You Don't Know?
Can Learn It
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
About the Author,
Guitar & Keyboard
About the Author,
About the Author,
How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd
Complete Guitar Chord Poster
Complete Keyboard Chord Poster
Guitar & Keyboard Scales Poster
Musical Instruments Poster
"How Music Really
Works is a masterpiece ... a book that you
can't put down and from which the learning comes effortlessly."
—Ken Park, British Columbia
"How Music REALLY
Works is an amazing book. I would never have learned some of the topics
in a hundred years of formal courses. The chapter on rhythm and meter is
worth the price of the book alone!"
—Tim Longo, West Haven, CT
"Without a doubt, this is
the most straightforward, easy-to-grasp material on the market. No double
talk, no confusion, and humor to boot!"
—Richard Fowler, Douglasville, GA
"My songwriting benefited hugely
and immediately from this approach. I already had a reasonable knowledge of
theory and fairly good skills at writing and arranging but the way these
presented is unique (in my experience) and very refreshing."
—Simon Williams, New Zealand
"I learned more in the last hour from
this website than I have
in 6 months using traditional methods."
—Floyd Goddard, Goddard Publishing Co., Cullman, AL
"In early 2006, I
picked up a link to How Music Really Works off of the Forum at Wholenote.
What an awesome book, I just can't get over how detailed it is ... and yes I
love the humor as well ... I am a "nuts and bolts" type of person—don't just
tell what it is, tell my why and how. This is where "How Music Really Works"
comes into play...This book has made my journey into music one of awe and
amazement. It is a brand new "world" for me...one that fits together with
understanding and fact...not just "That's the way it is..." The writing, and
sense of humor have just hit home with me. The light has come on, and now I
can't wait to explore further with the knowledge I have acquired so far...
It has had an impact on me that has changed the way I look at and listen to
—Todd R. Yarbrough, Georgetown, TX
"It’s probably the best music tutorial I have
ever read! It’s about time someone spoke in plain English about music.
Though I've studied for years, I find this take on
it refreshing and truly helpful."
—Randy Alvarez, Seguin, TX
"Just ordered this
book, after browsing through the very generous sampling of pages on the
website. It's a goldmine of info and as a composer and teacher, I know I
will find many concepts of great importance to my work."
—Donald Sosin, Lakeville, CT
"I just spent 7
consecutive hours screen-reading "How Music Really Works! ...", immediately
after buying it online. I'm not kidding when I say "unbelievably good". The
depth, breadth and sheer eloquence ... are truly extraordinary by any
standard, even more so considering today's instant gratification, "Teach
Yourself X in 24 Hours"-driven publishing culture. I am immensely grateful
for this book."
—Michael Strock, Austria
"I don't know if this
email will ever reach the author but I just wanted to let someone know that
I can't say enough how much I love How Music Really Works. It has
opened my eyes and ears way beyond what I could have ever expected. I've
been searching and searching for a decent book on song writing and nothing
compares to this book. I am truly grateful that Wayne took the time to write
it and I will be indebted to him for giving me the tools to work the kinks
out of my craft.. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! You've now made a world of
difference in my life."
—C. W., Seattle, WA
"I decided that having listened to so much music I really ought to understand
what's going on behind the scenes. I've bought and read through a pile of
Music Theory books in the last few months. How Music
REALLY Works is head and shoulders
above any of them. Some of them never quite take on the complexities (they
seem not to really appreciate them), while others are unreadably pompous and
over-intellectualized. This book is the only one that comes across as a
confident adult addressing an intelligent, motivated student. I've been able to raise my level of understanding enormously."
—Andy Schriever, Batavia, IL
"I have been playing the guitar professionally for over ten years. Music is
an enormous influence in my life and occupies much of my thought and energy
on a regular basis. Much of that thought and energy is spent on figuring out
how to become a better musician and what activities I can engage in to
derive a deeper understanding of music—outside of playing live of course! I
have always known that there are aspects of my musicianship that are lacking
and have always had an underlying suspicion that someone out there knows
what I'm going through and knows how to help me identify and fill the gaping
holes in my knowledge. My searches on the web have consisted of strings like
"what every guitar player MUST know" or "essential skills for musicians".
