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Can You Learn Music Theory On Your Own?

October 26, 2023

Can You Learn Music Theory On Your Own?

Of course you can! Learning music theory on your own can be a challenging, yet rewarding experience. It's important to have the right resources at your disposal. Want to learn with sunlight? Sign up for a free consultation!

1. Online Courses and Tutorials

There are numerous online courses and tutorials that cover various aspects of music theory. One such resource is Coursera, which offers a free course called "Fundamentals of Music Theory" taught by a professor at the University of Edinburgh. The course covers topics such as scales, chords, and rhythm and provides quizzes and assignments to test your understanding.

Another excellent resource is, which offers free lessons and interactive exercises covering music theory fundamentals. The site is user-friendly and offers an extensive library of resources, including ear training exercises and a piano keyboard to help visualize concepts.

2. YouTube Channels

YouTube is another great resource for learning music theory. Channels such as Rick Beato and Adam Neely provide in-depth explorations of various music theory concepts and offer practical applications for musicians of all levels. Andrew Huang's channel focuses on music production and sound design, making it an excellent resource for electronic musicians.

For those interested in learning music theory through popular songs, the Hit Songs Deconstructed channel breaks down the musical elements of top hits and offers insights into how these songs are composed.

3. Books and Workbooks

A good music theory book can be an excellent resource, particularly for those who prefer learning through text. One such book is "The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part 1" by Eric Taylor, which covers essential topics such as scales, intervals, and chords. The book also includes exercises and practice tests to reinforce your understanding.

Another book that has gained popularity in recent years is "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine. This comprehensive guide covers jazz theory and includes audio demonstrations by the author.

Man playing piano chords.

4. Apps and Software

Music theory apps and software can be a fun and engaging way to learn on-the-go. One popular app is Tenuto, which offers interactive exercises and quizzes covering topics such as note identification, scales, and chord progressions. Another useful app is Chordify, which can identify the chords of any song and display them on a guitar or piano chart.

For those interested in more advanced compositions, software such as Sibelius and Finale can be great tools for notating and composing music.

4. Apps and Software

While having a music theory teacher is undoubtedly beneficial, there are plenty of resources available to learn on your own. Online courses and tutorials, YouTube channels, books and workbooks, and apps and software can all provide valuable insights and practical applications of music theory concepts. Experiment with various resources and find what works best for you, and always remember to practice regularly to reinforce your understanding.

5. Learn Music Theory with Sunlight Lessons

Yes! You can learn music theory on your own, but we also offer music theory lessons, with almost all of our guitar teachers. Check out our pricing to learn more.