Reviews and Product Details: How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition
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How Music REALLY Works is the most amazing book on music I have ever read. I wish this book was available years ago; it is by far the definitive guide on music creation.
—Marco Mastrocola, film & TV composer
How Music Really Works is the most comprehensive and useful book that I’ve ever read on music and songwriting. Chapters 8 & 10, in particular, introduce elements of songwriting that have never been addressed before in any of the 30+ books I’ve read on songwriting. If anyone is truly serious about writing songs that will stand the test of time, then this book is a must read.
—Bryan Fogelman, Director, REO Songwriters' Retreat
This is a book that makes you think—re-examine your assumptions and approaches ... If you love the science and art of songwriting, it is a fascinating book.
—The Muse's Muse
The very best book EVER written on music must be How Music Really Works by Wayne Chase ... Amazing! And so much fun to read. I love Wayne Chase's writing style. It's so easy to digest and humorous at the same time, while still educating in a deep manner. No other book has ever explained these subjects to me like this before. I took piano classes to get the hang of chords and chord progressions, but that was NOTHING compared to chapter 6... which is a real eye opener. I also love the little details, like how a note with overtones/harmonics is already much like a chord itself and why an inverted chord doesn't sound quite as resolved like the basic chord.
"How Music Really Works is a masterpiece ... a book that you can't put down and from which the learning comes effortlessly."
—Ken Park, British Columbia
How Music REALLY Works is an amazing book. I would never have learned some of the topics in a hundred years of formal courses. The chapter on rhythm and meter is worth the price of the book alone!
—Tim Longo, West Haven, CT
Without a doubt, this is the most straightforward, easy-to-grasp material on the market. No double talk, no confusion, and humor to boot!
—Richard Fowler, Douglasville, GA
My songwriting benefited hugely and immediately from this approach. I already had a reasonable knowledge of theory and fairly good skills at writing and arranging but the way these concepts are presented is unique (in my experience) and very refreshing.
—Simon Williams, New Zealand
I learned more in the last hour from this website than I have in 6 months using traditional methods.
—Floyd Goddard, Goddard Publishing Co., Cullman, AL
In early 2006, I picked up a link to How Music Really Works off of the Forum at Wholenote. What an awesome book, I just can't get over how detailed it is ... and yes I love the humor as well ... I am a nuts and bolts type of person—don't just tell what it is, tell my why and how. This is where How Music Really Works comes into play...This book has made my journey into music one of awe and amazement. It is a brand new world for me...one that fits together with understanding and fact...not just That's the way it is... The writing, and sense of humor have just hit home with me. The light has come on, and now I can't wait to explore further with the knowledge I have acquired so far... It has had an impact on me that has changed the way I look at and listen to music.
—Todd R. Yarbrough, Georgetown, TX
It’s probably the best music tutorial I have ever read! It’s about time someone spoke in plain English about music. Though I've studied for years, I find this take on it refreshing and truly helpful.
—Randy Alvarez, Seguin, TX
Just ordered this book, after browsing through the very generous sampling of pages on the website. It's a goldmine of info and as a composer and teacher, I know I will find many concepts of great importance to my work.
—Donald Sosin, Lakeville, CT
I just spent 7 consecutive hours screen-reading How Music Really Works! ..., immediately after buying it online. I'm not kidding when I say unbelievably good. The depth, breadth and sheer eloquence ... are truly extraordinary by any standard, even more so considering today's instant gratification, Teach Yourself X in 24 Hours-driven publishing culture. I am immensely grateful for this book.
—Michael Strock, Austria
I don't know if this email will ever reach the author but I just wanted to let someone know that I can't say enough how much I love How Music Really Works. It has opened my eyes and ears way beyond what I could have ever expected. I've been searching and searching for a decent book on song writing and nothing compares to this book. I am truly grateful that Wayne took the time to write it and I will be indebted to him for giving me the tools to work the kinks out of my craft.. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! You've now made a world of difference in my life.
