Reddit mentions: The best music instruction & study books

We found 458 Reddit comments discussing the best music instruction & study books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 135 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

7. Music Notation (Crescendo Book)

Music Notation (Crescendo Book)
Sentiment score: 5
Number of mentions: 10
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13. Hal Leonard Ocarina Method

Hal Leonard Ocarina Method
Sentiment score: 3
Number of mentions: 7
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u/RedRedRoad · 3 pointsr/edmproduction

Okay here's the list. I spend some time on this. If you have any specific questions, let me know:)


On Composition:

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. I recommend you read and digest one of the tips per day and really think about applying them.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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&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.


Phew. That was a lot of work. Hopefully you guys get some usefulness out of this list. This is put together after years of reading dozens upon dozens of books on these topics.


u/Mister_Magpie · 6 pointsr/ambientcommunity

I'm not the most qualified person to answer because I'm still learning the ropes myself, but I can tell you the path I took. This is just one approach:

I would say the first step is to learn a DAW (digital audio workstation). I'd recommend Ableton just because it is very popular so you will find loads of resources and online tutorials. Reaper is also a good option if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

Then you may want to learn synthesis. Start with subtractive synthesis and in the future you can learn about FM, additive, and granular synthesis. You could try Syntorial (highly recommended) or a book like Refining Sound but I'm sure there are some good free tutorials out there if you look. Pick one synth plugin you can mess around with. There are loads of free plugins but you can also try Massive, Serum, Ableton's Analog, etc. For something a lot more complex but great for ambient, you may want to learn Reaktor (I think Tim Hecker uses Reaktor in some of his music). Here's a free online course that will teach you synthesis and Reaktor.

Finally learn about effects. Check out VahallaDSP, Audio Damage, FabFilter. Ableton Suite's built-in plugins are all really great too. You'd be amazed how a good reverb can totally transform your sound. Again, there are lots of free effects plugins you can download as well.

If you want to go the hardware route (which is much more expensive but can be rewarding), I'd suggest getting a polyphonic synthesizer. The Korg Minilogue, Roland System-1, or Novation Mininova could be good places to start. Pair that with a good effects pedal (the Zoom MS-70CDR is a great and affordable multi-effects pedal) and you can start making ambient music right away.

My last and most important piece of advice is to use the internet. There is just a plethora of resources online. Just google what you want to do (e.g. "how to make drone music on ableton") and you'll find tons of youtube tutorials, walkthroughs, forum topics, etc. It may spark more creative ideas and lead you down a new rabbit hole.

EDIT: One more thing, be sure to check out /r/edmproduction. Despite the name, it's a great place to learn about electronic music production in general.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/rocksmith

Here's my daily practice schedule. I also take lessons once a week. Been making great progress.

Lesson Book- 15 minutes OR Youtube/JustinGuitar

This helps me learn tablature and all that. This is what I also use when I am practicing while doing other things like watching TV or playing a game of Civ. Once I can play a lesson in beat without making any errors, I move on. This is what my instructor also uses to teach me during my lessons.

Rocksmith - 1 Hour


  • Guitarcade - Important - at least 15 mins, if not more

    Pick a game that focuses on an area you are struggling with. At this point for me it was learning the fretboard and strings so I mostly played Ducks Redux, String Skip Saloon, and Return of the Chordead. When it starts to feel competitive in regards to earning a higher score, you're probably ready to move on because at that point it will be about playing absolutely perfectly.

  • Lessons - Eh - Maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on which lesson

    Lessons can be hit or miss but some were great. I would do the 101s and the ones that the Mission Checklist recommend to you. I wouldn't grind it trying to get 100% in every lesson though, if you feel confident in the what it is teaching then you can move on.

  • Learn A Song - Important - the remainder of time

    I consider LAS the "fun" part of practicing. I don't believe playing Learn A Song 100% of the time is going to get you anywhere but it can help you hammer in everything you worked on earlier. I also recommend just playing what Rocksmith recommends to you, and pick a few songs that you enjoy. I usually play the songs I enjoy near the end of my session to keep it fun.

  • Riff Repeater - Important - not for beginner though

    For a beginner, you probably won't spend too much time with Riff Repeater but I did use it for a few songs where I really wanted to nail a section down. Get familiar with it though because later on you will be using this a lot to master the songs you want to learn.

    As for the other features, they can be fun to mess around with but I have not found them be helpful in learning at this point.


    It helps to not just get your knowledge from Rocksmith. If you can't afford lessons, check out JustinGuitar on Youtube. Actually, there's a ton of helpful resources available for free on the web. I started out just getting 5%-10% a song, a month later that was up to 20%-60%. It feels great.

    Also might help if you get some sort of hand strengthener lol my pinky was a weak bitch. Force yourself to use and get used to it right away.

    edit: For your 2nd question, make sure you are not pressing down too hard on the fret, it will change the note!
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 & Marvin.
u/SchwiftyGameOnPoint · 6 pointsr/Ocarina

So this might only be partially related to your question but thought I'd share anyway if you are interested in a little read.

Firstly, I think tabs are great and reading music takes much more practice.
Play some tabs of the music you love and get hooked. Then gradually learn to read music if you can.

That aside, wish I had the answer for you on the site.

Maybe a couple of these will help:


However, if you can afford a few bucks, try getting a book. has some books with tabs and lots of great songs.

I know it sounds silly, like "Why pay for it if I can get it for free?" but after getting a music book, I found, helps me focus to play. Also nice to put my electronics aside and go somewhere with a book and be just myself an my ocarina.

Also, I highly recommend Hal Leonard Ocarina Method by Cris Gale. Teaches you a lot of good techniques and also how to read music gradually with lots of pretty easy songs.


