Getting started with Hooktheory
About HooktheoryWe develop innovative tools to help guitarists, pianists, DJs, singers, etc. answer their most common questions related to how music works - for example:
- Why do some chords fit together easily, and others not so easily?
- After I've written a couple chords that sound good together, how to do I know what a good next chord might be?
- How can I write a good melody or instrumental - one that really fits with the chords?
- How can I get from this chord to that chord?
- How do I know what key something is in? How can I switch from one key to another?
If you are new to the world of "how music works", keep reading this page - it is the perfect place for you learn how we can help.
If you have some previous knowledge of harmony or scale degrees, click here for a guided tour all of the best resources on Hooktheory
How to get started with Hooktheory
1. Read our very first blog post
The first thing we recommend doing is reading our very first blog post, titled "I analyzed the chords of 1300 popular songs for patterns. This is what I found." This article has been read by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, received over 10k Facebook likes, and is an exciting, thought-provoking introduction to the types of things we do and explain on hooktheory.com.
Estimated reading time: 7 min
2. Explore chord progressions, Hooktheory-style
"Trends" is an interactive web-app that lets you choose a chord or progression and see which chords are most likely to follow it and which songs use it. It is unbelieveably simple to use, and opens up a huge potential for discovery and learning. Take it for a spin! If you have your instrument nearby, grab it and try playing some of the pregressions you find.
3. Read "The Building Blocks of Music" - the gateway to the rest of hooktheory.comTo begin your journey towards learning how music works, read our illuminating article "The Building Blocks of Music", (BBoM) an easy-access, step-by-step guide that will teach you how to deconstruct music into simple building blocks. Starting with the Major Scale, we construct chords, melody, and introduce you to scale degrees, Roman numerals, and everything you need in order to understand the rest of hooktheory.com and begin thinking about music in a new, powerful way.
Estimated reading time: 20 min
"By far the best music theory tutorial I've ever seen."
Ruslan Kovalev - Moscow, Russia
"I've been a musician for 20+ years, and your description of relative notation is the best I've seen - great work!"
"I learned more in 30 minutes than I did in three years of weekly music theory classes."
Pierre Kreitmann - Palo Alto, CA
"I want to thank you for the wonderful resource, it's really an eye opener for me and I would recommend it to everybody who wants to learn music theory."
Armed with the building blocks of music, you're now ready to explore the rest of Hooktheory. Below, you'll find a link to our "Tour de Hooktheory" page where you can get started. But before you go, we just want to say we are here for you if you ever have any questions about this site, or about music or songwriting in general. We do our best to respond to all emails (it’s been getting tougher lately as hooktheory.com gains in popularity, but we always try our best!), and to respond to every Facebook message / comment.
Ryan Miyakawa, David Carlton and Chris Anderson
PS: If you have any ideas or feedback, let us know.