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If you’re a musician or aspiring music student, you know that understanding the mechanics of music is crucial to creating and performing great songs. But where do you start? Enter ‘How Music Really Works: The Essential Handbook for Songwriters, Performers, and Music Students (Updated & Revised Second Edition) by Wayne Chase.’ This book is a comprehensive guide to the fundamentals of music theory, production techniques, and songwriting tips that will help take your musical abilities to new heights.

In this article, we’ll explore the structure of ‘How Music Really Works,’ dive into its key lessons on music theory and production techniques, and provide insight into how it can benefit both beginners and advanced musicians alike. By the end of this review, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what makes great music tick and be equipped with practical tools for crafting your own unique sound. So whether you’re an experienced performer looking to hone your skills or a beginner just starting out on your musical journey, this book is an essential resource for unlocking the secrets of how music really works.

Overview of ‘How Music Really Works’

If you’re a songwriter, performer, or music student looking to take your craft to the next level, Wayne Chase’s ‘How Music Really Works’ is the essential handbook that will give you an in-depth overview of the inner workings of music. The book covers everything from basic music composition to more advanced musical elements such as harmony and melody. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to understand how different musical pieces come together.

One of the things that makes this book so valuable is its comprehensive approach to teaching music theory. Rather than focusing solely on one aspect of music theory, Chase covers a wide range of topics, including chord progressions, scales and modes, and counterpoint. By doing so, he gives readers a deep understanding of how different musical elements work together to create beautiful compositions.

Overall, ‘How Music Really Works’ is an exceptional resource for anyone interested in learning about the intricacies of music composition. Whether you’re a seasoned musician or just starting out, this book will provide you with all the tools you need to succeed in your craft. So if you’re looking for an informative and engaging guide that will help take your music skills to new heights, look no further than Wayne Chase’s masterpiece! Moving onto the structure of the book…

Structure of the Book

You’ll find that the book’s structure is well-organized and easy to follow, allowing you to absorb the information at your own pace and without feeling overwhelmed. The first section of the book provides an overview of key concepts such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. This foundation is essential for understanding music theory.

The subsequent sections delve into more advanced topics such as chord progressions, modulation, counterpoint, and orchestration. Each chapter builds upon the previous one in a logical manner that reinforces your knowledge. You’ll appreciate how the author breaks down complex ideas into manageable chunks that are easy to comprehend.

Overall, How Music Really Works is an excellent resource for songwriters, performers, and music students who want to deepen their understanding of music theory. It’s informative yet engaging style makes it an enjoyable read while providing valuable insights into how music works. With this understanding in place, you’ll be better equipped to create memorable melodies or improvise solos with confidence. Now let’s explore how this book can help you understand music theory even further!

Understanding Music Theory

Get ready to dive deeper into music theory and expand your knowledge with Wayne Chase’s ‘How Music Really Works’. In this updated and revised second edition, he provides an essential handbook for songwriters, performers, and music students. Understanding music theory is crucial for anyone who wants to create or perform music effectively. Without it, you’ll find yourself struggling to communicate with other musicians or express yourself cohesively.

One of the key elements of understanding music theory is learning how to read and interpret music notation. Through ‘How Music Really Works’, you’ll learn about the different symbols used in sheet music and how they relate to pitch, rhythm, tempo, and dynamics. This knowledge will help you communicate more effectively with other musicians during rehearsals or performances.

Another important aspect of understanding music theory is chord progressions. As a songwriter or composer, knowing which chords sound good together can be incredibly helpful when crafting your songs. Chase breaks down the different types of chord progressions used in popular genres like rock, pop, jazz, and blues. By studying these progressions and incorporating them into your own work, you can take your songwriting skills to the next level.

As you dive deeper into understanding music theory through ‘How Music Really Works’, keep in mind that production techniques are also a crucial component of creating great sounding recordings. In the subsequent section of the book, Chase covers topics like mic placement, EQing instruments, and using effects like reverb and delay. By combining your knowledge of theory with these production techniques, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a well-rounded musician or producer.

Production Techniques

To become a well-rounded musician or producer, it’s crucial that you learn about production techniques. Recording methods play a significant role in the final output of your music. The way you record instruments and vocals can make or break your track. Whether you decide to use a traditional studio setup or opt for a more modern approach with digital audio workstations (DAWs), understanding recording techniques is essential.

Sound design is another critical aspect of production. Using effects like reverb, delay, and compression can add depth and character to your music. EQing instruments is also crucial to ensure that each sound occupies its frequency range without clashing with other elements in the mix. A well-designed soundscape can elevate a song from good to great.