Sorry that this didn't answer your question though. Would be nice to have a good site with all of that and maybe a place for people to collaborate on that again if anyone knows/has one.

u/Yeargdribble · 7 pointsr/piano

Haha, it's as if this post was tailor made for me. I had a music degree and experience gigging as a trumpeter when I started playing piano seriously around 26 and have been playing full time pretty much since then. Incidentally, I've picked up accordion and guitar on the side since I started and started gigging on those as well (though I'm a terrible guitarist).

First I'll say that it's really hard to make it full time on music. And while I can do pretty well, I honestly wouldn't want to risk my mortgage on it. My wife has a normal day job (in addition to being a gigging/teaching musician) and that stable bit of income makes things way less scary, especially when my income is rocky.

>what was your journey like?

So I started playing on accident sort of. I got my degree, but the university screwed something up and I ended up without my certification. I was going to have to wait a semester to work on getting it, but my wife had moved and gotten a job. The school she was working at was really desperately for an accompanist.... enough to take me despite that fact I wasn't really a pianist.

The choir director was terrible at getting me music ahead of time if at all and I learned to comp from chord sheets as means of survival in addition to some really terrible memorization and pure muscle memory crap (which I constantly warn people against now).

The comping skill paired with my ability to read (though not sightread by any means) and play a bit by ear ended up landing me a spot in an established cover band that was replacing their keyboard player. I learn a ton from that and made more connections and started getting into jazz (which I'd had none of in college). So I picked up more and more bits of side work.

And in the last few years I've started doing a lot more accompaniment work again and actually getting decent enough at reading and pure technical ability to do so. I'm about 8 years in. But I also made a lot of pedagogical mistakes early on and understood less about practice than I do now. I could definitely have made faster progress, particularly in my earlier years.

Generally I was always just in a triage mode trying to learn the basics of whatever gig I had taken on and I continue to constantly pick up skills that coincide with the type of work I find available (and niches I noticed that aren't filled), though these days it's less of a scramble to keep my head above water. But man, the sink-or-swim sure did force m to learn a lot, even if it I wasn't always doing it in the most efficient manner possible.

>What's the best advice you can give me?

Read. Fucking read! The slowest skill to develop because of how many different skills it encompasses is sightreading. If accompaniment or church work is on your radar this is a skill you need to have. Most work will assume you can do this at least passably. My comping skills have opened a lot of doors for me that reading-only musicians don't have access to so I'd recommend working on that as well, but get started reading ASAP. Having both skills will get you lots more work and there will definitely be church jobs that having both will make you a golden unicorn for, but you can barely take any church jobs if you don't read.

Do not memorize music. Do not pick overly difficult music to work on. Avoid teachers who want to give you very difficult pieces to work on or are interested in showing you off at a recital. My rough rule is that a piece should take you no longer than a month at the extreme to learn. Honestly, you should be trying to digest as many short pieces in a week as you can. People make the argument that your technique can't grow unless you are playing very difficult stuff to push it and bluntly, they are full of shit. You wouldn't tell a beginner guitarist to jump immediately into a challenging classical piece when they don't even know any basic shapes, or tell them that they need to immediately work on some lead guitar solo full of sweep picking when they can't even cleanly alternate pick a scale. It's idiotic. You lay the foundation first. When you have that foundation, everything you build on it is much easier.

You make progress by finding that sweet spot and keeping on pushing it. Music that took you a month starts to take a week. A week starts to take a day. A few hours starts to be sightreading fodder. And this goalpost keeps moving, albeit slowly.

At the earliest levels, it's the hardest for most, but you have a background that will help. That said, be careful. That music background gets people in trouble constantly. They think they can fast-forward the fundamentals. You can't. Even with a world of knowledge, you have to build up that technical facility slowly.

So read. Keep your eyes on the page and not your hands. Resist the urge to play lots of very difficult stuff that you find yourself memorizing out of brute for repetition. Memorization should be an extra step you have to take after you learn a piece. If you're finding that you have it memorized by the time you learn it, or wore, have it memorized before you can play it, you're working on something too difficult.

Learn as many small pieces as you can in a week out of a book like this and start sightreading immediately using this book which is offensively easy, but the best place to start.

>How much should I practice a day in order to reach what I'm after?

Quality over quantity. Most people who are practicing many many hours a day are getting very little out of it. A ton of it is inefficient repetition of the wrong kind of material. You need to learn to laser focus on small goals and achieve them. Here's strategy for how to set goals.. I personally set a timer to limit my practice. It's easy to let time get away from you working getting a certain section up to tempo or whatever. But realistically, most of your progress comes in your sleep, not during practice.

Feed your brain as much good info as you can in a session and then nap or sleep on it and come back. Your brain remembers what you feed it. If you feed it dozens of sloppy attempts at a high tempo, that's what remembers. You just learned to play badly and you'll have to work twice as hard to unlearn it.

Try to aim at absolute accuracy even if this means playing pitifully slowly. There was a time I would spend half and hour getting 8 bars from 50-100 bpm and feel good about it. But the next day I wouldn't be able to play it even at 70 cleanly. But now I know that I could just spend 10 or even just 5 minutes getting it from 50-55 and then almost by magic I'd be able to play it the next day at 70 like a breeze and spend another short while to get it to the target.

The time I saved I could spend on several other small sections or technical exercises that would likewise almost magically improve. But I do them all very slowly, very accurately and very mindfully.

This is something I definitely had to learn for doing church sub work. If you've got 10-20 pieces of music to learn in a week, you don't have time to spend hours on one and then move to the next. You have to learn them all simultaneously as quickly as possible.

