Practical Theory for Working Musicians

Music Theory Online Intensive

Learn more about this upcoming Live Online Course with Steve Briggs in the Facebook Live video (approx. 36 minutes) below or click here for FAQs.

Book before August 31st, to get 20% off - Register at $719 (CAD)

After September 1st, register at the full price of $899 (CAD)

Have questions? Want to Register?
Click the button below and fill out a short form to get in touch with us.

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 so far - the journey is tremendous.

- Paul G.

Feedback from Steve's Student

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Tell me about Practical Theory for Working Musicians

This live online course will elevate your guitar and songwriting skills through a comprehensive look at the building blocks of melody and harmony; learning essential scales, chord shapes and progressions that lie at the heart of all of our favourite songs.

What will I learn during the course?

During the course, you will: - learn to use triads as a key to unlocking the fretboard like never before - study popular chord progressions and make them your own - learn to construct and use essential scales, rather than just memorizing them - build your chord vocabulary with Maj7th, Dom7th, Min7th, Min7b5 extensions - write song charts to easily communicate your musical ideas to others

Who is this course ideal for?

While anyone can benefit from this course, it is ideal for: - Singer-songwriters whose main instrument is guitar - Sidemen guitarists, supporting musician, band member - Current Music Students and recent college grads - Serious hobbyists looking to up their guitar-playing game - Weekend warriors, jamming enthusiasts

What's included in the program?

-18 x one hour weekly classes: online group -Access to weekly videos to support your learning -Printable supplementary study sheets -Certificate of completion

What's the course schedule?

2021-22 SCHEDULE Practical Theory for the Working Musician 18 Weekly Lessons on Mondays - 8pm-9pm START DATE: Monday, September 13 Mondays, September 13 to January 31 NOTE: No class on Thanksgiving Monday or during the winter break (Dec 20 to Jan 2)

What is the price of the course?

The price for the full course is $899 (CAD) We currently have a special price for early registrants: Book before August 31st, to get 20% off - Register at $719 (CAD) After September 1st, register at the full price of $899 (CAD) There is an initial deposit of $100 (CAD) to reserve your place in this limited capacity course. An annual $40 family registration fee applies.

Minimum enrollment required

If the minimal enrollment of 3 students is not met then we reserve the right to cancel the class and return a full refund to enrolled students.

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