—C. W., Seattle, WA
I decided that having listened to so much music I really ought to understand what's going on behind the scenes. I've bought and read through a pile of Music Theory books in the last few months. How Music REALLY Works is head and shoulders above any of them. Some of them never quite take on the complexities (they seem not to really appreciate them), while others are unreadably pompous and over-intellectualized. This book is the only one that comes across as a confident adult addressing an intelligent, motivated student. I've been able to raise my level of understanding enormously.
—Andy Schriever, Batavia, IL
I have been playing the guitar professionally for over ten years. Music is an enormous influence in my life and occupies much of my thought and energy on a regular basis. Much of that thought and energy is spent on figuring out how to become a better musician and what activities I can engage in to derive a deeper understanding of music—outside of playing live of course! I have always known that there are aspects of my musicianship that are lacking and have always had an underlying suspicion that someone out there knows what I'm going through and knows how to help me identify and fill the gaping holes in my knowledge. My searches on the web have consisted of strings like what every guitar player MUST know or essential skills for musicians. Most of the hits are fairly generic and are an overlap of my ever-growing library of musical studies books. Many sites have wild claims about what their material will do, yet offer no samples of that material—danger! One day I entered how music really works into Google and the Roedy Black site came up. For the next few hours I pored through the first six chapters of this book and was floored by the breadth and comprehensive depth of what is covered, how well presented the material is ... I have a great affinity for well-written material; this book is incredibly well-written. Finding it was like finding gold. There are things that are covered that I have never before encountered in my studies at school or in other books. Maybe I have encountered them; if I have they were never explained as fully, practically or as clearly. A perfect example of this is the description of the harmonic cycle in comparison to what the cycle of fifths is. Can you imagine that with two full years of music school and the plethora of books on harmony and theory I have read, I feel like I never understood the why's to harmonic resolution and why certain seemingly unrelated chords work so well together? Practical knowledge is paramount to me. This book offers real tools, not just how-to's. It makes the proverb give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime come alive for me with just this one section.
—Mark Collins, Toronto, ON
How Music Really Works is one of the best books on applied music theory I have read. I have taught guitar in N. California for 15 years and have read many excellent pieces on theory—but most were just that—pieces. I love the way this book puts all the parts together so that is understandable. ... I would like all my students to own and read this book.
—Wayne Lazar, Windsor, CA
I love it. Clear, understandable, entertaining. The first book from which I really understand why music is as it is, scales are as they are, and so on.
—Joerg Toellner, Germany
I love [the author's] sense of humor.
—Lesley Graham, Detroit, MI
The approach is absolutely excellent. I always appreciate getting to the root of problems and understanding them at their fundamental level. I believe this is the only way to really know what's going on. [The author] has achieved this in a very effective and enjoyable way.
—Alex Papasavas, Jersey City, NJ
I have yet to read any material that has as much substance.
—Anthony Egizii, Australia
Such an incredible book,How music really works. I've been looking for a book just like that for years. I feel very inspired and want to have a career in songwriting. I actually have wanted to since I was a kid, however, I didn't ever really realize that I needed to truly understand music until recently. I'd like to get an education in music.
—Jordan Jensen, Boulder, CO
I am VERY impressed and fascinated with Wayne Chase's How Music Really Works. This is the best book on music theory I've ever seen.
—Peter Block, Tecate, CA
I'm 19 years old and I don't have the money or time to invest in a standard university to study music, which will probably just hint around what I'm trying to achieve anyway. So this is definitely a big help to me.
—Brandon Battle, Merrillville, IN
Enormous thanks for How Music Really Works - I am continually amazed at the generosity of folk who put such valuable stuff out in the public arena for free.
—Misha Nathani, Australia
I LOVE this and it’s the only instructional book that actually helps you. I’ve only read the first edition and half the new one, and it’s genius.
