Music theory websites, books, DVD’s and software

This post’s dedicated to all the musicians of the world.

I am a musician, though I don’t read music. I have good pitch, but play by ear; I started with guitar by learning how to play based on basic guitar chord charts and transferred my skills to piano by seeing what notes made up the guitar chords and playing them on piano.A pianist friend told me I played inverted chords on the piano and it’s because of this hearing the notes in the order of the guitar strings. Interesting.

12-string guitarI don’t play bar chords on the guitar as they were always too demanding of my wrist and I lacked the strength in my fingers to do them well. I know just enough to realize the higher the notes are on the little lines, the higher they are to the ear, and I know that certain notes mean certain time intervals, like a whole note is four beats, a quarter note is one, etc.

Don’t ask me to play from sheet music unless I already know the song and there are guitar chords printed above the music so I can sound it all out and memorize it. I don’t even know how to read guitar tabs, but from the looks of it, it shouldn’t be hard for me to learn if I just take the time to learn it.

The time. That’s just it. If I want to get back into music, I need to discipline myself to take the time to learn it, and I don’t know if I want it that badly. Crazy, isn’t it? People who’ve known me for less than thirteen or so often don’t know that I play or that I used to write a lot of songs. I have not picked up my 12-string guitar or played my keyboard in many, many years. How sad is that?

I did take the step of having my hubby bring my keyboard up out of the basement and set it up on its stand in the office, at least. It’s there, waiting. So is my guitar. Unless the strings stay in good shape for over a decade of disuse, they need to be replaced.

That said, there are millions out there who can not only read guitar chords and tabs, but sheet music. They can pick up an unfamiliar piece and bring it to life the first time they read the music and play through it. What must that be like? I can only imagine!

I have some great links for any musician looking for music. And the drumroll please…

8Notes.com
A great site which offers free sheet music for piano, guitar, brass and more. This looks like a great resource with an active forum. It looks like they offer a lot for free and extras for those who subscribe to a paid service.

Ricci Adams’ Musictheory.net
This site offers free lessons, training games, and music utilities online. Further, it offers the complete course in downloadable version!

There are some highly-rated music theory DVD’s, software titles, and books available at Amazon, too:

My grandma wanted to pay for me to get piano lessons when I was a kid. Now I wish I’d taken her up on the offer. As an adult, I don’t know if I have the interest. Also, having played by ear, slowing down to plink out quarter notes would be torture. What do you think?

Do you have favorite music theory or tutorial websites? Please, share them in the comments!

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