Music Theory Basics

I'll add to this list from time to time, as I think of other items.

This is as good a place as any to start. These scales and modes (shown here n the key of C) should be familiar to you, as part of your toolbox for writing and arranging. Scales help you understand the basic fabric of music. Modes add "flavor", and really are just that... a general description of various pre-fab effects you can achieve by thinking or writing modally. Emphasize the flavor by using modal harmony and chord changes too... not just modal melodies.

Some unusual chord relationships, and some general progression "rules":

Thoughts on Chord Voicing Clarity:

Instrument and Vocal Ranges:

An example of how the "rules" above can affect a simple 12-bar blues: (bass part shown)

Notice how the bass often uses the upper chromatic substitute to draw attention to each 2-5 sequence.

More on the 12-bar blues form: (In the key of F)

Common Chord Types::

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