Music Composition for Dummies

From the Back Cover
Creative exercises build your composing skills

The fun and easy way® to turn the tune in your head into a full-fledged composition!

Wish you could write music? You can! This friendly guide gives you everything you need to start composing, from choosing the right rhythm and tempo to writing with chords and melody to expressing your musical ideas through instruments and voices. You’ll see how to create popular songs, classically structured pieces, and even film, TV, or video game soundtracks!

Discover ho to:

Master chord progressions
Harmonize with melody
Select the right instruments
Write for multiple voices
Compose electronic music
Make a demo recording

About the Authors
Scott Jarrett is a musician and producer who has worked with numerous
artists, including Willie Nelson, Fiona Flanagan, Mary Klueh, and Keith Jarrett.
He has served as music director for many live theatrical productions including the Broadway production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He currently runs Monkey House recording studio in Hudson, Wisconsin. He has released two original albums, Without Rhyme or Reason and The Gift of Thirst. He has taught music theory, composition, production, and/or recording at the Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts in Orlando, The Acting Conservatory in Nashville, and McNally-Smith School of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Holly Day is a music journalist whose articles have appeared in publications
all over the world, including Computer Music Journal, ROCKRGRL, Music
Alive!, Guitar One, and Mixdown magazines. Her writing has received an Isaac Asimov Award, a National Magazine Award, and two Midwest Writer’s Grants. She is co-author of Music Theory For Dummies (Wiley).

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Music Composition for Dummies

Want to turn that haunting tune in your head into an awesome sound in your ear? You can! Music Composition For Dummies demystifies the process of composing music and writing songs. It guides you through every step of writing your own music, from choosing the right rhythm and tempo to creating melodies and chord progressions and working with instruments and voices.
In this fun and practical guide, you’ll learn how to match keys and chords to the mood you want to convey, work a form without limiting your creativity, and hammer out a musical idea, even when your mind is drawing a blank. You’ll find out how to create popular songs, classically structured pieces, and even film, TV, and video game soundtracks. And, you’ll learn what you need to know about music composition software, including Finale, Sebelius, Pro Tools, and more.

Discover how to:

Preserve and organize your musical ideas
Work with established chord progressions or create your own
Develop great rhythms
Select the right instruments
Find melodies in your head, your instrument, and the world around you
Use major and minor scales
Work with modes and moods
Build melodic motifs and phrases
Use the circle of fifths to harmonize
Write for multiple voices
Make a demo recording

Filled with creative exercises to build your composing skills, Music Composition for Dummies is the resource you need to get that melody out of your head and into the world.

Guitar All-in-One for Dummies

Your comprehensive, hands-on guide to playing guitar
Have you always wanted to play the guitar? You can start today with these 8 minibooks. Covering both acoustic and electric guitar, this hands-on resource gives you all the instruction you need to play across multiple genres, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist. You’ll find plenty of tips for playing easier and more complex pieces — and for composing your own.

Gear up to start playing — understand the different parts of a guitar, find the right guitar for you, string and tune the instrument, and develop basic playing skills
Immerse yourself in sounds and technique — play major and minor chords, master left- and right-hand techniques, and play melodies in position and double-stops

Get ready to rock! — from Chuck Berry to Keith Richards to The Edge, see how the best play barre chords, hot licks, and sweet leads
Play the blues — explore rhythm and lead techniques, signature riffs, blues progressions, and the achievements of great blues guitarists
Go classical — learn about the history of classical guitar, combine arpeggios and melody, and sample different genres
Practice, practice, practice — try your hand at major scales, minor scales, and chord exercises to rev up stalled skills
Write songs and music — check out different song forms, understand modes, and compose with chords

Open the book and find:

Plenty of music examples and practice exercises
Musical styles and genres through the years
Correct hand position and posture
Basic playing techniques
Standard music notation and tablature
Tips for playing up the neck
Ways to solo and improvise leads
Different fingerstyles to play
Accessories for your guitar
A comprehensive guitar chord chart

Guitar for Dummies 2nd Edition

Have you always wanted to play guitar? Who wouldn’t? Think of Jimi Hendrix wailing away on his Stratocaster. . . Chuck Berry duck-walking across the stage to “Johnny B. Goode”. . .B.B. King making his “Lucille” cry the blues. No doubt about it—guitars are cool.
Guitar For Dummies 2nd Edition tells you everything a beginning or intermediate guitarist needs to know: from buying a guitar to tuning it, playing it, and caring for it, this book has it all—and you don’t even need to know how to read music. Full of photo-illustrated exercises and songs you can play to practice the techniques discussed in each section, this step-by-step guide will take you through the basics and beyond before you can say “Eric Clapton.”

You’ll learn how to:

Match yourself with the guitar and equipment that fits your needs and budget
Select the right accessories: amps, picks, pedals, capos, cases, and other goodies
Pick and strum to produce a clean, clear, buzz-free tone
Know whether you’re really in tune
Play melodies without reading music
Perform basic guitar maintenance and repairs
Build strength and dexterity while playing
Play in different styles, including rock, blues, folk, jazz, and classical
Make your guitar talk with bends and slides!

Fully revised and updated, with an all new interactive CD that allows readers to listen, learn, tune, and play along, Guitar For Dummies 2nd Edition is the perfect introductory guide for any novice acoustic or electric guitar player.

Blues Guitar for Dummies

Do you wish you could play your favorite blues music on guitar? Even if you don’t read music, it’s not difficult with Blues Guitar for Dummies. With this hands-on guide, you’ll pick up the fundamentals instantly and start jamming like your favorite blues artists!
Blues Guitar for Dummies covers all aspects of blues guitar, showing you how to play scales, chords, progressions, riffs, solos, and more! It’s packed with musical examples, chords charts, and photos that let you explore the genre and play the songs of the great blues musicians. This accessible guide will give you the skills you need to:

Choose the right guitar, equipment, and strings
Hold, tune, and get situated with your guitar
Play barre chords and strum to the rhythm
Recognize the structure of a blues song
Tackle musical riffs
Master melodies and solos
Make your guitar sing, cry, and wail
Jam to any type of blues

In addition to this must-have book, a bonus CD is included so that you can listen to famous songs, practice your riffs and chords, and develop your style as a blues musician. It also features a quick guide to musical notation and suggestions on albums, artists, and guitars for further enjoyment. With Blues Guitar for Dummies, you can re-create the masterpieces of the blues legend without the expensive lessons!

Blues Guitar For Dummies

Do you wish you could play your favorite blues music on guitar? Even if you don’t read music, it’s not difficult with Blues Guitar for Dummies. With this hands-on guide, you’ll pick up the fundamentals instantly and start jamming like your favorite blues artists!
Blues Guitar for Dummies covers all aspects of blues guitar, showing you how to play scales, chords, progressions, riffs, solos, and more! It’s packed with musical examples, chords charts, and photos that let you explore the genre and play the songs of the great blues musicians. This accessible guide will give you the skills you need to:

Choose the right guitar, equipment, and strings
Hold, tune, and get situated with your guitar
Play barre chords and strum to the rhythm
Recognize the structure of a blues song
Tackle musical riffs
Master melodies and solos
Make your guitar sing, cry, and wail
Jam to any type of blues
In addition to this must-have book, a bonus CD is included so that you can listen to famous songs, practice your riffs and chords, and develop your style as a blues musician. It also features a quick guide to musical notation and suggestions on albums, artists, and guitars for further enjoyment. With Blues Guitar for Dummies, you can re-create the masterpieces of the blues legend without the expensive lessons!