Best music theory & composition books according to redditors

We found 1,421 Reddit comments discussing the best music theory & composition books. We ranked the 455 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Music Theory, Composition & Performance:

u/Sleutelbos · 88 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

A counter-melody is a 'less important' melody played against the primary melody. Historically there was a period when playing multiple melodies against each other was the absolute essence of music, and folks like Bach dominated (called 'counterpoint' music). A very famous example, that is 'simple' so easy to follow is Bach's Invention #1:

His 'inventions' were for two melodies. He also wrote 'sinfonias' which were for three voices, and are a bit more complex, for example his Sinfonia No.2:

Listening to this with headphones while trying to consciously follow all melodies is quite a peculiar experience. :)

And if you want to feel depressed and talentless, check from 10:54: Here he starts with the primary melody and then has the second melody join. This is exhausting to *really* listen to and my peanut brain is too small to ever hope to play something like this. Shredding? Sure, I can start slow, practice a ton and end up fast. But having both hands play *this* independently? Awe-inspiring. Sitting down and composing this on a piece of paper almost 400 years ago? Madness. :D

In baroque counterpoint the goal is to make every melody interesting in and of themselves, and make it sound 'effortless harmoniously together'. It should sound like these melodies were born together. In practice this aint easy at all and you'll be tempted to see one as the 'primary melody' and the others as 'subservient' where you can take shortcuts to make them fit the main melody. At that point it is no longer true counterpoint but you can still call it a counter-melody. Taken further you'll have things like arpeggios; parts that obviously fit the primary melody but are themselves so bland they are clearly accompaniment instead of a melody in their own right.

If you're interested, a very well-regarded (though rather pedantic) book that starts at the basic and offers exercises is the many century old If you want to go *really* old-school you can go as close to the original here:

I think it'll help most songwriters/composers to know the basics, even if you dont care about classical counterpoint at all. :)

u/reckless150681 · 44 pointsr/musictheory

We need to understand what theory is and where it comes from.

For example, it might not be very useful to analyze a rap song with the same techniques we do with Classical stuff. It's certainly not useful to analyze a drum cadence in that way.

So first you need to pick out a style that you really want to analyze out. Hell, you could start with a single song. But either way, follow that backwards through time/formal analysis. You'll find that many styles follow this thing called "tonal theory". The idea is that much of music has a tonal center - that's to say, a single chord (and by some extensions, a single pitch or note) that we can use to define the entire key/song.

The beginning of tonal music came around the Baroque era, but we can start with Classical-era stuff (i.e. Mozart, Handel, Haydn). At this point there's clear structure to it - there are ideas of tonics, dominants, and predominants. This will end up being the basis of a TON of music - so-called "classical", rock, pop, jazz - much of the music we have today is reliant on this set of ideas.

So how do you start? Well, find some structure. Music has absolutely zero shortcuts. You need to carve out your own path through theory. Unfortunately this means acknowledging some permanent, temporally-obstacles (for example, learning atonality after tonality changes your understanding of atonality), but a not-so-bad way to do it is chronologically.

To do this, you can hit up musictheoryonline. Don't skip any of the exercises, boring as they may be. Or pick up a textbook. This was my undergrad textbook^1 , and I think it's pretty good. Read through each chapter. Take the time to listen to all the examples.

  1. Notice what I said? It's my undergrad textbook. That means I had to learn theory. Talent will only get you so far. If you want to study existing music, you need to put time into seeing what the contemporary theory is.
u/Xenoceratops · 29 pointsr/musictheory

Your best bet is to get a decent theory textbook. It might not always be material that you think is applicable to what you do, but it will set the groundwork for more specialized study.



Some of the material in the above is also found in Seth Monahan’s YouTube,, and

I also suggest Understanding Rock to get an idea of what analysis of rock music can look like, though you’ll probably need a grasp on a good chunk of textbook theory before you get there. (Same as for this article, and the knowledge requirement is probably even higher for that one.)

u/soundcult · 26 pointsr/synthesizers

Hey! I can relate exactly to where your'e coming from. I, some years ago, decided I wanted to get into building synths. I ended up getting a job at a pedal company and have spent more time learning to build and repair pedals than synths. I don't work there anymore, but it gave me a lot of perspective into the field as we also made euro-rack modules.

First up: I don't want to scare you off from this, but just want to give you a realistic perspective so that you go into this knowing what you are getting into. Making synths is hard and it's expensive. As far as electronic projects go, making a synthesizer is up there on the list. I've repaired powerplant turbine controller circuitboards that were simpler than some of the synths I've owned. This isn't to say, "don't do it!" but, expect to learn a lot of fundamental and intermediate stuff before you ever have something like a fully-featured synth that you built in your hands.

It's also expensive. A cheap synth prototype is going to cost a couple hundred bucks, easy, while a more fully-featured prototype could cost into the thousands to produce, and that's just to build one working prototype. If you want to make a run of products you're going to need money up front, and not a small amount. So, just be prepared for that inevitability.

One final note is that my perspective is broad (digital and analog) but is rooted in analog electronics because that's where I started. This isn't the only path you can take to get to where you want to go but honestly in my opinion, even if you're going to go mostly digital later, you need to understand analog.

If you have never messed with electronics much before I highly recommend the Make: Electronics book. I'm a hands-on person and this was the most effective book I found that let me study electronics fundamentals the way I wanted to; by making stuff! No matter which direction you go on (digital, analog, hybrid, DSP, SID, etc) you're going to want to know how to pick the right resistor, or how to pop an LED into a circuit, and this book will teach you that.

Solid follow-up books from there are Make: More Electronics, Practical Electronics for Inventors, How To Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic, and The Art of Electronics. All of these books are good books that touch on different concepts you will find useful, so I encourage you to look through them and decide for yourself which of these interests you.

Around this same time, I'd encourage you to start getting into kits. Honestly, before you build anything synth, I'm going to recommend you build some pedals. Effects pedals are fun and rewarding to build without being too hard. Start with a distortion circuit and work your way up from there. Once you can build a delay pedal without freaking out, move on to euro-rack kits, or other synth kits. While you're building these kits, don't just build them, play with the circuits! Try swapping components where you think you can, or adding features. One of my first kits was a distortion pedal with a single knob, but by the time I was done tweaking on it it had five knobs and two toggle switches!

Once you're feeling somewhat comfortable with electronics, then you can dive into the holy grail of analog synth design: Make: Analog Synthesizers this amazing book was written by the brilliant Ray Wilson who recently passed away. His life's goal was to bring the art of building analog synths into the hands of anyone who wanted to learn, and there is no better place to receive his great wisdom than this book. You should also check out his website Music From Outer Space along the way, but the book covers so much more than his website.

If you make through most or all of those resources you are going to be well-equipped to take on a career in synth-building! I'm personally still on that last step (trying to find the time to tackle Make: Analog Synthesizers) but hope within the next year or two to get that under my belt and start diving in deep myself. It's been a fun journey of learning and discovery and I wouldn't trade the skills I've gained in electronics for much.

Hope this helps, good luck!

u/RedRedRoad · 24 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Comprehensive List of Books Relating to Music Production and Creative Growth

<br />


On Composition:

<br />

Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies - Dennis DeSantis
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic book. Each page has a general idea on boosting creativity, workflow, and designing sounds and tracks.

Music Theory for Computer Musicians - Michael Hewitt
Amazon Link
Really easy to digest book on music theory, as it applies to your DAW. Each DAW is used in the examples, so it is not limited to a specific program. Highly recommend this for someone starting out with theory to improve their productions.

Secrets of Dance Music Production - David Felton
Amazon Link
This book I recently picked up and so far it's been quite good. It goes over all the different elements of what make's dance music, and get's quite detailed. More geared towards the beginner, but it was engaging nonetheless. It is the best 'EDM specific' production book I have read.

Ocean of Sound - David Troop
Amazon Link

Very well written and interesting book on ambient music. Not only does David go over the technical side and history of ambiance and musical atmospheres, he speaks very poetically about creating these soundscapes and how they relate to our interpersonal emotions.


On Audio Engineering:

<br />

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio - Mike Senior
Amazon Link
In my opinion, this is the best mixing reference book for both beginners and intermediate producers. Very in-depth book that covers everything from how to set-up for accurate listening to the purpose of each mixing and mastering plug-in. Highly recommended.

Zen and the Art of Mixing - Mixerman
Amazon Link
Very interesting read in that it deals with the why's more than the how's. Mixerman, a professional audio engineer, goes in detail to talk about the mix engineer's mindset, how to approach projects, and how to make critical mixing decisions. Really fun read.

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook - Bobby Owinski
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic companion book to keep around. Not only does Owinski go into great technical detail, he includes interviews from various audio engineers that I personally found very helpful and inspiring.


On the Industry:

<br />

All You Need to Know About the Music Business - Donald S. Passman
Amazon Link
This book is simply a must read for anyone hoping to make a professional career out of music, anyone wanting to start their own record label, or anyone interested in how the industry works. It's a very informative book for any level of producer, and is kept up-to-date with the frequent revisions. Buy it.

Rick Rubin: In the Studio - Jake Brown
Amazon Link
Very interesting read that is a semi-biographical book on Rick Rubin. It is not so personal as it is talking about his life, experiences, and processes. It does get quite technical when referring to the recording process, but there are better books for technical info. This is a fun read on one of the most successful producers in history.

Behind the Glass - Howard Massey
Amazon Link
A collection of interviews from a diverse range of musicians who speak about creativity, workflows, and experiences in the music industry. Really light, easy to digest book.


On Creativity:

<br />

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
Amazon Link
This is a must-read, in my opinion, for any creative individual. It is a very philosophical book on dealing with our own mental battles as an artist, and how to overcome them. Definitely pick this one up, all of you.

This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel S. Levitin
Amazon Link
A book written by a neurologist on the psychology of music and what makes us attached to it. It's a fairly scientific book but it is a very rewarding read with some great ideas.


On Personal Growth and Development:

<br />

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Amazon Link
Although this seems like an odd book for a music producer, personally I think this is one of the most influential books I've ever read. Knowing how to be personable, effectively network, and form relationships is extremely important in our industry. Whether it be meeting and talking to labels, meeting other artists, or getting through to A&amp;R, this book helps with all these areas and I suggest this book to all of you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
Amazon Link
Similar to the recommendation above, although not directly linked to music, I assure you reading this book will change your views on life. It is a very engaging and practical book, and gets you in the right mindset to be successful in your life and music career. Trust me on this one and give it a read.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Amazon Link
You know the feeling when you're really in the groove of jamming out and all worries tend to slip away for those moments? That is the 'Optimal Experience' according to the author. This book will teach you about that experience, and how to encourage and find it in your work. This is a very challenging, immersive, and enlightening read, which deals with the bigger picture and finding happiness in your work and life. Very inspiring book that puts you in a good mindset when you're doing creative work.

The Art of Work - Jeff Goins
Amazon Link
A very fascinating book that looks at taking your passion (music in our case) and making the most of it. It guides you on how to be successful and turn your passion into your career. Some very interesting sections touching on dealing with failure, disappointment, and criticism, yet listening to your intuition and following your passion. Inspiring and uplifting book to say the least.


Happy reading!

<br />

u/meepwned · 21 pointsr/Guitar

My suggestion is to learn on your own, and if you choose to go to college, pursue a major that has more profitable career options. Minor in music theory and invest your free time in practicing your instrument. Here is a reading list I recommend to start getting into serious music study and guitar playing:

u/spoonopoulos · 19 pointsr/musictheory

There are a lot of courses. Any specific topics you're interested in?

Edit: I'll just list a few anyway that I've used in classes (this may not reflect all professors' choices for the same subjects).

Tonal Harmony: Kostka-Payne - Tonal Harmony

Counterpoint 1: A Berklee book by the late professor Rick Applin. Some also use this Fux translation/adaptation

Counterpoint 2: Bach Inventions &amp; Sinfonias (any edition, really)

"Advanced" Counterpoint: The Well-Tempered Clavier (again, any edition)

Early Twentieth-Century Harmony: Persichetti - Twentieth-Century Harmony

Post-Tonal Theory/Analysis: Straus - Intro to Post-Tonal Theory

Instrumentation/Orchestration: Adler - The Study of Orchestration &amp;
Casella/Mortari - The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration

Western Music History - Burkholder/Paiisca - A History of Western Music (8th or 9th edition)

Conducting 1 - Notion Conducting

Conducting 2 Notion + Stravinsky's Petrushka

Berklee's own (jazz-based) core harmony and ear-training curricula use Berklee textbooks written by professors which, as someone else mentioned, come unbound and shrink-wrapped at the bookstore. You can find older (PDF) versions of the Berklee harmony textbooks here. Of course this list only represents explicit book choices - there are a lot of excerpt-readings, and there's a lot of instruction that isn't found in these books even in the associated courses.

u/17bmw · 16 pointsr/musictheory

Normally, I would try to (somewhat) annotate stuff I link/mention but I'm tired on all levels of my being so forgive me for making this reply less detailed than I'd like it to be. Keep in mind that I don't know sht and half the time, I'm talking out my ss.

Mostly I hope this, at least, helps you guide your search. Or the things I write here are so horribad that it prompts someone to viciously correct me, thus giving you the real info you need! :p

I might circle back after some time to add notes here and there. Maybe. Also, this first reply will be focused on quartal harmony but I should be able to muster up the spoons to write up a search guide for minimalism later.

First, there are some really neat proto examples of quartal/quintal harmony in Medieval music. The starting search term for this would be organum. There were/are more than a few kinds^A of organum but examples of parallel organum should be most interesting to you.

David Fenwick Wilson has a book on Early music called Music in the Middle Ages: Style and Structure. It's admittedly an older book but I mention it specifically because there's a lovely youtube video^B with examples from the related anthology. As always, I'm a sl*t for Norton's music history books^C so check those out as well, imo.

Outside of the realm of "classical" music, most of the quartal harmony you'll encounter will be in the form of quartal voicings^D for otherwise tertian chords. It's a favorite trick for more than a few jazz giants so naturally, there's an absolute glut^E of resources for this.

When we get to classical music though, we start to get some actual spicy stuff, like fully formed quartal harmonic systems and languages. Paul Hindemith was a BIG fan of quartal stuff. You can check out his own writings^F about his musical system in his book on composition. Arnold Schoenberg also devotes a section in his book on harmony^G to the newer quartal sounds cropping up (well "new" when he wrote it at any rate).

From there it's really a matter of doing the grunt work of either analyzing composers you find writing quartal harmony OR researching analyses of said composers. Sure, quartal harmony (and the related term "interval cycle") gets mentioned in more than a few books on 20th century harmony like Vincent Persichetti's^H or Richard Strauss's^I books; both might be good jumping off points on your journey.

Seemingly, every composer and their mother (Hindemith, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland, Cowell, Ives) experimented with quartal writing in the 20th century. So while definitive guides might be hard to track down, specific examples aren't. I'll include an analysis or two that you might find helpful in the list below. Be on the look out for any edits I might sneak in!

Beyond that, perhaps the most concrete way we could help you would be to analyze specific pieces/instances of quartal language you find and walk you through any questions you had about the piece. When I'm not tired, I'm usually down to dig into some cool music. Drop a score, ask something, and let's analyze something together! Still, I hope this helps. Have fun on your compositional journey and take care!












J.) Berg's Lyric Suite has plenty of quintal yumminess. Check out Perle's analysis of its interval cycles:

u/ArtistEngineer · 15 pointsr/synthdiy

Basic theory:, and (e.g. see "Theory and Practice of Musical Sound Synthesis")

Ray Wilson's book:

LM13700 datasheet (has circuit example for VCO, VCFs, VCA, Sample and Hold, PWM, multiplier):

The LM13700 is a $1 chip which can be used to implement most of the basic synthesizer modules.

"The kits I build use a lot of the same parts over and over, so having a stock of the basics is good. You can probably build this stock up for about $100:

DIP ICs, a few of each: LM13700, TL072, TL074, LM324"

u/PendularWater · 14 pointsr/musictheory

Go and buy yourself a copy of Twentieth-Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti! It sounds like just the thing you need, and it's legit the most inspiring theory book I've ever had!

And some musical recommendations: Jack Conte has some really harmonically interesting songs. It's never atonal or anything, but there are still some cool weird chord progressions I don't think I've heard anywhere else. Also, go back and listen to some Carlo Gesualdo! Seriously, there's some really out-there stuff in his music, even to modern ears.

u/jdwmusic · 11 pointsr/musictheory

Here's a couple that I've found useful:

u/InSomeOtherWords · 11 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

So many people seem to have this idea that they're just going to "learn theory." Like that's it.


But in all seriousness. Yeah you will learn theory. If music is going to be a life long pursuit you will never STOP learning theory. Unless you're not serious about it. Then you might just learn what I IV V means write some pop songs and stop there. I digress..

First thing. Learn to read music. DO NOT READ TAB. Learn all the notes on the fret board. Not like you can count up to it and realize that something is a C. Like you KNOW IT. Point to it and you know what note it is. Start reading music here.

Another good way to learn the notes on the fretboard is to pick 4 triads of different qualities. One major, one minor, one diminished, and one augmented triad and play them in all inversions in all positions on the neck while saying the note names. And then pick 4 new triads the next day. Do not just learn the shapes. This will probably take you 2 hours on your first day if you're as thorough as you should be.

If you don't know what any of that means that's fine for now. Those are some pretty basic concepts that you'll learn pretty soon if you're serious about this.

This guy knows his shit. Learn from him. Take it slow. Don't just watch the video and go "Yeah that makes sense." You need to KNOW IT. Drill the concepts a few hours a day.

You could buy a music text book.

Or get an actual guitar teacher. I'd recommend learning jazz because unlike a lot of rock or pop players they actual know their shit about theory and their instrument. You kinda have to know your shit to play jazz. Either that or classical. But jazz theory is more in line with modern music.

Segway: Buy a Real Book

Start off in there with Autumn Leaves or something else easy.

If you're really beginner-y start here.

While that guy's course is good it really focuses on technique. You learn basically no theory from that guy. Just shapes and tabs. Doesn't even use standard notation. His jazz course is ok. It's on his side bar.

This guy's stuff is good for a beginner in jazz. But a beginner in jazz is not exactly beginner level for some other genres. I think you need a pretty solid level of understanding to understand what he's talking about.

That should get you started..

[Edit] Some people have this disconnect. They think that learning theory is somehow separate from song writing. Learning theory will open so many doors to you and show you why and how things work. So that you can actually understand what you're doing.

If I wanted to build a house I could just jump in and start building a house. I'd probably come across a lot of problems. My first house might suck and have a leaky roof or bad plumbing or something. But I could probably learn a long the way. Maybe after I build a ton of crappy houses I could figure out for myself why things work.

Or.. I could look through the writings of the millions of house builders that came before me and see what they found out works and what doesn't. Then maybe my first house will have some issues and it might not be so easy to pull off but I'd be better off learning from the people who came before me than trying to figure it out myself. By doing this I have just saved myself the time of trying to rediscover the wheel so to speak.

That's what learning theory will do for you.

u/BambooSurfer · 11 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

read, "This Is Your Brain On Music"

an interesting read for sure

u/RMack123 · 8 pointsr/musictheory

Most college music theory texts have a companion workbook filled with quizzes and practice problems/questions. Where I went to undergrad we used Tonal Harmony and the school I'm going to now uses The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis. Not sure if that qualifies as being "accessible," but it's good material if you're willing to part with all those dollars. Text books sure are expensive.

u/ichbineinewhore · 8 pointsr/suggestmeabook
u/mummica · 8 pointsr/synthesizers

This is a great book which goes in depth with the tools and approach needed, along with the main circuits in every modular setup/ synth. It comes from this site which has tons and tons of circuits. They are not really beginner stuff but filled with inspiration and is great to go back to once you have some experience and components to use.




Here is a good blog to read through and watch the videos for some basic circuitry. Some really interesting stuff here! There are 12 posts on different things. He is quite knowledgeable indeed...


And if you really want to learn about electronics in depth (or any other field) check out which offers lessons for free.

u/ExtraSmooth · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If I may, I'll throw in my somewhat-learned 2 cents. I have read a fair number of books on the subject and am currently studying music at the undergrad level--I'm by no means an expert.

If you're interested in the neurological understanding of music, I would recommend the book Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy. Pretty good read that goes into some detail without requiring an MD to understand. Basically, we respond to tension and resolution because of tendencies in our brain to seek out new and variant stimuli.

You mentioned major sounding happy and minor sounding sad. It would be interesting for you to know that this was not always the case. If you're playing in an orchestra or wind ensemble, chances are most of the music you're being exposed to in that setting is from the Classical and Romantic periods of the so-called Western Music Tradition: Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn. Maybe some more modern music as well, but probably nothing too "out there". Also bear in mind, most of the music you hear on the radio, pretty much since the 1970s is very closely related harmonically to classical music from the Classical and Romantic periods.

