book for basic harmony

(20 posts)
  1. contremisart

    Hey guys,
    Do you have any recommendation for basic harmony, and by basic harmony I mean I have only the slightest idea of what chords and scales are :)

    ps. I have the William Leavitt's modern method for guitar but it is the most boring book ever.

    ps. Check out Lage Lund's new Live at Smalls :)


  2. jorgemg1984

    There are some old Berklee books floating around the Internet that are nice for a start - but I still have to see a good jazz book about harmony honestly...

    Lage's record is awesome, as always.

  3. the advancing guitarist , by mick goodrick(... even if its beyond where you are at it will become super useful and surely several would agree that its an exciting book).
    well, its tricky to recommend things because without knowing you or what you can do the things that come to mind seem to fall under 2 categories:
    things that deal with actual harmony or changes etc.
    and books that deal with mechanics of guitar playing.
    for the mechanics stuff, the berkelee books ( william leavit ) and some others such as the books by brett wilmott are good. they could be dense or dry but provide information and graded exercises that make you deal with reading and get the sound in your ear of changes happening : harmonic things expressed melodically.
    later, other dry yet deep books like george van epps' hamonic mechanisms vol 123 , ted greene's: chord chemistry and single note soloing vol 1 2 , and modern chord progressions. these are books that are dry yet give you a good amount of information that is for the most part very pracvtical and would force you to deal with certain guitar stuff to execute them. they are daunting but even if you glean2% of any page you will be doing yourself a huge favor.

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  4. this is going to sound very vague but with any harmonic device or little trick you learn or a book tells you about, try using those principles and run them through the changes of a tune you like. this will give you a palpable sense of the device as you see it pass through a terrain you are familiar with and moreover its all happening in a real sense rather than just a static examination of harmony. also, its tough to know what kind of harmony you are digging. if you can transcribe this is great because you can check out things that are not played on your instrument and see how other instrumentalists/ composers deal with things ; this can get you information that you might not see in just guitar books.. ask your self what you're attracted to about harmony or why you think its important: is it sonny rollins? or chopin? or that quartet playing the little NPR ditty? what are you digging about harmony ? hopefully you have a friend or teacher ( or some people here) that can help you guide yourself towards what you want and also point out some of the inevitable material of your current phase . learn what you're digging. feed that urge as you also deal with fundamentals.

  5. Gia5

    Even if your question is about harmony in general and not in Jazz, I would suggest anyway the Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine, wich is very clear in its initial pages. And don't forget a classic, nice read: the Harmony manual by Shoenberg. You find it even in PDF on the web, but I suggest to buy it. All the best,

  6. geetarted

    Allan Holdsworth has a Mel Bay book that deals with basic chords. Joe Pass also!

  7. Which book is that ? Melody chords for guitar is on Alfred music co. ; just for the curious is by centerstream, and reaching for the uncommon chord us on 21st century music co.
    While these books serve as excellent ( for us - narrow for him ) windows into Allan's approach( es) and get one thinking outside of a melody/ harmony dichotomy and more as perspectives on the same thing and interval structures and what not, I think his labeling methods ( minor maj 7 scale , etc ) are an idiosyncratic nomenclature that don't help when talking to other instrumentalists despite their eye/ear opening applications.
    Which Mel bay book is this?

  8. geetarted

    Floatingbridge- tx for the correction. Not Mel bay.

  9. jorgemg1984

    I think I am a rarity but I really don't like "The Jazz Theory Book" and never understood why it's so famous.... Bert Ligon's stuff is amazing - although I never got his harmony books I bet they are excellent.

  10. ha! i didn't really enjoy the jazz piano book.

  11. jorgemg1984

    Good to know I am not alone :)

  12. contremisart

    thanks a lot to all of you. i will be checking your recommendations and advises. i love this community :)

  13. patfarlow

    i love the mark levine jazz theory books, all the examples included from real solos are very helpful.

  14. Matt

    i was never big on mark levine's book either; it is a useful reference though.

  15. M.L-13

    i feel that a great problem with levine's book is that he kind of discards the locrian in favor of the locrian natural 9.i don t think some of the old cats like barry harris would approve of that

  16. jorgemg1984

    Even some of the modern guys... there are no rules, both scales are valid options in the right context.

    There are other plenty of other "errors" like that one on that book.

  17. docbop

    To quote Wayne Krantz.... "any scale works if you play it right."

    Quote Jerry Bergonzi..... "knowing the right scale only gets you into the ballpark, you're still not on base"

    In other words there are no wrong scales/notes just bad articulation.

  18. M.L-13

    totally true..that's the problem..the jazz theory book claims that one scale is more correct than the other

  19. Thiago

    I'm now studying "Jazz Theory Resources" and "Linear Harmony" (Bert Ligon). Both are helping me a lot in order to improve my way of playing chord progressions and lines.

    "The Chord Scale Theory and Jazz Harmony" (Barrie Nettles and Richard Graff) is a very complete and didactic book too.

  20. jorgemg1984

    I think that last one derives from Berklee stuff. It's nice but a little too theoretic...

    Ligons's linear is amazing! I don't know the other one but given the source they have to be good...


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