The new ABRSM syllabus requires a lot of figured bass technique. Don't despair, Eric McDonald's companion book (under the Rhythm Concept Series)takes a clear and constructive look at the reasons for figured bass in harmony traning and takes the student through the methods and techniquesmethodically and thoroughly. This 18th. century method of musical short hand can provide the student with a simple and systematic 'set' of procedures for the correct setting and planning of harmony. The author sets these out simply and systematically in the text. Like melody writing, a step procedure and consolidation / exercise format is used. After all, there aren't that many figures, and like maths, once you know how they behave you're home and dry.