All this is to say that if you look at Baroque music and earlier, or more modern Western music, as well as music from any other cultural tradition, you'll find very different understandings of harmony, melody, and rhythm. There are few universally enjoyable traits in music across various cultures and types of listener. /u/Bears_in_Blue_Houses has some good points: repetition is usually favored, and people usually like music they can understand and relate to. Beyond that, it really depends on 1. why you're listening to music and 2. what music you're used to. Some people desire intellectual stimulation, and find more complex harmonies, rhythms, structures, and sounds to be enjoyable; others look for simple beats to dance or relax to. Most people look for different things at different times.

u/WorkedInTheory · 7 pointsr/drumcorps

Without question, the best way to learn how to arrange is to put in the work transcribing some of your favorite arrangers and dissecting the way they approach things.

Study the chord progressions they use and analyze their voicing. Break down how they use counterpoint vs. countermelody. Pay attention to how they use every single voice, common articulations, and where in the range do they have each part "live" (1st vs. 2nd vs 3rd).

Write down what you observe about how they do things, try to put it into words. Compare/contrast between arrangers. This will help you better internalize what they are doing and help you to find your own style.


Before doing any of this, however, I suggest to read, read, read. Here are a few books to get your started:


The Study of Counterpoint - Johann Joseph Fux


Contemporary Counterpoint: Theory &amp; Application - Beth Denisch


Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony - Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky


Principles of Orchestration - Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov


Essential Dictionary of Orchestration - Dave Black &amp; Tom Gerou


Treatise on Instrumentation - Hector Berlioz &amp; Richard Strauss


Arranging for Horns - Jerry Gates


Another excellent resource is Bandestration -



Another great read that is HIGHLY applicable to writing for marching music is:


Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics


If you are interested to explore interplay between wind/percussion arranging and electronics:


Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer - Andrea Pejrolo


u/Iasper · 7 pointsr/musictheory

Persichetti's 20th Century Harmony might be exactly what you're looking for.

u/ILikeasianpeople · 7 pointsr/musictheory

Because you have an issue of constantly writing in the same key, I feel like your issue won’t be solved by just learning about modal interchange. I believe that thinking about harmony and phrase structure Functionally would be of more use to your process.

Every chord in a harmonic progression serves a function that can be broken down into 3 basic categories:

  1. Tonic Function (Major: I, vi, iii) (Minor: i, bIII, bVI)

  2. Subdominant Function (Major: ii, IV) (Minor: ii^o , iv)

  3. Dominant Function (Major: V, vii^o ) (Minor: V, #vii^o )

    Each chord flows to the next, so a progression from:

    Tonic -&gt; Subdominant -&gt; Dominant -&gt; Tonic

    Is atypical. It’s important to note that Tonics can come after a subdominant (T - SD - T), and the subdominant can be skipped and a tonic can lead directly to a dominant (T - D - T). Tonic chords can also lead to other Tonic chords (T - T), the same goes for subdominants and Dominants (S - S; D - D) so our new chart would look like this:

    Tonic -&gt;&lt;- Subdominant -&gt; Dominant -&gt;&lt;- Tonic

    Harmonic progressions serve functions as well, and you can reduce almost every harmonic progression can into 3 basic categories (some would say there are only 2, but I prefer to think about it in terms of 3):

  1. Prolongation (when you prolong any harmony by skipping or omitting a harmonic Function between 2 chords, or simply repeating the same harmonic function back to back) to for example:

    I - V - I

    I - IV - I

    i - ii^o - i

    V - I - V

    iv - i - iv

    I - vi

    IV - ii

    ii - ii^6

    I - vii^6/5ø - I^6

    Etc etc

  2. Cadential function (when the sequence of chords flows from T - SD - D - T) ex:

    vi - ii - V - I, iv - V - VI, ii - vii^o - V - I, ii - I6/4 - V^7 - I

    Etc etc

  3. Sequential function: when harmonic root movement moves in a fixed pattern. this can, and often, defies normal “chord logic” of a T - SD - D progression. You escape sequential movement by using a Cadential Function set of harmonies. Sequences are really good ways to migrate from one key center to another, or to just provide a continuation before a cadence in the home key. Diatonically, there are 6 kinds of sequences: ascending and descending 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths


    (by ascending 4th) vii - iii - vi - (ii - V - I)

    (By descending 2nd) V - IV - iii - iii - (ii - V - I)

    (Descending 4th) I - V - ii - vi - (V/V - V - I)

    Etc etc etc etc

    You can interject prolongation and cadential functions in between each sequential chord: I (V - I) - ii - (vi - ii) - iii - (vii - ii) etc. you can also tonicize each chord in the sequence: I - vii^o / ii - ii - vii^o /iii - iii etc etc etc

    Phrase functions are also a thing, and these are strongly linked to Harmonic Progression Functions this is where both the theory behind natural chord progressions and sets of harmonic progressions come together. Understanding and being comfortable with phrase functions is extremely important.

  1. Presentation (Prolongation; a small basic idea (b.i.) That repeats twice)

  2. Continuation Function (Sequential, Cadential; a fragmented (smaller, incomplete) interpretation of the previous material that repeats, can lead into a cadential progression)

  3. Cadential Function (Cadential)

  4. Antecedent Function (Prolongation -&gt; Cadential) (basic idea, b.i., followed by a contrasting idea, c.i. that leads to a half cadence)

  5. Consequent Function (the same basic idea followed by a varied version of the contrasting idea into a Perfect Authentic Cadence)

    In a typical musical sentence, you would have phrase structure that looks like this:

    Presentation -&gt; continuation -&gt; cadential

    A typical musical period looks like this:

    Antecedent -&gt; Consequent

    You can mix and match functions to your pleasure, (one b.i. followed by a continuation function; antecedent -&gt; continuation; antecedent -&gt; continuation -&gt; consequent; presentation -&gt; cadential; etc)

    Because you write rock music, adhering to Classical Formal structures is not gonna happen. However, each function and it’s interior components (b.i. , c.i., continuation, fragmentation, etc) are used in an altered way very very frequently.

    I did not cover modulation is this post, but I will link an article below.

    I hope this helps, bellow I will link some sites and books that could help with understanding these concepts beyond this post:


u/wsferbny · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is due to the [overtone series]( Basically there are resonant frequencies when you play a pitch. You'll notice in the examples on the Wikipedia page that the first couple overtones are the octave, the fifth, and the fourth. So those intervals tend to share overtones, making them sound better together to our ears.

For example, the first couple of overtones where C4 is our fundamental are C5, G5, and then C6. For G4, the overtones would be G5, D5, and G6. That's an interval of a fifth.

A lot of this is related to the Western tuning system. Most Western music is equally tempered. Basically, when a piano is tuned, you're making a bunch of compromises so that everything sounds good together, even if it's not perfectly in tune. You could tune certain intervals perfectly, but then others would sound really bad, so we compromise.

Another thing about Western music is that we're all about building tension and then relieving it ^justlikesex and you can see this in a lot of common chord progressions. Take your standard cadence, G7 to C, for example. G7 is a fairly unstable chord and it's built so that the third and seventh, B and F, collapse really naturally into C and E, giving us a nice, stable C triad.

Music also operates similarly to comedy in that it's all about delaying and overturning expectations. Like three men walk into a bar. You've heard that before and have some idea of what will follow. But then someone says "the third one ducks" and that's a new one and that's funny, so you laugh. Music works the same one. Let's say we set up the classic I-V-vi-IV chord progression but instead of IV we do something else. That's new, that's interesting, and we like it.

Disclaimer: I'm really sorry if I screwed up some of the overtone series stuff, I have only a vague idea of how it works.

You can read an entire book on why we like the music we do -- check out This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin -- it's a great read!

u/kindall · 7 pointsr/Music

This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin.

u/dissonantharmony · 6 pointsr/classicalmusic

This is definitely not a rule for how to write music now, just a rule for how to write music in the style of Bach/Mozart/Beethoven/Haydn etc. If you're interested in Tonal (read: Common Practice) Harmony, here are a few good theory books used in Freshman/Sophomore college music curriculums (in my order of preference):

The Complete Musician

Techniques and Materials of Music

Harmony and Voice Leading

Tonal Harmony

I'm also a composer, and I tend to write more modally (and sometimes without a strict tonality), so I just teach these, I don't necessarily follow them in my own writing.

u/krypton86 · 6 pointsr/Learnmusic

Who the hell told you counterpoint was easy to learn?

No, my friend, counterpoint is the pinnacle of composition. It's dreaded by every music major and even the theory/composition majors have a healthy fear of it.

I don't really know of any online source that can teach you what you need to know, either. Maybe some theory, but not counterpoint. You need to get a book and diligently work through the exercises. I recommend Study of Counterpoint: From Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum, Kennan's Counterpoint and Mann's The Study of Fugue for this. Check out both the Fux and the Kennan first and decide on one, then if you find that you want to go deeper go ahead and get the book on fugue study.

u/allemande · 6 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

For anything that involves advanced music theory, or more technical elements of music, your best bet (IMHO) is to stay clear from jazz/rock books or anything "popular" and read from traditional academic/classical composers. That is, if you're looking to understand music from a more historic point of view of how is was used, and how it worked for hundreds of years and how it still works today.

There are tons of good books out there, but off the top of my head I reccomend:

Regarding the art of counterpoint:

Preliminary exercises in Counterpoint - Schoenberg

Also, you could check out the traditional Fux's Study of Counterpoint, but I think Schoenberg's book is far more complete and incentive.

Regarding the art of Harmony:

For a long time I've always thought that books could educate you in any way, until I met my harmony teacher. After studying with her for a couple years I find it hard to believe how much information, technique, and art is missing from almost every book on the subject, some are exceptions, obviously, but my recommendation is that there is no better way of learning this but with personal intruction. Also, the teacher needs to be someone who has had a strong education in music from well-known masters of the past, as was my teacher.

Anyways, regarding harmony in the more poetical and theoretical sense I reccomend :

Rameau's Treatise on Harmony

and of course, Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony

For a more technical approach to harmony I haven't found any books I'm really fond of, but I do think that Paul Hindemith's book is a very good option.

For something in the middle I recommend this

Regarding form and structure in music:

Once again, I have never seen information and instruction similar to that which I received with my professors, however here are a few good picks...

Schoenberg's Fundamentals of musical composition

and 2 books that I found very useful were...
(these I didn't find on

from German composer Clemens Kuhn: "Formenlehre der Musik" (this is only in German)

and from Spanish composer Joaquin Zamacois: "Curso de Formas Musicales" (this is only in Spanish I believe)

Well, surely there are more books, but I think these are good options for you to start. However, always with a grain of salt

u/disaster_face · 6 pointsr/musictheory

20th century harmony goes fairly in-depth about all of those topics.

u/newDilly99 · 6 pointsr/Guitar

Music Theory for the Road audiobooks have been teaching me a lot. It cost me $20.

The Books "Chord Progressions for Songwriters", and TuneSmith - Inside the Art of Songwriting by Jimmy Webb

Also, Earmaster for ear training has helped me enormously.

u/patrickcolvin · 6 pointsr/musictheory

Here is the book I've used with adult piano students:

u/spericksen · 5 pointsr/piano

Gonna be honest, 20 minutes is fine for grade-schoolers, but if you're looking to get good fast, at your age, I'd suggest closer to an hour of practice and study a day. Soon enough, when you're looking at more serious rep, that should jump up to something more like at least 2-3 hours a day. Warm up with scale exercises (do some Googling for that) and arpeggios, then I'd recommend something like an etude book to start finding new fancy tools for your fingers to use (the one by [Cramer](,_Op.50_(Cramer,_Johann_Baptist) is excellent).
Remember, Liszt once practiced 14 hours a day. There's no real limit there once you cross the professional threshold.
As far as theory is involved, I really don't know how to help there. My college classes were invaluable in that regard. If you're really interested, we used this textbook (which also has a separate workbook). However, I'm sure you could glean plenty of useful theory basics just talking to lots of theory nerds (ha, like me). Perhaps your teacher would be willing to devote a little time here and there.

Edit: looks like there's a 4th edition now for that textbook, but hey, older means cheaper ;]

u/YogurtBatmanSwag · 5 pointsr/musictheory

You mentioned you like jazz, feel free to hang out with us /r/Jazz

Internet is great, and there is a lot for good free ressources. You'll have to go through a bunch of crap though, it can be confusing for a beginner and takes valuable time away to an already time consuming hobby.

So here are a few books I personally recommand.

Jazzology, an encyclopedia of theory centered around jazz that you can use with any genre. It's really good.

The real book, a good way to learn jazz standards with sheets that aren't so painful, using solfège for melody and letters for chords. This is the format I use with students.

The Jazz Theory book, or anything from mark levine.

The Complete Musician is good if you can find it for cheap, which is no easy task.

The definition of perfect pitch includes knowing the names of the notes. Without this knowledge, it's just "having a good ear". A good way to practice it is picking random notes and visualizing what the chord will sound like before playing it. That vizualisation aspect is the amazing thing about absolute pitch and helps with composing. The tuning or knowing what key you're in things are cute but fairly irrelevant.

Anyway, have fun.

u/AugustFay · 5 pointsr/musictheory

&gt;Isn't there a whole course somewhere?

This is a fundamental theory crash course for total beginners who are interested in learning at a college level yet have no prior experience in theory. It was created by Steven Laitz, who also authored one of the best American undergrad theory text books. I haven't tried it, and I know it costs some moneys... but this guy has an awesome reputation and it looks super legit.

eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals in 4 weeks


&gt;what the chord progression is. I've come up with, what I believe, to be some pretty good "root notes" for the progression (is that a term??).

Your notes could be "roots" but I would call them "bass notes" or together a "bassline" and in this case that just means they are the lowest sounding notes of whatever chord they will end up being a part of, but not necessarily the root of the note. This might seem confusing but bear with me… if you have a chord with 3 notes, like C major for example. The notes: C, E, G make it up. C is your root note… hence the name of the chord (C Major). If that C note is notated below the other two notes then it is your bass. This is called C major in root position. Bass is just the note on the bottom of the chord. The lowest one. If you decide to put E in the bass and make the chord E, C, G, then now E is your bass notes but C is still your root. This is called C major first inversion. You can do the same and put G in the bass, and have G, C, E, This is called C major second in version, G is your bass but C is still your root. Sorry if this is confusing to you I might have skipped a little ahead in the theory, but it's a pretty basic topic.

&gt;The notes are B-C#-D#-F#

As for your sample, and those 4 notes, I'd say you could be in F Major or B Major, depending on how you decide to harmonize the notes, you could even modulate between the two fairly easily, but that's a little more of an advanced topic.

&gt;How do I determine the chord progression?

There are many ways to harmonize your bass line but if you need some direction, try using the notes in one of the aforementioned keys.

Not sure if I'm helping or just throwing you off even more so I'll stop here.

Edit: formatting and grammar.

u/dounis42 · 5 pointsr/violinist

You might enjoy The Complete Musician, by Steven Laitz (former theory professor at Eastman, currently a professor at Juilliard). It's used for undergraduate music theory courses in many conservatories and universities these days; the explanations are extremely thorough and there are many examples. However, I don't think it goes through the very basics (such as how to read music).

You won't really *need* this sort of knowledge until you're working on more difficult repertoire, although an understanding of form and musical structure can be very helpful in learning more basic repertoire as well. Some people learn music by hacking through it and imitating their teachers (or imitating a recording); others learn by analyzing it from a theoretical and historical perspective, and applying that knowledge to inform their approach. You might find that you enjoy music (even more than you do currently) if you know more about its processes and inner workings!

As for the very basics, you might find Teoria to be helpful - it has a lot of great tutorials and exercises that'll help you get a good handle on the fundamentals.

u/discotuna · 5 pointsr/learnprogramming

For the actual programming, there's the Juce C++ library which is pretty essential. If you spend a few minutes scouring the website, he recommends some good resources (both digital and print) for learning C++.

For DSP knowledge I would start with DSP Guide because it's just bloody incredible.

As far as books go, do you mean books on audio programming or C++? I started learning C++ with C++ Primer, but for audio programming both Designing Audio Effect Plugins In C++ and The Audio Programming Book have been invaluable.

Also check out the KVR Developer Forum!

u/fantasticmrbond · 5 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I download short films on and mute the sound, and practice scoring to them.

I also wasn't finding much work in film, so I started writing music for indie video game developers. Winifred Phillip's book has been very useful to me (it's a big picture kind of understanding with plenty of practical advice) and I just started reading Aaron Marks' book which has some good stuff in it.

Someone also recently told me about scorbit (started by Berklee I think), which I personally haven't used much but have heard good things. You can set up a free account with them which is nice.

YouTube is filled with great (and shitty) advice. Honestly, I have more sources than I have time to explore anymore, so I'm just picking a few, and doing the hell out of them.

Also, the TigSource forums are great!

u/plaidofficial · 5 pointsr/Music

We have some musical training but have learnt mostly through trial and error. To strictly define counterpoint would be best left to a music academic ( but for us we often tend to layer melodic patterns with their own time signature, 3/4 and 4/4 is an easy example to try. There is an interplay between the time signatures and patterns that form because of this.

u/Ellistan · 5 pointsr/jazzguitar

At my school everybody takes classical theory for at least 2 years.

We used this book

Here's the work book

You'll probably need the answers too since you're teaching yourself

Really what I got out of it was being able to just instantly know chord spelling. I don't really have to think about a lot of things any more. It's just second nature. You don't really use classical counterpoint rules unless you plan on composing classical music. But it's a good vehicle for learning theory since it's rather specific and you have to consider a lot of things at once.

We use this book in our jazz theory class

But mainly I learned most from the lectures since our professor is really good. We also have to write a jazz tune every week and learn and improvise on it. As well as the ear training.

I wouldn't really even say that theory is "extremely challenging." You just have to spend a lot of time on it. There was a lot of assignments from the work book every week during classical theory. Probably spent like 6+ hours a week just on the homework for those classes. And that's not even including ear training. With any of this stuff you just have to be consistent, I don't think it's really that hard to understand and I started playing music much later than a lot of my peers.

But if you're trying to understand jazz before understanding really basic concepts like knowing your key signatures, how to spell basic triads, the chords in a given key, simple time vs compound time, etc, you're going to have a lot of trouble. Everything builds on to itself so you really have to understand the basics first which might be a little boring but you have to do it.

u/accomplicated · 5 pointsr/Beatmatch

Not specific to DJing, but I found This Is Your Brain on Music to be an invaluable resource. A few pages in and I was already a better producer/DJ.

u/schmarschmucks · 5 pointsr/musiccognition

I honestly think that learning some music theory will help. It gives you a deeper understanding of why things sound good when they do, and what things are likely to sound good together. To me, learning theory isn't really learning "someone else's music." Think of music like a language. Learning grammar and syntax won't stop you from making unique and beautiful sentences.
Also, I recommend reading This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levintin. Good luck! :)

u/EverForthright · 5 pointsr/AskWomen

Oof, that's a tough one. I really like Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber, This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin and Whipping Girl by Julia Serano.

u/tmwrnj · 5 pointsr/Guitar

I'd recommend Jazz Guitar: Complete Edition by Jody Fisher. It covers all the important topics in a fairly straightforward way and comes with a CD of examples and backing tracks. It's aimed at intermediate guitarists, but your experience should be sufficient.

The old standard was Mickey Baker's Jazz Guitar, but I'm not a huge fan. The learning curve is extremely steep and there's not a great deal of theory or explanation. It'd be a really useful companion to lessons with a teacher, but I think that most beginners would really struggle with it.

A good alternative to the Jody Fisher book is A Modern Method For Guitar by William Leavitt. The learning curve is fairly gradual, but it's tough going - everything is written in standard notation and there's no real instruction as such. It seems to be inspired by the Suzuki method. Everything is taught through progressively more demanding examples. You probably won't get stuck on anything, but you will need to do a bit of thinking to figure stuff out for yourself.

If you want to learn jazz theory in depth, I'd strongly recommend Jazzology by Rawlins and Bahha. It's the clearest, most elegant explanation of how everything fits together in jazz. It's not specifically written for guitar, but the theory is universal. The Jody Fisher book covers all the theory that you really need to know, but Jazzology would be a really good supplement if you like to understand things in detail.

In your jazz guitar journey, you'll probably come across The Real Book. It's an essential reference text, containing lead sheets for hundreds of the most popular jazz tunes. It's how most of us learned our repertoire and most of us still have a copy in our gig bag pocket. Today, you have a huge advantage in learning tunes because of the fabulous iReal Pro. It's an app version of The Real Book, but it can also play backing tracks for any tune in any key and at any tempo. It's an absolute boon when you're learning to play solos.

