Music Theory & The Expression of Emotion: Guitar

Learn the essentials of playing the guitar through the fundamental lens of music theory. This course will help you understand how the guitar is built, how to build and play 9 essential open guitar chords, any major, minor, pentatonic & blues scale, and understand the relationship between chords in the key of a song. Taking this course will give you the foundation you need to truly become a musician and love playing the guitar.



Introduction and How to Optimize Your Learning

Welcome to Music Theory and the Expression of Emotion on guitar. In this warm-up lesson, your new instructor Sami Ghawi introduces himself and outlines what you can expect from this course. He also explains how you can optimize your learning so you get the most out of the lessons.


How Sound Works

Now that you’ve met your instructor and have an idea of what you’ll be learning, it’s time to dive right into the foundation of music: sound. In this lesson, Sami explains how music is a combination of individual sounds and pitches. You’ll learn how string tension, length, and thickness shape the sounds in instruments like guitars and pianos In addition, you’ll discover how altering these factors affects pitch and vibration.


Understanding the Guitar

With the knowledge of how sound contains certain pitches, you’re now ready to hop on the guitar–Sami’s favourite instrument to play! Here, you’ll gain an understanding of the fretboard and learn some of the basic mechanics of how the guitar works. You’ll also learn about notes and their relationships to each other.


The Theory of Chords

So you know the notes, but how do we use them? In this segment, you’ll be making the guitar sing melodically by learning your first scales and chords. The major and minor scales are essential in your musical journey and Sami will discuss how they relate to emotion, making them easier to remember.


The Essential Chords

We’re moving right along! Now that you know your scales, learning chords is easy. Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you’ll now learn how you can build your major and minor chords. By the end of this lesson, you’ll know how to play and understand 9 essential chords.


The Essential Scales

Now that you know how to build and play some chords, it’s time for the part that scares every musician at some point in their life–scales. In this lesson, we’ll be teaching you the most basic guitar scales to help you further understand music theory: the major and pentatonic scales. By the end of this lesson, you’ll have the information you need to start soloing!


Telling a Story with Diatonic Chords

We’ve arrived at the last new material for the course, great job! In this lesson, Sami will be taking everything that we’ve learned so far and apply it to make chord progressions. You’ll learn about diatonic chords and the emotions behind them, as well as how you can put these chords together in different ways to make beautiful music.


Wrap-Up and Where to Go Next

You’ve made it! We’ve covered a lot in this course, and now you have the fundamentals of music theory on guitar and how it relates to the expression of emotion. In this last lesson, we recap everything you’ve learned in this lesson, and provide some guidance on what you can do next for further learning. Thanks for joining us!


Our courses are designed to give you the fundamentals you need to accelerate your muscial journey and start playing right away. To do that, we have multiple assignments, quizzes and exercises throughout the courses, PDFs that you can download for offline review, and a number of Jam To This tracks that you can practice your chords and scales to! We WANT you to learn, so we’ve made it easy for you to do that! 

8-10 educational videos

Learn and Review at your own pace

Over 10 hours of additional videos

Access the ever growing catalogue of mini music lessons and Jam To This practice tracks


Practice & Reinforce your knowledge

STEP by STEP learning

Build fundamentals that you'll never forget

100% Online

Worldwide access for all


Whenever you want to review what you've learned



Sami Ghawi

A seasoned musician, educator, and community builder, Sami brings a dynamic fusion of passion and expertise to the world of music education. With a commitment to breaking down barriers, Sami empowers students to explore the emotional depths of music through innovative teaching methods. His leadership extends beyond the classroom, driving community engagement and youth development initiatives. Sami's dedication to the transformative power of music is evident in every chord played and every young mind inspired. As the founder of FUSIONpresents, he embodies the spirit of harmonizing education, creativity, and community impact.


We highly recommend Sami and FUSIONpresents to anyone who is interested in developing their child's or own musical potential.
Dr. Carlos Tesler-Mabe & Dr. Karin Kemeny
We have found Sami to be a very compassionate and understanding coach. His love of music and teaching is evident in the manner he approaches his students.
Sujatha Menon
Taking music lessons with Sami has opened up my experience of music and life in a new and in-depth way. I’m just one of many, lucky enough to experience Sami’s special gift of teaching.
Brenda Sieg
Under Sami's guidance, I quickly went from remembering only three-chord rock and roll to playing various styles from standards to latin to jazz. I learned to keep the rhythm as well as lead lines.
Rick Allen
Sami Ghawi possesses a rarely seen magnetic charm from the moment you meet him that is genuine and everlasting. [His] love for music shines through in so many different ways and will be pivotal in the future for countless up and coming artists to learn these special musical talents.
Cory Furlonger
GM, The Raven Pub
I have known Sami Ghawi for several years in the music business. Sami is a wonderful musician and educator. His FUSIONpresents program is very well thought out and there certainly is a great need for his program. I have sent some of my own students to him and I am very pleased with their success. 
Margaret Taylor
Music Educator