Most of the hits are fairly generic and are an overlap of my ever-growing
library of musical studies books. Many sites have wild claims about what
their material will do, yet offer no samples of that material—danger! One
day I entered "how music really works" into Google and the Roedy Black site
came up. For the next few hours I pored through the first six chapters of
this book and was floored by the breadth and comprehensive depth of what is
covered, how well presented the material is ... I have a
great affinity for well-written material; this book is incredibly
well-written. Finding it was like finding gold. There are things that
are covered that I have never before encountered in my studies at school or in
other books. Maybe I have encountered them; if I have they were never
explained as fully, practically or as clearly. A perfect example of this is
the description of the harmonic cycle in comparison to what the cycle of
fifths is. Can you imagine that with two full years of music school and the
plethora of books on harmony and theory I have read, I feel like I never
understood the "why's" to harmonic resolution and why certain seemingly
unrelated chords work so well together? Practical knowledge is paramount to
me. This book offers real tools, not just how-to's.
the proverb "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to
fish and he will eat for a lifetime" come alive for me with just this one
—Mark Collins, Toronto, ON
"How Music Really
Works" is one of the best books on applied music
theory I have read. I have taught guitar in N.
California for 15 years and have read many excellent pieces on theory—but
most were just that—pieces. I love the way
this book puts all the parts together so that is understandable.
... I would
like all my students to own and read this book."
—Wayne Lazar, Windsor, CA
"I love it. Clear, understandable, entertaining. The first book from which I
really understand why music is as it is, scales are as they are, and
—Joerg Toellner, Germany
"How Music REALLY
Works has given me a better understanding about music in general, and
the Harmonic Scale/Chase Chart system is a great visual aid in helping me
understand song construction.
—Greg Palma, Lynbrook, NY
[the author's] sense of humor."
—Lesley Graham, Detroit, MI
"The approach is absolutely excellent. I always appreciate getting to the
root of problems and understanding them at their fundamental level. I
believe this is the only way to really "know" what's going on.
[The author] has
achieved this in a very effective and enjoyable way."
—Alex Papasavas, Jersey City, NJ
"I have yet to read any material that has as much
—Anthony Egizii, Australia
Such an incredible
book,"How music really works". I've been looking for a book just like that
for years. I feel very inspired and want to have a career in songwriting. I
actually have wanted to since I was a kid, however, I didn't ever really
realize that I needed to truly understand music until recently. I'd like to
get an education in music.
—Jordan Jensen, Boulder, CO
"I am VERY impressed and fascinated with Wayne Chase's "How Music Really
Works." This is the best book on music theory I've ever seen."
—Peter Block, Tecate, CA
"I'm 19 years old and I don't have the money or time
to invest in a "standard" university to study music, which will probably
just hint around what I'm trying to achieve anyway. So this is definitely a
big help to me."
—Brandon Battle, Merrillville, IN
Wayne Chase's writing style. It's so easy to digest and humorous at the same
time, while still educating in a deep manner. No other book has ever
explained these subjects to me like this before. I took piano
classes to get the hang of chords and chord progressions, but that was
NOTHING compared to chapter 6... which is a real eye opener. I also
love the little details, like how a note with
overtones/harmonics is already much like a chord itself and why an inverted
chord doesn't sound quite as resolved like the basic chord."
—Hens Zimmerman, The Netherlands
"Enormous thanks for
How Music Really Works - I am continually amazed at the generosity of
folk who put such valuable stuff out in the public arena for free."
—Misha Nathani, Australia
LOVE this and it’s the only instructional book that actually helps you. I’ve
only read the first edition and half the new one, and it’s genius."
—Chris Willette, Mesa, AZ
"In twenty years, I have NEVER seen and read anything that comes close to
How Music REALLY Works.