Finally, I'd suggest just listening to a whole bunch of jazz, not just jazz guitar. You should know Joe Pass, Ted Greene and Wes Montgomery, but you should also know Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie.

u/wunderbier · 5 pointsr/Guitar

If you want to really go down the rabbit hole: A Modern Method for Guitar.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/Guitar

Coming at it from a jazz standpoint, William Leavitt's Modern Method, or Sal Salvador's Complete Book of Guitar Technique. Salvador's one contains a good few studies.

Mick Goodrick's Advancing Guitarist is particularly famous.

u/Schemawound · 5 pointsr/synthesizers

I've enjoyed this one as a start. Interested to see any other suggestions you get:

u/benprunty · 5 pointsr/gamemusic

Thanks! :)

I would say learn an instrument first and learn music theory on the way. Get an instrument and a good lesson book. Get this book too:

Then go from there! I have a lot of stuff on my blog about this too:

u/NotedMuse07 · 4 pointsr/musictheory

The professionally trained musician in me says, "So this is what today's pop stars have been using to create songs..." But I digress. As a music teacher, that chart might be useful in aiding young tots into easily composing something "tuneful." The question is more about how one perceives music. Everyone is individual; thus, everyone has individual perceptions. Try reading Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy. It's not perfect, but it poses some really interesting questions about music.

u/BenjaminGrove · 4 pointsr/composer

For orchestration, the Adler book is definitely the modern day definitive book, but as a high schooler, paying for the Adler is probably not on your to-do list. Instead, I recommend the Rimsky-Korsakov because it's free on IMSLP.,_Nikolay)

For composition, I recommend Persechetti's book, Twentieth Century Harmony. It's not really about telling you how to compose, it's more like an encyclopedia of possibilities and descriptions of what those possibilities sound like.

u/hobbes987 · 4 pointsr/askscience

I've got yet another book! "This is your brain on music" by Daniel Levitin

u/Karmitage · 4 pointsr/sounddesign

Online Articles
Designing a movie for sound by Randy Thom
The sound of Star Wars by Ben Burt
Plus most other articles on filmsound

Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound by David Yewdall
Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema by David Sonnenschein
This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Levitin Not directly sound design but still very interesting and useful.

Sound Works Collection
Designing Sound
Film Sound

These are just some of my personal picks but I'm sure there are plenty more resources out there.

u/smokefillstheroom · 4 pointsr/piano

I do NOT want to discourage you - but I don't think there is a quick way to learn music thory. It takes time and practice and experience. But it is definitely possible! Just think of it as a language : the written dot on the staff corresponds to a pitch - just like an a corresponds to the sound a. It must become natural. So I guess my advice is to read a LOT of music. Every day, if possible, and of different styles (classical, modern etc.) If you want your pieces to really sound original, you have to know what others have written before you - and learn from their craft.
That being said, I think there is a good deal of great books about harmony that you can read to guide your development, I will list a few here :

  • Arnold Schoenberg : Theory of Harmony (A bit tedious to read, but with great many examples)
  • Arnold Schoenberg : Fundamentals of Musical Composition This one is great but a bit advanced; I suggest you read it when you master the harmony basics.
  • Carl Schroeder &amp; Keith Wyatt : Harmony and Theory: A Comprehensive Source for All Musicians This one is recommended, but I didn't read it myself.
  • Barbara Wharram : Elementary Rudiments of Music. This one I grew up with. Very straightforward and clear.

    Might I suggest that you play all the examples and excercies at the piano so that you train your ear to hear what you see.

    Also, you might want to contact a piano teacher and take lessons for a year... or two. Technique is a great part of playing, and is very difficult to learn on his own.

    Sorry for the long post, but I love music and want to help a fellow player. Also, sorry for potentialy awkward sentences, english is not my first language.

    Hope this helps!
u/Rhaps · 4 pointsr/composer

Of course. (Even though I will only give some of the important things)

  1. A piano is written with 2 staves (one per hand)
  2. You have to specify what strings play (violin, alto, cello, DB ?) here you just have a staff that says "strings". That makes us wonder "who plays and when ?"
  3. Same thing apply to woods
  4. When it's done, you need to make groups the way it's supposed to be.
  5. Normally, it would be : Winds, piano and then strings. I can understand the fact that your piano is above (since it's kind of a soloist), but the winds must still be above the strings nevertheless
  6. There a no specifications of articulation
  7. There a no specifications of dynamics
  8. Your notation of rythm is a little off : In a 4/4 we need to see the 3rd beat. (exemple : your 13th bar)
  9. You would not need so many ties in your piano if you simply noted how the sustain pedal should be used

    It's a start. I invite to you read orchestral (or chamber music) scores. It will provide you with great knowledge.

    I invite you to consult some book on the subject, like this one : (don't really know if it's good, never personaly read it)

    Don't worry, people don't expect of you to know all these things to begin with. It's just important when you present something to fellow composers.

    Keep up the good work !

    (if you want to know my sources, I'm a composition student in a university in Canada)
u/DarkJkl2009 · 4 pointsr/Guitar

A Modern Method for Guitar by William Leavitt is what you are talking about.

u/Monkee11 · 4 pointsr/jazzguitar

if you can read sheet music decently I'd recommend William Leavitt's Modern Guitar Method - It's fairly tough for new guitar students because most of them don't know how to sight read, but if you can do that then this is a really great resource and will teach you scales and chords in different areas all over the guitar. This book doesn't hold your hand, so go in expecting that it's dense and might take time a long time to get through.

Outside of working through books, it sounds like you want to know the fretboard notes more than anything, so I'd recommend learning in this order:

  • Memorize the notes on the low E string and the A string. (playing e minor and a minor scales vertically [up one string] are useful for this so you don't have to worry about accidentals much yet)

    playing vertically is important to know but isn't very efficient

  • Memorize the notes on the 5th fret (ADGCEA) and come up with an acronym to speed things up and to be able to find notes between 5th and 12th frets much faster - A Dog Got Caught Eating Apples for example

  • Check out an app (also an online version) called [Tenuto] ( and practice Fretboard note identification, and eventually interval training (learning chords tricks you into doing this too). I especially like this on mobile because you can learn the fretboard pretty well when you're on the bus or taking a dump or whatever. Use the test mode and you'll see yourself getting way faster over time and eventually you'll start to see frets as letters instead of numbers.

  • My biggest advice to most guitarists who want to be well rounded is to learn chords. Chord knowledge is super useful on guitar - you can start to see intervals/arpeggios/scales really well by knowing chords on guitar - they're like the skeletons that outline scales and arpeggios.

    my advice for this is to learn E shape, A shape, and D shape barre chords, assuming you already know CAGED+F open chords. That paired with a good knowledge of the E and A string and you are off to a great start. Guitar takes a lot more work than piano in order to see chords and be able to move around efficiently.

    Tl;dr get the app Tenuto, also available on pc here and work through William Leavitt's Modern Guitar Method (i'm in no way affiliated with either - I'm a professional musician and teacher and they're both tools that I use daily)
u/gtani · 4 pointsr/violinist

Do you just want to read alto, bass and tenor clefs or do you want to learn basic chord construction, cadences, voice leading, jazz chord scales, stuff like that?

The theory books by Wyatt/Schroeder and Edly's are good starts:

u/I_like_mangoes · 4 pointsr/videos

I bought this book a while back and it has helped tremendously. It has a nice pace to it. It teaches you something then it'll have a little song that demonstrates what it just taught you. Starts off with just small little basic things and then gets into more complicated stuff later on. You can just go through the book at your own pace. I highly recommend it.

also before I bought the book this nice little website taught me a lot about the basics of reading sheet music.

u/KeronCyst · 4 pointsr/piano

That depends on how good you want to get. Staying free, sadly, won't get you very far, because your hands are not like my hands, or the YouTube self-learn video creators' hands. We also do not know how you learn (whether you're tactile or something else). You would need a teacher to examine specifically how you learn, if even through video-chat.

The problem with the all-in-one adult books is that they don't prioritize hand posture: their stance is that as long as your fingers aren't splayed out all across the keys like a corpse's, then you're fine. That's totally false, though. The wrist needs to stay no higher than where the keys are (too many students keep their wrists too high which hampers reach and dynamic control), and the knuckles need to be typically the highest part of the hand, if examining the hand from a side view. Instead of sticking the knuckles up, too many students crush them down, which results in weak fingers that they can't lift up efficiently.

Many a great pianist has been lost in the vital beginner stages because of little heeding of proper, healthy posture. It also tends to be extremely difficult to teach yourself this (or goad yourself out of it if it's been a bad habit), and even more difficult to reinforce without repeated adjustment (at first) by a teacher who's physically present.

If you still insist, try but it would be best to save up, get a teacher, and factor in lessons like another monthly bill like your phone cost or utilities.

u/H-conscious · 4 pointsr/edmproduction

Yeah. You have to ask yourself, why am I obsessed with collecting all this information? It's not enough to just stop it, I'm sure you've tried that and found yourself back in the same old familiar patterns. A book that I really enjoyed reading was this, music habits His message is really simple, but his whole philosophy of music production is really good. There are a lot of bad habits we pick up when we first start music production and one of them is that obsession with collecting more info.

Also what really helped me is stick to a few good resources. Forget about the internet because I find more often than not there is a ton of bad advice floating around that you don't want to take on. Occasionally you find these amazing posts full of wisdom and 9/10 their knowledge came from a professional who knew their shit who probably already wrote a book that would be really beneficial to read.

And if you're like me you probably just overthink everything way too much. And collecting all that info isn't helping you to trust your own judgement and just making music.

u/Ranalysis · 3 pointsr/Guitar

i recommend learning music theory first. Here's a really good book. music theory book Consider getting a tutor as well.

u/ArsCombinatoria · 3 pointsr/musictheory

I would recommend going to your theory teacher's website/class website and look at what book they want you to get. This is a big sign of the approach the university will take in teaching from Theory I and upwards. This way, you will know the "common language" professors will use at your school regarding theory. What I mean are specifics, ranging from calling something an "accented passing tone" vs. making no distinctions between a regular passing tone, to various systems of abbreviations, and to differences in how the cadential "V^6/4 - V^7 - I" is viewed. Some people interpret this as " I^6/4 - V^7 - I." Basically, do you call a cadential^6/4 chord a V or a I chord? One use is not universal. Little clarifications like these, which can only been gleaned from your actual theory book, will make you better prepared and less confused on day one than learning one book's method, only to be presented with a completely different approach.

I think, given your background in theory, you will be surprised how far ahead you are compared to many people. A lot show up to their freshman year with a low level of theory competence.

I went to a university that used the Laitz textbook, so its about all I can recommend.

I've also been exposed to the Straus book for post-tonal theory.

For Species counterpoint, you can't beat the Schacter and Salzer book: "Counterpoint in Composition,"

For Schenkerian analysis, there is the Salzer book: "Structural Hearing." That is a bit more specialized, but it may pique your curiosity.

Great theorists like Felix Salzer and Carl Schacter, students of Heinrich Schenker, along with the acclaimed Steven Laitz, are good to learn about and be knowledgeable about. Looking into them, their associates, and their teachers can lead you to other good books.

u/eaglesbecomevultures · 3 pointsr/classicalmusic

Sure! Here are a few that have helped me out:

The textbook that my school uses for beginning theory classes is The Complete Musician by Steven Laitz. It is a pretty comprehensive look at tonality, covering the very basics through 19th century theory. Isn't too pricey either:

Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum is a great place to begin working on counterpoint:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1368896313&amp;amp;sr=1-1-spell&amp;amp;keywords=gradus+ad+parnasam+fux

Samuel Adler's The Study of Orchestration is my current go to book when researching the basics of different instruments and orchestration techniques:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1368896395&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=samuel+adler+orchestration

Lastly, once you feel you have developed a solid foundation with your theory knowledge, I can't stress enough the importance of studying/analyzing scores. It is (in my opinion) the best way of learning how to compose. One can learn so much from one score!

u/nmitchell076 · 3 pointsr/musictheory

This is the version of the Laitz in use today:;amp;robot_redir=1

There are also workbooks accompanying this text. I think the red one is written theory and the blue one is aural skills. I recommend using the written workbook and the main text and getting your aural skills somewhere else.

There's also a graduate theory review book. In a lot of ways, it's better, and cheaper. But it's really probably best used with a teacher to guide you, whereas The Complete Musician leads you by the hand more and thus works better for self-guided study.

u/HashPram · 3 pointsr/composer

"Composing Music: A New Approach" by William Russo is pretty good. I've been working through it for a few months now as I get time. It's aimed more at people with moderate musical experience than experienced composers but it deals with minimalism, cells, rows, a freer approach to harmony (than Classical harmony), picture music and so on. It approaches each topic mainly by setting you composition exercises - short pieces mainly - with a little bit of explanation, so if you're after something that's heavy on theory this won't be for you.

u/inkoDe · 3 pointsr/audioengineering

If you want a general, but very broad (it's a huge fucking book ~1200pgs) overview check out The Computer Music Tutorial by Curtis Roads. If you have a strong math background and really want to get into the nuts and bolts of digital sound check out The Audio Programming Book by Richard Boulange. For something sort of in the middle Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance by Charles Dodge. I took a two years of sound design / engineering at a UC campus. These were the three books we referenced most.

u/theramon · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

There's always the classic csound.
And the hip new kid on the scene, Supercollider. And by new, I mean only 10 years old.

If you are into this, you should check out Richard Boulanger's books.

The Csound book

The Audio Programming Book

u/squaxon · 3 pointsr/audioengineering

You could also try Pure Data, which is the open source version of Max/MSP.

Max/MSP is a good start because you can go on to write your own objects in Java and C++ as you progress.

But I assume most plug ins are C/C++. The Audio Programming Book is quite good for learning C specifically for audio.

Edit: link to book

u/eljuantornor · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

As others have pointed out, you'll have to use the Steinberg VST SDK and code in C++. A great book on that topic is The Audio Programming Book. There's a lot of examples and in one chapter you're actually walked through the process of writing a full VST from start to finish (there's also a bunch of other stuff in there about coding low-level audio). Another option would be to use something like JUCE to simplify the coding process. The other nice thing about JUCE is that it makes it really easy to write a VST that's also wrapped as an AudioUnit or RTAS plugin, so you get some great cross-compatibility there. JUCE also has a built in GUI library, but I've never really cared for the default style of it. A third option would be to use Faust, but it's kind of a weird language to learn and FaustWorks, the IDE that it comes with, is buggy as all hell. That said, it'll deploy as a VST, AU, RTAS, Max External, Pure Data external, or Pure Data abstraction and small effects plugins are generally really easy to write once you get the hang of the language syntax. There are a bunch of example VSTs on the site under the Online Examples section and it even has an online IDE, which is nice. IMO, if you're trying to really learn about signal processing and such, the best way to go would be to just write using the normal SDK. This is definitely doing it the hard way, but in my experience I learned so much more by not having anything of the functions abstracted away from me. On the other hand, if you're just trying to bang the VST out and use it, I'd look at JUCE or (depending on the complexity of the effect) FAUST. Either way, I hope that you'll post your results on /r/FreeSounds.

u/auditorycheesecake · 3 pointsr/edmproduction

Theres a great book called A Composer's Guide to game Music that I really enjoyed. It'll help you get more into the mindset of producing for video games and what that normally entails.

I think the biggest thing is to think about what type of game music you want to write and look for resources specific to that. I.e. do you want to write for indie games, AAA, fighters, phone games, etc...

u/VictorMih · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I'd say build yourself a portfolio with various styles and post it to your website or Soundcloud. You must include it in e-mails. Do contact local studios first, you'll have better luck connecting if you're somewhat close for meetings. I got lots of gigs by e-mailing studios or people I simply stumbled upon on social media. If you're into programmer circles you're surely gonna connect eventually. Also try going to indie meetings to network.

One thing to keep in mind is don't get discouraged by lack of replies. Bigger or rapidly expanding studios generally react very slow (if at all) and generally require prior experience - even if it only consists of indie work.

Also here's a book that really got me going into the mindset of a game music composer:;amp;keywords=composing%20for%20games&amp;amp;qid=1465410856&amp;amp;ref_=sr_1_3&amp;amp;sr=8-3

Good luck!

u/GermanSeabass · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers
u/ForNeverRachel · 3 pointsr/audioengineering

There are very good books on Amazon which might get you started on game audio. Some links :

Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design
A Composer's Guide to Game Music
The Complete Guide to Game Audio: For Composers, Musicians, Sound Designers, Game Developers

About the audio engines (audio middleware), the two big ones are FMOD and Wise (when the studio is not using its own middleware). There are some tutorials on Youtube which might get you started on that. It's essential to know the basics of sound integration (I mean how to use FMOD/Wise with game engines) if you want to work in video games.

Also, come join us over at /r/gameaudio

u/Juhdas · 3 pointsr/askscience

I have to strongly reccommend Music, The Brain, And Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination by Robert Jourdain!

Best book I've read so far concerning this matter.

u/SenorSpicyBeans · 3 pointsr/gentlemanboners

I don't even know where to begin with you.

There's no way you've studied theory if you then go on to say that music has to be "complex" to be "good". And is that to say, then, that the higher the level of complexity, the better the music? Because there is plenty of crazy shit out there that's just nutso on technicality, but is God-awful to listen to.

I'm mostly unfamiliar with Bieber's work, so I can't comment on it. But if you've ever actually listened to a Taylor Swift song, you'd know it's not "objectively simple". What about it is so simple? The form and chord structures may be, but that's true for nearly all music (and not even just pop music!). Going beyond that, however, into instrumentation, melodic progression, and vocal harmony will typically yield far more pleasing and "complex" results.

Not only that, but repeated studies on humans and how they both interpret and retain audio information has shown that simplicity is actually pretty key. Music in and of itself is damn complex, and too much information at once throws our brains off. On top of it all, our brains will hone in on pattern recognition (both in terms of structure and harmonic build) and repetition to further the consonant experience of music.

Related reading on the topic - Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy.

u/nastierlistener · 3 pointsr/classicalmusic

Try Theory of Harmony by Schoenberg and The Study of Counterpoint by Fux. If you don't mind reading somewhat dated texts these could work well.

u/I_luv_harpsichord · 3 pointsr/musictheory

I took an arranging course for my music degree and I really love the textbook they made us purchase. It's this!
I personally think it's very helpful. :) I know it's expensive, but I think the investment is worth it.

As for counterpoint, I like Joseph Fux! There was a textbook that I used, but unfortunately I don't remember it. (It's at home and I live at an off-campus apartment)

I hope this helps :) But if you want somethiing free there's this ....,_Nikolay%29

u/MDShimazu · 3 pointsr/musictheory

If you would like to end with Chopin, you only need to study tonal theory. So twelve tone topics are not of any use since that topic is 20th century, after tonality.

If you didn't do voice leading (SATB harmony): Are you interested in voice leading? If you want to get to the more advanced topics of tonal theory, you'll need to cover that. If so I would suggest this book:;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535936804&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=clendinning+theory

Have you done species counterpoint? Species counterpoint will be very helpful in dealing with just about all music. I would recommend Fux's book:;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535936929&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fux+counterpoint

If you've already done species counterpoint: For more advanced counterpoint (not useful for Chopin, but necessary for anything with fugues in it, obviously) I would suggest Mann's book:

For a complete discussion of forms I would suggest Berry's book:

For an in depth and modern discussion of sonata theory (remember that symphonies are also often times in sonata form), I would suggest Hepokoski's book:;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535937360&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=hepokoski+sonata

If you already know species counterpoint and voice leading you can study Schenkarian Analysis. For this there's two books I would suggest:;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535937496&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=schenkerian+analysis;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535937488&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=schenkerian+analysis


If you're interested in composition, that's the other side of the coin and so all the above are of limited use. Let me know if you want books for composition.

u/MapleToothpick · 3 pointsr/classicalmusic

Writing short little concentrated pieces is a very good idea. Try creating as much material out of the smallest idea you can. I like to pick a small little theme/motif and just run with it.

The piano music I've been listening to includes; Scriabin (I have a book of his Piano Sonatas on my desk right now), Bartok, Prokofiev, Roslavets, Mosolov, Bach, and Beethoven. If you like Scriabin then I suggest going on youtube and listening to Roslavets and Mosolov, they write in a very Scriabin-esque fashion.

Books, I personally love reading about music. I do a lot of reading about composers and about harmonies and stuff. Wikipedia is a good place to start, but it's certainly not a definitive source. Persichetti's book on harmony is a good book for harmony, it certainly helped me think about harmony in different ways. And Modernism in Russian Piano Music is very good if you're looking to mimic Scriabin/Prokofiev and other composers of that musical language.

u/kinggimped · 3 pointsr/piano

If you tell them pretty much everything you wrote above, that's probably enough for them to go on.

