I'm 18 years old and I'm soon getting a keyboard because I'm really interested in music. I am especially interested in composing my own music and learning a lot of music theory. I used to play the guitar a couple of years back and I quit because I couldn't stand learning songs/techniques... But now I'm starting fresh, and I want to be able to write/read/think in music.

Where do you recommend I start? Is there any book/website/YT series/etc. that you think can help me learn theory and music compositions? Do you have any tips for me?

Oh and I have a number of music software that accept MIDI or allow me to write notation. But are there ones that you really recommend?


4 Answers 4


First of all, keep in mind that even with keyboard you will spend a long time learning songs/technique. If this isn't something you are willing to do, you're probably doomed to quit.

So getting that out of the way... I'd start by getting a 88-key weighted key digital piano or acoustic piano and Alfred's Adult All-In-One book and a teacher. The book will teach you theory as you go.

Slowly make your way through the book. It'll be hard at first, for sure, but it will pay off in the long run. Mix in learning some pop songs or something to keep it interesting.

A teacher will be very helpful and will greatly accelerate your learning process!


Well, I do have some tips. :3
Firstly, there's dedication involved when it comes to learning theory, since from my point of view it starts immediately with terminology (e.g. scales, triads) and continues to be that way. If it's learned well enough, it does help a lot. One way to lower your chance of ragequitting is by learning the theory at a slow but consistent rate. Make sure you understand a concept before moving on to the next because it builds up like math.
Additionally, it seems that just searching "music theory" on the web pulls up a bunch of sites asking for money to give lessons. That shouldn't happen should it?

http://www.musictheory.net/lessons http://musictheoryblog.blogspot.ca/2007/01/intervals.html (I'll just drop these freebies because they seem quite nice)
Lastly, I use cubase and finale, but I just became used to it so I like it now. If you are already using that type of software and comfortable with it, I guess you can keep on using it until you have to switch for some reason, such as to collaborate with other people. Anyway, I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I know a lot of people who use FL studio.


I would recommend starting with ear training - since as you will discover - hearing intervals, chords, melodic lines, being able to read and write music and understand what you are hearing is the key to it all.

This is https://www.iwasdoingallright.com/tools/ear_training/online/ a tool that will help you get started with a daily program

Think of music as a discipline (perhaps the only one) that involves all of your senses (except smell) and cognitive abilities - so you need to be able to read, write, speak and listen.


I like Alfred's stuff as well, have used it quite successfully with students. If you don't want to invest in Finale or CakeWalk, MuseScore is a great alternative. It's free and open source.

  • Musescore is clunky and limited. Not that the alternatives are that good. Finale is big and clunky with limitlesss options. World needs a better music notation program May 18, 2016 at 19:13
  • Yes it is clunky and limited. But you can do a lot with it, and it's free. Yes, the world does. Sort of like it needed a better spreadsheet after VisiCalc. Perhaps someone will write another, or more people will start working on MuseScore. If I make a few million and retire, I'll offer my services.
    – BobRodes
    May 18, 2016 at 19:26

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