Understanding the 12 notes (Practical Music Theory Ep. 1)
Lesson #356 • Mar 26, 2021
Print-Friendly PDF 1 page
- Support me on Patreon.com to get access to this and 200+ other educational PDFs I've made, plus new PDFs I make going forward (1-2 added each week).
- The cost is $5/month (one month minimum, cancel anytime). Annual plans also available. Here's a free sample if you're on the fence. Thanks!
After clicking the button and logging in to Patreon, look for the PDF attached to the bottom of the post.
Hey friends! Here’s a long overdue video explaining the 12 notes in music, which will be part of a Practical Music Theory series I’ve long wanted to make. With this video, and this series overall, my aim is to explain the basics of music theory without getting lost in the weeds. And the 12 notes are the natural starting point, as so many other concepts (scales, keys, chords, etc) require a basic understanding of these building blocks.
What I explain in this video:
- 0:00 Lesson summary
- 1:48 Naming the 12 notes, plus key concepts
- 6:34 Different ways to visualize the 12 notes
- 8:16 The 12 notes on a guitar fretboard
- 11:48 Must-know vocab & terms
And of course, I’ve made a one-page print-friendly PDF for you to download and reference outside of my video lesson. It explains a handful of the most important concepts regarding the 12 notes, shows a few different ways to visualize the notes (including the very helpful piano/keyboard note mappings), and also shows a guitar fretboard with all the notes written on it. I’ve also included some must-know terms that I think are important to understand.
If you’ve seen my FretMonster web tool and are wondering how to use it, definitely watch this video – it provides a helpful overview that’ll help when we eventually get to the topic of scales and the notes within any given key (which is going to be my next video in this series, coming in a few weeks).
Thanks all, and enjoy!
More videos for Practical Music Theory
Coming soon! There are many more I want to make, and plan on adding on every few weeks. Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to be kept in the loop!
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy my sheet music arrangements. Patreon supporters get 50% off each purchase. Learn more here »
Aug 8, 2022
Here's a few fun ways you can use alternating bass (and some optional percussive slaps) to play along with Bobby McFerrin's 1988 classic.
Aug 1, 2022
An easy-going bluesy sequence played over a 12 bar progression. I'll show how you add 2 distinctive notes to the bass lines of Am and Dm to really capture a blues vibe.
July 11, 2022
I've added some new features to FretMonster, the free web-based tool I created to help you navigate the guitar freboard. Select a key and scale, and it shows you a map of the matching notes. I've also added some new features I'll show you in this video.
July 6, 2022
I'll show you how to take an easy-going fingerstyle sequence, and easily dress it up with melodic licks & fills — all coming from the G major scale.
June 22, 2022
A beginner's guide to using GarageBand's Beat Sequencer tool to create custom drum beats! Even if you're a total novice when it comes to drumming (like me), I'll walk you through the basic steps to create rich-sounding drum tracks to play over while practicing or performing.
May 27, 2022
A few years after learning American Girl the way Tom Petty plays it, I returned to it — this time determined to work out a low-key, easy-going fingerstyle arrangement. Here's how it went!
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
- Full Song Lessons
- Beginner Songs
- Backing Tracks
- Play-Along Covers
- Warm-Up Exercises
- Tips & Techniques
By song decade
By musical genre
By guitar technique
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Willie Nelson
- John Denver
- Guns N' Roses