Music Theory Wall Chart for the BASS Player

BALANCE: the key to having your guitar sit at the perfect angle; the interplay of parts in a well-mixed song; the amount of theory and its complement in playing.I’m looking at Ariane Cap’s Music Theory Wall Chart for the Bass Player on my wall and am impressed by its balance that has displayed pretty much all the theory you need to know without being cluttered and hard to read. This in itself is an amazing feat (try it sometime when you’re feeling impressed with your own brainpower!). The bonus is that if you have worked through Ms. Cap’s book Music Theory for the Bass Player or taken her course, these are instantly recognizable reminders.

The chart is clear enough that you may not even need the legend at the top, but its there so that all is accessible to everyone. There are three major sections set off by the colour of their headline bars. INTERVALS and their inversions are organized so that they go up on the left and down on the right with nice big diagrams readable from a distance, and fingering options visible a little closer. Whenever practical, each is shown on adjacent strings and also skipping a string.

TRIADS and chords are diagrammed in the two ways suggested in the course, with different coloured fingerings and arrows. A side chart shows the harmonic content of each chord and their sound characteristics.A second chart extends this to 7th chords.

A smaller section for “The Cycle” shows the cycles of 4ths and 5ths in sharps and flats and makes their relationship instantly clear. While this is the true chromatic cycle, the second part shows you how a diatonic cycle is created to stay in the same key but still follow the cyclic patterns.

And that’s just the left-hand side!

The whole right-hand column is devoted to SCALES. The Major and (natural) Minor scales are shown in familiar scale diagram form, with fingerings. These also show the distance from the root (lower root for the ascending form, higher root for the descending one). The relations of scales are shown clearly for major, its relative minor, the major’s parallel minor, and its own relative major. (If that’s starting to sound “out there” you’d better get the book). Major and minor pentatonic and blues scales lead into the basic formula for blues “changes” (labelled as ‘411 of Music’ which is true enough, although you might go so far as ‘911 of music’; they both work). The chart ends on the Modes. Rather than just show a C major scale beginning on each of the degrees, this chart starts each one on C, a more challenging and valuable way to know the modes. The ‘melodic and harmonic minor scales’ are omitted, which I find a wise decision. They are simply variants of the natural minor scale to accommodate the dominant chord, so showing them as separate scales is simply confusing.

I think you would be hard-pressed to find a major omission from this chart.

A last-minute addition: On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to have the time to work through part of Unit 4 of the course that Ariane Cap made available free as a ‘special look’ over the Memorial Day weekend while featuring 15% off the regular price of the course. The part I was able to cover was memorable, meaning that it drove the fingerings and theory into my brain and my fingers — both brain and body memory. This looks like a great course that really does build on the book but goes far beyond it. If you are serious about really learning the bass and you are willing to put in the work — real work — then you should come out of this course ready to take on some pretty challenging gigs, even if you’ve never set foot on a stage.

The days of a bassist playing just the root and 5th of each chord are long gone thankfully, and now bassists are expected to make an equal contribution to a band at any level. Ariane Cap may not bring you into Geedy Lee’s class of player (yet), but she will give you a great start, and one that I bet Geddy wishes that he had had!

Appreciation for “Music Theory for the Bass Player” by Ariane Cap

This is my second review of this great resource for every bass player. It was first published in the January 2016 issue of Just Jazz Guitar, and when I copied it to this blog I goofed: I made the review a “Page” rather than a “Post”. However, over the year and a half I have had this book, it has been my go to book for fingerings and ideas. Now that the 89 videos are complete and available here it is even more valuable. Ariane Cap is a no-nonsense “this is how you do it” teacher who leaves the work of reading and grasping the content of the book to you, so the videos are the perfect complement. “OK, I’ve told you the theory and the value of the different fingerings, this is how to play them and what they look and sound like.”

The book and videos form a powerful combination for learning, but not everyone has the discipline to take so much of the burden of following through on their own. Fear not! Ariane Cap will teach you online, taking you through the book and its content to ensure that your playing and improvising are much better by the time you finish. You can also take regular lessons tailored to your individual needs.  And you still have fallback resources if you forget anything later. Her latest addition to her wealth of teaching materials is a wall chart that summarizes all of the important information from book, course, and videos.

