on 13 May 2012
I agree with other reviewers on this page: this excellent book is filled with warmth and humour. It is the only music theory book that has ever made me laugh out loud - and lots of times. I hope this book stays in print for many years to come.
Even though the book is an easy read, the author keeps to the task of teaching us the ins and outs of musical notation. The book is reliable on that score. The majority of musical theory books teach us to read the printed music which we find in textbooks or as sheet music. Dave Stewart has higher aims for his readers because he wants his readers to write music for themselves. He deals with this on every front: how to overcome worries about neatness; how to set about one's first efforts; how to develop a personal style; etc., etc.
Today you may remember your latest composition. What about in 6 month's time? No problems if you were able to write it down.
Dave Stewart is giving you the secure, practical skills which you will need as a musician. You will finish up reading and WRITING music. Very few people will regret buying this book. It is nearly as good as being in the same room as a cheerful and competent teacher.
We should keep in mind a sensible point: it is probably impossible to write a theory book with absolutely everything in it. All we can do is to look for a book which does its best and which is a pleasure to read at the same time. Let Dave Stewart's book step up to the stage! His book has many virtues and only a few shortcomings.
on 20 December 2012
I have had many questions about reading and writing music over the years which nobody has been able to clearly explain to me in a way that really registered. This book does it. It's so much fun to read that you can leave it lying around and pick up any time you want a laugh or a piece of valuable information. I recommend it to anyone who plays an instrument especially those who thought reading music wasn't for them. I would even recommend it to anyone who likes listening to music but doesn't play an instrument - it may very well expand the range of music you want to listen to.
From this reader to the author, Dave Stewart, thank you so much for writing this.
on 30 March 2006
I'm G7 with the ABRSM - I've just taken the exam and hopefully I will studying G8 and then be thinking about a degree in music.
So when my teacher borrowed this book off a fellow pupil and said i should have a look at it i went ahead and bought it to read like she said to.
At first, reading through it, i thought this is going to be a bit boring and basic - HOW WRONG I WAS !
He goes through the basics of music; talks about mistakes he made as a student, and how he got over them; his favourite progressions, from basic progressions, which every student should know and many other things which are invaluable to anyone trying to study music.
I've now gone and bought his other music book - its available here on amazon. If your new to music then definitely buy it!
If your music knowledge is so good that it creates jealous individuals every day still buy it! You'll find his writing style so unputdownable and so readable - he talks about thinks that annoy him in music and how he gets over things which are so hard to do in music.
A great book, i highly recommend it!
on 12 February 2013
Not a contender to replace Hindemith's "Elementary Training for Musicians", but a witty (without being daft) introduction for the self-taught player-by-ear who's after a bit of theory savvy. I enjoy Dave Stewart's music so was curious to see what insights he offers. If you know his work, you'll find it interesting from that angle, if you don't you'll enjoy it anyway, and the book is full of useful charts too; these provide a great reference.
on 3 March 2010
Learning is so much easier when you're having fun, Dave Stewart obviously knows this and makes learning music theory easier! If you've been put off learning this stuff in the past by dry, boring, daunting books, then you've just found the purchase for you.
on 13 January 2011
Concise and to the point. I had bits and pieces, somewhere in my head, but this book really focused my mind and things I should have known clicked into place. Have just re-read and for the first time in my life I feel confident that I can put down my ideas on paper. The result may not be an exact transcript but at least I can dig it out at a future date and play it back the way I wrote it. Recommended.