There are a lot of other strategies for understanding efficient practice I've figured out over the years. I recently listened to this book which I'm happy to recommend. It sounds basically like a collection of all of the shit I've been screaming at people about how hey shouldn't be practicing all these years and having someone read my own advice back to me with the backing of both research and professional anecdotes was very validating.

I will say, be careful about advice you take, particularly from pianists who started when they were young. Unfortunately, even many seasoned piano teachers are terrible at what they do. There is a problem in the piano field where so many people started when they were 5 that they have no clue what is and isn't difficult. They give advice to others that would apply to them... not the learner asking the question. Can't play Mary Had a Little Lamb with both hands... just learn some Bach 2 part inventions for hand independence. Can't sightread the most basic stuff... go read Bach chorales with 4 parts moving fully independently with tons of 10ths and larger.

I've been on the receiving end of tons of terrible advice from fantastic players. They literally just don't remember certain things being hard because they learned them before their brain hit the point that it was aware to think abstractly (roughly 13). So they have trouble giving advice for those things. So some of them can't even imagine certain things being tricky. And especially if they haven't taught, especially younger players, they've just never had to grapple with certain concepts being difficult.

Imagine trying to teach someone to walk. You know how to do it well, but could you teach someone? If someone had to be rehabilitated, do you actually understand the biomechanics enough to break it up and teach it to them step by step? Of course not. That's why there are people who specialize in therapy to teach concepts that we all take for granted, but tons of accomplished pianists view playing very difficult things like walking and wonder why everyone else can't just do it. So be wary of that when asking for help.

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/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/TheCowboyMan · 15 pointsr/IWantToLearn

By "understand music" I'm assuming you mean like music theory? is a wonderful resource to start you off, some of it may seem too easy at first but stick to it and it'll get challenging. Past that, I would honestly recommend picking up a textbook. Music in Theory and Practice is the best damn textbook you can get that takes you from "what are notes" to late romantic era macro analysis of chord relationships. It's pricey but it's good. Tonal Harmony is another good one, and is a much better deal I linked to one on Amazon for $50. I know spending a lot of money on a textbook seems like a waste when we have the Internet, but they are both textbooks that you will keep and continue to use and reference for years. I own both of those because I needed them for music theory classes at different universities, but even without a professor to lecture, the material in there is pretty self explanatory. Let me know if you have any questions / want a better explanation, I hope I understood your question correctly!

Edit: I forgot to add /r/musictheory is available too, but a lot of posts there assume the reader already knows quite a bit about theory, it isn't exactly a resource for someone wanting to begin learning. The sidebar there might have some useful stuff though.

u/Xenoceratops · 2 pointsr/musictheory

>I'm trying to put together a plan of materials to go through with the intention of becoming an "expert" (very adept, lets say graduate level) in theory over the next several years.

So, at minimum, you'll need to know tonal (Schenkerian) analysis and post-tonal analysis. The fourth edition of Joseph Straus' Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory is good for post-tonal. My Schenkerian class didn't use a text, but Cadwallader and Gagne seems to be a thing now.

At the graduate level, studies are motivated by the student's research interests. It sounds like you are interested in what Dmitri Tymoczko calls "the extended common practice."

For breadth, read journals and publications. MTO is free, Spectrum is a big one, and so it JMT. Here are the last five recipients of the Wallace Berry Award (and you can read more here):

Steven Vande Mooretele - The Romantic Overture and Musical Form from Rossini to Wagner

Daniel Harrison - Pieces of Tradition: An Analysis of Contemporary Tonal Music

Ruth DeFord - Tactus, Mensuration, and Rhythm in Renaissance Music

Jack Boss - Schoenberg's Twelve-Tone Music: Symmetry and the Musical Idea

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis - On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind

Given your interests, I'd definitely read the Daniel Harrison book.

/u/Jay13232 mentioned Persichetti. If you're going to read it, do so after you get a handle on set theory (from Straus). It's a good book, but our modern methodology is better for describing that repertoire in my opinion. Persichetti and Hindemith are like whacking nails into a board with a wrench (using ideas appropriated from tonality to describe music that doesn't follow those principles). Allen Forte, John Rahn, Robert Morris, and Howard Hanson gave us a proper set of hammers.

u/RyanT87 · 5 pointsr/musictheory

>It's perhaps the least romantic gift ever

Hahahahaha! I would definitely agree, though—I think the CHWMT would be an excellent book. If she goes through any sort of History of Theory course (which most PhD programs do), I can't imagine she wouldn't use this book. Even if she didn't have such a course, this book is a collection of (with perhaps one exception) excellent essays written by top scholars on almost every major theoretical approach or issue in the history of Western music.

I won't speak for other sub-disciplines—vornska's suggestions are definitely some of the central books in present theoretical studies—but let me make some suggestions for books more oriented towards Schenkerian analysis.

Schenker's Free Composition — this is Schenker's magnum opus in which he lays out his mature theory. For any Schenkerian, this is definitely a Bible of sorts, and a must-have. Just be sure, if you end up purchasing this, to get both volumes; one volume is the text and the second is the examples. You can also find the hardcover first English edition, sometimes even for less than the price of the two paperbacks.

Cadwallader and Gagné's Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach — this has become the standard textbook for teaching Schenkerian analysis, and I still find myself referring to it after years of Schenkerian studies. A somewhat dry but very clear and beneficial book.

Schachter's Unfoldings: Essays in Schenkerian Theory and Analysis — Carl Schachter is one of the greatest Schenkerians; nearly everybody who's anybody in the world of Schenkerian analysis studied with him. This book is a wonderful collection of some of his greatest essays. His writing style is exceptional and his analysis are some of the best I've seen.

