Music Theory Primer

Music Theory and Practical Application

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Welcome to Rhinebeck School of Music’s Music Theory Primer Course with Erin Hobson!

This course is designed for complete beginners, but is also helpful for anyone who wants to brush up on intervals, keys, the circle of fifths, and the foundations and formulas for building scales and chords.

Through the video lessons and accompanying PDFs, you will be provided with a thorough understanding of music theory basics from the ground up AND how to apply and practice it on your instrument.

By the end of this course you will have learned:

  • The musical alphabet, including sharps and flats.
  • How to count and practice intervals.
  • How to construct major, minor, and pentatonic scales.
  • How to construct diatonic triads and seventh chords.
  • Keys and key signatures.
  • How to use the circle of fifths and unlock shortcuts.
  • Relative scales.

Each lesson contains a video tutorial with quizzes and PDF downloads to help you retain what you are learning.

The main goal of this course is to teach you practical music theory that can be applied to any instrument. All examples will be demonstrated on the guitar. If you play another instrument, you may need to download a copy of your instrument’s fretboard or keyboard notes.

Practice examples will be represented in both standard notation in treble and bass clef and Guitar and Ukulele Tablature, so the ability to read music will not be a barrier to learning the information.

This course is the second in a series that will be released by Rhinebeck School of Music. If you wish to expand your knowledge beyond these basics, keep an eye out for the next one.

Good luck on your journey and have FUN!! Table of contents are below.

Your Instructor

Erin Hobson
Erin Hobson

Erin Hobson (Director) is a partner in an independent record label and publishing company and an accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist, who has been teaching private and group lessons for 20 years. Erin studied with amazing guitarists, like local legend Steve Gravino, before attending SUNY New Paltz for Jazz Performance with Tom Dempsey and Mark Dziuba. She later moved to Los Angeles, CA where she studied wth Jazz greats Ron Eschete and Ted Green and eventually landed her first teaching job at Instrumental Music in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Erin plays and teaches a variety of styles on Acoustic and Electric Guitar, as well as Ukulele. She offers instruction in Sight Reading, Basic and Advanced Music Theory, Chord Construction, Chord Melody, Lead Guitar, Scales and Modes, Improvisation, Acoustic Finger Style and anything in the genres of Folk, Funk, Jazz, Blues, Metal, and Rock. Lessons are catered to the individual student and their musical taste and skill level. Beginners and hobbyists are welcome.

Erin is a warm, approachable person, who truly cares about her students and helping them learn. She is especially patient with young children and beginners.

For samples of Erin’s playing and teaching style, visit or her YouTube channel. Catch Erin performing locally with The Compact by visiting

Course Curriculum

  Module 4: The Importance of Fourths and Fifths
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  Module 8: The Minor Pentatonic Scale
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  Module 10: Completion
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Congratulations and thanks again for choosing to learn Music Theory with Rhinebeck School of Music! Stay tuned for more courses and we'll see you at the next one!

Get started now!