The author can write. In my youth ( I’m forty seven, I
think), I spent five years as a local newspaper reporter, with the college
training that went with it. For the past six years or so, I’ve been helping
Polish people to learn English. Oh, yes, I know my present perfect from my
past participle, but that’s not the basis of my approach. Oh, no! The basis
is that I make them laugh. This warms them up, and relaxes them so they can
listen to what I say without the stress most of them have at school or in
college. Wayne Chase blows me away. And to be blown away by somebody
who, stereotypically, should be the North American equivalent of a crusty
Oxford don droning on and on about things plagal and cadential , was an
immense pleasure. HIs skill is immeasurable. Fundamentals, overtones,
ratios. I understand the lot. At one read. And their importance to the
whole. No problem. Go on, ask me a question ! The movement of fifths,
seconds, thirds. Bloody obvious. When you know. And now I know. Phew !!!"
—Paul Drury, England
"It's exactly what I've been looking for. It puts all that theory that I've
figured out the hard way into easy-to-understand language."
—Dwight Plett, Riverton, MB
years of vocal training, but never had any theory. It always sounded so
complicated. But the visual method [in this book] used to teach this has made it seem
so logical, and easy to utilize. I always thought it was just over my head,
but now I GET IT!"
—Nancy S. Smith, Nicholasville, KY
the writing style. About time somebody made music understandable to
the great unwashed."
—Jerry Haworth, New Zealand
"I've learned an awful lot from the book "How Music REALLY Works." I really
like the style it’s written in. I find it light and breezy, yet concise and
easy to understand. I feel it contains a lot of insight, and rewards
repeated reading and study."
—Philip, Dublin, Ireland
"Love the book.
The author makes it so
easy. I tell you, I went to school and they
were helpful but the language barrier got in my way. I needed to understand
music from the common man's perspective and this book
speaks to me."
—Sandra Bell, Escondido, CA
"Looking forward to purchasing this down-to-earth book!! I am a drummer
turned songwriter and I'm learning the craft little by little, and
the free excerpts of the book are helpful, fun and
—Scott Arrison, Edmonton, AB
"An excellent book from just reading the first six chapters; very interesting
—Carmella DiForte, Saugus, MA
"I've been reading the online version of "How Music Really Works", and I
think it's one of the best music books I've ever read. Finally, a nice
hearty chapter on chord progressions, that isn't afraid to come out and
discuss chord relationships. Curiously, nowhere in my music theory classes
or in anything I've read in my leisure have I ever come across the concept
of a "harmonic scale". And I'm sorry I haven't! This seems like such a great
idea. It all makes a LOT of sense. Which is nice, because there are some
days in which music DOESN'T make sense to me, you know? Some of the parts
about chord-to-chord movements and how semitone motions relieve tension etc.
are really in-depth and really great! This book really speaks to me--I'm
seeing explanations of harmonic phenomena that I always thought were the
case, but was still a little unsure. It's really great to see someone come
out and say what you've always suspected. Basically, I've never seen anything like
the chord progression chapter.
Chord progressions to me are the most important elements of tonal
music--they are the fundamental building blocks—and yet so many books
neglect to discuss the properties of chord motion seriously. (My current
theory book has one line that says "bass motion by 4ths is the most
common.") And that's about it as far as why Bach used the progressions he
did. Kind of a let down, if you ask me. How Music
REALLY Works is really a breath of fresh air."
—Stedman Wilson, Stanford University, CA
"Thanks for making learning such an entertaining experience."
—Tony Hughes, Wales
"Previously I was unable to get the why behind the why, as I like to call it.
Why the theory works. I really enjoyed how this book
broke it down the from the beginning."
—Joel, San Francisco, CA
"I have enjoyed the first 4 chapters...learned a lot. I am also a
trainer, so I can recognize good training because I am reading
and seem to "get it"...so kudos to the author...I like the chunks, the building on
a foundation that now makes sense to me. I like the technical
background-instruction, I guess because what [the author] says is "consonant" where a lot of instruction out there is "dissonant"
—Duane Hansen, Raleigh, NC
"Wonderful, wonderful stuff for visual learners like me who have been
musicians for years, but don't "get" the normal way of teaching/learning
—Lance Zechinato, Columbia, MD
chord progression chapter seems to be just what I've been looking for! I
haven't seen this information compiled so well anywhere else!"
—Dave Watson, Seattle, WA
"This is the most realistic approach to music I have ever seen."
