#1
I'm totally interested in music theory at the moment and since I only have guitar lesson once per week I'm looking for some decent books on music theory so that I don't have to aks my teacher all the time. I know that he is pretty happy that he finally has at least one student interested in music theory but I don't want to bug him all the time with basic questions.
Any one of you know some good books on the origin of blues from a music theoreticel point of view as well? My teacher explained me a lot about the origin of the Emaj7#9 chord used in Purple Haze and it totally got my attention.

PS: I've already asked my teacher but most books on music there here (I'm German) are geared to the needs of pianists and orchestral musicians which means everything is exemplified with classical music. Which doesn't mean I want special music theory books for guitar but more general music theory would be appreciated
Cheers in advance
#2
well if you want a textbook then check out "Music: In Theory and Analysis", it's a pretty common book for music majors in state universities, if i were you i would stick to actual textbooks, cause honestly, theory books are all the same. if you want a book that gears specifically towards a certain kind of music then check to see what theory books are available through the Berklee Press books, i know there's at least one of two.

oh and not to split hairs on you but the chord in "Purple Haze" is an E7#9, not Emaj7#9

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#4
I don't know if this is quite what you're looking for, but I have a book called "The Song-Writing Secrets of the Beatles" that's quite fascinating, if you can find it (it may be out of print). It basically demonstrates how they used a number of different cadences and modulations to add interest to otherwise conventional rock numbers. Since it is exclusively about the Beatles it is necessarily written from a rock/guitar perspective. It might be a little deep for a beginner though, so I would pair it with something really generic, like "Idiot's Guide to Music Theory" or something. Now as for the history of music, like the evolutions of particular chord progressions and things like that, I'm afraid I don't have any recommendations. Perhaps someone else can help you with that.

One other thing - music theory is very interesting but if you're planning to write your own music (I'm assuming you are) I would caution you against getting too analytical. I mainly use the music theory knowledge that I posess (such as it is - I'm no expert, lol) to get myself out of jams. Like if I can't figure out how to transition back to the verse from the bridge or something - then I might sit down and look at the exact notes I'm playing and see if ther aren't any theories or conventions that I could exploit to get from chord x to chord y. Otherwise, I would advise just focusing on what sounds cool and try not to overthink it.
#5
Harmony and Theory, by Wyatt and Shroeder, is good.

It was a workbook style approach that will probably serve you well. It works really well as a companion book to the same author's "Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician" - a book which also teaches you a lot of theory, in the process of learning how to hear it.

And that's an important caveat. Ideally, you would learn theory only as fast as your ear develops for you to hear it. Knowing theory beyond what your ear understands is not particularly useful. The problem is that you can "cram" theory - and learn the terms relatively quickly - but you can't cram ear development.

So if you wanted my advice, unless your ear is already very good, you should get those two books and worth through them together.
#6
Thanks a bunch guys! That should give me something to read
Though I must admit I am a bit unsure about ear training. I know it is very important but I thought it's more like something you achieve while getting better at piano, guitar or whatever.
#7
Quote by Neu!
Thanks a bunch guys! That should give me something to read
Though I must admit I am a bit unsure about ear training. I know it is very important but I thought it's more like something you achieve while getting better at piano, guitar or whatever.


Well, I'd like to point out that every major music school has dedicated ear training classes. (The book I recommended is, in fact, by the guy who teaches the ear training class at MI). Yes, ideally your ear will slowly improve over time without specific work. In practice, it will improve much faster (like any other aspect of your playing) if you work on it.

I was playing for years without being happy about the state of my ear, and making a point to work on it started paying dividends very quickly.
#8
Quote by HotspurJr
Well, I'd like to point out that every major music school has dedicated ear training classes. (The book I recommended is, in fact, by the guy who teaches the ear training class at MI). Yes, ideally your ear will slowly improve over time without specific work. In practice, it will improve much faster (like any other aspect of your playing) if you work on it.

I was playing for years without being happy about the state of my ear, and making a point to work on it started paying dividends very quickly.

Well I guess I just have to give it a try. Thanks.