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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: North London, innit bruv, safe, UK
Posts: 1,722
Good books and material on music theory

I want to learn some music theory as I now very very very little about it so I would like to know if anyone has any good book recomendations? Preferably ones which relate material learnt or being learnt to a guitarists perspective. I am not interested in websites and the like as I rarely have the net on at home which is where my axes are, and I don't have a printer. A book however, I can read on the way to work as well

Another pluspoint for any books is that they treat me like a moron, or at least have very good explanations and examples. Not that I am completely stupid, but I find it helps to be baby stepped through everything as it accelerates learning and gives you the basics without delving to deep which can be done later when i understand the basic concepts

So, any recommendations? I am as good as an absolute beginner, although I probably already use quite a lot of concepts already so I should be able to relate some stuff to my playing

Also, any other tips etc would be cool , as well as opinions on actually getting a teacher to run through the concepts

Fire away!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 06:03 PM
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Location: Oxford, UK
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hey james,

i wouldnt recomend learning theory from some learn theory book.... they start you off in classical harmony and teh satb never ends and people just grow to hate it.....

theres a couple of theory books that ive read that Ive found usefull and i think .. providing you have some musical knowledge will be better for you then starting from scratch

one is called twentieth century harmony .... i think its by persichetti.... it is real straight forward... explains everything quickly adn easily adn covers all baroque to modern music theory in one chapter.... a nice light read... kinda explains everything in moderate detail..... which is way more than 99% of musicians ever need to know

teh second book is theory of harmony by my old pal arnold scheonberg, this is a very tough read .... heavy on teh text... adn goes into ethics and is a touch arrogant but worth a read if you have a good knowlege of harmony.... i have learnt alot from this but its way over teh top..

i recommend the first one ......

just did a quick check and teh isbn number is 0393095398 should be easy to get

good luck
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
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I learned music theory using the "classical" approach, which has helped me greatly since my knowledge is not limited to that from a guitar player's perspective. It's helped me understand how and why certain chords work w/o having to relate them to the guitar, which can be a bad thing sometimes cos it really limits you.

I used a book called "Rudiments And Theory Of Music" (the red book) by the Associated Board Of The Royal Schools Of Music (ABRSM), but I'm not sure if it's still available. You should be able to find one in a used book store though. I strongly recommend reading this book.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Cool I'll be looking into these recommendations
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 06:58 AM
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if you want a guitar book, i'd say go with the best: A modern method for guitar, by William Leavitt, volumes 1,2,3. he starts you off with all the basics. only you should be willing to put in the effort to go page by page, cuz the whole book is notes. no tab. good luck with this one!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2003, 01:45 AM
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Easily the best I've read (And I bought it, since I liked it so much,) Is "The Complete Guitarist" by Richard Chapman. It is very easy to read, has countless pictures and diagrams, has conventional and tab notation, and covers all the fundamental aspects of theory, esp. from the guitarists' persepective. It won't teach you contrapuntal harmony of the renaissanse period, or 4-part arrangements for choral harmony, or any of those deeper theory concepts. It's not "The Well-Tempered Clavier." But it has basically all the theoretical AND practical knowledge a guitarist needs. HIGHLY recommended. It even has a forward by Les Paul!
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