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/tmwrnj · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Find a decent teacher. A good teacher will identify your strengths and weaknesses, then gently push you out of your comfortable rut. You might need to ask around locally and try a few different teachers before you find a good fit.

The intermediate to advanced lessons on are worth a look. The jazz and songwriting modules might be of particular interest to you.

Truefire have some fantastic courses on jazz and rock improvisation, all the way up to professional standard. It's not cheap, but the all-access pass is excellent value if you're serious.

If you're serious about mastering the guitar, take a look at Leavitt's "A Modern Method for Guitar". The book goes back to basics with classical notation, scales and harmony. There are no shortcuts and it can feel like a hard slog, but you'll reap the rewards for your work.

The Sodajerker Podcast is full of invaluable ideas on the process of songwriting. They talk to some of the best songwriters in the world about their creative methods.

If you're interested in jazz guitar, check out Jens Larsen, Morten Faerstrand and Jazz Guitar Lessons on Youtube and the lessons and forums at

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/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/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:

> 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, & 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 & 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 & 6 by the time you finish 4).

    After that, read through the David Oakes & 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/AugustFay · 5 pointsr/musictheory

>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


>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.

>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.

>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/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/krypton86 · 1 pointr/edmproduction

If someone says their song is "in Gm", that implies the tonal center is the G minor chord and other chords used from the G minor scale obey some basic conventions concerning how one chord progresses to another chord.

As an example, the most common chord progression in all of Western music is known as the I-V-I progression (read one-five-one). The I chord is the "tonic" and the V chord is the "dominant" of whatever key you're in. In G minor, the tonic is a G minor chord and the dominant is a D major chord (for reasons that are beyond the scope of a simple reddit comment), so instead you have i-V-i (lower case roman numerals indicate minor chord qualities).

If you were to extend the progression, you would of course want to select chords that sound good one after the other. You can obviously just do this by ear, but it turns out that the reason certain chords sound good together is due to something called "voice leading".

Basically, imagine that each note in a three note chord is a "voice" that wants to continue in a pleasing, logical progression. There are a few ways such a voice could do this:

  1. Move either up or down by a scale degree

  2. Leap up or down to a scale degree two or more steps away

  3. Stay on the same note while other voices progress in one of the two previous motions

    The basis for these conventions stems from hundreds of years of Western music tradition, but is still mostly followed today in almost all pop music (with some notable exceptions concerning perfect fifths). If you want to understand this at a deeper level, I strongly recommend you study writing four-part harmony. Four-part writing is standard in every theory textbook, so if you can read music you can learn it straight out of something like Steven G. Laitz's The Complete Musician or Aldwell and Schachter's Harmony & Voice Leading.
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/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/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/DanielleMuscato · 2 pointsr/Guitar

If you already have a guitar you love, and you already have a versatile amp that can hook up to your computer as an interface, you're in pretty good shape.

Here are some of the best things you can own to improve your playing, if you don't already have them:

  • Metronome

  • Tuner pedal

  • Looper pedal (TC Electronic Ditto or Ditto X2 are popular choices)

  • Sight-reading books like this one or this one

  • Music theory books like this one or this one

    If you only have 1 or 2 pedals you don't need a pedalboard.

    If you are interested in pedals but don't know what you want, a multi-effect unit is a great choice.

    If you're looking for an all-in-one effect unit & guitar trainer, this is a good choice. It has a built-in tuner, metronome (rare on pedals or multi-FX units), pre-programmed rhythm patterns for jamming, an aux-input for playing along to MP3s, a whole bunch of effects that you can use like a standard effects pedal, and a bunch of other stuff.
u/npcee · 1 pointr/piano

PX780 is an awesome digital, I love the Privia series.

I would recommend this book as well as the second book, it's compiled by Melanie Spanswick a fantastic pedagogue it is specifically marketed for people that are returning to piano, it has a wide range of pieces within different styles beginning from grade 1 - grade 8 I believe the last piece of the second book is Rachmaninoff's famous prelude op 3 no 2 in C sharp minor. There are also practice tips along the way on how to practice the pieces, since you said you played for a while when you were younger I think these two books would be a great approach to get you back into shape instead of having to start from scratch via some adult beginner books.



Good luck my friend!

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/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/ckaili · 28 pointsr/musictheory

Common fitness-related concepts of discipline and progressive overload are ones that I think can be applied to any skill, including music. And the idea of having a set routine allows you to track progress and raise difficulty in a manageable and controlled way.

I think ear training fits this model very well. There is a book by Bruce Arnold called "Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing" that has a routine you could apply to this. The basic idea is to progressively memorize the relationship between a tonality (i.e. a major or minor key) and each of the 12 pitch classes (relative to the key).

For example, you start off with the relative "do", the tonic. You are given a major chord in a random key and your job is to sing "do". With each chord you're given, you repeat by singing "do" in that chord. For example, if you're given a D major triad, you sing a D, then you might be given an G# major triad, and you sing G#. You keep doing this until singing "do" from hearing the chord requires no thought, no mental shortcut or mnemonic. Once you master that, you move on to "sol". Again, it has to be automatic. No relying on mnemonics like singing the Star Wars theme in your head. With time, it becomes second nature. As you continue on, it gets harder, especially when you start singing scale degrees that aren't the chord, like "re" or "la". Then it gets a lot harder when you start singing notes that aren't in that key, like "di" or "fi".

You can also do it the opposite way - hearing a note against a chord and identifying the scale degree.

