Music Theory 101 with Steve Eulberg

Skill Building Guitar Course from Steve Eulberg

Steve presents an information packed lesson series that will break down the basics of music theory. From the language to notation, all things music will be taught right here.

25 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

85% Appoval

223 of 241 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

Rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, form, texture, etc. Steve will cover all aspects in this series.


Introduction to Series

Welcome to the introduction video to Steve's music theory lesson series! This is an information packed series that will cover the fundamental elements of music including notation, language, rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, form, texture, etc. Enjoy!

2:23 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Sound and String Physics

Steve Eulberg delves into a few scientific properties that explain why the guitar produces its unique sound.

9:51 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


The Musical Alphabet

Steve provides a brief explanation of the musical alphabet. From A to G, Steve demonstrates his "finger" method as a great remembrance tool. This tool will help you understand the topics that Steve will teach in future lessons.

2:46 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Scales & Modes

Steve explains how scales and modes are constructed.

2:28 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Whole & Half Steps

In this lesson, Steve explains what whole and half steps are. In conjunction with the musical alphabet, Steve provides in depth instruction on how certain notes and intervals work together.

6:16 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Musical Notation

Steve explains the basics of standard musical notation. This Western system of writing music primarily details two parameters - pitch and time. Discover the visual world of music in this lesson!

5:32 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Musical Notation Continued: Musical Staff

Steve continues his music theory series as he dives more in depth into musical notation. Here he breaks down the staff and explains how it is used in reading music.

5:49 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Understanding Tablature

Steve breaks down Tablature. This is a very simple concept and when applied in the correct way, can be used to teach any determined guitarist any kind of arrangement.

4:00 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Comparing Notes on Piano & Guitar

Welcome to lesson 9 in Steve's music theory series! In this lesson, Steve explains how the notes of the guitar compare to the notes on a piano when written in standard notation.

16:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Music Vocabulary

Steve presents a lesson on the vocabulary used within music. This lesson covers many descriptive terms and symbols that help communicate what is intended to be played in a piece of music.

16:02 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Key Signatures

Steve breaks down and explains what key signatures are as well as how sharps and flats are used within each key.

22:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Scales and Modes

The title says it all. Simply put, Steve explains what scales and modes are and utilizes two different key signatures to help demonstrate the differences.

22:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Time Signatures

In this quick lesson, Steve will explain time signatures and what those numbers mean at the beginning of a notated piece of music.

8:56 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



Tempo is the subject of understanding how fast or slow to play a piece of music. Steve will utilize more Italian words to help demonstrate the various ranges in tempo there can be.

9:08 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Fundamentals & Overtones (Harmonics)

Steve will dive into the topic of harmonics. When playing a single note on a guitar, other notes can be herd. Steve will explain why that is as well as demonstrate where other harmonics on a guitar can be found.

8:44 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord Quality

Chord quality refers to whether or not the chord is Major or Minor. Steve will take an in depth look at how this is applied and all the various terms that are associated with this subject.

10:19 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Quality Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of chord quality theory! Steve now dives into 4 note chords and common additions that are made.

16:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Voicing

Steve tackles the subject of chord voicing. This term simply refers to the order in which we hear the notes that form a particular chord. Let Steve break this subject down in a very hands on sort of way.

10:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Circle of 5ths

Welcome to a lesson in one of the most widely known topics in Music Theory, Circle of 5ths. This handy tool can easily bring light to how notes relate to each other, and Steve will explain how this is useful for guitar.

11:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Relative Minor

The relative minor key or chord is built from the sixth step of any major scale. For example, A minor is the relative minor key and chord in relation to C major.

7:09 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chord Substitution

It's time to get creative with your music theory knowledge! In this lesson, Steve demonstrates how to utilize chord substitutions in order to add your own personal touch to the harmony of a song.

15:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Power Chords

Steve presents a very insightful lesson on what power chords are on the theory side of things, but also how best they can be used.

6:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



Arpeggio is an Italian word meaning "broken chord". Steve demonstrates how this applies to the guitar and some common picking patterns used with familiar chord shapes.