Maybe try to find a teacher who has a good amount of experience teaching people who aren't starting from scratch, who is happy to focus on technique and filling in the gaps in your music knowledge (e.g. scales, chord theory, etc.). Someone who is willing to point out your bad habits every time and give you tips on focused practice to help break them.

The teaching won't be the challenging part, though. What's going to be hard is forcing yourself to break the physical and mental bad habits you've developed over years of playing without guidance. Practising scales, finger exercises, sight reading etc. is boring but will help a lot in deepening your understanding of technique and simple music theory.

You've probably passively picked up quite a lot about chord theory and stuff like that just from playing music, but don't yet have the basis in music theory to convert what you've learned into concrete knowledge.

I'd really recommend studying music theory in your spare time to help round out your knowledge - maybe consider getting a hold of something like this - you'll know a lot of the basic stuff already but it'll help fill in the gaps and explain in technical terms what you may only know as abstract ideas right now.

Best of luck!

u/workaccountoftoday · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There's a book I've been wanting to read but haven't yet: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

If you've got more free time than me go for it, but I'm extremely interested in studies on the subject. I think music is something bigger than we understand so far and I want to find the answer.

u/CalibanDrive · 3 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

I would strongly recommend looking up the book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by the late and inimitable Dr. Oliver Sacks. Also the book This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Prof. Daniel J. Levitin

u/andyesandy · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

Not sure the right answer is, would assume it’s oscillator As I think freq of vibrations is the first thing our brain registers. Check this book if you have not already.

u/themusicgod1 · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Whatever music you grew up listening to[1], your brain will basically wire itself to recognize things about that music as "good". Although vynil can provide quite high audio quality, most of the reason that people still like it years later is that it has a 'warmer' sound, that is, the ways in which the sound is imperfectly played are picked up by the human audio recognition system, and even if you don't realize it, this familiarity makes the music sound better to you. Same goes for 8-bit -- if you grew up in the 80's, you probably were dosed with heaps of the stuff, and adding it to music in the right way, whether 'it' be the static-fuzz percussive sounds, the kinds of filters on simple sin waves that a typical 8-bit sounds system wound up with, these things probably sound 'good' to someone who grew up with them.

[1] This is your brain on music, daniel levitin

u/and_of_four · 3 pointsr/piano

Try checking out Arnold Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony. It's not about his 12 tone method, it's a book on tonal harmony.

u/lukievan · 3 pointsr/Songwriting
u/optigon · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Happy cake day!

You’ll want to learn music theory. A pretty standard book that I read was called Tonal Harmony. It may be a little heavy, but it will give you the underpinnings of Music theory in a comprehensive way.

With that, songs usually have lyrics, which that book doesn’t explain. In fact, I’m in the middle of a pretty good book on songwriting called Tunesmith It really gets into meter, rhyming, etc. that goes into how lyrics are put together with quite a few examples.

u/bassvocal · 3 pointsr/musictheory

Gardner Read's Music Notation text is the foremost work on this subject. It is a fantastic resource!

u/CrownStarr · 3 pointsr/musictheory

Just show them any music from a reputable publisher, and they'll see the latter. There isn't really any kind of central "authority" for these rules, just what the various publishers do. But even then, any books you reference (like Gardner Read's) will almost certainly say that the second one is fine, if not preferable.

u/GuitarIsImpossible · 3 pointsr/Guitar

I used an android app called note reacher and these books

I see no advantage at this point to reading music after working on it for 5 months and becoming fairly competent. I'm glad I learned but it has not added to my ability to make music. Maybe in the future it will pay off.

u/ixAp0c · 3 pointsr/Guitar

Modern Method for Guitar is great for learning to sight read. It's a hefty tome, coming in at 424 pages it's the largest book on my music stand right now.

It's got a lot of stuff to read and practice, and all of it is aimed at guitar (whereas some music theory books may be for Piano or Violin, the music in this book is primarily written for Guitar).

The author notes the book can be supplemented with others, it's primary purpose is to teach you how to read music and apply it to the guitar mechanically.

There are lessons, exercises, along with some nice melodies which are mostly duet (here is the first song after the first 4 Exercises for example).

u/13531 · 3 pointsr/Guitar

My advice would be to focus on learning music theory, and applying said theory to your play. Everyone here loves to recommend, and I'd agree. I'd also check out Steve Stine on YouTube (index of playlists). Best theory teacher I've seen in a long while. I'd also absolutely recommend

Lastly, the Berklee guitar method books will simultaneously teach you to read music and to play your instrument. These books are the single best thing I did to progress my guitar skills.

Reading music helps greatly with understanding theory. Despite what you may hear from old-timers, reading music is extremely useful.

Another very useful skill to practice is ear training, which when combined with your theory knowledge, allows you to play music by ear. I'd suggest playing back some slower jazz guitar tunes on YouTube and figuring them out measure-by-measure. There's also Matt Warnock's Play Jazz Guitar group on Facebook which combines all of the above. Matt has a doctorate in Jazz Guitar Performance. He picks a tune each month, and everyone in the group works on it throughout the month, starting with the melody, to comping chords, to improv soloing. There are players of all skill levels, and I mean all. He provides excellent, free critique to everyone. I'm going to throw him a bone and buy a few of his books shortly since his excellent group has helped me so much.

Edit: I'd like to add as well that I don't really consider myself a jazz player; it's just that jazz skills are very useful and may be applied to virtually any genre.

u/troll_is_obvious · 3 pointsr/Guitar
u/BJJKempoMan · 3 pointsr/Guitar

I learned from this when I was a teenager, and it stuck with me to this day: A Modern Method For Guitar Volume 1

u/JoshFrets · 3 pointsr/guitarlessons

This is such an important (and IMO urgent) question for so many.

Sadly, the vast majority of guitar instructional material is either a) written for the unserious learner or b) written to not scare away the up-until-now-unserious learner.

That's why you see so many books and blogs on understanding theory (or playing jazz) that are full of TABs––in order to get the now-serious student to buy the book (or sign up for the course, etc) you first have to reassure them that everything is tabbed out and they won't have to read music, as if TAB and theory weren't at odds with each other.

Kudos to /u/igotthejack for this:

&gt; While doing this focus on the note names while you play so by the time you're done you've also memorised all the notes on the fretboard.

And Ben Levin's youtube series is one of the few instructional pieces that doesn't make me want to stab myself in the face with one of the many pointy ends on a shredder's guitar.

Other quality standouts include:

First, Learn To Practice by Tom Heany

Music Reading For Guitar By David Oakes

Modern Method For Guitar Vols 1, 2, &amp; 3 by William Leavitt

The Real Easy Ear Training Book by Roberta Radley

But there's good news in this too:

Because the vast majority of talented guitarists are so busy chasing their tails trying to figure out how to sweep pick faster or two-handed tap in the LandoCalrissian mode, even reasonably talented players with mediocre reading skills and a halfway decent knowledge of practical music theory get hired to play really great gigs.

That's my experience anyway. And getting hired for those gigs put me in contact with so many world-class players, which a) did as much as anything else to make me a "real" player, and b) helped me realize how so many of the things in the guitar-teacher-circle-jerk-echo-chamber are unimportant.

I think if you can get your practicing organized, fall in love with the metronome, record yourself (and listen back) often, and train your ear, you will be one badass player in a reasonably short time.

And if you learn the instrument in a way that lets you communicate with other non-guitarist musicians, you set yourself up to get actual paying work (and music theory gets waaaaaay easier).

My suggested order is:

  1. Names of notes (to the point you prefer them to TAB coordinates: that's not the 8th fret of the 3rd string, it's Eb)
  2. What notes go together in keys (ie know the Circle of Fifths so well you're never in doubt as to whether it should be called D# or Eb)
  3. Understand how chords are built (so you're unfazed by something like | Fm7b5 Bb7b9 | Ebm9 | even if you've never played it before).
  4. Understand how chords get built into progressions. (so when you glance that last example, you immediately think "oh, ii-V-i. Eb harmonic minor.)
  5. Rhythmic notation (I'd say at least 80% of the guitar charts put in front of me on a paying gig are chords with rhythmic hits and no further melodic notation to read.)
  6. Chart reading (knowing what "DS al Coda" and "second system" and "tag" and "ritard" mean, and what musician slang like "football" and "trashcan" and "railroad tracks" and "split the difference" mean.)

    Shameless plug, but I built a system that teaches these in a tiny daily lesson delivered by email. 1-4 are done, 5 &amp; 6 are on their way soon. Free for now, just sign up for the first one (Note Names) and it'll walk you through all 6 in order (I'll be done with 5 &amp; 6 by the time you finish 4).

    After that, read through the David Oakes &amp; William Leavitt books mentioned above and you'll be 80% of the way to professional musicianship. A dedicated student (who already has a fair amount of technical proficiency) could pull that off in 6 months.

    TL:DR - The fact that you are even asking a question like this leads me to believe that you'll do just fine. Good luck!
u/pagethesage11 · 3 pointsr/Guitar

This is a great book. If you can, buy it and devote a little bit of time to it every day. It will keep you busy for quite a while.

u/leoperax · 3 pointsr/Guitar

Is it this one?
It certainly looks like something that might be able to help me, I'll probably get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the input!!

u/amaraNT2oo2 · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

Music Theory for Practical People was a textbook for my high school intro to music theory class. Very casual, doesn't "feel" like a textbook at all, and with lots of cheesy illustrations (for better or for worse)

u/ItsTheManOnTheMoon · 3 pointsr/musictheory

It can be a little bit twee at times but Edly's Music Theory for Practical People is quite good.

u/just_some_gomer · 3 pointsr/Bass

I really enjoy the book "Edly's Music Theory For Practical People"

it's nice and straight forward, goes deep but not too deep that it's over your head, and has fun little drawings throughout.

edit: sorry it's not "online," but it's a really good book and I bet you could find a .pdf online.

Scott's bass lessons on youtube are great, too, and eventually lead me to join his online bass community.

u/Tsrdrum · 3 pointsr/drums

the book "The New Breed" is a good reference for playing behind/ahead of the beat, also has lots of crazy exercises for more advanced drumming

u/behindacomputer · 3 pointsr/drums

This book will do wonders for your limb independence. It's designed to open up creativity by enabling you to do whatever comes to mind. If you work through even just a few of the systems you will get so much better.

u/sing_for_davro · 3 pointsr/Drumming

Couldn't agree more. Gaining independance with the left foot on the hats is an excellent first step in double kick drumming. Think about it like you were working on your hands. You don't just hammer out single stroke rolls, you play paradiddles, doubles, flams. Your left foot is a limb that can be as workable and useful as your hands.

As boredop mentioned, dropping the hats on the 2 and 4 gives a really cool groove to a steady ride beat, and in a lot of folk it's almost expected. Same applies to jazz. But that's really just the tip of the iceberg with regards to what you can do with your left peg. [See: The New Breed] (;amp;qid=1371779559&amp;amp;sr=8-2&amp;amp;keywords=the+new+breed+drummer)

Furthermore, every drummer worth his salt has at least one ostinato based rhythm in their repertoire (edit: repertoire). Look at Steve Gadd's Samba, and go from there. The work you do in separating the feet from the hands is something Mario Duplantier, Danny Carey and many other heavy drummers have mastered.

u/kungfumastah · 3 pointsr/drums

Never did this book, but the one I always recommend and should be a part of any kit player's canon is The New Breed by Gary Chester. It's the best way to learn true 4-limb independence.;amp;qid=1317505773&amp;amp;sr=8-1

u/KnutErik · 3 pointsr/synthdiy

Adding to this, his book Make: Analog Synthesizers is a great resource for beginners.

u/ok200 · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

Just passing on the recommendation I got here a long time ago, which is: [Ray Wilson's Make: Analog Synthesizers] ( A really chill / good read but also really good to have nearby as technical reference.

u/TTRSkidlz · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

That page only has info on adding the resonance pot that was removed for the delay.

Ray Wilson's MAKE book is here. His site, Music From Outer Space is also a good resource.

u/AdjustableSquelch · 3 pointsr/synthesizers
u/mathmatt · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

Make publishes a book called Analog Synthesizers if you want a head start.

u/chiefthomson · 3 pointsr/modular

and by speaking of mfos, you really should get his book... it was so helpful to me... I learned a lot by doing his stuff from the book and reading all the explanations...

u/touchmybutt420 · 3 pointsr/ableton

See if you can find "The Art of Mixing" at the library. That book was very helpful.

This is a great music theory book as well:

u/larrieuxa · 3 pointsr/piano

I use the Faber Piano Adventures series. I'm following the standard series that children follow since I prefer having a lot more material at each level, but there is also a quicker series intended for adults who want to progress fast.;amp;qid=1567330362&amp;amp;s=gateway&amp;amp;sr=8-1

That is adult book 1, there is also a book 2.

u/newbdogg · 3 pointsr/piano

While some things translate well it's not as much as you think. You need a method book. Either Alfred's or Faber's

These are the standard methods of learning piano. There are many others, but these are the standard for a reason. They work. Go through books 1-2 then pick a track that you want to learn.

u/JamesTheHaxor · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

&gt; BTW, that wiki song structure article is a mess

Agreed. I linked to that wiki article without even really looking. Personally, I like the following books that go into a lot more detail in regards to production and EDM:

u/polakprodigy41 · 3 pointsr/edmproduction

This this this this this this. Read this book. Completely changed how I approach making music. Focuses a lot more on workflow and creativity and developing your own style/taste than it does on technicals such as mixing and sound design however I believe that any producer at any stage of their journey should read it. It's a great read too, witty, personal, fast paced, and informative.

u/ayetriddy · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

This is a great textbook and is one of the few college textbooks that wasn't a waste of my money. It has everything in there starting from rhythms, chords, and intervals all the way up to a bunch of crazy stuff analysis and part writing wise that really spices up music and will give you a great appreciation for all types of music. Once you realize how much of this "technical" stuff that you never knew is applied to even pop songs, it really changes your perspective on the artists and producers behind them. The first fourth of the book is really REALLY important stuff though and the rest is just really cool (or really boring depending on your love for theory) stuff that will make your music even better. Beat production doesn't "need" to involve a lot of the other stuff, but having more tools under your belt is what it's all about.

u/Corrupt_Reverend · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Get a good theory text book and actually read it. it won't be something you can sit down and take in all at once. No skimming. No "powering through".

The first couple chapters may seem useless. "Why do I need to know how to read in tenor clef and who the hell still writes scores with figured bass?!!" All these principals will help you understand theory. Reading in "C" clefs will help understand transposition and figured bass will help with intervals and chordal voicing.

As you're reading, actually take notes as if you were in a class. The act of writing down newly learned information will really help cement the ideas. Also, try not to just quote the text in your notes. Write down the principals in your own words in a way that makes sense to you.

  • One of my secrets for theory notes is to have a bunch of blank staved paper. When you come to something that you want a notation example, do the example on the blank sheet, then cut it out and use a glue-stick to put it in your notes. If you're in a class and don't have time to cut and paste into your notes, just write out the example on the blank sheet and leave an empty space in your notes. (I'd usually label the example and the empty space to make it easier later)

    If you come to something that you can't quite wrap your head around, google that shit. There are a metric shit-tonne of online articles and videos demonstrating basic music theory.

    All that said, taking an actual music theory class is really the best way to go about learning the subject. You'll learn much faster and the professor will be able to explain things much better.

  • I highly recommend "The Complete Musician - (Laitz).
u/Phearlosophy · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I found Laitz's Complete Musician to be very handy while starting out.

u/shadewraith · 2 pointsr/Guitar

One thing I tried doing was learning every chord in every position and every inversion. I'm not done writing them up, but I have charts for dominant, major, minor, and half-diminished chords I could scan for you. I also have the arpeggios to be played over the chords.

Another thing is to learn are your scale modes. I'll pick either 4 modes in 1 position or 1 mode in 4 positions and practice each scale for 5 minutes.

You could improve your sight reading with this. It's not meant to be studied, but to be opened up to a random page and played.

I'm also a fan of speed and dexterity exercises. You don't have to shred, but sometimes you need to get from point A to point B in a hurry. After playing these for a while, you'll also feel less fatigue. My favorite books for this are John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom and Frank Gambale's Technique Books

Also, if you really get into jazz, I highly recommend The Jazz Theory Book. It will help with your improvisation and teach you how songs are structured, which will help you with other genres. A more classic theory book that's good is The Complete Musician.

After you get technique stuff down, it all comes down to where you want to be as a player. What do you want to play? Do you want to write? Do you want to do covers? Maybe you want to teach.

Sorry this was so long. I love teaching music myself, so if you want to learn anything specific, PM me and I should be able to help you out and send you some materials.

u/Andytenberg · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers
  1. Composing Muisc: A New Approach - One of two books I use with all of my students interested in composing/songwriting. Although I use it as a teacher, it is easy to digest in self-study.;amp;psc=1

  2. The Jazz Language - Whether or not you are looking to compose "proper" jazz, I've found that the jazz idiom is very useful in modern compositions (videogame, tv, radio, etc). This is not to replace studying the classical masters, but to give a musical foundation for how music works. It is also formatted for self-study.;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1484766792&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=jazz+language
u/schwibbity · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

If you're talking about orchestral composition at all, you'll need to know quite a bit about instrumentation and orchestration as well. Alfred Blatter has an excellent book on that. As for composition in general, you'll need to read up a bit on music theory, if you're not already familiar with it. This is the book I used in college; it has a variety of composition exercises with various restrictions, and is a great place to start.

u/natetet · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Here are two awesome books:

  • Composing Music, by Tony Russo
  • The Composer's Handbook by Bruce Cole

    They are both chock-full of awesome, fun exercises. (I love exercises because it's a great way to learn about composition and practice composition without launching the inner dialogue of "omg i am writing a composition is this any good?" Exercises let you practice writing without the inner critic, just like you practice pieces outside of a performance context, etc.)

    Can you give more information about your field of study? What skills do you think you'll need?
u/drjeats · 2 pointsr/gamedev

Wwise or FMOD are solutions which attempt to solve these high-level problems. They each come with their own authoring tool and a library to trigger events and set parameters which are defined in that authoring tool to trigger sound playback.

They're both somewhat complex (Wwise much more so). You're not going to get a library that is easy-to-use and also handles all those tasks for you. They're also the "pro standard".

You can also start with a library that will just give you an interface for writing samples and go from there:

u/MrNoMoniker · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I'm into Csound, which is kind of like a scripting language using a library of audio function objects (opcodes). Some of the programmers who worked on it just made a straight up C programming for audio book. I have it, but being a crappy programmer I haven't done much with it yet.

u/ofoot · 2 pointsr/edmproduction

So what did you think of JUCE?

This seems to be way easier. Did you read this book? There are CSound chapters

u/suhcoR · 2 pointsr/musicprogramming

It's a very good book but not so much about VST. The OP could have a look at instead.

u/rednib · 2 pointsr/gamedev

There's a single book I've found it in B&amp;N the other day about creating audio filters and what not. It's a very hard thing to find information about and I've been curious about diving in to it myself. I just left my job as a radio engineer for almost a decade, I was constantly trying to learn about codecs and lossless audio file formats with the hopes of taking an open source format like ogg or flac and piggy backing ads to specific tracks with the hopes of creating a new type of automation system. anyhow, long story short, if you're truly willing to learn you're going to have to hunt down the guys who make the codecs and learn from them directly, try emailing the devs who make this stuff. I would start with Radio because radio engineers love to show off tech and teach people what they know.

u/smileydan2 · 2 pointsr/GameAudio

if you're thinking about audio programming for games this is a great book to get started with basic audio programming concepts.

u/shibbypwn · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Lots of good answers here - for a thorough read, I would recommend "A Composer's Guide to Game Music" by Winifred Philips.

One of the biggest distinguishing factors (same for film music) is that it is not the center of attention. It is there to augment the gaming experience. With games (and this is distinct from film) you also have to take player interaction into consideration. Will this be looping? Will it get annoying if it loops? How does it fit in with the (dynamic and player induced) sound effects? Is the audio adaptable/dynamic to player action or game mechanics?

u/pina_koala · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you like TIYBOM, Robert Jourdain's Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination is right up there. Awkward title to explain in public but a fantastic read. I liked it a lot more than TIYBOM but in fairness read TIYBOM second.

u/Haxle · 2 pointsr/leagueoflegends

Fundamental components of music like working memory and pattern recognition are directly link with neurological development.
Here some literature better explaining it:

From my experience, playing an instrument was always a net positive; it allowed me to deal with stress; socialize with other friends by means of playing together or talking about music; I learned how to read and compose; and self-improvement.

