Music Theory for Beginner Pianists

Learn to play piano without the need of sheet music by learning the basics of scales, chords, and harmonies.

2 Hours
7 Sections

Picking up where "Building Blocks of Piano" left off, this course is for people who want to know how things work, rather than simply do what they're told. Scales, chords, progressions — all of these things are shortcuts to be able to play what you want to play. 

In this course, we'll take you through the fundamental building blocks of piano theory so you can start playing songs by ear, improvising over chord changes, writing your own songs, or whatever else you want to do. Dive in and start playing right away!

Ian 06

Ian Temple

Pianist, Composer, Entrepreneur

Ian is a pianist, entrepreneur, and professional musician. He started Soundfly to help people really find what gets them most excited musically and pursue it. He's toured all over the world with his experimental trio Sontag Shogun. Check out his most recent course, Building Blocks of Piano, or follow him on Twitter at @ianrtemple.

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Course Outline

  1. Section 1

    Major Scales

  2. Section 2

    Minor Scales

  3. Section 3

    Three-Note Chords

  4. Section 4

    Chord Progressions

  5. Section 5

    Chord Inversions

  6. Section 6

    Broken Chords

  7. Section 7



Who is this course for? 

This course is for anyone with basic knowledge about the piano who want to take it to the next level. By taking a theory-heavy approach, we're aiming to open up this instrument for anyone, regardless of what they're hoping to do with it. This knowledge can help you write better songs, play cover tunes, improvise over chord changes, and more. 

What are the requirements? 

No concrete requirements, but it would definitely help to have a piano or keyboard at your disposal! Getting this stuff in your fingers is going to take some practice. Check out our keyboard buyer's guide for recommendations.

How long will it take? 

The course itself can be completed relatively quickly, in two hours or so. That said, we recommend doing about one section a week and giving yourself plenty of time to practice. 

What will I get out of it? 

By the end of this course, you should be able to sit down at the piano and play your own arrangements of your favorite songs!