~ Understand Your Music ~

'... a homespun cyberbook of boundless artistic self discovery and theoretical empowerment, in a magical 'e book' format written for all folks interested in music, with audio play back of treble cleff for all instruments with tab and learning methods for guitar and bass :)

~ Essentials Of Modern Guitar ~

Bach and Coltrane

"The one true teacher lives at the center of your heart."

wiki ~ Sanskrit proverb

Welcome ! And thank you for choosing this most magical of 'e' book cybertext extravaganzas for learning about our Americana musics. Authors get special magics writing an 'e' book, a few of which are in this work.

What we already understand. The basis of this method of study is to recognize what we already know about our music, and tie what we already know into a curriculum. So just ask yourself, what do I know about music? What words and ideas come to mind? What don't I know? And, what do I want to know? These self queries will help begin to direct your learning with this 'e' book. Once engaged, your own curiosity is today, and will always be, your own energizer for learning. Click, read, discover, click read discover, click read discover ... :)

The perfection within. We're lucky in that in some super key spots in the theory and structures of our music, there are various 'perfections' of sound in our historical foundations. These we build upon. We've a perfection of aural quality basis, perfect intervals, cadences, various mathematical perfections in tuning the pitches to create chords, and build 'in tune' instruments.

These perfects of today are the same 'perfects' that the ancients understood and used to build up their musical arts. And that it all originates with Mother Nature on this terra firma, roots us together as sentient musical beings.

And once we identify a foundational 'perfection' or two, there's just no end to the joyous studies that will follow those perfect pathways. For in any structures and ideas that have 'stood the test of time' and maintained their inner perfections, each becomes a portal back in time to what once was, and also project us forward to create what becomes the 'new.'

So historically based on the same perfections, we know we're perfectly groovy forward and back, all the while recalling that 'all music was once new.'

First modern magic. A most magical of all 'e' book magic features is that we can now make the notes of our written music ideas sound out their pitches as written. By using computer notation software, its mp3 file and a web browser, our modern wizardry helps to 'hear the theory.' Click on the music and try it out.

Amazing huh? Blinks a bit too? It's supposed to. Hear it again, and again and again ? Just click it over and over :) So yea, this playback 'e' feature just might be on its own, educationally speaking, 'worth the price of admission for attending the show.' Thus empowered, we can dialogue about what we are hearing in our music, highlight the associated academic vocabulary words ... and hear their musical sounds moving in time as music :)

For this simple association of specific musical sounds and their special music words, forms a basis to begin understanding all musics. For we can trace how the very same basic elements are shaped, and reshaped, to build up our various styles. Playback helps.

Author's note in this 'free' edition. This musical example, included just above, is the only one that includes its .mp3 file for playback. While the notation graphic of the other 1299 + examples are included, their .mp3 files are not included. Meaning, no play back when clicked. So if you want or need the playback feature, you will have to purchase a full 'e' edition of my work, with its unique curriculum fully audible.

A second magic. We can link from one topic and discussion to another with a hyperlink. Try the link to the right to read up on the philosophies that govern this book. Then click back to return here or click forward and continue on from there.

With this magical linking feature, our own unique curiosities of music energize a way through this book, building upon what you already know and love about music, and even your general interest in the all arts. Scholars might term this foundation of 'what we already know' as our 'existing information.'

With hyperlinks, we build in learning excitement. For in this work's design, there are links that go ever deeper into the complexity of each topic. As we choose our links, we discover our own pathway of learning, accelerated by our own curiosity and need to know.

For example, we can link discussions from our historical source and organization of the pitches to create loops of these pitches, then link to group up these pitches, then link to major and minor these pitches, then to 'mode' these pitches, then link to arpeggiate these pitches and finally to stack these same pitches into triads, chords and arpeggios beyond. While a throughout these discussions are links that tie back into the blue hue origins of the Americana mix, and to points beyond of the 12 tone looping universe.

'So as you click along and bump into what you already know, just click ahead and keep on keepin' on :)

A third magic ~ learning by ear. As crazy as it sounds, the third magic is more of a realization and was not planned, and discovered at the end of my writing this book. Turns out that nearly all of the musical phrases included are ear training and transcription exercises too. And they will work for any instrument, clef etc.

For those that play be ear, you can push the button as many times as you want, to find the pitches. Start off by singing the pitches, then find them on any instrument you have on hand. Click any idea a hundred times if needed, to rote learn by ear the same basics that build up all of our styles of musics. Try it with a click.

Major triads? Yep. One / Four / Five? Yep. Hearing the theory in action is called ear training in college. Finding it on our chosen instrument is the challenge. Lifting ideas off recordings and notating the lick is transcribing. And for those becoming more astute listeners, associating a vocabulary word with its sound is a brick to build with. Building knowledge and being serious is fun.

A fourth magic. Written in this book are a couple of hundred links to topics included in the online Wikipedia encyclopedia. None of these topical links are active. Zero. None. Nada. YOU have to choose to explore beyond this book's realm by your own clicks and such. On my now reptilian rig it goes like this;

... click / drag to highlight text / right click to search / choose / click and arrivee at your destination ... :)

The letters 'wiki', even in an unenergized link, are the search engine trick and go right to the page of the topic. Try it out. It's beyond cool and even on 'dial up', will eventually get us there :) Try this link to a wiki page all about web browsers.

wiki ~ web browsers

While all of the 'wiki' links are worked out, this 'click / highlight / search / choose / arrive' magic can further be used to search any text within this text, to explore beyond into the web. Imagine that. So combining these together, to wiki and beyond by choice, we together create a guided pathway for you to explore and learn many aspects about the music you dig. Histories, artists, theory and literature of etc.