There’s more. You can sign up to receive weekly tips and tricks from Ariane herself. These contain solid information that will clear up concepts and get you out of some sticky situations. For example, last week she taught the difference between a #11 and a b5, both of which sound the same but require different scales and imply very different keys. Knowing the difference will save you in many situations, even if you have perfect pitch. Of course Ariane’s web site is full of these tips and more, and I encourage you to check them out and learn a lot of really useful information for free!

As some of you know, I have been very ill and Ariane’s teaching materials have kept my fingers working and my musical mind active throughout. The good news is my newfound appreciation for a first-class teacher who every bass player should know about.

I’ll be writing more on the wall chart as soon as it arrives and I put it on my wall (I have the space reserved!). I also hope to do a review of Ariane’s DVD Pentatonic Playground for Bass published by our friends at Truefire.

__________________________________________

Here’s the original review:

 

Ariane-Caps-Music-Theory-for-the-Bass-Player

 

by Ariane Cap

CapCat Music Publishing

Bass players rejoice! Music Theory for the Bass Player presents music theory as it matters: to improve your playing and your hearing. And all from the perspective of the bass player. Ariane Cap has put together a challenging book that will reward you with more confident and capable playing and improvising with a solid knowledge of what you are doing and why. In fact it is just as much about fingering as it is about theory, and Ms. Cap explains how fingering patterns relate to theory concepts and how these work together to strengthen your ear, so you know the sound before you play it. This is how theory should be taught: to improve your playing.

This is a book that could only be written by a top-notch bassist with a deep understanding of educational principles. Information is presented in easily digestible chunks that are illustrated in several ways including the fretboard. Each concept should be fully understood before continuing, and this is reinforced by a brilliant set of exercises at the end of each section. DO NOT SKIP THE EXERCISES! To do so would be to miss the whole point of the book: for you to get each concept into your head, your fingers, and your ears.

This is a robust book with no “filler.” For example, when speaking of Whole-Half step scales Ms. Cap notes that there are four possible roots for each of the three different scales. Most books illustrate all 12 possibilities, whereas this one shows the three unique ones; if you are going to master them you need to be able to figure out for yourself how the roots are related. While the text does actually explain the relation (and from a playing perspective) the point is made that when you see musical examples, they are important. Study them.

You could certainly learn to play the bass with this volume, but that is not its aim. This frees the author from providing those boring “quarter notes on the first string” exercises that turn off so many beginners. Instead, we get really “hip” patterns that illustrate what can be done with, say, a single interval using a more contemporary rhythmic style. It also allows accomplished players to learn the theory that they missed without feeling like they are in grade school again.

Many of the concepts are important for bass players, such as how to deal with chords that contain several different extensions or alterations, slash chords, and even how to determine the key of the piece. There are few “rules” given, which is a blessed relief, with the emphasis on why music works as it does. Somewhat ironically (and perhaps to illustrate this) the one spot where rules are given – forming major scales – they immediately require more rules for exceptions, which are explained more clearly in the section on the circle or cycle of fifths. So don’t worry if the rules sound complex at first – the explanation coming is simple.

Fingering is given such prominence in the book that it is as much about proper fingering as theory. This instills good habits in new players while keeping more experienced players on their toes, all the while establishing the sound of the theoretical idea in our ears. Do you know why you want to start with different fingers under a major or minor chord? Have you thought about alternate fingering that will save you from awkward shifts on a single finger? Many such tips demonstrate the interconnection between good technique and solid theoretical understanding. Others are handy for guitarists who try to use their one-finger-per-fret system on the lower bass positions. At the time of writing (January 2016) not all of the audio/video examples were on the web site, but it is likely they will be there by the time you read this.

Of the many extras at the end of the book, the suggestions on technique stand out. The pictures (often tongue-in-cheek exaggerations) show both good and poor positions for your body and hands that will help you to relax and play your best. The overall impression left by this book is of the relation and interdependence of theory, technique, body movement, breathing – all of life as we live it really, and how it affects the bass player. If you are a bass player, want to be one, or care for one, get this book. Ariane Cap has given an excellent gift to the world of music.

Order this great book here.

Great Gifts for Musicians

Yes, it’s getting late, but a lot of us have the ultimate gift over the next week or two: time!

firstsong

If you (or a loved one) have always wanted to write a song but never quite gotten around to it, or to finishing one, check out my book How To Write Your First Song. (In Canada, click here.) No previous theory is necessary, just the desire to write a song that you will be truly proud of. I share some of the ways I go about it, but the main aim of the book is to help you find your own way. While your first song is always the hardest to write, there is little in this world as satisfying as finishing one. (BTW, this book is also meant to help accomplished songwriters who have hit a wall and need a way around it that works.)