6:37 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Pentatonic Scale Theory

Steve delves into the topic of pentatonic scale theory. Steve discusses why both the major and minor pentatonic scales are two of the most common scales used in music.

11:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Diminished Chords

Steve discusses diminished chords and how they relate to dominant chords.

7:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Playing since 1970
  • 320 lessons at JamPlay
An Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Steve Eulberg weaves mountain and hammered dulcimers with a variety of unusual instruments to create thought-provoking, smile-inducing, toe-tapping acoustic experiences.

He has sung and composed for religious communities, union halls, picket lines, inter-faith retreats, mountain-top youth camps, as well as the more familiar venues: clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, festivals, charity benefits and showcase concerts.

Born and raised in the German-heritage town of Pemberville, Ohio, Steve was exposed to a variety of music in his home. Early piano lessons were followed by trumpet in school band, and he became self-taught on ukelele and guitar and harmonica. Mandolin was added at Capital University where, while majoring in History, he studied Ear Training, Voice and took Arranging lessons from the Conservatory of Music.

While at college, he first heard hammered and mountain dulcimers, building his first mountain dulcimer just before his final year. Seminary training took him the west side of Denver where he built his first hammered dulcimer. With these instruments, he was able to give voice to the Scottish, English and Irish traditions to which he is also heir.

Following marriage in 1985 to Connie Winter-Eulberg he settled in Kansas City, Missouri. There he worked cross-culturally in a church of African-Americans, Latinos and European Americans, with music being a primary organizing tool. He moved with his family in 1997 to be nestled beside the Rocky Mountains in Fort Coillins, Colorado.

Founder of Owl Mountain Music, Inc. he teaches and performs extensively in Colorado and Wyoming with tours across the US and the UK. He delights in introducing the “sweet music” of dulcimers to people in diverse settings and in addition to his own recordings, has included dulcimers in a variety of session work for other musicians.

In 2000 he was commissioned to create a choral composition featuring dulcimers for the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins. It was recorded in the same year (BEGINNINGS). He is currently at work on a commissioned symphony that will feature hammered dulcimer and Australian didjeridu.

Eulberg passionately believes that music crosses cultural and language barriers because music builds community. Influenced by a variety of ethnic styles, his music weaves vital lyric with rap, rock, folk, gospel and blues. Audiences of all ages respond well to his presentation and to his warm sense of humor.

Steve is a member of Local 1000 (AFM), The Folk Alliance, BMI and BWAAG (Better World Artists and Activist's Guild).
Reviews & Feedback 85/100 with 241 ratings

All of the above


Very simple!


great explanation!!


he doesnt g tofast


He's just great. I liked the teacher, and he explains in an easy way to understand.


I have never understood The Circle of Fifths until this lesson with Steve. His teaching style is amazing!


I like it. It’s a lot for one video but I think an easy fix for that is just taking the time to review it again :)


I noticed you have to most lessons. I have to say I like your style of teaching your very sure of the information given. That confidence actually helps when learning. Sloppy instruction leads to me doodling on the guitar. Thanks very much. If I


I think Steve is easily one of the best teachers on Jam Play. He explains the information so well it is easy to comprehend for the beginner and experienced guitarist. Who would have thought music theory could be so much fun? Outstanding.


I'm starting this series hoping to come away with the working basics of music theory. I honestly believe that there are those who play songs on the guitar and those who actually play guitar. I want to learn to really play it. To do so I must


Like like Steve anyway he is a great teacher. But how he explained the circle has been amazing cool. Very helpful indeed.


Wish i could click all 3 buttons. This is exactly the type of class I was looking for when wanting to take a step back from learning songs and learn some guitar theory. I want to know what makes each chord that chord and how to better understan


Should have added what a rest looked like with the different 8ths, 16th, 32nds etc...


Steve does a fantastic job of explaining complex topics in a format that is simple for a beginner to understand.


Steve is a great teacher and good explanation of the theory


Teacher is great, there s a lot of material covered in 20 minutes thus it is a bit confusing at first. Also it might be better if teacher could use white board and marker to illustrate what he s speaking about.


Thank You Steve!


Theory is VERY important. Glad I found this class


This provides an explanation for what has been a “black box” for me.


Very clearly explained and illustrated