I'm not a professional, no one pays me money. I love music, I love playing it alone or in a group. It's therapeutic - it allows me to enjoy life even more.

u/Adrewmc · 2 pointsr/science

Haven't read it But the book Music, the brain and Ecstasy is also very good, and is written in a way that people that have no knowledge of music can understand it.

u/slippage · 2 pointsr/cogsci

I have this book,Music the Brain and Ecstasy. It is pretty good but the guy is a little too biased on what is good music and what is not. I should really finish it . . . Goes in to the relationship on why the structures of our brain are wired to like the math of music so much.

u/CRMannes · 2 pointsr/classicalmusic

Gradus ad Parnassum. Know it, love it, make it your friend.

u/zaccus · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Any melody can be accompanied by an almost endless number of chord changes, so there's no one "correct" way to do it.

The oldest way to do this is a technique called counterpoint. Long story short, you first write a bass part under your main melody, favoring contrary or oblique motion over parallel motion, and avoiding parallel 5ths and octaves as much as possible. The bass part should make sense as its own melody, ideally.

Then fill in a middle voice, again its own melody, observing the rules of counterpoint with respect to the other 2 melodies already written. When you're done with the 3rd voice, you have a basic chord progression.

You might want to repeat with a 4th melody or more after that, but you'll find that subsequent melodies are less interesting because your options are pretty narrow at that point. That's why alto parts tend to suck.

If this seems interesting to you at all, I highly recommend the classic Study of Counterpoint. It's been out for almost 300 years but it has a unique narrative-style approach and is a lot of fun to work through. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, et. al. would have been familiar with it.

OTOH, if this seems like overkill, then just sit down with a piano or guitar, pick a key, start with something structured around I-IV-V-I or I-vi-ii-V-I or something, and go from there. Again, there's no one correct chord progression. Just find something that tastes good in your ears.

u/astrobeen · 2 pointsr/composer

Great job! Everything I wrote when I was 17 was shit, so congrats on being awesome!

Nice resolutions and voice leading! Try to avoid the parallel resolutions between the vln2 and cello that pop up from time to time. A good mental discipline is that every time a voice resolved to a root or a fifth of a harmony, make sure it’s contrary.

I’m not sure if you’ve been exposed to Fux Modal Counterpoint, but you should learn it and live by it if you want to compose in the Baroque, classical, or romantic idioms.

Best of luck!

u/r2metwo · 2 pointsr/composer

This is a classic counterpoint text (might be a little dry)

The Study of Counterpoint: From Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum;amp;qid=1554356336&amp;amp;s=gateway&amp;amp;sr=8-1

u/K_Rayfish · 2 pointsr/musictheory

It's true that there's a ton of great information online, but books present the info in an organized, trustworthy fashion. Online learning should be fine for more introductory music theory and common practice period harmony, but once you're looking into more advanced stuff, check out these books:

-20th Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti

-Contemporary Harmony by Ludmila Ulehla

u/dkulma · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Playing two chords at the same time is also called a polychord. Vincent Persichetti's "Twentieth-Century Harmony" has a good section on polychords.

u/Iwantapetmonkey · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I took theory classes 15 years ago, and don't remember what text I used, but it was pretty generic as I recall. I'm thinking of any sort of classical music theory introductory text intended for use in a university course, since they will all probably begin with the same sort of progression of things which logically arises when describing how diatonic music works.

I did a quick search, and this is the sort of text I have in mind:

That one looks very good, and, looking at the table of contents, I'd say the Part I: Elements of Music is the essential part to familiarize with for the basics and then Part II: Diatonic Harmony and Tonicization would expand those ideas in the first part to show how those basics are applied in diatonic music harmonization (basically how to create nice-sounding chord progressions based on diatonic scales).

I would avoid books that are targeted to a specific instrument, or a more modern type of music - like guitar theory, jazz theory, blues piano theory, etc. Not that these books aren't good too, but I've seen plenty of guitar theory books that describe the basics in wacky ways, or in ways that are not really universally applied to all music. Classical theory books will mostly all be the same, and be a solid introduction to these very basics. If you see one that is 20 years old for two bucks at a yard sale it would likely be fine.

In my opinion starting to learn theory from this standpoint of classical music is a great way to start. There are a million ways to learn theory, and this might not be the preferred route for everyone, but it's so good in my opinion because Classical, Baroque, etc. - these early music forms were all about consonance, about how to make harmonic progressions and melodies, and so on, that were pleasing to the ear. They developed these stringent rules to describe methods for arranging sounds to make very pleasing compositions, rules which are very effective at what they are intended for. Once you learn these rules, it makes everything else so much clearer as to why other types of music that break every one of these rules are so effective.

It's maybe like learning to draw a face - you would probably start with learning to draw a face you are looking at, and making your drawing copy it as closely as you can. It's not easy to draw a realistic-looking face, and takes some practice to get it right, to make it look pleasing to people who spend their lives looking at faces and learning their intricacies. If you jump right into trying to do a stylized, artsy rendering of a face, it probably won't be very convincing, since you never learned how to draw a pleasing face to begin with! It would look like a child's drawing, certainly not realistic, but also not very interesting because it's not very sophisticated in how it goes about presenting that face.

u/Canvaverbalist · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

&gt; Rhythm comes built into your body. You have a heart beat and if you close your eyes in a quiet room you can feel and hear the blood pumping in your ears. Your body is designed to be rhythmic.

Complementary reading:

(WARNING: I'm not an expert on anything, this is me trying to push an idea that I like upon which I've done no serious research at all, approach with skepticism and caution!)

I remember reading in The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (which I don't have anymore and can't go back to) how the synchronicity of our neurons firing played a major role into creating this layer of self-vs-the-world feeling essential in creating a sense of consciousness in the human brain, to the point that a slight delay could have been at the source of some sorts of schizophrenia like feeling totally disconnected with the world or at the opposite of the spectrum a feeling of being only one with our external stimulus. (I found this, but haven't read it yet to ensure of it's content: )

So it's not just the rhythm of our hearts, it's actually the brain connecting everything at the same time (the lights from that apple hitting your eye, the breeze of the wind, you arm moving, your sense of balance - bref, bringing all your senses into one self contained experience) and keeping this sensation as a regular and predictive "tempo" is also essential.

Music plays with and satisfy that sensation. "My arm will take that glass - yep, it did, I have control over it" and "The snare is gonna hit really soon - yep it did, I'm still in contr-- wait what's that sound? This is interesting I didn't predict that! I bet it will be there again... yep there it is!"

Please! Feel free to correct me or add to it, I find this is a fascinating subject.

COMPLEMENTARY READING: "This Is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin,

u/ChanceParticles · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Daniel Levitin - This is your Brain on Music

Great book. Guessing it would be right up your alley.

u/pianocheetah · 2 pointsr/piano

Not disagreeing with ya - looking forward to that source :)

I thiiiink my source was but it might have been some other brain book. I think I've been through about 4 in the last 2 years. They are (annoyingly) not loaded with details. The brain is still a pretty serious mystery. But new techniques for study have been found very recently. One that makes the brain transparent! Oh yeah! Also subscribe to - It's always interesting.

So I'm hoping that science will have the brain all figured out before I croak.

u/KFBass · 2 pointsr/self

Read the book "This is your brain on music"

EDIT: sent that too fast. Here is the link to amazon

Great book. I think it might be right up your alley.

u/steamwhistler · 2 pointsr/askscience

I'm definitely not qualified to answer your question myself, but I've been wanting to learn more about this subject as well and I was recommended this book by a few people. I think both of us would find it very informative!

Amazon link

u/memyselfandennui · 2 pointsr/OkCupid

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession Sound engineer turned neuroscientist talks about brains and music. Dude basically has my dream career.

u/Brianomatic · 2 pointsr/Guitar

This is your brain on music. The idea that when something musical surprises us, you know you might let out a little snicker and think "wow that's really good" or "interesting I wouldn't have done that but I like it" is like an inside joke we can appreciate. I can't help but think of that all the time now. Also the fact that we are programmed from a very early age to interpret and appreciate music. Just a great book in my opinion.

u/UpHereInMy-r-Trees · 2 pointsr/Music

I'm too dumb to explain it myself, but I've read this book twice and it could help you too... ["This Is Your Brain on Music"] (;amp;qid=1495052092&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=your+brain+on+music)

u/Draxonn · 2 pointsr/adventism

Music absolutely affects our mind, but that doesn't make it evil. The interactions are very complex and we are only beginning to understand them. If you're interested in this, I recommend these two books to begin:

This Is Your Brain on Music


u/will42 · 2 pointsr/Music

There's an interesting book on the subject, written by Daniel J. Levitin. It's called:

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of A Human Obsession

Oliver Sacks has an excellent book on the subject as well:

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

u/ggasca · 2 pointsr/indieheads

Currently reading This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. It's fascinating.

u/BrockHardcastle · 2 pointsr/edmproduction

Both this book by Levitin, and this book by Sacks address it. Both are great reads. Side note: I believe the Levitin book came out before the Sacks book. Sacks wrote a glowing blurb in Levitin's book, and then Sacks wrote a book on nearly the same thing. I found it weird.

u/ZedsBread · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Hmmm. I mean basically, music is organized sound. Nobody's really sure why, but for some reason there are certain frequencies that we associate with positive and negative emotions, and certain frequencies that we deem "unpleasant-sounding".

I'm not super knowledgeable on music theory actually. I just know what sounds good and what doesn't. You should read up on the Pentatonic Scale, the Pythagorean theory of music, and also this wonderful book I'm reading.

u/eerock · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Another upvote for Musimathics (both volumes actually). I'm an engineer as well, and the wealth of mathematical foundations of music is all there. But it's maybe not as accessible.

As may have been mentioned before, take a look at a recent book 'for the masses' called This is your brain on music: The science of a human obsession.

u/mmmguitar · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Established chord progressions can help, otherwise use chords + ears.

Theory is just theory, its more of a tool, however, it can help you understand other songs which may help you understand what you have in your head.

I would recommend reading about songs from a songwriter perspective. Not a technical guide. Well, they can help get quick patterns together, but more of the art.

For example Inside the art of songwriting is on my reading list. (although the cover is ridiculous). Songcrafters Colouring Book is an excellent book about taking your creative ideas / raw output and crafting in it into a better song.

As long as it sounds and feels good then it is good. Lyric writing has is nicely explained in songcrafting colouring book. Technical books I have read on lyric writing have been dire.

Try to establish a groove early on and work to that, that can help tie everything together.

Good luck.

u/pedroflfernandez · 2 pointsr/musictheory

"Music Notation" by Read. It has everything you need to know from Bach to Crumb.;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1334606410&amp;amp;sr=1-8

Also, "Anatomy of the Orchestra" by Norman del Mar is a very in-depth orchestration book that could be a reference for citing something about a specific instrument. Good luck!

u/Nolubrication · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Depends on what you like. I was big into metal and hard rock when I was starting out. Black Sabbath is easy enough that you could be playing songs within the first couple months, if not just weeks.

If you're interested in actually learning guitar and not just memorizing songs I'd recommend working through these as well:

  • Fretboard Theory
  • A Modern Method for Guitar

    You'll want to take the Berklee book someplace to get it spiral bound. Also note that it's not a tab book. You'll have to read standard notation. It starts off super easy and gets progressively harder, page by page. A looper pedal for the duets will be helpful.
u/lurgar · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I've been playing for 11 years and had classical training before that. What I've been using to learn sheet music (finally after all of these years) is the Berklee Modern Method for Guitar.;amp;qid=1318729831&amp;amp;sr=8-2

A link to amazon for you.

u/fforalks57 · 2 pointsr/jazzguitar

The Bill Leavitt books are also great for learning to read. Some of the music sounds a little old-fashioned now, but these books really helped me when I was studying music at college years ago:;qid=1566384088&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-1

u/dragonmage1 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Best $23 you'll ever spend on learning material A Modern Method For Guitar. Teaches guitar playing as well as music reading.

u/byproxy · 2 pointsr/Guitar

This is the one to start with, I'd say:

Might have a bit of redundant theory for you, but should get you going technique-wise, at least.

Also of note :


u/Yeargdribble · 2 pointsr/piano

I assume you mean the Berklee Press "A Modern Method for Guitar" (though I think the same book by William Leavitt is published also by Hal Leonard).

I was just recommending the Hal Leonard Complete Method because it's so much less daunting, but if you've got the chops for the Berklee book, go for it. It definitely jumps in hard with both feet and leans way more on harmony really early on. If you find yourself hitting the wall with it, you can always take a break and try the other one and jump back and forth as you progress.

I'll also recommend this playlist on Youtube that has several of the duets played with both parts. That way you can really enjoy playing the duets and learn both parts and then play them back with the other parts played on Youtube.

If you don't already have a looper, it's also likely a worthwhile investment not just for guitar, but also if you're using a keyboard. It's great to be able to play duets with yourself when there isn't a recording like above. Also, listening back to yourself lets you really pay attention to details and lets you notice how bad your time is so you can fix it.

It can also be great for jamming between the two instruments or used to help with practice of improv and other things.

An entry level, no-frills looper that seems really popular is the Ditto.

u/Elgige · 2 pointsr/italy

Se vuoi imparare a suonare bene uno strumento il primo consiglio che posso darti è quello di studiare lo strumento stesso e parallelamente di studiare la musica.

Quando io cominciai mi trovai molto bene con questo libro
(Qui la versione PDF del primo volume)

u/ImPastamonium · 2 pointsr/pcmasterrace

If you wanna learn to read music try this book!

Super helpful and recommended by a lot of people! Helped me a ton

u/a_baby_coyote · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Sounds like you're at a good place to learn a little music theory to help with composition.

I've been doing roughly the same thing having had (and still having) the same experience as you. I can play technically difficult music, but cannot create something more than a short passage, or add a chorus/bridge/verse to whatever I've created.

I picked up the Modern Method for Guitar by Leavitt:;amp;qid=1374083268&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=modern+method+for+guitar+william+levitt

And this started pushing me to the limits of my playing. I realized I couldn't sight-read, couldn't read music, and it was keeping me from improving in a totally different direction that I was used to. So I started learning how to read, and started picking up on some music theory.

So I'm still working on music theory, and sight reading, and technical challenges, and in the meantime I've noticed my ability to create has improved. It's not a huge improvement, but very noticeable to me.

I've been stuck in a rut for over 10 years because I've never sought to expand my horizons musically and try new things. I wasn't going to learn a chord if it wouldn't be useful in some riff I was trying to learn, and I certainly wasn't going to learn to sight read when I could teach myself with tab.

Anyway, my suggestion is to push yourself and learn new things. Learn some weird chords, learn how to put them together with some theory, record yourself playing some chords and then play the notes in those chords over top of them as a lead. The more knowledge you have of music and the guitar, the larger a pool you have to pull from.

u/reydeguitarra · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I am currently using this. It has been very good for me so far, but I don't know if you will learn "tough" sheet music in a month. I have played the piano for nearly 20 years, so I definitely understand standard music notation. This book doesn't go on and on about notation, it just gives a brief explanation and makes you go at it. Since Christmas, I feel pretty comfortable sight reading individual note lines, somewhat comfortable with intervals, and pretty good with the chords that they use most in the first 50 or so pages.

So yeah, my overall opinion is that it's effective. It's not the most exciting music to play and you might have to spend quite a lot of time on it if you hope to read notes from the whole fretboard (after almost 50 pages, I'm still only in the first 5 frets).

u/turtleslol · 2 pointsr/Guitar

The Berklee Method books are highly praised. They have a lot of great information about learning theory and sight reading. Alternatively if you dont want to buy them you can just download the PDF here

Of course having an instructor to really guide you along is the best way to learn.

u/chemicalcoulson · 2 pointsr/musictheory
u/HisPaulness · 2 pointsr/Guitar

In truth, I'd try to add sight reading somewhere in there, perhaps subbing out the initial use of your music theory flashcards. For one, most music theory you'll want to learn will be in notation. Learning theory in the absence of how it immediate relates to your instrument will stall learning.

If you focus on working out of something like Modern Method for Guitar for the first six months, not only will you be compounding a lot of good practice technique, but you'll start providing yourself a strong foundation to play the theory that you learn.

u/SeraphSlaughter · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Used by many universities for guitar students. $20 for the same education you'd get for thousands.

u/the_confused · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I've heard good things about The Modern Method to Guitar. I haven't actually bought it but it's on my wish list.

Edit: Fixed Link. My Reddit markup really needs help, I keep messing up. Sorry about that Dream_on

u/coynemoney · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I started about a year ago with justinguitar. I was kind of losing focus so I up picked Rocksmith for PS3 which made just playing more fun rather than like a class. I recently picked up A Modern Method for Guitar which goes the other direction but will hopefully have me reading sheet music and understanding theory in a few more months.

The biggest thing for me was just being consistent in playing as much as possible.

u/phalp · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I wanted to improve my sight reading so I got this book and worked through it. Highly recommended and I think it will work better than an app.;amp;qid=1453607443&amp;amp;ref_=sr_1_1&amp;amp;sr=8-1

u/ArcaneBanjo · 2 pointsr/banjo

&gt;G above the first measure shows that the song is in the key of G.

I don't mean to make things more confusing or distract from the original question, but that's not quite right; the F# just before the 4/4 time signature is what shows that the song is in the key of G. (The 4/4 time signature tells you that there a 4 quarter notes to each bar, giving you that common 1-2-3-4 count.)

As others have said, the 'G' indicates the chord that accompanies that measure - it's informational, not something you're supposed to somehow simultaneously play along with the melody. Think of it this way: Say you get together with a guitar player who knows how to play chords, but doesn't know the melody for "Go Tell Aunt Rhody." They can still play along with you by counting along and following those chord changes indicated above the music. Likewise, if you get together with other musicians and they have something like the Fiddler's Fakebook, you can play along with them even if you don't know the song; you'd just follow the chord changes and play banjo chords to back up the melody.

Regarding key signatures/music theory in general check out Edly's Music Theory for Practical People, which is a good introductory guide. Some people will tell you that you don't need to bother with music theory for banjo/folk music, but it really helps in terms of understanding why you play certain chords to accompany certain keys, etc; it can make the difference between learning by rote memorization, and learning by developing an intuitive understanding for how notes, scales, and chords fit together.

u/Stack_Of_Eyeballs · 2 pointsr/Music

U/Insolace is correct and his reply futher explains, correctly, why terms are so. We've pretty much nailed down the language at this point. It's more a matter of if a musician is educated in the language or has only learned from ear and coined or invetned their own terms for the same communicatio , which is perfectly understandable and plenty of high end musicians, and drummers, do not read music or have much of a formal education in music theory.

I would recommend Gary Chaffee's Rhythm &amp; Meter Patterns and Time Functioning Patterns for an indepth study into this area of drumming and music in particular.

If you want to get into Danny's style, he is a huge propenent of Gary Chesters 'New Breed'. Highly recommend studying out of this book as well.;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1468607035&amp;amp;sr=1-2&amp;amp;keywords=The+new+breed

u/Catechin · 2 pointsr/drums

Just want to echo that 30 minutes a day is more than enough. Of that time, I would spend 10 minutes on rudiments and the rest on whatever you want.

&gt;What all will I need to get started? Practice pad, sticks, kit, metronome?

If you buy an electronic kit, I wouldn't worry about practice pads. I'd recommend picking up Stick Control, learning the rudiments, and an introductory book such as Fast Track or Tommy Igoe's beginner DVD. Once you feel more comfortable, I'd recommend picking up Groove Essentials and New Breed.

For stick, I generally recommend starting with Vic Firth 5B hickory sticks. Of all the sticks I've tried, those are the most absolutely average. Weight, balance, size, etc. From there you can move into thinner (5A, 7A) or thicker (2B) as you want, but 5B is a good starting place, hickory is the best wood to learn with (and play with forever, imo, but that's debatable), and Vic Firth is fairly consistent.

Vic Firth's stick size comparisons. The standard sizes used by the majority of drummers, from smallest to largest, are 7A, 5A, 5B, 2B. Everything else is just incredibly minor tweaking that some people like.

u/ChindianPolitics · 2 pointsr/drums

Not OP, but check out Stick Control by George Lawrence and The New Breed by Gary Chester.

These two books helped me get over the hump of knowing what I wanted to play, and actually being able to play it effortlessly and cleanly.

u/weez89 · 2 pointsr/drums
u/stevewheelermusic · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I've been a drummer since I was 8. Quite rusty right now as a lot of things have kept me from practicing (moving to apartments for years, etc.). Honestly, it's never too late to start. Are you going to be playing Carnegie Hall in a year? Wildly unlikely. But as long as your expectations are grounded in reality, that learning anything takes time and practice, you should be good.

As for practice and sense of tempo/timing: it is imperative that you buy a good metronome and practice with it regularly. You don't necessarily need a Dr. Beat, though I have one, and it is useful at times. But you do need some kind of click to play off of.

