This is a class to introduce beginners or novices to piano or guitar, the fundamental etiquette of playing an instrument, the basic music theory behind the instruments, and revealing the application of theory into songwriting through song analysis and actual songwriting projects.
What is a musical scale? What is a "mode"? How many scales are there and what are they like?
This course presents some notions from pitch class set theory that are useful in thinking about these questions. From the standard ideas in the first session it develops themes related to scale classification that are the subject of current research. As well as presenting theoretical ideas "in the abstract", the course makes practical connections with the real-life musical activities of learning and making music with scales.
The course takes the form of three illustrated video lectures. A thread for questions and discussion pertaining to each lecture will be created in /r/guitarlessons. Additional printed material can be found in the author's books, all of which are available free online.
The purpose of this class is to acquaint the participants with the basics of jazz theory. By the end of this class, the participants will acquire the basic skills to (1) interpret jazz chord symbols, (2) construct jazz chords, and (3) identify jazz scales appropriate to the changes.
Two caveats: (I) It is important to note that the understanding of jazz theory does not necessarily entail the playing of it (though it certainly helps). Jazz must be learned through the practicing and listening, and no amount of theory can replace that.
(II) Remember that this is an introduction to jazz theory. The intention is to gain a basic understanding of this rich musical tradition. Due to the diversity of backgrounds, I will try to avoid technicality as much as possible, but without deviating too much from conventional theories. In other words, if you have background in conventional theories, the materials should cohere well with you know. On the other hand, if you are new to conventional music theory, what you learn here will prepare you for further study.
I do leave open the possibility of teaching an advanced class later on.