Music Theory for guitar and bass guitar

               Tired of fighting with your fellow band members because you don’t understand each other’s instruments? Do you find yourself soloing not really knowing if what you’re playing is ‘right’? Do you wish you understood what you were playing so you could take your skills to the next level?

               Music Theory: The Language of Sound, reveals the secrets of the guitar and bass guitar. It can be scary to get into music theory for a guitarist or bassist but this is a great place to start. You will never need another chord book or theory book again. The Language of Sound teaches you how to build chords from the root and play melodies in any Key. The graphics tie the fretboards of a guitar and bass guitar to the piano keyboard and sheet music, making it a valuable tool not just for guitarists and bassists but for every member in a band.

Books available online or from your local bookstore! 232 pages, black and white text and graphics, English language, ISBN 978-90-828536-8-1 (full textbook hardcover), ISBN 978-90-828536-9-8 (as e-book) 79 pages, colour graphics, English language, ISBN 978-90-828536-4-3 (Volume 1, hardcover) 78 pages, colour graphics, English language, ISBN 978-90-828536-5-0 (Volume 2, hardcover) 94 pages, colour graphics, English language, ISBN 978-90-828536-6-7 (Volume 3, hardcover) 37 pages, colour graphics, English language, ISBN 978-90-828536-1-2 (spiral bound, Loose-leaf) 37 pages, colour graphics, Dutch language (Nederlands taal), ISBN 978-90-828536-0-5 (spiral bound, Loose-leaf)

               The books are available through ( BV) or through online suppliers like You can order them from your local bookstore using the ISBN numbers if you can not find them on the shelves.

What is in the books?

Chapter 1 – introduction, Grand Staff and basic symbols

               First chapter explains the basic theory behind Western Musical Traditions, treating music theory like a language. Introduced in this chapter are: Octave divisions, Whole steps, Half-steps, Accidentals, Clefs, Grand staff, Treble staff, Bass staff, Alto staff, Tenor staff, Time signature, Note types, Rests, and Tempo.

Chapter 2 – standard tuning, notes on frets, and tablature

               Second chapter shows where the natural notes (white keys) on a piano are located on the guitar and bass guitar fretboards and also on the Grand Staff. Introduced in this chapter are: Standard tuning, and Tablature.

Chapter 3 – scales, Major Key scale, positions on fretboards, and Intervals

               Third chapter examines scales, particularly the Major Key scale, showing how we develop our scales from a tonic note, and where to find Major scales on the fretboards of guitars and bass guitars. Introduced in this chapter are: Ascending scale, Descending scale, Chromatic scale, Tonic note, Tonic scale names, Diatonic scales, Enharmonic Notes and Keys, Scale degrees, 15 Major Keys, and Intervals.

Chapter 4 – chords built from the root, and enharmonic chords

               Fourth chapter defines chords, showing all the chords that can be built from a root note. Introduced in this chapter are: Chords, Note stacks, Triad chords (including Major, minor, diminished and augmented chords), Chord Qualities, Chord Inversions, Seventh chords (including Dominant, Major, minor-Major, minor, augmented, diminished, and half-diminished seventh chords), Suspended chords, Added note chords, and Extended chords (including Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth chords).

Chapter 5 – chords built from Major scale, bar chords, and Power chords

               Fifth chapter continues from chapter four, defining and building chords naturally found in a Major Key scale. Introduced in this chapter are: Chords built from scale degrees (including all Major, minor, diminished, suspended, added note, and extended chords occurring naturally in a Major Key), Bar Chords for both guitar and bass guitar, Power Chords, and How to use bar chords.

Chapter 6 – Major Keys, Key signatures, Circle of Fifths, modes, and modified minor Keys

               Sixth chapter examines how to use the 15 Key Signatures and how modes are built from the Major Key scale. Included in this chapter are: 15 Major Keys, Key Signatures, Circle of Fifths, Circle of Fourths, Modes, Ionian mode, Dorian mode, Phrygian mode, Lydian mode, Mixolydian mode, Aeolian mode, Locrian mode, Natural minor Key, Harmonic minor Key, and Melodic minor Key.

Chapter 7 – additional notation for the staves, and additional notations for tablature

               Seventh chapter examines additional notations that can be used on staves or in tablature. Introduced in this chapter are: Dynamic symbols (including Forte, Piano, Crescendo, Diminuendo, Fermata, Marcato, Sforzato, Tenuto, Portato, and Staccato), Octave shifts (using 8va, 8vb, 15ma, 15mb, 22ma, 22mb), Grace notes (Acciaccatura, and Appoggiatura), Tied notes, Slurs, Repeat measure symbol, Barlines, Brackets, Braces, Prima Volta, Seconda Volta, D.C. (Da Capo), D.S. (Dal Segno), Fine, Coda, and Segno.

Chapter 8 – chord arrangements, transposing songs, modes, and progressions

               Eighth chapter examines adding chord arrangements to a melody, transposing songs and working with modes in a chord arrangement.

Chapter 9 – enharmonic chords and naming chords

               Ninth and final chapter examines naming chords, choosing between enharmonic chord names, and naming a group of notes as a chord.

The Language of Sound – In Colour – Volumes contain:

               Volume 1 contains chapters 1-3, and appendices from the full textbook. In Volume 2 are chapters 4-6 from the full textbook. And finally Volume 3 contains chapters 7-9 from the full textbook, and “Chords in the Key of…” appendix.

Now with a channel on YouTube

              The YouTube channel,, accompanies the book, Music Theory: The Language of Sound. This channel shows aural video examples of staves, chords, progressions, arrangements and melodies written about in the book.