Music education

Hey guys, I really want to ask you about something. I was thinking about my musical knowledge and the truth is, I don’t have any notion about this, I don’t know what you mean by harmonization or many other terminologies.

So, since I am self-taught and I like to read books, I was wondering if you guys know any bibliography to start educating myself in this aspect, that you can recommend me.

Thank you

Hey :slight_smile: I think you might enjoy Charles Cornel’s course, he is a YouTube content creator and has launched something lately. I’m not sure if it contains what you are looking for but there is a community like this one that I forgot I was going to join too (thanks for reminding) and his content is turbo valuable and teaching in my opinion :slight_smile:

I’d love to hear others’ ideas, seeking something to expand basic knowledge myself!

Edit: I see you asked for books, then you should look up any kind of solfeggio to exercise getting a grip on notes (it does help in a long run if you like to imagine music visually in a logical way, e.g. with rhythm and harmonies).
Also according to me a piano is the best instrument to understand what you are reading in practice while you study theory.

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Thank you so much! :blush:

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Aside from a guitar lesson or two back in Middle School, I’ve got no music education whatsoever. It can be frustrating at times, like now I’m learning saxophone and have to start from like nothing, but it’s also not been a huge problem.

I experiment with a lot, trying to find out what I don’t know, and then reading as much as I can. It’s so helpful to know what you’re looking for, rather than trying to figure out where to start with a topic. Right now, I’m reading up on typographical kerning, trying to understand all I can. Dry stuff.

If you have friends that make music, and you like what they do, work with them! Or pick their brains. Nothing is more valuable to me than the time I spend working on music with great people. You just absorb so much watching someone process vs. dictate or present. It’s such a hard thing for people to explain, but they don’t really have to. Watch them do their thing.

Is there something in particular you’re looking for resources on? I’m hoping I’d have something to point you at :slight_smile:

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I think it’s great that you are an example of self-learning and the great results one can achieve knowing your own learning times and without structures that limit your creativity.

As for what I think I need help with, the truth is that if I have to identify a musical note, I can’t even do it, haha. I lack a lot of knowledge, and I feel that ignorance much stronger when I want to use simple programs to make a song with my compositions, and I see that I have no idea how to do it. I have many ideas about songs that I would like to be able to make and record, but when I want to do it, I’m already lost.
So I started looking for books that would teach me the theory that I lack to guide me in my creativity, and the ones I found I didn’t like so much. I also have the idea that if I experiment I can find the knowledge I’m looking for, but in this case as I’m so anxious to give melodies to my lyrics I would like to find sources that already have that knowledge. So, if I reflect on what I would like to learn and see what I need, I would start with programs (although of course, I will keep looking for books on music notation because I have no idea about that), what are those programs that you know of that are easy to use for a beginner like me?

Thanks, Elliot :slight_smile:

Elliot is right, you don’t absolutely need academic education. That being said, I am academically trained lol but I feel my knowledge is more of a way of knowing why something does or doesn’t work. If I focus too much on theory, I feel like I’m in a box tho. Those are times where I feel the least creative.

If you’re looking for more of an understanding of theory and harmonization tho, I’ll say that books may not be the best way to understand. You’ll come across terms that you aren’t familiar with yet and it won’t be personalized to your learning. In my experience, I’ve best understood music theory, harmonization and ear training through examples or having references.

Someone I really admire is Max Konyi, and I’ve learned a lot about music production and advanced my theory knowledge a lil from him through his YouTube channel and Discord. He’s got some Udemy courses that are great too, but if you want something free for now to see if his teaching style is for you, I suggest his YouTube channel. I gotta say tho, his way of teaching really is impressive. He knows how to address the areas that are misunderstood the most or difficult to grasp for beginners. Feel free to join the Discord too (linked on his YouTube), you can ask questions and everyone is always eager to answer. Max is pretty active in his Discord too and super engaging. He loves to answer theory questions :slight_smile: let me know if you want more info or have any questions.

Hope this was helpful!

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Thank you very much for your recommendations and advice, Carmela. The truth is that I may not have expressed myself clearly. It’s not that I want musical education in an academy or something similar (if I understood correctly what you meant), because I prefer to look for information and means for self-education. But whenever I want to learn something, I always look for it in books because that is precisely the place where I can stop and reflect on things, besides marking certain notions that I don’t understand in those books and investigate in other sources. It would be nice to get a book that has both written material and links that redirect you to a video of the author and what he wants to explain to you in a clearer way through audiovisual (but I haven’t found any yet). I’m going to watch that youtuber you recommend, and I’ll let you know what I thought of it (if you are interested in knowing).

Edit: About music theory (if I am misapplying this denomination, please correct me), I think I need it precisely because I want to materialize my ideas, but I don’t have the tools, I don’t know if I express myself clearly. If for example I want to make a song but I don’t know how to put the musical notes to express what I want, nor do I know which musical note I should use to express my idea, then I already have a limit in my desire to create something. It’s like wanting to talk about a person and not knowing any word to describe them, and not having metaphors either, haha. I hope I made myself understood, and I also hope I understood you well, haha.

Thank you very much for such good information :slight_smile:

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For me Sight Reading Factory has been really helpful.

As for programs, once you can run them seamlessly with your ideas, they’re pretty much the same for composing. The industry standard for recording is still Pro Tools. But most of my friends work in either Logic or Ableton. The latter are a little more nimble insofar as MIDI editing and come with more factory content.

It’s great to have some software instruments that you can enjoy using while writing. There are all price-points, of course, but Vienna and Arturia are two great places to look for the high-end stuff. For a cheap and nice piano, Spitfire has some excellent ones, in addition to their more pricey options.

I’d also say, don’t look at spending time learning one DAW as wasted if you decide to switch. So many of the concepts and mechanics used in a DAW will somewhat translate into others.

Finally +1 @Cmelazz

(EM)

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I just saw sight reading factory and I think it is fantastic. All this information you have given me helps me a lot, guys. When I put together my first song (and see that it’s worthy of you guys) I’ll post it here, if you like. Thanks a lot, Elliot, Carmela and Anna :).

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Yess !! Looking forward to it ! And yes, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Max’s videos. You can do a search on his YouTube for “theory”, he’s got lots of videos with different theory topics. He tries to keep his videos short and specific to keep them relevant :slight_smile:

Addressing your “edit” section, I totally understand you. Music is a language, and seeing theory as a tool to express yourself is appropriate. You wouldn’t even be able to imagine how many different scales/modes there are, they’ve got different moods, different functions, different textures. So yes, in terms of discovering your style/musical voice, theory can be super supportive.

I really do recommend you (and anyone else here) join Max Konyi’s Discord by the way. He posts a challenge every week where we have to produce a song in a specific style or within certain restrictions, and submit to him by Sunday. He then streams himself producing a song for the challenge in 2 hrs and plays everyone’s submissions at the end. It’s really fun and has encouraged me to work on my music production and learn about different genres. You don’t have to participate to the challenge to be part of the server tho. You’re allowed to be a member and just listen in and ask questions :slight_smile:

I wish you all the best with your journey, Ada !

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Thank you Carmela, I appreciate very much and from the bottom of my heart all your words. I am going to join that discord channel, and learn a lot more so that one day I can share and talk with you about our creations, looking forward to the future (if you want me to, of course). :slight_smile:

Of course :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :pray: see you there !

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