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Keywheel Music Theory System

Purchase the System

$65.00 + $5.00 shipping!

This is a college-level music theory course for chordal/improvisational musicians that a grade schooler can understand. Concepts are clearly explained in step-by-step order and visually represented. (Reading music is not required.) Twenty-one chapters cover basic definitions, the musical system, major scales, thirds and triads, the diatonic progression, the anatomy of a key, circle of fifths, the number system, transposing, modes, modal progressions, improvisation, conceptual learning, time organization, perfect practice, and music as self improvement. The course Includes a 50-minute audio tape, 120-page workbook, and Keywheel (patented working scale model of the circle of fifths) with manual.



The KEYWHEEL™ THEORY SYSTEM is a quick effective course in diatonic (seven-note) music theory for "ear" musicians. It covers the "nuts-and-bolts" of scale and chord construction without having to read music*. If you already know some music theory you will find that the KEYWHEEL™ THEORY SYSTEM will fill in your "gaps" with new understanding and insight.

*Reading music is a valid skill, however, it is not necessary for most popular band situations. It does have value for playing classical music, learning songs you have never heard, and for playing complicated melody lines that are too complex to differentiate by ear. Also, some ensembles and studios require that musicians be able to read written charts.

Music theory deals with music as measurement and concerns musical structures. In the KEYWHEEL™ THEORY SYSTEM every concept is explained, shown with visual representation, and related to the whole. Unlike other theory courses it is completely hierarchical and in context as one musical concept integrates with others to form a logical matrix. Most musicians who play popular music (rock, country, folk, blues, jazz) do not rely upon reading music. Because of the simplistic and improvisational forms of these types of music "pop" musicians rely instead upon hearing , memorization, and under- standing. This course focuses on the musical elements that need to be understood to be successful at playing and improvising with popular music. The explicit goals of this course are to: 1) learn the anatomy of a key; 2) analyze chord progressions in the context of a key; 3) understand how to use modes (scales) to improvise with chord progressions.

A common myth concerning accomplished musicians is that they are "gifted" and did not have to work to achieve their ability. This misconception defies the law of cause and effect. A musical instrument is an honesty machine-- the level of a musician's proficiency is the direct result of focused effort. Having taught and played with hundreds of musicians I have observed a clear distinction between the musical abilities of those who have exerted the effort to learn and apply theory and those who have not. (A conceptual person will always outperform one who is non-conceptual.) The material in this course requires two kinds of effort, intellectual and applied . The exercises are designed to consciously ingrain musical concepts. They are simple at first then gradually become more complex as the musical ideas expand and integrate with previous concepts. If you currently understand how to play half steps, whole steps , and octaves on your instrument you will probably have success in applying the concepts without the aid of an instructor. However, if you do not comprehend these three basic concepts on your instrument then you should seek the help of a qualified theory-based instructor.


Listen to the KEYWHEEL™ cassette tape before you start the course to get an overall sense of what music theory is all about. The tape can also be used at any time as a "refresher".


The most obvious element of music are notes . Their relationship to each other and the musical structures which they create are the crux of music theory and are the subject of Chapters 1-14. Like mathematics music theory must be learned in a hierarchical order, therefore these chapters must be completed in order. (At the end of some chapters a short quiz will test your knowledge before you advance to the next chapter.) Occasionally written exercises are to be completed in the Appendix , a series of circular key-charts in the back of the book. These exercises will recreate the information from every key on the KEYWHEEL™ .

Another obvious element of music is time . Chapter 19 (Time Organization) should be referred to before you practice any musical structure (by completion of Chapter 2).

The third, least obvious element of music is consciousness . Chapter 18 (Conceptual Learning) applies to all other chapters. It may be read before you begin the course and should be reviewed ocasionally. Chapter 21(Music As Self-Improvement) deals with subjects of a psychological nature in regards to practicing and performing.


Chapters 15-17 are on improvisation, or how to use musical structures in a creative sense. Directions to refer to these chapters will be given as the information becomes applicable. Chapter 20 (Perfect Practice) explains how to practice musical structures to get maximum benefit for the purpose of improvisation.

A manual is included at the back of the book that explains the data on the KEYWHEEL™ and musical calculations that can be performed with it.