School of The Rock


Online Music Classes

Note: This article is being archived, as parts of this web site are being rearranged, and redundant articles are being eliminated.  To see the current version of this article, now hosted on the page, please click this link.

When I've attempted to teach musical instruments, I've always pointed out that you really don't understand your instrument until you understand music. Sadly, there are millions of wannabes out there who know a few chords, or a few songs, or a few licks, but think learning anything that takes  real work at is for suckers. And when they fail miserably to make any  kind of impact and blame everyone but the person in the mirror.

Learning the basics of popular music theory will help you:

  • Understand other people's songs
  • Learn other people's songs quicker
  • Play along on other people's songs without sheet music
  • Improve your ability to arrange songs
  • Significantly improve your ability to write songs

We have several articles in the works that should help you get  started. But these three are the only ones ready to publish, even in  draft form, at the moment. Stay tuned . . . :-)


If you have created or know of other good resources we should post or link to here, please let us know.

Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.A Note from Paul: Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to jump to the Discussion Forum Page Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel.

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Visit musings about music on our sister site, School of the Rock With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Acoustic-based, traditional, singer-songwriter, and folk music with a Western focus. Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.