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Recommended Reading & Resources

for review or extended learning

Theory & Ear Training Practice:

Helpful Videos:

Not quite 10 minutes (the video is around 20 minutes), but he quickly explains most of the music theory concepts covered in this course. Great for review!

First of a 10 video/ 10 day starter course for playing guitar. He also has a similar course for ukulele.

She has great videos for singing practice & improving singing technique on her channel (including this one!)

Another music theory review video (with practice exercises). He does a good job of explaining concepts without using notation. In general, he has a lot of helpful videos on his channel about music theory as well as music production, if you're interested:  

This video covers piano basics as well as playing chords and improvisation. He has plenty more instructional videos on his channel.

This channel has tons of videos on songwriting, including analyses of popular songs, artists, and albums. They can get a little theory-heavy, but they're a great way to apply your knowledge and learn new concepts.

And as you probably know, you can easily find videos on pretty much any music concept or skill that you are interested in or need further help with!

Reading & Reference:

The Everything Essential Music Theory Book: A guide to the fundamentals of reading, writing, and understanding music - Marc Schonbrun

Alfred's Essential Dictionary of Music Notation: The most practical and concise source for music notation

Music Theory 101: A crash course in music theory - Brian Boone & Marc Schonbrun

Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony (textbook & workbook) - L. Poundie Burstein & Joseph N. Straus

Songwriting Strategies: A 360 approach - Mark Simos

Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop - Marc Myers

Counterpoint: The polyphonic style of the sixteenth century - Knud Jeppesen

How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond -  John Powell

All You Need to Know About the Music Business (9th ed.) - Donald Passman

This Is Your Brain On Music - The science of a human obsession - Daniel J. Levitin

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain - Oliver Sacks

In Tune: Music as the bridge to mindfulness - Richard Wolf

The Tao of Music: Sound psychology - using music to change your life  -  John M. Ortiz

Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon

Affordable Instruments:

If you plan on playing any instrument long-term, I suggest purchasing a higher quality instrument than the ones I am suggesting below. Purchasing used instruments is always a good idea, as you can find quality instruments for a lower price. Stores like Sam Ash or Guitar Center check that all used instruments are fully functioning before selling. Goodwill Instruments ( or eBay will have more low-price used options, but be cautious that you are buying an instrument that actually works.

If you are just starting out, though, and don't want to make a big purchase, here are some affordable beginner instruments with good reviews:

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