—Jay Daer, Scotland
"I love the concept of what
the author does re deconstructing chord
—Andy Bulka, Australia
"I'm from Russia ... I know that the delivery will cost a lot, but I think
THIS book is really worth it."
—Anastasia Makarevitch, Russia
"After many attempts to find something, it's the first time I've ever read
anything that actually explained music theory with clarity. I've tried
Bernstein, Surnami and others without success."
—Bob Dean, Lancaster, PA
"What a score ... surfing the net and discovering this book!"
—Sandy Bergmann, Kimberley, BC
"It’s written in a clear, down-to-earth manner, and I find I understand
certain areas of music theory that I found extremely difficult before."
—Damien Forbes, England
"It has really helped me
musically! Great work!!"
—Ann Marie, New York, NY
"I stumbled upon
the website quite by accident while searching for the chord
progressions for a particular song, and what a happy find it was."
—Jean Glaudé, Los Angeles, CA
"I’ve probably learnt more in the last hour than I did reading hours upon
hours of other music books. Great work."
—Eddie Machaalani, Australia
Chase is the bomb and my musical mentor."
—Brent Klemstein, San Diego, CA
"The information presented
in How Music REALLY Works seems uniquely understandable and comprehendable,"
—Bart Bradley, Albuquerque, NM
"I have downloaded and read the free chapters and I just think they are
fantastic. I must get a copy of the book which I’ll guard for dear life as
I think it is so rich with content and truly explains a lot of the mysteries
—Audley Ffolkes, Jamaica
"I live in Australia and had been asking these questions about chord progs
for years ... never any light. Now after checking out the *Harmonic Scale”
device I can see this is THE tool for a songwriter."
—John Bliss, Australia
"Hey, I've studied theory for awhile but somehow I never learned about the
harmonic scale ... and certainly nothing like the Chase charts. Everything
emphasized C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bdim, corresponding 7th chords and nothing beyond
that. No one explained why many songs for instance incorporated E7, and why
it worked. I knew only of Harmonic Minor with the included G#, but nothing
of its songwriting use or thinking beyond the minor key."
—W. A., Moore, OK
"I read the first chapters on the internet and thought they were excellent,
explaining lots of things I was wondering about. I'm learning to play the
piano and I don't want to be a slave to sheet music all my life so I thought
I'd try and make some sense out of chords."
—Eva Hovelsrod, Norway
"I would like to thank
Wayne Chase for the effort he made to gather all this
information together and bring it in this clear and comprehensive form.
... It's like having the
author answering my questions and even more !!"
—Ghassane Hajji, France
I can say is Wow!"
—Dale Regazzi, Las Vegas, NV
Chase is one
of a kind."
—Brian M., Los Angeles, CA
"I have found
the online information very informative. It is exactly what I
wanted to know. It contains all the technical information that I wanted to
—Tom Jennings, Cherry Hill, NJ
"I am blown away. What a great site!
Such wisdom and incredible generosity."
—Andy Gremminger, Fredonia, WI
makes a lot more sense to me than it ever has before."
—Benjamin Davis, Griffin, GA
"I’ve learned more about music in the last few days than in my entire life.
Thanks to the author for all the insight and knowledge."
—Ozzie Bostic, Chicago, IL
the information on the website—it is just fabulous!"
—Denise Vrana, Stilwell, KS
Wayne Chase's style of writing.
He positions musical concepts in a
clear and understandable framework. The order of introducing new concepts is
also very consistent."
—Robert Schuurmans, The Netherlands
informative and interesting."
—L. Anderson, England
"I really like
the Chase chart method. It's very original and very visual.
It also focuses on the key center which is very good, I think. By placing
non-diatonic chords outside the circle it is very clear to see these
chromatic embellishments. Also linking the circles with dotted lines and
thus connecting the pivot chords is very clear."
—Alain Benbassat, Belgium
"Kick butt book! Filled in many holes in my rather Spartan musical theory!"
—Mike Singleton, Bahamas
the best and most helpful information I have ever read, and I have read a
lot. I feel that I might actually (eventually) understand music at its
"core" or get close to it. This is pretty exciting. I've always known and
felt that something was missing in my journey of trying to understand music
and specifically how to play music on the guitar. The pieces are starting to
come together now."