This whole progression of ear training is quite difficult and requires a lot of time and discipline, but the benefits are huge. It helps in so many other aspects of musicianship. Being able to identify scale degrees will improve your ability to analyze and understand music as you're listening to it. For example, for much of contemporary or pop music, you'll be able to analyze the harmony just by identifying the scale degrees of the bass-line. It will make it easier to compose if you have music in your head. And of course, if you're a singer, it'll make it much easier to sight sing.

EDIT: here's a link to the book in case any one is interested:

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/tit_curtain · 2 pointsr/piano

B&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/Monkey_Bach · 6 pointsr/piano

If you want to learn piano, go to amazon and get these 4 books:

1.The Musician’s Way

2.First Lessons in Bach

3. Two and Three Part Inventions

And finally

4. The Well-Tempered Clavier

These books will teach you all you need to know about music. This is how I personally started playing piano. Work through the books in order, as each one builds on top of the other. Once you can play counterpoint excellently you can play pretty much anything else.

In the words of Brahms: “Study Bach. There you will find everything.”

As far as a keyboard goes, I have a Yamaha P-60 and it gets the job done. Just make sure you have weighted keys and 88 and you’re good. Bach’s music doesn’t require a pedal, so you don’t even really need that.

Good luck on your musical journey! To work through all these books will take a life time.

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.

>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/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/duppy · 2 pointsr/synthesizers

There is no significant advantage to using a dedicated hardware synthesizer over a computer. To the contrary, a computer gives you far more flexibility, and it takes up a lot less space.

Don't get me wrong, though -- I absolutely love both hardware and software. I just think you can learn a lot more about synthesis and music production with cheap or free software than you can with a single dedicated synth in the introductory price range. I would recommend buying a midi keyboard and a copy of this book. It gives recommendations of free software you can use while working through the book, and it will teach you the fundamentals (and then some) of all the major forms of synthesis.

Plus, if you buy a midi controller, you can use it to control hardware synths later on, if you choose to purchase any.

u/jazzyjacck · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I learned a lot from taking classes and private lessons, as well as self study by reading books and analyzing music. I'm not really aware of that many good resources for jazz theory online unfortunately, but there is this site:

EDIT: I love the Jazz Piano Book, it's not really a theory book but I thought it was great. The author has also written a Jazz Theory Book which a lot people seem to like, but I haven't really gone through it yet. Some other options are the Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony and the Jazz Harmony Book

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:

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/HilariousSpill · 2 pointsr/Bass

I have a feeling this isn't what you're looking for, but this book on practice could be of value to you. Perhaps if you understand the reasons why you're practicing and how to practice in a way that will most benefit you you'll be more willing to commit to it.

Good practice is one of the best skills you can learn for almost anything in life.

u/PinsAndArrows · 4 pointsr/Ocarina

I'm starting with a double and just learning--the fingering on the large chamber is the same as most 12 hole ocarina tutorials. So you can just buy a double, treat it as 12 hole until you master the first chamber, then add the second chamber. Since I knew I wanted a double's range for most of the songs I want to eventually learn, it was cheaper to just get a double to start.

I bought the STL Plastic Double for $40 initially, since I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy playing the ocarina. It's good enough to learn on and get familiar with the fingerings. The plastic causes it to go out of tune as your breath condenses inside it while you play, though. A clay ocarina will end up sounding better and be playable for longer in a session. (And cost more, if you're not sure about the instrument long term.)

I just ordered the highly rated Focalink Double for $118 (you just missed their Memorial Day sale) after a lot of research. If you want clay, I'd probably recommend that. Any of the STL doubles would probably also work for you, they are $100 normally. And depending on your budget, you might think about their MaxRange Doubles ($140ish). They're supposed to have a pretty awkward fingering in exchange for the extra range, but they're one note shy of a triple and cost much less. YMMV, do your research before buying one.

Finally, I also got /u/ocarinadiva 's Hal Leonard Method book, and as a noob to music I really like it. There's quite a lot of information on basic music theory and ocarina specific techniques in the book and the included video lessons really help. There's free resources out there, but having everything in one place was more than worth the price to me.

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/m3g0wnz · 4 pointsr/musictheory

Cadwallader/Gagne is the standard text to use. There's also the Forte book which I haven't personally used but my friends that have used it don't like it.

You could also try the Salzer/Schachter book on counterpoint: it's heavily Schenkerian and just a great read. But its goal is to instruct you in counterpoint, not in Schenkerian analysis per se...that said, counterpoint is obviously very influential on Schenker's theories and it's important to understand counterpoint to succeed at Schenkerian analysis.

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/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/tommyspianocorner · 1 pointr/piano

I highly recommend 'Play It Again Piano' by Melanie Spanswick. She has two books - Book 1 (from beginner to intermediate) and then Book 2 (from late intermediate to advanced and beyond). I got Book 2 and have found it great for many reasons. It's a self contained course in many ways - progressively more difficult pieces, practice tips, interpretation ideas, very varied repertoire etc. Slightly more 'user friendly' than trying to just learn from choosing your own pieces (which is all I used to do). Also, it's specifically aimed at returning pianists as opposed to complete newbies. I ended up creating a set of videos reviewing the book (going piece by piece sometimes) that I've linked here for you. I also recommend you check them out on Amazon - you can decide whether Book 1 or Book 2 would be best for you.

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:

Samuel Adler's The Study of Orchestration is my current go to book when researching the basics of different instruments and orchestration techniques:

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/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/larrieuxa · 1 pointr/piano

Yes but you should at least be following a guided curriculum starting at complete basics and progressing onward, just as you would be doing with a teacher. It sounds like you are just picking songs you like, and trying to play them? That is of course not going to work well. I would recommend to you to pick up the Adult Piano Adventures books. The two of them will take you from complete beginner to mid intermediate. There are plenty of youtube lessons for each exercise.

