Reviews

Amazon Reviews

Craig Hall

In “Garage Band Theory” Duke Sharp has delivered to us the anti-textbook. Apparently inspired less by the tired approaches of endless theory books on the local music store rack, than by, say, Dave Barry’s delightful drollery, GBT reads at moments like a coffee shop conversation twixt rock band sidemen at a restaurant after a questionable gig, complete with puns both good and bad, musician ‘inside humor’ and self-demeaning laments.

The genius within the madness is that after finally acquiescing to the har-har humor, the reader will find himself actually learning a lot about music along the way. More to the point, learning how band-stand musicians THINK about music. Read More...

Rich Robiscoe

It’s a fresh approach, a “we’re in this all together” vector not often found in theory texts. Duke Sharp makes a solid hit with a work aimed at players that want a comprehensive manual, but don’t want to wade through Walter Piston’s “Harmony”. Mr Sharp provides a user friendly platform for players of all abilities, with a special emphasis for the gigging musician looking to touch up the ‘zen’ behind that tricky chord change or progression.

A certain sense of humour is an essential part of ‘Garage Band Theory’. The perspective of a working musician gives this primer a unique vantage. This ain’t your standard Mel Bay! Read More...

Kyle Brenner

I love this book and will recommend it for all my students looking to pursue ear training! As a studio teacher, I’ve often heard students complain that they wished they could figure out what chord that was that just went by….”How do you know that’s a minor chord there?” or “Why are you using that voicing or inversion for that?

And as a teacher, I tell students that I’d like them to be able to figure out songs for themselves, instead of relying on my ear or a potentially bad TAB from the internet, but how to get there? Now there’s a tool for the teacher and the student of ear training, and it’s called Garage Band Theory. Read More...

Kris Ellingsen

Clear a space immediately in your music library for Garage Band Theory. It’s not likely, though, that this excellent book will sit on the shelf for long. I’m guessing that your copy, like mine, will either take up a position on your music stand, flagged with sticky notes and paperclips, or perhaps lie on the floor in your favorite practice nook, splayed out flat (thanks to the practical ring binding) and stained with the coffee cup rings that indicate a long and satisfying relationship.

Whether you are just beginning to play music – or, like me, are a classical player who missed school the day everyone got together and learned to play by ear for fun – Garage Band Theory is the last book you’ll need to buy for a very long time. It offers multiple entry points into the vast world of applied music theory and is an entertaining read from start to finish. It’s packed with technical information and exercises that are woven together with anecdotes and historical perspectives. Read More...

Andrea Lea

When he started teaching guitar and mandolin, Duke Sharp went looking for a book that explains what his students needed to know. He searched book stores, libraries, universities, and on line databases. What he found were a lot of small pieces of bigger puzzles, and some complicated explanations of arcane theories and phenomena that didn’t matter, but nothing that provided a logically structured and complete picture of what accomplished musicians know and use every day.

So he set out to write a good guitar teacher’s manual, not knowing he’d be at it for seven years—articulating hundreds of non-verbal (i.e., musical) concepts, selecting what the reader needs to know and leaving out what they don’t, creating hundreds of understandable lessons, fnding the right place for each lesson in a basics-to-advanced structure, making hundreds of details for hundreds of diagrams, learning a dozen or so forever-changing software applications, surviving betrayal by forever-outdated and unreliable hardware, and endlessly editing, improving, and revising. Read More...