For it's the best place to start really, with music that just touches our souls. Shared with musical friends, sky's the limit for a full lifetime of discovery learning and a life in the arts, for 'all music was once new.' Here's the way this 'beyond' comes up on my computer.


Five's a charm, a last bit of magic for now. All the links within this 'e' book are black until visited, then turn to purple. Over time, and as you acquire knowledge from moving around in the text, by making our clicks through the discussions and vocabulary, you'll see more and more of the purple text, highlighting accumulated knowledge of the vocabulary terms of our musics.

'Seeing purple = curiosity, discovery and learning.'

By turning words purple, tie you right into the collective musical components we all can share. Seal the deal in your own 'understand' by being able to aurally recognize the musical colors.

This all might take a lifetime, but some things do, yet, we get to remain curious and keep learning about the art we've come to love. And for those that just need to know right now, we're a different breed of cat for sure and we'll always figure out a way to figure it out.

Oh, and on down the road and seeing too much purple? Just clear the browser history and be back in the black.

UYM curriculums. The following listings are simply suggested ways to begin using this book. So whatever describes your interests and strikes your fancy, click off to explore, click on back to start again. Bookmark your discoveries and build knowledge through exploration. Don't worry about getting lost, for we all do.

"Not all those who wander are lost."

wiki ~ Tolkien

An easy way to begin. Combining studies and fun, we can begin by learning a song in a style. The ones included link up their to nuts and bolts theory discussions, to understand how we glue them together.

So call a tune and count your own learning off ... :)

A couple of 'start' pages. Another easy way to begin with this 'e' book is through these start pages. As our Americana music basics include theories, storytelling, the blues and improvisation, these start pages create a broad view to explore. And as your own interests and curiosities demand, a deeper explorations of these topics begins by your own juices to energize your journey.

Home school ~ public school. For these learning centers, which usually work with younger musicians, this music text is also focused on improving a students ability to read standard English.

With its ten chapter quizzes, and associated discussions, improving a learners 'reading comprehension through musical studies', is a main goal for homeschool groups.

The seven steps, a sequenced study of the basics. The links below form a curriculum of basics that apply to all of our musical styles. Take each in turn, rote learn their basics and take the vocabulary quiz to seal the deal.

got a hill to climb yet ? ... ah, at the core of it all ... :)

Public libraries. When this book is part of a public library's collection, each unique reader creates their own unique pathway through by selecting links to topics of interest to them. As 'all roads lead to Rome' in our systems of music theory, any music art curiosity sparks a beginning to the 'click, read and explore' process.

And if the library computer is also connected to the www., this book will help energize a global search for the understanding and theory from musics from around the world. Click to the table of contents menu for additional topics and ideas to explore.

For music teachers. For music educators that would like to add this resource to their own curriculum, there's a menu of choices to organize a sequence of 'skills to be acquired' by up and coming players. Teachers gain an 'on line' home, open ended www. now global resource for the individualizing of instruction for each of their pupils.

Classical conversions towards 'improv Americana.' For the classically trained musician looking to add further strengthen their skills with improvisation, there's a curriculum of study to shape their existing perspective and chops into a 'by rote resource', a palette of colors, to create improvisations within most, if not all, of our Americana styles of music.

For guitar players. Starting with ideas for beginning players and the open chords, we add in some historical evolution of the blues by examining two common ways of tuning up of the pitches. From this basis we work our way towards jazz guitar, which includes a theoretical understanding of all styles.

For bass guitar players. The bass method is structured right down the middle of our relative major / minor theories. Joy an sorrow paired hand and hand through triads and the added 7th of the blues colors. Along the way the Americana we love in all styles is revealed.

For listeners. There's a few old school traditional pathways within this text to begin cool studies for listeners. For if there's an interest to know, curiosity will find a way to win the day. And once more in the know, chances are you'll playing one or two.

Chapter headings. Most books go by chapters, and this 'e' book can too. While we can 'click off' to wherever as we read and venture along, for some readers it can be helpful to have a numerical way to 'chapter' through a book. Here they are, numbered and sequenced by evolution of content and with the understanding that ... 'all roads, lead to Rome :)'

chapter 1
chapter 2
chapter 3
chapter 4
chapter 5
chapter 6
chapter 7
chapter 8
chapter 9
chapter 10


Beginning artists / theory. You know who you are. Just use your own existing knowledge, what you already know of your musics, as a way to begin your studies here. Your curiosities, instincts and artistic needs to know will choose which links to follow, just click, read and discover. Click, read and discover ... and rote learn what you need to know, it's quite easy really :)



Intermediate artists / theory. You really know who you are :) U have witnessed first hand the magic and now have a vision of what it is going to take to be the player that you want to be. Just follow your own curiosities, click and read on ! Here's some links in.

Advanced artists / theory. You really, really know who you are :) Advanced pretty much means that you've been doing this for a while now. So just follow your own curiosities, click and read on ! Here's some links into the more advanced discussions within this book.


Basic academics and activities. So what musical topics are you curious about or what new theory knowledge will help you find your art ? Here are some linked suggestions for discovery.

The whole tamale. This approach, is all about creating a complete big picture our musics in one fell swoop. Once in place and framed by real history events and nuts and bolts theory, we've a lifetime's sized canvas to fill in our needs as they come along. And as we evolve in our own musics and music making, we cook up our own tamale.'

"These books, and your capacity to understand them, are just the same in all places. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing."

wiki ~ Abraham Lincoln