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Zen Guitar Paperback – March 24, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
What the book does--or did for me, at any rate--is help you evaluate why you play guitar in the first place and gives you some food for thought as you go about achieving your guitar goals. I am a sloppy, self-taught player, I have no experience with Zen teachings, and I'm not big on books that offer fun new dogma--but I found the book's focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects of creating music on a guitar as well as the musician's unique and personal relationship with the instrument both fascinating and extremely valuable. I feel I'm a better player now, practicing with sharper goals and better intentions; the book's advice has helped both broaden my outlook and focus my efforts. At no time does Zen Guitar neglect the importance of practice; it is, in fact, at the heart of the book (its First Point Of Focus: "Don't ask, practice"). Many of its concepts are direct from Zen teachings and beliefs, but the book neither preaches nor drags.
Zen Guitar is a difficult book to describe, but I didn't find it difficult to comprehend--and I was able to apply its wisdoms to my playing immediately. As long as you *want* to explore the spiritual aspect of playing guitar, the book can be an invaluable tool.
Since the first time i picked up a guitar back in 1995, i've been completely and utterly awed and inspired by Johnny Rzeznik of the GOO GOO DOLLS. His songwriting and guitar playing always amazed me, and in one interview i read, he had spoken about this book and how it had helped him.
Now, i have been playin guitar for 8 years now...and i'm pretty damn good! I've played for professional theatre productions, various bands, i even played in the band for Late Show with David Letterman. I thought i was good ~ Then i read this book and realized just how much i was MISSING!
Don't get it wrong ---> this book isn't going to poison you with some strange new dogma. All you need to do is believe that there is in fact a spiritual connection between what your fingers are doing on the fretboard and what is going on in your heart. This book teaches you how to harness that and use it to your advantage. I honestly believe, and dozens of my co-workers and friends have agreed, that my guitar playing has been taken to a whole new level.
ALL YOU GUITAR PLAYERS OUT THERE, I URGE YOU TO DO THE SAME. This book will be the best ... bucks you'll ever spend in your musical career. Enjoy it, and learn something. You might be surprised by what you find out.
Once I started to read it, I could not believe how many great thoughts it had. This book has SO many valuable sayings written in such a simple language! Take for instance couple of these, "if you can't play what you hear, then hear what you play" or "do it [practice] as much as needs to be done, as well as it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and do it this way every time."
I don't like to read it too fast though because I need to put it through my own "filter", well, I just like to chew on :).
I would say that "Zen Guitar" is for anyone who is interested in philosophy or/and any kind of art. I play some music instruments as well, and I think this book will help you depending on what you are looking for. For some it is strictly for that specific instrument (read: GUITAR) and will put some more soul in their sound but for others it just can be a starting point to many exciting discoveries in LIFE... enjoy!
Philip Toshio Sudo provides that help by exploring Eastern philosophies in respect to playing guitar and making music. There are over sixty lessons contained in this book, each short and containing only one point so the simple meaning is not lost in the explanation. Many guitarists become hung up on stupid, meaningless things that prevent one from fulfilling their guitar ability. The lessons that Sudo teaches point out these hang ups and explain the mental attitude that is required to reach your full potential.
Not only will Sudo's work help a guitarist to see the light, but the lessons that he teaches can be used in every day life. He has done a good job in distilling the complicated thoughts of the Taoism so a Western mind can readily understand this foreign way of thinking. Every guitarist who ever talks about becoming better, or hack that just "doodles" on the fretboard, should buy this book and take the lessons to heart. "Zen Guitar" will open your mind and let guitar flow from your heart. You will become a better player, and if you take Sudo's teachings to heart, you will notice improvement outside the realm of guitar as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book when I was 18. It was a random book I found in the guitar section at Borders. At the time, I didn't know what I was holding in my hands but this has become one... Read morePublished 3 months ago by MM510e
Can be a little precious at times, but certainly a fresh and interesting perspective on guitar-play.Published 4 months ago by Grey Igloo
A great book about the never ending journey of becoming and being a musician. It is not a book about learning to play the guitar or any other instrument for that matter.Published 5 months ago by J.Brown
Great thought book. At least makes you think about playing the guitar. The theme is that you never get there, so make the trip enjoyable as you continue the learning process day... Read morePublished 6 months ago by raymond simpson
While the lessons and principals suggested in this book are top-notch and clear, it's more of a "do this impossible thing" and "do that impossible thing" with a bit... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jack B. Nimble
Loved this book. Mixed two things that I'm really interested in - - zen and (wait for it....) guitar! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steve
cool philosophy on guitar music and life, you will gain thoughts and what famous people thought was a witty or deep thing to say about their music and life. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Victor