And if you are feeling really generous, to a friend, significant other, or yourself, Dorico is a great choice. I’ll be writing more on it in a few days, but the 1.0.20 update confirms that they are on track to become THE notation software program to use.

New Guitar Books

Hal Leonard has recently released some new versions of classic guitar books. Originally these would have been aimed at jazz players, but these days even moderately serious players need to know basics like the entire neck, a wide variety of chords in all positions, and songs, songs, songs.

jazzgtrfake

Yes, there are all sorts of fake books floating around, but few are aimed specifically at guitarists. What recommends this collection is an excellent selection of jazz standards, many in “guitar-friendly keys”, sensible chord diagrams that minimize position shifts (and show you some very nice voicings), and a binding that lets the book lie flat on the music stand. I particularly like that several songs are in different keys that guitarists really need to know (Bb, Eb, Ab), and these have great chord voicings that should help any player feel more comfortable in these important tonalities. You can check out the list of songs here and see some sample pages here. Play the chord diagrams to the bottom two to see what I mean about positions. A great book for improving your sight-reading and a terrific one to take to a jazz jam.

salsalv

A lot of the jazz greats wrote books to teach aspiring players, but many of these languish out of print. Hal Leonard did a good job of bringing back a true classic, Sal Salvador’s Single String Studies for Guitar in a new format. Most obvious is their catering to modern taste by adding TAB, and this has the added benefit of creating more white space on the page, which I find easier on the eyes. All aspects of picking, scales, chords, arpeggios, and much more is covered. This is a book that will make you work, but you will improve your playing immensely if you stick with it. The only problem with this edition seems to be a clash of fonts, so that numbers like “2nd, 3rd, 5th” are garbled (see p. 130, p. 145 and elsewhere) but can be read with some effort; also, for some reason the word “not” in the last line of p. 131’s text has delete lines through it, although it certainly belongs in the text (where he is saying to “keep the pick parallel to the strings, NOT slanted in either direction”.

These annoyances aside, this is a terrific book for improving knowledge of the guitar, and it is great to see it accessible again.

#Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent — by Mixerman

This is a brilliant book. Buy it!

mixerman-fron-small

#Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent is one of the best books I have read in years, and THE best one I’ve ever heard, so I suggest buying the audio book. I’ll come back to that. The story is a hilarious satire on the current state of the music industry. Most of us still have the idea that music is the same as in The Beatles’ time, where a group of talented kids from the sticks can make it big by playing endless shows and recording their own songs for a company that provides them whatever they want. In fact, the continuing spate of “new” Beatles products, while in some cases excellent, also prolongs the myth. Even better, bedroom studios are within the budget of any musician, and with the Internet anyone can become rich and famous as long as they have talent, right? The reality is very different. This book presents an industry where those four guys would be working minimum wage jobs and becoming famous, never mind rich, is like winning the lottery. Repeatedly.  The book is especially funny for those who have read Mixerman’s first book, The Daily Adventures of Mixerman, and so are familiar with many of the characters who reappear, although this is by no means a requirement. This is the story of an Indian billionaire father whose son wants to be a producer, so naturally dad wants him to be the greatest Bollywood producer of all time. Of course, the son prefers rap and wants to create his first big hit with a ditty about oblivious Prius drivers who slow down traffic, not the most urgent problem in the hood from which famed rappers such as the Pharcyde see the world.

The book revolves around Mixerman getting an offer he can’t refuse to tutor the son and heir (the “billionheir”) of this Indian billionaire in music production. This is the first appearance of money making the seemingly impossible happen, but it won’t be the last. As Mixerman teaches this gifted intern the basics of music, his understanding of the business of music (and ours) is turned upside-down as the very presence of the billionheir changes his world. Along with Mixerman, we learn how money is not a power, but the power, without which success is denied to even the most talented and hardest working musician. Billionaires (and billionheirs) are a club into which not all are welcome, and which can control membership as easily as they control everything else. But our hero Mixerman is a fast learner who has some tricks of his own. Will he and his team ultimately prevail? Read the book and find out. It’s a real page-turner, so you may want to set aside some time for it. Also, if you haven’t yet heard the hit “The Douchebag Song” you might want to wait until it is recorded (or at least written) in the book to get its context. In the audio book, this process is heard, which makes its ludicrous creation, and that of its video, all the more obvious.

