The most game changing books for musicians, composers, and songwriters

Jerry Jennings Author Of Triad Magic - An Introduction to Guitar Chord Theory
By Jerry Jennings

The Books I Picked & Why

Chord Chemistry

By Ted Greene

Book cover of Chord Chemistry

Why this book?

I found his book to show a great comparison of chord construction to chemistry. For example, if I asked you for H2O, you could really only give me water. The naming of a molecule tells you all you need to know about what’s in it. In the case of a chord, if I said play me a G13b9, even if you had never played one, you could construct it from the name only, knowing that a letter name followed by an odd number implies dominant, and that in this particular dominant you will be adding two other elements: a 6 and a flat 9. Brilliant!


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Improvising Jazz

By Jerry Coker

Book cover of Improvising Jazz

Why this book?

This was the first book I ever read about jazz. If you’re studying jazz, it won’t be the only book you’ll ever want, but I found it to be an essential one. It lays out all the chord types, discusses the elusive topic of “swing,” and has a list of common jazz song forms at the end of the book. My copy has pencil marks all the way through it, because the book involves you by having you write things out on the staff. For me, being self-taught on guitar, this repetition really jump-started my understanding of the basics of the staff.


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The Advancing Guitarist: Applying Guitar Concepts & Techniques

By Mick Goodrick

Book cover of The Advancing Guitarist: Applying Guitar Concepts & Techniques

Why this book?

This book brought me hours of pleasure, and I learned a ton from it. He takes brainy concepts about modes and scales and turns them into exercises any working guitarist can grasp. The book isn’t written as a method book that needs to be followed from beginning to end. It’s more of a grab bag of fun exercises. You can open any page and just start working there. He coins some pretty interesting terms, such as the “unitar.” “The first guitar probably only had one string…” All written from a fun and lighthearted angle, you’ll be surprised at some of the advanced concepts that will begin to occupy your thinking. Very challenging, yet he manages to pull you into the game.


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The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron

Book cover of The Artist's Way

Why this book?

This book will motivate you tremendously. Every time I tell another friend about The Artist’s Way, the most common response is, “Oh I love that book!” If a person hasn’t heard of it, within a week it becomes their favorite book as well. If you’re a songwriter, author, composer, filmmaker, or anyone in a creative field, she will show you how to rekindle your motivation using her simple exercises. And when I say “exercises” don’t even think exercises. Just think you’re about to learn a whole bunch about yourself. Very fulfilling! The “artist date” was a highlight for me. I won’t give it away here, but I rate it as one of the most liberating things I’ve ever experienced.


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Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever

By Dave Asprey

Book cover of Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever

Why this book?

This book isn’t about music per se. Founder of the bulletproof brand of supplements and coffee, Dave Asprey is known as a figurehead in the field of “biohacking”. He’s the author of several books on how to get more quality in your life, through supplements and other therapies. For me, this is important because “superhuman” is exactly what I need to be when I have a performance coming up. I will take advantage of any safe and beneficial way to get there, and Dave’s book is full of them.


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