The internet is a vast ocean of information, and a good amount of it is focused on music. It can be confusing to sift through a dozen YouTube lessons on bebop scales or guitar pedals- this page collects my favorite lessons and tools I’ve found while searching for answers to various questions (students’ and my own) or procrastinating on writing songs.
Ben Levin– Creative, fun-centric approaches to guitar, composing music/lyrics, and theory. Some pretty wild music too.
Rick Beato– Intense, free-wheeling musings about all kinds of music by a guy with a ton of experience in different roles (producer, guitarist, teacher etc). Watch the videos of his son’s ear training progress if you want a reality check about your aural skills.
Adam Neely– Off-beat and bizarre music theory topics done with style, and some pretty solid bass and music lessons too. Be careful though, you might end up binge-watching his channel and skip a couple days of practice.
Some of Adam’s best:
How To Improve Your Rhythm
A classically trained violinist and psychologist’s mostly practical tips for practicing, learning music, and working with fear when performing or recording. Noa has been writing for a while, so it’s easy to get lost in this blog. Here are some of my favorites, answering some common difficulties among students:
Victor Wooten- Music as Language
Practice Tools and Games
The Art of Practicing
Practical advice on developing your own musical personality and preventing injury during practice. Includes some very detailed instruction for classical instruments, particularly piano, guitar, and violin, on avoiding injury and making play as easy as possible.
If you don’t mind the New Agey-ness in the second half, there’s some very, very solid information here about practicing instruments and music. Take what is useful for you, discard what isn’t.
W.A. Mathieu’s extremely thorough and unique masterclass on harmony, starting from its roots. If you’re a harmony nerd, start working through this sooner rather than later.
Bridge of Waves
The heaviest of Mathieu’s non-technical books, a simple and magical viewpoint on the fundamentals of music and sound. Maeve Gilchrist recommended this one, and I’ve read it at least three or four times since.
If you’ve started to feel stagnant in your practice or playing, this book might rescue you. A playful philosophical celebration of creativity.
To quote my pal Chase Potter, “Dude, that book saved my life.” If you’re in high school, you might want to save reading this until you’ve graduated, maybe even until you’re late in college. But if your existential crisis hits early (as it seems to tend to do these days) give it a go, and it might save your life too.
Letters to a Young Poet
A poet’s take on creativity, love, and living. Another good book for the artist in a crisis of faith.