Harmony Masterclass

In this class we'll take a trip through popular music from mixed genres and eras to understand why and how harmony works. By understanding how harmony has influenced generations of music you'll gain a thorough understanding of chord progressions, chord functions, chord substitutions, harmonic analysis, how to solo over any chord progression using chord tones and scales, and how to apply this wisdom in your daily practice.

· 7th August 2022
  • Categories: Theory
  • Duration: 1.5+ Hours of Video
  • Total Enrolled: 120
  • Last update: 11th December 2023
  • 30 total steps
  • On-screen tabs & diagrams
  • Complete written transcripts
  • Interactive tabs
  • Downloadable tabs
  • Progress tracking
  • Difficulty: All Levels

About This Course

In this guitar course we’ll take a trip through popular music from mixed genres and eras to understand why and how harmony works.

By exploring the profound influence of harmony on generations of music, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of diatonic harmony, chord functions, chord substitutions, harmonic analysis, and roman numeral analysis.

Most importantly, this course equips you with the invaluable ability to apply this newfound wisdom in your daily practice, empowering you as a versatile guitarist.

The course begins with lessons covering essential music theory concepts such as:

  • Why chords belong to a key;
  • Why chord progressions progress; and
  • How to understand and use roman numeral analysis.

These topics are covered in great detail using motion graphics and audio samples, making it engaging for guitar players of all levels!

In the next section, we'll explore popular chord progressions spanning from the 1950's to the present day, encompassing various genres from each decade. This exploration will sharpen your ear, allowing you to swiftly recognise and internalise these well-known progressions so that you can recall and apply them in your playing.

After developing confidence in popular instances of diatonic harmony, I'll introduce you to examples of music that employ more advanced music theory concepts, including non-diatonic harmony and chord substitutions. Together, we will unravel the most common ways to add or substitute chords in a chord progression. This exploration will serve as a gateway, liberating you from the confines of the "diatonic box" and opening up a realm of creative possibilities.

In the final section of the course you'll learn how I apply all of this new found knowledge in my own musical examples, and how you too can use these techniques in your daily practice! I'll show you how you can create your own unique chord progressions, and how you can improvise and solo over any chord progression using chord tones and modes.

This guitar course is designed to be highly effective and concise so that your study and practice time is used most effectively. It offers comprehensive resources including chord diagrams, guitar tabs, real-world examples from popular music, and a backing track to enhance your chord tone soloing capabilities. Moreover, all course videos are equipped with on-screen diagrams and helpful annotations throughout.

This comprehensive introduction to harmonic analysis is your essential guide to mastering this valuable skill on the guitar.

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Suggested Prerequisites

  • A vague understanding of basic harmony will be helpful, although it is not necessary.
  • Completing the CAGED Fretboard Visualisation Masterclass before this one will help you locate and build chords faster and more effectively.
  • Discipline to practice and focus.

Course Perks

  • Content On Demand
    After purchasing a course, you will have immediate access to all of its resources from any device that you log-in from. You only require an internet connection. No huge downloads are necessary!
  • Comprehensive Diagrams & Tabs
    Where possible, diagrams and tabs are provided both on-screen and as downloads to help you to fully engage with the topic at hand. Tabs are always available for download in both PDF and Guitar Pro format.
  • Support & Community
    Utilise the Community Forum to get personalised feedback on your progress directly from Darryl and your peers.
+117 enrolled
Membership Plan


per month
Unrestricted access to all classes and resources across Fretwise.
Single Course


One time fee
Timeless access to this class for you to explore at your own pace.
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Course Summary

  • 30 total steps
  • Tabs, Backing Tracks, and Diagrams throughout
  • Difficulty: All Levels
  • Detailed ear training exercises
  • 1.5+ Hours of Video

Course Summary

  • 30 total steps
  • Tabs, Backing Tracks, and Diagrams throughout
  • Difficulty: All Levels
  • Detailed ear training exercises
  • 1.5+ Hours of Video


Feedback from participating students of this class.

/ 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)

A Profound theoretical AND practical Approach!

Very easy to follow and understand, plus practical exercises that provide a solid foundation! Loads of fun to work with those!

