How the "Dirty Guide" Came to Be.
I wrote the "Down & Dirty Guide to Music Theory" in order to give people a working knowledge of music theory as fast as possible. I wanted to focus on the issues that musicians face most often when writing or analyzing music.
You Said, "Give Me More."
Before writing the "Dirty Guide," I developed the Harmonizer as a tool for helping musicians easily "compute" intervals, chord progressions, and chord formulas. It was created for those who knew basic music theory but needed a tool to help apply their knowledge in every key. Though it came with a booklet to aid the beginner, people asked me to create something that provided a broader introduction to music theory.
There Are Two Types of Books
I looked around to see what other books there were on the subject and discovered that there are two types of books on music theory, 1) those that are too ponderous, and 2) those that don't explain enough. So my aim became clear. Write a book about about music theory so people who are becoming musicians can understand it and use it.
My Own Experience
I drew upon my own experience with learning music theory when my teacher taught it like it was a set of rules chiseled into stone tablets. I did not want it to be like that. I wanted people to see what I saw in music theory, namely a pattern that repeats. I believed that if one could think of music theory as patterns rather than rules it would make more sense. One could even have the freedom to create their own patterns.When I saw the "pattern" of music so much fell into place for me. It finally felt like something I could actually do. I don't have a very good ear but after learning a little music theory, I could identify chords and chord progressions by ear. That was big for me! I think since I don't have rock-star talent I am better able to explain music theory to regular people. I've been there.
I Want People to Have Ah-Ha Moments
I ended up creating a book that is heavy on examples and illustrations to give the reader several ways to understand each musical concept. I wanted people to see how simple music theory is and make a book that was full of ah-ha moments for them. From what people tell me, this book does it.
It's not rocket science. It's not brain surgery. It's not even dog grooming but it is what every musician needs to know.