—David James, Alpharetta, GA
"I am blown away--this is what I have been seeking for a very long time."
—Mark A. Blier, Miami, FL
"I like what
[the author] has done
... especially on modulation and the patience
used in explaining things."
—Steve Meiers, Madison, WI
the pieces of the "musical" puzzle are coming together for me. I have been
wanting to REALLY understand how music works for a long long time, but no
one book or person has been able explain it to me."
—Joel Stewart, Portland, OR
~ ~ ~
COMPLETE GUITAR CHORD POSTER
"If your guitar-player friend or lover
or relative needs to class up a practice space, here's a colorful...useful item for the
wall. It's a large, full-color poster that containsyes, you heard it herea
chart of every chord on the guitar....This clever poster is beautiful, plus it does
things like color-coding the chords in a particular key, so it can be used for
transposition....It's useful in place of looking up a chord in a chord dictionary, and I
don't doubt it will be useful in instructional settings...as a way to see the forest and
the individual trees. This tubed color poster will nag you into learning and experimenting
Dan Crary, Frets Magazine ("Recommended Gifts for Guitar
just bought the Complete Guitar Chord Poster on PDF. It is a fabulous
visualization tool, well done. Edward Tufte would be proud."
—Steven Lekousi, Harvard University
"Over the years, I have received
numerous music-related gifts of one kind or another, but this great chart ranks right up
there at the top. It's simply wonderful."
Christie Slavin, Portland, OR
"For me, I like being able to skip from
playing a pretty easy chord like a minor 7th, than zipping over to an 11th or 13th without
losing track of what I'm doing. You can't do that with a chord book, but you sure can with
the [Complete Guitar Chord] chart!"
Francine Perreault, Montreal, PQ
"These charts are fantastic. I don't
read music, so I use the [Complete Guitar Chord] poster like it's my guitar 'Bible.' Good
thing it's laminated ... I even roll it up and take it to band practices."
C. L. Hunt, Paterson, NJ
"I used to use a chord book but could
never make much sense of how chords work. So this poster is a godsend, it's magnificent.
C. Matthewson, Ogdensburg, NY
"When I first saw this [Complete Guitar
Chord] poster, I just burst out laughing. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. All
those chords, all together like that, and so ingeniously organized, it's just stunning. I
bought three of them ... for me and the others in the band. Somebody came up with a truly
brilliant idea here."
Alexis Hill, London, England
"I've made incredible breakthroughs
with my playingfor me at leastsince my girlfriend got me the Complete Guitar
Chord Poster ... I play with way more confidence now."
E. Doug Harris, Dartmouth, NS
"My Dad got me
the guitar chord poster
for Christmas. When I first saw it, I kind of thought, wow! it's kind of overwhelming,
because I was just a beginner. But now that I've been using it for almost six months, I'm
making so much progress that I've started writing my own songs. I showed [the poster] to
my guitar teacher and she got one for herself."
Marnie McCallum, Jackson, TN
"I've played guitar for 10 years and
didn't realize how the chords I was playing relate to each other. Well, this [Complete
Guitar Chord] poster makes the whole thing clear as a bell."
P. H. Schroeder, Stockton, CA
"It's nice to see some theory here. I
know you people probably aim your charts at players that don't read much music, but
there's stuff here that I can use. I'm getting more interested in the whole music-reading
Barry C. O'Connor, Manchester, England
"I've never wanted anything to do with
reading music. I can't be bothered. This [Complete Guitar Chord] poster is all I need ...
You can play anything with it, even the impossible chords."
W. Lei, Vancouver, BC
"I've never had a guitar lesson,
completely self-taught. With this chart, I don't think I'll need any lessons, either. It
has pretty much everything you need."
Klaus Dietrich, Bonn, Germany
~ ~ ~
KEYBOARD CHORD POSTER
"Never seen anything like it. I used to
look up chords at web sites, but that was always a pain. If you don't happen to be in a
room with a computer connected to the web, you're screwed. So this chart is practical. It
looks great too, by the way."
