5 Books & Tools Every Musician Needs.

The intermediate to advancing music students must haves

1)Ted Reed’s Progressive Steps to syncopation for the Modern Drummer. 

Purchase below


This book is a gold mine in rhythmic studies. I’ve spent a great deal of time in it’s pages, the studies continue to help my reading and playing abilities greatly.  This needs to be on every musicians bookshelf.


A course in sight singing-I sometimes use this old text to teach people how to sight read, it’s PERFECT.  I personally use it to learn how to sight sing and train my ear.  It can be found for FREE online, no need to purchase.  It starts from very basic, going through each key with only diatonic notes.  It then proceeds step by step to non-diatonic notes and even minor keys.  Link below:


3)Bruce Arnold’s Ear Training course

I use this daily.  A person could potentially create their own course using his idea of key based hearing and wouldn’t need to purchase it but I find it’s very convenient for me.  I do the exercises while driving or surfing the web sometimes.  The goal is to be able to hear a sound and instantly know it’s degree within a key.


4)Hindemiths-Elementary Training For Musicians

Hardly Elementary, in fact it’s quite difficult.  I haven’t begun to get even halfway through it yet.  It goes through rhythmic coordination, sight-singing, reading multiple clefs, basically enough to make your head spin.  For advanced students only.

5)Thinking in Jazz by Paul Berliner. 

Link below:


This book goes through detailed information about how the jazz greats learned and what they are thinking about when they play.  Every Jazz musician should own this.

Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.