You asked for a few of my favourite music books so here they are in no particular order!
Got an idea for a future blog post? email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jazz Theory Book- Mark Levine
Want to start learning Jazz but not sure where to start? This book is perfect for you! It starts with the very basics of music theory and builds up to some more advanced concepts including: melodic minor and diminished scales, playing outside, advanced reharmonisation and Coltrane changes. A great resource for students and teachers! Chapters are as follows:
- Theory: Chords and Scales- Basic theory, major scales, II-V-Is as well as Major, Melodic Minor, Diminished and Whole-Tone harmony as their uses and applications.
- Improvisation: Playin' The Changes - a more practical description of how to utilise the material explored in chapter 1 as well as tips on practice, a few jazz standards and other scale choices.
- Reharmonization- The final chapter explores basic and advanced reharmonization techniques as well as providing examples of 3 tunes that have been reharmonized.
A solid book for any budding jazz musician or music teacher.
Effortless Mastery- Kenny Werner
This book is probably my favourite book ever. It literally changed my approach to music and I'm so grateful to have been given the book from a teacher at the right time in life.
I recommend it to all my students and they're also grateful for it! It's not going to give you any advice about music theory or technique but it will give you really incredible insight and information on how to become the best version of yourself as a musician and "liberate the master musician within".
The book is really a mindfulness book for musicians but anyone could read it and still reap the benefits. I'm not sure what to say about it other than just buy it!
The Music Lesson - Victor Wooten
Another more spiritual book but very different to effortless mastery. This book details a "music lesson" that Victor Wooten had. It's written as though Wooten was sitting next to you telling you a story and can be pretty funny at times because of this. However, it does explore some serious concepts within music and provides insight in the areas of: groove, notes, articulation, technique, emotion/feel, dynamics, rhythm/tempo, tone, phrasing, space and listening.
Again, it's a bit of a music philosophy book, but with much more practical advice and examples of how he personally worked on each of these topics. Each chapter even has a measure of music written for it to demonstrate the point of the chapter which is a cool little touch.
A really great and fun read for musicians of any level!
Chord Chemistry- Ted Greene
The last book is going to be a more practical one. Ted Greene's "Chord Chemistry" contains a plethora of chord charts designed to inspire creativity in guitarists. Literally just open the book anywhere and find a new voicing to work on for the day. As well as thousands of chord charts, Greene explains his approach in using these chords, playing technique, ear training and the theory behind pretty much any chord you'll ever have to play!
Even if you're not looking to specifically build on your chordal knowledge, this is a great book to have around.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Remember that you can purchase any of these books by clicking the "Buy on Amazon" photo.