In today’s most popular music genres — jazz, blues, pop, rock n’ roll, country, and rhythm and blues — there are four dominant instruments: piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Two are percussion instruments (though one produces a melody) and two are stringed instruments. However, three share many elements of music theory, such as keys, chords, scales, and modes. Therefore, if you are new to music theory, the piano, guitar, and bass will be quite similar in concept and even practical application.

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