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Best Music Theory Book!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Octaves, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Hi there,

    I'm looking for an introductory music theory book. What i'm not looking for is a Hal Leonard Playalong style book that happens to mention, for example, the difference between the major and minor scales. I already have those.

    I can already read bass clef, so i am after pure theory, for example, the difference between major and minor scales, chord construction and all those other things i see mentioned here alot (modes i am assuming), as well as how to construct a Pentatonic scale etc. I guess this would all lead to improvisation, soloing and constructing my own basslines.

    I think it would really help if the book was in bass clef, or had a bass clef option. I prefer music notation and prefer to avoid tabs.

    I tried the Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine, but i'm wondering if there is a more bass-specific and generalist option?

    Could anybody help? I feel like i've got all this scrappy knowledge that doesn't quite match up.

    If i happen to find any that i think are worthy, i'll post the titles here.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    I wouldn't worry about bass specific, western music theory works the same whether its a piano, a tuba, or a bass.

    I'd also suggest trying this: http://www.musictheory.net/ rather than buying a book, at least at first.

    Other than that, look into any college-level textbook
  3. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I really like edleys music Theoey for practical people.
  4. A pure theory book is pretty much going to be a college-level theory textbook, and won't be written exclusively in bass clef, since it has to be used by all manner of music students.

    Check out "Harmony & Voice-leading" by Aldwell & Schachter. Very well written, and Carl Schachter is a well-respected music theorist. A warning though - this book (like most theory textbooks) is not really intended for self-study, although that certainly doesn't mean that you can't work through it on your own.

    A really interesting book on harmony is "Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven" by William Caplin. This book really zeros in on the common-practice period, and is very easy to read. It's really good for getting a detailed understanding of how harmony and musical form interact.
  5. Portphilia


    Jun 8, 2012
    I HIGHLY recommend Tonal Harmony by Stefan Kostka. I used this in my high school theory AP class.
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine is fine if as you say you are after pure theory. You probably don't need a different book as much as you need lessons with a real live human being bass player to put it into context. A good theory book should not be instrument specific.
  7. LayDownABoogie


    Jan 3, 2012
    "The improvisors bass method by chuck Sher" is exactly what your after"... Sher music co (Same company as the mark Levine one).
  8. 20YearNoob


    Mar 29, 2012
    Where are my Schoenberg fans?
    Theory of Harmony changed my life. Hard to read.
    Good book.

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