‘The Beato Book Interactive’ by Rick Beato
If you follow anything that has to do with music production, the name Rick Beato (that’s bee-AH-toh, not BEAT-oh) almost certainly rings a bell, and his YouTube channel might already be one of your favorites anyway.
If you’re not familiar, he’s been a music educator and producer for decades, from his days as a professor teaching jazz studies at Ithaca College in the late ’80s to his long list of album credits to his current status as the guy behind a YouTube mini-empire (about 3 million subscribers as I write this!).
Another of his many projects is The Beato Book, a music theory textbook he originally wrote for his Ithaca students after discovering that no other textbook covered the material he was truly interested in teaching. After eventually being convinced by a friend to sell it to the public, the book has now gone through several revisions over the years, the latest of which is a total rewrite-from-the-ground-up that just went live this week.
The Beato Book Interactive, as he calls it, is a completely browser-based digital book that offers a creative approach to contemporary music theory and improvisation for any musician, no matter what instrument they play.
This 500-page book covers the stuff you’d expect, like chords, harmonies, intervals, modes, etc, but then dives deep into more advanced concepts like chromatic polychords, triadic improvisation, various studies on soloing, a whole bunch of arpeggio types, and much more.
The examples throughout are accompanied (heh) by music players and video lessons so you can hear/visualize for yourself what he’s explaining in the music notation and tablature. Some of those videos are actually full-on lectures, so it feels a lot like attending a respected music theory class from the comfort of your own home.