Like the best satire, this one does not stray far from reality, and who better to give us an insider’s view of the music business than Mixerman, whose previous four best-selling books have dealt with how grueling the work can be, as well as in-depth technical details for recordists, mixers, and producers. Again like the best satire, there is a darker side to this “American Dream” that begins to surface in short asides from the author, but comes to full fruition in the book’s hysterically funny climax, where the line between the truly absurd and the actual modern world is shown to be an illusion. And in one of the most inspired moments in modern writing, the lens on the oligarchic control of music suddenly pulls back to reveal this undemocratic control of virtually every important aspect of life.

So there is a serious and sad sub-text to this book, but it is embedded in a truly great story. It shows that Mixerman is as brilliantly creative at a word processing keyboard as he is at his beloved Slate Raven MTX recording console. Don’t worry, this is the same uncensored, fattie-loving, musically amazing Mixerman we have learned so much from, but his writing has a new depth and flow to it now that he is free from having to present so many technical facts. In his own inimitable style, Mixerman presents the most important issues of our time that affect every one of us. I found the audio presentation even more immediate, with great performances by a huge cast that really puts you into the middle of the action, and things get quite active.

This is a book that will appeal to two groups: musicians, and everyone else. Musicians will see that they really are up against a system virtually designed to deny them success, while non-musicians will see the way that the systemic inequalities that they find virtually everywhere in life are at their worst in the creative arts. Let’s look at one change in technology that has been in the news lately: streaming. Many of us don’t realize much difference between streaming songs and songs sold on CD. Streaming is touted as being more convenient and cheaper. Why buy a physical object that you have to store yourself and find when you want to hear music when you can just stream it on demand to whichever of your devices is closest to hand? The problem is that far fewer people are paid from streams, and they are paid far less (if at all). Many producers, songwriters, and artists count on their royalties to carry them through retirement, but with those royalties gone with the disappearance of CD sales, so is any thought of retiring. The even more devious catch is that with so many new artists, songwriters, and producers trying to get into the business, the resulting price war means that many will work for free just for the experience and exposure. How does one compete with free? (I’ve faced this myself with guitarists who pay bar owners for the chance to play in public!)

We are all familiar with the huge disparity between the 1% of the ultra-wealthy and the 99% of “everybody else.” In music, this is even worse. If this sounds like a bummer to read, many of us are living it. And kudos to Mixerman for blowing the whistle while still keeping the tone hilarious even as he teaches us the harsh truths of modern music. He achieves this through his deft touch, his wonderfully ingratiating characters, and his ability to make his point effectively and move on with the story. The audio book adds music to the story, using leitmotifs (identifying tunes) for each character that describe them as well as pointing up their similarities and differences. Music also provides moments to reflect on how this situation affect us personally.

The situation is ultimately bad for music, and for most of us in general, but unlike doomsayers Mixerman does point to a way out, if only enough of us demand it. The first step is to discover what is going on, and this book makes it clear, but with enough humour to keep you laughing, which ultimately helps you to remember his points. Then you can discuss this with your friends and colleagues. No one of us has an answer to this dire situation, but unless we work together none of us ever will. This is how we are controlled: distract and separate. And it works — if you let it. For example, if you feel that you are the only one not getting rich despite your state-of-the-art home studio, you are going to keep your “failure” to yourself. However, if you discover that every one of your colleagues is in the same situation and feels the same way, you have the start of a discussion. And it’s OK if it’s an angry one.

For those of you ready to fire up a torrent client I’d suggest actually buying the book because you are going to feel pretty guilty while reading or listening to it. With streaming services paying the bulk of their “royalties” to large corporations (tech or music), the songwriters and artists (including writers) make little enough as it is. Ripping them off by pirating their work only adds injury to injustice. It also takes away the incentive to create new works when you would make more money at a minimum-wage job. And we all owe a debt of thanks to Mixerman — one of the most pirated authors around (8 pirated per one sold) — for bothering to write what is a very important book that is also hilariously funny.

A note on the audio book: It is supposed to be available on audible.com (“an Amazon company”) but after more than two weeks they still have been unable to get my legally purchased copy to work on my Macintosh computer (where it can only be played in iTunes). In fact, they have ceased to communicate with me at all. Some “customer service.” Mixerman himself tells me that the iTunes store is a more reliable place to purchase it.

