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  #1  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:23 AM
stsanford stsanford is offline
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Default Theory Book Recommendations

Hi,
I have hit a wall with my music theory development. I work in a technical field, so technical manuals are what I'm used to reading in "off time" I'd be open to purchasing books that are used in College level music programs. Any advice is much appreciated!

In terms of my level:
I can read music notation, I understand chords, don't necessarily know how to play a Csus4 chord shape, I have to "think it through" and then pick out the notes on the fretboard. I can do it, but I'm slow

Thanks mucho!
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:36 AM
Malcolm Malcolm is offline
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You may find this helpful.
http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ad.php?t=11975
It's in sections. Print off section one and digest as much as you need. Then go to section two, etc.

If this is old hat then the articles on that site (upper left hand tool bar) should have enough to keep you busy.

After spending some time with the above information I then would suggest going to your public library and asking for specific material. If our library does not have what I've requested they have been great about borrowing it from other libraries.

Good luck.

Last edited by Malcolm; 06-30-2009 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:04 AM
Brick Pig Brick Pig is offline
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I recommended this book once before and there seemed to be some level of agreement here on the forum that it is perhaps best suited for use with a teacher to guide you. Since I am working through it with a very knowledgeable teacher, I can't really argue against that point. However, I'm going to recommend it again since it sounds as if you already have some fairly solid grounding in theory, and especially since you specifically mention college-level programs.

The book is Modern Method for Guitar by William Leavitt. It is (was?) the standard theory text for guitar students at Berklee.

My instructor calls it "very dry," and he's right. Make no mistake, this is work, and I don't claim otherwise. But nevertheless I find it to be very enjoyable in the sense that it is extremely challenging and I get quite a feeling of accomplishment as I slowly plow through it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:31 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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I'm not clear from your question whether you want to understand theory in a abstract, technical, general-musical sense or learn where to find notes, intervals, chords and harmonies on the guitar fretboard. You could learn every iota of material in a college level textbook on 4-part chorale, voice leading, tonal and atonal harmonic principles and so forth and still not be any closer to knowing where to find a Csus4 on the guitar.

Very much of what you'll find in academic theory books is keyboard and vocal harmony oriented. I don't know a whole lot about theory but the stuff I do know far outstrips my guitar-fretboard knowledge. Those seem to be pretty much separate and distinct areas of learning.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:11 PM
Fambroski Fambroski is offline
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I'm one of these folks who has accumulated many method books over the years. It would almost appear that I collect them. I'm self taught, I figured the price of a book was well worth learning something new. Of course there's nothing like a great teacher, but being left handed I didn't much of a choice.

"Chord Chemistry" by Ted Green is a book I'd recommend. Years ago I didn't really didn't get it. However after all these years I started to go through it again. It's extremely thorough. It can be a little overwhelming. There are may others but I've just rediscovered this one.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2009, 12:16 PM
Ryler Ryler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
You may find this helpful.
http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ad.php?t=11975
It's in sections. Print off section one and digest as much as you need. Then go to section two, etc.

If this is old hat then the articles on that site (upper left hand tool bar) should have enough to keep you busy.

After spending some time with the above information I then would suggest going to your public library and asking for specific material. If our library does not have what I've requested they have been great about borrowing it from other libraries.

Good luck.

I can attest to the breadth of theory education available over at ibreathemusic. Best "theoreticians" I've come across in the forum world. Malcolm, I wondered if you were the same Malcolm as he who posts over there. You always offer substantial help to posters. A site worth checking out.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:45 PM
stsanford stsanford is offline
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Thanks so much for all the insight.
I understand what you're saying Brent, there's a guy who works in IT and I've helped him a couple of times. He's got so darn much knowledge he is utterly frozen, and useless in the real world, he sees the side effects of nearly any approach taken which makes it impossible for him to move forward. I would say my search is for Practical knowledge and the enjoyment of "getting" the compositional principals employed for fingerstyle and chord melody style guitar.

Thanks again for all the insight, now I have some homework to do!
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2009, 05:24 PM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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I believe this book comes quite highly recommended (may order a copy myself). Just don't mind the title

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiot...6490998&sr=1-1
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2009, 10:04 AM
Brick Pig Brick Pig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmaak View Post
I believe this book comes quite highly recommended (may order a copy myself). Just don't mind the title

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiot...6490998&sr=1-1
I have a copy of Music Theory for Dummies. I suspect it's pretty comparable to the Idiot's Guide. It does a great job of explaining the basics in easily understandable language. I finished reading it a while ago, but I keep it on the coffee table and browse through it whenever I have a few minutes to spare now and again. It keeps me thinking in those terms, and from time to time things make better sense after repeated readings.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2009, 09:40 PM
Malcolm Malcolm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryler View Post
Malcolm, I wondered if you were the same Malcolm as he who posts over there.
Guilty on all counts.
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