Music Theory for the Self-Taught Musician
Level 1: The Basics
It is well known that many musicians, from amateurs to famous professionals, are largely and sometimes exclusively self-taught. Most of the time, these musicians tend to put music theory aside, but there comes a time when many become curious about this science and understand its utility and potential. Unfortunately, they often get discouraged and think it's too late to learn theory, that they needed to start early, and of course, know how to read. Fortunately, this turns out to be completely untrue. Most self-taught musicians will also turn to books and realize many are written for specialists and those who can already read music. They talk about scales and how to write chords on a staff, but if you are not sure what a note is and it takes you twenty minutes to figure out where a C is, it just adds to the frustration. Yet a late start in learning theory has no impact on the quality of musician you can become and your future ability to understand it. It is not too late! Author Will Metz also felt this frustration, which is why he wrote this book. It was originally written for his "former self," who not too long ago was desperate to learn theory in a way that would finally be clear, coherent, and understandable, while not having to read notes. This is the book he wishes he had back then! There are many people who share this feeling, and his main goal is to provide help and clarity. This book is based on simple, day-to-day common sense, and if you know your alphabet and can count to seven, you will understand theory. You may actually find it surprisingly easy, and it will considerably improve your playing and appreciation for music.
About this Author
Will Metz is a French-American guitarist and author. He graduated with a master's degree in civil engineering, in Paris, at age twenty-two, but he knew engineering was not his calling. After one year in the US playing music for fun, he decided to become a professional musician. He entered the Music Academy International in France (his first "formal" music education) and realized his engineering studies had provided him with a big advantage in understanding music theory and explaining it to his peers, most of whom were also self-taught. Before the end of the school year, he wrote his first book (La Théorie musicale pour les autodidactes), which was published in France. He is a professional touring musician and educator in Colorado and has taught theory and guitar in several schools around the state, including Metropolitan State University of Denver.
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