I’m glad to have both print and audio versions of this book. I like to read in bed, and after a hard day, reading a very funny book about music is the perfect way to wind down. In the car or just some down time, the audio book is a perfect companion. The production of the audio is as good as you would expect from a master producer, and the theme music for the characters is just as great as the hit single itself. The voice actors are excellent and Mixerman does himself proud to keep up with so talented a group.

So get a legal copy of the book, audio, or both and join in the fun. Then join in the discussion on how all people in the music industry, and your own, should make a fair wage. Include your elected representatives in your discussions too. You may have to remind them that they represent you too, and even a billionaire has the same one vote that you do. Money has a powerful voice, but a majority of the electorate has a more powerful one. Join the conversation.

Bassist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords

Bass_Scales

Ordinarily I would skip a book on scales because that’s not the way that I think about or teach music. But Chad Johnson is one of my favourite authors of instructional books so I figured Bassist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords was worth a look, and it really is.

In all fairness, I realize that a lot of teachers teach scales and modes, including some top schools, so this will help students who learned that way or are struggling with it right now. The topics are clearly laid out with great examples that both explain the concept and get the notes under your fingers. Also, whether you consider them scales, modes, or just “the notes in the key” the information is what you need to absorb well enough to just play the right notes at the right time.

What is outstanding about this book is the treatment of modes. Unlike most books that teach “modes” as just major scales starting on notes other than the tonic, Chad Johnson shows how the harmonies as well as the notes differ in the modes, and how these have been used to give a fresh sound to familiar chords and progressions. Many bassists (and guitarists in the sister book for guitarists) may be surprised to find that they have played in modes often without realizing it.

Let’s take a concrete example, the progression C-Bb-F-C. A purely scale-oriented player might think of it as V-IV-I-V in the key of F. It could be, but then you have a problem with ending on the V chord and having it sound so final. Much more often this is a modal progression (in the Mixolydian mode on C) and so C is the tonic, which makes it a strong ending chord. It sounds modal because the Mixolydian mode has a lowered 7th note — in C Mixolydian that’s Bb — and thus there is no leading tone. That one note changes the tensions inherent in the whole mode since the tritone no longer leads to the tonic (and instead of being stressed usually needs to avoided).

I particularly recommend this book for anyone interested in exploring true modal playing and composing. It presents many progressions that give a true feel for different modes. This is a different way of thinking from, say, playing a “Mixolydian mode” over C7 in the key of F, and then reverting to “normal” F. By working with the mode, you create the entire song, melody and harmony, in a modal framework.

For more information, go to Hal Leonard’s web site or Amazon. (Guitar players can check out Guitarist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords here.)

Jaco Pastorius Books

Hal Leonard has brought out some great books for bassists lately including two on one of the most influential bassists of all time: Jaco Pastorius. While often considered a jazz bassist, Jaco’s eclectic style has influenced players in all genres, and there are few better workouts than playing through and learning even one of his songs.

Jaco Play-Along

Jaco Pastorius BASS Play-Along is Volume 50 in Hal Leonard’s Play-Along series, and it contains 8 meticulous transcriptions of some of Jaco’s most beloved (and envied) songs. You can get more information including the song list by clicking here.

For a deeper look into Jaco’s style, and how to incorporate some of his most important innovations into your own playing, check out Play Like Jaco Pastorius, which is somewhat modestly sub-titled “The Ultimate Bass Lesson”. In fact it is a series of lessons that illustrate his approach to technique with examples from his actual playing on several of his most famous songs.

Play Like Jaco

The Gear section tells you the Primary basses that Jaco used (along with ones used more rarely) as well as his favored amps and pedals. These help those who want to get a particular tone, or to emulate his rig in general. The example songs come from both his work with Weather Report and his solo career, covering both fretted and fretless bass.

If you feel you want a challenge, or have the need to take your playing to a much higher level, be sure to check out this great master class by clicking here.

Both books contain online audio that you can listen to and work with on the internet or download in mp3 format. The playing is worthy of this great master himself. Working with this book is time well spent, and could even change your life.

Music Theory for the Bass Player – #1 Best Seller

Congratulations to Ariane Cap! Her book Music Theory for the Bass Player has become a “#1 Best Seller” on Amazon.com (in Bass Guitar Songbooks). This comes as no surprise to me, nor I hope to any reader of Just Jazz Guitar, where I review the book in this month’s issue. Since this is the magazine’s last month of publication it may be hard to find, so I have reprinted the review here (with permission from the magazine, of course).

