A Folk Musician's Working Guide
to Chords Keys Scales and More - $21.95
For any instrument and level, violin, piano, accordion, guitar, banjo, flute, etc.
A description of the book:
by Ryan J. Thomson, 86 pages, 8.5" by
5.5", comb bound. This book contains
an amazing amount of useful
information for rank beginners and
advanced pros alike! I extracted and
condensed the useful and practical
sections from 15 other dull and dry
music theory books and put it all into
this one volume.
I mixed in loads of practical and how-
to-do-it information that I've learned
from 35 years of making music with
other people. I originally meant the book to be for folk musicians but my classical and jazz
music friends tell me that it works well for them also! A quote from a classical friend,
"After reading your book, now I know what they were trying to teach me in my college
music theory class! I wish my teacher could have explained it this clearly."
Topics: There are many many illustrations, charts, and diagrams so that someone can
easily just look up the answer to a question without having to understand music theory.
Thus the book can be used like a dictionary or reference source. For those who like a
deeper understanding, I explain every concept in a gradual, easy to read, and friendly
manner about: forming chords, modes and scales, key signatures, circle of fifths, intervals,
transposing, musical notation, basic music theory, consonance and dissonance, sharps and
flats, rhythms, how different folk instruments can play in some keys and not others, scale
notes for every key, notes for every chord type, tuning, and much much more!
ISBN 978-0-931877-20-9 $21.95
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Fiddler's Crossing: "Fiddler's Crossings's resident theory dunce found this book quite
helpful in clearing away the fogs of mystery surrounding these topics. The fact that it was
written by a fiddler made it easier to understand, and it is written as if you were starting
from the very beginning. A very helpful book."
Dirty Linen Folk, Traditional, and World Music: "This little gem of a book is perfect for
those who may be just learning to play an instrument and wish to find an easily accessible
way of understanding the theory and structure behind the music. The book essentially
makes it easier for anyone interested in playing folk music either alone or in a group to
understand what they are playing and why. Ryan Thomson presents discussions on chord
structure, scales, keys, transposing, time signatures, and much more. It's a good start for
someone new to music and a good refresher for others who were discouraged with a heavy
handed approach to music theory. Thomson writes in a casual logical style and adds plenty
of easy to decipher diagrams."
Ex Libris NH Writers and Publishers Project: "As the wife of a musician, I have spent
countless hours listening to various musicians and would-be musicians jam in my living
room or garage. Ryan Thomson's book is a great resource for aspiring performers who are
serious enough to look past the jam session. With user friendly text, simply drawn
graphics and an unabashed enthusiasm for music, Thomson adresses (among many other
things) the complexities of chords, how folk instruments are related by keys, and the uses
of the capo - and in less than 100 pages. As the author of nine other books on music and
an acomplished player himself, Thomson is more than qualified to lead."
From happy customers:
Edward Greenberg, San Jose, California: "This is a small spiral bound work that
summarizes all the music theory that you need to know for folk music. It covers notes,
keys, chords, circle of fifths and a whole lot more. I'm an autoharp player, and it's my main
reference for all these topics. The book I reach for first."
I love this book. I play clawhammer banjo by ear and was mystified by some things.
Port Townsend, Washington
First, I want to greatly thank you for writing the book "A Folk Musician's Working Guide
To Chords, Keys, Scales, And More." I had put off my passion for music till "midlife" and
now I am trying to quickly learn the crucial basics while an hour glass snickers behind me.
Your book is clear, concise, greatly needed and ... approachable. Nice job.