Music Theory Books For Self-study 

Music has a very vast world from start to end, and you will learn everything new at each step. When it comes to art like music, it doesn’t only need singing. It has lots of things from theory to application. Here we will be talking about some music theory books for self-study.

Music theory is an integral part of learning music, and the best part is you don’t need expensive classes for it. You can take out essential elements, and with continuous study and practice, you can learn on your own. Some books are recommended here to help you with this, which can take you through every expectation of notes to create music of your own.

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Music theory books for self-study

Here are some of the music theory books for self-study.

Music Theory: From Beginner to Expert 

This book is an excellent pick for beginners as it provides you with the step-by-step process of learning music.

music theory by nicolas carter

Nicholas Carter kept the book in series from ground to upper level. This book teaches you theory with exercises that make you learn quickly. He is a self-taught artist and wrote things very logically, like sound techniques and using it in reading or playing notes. It explains the importance of learning music theory, practice, and implantation. This book has explanations of every bit of note to the melody.

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Music Theory For Dummies

The second one of the music theory books for self-study. If you want to brush up on your taste in music and start learning, this book can help you there. It takes you through the essential points to the artistic level of music understanding. You will have some audio links to understand better and practice, and you will quickly learn scales, notations, and harmony. 

music theory for dummies

As you start reading music, you will realize this is not only about reading music notations but also combining them to form a melody. This book teaches you this, and it has a beautiful way of learning notes, beats, etc. It has very digestible content, even if you are a beginner.    

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Music Theory, 3E (Idiot’s Guides)

As the name suggests, it has provided very engaging content for budding musicians for a long time now. This is one of the best music theory books for self-study.

music theory

Micheal miller constituted every aspect of theory in a very concise and transparent manner. He created a guide to help musicians learn themselves. This is the third edition of idiot’s series guide, one of the best sellers and successful musical study books. It contains an excellent overview of scales, modes, progressions, and harmonies.

Practicing this theory will help contain your progress under control. It has every chapter with exercises, and it teaches you to read sheet music and arrange it for compositions of your own.

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Music Theory 101

Can learning music be easy? Not really, but maybe some guidance can help you achieve better. Books can also be best sometimes, and this is one of those books that I can get you through, which has better audience-related content and is accessible. Basics never change. Every style of music also has the same base that builds the whole world.

music theory 101

This book also includes how to read sheet music and organize essential rhythm. It gives visual ideas of scales and music notations. Also, if you are looking for a detailed theory, this book is for you. It also has details you need to understand and read sheet music.

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Music Theory for Guitarists

Another one of the music theory books for self-study. Well, everyone sometimes in their life dreams of playing guitar. You can have a good start with this book, which helps you understand chords better, and learning music compositions is the base for playing any instrument. This book contains recording links as samples for examples of scales and chords, and it has online audio access. 

music theory for guitarists

As a guitarist, you will need to create something new every day, and creativity includes knowledge with talent. Suppose you are looking for something like that. In that case, it’s better for learning and playing. You can give it a try for sure. It starts with a bit of a note explanation and then connects them all to create a melody. It teaches you to connect and tune notes which should be your next step in reading music.

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Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory Book

If you want to learn an instrument and understand the notes, a must-have in your library is Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory. It’s a complete walkthrough of everything you need to know when reading and writing music.

alfred essentials of music theory book

The book consists of 75 lessons that teach you all the fundamentals of music theory and have many questions to answer on each topic as you work through it. Not only that, but it also includes training CDs so you can test and train your ear to recognize what’s going on too. 

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The Ultimate Guide To Music Theory

Another one of the music theory books for self-study. Each guide walks you through all the topics in that grade with loads of details and examples. It’s great that it’s an eBook, so you can download it instantly and print it out or just read it on your phone or tablet when you’re out.

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The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis

The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis is a comprehensive guide to all things theory covering the fundamentals and then moving on to cover more complex harmony and form. 

thr musician's guide theory and analysis

It has a workbook that comes with it and an anthology of examples. 

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The Jazz Theory Book

The next one of the music theory books for self-study has a lot of information that every jazz student needs to have in their arsenal.

the jazz theory book

Found on every university jazz course required reading list, it’s easy to understand and a completely comprehensive look at everything you need to know about jazz harmony.

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How to Read Music in 30 Days

It’s written with self-explanatory diagrams and over 100 written exercises alongside so you can practice the things you’re learning to test your knowledge and how well you’ve understood the ideas. 


Finding the right music theory book is also like finding the right teacher. Here are some of the best music theory books for self-study.

Each book also explains things in a completely different way. Also, what I will say is you don’t have to choose just one, and try a few and see which one you find easiest to take in.

Also, you can help yourself with these books and create your music. It also may take time, and you need to learn deep to understand music better, and reading good books is the first step.

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