Avatar for Inf1nity
26th July 2023

Simple Explanation of Complex Ideas

I’ve always respected and enjoyed Daryl’s content as he has a way of simplifying complicated musical concepts. He’s very thorough in his work and is able to appeal to all skill levels at once through detailed explanation. I look forward to each new course he puts out because of this!

Avatar for sdavisjr
28th November 2022


Most frequent questions and answers. If you can't find your answers here, please send a message!

Is Fretwise right for you?

Fretwise is designed specifically for intermediate to advanced guitarists who find themselves at a crossroads in their musical journey.

  • Do you often feel lost or uncertain about how to progress?
  • Are you unsure how to practice effectively?
  • Do you want structure and accountability?
  • Have you been playing for years but you want to fill in the gaps in your understanding of the guitar?
  • Are you inspired to play in the style of Darryl Syms?
  • Do you want a concise learning pathway without all of the fluff and boredom from some YouTube teachers?

If you answered yes to any of these then you're in the right place!

What makes Fretwise better than other guitar lesson sites?

So many things!

  • I'm a firm believer of quality over quantity. Many lesson sites have many hundreds, even thousands of lessons and sometimes it feels like a game of numbers. There's already an overwhelming amount of lessons on YouTube, so I'm here to “cut the b.s” and deliver the juicy goodness in the quickest and most effective way possible. You'll spend less time getting lost, and more time on effective practice and learning!
  • I actually break down and discuss topics thoroughly, with demonstrations! Many other learning platforms post video demos, and only written explanations. I provide both video and written lesson notes, both in such intricate detail.
  • I recognise that teaching is a skill in itself beyond just being a great guitar player. Teaching is a skill I've been developing since my mid-teens, and not only in the area of music. I've taught thousands of one-on-one lessons, worked in schools, taught group classes in multiple venues, and helped millions of people via my YouTube channel. What you see on this website brings all of those skills together.
  • I settle for nothing less than best. Everything about this platform has been carefully put together and is always in a state of improvement.
  • My lessons accommodate beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. No matter what your genre or style interests are, there's something that every guitar player can take from this platform.
  • Fretwise isn't just a place that you come to learn, but also a place where you can get social in a community of like-minded guitar enthusiasts from around the world. Connect, get feedback, discuss, and grow together!

What's included in each masterclass?

At Fretwise, each masterclass is designed to provide you with a comprehensive and enriching learning experience. Here's what you can expect to find in every masterclass:

  • Video Instruction: Concise video lessons with on-screen tabs and diagrams to visually guide you through each topic.
  • Written Transcripts: Full written transcripts of every lesson, complete with diagrams and tabs available for download in both PDF and Guitar Pro formats.
  • Backing Tracks: Where applicable, we provide backing tracks to enhance your practice and enable you to apply what you've learned in a musical context.
  • Structured Learning: Fretwise classes are meticulously structured to help you build your skills progressively. You'll find a clear path from fundamental concepts to more advanced techniques.
  • Practice Ideas: We offer practice ideas and exercises to reinforce your understanding of the material and ensure you're making consistent progress.
  • Progress Tracking: Our platform includes tools to track your progress, making it easy to monitor your development and set achievable goals.
  • Support: Take advantage of the community forums to ask any of your questions or discuss challenges that you encounter on your journey.

With these resources and features, each masterclass on Fretwise is designed to empower you with the knowledge, skills, and the support you need to excel in your guitar playing journey.

How long should you expect to spend on each masterclass?

At Fretwise, we understand that every guitarist progresses at their own pace. Here's a general guideline to help you plan your learning journey with our masterclasses:

Time Commitment: On average, it takes about 3 months of frequent study to really grasp the material covered in our masterclasses. While the instructional time for each class typically lasts between 2-3 hours, we recommend that you watch and read through the provided resources multiple times to fully absorb the information.

Lesson Duration: Each individual lesson is designed to be no longer than 15 minutes in length. This provides you with bite-sized chunks of information that you can study and practice over the course of many days, without feeling confused and overwhelmed of your task at hand.

Practice Along: To maximize your learning experience, we encourage you to practice along with your instructor, Darryl. Repetition and hands-on practice are key to solidifying your skills and understanding of the content.

