine I want to describe it to you without showing you the sheet music I want to play here this is the third beat like so that I would just say it's on the three, that's pretty simple, but what if I wanted to describe this rhythm?
It's on the eighth note between three and four. The name for this in rhythmic solfege is three and because we name eighth notes with a and and if you don't know q If you haven't learned this before, it seems like a very confusing and overwhelming concept, but that's precisely why it's valuable to learn because people do. uses all the time to describe where the beats fall. It's an incredibly efficient way of describing where a shot lands on the beat without having to write it all down, so if someone says oh, there's a shot on the forehand, you want to know what that means, so it's a valuable skill. which said it's something I think is only used in pretty professional environments um so I'm going to put it in the middle of the table again I'm going to put it on the seat here so let's start getting into some territory maybe a little further along, let's talk about cadences and functional harmony, so cadences are movements between chords. those kind of endings or full progressions, the most famous cadence is the perfect cadence five one and there are some of these cadences, these movements between chords and when used as a way of moving. nd a key then it is described as functional harmony and this is the concept that is much more relevant in classical music and also in jazz music when it comes to pop and rock functional harmony really loses its relevance so what I will put. reasonably low i'm going to put it in writing here now something we skipped before is the clefs so treble clef bass clef and also less common caps like auto clef what the clef does is tell you what note it is which on the staff, so knowing the clefs is ultimately essential for reading sheet music because if you don't know which note is which on the staff, you can't play any of those notes, but if you're not going to play sheet music if you're going to playing by playing all your music by ear or using tablature maybe you don't need to know what keys they really are so it's one of those skills that depends on what kind of music you're going to be playing what kind of environment you're going to be in so which I think it will really crave for the middle of the table and because it's essential for reading sheet music, though I think it's going to keep up here.
Another thing that largely has to do with sheet music reading is dynamics, so dynamics is the relative loudness of a piece of music, whether played softly or loudly and in music, especially classical music. , is represented by these letters which represent the Italian words forte strong and soft which means high and piano which means soft dynamics is much more important in the world of classical music especially when you are reading sheet music because the general idea in classical music is that you perfectly replicate the composer's vision for music, but the thing is, if you're just trying to make your own interpretation of a piece of music, your own vision of it, then you're going to have an idea in your head, a natural idea of where you want it to be taller and softer so you don't necessarily need it dictated to you on the page that's why I'm going to put it in t he would categorize some people might get frustrated You give for that, but I think it's something that you really only need if you're reading sheet music and then you only need it if you're playing classical music and then you only need it if you're trying to play that classical music faithfully, so there's a lot of ifs and buts, ok now we're getting into some pretty advanced concepts so next up is polyrhythm a polyrhythm is when there are two different consistent beats happening at the same time for example one of the most common polygons is four over three now polyrhythms are one of those things where you can play a polyrhythm without knowing it's a polyrhythm, you can play it by ear or you can even read it and not necessarily know it's polyrhythm, ultimately it's just an irregular group about notation normal and we've already talked about irregular groups, so polyrhythms are almost an extension of other concepts, polyrhythms can be valuable, especially if and If you want to be really aware of the rhythm of a piece of music or if you want to write using polyrhythms, it's good to know what they are and the relationship between the beats, but definitely not essential knowledge when it comes to theory. so I'm going to put polyrhythms in the f category and something similar to polyrhythms is polymeters, a polymeter is when you have a unified pulse, a unified tempo, but the different parts are completing their bar, their meter at different times and so Therefore, they are classified. of losing sync with each other and then getting back in sync after a full rotation once more, this is quite an advanced concept and probably more important to know than polyrhythms, although the term polyrhythms is probably less well known and the reason why I think it's more important to know that if you want to perform a multimeter it's good to be aware of what's going on if you're going to be playing in a different time signature in a different bar than the drummer then you want to know what to do because otherwise , when things start to sound like they're falling out of time you might start to panic and try to correct it, but if you're confident in the concept of multimeters and the fact that you're going to be playing in different time signatures then when that kind of rhythmic tension starts you won't feel uncomfortable so i think polymeters are advanced not essential at all but more important than polyrhythms, I think so.