—Chris Willette, Mesa, AZ
In twenty years, I have NEVER seen and read anything that comes close to How Music REALLY Works. The author can write. In my youth ( I’m forty seven, I think), I spent five years as a local newspaper reporter, with the college training that went with it. For the past six years or so, I’ve been helping Polish people to learn English. Oh, yes, I know my present perfect from my past participle, but that’s not the basis of my approach. Oh, no! The basis is that I make them laugh. This warms them up, and relaxes them so they can listen to what I say without the stress most of them have at school or in college. Wayne Chase blows me away. And to be blown away by somebody who, stereotypically, should be the North American equivalent of a crusty Oxford don droning on and on about things plagal and cadential , was an immense pleasure. HIs skill is immeasurable. Fundamentals, overtones, ratios. I understand the lot. At one read. And their importance to the whole. No problem. Go on, ask me a question ! The movement of fifths, seconds, thirds. Bloody obvious. When you know. And now I know. Phew !!!
—Paul Drury, England
It's exactly what I've been looking for. It puts all that theory that I've figured out the hard way into easy-to-understand language.
—Dwight Plett, Riverton, MB
I’ve had years of vocal training, but never had any theory. It always sounded so complicated. But the visual method [in this book] used to teach this has made it seem so logical, and easy to utilize. I always thought it was just over my head, but now I GET IT!
—Nancy S. Smith, Nicholasville, KY
I love the writing style. About time somebody made music understandable to the great unwashed.
—Jerry Haworth, New Zealand
I've learned an awful lot from the book How Music REALLY Works. I really like the style it’s written in. I find it light and breezy, yet concise and easy to understand. I feel it contains a lot of insight, and rewards repeated reading and study.
—Philip, Dublin, Ireland
Love the book. The author makes it so easy. I tell you, I went to school and they were helpful but the language barrier got in my way. I needed to understand music from the common man's perspective and this book speaks to me.
—Sandra Bell, Escondido, CA
Looking forward to purchasing this down-to-earth book!! I am a drummer turned songwriter and I'm learning the craft little by little, and the free excerpts of the book are helpful, fun and informative.
—Scott Arrison, Edmonton, AB
An excellent book from just reading the first six chapters; very interesting and funny.
—Carmella DiForte, Saugus, MA
I've been reading the online version of How Music Really Works, and I think it's one of the best music books I've ever read. Finally, a nice hearty chapter on chord progressions, that isn't afraid to come out and discuss chord relationships. Curiously, nowhere in my music theory classes or in anything I've read in my leisure have I ever come across the concept of a harmonic scale. And I'm sorry I haven't! This seems like such a great idea. It all makes a LOT of sense. Which is nice, because there are some days in which music DOESN'T make sense to me, you know? Some of the parts about chord-to-chord movements and how semitone motions relieve tension etc. are really in-depth and really great! This book really speaks to me--I'm seeing explanations of harmonic phenomena that I always thought were the case, but was still a little unsure. It's really great to see someone come out and say what you've always suspected. Basically, I've never seen anything like the chord progression chapter. Chord progressions to me are the most important elements of tonal music--they are the fundamental building blocks—and yet so many books neglect to discuss the properties of chord motion seriously. (My current theory book has one line that says bass motion by 4ths is the most common.) And that's about it as far as why Bach used the progressions he did. Kind of a let down, if you ask me. How Music REALLY Works is really a breath of fresh air.
—Stedman Wilson, Stanford University, CA
Thanks for making learning such an entertaining experience.
—Tony Hughes, Wales
Previously I was unable to get the why behind the why, as I like to call it. Why the theory works. I really enjoyed how this book broke it down the from the beginning.
—Joel, San Francisco, CA
I have enjoyed the first 4 chapters...learned a lot. I am also a trainer, so I can recognize good training because I am reading this stuff and seem to get it...so kudos to the author...I like the chunks, the building on a foundation that now makes sense to me. I like the technical background-instruction, I guess because what [the author] says is consonant where a lot of instruction out there is dissonant to me.
—Duane Hansen, Raleigh, NC
Wonderful, wonderful stuff for visual learners like me who have been musicians for years, but don't get the normal way of teaching/learning music theory.
—Lance Zechinato, Columbia, MD
The chord progression chapter seems to be just what I've been looking for! I haven't seen this information compiled so well anywhere else!