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/dragonmage1 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

This book is one of the best. It goes to a beginner level and introduces you reading music and then playing in a fingerstyle that is original music but with a heavy classical feel. Note that it is best done with an instructor or used by someone with a good background in music. It offers some instruction along the way but if done without an instructor, it can be a little tough. Still, I think it is awesome.

u/gtani · 1 pointr/Cello

This is a complex question. First, it assumes that your teacher has taught good posture, and good LH and RH technique, you have a decent instrument and bow, etc. My first violin came with a Glasser bow and I happily started playing with it, it sounded pretty decent to me, until... I saw in a store that it was a $40 fiberglass bow, then i decided it sounded terrible.

Anyway, i've watched a number of violin and cello teachers over the years try to verbalize the action of hair on strings. What develops is combination of understanding, visualization, a developed ear and muscle memory that you have to develop yourself, you don't just absorb it from your teacher. You always should do the simplest exercises, playing a single tone, and then playing correct (beatless) thirds and fifths. It may help to read about it, like in books by Bruser, Klickstein and Kenny Werner about practicing music and this trumpet story:

u/donald2000 · 2 pointsr/Learnmusic

Absolutely! Start by learning about solfege or functional ear training. There's an app for Android or iPhone called functional ear trainer that's very useful for learning about it.

Also, I recommend working on solfege one note at a time. Play a I, IV, V progression and just try to sing "do" or "one". When you can consistently do it every time, then start trying to sing "sol" or "five" until you can do that consistently as well. Then go on to "mi" or "three", and then just go on with the rest of the major scale, one note at a time.

Another couple of products that really helped me are A Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing and Voice Lessons To Go V.2- Do Re Mi ear/pitch training

Best of luck!

u/Someguyonthestreet · 2 pointsr/musicians

This is a pretty good one. It's centered around jazz but the concepts are super transferrable. You probably need to be able to read music for it though.


Outside of that, I'd guess that almost any book on functional harmony would teach you what you're looking to learn. Hope this helps!

u/MiContraFa · 1 pointr/musictheory

When I was in school, we were required to use Kurt Stone's notation guide as a source of first resort for non-standard notation. It's a bit dated by now, but it is very thorough. I recommend it. If you or your library has a copy, take a look. There may some pertinent examples that you can adapt to your purposes.

I'm thinking that you don't need an ossia staff since you are not offering concurrent optional lines. You can just change the staff style for the moments of extended technique. I'd be especially precise about the effect you're looking for. If you care about pitch, even if approximate, you'll need some way to convey that. If you want indiscriminate slapping at whatever string happens to get in the way, you can probably just use an 'x' notehead and treat it more or less like a percussion element.

Lots of things to think about!

u/TrebleStrings · 1 pointr/violinist

You shouldn't have major technique issues if you are taking lessons and your teacher believes you are ready for that piece. It could be something subtle that your teacher won't see unless you say something, so I wouldn't rule it out completely, but I wouldn't call it the most likely suspect. How do you cross strings? Do you use your whole arm, from the shoulder, so that each string has its own hand and elbow level, and keep your elbow on the same plane that the wrist passes through when its in a neutral position? Does your wrist move with your bow strokes? Is your hand relaxed, with no death grip on the bow? Are your fingers close together on the stick and not wrapped around it in a claw hold? Are your pinkie and thumb bent? If all of that is true and your teacher has not corrected anything, and you are not tired after an hour of practice and do not experience pain or new mistakes that would point to you stumbling over yourself due to exhaustion, then my gut is that it has nothing to do with kinesthetic aspects of your technique but rather with your lungs.

We don't talk about breathing much when learning to play the violin because, unlike vocalists and wind and brass musicians, our lungs don't directly power our instruments. However, especially when we play something high energy with fast string crossings, our bodies need more oxygen. Otherwise, you default to a metabolic process called lactic acid fermentation, a form of anaerobic respiration (feeding your cells without oxygen). As a very short-term solution, lactic acid fermentation is a good way for your body to get emergency energy. However, if you use it for longer periods of physical activity, the byproducts of that process build up in your muscles, and it will result in pain until your body can break it down.

Weight lifters typically do not lift weights seven days a week. They have rest days, or they will focus on different parts of their body on different days, to allow themselves recovery and prevent pain and injury. They also have to know how to breathe and work in activities that are naturally more aerobic, like running or swimming or yoga, to compensate.

Violinists could actually learn a lot from weight lifters and other athletes. We need to learn to breathe, perhaps by building something that encourages it into our exercise routines. We need to learn to breathe while we play, give ourselves a slow warmup, and take breaks if we are tired or experience pain. Since ideally we do practice everyday, we need to learn to have a different focus each day, vary our routine so we don't end up with repetitive strain injuries.

Here are some books that cover these ideas, if you are interested:

u/nmitchell076 · 3 pointsr/musictheory

This is the version of the Laitz in use today:

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/NickCorey · 18 pointsr/Guitar

A few points.

1.) learn the notes of the guitar
2.) learn some basic music theory
-learn about intervals (and their various shapes on the fretboard)

  • learn what a major scale is
  • learn about what a key is

    I think spengali is wrong about scales. Scales are very important. The first two scales you want to learn are the pentatonic scales and the major scale. The pentatonic scale is traditionally taught with five scales shapes (buy Fretboard Logic and learn about the CAGED system). The Major scale is traditionally either taught with 5 CAGED shapes or 7 three notes per string shapes.