Can you read music? If so, there are some really good technique books out there that I'd recommend that are classics. Most people hate grinding technique, but I find it oddly relaxing. Here's some good books:

  • Stick Control
  • Syncopation
  • Master Studies - (Do wait on this one a bit and start slow. It is possible to injure yourself if you get too carried away. Stone Killer exercises are no joke)
  • New Breed - This one's actually a full drum set book. Quite challenging. May want to wait on this one a bit or try to just play one or two of the lines together (eg. right and and right foot).

    The first two books are probably where you should start. With all of these, start the metronome at molasses level slow - like 60 bpm or maybe even slower if you're not accurate at that speed. Get comfortable with that speed - maybe 15-30 mins at that speed without any mistakes. Then bump the timing up slightly 2-4 bpm and repeat. At no point should you be tensing up. If you are, you need to stop immediately, shake out your arms, and back down the tempo a bit.

    Make sure that you're making more use of your fingers than your wrists. Wrists can be good to start the stroke, but your fingers should be doing a lot of the work.

    There's a lot of other technique stuff that you can do, but the above alone could take you 5-10 years of solid daily practice if you're being thorough.

    Good luck!
u/macetheface · 2 pointsr/drums

Ah memories. Yep I started with How to Play rock'n'roll drums, Syncopation and this book way back in the early 90's. Then later on went to Advanced Techniques, Future Sounds and The New Breed for different permutations and limb independence. And 'trying' to pick apart and play Dave Weckl's Island Magic.

Does anyone else remember those drum solos like calypso eclipsed and aint it rich?

u/nealt900 · 2 pointsr/synthesizers

For more information about this build, here's an imgur album I did showing the build process

To try and answer all the questions in this thread:

  • The faceplates and PCBs were sourced from the MFOS site, while the components and hardware were sourced from various locations such as mouser and taydaelectronics.
  • This project completely consumed my attention, and I slammed it out in just under two months (from the time I ordered the parts). That was every spare night and weekend I could manage.
  • Having been my first venture into an electronics project, I made many purchasing mistakes, which I learned valuable lessons from. All in all this project cost me around $900~.
  • This was not easy, and I had some much appreciated consulting help from electronics engineering friends to get me through a couple of obstacles. Also, I read this book cover-to-cover before picking up a soldering iron, which I believe was paramount to my success (Ray Wilson's beginner guide to DIY synths).
u/oatmonster · 2 pointsr/PrintedCircuitBoard

Sure, you can basically go as simple or as complex as you'd like. The most basic "synth" You could make would probably be a tone generator based on the 555 timer, something like the Atari Punk Console. Music From Outer Space is a good resource for more involved synth projects and the book Make: Analog Synthesizers is a pretty popular resource (you can find pdf versions online). Finally, r/synthDIY has some good resources too.

u/Active-Galactic · 2 pointsr/synthdiy

Make: Analog Synthesizers is a great introduction. It even details an example project, the Noise Toaster. But I think its strongest section might be the appendix, which is a good reference for various utility circuits you need in an analog synth, especially the LM13700 OTA, which you can use to build VCOs, VCFs, and VCAs.

The only glaring omission in the Make book is the lack of voltage-controlled exponential current source circuits that drive the OTA's current bias inputs. You can find more about those by digging through the textbook Musical Applications of Microprocessors (beware, much of the content regarding embedded systems is a bit outdated, but there is a surprising amount of analog material in there) and this Electronotes newsletter. In fact, this collection of Electronotes newsletters is a gold mine in itself.

Happy tinkering.

u/chrmicklus · 2 pointsr/edmproduction

If you're not a fan of trial and error then study music theory. That's the "magic formula" for lack of a better term you're looking for.

You need a complete understanding of theory in order for it to work, it's much like math. What you're asking is for someone to teach you long division when you don't understand multiplication, addition, and subtraction. Music theory is cumulative. It really can't be summed up in a post because you need to apply it in context.

Not to be a dick but 10,000 hours is what you need to get good at any craft whether music, production, or otherwise. If you're not willing to put in that level of work, then I'd quit now while you're ahead.

If you are, I'd recommend this book here. It's the most orderly and logical theory book with a focus on composition that I've personally ever come across.;amp;qid=1464280205&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=the+complete+idiots+guide+music+theory

u/damien6 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Pick up some basic music theory knowledge. As ridiculous as it sounds, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory is actually pretty well written and informative:;amp;s=books&amp;amp;qid=1254261425&amp;amp;sr=8-1

Personally, I run Propellerheads Reason 4 and Record.

My MIDI controller is the M-Audo Axiom 49:

My audio card is Native Instrument's Audio Kontrol 1:

As mentioned, Ableton Live is amazing. I picked up Live 7 LE a while because I thought it had ReWire capability, but it doesn't. I am planning on upgrading to a full version. I'm lusting for the Akai MPC-40 and Maschnine. Live really comes alive with the addition of VST instruments. While you can find them for free all over the net, some of the best will cost you extra money (see Native Instrument's line of VST's).

u/Gizank · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I haven't read the other book recommended. The first theory book I made it all the way through was The Complete Idiot's Guide. It's very well organized and presented in an informal enough way to break the topic in easily. It's not instrument-specific, but neither is theory. With some familiarity under your belt, I would look for something at your school or a continuing-ed type musicianship class at a local music school if you're not a student.

In my experience, you will cover a lot of information before things click together, and then one day, Pop! the framework behind it all makes sense. Then you will find yourself asking, "Is that really all it was?"

u/ButtFartMcPoopus · 2 pointsr/piano

The third one is the big one, called Adult Piano Adventures. This is where the bulk of my learning gets done, where I find out what exactly staccato is or what a slur means, etc. The other two I mentioned to you do no actual teaching of what this stuff is, it's JUST the songs/chords. The purpose of them is just to practice and let your fingers and note reading skills get used to what you've learned in the big, main book.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this one though, for a few reasons. The biggest one is that it was obviously designed for a teacher to walk you through, the descriptions and instructions are very minimalist because the blanks are supposed to be filled in by an instructor. Secondly, I think the majority of what's taught in this book could be found for free online or through some kind of instructional DVD or whatever.

I'd recommend either getting a DVD/video download or a 'teaching yourself piano' equivalent to this book, just because having something that takes you through the steps of learning piano with proper difficulty progression and a logical, linear path will probably help immensely.

u/AllAboutChristmasEve · 2 pointsr/piano

I know this sub hates it, but I kind of liked Yousician. You don't get much free time per day, but you do make progress.

That said, I got this book this weekend and already made more sightreading progress in 24 hours than the previous 2 weeks using the app.

u/dryan0 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Ohh that's awesome! I use this one! I'm almost done with it!

u/tit_curtain · 2 pointsr/piano

B&amp;H has the px160 with stand, pedals, and bench for $450 new.

Guitar center has a lot of used digital pianos. They price them to be competitive with used listings on ebay. Looking through listings on guitarcenter and sold listings on ebay might be as close as you'll get to a blue book value.

PX150 and PX160 have the same action, either would be fine to start on. Getting a yamaha p115, kawai es110, or roland fp30 might be a better fit for some, but the level of improvement is not huge. Unless you really dislike the casio tone, either keeping the px150, or selling it to get the px160 bundle I linked above, would leave you with a perfectly fine instrument to start out on.

A teacher is recommended, but if you go with method books, faber adult all in one or alfred adult all in one are fine to start with.

If you get to the end of the third alfred book and can play through the pieces in the 'ambitious sections' at the end of the book, you might want to consider an upgrade. Until then, don't worry about it. A PX150 is just fine.

u/vdp08 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Coordination of both hands at the piano is definitely a tricky thing, and takes a looong time to get together... can help to find a teacher. I've actually just started teaching an adult student, and we just got to the "two hands" thing for the first time in her lesson last week. It's a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time... but I promise it gets easier with time and practice!

There are some great adult piano lesson books that can help, either to self-teach or to work with a teacher (it's always better to work with a teacher if you can, but not an option for everyone...). She's using a book by Bastien, but this one by Faber has come highly recommended by some of my colleagues...

u/djdementia · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

It's tough and I'm still there often.

One thing that has helped is looking at the arrangement of a reference track. Import a good reference track in the style you want to produce in your DAW as audio. Then go through every ~16 bar section or so and write down notes on what is happening. Not specifics but more like: "White noise intro" or "start of kicks" or "bridge", "chorus", "drop", etc.

If your DAW supports it try to write the notes directly on the timeline, many DAWs now a days support that by tagging tracks or sections and applying a label.

Then remove the reference track. You now have a 'template' with notes. Try to fill it in as best as possible from those notes.

I also recommend this book, it's pretty good:

u/salvodaze · 2 pointsr/ableton

The Lynda training helped me a lot as it was short and thought a lot of keyboard shortcuts early on. But I'm sure the free YouTube training playlists would also work. The good thing about Lynda was it was really concise and more professional in not wasting any time, which can be crucial to help keep focus in initial learning.
The manual is good, but I don't find it to be the most straightforward manual. It's still a tremendous reference.

I would suggest to just follow a basic training and start producing whatever you want, watching YouTube tutorials on whatever gets you stuck and keeping this sub close-by to randomly check and say "WTF are these people talking about?" until it becomes more and more familiar or to ask any questions (people are usually very noob-friendly here).

For tips on production and getting stuck, Dennis DeSantis has this amazing book. Really helps open up your mind.

Good luck and don't forget to continuously show up, discipline is the single most valuable skill in my opinion :)

PS: You need to listen to this quote as well.

Edit: About gear, I agree with others. Don't buy anything more than a measly small midi keyboard until you learn the DAW better. Then you'll know if you need anything or what you need.

u/painkiller-v · 2 pointsr/ableton

You may not need to switch to Ableton to benefit from it. They wrote a book that has ideas for getting out of a rut. Check it out!;amp;qid=1450123686&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=ableton+making+music

u/fv1svzzl65 · 1 pointr/piano

Lots and lots of hand PT and exercises. I am in a similar boat except I'm returning to music after about 20 or so years of not practicing and it's pretty much like learning anew, except with much stiffer fingers and joints.

Depending on how limber, agile, and your stamina, I would say start slow and pay lots of attention to form and posture, take break often and stretch. Do arm/hand/finger strength drills a few times a day and stretch A LOT, and I don't mean just hands and arms, develop and follow a routine to maintain overall mobility (which isn't a bad thing to do at this age anyhow).

Other than that — The Complete Musician could be a good start and a teacher to get you started with your instrument though be careful as early bad habits are very hard to fix in the future.

u/alessandro- · 1 pointr/piano

Since some time has now passed and there haven't been too many answers, I want to add something that I think is the most important answer: you can make up your own chorale preludes by getting better at improvising.

An easy way to start improvising is by playing just the harmonization in your hymn book, but rather than playing the top three voices at the same time, you can play them in an arpeggiated way. Some notes will have to be added or taken away in some situations, such as when two voices merge onto the same note. Here is a very quick recording that I made to demonstrate this principle.

Over time, you'll want to add basic harmonic ideas to your musical vocabulary. A few things I'd note:

  • It's OK to change the notes of the hymn tune slightly to accommodate the harmonies you want. But it's important to keep the rhythm of important motives the same, especially if you're changing the notes
  • It's useful to learn the hymn you're improvising on in multiple keys so that you can switch keys in your improvisation
  • Steal textures from written-out preludes/meditations/etc. on hymns. One texture you can use is the triplet texture I mentioned above.

    If you keep working on this, you'll get better and better. My favourite improviser who lives in my area sounds like this (the recording is terrible, but good enough that you can get the idea). A feature of his improvisations that I really like is modulations to far-away keys; when I hear him play, it feels like I'm being thrown into something vast and mysterious.

    A resource I recommend for liturgical musicians' improvisation is this book by Gerre Hancock. It's intended for organists, but is still extremely useful for pianists. I also find Improv Planet on Patreon very useful. It's run by a piano professor who specializes in improvisation in the style of Bach and Handel.

    If you haven't already studied harmony, I also highly, highly recommend it (I'd call study of harmony a prerequisite for Improv Planet). Good resources for self-study of harmony include the textbooks by Laitz and by Clendinning &amp; Marvin.
u/Cactusbiter · 1 pointr/musictheory

Laitz is what we used for theory, but the way to approach different things is different amongst different people...

Edit: [Straus] (;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1376717704&amp;amp;sr=1-4&amp;amp;keywords=theory) for base 12/12 tone

Edit 2: Don't forget that looking at various texts is another great way to think about understanding how different composers approach things, so once you learn a fundamental way of slapping labels on things, actual music is the best way to learn theory. Also, check out [this.] (

u/guitarelf · 1 pointr/musictheory

Well, it all start there. If you know it well enough, you start to extend the harmonies by including chords from the parallel minor/major, relative minor/major, secondary dominants of diatonic chords, diminished 7th chords, neopolitan chords, aug 6 chords, tritone subs, etc. At the point you seem to be at, it's probably time to buy a good book on Tonal Harmony. There are some really good ones out there, I prefer [Laitz's myself] (;amp;qid=1383066513&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=The+complete+musician)

u/sanganeer · 1 pointr/piano

If you are already comfortable with reading and playing simple material on the piano with good technique, etc. You might start with the second book in a series--Bastien's, Alfred's, John Thompsons, etc. But honestly it'd be good review if you're just coming back to it to start with the first book in a series to improve your fundamentals.

If you're not interested in learning to read music for piano much, I can't really think of a book that works with that. Maybe this book. You might just try putting together chord progressions using music theory and Just chords and a bass note to begin. Fancy stuff later.

u/gopher9 · 1 pointr/musictheory

As an amateur composer, I can recommend this book:

This book will guide you from very basics.

u/Jongtr · 1 pointr/musictheory

&gt; alternate chords

You mean altered chords?

&gt; It also taught me the modes of a harmonic minor scale, but it never taught why I would need to know them, and when I'm going to have to use them

You don't, essentially. Unless maybe you're playing flamenco or similar folk music. In western music (classical and jazz anyway), harmonic minor is not really a scale, it's the practice of raising the 7th scale degree to give a major V chord in a minor key. It implies a scale, but really that scale only applies to the V chord (which you could say was the 5th mode of the scale, but it's really just the scale of the key with a raised 7th).

You do need to know harmonic minor (as you do major and melodic minor), but its modes are not much use. Modes of major and melodic minor are more useful but, again, their usage is rarely well explained. Jazz improvisation is really not about scales - any more than speech is about the alphabet. ;-)

&gt; Are there books that do teach those kinds of stuff for composing jazz?

There are books on jazz composition, yes. I haven't read them myself, though, so can only google them like you can. Such as [this] (;amp;qid=1543314154&amp;amp;sr=8-1), or [this] (;amp;pd_rd_i=0226732169&amp;amp;pd_rd_r=5e885315-f22e-11e8-a01b-4d1de731c45e&amp;amp;pd_rd_w=HMCnI&amp;amp;pd_rd_wg=fE146&amp;amp;pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&amp;amp;pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&amp;amp;pf_rd_p=1e3b4162-429b-4ea8-80b8-75d978d3d89e&amp;amp;pf_rd_r=F33VW4NRKC43YC7EBNWZ&amp;amp;pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&amp;amp;pf_rd_t=40701&amp;amp;psc=1&amp;amp;refRID=F33VW4NRKC43YC7EBNWZ).
I do have [this one] (;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1543314404&amp;amp;sr=1-1) by Russo, but it isn't about composing at all: it's just a neat little book on arranging. Has some very useful tips on chord types, cadences, jazz harmony and voicing - and recommended for that reason - but nothing on producing original material. The assumed genre is the kind of key-based (functional) harmony you hear in big band jazz.

Likewise there are a few books on jazz theory - some controversial, all interesting, but maybe not that useful for composing.

Otherwise, I'd echo what 65TwinReverbRI says: study the kind of jazz you want to write. Listen and copy. If that's too hard (and it may well be!) get sheet music, Real Books, etc. Copy the sounds you like, put them together your way. In a nutshell, that's how all composers in any genre work.

u/bloozman5 · 1 pointr/composertalk

When limitations are self-imposed, you always have the option to go beyond them if your piece calls for it. I think that working within limitations can lead to inspiration, which you can then follow. Sometimes that means abandoning those initial principles, but often times the material doesn't call for that. Limitation exercises are also good because you force yourself to try something you've never done before, which can lead to a personal sense of style. Composing Music by William Russo is a great resource for exploring new techniques through a variety of limitation exercises. i'd highly recommend checking it out, it totally changed the way i write.

u/amphibian87 · 1 pointr/musictheory

William Russo's "Composing Music a New Approach" answers your question very well. Basically the author presents a rudimentary ensemble that can be thought of as a game, with certain rules.

In Chapter 12, titled "Imitation: A Useful Game," he identifies 7 rules and shows examples. Basically one player introduces a "simple figuration of one or two measures," then the next player player either imitates the first figure or introduces their unique figure. Each player is only allowed 1 unique figure, they can rest at any time, and they can imitate at any time (and not necessarily consecutively).

The examples explain it better than the text, but this "game" is basically a band. This helps with the rhythm and melody aspect, while the harmony and structure would probably benefit from a composition or thematic approach.

u/adamnemecek · 1 pointr/edmproduction

This book is all about applying this concept to music composition if that's what you are looking for.

u/groovestrument · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

You're looking for a book on the basics of composition.;amp;psc=1

The title says "A New Approach", but since the book was penned in 1988, you can hardly call it new anymore. Anyways, it's a pretty standard book on guiding you through the composition process. I used it back in the day, and I have all of my comp students use it.

Step one is to work through this book - it's got a lot of great practical exercises and tasks. Step two is to deconstruct some of the compositions that you enjoy (it's more fun that way), and try and notice the tools that they use to get the effects that you like. For example, if you like the way a particular bridge leads to the finale, find out why you like it! It is the instrumentation, the harmony, key change, etc? Figure it out, and then add it to your composition tool box. The last step is to deconstruct music that you know is profound/revolutionary, but that you don't necessarily enjoy. You'll still find some useful composition and arrangement techniques.

All while you are doing the above, constantly compose your own stuff. It doesn't have to be good, but it has to be something.

u/mrfebrezeman360 · 1 pointr/osx

I posted a similar thread a few years back, and it seemed to come down to this book. I bought it, but it's pretty above my head and I haven't had the time to really try and delve in.

Have you looked into MaxMSP?

u/siike92 · 1 pointr/synthdiy

Glad to hear it, thank you! And yeah I can think of a few books that really helped me.

For analog, the best book I've read is "A Practical Introduction to Electronic Circuits" ( It's actually a terrible introduction, so the title is dumb, but if you already have a basic knowledge this book will take you to the next level. Also one of the best resources for analog is Dave Jones' YouTube channel EEVBlog ( He's an excellent presenter and a real analog pro.

For digital, after you have a good grasp of C, I'd recommend Musimathics Vol. 2 (;amp;linkCode=df0&amp;amp;hvadid=312152840806&amp;amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;amp;hvnetw=g&amp;amp;hvrand=13200640003814220797&amp;amp;hvpone=&amp;amp;hvptwo=&amp;amp;hvqmt=&amp;amp;hvdev=m&amp;amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;amp;hvlocint=&amp;amp;hvlocphy=9021581&amp;amp;hvtargid=pla-645450504952&amp;amp;psc=1&amp;amp;tag=&amp;amp;ref=&amp;amp;adgrpid=61316181319&amp;amp;hvpone=&amp;amp;hvptwo=&amp;amp;hvadid=312152840806&amp;amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;amp;hvnetw=g&amp;amp;hvrand=13200640003814220797&amp;amp;hvqmt=&amp;amp;hvdev=m&amp;amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;amp;hvlocint=&amp;amp;hvlocphy=9021581&amp;amp;hvtargid=pla-645450504952). The first volume can be skipped cause it's mostly acoustics and music theory related, but it's a good book too. The second volume is by far the best explaination of DSP and digital audio synthesis I've come across. If you want something a bit lighter, this is a great book as well (;amp;linkCode=df0&amp;amp;hvadid=312140868236&amp;amp;hvpos=1o1&amp;amp;hvnetw=g&amp;amp;hvrand=9994434488221753680&amp;amp;hvpone=&amp;amp;hvptwo=&amp;amp;hvqmt=&amp;amp;hvdev=m&amp;amp;hvdvcmdl=&amp;amp;hvlocint=&amp;amp;hvlocphy=9021581&amp;amp;hvtargid=pla-330509287619&amp;amp;psc=1).

u/digitr33 · 1 pointr/learnprogramming

C / C++ are the main languages to learn for this. This is a good book for reference. I would strongly recommend looking into the JUCE library. Their latest version JUCE 5 comes with some added features (free for personal use). They have good tutorials and it also allows you to build for AU/AAX etc just by selecting a few options when setting up the project.

u/MrTheDevious · 1 pointr/DSP

The other guys covered your specific filter question, so here's some general info on learning/implementing DSP via code. I don't know whether you're a programmer already or not, so if you're not, DSP is not a great way to learn C programming from the beginning. Basic DSP like your low-pass filter is not very demanding of more advanced programming skills, but it IS (relatively) hard to debug. I don't even want to imagine how awful debugging DSP output would be for a new programmer who's not yet sure his basic code even works properly. Much easier to learn C by writing some scrubby text output programs rather than staring at a huge pile of output floats.