Ariane-Caps-Music-Theory-for-the-Bass-Player

 

I will just add here that every bass player should own a copy of this superb book. Ariane Cap’s ingenious linking of logical fingering and hand position with music theory makes this a truly practical “theory” book, while her clear and concise explanations and directions are easy to understand and follow. Follow her advice and you will become a much better player.

Read the review here.

Order the book here.

Visit Ariane Cap’s web site here.

The Indie Band Survival Guide

Once you have some music ready to share with the world you need to learn how to navigate the modern world of music. No doubt you keep hearing about the “new and unlimited opportunities” for musicians without the need for a recording contract, but how do you take advantage of these opportunities? The best source of  information and step-by-step instruction is The Indie Band Survival Guide. This is THE guidebook for any independent (i.e. “unsigned”) musician or group, regardless of style.

Indie Guide

The book begins by telling you how to get prepared to use all of the services that are available to you by assembling your team and networking, setting up a “brand” that will identify you in many different places and circumstances, and most important of all, getting to know your rights. Many musicians leave a LOT of money “on the table” because they don’t know to ask for it, or in some cases demand it. After this you are ready to use their strategies for getting gigs and making money selling your music and related merchandise. If you are not already familiar with the companies that will sell your CD’s as well as “merch” to your fans on demand, then you are missing out on a potential goldmine and probably spending money that you don’t need to. In exchange for a cut, there is a whole network that will package and sell music in whatever form, T-shirts, ball caps, anything that identifies that brand you set up while getting prepared. Yes, you give up some money but do you really want to get into the manufacturing business? Or be an order-taker? These kinds of deal let you stick to the music while your brand gets around and you get cheques from your merchandising partners.

You will need a marketing strategy, and these days a web presence is essential. Social media is a must to interact with fans and potential fans, and an official site can be invaluable in getting the word out to fans about new music and gigs as well as turning people who are just browsing into fans. The authors show you how to set up various internet services, some specially for musicians and others that you can tailor to your own needs. They even provide a web site that keeps the information in the book up to date, so that as new services appear you will know how to take advantage of them. And then, of course, you become a fan of Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan for providing this service for you. A nice example of practising what they preach.

The flip side of this new accessibility for indie artists is that more and more people are getting out there. Chertkow & Feehan give you great advice on getting heard and seen through all of the competition. All you need is some talent, music that you want to share, and the motivation to do what it takes to find and connect with your fans. These guys know what they’re talking about, having run a successful indie band for years, while keeping their day jobs as an IT expert and a lawyer. No matter what style you play, no matter how big you want to get or small you want to stay, if you want to make money in music, this book will pay for itself many times over. It belongs in every musician’s case, dog-eared from being read over and over.

How To Write Your First Song

HTWYFS

I wrote this book because I have met too many people who want to write songs but can’t because of what they know.

Hey, wait! Don’t I mean “what they don’t know?” Well, no and yes. The book does cover everything that you need to know to write your first song, but it also puts music theory into the perspective of a songwriter, and not a composer of symphonies 200 years ago. While any music theory should help you understand music better, so that you can play it or write it better, it is often taught via “rules” — and pretty much any modern song breaks several of those rules, and the best break a lot of them.

The book re-frames music theory that you may already know as a tool for you as a songwriter. You rely on your own ear for what sounds “good” to you, and you develop your own process for finishing a song that you like. There are no exercises because you don’t invest yourself in something that is just for practice. Instead you write a song that you like, one that you are proud to play for friends and family, and even in public if that’s your goal.

As usual, the title can’t tell the whole story. I aimed this book at novices and at accomplished songwriters who have hit a wall. We all have times where nothing seems to come to us and we feel like we’ll never write again. The value of having a process is that you can start with a simple idea, even one from a song that you rejected before, and by working with it you can re-shape it into something you truly love. It works because you don’t learn my process, you learn your own (which may well be totally different from mine).

I can shamelessly promote my own book because I’ve seen the approach work with students who had no musical training to ones with PhD’s; and from metal-heads to writers of classical lieder. We’re not aiming to get you to Number One on your first attempt, but we do get you to the point where you can write your own song that pleases you. I think that’s a great start.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Your-First-Song/dp/1495001938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459779912&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+write+your+first+song