Remember, there's no rush when it comes to mastering the guitar. Take your time, focus on the details, and practice regularly to see steady improvement. Our platform is designed to support your journey, whether you progress quickly or prefer a more gradual approach.

How frequently are masterclasses updated?

Masterclasses are a big undertaking. We aim to bring you updates to Fretwise resources about once a month. However, creating entirely new masterclasses is a more extensive process and can take between 4-6 months to complete.

It's important to note that our main focus isn't just to flood you with "thousands of lessons" like many other guitar lesson websites. Fretwise is not designed to be an endless sea of resources, which typically leaves players feeling as lost as they were on YouTube. We believe in quality over quantity.

Fretwise Premium membership vs. Single Class purchases: Which is right for you?

At Fretwise, we offer two distinct options to suit your learning needs: Fretwise Premium Membership and Single Class Purchases. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

Fretwise Premium Membership:

  • All-Access Pass: With a Premium Membership, you gain unrestricted access to our extensive library of masterclasses, bonus YouTube resources, and exclusive gear discounts. This means you can explore a wide range of topics, techniques, and resources to enhance your guitar skills.
  • Comprehensive Learning: Enjoy the flexibility to dive deep into multiple classes, allowing you to broaden your knowledge and proficiency in various aspects of guitar playing.
  • Community and Progress Tracking: Like Single Class Purchases, Premium Membership also grants access to our vibrant community forums and progress tracking features. Connect with fellow guitar enthusiasts, share experiences, and monitor your growth.
  • Video Exchange: Post videos of progress and playing, inviting personalised feedback from your instructor, Darryl.
  • Cost Effective: Fretwise Premium Membership offers the best value for money by providing you with an extensive range of resources and benefits at a cost-effective price.

Single Class Purchases:

  • Class-Specific Access: When you opt for Single Class Purchases, you gain access exclusively to the specific class you've purchased. This is an ideal choice if you have a particular area of interest or want to focus on mastering one specific skill.
  • Community and Progress Tracking: You still enjoy the benefits of connecting with our community and tracking your progress, just like Premium Members.

Choosing between Fretwise Premium Membership and Single Class Purchases depends on your learning style and goals. If you're eager to explore a wide range of topics and access additional resources, Premium Membership offers the most comprehensive experience. However, if you prefer a more focused approach or want to take one specific class, Single Class Purchases provide that flexibility.

Whichever option you choose, Fretwise is committed to supporting your guitar journey, ensuring you receive the guidance and resources you need to excel.

Is Fretwise worth the money?

Yes, you'll struggle to find a better and more cost or time effective investment in your guitar education. Here's why:

  • Affordability: Each of our masterclasses are priced more competitively than a single one-hour private lesson with Darryl or any top-tier instructor. This means you're getting high-quality, in-depth instruction at a fraction of the cost of traditional lessons.
  • Fretwise Premium: Our premium membership starts at just $18 per month which is less than $0.60 per day!

You're likely here after spending countless hours of learning from YouTube videos. YouTube and free online tabs are excellent resources, but if you want to get better quicker and ensure that you're not missing any critical knowledge, then look no further than Fretwise.

Signing up to Fretwise removes the need for guesswork, providing you with clear daily and weekly objectives to enhance your guitar skills.

Simply put: spend your time or your money - whichever is less valuable to you.

Can I cancel my membership at any time?

Yes! Cancelling your membership is completely hassle-free. Simply click the cancel button in your account settings. No gimmicks and no confirmation emails - it couldn't get any simpler.

Your membership will stay active for the remainder of your billing cycle, but you will not be charged again for renewal. Access to all membership resources will expire on the originally scheduled renewal date.

Should you wish to resume your membership, it's just as easy. Log in to your account and go to your account settings to renew or crossgrade your membership to pick up right where you left off.

Is there a free trial available?

No, we don't offer a free trial. However, we provide a generous 14-day money-back guarantee for all purchases! If, for any reason (though it's quite unlikely), you're not satisfied with the resources and materials on Fretwise, you can reach out to staff to request a full refund. We value your feedback, and if there's anything we can do to improve your experience before taking this step, please let us know!

Find out more from our terms of service.