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MUSICIAN! A Practical Guide for Students, Music Lovers, Amateurs, Professionals, Superstars, Wannabees and Has-Beens Paperback – July 27, 2010


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About the Author

As a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dan Wilensky played with jazz, funk, rock and folk bands while studying saxophone with Joe Henderson and piano with Julian White. At 18, he toured with Ray Charles. After a brief stint at the Eastman School of Music, he toured with jazz great Jack McDuff, then moved to Manhattan where he played first as a street musician, and subsequently on hundreds of records, films, jingles, and TV themes. Wilensky received a National Endowment Award for jazz performance in 1986, and went on to tour or record with over 250 artists, including Steve Winwood, Santana, Manhattan Transfer, David Bowie, R. Kelly, Cornell Dupree, Slickaphonics, Joan Baez, Mark Murphy, Faith No More, Madonna, Deodato and James Brown. Wilensky also played on many film soundtracks, including The Smartest Guys In The Room, Hairspray, Happiness, and A Chorus Line, appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The View, and Late Night With David Letterman, and performed in many music videos. He was featured for 12 years on the Emmy-winning PBS children’s show "Between the Lions." Wilensky has recorded 4 CDs as a leader, and is the author of 2 method books, and articles for many publications including Downbeat. He performs, records, and teaches worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452857717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452857718
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,237,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Buddy Gordon on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The subtitle of this book may sound a bit exaggerated, but Mr. Wilensky fulfills its promise with a bounty of well-seasoned advice and well-written scenes that can't be faked. The anecdotes add a texture that gives that advice a been-there, done-that credence that would serve any aspiring musician well. Those behind the scenes stories are told with a worldly wit that is illuminated by the author's experience playing and working with some of the best musicians the world has known. The amount of practical information crammed into its pages makes Musician! an unbeatable investment in itself. It all comes through in succinct chapters that are well-organized and that propel you to the next page, the next piece of sage advice, and the next delightful story one after the other.

Dan Wilensky's world-class musical skills are one-in-a-million, but the results of where those skills have taken him, and the experience and lessons he has since distilled, are here for musicians of every caliber to absorb and for all readers to enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Sheehan on March 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Musician! is an absolutely fantastic read! The positive upbeat prose captures Mr. Wilensky's amazing drive and passion for music. Written in a wonderful voice, the book takes on the beginner, the professional and everyone in between. Even those of us with no musical aspirations beyond tapping a finger to the next pop hit will find enjoyment here.

Enthusiasm always makes a great teacher and it is plain to see that this author has a lot to teach us about music and life. From handling success, to dealing with failures, plateaus and dry periods, the concepts presented here are applicable to almost every career. You can not help but take serious note of any suggestions coming from someone who has played with so many of the great artists of our time. I would highly recommend sharing this book not only with every musician you know but also with your friends and family.
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By Lobster Lu on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and I'm not even a musician! As an artist of a different type, I still found it full of good advice. It's basically about Doing It - finding your path and going for it. Dan shares his story, here and there, woven in with the practical advice of how to practice, how to get gigs, how to get paid, etc. His sense of humor and positive outlook come through in each chapter. He's graduated from the school of hard knocks (hey, I'm an alumni of that school too!). Yet, he still has such a positive spin on life, that you feel like, wow, life is full of opportunities. You just have to go out and make them for yourself.

I think this book would be a perfect gift for a student or young adult, just starting on their music journey. I also think it is perfect for that weekend warrior type of has-been or wannabe who is currently doing music as a hobby. They can all benefit from the advice. But I also believe that seasoned musicians will enjoy the stories and the overall attitude of the book. They will probably also find a few more ways to get gigs, that they hadn't thought of before. They will definitely get inspired.

Oh, and have you checked out Dan's music? Some of his CDs are on Amazon. Listen to one of his songs and you'll know, this is someone who knows what he's talking about! It's a treat, that he writes as well as he plays. I wish more musicians could write a book like this.
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