    Let me give you an example. C major contains the notes (cdefgabc), if you want to create a solo in C major, that means that you play only those notes, and you mix them up creatively as you wish. Anywhere on the fretboard where those notes occur, you can play them. In order to make it easier to play them, the fretboard is broken up into sections. That's what the scale shapes are. In order to change keys, you just shift the shapes (if you're not sure what I mean, just ask).

    In the beginning it's best to just memorize the shapes without concern for what mode you're in. If you learn the 5 pentatonic shapes, you automatically learn minor pentatonic and major pentatonic. The shapes are exactly the same. The same goes for the major scale. If you learn the 5 caged shapes or the 7 three notes per string shapes, you've learned the major scale and all the diatonic modes too, including the minor scale (or aeolian as it's also called) because the shapes are exactly the same.

    When you play a solo, you essentially take the notes of a given scale and mix them up creatively. So you learn the scale shapes, learn how to connect the various shapes together, and you jumble the notes up creatively to make music.

    You might be wondering, if the notes of a C major scale and an A minor scale are exactly the same, and both are jumbled up creatively to make music, how can they be separate modes/scales?

    The answer is that it's the chord you're playing over the defines what mode you're in. The notes of a C major scale jumbled up over a C major chord will sound like C major and the notes of a C major scale jumbled up over an A minor chord will sound like A minor (or A aeolian).

    Edit: I'm in no way affiliated with this website, but the teacher is not only a great player, but very clear, and very thorough.

    Also, this is a good, easy to read book on music theory that won't make your head hurt.

    Edit 2: Just wanted to elaborate on my very incomplete and slightly misleading comment about modes. These links are a better explanation of them.

u/ollieloops · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

You could check out some autobiographies such as Timbalands, Zaytovens, Jay-Z's & 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/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] ( 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] (

u/johnhectormcfarlane · 3 pointsr/banddirector

Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction

Great thoughts of the fundamental concepts of successful teaching.

u/Ranalysis · 1 pointr/Guitar

30 min. of practice just on technique is not much. I do 1 hr and it seems like peanuts. I'd say endeavour for 2 hrs. with 1 hour playing what you want and 1 hr of music theory. Throwing in 30-60 min of aural training is pretty ideal as well. Head over to /r/musictheory . And I'd also recommend this book to learn music theory.

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.

u/NopeNotQuite · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Buy "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.

The book gives you an amazing foundation for being a good guitarist and musician that you won't get searching for tabs on the internet.

I know I'm gushing over this, but I'm just amazed by how good at playing I've gotten by going through the book. You don't need a teacher or lessons if you have this book.

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 & 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.

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/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.

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/carboncopymusic · 2 pointsr/Ocarina

The Zelda replicas from OcarinaWind have a pretty bad reputation and the owner carries multiple models, which makes it even more difficult. STL, Songbird, and Rotter all have affordable Zelda replicas that are pretty good quality.

That is the Night by Noble, so you're good there. As far as learning materials, it really depends on you. A lot of people like having a structured curriculum and it helps save time. You can find tutorials and such online, but you have to consider what your time is worth and if it is worth having a centralized resource to get you up and running. My wife wrote the Hal Leonard Ocarina Method and I think for $/£10 or so, it's worth not having to look for resources and having videos that basically show you every lesson. It's also available in book form as well as iOS and Andriod/Google.

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/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/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/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] (

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/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/omlet_du_fromage · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Oh, rocksmith isn't really the best place to start for beginners.
I would recommend this book I used to teach from.
It explains things in a very clear way that's easy to understand and the songs in it are really easy. You should check it out or add it to your wishlist :]

u/LukeSniper · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Theory can be weird when it comes to songwriting and composing.

If you don't know anything, your songwriting is really free and wide open.

When you know a little bit, it's easy to feel boxed in by "the rules".

Eventually, when you learn enough, you understand that there are no rules, and you are once again able to freely write, but you have your theory knowledge to guide you. You can find the sounds you're looking for quicker, and more reliably.

One of my composition teachers once told me "the reason you learn this stuff is to forget it", and that always stuck with me. So make sure to keep that in mind as you learn stuff.

I recommend the Berklee theory book. It's not exactly what they use in class (although it may be now, I graduated there back in 2010), but it is a great book.

I already knew a lot before I started at Berklee, but the way they organized and presented the information there just made more sense to me. It may not resonate with you the same way, but that's how it goes sometimes. You just have to find a teacher, book, program that looks at things in a way that works for you.

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/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/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:

Have you done species counterpoint? Species counterpoint will be very helpful in dealing with just about all music. I would recommend Fux's book:

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:

If you already know species counterpoint and voice leading you can study Schenkarian Analysis. For this there's two books I would suggest:


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/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/maximumrocker · 6 pointsr/Guitar

The Musicians Way.
Goes in depth about how to practice, memorize, improve, create practice routines, how to stay healthy. And a lot more.

All good to follow a book and learn. But, only you, and maybe your instructor, know your weakness. Good know how to spot them, and create a practice schedule around that.


Dont know how to do the fancy link stuff on mobile

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/RyDalt · 2 pointsr/Guitar

If you have questions about anything, let me know.

Also, look into some theory texts to expand your horizons.

This book written by Bruce Benward is a good place to start. It covers basic things like notation and properly writing music on paper, and then goes into scales, modes, intervals and chords, and all the way up to leading tones and song structure.

But the best thing it does is train you on how to analyze music and do what I did in the above comment. It also starts you on the path to counterpoint, which is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle method of writing short (like five measures) pieces.

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] ( 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/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/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/BubbaMc · 3 pointsr/Guitar

How well can you play by ear though? Can you play back a solo phrase effortlessly and correctly, immediately, and with zero mistakes? If not I'd be focusing on ear training. Movable 'do' major/'la' minor solfege is the best way to improve your ear to fretboard link (not interval training!). It'll take work, but once you have this skill, improvisation is only limited by your imagination.

