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Practical Theory for Working Musicians

Music Theory Online Intensive

"This course has ignited in me a new passion for music theory—I had always found theory confusing and intimidating in the past... "

Learn more about this Live Online Course with Steve Briggs in this Facebook Live Info Session (approx. 22 minutes) or click here for FAQs.


Mondays 8:15pm-9:15pm ONLINE

September 12th, 2022 to Jan 30th, 2023. 

(Registration now closed)

Have questions? Want to Register?

I'm in a 4-piece contemporary rock band with a drummer, a bassist and a singer-songwriter in which I have great creative latitude to morph his songs.

Just about every one of the 30 original tunes has an idea or principle that I've learned from you - eg. Today I've put the Dorion pentatonic scale to good use in a up-beat, slightly bluesy 12-bar that has transformed its vibe very nicely.

So - thanks for all you've done - the journey is tremendous.

- Paul G.

Feedback from Steve's Student

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  • What’s the difference between online courses and online private lessons?
    With online private lessons, you can set up weekly lessons with an instructor who will be able to monitor your progress and tailor the lesson to your needs. On the other hand, once you purchase one of our online courses, you'll have access to a comprehensive selection of pre-recorded videos and supplementary material. You can complete these courses on your on time from the comfort of your home.
  • What online courses and classes do you offer?
    There are three online services that we offer: (1) One-to-one online live instruction (2) Online live group classes like our Practical Theory for Working Musicians (3) Our pre-recorded Online Masterclasses such as our course; TRIADS 1. Here's a quick breakdown of these services: (1) One-to-one online instruction: These are our private instrument and vocal lessons that can be booked with any one of our instructors. You can click here to view our Private Instruction page and click here to view Our Instructors. Interested in taking lessons? Click here to get in touch with us. (2) Online group classes: These are live online classes with limited capacity. They are offered a few times throughout the year and are a great way to progress quickly on your instrument while working with a group of supportive peers. One such class we run is our Practical Theory for Working Musicians by Steve Briggs. You can contact us here to get more info on our upcoming online group classes. (3) Online Masterclasses: These are pre-recorded, high-quality video courses that are available to purchase on-demand. After purchasing, you'll have access to the course for one year and you can complete it at your own time from the comfort of your home. Along with the course videos, you'll also have access to downloadable supplementary material and playalong practice tracks to support your learning. Click here for more info on our TRIADS 1 online course.
  • What if I have to cancel a lesson?
    We require a minimum of 48 hours notice by email in advance of any lesson in order to be eligible for rescheduling. Please see our Policies page for more details.
  • Is sign up available only at the beginning of the studio year?
    No. You can sign up at any time in the year if there is availability. And we pro-rate your fee to your start date.
  • Do you offer lessons in the summer?
    Summer lessons work differently than our regular season lessons and do not happen every year. There are no cancellations or make-up lessons available for summer packages. For more info please contact the studio if you are interested in upcoming summer lessons.
  • What if I want to try out lessons before making my commitment?
    We’ve got a solution for that! Ready-Set-Go! Plan (for new students only) First time students can take advantage of a two-lesson trial package ($72 for two x 30mins, $144 for two x 60min lessons) After your two trial lessons, if you choose not to continue you are not obligated to commit to a full membership. If you choose to continue, the Ready-Set-Go fee is applied to your Studio Year fee.
  • How much?
    Private lessons Membership varies slightly based on the day of the week your weekly lessons fall on (ie, there are more Tuesdays than Saturdays in the year due to holidays, so the Saturday Yearly fee is less. Contact us for fee info on the program you’re interested in. Groups and Classes Fees for groups and classes vary significantly based on the design of each program. Please contact us if you need more info.
  • What are my payment options?
    There are three options: Payment for the year in full: cash, cheque, e-transfer or Visa/Mastercard Two-Instalment option: September and January cash, cheque, e-transfer or Visa/Mastercard Monthly instalments (Auto-payments on the 9th of each month, Sept-June) Visa/Mastercard

Practical Theory for Working Musicians

Lesson Plan

Lesson 1:  Introducing the Course: What to expect

Lesson 2: Intro to Major and Minor Triads

Lesson 3: Intro to Chord Progressions

Lesson 4: Intro to Chart Writing Pt. 1

Lesson 5: The Pentatonic Scale

Lesson 6: Chart Writing Pt. 2

Lesson 7: Chart Writing Pt. 3 & Intro to the Harmonized Mixolydian Scale

Lesson 8: Intro to Colour Chords

Lesson 9: Modulations and the Circle of 5ths

Lesson 10: Modulations Pt. 2 & Transpositions

Lesson 11: The Dorian Scale & Intro to Modes

Lesson 12: The Four Types of Triads, Inversions and Slash Chords

Lesson 13: Four-note Chord Voicings & Extended Chords Explained

Lesson 14: Harmonizing with Major and Minor Pentatonic

Lesson 15: Compound Thirds

Lesson 16: Borrowed Chords & Non-Diatonic Chords

Lesson 17: Secondary and Primary Dominant 7th Chords Pt. 1

Lesson 18: Dominant Chords Pt. 2 Ascending and Descending Lines


- A guitar, and a desire to learn
- Basic finger dexterity (be able to move from chord to chord)
- Knowledge of the basic open chords 
- No prior theory knowledge necessary

A plus, but not essential:
- Knowledge of barre chords
- Knowledge of the notes found on the fretboard


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