I'm going to put multimeters in the d category below, it's a concept talked about almost exclusively in jazz music and it's tritone substitution which is a tritone sub when instead of, say, going five to one in a perfect case resolution, you substitute the five chord for a chord a tritone away, so in this example, instead of being g7 moving to C, it would be D flat seven moving to C and, as you can hear, it has a similar resolution and, therefore, it is very common. substitution you can make when you're adapting a jazz melody, it's common in jazz music to re-harmonize to change the chord progression and the cybernetic tritone is perhaps one of the most common ways to do it, but yeah, that being said, it's a concept that is really limited to jazz and if you're not playing jazz then you don't need to know what it is and you might even do without knowing it's cool to try the undertone so it's definitely not that important I think it will end in f I think so you like jazz it's definitely more important to know but jazz is a niche type of music so i'll put it in the f category ok now we're really getting into advanced stuff this is microtonality so in normal western music the smallest interval we can use the smallest interval available on the piano for example um is the semitone and everything else is bigger than that but microtonality is when you use intervals that are larger smaller than the semitone and when you use intervals that are ba based on stacks of those smaller intervals in layman terms that's when you use notes between the notes as you can imagine it's a very unusual thing in music it's actually quite rare it's a concept which is largely embraced by people who are actively trying to push forward the envelope of music and find new approaches and sounds and it's also something that's quite relevant if you're exploring beyond western music and that's obviously valuable but Of course, what we are talking about here today is Western music. theory when we say music theory and you're in the west you mean western music theory so i think it's no surprise that microtinnity ends up at f level sorry jacob collier the next concept is series harmonic so the harmonic series is the natural set of harmonics that you get when you play a note and what that means is for example imagine I play the note a on the piano of course we are hearing the note a the tone a, but also because of the way d sounds is physically created, inWe're also actually hearing softer harmonics, other notes that are mixed up as well, and those other notes always occur in the same order, the same series, the harmonic series now for most music, particularly instruments like the piano or knowing the guitar harmonic series is very good to know, you don't need to know, and there are some instruments like trumpets and also things like violin where knowing the harmonic series knowing the tuning between different intervals in the harmonic series can be very useful, but for the Most music making on most instruments you don't need to know the harmonic series so I'm going to put that in the f level after the harmonic series we have temperaments so temperaments are the way. that the notes of an instrument, say the piano, have been tuned away from the ideal perfect pitch type, you can tune instruments to a mathematical ideal where each interval is tuned in a pure perfect ratio and that is called pure intonation, but for the reasons I've discussed in other videos, you really don't want your instrument tuned in pure intonation and equal temperament actually fixes a lot of problems with that tuning, so as you can probably tell by the density of what I just gave you I mean, this isn't an essential thing to know about music and it's only relevant to, um, instruments that can play between notes, instruments like violin, where you might want to play around with temperament on an instrument like keyboard or piano , you can't really change your temperament so you don't necessarily need to know it at all so this is a higher level concept there we have it we've basically filled in the whole list of levels here and you can almost treat this as a list of concepts to learn in order if you started at the top and worked through to the end you would be learning music theory in order of relevance order of import ance and you could stop at any point You want every concept you learn to be useful to you, it will broaden your musicianship and expand your ability to make and communicate music, so remember you don't need to know music theory. to make music but it certainly comes in handy and as always thank you so much to everyone who supports me on patreon including the names you see on the screen right now and andrei science diargia andy deacon andrew andrew brown andrew sussman austin barrett austin russell bob mckinstry whitney parker cameron alvila colin aiken chris cabal christopher ryan david rios donald howard dr darren wicks elena scorchenko eugene leroy fd hodor greg kabovsky iolamo kutcher hugo miller ivan pang jake fisher james kayo j.a kochensparger john tint josh sandolin justin vigger lee max ziegenhagen mark xi o'keefe tune composer's square melanie schoner michael vivian nancy gillard nathan lawrence nathaniel park paul middleton paul muller corpses peter dunphy richard girlfriend roger clay john kennedy steve dailey stephen lozaro tim beaker homer aharoni trisha adams tim payne victor levy video flowers vladimir kodikov balti y weyland fairbanks

If you have any copyright issue, please Contact