You could start with something like this (it doesn't have all the answers but it'll definitely put you on the right track):

Once you've started serious ear training, continue learning your favourite guitar parts by ear.

Oh and as Subman said, learn to read simple sheet music. Many beginner guitar methods will get you going in this regard.

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/Sadimal · 3 pointsr/Ocarina

I would definitely start with Cris Gale's Method Book. David Erick Ramos also released his own method book. I would also check out the method books sold by STL Ocarina.


David Erick Ramos and OcarinaOwl have excellent tutorials.


For intonation, I would practice with both a tuner and a drone. Using the drone will help train your ear to hear the correct pitches so you don't have to rely on visual tuners. I would also work on the first three pages of these tone warmups for flute once you've mastered reading sheet music.

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/JimH10 · 1 pointr/Cello

FWIW, while I am very much not a successful or confident musician (I am an older hobbyist), I have noted people here whose opinions seem usually balanced and sound recommend The Musician's Way found at, which seems to me to directly speak to what you are saying.

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/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/CrownStarr · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I don't know what you mean by the "science" of it, but Gardner Read's Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice is a great reference (and covers microtones). Someone also recently recommended Elaine Gould's Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation to me, which is much more recent, but I don't know anything else about 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/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/zortor · 1 pointr/Guitar

Yea, you're 16, you got plenty of time to be amazing at both in 3-5 years if you practice it consistently. And I do mean amazing, most people don't practice consistently for years at at time at all. Also, read this book on practice

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/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/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/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/jdineen1995 · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

Pretty much all the Berklee method stuff is excellent. Here’s a link:

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.

u/wtf-whytheface · 2 pointsr/UTAustin

Tell her to watch these videos. The first is a concerto with the clarinet professor, the second has an amazing clarinet solo by a current student in the second movement.

If she is interested in the education program tell her to read Intelligent Music Teaching written by the head of Music Education.

u/JamesTheHaxor · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

> 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/teffflon · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

One of the most comprehensive free resources is Julius O. Smith's website on mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform, synthesis and DSP, physical acoustic modeling, geez you name it.

A less mathematical but still good recent book on synthesis is Refining Sound by Brian K. Shepard.

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/Jokiesamoster · 1 pointr/Guitar

I think this has been posted here a few times, but it's a great book for introductory music theory.
The Everything Music Theory Book.

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/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/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/asdfmatt · 4 pointsr/jazztheory

The Berklee guide to Jazz Harmony was fantastic. Pick it up from the library if you can.

u/f_zzyslippers · 1 pointr/Guitar

This book is what I used for Theory I and II in college. You can probably find older editions too. They never change too much. It covers a lot and you can also learn how to write. Almost all of the examples are from classical music though. Try and get the CD that comes with it for the examples. Also, /r/musictheory might be a good resource for advice along the way. Also also, free printable sheet music is available here.

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/pedroflfernandez · 2 pointsr/musictheory

"Music Notation" by Read. It has everything you need to know from Bach to Crumb.

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/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/dryan0 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

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

u/thisisntadam · 4 pointsr/chambermusic

Oh. I have never used it, but there are some general tips for notating non-standard or extended techniques:

  1. Try to get your hands on a book about twentieth century or contemporary notation/composition, and see if there is any codified way to notate the specific technique. Or,

  2. Give the note some sort of articulation, like an accent or marcato (housetop), and then write what you want to happen above the note. (In English, if no other language is the standard.)

    For your example, I would just give the note a marcato accent and write "Scratch-tone" above it. Just try to be as clear as possible. Down the road, if a string player or someone knows of a better way for the notation, be receptive of their advice and change 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/humbuckermudgeon · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

That was one of the first books I picked up when I started learning. Really helps with being in the right mindset.

Also recommend The Musicians Way and The Practice of Practice.

u/nikofeyn · 2 pointsr/synthesizers

refining sound: a practical guide to synthesis and synthesizers

i read this book when i first started out about two years ago. it's an easy going introduction that covers enough of the basic material to be helpful.

u/learnyouahaskell · 1 pointr/piano
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/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/bassvocal · 3 pointsr/musictheory

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

u/raybrignsx · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I'm a beginner, too. Is this your first instrument? I would suggest reading The Practice of Practice. You will need to practice, but don't call it practice to yourself. Call it playing or spending time with your instrument. Practice just has the conotation of being arduous and boring. Playing guitar is really playing with something and exploring what you can do and what your instrument can do. This has given me motivation when I'm having trouble getting beyond a barrier in my musical ability.

u/MisterPickles121 · -1 pointsr/Guitar

ok man, you're right. whatever you say. ann coulter, bill oreilly ... etc use sources in their publishing first of all. secondly. that's a mistake to add those pundits into the conversation becuase they sell based on popularity. if you are trying to LEARN something,using a credited, published book
maybe something like this

which was super fast for me to find, and I know it's credible and organized. whereas going 'on the internet' will leav eyou finding little pieces of information that you have to put together by yourself, and will not know whetehr it's right or wrong.

again this is teh second time that you are calling me out for syaing "ALL BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN THE INTERNET" and I didnt say that. of course I can name a book with bullshit in it. but that's not hte point. thersbullshit on both sides. but you're MUCH MUCH more reliable to get a random book and learn loads more from it than 'the internet'.

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/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!

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:

Will see which one is better for me...

u/snow-clone · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Kurt Stone's Music Notation in the Twentieth Century is still pretty reliable.

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/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.