If you're already comfy with C, you're just going to have to dig into some textbooks and work your way through them. Don't let them scare you. The math looks ugly, but it REALLY isn't! I highly recommend combining at least two sources for each topic. is free and great for understanding what you're doing. Very little math, very heavy on explanations of how DSP works. Read the section on filters or whatever from this book first. is the math side of the same DSP topics + lots of actual C code implementations of each

If you make it through the pair all the way, you've pretty much got an entire foundation

u/CodeCodeCodeDurrr · 1 pointr/GameAudio

As far as book recommendations, check out anything by Julius O Smith (his website has all his books for free), A Digital Signal Processing Primer by Ken Steiglitz, The Audio Programming Book by Richard Boulanger &amp; Victor Lazzarini, and this one has been on my wishlist for a while.

The program is very young (under a decade), so I can't give too many examples (our first graduate did land a producer's job at Microsoft, and our second is in R&amp;D upstairs, working on the sound engine for our in-house game engine), but generally these skills translate to other areas of software development that involve heavy DSP knowledge (biomedical tech, watermarking, speech recognition, communications tech).

I should mention DigiPen provides a hyper-focused course of study. It's definitely not a good choice if you're looking for a general education, or even a generalized CS education. Most of what we learn is Assembly/C/C++ in Procedural/Object-Oriented styles. On the upside though, there's a projects course every single term, which is where most of your portfolio comes from.

u/triple_take · 1 pointr/audioengineering

More links:

The Audio Programming Book - highly recommended to me

Designing Audio Effect Plugins in C++

Apple's Documentation for AU

Another thread

Some relevant stuff in this thread too

edit: I forgot an important one. Steinberg's VST SDK. Complete with example projects to get started with.


edit: basically people are saying Juce, WDL, Steinberg, C++. And lots of math.

Also this looks interesting coming from a java point of view: Java VST Wrapper

u/MR2Rick · 1 pointr/learnprogramming

Don't know anything about this, but the idea that occurs to me would be to use MIDI for music play back and dynamically add channels based on what is happening in the game.

For example, you could have a theme for a particular monster. When that monster is approaching/on the scene, you would add a channel with that monsters theme.

You could also compose the music so that it can be dynamically shifted to a different section based on what is happening in the game. For instance, if the here is losing a battle, you could shift to a section of the music that has a faster, more frantic feel with a discordant harmony.

In addition, you could dynamically change tempos, volume or mix balance based on game events.

Never read it, but I have seen this book.

u/mrsquare · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Download FMOD or Wwise (more studios use Wwise if I recall) and learn the software. Trailers and cutscenes are not good representations of the job of composing for games; they're a tiny fraction of the bigger picture of adaptive and looping music which you should get yourself familiar with.

I'd also strongly suggest picking up A Composers Guide to Game Music by Winifred Philips (worked on some Total War games, AC games, Spore, Dragon Age and God of War, so she knows what she's talking about) as a primer for what you need to know, and how the skills you need differ quite a bit from a film composer.

u/vcanada · 1 pointr/classicalmusic

I see a lot of answers regarding marketing classical as relaxing- and thus the promotion those pieces that fit that description (think lullabies, fugues, and love themes).

I've not seen the more scientific answer about pattern recognition and the mathematical structure of the music itself. The traditional symphony, for example, has a very specific harmonic and melodic structure that is made to repeat throughout at different musical intervals in various patterns. Your brain doesn't get bored since there isn't a ton of wrote repetition, you get the serotonin boost from recognizing those patterns, and (unless you're going for Wagner or some aggressive Operatic pieces) the physics of the reverberations of the instruments themselves match well to the physiognomy of our inner and outer ear. Basically, the vibrations of the strings can make you physically comfortable or uncomfortable depending on the tuning and note played.

If anyone is interested I cannot recommend enough, "Music, the Brain and the Ecstacy" by Robert Jourdain.

I made it to Harmony III in college before moving my major from Music to Philosophy, but welcome any questions you might have. I plan on doing a PhD and my dream research would be on how the quantum structure of our brain's SSRI re-uptake inhibitors as they are influenced by the psychedelic drug class compared to other non-chemical methods of neuromechanical stimulation (like music, meditation and prayer/fellowship). My long term dream is to help ween Americans off the psychotropics like Prozac, Zoloft, etc. that must be taken daily, don't last in the system for long and come with a battery of side effects for more substantial cultural changes that actually solve, instead of masking, the mental dissonance our lifestyles only seem to aggravate.

u/willnotwashout · 1 pointr/askscience

In general, our brains are occupied with both novelty and repetition. When we listen to music, the repetition gives us the context for understanding what we're hearing and the novelty keeps our brains actively interested.

For example, listen to the horn melody of the original Hawaii 5-0 theme:

The first part of both initial phrases is the same but then suddenly, it changes. That novelty after repetition is what your brain likes.

It is possible though to listen to a piece enough times that the novelty disappears completely. At this point, unless you have a different experience of the song, like nostalgia after a long absence, your brain is no longer captivated and can in fact be repulsed by the repetition alone.

Hope that makes some sense. I'd suggest reading something like Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy if you want to get into it further.

u/V-Man737 · 1 pointr/books

Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy by Robert Jourdain -- a book that explains in mesmerizing detail why music makes us feel good

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell translation -- a book that explains (among a plethora of other gems of wisdom) why letting go is the only way to gain.

u/vanblah · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You're going to have a hard time finding someone to explain the biology of it in laymen's terms. There's a good book called "Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy" that spends the first third explaining the biology of it.

Sound waves are produced by vibrations (guitar string, vocal chords, etc.) These vibrations start at a fundamental frequency (what you called "pitch") but they also vibrate at higher frequencies relative to the fundamental--these are called overtones. These higher frequencies aren't perceived as readily as the fundamental but they will color the tone of sound (timbre).

EDIT: I guess, in an overly simplistic way, you could say that the overtones do excite the nerves in the ear dedicated to those frequencies and the brain decodes them in pretty much the same way it does the fundamental. So, since the two sound sources emit different overtones the brain can tell them apart.

u/amliebsten · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I'm a composer by trade (now working toward a PhD in Composition) and I don't know one book that introduces composing well, or at all. I got started in high school, just writing little pieces for myself and friends to play. I just kept at it all these years, through college, grad school and now.

What I found helpful along the way was to learn and be the pro at music theory. After all, music theory is a bunch of rules formulated based on what other people people from long long before have written. One thing to work hard on is counterpoint. It's a step by step on how to write good lines, good secondary lines and basically gives you a very rough idea of what works and what doesn't work. Of course, this is based in the tonal tradition. This is my recommended book. It's written in the socratic style, so just beware. Otherwise, this is what people use in school today.

Again, orchestration is important if you want to write for acoustic instruments. See my comment below~

My advice would be to JUST START WRITING! If its bad, you will know it is and why it's bad. Sometimes, you need a little help. PM me if you want me to look at some things you've done.

u/Greg_Willis · 1 pointr/composer

I would suggest this book to help with making baselines- Basically, you bass line must be in 'Counterpoint' with the melody, usually below the melody- If better voice leading would entail moving voices in the same octave- do it. It is all so that the melody remains principle.

u/heroides · 1 pointr/musictheory

I believe anyone studying counterpoint should read Johann Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, nowadays published as two separate volumes translated and edited by Alfred Mann, namely The Study of Counterpoint and The Study of Fugue.

u/georgiapeanuts · 1 pointr/EDM

This book is one of the best for laying out the rules and reasoning as to how you build counterpuntal melodies, and build harmonies in musically sound way.

Things like avoiding parallel fifths etc.

u/Ekvitarius · 1 pointr/Baroque

Ars nova has a really nice entry level text on their website if you’re just getting started. For a more complete introduction, check out the book “Music Theory ” by George Thaddeus Jones. That’s the one I started with, and while it’s very thorough in its discussion of musical concepts, its treatment of counterpoint is not my favorite. Something is definitely lost when the inner voices are treated as mere filler. Amazon and goodreads both gave it 4 stars. I feel like the ars nova text holds the readers hand a bit better and has the added bonus of being able to hear the examples. It also includes a chord progression game based on root movement principles). Though it’s missing some information here and there, so definitely check both texts out (yes, even though you probably understand some of their contents anyway) And of course, there’s the Gradus as Parnassum, the Bible of counterpoint that Bach praised and practically all subsequent composers learned from (though the rules presented there are über-strict!). It’s written as a dialogue between a student and a master which is absolutely brilliant.

If you’re looking to compose in the baroque style, there’s a good textbook called “Baroque Counterpoint ” by Peter Schubert and Christoph Niedhöfer, though the introduction says that you already need to know scales, figured base, 4-part voice leading, how to harmonize a melody, how to use non harmony tones, and some basic keyboard skills. It mostly (but not entirely) focuses on fugue and imitative counterpoint in general. So, it’s intended for the musically literate. Don’t go there until you’ve got a good framework to build on.

You also ought to have a collection of Bach’s chorales on hand as they are good examples for beginners to analyze and model on. Here’s 40 of them. Remember- analysis consists of more than just labeling chords; it involves INTERPRETING how all the different musical features contribute to the piece.

As a final note, remember- you don’t HAVE to fallow the rules all the time in your own music, but they’re still worth learning.

u/DoctorWalnut · 1 pointr/musictheory

&gt; Was it to simply introduce something more melodically interesting?

I can only assume so. The bass's independence is thematically necessary since it's where the opening motif is repeated. It gives meaning to the G-E-D-G-E-D line. If a line has structural/thematic significance, it should remain independent so the listener can pick it out.

I can't tell if the vocals or the instrumental was written first, sorry. Reading material on this subject would be any harmony/counterpoint book you can find. You seem pretty knowledgeable about those topics already though, so maybe it's just getting the style down. Books like [this] (,_Pyotr%29) and this. You may have read those already as they're pretty popular. If you haven't, you can most likely find them for free somewhere.

u/Baron310 · 1 pointr/musictheory
u/jta314 · 1 pointr/classicalmusic

You can combine with what you learn in that book with a little more flair and flavor, from this book: Twentieth Century Harmony. But if you can only get one. Get the Fundamentals of Musical Composition above.;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1518151206&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=Twentieth+century+harmony

u/Tedius · 1 pointr/musictheory

I recommend Persichetti's Twentieth Century Harmony instead. I think you may find it closer to what you are looking for.

u/aotus_trivirgatus · 1 pointr/musictheory

I have no single favorite chord. But if I shared my whole list of favorites, I would be giving away all my compositional secrets!

Here's one though. I like this monster:

B♭2 A♭3 C4 E4 G4 B5 D5 F#5 B6

Those doubled B♮ notes over the B♭ bass ought to sound like a train wreck -- but they don't, thanks to the other supporting notes.

As to how to hear it or parse it, you can treat it as a polychord: in slash notation, perhaps Bm / B♭13#11? That's how you are likely to play it at a keyboard.

Alternately, read composer Enrique Ubieta's thoughts on the idea of augmented 15th chords, which Vincent Persichetti also considers in his Twentieth-Century Harmony. I think the notes in this stack mesh well enough that you are less likely to hear it as a polychord, and more likely to hear it as a dominant 13#11 with a #15.


u/jazzyjacck · 1 pointr/musictheory

Some Books that I have that are good are:

Twentieth Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti

Theory of Harmony by Arnold Schoenberg

A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody by David Liebman

u/lleettssggoo · 1 pointr/getdisciplined

Great that you know what you want to do with the webapp. As said, break into small chunks and conquer. Even to the point of 'sit at desk', 'open computer'... so small that it's impossible not to do them. On the days where that's too much, just imagine yourself doing it. This will create cognitive dissonance and make you want to do it. This video shows you how.

Yeah work your way up to jamming. Play along CD's like Aebersold are great to start with.

First step is to learn the Cmaj scale fingering. Once you have that, move up a string and you have the Fmaj fingering. As said, practice around the circle of 5ths.

I'm living abroad too ha ha. I know exactly how you feel. I recommend reading this book.

u/pr06lefs · 1 pointr/musictheory

Check the sidebar under theory apps and books. I haven't finished a single book yet so can't really comment on what's best, but there are some listed there. I've ordered " The Musician’s Guide to Theory &amp; Analysis", you can find that on google books I think and browse it.

u/mladjiraf · 1 pointr/edmproduction


Dude, your hooktheory book is a complete garbage, I'm not surprised that you learned everything wrong. I even told you the name of the youtube channel... how ignorant can a person be on reddit?

Check any real music theory books;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1538029216&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=tonal+harmony+kostka&amp;dpID=41v9WBjdbJL&amp;preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&amp;dpSrc=srch;pd_rd_i=0199347093&amp;pd_rd_r=4a1cee19-c21d-11e8-bcaa-d5dbd61d2792&amp;pd_rd_w=N7ADP&amp;pd_rd_wg=8dbTF&amp;pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=56838e6b-66d4-41e0-a762-743f1a1a628a&amp;pf_rd_r=3YXER0X7XFGE6FM96NJ8&amp;pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&amp;pf_rd_t=40701&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=3YXER0X7XFGE6FM96NJ8;pd_rd_i=0393930815&amp;pd_rd_r=4a1cee19-c21d-11e8-bcaa-d5dbd61d2792&amp;pd_rd_w=N7ADP&amp;pd_rd_wg=8dbTF&amp;pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=56838e6b-66d4-41e0-a762-743f1a1a628a&amp;pf_rd_r=3YXER0X7XFGE6FM96NJ8&amp;pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&amp;pf_rd_t=40701&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=3YXER0X7XFGE6FM96NJ8


to see what people in England and USA use (Germany and North/East Europe use slightly different system).


Also, there doesn't exist such thing as progression without a tonic, that's why your progression is wrong when you try to analyse the key. One of your chords is I or i (Im in another notation system). And progressions in minor use flexible scale degrees, that's why such tables can't be made or they will have to include several different chords.

u/ModusDeum · 1 pointr/musictheory

I feel you. Counterpoint would certainly be a good starting point, but it almost certainly isn't going to be useful to you except as a bridge upon which you might arrive at 4-voice-land.

Bach is an incredible study in counterpoint, but you'll likely not understand how to write simply by analyzing his counterpoint (unless you're peculiarly keen on intervalic analysis and pick up on nuances like a lack of parallel 5ths and 8ves, contrary, parallel, similar or oblique motion between voices, etc).

I'm not aware of any online resources with which one can learn counterpoint (someone else might be able to direct you there).

This is the book we've used in all of my theory classes, I through IV so far It's not a particularly cheep cheap (god it's late)* book, but it's been worth it for the wealth of knowledge. It does a really good job of taking theory step by step from the smallest of pieces (notes on a staff) to crazy complex serial compositions and other awful stuff like that ;)

u/CallMeChe · 1 pointr/books

I would look into This Is Your Brain on Music. I don't know for sure if it's as psychological as you're looking for though, or more physiological, since I haven't read it but it's been sitting on my bookshelf for a long time.

u/scoodidabop · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Go check out "This Is Your Brain On Music" by musician and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin check it out here. Amazing book. Anyway I'll try to summarize some of the ideas behind human preference for the 4/4 meter. So you know tally marks right? Try writing out tally marks more than four in a row. It starts to get confusing to count! Most people can't really count more than 4 straight lines next to each other in a row at a glance (although some really crazy people can count 8 or more that way!) so we adopted the cross tally for the 5th mark. Birds, for example, get confused after seeing groups of 2 or 3 (can't remember which... maybe 3). So birds can tell if the difference between a predator that's alone and one that's with partner, but perceive more than 3 as basically also 3.

At the end of the day it's a limitation of our wiring. We like 4/4 because anything beyond that becomes very difficult to perceive and "feel" for most people. I imagine alien species with more advanced brains go to nightclubs for some 9/7 music. Weird.

EDIT: added amazon link. Damn good book!

u/aitigie · 1 pointr/Drugs

Sorry, I should have specified that it doesn't cause permanent changes. As far as science knows, at least.

And thanks for the book to check out! If you like learning about why our brains get up to odd shit, check this out. I found it to be quite an interesting read.

u/MiserubleCant · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you want a detailed answer, this book is pretty decent. I searched amazon for "brain on music" to find the link and saw quite a few other books on the subject which look relevant, although I haven't read myself to personally recommend.

u/ChaiGuevara · 1 pointr/askscience

I'm not aware of any specific study that directly addresses your question, but based on existing, similar research, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a correlation.

The Mozart Effect has long held that listening to classical music potentially increases spatial-temporal reasoning, a skill highly core to success in mathematics. As classical music is obviously purely instrumental, perhaps there is an inverse link in which mathematically-minded people tend to be more attentive or appreciative of patterns rather than lyrics.

If you're interested in a more in-depth read about how our brains interpret music, and what makes us like the music we like, I'd highly recommend reading This Is Your Brain On Music. Again, I don't recall the book addressing any studies that directly answer your question, but there's a lot of intriguing information to gain if it's a topic of interest to you.

And since everyone else is, I may as well add in that I too am mathematically-minded and tend to focus on pattern more than lyrics.

u/whitecleats · 1 pointr/whatsthatbook
u/spectrometric · 1 pointr/books

A really focused book is "This is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin. It is (obviously) focused on music and how the brain perceives it, but has some other basic knowledge of how the brain works.

u/sir_earl · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I don't know. There is a book called "this is your brain on music", which is great for this exact topic. I don't really know too much about the brain beyond the basics. I have the book, but I'm in the middle of a few other books so I haven't read it yet

u/Tommishh · 1 pointr/audioengineering

Not exactly sound, but This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Levitin is a great read. The author is a musician turned neuroscientist who pretty much analyzes how sound/music is understood by humans

Edit: just realized you were specifically looking for an audio book. I don't know if there is one

u/GuitarGreg · 1 pointr/metalmusicians

If you want more information about this, read This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Levitin. Another cool one is Musicophilia by Dr. Oliver Sacks, but that one is more about brain disorders that cause very strange music-related phenomenon. Like the inability to detect pitch, or sense melody, and other weird stuff.

u/stinky_buds_iii · 1 pointr/trees

upvote but i respectfully disagree. i think a lot of guitarists feel more relaxed when they're blazed and more "in the zone". also ya i've heard the same about improv too.

here's a good book that talks about music and your brain:
this is your brain on music (amazon)
i thought it was kind of interesting

u/luxbwin · 1 pointr/ADHD

I would read musicophilia and this is your brain on music. I found them to be both fascinating and full of information on earworms.

u/shadfresh · 1 pointr/musictheory

I don't think science will be ever to fully explain the beauty of art (specifically music), but I think it can help us gain at least some understanding as to why we love it.

This book helped me:;amp;pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&amp;amp;pf_rd_t=201&amp;amp;pf_rd_i=0525949690&amp;amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;amp;pf_rd_r=04RCE4HM6JAF6YNB7QZ5

(sorry I don't know how to link)

u/BeowulfShaeffer · 1 pointr/piano

It would help if we knew more about your own level of knowledge too. For instance I could recommend Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony or Levine's Jazz Piano Book but those books expect a lot out of their readers, so you may be better off with simpler books.

One book I liked a lot was Carl Humphries The Piano Handbook. It doesn't assume you know much and goes over a lot of material without a lot of depth. It might be a good starting point. It has something to say about pretty much every musical style from 1400 to today.

EDIT: I just reread your post and see you already have the piano handbook.

As a six-month player you probably need to work on physical technique more than anything. And you'll need a teacher for that. :( Can you find one to even meet once a month for 30 minutes?

u/Experience111 · 1 pointr/piano

If you really have your basic chords and scale theory down, I would recommend a book that was recommended by my teachers : Arnold Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony. It is a very deep theory book that challenges a lot of the preconceptions that existed (and still exist) before its realease around 1910. I started reading it and it is a great book indead, though I lack some elementary knowledge to get the best out of it.

u/raoulduke25 · 1 pointr/christianmetal

I would start with Arnold Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Musical Composition and Theory of Harmony by the same author. The former is more of a slow-reading reference with examples for study and replication. The latter is a dense and thought-provoking page turner.

