The 7 Best YouTube Channels To Learn Music Theory For Free

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

If you’re looking to learn music theory online, then there are a lot of fantastic options. There are tonnes of great options that you can start from the comfort of your home. But if you don’t have the funds yet, one great place to dip your toe into learning music theory is YouTube. There are loads of video creators who have whole channels dedicated to helping you to read music and understand what is actually going on.

But a quick youtube search on music theory returns an absolutely huge number of results. Over 17 million. A bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start. You can see how it would be very easy to get lost in the sheer magnitude of videos to choose from.

I’ve been watching a lot of them over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve narrowed down a nice list of music theory youtube channels that are worth checking out or at least might be a good starting point.

Finding The Right Music Theory Teacher On YouTube

As with finding a music teacher in real life, you need to find someone who is a good fit for you.

Every music teacher is different and will explain things in their own way.

Some might go too slow for you, or others might race through certain subjects.

For that reason, it’s probably worth trying out a few of the different channels to see which one suits you best.

One thing to mention, though, about learning music theory on youtube.

It’s really good to get to grips with the fundamentals of music theory.

And it’s an awesome resource to jump in and out of certain topics that you need to top up your knowledge on.

But, if you’re looking to find someone who takes you through step by step everything you need to know for an ABRSM exam, you might struggle to find someone.

Most of the channels will jump around a bit across topics, and they may explain some more complex music theory that you probably won’t need to know about for the earlier grades.

For something that is more step-by-step, you’d probably be better off finding an online music theory course or getting a music theory study guide.

But still, these YouTube channels will get you up to speed on the fundamentals.

YouTube Channels For Music Students

Enough chit-chat. Let’s take a look at some of the options.

1. Dave Conservatoire

A good place to start is over at Dave Conservatoire.

With over 250 videos covering all the music theory topics you could think of, I’m almost certain there will be a video for you.

As well as all the basic music theory videos, it also covers some more advanced music theory and other topics like using Muse Score, which is a free music notating software, and improvisation.

2. Music Theory Guy

Now we have one of my favorite channels for learning music theory from music teacher Stephen Wiles.

He explains things very simply, and you can tell he’s been a music tutor for a long time.

A big range of videos across all the fundamental topics.

Also, the sound and video quality are good, plus the animations and illustrations work well too.

3. Lypur

I really enjoyed watching this chap’s music lessons.

He’s slightly eccentric but knows what he’s talking about, and with over 50 videos on music theory, he’s really put some work into these videos.

The downside is that the quality of the videos is quite bad, and they don’t have great lighting.

They’re also not labeled very well, so you can’t see what the video is about by the title, which is quite annoying.

Still, definitely worth a watch, as he’s a good teacher.

4. Music Matters

Music Matters is a website and youtube channel put together by Gareth Green and Alex Shore.

They have a series of premium music theory courses, taking you step by step through each grade.

Their YouTube channel, though, is full of loads of free videos and snippets from his music theory courses that he presents as tips.

They also have videos on scales and arpeggios as well as composition, aural, and lots of other useful topics for anyone learning an instrument.

5. Hello Music Theory

I’ve always wanted to have my own YouTube channel, and last year I started posting a few videos going over some of the types of exam questions that could come up in ABRSM exams.

In each video, I go over how I would approach answering a music theory question and some of the things to look out for.

I’ll be adding some more in 2023, too, so if you have any requests for topics to cover, just let me know.

6. Michael New

Michael New’s YouTube channel is fantastic and varied in the topics it covers.

He answers loads of specific questions that you might have, as well as teaches how rhythm works, reading music, and harmony.

Definitely worth checking out if you’re a student. Well explained, concise, and some good ideas about practicing and dealing with nerves too. 

7. Adam Neely

For the more advanced music theorists, I’d highly, highly recommend Adam Neely and his youtube channel.

He’s a content machine and has published well over 300 videos covering all sorts of topics from music theory to copyright infringement.

It’s definitely on the more advanced side of music theory, and I’m a regular watcher of his videos. A lot of it goes over my head on first viewing, but he explains things in a very succinct, albeit fast-paced way that is engaging and fun to watch.

Summing Up Music Theory On YouTube

To sum up, the channels I’ve mentioned above, YouTube is an amazing resource for revision and brushing up your knowledge on certain music theory topics.

It isn’t, however, the best substitute for a dedicated music teacher or a course or book that walks you through in order.

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Written by Dan Farrant
Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.