The Complete Idiot’s Guide vs. For Dummies Books

(FYI: At the end of this review there is a coupon code to receive 50% off your order of The Complete Idiot’s Guide books through 10.31.11)

Have you ever wondered the difference between The Complete Idiot’s Guide books vs the For Dummies books? I have often wondered that and was given a chance to do a side-by-side review of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, 2nd Edition vs. Music Theory For Dummies. I was happy to get the subject of Music Theory because one of my daughter's is taking a college class on Music Theory this semester.

Here are the chapters and information on The complete IDIOT'S Guide to Music Theory:
  • Part 1- Tones
  • Part 2- Rhythms
  • Part 3-Tunes
  • Part 4- Accompanying
  • Part 5- Embellishing
  • Part 6- Arranging
I loved the feel and layout of this book. It was written for music students and for those non-music students who just want to learn more about music. The book covered all the important concepts of music that was very clear and had actual music staff to show the notes, scales,etc. This book contains an Audio CD that  goes along with the book. It is an Ear Training Course that is used to train the ear along with the reading of the book. Each Part of the book contains exercises to test your reading.

Over all I thought that this would be an excellent book to teach music theory to jr and senior high students. This would make an excellent book for homeschool students, too. I only wish I had this book a few years ago for my homeschool daughter. She is now a Jr in high school and is taking her first Music Theory college class. This would have been great prep for the class.

Here are the chapters and information on Music Theory for DUMMIES
  • Part 1- Rhythm: Keeping The Beat
  • Part 2-Melody: The Part You Hum
  • Part 3-Harmon: Fleshing It Out
  • Part 4-Form: How It's Shaped
  • Part 5-The Part of 10's, FAQs, Resources, 9 Music Theorist
This book was clearly written for those who didn't know anything about music and wanted to learn more as well as all other levels of music interest. The book covered the important concepts of music. I especially enjoyed the Rhythm chapter. This book came with a Audio CD that demonstrated musical concepts as well as many examples of how to mix sounds and tempos.

I like that the DUMMIES has FREE eTips at I think that is a great resource. Overall, it is a good book that does a great job at explaining concepts in a very text book manner. I did love Part 5 of the book. It was the last section and it answered FAQs of music theory, other online and offline musical resources and some of the history of those who contributed to music theory. I found the information very helpful on the nine music theorists you should know about. This chapter is a great resource for those studying music.

OVER ALL IMPRESSION of the side-by-side review of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, 2nd Edition vs. Music Theory For Dummies is that each book teaches basically the same thing. Music theory is music theory and from what I know the information seemed factual. I'm not a scholar on the subject so I just have to go with my gut feeling to say that the books seem to be presenting accurate information.

As for the over all comparison of the two books, I do have to say that I loved the approach of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, 2nd Edition and would most recommend this book to my homeschool friends who are wanting to teach music to their children. On the other hand, the Music Theory For Dummies would work for grown ups just wanting to learn more about music on their own. I think that the Dummies book did a great job and covering the important music theorist.

As a thank you for reading this comparison you can get 50% off of one order of regularly priced books from The discount is effective immediately and runs through October 31. The CODE that you must use is CIGBlog11.

Have you read books from either company? What is your impression? Do you have a favorite?

This is purely my own opinion. I was provided a copy of each book to read and review. My own honest thoughts and opinions are expressed here.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on liking the
    "Complete Idiot's" guides better than the "For Dummies" guides. They seem to be better laid out. I like how the pages are broken up. It makes the text much easier to read.


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