This is a very clear, easy to follow textbook of strategies for improvising and composing; a simple guide to creating music today - no BS. It is certainly possible to study the method contained in this book and in an hour start having barrels of fun making your own music, improvising, composing and arranging. When most people watch and listen to musicians like myself improvise and compose, they are mystified. It seems miraculous to them. That’s because they don’t have the strategies that make it exciting and doable.
Let this book be your guide while you have fun exploring and making music with a step by step spoon fed method. You get a variety of methods for creating chords to put with melodies, a necessary skill in songwriting. Then also discover many strategies for improvisation and for composing music, like generating new chords and arrangements, how to start, and how to get inspired. By following this systematic approach, you develop a complete understanding of chords, and find yourself using them automatically.
This book is for anyone wanting to:
• learn to make their own music,
• create their own versions of songs (arrangements),
• compose music (chords) for melodies, and
• Go on to make completely original music
This is a very organic method that is easy to assimilate (although practice is required)
There are people who believe creativity can’t be taught. Hence many people believe improvising or composing is out of their grasp. The author asserts creativity is based on ways of thinking, combinations of strategies and good old practice. This book directly addresses that challenge. It offers step-by-step instructions, a system with practical tools for composing, improvising and arranging music, adding joy and interest to the lives of people who want to make music. To the reader this means instant access to musical and creativity pleasures that may have been previously off limits.
What makes “Secret Strategies for Composing and Improvising” so different? The author has a standing challenge: "Give me any amateur pianist or guitarist who has a simple vocabulary of the major and minor chords, and I’ll teach her to improvise and create original arrangements of pop, show or jazz tunes in 1 hour. " These claims aren’t tossed off lightly. Simple experiments were run with people who have a modicum of skill and knowledge on either piano or guitar. They were given only a single chapter for forty-five minutes then left to their own devices. Eighty percent made INSTANT use of the material and were so excited they asked to have the rest of the book "now." In ALL cases they had FUN, that was most important.
This makes a fine manual for teachers, students, and the self-learners. There are ideas and even a “how to” integrate the material into one’s life and beliefs.
A fascinating feature is that a fairy tale type story is embedded throughout. Each adventure the protagonist has is a metaphorical example of didactic principles being taught. This isn’t meant to trip you up only to trip you out to bridge confusion to learning. Thus, the book is purposely “whole brained” in it’s approach. Even so, the reader can skip over the story sections and jump right into the “meat” of the book.
Books are available for the smaller population of well-trained musicians well schooled in music theory. These are often difficult (conservatory level) and not fun. So if you’ve been frustrated trying to improvise or compose the author's goal is that you are smiling at some point in this book with enthusiasm and AHA - feeling happy you bought it
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