—Dave Watson, Seattle, WA
This is the most realistic approach to music I have ever seen.
—Jay Daer, Scotland
I love the concept of what the author does re deconstructing chord progressions!
—Andy Bulka, Australia
I'm from Russia ... I know that the delivery will cost a lot, but I think THIS book is really worth it.
—Anastasia Makarevitch, Russia
After many attempts to find something, it's the first time I've ever read anything that actually explained music theory with clarity. I've tried Bernstein, Surnami and others without success.
—Bob Dean, Lancaster, PA
What a score ... surfing the net and discovering this book!
—Sandy Bergmann, Kimberley, BC
It’s written in a clear, down-to-earth manner, and I find I understand certain areas of music theory that I found extremely difficult before.
—Damien Forbes, England
It has really helped me musically! Great work!!
—Ann Marie, New York, NY
I stumbled upon the website quite by accident while searching for the chord progressions for a particular song, and what a happy find it was.
—Jean Glaudé, Los Angeles, CA
I’ve probably learnt more in the last hour than I did reading hours upon hours of other music books. Great work.
—Eddie Machaalani, Australia
Wayne Chase is the bomb and my musical mentor.
—Brent Klemstein, San Diego, CA
The information presented in How Music REALLY Works seems uniquely understandable and comprehendable,
—Bart Bradley, Albuquerque, NM
I have downloaded and read the free chapters and I just think they are fantastic. I must get a copy of the book which I’ll guard for dear life as I think it is so rich with content and truly explains a lot of the mysteries of music.
—Audley Ffolkes, Jamaica
I live in Australia and had been asking these questions about chord progs for years ... never any light. Now after checking out the *Harmonic Scale device I can see this is THE tool for a songwriter.
—John Bliss, Australia
I read the first chapters on the internet and thought they were excellent, explaining lots of things I was wondering about. I'm learning to play the piano and I don't want to be a slave to sheet music all my life so I thought I'd try and make some sense out of chords.
—Eva Hovelsrod, Norway
I would like to thank Wayne Chase for the effort he made to gather all this information together and bring it in this clear and comprehensive form. ... It's like having the author answering my questions and even more !!
—Ghassane Hajji, France
All I can say is Wow!
—Dale Regazzi, Las Vegas, NV
Wayne Chase is one of a kind.
—Brian M., Los Angeles, CA
I have found the online information very informative. It is exactly what I wanted to know. It contains all the technical information that I wanted to know.
—Tom Jennings, Cherry Hill, NJ
I am blown away. What a great site! Such wisdom and incredible generosity.
—Andy Gremminger, Fredonia, WI
Music makes a lot more sense to me than it ever has before.
—Benjamin Davis, Griffin, GA
I’ve learned more about music in the last few days than in my entire life.
Thanks to the author for all the insight and knowledge.
—Ozzie Bostic, Chicago, IL
Thanks for the information on the website—it is just fabulous!
—Denise Vrana, Stilwell, KS
I like Wayne Chase's style of writing. He positions musical concepts in a clear and understandable framework. The order of introducing new concepts is also very consistent.
—Robert Schuurmans, The Netherlands
Incredibly informative and interesting.
—L. Anderson, England
Kick butt book! Filled in many holes in my rather Spartan musical theory!
—Mike Singleton, Bahamas
This is the best and most helpful information I have ever read, and I have read a lot. I feel that I might actually (eventually) understand music at its core or get close to it. This is pretty exciting. I've always known and felt that something was missing in my journey of trying to understand music and specifically how to play music on the guitar. The pieces are starting to come together now.
—David James, Alpharetta, GA
I am blown away--this is what I have been seeking for a very long time.
—Mark A. Blier, Miami, FL
I like what (the author) has done ... especially on modulation and the patience used in explaining things.
—Steve Meiers, Madison, WI
Finally the pieces of the musical puzzle are coming together for me. I have been wanting to REALLY understand how music works for a long long time, but no one book or person has been able explain it to me.
—Joel Stewart, Portland, OR