Mastering production techniques is key to creating high-quality music. From recording methods to sound design, there are many aspects to consider when producing music. If you’re serious about perfecting your craft as a musician or producer, take the time to learn about these fundamental techniques before moving onto tips and techniques for songwriting in the subsequent section.

Tips and Techniques for Songwriting

When it comes to songwriting, there are a few key points you need to keep in mind. First and foremost is lyric writing. You’ll want to make sure your lyrics are both meaningful and catchy, so that they resonate with your audience. Additionally, understanding song structure is crucial for creating a compelling composition. Finally, don’t underestimate the value of collaboration and inspiration – working with others can help you create something truly special.

Lyric writing

Creating vivid imagery within your lyrics can transport your listeners to a completely different world, immersing them in the story you’re telling through your music. One way to achieve this is by using rhyming techniques to add depth and emotional impact to your lyrics. Rhyming can help you create memorable hooks that stick with your audience long after the song has ended. However, it’s important not to rely too heavily on rhyming as it can become predictable and cliche.

Another crucial aspect of lyric writing is storytelling. Your lyrics should tell a compelling story that draws in your audience and keeps them engaged throughout the song. Use descriptive language and sensory details to paint a picture for your listeners and make them feel like they’re experiencing the events of the song firsthand. Remember, effective storytelling is all about showing rather than telling, so use metaphors, similes, and other literary devices to convey complex emotions or ideas without being too explicit. With these key elements in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting truly unforgettable lyrics that resonate with audiences on a deep level.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of lyric writing, let’s delve into another important aspect of songwriting: structure.

Song structure

Now that you’ve got your lyrics down, let’s talk about song structure. When it comes to songwriting, the most common structure is the verse-chorus form. The verse typically sets up the story or message of the song, while the chorus serves as a catchy and memorable hook. The balance between melody and harmony is crucial in creating a memorable chorus that will stick with your listeners long after they’ve heard it.

A bridge can also be added to break up the repetition of verse-chorus-verse-chorus and provide some contrast in the song. A breakdown section can also be used to create tension and build up towards a climactic moment. As you experiment with different structures, keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules – what matters most is finding a structure that works best for your particular song.

Moving on from song structure, let’s explore how collaboration and inspiration play important roles in music creation.

Collaboration and inspiration

Collaborative creativity is a powerful tool in music production. It allows artists to merge their ideas and create something that neither of them could have done alone. The process of inspiration can come from many sources, including personal experiences, cultural roots, and musical influences. These inspirations provide the foundation for collaborative creativity to flourish.

Musical influences are particularly important in this process because they help artists find common ground and build upon each other’s strengths. Collaborating with someone who has different musical tastes or backgrounds can lead to fresh perspectives and new approaches. By working together, artists can combine their skills to produce songs that are more innovative and dynamic than what either could have accomplished independently.

Collaboration and inspiration are essential components of successful music production. They allow artists to explore new ideas and push boundaries while building on existing concepts. When it comes to making great music, there’s no substitute for working with others who share your passion for the art form. With the right combination of talent, dedication, and creativity, anything is possible in the world of music production!

Final Thoughts and Recommendation

Overall, the updated and revised second edition of ‘How Music Really Works’ by Wayne Chase is a must-read for any songwriter, performer, or music student looking to deepen their understanding of the craft. As the author aptly illustrates through his metaphor of a musical language, mastering the principles outlined in this book can help musicians become fluent in expressing themselves through their chosen medium.

The book’s comprehensive approach covers everything from melody and harmony to rhythm and dynamics. The real-life examples and practical applications provided throughout make it easy for readers to see how these concepts apply to their own compositions or performances. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your skills to the next level, this book has something valuable to offer.

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in music or simply want to improve your skills as a hobbyist, ‘How Music Really Works’ is an essential resource that you won’t want to miss. With its clear explanations and practical exercises, it provides a solid foundation for anyone looking to understand the underlying mechanics of music. So why not give yourself the gift of knowledge and pick up a copy today? Your future self will thank you!


Congratulations on finishing this review of Wayne Chase’s updated and revised edition of “How Music Really Works.”With its comprehensive coverage of music theory, production techniques, and songwriting tips, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the intricacies of music.

Did you know that according to a recent study by Nielsen Music, Americans now spend an average of 32 hours per week listening to music? That’s more than ever before! It just goes to show how important music is in our lives and why understanding how it works can make us appreciate it even more.

In conclusion, “How Music Really Works”is an essential handbook for songwriters, performers, and music students alike. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your knowledge, this book offers valuable insights into the world of music. So why not pick up a copy today and see how much it can help you improve your craft?

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