B. Kucheran, Madison, WI
"The great Complete Keyboard
arrived within 4 days from Canada to Germany. Now one day later and
having played with the poster and the chord chart in combination with your
I already know A LOT
more and finally understand what I am doing and
how to make good and intelligent chord progression. Of course
I will have to learn a few days more, but if you
want to know something it's so easy to see on
the poster, its amazing!"
"I've paid a lot of money for chord
books, and none of them have half the stuff that this chart has."
Rick G. Fenske, Winnipeg, MB
"I teach piano and organ, and I can
tell you, these Roedy Black charts are indispensable ... I use them every day in my
teaching, and I urge my students to get their own copies."
K. Maharaj, Detroit, MI
"Intervals used to stump me. Thanks to
the [Complete Keyboard Chord] chart, I understand how they pertain to the structure of
chords ... Altered chords intrigue me, so I'm working my way through them ... This poster
is head and shoulders above any other music reference I've come across."
Chris W. Lawson, Los Angeles, CA
"I'm going through my fake books and
transposing the chords to keys I can sing with. I'm usually pretty lazy about musical
chores like this, but the [Complete Keyboard Chord] chart makes it so easy!"
Clair Wang, Peterborough, ON
"Although I'm good at reading music, I
still find the keyboard poster really useful. I use it to take shortcuts to find and
learn the notes to complicated chords. This is a real treasure ... I had no idea that some
of these chords were even possible, but to see the structure of them laid out so clear,
that's what I find so good about it."
Sherry Yates, Saskatoon, SK
"I'm not a musician, but when I saw
the Keyboard Chord Poster at a friend's place, I thought it was so beautiful and
interesting to look at that I bought one for myself and framed it and put it up in the
lobby of our motel. It always draws a crowd!"
Betty Sander, Mississauga, ON
"I'm playing chords on the piano [that
are] way ahead of what I thought I could play, considering I'm just learning ... It's just
a wonderful chart. I'm addicted to it. I like seeing the whole layout at once so I never
George Wilson, Swindon, England
"The 'rainbow' design, it's beautiful.
You don't often see something that's both useful and so beautiful."S
N. L. Critchley, Mansfield, OH
"My theory teacher has this chord
formula wheel gizmo that I've never liked because I couldn't make heads or tails of it ...
The [Keyboard Chord Chart] showed me that chords can be intelligible after all."
David Nakano, Seattle, WA
~ ~ ~
"What I appreciate having [on the
Guitar & Keyboard Scales Poster] is the guitar and piano scales right next to each
other. This has made it a breeze to teach my band members new arrangements ... So I can go
to the piano and pick out the same melodies I used to know only on guitar, and have a
pretty good idea of what I'm doing on the piano, even though I'm a guitar player."
Dan Eldridge, Ottawa, ON
"My wife bought me the Guitar and
Keyboard Scales Poster, and now I can't stay away from it for long. It got me out of a rut
in my guitar playing, and I'm moving over to try out [playing scales] on her piano."
Jack Lazic, Chicago, IL
"As a bass player, I have found this chart
[Guitar & Keyboard Scales Poster] very helpful."
Henry Priddle, Jacksonville, Fl
"How scales are associated and
connected, that's what I've always wondered. With the Guitar and Keyboard Scales Poster,
it's making sense at last."
D. Redman, Port Hope, ON
~ ~ ~
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS POSTER
"Once you have a close look at the
clever way it's structured, the Musical Instruments Poster has a lot more practical
information on it than first meets the eye. Wayne
Chase has done a superb job of displaying
intelligent and instructive material ... yet the whole effect is entertaining."
Bill Tully, Preston, ID
Chase] has picked all the right
information to put on these posters ... I find all of them very practical, both for me and
the music classes I teach at night school. Especially the Musical Instruments Poster."
Charles Noga, Scarborough, ON
"The members of my choir find the
Musical Instruments Poster most helpful. They have a better understanding of where their
individual voices fit into the sound of the whole choir."
Jose Amado, Fresno, CA
"The Musical Instruments Poster is a
particularly effective in inspiring the imagination of my students, some of whom thought
they had no music in them. It has sparked many lively discussions about different aspects
L. Vanderhoek, Toronto, ON
~ ~ ~