None of my works have been recorded. The best I could do is to post a PDF of some of them if you're interested in having a look at them.

u/cmattis · 1 pointr/futurebeatproducers

Well, my best advice (if possible) is just to pick up any book that has a combination of scales and basic chord progressions (like this one:;amp;qid=1343850716&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=piano+chords+scales) and spend a few months working everyday learning them on piano or a keyboard. When you're making a song if you know ahead of time what key you want to write it in and then limit yourself to the notes available in that scale you'll find that you feel a lot more in control. If that's not possible you could try to pick up a music theory textbook, but in general those tend to be geared almost exclusively towards people that are going to be composing with pencil and paper (AKA Sibelius) in the Western Classical tradition so a lot of the rules they impose early on (avoidance of parallel/hidden fifths and octaves, some of the rules dealing minor scales) won't really apply what so ever to the stuff you're trying to do, but if you're interested in doing modulations (fancy smancey word for key changes) or utilizing weird scales like the half diminished you're probably gonna want to pick up a music theory textbook eventually.

NOW if you wanna go really deep down the rabbit hole, I'd pick up this book:;amp;qid=1343851092&amp;amp;sr=8-3&amp;amp;keywords=schoenberg

It's partially a music theory textbook but it's more an investigation into why harmonic structures work the way they do. Schoenberg's theory relating bass notes to chords completely changed the way I make music.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing.

u/myquidproquo · 1 pointr/musictheory

😮 Nice! Tell us more about your work. Is there any interesting book about your craft? I’m reading Tunesmith about songwriting. Any equivalent on producing?

u/RiggsBoson · 1 pointr/indieheads

I know how you feel. My worst habit, by far, is neglecting to finish pieces that I start. I'd rather be like you, and have at least a collection of strong drafts. Rather than a box of tapes, filled with briefly compelling fragments.

I think it was Jimmy Webb (in his book Tunesmith, which I highly recommend) who said, in so many words, "If writing a song is easy, then you're doing it wrong."

u/The16Points · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I don't know what you're into, and you might consider his material kind of hokey, but you might want to give Jimmy Webb's book "Tunesmith" a try. It's been years since I've read it cover-to-cover, but I liked it. But then again, I like Jimmy Webb. It covers more than just chords, and I will admit that the lyrics to the "sample" song running through the book are definitely hokey.

Also, someone else mentioned Lou Reed in this thread. While the Velvet Underground had a lot of simple chord progressions, check out the song Candy Says -- it has more than four chords in the verse and does some interesting changes, e.g. from Fm# to F to B, which serve the melody well but might not seem intuitive if you're just trying to come up with chord progressions. It eventually lands in a simpler progression (two chords repeating at the end of the song), but the variety in the verses helps give the song personality.

u/LiamGaughan · 1 pointr/musictheory

Someone mentioned to me this book:

Really good book if you want to know how to write.

u/basstronomy · 1 pointr/musictheory

Timothy Johnson recently published a book on John Adams's Nixon in China, which I'd recommend if you're interested in that composer's work from a theoretical standpoint. If you're interested in more biographical stuff, check out his autobiography, Hallelujah Junction.

As for notation, I found an old copy of Gardner Read's book at a used bookstore a while back, and I'd recommend picking it up if you're really interested. I do feel the need to include a couple of caveats: the book (or at least my edition) predates computerized typesetting, so the purpose and organization of the work aren't the most efficient and helpful for modern purposes. Nevertheless, he is very comprehensive and thorough, and it makes a good resource if you're interested in scrupulously "correct" notation.

u/sbassoon · 1 pointr/graphicnotation

You might also try Music Notation by Gardner Reed, which is a pretty exhaustive guide to modern notation.

u/lwp8530 · 1 pointr/Guitar

sorry for the late reply! well nearly all books will have some rhythm learning which is excellent. [Berklee's A Modern Method for Guitar - Volumes 1, 2, 3 Complete] (;amp;qid=1410004474&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=Berklee%27s+Modern+Method+for+Guitar+123) By William Leavitt
as for more books focused on rhythm some good ones are:

[Rhythm Guitar: The Complete Guide] ( by Bruce Buckingham and Melodic Rhythms For Guitar

u/NopeNotQuite · 1 pointr/Guitar

In addition to a tuner get "A Modern Method For Guitar Volume 1" by William Leavitt. Its written by the guy who founded the guitar department in Berklee College of Music. The book teaches you all of the basics of guitar in volume 1 and moves at a fast, yet manageable pace.

Here's a link to the combined 3 volumes for $22

But you get a DVD if you just buy Vol 1 that has a guitar professer at Berklee (the current head of the department) teaching the book to you.;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1370752061&amp;amp;sr=1-2&amp;amp;keywords=a+modern+method+for+guitar

The book gives you an amazing foundation for playing guitar.

u/DJFunkyFingers · 1 pointr/Guitar

A Modern Method For Guitar by William Leavitt is a great book for this. Starts of with teaching you the staff and how to read notes all the way to advanced theory and improv. It is all standard notation though so you need to be able to read music OR be willing to learn (and will make it easier to learn theory), which this will help you with. It has a ton of songs and practice pieces in every position in it to guide you, and you'll know the fretboard in and out if you stick with it. I highly recommend it.

u/stramash · 1 pointr/Learnmusic

180 bpm is very fast indeed. Not something I would be worrying about while beginning learning to read; I would start at about 60/70 and maybe work my way up to about 100.

Saying note names as you go can be a helpful way of learning note positions across the neck—if it works for you, then go ahead.

I'd recommend this book as a good means of learning to sight read.

u/eddard_snark · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

If you want to learn how to read, buy this:

Otherwise it sounds like you just want to do some ear training. There are lots of programs to do that. Or just record yourself playing intervals and when you play them back try and guess what they are. Start at thirds and fifths in the same octave and then expand as you get better at it. Do that every day.

If you don't know basic theory like scales and chords, that's where you need to start. There are roughly a bajillion books on the subject.

u/gibbenskd · 1 pointr/rocksmith

Try the Fretboard Logic series. Very informative and a great place to begin to understand the connections of the fretboard. Another great series is A Modern Method for Guitar.

u/1stchairlastcall · 1 pointr/Guitar
u/guitarfx · 1 pointr/Guitar

The William Leavitt books are good:

Also, depends on the style you want to go for. If you go classical, get a really good teach and learn where to place your right hand fingers. Its better to learn correctly than have to re-learn.

u/davidddavidson · 1 pointr/Guitar
u/BadResults · 1 pointr/Guitar

I bought William Leavitt's A Modern Method for Guitar ( link because I'm Canadian) for this purpose and I am totally satisfied. It teaches theory and sight reading at the same time, and is basically a big book of exercises. You learn by doing.

u/JeanLucSkywalker · 1 pointr/musictheory

Hands down, no question: Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. It's approachable, humorous, and very effective. It also has a lot of exercises that would be great in a classroom.

u/TronIsMyCat · 1 pointr/AskReddit

This book is very good.

u/doctorpogo · 1 pointr/musictheory

I use Edly's Music Theory for Practical People with some of my students, and I find it super useful for exactly the kind of thing you're talking about.

Yeah, it starts out really simple, and yeah, it's full of dumb jokes and goofy cartoons. But it gets to the good stuff (higher tertian chords and how to voice them) really quick, and makes good sense of it. A lot of theory books are more like notation analysis manuals than theory books - this one doesn't ignore or avoid notation but isn't about it, it's about using theory in your playing and composition more than post facto analysis.

u/MilesZS · 1 pointr/Music

I've been working through this book:;amp;s=books&amp;amp;qid=1256044776&amp;amp;sr=8-1

I sort of love it, though take that with a grain of salt, as I haven't finished it. It's not your typical music theory book -- it doesn't come across as dense, pompous, or tedious. I have taken a rudimentary music theory course before, but already I feel as if I understand a few of the concepts much better, thanks to the explanations in this book. Read the other Amazon reviews, too. (Also, it can be had for a bit cheaper from small bookstores via Barnes &amp; Noble's website.)

If you do get this book, actually go through with the exercises that appear throughout. I've found them helpful in reinforcing the concepts presented. (Who would have thought that the exercises would actually fulfill their intended purpose? ;-)

u/rogueoperative · 1 pointr/musictheory

Scrape together $15 and buy this book: Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. It's inexpensive, very simply laid out, and has exercises you can work through to learn the fundamentals of music theory and then logically build to more advanced theory. I sit down with this book for about an hour every day and start from whatever chapter I feel 100% comfortable with and work through to whatever section I struggle with. At first, I could only get through 10 or so pages before I was overwhelmed. Now, I can work through to page 75 or so before I get a little lost. And I still have about 100 pages to go. The book isn't instrument specific, but it's helped my ability to improvise on bass within a given key immensely.

Otherwise, prioritize saving money for applied instrument lessons. It can actually be done. You just might have to give up your coffee or fast food/restaurant indulgences for awhile.

u/penguindreamsmusic · 1 pointr/drums

Another guitarist learning drums here! And yeah, drums are a bit on the physically exhausting side (admittedly I'm out of shape though), wow I knew I was uncoordinated, but I didn't really realize how uncoordinated I was until I started trying to play drums. I bought copies of 4 Way Coordination and The New Breed.

I'd call New Breed a 'difficult but worth it' workbook for actually getting your hands and feet working together. And 4 Way Coordination more of a 'learn to control them separately' (little tip: make sure that your hands are on different drums for the melodic exercises).

u/Z1nfandel · 1 pointr/drums

The bible -

Work them up to -

For your more advanced students, this will also help you with your reading. -

Of course you don't have to keep them doing everything on the snare, get them to move the exercises around the kit.

u/guythnick · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

This is what I've found to be the best advice as a drummer. I was in college and my percussion teacher had me work through The New Breed. I had been drumming for nine years prior and this method was what brought me to another level. The most innovative and productive way to achieve this that I've seen.

u/optimumbox · 1 pointr/drums

The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary As Taught by Alan Dawson: Go through as much as you can while staring both on right and left hand.

Also, Gary Chester's The New Breed: This is a lifetime lesson type of book. You'll get out of it what you put into it.

u/Beefsurgeon · 1 pointr/drums

The New Breed by Gary Chester is a classic, difficult book focused around developing independence between your limbs. Definitely high-five yourself if you can make it through the whole thing. If you can't, don't worry--it's also a wonderful tool for pulling yourself out of a creative rut when you start to feel like everything you play sounds the same.

u/noicedream · 1 pointr/DIYGear

i forgot, ray has a book took. its really great. it has info on synths, some info about ray, about synth diy, and a very detailed build of the noise toaster. also the appendices have great info on common chips and common op amp circuits:

he also did a MAKE video lecture on TL0x op amps you should watch once you know a bit more about op amps and circuits (due to lingo).

u/kbob · 1 pointr/synthdiy

Have you looked at Ray Wilson's book?

u/goddamn_usa_treasure · 1 pointr/synthesizers
u/oks2024 · 1 pointr/synthesizers

You could start with this book:

It's written by Ray Wilson, who is the guy behind Music From Outer Space, where you will find tons of synths and module circuit, parts, pcb.

The book explains all the wizardry behind the Noise Toaster, and guide you through the build.


Or you can start with eurorack, there is tons of DIY modules, you can have complete kit, so you "just" need to solder the parts, or you can buy a pcb and source the parts yourself. For eurorack, you will find "through hole" modules, aka classic and "big" components, or SMD, which are tiny component, usually made to be soldered by robots. You might want to avoid SMD as a first build if you don't have a lot of soldering experience (and tools).


u/i_make_song · 1 pointr/audioengineering

Do you have any background knowledge in electronics? Because I would seriously start there.

I realize you are an adult, but Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery) was a really great book for me (an adult). It gives you a good foundations in electronics and has fun projects as well.

Make: Analog Synthesizers was particularly fun for me.

Any interest in either of those books? They're both great starting points.

u/Ferniff · 1 pointr/Bass

oh shit! Didn't realize that was today. Thanks! I have Idiot's Guide to Music Theory (later edition I think). I havent read any other guides, but I like this one.

u/candyA25 · 1 pointr/singing

You mentioned you're motivated enough to practice for an hour or two. Did you ever consider teaching yourself Basic Music Theory?

Get this book. I bought it a few weeks ago to start teaching myself as well. It comes with a CD of exercises you can complete. This could be a good starting point onto other books to buy in the future. For example, one of my goals is to play Jazz Guitar someday. My plan is to finish the Complete Idiots Guide, then move onto this.

This way, you wouldn't be dropping money for a college degree. Combine a few lessons with your studies, watch singing lesson YouTube Videos, and who knows where you might end up! Then you wouldn't have to rely so much on your teacher. My voice lesson teacher used to be cancel on me often, so I understand how frustrating that can be.

u/theunsaturated · 1 pointr/musictheory best guide for music , it has some tough excersices to help you get command on theory quickly , it'll take you 20-30 days ( if ur consistant ) to finish the book . Pretty much advance stuff that u won't find in a beginners guide..

u/breisdor · 1 pointr/musictheory

The Complete Idiot's Guide is a surprisingly good resource. I taught myself from this book in 6th grade and ended up with a strong command of theory before high school.

Once you get what you can from that, try
Kostka and Payne. From my understanding this is a very popular book for college theory classes. It also has a workbook that can be useful.

If you spend 20 minutes a day studying theory, you will have a solid foundation in no time.

u/Exotera · 1 pointr/edmproduction

Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory (don't mind the silly name) is the best book I've ever read on the subject. Written in a way that's clear and easy to read and never talks down to you.

Go do yourself a favor and get this wonderfull work.

u/Enarus · 1 pointr/piano

I guess you are talking about these books?

Do you recommend any other complementary books?

u/emerald447 · 1 pointr/piano

I'd recommend this book as a great starting point. I am 25 and my teacher and I have really made progress :)

u/zenhexzen · 1 pointr/piano

I'd follow this book and supplement it with the youtube resources above, but as a disclaimer I learned with a teacher so I'm no authority on self-taught pianists.

u/evilrottengrape · 1 pointr/piano

So from what I could tell, I need to switch to a different method because this was caused by the "C position" mentality of the Alfred method. So I ordered the following books:;amp;psc=1;amp;psc=1.

Will see which one is better for me...

u/ollieloops · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

You could check out some autobiographies such as Timbalands, Zaytovens, Jay-Z's &amp; the Beastie Boys book. Those are good for specific artists and producers experiences. But there are plenty of music production books that can inspire you as well. Check out Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies. The ebook is a good value:

u/mouthass187 · 1 pointr/makinghiphop Available for free if you know where to look (dont pm me)

u/Andre_Crom · 1 pointr/TechnoProduction

2 of the books which helped me a lot, both great for beginners (but also pros):

This ones focuses more on the right mindest towards learning the skills (hugely important imo):

And this one is more about concrete techniques:

And this one is what iam reading right now, it's more for experienced practicioners who want to understand how to make the step from being "solid" to "great".

It's also very much about developing a healthy mindset to learning and playing / producing. It's written by a classical music / piano guy, but most of what he says translates 1-1 to electronic music production.;amp;btkr=1

When i look at my own progress, i really feel "mindset" is the key word - in short, you need to accept your current level, and that learning takes time - but you also need to feel that your potential is only limited by the time and effort you are willing to put into your craft.

And: when you wanna learn a certain technique, try to find a youtube video about it! That can really speed things up.

u/ForeskinlessMan · 1 pointr/musicproduction


When you have things going on in your life it's hard to pursue your creativeness and craft your ideas. This book here has a lot of ideas that help you look at things another way and it's an easy read, look through the chapters there is a few things that can help you. It's called 74 creative music strategies for Electronic Music Producers. You don't need to produce electronic music to read it. It covers stuff that is just about music too. I read a couple chapters over the week on my phone on the way to university or if I'm on the train.

(you can get it on kindle and there is an app for PC and Mac that you can get off Amazon)

Edit: There is a lot of information posted below which is helpful I forgot to mention that sometimes change is good I like to break the loop. The best way for me to produce is spend a session just making ideas; maybe just create a loop in the DAW sequencer or use Live View (if you use ableton) and build up ideas upon each other maybe another session you can focus on editing and resist the urge to create and see what you can salvage from your creative session. Set limits for yourself a long the way as well, maybe have a time limit or only use one synth or restrict yourself to 2 or 3 samples. That book covers a lot of this stuff I've mentioned; I've only read a few pages and it's already helped me.

Hope everything is well!

u/Phunkdefied · 1 pointr/ableton

This book got me going. It has a lot of quick situational reads. I apply it to a lot more than just music too. It was published by Ableton, so it is relevant. Not so much an instructional as a motivational.;amp;qid=1478560710&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=ableton+book

u/gsxdsm · 1 pointr/FL_Studio

Not that bad for a beginner. Some of your instruments/sounds are a bit cheesy and it adds a hollow/amateur feel to your music. What you're missing is a bit of depth. This is normal!

Your bass is way too high in the frequency spectrum - you need to add some sub bass. Your lead sounds/pianos are too crisp/clear which ads to the tinny/cheap sound.

I recommend a few things:

0. Read this book:

2. Take one of your favorite songs and try to reproduce it, one part at a time.

3. Learn how to use filters. This was huge for me - once I started understanding how the filter shaped the sound, I felt like a 10x improvement in my sound.

4. Use a limiter on your master and read up a bit on mixing/mastering

5. Add a bit of grit to your sound (if you'd like) or a low volume, subtle pad sound throughout your tracks - this was a secret I recently learned and it helped a lot, it should be barely noticeable but makes your track feel much richer.

6. Use subtle distortion on your kicks

7. Try out the transient shaper if you have it on your drums.

8. More reverb and delays, give you sounds some space

9. Layer your sounds - double up your kicks and leads.

10. Keep trying! You just started out, you WON'T make memorable and amazing music early on. Be okay with that. If everyone could make hit music, it wouldn't be special. It takes years to get decent, even more years to get good, and can take a lifetime to be great.

11. Make sure you are enjoying yourself. Have fun, get lost in sound and the experience.

12. Don't give up.

u/prlr · 1 pointr/edmproduction

If you'd like to take this all to the next level, I'd suggest reading Music Habits - The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production. It provides essential tips on how to keep pushing through in the creative process and ensure that you're enjoying what you're doing. Also provides tons of recommendations on how to keep building up templates so you avoid a blank slate in your DAW - the most dreadful moment in production! Also, while on topic if you're ever searching for inspiration and trying to find your own creative voice, I'd highly recommend Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. Although it's jazz piano focused, it applies to any type of creative. No more pressure! Have fun and keep the shavings coming :)

u/dual-citizen · 1 pointr/edmproduction

Thanks for the tip on that book. Looks amazing and gets great reviews.

u/DJworksalot · 1 pointr/TechnoProduction

There's no expectation that you produced every sound yourself either. Just ask the Beastie Boys, or any rapper for that matter.

The thoughts you express here are harmful to creativity. I'd advise you to change your perspective on what constitutes authenticity.

Also, you don't know me. Don't assume that you know my artistic process. My post here comes from having studied and taught mindsets that are beneficial for creative output.

Some resources for you that I'm sure you'd find helpful:

The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production by Jason Timothy

The Secrets of Dance Music Production by David Felton;amp;qid=1538863017&amp;amp;sr=81&amp;amp;keywords=the+secret+of+dance+music+production

I'd also highly recommend the music school taught by Mike Monday. He's coached people like Claude Von Stroke and is a well-accomplished producer himself. His insights into the creative process are among the best I've found. Nothing technical, all mindset, which is the biggest stumbling block to making and releasing lots of quality music in my opinion.

u/Bassically · 1 pointr/CFBOffTopic

That is interesting, and tied in very closely with a book I am reading right now.

That is where the idea of working on something music-related for 15 minutes every day came from. I usually put it on hold when I go on travel, but I brought some stuff to work on this time to try and build the habit.

u/77or88 · 0 pointsr/AskReddit

Was the book Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy by chance?

u/xiipaoc · 0 pointsr/ClassicalMemes

&gt; clearly schoenberg never took a theory class


u/demontaoist · -1 pointsr/musictheory

Aside from this, from performing arts high school, throughout Juilliard's theory program, and because conservatories are assholes about transferring, once again at Curtis, I've never even seen a music theory text book.

Staff paper. Examples from music literature. DIY practice/homework sheets. Save everyone $.

u/AllDayDreamBoutSneks · -1 pointsr/AskElectronics
u/CicconeYouth04 · -5 pointsr/listentothis

My comment below is from the standpoint of myself as a musician.
I get pissy towards most EDM artists, I've spent years working on hand eye coordination to play guitar and play it really well. They come in with a MIDI keyboard The Complete Idiot's Guide To Music Theory and everyone thinks it's the bee's knees.

Personally, artists like her and Grimes and every other chick/dude with a MacBook Pro and fancy software are an insult to artists like the Chemical Brothers, DJ Shadow and The Prodigy who spend months assembling tracks with tons of samples and individual tracks/instruments.

She is the direct representation of the downfall of music.

Anyone can become an Astronaut, but just because I buy a spacesuit and make rocket noises doesn't mean I actually am an Astronaut.