Author Topic: Books that teach you how to do a thing  (Read 1429 times)

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Books that teach you how to do a thing
« on: November 24, 2018, 09:15:39 PM »
You know those "Learn to Draw" type books and the like, have you gotten any particularly good ones ever? The actual topic at hand doesn't matter so much, just something you can work through in small chunks.


Origami? Knot tying? Whatever really... Just one you felt like you gained something from.

Queneau

  • That was a joke. That's all it was, it was a joke.
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2018, 09:17:48 PM »
Learn to Read is my favourite. Hahahahahaha.

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 09:18:50 PM »
Actually, I didn't finish it but How to Read a Book seemed to have some okay ideas in it.

Queneau

  • That was a joke. That's all it was, it was a joke.
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »
I don't even know why I exist any more.

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 05:12:41 PM »
If you really want to be taught things, seek out some Loompanics books:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/8244.Loompanics_Unlimited

New Jack

  • Biggy laughed at my family deaths; won't say sorry
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 05:59:58 PM »
Alan Watts Teaches Meditation did what it said on the tin


magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 07:59:07 PM »
Are there any good books about writing that actually give you set challenges, like school homework.

Like:

Try This. Then, Try THIS to redraft it, and see how it goes, etc?

Rather than "this is what I did".

New Jack

  • Biggy laughed at my family deaths; won't say sorry
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 10:19:44 PM »
I quite like Stephen King's "on Writing", it isn't high brow - but he does get into tutorials, like "no adverbs" and is even cruel about his own work, plus popular enough that most people know his work and hence style.

My favourite writer is McCarthy and him on Oprah saying "short declarative sentences" was a revelation in the "show, don't tell" mindset.

My favourite quote about writing is from the great Alan Watts:

Quote
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king.”

I am of the mind that you do it. After all, do you want to merely emulate?

Queneau

  • That was a joke. That's all it was, it was a joke.
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 04:05:08 AM »
I quite like Stephen King's "on Writing", it isn't high brow - but he does get into tutorials, like "no adverbs" and is even cruel about his own work, plus popular enough that most people know his work and hence style.

On Writing is absolutely brilliant. A while since I read it but I remember really liking it.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 05:11:14 AM »

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 11:27:17 AM »
Anyone read James Rhodes - How to Play the Piano?
I haven't.

Apparently if you spend 45 minutes a day following the exercises, you'll be able to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks. I quite fancy giving that a bash.

JesusAndYourBush

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Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 01:24:19 PM »
Origami?

There was always an origami page in Rupert Annuals.  Did anyone ever try and do it?  Each stage would be shown in detail so you knew where to fold, but about halfway through it'd ALWAYS jump a stage too far so it was impossible to see how they'd progressed.  So many times I attempted the origami and always gave up frustrated because I couldn't work out how to continue.

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 02:18:00 PM »
I don't know where I'd be without this:



Seriously, I've waded through many a teach-yourself-juggling book in my lifetime, and this really is the best! [/niche post]

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 05:55:17 PM »
Anyone read James Rhodes - How to Play the Piano?
I haven't.

Apparently if you spend 45 minutes a day following the exercises, you'll be able to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks. I quite fancy giving that a bash.

Pretty much the whole thing is just arpeggiated chords. It really shouldn't take 6 weeks to learn to play it.

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2018, 06:23:33 PM »

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 10:06:13 PM »
It really shouldn't take 6 weeks to learn to play it.

Including starting to learn to read music?


Twit 2

  • Penske material
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 10:13:54 PM »
Including starting to learn to read music?

Yeah, you’re only learning 5 notes for every 8 played, and apart from the last couple of bars it’s exactly the same rhythm and pattern for every arpeggio. The whole musical cell of the piece is the 1st 8 notes: if you can play that, it’s just a matter of memorising the fingering to play the rest. You can learn it without learning to read music fluently, inn the same way you could learn a poem or monologue in a 2nd language, without being able to converse in it.

Pretty much the whole thing is just arpeggiated chords. It really shouldn't take 6 weeks to learn to play it.

Learning/memorising the notes, sure - especially for someone who plays another instrument - but playing it fluently and accurately would definitely take a while. That’s before you even consider doing a decent interpretation that brings out the harmony and has some fidelity to the composer’s style and era. Definitely a piece worth learning, as not only does it have the repetitive figure but the beauty of the voice leading means that each new chord is only slightly different from the previous, often by only one note. It’s pretty cool that an absolute beginner can play a masterpiece in days, however amateurishly. I recommend his autobiography btw, it’s harrowing, moving, candid and funny. I also respect his self-assement as an amateur playing at being a pro by having the cash and connections to do so. He’s a great ambassador for using music to get through trauma, plus he worships Sokolov, so he does have good taste. The Busoni Chaconne that he raves about is not a patch on Bach’s violin original, though...

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2018, 07:58:24 AM »
If you really want to be taught things, seek out some Loompanics books:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/8244.Loompanics_Unlimited

I've got 'the art and science of dumpster diving'

Do you have any? Wanna swap? :)

'How to disappear completely and never be found' of course inspired the radiohead song of the same name...

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2018, 10:39:23 PM »

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2018, 10:49:08 PM »
Ah, that's beautiful.

Might treat myself to a couple for Christmas.

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2018, 11:06:17 PM »
This Wellcome Collection title, This is a Voice, has some easy-to-follow exercises for anyone wanting to improve their singing/speaking, or just learn more about the process: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wellcome-Collection-Gillyanne-Foreword-Matthews/dp/178125656X

Really aesthetically satisfying too, with simple diagrams/illustrations and a limited colour pallette.

gib

  • weak and wobbly
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2018, 12:11:36 AM »
There was always an origami page in Rupert Annuals.  Did anyone ever try and do it?  Each stage would be shown in detail so you knew where to fold, but about halfway through it'd ALWAYS jump a stage too far so it was impossible to see how they'd progressed.  So many times I attempted the origami and always gave up frustrated because I couldn't work out how to continue.

The only one i managed was the paper plane, hope that answers your question.

Howj Begg

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Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2018, 12:21:58 AM »
The Book of Exodus teaches you, in extensive and comprehensive detail, how to make a tabernacle.

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2018, 12:02:15 PM »
Ah, that's beautiful.

Might treat myself to a couple for Christmas.

Knock yourself out.

https://archive.org/details/Loompanics_Catalog_2003

All Surrogate

  • People like you just fuel my fire.
Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2018, 09:18:22 PM »
The Book of Exodus teaches you, in extensive and comprehensive detail, how to make a tabernacle.

But I want to build two tabernacles.

Re: Books that teach you how to do a thing
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2018, 01:10:29 PM »
'If you really want to be taught things, seek out some Loompanics books'

Such a blast from the past. Around 1998 they made me an offer to publish an article I had written. All the letters they sent were written on an old school typewriter and riddled with spelling mistakes so I always guessed they would struggle moving into the internet age. They never sent the cheque they promised either. I would imagine the books would have a high resale price for collectors now.

There were also the Uncle Fester books on how to create poisons and other toxins that I imagine would be judged very harshly if found in the possession of anyone involved in a terrorism related police raid.