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What is the best book to learn music theory?

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Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 29
Topic starter  

Hi im just wondering what is the best book to learn music theory?

Are there any reconised best books.

any opinions?

thank you.

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4113

for guitar~


Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2171

My personal recommendation to this question is always The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory by Michael Miller.

While guitar-centric texts such as Tom Serb's (aka Noteboat here on the forum) are excellent tools, I see them as suppliments to the larger discussion as theory is not instrument centric.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 34

is Planetalk really worth $70? It says its a 72 page book in comic book format to explain what he originally had in 14 pages.............and he makes it sound way too good to be true to actually work.

I found a scale book on amazon for like $6 which has great reviews

this one caught my eye also

I am looking for a book myself, I just havn't decided which ones to buy.

Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 58

I would recommend The AB Guide to music theory part 1 & 2, it's a bit wordy but once you've got your head around the basic it's very good

Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14

Edly's Music Theory for Practical People.

It's both funny and engaging, and assumes no prior knowledge whatsoever. But it still very sound technically. You'll be able to construct chords in your head when you are done, and understand huge amounts of other stuff. I couldn't put it down.

It's not instrument specific and doesn't even insist that you know how to read music. It does have plenty of examples and is worth every penny of the $17 or so it will cost you.

Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 21


Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 7

I just took a beginners theory class at MTSU and the teacher totally sucked, so everything I learned in that class I learned from the book. I had taught myself a lot from the internet and other sources previously, but the book did prove very helpful and included a vast number of exercises to be worked and the author was very good at explaining things so they could be understood. That book was Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals Ninth Edition by William Duckworth. It includes a CD-Rom that should be VERY helpful to you as well. I highly recommend it. You can find a copy on by following this link. I hope that helps.


Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

for guitar~

This one's by our very own Noteboat, who you might have noticed around the forum pages answering all those scary theory questions.


A :-)

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